Off-road tanker truck
Transport Magazine

Off-road tanker truck

In the Eifel region of Germany an Arocs with Hydraulic Auxiliary Drive delivers fuel to quarries and construction sites.

Roth Energie delivers fuel to construction sites and quarries in the Vulkaneifel region with a four-axle Arocs. Just as for Roth, work there usually involves an important raw material – igneous rock.

The highest point at the quarry provides an impressive view of the Vulkaneifel region. “On the right you can see the Nürburg castle, and further away the Hohe Acht mountain,” says Jörg Bertgen, Head of Sales at Roth Energie in Gießen. Born in Koblenz, he nonchalantly mentions names that are world-famous on the motor-sport scene. However just like the racing legacy of the “Rings”, the volcanic past of the region is just part of everyday life for Bertgen. “We deliver fuel to igneous rock quarries and construction sites so we’re involved with igneous rock as a raw material on a daily basis,” says Bertgen. In order to be able to better reach these customers, Roth has integrated a special truck into the fleet: an Arocs 3245 8×4 tanker. An Arocs as a tanker – that sounds unusual.

“Where tanker vehicles are concerned we pay attention to every kilogramme of payload which means all-wheel drive isn’t to be recommended,” the 48-year-old explains; in addition to his sales tasks, he is also responsible for the fleet for the Eifel-Mosel region. “Also, we need a vehicle with which we can supply construction sites and quarries.” The Arocs fulfils both requirements thanks to the Hydraulic Auxiliary Drive.

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“Sometimes we have to go to places where only heavy-duty machinery goes.”

Rudolf Magel, driver for Roth Energie GmbH und Co. KG

Driver, Rudolf Magel is trying it out for the first time today. His first destination is a quarry for lava rock aggregate. Heavy-duty machinery works here: excavators loosen the igneous rock that is thousands of years old and load it on to huge dump trucks. It is transported to the crushing units by conveyor belts. If necessary Magel can take the required diesel fuel for the machinery directly to the vehicle. “Sometimes we have to go to places where only heavy-duty machinery goes,” says the driver who usually drives an Actros – without the extra help from a Hydraulic Auxiliary Drive.

He reverses, manoeuvring the Arocs into the quarry. Then the 44-year-old tries to pull away using only the drive on the rear axle. The rear wheels slowly dig their way deeper into the loose surface. Magel activates the Hydraulic Auxiliary Drive and depresses the accelerator again. The four-axle truck begins to move immediately – and the Arocs easily overcomes the incline ahead.

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To make his delivery, Rudolf Magel has to manoeuvre the Arocs deep into the quarry.

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Lava from the Eifel region.

45 million years. That’s how long there have been volcanoes in the Eifel region. An unimaginable length of time. The last major eruption took place around 11,000 years before Christ. It resulted in the Laach Lake west of Koblenz. At the time a cloud of ash around 40 kilometres high must have hung over the volcano. Almost 15 cubic kilometres of pumice and ash were spread across the surrounding countryside which characterises the geology even now. Today, the resulting rock is still an important part of the lives of the Eifel region’s inhabitants. Due to their composition lava rock aggregate and basaltic rock are indispensable to pipework, road construction and civil engineering – as a stabilising layer, to cover cables and pipes, as a filter layer and as frost protection.


years before Christ was when the last major volcanic eruption occurred in the Eifel region.

And now on to the next delivery stop; a road construction site a few villages further on. A new industrial estate is being built there. Volcanic rock is being used at this construction site, too; in civil engineering and road construction it is often used to improve the subgrade or as a stabilising layer. However, here the construction vehicles are still digging through the clay-like ground. When the Arocs arrives at the construction site, the workers are on a break. A good opportunity for Magel’s delivery. He activates the Hydraulic Auxiliary Drive again and works his way over to the site’s filling station where the construction vehicles get their diesel fuel. He then takes advantage of the work break to directly fill up an excavator with fuel. “We can transport up to 23,000 litres in three chambers on every tour.”

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litres fit in the Arocs’s three-chamber tank.

The Arocs.

The Arocs.

The road and all-wheel-drive variants of the Arocs provide a vehicle for almost any construction haulage challenge.

Find out more

Then it’s back to the Roth GmbH premises in Daun. With a fleet of around 120 vehicles, the company provides its customers in south-west Germany with heating oil, fuel and lubricants. The company delivers to its own filling stations just as it does to haulage companies, construction sites, farmers and even inland water transport companies. “Our experience with our three-axle Arocs has always been excellent. That is why we have now chosen a four-axle Arocs after further consideration,” says Jörg Bertgen who is very impressed by the configuration of the vehicle.

Magel, the driver, is also impressed by the complete package: “It’s quite something at construction sites.” And when Magel tells his colleagues about his experience with the Hydraulic Auxiliary Drive, the four-axle truck most certainly won’t remain the only truck in the fleet to be equipped with it.

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Impressed with the new addition to the fleet: Jörg Bertgen (r.) and driver Rudolf Magel from Roth Energie GmbH und Co. KG.

“Where tanker vehicles are concerned we pay attention to every kilogramme of payload.”

Jörg Bertgen, Head of Sales and Fleet Manager at Roth Energie GmbH und Co. KG
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How are tanker trucks marked?

30, 1202 – these numbers are to be found on the plate which must always be mounted on the front and rear of tanker vehicles at all times. But what do they mean? The regulations for the transportation of hazardous materials are specified in the “Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road” (ADR). Overall there are nine ADR categories. Diesel fuel and light heating oil are included in category 3; that is the first figure. The second figure provides more details: the zero stands for flammable materials that are not dangerous under normal conditions. Spark-ignition fuel is considerably more flammable. In this case the first “3” would be followed by another “3”.

The four-figure number after that clearly classifies the cargo being transported – in this case 1202 for diesel fuel.

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Photos & video: Jan Potente