Heavy-duty off-road trucks aren’t the only things made of steel at the 2016 Europa Truck Trial championships. Driver Marcel Schoch has nerves of steel to match.

Not only is Schoch on the management team at HS Schoch, the German manufacturer of construction machinery accessories and wear parts, but he’s six-time winner and All-European title defender in the elite S5 4-axle category at the championships. Along with co-driver Johnny Stump, he relies on a high-performance truck to master the tricky terrain and bring home wins for the HS Schoch Hardox Truck Trial Team.


Where the beasts meet

Each year, the Europa Truck Trial attracts thousands of passionate off-roading fans from across Europe to cheer on the drivers. The 2015 season saw a total of nearly 70,000 spectators. The first leg of the event is held in Montalieu Vercieu, France, in a stunning natural setting at an old stone quarry that transforms into a battleground where the truck beasts meet.

In this unique event, overcoming obstacles – not vehicle speed – determines the winner. Specially prepared trucks compete across five categories depending on their size and number of wheels. 

From steep descents to uphill climbs, drivers battle slippery stones, rocky roads and muddy waters as they maneuver between pairs of gate poles, collecting points for hitting the poles or not making it through the designated section. Whoever has the least number of points at the end of the day wins. At the end of this six- or seven-round season, a European champion is named in each category.

No mission impossible for team HS Schoch-Hardox

This is the first year that Hardox has become part of the team name to signify that SSAB is the team’s head sponsor. And it’s the tenth time that Schoch and Stump are participating in the event with their beloved MAN TGS 35.480, a 4-axle truck designed with a fairly light chassis and all-wheel drive for demanding operations in quarries and construction sites.

Facing soggy ground after days of rain and an initial setback (missed goals, a broken goal post and contact with the side fence), the team was trailing by 400 points in the first round. But that’s when they geared up for a fight, quickly deciding on a new route through a difficult section of terrain. With planning and perseverance, they turned a near-loss into a win.

Hardox fights back against extreme wear and terrain

For the second leg of the event, in Dreis-Brück in the volcanic Eifel region of Germany, the HS Schoch Hardox Truck Trial Team will encounter uber-hard volcanic stone, nearly impossible drops and super-steep sections.

In unwelcoming environments just like these – quarries, mines, construction sites – Hardox® wear plate feels right at home. Off the competition circuit, the HS Schoch group of companies appreciates the quality of hard and tough Hardox. The group is a long-standing SSAB customer and operates the Hardox Wearparts Center HS-Schoch GmbH & Co. KG. And its earthmoving-equipment company ZFE Buckets is a certified Hardox® In My Body program member.

To show your support for the team, visit the HS Schoch Hardox Truck Trial Facebook fan page.

To learn more about Hardox wearparts and service, visit the Hardox Wearparts network.


Trial truck specs

Model: MAN TGS 35.480 / 8×8 BB
Power:  353 KW 
Motor:  6 cylinder 
Capacity:  12,816 ccm 
Torque:  2,300 Nm at 1,000-1,400 r/min.