As far as the wheels can take you.
Transport Magazine

As far as the wheels can take you.

Travelling the world with an expedition truck requires know‑how.

If you want to get off the beaten path, you need the right equipment. Austrian supplier Krug is all too familiar with this – and puts all their expertise into the Arocs with expedition setup.

It’s getting serious for the grey module: a mobile crane is in position – attached to it: steel girders that hold the straps with which the module is being lifted. A 3.8‑tonne module with door and windows is lifted very gently skyward and sideways. It is lowered even more slowly – onto the chassis of an Arocs 1840 4×4.

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“I got up at 2 a.m. and then drove through the rain for six hours so that I could experience it first‑hand,” says Michael Schwery from Switzerland, the future owner of the vehicle that is currently being assembled here: a top‑class motorhome based on the Arocs. This is the site of Krug Expedition GmbH in Schladming, Austria, at the foot of the Dachstein mountains.

The company specialises in such expedition vehicles. Every movement is perfect. Now the hum and rattling of the electric torque‑limiting screwdrivers takes over. A set of 36 millimetre screws secures the permanent connection between the module and the chassis – the wedding, as this act is also symbolically known as. Michael Schwery is delighted to see this.

Slawa Knorr is also satisfied: “that went smoothly again. We are always very proud when a chassis has been paired with one of our modules,” says the managing director of Krug Expedition. The company has had around 100 vehicles on its books since it was founded, and another 35 are expected to follow in 2022 alone.

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Werner Müller.

They are all off‑road enthusiasts here. Werner Müller from Sales has already been on a world trip with an expedition truck. Today, the route is shorter: the newly joined combination moves towards a weighing station. The 290 kW engine gets the Arocs through the Alps quickly. The scale shows 12.6 tonnes. “There’s a little bit more to do before we’re done with all the conversion and extension work,” says Müller.

Testing also includes a short test drive over a hilly gravel field. Müller activates the differential locks with the rotary knob to the right of the steering wheel, the secondary display provides visual feedback – and the Arocs moves safely and smoothly over the obstacle.

“Mercedes boasts a great vehicle with the Arocs. The design is great and the chassis offers us many possibilities.”

Slawa Knorr, managing director of Krug Expedition GmbH
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Extreme ground clearance, multiple differential locks, numerous mounting and body options – the Arocs is unbeatable as a base vehicle.

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Extreme ground clearance, multiple differential locks, numerous mounting and body options – the Arocs is unbeatable as a base vehicle.

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Full of anticipation for the first real trip: Michael Schwiery.

Back at the company premises, managing director Knorr climbs up a ladder into the module – the electrically extendible steps haven’t been installed yet. The interior is minimalistic to minimise the risk of damage. Knorr points to the small kitchenette with electric oven and induction hob. “The appliances are powered by the batteries hidden under the seating area.”

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The heating can not only warm up the module, but also the engine.

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Off‑road robustness counts: this is also ensured by the leaf springs.

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The surroundings can be monitored from the module using a camera.

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The longitudinal beams offer numerous mounting options.

Knorr lifts the table to the side and opens up the floor underneath. This is where the heating and water supply is installed. “Everything is very compact. I feel more like I’m in a small apartment here than in a vehicle,” he says with a smile. This is also due to the genuine glass windows. Or the mini bathroom with chemical‑free toilet, sink and shower. “After a long day on dusty slopes, it’s nice to be able treat yourself to a warm shower.”

The vehicle’s features include two extra‑large diesel tanks plus a water separator. “It’s essential when you’re out and about in far‑flung countries and you can’t rely on European diesel quality,” says Knorr. All‑wheel drive is a matter of course, as is tyre pressure control. “The lower the air pressure, the better the traction on sand,” he explains.


that’s how many litres the diesel tanks hold.


millimetres of sandwich wall insulate almost 300 millimetres of wooden wall.

Solar panels feed the large lithium batteries. And if there’s snow and ice on them? “Then a generator comes into play, so our trucks are prepared for anything,” says Knorr. The heating has been linked to the vehicle serving as the base so that the engine can be preheated with the heating from the module, but also vice versa. “It’s nice and warm in the module when you come from the cockpit to the module after a trip,” he explains. Thanks to the water treatment facility, river water is turned into drinking water. “Vital away from civilisation.”

Keyword civilisation: as a skydiver and wingsuit base jumper, the Swiss national and future expedition truck owner Michael Schwery loves taking risks. Safety is still important to him though. That’s why he has had a 360‑degree camera system and a hatch installed between the module and the cab. “With the cameras, featuring screens in the module and in the cockpit, I can see what is happening around the vehicle at all times. If something is wrong outside, I can be in the cab right away and drive off.” A triple locking mechanism on each door and the windows provides additional peace of mind.

The Swiss national leaves the company premises with a dreamy look and full of anticipation: he is already planning the first worldwide trip with his Arocs.

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Michael Schwery.

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Photos: Krug Expedition/Harald Steiner; Alexander Tempel
Videos: Alexander Tempel

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