A pair of new Mercedes-Benz trucks played a key role in helping Manchester Airport chiefs to beat the big chill, as wintry weather gripped the UK. The 26-tonne Arocs were supplied by Dealer Rygor Commercials to specialist bodybuilder Aebi Schmidt UK, of Peterborough, which mounted its Airport Sprayer (ASP) 30m extendable side and rear spray booms, pumping equipment and modular polyethylene fluid tanks before delivering them to the airport. They have been undertaking the crucial task of spraying de-icing media on the runways so that aircraft can continue to take-off and land, even when temperatures dip below zero. Both are 6×4 Arocs 2632 models with ClassicSpace cabs. Their 7.7-litre straight-six engines generate 235 kW (320 hp) and drive through smooth, efficient Mercedes PowerShift 3 automated transmissions.
Senior Airport Engineer Jay Harding said: “These new trucks have already played a vital part in keeping our runways open through some challenging conditions, and have greatly impressed the teams who work with them. The cabs are comfortable and well-designed, while the controls for the spraying and pumping equipment integrate seamlessly with the vehicles’ own electronics.” With its side booms fully extended, each Arocs can spray de-icing solution across a 30-metre span, while travelling at speeds of up to 45 km/h. The truck carries 12,500 litres of fluid and the exact dosage and spraying width can be easily controlled by the operative in the cab, via a simple-to-use instrument panel.
Aebi Schmidt’s robust design promises excellent longevity as well as precision operation – the company’s ‘Total Lifetime Care’ pledge mirrors Mercedes-Benz Trucks’ and Rygor Commercials’ own commitments to engineering excellence and the finest standards of customer service.
Mike Moore, Key Account Manager at Aebi Schmidt UK, said: “Rygor’s Fleet Sales Specialist Chris Carter handled our acquisition of these vehicles superbly – as always, he proved extremely knowledgeable, professional and responsive. I was also impressed by the speed and efficiency of the pre-delivery inspections carried out at the Dealer’s Westbury PDI facility by Andy Elkins and his team.”
Chris Carter added: “Specifying trucks for such a specialised application is a highly technical business and requires great care. Here at Rygor our commitment to Setting Standards means we’re always ready to take the time to ensure our customers have exactly the vehicle that their job requires.” The Manchester Airport engineering team have named their two Arocs – one is called ‘Sir Bruce Thaws Ice’, in honour of entertainment giant Sir Bruce Forsyth, who died last year; the other has been dubbed ‘Clouey’, in memory of long-standing airport worker Steve Clousen, who also passed away in 2017.
The muscular Mercedes-Benz Arocs range is purpose-designed for construction and associated applications, and comprises rigid vehicles with two, three and four axles, any number of which can be driven, and tractor units. The comprehensive, six-cylinder engine line-up extends from the 175 kW (238 hp) version of the 7.7-litre OM 936 LA, to the 15.6-litre OM 437 LA powerplant in 460 kW (625 hp) trim.
Situated less than nine miles south-west of the city centre, Manchester Airport is the third busiest in the United Kingdom – its three passenger terminals handled a record 25.6 million customers in 2016, and have capacity for up to 50 million annually. Manchester is the only airport in the UK other than London Heathrow to operate two runways over 2,999 metres in length. Flights from Manchester Airport land at 199 locations, placing it 13th globally for total destinations served.
The airport is owned and managed by the Manchester Airports Group (MAG), a holding company owned by the Australian finance house IFM Investors and the ten metropolitan borough councils of Greater Manchester.