Australia's top trucks on display in Brisbane

By: Steve Brooks


BTS trucks Hino It’s only a few months since the covers came off this vastly rejuvenated range of Hino 500-series wide cab models and executives at Hino Motor Sales Australia make no secret of the company’s competitive need for trucks of this calibre. BTS trucks Hino
BTS trucks Hino1 BTS trucks Hino1
BTS trucks International Iveco has now gained distribution rights for the [International] brand in Australia and will again be a prominent part of the Brisbane show. BTS trucks International
BTS trucks Kenworth Sure to be inundated by show-goers will be heavy-duty market leader Kenworth with its all-new T610 and T610 SAR models. BTS trucks Kenworth
BTS trucks Kenworth1 BTS trucks Kenworth1
BTS trucks Mercedes Benz The new Benz models have won rave reviews and have every potential to reignite the German giant’s reputation with Australian truck buyers and deliver serious competition to cab-over brands of all nationalities. BTS trucks Mercedes Benz
BTS trucks UD There’s the distinct possibility of a significantly updated version of UD’s flagship Quon also appearing at Australia’s premier truck show. BTS trucks UD
BTS trucks UD1 BTS trucks UD1
BTS trucks DAF DAF's CF85 is now available with a higher rated version of Paccar’s 12.9-litre MX engine. BTS trucks DAF

It is the biggest, brightest and best attended truck show in the southern hemisphere and 2017 will continue the tradition as Australia’s top truck, trailer and ancillary suppliers showcase their latest and greatest equipment. Here are just a few highlights of the bold new products on show, all dressed to impress

 

There’s no doubt 2016 was a bumper year for new truck releases, particularly in the second half when several of the biggest names in the business launched some of the most exciting new models seen in the Australian trucking industry for decades.

All the big players will all be on show during the Brisbane Truck Show next month and sure to be inundated by show-goers will be heavy-duty market leader Kenworth with its all-new T610 and T610 SAR models.

KENWORTH

The new Kenworths are the most dramatic developments to come out of Paccar’s Bayswater facility in 30 years.

In fact, there has been nothing as radically different as these new trucks since the release in 1986 of the inspiring T600 Anteater which influenced the design of conventional trucks for decades to come.

Kenworth openly states that the $20 million and more it invested in the design, engineering and testing of the new models is by far the largest amount the company has ever spent on development of trucks specifically for the Australian market.

The key to the new model is unquestionably the new cab and Kenworth makes no secret of the fact that there is nothing in the brand’s Australian history to even remotely match the investment made in the T610 with a cab that is 2.1 metres wide and provides major gains in operational and driver appeal.

While the T610 evolved from the conceptual possibilities provided by current Kenworth and Peterbilt models in the US, senior Kenworth executives emphasise that the end result is an entirely new conventional truck engineered and built to the specific requirements of Australia and surrounding regions.

"This is our truck," says Paccar Australia director of sales and marketing, Brad May.

"We basically took what we could from Paccar’s global platform, but no one should be in any doubt, none whatsoever, that the engineering and design of the finished product are all ours, all done in Bayswater.

"We certainly utilised Paccar’s facilities in the US in the durability validation process, but the engineering design is totally ours.

"This is a truck engineered in Australia, for Australia. Absolutely!"

Under the T610 hood is the 15-litre Cummins X15 engine which also has its own updates, specifically a new software package to enhance performance and fuel efficiency when coupled to Eaton’s Ultrashift-Plus automated transmission.

DAF

Yet while the T610 will be unquestionably the big attraction, stablemate DAF has news of its own with a beefed-up version of the versatile CF85 model.

Previously topping out at 460hp and 1700lbft, the CF85 is now available with a higher rated version of Paccar’s 12.9-litre MX engine, pushing out peak power of 510hp (375kW) from 1500 to 1900rpm and a much healthier torque peak of 1850lbft (2500Nm) between 1000 and 1410rpm.

Coupled to the engine is the 16-speed version of ZF’s AS-Tronic automated transmission; while on the options list is Eaton’s RTLO-20918 18-speed overdrive manual.

MERCEDES-BENZ

Just across the aisle from Kenworth is staunch competitor Daimler Trucks which, among a swathe of models bearing Freightliner and Fuso badges, will showcase the exceptional new range of Mercedes-Benz trucks.

The Brisbane Truck Show will also have the first public appearance of an entirely new range of Mercedes-Benz rigid models based on the same design platform as the hugely impressive prime mover range.

The new Benz models have won rave reviews and have every potential to reignite the German giant’s reputation with Australian truck buyers and deliver serious competition to cab-over brands of all nationalities.

There is a lot to like about these new trucks, not least the extent of testing that went into their development for the Australian market, and a model range which seemingly covers every base in the cab-over prime mover market.

Confidence inside the Mercedes-Benz team is justifiably high and a quick look at the model line-up tells why, kicking off with a group of single-drive models powered by engines from 354hp to 455hp, through to 6x2 and 6x4 prime movers for single trailer work with power ratings from 428 to 510hp.

Moving up the scale, dedicated B-double units range from 530hp up to a potent 625hp, while at the top of the tree are specialist road-train and heavy-duty models with outputs of 578 or 625hp to cope with gross combination mass ratings from 106 to 160 tonnes.

Powering the range are four new six-cylinder engines, from the 7.7-litre OM936, the sprightly 10.7-litre OM470, the hugely versatile OM471 at 12.8 litres, and the gutsy OM473 at 15.6 litres.

Even at a casual glance, Mercedes-Benz appears to have covered all bases with a broad power offering ideally suited to a wide cross-section of applications and configurations.

There is, it seems, something for everyone and in all cases the engines drive through super-smooth PowerShift automated transmissions in eight, 12 and 16-speed versions, depending on the model of course.

There are four cabs in the range, each designed to suit the various roles of the different models.

The tallest and widest of them all is what Mercedes-Benz calls the L-cab StreamSpace measuring 2.5 metres wide and almost four metres high with a roof-mounted air deflector.

We’ve actually slept in this, the biggest of the Benz bunks, and can vouch for Mercedes-Benz’s claim that it has the best sleeper of all the European cab-overs currently on the market.

Still, not all jobs require such a big cab and again as we found on a recent road test of a short-haul specialist called the 2643, the narrower 2.3-metre wide structure still provides ample space for a multitude of roles requiring either a slimline or sleeper cab.

Mercedes-Benz executives know there’s a lot at stake with these new trucks and more importantly, know this new line-up has the distinct potential to put the famous three-pointed star squarely back on the map with Australia’s heavy-duty truck buyers.

Daimler Trucks will no doubt have plenty to show in Brisbane, but it shouldn’t surprise anyone if pride of place goes to this new Benz breed.

UD

Still in the cab-over class, Volvo Group’s UD will be making its presence felt in no uncertain terms with its new Condor PW24 280 6x4 model.

Launched late last year, UD insiders describe the PW as the pointy end of a ‘wave of expansion’ into the heavy-duty sectors on which UD was founded in this country.

Joining its 4x2 and 6x2 siblings, the PW is a dedicated tandem-drive rigid model capable of satisfying a wide range of niche applications and in the process, achieving higher sales volumes in the lighter end of the heavy-duty class.

Vitally, UD’s local leaders are quick to point out that Japan’s production processes are now far more attuned to the needs of markets such as Australia.

Meantime, even a quick glance at the spec sheet suggests the PW is both a smart and surprisingly simple design, backed by the brand’s solid reputation for durability.

It all starts with two wheelbase lengths – 5.3 and 6.71 metres – built on a reinforced chassis to support a gross vehicle mass of 23.5 tonnes and gross combination mass of 28 tonnes.

And it won’t be too much of a surprise if UD uses the Brisbane show to reveal a version with a 32-tonne gross combination rating for relatively light-duty truck and trailer combinations.

Providing the power is UD’s well-proven, turbocharged and intercooled GH 7.7-litre engine, using high-pressure common-rail fuel injection to dispense peak outputs of 206kW (280hp) at 2500rpm and 883Nm (651lb ft) of torque at 1400rpm.

In a wise move given the model’s target markets in metro areas, the only transmission offering is Allison’s exceptional 3500 series six-speed automatic.

The Allison feeds into a Meritor drive tandem equipped with power divider and diff lock operating on the forward drive axle.

One of few variations in an otherwise straightforward driveline specification is the rear suspension where the shorter of the two wheelbase spreads uses UD’s well-mannered six-rod mechanical suspension while the longer version has Hendrickson’s HAS460 airbag layout.

Our tests have shown that UD’s new PW is thrifty on fuel and is an uncomplicated, comfortable and extremely smooth model in metro roles.

Still, the PW 24 280 may not be UD’s only new model on show in Brisbane. There’s the distinct possibility of a significantly updated version of UD’s flagship Quon also appearing at Australia’s premier truck show.

The current 420hp Quon is widely acknowledged as the best Japanese prime mover in the market for single trailer work but if rumours are right, Brisbane will see the model’s Volvo-derived GH11 engine boosted to a new peak of 460hp.

HINO

Also from the land of the Rising Sun comes a bold new line-up of models from Japanese powerhouse Hino.

It’s only a few months since the covers came off this vastly rejuvenated range of Hino 500-series wide cab models and executives at Hino Motor Sales Australia make no secret of the company’s competitive need for trucks of this calibre.

Needless to say, the new models will be front and centre on the Hino stand in Brisbane.

Hino admits it’s been a long time coming but the wait has brought a brace of new and highly functional features which include enhanced eight- and nine-litre engines, expanded manual and automatic transmission options, numerous drivetrain developments, and safety advances headed by the standard fitment of a Wabco vehicle stability control (VSC) system in all models.

In fact, the standard inclusion of VSC across the new range is an "Australian-first" for trucks in this class, according to Hino product strategy manager, Daniel Petrovski.

Available in two- and three-axle configurations, the new trucks offer gross vehicle mass (GVM) ranging from 16 to 18 and 26 tonnes, and gross combination mass (GCM) ratings from 32 to 45 tonnes.

"These trucks are a game-changer for us," says Steve Lotter, Hino Motor Sales Australia chairman and chief executive officer.

The new trucks are easily distinguished from the previous wide cab models with the most notable external change being a bold, dark grille.

However, it’s underneath where the greatest changes have been made, led by further development of Hino’s 7.7-litre J08E engine and its 8.9-litre stablemate, the A09C.

In the case of the six-cylinder J08E, maximum governed engine speed and compression ratio have been raised to deliver peak outputs of 206kW (280hp) at 2500rpm and top torque of 883Nm (651lbft) at 1500rpm.

Depending on the model, transmission choices are an Allison six-speed auto, Hino six-speed manual or an Eaton nine-speed direct-drive manual.

As for the A09C, also a six-cylinder layout, Hino says there’s a new turbocharger, revised water pump and cooling fan, and a swap from Bosch to Denso common-rail fuel injection.

This engine offers two performance ratings starting with 235kW (320hp) and 1275Nm (940lbft) coupled to an Allison automatic transmission, and a lively 257kW (350hp) unit supported by a potent 1422Nm (1049lbft) of torque stirring through a Hino nine-speed overdrive synchromesh transmission.

Critically, says Hino, both engines greatly benefit from the adoption of an SCR emissions system instead of the previous EGR and diesel particulate filter combination to achieve Euro 5 emissions compliance.

INTERNATIONAL

Then there’s International, the iconic brand that stirred so much excitement and interest at the 2015 Brisbane Truck Show, even picking up the Truck of the Show Award with the sleek ProStar.

The excitement, of course, was all about the pending return of International to the Australian market and after a protracted process, Iveco has now gained distribution rights for the brand in Australia and will again be a prominent part of the Brisbane show.

The obvious spearhead of International’s return is the versatile ProStar, a truck with considerable potential for a wide range of roles in both sleeper and slimline configurations.

ProStar is powered by the market-leading Cummins ISXe5 engine with ratings from 475 to 550hp and up to 1850lbft of torque, feeding into an industry-standard Eaton 18-speed overdrive transmission available in manual or automated UltraShift-Plus form.

The foundation of ProStar is a strong yet light-weight chassis frame with Meritor axles fitted front and rear.

At the rear is the popular RT46-160GP drive tandem rated at 20,900kg (46,000lb) and equipped with power divider, cross diff locks on front and rear drive axles, and the choice of alloy or steel hubs.

Ride quality is virtually assured with a front axle riding on taper-leaf parabolic spring packs and a drive tandem mounted on Hendrickson’s durable Primaax-EX air suspension.

With a standard gross combination mass (GCM) rating of 90 tonnes, ProStar will be aimed at everything from truck-and-dog combinations to local and regional distribution in single trailer or B-double configurations, as well as line-haul duties in single, B-double and road-train doubles roles.

Critically, the bumper-to-back-of-cab (BBC) dimension is just 2845mm, or 112 inches, in non-sleeper day cab form.

There are, however, also two sleeper cab variants; an integrated extended cab and a plush 40-inch (1016 mm) high-rise sleeper. Roof and side fairings are optionally available on all models.

Stopping power comes from a dual circuit S-cam braking system featuring ABS anti-lock, automatic traction control and air dryer as standard equipment.

Twin polished aluminium fuel tanks in capacities of 680 and 980 litres are accompanied by a 90-litre AdBlue tank sited behind the left-hand side fuel tank.

Mounted on a three-point suspension layout, ProStar’s cab comes with an established reputation for aerodynamic efficiency due to a patented roof design, curved single-piece windscreen matched to a rounded sloping hood, and a sealed seam between the lower front edge of the hood and bumper. 

Vitally, in the two years since its appearance at the 2015 Brisbane Truck Show, ProStar has undergone significant testing and from all appearances will provide a solid start to this latest chapter in the annals of International trucks in this country.

 

Specifications:

KENWORTH

Model: T610

Engine: Cummins X15 Euro V (standard) with Advanced Dynamic Efficient Powertrain Technology (ADEPT)

Performance: 485hp (363kW), 1650 lb-ft (2237Nm)

Transmission: Eaton RTLO16918B (manual); Ultrashift (automatic option)

Suspension: Airglide 400

Brakes and safety: Drums (discs optional), electronic brake safety systems, antilock braking system, automatic traction control, drag torque control

 

DAF

Model: CF85

Engine: Paccar 12.9-litre MX

Performance: 510hp (375kW), 1850lbft (2500Nm)

Transmission: 16-speed ZF AS-Tronic automated transmission (standard); Eaton RTLO-20918 18-speed overdrive manual (optional)

 

MERCEDES-BENZ

Model: 2658

Engine: 15.6-litre Mercedes-Benz OM473

Performance: 578hp (425 kW), 2065 lb-ft (2800 Nm)

Transmission: 12-speed Mercedes-Benz G281 PowerShift automated

Rear axles: Hypoid drive tandem

Brakes: Disc brakes on all wheels. ABS anti-lock and ASR skid control.

Fuel capacity: 1050 litres diesel, 110 litres AdBlue

GCM: 90 tonnes

 

UD

Model: PW 24 280 6x4

Engine: GH7 7.0-litre overhead cam in-line 6-cylinder

Performance: 280hp (206Kw); 651lb-ft (883Nm)

Transmission: Allison fully automatic 3500 series 6-speed

Rear Axle: Meritor MT 44-144GP tandem drive

Suspension: Front – Three-leaf taper leaf; Rear – P wheelbase: UD multi-leaf six-rod. W wheelbase: Hendrickson HAS 460 airbag

Wheelbase:  5300mm P version; 6710mm W version.

Weights: Gross vehicle mass 23,500kg; gross combination mass 28,000kg

 

HINO

FG 1628 4x2: 280hp; six-speed manual or six-speed Allison auto; GVM 16 tonnes; GCM 32 tonnes

FL 2628 6x2: 280hp; six-speed Allison auto; GVM 26 tonnes; GCM 38 tonnes

FM 2628 6x4: 280hp; Eaton nine-speed manual or six-speed Allison auto; GVM 26 tonnes; GCM 33 tonnes (auto), 38 tonnes (manual)

FM 2632 6x4: 320hp; six-speed Allison auto; GVM 26 tonnes; GCM 36.5 tonnes

FM 2635 6x4: 350hp; Hino nine-speed manual; GVM 26 tonnes; GCM 45 tonnes

GH 1828 4x2: 280hp; Eaton nine-speed manual or six-speed Allison auto; GVM 16 tonnes (std), 18 tonnes (opt); GCM 38 tonnes.

GH 1832 4x2: 320hp; six-speed Allison auto; GVM 16 tonnes (std), 18 tonnes (opt); GCM 38 tonnes

GH 1835 4x2: 350hp; Hino nine-speed manual; GVM 16 tonnes (std), 18 tonnes (opt); GCM 38 tonnes.

Click here to find out more about the 2017 Brisbane Truck Show.

 

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