In the world of trucking there are a few brands which are instantly put into the “not good” category and don’t even get the chance to prove themselves. Of course that everyone loves the well known and proven European models from DAF, Mercedes, MAN and so on, but what about the less known trucks? Are those trucks that bad to deserve to be treated with ignorance?
Let’s take a closer look at Tata’s Novus model, which is part of the heavy duty league and it’s the first Indian truck that passed the 300 hp barrier and went against the legendary European giants.
After has acquired the truck section from Daewoo, the first model launched by Tata was the Novus. The new truck is based on the Daewoo Novus model which is sold in South Korea.
The Tata Novus features a cab over engine configuration and is available in a wide range of version being able to suit various heavy duty applications. The truck is powered by a Cummins C8 engine which develops between 320 and 420 hp.
At this year’s Indian Auto Expo, Tata has revealed its totally fresh LPT 3723 medium duty truck. The truck was presented together with the new Ultra model and features a host of high end technologies which make it stand out from the crowd. The most striking feature offered by the new LPT 3723 is its five axle configuration which is seen for the first time in an Indian rigid truck.
The truck was developed for different medium duty applications such as cement and steel movement and has a maximum payload of up to 25 tonnes with a GVW (gross vehicle weight) of 37 Tonnes. For the moment, Tata didn’t reveal any price specification for its new LPT 3723, but we can expect to a pretty competitive pricing.
The Tata LPT 2723 is powered by a 5.9 l Cummins 6BT engine and will be launched on the market later this year or at the beginning of 2013.
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.
One of the toughest trucks built by Western Star is the 6900 model which can haul loads of up to 500.000 pounds. Designed as a severe duty vehicle the Western Star 6900 has a strong build quality and an imposing character.
The truck is also highly versatile and comes with a wide range of options which permit you to customize it according to specific needs. Thanks to its flexible character the Western Star 6900 is also available with twin steer configuration and can be use for long haul, construction, mining, logging, oil or gas and towing or recovery applications.
To be able to get its heavy duty tasks without thinking twice the 6900 is offered with a choice of Detroit diesel engines which can develop up to 600 hp and 2050 lb ft of torque.
The Kenworth C500 is the biggest and the strongest truck build by Kenworth. The truck was designed as a heavy duty vehicle for severe duty activities and features a bullet proof build quality and the character of a true tank on wheels.
The Kenworth C500 has a GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) of up to 150,000 lbs. and is available with heavy duty axles and suspensions which can deal with massive payloads without breaking a sweat. The Kenworth C500 can be equipped with strong engines which develop up to 600 hp and features manual or automatic transmissions, with either front or rear PTOs (power take-off).
The Kenworth T800 is among the toughest trucks built by the company. The T800 has a highly versatile character and is comes in both Day and Sleeper cabs. To be able to deal with its heavy duty missions the truck is equipped with a bunch of strong Paccar engines and features a generous radiator sized from 1,440-1780 square inches. The engines can be mated on automated transmissions which are combined with either rear or front engine PTOs.
Thanks to a solid construction, the front axles can take up to 22,000 pounds, while the twin steer front axles can deal with up to 37,500 pounds. For an enhanced versatility the Kenworth T800 is also available with front drive axles, pusher axles and tags, single, tandem and tridem drives.
The vocational truck market is highly competitive as the manufacturers try to continuously improve their models in order to keep the truckers satisfied. But apart from the engines, chassis and payloads which play a major role in the trucking industry, there is one thing that is more important than anything else. And that’s the vehicle’s reliability.
Volvo was always appreciated for two things, namely the safety and reliability of its vehicles. This is why the company continues to play a major role on the vocational market as its VHD model is one of the most appreciated and strong built trucks in its segment.
The truck is available in two versions including the VHD Standard and the VHD 430 which is available with both Day and Sleeper cab configurations.