Ashok Leyland has recently showcased the 41T rigid truck in the recently concluded Global Conference, in Chennai couple of weeks back and is in the verge of launching the truck. Other manufacturers like Tata Motors and Eicher have also developed products with similar load rating and are planning to launch products in a couple of weeks. We were there at the show to witness the product and to understand the developments. With so much excitement in the market, about the segment, lets take a closer look on the Ashok Leyland 4123.
Why a 41T rigid truck instead of tractor :
The immediate predecessor for the 41T is 37T in 10×2/10×4. The segment has seen great demand and the products have received a great reception catering to most of the mainstream applications like Market load, bulker, tankers, steel, cement and even coal tippers, which has larger volumes. The product and market acceptance has lead the segment to touch an annual volume of close to 50,000 units in the last couple of years. With so much confidence and market remaining stagnant in the past couple of years, without any new major launches excepting for the BS IV trucks, the up next is 41T. Manufacturers are also upbeat on the segment and product, and wanted to really cash in the early demand like what Ashok Leyland has done with 3718.
While there is no question on success of 37T, why not develop a 43T with a 12×2/12×4 platform like what Tata has showcased in Signa 4323 in the Auto Expo 2018? There are reasons for this. Moving directly to a 43T, is a kind of segment skip and its wise to go step by step from 37T to 41T and then to 43T, if market demands. The addition of an single tyre lift axle and a contribution of mere 2T over the current 10×2/10×4 platform, may have tough time to convince Customers. Also the road traction with a 12X2 platform is still a question and may have limitations in the operating terrain. Considering various aspects and operating economics, Ashok Leyland has first worked on 41T in the same 10×2 platform and may look higher tonnage rigid trucks only after the this segment is stabilized.
But is it right to invest in a rigid truck instead of a tractor for 40T and beyond? The answer lies in the kind of application and load you are working on. In case of Europe, the rigid trucks are limited to only short Intercity routes and they only work on Hub and Spoke model, with Tractors doing long haul and rigid trucks deployed mostly in short haul. But in India considering the acute shortage of skilled drivers and road infrastructure within cities, rigid trucks are having a better reception, and the segment may continue to grow. But will there be a complete switch to rigid trucks is something never going to happen and the switch may only cannibalize the preceding segments like 31T and 25T.
What is new in 4123?
So is 4123 is just addition of twin tyre in the current 37T truck? Definitely no. Ashok Leyland though a leader in the current 37T truck segment, have been continuously upgrading the product with new features like sealed wheel bearings, better profile tyres, Captain and U cabins etc. Same way in case of 4123, Ashok Leyland has done some serious work in the chassis. Many featurs what we see in the current model may get deployed in the other products subsequently.
The 10×2 truck is powered by ‘H’ series, 6 Cylinder, BS IV iEGR, Diesel engine developing a power of 225hp@ 2400rpm and a torque of 800 Nm between 1300 and 1900 rpm. The drive line consists of a single plate, 380mm dia clutch operated with Clutch booster and ZF 8 Speed 8S1110 gearbox. Rear axle is a single speed hypoid type with an axle ratio of 5.83.
Ashok Leyland has largely worked on reducing the number of greasing points and is currently less than 10 points for this truck. The truck features first in class features like sealed bearing at all 10 hubs. The sealed bearing life is estimated at around, nothing short of 5 lks Kms and will definitely improve the Up time of the truck largely.
Similarly, Ashok Leyland has also provided the slipper ended suspension in the rear axle as against the regular Non reactive Bell crank lever type suspension. The claim is not just on better traction but also has considerably reduced the greasing points. Infact the greasing point itself is provided only at one point for the suspension on each side.
Additionally the all the ball joints are all now sealed and are maintenance free, thus ensuring higher uptime, reduced failures.
Chassis and Cabin:
Constant width is maintained over the span of this 11″thick chassis and is made of HSFQ – High Strength Formable Quality, steel. There are three loading span options offered with a same wheel base at 28′,29.5’and 32′ and can be chosen depending on the application. Michelin ‘X’guard 10×20 tyres are offered as standard though higher rated tubeless tyres can also be offered. We understand there are still many Customers are not preferring tubeless radials in trucks, unlike buses, and hence the choice of 10×20 tyres.
Front suspension is a conventional semi-elliptical multi leaf and Ashok Leyland is not offering parabolic suspension in front like Signa 4123 (from test mules). Post the Air condition/ blowers are made mandatory, now trucks are offered with them, and 4123 is offered with blower option. The truck is currently available with both Cowl and G45 tooled up cabin.
10T twin tyre pusher lift axle:
While there were debates during the 37T on whether Tag or Pusher lift axle is right for this axle rating, now due to various reasons all manufactures are offering pusher lift axle and Ashok Leyland continues the same from its 37T. One of the major reason for huge success of 3718 was the pusher lift axle and Ashok Leyland haven’t altered the product in a larger manner since it was launched till now.
This truck features a 10T twin tyre pusher lift axle. Ashok Leyland has designed the axle, the axle beam is round, fabricated type with twin bellows for lifting.
As expected this segment will get heater in coming days with the launch from Tata and Eicher. While the later is expected to launch the truck in coming days the former is also planning shortly. Anyways we will follow the developments closely and share the updates our readers quickly as always.