The latest release from Cat Trucks has arrived in Australia this week and Diesel News got a chance to see the new model up close and personal at Caterpillar’s Tullamarine facility. The new model is to be called the CT 630S, with the S denoting the shorter BBC on a prime mover with sleeper able to pull a 34 pallet B-double set and still make it inside the 26 metre envelope with a little room to spare. This model is to be followed, later this year, with a full stand up sleeper option to fit within the same envelope, the Cat CT 630SC.
The arrival of these new C 15 powered models is the result of some smart engineering on the part of the Cat organisation here in Australia. It has taken the basic components available to Cat from Navistar in the US and blended them in such a way to meet the stringent criteria of Aussie truckies when it comes to drivelines and dimensions.
The basic truck is based on the same basic chassis as the original CT 630 released here three years ago. A substantial re-engineering has seen the cab move upwards and forwards to bring the BBC down to 112 inches for the day cab version. The extended cab with bunk is a compliant B-double prime mover. This will be joined by an Australian built stand up sleeper cab later this year.
These new models will join the fight in the highly competitive B-double prime mover sector, where Kenworth, Western Star, Mack and, more recently, Freightliner, with the 114, are making in-roads into a market segment previously only serviced by the cab-over prime mover.
Management at Cat admit this new model is the truck they should have introduced as their first model on the market. This is the kind of truck to appeal to the Cat enthusiast the brand was designed to cater for. However, hindsight is a wonderful thing, when the idea of a Cat truck was launched the time and cost factors meant the original offering from the yellow engined truck maker was a simple adaptation of the International Pro Star models already being made for the US market.
Now the concept of a Cat Truck is a reality and the brand has a certain amount of credibility, it has been possible for the Navistar parent company to justify putting in the kind of development dollars needed to create a truly Australian truck. With this new Cat CT 630S the Tullamarine-based truck maker seems to have hit the nail on the head.