Croner clocks in
The name Croner epitomises the concept of saving time (Chronos was the Greek god of time) and, therefore, saving money … that’s music to any operator’s ears,
writes GAVIN MYERS
UD Trucks Southern Africa has high hopes for its new Croner. Serving the heavy commercial vehicle (HCV) segment of the market across the gross vehicle mass (GVM) spectrum of 9,5 to 17 t, the Croner is set to follow in the footsteps of its big brother the Quester – which was the first UD truck specifically designed to be marketed outside Japan, and which has returned an impressive sales performance.
“We wanted to develop and deliver a smart and modern HCV truck with ultimate dependability that will help our customers optimise the use of time, to make every moment count,” says Toshi Odawara, vice president of product management at UD Trucks.
The Croner range currently consists of three 4×2 chassis-cab variants: the 9,5 to 11-t MKE, the 12 to 14-t LKE and the 15 to 17-t PKE. The range of wheelbase variants can be configured to suit an operator’s specific needs, with added flexibility in the choice of cab, driveline, axles and suspension. There are 21 configurations in all.
Each component has been designed for robustness and reliability – to keep the truck on the road. “Most operators and fleet owners are very practical people. What really matters the most is that their fleet spends more time on the road and less time in the workshop,” says Jacques Michel, president of Volvo Group Trucks Asia Sales.
So, what’s the recipe? New five and eight-litre engines (of four and six cylinders, respectively) power the Croner along with ratings of 136 to 206 kW power and 750 to 1 050 Nm torque.
“With maximum torque delivered from low revs and in the ‘green band’ – that is, a flat torque curve with a wider max-torque band – the engine operates efficiently and without excess revving. This means better pulling power while using less fuel, and less component wear. It is about improved fuel efficiency, extended maintenance intervals and a longer engine life,” explains Gert Swanepoel, MD of UD Trucks Southern Africa.
The engines can be paired with six- and nine-speed manual and automatic transmissions. The automatics feature a direct-coupling, “lock-up” function for enhanced fuel efficiency and performance. Power take offs are standard on the manual transmissions and optional on the automatics.
Fuel efficiency and performance are also enhanced by the new cab design, which raises aerodynamic efficiency by five percent. Inside, the driver also benefits from the standard in-built fuel coach, which gives instructions in real time to improve driving behaviour.
“As drivers spend a good amount of time on the road, we left nothing to chance, and that includes safety and drivability,” says Swanepoel. All variants feature a full-air anti-lock braking system with electronic brakeforce distribution and the Croner has among the highest axle capacity in its class – a multi-leaf spring rear axle is standard while air suspension is available on the 16-t variant.
Finally, the Croner benefits from UD Telematic Services, which helps operators manage their fleet and reduce operating costs. “UD Trucks believes that investing in the skills and knowledge of drivers is just as important as building a better truck,” says Swanepoel.
“As UD understands customers’ specific requirements and business needs, the Croner has been engineered to help fleet owners stay ahead of their competition,” he concludes.