The kind of truck on test in Diesel News this week is the workhorse of the trucking industry. Our assessment took the new UD Quon eight litre CD 25 360 out for a test drive including a climb of the Toowoomba range and a trip around the twist and turns in a number of urban delivery locations in Brisbane. This is the kind of work this truck can expect to be involved with in its normal working life.
20 years ago, this driver was driving one of this new truck’s predecessors, delivering bread at night around various depots in South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales. This new model would’ve been an unthinkable drive in those days.
Walking up to this truck, it looks familiar but also different. This is a cabin that we have been seen on larger prime movers for some time, but here it is fitted a chassis which we have been used to seeing supplied with the smaller PK cabin. Using the bulkier Quon cab gives the truck a more substantial look and feel.
Climbing in to the cabin., the driver is met with a familiar layout. This basic cabin design has been with us for over ten years, but has been honed and improved over that time. The basic wraparound dashboard is now completely configurable since the introduction of full multiplex wiring.
The AMT controller sits neatly where the manual gearstick once sat and is close at hand. In fact, there is little need to intervene with this controller, apart from the obvious points at which the driver needs to engage drive, neutral or reverse.
This particular model, on test, is using a rare axle ratio of 1:3.7 which does mean that when the truck is doing 100 km/h the engine is running at over 1800 rpm. Having the driveline setup in this way makes this truck ideally suited for running around in the city spending most the day on roads at which the speed limit is 60 or 80 km/h. If the truck was expected to do a lot more long highway runs at a 100 km/h cruising speed, then there are alternatives like a 1: 3.3 rear axle ratio. Further adjustment can be made by changing tyre size.
During the different sectors of the test drive, Diesel noted that the fuel consumption, as calculated by the on-board computer, was lower when running around town that it was when doing a long two hours stretch on the highway. The truck is fitted with the ESCOT roll function, however, the number of times it activated itself and neutralised the transmission were small.
It must be noted that when driving around the city in stop go traffic, the AMT was set on Eco-Mode, as opposed to Power Mode. There is a risk that urban delivery drivers looking for a bit more poke from the truck might always select Power Mode and, perhaps, adversely affect your consumption. Every time the truck is keyed off the system returns to the default, Eco Mode.
With the truck fully loaded, this test recorded fuel consumption of around 2.9km/litre on the highway, but was recording 3.3 km/litre in the big city.
The eight litre engine does have a quieter but higher note than its 11 litre big brother. This means the ambient noise in the cabin when the truck is driving along the highway at 100 km/h is pretty quiet. The AMT will work hard to ensure that the engine rpm levels are always within the green zone, between 900 and 1700rpm.
New Friends in the Trucking Industry
This new truck is going to make UD a lot of friends, this light, easy to drive truck comes with a specification which can match anything else in this segment of the market. The next cab off the rank for UD will be the twin-steer version of this model, which, if this model is anything to go by, should prove to be another attractive option for the Australian truck buyer.
UD Trucks have always been a relatively niche player in the Australian truck market. There are certain sectors where it has have always been strong, but the limited depth of the range has hampered further penetration. These new tracks both the 6 x 2, the 6×4 and the all-new 8 x 4 will enable the brand to strengthen its position in areas where it is already selling trucks, as well as allowing UD to begin moving into other areas where it has had minimal penetration in the past.