Shorter snout delivers more clout for B-doubles

After a two-year development program combining the vast technical and engineering resources of leading US truck manufacturer Navistar with the unmatched durability demands of Australian linehaul fleet operators, Cat® Trucks is now poised to bring its much anticipated CT630S B-double specialist to the Australian and New Zealand markets.

Australian truck operators had their first introduction to the CT630S with the preview of a pre-production unit at the 2012 ITTES Truck Show in Melbourne. Swamped by interest in its newest contender, Cat Truck engineers and product planners in Australia have been since working tirelessly with their Navistar counterparts to produce a conventional truck entirely suited to the unique requirements of B-double applications for Australian conditions.

Critically, tests with prominent Australian fleets throughout the engineering process have not only had a major influence on all aspects of the new model’s final design criteria, but also provided further confirmation of leading standards of fuel efficiency and performance.

“This has been an exceptional project to be involved in,” commented chief engineer at Cat Trucks Australia and New Zealand, Adrian Wright. “Here and in the US we have been absolutely dedicated to developing a model that not only meets the physical length and weight requirements of a conventional truck aimed squarely at modern-day B-double work, but a model which also produces performance and fuel efficiency standards which we believe are at the forefront of the B-double business when compared on equal terms with any other brand of truck.”

“It’s our opinion the Australian market has been waiting for a conventional truck like the CT630S for some time,” Adrian continued.

“Certainly, there have been delays in the development process, largely driven by demands on resources in the US but at no time did we ever consider rushing the project. This is an important model and we weren’t about to cut corners just to get the CT630S here a little sooner.

“In the long run, the extra time taken to make sure we get the truck right will be miniscule and judged by our customers to be time well spent.”

The CT630S will be offered alongside Cat’s existing CT610 and CT630 range, headed by the flagship CT630LS model.

Like all CT630 derivatives, the ‘S’ is powered by the formidable strength of a Cat C15 engine delivering up to 550 hp (410 kW) and 1850 lb ft (2508 Nm) of torque, feeding into the proven driveline combination of an Eaton 18-speed overdrive transmission – available in manual or Ultrashift-Plus automated form – and Meritor rear axles riding on Hendrickson Primaax air suspension.

However, there’s even more to the C15 than potent performance and frugal fuel efficiency. The 15 litre Cat is, in fact, the only engine in the Australian heavy-duty sector to comply with the current ADR 80-03 emissions standard without the added complexity and cost of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) or selective catalytic reduction (SCR) emissions systems. Instead, the C15 uses dual diesel particulate filters (DPF) mounted horizontally under the chassis to satisfy the requirements of ADR 80-03.

But the feature that makes the Cat CT630S such a valuable addition to the Cat Trucks range is, of course, the shortened hood which allows the model to slip comfortably into 34 pallet B-double roles. The cab has been raised around 50 mm and moved approximately 250 mm forward to create a bumper to back-of-cab (BBC) dimension of just 2845 mm (112 inches) in non-sleeper form. Yet even with the functional integral sleeper option, BBC of the CT630S stretches to just 3505 mm (138 inches).

However, recognising the need for a spacious, well-appointed sleeper in linehaul operations, a premium stand-up sleeper has been developed to provide the CT630S with even more appeal. Critically, and despite a BBC length pushed out to 3590 mm (141 inch), the bigger sleeper still allows the CT630S to comfortably fit 34 pallets within 26 metres.

Designed and built in Australia, the 1016 mm (40 inch) mid-rise sleeper provides a generous 2250 mm of internal width and a full 1985 mm of standing room, meaning that even those drivers stretching well over six feet tall can comfortably stand or lay in the latest Cat.

In standard form the sleeper comes with a 711 mm (28 inch) wide fully-sprung mattress while other important inclusions are toolbox lockers on both sides with internal access, a lift-up under-bunk storage compartment, and a scalloped rear wall to optimise clearances between the rear of the cab and the trailer.

On the options list is a fully engineered aero roof kit while internal accessories include a refrigerator, woodgrain trim and a TV mounting kit with aerial.

Yet the attributes of the CT630S certainly don’t end there. For instance, the raised cab which provides the foundations of the new model’s attributes for B-double roles also delivers a considerably greater flow of air under the cab to further enhance cooling efficiency. Additionally, the shorter BBC improves wall-to-wall manoeuvrability while the driver’s view of the road over a slanting snout from a marginally higher seating position is a significant asset. Similarly, fuel-saving aerodynamics and forward vision are further streamlined by the more conical influence of a sloping hood which has a rake angle of 18 degrees.

Continuing the evolution of Cat Trucks, the CT630S is from any perspective a welcome addition to the Australian market, purposely designed and built to satisfy the regulatory and operational demands of B-double work in local, regional or linehaul applications.

And like all models in the Cat Trucks range, the CT630S comes with a standard four-year, 800,000 km driveline coverage.

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