The Freightliner Columbia is a medium duty truck designed for short or regional transportation. The vehicle has a highly versatile character and can cope with various medium duty jobs. At the moment the truck is sold in South Africa, New Zeeland and Australia.
Designed to for construction or short haul applications, the Freightliner Columbia offers a light tare weight and ideal axle positioning, being available in 6x4, 8x4 and 10x4 configurations for construction work, and 4x2 or 6x4 for distribution jobs. Furthermore there is also the option of a Day Cab or a 34” Mid-Roof Sleeper.
Under the hood, the Freightliner Columbia is equipped with a Cummins ISLe5 engine which delivers a maximum output of up to 400 hp and 1,254 lb-ft of torque. Thanks to its powerful engine and the solid chassis the Freightliner Columbia can be rated to 40,000 kg Gross Combination Mass.
The Freightliner Century Class is around from some time now and was designed especially for long haul operations. The truck features a conventional cab configuration with an aerodynamic design which gives it a low drag coefficient.
Moreover, the Freightliner Century Class uses strong, lightweight components in the hood and fenders to reduce the overall weight thus allowing for increased payload. The truck has a gross vehicle mass (GVM) of 26000 kg for the 6x4 model and 30800 kg for the 8x4 version. There are also available both day and sleeper cabs and the truck is powered by a Detroit Diesel engine which develops between 470 hp - 525 hp.
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.
The Iveco Cavallino is mostly sold on the South American market and was designed to deal with short or regional transportations.
The Iveco Cavallino truck is part of the heavy duty league and it features a cab over engine design. The truck is equipped with Iveco’s Cursor 8 engine combined with a 16 speed SF Over Drive transmission. The engine develops a maximum output of 320 hp and 1200 Nm of torque.
To be able to suit to a wide range of applications, the truck is offered with both day and sleeper cabs and a choice of 4x2 and 6x2 axle configurations.
The BMC Professional is a highly versatile range of commercial vehicles designed for medium and heavy duty applications. The BMC Professional is available with both sleeper and day cabs and comes with a cab over engine configuration.
The truck has a payload of up to 50000 kg and it’s powered by a range of Cummins engines which develop a maximum output of 410 hp and 2000 Nm of torque. The BMC professional is also offered with a choice of 4x2 and 6x4 axle configurations which makes it eligible for a wide range of jobs.
For Tatra it was very hard to survive to the difficult economic conditions and had also need to face a very strong competition coming from its European drivers. Luckily, in 2011 DAF acquired 19% ownership in TATRA and now it also supplies engines and cabs for the Czech manufacturer.
Tatra’s main product is now sold globally under the name of Phoenix. The Tatra Phoenix is part of the heavy duty league and can carry massive loads on both regular roads or on harsh terrains.
The truck features a unique chassis design which requires no sub-frame for affixing tipper body. This translates into more payload capacity hence lower costs per km.
Tata decided to take a stab at the heavy duty segment and has come up with the Prima truck which will compete in the 40 tonnes segment with famous names like Scania, Volvo, Iveco and even Mercedes.
Tata plans to sell its heavy duty truck globally and not only in India and this is why it paid maximum attention in the developing process. The Tata Prima’s main objective is to combine strong performances with lower prices featuring strong engines and a generous load capacity. Tata claims that the Prima can cover 600 km with a single driver and 900 km with two drivers in a day.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 Volkswagen Constellation is almost completely unknown in Europe and US, but in South America the truck is pretty successful. The truck is manufactured since 2005 in cooperation with MAN in Brazil and is available with gross combined weights between 14.3 tons - 62.8 tons.
The Volkswagen Constellation is the biggest vehicle in Volkswagen’s lineup and was designed for long haul and other distribution operations. The Volkswagen Constellation features a cab over engine configuration and is offered with numerous wheelbases and specifications. The truck comes with a range of Cummins and MWM diesel engines which come in three power outputs.