Anti-runaway brakes from Renault

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Anti-runaway automated parking brakes aim at eliminating the risk of uncontrolled vehicle movement.

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Team CV

Renault Trucks has introduced anti-runaway Automated Parking Brake (Anti-RAPB) to eliminate the risk of uncontrolled vehicle movements caused by human error when a truck is idling or static. The Anti-RAPB was developed by Renault Trucks’ engineering team at Lyon in close partnership with a major fleet operator. The safety back-up device is available as a software and wiring update on all range T, C and K trucks from Renault with electronic parking brakes. In the event of the driver’s door being opened at speeds of up to 3 kmph (1.8 mph), the device activates the parking brake automatically. According to Nigel Butler, Commercial Director, Renault Trucks, “Anti-RAPB is a great example of how we at Renault Trucks, are using technology to help prevent avoidable accidents.” “Despite advances in technology, vehicle runaway situations remain common as drivers tend to get distracted when the truck is idling and simply forget to activate the park brake when they leave the vehicle to uncouple the trailer or sign a document,” he mentioned. With a slight incline enough for a 44-tonne truck to start rolling, run-away trucks continues to be serious problem.

Preventing problem before it arises

Runaway trucks can result from poorly maintained braking system or vehicle. It can also result due to the driver failing to judge the distance or make a judgement error. The Anti-RAPB that Renault Trucks has unveiled is claimed to help reduce the consequence of human error, preventing the problem before it arises. The solution is to create a ‘fail-safe’ mechanism, which can operate in two scenarios at speed below 3kph. In each case of the Renault T, C and K, the electronic park brake utilises the extensive functionality of the vehicle’s electronics systems to make the Anti-RAPB innovation possible. The system’s status is communicated to the driver through the dashboard ‘tell-tale’ messages. A typical scenario under which the Anti-RAPB works is when the truck is in neutral, and the parking brake is not applied. The driver’s door is open too. The ‘door open’ buzzer will sound momentarily, followed by the application of the parking brake. A message, ‘Park Brake Applied’ will follow. Upon closing the door and selecting drive, the parking brake will auto release when pulling away.

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Application scenarios

Another application scenario is when the vehicle is in gear, the park brake is not applied and the driver’s door is opened. The door open buzzer will activate, followed by the application of the parking brake, with the message ‘Door open. Select Neutral position before leaving vehicle’. If this message is ignored, when the door is closed the parking brake will not auto release when pulling away, so the driver must either select neutral and return to drive or manually release the parking brake. Said Butler, “Safety is of utmost importance to us, and we are committed to developing technology that provides safer environments for drivers, their colleagues working on sites or in yards as well as other road users. This device will provide a critical safety intervention in the event of an emergency, with the added interlock of speed ensuring that no action is taken if doors open above 3 kmph. Addressing the risk of runaways will also bring the additional benefit of minimising downtime and reducing repair and insurance costs caused by these incidents.”

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Renault has been developing this technology for a number of years, and following requests from operators. Concerns over accidental deployment at higher speeds however meant that the launch was delayed because of the adequate safeguards that needed to be built in.

The role of a Renault truck

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In the Hindi movie, ‘Dishoom’, which released in 2016, a Renault truck has featured in a scene that plays out on a location in the Middle East. The plot of the movie unravels in the Middle East in the run up to an important cricket tournament between India and Pakistan. India’s top cricketer Viraj Sharma, played by Saqib Salim, goes missing. Indian authorities get a video clip from a unidentified Pakistani cricket fan. He claims to have been abducted by Viraj, and warns the authorities that they should cancel the match. Sensing the gravity of the situation, the Indian defence minister sends a special task force to retrieve Sharma. A part of the task force is an officer Kabir Shergill, played by actor John Abraham. A manhunt begins. The team has 36 hours to accomplish their task. To assist Kabir’s task force, an Indo-Emirati police officer Junaid Ansari, played by actor Varun Dhawan, is assigned. His credentials say that he is well verse with the region, which is also the reason he was selected. It does not take long for Kabir to understand that Junaid is a rookie.

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A chain of events led Kabir and Junaid to a cricket bookie Wagah, played by actor Akshay Khanna. The duo finds out that he is the culprit. Wagah and his close aid Altaf confess to have kidnapped Viraj. Fearing trouble, Altaf flees to his native state Abbudin, It is necessary that Kabir and Junaid find out Altaf to get to Sharma. Kabir and Junaid sneak into Abbudin without documents by riding in a giant multi-axle Renault ‘C’ truck. Renault truck brand belongs to the Volvo Group of Sweden, and was acquired in 2001. The ‘C’ truck range is made up of medium and heavy-duty vehicles, and was introduced in 2013. The range was part of a new line up of Renault trucks (C, D, K, T) that were introduced in 2013. Volvo Group invested Euro-two billion to develop these. The truck seen in the movie seems to be a 40-tonne long-haul tractor truck combination. This truck is powered by either the DXI 11 or DXI 13 engine range. Spanning five variants between the two, the power output of the engines is in the range of 330 hp to 520 hp. The truck features a ‘night and day cab’ with a standard roof. The highlight of the C Road cab is the trapeze shaped windscreen, precisely angled at 12 degrees. This design is said to improve the drag coefficient by up to 12 per cent. The single-reduction drive axles in the truck are said to be particularly suited for on-road applications, and improve the payload capacity. Transmission is an automated ‘optidriver’ unit, and the fuel tank capacity of up to 1,470-litres makes the Renault ‘C’ truck a good candidate for long hauls.

Cooperation between Daimler and Renault-Nissan Alliance deepens

The strategic partnership between the Renault-Nissan Alliance and Daimler AG is maturing as it enters its seventh year in 2016. As part of this strategic partnership, the joint development of the Mercedes-Benz pick-up truck is on track. The new pickup will share some of its architecture with the all-new Nissan NP300, and is being engineered and designed by Daimler to meet the specific needs of its customers in Europe, Australia, South Africa and Latin America. The vehicle will have all of Mercedes-Benz’ distinctive characteristics and features. Production will take place at the Renault plant in Cordoba, Argentina, and at Nissan’s Barcelona plant in Spain, where the Nissan NP300 Frontier and the Renault Alaskan will also be produced. Further insights into the new pick-up truck’s design, strategy and markets will be soon revealed.

Renault-Nissan Alliance reaches its annual synergy target

Renault-Nissan Alliance has generated Euro 4.3 billion from its synergies in 2015. This is said to be one year ahead of its planned scheduled, and is an increase of 13 per cent from the previous year (2014). Purchasing, engineering and manufacturing are said to be the major contributors. It is through synergies that both the companies work together on reducing costs, and on increasing revenues. The synergy also paves the way for the two companies to meet their financial goals, and deliver higher-value vehicles to Renault-Nissan customers. In 2014, the two companies converged four key functional areas. This included engineering, manufacturing engineering and supply chain management, and purchasing and human resources. “Thanks to the convergence, the Alliance expects to generate at least Euro 5.5 billion in synergies by 2018,” said Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO, Renault-Nissan Alliance. Albeit both Renault and Nissan remain separate companies, each function is led by a common alliance executive vice president. The Alliance uses a unique system called the Common Module Family (CMF). The system offers modular vehicle architecture and is claimed to be an increasing source of synergies. In early 2016, Renault announced plans to produce next generation of Nissan’s NV300 van at its plant in Sandouville, France. The Nissan NV300 will be manufactured on the same line as the new Renault traffic, by the end of 2016. These vans are popular as taxis in New York city. In India it is christened as the Evalia. Similarly, Renault’s Lodgy has also made its way to the Indian commercial van market. By 2020, the Alliance expects 70 percent of its vehicles to be built on CMF architectures. In case of manufacturing synergies, cross-production of vehicles will continue to be a major driver. It leverages Alliance production way which is the manufacturing and shop-floor management system common to both Renault and Nissan. Alliance production incorporates manufacturing benchmarks from both Renault and Nissan. The AVTONAZ plant in Togliatti, Russia is the Alliance’s largest production base globally. With a capacity of nearly one million vehicles a year, the plant produces vehicles under brands Nissan and Renault. The Alliance owns a majority stake in the joint venture that controls AVTOVAZ. Renault and Nissan engineers are working together on the development of Autonomous Drive, connectivity and other next-generation technologies for mass-market, mainstream vehicles. The Renault-Nissan Alliance also announced that it will launch 10 models with Autonomous Drive technologies by 2020. This is in line with the Alliance’s commitment to technological innovation and its focus on the twin goals of zero emissions and zero fatalities. The Alliance has an annual research and development budget of about Euro 4.5 billion. It has research centers in Atsugi in Japan, Guyancourt in France, Farmington Hills in Mich, Sunnyvale in Calif, and in India, Brazil, Romania, Turkey and China among other locations.

Renault takes the wraps off the Alaskan pick-up

Article by: Bhushan Mhapralkar

Story & photos by : Bhushan Mhapralkar

About playing hard and working hard, the Alaskan reflects Renault’s aspirations to be a top global LCV player.

The name Alaskan is long associated with a sturdy dog breed, Alaskan Malamute. With a formidable nature and structure, Alaskan Malamute was originally bred for hauling freight because of its strength and endurance ability, often as a sled dog. Over the years of its existence, Alaskan Malamute has also come to be trained for recreational pursuits. The dual role the Alaskan Malamute has come to play is what is expected of the Renault Alaskan too; about playing hard and working hard. Unveiled in the form of a show car (which is very close to the production model) at Paris in front of 150 motoring journalists from 25 countries including India, the Alaskan reflects Renault’s Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) business aspirations. With production set to commence in mid-2016 at Barcelona, Mexico and Cordoba, the Alaskan marks Renault’s second pick-up after the Duster Oroch, which was unveiled in Buenos Aries in June 2015. The Duster Oroch is a 1/2-tonne pick-up and the Alaskan is a 1-tonne pick-up. Drawing from the extensive pick-up truck knowhow of alliance partner brand Nissan, the Alaskan is heavily based on the new Nissan NP300 Navara pick-up that debuted at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show. It is also claimed that the same platform would form the basis of a Mercedes-Benz pick-up due in 2017. Highlighting Renault’s need to enter into partnerships to be a top global player in the LCV business, the Alaskan is set to play an important role when it arrives mid next year. According to Ashwani Gupta, Vice President & Global Head of Renault’s Light Commercial Vehicles Business, Renault wants to be a top global player in the LCV business from being a top regional player. “We are now equipped to take our global growth plan forward and fulfill the aspirations of business users and individual LCV customers across the world, thanks to an enhanced product line-up, new services and an upgraded customer experience,” he said.

The Alaskan

What draws attention foremost is the Alaskan’s imposing front grille with the big Renault logo at the centre. The grille is in line with the business looks many new Renault models are coming to flaunt, including the Kwid compact SUV. LED head lamp clusters, integrated on either side of the grille, are encased by sweeping C-shaped daytime running lights. Contributing to the muscular and what looks like a visually heavy and robust build, the Alaskan sports vast 21-inch dia. wheels. Placed within their gently bulging wheel arches, they provide some mini monster truck excitement. In a twin cab guise, the ‘show’ pick-up has intricate LED tail lamps on either side of the load bay gate. Apart from the detailing of the wheels, the production vehicle may lose out on the door mirrors fitted with cameras and front fog lights with integrated towing hooks.

The dci 190 written on chrome indents built into the flanks indicate a 190 bhp four-cylinder version of a twin turbo diesel engine that is already being used in the Renault CV range. Equipped with a switchable 4WD, the Alaskan is a monocoque construction. Sticking to the rules of the segment, including impressive dimensions and a visual sense of power and robustness according to Laurens Van Den Acker, SVP – Corporate Design, the pick-up also carries specific Renault cues in the form of front-end design. Expressed Laurens, “It is quite robust even though it is a mono body design.” Looking at its pick-ups to provide a good amount of thrust, Renault is well aware that the pick-up market accounted for over five million sales in 2014. It is also aware that it is the expanding pick-up market, which has been the primary contributor to the growth of global LCV market. Made up of three categories — a 1/2-tonne pick-up, 1-tonne pick-up and a full-size pick-up, t he ½-tonne pick-ups command 3 per cent market share. The 1-tonne pick-ups command 17 per cent market share, and the full-size pick-ups command 18 per cent market share. In US and Canada, the full-size pick-ups command 90 per cent of the market.

LCV strategy

Adding a formidable edge to Renault’s aspiration of becoming a top global (LCV) player is its leadership status in vans. It is a leader in Europe since 1998. It is number one in North Africa since 2010. It ranks among the top three in South America since 2008. Present in 112 countries, Renault’s van operations are supported by 400 certified convertors (body builders). These convertors are spread across Europe, South America and Australia, and help Renault buyers build a van structure that most suits their business needs. Typical applications across the range include a panel van, double cab, platform cab, passenger version, crew cab, chassis cab, box van, tipper, chassis cab dropside, master combi, bus (that seats up to 17 people), maxi van, etc. The platforms on which the structures are build, include the Kangoo (Kangoo Z.E zero emissions is sold in 45 countries), Trafic and Master. Of the three the Master is perhaps the most diverse, and is available in different wheelbase, dimensions, drive orientation (front, rear and 4×4), etc. Unusual among the Renault LCVs is the single-seater Twizy Cargo. It is a zero emissions LCV, which aims to address last mile connectivity.

Associating with Daimler, GM Europe, Renault Truck and Fiat, the French automobile major, at its Sandouville plant in France will start building a Trafic-based Fiat LCV from mid-2016. Banking on an assertive product and market offensives while building solid partnerships and enhancing customer experience, the company, aware of the fact that over 14 million LCVs were sold in 2014, reconfigured its LCV business as Renault Pro+. With 80 per cent of the world’s population expected to be online, Renault, said Gupta, is also offering a new digital experience. Fabien Goulmy, LCV Expert – Brand General Manager, Renault Pro+, reasoned that they are stressing upon tailor made, ingenious innovation and easy experience. “We will use the Renault Pro+ as an expert brand to meet the needs of our LCV customers. The customer experience we offer will be enhanced by our bespoke knowhow, and by strengthening our offer in terms of products and services,” averred Goulmy.

In case of Asia, Renault is closely monitoring the developments. It is evaluating if the Duster Oroch ½-tonne pick-up will succeed. Gupta is well aware of the proliferation of micro and mini trucks in India. He is also aware of the changing needs and aspirations of the Indian LCV buyers. He is confident that a transformation will take place, and enough to suit products like the Alaskan. Apart from pick-ups, Renault is also monitoring the Indian market for its vans. Until the Indian market is ready to accept such Renault offerings, the French auto major has work cut out for itself. To concentrate on pick-up intensive Asian markets like Thailand and Indonesia. To convince more people in Europe to buy pick-ups.

 

Ashwani Gupta, Vice President & Global Head of Light Commercial Vehicles Business, Renault.

Now that you have unveiled your second pick-up, what are your LCV plans for India?

I will not be able to share today what are our LCV plans for India. What I can say precisely is that the products offered by the LCV business are highly professional centric. They originate out of customer usage, which comes from three things – payload, cargo volume and total cost of ownership. The day we realise these three things are evolving in any environment, we are ready to enter. This is about our vans. We have just launched the first pick-up (Duster Oroch) and will be launching the second pick-up (Alaskan) soon. We will evaluate market by market. Some markets play hard, some markets work hard. I don’t think we have the kind of adaptability needed to address the Indian market. We are however aware that a market does not take much time to evolve. Today, US is following the European vans; China is also following the European vans. There are two reasons – urbanisation of logistics and evolution. As urbanisation of logistiscs evolves further, more and more people will opt for panel vans. In case of a pick-up, it will depend on whether it is for material usage or people usage, or both. In South America, the usage is more of material. In Europe, it is more of people and less of material. That is exactly why we decided not to launch the 1/2-tonne pick-up in Europe. We launched it in South America. We are closely monitoring the Indian LCV market.

What role would Asia play for Renault, and within Asia, what role would India play?

Pick-ups are almost global when we talk about 1-tonne. I think Asia-Pacific is going to drive our busines on pick-up. Talk about Australia for instance. We have a great brand, and pick-ups are highly aspired by the Australians. The 1-tonne pick-up market is great in Thailand. We are looking market by market therefore. I am a bit cautious when it comes to vans. Taste about vans differs from country to country. It was therefore challenging for us to go global with just panel vans. It is because of this that we have the Master localised in Brazil. We have all the three products localised in France, which are European in taste. We wanted to have global products over a regional product like Duster Oroch, which can go into these markets. What is missing from our range as a full fledged LCV player are the micro trucks and micro buses. Micro trucks and micro buses are the solutions if one wants to enter into some Asian markets. Korea, for example, is an European van based market. We have a global picture, and we know which country and which region is evolving, and how far. India for certain will evolve with the logistisc challenge. We have seen evolution. We have seen Twizy Cargos parked in front of shops in Paris. India will certainly evolve, and the main driver will be the professional customer. They will start understanding the total cost of ownership. And we have seen it in heavy duty vehicles. Ten years down the line, drivers are having a say in what they want to drive. More and more the economy grows, the purchasing intention also grows. The driver or the professional customer gets to influence the buying decision of the vehicle while going from big fleets to smaller ones, most of which are owner driven. In case of small owner fleets, total cost of ownership gains importance. This will lead to a change.

What do you find are the constraining factors for market evolution of LCVs and pick-ups in particular?

The average cost of a passenger car in India is higher than an average cost of a car in Europe. The average cost of an LCV in India is lower than the average cost of an LCV in Europe. The day this gap is filled, European products will find a place in India.

Could India not serve as an export base for Renault to serve the Asean region, and considering the Oradagam plant?

Yes, India could serve as an export base for the Asean region. We are open to all kinds of study. I believe that India is not prepared for products like these (Alaskan), but that does not mean it will never be prepared. We therefore have to be careful when we look at the export solutions. These are not really answering all the customer needs. The best business case to look at is the heavy duty trucks. They have really answered the customer needs. The buses are now called by their brand. That’s what is needed.

Does it make a business case for Duster Oroch given the high reputation Duster has gained in India?

We will for certain consider such a development. The main challenge in India was to build the brand. We have achieved it, and we can now introduce products. We are in fact introducing the products.

Tata Motors’ Winger is based on an earlier Renault van platform. Tata is said to be testing a newer van platform, which is also a Renault van platform. Given your strategy for partnerships, how do you look at this?

It’s open. We are open to partnering with Tata Motors. You could check with them.

 

Laurens Van Den Acker, SVP – Corporate Design, Renault.

Over the Duster Oroch, the Alaskan looks much futuristic. Does that indicate a definitive change in design strategy?

In case of the Alaskan, we had a little bit of liberty. We could start with a white sheet of paper for the whole front-end. So, it was exactly what we wanted.

Does the Alaskan share its platform with any other vehicle?

It is an alliance platform that Nissan uses as well for their 1-tonne pick-up. This makes good business sense.

What does it take to amalgamate the mechanicals with the intended form?

Even before we start designing, we spend a year with the product planners and the engineers to define what the needs of their customers are. What kind of architecture platform could potentially fufill these needs. And, this creates a brief; a blue print of where the engine needs to be, where the cabin needs to be. Thus, we do not start to design in space. We have a white sheet, but we have some points to extract. It is the same in this case (Alaskan). We know that we are not artists; a design needs to work, it needs to fit in. We have many requirements to fulfill of which design in an important part but not the only one.

How do you use the inputs you get to turn out a design that will meet diverse taste?

Designing a vehicle is a highly collaborative process. To create a design it is not that we wait until the engineers have done their bit, then we do our bit and pass it through to the marketing department. I think good cars happen because designers worked very closely with the engineers. We (designers) were able to influence; we were able to say a little bit more to the left or to the right. When we worked with product planners, we were able to negotiate. Best cars, I think, are of those companies that make the best trade-offs between different competencies. In a really good car, engineering has won, design has won, product planning has won, and the commercial guys at the end of the line will win as well.

How do you design products that cater to emerging markets?

A pick-up truck is a real tool-kit. It is a Swiss Army knife in a sense. It’s a vehicle that is tailor-made. That is why we tailor-made our brand for Renault LCV. It is a vehicle that adapts itself to the kind of needs of the customers. What is really interesting in a pick-up truck is that it goes from a life-style vehicle (that is prestigious, a flag ship and social strata enhancing) to a basic tool to get from A to B without breaking down and falling apart. What we are showing here is a ‘show’ concept. We want it to create a desire. We have therefore shown the highest end of the execution. We will however also give an honest tool that the market needs. We will be able to follow the needs of our customers.

So, what variants could we expect, depending on the client needs?

With this truck we will give every region and every customer what he needs. The truck is capable of going up or going down; becoming tough or prestigious. I think we will be able to satisfy our future clients. We went from having no pick-up truck to having two pick-up trucks next year. We went from having no SUVs to having nearly a full range. We try to be where the market is. Sometimes we try to be ahead of the market. You can see that with the Espace or the Kwid. With the Kwid we tried to be innovative in a segment where there has not been a lot of movement. We are hoping for the Kwid to receive a positive welcome. The truth lies with the customers, and we hope that they will like the vehicle.

How flexible is the Kwid in terms of derivatives?

We will do a Renault and Nissan version. The Kwid platform is thus quite flexible. If Kwid is successful as we hope, then it opens many doors to do many other vehicles. Kwid is a light and strong platform. It is a safe and modern platform. It is well under the 4 m length, which is important for India. There are not many vehicles under 4 m that are enormously attractive. When a car is born, and has genetically the right proportions; the wheels are in the right place, then a lot can be done about it. I hope we can do more (with the platform) than just the Kwid.

So, could the Alaskan pick-up platform turn out an SUV?

Yes. No platform today is created to make just one type of vehicle. It does not mean that we make all the derivatives. Because we depend on the success of the first ones to see if we can do more with a platform, no company develops a platform for just one variation. We have no SUV plans to be completely clear.

How do you connect Renault’s long tradition of making commercial vehicles with the future through your designs?

It is nice that we can start from a position of strength, and even though it is about utilitarian vehicles or commercial vehicles. We did not cover all the segments, but it is easier to go to a segment like a pick-up truck while being strong in commercial vehicles as opposed to having to start from scratch. We benefit from the experience and the legitimacy of our partner, Nissan. It is for us a new market, new segment and new region (with the Alaskan). It’s going to be tough. We will need to prove ourselves. We however don’t come to the table without guns. We have a proven platform. We have an existing infrastructure. The design challenge is fun. A pick-up truck is such fun that I did not have any problems in motivating my team.

What role do the design centers at Mumbai and Chennai play?

Alaskan was designed by a Japanese designer based at Paris. The Indian design team is occupied with the Kwid at the moment, and not just with the car but also the accessories. The design centers in India are working on India-based products. When we start a new competition, any body from any of our six studios around the world can contribute. The world is becoming small. Fifty years ago, Renault made French cars for France, which they exported. The situation has changed. Renault now makes cars for the whole world. Design talent, at the other end could come from anywhere. We have some very talented designers from India. We also have a designer from Mongolia, Hong Kong, Columbia, and Venezuela.

In which areas do you think Indian designers excel in?

The Indian design team has an extremely good sense for business. It seems that every Indian designer knows what works in the market, knows how we sell the car, knows about why people buy cars, why the parents are involved. I learn everytime I meet them. In terms of pure design skills, they lack a little bit. It is perhaps because the automotive culture is lacking. Growing up in Europe would account for exposure to premium brands; would entail seeing many generations of vehicles. Automotive culture in India is growing. A lot of Indian designers come to Paris for an amount of time. When they go back, they take with them the richness of experience. I am really impressed by the R&D and the engineers.

How big is your design team?

My design team is 500 people the world over. Of these 150 are designers. Most studios are in Paris.

SUVs were criticised some years ago for not being environment friendly and as fuel guzzlers. How do you look at the evolution of SUVs into ‘green’ automobiles?

 

SUVs were traditionally based on pick-up trucks. They were genetically heavy. What has changed their image is that SUVs and pick-ups have become mono body. They don’t have a ladder frame with the box on top. Huge progress has been made in terms of engine technology. They are much more frugal, economical and lighter. We are starting to see an evolution in US. The Ford pick-up F150, for instance, uses extensive aluminium. They have to reduce the weight. The challenge with the pick-up is that it has to be strong. It is therefore one of the last vehicles that is going to be ultra light weight. The Alaskan pick-up is more robust than a monocoque is known to be.

The new C and K from Renault

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Renault Trucks has introduced an entirely new selection of vehicles: the C and K range to the Middle East.

Renault has launched a new range of trucks called the C and K. They offer new standards in robustness and productivity. Each model can be adapted to suit the wide range of applications and customer demands within the distribution and construction segments.

The C range is ideal for both long-haul and certain construction applications. Available in two cab widths: 2.3 and 2.5 m, the former is best suited for distribution and deliveries, while the latter works well for long haul, light construction and heavy distribution. An optional steel bumper, improve resilience and approach angle, allowing the C range to be used for earth-moving applications as well.

The K range, in fact, offers the best approach angle in the market at (32°), making it ideal for heavy construction and distribution. The front bumper is 100 per cent steel with headlamp protection. The K range has been tested under gruelling conditions like log transport in Cameroon, carrying 100 to 120 tonnes of aggregate in Oman, and in mines in Turkey.

D-Range and Kerax All-Wheel-Drive (AWD). Renault has also refreshed its D Range. It is aiming the iconic Kerax model for extremely demanding applications. The new D range thus consists of a single range and two vehicles. The D cab 2.1m (from 13 to 18 tonnes) used mainly for distribution, delivery and waste management, could be had with a factory fitted crew cab (4 doors and 6 seats), and is available in AWD. The AWD makes it ideal for fire fighting applications. The D WIDE (from 18 to 26 tonnes) is ideal for medium distribution and delivery applications. The company plans to introduce the K-Range with AWD as standard. Field tests are being undertaken for the said purpose.

Robust

The new C and K range have been subjected to stringent quality controls: test track trials, test benches and fording tests. Tests have been carried out under temperatures ranging from -40°C to +60°C. Both the C range and K range use the proven Renault Trucks chassis, available with a range of reinforcements.
The K range, offers better ground clearance and approach angle, which allows it to clear significant obstacles and deliver outstanding pulling power. High precision steering and tight turning radius, makes the range easy to manoeuvre. The Optidriver gearbox is available on both C and K ranges for demanding applications and on the AWD K models.

On its exterior, the K range features an all-steel, three-part bumper, fitted to a 32 tonne capacity front towing bar, protective grids for the headlight, optics in polycarbonate, as well as steel protection for all exposed parts.

Vehicles in the C range are fitted with steel corners and protective grids for the headlights. Capable of taking the heaviest punishment and with a higher approach angle, the C 2.5 m off-road cab can be fitted with all-steel bumpers from the K range.
Renault Trucks has developed a new diagnosis tool for preventive maintenance. The company has also developed a new concept called XTrem Camp for customer on-site maintenance. Diesel anti-theft devices, mechanical anti-intruder device door lock, or light bar with rotating beacons offer better safety. The design of the cab and each part of the powertrain helps save fuel. For example, the cab has a windscreen set at an angle of 12° and a trapezoid form, narrower at the front than at the rear, which improves its air penetration coefficient (cx) by up to 12 per cent. Optifuel Solutions, driver training, fuel consumption monitoring, will help deliver optimal fuel efficiency.

The Renault Trucks C range offers an outstanding payload, which can be as much as 31 tonnes for an 8×4. The K range offers a gross vehicle weight (GVW) of up to 50-tonnes and a Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCW) of up to 120-tonnes with both manual and automated gearboxes. The vehicles also have several pre-equipment options which simplifies body mounting operations, reducing vehicle delivery time by up to 20 per cent. The vehicles can be fitted with Optifleet, the Renault Trucks fleet management solution.

Strong on productivity

Both the C and K range come with options for reducing vehicle weight, optimised gearboxes and drive axles. By reducing kerb weight and increasing GCW, larger volumes can be transported with each trip, increasing a vehicle’s profitability. The cabs in the C and K range are spacious, with an engine tunnel reduced to 200 mm. The wraparound dashboard centralises all controls. A 7 inch high definition navigation screen displays vehicle status information. The ergonomic steering wheel, other than a 200 mm range of seat adjustment, allows for a flexible driving position.

An additional step on the side of the vehicle allows drivers to check their load easily. Both ranges have a storage which can be accessed from both inside and outside the cab. The Renault Trucks C 2.5 m cab and the K range are fitted with extendable bunks. As an option, the vehicles are also available with an upper bunk.

The C range and K range are available with extensive options and an array of configurations for a variety of applications such as fuel and water transport, transporting building materials, refuse collection, concrete transport and machinery transport and earth moving.

 

CV is an associate member of the International Truck of the Year (IToY). Being a part of this association gets the magazine exclusive articles, specially written by IToY jury members.