Abu Dhabi Oil: Forget the 4×4 – now you can go 6×6 with Mercedes' amazing off-road lorry

Off-road vehicles have long been the muscle-car of choice in the UAE but now fans of the big beasts can go one better with a new lorry that promises to knock standard 4x4s into a cocked hat.

Emirates Motor Company (EMC), the Mercedes-Benz authorised distributor in Abu Dhabi and the flagship company of Al Fahim Group, and Daimler Commercial Vehicles Middle East are set to show the Mercedes-Benz Zetros, an off-road utility lorry for extreme operations, at the upcoming Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (Adipec). The exhibition will run at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre from November 7 to 9.

The robust cab-behind-engine lorry with its ability to haul large and heavy equipment and supplies, will enable EMC to increase its market share in the heavy utility lorry segment. Boasting superior power, robustness and efficiency, the Zetros is available in two and three-axle variants (4×4 and 6×6), offering gross vehicle weight, or maximum operating weight, from 18 to 40 tonnes. The top-of-the-range 3643 AS 6×6 Tractor-head model exhibited at Adipec boasts an impressive gross combination weight – the maximum loaded weight of a lorry tractor plus the trailer or semitrailer designed for use with the tractor – of up to 116 tonnes.

In-line 6-cylinder engines available for the Zetros range from a 7.2l version with 326hp up to the powerful 12l variant sporting 428hp.

In addition, Mercedes-Benz offers a tailor-made version of the Zetros developed by the in-house Mercedes-Benz Custom Tailored Trucks (CTT) division that can be delivered with a crew-cab providing seating capacity for up to 7 persons.

“We are delighted to introduce our customers in Abu Dhabi to the Mercedes-Benz Zetros during our participation at Adipe,” said Bilal Al Ribi, the EMC Daimler CV general manager. “Offering exceptional ride comfort and stability on the most extreme off-road terrains, the Zetros is ideally suited for tough applications and operations such as mining, oilfields and quarries.

“Given its outstanding high load-bearing capacity and ability to meet today’s extreme operating conditions, we are confident that the Zetros will soon become the preferred choice in the high-performance construction vehicles segment.”

A hallmark of the Zetros is its engine being situated behind the cab. The lorry sports robust planetary hub reduction axles – which help off road and are also good for moving heavy weights without twisting up parts – with high ground clearance and single or twin tyres.

There are up to four differential locks, and a two-stage transfer case, providing the foundation for outstanding capabilities in off-road terrain. Furthermore, a tyre pressure control system offers choices for on and off-road use, driving across sand, and a particularly low air pressure for extreme situations.

So if you fancy the ultimate in off-roading vehicles, why not check out the Zetros – it is sure to scare the living daylights out of other 4×4 drivers.


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Chris Nelson

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