The L-Series was a line of light- and heavy-duty trucks manufactured by Mercedes-Benz. Introduced in 1959, the short-nosed models replaced the conventional design with engines that extended into the cab. The L338 (later renamed the L1418) was a heavy-duty vehicle that offered high-torque and efficient engine performance that made it popular as a utility truck. Even after the models were discontinued in Germany, Mercedes-Benz continued to produce and export the trucks.
Mercedes L1418 General Features
The twin-axle Mercedes L1418 included a flexible, heavy-duty frame with a double-wheel rear axle and an engine that extended underneath the cab. The cab was designed with a three-way roof vent for all-weather use, stainless steel West Coast mirrors with convex lower lenses and dent-resistant fibreglass fenders. It required diesel fuel and provided a high-capacity, 53-gallon fuel tank, as well as dual batteries with a series parallel switch that provided 24-volt starting with up to 12-volts for lighting and accessories.
Mercedes L1418 Engine
The Mercedes L1418 included an inline five-cylinder engine with a displacement of 355cc that produced a minimum of 172 horsepower with a maximum torque of 455 foot-pounds, which was a 47 per cent increase compared to other class-VII models. It included six-speed manual transmission, six main bearings (compared to other V-8 models with only five) and it minimised engine wear at 55mph by running less than 2,000rpm. It was designed with thermal, air-cooled efficiency that allowed the vehicle to sustain maximum speeds for long periods of time with a total gross-vehicle weight of 14617kg.
Mercedes L1418 Chassis
The Mercedes L1418 included a heavy-duty frame, shock absorbers in the front and rear and a dual-circuit air-pressure hydraulic braking system. It also provided a cab-suspension system that prevented excess shock and vibration from reaching the cab, as well as an enclosed wiring system to minimise electrical problems. Its rear springs allowed smooth handling when empty or fully loaded, which improved payload protection.