The Chinese manufacturers are starting to conquer more and more markets and their vehicles have finally begun to offer satisfactory performances and prove that these guys are fast learners. However, some faults regarding the build quality and reliability still remain, but some sacrifices had to be done to keep the price as cheap as possible.
The new generation of Heavy Duty trucks from JAC is a major improvement over the previous models, but while we appreciated the technical upgrade and the more comfortable cabin, we’ll have to criticize the exterior design. There isn’t anything inherently wrong with it, but it’s almost identical with Scania’s trucks and you won’t need to be an expert to spot the resemblance.
Not many of you heard about JAC, mostly because it’s a Chinese manufacturer which until recently didn’t managed to catch much attention. The company however, has recently made a joint venture with Navistar and started to use Cummins engines for its lineup of trucks.
At the moment, JAC is also in full expansion and plans to conquer new markets. Its lineup of vehicles includes light, medium and heavy duty models and all of them are fairly versatile.
The Heavy duty range of trucks is offered in tractor, mixer, dump and lorry configurations with gross vehicle weights ranging from 13000 kg to 50000 kg.
The Mercedes Benz Unimog is around for some time now, as it tackles the harshest working conditions since the Second World War. The Unimog is an iconic off roader which has built itself a very strong reputation being one of the most appreciated vehicles in its class.
The Unimog is the smaller brother of the Zetros and is offered in a wide range of versions with different engines and wheelbases. There are two Unimog families available the Unimog 300 - 500 and the Unimog 3000- 5000.
The Unimog 300, 400 and 500 range covers permissible gross vehicle weights from 7.5 t to 16 t, each model coming with a choice of two wheelbase lengths and two engine outputs.
The Unimog 300-500 are offered with a choice of four- and six-cylinder in-line engines from the OM 904 LA and OM 906 LA series.
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.
Western Star celebrates its 45th anniversary in 2012 and to mark the event has launched a new version of its 4700 model in Las Vegas. The new truck is a tractor unit and was designed for bulk haul, local delivery and construction applications. With the introduction of the new truck the company extends the horizons of its strategy and hopes to fill the gaps in its lineup.
Mike Jackson, Western Star’s general manager said, “It didn’t take much to add a 5th wheel to our 4700 chassis, converting it to a tractor platform. It’s another way to enhance our product line by adding a lighter-weight tractor as well as one with a lower price point.”
The new tractor version of the Western Star 4700 is offered in both set-forward and set-back day cab configurations, and comes with a wide range of engines, wheelbases and transmissions. The engine range includes the Cummins ISC and ISL units together with the Detroit DD13, while the transmission offerings include Allison’s fully automatic units, Eaton manual gearboxes and Eaton’s UltraShift Plus automated transmission.
Talking about the new truck, Mike Jackson added “It’s part of our re-engagement effort in the market, to develop a diverse line of premium, rugged, customized yet traditionally-styled trucks that appeals the specialized trucking operator. Next, we’ll eventually be brining a natural gas-powered truck option to the market – that’s a natural step for us.”
The Foton Auman is the biggest truck built by the Chinese manufacturer. The truck’s main advantages are that it uses Mercedes-Benz technology for its chassis and is powered by a range of Cummins engines.
While the Chinese trucks are still seen with doubtful eyes by the truckers from all over the world, the Foton Auman could prove to be of a different breed thanks to its American engines and the German technology used for the chassis.
The Auman is offered with a wide choice of wheel base lengths which range from 3400 to 6000mm and has a gross combination mass of up to 45 tonnes. In order to meet a wide range of operational needs, the Foton Auman is offered in various models including tractor, platform, dump and other.
The truck was designed as a basic mechanical work horse which is able to do a wide range of jobs with minimum costs and maximum productivity.
The Volkswagen Worker range is offered with numerous wheelbases including 2,850, 3,300, 3,900 and 4,300 mm lengths with various GVWs (gross vehicle weights) that range between 8 tonne to 31 Tonne. Thanks to its long list of options and body versions the Volkswagen Worker is among the most versatile vehicles built by the German manufacturer.