04 October 2021 15:53
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With the utmost precision, Frank Le Boy slowly sets off from the premises of his employer Ivens Transport & Kraanbedrijf (ITK). On the low-loader behind his robust Actros 8×4 is a storage tank several metres high and weighing 42 tonnes. After a short journey on the road, it is to be transported on a large pontoon by ship to its final destination.
ITK is a subsidiary of Ivens Constructiebedrijf, but also works for third parties, which means that the heavy Actros with its 425 kW of power comes into play for a variety of transports – for machines for contractors or heavy boxes that can’t remain on the quay after unloading until further shipment, for example. “I can safely say that I have a very varied job,” says Frank.
The 52-year-old brings the necessary experience with him: he has been working for the same employer for 32 years. He soon switched from a small crane truck to special transport. Sometimes he also drives a truck with a hydraulic crane. “The main thing is that I can roll up my sleeves and get stuck in,” says Frank with a smile. For a time, he moved to the planning department, but quickly realised that an office job was not for him.
The Turbo Retarder Clutch of his Actros, on the other hand, is exactly what Frank appreciates: “I have always driven with other brands, and to be honest, I wasn’t ready to switch to a Mercedes-Benz truck at first. That is, until I drove it for the first time and was immediately impressed by its handling characteristics. I can just drive up and concentrate on the load and on the instructions that I am given via the radio.” After all, Frank has to shift gears at least 100 times during a journey of about eight hours. “That’s when this technology is a real relief!”
“I can safely say that I have a very varied job.”
– Frank Le Boy
The Actros up to 250 tonnes owned by ITK has a sliding fifth-wheel coupling for different trailer sizes.
Frank also finds the fuel consumption of the Actros up to 250 tonnes astonishing:
“The truck does at least 100 kilometres for every 25 litres, so it is more economical than the last truck we had!”
Photos: Dirk Willemen