A chassis cab from Italy, an air-cooled engine from Germany
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and a box body added in Britain, seems an unlikely combination. But that is just what we have with the new Magirus Deutz 90 D 7.5 FL
The steel forward control cab and rivetted ladder-type chassis are made by Fiat, in Brescia, where the German-built Magirus Deutz air-cooled, 4-stroke diesel engine — used on agricultural tractors in Germany — is also installed.
The vehicle, new to Britain, is imported through Hull, then transported to Winsford, near Manchester, where arrangements have been made with Brade Leigh to supply and fit-a range of flat and dropside tipper bodies, while Crane Fruehauf have gained the concessions for the box bodies.
A 4.74m (15ft 7in) box with a payload of 4400kg (4ton 3cwt 3qr) brings the total weight up to just short of the maximum of 7.5 tonnes which enables it to be operated without an hgv licence. But, with an unladen weight of just over 3.56 tonnes (3.5tons) it will require an '0' licence.
On the CM Midlands test route, an average fuel consumption of 16.15 lit/100km (17.46mpg) was returned on 103.1km (64.1miles) of motorway at an average speed of 80.5 km/h (50nrIph).
For most of this section, the vehicle was run in fifth gear and it was only necessary to drop down into fourth once, on a gradient just after Watford Gap. There, we were baulked by slow vehicles that had just left the service area, and this caused our road speed to drop to about 65 km/h (40mph).
Driving close to the 60 mph limit provided few problems. The most serious was caused by a direction indicator that did not self cancel and an engine stop found to be out of adjustment at the first stop.
Soundproof coating, applied to the underside of the cab, kept engine noise down to a very acceptable level.
The steering had a nice feel throughout the test, apart from one part of the motorway section where heavy rutting in the slow lane provoked it to nibble.
Over the A road section, the gearbox was used much more but did not always behave as one would have liked.
The gate has a rubbery feel and a clean change could not always be managed first time; this was the case changing either up or down through the box. But the vehicle had completed only a few miles over 2,000 at the start of the test, so it is possible that the gear change may easily improve.
Through the twists and turns of the country lanes, I thought the roll to be excessive considering that the compact test load was confined to less than 0.6m (2ft) above the floor of the cargo area. On the timed hill just after Broadway, second gear had to be used for most of the way. Even though maximum revs were easily reached, due to the difference between ratios, it was not possible to make use of the next highest gear. Towards the end of a day's driving is the best time to look for the niggling little faults and, sure enough, when I got involved with the traffic at High Wycombe, it became obvious that the foot pedals had been set too far above the floor.
An overall fuel consumption of 15.03 lit/100km (18.76 mpg) coupled with a total running time of 5 hours 17 min is more than fair from a vehicle 'of this size carrying a big box with a large frontal area.
On the parallel straights at MIRA, it proved to be no slouch
with a top speed of 101km /.h 63mph) and a 0-50mph time of i4 seconds.
The results of the braking test vere a little disappointing in ichieving only around 0.5g )verall decelleration, although ill wheels were made to lock Ising the vacuum-assisted hydaulic service system.
The handbrake was used to )btain a measurement for the econdary brake, but the split ront-to-rear service system ;hould now serve also as the ;econdary brake.
Hill climbing was the best hat could be expected with a estart possible on a 1-in-4 jradient while the handbrake vas able to hold on a 1-in-3.
Inside the cab, instrurnentaion is compact with a speedo, uel gauge, temperature gauge ind warning lamps for battery, and handbrake, as well as the Jsual lighting indicators on two lial faces.
A bank of three wiper blades ;wept a large area of the windscreen leaving very little Jnattended.
The washer control compriies a foot bulb, which provided imple water to the screen when leeded, fed from a container nounted on the near side under he facia.
The facia is covered in ion-reflective dull black plastic )nd contains a large glove box )11 the near side, while in front of he driver, the dash is hinged )nd can be lifted up to expose he reservoir and the bank of uses.
A ribbed rubber mat extends to the door openings each side which are wide and provide good access with only one step.
A plastic-covered driver's seat is adjustable fore and aft,. while the bench-type mate's seat, provided for two persons, can be raised, transversely, to gain access to the engine compartment exposing the vacuum pump, alternator, cooling fan and fuel line bleeder.
Situated behind the front grille, which is hinged, the combined oil filler dipstick can be easily reached.
Slung on the near side chassis member, just in front of the drive axle, the battery with clip-on lid, is also easily accessible.
Helper springs attached to the rear axle and the tyres seem to be. the only major differences to the Magirus 90 D 5.6 FL. At the rear of the chassis an integrally-mounted under run bar encloses the spare wheel which has a lever arrangement for lowering it to the road level. On the off side the 80 litre (18 gallon) fuel tank is positioned within the wheelbase providing a range of approximately 530km (330miles).
The Crane Fruehauf 4.74m (15ft 7in) box body is constructed with an underframe of 229mm (3in) bearers at 0.45m (18in) centres overlayed with a 22m (7/Sin) tongue and grooved softwood floor. The sides and bulkhead are made up of a 19 swg flat alloy sheet with side and corner pillars of extruded sections and tying struts insideat 0.38m (1 Sin) centres while the roof is provided from a one — piece GAP sheet.
An alloy roller shutter completes the package which for a 4.7m (15ft 7in) body costs £1,354 in addition to the list price of the chassis cab at £5,531.
The overall impression given by this Magirus Deutz was one of a well-constructed vehicle providing a good payload capacity in terms of weight and volurne.
My chat with the manufacturers at the end of the test prompted them to check the setting of the light laden valve which turned out to be incorrect and would account for the marginally low brake readings.
Visibility was good, but the rear view windows did tend to muck up.
Seating for both the driver and mate was comfortable but why should the British operator be offered an inferior specification to that of his Continental counterpart, who is provided with cloth covered seats?
My criticism of the pedals stands, but some adjustment is available.
Air cooling to the four-in-line naturally-aspirated engine relies on the efficiency of the axial blower but is well-proven and should prove reliable.
Because the engine is of modular construction, the heads and cylinder barrels can be treated individually when maintenance is required.
The large frontal area of the CF box must have been detrimental to the fuel returns. Even so, only one vehicle tested in this weight range by CM , the Fiat 0M75 fitted with a flat platform body, has shown up better in this respect. Regulation 9 states that provided the equipment used on a vehicle conforms to EEC requirements and is operated in accordance with Articles 15, 17 and 18 in the Council Regulations (EEC) No 1463 / 70 of July 20, 1970, then the driver and his employer are exempt from the requirements of the Drivers Hours (Keeping of Records) Regulations 1976, with respect to keeping and making entries in drivers' record books relating to driving and other work in connection with that vehicle.
One would assume that a tachograph, supplied and installed by a reputable manufacturer, would comply with EEC requirements and, in fact, Regulation 3(1) of the new British Regulations states that recording equipment fitted to a vehicle shall be assumed to conform to the regulations unless the contrary is proved if there is affixed to or alongside the instrument an installation plaque and the seals are unbroken_
Article 15, reads: -The employer and crew member shall be responsible for seeing that the equipment functions correctly and that the seals remain intact. Any operation or interference resulting in falsified readings or recordings are prohibited. The seals may be broken only in case of absolute necessity, which will have to be duly proved.
Article 17 forbids the use of dirty or damaged record sheets and requires that, if damage does occur to a used record sheet, it be attached to the spare sheet used to replace it. The equipment must be kept running continously from the time the crew take over the vehicle until they are relieved of responsibility.
They must ensure that the time recorded on the sheet agrees with the official time of the country in which the vehicle is registered and they must operate the switch mechanism enabling various periods of time to be recorded separately.
While crew members are away from the vehicle and, therefore unable to operate the equipment fitted to the vehicle themselves, the various periods of time must, whether manually, by automatic recording or by any other means, be entered on the sheet in a legible manner and without the sheets being dirtied. Each crew member must enter on his record sheet.
.a. On beginning to use the sheet — his surname and first name.
b. Date and place where use of the sheet begins and dat and place where use ends.
c. The registration number each vehicle to which he assigned, both at the sta of the first journey recorde on the sheet and, in th event of a change of veh cle, during use of the shee.
d. The odometer reading at th start of the first journe recorded on the sheet; the start of the first journe on each working day; at th end of the last journey o each working day; at th end of the last journe recorded on the sheet; i the event of a change c vehicle during a workin day, the reading on th vehicle to which he wa assigned and the reading o the second vehicle.
e. Time of any vehicle change Article 17 continues by laying down that the tachograph be so designed it is possible for an inspecting officer, if necessary after openirlg the instrument, to read the recordings relating to the nine hours preceding the time of the check, without handling the sheet. It must also be possible to check that recordings are being made without actually opening the equipment.
Article 18(2), which must be complied with if ordinary, River's . records are to be dispensed with, requires that, while a tachograph is unserviceable or operating defectively, crew members must mark on the record sheet, or temporary sheet, all the information for the various periods not recorded by the equipment.
Regulation 4 of the new
regulations requires an ownerdriver, before he takes a tachograph record sheet into use, and an employer before issuing a record sheet to a crew member, to insert a serial number on it. This number must be one not used during the preceding 12 months.
An employer must supply crew members with the appropriate sheets; ensure that these sheets are returned to him when completed; within seven days examine and sign them and retain them for 12 months.
A crew member must be able to produce to an officer, (ie a psv examiner, a certifying officer and a policeman) record sheets produced by the tachograph for the past two days when engaged in national transport operations and for the past 14 days in other cases. He must return completed sheets to his employer within 21 days; dirty or damaged sheets must be handed back to the employer as soon as is reasonably practicable; on ceasing to be employed he must return any unused sheets.
An owner-driver and an employer must keep a register of record sheets which are issued in much the same way as for the ordinary drivers' record books. This register must contain the following details: a. Name and address of the employer or owner driver.
b. In the case of. a goods vehicle, the operator's licence number.
c. Address of the place where the record sheets are supplied or taken for use and d. in respect of each occasion when record sheets are supplied by an employer to a crew member employed by him or are taken by an owner-driver for use by him, serial numbers of the sheets supplied or taken: date on which they are taken or supplied; name of the crew member to whom the sheets are supplied by the employer; signature of the employer of the crew member; signature of the crew member, and date or dates of the return of those sheets to the employer or of their removal from the vehicle by the owner-driver. Each register must be pre served for at least 12 months. _Provision is made in the Regulations for the Secretary of State to approve fitters and workshops for the installation and repair of recording equipment.