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.
We’ll have to admit that JAC never would’ve found a better design to copy than Scania’s style, but Leaving apart the copyright infringement debate, JAC’s truck looks (of course) pretty good.
The front bares a massive grille which flows nicely towards the bumper giving the truck a dynamic look. Under the big panoramic windscreen we’ll find the JAC name embossed with big shiny letters.
Continuing to copy Scania’s style, JAC added on each corner of the cab two side deflectors which enhance the modern look the truck and also help it to be more stable at highway speeds.
The bumper continues the tasty pattern initiated by the grill and it’s also fitted with big clear lens headlights and round fog lights which offer a proper visibility during night.
The JAC Heavy Duty range of trucks is very versatile and is offered as a tractor, mixer, dump and lorry with gross vehicle weights ranging from 13000 kg to 50000 kg.
The truck’s frame was constructed using the stamp-one-time-into-shape process treatment which ensures the seamless match of the main frame and subframe, thus avoid the problem of frame deformation under stress concentration by other stamping process treatment.
While the exterior could fool you about the true origins of the truck, the interior hasn’t the potential to hide its true nature.
The first thing that strikes you it’s the poor build quality and the cheap materials which will definitely start to rattle after a few hundred miles.
While the interior design is a big improvement over the previous generation, it’s still pretty odd and looks like a strange mix between the European and Asian styles.
Though, there are some good parts and one of them is the huge amount of space. You’ll also be glad to see that most of the controls are place within easy reach and the wraparound dash is pretty convenient as well. Storage can be found everywhere and you won’t be disappointed in this department either.
Moreover, we don’t have any complains about the instrument cluster, as its gauges are fairly easy to read on both day and night.
The seats however, needed more attention as despite their wide range of adjustments they still fail to offer the comfort found at the European models. The steering wheel looks fairly modern and offers a proper grip, but the adjustments have a relatively small travel and won’t be of much help.
As most trucks in the segment, the JAC’s cab offers a proper all-around visibility thanks to the panoramic windscreen and the big lateral windows. As with all external rear view mirrors these days, there is a blind spot area to consider but the separation gap between the main and wide angled lenses will help to improve the rear visibility.
JAC says that the truck body shell is designed in accordance with the European safety standards. The overall thickness of the cab is 1.5 mm metal sheets, but the collision zones have been reinforced with 3 mm metal sheets.
The new generation of JAC’s Heavy Duty trucks continues to use the same Cummins engines as the previous models. The engines come in seven power outputs developing between 220 hp and 720 hp.
The Cummins engines have already proven their value world wide as they are used with success by famous brands from all over the globe. With maximum torque leaves between 720 Nm and 2100 Nm achieved from as low as 1200 rpms, the engines offer a huge amount of pulling power and can deal effortless with almost anything you’ll throw at them.
All Cummins engines use the SCR (selective catalytic reduction) technology to offer a low level of emissions. Thanks to this technology, the engines manage to meet Euro 3 and Euro 4 emission standards.
JAC Heavy Duty Engines Specifications
|Cummins||290 @2200||1160@1500 |
|Cummins||380 @ 1800||1825 @ 1200|
Ride and handling
JAC’s axle use I-beam structure optimized and reinforced through CAE analysis, meeting both the high-loading capacity and light weight design requirements with a capacity of 7.5-tonne front axle for heavy truck and 4.5-tonne front axle for medium truck.
At the back we’ll find a 13-ton double reduction rear axle offering a high loading capacity, high minimum ground clearance. The truck also gets parabolic leaf suspensions for both front and rear axles.
To offer a proper ride, the cab features a four-point air suspension system which even if it can’t be compared with the European models, it’s still able to soak most of the bumps and you won’t be affected by too many vibrations.
The JAC Heavy Duty trucks are far from being able to compete against the European rivals. These trucks may look like Scania, but apart from the design they don’t have anything else in common with the premium brand.
However, leaving apart the third class build quality and the poor reliability, JAC’s trucks have a few aces hidden in their sleeves. The Cummins engines are fairly strong and reliable and the cabin offers plenty of space and even if it’s not as comfortable as other truck in the business it has a satisfactory overall ergonomy.