Mercedes has recently updated its most popular engine for top weight tractor units with the OM471 now on its third variation. We took a 2545 over a gruelling 300 mile test drive to see how it performed.
By Pip Dunn
The Mercedes 2545, and its lightweight 2445 brethren, is the most popular 44-tonner in the German company’s portfolio if sales are anything to go by. It’s seen in many fleets running at top weight and combines efficiency and productivity with driver appeal.
It a very versatile model, you can have it with three cab types, with numerous options on size and height and it’s flexible and reliable. That explains its popularity. It’s a common sight in many fleets, large and small.
It’s in the most congested sector; the 6×2 midlift 450 bhp sleeper cabbed tractor units, but that also means it has a lot of competition from every other manufacturer. And with that in mind, it has to deliver a comprehensive package of affordability.
Under the cab is the newly-launched third generation of the popular OM471 12.8 litre straight six engine. In the 2545 it’s rated at 449 bhp, the entry level is 421 bhp but you can also have it at 476, 510 and 530 bhp. That’s a lot to choice for one engine. It also overlaps with the OM470-powered 10.7 litre straight six – available at 428 and 456 bhp for 6x2s. So Merc. has a lot of choice in this sector with seven outputs – and that is not even taking into account the biggest 15.8 litre straight six.
With many hauliers preferring the 10 bhp per tonne, then it’s clear why the 2545 is so popular. Trucking has driven many ‘45’ Mercs over the years, indeed we recently took an 1845 40-tonner for a spin, so we were keen to see how the ‘new’ 2545 fared.
When we test-drive Mercs we usually, but not exclusively, have a trip out from the company’s Wentworth Park base, near Barnsley and head over the Woodhead pass, skirt round Manchester and come back via either Saddleworth Moor – great for pictures – or the M62 – not so great for pictures!
On this test run we did more than double the mileage to give the truck a much more demanding workout. Our route was straight onto the M1 at Barnsley, up avoiding Leeds and onto the A1M to Scotch Corner, then it was across the challenging A66 to Penrith and down on the M6 to Carnforth where were stopped for our 45 minute break at Truckhaven Truckstop.
Thereafter it was back onto the M6, then the M61 to join the M62 before coming off at Junction 23 to experience a bit of twin driving through Huddersfield and then down to Barnsley on the A629. Overall it was a 300 mile run,so a great chance to really get the feel for the truck. We were loaded at maximum gross weight with a tri-axle curtainsider, giving a total height of 13ft 10in.