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In-Box Review
Mercedes-Benz Actros Low-boy
Mercedes-Benz Actros LH Pendel-X Low-boy Semitrailer with Load
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Originally published on:
RailRoad Modeling

Mercedes-Benz Actros LH Pendel-X low-boy semitrailer with load "Hegmann Transit"
Item: 157476
Collection: CARS&TRUCKS
Manufacturer: Mercedes Benz
Type: Actros LH
Series: Heavy duty

Spedition & Schwertransporte Hegmann Transit GmbH
Hegmann Transit Ltd. International Forwarding & Heavy Haulage began as a coal and feed-stuffs company established by Karl Hegmann in 1920 and developed into today’s Hegmann Transit GmbH. The family-owned company is now in the hands of the third generation. It has more than 60 vehicles for heavy and abnormal transportation at its disposal, taking the name of Hegmann Transit GmbH to the far-away corners of Europe.[1]

Hegmann Transit moves their cargo on a variety of specialized vehicles: Vessel bridge, Plateau Trailer, Semi low loader, Tele-semitrailer, Excavator bridge, Flatbed, and Jumbo semitrailers.

Mercedes-Benz Actros
Mercedes-Benz Actros is a heavy duty truck introduced by Mercedes-Benz in 1996. There are 36 different Actros models, normally used for long-distance haulage, heavy duty distribution haulage and construction haulage.[2] Chassis available are 2 x 6 and 2 x 4 tractor or rigid, and a 4 x 6 haulage model. It is available in weights starting at 18 tonnes and is powered by a V6 or V8 cylinder diesel engine with turbocharger and intercooler.[2] They feature the Telligent® safety system. For the driver, Actros cabs come in four types: S, M, L, and LH "MegaSpace"- Long-haul high-roof cab, providing comfort for long driving, as well as enough space for the driver and/or passenger to freely move around the cab when needed.[2]

© Nooteboom Trailers B.V.
The Pendel-X Euro low-loader expands the flexibility of low-loader transport, combining the trough and easy operation of a conventional low-loader with the load capacity, steering and compensation of a modular trailer.[3]

The Pendel-X low-loader can be supplied with 2, 3, 4 or 5 pendle axle lines and in widths of 2540, 2740, 2840 and 2990 mm. If extra payload capacity is needed the PXE low-loaders can be supplies with a 1-axle and 2-axle Jeepdolly and a 2-axle and 3-axle Interdolly.The height of the Pendel-X Euro low-loader axle assembly can be adjusted.[3]

In the Box
This set creates a big model! To demonstrate just how big this rig is, I show it along with a scale figure for comparison. Three individual models make up this set, the Actros tractor, the Nooteboom trailer, and a big Hegmann cargo container. Herpa currently offers 342 Mercedes-Benz Actros products in three scales, and 142 models in their heavy duty series. Thirty-two models of Nooteboom trailers are available.

The Actros and Nooteboom Pendel-X trailer are almost fully assembled, and packed in a light plastic form-fitted tray. Included are two packages with several sprues of optional unattached parts:

• Side view mirrors
• Stakes
• Warning flags
• Unidentified part

An instructional diagram would be helpful -- read on. The tray is secured in a light cardboard box with a plastic display window and opening ends. One end displays a metallic holographic license label by Daimler.

The molding is almost flawless. The exterior of the cab features fine recessed lines for doors and panels. The chassis is detailed with the frame, a basic engine bottom and transmission, drive shaft, fuel tanks, exhaust, differential, rear axle, and suspension. Both the front and second axle can be made to pivot with a Herpa accessory set.

The Nooteboom Pendel-X modular trailer unit is a model unto itself. This configuration consists of five sub-assemblies linked with metal pins:

• Fifth-wheel mounting bridge with cargo bed
• Three pins
• Two-axle front carriage
• Four-axle rear carriage
• Telescoping lowboy center deck

Both trailer units can be separated by removing metal pins from coupling hinges.

Herpa engineered the rear carriage bogies to steer! They also articulated the mounting bridge.

Details Galore
To start, every one of the wheels on the tractor and the trailer have soft plastic tires with impressive tread detail, and good hub detail.

First, the Actros tractor. Clear and tinted lenses are used for the headlights, taillights, and warning beacons.

The cab interior is a single molded piece featuring detailed seats, dashboard and console, and a separately applied steering wheel. It is very visible through the large cab windows. The windshield is detailed with wiper blades and black chrome.

Four mirrors can be applied to the cab, a pair of side view mirrors, and two mirrors to reveal the blind areas in front of, and to the right side of, the cab. These are delicate parts on their own sprue. The plastic is slightly flexible. Carefully cut them from the parts tree or you can remove the mounting pegs; carefully fit them into the specific pre-made holes and slots.

Atop the cab is a white cover that is probably for satellite and GPS reception. I can't figure out what the group of appliances are on the back of the cab, except for a fuel tank. Maybe an air conditioner?

Herpa also made the cab to tilt forward to reveal the V8 engine.

Next, your Nooteboom Pendel-X trailer. Disappointingly, the taillights are painted on. That's my only complaint. The fifth-wheel bridge is articulated and features hydraulic jacks underneath, connecting the bridge with the lead dolly. That the rear dolly bogies can steer is very impressive.

The cargo deck is made to telescope along girders attached to the front dolly. It is supported at the rear by girders linked to the rear dolly. What makes this deck is impressive is the simulated wooden planking center portion. Anchor or woodgrain detail is printed on the planks. Separate side planks are provided and these snap onto the sides of the deck.

Remember my comment about lack of an instruction sheet? Eight separate stakes and four separate warning flags snap onto the trailer. Four snap into the cradle of the big Hegmann cargo container. Examining the carriage reveals several holes to hold these items. However, the flags are of two sizes, and it is not immediately obvious where two of the flags are mounted (at the front of the lowboy, below the bridge). Then there is that unidentified part I mentioned -- never figured out where it goes. Finally, if I did not already have experience with Herpa modular trailer models, the attachments of the carriage components are not obvious.

Last but not least, that big Hegmann cargo container. It is mounted via slots and tabs to a cradle. A stout lift ring caps the top. When this piece is set on the trailer, the weight often lifts the rear dolly off the surface.

Livery and Markings
Herpa really shines with markings. They do not use decals, all lettering is printed on. There is a great deal data on the models and it is all sharp and legible.

Finally, the Mercedes-Benz, Actros, and V8 emblems are chromed. All in all the decorations are top quality.

It would be hard to miss this set on a layout or on display. And you wouldn't want to miss it. Whether you consider the models as a set or as individual components, these models are impressive. Sharp molding, detailed parts, positionable features, excellent printing, all this makes an impressive set. My minor criticisms are the lack of tinted lenses for the trailer brake lights, the big Hegmann cargo container is too heavy for the rear dolly, and Herpa doesn't include directions for mounting the details parts. Regardless, this is a very imposing set. Recommended for HO modelers of modern heavy duty haulage.

Please remember to let vendors and manufacturers know that you saw this model here, on Railroad modeling.


[1] Hegmann Transit. Historie. http://hegmann.0800bigmove.net/historie.html?lang=en. n.d.

[2] Wikipedia. Mercedes-Benz Actros. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercedes-Benz_Actros. 21 August 2011.

[3] Nooteboom Trailers B.V. Pendel-X Euro Low-loaders. http://www.nooteboomgroup.com/nooteboom/en/our_products/trailer_programme/low-loaders/pendel-x_euro_low-loaders. n.d.
Highs: Exceptional printing and finish. Outstanding detail with several working components.
Lows: No diagrams or instructions.
Verdict: An excellent model of a heavy haul lowboy rig and MB Actros tractor.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:87
  Mfg. ID: 157476
  Suggested Retail: 42,50 €
  Related Link: Actros LH series
  PUBLISHED: Sep 03, 2011
  NATIONALITY: Netherlands

Our Thanks to Herpa!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright ©2018 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


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