Top Trucks: India's 5-popular 12-wheel rigid trucks explained
Published On Jul 17, 2020
We put together the top contenders in the long-haul 12-wheel, 4-axle rigid trucks in India. Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland are the key players in the segment, yet, competition is catching-up fast. Read the details to know the top trucks in this vital and fast growing category.
A large and growing economy like India with the rapid expansion of industries- the transportation and logistics industry- is vital for moving larger goods across the country's length and breadth. Surface transportation with over 60% share in the total cargo movement dominates for decades in India. The multi-axle trucks are the primary mode of shipping raw goods for industries and finished products to the end-consumers. Thus, these trucks are a vital link in economic growth; the government recognizes this fact by constantly investing massively in building roads, highways, and bridges to speed-up road transportation.
Among the various trucks that are used for heavy transportation, the 12-wheel, 4-axles rigid are prominent category and growing considerably in the last few years. The 35,000 gross vehicle trucks are yet another vital category of trucks used by larger fleet-operators and individual truck owners for carrying bulk cargo across India's states on highways. The trucks are suitable for several critical applications such as market loads, courier & logistics, cement, tanker, container, open body cargo, and reefer.
Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland- the most recognizable brands in the heavy-trucks continue to be dominated in this category. Both the brands have well-established, proven, and trusted trucks running on the roads for decades, besides a strong brand, a extensive network of service points across India. Apart from the acquisition and running cost, after-sales service and supports are equally critical for the long-haul truck customers. However, the growing market size, the potential of growth in decades to come- both the brands are increasingly facing intense competition from ambitious brands such as- Eicher, Mahindra, and BharatBenz. We take a look at top brands in the segment to help you choose the right trucks.
Tata LPT 3518 Cowl
Over the years, Tata Motors has been the undisputed leader in the HCV truck range, and the firm continues to sway the customers with its most suitable trucks. In the 12-wheel category, the company has multiple product offerings with mainly two engine options. However, the LPT 3518 cowl is the most preferred trucks by the customers. This 35T truck's powertrain includes 180HP Cummins ISBe 5.6 CRDI TCIC engine that produces massive 850 Nm of Torque. The standard 6-speed in-house manual gearbox from the company and 365-liter fuel tank help the truck run on longer trips without frequent breaks.
Tata Motors offers customized bodies for this truck along with the cowl options; the customer can take a fully-built truck or build the body privately. Apart from this variant, there is Signa 3521 model available with a factory-fitted cabin and slightly higher power engine.
Ashok Leyland 3520
Ashok Leyland now has equally promising truck the- 3520- based on the AVTR platform with a new powerful engine, superior aggregates, and focus on driver comfort with durability. 3520 comes with the company's in-house H series 6-cylinder, CRS with iGen-6 technology BS6 engine. It produces the mighty 200HP of power and 700 Nm of torque adequate to taking on heavy goods on any challenging terrain.
Like the rest of the rigid range of Ashok Leyland, this truck is available in cowl & chassis, cabin & chassis, full side deck, and high side deck options along with cargo body options in different body lengths for various cargo-carrying needs. For the long interstate trips, it gets day and sleeper cabin options, driver adjustment seats, standard power steering, and the AC is options. All the tyres are 295/90R20 - 16 PR size.
Eicher Pro 6035
After established well in the medium-duty segment, Eicher has been gradually expanding its trucks into the medium and heavy-duty segment taking over the established competition. With a measured and consistent approach, the company is successful in attracting a loyal set of customers to its promising new Pro Series trucks. The Pro 6035 comes with an all-new BS6 powertrain with EUTECH. It gets the VEDX5, 4-cylinder BS6 engine with 240hp of power, and a massive 900 Nm of torque at 1200-1600 rpm.
Eicher is offering this truck in two wheelbases: 5800 mm variant gets Cabin With Chassis (CBC) 7,917 mm of load body span, High Side Deck (HSD), and Fix Side Deck (FSD) with 7,946 mm and 7,851 mm. The 6800 mm wheelbase variants get CBC with load body options of 8,822 mm and 9,422 mm and HSD options of 8,866 mm.
To higher productivity and driver comfort, there is standard power steering, tiltable steering, and driver information display at the dashboard for better control of the truck and adjustable driver seat for fatigue-free driving. The fuel tank comes in 350 ltr size, and the gradeability is 18 % and ground clearance of 235 mm.
BharatBenz 3523R, another truck in the category which as seen customers acceptance too. This 8x4 truck shares the powertrain with its sibling with an OM 926 BS6 engine that comes with a maximum power of 241hp and produces 850 Nm of torque tuned to the 6-speed gearbox for superior mileage with easy driving of this massive truck. It is available in three wheelbases of 5775 mm and 6375 mm in the sleeper and compact sleeper cabin options in loading body spans of 26 ft, 28 ft, and 32 ft. This cargo truck is available in two cabins: the standard sleeper cabin and the compact sleeper option.
The fuel tank sizes are 380, 200 liters, an additional Adblue tank of 60 liters, the maximum gradeability of 18.5%, and the turning circle radius is 21.6m, 23.7m for respective wheelbases. All the key aggregates of 3523R are durable and optimized aggregates such as suspension, axles, clutch, brakes, and durable chassis frame.
Blazo X 35
Mahindra Trucks and Buses is a challenger brand in India's medium and heavy commercial vehicle segment. The company is coming with strong sales and after-sales network, and most importantly, promising guaranteed higher fuel-mileage across its range or taking its truck back.
Blazo X 35 part of the HCV rigid range promising higher mileage, superior aggregates, and full support across all key long-haul routes in India. Blazo X 35 offers key characteristics of the company's HCV range of extra mileage, power, and higher profit to help the owner earn more and run a successful transport business with guaranteed mileage promise.
The powertrain of X35 comprises the proven mPOWER 7.2-liter FuelSmart BS6 engine producing 276hp of power at massive 1050 Nm of torque tuned to a6-speed Eaton gearbox. The steering is hydraulic power assist tilt & telescopic type for the smoother driving experience, and Mahindra's factory-fitted signature single sleeper cabin with AC as in option. The Blazo X 35 is available in lift axle configurations for higher fuel efficiency and tyre mileage.
While it is tough to unseat Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland from their respective top-position, yet, all the trucks in this category are certainly quite promising with an almost similar specification. All the trucks appear compelling, with a lot on offer and wide choices to the customers. After the BS6 emission introduction, trucks have gotten green, more powerful, and packed with modern features. Indeed, indicating the evolving power of the Indian trucking industry!
Also Read: India's top 10-wheel rigid trucks explored!