CAT has a long history behind and the company is famous thanks o its strong engines and the heavy duty working vehicles that were designed to tackle the harshest construction sites without thinking twice. Recently, the company decided to try its luck in the transport industry and allied with Navistar to launch its first highway truck.
At the moment, the CAT CT630 is sold mainly on the Australian market and was developed especially for highway operations. Except for a few small differences, the truck shares the same design with the International ProStar, but is powered by a CAT C15 engine which develops 550hp. The CT630 also features a roomy cabin and an aerodynamic exterior design that was developed to enhance its fuel efficiency.
In US, CAT sells only its CT660 vocational model, but in Australia its lineup includes two models namely the CT 610 and CT 630. Both Australian models were developed by NC2, a joint venture between Navistar and Caterpillar and you won’t need to be an expert to see that between CAT’s trucks and International’s models there is a strong resemblance.
While the CT660 has a totally fresh design the 610 model is based on the International DuraStar and TranStar models. These vehicles don’t share only the exterior design, but also the same interior and technologies. However, the CT610 isn’t powered by Cummins engines, as at its hart sits a 470 hp CAT engine. The CT610 is as versatile as its International siblings and was developed especially for regional haul applications.
Avia isn’t as famous as other truck companies, but in fact it is among the oldest European manufacturer. Initially the company was founded in Czechoslovakia in 1919 and its main purpose was to build aircrafts. After a while, Avia has also started to build trucks. One of the most significant steps in Avia’s history was the year 1995 when it was purchased by the Koreans from Daewoo who developed the D Series models.
At the moment Avia is owned by Ashok Leyland, an Indian company which had a benefic impact for company’s trucks as it brought new technologies and facilities.
The Avia D Series includes three models namely the D75, D90 and D120 (4X4) with maximum GVW (gross vehicle weight) that can go to up to 11990 kg. All are medium duty trucks and were developed especially for urban commercial applications.
The trucks are powered by a range of Cummins ISBe4 engines which come in three power outputs developing 160, 185 hp and 207 hp.
Mercedes is planning to extend its trucks lineup with the addition of a new model. The fresh truck bears the name Antos and was specifically engineered for heavy duty short radius distribution applications.
The new vehicle has borrowed many technologies and design lines from the Actros which is its bigger brother, but it features a character of its own and a unique cab configuration that was designed specifically for short delivery purposes.
The Mercedes Antos will be offered with a choice of medium- and short-size cabs and will be available with a range of 13 engines that will meet the latest Euro VI emission requirements.
For the moment, Mercedes revealed only a few details about its new Antos, but the truck will make its global debut in Frankfurt at the Commercial Vehicle IAA in September, so stay posted for more information.
LDV isn’t known my many people but it’s a UK company specialized in manufacturing small commercial vehicles. While at the moment the company builds only the LDV Maxus LCV, in the past its lineup of products also included the Convoy which was discontinued in 2005.
The Convoy was never a huge success, but has helped the company to survive until 2008 when the production was stopped. Luckily the company was rescued in 2009 when the assets were sold by administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers to China Venture’s firm Eco Concept.
But while the vehicle was behind its competitors when it comes to build quality, comfort and power, the Convoy managed to win some adepts thanks to its generous payload capacity and the affordable price.
The market of mini trucks is pretty small and is filled with many Chinese models which don’t inspire too much confidence to buyers. Luckily, there are also other manufacturers who thought to take a stab at this segment, and one of them is Daihatsu.
Daihatsu’s experience in the mini LCV segment is pretty vast, as it started to built the first models since 1960. Thankfully, since then Daihatsu’s models were constantly upgraded and today, the most advanced small LCV in the company’s lineup is the Gran Max.
The Gran Max was launched in 2007 and is based on the old Hijet model which was received pretty well by the market. The new Gran Max has the same versatile character as its predecessor and is offered in three versions namely the van, minibus and pick up.
The Daihatsu Hijet shared the same design and underpinnings with the old generation Piaggio Porter. Unlike the Piaggio which was sold pretty poor, the Daihatsu received more attention from the buyers and it was sold in better numbers.
The vehicle is available in both panel van and chassis cab versions and despite its compact dimensions, it has a very flexible and versatile character which make ideal for a wide range of light commercial applications.
The vehicle’s payload capacity is ranging from 560 kg to 1120 kg and comes with two wheelbase lengths measuring 1810 mm and 2180 mm. The Daihatsu Hijet is powered by a 1.3 liter petrol engine which develops 64 hp and 100 nm of torque.
The Suzuki Carry is now out of production, but it was a pretty iconic vehicle produced between 1999 - 2005. The Carry occupied a segment of its own, as at its time there weren’t many micro-vans rolling on the UK’s streets.
The truck was offered in both van and chassis cab versions and was aimed at those looking for a commercial vehicle, with minimum costs of ownership which would also be able to carry some load at the back. The Suzuki Carry was engineered as a small working horse, designed without all the bells and whistles of its bigger siblings.
The Nissan Interstar shared the same underpinnings with the previous generations Renault Master and Opel Movano. The vehicle was built since 2003 and it was discontinued in 2011 when it was replaced by the NV400.
The old Nissan Interstar was replaced at the perfect time, as its design was starting to show its age, and the technology was also starting to rust. The vehicle however, was seen with good eyes and for its time was a pretty good product which offered a satisfactory cab comfort, numerous wheelbase lengths and different body configurations. The Nissan Interstar was available with a 2.5-litre dCi diesel producing 100hp, 120hp and 150hp.
LDV is a small British company that currently builds only light commercial vehicles. The company had some hard times when it was hit by the recession and has struggled a long time to remain alive. Until recently all its models were also far behind the competition and the company’s future was heading towards a black hole.
Recently however, the story has changed and it seems like the company has finally a winner in its hands. While the new LDV Maxus still has its faults, it is by far the best LCV ever built by the company and has a huge potential to revive LDV from its ashes.
The LDV Maxus is available in a wide range of body versions including combi, van, minibus, chassis cab and van models.