We all know truck drivers in India are crazy, but if you weren’t sure just watch these drivers taking way overloaded twin steer rigid trucks around a hairpin bend halfway up a mountain, this really is pushing trucks to their absolute limit. The trucks involved here are a Tata, an Ashok Leyland and an Eicher Pro, all 10×4 trucks with a lifting pusher axle, which is lifted even though the trucks are fully loaded.
The axles could well be lifted because the truck drivers need as much turning ability as possible, but this is throwing even more weight onto the remaining axles. It is a wonder any of these trucks will survive a week of this treatment, but they do it week in week out on the subcontinent.
Treating trucks like this and pushing them to their absolute limit probably brings back memories for many of our retired truckies who would have learnt their trade working the gear as hard as these drivers are doing today in India.
In these cases it’s all about the driver’s skill in protecting the truck’s driveline, chassis and suspension, even though every difficult road or climb has the capacity to destroy a major component.
For those drivers growing up in the sixties, driving trucks designed to handle much lower weights and speeds, their skills in protecting the truck and its driveline was down to their ability to minimise the pressure on inadequate components. These days we are not relying on driver skills to protect the driveline, that job is being done by much improved specifications in our trucks and computers controlling and protecting the driveline from drivers without the skills to protect them.
Those skills are still there today, in drivers in rural areas handling the worst the environment can throw at them and their road trains. All drivers in India are also doing it themselves. there is little sophistication in this truck market, but for how long?
This isn’t an isolated incident, this video shows us just how crazy it can get, and not just for those climbing the mountain, it’s also pretty hairy for those coming down the mountain.