Manufacturers & Procurement

The all-new Croner ... all purpose.

The all-new Croner ... all purpose.

A truck for all occasions

June 2017

The all-new medium-duty Croner from Japanese manufacturer UD Trucks comes in so many configurations, it’s hard to think of any market segment it can’t fit into.

The company boasts of having taken into great consideration customer feedback when designing the truck that is aimed at fully meeting the needs of the market. And so before it was launched, Croner went through a million km of test runs around the world – traversing high altitudes, bumpy roads and harsh climates – including the Middle East, with 60,000 km done in the UAE alone. These tests will continue till the year-end.

The truck has undergone three years of engineering development, 30,000 hours of engineering test and a total of 1.7 million engineering hours. 

Following its global launch in Thailand in March this year, Croner was revealed to an audience of more than 600 customers and media personnel at a gala ceremony in Dubai, UAE, last month (May). 

Keys were handed over to the first customers, which included three from Dubai, and one each from Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. More deals were being negotiated. 

Also present were Jacque Michel, president of Volvo Group Trucks Asia & JVs Sales, and Nobuhiko Kishi, senior vice-president, UD Brand and Product,
UD Trucks.

There will be more reveals for the Croner in South Africa for the African market later this year and another for the Latin American markets.  

Speaking to Abdulaziz Khattak of Gulf Construction, Mourad Hedna, president of UD Trucks Middle East, East and North, said UD saw a fantastic future for Croner. “UD medium-duty trucks are highly appreciated in the region and we are certain Croner will set a new benchmark for trucks in this range in this region.”

He said UD understood that more time spent on the road and less time in the workshop drove success for customers’ businesses.

“It is our aim for Croner to make every moment count, through maximising productivity and minimising downtime on every run our customers make,” he added.

The automatic gearbox for the eight-litre engine.

Croner offers three gross vehicle weight (GVW) models from 10.4 to 18 tonnes: the MKE, LKE and PKE; and up to 21 different configurations based on wheelbase option to suit specific demands of various industries. The trucks range from 180 to a maximum of 280 hp.

The new 5- and 8-litre engines deliver high torque of up to 1,050 Nm from low revs with flat torque curves, providing better pulling power and easier driving, improved fuel efficiency, extended maintenance intervals, and longer engine life.

All models have both manual and automatic six-gear transmissions except for the PKE, which has a nine-speed variant as well.

In fact, it’s the first time a medium-duty truck has been factory fitted as standard with automatic transmission from globally renowned Allison Automatics, said Hedna. This is boosted by FuelSense, the next generation in fuel saving technology that could save up to 20 per cent in consumption, he added.

Croner’s automatic transmission option will be crucial for Middle Eastern markets facing serious driver shortage due to the strenuous demands of the job. This will help customers attract drivers, as the automatic transmission facilitates driving and reduces fatigue. Similarly, it can help lower cost and downtime, as manual transmission is more susceptible to wear-and-tear particularly in long-haul driving.

UD has come out with an entire package for fuel efficiency and improved economy on the Croner. First off, it offers a professional telematics solution that provides customers with real-time information and reports to improve their fleets’ operation. By connecting its trucks to UD workshops, UD Trucks enables proactive and continuous workshop support to its customers.

The second benefit is fuel coaching – and the best way to improve driving behaviour is coaching in real time. The Croner is equipped with a built-in fuel coach, an onboard solution clearly displayed on the instrument cluster that prompts the driver to use optimal revs and reduce unnecessary acceleration. In addition, UD offers driver training courses that cover all aspects for a complete, all-round approach.

Thirdly, the UD Trucks’ ‘Going the Extra Mile’ promise involves a focus on fuel efficiency, uptime, reliability and drivability, while meeting today’s high standards for safety and environment. Its comprehensive UD Extra Mile Support services maximise uptime through providing genuine parts, company services, optimised service planning and trust service agreement. Part of this is UD’s Mobile Workshops that come to the customer for maintenance, thus saving time and money. The mobile workshops offer preventive maintenance, oil change, small repair and diagnostics.

Furthermore, extended oil change intervals are close to three times longer than current medium-duty truck models.

In terms of safety features, Croner’s S-cam full air brakes with automatic slack adjustment provide effective stopping power, anti-lock brake system with electronic brakeforce distribution, which are all standard.

Its front and rear axle loads are built extra tough to enable high loads. The multi-leaf spring rear suspension has two stiffness options: normal for standard loads and stiff for heavier cargo. Additionally, the air suspension on all variants is available as an option to protect customers’ cargo, especially when travelling on rough road conditions.

UD has been quite active in the GCC market, with a number of launches of its new vehicles in major cities of the region.

Earlier this year, UD launched Quester, a multi-purpose heavy-duty truck with a wide variety of applications.

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