First, a small apology to an unidentified HGV driver: on my way to the headquarters of Mercedes-Benz UK last Friday morning, I might have inadvertently cut you up. While negotiating the incessant, anonymous web of roundabouts in Milton Keynes, I found myself in the wrong lane and needed to slip to the left in order to exit at the correct junction.

There would have been room for the lane change but at the moment that I started to pull across, a set of traffic lights on the roundabout blinked onto red and everyone ahead of me had to pull up pretty quickly. My sudden appearance in the inside lane meant the space the following lorry driver had to bring his heavy load to a halt was reduced by a few metres. Mea culpa, and as he gave me a shrill blast on the horn to voice his displeasure I shamefully slunk low in my Peugeot's seat.

I can say with some confidence that I won't make the same mistake again, because during my day at Mercedes I enjoyed a passenger ride in the latest version of the German firm's mighty Actros heavy-duty truck, and thus got an appreciation of what life is like for a long-distance lorry driver.

It might be stating the obvious, but it is impossible to not be awed by the size of the Actros. Apparently you could fit a whole Smart car inside the cabin (sadly Merc wasn't willing to let us put that theory to the test). The whole truck can be configured in a variety of cab sizes and specifications, but to someone more used to city cars and hatchbacks, they seem to range from merely 'big' through to 'gigantic'.