The EuroVI standard has been regulating the acceptable emissions levels of new heavy-duty vehicles since 2014. The corresponding upgraded offers from the leading brands have already managed to show its stuff and prove its proficiency on the European roads.
The issue of updating the fleet of tractor units is still topical for operators. There are several ways of dealing with it.
A good option is to order a truck from an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer). Such companies supply parts for used, rebuilt and new trucks. This is the way to build or customize a vehicle according to one’s business peculiarities, its fleet needs, capital expenditure and cash flow situation.
If the decision is made in favor of purchasing original trucks, it’s worth looking at the peers’ selection. Thus, there is an opportunity to consider all the advantages and take into account the possible disadvantages.
For special choices (when it’ necessary to demonstrate company’s dominant position) the preference may be given to exclusive vehicles from the best manufacturers. Every now and then they produce limited editions to mark significant events in their development. For instance, Scania celebrated its golden jubilee in the UK by bringing out 50 Golden Griffins with unique numbers. These V8 tractor units feature 4×2 or 6×4 wheel configurations and 580 hp or 730 hp engine variants. But special honour is attributed to the luxury comforts of the cab. Some renowned operators have already made the Golden Griffin a flagship truck of their fleets.
But when promoting an upmarket image is not of great importance and priority is given to maximal load capacity, one should find the balance between minimizing truck weight and ensuring enough power output to carry the load. This is the case for 6×2 tractor units with the smaller than standard mid-lifts, alloys all round and one sleeping bunk in the cab. A good example is DAF CF heavy truck, equipped with the 12.9-liter MX-13 engine, which produces 510 hp. Some shrewd operators recommend an automatic transmission over a manual one (in case of the mentioned DAF this is the ZF AS Tronic 12-speed), as present-day gearboxes succeed in selecting the right gear for best fuel economy. The next point that matters is the wheelbase. It’s acceptable to opt for 4.05 meters (instead of the standard 3.9) to minimize the tractor-trailer gap.
In case volume is valued above payload, a suitable truck range should include low-ride versions of 4×2 tractor units. The prominent representative here is the Mercedes Actros Giga Space LHD, powered by the 6-cylinder engine (480 hp) mated to the latest PowerShift3. Picking a 12-speed auto transmission and the Solo cab concept (with more locker space for the drivers, who are usually on the road for several weeks at a time) one receive a reliable workhorse to join the fleet. As bonuses, there are such advanced brand’s technologies as the Mercedes-Benz safety pack and the EcoRoll fuel-economy system.
As for the tractor units that have the space and flexibility to accommodate the necessary ancillary equipment to fit the business, the Renault T460 6×2 stands out of the crowd. First, many owners of these T-versions mention excellent combination of favorable customer service, fuel economy and driver comfort. Second, the T-series achieved ‘Truck of the Year 2015’ status, shortly after the first half-year of EuroVI reigning in long-haulage sector. Third, it features an on-line Optifleet telematics service to manage the main areas of expenditure in real-time mode.
Although meeting EuroVI requirements was tough for the truck industry, everybody understands that it’s not the last word in the emissions regulation concerning commercial vehicles. But so far, nobody knows any exact data about EuroVII. It means that EuroVI will definitely stick around longer that its predecessor EuroVI (October 2008 – December 2013).