Daimler: right on time for the 125th anniversary of the truck

Home 9 Blog ENG 9 Daimler: right on time for the 125th anniversary of the truck

Sep 10, 2021

On 18 August 1896 Gottlieb Daimler presented the very first motorised truck in the world. It was sold by Daimler to British Motor Syndicate, an automobile company in London. Exactly 125 years later a semitrailer arrives in London from Stuttgart: the current model of the Mercedes-Benz Actros has two historic trucks on-board, and so together with its own 25th anniversary, it is transporting the complete legacy from 275 years of commercial vehicle history. The journey is for a road show from Mercedes-Benz Trucks to mark the 125th anniversary of the truck and the Actros’s own birthday. The show will include the accurate replica of the first truck made by Daimler in 1896, that looked like a carriage with an engine and without a drawbar. This replica of the first truck was built in 1990 and cost around 100,000 German Marks.

The truck from 1896 was fitted with an engine, called “Phoenix”, which was a four-horsepower-strong two-cylinder engine located at the rear, with a displacement of 1.06 litres, originating from a car. Daimler linked it to the rear axle by means of a belt. There were also springs which protected the sensitive engine from being shaken up. The vehicle rolled on hard iron wheels, after all.

The second historic truck is an original vehicle that was once at home in the Transport Museum in Dresden. In 1898, Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach shifted the two-cylinder Phoenix engine, which had been located at the rear, to a position under the driver’s seat for this six-hp vehicle, with the four-gear belt drive also being transferred forward. However, this solution still left a certain amount to be desired. In the same year, the truck was given the design features which still apply up to this day for modern trucks and were to pave the way to increased output and payload: the engine was then placed right at the front, in front of the front axle. It conveyed its ten horsepower via a four-gear belt drive and a front-to-rear longitudinal shaft and pinion to the internal ring gears on the rear wheels.

The Actros chosen to transport the historic trucks started its journey to London – just like its historic predecessor – from Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt.

Altre News

76 MAN electric buses for Norway’s green capital

76 MAN electric buses for Norway’s green capital

No other capital city in the world has a higher proportion of electric cars than Oslo. Trams and ferries are powered by electricity from hydropower. And more and more electric buses are also on the road in Oslo. The Norwegian transport operator Unibuss, for example,...

Gold medal for Man in EcoVadis sustainability ranking

Gold medal for Man in EcoVadis sustainability ranking

The world's largest provider of sustainability ratings has awarded MAN a gold medal for the first time. This puts the commercial vehicle manufacturer among the top five percent of companies assessed in the "manufacture of motor vehicles" segment. Since its foundation...

STOP. LOOK. WAVE. VOLVO

STOP. LOOK. WAVE. VOLVO

More than 260,000 people under the age of 19 die in traffic accidents around the world every year, according to the World Health Organization. Too many of these accidents involve trucks and buses. In 2015, Volvo Trucks took a step towards trying to improve this...

Drivers desperately wanted

Drivers desperately wanted

The shortage of truck and bus drivers is still strong in Europe. The latest survey by the IRU (World Road Transport Organisation) forecasts two million vacant posts in 2026 in the absence of incisive interventions. In the first nine months of 2022, the demand for...