Daimler Trucks celebrate 125th anniversary of the truck

To mark the 125th anniversary of the invention of the motorised truck Daimler Trucks has re-enacted the initial trip by transporting a replica of Gottlieb Daimler’s very first motorised truck.

This landmark vehicle was sold by Daimler to British Motor Syndicate, an automobile company in London.

It was delivered on August 18, 1896.

Exactly 125 years later a Mercedes-Benz Actros semi-trailer arrived in London from Stuttgart in Germany carrying two historic trucks in its trailer.

The journey is for a road show from Mercedes-Benz Trucks to mark, not only the 125th anniversary of the truck, but also the Actros’s own 25th birthday.

The show includes the accurate replica of the first truck made by Daimler in 1896, which looked like a horse drawn carriage but with an engine and without a drawbar and harness.

This replica of the first Daimler truck was built in 1990.

The truck from 1896 was driven by a ‘Phoenix’ four-horsepower two-cylinder engine located at the rear with a displacement of 1.06 litres.

Daimler linked it to the rear axle by means of a belt.

There were also springs which protected the sensitive engine from vibration and the vehicle rolled on hard iron wheels.

The second historic truck in the road show is an original vehicle which was once at home in the Transport Museum in Dresden in Germany.

In 1898, Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach shifted the two-cylinder Phoenix engine from the original location at the rear, to a position under the driver’s seat.

By then the engine was producing six horsepower with the four-gear belt drive also being transferred forward.

Further developments during the same year lead to the truck being given the fundamental design features which still apply up to this day for modern trucks and were to pave the way to increased output and payloads.

These changes involved the engine being located right at the front of the vehicle, 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 son of a baker, and a trained gunsmith himself before becoming involved in engineering, Gottlieb Daimler developed the world’s first liquid petroleum vehicle in 1885.

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