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Cummins launches

4th January 1996
Page 8
Page 8, 4th January 1996 — Cummins launches
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Keywords : Vans

Big plans for b •ig vans M405 to close gap

by Brian Weatherley • LDV aims to increase its sales in the UK high-cube parcel van market with its MU' high-volume van.

It is currently completing a fleet of 362 high-cubes for Parcelforce and Roger Brookes, LDV business manager (special vehicles) says: "We see the high-volume van market as a growth area." LDV says its high-cube van offers considerable savings to parcel operators running 7.5tonne trucks as its 4m body can match the 7.5-tonner's cube without going to higher gross weights.

The 400 Series-based van, developed jointly with Parcelforce, is available with three body lengths offering capacities from 12m" to 16m3.

LDV believes the UK demand for high-cube vans is up to 2,000 units a year.

The prototype LDV/ Parcelforce van was unveiled at the Birmingham Motor Show in October 1992 but the original bodybuilder, Cartwrights, ran into production problems and LDV now controls all bodybuilding operations. Construction is currently split 50:50 between the LDV assembly plant at Birmingham and Marshal's of Cambridge.

The latest Mill van differs significantly from the prototype. The Mk I featured a composite GRP and Carbofont body over an alloy bearer frame; the MkII now has an all-GRP skin over a steel bearer frame. By relocating the powered plug-type kerbside door to the body (it previously replaced the conventional nearside van door) pre-assembly modifications to the 400 Series' cab have been reduced.

These changes, and the use of larger body subassemblies, has enabled LDV to cut van build times from 61 to 50 hours.

The 16m' MkII van is based on the 2.5-litre turbo-diesel extra-long wheelbase 400 Series chassis, but with a 330mm frame extension on the rear overhang to accommodate a 4m long body_ Payload on the largest capacity model is around 1,400kg.

Inside the body is a resin-bonded flat floor: twin rear quarter doors should facilitate loading in bays and depots.

To combat damage in the tough urban operating environment rubbing rails are attached to the outside of the body with a Hope Technical Services impact absorbing underrun bumper fitted at the rear.

Apart from Parcelforce, LDV has supplied a number of its high-cube walkthrough vans to Initial, Sunlight Services and United Freight.

LI LDV will include the high-cube body concept with its new van range codenamed project Bulldog—which will hit UK dealers in the spring.

• Cummins has extended the MU eleven-litre engine range with the addition of a 400hp (298kW) variant.

The new top rating joins the existing 340hp and 380hp versions as well as the recently announced 300hp ESP version with a variable torque rating (CM 23-29 November 1995).

Torque is also boosted to 1,4751bft (2,000Nm) at 1,200rpm, a 10% increase over the 380hp MIL Tagged M405E, the engine will be available to existing Cummins customers—ERF, Foden and Seddon Atkinson.

The new rating is designed to bridge the gap between the MSeries and the N-series 14-litre engines. The lowest rated N. Series is the 420hp N425E. Like all Cummins Mils, the M405E uses Cummins' Celect Plus electronic engine management.

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