Tough Benz Zetros spreads word

The muscular Mercedes-Benz Zetros has been put to work on South Australian farmland as a go-anywhere spreader.

Tough Benz Zetros spreads word
John and Colin Crossling with their new Mercedes-Benz Zetros


SA-based Crossling Contractors has become the first operation in Australia to use the tough-looking 4x4 truck to spread fertiliser, gypsum, lime and other soil improvers.

Zetros trucks sold in Australia have previously been used as mining trucks, fire trucks and as maintenance vehicles for remote, and hard to get to, electricity lines.

The Naracoorte family business now employs seven full-time staff and more at peak times, and it was established by Colin Crossling 40 years ago. Colin still works for the business, but his sons John and Damien now run the show.

The team bought the new Zetros recently, encouraged by a very positive experience with a cab-over Axor, which shares some common parts with the Zetros.

"The Axor was the first four-wheel drive spreader we had. We had that for seven years, I drove it for the first five," says John Crossling.

"Spreading is tough on the trucks given they are exposed to fertilisers, so they have a tough time. It was a good truck and ended up doing 8500 hours," he says.

After trying out a different brand, the Crossling family was tempted back to the Mercedes-Benz fold by Daimler Trucks Adelaide salesman Brian Phillips and the unique Zetros. 

They are glad they did as the truck has not missed a beat.

"It’s been a bloody good truck for us," says Damien Crossling.

"It does everything you ask and the Allison automatic is absolutely brilliant," he adds.

John Crossling adds that the driver comfort of the bonneted truck, that is running wide tractor tyres designed for slippery conditions, is excellent.

"Being a bonneted truck, it certainly is very comfortable," John Crossling adds.

"The long wheelbase certainly does help," he says.

John says the spacious and well-laid out cabin is also a big plus.

"It has the same interior as the Axor, so that is good," he says.

The Zetros was added to the Crossling Contractors fleet at one of its busiest times and has been worked hard ever since.

The Crossling team is a family business and John joined the operation 23 years ago, before Damien joined four years later.

"Damien and I took over the business about 17 years ago and now Dad works for us," John says.

"We all get on really well, which is really good.We couldn’t not run Crossling Contractors with just one of us, we have to work together."

The Zetros is available as a 4x4 or 6x6 and runs a 7.2-litre six-cylinder with 330hp and 1300Nm of torque and is equipped with low range and front and rear locking differentials for serious off-road capability.

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