The level of sophistication included in the new eight litre Quon package puts it ahead of the Japanese pack in this segment of the market. The new truck sees the Volvo Group, taking the elements from UD with have seen the brand sell well in the 6 x 2 rigid segment, at the lighter end of the heavy duty market. We have seen UD prime movers transformed, and now we are seeing the rigid heavy duty market similarly changed.
Diesel News took the new UD Quon eight litre CD 25 360 out for a test drive including a climb of the Toowoomba range and a trip around the twist and turns in a number of urban delivery locations in Brisbane. This is the kind of work this truck can expect to be involved with in its normal working life.
An innovation on this model, with proves to be very effective, is the introduction of a Volvo Group eight bag rear suspension. Not only does it calm the truck down altogether, but it also has better articulation, reducing the possibility from hangups from the lazy axle at the rear.
The combination of the calm cabin, quiet engine and improved suspension both for cabin and for truck, does mean this is a pretty relaxing truck to drive with little to disturb the driver and not much need to intervene most of the time. It is a million miles away from experience over 20 years ago in this truck’s predecessor.
Further relaxation is enabled when the driver engages the active cruise control, a real innovation in this sector of the market. Piggy-backing on the overall Volvo Group’s development of these kinds of systems means that it is possible to have the latest and greatest in electronic driver aids in a truck which is regarded as simply a basic workhorse in most fleets. It retains its UD identity by being named Traffic Eye Cruise.
There is a lot of suspicion about a lot of these automated systems within the truck driving community, but any time a new version comes out it’s a bit smarter, better able to deal with the nuances of traffic and driving a truck in a number of different conditions. The latest systems are able to deal with stop and go traffic on the highway and make life a little easier for the driver, who have to also be on the lookout for the car drivers all around them.
This system being used by UD in the new eight litre Quon package is one of the later iterations from the Volvo group and proves to be extremely effective. The more recent developments of systems like topographical mapping to inform the cruise control settings may not be quite as necessary on trucks like this one which is not spending all day at 100 km/h on the open highway.
This active cruise control systems can be annoying if they are not set up correctly. It is important for the driver to realise that to get the best out of this kind of system, they need to actually actively think about how to make it more effective.
It is a good idea, when out on the open highway to set time between the truck and the vehicle ahead as long as possible, there’s plenty of room and overtaking is not an issue. However, when there is more traffic about in urban situations it is better to use a shorter time between car and truck to enable the driver to retain some flexibility and avoid other road users coming in and filling the time gap themselves.
Driving the truck through a built-up area where the speed drops from 100km/h down 80 and then 60, before then going back up to 80 and then on to 100km/h again, it was simple enough just to let the Traffic Eye handle the job itself. The traffic around the truck slowed to the speed limit, so the system followed suit and then accelerated away back up to cruise speed, when the truck got back into the 100km/h zone.
The new electronics also include things like driver rating scores (NENPI Coach) with can be displayed directly in front of the driver on the dashboard. There are probably many drivers who would rather not know how badly or how well they are driving, but this is becoming a common option on many new trucks. This driver was happy to be told that the day’s drive was scored at four out of five.
There are also optional extras which come along with all of this electronics. This particular truck has one of them, a phone charging pocket, simply slip the phone into the pocket and an inductive charger does the rest.
The large capacitive eight inch touch screen information system on the central pinnacle can handle up to five cameras around the truck. There is also a tyre pressure monitoring app which can be loaded onto the system and we can expect more of these kinds of at functions to appear on systems like this from UD in the new eight litre Quon package. This system has all of the bells and whistles associated with the latest electronics
This new information system has a lot of potential to be used for many functions within the driver’s job and other business functions for the operator. This is not a UD version of Volvo’s Dynafleet, but is a standalone Australian fitment.
For the driver wishing to adjust the main mirrors from the driver’s seat, they need to remember that the control is not where it is often fitted by other top brands, on the door, but is instead a switch on the dashboard itself.