Mercedes' Robustness Package for the Atego lets the truck reach remote farms in Brazil.
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.