International Truck Stop - Euro tippers in action

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The 27th edition of the TKD show held in Almere, The Netherlands, in early June offered much to attendees wanting to see the latest from the major European off-road and specialist truck manufacturers.

Photo: MAN TGS 50.500 10x8 with mid-lift steering axle for a GVW of 50 tonnes.

The three-day event is said to be the largest of its kind in Europe and hosted nearly 200 exhibitors that in one way or another were connected with the building and construction industry. Over 15,000 spectators enjoyed the static displays, and potential buyers could also drive some of the vehicles. Many of the all-wheel drive tippers could be tested with a good load of sand on an unpaved track and through a field. Apart from Renault, all well-known makes were present, as well as some smaller manufacturers such as GINAF, GVK and Tatra. Heavy haulage tractors, low loaders and other specialist trailers and machinery for the building and construction industry could also be admired, though not in action. MAN is market leader in the Benelux when it comes to sales of chassis for tippers, mixers, crane trucks and the like. Hence MAN had the largest selection of on/off-road vehicles on display, ranging from the new TGE van to a mighty TGS 50.500 10x8 tipper. Most trucks were presented complete with body. In the highest weight class MAN tends to team up abroad with local suppliers to serve specific market requirements. In Holland that is WVT who develops and produces custom-built steering and lift axles, as well as suspension systems for fitment to heavy MAN trucks. This way these chassis can make the best of local weight regulations.

Photo: Massive 95 tonne GVW Cummins powered GINAF HD 10x6 is meant for open cast mining in export markets.

Under the theme ‘Strong in Heavy Work’, Mercedes-Benz Trucks NL presented a whole range of on/ off-road chassis at the show. Mercedes, Unimog and Fuso models could be admired at a static display, or in some cases, driven across a sandy field. An Arocs 6x2 tipper chassis was fitted with Hydraulic Auxiliary Drive (HAD), which makes it possible for a more or less standard heavy truck to negotiate a short patch of difficult terrain more easily. Also a Unimog 530 with 4x4 drive that is capable of pulling a 40 tonne load in the rough was available for a test drive. Quite a few of the importers and manufacturers opted to present their wagons in operator liveries, which was a welcome change from customary new truck events. Volvo showed a FMX 10x4 chassis in a special safety version. This truck with crane body is based on an X-High chassis (extra high – there is also XX-High) and is good for a GVW of 47 tonnes. The FMX has become very popular as a tough workhorse in Europe. Last year Scania introduced the all-new XT platform and of course this model took pride of place at TDK. No fewer than eight construction chassis were present and most are available ex-factory, reducing delivery time. Trucks displayed ran from a L320B 6x2/4 chassis to a S580B 8x2/4 NB model with high roof sleeper cab.

Photo: The new Tatra Phoenix Euro 6 has a DAF cab and engine and ZF transmission but retains Tatra’s unique frame and suspension system.

DAF showed several 3- and 4-axle chassis fitted with the proven PACCAR MX engines and the new ZF TraXon transmission. Some DAF models had a Wide Spread axle configuration at the rear. Others, such as a CF 10x4 chassis for mixer applications, was fitted with an Estepe mid-lift axle that allows the truck to operate at a total GVW of 49 tonnes. Iveco is doing well in Europe and exhibited a complete range of vehicles, from the Daily Blue Power that captured the ‘International Van of the Year 2018’ award, to the new XP/NP Stralis and the on/off-road Trakker series that proved its value in the famous Dakar Rally.

Photo: This Volvo FMX 10x4 tipper as executed in special safety livery to warn cyclists and pedestrians in urban areas.

Finally, the niche market manufacturers, such as Tatra and GINAF. In the 1960s and 70s the Czech specialist [Tatra] was a well-respected brand in the Lowlands for its sturdy 6x6 tipper trucks with tubular frame and independent suspension. The formidable off-road capabilities are retained in the new Phoenix Euro 6 series of 6x6, 8x6 and 8x8 chassis. These models sport a DAF CF day, sleeper or Space Cab, and are powered by proven PACCAR MX11 and MX13 diesel engines of 370 to 530 hp. Behind it sits a manual ZF transmission or a TraXon automatic box. The unique Tatra frame and suspension that guarantees unparalleled traction is retained in the new models. For specific markets they are available with an 11.5 tonne front axle, and a steering widespread tandem at the rear. The Dutch specialist truck maker GINAF that now forms part of the Chinese CHTC Group still builds some one-off vehicles for arduous tasks in the home and export markets. Pride of show was a HD-Series Mining Truck with 10x6 drive, EVS independent steering, and HPVS suspension system. The 95 tonne GVW giant is powered by a 15-litre Cummins diesel engine of 455kW (610hp). The fitted day cab is obtained from Ford in Turkey. So far 19 of these units have been built for open cast mining activities around the world. For the local market, GINAF assembles multi-axle chassis based on DAF chassis and components in 6x4, 8x4, 10x4 and 10x6 configuration. Additional axles are derived from Sisu. A spectacular event with weather and temperatures nobody could complain about, although some salesmen secretly hoped for a day with lots of rain and inches of mud to show off the real capabilities!

Photo: A smart Mercedes-Benz Arocs 4148 8x8 in operator’s colours ready for a test.