Transport Magazine


Dominik Böpple thinks innovation is important. That’s why the Actros was on the road early for his transport company.

The trucks from Böpple Automotive GmbH are on the road throughout Europe with their cargo of prestigious cars.

Every day car transporters pull up at the Mercedes‑Benz dealership Autohaus Lorinser in Waiblingen near Stuttgart to deliver or pick up new and used vehicles. The fact that most of them are Actros trucks goes without saying. Like today: part of the Lorinser Classic collection of precious classic cars is to be transported to a buyer on the Côte d’Azur.

And, as is always the case with genuine classic vehicles, the valuable freight is carried inside closed and specially secured trailers. But Thomas Hähnel, the manager of Lorinser Classic who commissioned Böpple Automotive GmbH, a specialist for closed car transport runs, notices that there is something different about the prime mover: “Hey! The outside rear‑view mirrors are missing!”

Content boepple vehicle transport 01
Content boepple vehicle transport 03
Content boepple vehicle transport 07

But that’s only half of the story because the Actros 1846 actually does have mirrors, but they’re digital. Compact, aerodynamically shaped cameras monitor the traffic to the rear and transmit their images to two large screens mounted on the A‑pillars inside the cab. Hähnel is amazed: “It looks really good and I imagine it'll make a big difference to the truck’s aerodynamics.” MirrorCam supports Böpple’s driver Torsten Reinholz, for example, right now as he manoeuvres around the Lorinser car park.

“That looks great and should drastically improve the aerodynamics of the truck.”

Thomas Hähnel, Head of Lorinser Classic
Content boepple vehicle transport 08

But before the journey can begin, the specialists from Lorinser Classic first have to carefully load the classic cars that have been sold onto the Kässbohrer custom trailer. The elegant whitewall tyres of a 1966 Mercedes‑Benz 300 SE/C are the first to make it up the inclined aluminium ramp of the trailer, which cost over 200,000 euros, accompanied by the sumptuously burbling sound of the 8‑cylinder engine. Other collectors’ items follow, and all are competently positioned and secured by Böpple driver Torsten Reinholz. The two‑level trailer can accommodate up to six vehicles.

Customers ordering a closed car transporter from Böpple usually want to ship particularly rare or very valuable vehicles. In addition to classic cars, these can also be exhibition vehicles destined for trade fairs, prototypes for vehicle testing, racing cars for various motor sports series, or luxury cars for especially discerning customers.

Content boepple vehicle transport 02

Safe: Böpple driver Torsten Reinholz secures the precious classic cars on board the custom Ecotrans trailer from Kässbohrer.

“I want to build something great. Nowadays, you can only do that if you’re open-minded about new developments.”

Dominik Böpple, founder of Böpple Automotive GmbH
Content boepple vehicle transport 09

High growth: In less than 12 years, company founder Dominik Böpple and his team have expanded the fleet of Böpple Automotive from two to more than 100 trucks.

“For safety reasons and to avoid transport damage as much as possible, such vehicles should not be carried in conventional car transporters,” advises Dominik Böpple. Instead they travel, well secured and sealed off behind panels and doors, inside the silver heavy‑duty trucks from Böpple.

In addition to dealerships like Lorinser, one of Böpple’s most important customers is Daimler AG itself. The two companies cooperate closely, for example in the transportation of test vehicles and delivery of super sports cars. “We call at a wide variety of destinations throughout Europe on behalf of Daimler,” says Dominik Böpple. “One week we may be delivering Mercedes‑AMG GTs from the Sindelfingen plant to a dealer in Norway. The following week we take test vehicles from Mercedes‑Benz Cars to altitude trials in the south of Spain.”

Content boepple vehicle transport 13

“One week, we’re delivering Mercedes‑AMG GTs from the Sindelfingen plant to a dealership in Norway. The next, we’re driving test vehicles for Mercedes‑Benz Cars to their altitude testing in southern Spain.”

Dominik Böpple

Dominik Böpple places great importance on innovation and has thus just invested not only in a new IT system for the company, but also in the latest trailers. Plus, the company is in the process of building a new logistics centre in Ebersbach, just east of the company’s headquarters in Esslingen. “I want to build something great,” says Böpple. "Nowadays, you can only do that if you’re open-minded about new developments. And the Actros has certainly made major steps in that field.”

The entrepreneur also plans to use the opportunities opened up by networking for the benefit of his company. In this area, too, the Actros has a great deal to offer. The Truck Data Centre on board the truck provides a permanent link to the Cloud, and this forms the basis for all the connectivity solutions, including the real‑time monitoring of the truck by the preventive service product Mercedes‑Benz Uptime, which Böpple Automotive has already been using for some time.

The Actros.

The Actros.

Everyone talks, one delivers.

A truck ahead of its time. The Actros meets the continually growing demands in long-distance and heavy-duty distribution haulage more effectively than ever.

Find out more
Content boepple vehicle transport 06

Connected: The Multimedia Cockpit provides Torsten Reinholz with a fully networked workplace.

Torsten Reinholz experiences the digital world in person from the driver’s perspective on‑board his Actros. In the Multimedia Cockpit with its two large digital screens, all driver-relevant basic data and the new assistance systems are perfectly represented.

Securing the load and departure checks have now been completed, and the trailer’s alarm system has been activated. Reinholz puts his smartphone connected to the Multimedia Cockpit via Android Auto into the recess provided in the dashboard where it will be charged inductively. Now he pushes the Start‑Stop button to start the engine. “So – let’s take these beautiful old automobiles safely and reliably to the south of France in this beautiful new truck!”

“Now we want to transport these beautiful cars safely and reliably to southern France in our beautiful new truck.”

Torsten Reinholz, driver at Böpple Automotive GmbH
Content boepple vehicle transport 04

Photos: Matthias Aletsee
Video: Martin Schneider-Lau