After three train journeys I soon arrived in sunny Barnsley to meet and greet our clients from Mercedes-Benz Trucks.
After a quick introductory presentation, it was straight into teams and we were ready for a day of full action-packed driver training.
Starting with the Canter driving course, each marketer was thrown in at the deep end and tasked with driving a 6.5 tonne truck around a course without hitting a single cone. With a slightly confusing instructor giving directions, “Around that cone mate, nah not that one”, I hit a few. Despite the cone fatalities, I learned a great deal from the exercise, mainly that driving a FUSO Canter is so much fun.
After lunch it was the time for the big guns, the Mercedes-Benz Actros and Axor trucks; the biggest trucks available in the Mercedes-Benz range, weighing in at 16 tonnes, bigger than a house and a horn sound to match. You can certainly feel how heavy the truck is once you set off, but surprisingly, they’re very easy to navigate from straights to 360 turns and thankfully no cones in this task (the massacre in the previous task was bad enough).
Finally the most dangerous exercise of the three, the Unimog and Sprinter 4×4. This is renowned as ‘thrilling, off-track’ and it didn’t disappoint. I was driving across muddy hills, difficult terrain, and pin-sharp turns. It was as if the road had just been carved through a forest and there were no rules; near missing trees to make a tight turn correctly was a good but tense experience. The Unimog, although being 30 years old was a dream in this rugged environment, proving that age is just a number.
Overall it was a great day, giving me the opportunity to learn more about the product range at Mercedes-Benz. Thank you Mercedes-Benz Trucks marketing team, it was a pleasure.