According to the German government, all Mercedes-Benz Zetros trucks transferred to the Armed Forces of Ukraine are newly produced, with Berlin financing the deliveries. Germany plans to deliver 41 more Mercedes-Benz Special Truck vehicles to the Ukrainian army in the coming weeks. Daimler Truck stated that Mercedes-Benz is providing the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence with extensive services related to the vehicles, including driver training courses and deployments with the new cab-behind-engine vehicles.
Daimler Truck describes the Mercedes-Benz Zetros off-road truck as designed to excel in harsh conditions, such as soft ground, forest navigation, or steep terrain. Equipped with a powerful engine, 16-speed transmission, and a two-stage transfer case, the Zetros often traverses terrain that would otherwise require detours. Beneficial for transportation with a high payload, the Zetros features large slope and gradient angles, fording capability on rough terrain, and engageable differential locks for propulsion even if individual wheels lose grip. The seat position behind the front axle ensures a relatively smooth driving experience and good vehicle control, even at high speeds and on poor road conditions.
The new vehicles for Ukraine predominantly have permanent all-wheel drive and are equipped for various transport tasks, with permissible gross vehicle weights varying between 16.5 and 40 tons. These highly off-road-capable trucks are powered by the OM 460 six-cylinder in-line diesel engine, offering 265 to 350 kW (360 to 476 hp), depending on the vehicle. With a displacement of 12.8 liters, they provide a maximum torque of up to 2300 Nm. The independently openable hood provides access for maintenance and repair work in the engine compartment, keeping the cab separate as a protected space for communication technology use, according to Daimler Truck.