UD Trucks’ Smooth Operator

UD Trucks’ smooth operator

By combining the Quon cab and an 8 litre engine, we now have UD Trucks’ smooth operator at the lighter and of heavy duty truck market, Diesel News tests one of the new trucks in and around Brisbane.

The last year or so has seen a number of new trucks on test in these pages, new Japanese truck models which are designed with the traditional Japanese sensibility but fully utilising componentry sourced from elsewhere in the world and organisations, and integrated into the truck.

The new eight litre Quon is one such truck, 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 Japanese prime movers transformed, and now we are seeing the rigid heavy duty market similarly changed. The level of sophistication included in the package puts it ahead of the Japanese pack in this segment of the market.

Diesel 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.


UD Trucks’ smooth operator

This kind of truck is the workhorse of the trucking industry. 20 years ago, this driver was driving one of this new trucks’ predecessors, delivering bread at night around various depots in South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales. This new model would’ve been an unthinkable drive in those days.

The specifications of this truck would blow away any of those trucks being used over two decades ago. This is a 6 x 2 rigid truck with 357hp (263 kW) available under the right foot. The torque is also quite impressive at 1428Nm(1055 ft lb). The engine is a UD GH8, with the basic engine block being a development from the GH7 used in UDs of the past. The stroke has been lengthened to increase cubic capacity to 7.6 litres. 

This engine drives through what UD call the Escot VI automated manual transmission. This is the UD branded version of the Volvo I-shift. The coupling of this slick and easy 12 speed AMT with a quiet and smooth eight litre engine works well. In fact, this engine is a development from an original UD engine which came into existence around the time that Volvo group took over UD.

This is a modern truck, it has electronic braking system (EBS), and it is fitted with disc brakes all round. The engine brake is quiet and effective, the suspension, parabolic at the front and eight bag air suspension at the rear, gives an exceptionally smooth ride.


UD Trucks’ smooth operator

It has taken some time but it would seem that the Volvo organisation have found a way to meld the truck traditions from all over the group. Those old UDs, built 20 years ago or more, were made to last and engineered to survive the kind of rough treatment this kind of distribution truck can expect to receive. 

The difference here is that a certain amount of sophistication has been introduced into the design due to the European influence. This introduction of European and American sensibility has also made things like fuel consumption more important when putting together a vehicle like this.

We have already seen the Quon transformed at the heavier end of the market, but now that same level of sophistication and durability is available in an area where UD have always excelled. The introduction of this new eight litre engine will also have the effect of improving power and torque, as well as reducing overall tare weight in this class of truck.

UD Trucks’ smooth operator could be said to have included just about everything a modern truck should have this means the new Quon is fitted with: Disc brakes,Traffic Eye Brake (Active Emergency Braking), Stability Control, Lane Departure Warning System, Traffic Eye Cruise (adaptive cruise control), Automatic Brake Blending, Easy Hill Start, ABS,EBS, a diff lock (standard on CD or 6×2 models) and a digital reverse camera.


UD Trucks’ smooth operator