The first two trucks to wear the updated livery of Glass Systems are also its first tractor units to be equipped with MirrorCam, Mercedes Trucks’ pioneering alternative to conventional mirrors.
Other standard-fit technology includes the active brake assist 5 emergency braking system, which boasts the industry’s most advanced pedestrian recognition capability.
Plus, they have the latest, enhanced version of Predictive Powertrain Control, which manages gear changes and ensures that full use is made of the Mercedes PowerShift 3 transmission’s Eco Roll function to maximise fuel efficiency and reduce emissions.
The tractors also feature the multimedia cockpit which has replaced switchgear with stylish and intuitively operated twin screens.
Safety benefits of MirrorCam
The safety benefits of MirrorCam are well documented and appreciated by those operators that have already embraced this pioneering development, as well as their drivers.
The system provides much improved rear visibility – the driver of a tractor unit never loses sight of the back of the trailer when reversing – and the cameras are less susceptible to misting over in heavy rain.
MirrorCam also removes major blind spots that occur because of the large mirror housings.
However, the transport manager for Glass Systems, Rob James, has already seen enough to recognise that MirrorCam also offers other, significant advantages.
‘New tractors will be on and off busy sites’
He says: “We have some narrow roads in this part of South Wales, while the new tractors will be on and off busy sites at which access may be tight.
“Any fleet manager will tell you that in such circumstances, it’s inevitable that a truck with mirrors will suffer a certain amount of accident damage, whether from overhanging branches or other vehicles.
“MirrorCam is already helping to reduce damage costs on the 18-tonners because being so much smaller and mounted high up on the roof, the cameras are a lot less vulnerable to ‘knock-offs’.”
Mr James also expects the new tractors to be more fuel-efficient than the rented units Glass Systems already operates.
MirrorCam system saves fuel
While enhanced Predictive Powertrain Control and improved cab aerodynamics contribute to economy, the MirrorCam system does too – the fifth generation Actros consumes up to 1.5% less diesel, Mercedes estimates because the compact and streamlined camera housings offer significantly less wind resistance than mirrors.
Mr James added: “In these days of driver shortages it pays to keep the guys happy. While it took some older colleagues a little longer to get used to the new dashboard and cameras, they were all won over pretty quickly.
“Most importantly, I’m convinced that running a modern, technologically advanced fleet gives us a big advantage when we’re recruiting younger drivers. They really like all the mod cons, and no one does that better than Mercedes.”
The Swansea-based Glass Systems has been buying Mercedes vehicles for more than 30 years and now runs a single-marque fleet of nearly 50 trucks.
And since 1995, those trucks have been supplied by South Wales dealer, Euro Commercials.
Most of the vehicles are 18-tonners, although the line-up includes 7.5- and 26-tonne rigids as well.