The truck on test this time around is the new UD 4×2, Diesel sees how it feels from the driver’s seat of the Croner. It come with a driveline which is the same throughout the new model line-up, UD’s 280hp (206kW) at 2200rm 7.7-litre GH8E, which puts out 1,050Nm (774 ft lb) of torque, an engine based on the Volvo engine.
This new model sees the UD brand move away from the lower end of the medium duty sector and push a little further into the lighter end of the heavy duty market. Where the Condor came in with an MK, PK and PD configuration, Croner is simply PK and PD.
The basic controls for the driver seem well laid out and pretty simple. There is little clutter of unnecessary switches around the driver. The information available on the information screen is relatively rudimentary, but this is the smallest and most basic truck sold as part of the Volvo Group.
It does come with cruise control, however, this is controlled on the left hand steering wheel stalk, along with the indicators and lights. On the right, the driver has the exhaust brake stalk along with wiper control.
The control for the Allison is simply a button pad mounted on the engine cover. This is a much better arrangement than that used by some other truck makers with a large stick control where the gear stick used to be – which unnecessarily impedes cross cab access. That said, the number of times the driver needs to access the controls are minimal, only stopping and starting and then when reversing the truck.
As a basic model, this truck has multiplex electrical system with a CANbus, but it is not the latest generation like that available in the heavier UD and Volvo models. It has a body builder connection module and other items which this kind of truck needs, but not nothing like the advanced electronics available elsewhere.
The truck can be connected to the Volvo Dynafleet telematics system and this test truck has a USB socket to the driver’s right into which the driver can plug their identification toggle to enable the system to record their activity. The same toggle can be used to record across all of the brands in the Volvo Group which use the Dynafleet system.
The entertainment system has the ability to fit four cameras and is built on the Android platform, enabling it to run apps developed for use on the system. The storage provisions in the cabin are regulation, but usually well positioned.
For some reason the Croner does not always come with an integrated seat belt in the driver’s seat. There is also a B pillar fixture available with an adjustable fixture on the pillar. This doesn’t seem to quite fit with the usual Volvo Group safety philosophy elsewhere.
Overall, this truck looks like it can do the job for which it was designed with no problems and give the driver a decent experience while doing so. This part of the market does prefer the more basic truck, probably because the price point is a vital part of the sales strategy in this particularly competitive market sector.
The Croner remains as an outlier in the world of Volvo Group trucks, but still holds onto the kind of basic integrity which has been associated with the UD brand for quite some time. The designers have resisted the temptation to create something with too much sophistication, but also come up with a specification which can do the job, and still have plenty of capacity left in its back pocket.