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Nv they performed

7th March 1975, Page 43
7th March 1975
Page 43
Page 44
Page 45
Page 43, 7th March 1975 — Nv they performed
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

)st of the present Continental 'weights have in recent years been over the CM operational trial to Scotland and back, with a few itions which regrettably include the lete Scania range. For one reason other not always connected with hicle itself no current Scania has -gone the full CM test programme ling the MIRA section.

r the purpose of making a sensible arison between the Continental nders I have chosen an arbitrary ng line of 6 tons unladen kerb it between "lightweight" and yweight" tractive units. Most of -tits fall easily into one category or her although the MAN 16.232 and agirus Deutz 232D 16FS are both [nal cases at 6.09 and 6.00 tons tively. Without sleeper cab the rus would be firmly in the light ary. It must be remembered that igh all these vehicles are operated UK only at 32 tons gcw. many of are designed for higher gross ts on the Continent.

light heavyweights

Saviem 32-240 performed very 3n our road test considering its r output which was right down the minimum 6 bhp/ ton limit for 1 operation. Although the 240 in epe number refers to the horse-, it is to the SAE rating. When d back to BS AU 141a the power output was 151kW or 202 bhp, which was more in keeping with the vehicle's on-road performance. This marginal power was reflected in the hill climbing which, although safe and sure, was on the slow side.

On the credit side the Saviem proved one of the best when considering ride and cab comfort possibly the long wheelbase of 3.2m (10ft 6in) helped in this respect. The fuel consumption of the French-built newcomer averaged 2.3 km/ 1 (6.4mpg) over the 1172km (728-mile) route, which would probably have been improved upon if the temporary motorway speed limit had not been in force during the energy crisis. This prevented me from letting the vehicle wind-up on downhill sections, necessitating more down changes on the uphill parts.

When CM tested a Magirus Deutz 232D 16FS just over a year ago the report was not very favourable, a poor performance up the hills necessitating a detour on the test. The fuel consumption too was nothing to write home about. It was felt at the time that the lack of gears (six speeds only) handicapped the Magirus so when the 12-speed splitter option was made available for the UK market, the Assistant Technical Editor repeated his earlier test. The results shown in the test results panel are for this later 12-speed model.

The operational trial showed the latest Magirus to have a considerable improvement in performance potential, and the severe section between Rochester and Neville's Cross on the return leg of the route was cleared with no problems at all. CM tests of Magirus Deutz vehicles always seem to take place under adverse weather conditions and this was no exception, with rain, snow and blustery winds keeping the speed down. In spite of the very noticeable improvement in performance the fuel consumption was still not very impressive. At 2.11 km/1 (6.0mpg) the overall figure is still one of the lowest achieved on this test where 2.30km/I (6.5 mpg) is about the average and over 2.48km/ 1 (7.0 mpg) has occasionally been achieved.

Another German vehicle which had its problems on the hilly sections of the Scottish test route was the MercedesBenz LPS 1418. This truck also had a power to weight ratio right down on the limit, which, coupled with a selection of oddly chosen gear ratios on the test vehicle, gave the 1418 a very mediocre hill-climbing ability.

The economics of the light-heavyweight Mercedes were very acceptable, with an overall fuel consumption of 2.37 km/ 1 (6.7 mpg), although the average speed for the complete road route was on the low side.

The Dutch firm of DAF is very well represented in the maximum-weight field with three tractive units, two of which have been tested by Commercial Motor with favourable results. The FT 2200 comes into my arbitrary "under 6 tons" category at 5.84 tonnes (5 tons 15 cwt) kerb weight. Powered by the tc DAF DU 825 engine developing 161 kW (216 bhp) the 2200 completed the test route with one of the best fuel consumption results ever recorded 2.44 km/ 1 (6.9 mpg). Considering the short wheelbase of 2.75 m (9 ft 01/4 in) the ride of the DAF was extremely good — compare it with the Saviem at 3.2m (10ft 6 in). Like many of its rivals the DAF uses a six-speed ZF gearbox with a splitter option.

An interesting point emerges from the fuel consumption results of the 2200, and that is consistency. Many trucks reach almost 10 mpg on the constant 40 sections but drop to nearly 4 mpg on the up hill and down dale A68 leg. The DAF, however, returned over 7 mpg for most of the 1172 km (728-mile) route, only dropping to around 5 mpg for the hilly section. This is the sort of consistency that pays dividends on mixed routes.

Last year Volvo announced an increase in output for both the F86 and F88 power units. The smaller F86, which is one of the lightest trucks around at 5.28 tonnes (5 tons 4cwt) unladen weight, now has 150 kW (201 bhp) available which, if nothing else, marginally raises the power output from the bare 6 bhp/ ton limit.

Economical Swede

On test only a few weeks ago the F86 recorded the second best ever overall fuel consumption for the Scottish route at 2.50 km/ 1 (7.4 mpg) being beaten only by the 8LXB-engined Atkinson tested in 1972. By virtue of being coupled to a lightweight trailer the Volvo managed to cram on an eyeopening 24.64 tonnes (24 tons 5 cwt) of payload within the 32-ton limit. This excellent fuel consumption was not achieved at the expense of a slow journey time as a glance at the results panel will show. On total running time the Volvo was beaten only by one other truck in this category and that was by only 39 minutes in around 19 hours. One of the few criticisms that could be made was that the top speed was only 90 km / h (56 mph), which meant the 86 could not attain the motorway speed limit even under traffic-free conditions.

It is curious that Volvo makes the splitter option available for the high powered 88 (216 kW or 290 bhp) but not for the 86 which I feel could make better use of it.

The heavy end

My arbitrary dividing line of 6 tons could be considered unfair to the MAN but I felt that a line had to be drawn somewhere to distinguish between the light and heavyweight maximumcapacity trucks, which puts MAN in the "heavy" category.

Entering the UK market in earnest in 1973, MAN marketed only one model — the 16.232 tractive unit. This was tested by CM in July of last year but the test had to be abandoned halfway round the route because of a trailer fault, which meant that an overall fuel consumption could not be obtained.

Although a figure could be arrived at simply by dividing the distance covered at the time of abandonment by the fuel used up to that point, it would be very unfair to the MAN as there was no opportunity to complete the 40mph section of Al between Neville's Cross and Darrington which always improves the overall consumption figure.

Because the first test was not totally representative, CM repeated the second leg of the Scottish road test with another 16.232 (an identical model but not in fact the original test truck). The overall fuel consumption obtained from the two days running came out at 2.20 km/ 1 (6.1 mpg) which rather disappointed MAN, who claim a better figure. Because of this they checked over the vehicle and found several faults in the fuel injection system which they said could have accounted for the disappointing fuel consumption. I hope the MAN customer vehicle inspection is better than the press road test vehicle inspection. Not surprisingly, the MAN more-than-passing resemblanc Saviem because of the commor I mentioned earlier, MAN o sleeper version as soon as tht was made available for the market and many operators cl option. The MAN engine 172 kW (232 bhp) and is coupl, familiar ZF six-speed gearb splitter although the method tion is unusual in that a steering linkage is used.

My outstanding memory Mercedes-Benz LPS 1924 is c ing up among the trees at MIR/ maximum-pressure braking te. the Mere/ Dyson combinatior jack-knifed — apparently beer malfunctioning load-sensing This, however, is being very unf Mercedes which put in a ye performance indeed over the trial. As a 38-ton vehicle runn tons it had power in plenty ar very easy and pleasant to drivi Powered by a naturally r engine developing 179 kW ( to the ubiquitous ZF 12-speed carbox, the Mercedes returned Lil (6.2 mpg) for the total Although the new range of ;-Benz trucks has been the 1924 will still be avail.11 into 1975," according to Benz.

igh Fiat markets two a-capacity trucks in Britain, 619 T 1 has been tested by -ial Motor. When I drove this st year I was very impressed stopping power of the brakes.

no wheel locking — just a distance of I 6.3 m (53ft 5in) Iph which was a good couple of horter than the next best. with a very progressive pedal s gave me a great deal of con my handling of the Fiat.

gh the 13.8-litre (742cu in) ed to the 619 develops 177 kW and 901 Nm (6581bft) of did not give a very good f itself on the hills. Although never any doubt that the Fiat mb all the gradients on the route, it made very heavy f them from the time point-of'ter Bar for example taking T which was by far the slowest D weight contenders up this .82-mile) hill.

1 consumption was in some ways like the DAF 2200, that is very consistent whatever the road conditions. Surprisingly, the motorway figures cruising at or around the 60 mark were higher than the A-road figures with a 40 mph average. The overall fuel consumption was 2,33km/ 1 (6.6 mpg) which is par for the course.

The big brother to the 2200 from Eindhoven the DAF 2800 was tested with the DKDT engine fitted which delivers 184 kW (248 bhp). In terms of driver comfort this must be one of the best outfits around, although, for operation at 32 tons, the high kerb weight of 6.99 tonnes (6 tons 17.5 cwt) takes a substantial slice out of the payload that can be carried. I liked the DAF with its roomy sleeper cab but this space is paid for by the fact that it is not legally allowable to couple the DAF to a 40 ft trailer.

The familiar ZF gearbox being mounted in a right-hand-drive truck had a reversed gate pattern with the lower gears close to the driver and the high gears away from him. 1 never came to like this arrangement but I learned to live with it over our test period.

The 2800 was about average on fuel consumption with an overall figure of 2.40 km/ 1 (6.7mpg) but it covered the Al 40 mph section to Darrington at no less than 3.82 km/ 1 (10.8 mpg).

I have purposely left the Volvo F88 until the last as 1 had the chance to test this at two gross weights — 32 and 38 tons (the latter figure with special dispensation). At 32 tons, with its uprated engine delivering 216 kW (290 bhp) the F88 returned the second fastest roundtrip journey time to date in 17 hours dead for a fuel consumption of 2.30 km/ 1 (6.5 mpg). This particular test vehicle was fitted with the splitter option giving 16 speeds in total which meant that, whatever the situation, the right gear was always available. As I said earlier this would be a useful addition to the lighter F86.

The brakes on this truck gave me cause for concern as they juddered badly on hard applications. Halfway through the test at 38 tons the Volvo engineers replaced the front drums and shoes which effected a complete cure. The actual braking distances returned at MIRA were not affected by this problem -it was felt purely in terms of judder.

The differences in running at the two weights was that for an increase in fuel consumption of around. 11 per cent an increase of 28 per cent in payload capacity was achieved.

Although the Continental manufacturers have entrenched themselves in the UK market some are obviously more strongly entrenched than others. The production forecasts for 1975 have been rather depressing, and a drop of around 23 per cent for artics has been predicted by the Economist Intelligence Unit, for example, and it will be interesting to review the top-weight market situation in 12 months' time to see who is still with us.

The EIU was certainly not too optimistic over the chances of imported vehicles for 1975, singling out Saviem, Magirus Deutz and Fiat in particular as having .a difficult time ahead. But the relative prospects for the imported makes depend on many factors — including spares availability and price, as assessed elsewhere in this issue. What I have tried to do here is to present an unbiased picture of how the vehicles submitted for test performed in CM's hands.


Organisations: Intelligence Unit
Locations: Neville, Rochester

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