With new and well-proven vehicles such as the Unimog, Arocs and Zetros, Mercedes-Benz provides convincing answers to the challenges facing the agricultural sector. These vehicles excel with their efficiency, robustness and powerful performance.
The agricultural specialists from Mercedes-Benz - i.e. the Unimog, Zetros and Arocs - stand for a high level of overall cost-effectiveness. This begins with the low kerb weight of these vehicles, which allows payloads of up to 24 t for a gross combination weight of 40 t. When working in the fields and also driving on the road, their robust chassis scores with motorway-capable transport speeds of up to 90 km/h. Moreover, environmentally friendly, future-proof BlueTec technologies reduce fuel consumption and emissions.
High load-carrying capacity and robustness come as standard with the agricultural specialists from Mercedes-Benz. As an all-round package. Their construction, materials, frame, chassis and suspension systems are designed for a long lifecycle and great resilience. Produced in the world's largest truck assembly plant, these vehicles set the standard when it comes to quality and reliability.
In agricultural operations, the highest cost-effectiveness is achieved by vehicles that need to travel to and fro between the fields and the operating centre less often. Accordingly the Unimog, Zetros and Arocs are configured for a high payload and a large transport capacity. With a low kerb weight for a high payload of up to 24 t with a gross combination weight of up to 40 t, these vehicle concepts from Mercedes-Benz present strong arguments when it comes to cost-effective agricultural logistics.
Power is useless unless it is transferred to the ground. This is why not only the drive components of the Unimog, Zetros and Arocs are designed for an optimal power transfer, but also the chassis. With all-wheel drive, differential locks, rough-treaded tyres, gear reduction and the tyre pressure control system tirecontrol plus for the Unimog, these vehicles are workhorses capable of moving heavy loads - both on the road and in the fields.
There are special-purpose vehicles designed for working in the fields. There are trucks that have the ideal attributes for road transport. And then there are the agricultural specialists from Mercedes-Benz. They withstand severe punishment when off-road and perform their duties rapidly and efficiently on the roads - at up to 90 km/h.
Climb in, feel comfortable and get to work: the practical experience and improvement requests of numerous users have been incorporated into the development of the up-to-date cabs for the Unimog, Zetros and Arocs. Their characteristics include a high level of ride comfort, intuitive and ergonomic operating concepts, a comfortable working position with individual seats and high ergonomic standards for long, fatigue-free working days. In combination with the clear-view cab, ABS and fully sprung suspension, these improvements contribute greatly to more safety and operating comfort.
The agricultural sector is undergoing a dynamic change. Transport distances are increasing and transport volumes are growing. Other influencing factors also require new logistical concepts in some areas. These include the cultivation of energy-producing plants, for example. Companies that are aware of these trends and develop answers to them will successfully master the challenges of today and tomorrow.
The number of people fed by one farmer is increasing steadily. Germany is an impressive example of this: in 1900 one farmer provided four people with food, but by 2010 this figure had increased to 140 people. This is a development that is set to continue. Because the size of land areas under cultivation worldwide will remain practically constant, but the world population will increase - to 9 billion people by 2050. The pressure for intensive agricultural use of fertile areas will increase as a result - and not least make more efficient and productive vehicle concepts necessary.
Constantly increasing energy and labour costs, longer transport distances and higher transport requirements are compelling agribusinesses to find commercially and technically optimal vehicle solutions. Low vehicle weight for maximum payload, low operating costs and long service intervals, as well as high tractive power on the farm and on the road together with high driving speeds are the decisive criteria for cost-effective transport and farm work. Because even at harvest time, trailer combinations spend up to 85% of the time on the road and only 15% in the fields.
In the industrialised nations, a structural change in agriculture has been apparent since the 1950s: There are increasingly fewer but larger agricultural farming areas. This means that the individual farm cultivates areas that are larger on average and further away from the operating centre.
One trend has been apparent in the agricultural sector for a long time: transport distances are increasing for many reasons - for example owing to larger farms or more areas given over to agricultural production. The increasing cultivation of energy-producing plants is further reinforcing this trend. This is because on average, the distances from the fields to the processing centre are longer than in traditional agriculture. The costs incurred for transport are therefore increasingly becoming a focus for profitability. And the factors of fuel consumption, road speed and overall cost-effectiveness are playing an increasingly important role for investments in transport and working vehicles.
A changed infrastructure in rural areas, shrinking harvest time windows, concentration into larger units and the maximised performance and efficiency of harvesting machinery require increased transport capacity. To take Germany as an example, 500 million tonnes of agricultural goods are transported each year. The average distances involved vary greatly, from approx. 4 km for maize or grass to up to 90 km for sugar beet. On a Germany-wide basis, the number of persons employed in the agricultural sector has declined by over 32% since 1993. The result of these changes and longer transport distances is increasing time pressure. This requires fast and efficient working machines with maximum payload and a high level of comfort.
Greater transport distances and shrinking harvesting time windows are increasing the workload for drivers and making working days longer. Ergonomics and comfort are gaining a new importance in view of this. The need to cope with these stresses - i.e. minimising fatigue and maintaining safety - also increases requirements for the vehicles.