Fresh milk coming from cows grazing in rural Brazil sounds picturesque, until you imagine transporting the product around the country before it can spoil. Mercedes-Benz and the company Vía Lácteos have a solution, though.
Mercedes’ Custom Tailored Trucks department worked with Vía Lácteos to develop the Robustness Package for the Atego truck so that the model could work on-road and in rough terrain. The additional equipment includes a three-part front bumper that increases the front ground clearance. There’s also a protective grille for each headlight and new direction lights.
Vía Lácteos is the first company to order this package on its trucks. According to Mercedes, mining companies are also showing interest in them.
Mercedes has a long history of building extremely capable off-road machines and commercial products. When work really needs to be done off-road, the company has the hardcore Unimog that can do everything from saving skiers to hauling train cars.
For fun outdoors, Mercedes also has factory-built camper versions of the Vito, known as the Metris in the United States. They feature a pop-up top and enough room for four people to sleep inside. Available all-wheel drive lets the vans get to more remote campsites, too.
In the future, Mercedes wants to electrify its commercial vehicle range. For example, the company revealed the Urban eTruck Concept in 2016 with a 124-mile (200-kilometer) range thanks to a 212 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery. The company is letting clients test them for 12 months and report back about how the electric trucks perform.
Mercedes' Vision Van Concept imagines an EV for commercial clients that don't need quite so much heavy-duty hauling ability, like firms making in-city deliveries. Its 168-mile (270-kilometer) range would likely be sufficient for this type of work.
Gallery: Mercedes-Benz Custom Milk Truck
Milk for Brazil: Mercedes-Benz keeps it fresh!
Stuttgart / São Bernardo do Campo – With over 38 million tons, Brazil was the third biggest producer of cow’s milk in 2015. To get the milk onto the breakfast tables or to processing facilities while it is still fresh, about 500 trucks of the milk transporter “Vía Lácteos” make daily tours to remote farms – not just on tarred roads but also on rough and narrow slopes. The trucks used for this purpose have to be comfortable in on-road and robust in off-road terrain. Such a truck was developed in close collaboration with the “Custom Tailored Trucks” department of Mercedes-Benz do Brasil and Vía Lácteos. The comfortable on-road Atego was enhanced with a “Robustness Package” to enable easy navigation of all challenges of the prairie. The Robustness Package includes a three part front bumper, which significantly increases the ground clearance, a protective metallic grill for the headlights, newly positioned direction lights for narrow turning maneuvers and a metal entrance step. Vía Lácteos has already ordered the first units, customers in the mining and waste industry show great interest as well.