A talking point for many of the trucking community is the return of the Reo, the re-emergence of an iconic truck brand on Australian roads.
Many in the trucking industry will have memories of the Diamond Reo, a brand of trucks that holds a place in the hearts of many vintage truck enthusiasts. Diamond Reo came into existence when the, much older, brands of Diamond T and Reo trucks were brought under a joint banner in 1967, by owner White Motors.
After a number of ups and downs for the brand both in the US and in Australia, Diamond Reo trucks finally stopped being made in the mid-eighties. The company which assembled the trucks here in Australia when the demise occurred moved on to other things and have developed into the Daysworth International organisation, well-known for its terminal tractors business.
The last model assembled in Australia was the Diamond Reo Giant, a large conventional prime mover, which can still be seen occasionally in the form of logging tow trucks on Australian roads. The brand had sold both conventionals and some cabovers at the time.
Well, now the Diamond Reo Giant is back and it’s a cabover. The first outing for the new trucks was the MEGATRANS2018 show. The arrival of a heavy-duty 6×4 prime mover and an 8×4 rigid in Australia is always going to provoke plenty of interest and this launch clearly has.
The trucks have a substantial cabin, larger than any of the Japanese prime movers in Australia. They are built to Australian specifications by the CNHTC company in China, with future plans to assemble the trucks in Australia.
Although the trucks are badged up as Diamond Reo on the front panels and the door, the CNHTC badge on the steering wheel will stay. The engine options available, range from 330hp to 540hp based on the MAN Technology.
Currently Euro-5 emissions, Euro-6 will be available in early 2019.
- 6×4 Giant Prime Mover 540hp
- 6×4 DRT5 Rigid 330hp
- 8×4 DRA7 Rigid 380hp
The transmission can be ZF either a 9-16 speed manual or a 13-speed AMT. The auto option coming from the ZF camp.With torque ratings up 1560Nm, the trucks are rated up to a maximum GCM (Gross Combination Mass) of 75 tonnes in both prime mover and rigid form. They are fitted with a Wabco braking system. However, the full specification is not with us at this time.
Australia has already seen a number of Chinese trucks take a tilt at our truck market. These trucks are the first heavy duty trucks to appear and it will be interesting to see how the launch plays out. Past Chinese introductions have gone aground on a few issues, usually associated with the quality of the finish arriving off the boat and the difficulty in getting Chinese manufacturers to maintain a consistent Australia-ready standard and supply when needed.
Unlike other companies that have introduced Chinese manufactured vehicles, Daysworth International has taken the time to create the required infrastructure. To support the new Diamond Reo on a large scale in Australia Daysworth International says it has established substantial store of spare parts and is carefully selecting dealers and agents that are going to support the product into the future.
The advantage for Daysworth is its experience in preparing imported trucks to cope with the rough and tumble of the Australian trucking industry. Keeping quality levels high enough will be the key to unlocking the local market for Chinese manufacturers.