UD Trucks launches two new Croner models

UD Trucks launches two new Croner models

UD Trucks has kicked off 2021 on a high note with the launch of two new Croner models. CHARLEEN CLARKE reports that this is one of many positive developments at the company.

2020 was a challenging year for us all – UD Trucks included. As Rory Schulz, UD Trucks Southern Africa’s marketing and sales director, notes: “2020 was a year where our lives changed dramatically and the way we had to do business changed too.”

Filip Van den Heede, managing director of UD Trucks Southern Africa, concurs. “This pandemic has touched everyone not only from a professional point of view but also a personal side. Obviously, the medical staff have been placed at the frontline and we salute them. The mechanics and drivers have also been at the frontline – and we would like to thank them for that,” he comments.

While the year was challenging, it certainly wasn’t all bad for UD Trucks. “We’ve had tremendous success with Quester, which is one of the lightest 6×4 tractors in the market at the moment. We’re producing quality trucks. In fact, ongoing quality improvements have become synonymous with UD. We increased our customer focus during 2020; in this regard, we have made strides in terms of digital platforms. UD telematics is now available on all our model ranges. And we had good market share growth in the medium and heavy-duty sectors, both in South Africa and also on an export front. It was a challenging but pretty good year,” Schulz reveals.

Now, with the launch of two new Croner models, the company is hoping for an even better 2021. The new trucks are being assembled at the company’s plant in Rosslyn, Gauteng.

The new trucks offer transport operators a number of benefits. “When we originally launched the Croner range, we wanted to offer fleet owners trucks and solutions that maximise uptime and productivity. These new additions to the Croner family are no exception,” explains Van den Heede. “We know how important it is to make every moment count in the transport business.”

The new trucks utilise fuel efficiently and without waste, thanks to optimised engines, automatic transmissions, a built-in fuel coach, and an aerodynamic cab. “It’s all about going further and longer at a lower cost while getting more done. The work a vehicle does and the resources required to do it are essential to the success of any fleet,” says Schulz. “Productivity to us means how much payload you can carry, at the highest possible legal speed, with as little fuel as possible. And the Croner certainly delivers on all these factors in a smart and modern way, day in and day out.”

The first of the two new trucks – the LKE 15-tonne freight carrier – will operate in the 8-tonne payload sector in the heavy commercial vehicle segment. The Croner LKE 210 freight carrier features the GH5 5-litre engine and an Allison 2500 Series automatic transmission. A total of 850 Nm of torque along with a good transmission ratio ensure the truck can quickly get to the 60 km/h mark in the city, or to the 80 km/h limit (where the law allows this). The LKE 210 has a low tare mass and optimised wheelbase of 5 500 mm for both volume and mass payloads.

“All of this combines to provide a truck with class-leading payload productivity. The Allison automatic transmissions ease the job at hand for drivers who spend the day in the urban environment, facing long hours of traffic with multiple stops and cargo drops,” explains Schulz. “The new generation torque converter with early lock-up also ensures a smooth and easy drive so driver fatigue is reduced, which means the driver can concentrate on situational driving. Additionally, the enhanced power shifts lead to more efficient fuel consumption, comfort, manoeuvrability and performance.”

The second new model – the Croner 4×2 PKE 280 truck-tractor – has the GH8 8-litre engine and an Allison 3000 automatic transmission, with a similar emphasis on urban and city-to-city distribution, as well as focus on inter-regional haul. It will be classified as an extra-heavy commercial vehicle, operating in the up to 350 hp lightweight truck-tractor segment.

According to Duncan Lebogang, product support engineer at UD Trucks Southern Africa, both trucks will boast extremely low running costs. “Preventive maintenance is of course very important. In this regard, the onboard diagnostic system makes use of sensors that are integrated into the vital areas of the vehicle. They monitor performance and report whether or not those areas are working according to design specifications,” he explains.

All critical alerts can be monitored by a call centre or dealer. “This ensures that the vehicle is brought into the workshop timeously – with obvious uptime benefits,” Lebogang notes. Speaking of workshops, service intervals have increased from 5 000 to 20 000 km.

Both trucks also come with UD’s Remote Customer Assistance service. “In the event of a problem with the truck, a breakdown coordinator can locate the vehicle on a detailed map and then select the closest dealer to assist the customer. The dealer is able to see all the relevant information online.

He can check if there is any important diagnostic information available in addition to any details supplied by the driver. Knowing more about the correct status means that the technician can bring the correct parts and tools with him,” Lebogang points out.

The new trucks complement the Croner range, which also includes the PDE 280 – a 6×2 freight carrier that was introduced last year. It has a GVM of 24,5 t and it is powered by the GH8 engine matched to a 3000 Series Allison transmission.

With the latest models, UD Trucks is even better placed to serve customers. “Today’s society requires smart logistics that are efficient, safe, sustainable and, most importantly, people-friendly,” concludes Van den Heede. “While adhering to government regulations, we also understand that there is a need to continue with economic activities, and that is why we are more committed than ever to support the logistics industry in the country.”

Published by

Charleen Clarke

CHARLEEN CLARKE is editorial director of FOCUS. While she is based in Johannesburg, she spends a considerable amount of time overseas, attending international transport events – largely in her capacity as associate member of the International Truck of the Year Jury.
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