Les Shockley Jet Truck Dragster

Mercedes-Benz Actros to be produced also in Brazil from 2011

Mercedes-Benz Actros

Vehicle will be produced in the plants at Wörth in Germany and Aksaray in Turkey, as well as in Brazil. The move will enable Mercedes-Benz in Brasil to respond more quickly and flexibly to the growing demand for trucks in Latin America. Beginning in 2011, the plant in Juiz de Fora will also manufacture the Brazilian Mercedes-Benz Accelo light truck. “Due to the rapid growth of the Brazilian economy, we expect truck sales to increase further in the coming years,” explains Jürgen Ziegler, President of Mercedes-Benz do Brasil. Investments in construction, mining, agriculture and the oil industry caused demand for heavy-duty trucks in Brazil to increase by 95 percent in the first five months of 2010, compared to the same period last year. Stimulated in particular by an upswing in retail commerce, demand for light-duty trucks rose in the first five months of the year by around 45 percent compared to the same period in 2009.

Brazil is Mercedes-Benz’s largest truck market. In the first five months of the year, Mercedes-Benz Trucks sold a total of 45,174 units. Of these, 18,047 units were sold by Mercedes-Benz Trucks in Brazil, putting the country ahead of Germany, Turkey, and France.

The decision to produce the Mercedes-Benz Actros in Juiz de Fora is part of the concept calling for an expansion of Mercedes-Benz do Brasil’s production capacity. In view of the rapidly growing demand for trucks and buses in Brazil, Mercedes-Benz Trucks announced back in March that it would expand commercial vehicle production in the country to include the facility in Juiz de Fora.

“The high qualification of the employees and the modern installations of the Juiz de Fora plant encouraged us to expand the production of our Mercedes-Benz trucks to also include this location,” says Ziegler. “This step is particularly necessary because our main facility in São Bernardo do Campo will reach its production capacity limit in 2012.”

The demand for heavy-duty long-haul trucks in the premium segment is currently developing as favorably in Turkey as in Brazil.

Mercedes-Benz Trucks therefore announced in April that it would also begin manufacturing the Mercedes-Benz Actros at the Aksaray plant at the end of the year so that it would be able to respond quickly and flexibly to the increasing demand in Turkey.

Mercedes-Benz in Brazil is the largest manufacturer of Mercedes-Benz trucks over six tons GVW outside of Germany. Since 1956, when the plant in São Bernardo do Campo was founded, the company has produced more than 1.2 million trucks and around 540,000 buses

Are Micro-Pickups the Next Big Thing?

MUTThe auto industry isn’t the only thing that’s shrinking lately. By most expert accounts, most new vehicle equipment brought to market in the next three to five years will be smaller and more fuel efficient. Those same prognosticators say sales of full-size pickup trucks will continue to shrink, then level off, restabilizing at half the volumes we saw just a few years ago.

Where does that leave those of us who like the flexibility of a pickup, yet are also worried about fluxuating fuel prices and problematic big V-8 fuel economy? One alternative may be in the form of mini-pickup trucks from Asia running two- and three-cylinder engines on mini-pickup and work van platforms.

As recently as last year, some companies imported a few of these models into the U.S. with mixed sales results. Although they can run comfortably at speeds at or near 50 and 60 mph, most are limited to off-highway use.

But that could be changing. We recently had the chance to drive one of these “little trucks” at a local Ford Fleet and Commercial dealership in Fontana, Calif., and found it to be an interesting surprise.

From the moment we opened and slammed the door of our 2008 test unit, we knew this was a different type of vehicle. This particular model was an MUT brand or K-Class minitruck from the Japanese market. We liked the buslike seating position and the tremendous amount of visibility, mainly because of the short hood. In fact, the engine — a 59-cubic-inch four-cylinder — sits underneath the front seats, giving the driver and passenger an unobstructed front view just past the front bumpers.

MUT Under HoodBecause of the engine location, we felt a good amount of vibration and eventually a good amount of heat coming up through the floor. The 0.97-liter I-4 produces about 50 horsepower and 55 pounds-feet of torque, which may sound quite small, but as we zigzagged through the parking lot and industrial neighborhood, it was plenty of power to move the 2,000-pound vehicle. (Two-door models are about 300 pounds lighter.)

MUT EngineThe MUT’s engine is mated to a standard synchromesh five-speed manual that will take you back several years, when searching and grinding a few gears was the norm, but the gear slots and shift lever felt solid. As you might imagine with a small two-wheel-drive vehicle and rack-and-pinion steering, the feel of the vehicle was quick and sharp. It will turn on a dime and cut a tight 16.5-foot turning circle. The front suspension is a simple double A-arm setup with coil springs, and the rear is even simpler with a stout live axle and leaf springs. And because these vehicles are designed to work hard in tight spaces, payload numbers are typically right around the vehicles’ weight. So our quad-cab model is rated to carry just under 2,000 pounds, but we’re guessing that’s a conservative number.

MUT Rear AxleWhat’s not so impressive is the ride quality when you reach higher speeds, around 45 to 50 mph. We found plenty of noise and rattling, and when we jumped on the brakes, braking was unnerving. Although we didn’t do any quantifiable track testing, the brakes felt soft and mushy, and stopping distance seemed considerably longer than we expected. Maybe this isn’t too surprising, given the small drum brake sizes and puny 165/70R13 tires.

Also, we found the engines must be tuned and biased for stop-and-start cycles because in the 30 miles we clocked on our short-course test drive, we calculated that we used about two gallons of fuel, giving us an unscientific 15 mpg. Not great, but maybe 150 miles per tank isn’t so bad for a small-mile work truck that will never be used for cross-country motoring.

MUT SeatsOverall, the vehicle doesn’t look like it will fill the niche below midsize or compact pickup trucks anytime soon, but there seems to be some value and fun factor here. Since this quad-cab model might just fit in the bed of a full-size heavy-duty pickup truck — granted, with a few modifications — we can imagine the ATV and side-by-side bed-toy crowd getting very clever with a vehicle like this. And the fact that it’s strong enough to practically carry itself when called for payload duty is an impressive achievement.

These MUTs could become popular on ranches or with the 4×4 trail crowd as well, and if fuel prices shoot up again and prices for electric vehicles stay high, there may be a place for more of these mini work trucks on the job site.

Our test unit was being sold by the Ford dealership right around $7,500, but not any of the major players in this segment in Japan (such as Suzuki, Daihatsu, Honda, Subaru, Mazda, and Mitsubishi) plan to bring these trucks to the U.S. For now, the internet is probably the best way to find the best deals. We also recommend contacting your local department of motor vehicles to find out your state’s exact restrictions and licensing terms.

MUT BedSpecifications
Model: MUT two-wheel-drive minitruck
Price: $7,500 (estimated)
Engine: I-4, single overhead camshaft, electronic fuel injection
Displacement: 970cc / 59 cid
Bore x stroke: 2.62 by 2.83 inches
Power: 48 horsepower
Torque: 55 pounds-feet
Transmission: five-speed manual
Top speed: 60 mph
Suspension: Independent front suspension, coil springs; live axle, leaf springs
Steering: rack and pinion
Turning circle: 16.4 feet
Wheelbase: 100 inches
Dimensions (inches): 157 by 58 by 74
Track width, front/rear (inches): 50.4/50.8
Curb weight: 2,038 pounds
Gross vehicle weight rating: 3,997 pounds
Payload: 1,950 pounds
Weight distribution, empty: 51/49
Weight distribution, loaded: 37/63

Adding A Train Horn To Your Rig

Adding a train horn kit to your rig is an awesome way to customize it a little more and not to mention make you a little safer on the road.  The drivers out there are not getting better and with added distractions like cell phones and dvd players in cars it’s nice to have something that can give the lady texting in her car next to you a wakeup call!

More and more states in the US are starting to pass laws that ban texting while driving because it has been shown in study after study that the likelihood of an accident while texting goes up dramatically.

So consider picking up a train horn kit for your truck like the one in the video above so you can help others pay attention when they forget that they’re suppose to be driving ;-) .

Large collection of trucks, long the real Optimus Prime

real Optimus Prime

real Optimus Prime 4real Optimus Prime 3real Optimus Prime 2

Large collection of trucks, long the real Optimus Prime

China’s import and export value up 45.2% in Feb, including truck

Mar. 11, 2010 (China Knowledge) – China’s import and export value rose 45.2% year on year to US$181.43 billion in February, according to statistics released by the General Administration of Customs. The Truck’s import and export has also increased.

Last month, China exported US$94.52 billion worth of goods, up 45.7% year on year, while the import value increased 44.7% from a year ago to US$86.91 billion.

In the first two months of 2010, China’s foreign trade value amounted to US$386.4 billion, up 44.8% year on year. The value of exports and imports reached US$204.08 billion and US$182.32 billion, up 31.4% and 63.6% year on year, respectively.

The country recorded trade surplus of US$21.76 billion in the first two months, down 50.4% year on year.

Total bilateral trade value between the EU and China was US$66.53 billion during the period, up 34.5% from the same period of last year. The trade value between the U.S. and China was US$43.92 billion, up 25.1% year on year.

Giant truck!

Giant truckThe world’s biggest trucks – Caterpillar 797,797 B
Caterpillar 797 trucks, the first awarded in 2000-2001 the largest string.  V24-cylinder engine to its staggering 3400 horsepower. 797, 23 feet high, 47.5 feet long, 30 feet wide, when the dump were hoisted up 50 feet in height.  There are eight computers to monitor the oil pressure, torque, machine performance and tire temperature.  797 on the Michelin tires are designed for customization. Each tire has a 13 feet high, cost 30,000 U.S. dollars. 797 equipped with 850 gallons of the fuel tank, 1800 gallons of the fuel tank is also optional.  The vehicle itself was sold three hundred four hundred thousand dollars.
In the back of each wheel has a group of 42-inch brake discs, front 10, rear wheel 15. A computer controls the brake cooling system, pump 1160 gallons per minute the speed of the oil through the radiator on the disc, so that the brakes take away the enormous heat generated.  797 of the dump to accommodate 360 tons, but the loading of ore can easily reach 400 tons of time, coupled with weight of 288 tons, so the total mass has reached 648 tons.  Surprising is that its maximum speed is 40 mph. 
It’s almost crazy fuel consumption, with an average 65 gallons per hour, meaning that only run 0.3 miles per gallon.  Can be is such a car, around the clock at work, only regular maintenance in order to rest. 
Giant truck 2

Giant truck 3
Main parameters Model: CATERPILLAR 797
Type: mid-engined rear-wheel drive, 2 2 dump truck
Price: 3.43 million U.S. dollars
Engine Model: Cat 3524B HD TA
Displacement: 117.122 liters
Compression ratio: 15.5:1
Transmission: 7-speed automatic
Max power: 3400 hp / 1,750 rpm Maximum torque: 1677 NIU * m / 1300
Maximum speed: 1950
Average fuel consumptiontransfer: 788 L / 100 kilometers

Chrysler Recalls 24,000 Vehicles

Chrysler Corporation and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration announced today the recall of almost 24,000 vehicles due to a defective part that causes the brakes to fail. The recall includes some 2010 model Chrysler Sebrings and Dodge Avenger sedans, Dodge Nitro and Jeep Liberty SUV’s, Jeep Commander and Grand Cherokee SUV’s, and some 2009 and 2010 Ram trucks. A defective brake clip is the cause of the problem. No accidents have been reported yet. The repair will fixed free of charge.

There is just something about going to a car dealership that people don’t like. It could be the salesmen standing in the window waiting to pounce on anyone who steps foot on the property. I heard on the news that the Chrysler Corporation said they were issuing a recall on my new car for defective brakes. I immediately shuttered because it wasn’t my car, it was my wife’s car. I immediately imagined what would happen if she had brake problems. Chryslers were safe cars but this was a brake problem and I needed to get it fixed quickly. We had just bought a 2010 Chrysler Sebring, a nice mid-range car that we got a great deal on because of Chryslers financial problems.

I knew I would have to take the car in for the recall work and called for an appointment. To my surprise, the service manager said he would get me right in and the repair would only take about an hour. Sure, I thought, I’ll probably be there all day. My wife took my truck to get to work and I headed for the dealership. I called my boss and told him I would be to work a little late, I hoped. I figured they would use this opportunity to sell me something I didn’t need. I was suspicious.

Daimler Trucks North America gets $40M grant to develop cleaner trucks

Daimler Trucks North America gets $40M grant to develop cleaner trucksThis week, the U.S. Department of Energy awarded $115 million in grants to truck and engine makers for projects to develop cleaner, more efficient products. Daimler Trucks North America got the largest single chunk – $40 million – through the 21st Century Truck Technology Partnership. The goal of the program is to improve vehicle freight efficiency by 50 percent over the next five years.

Daimler has already been working with companies like Eaton on the development of hybrid trucks and buses for several years. Daimler’s Detroit Diesel unit has also incorporated Bluetec technology like common rail injection, particulate filters and urea injection SCR systems into its truck engines. Detroit Diesel has cut its NOx emissions by over 80 percent while improving fuel efficiency by five percent. The press release is after the jump.

Hunger Forces Haitians To Stop Truck Carrying Food

haiti-earthquake-campsAfter more than four days since a 7.0 magnitude quake devastated Haiti, the levels of desperation in the country have began to turn aggressive.

According to Dominican Republic news reports from Listin Diario, a truck carrying food aid in the capital of Port-au-Prince on Friday afternoon made a wrong stop and parked on the street. The truck was one of a dozen that was en route to assigned food distribution centers. But a mob of Haitians who had made camp in the area and who were practically starving gathered around the truck.

The aggressive crowd forced the driver to flee and the volunteers on board gave up their load. Either an aid worker or a Haitian citizen was allegedly hurt during the assault.

The incident is said to be the first and that it shows just how desperate the situation has become and the urgent need to distribute the aid as quickly as possible.

Analysts have warned that if aid doesn’t reach those affected in a timely manner, the situation in Haiti would turn from a natural disaster response, to a humanitarian crisis disaster.

Most aid convoys require armed personnel to protect volunteers on board as well as the loads. It’s unclear if security was not available for this convoy or if aid agencies are willing taking bigger risks to transport aid in order to speed up the help to those in need.

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