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A biennial show for commercial vehicles held at Moscow, Comtrans 2017 was bigger, better and successful.

Story & Photos:

Bhushan Mhapralkar

Opening its gates to the media on the morning of September 04, 2017, commercial vehicle fair Comtrans 2017 got off to a good start. Held at the Crocus Expo Centre in Moscow, the biennial show saw the participation of commercial vehicle industry from many parts of the world. Part of the shows under the aegis of OICA, the CV fair attracted 1324 participants from 41 countries. Spread across three halls, and over 40,000 sq. m., the commercial vehicle show witnessed the participation of foreign delegates and visitors. With a good number of premieres taking place at the show, the highlight of Comtrans 2017 was the Moscow Commercial Vehicle Summit held for the first time. The expo, organised by ITEMF Expo, a joint venture between Messe Frankfurt and ITE Group, saw the awards for the best commercial vehicle in Russia among others presented on the evening of the Press Day. The function was attended by the who’s who of the commercial vehicle industry. With a strong international flair, Comtrans 2017, recorded growth over the 2015 show, reflecting a strong growth potential the domestic and foreign commercial vehicle manufacturers have come to observe. Ever more keen to tap the Russian CV market, which is Euro5 emissions compliant and is estimated to be 70000 units strong as far as trucks above 16-tonnes are concerned, Comtrans 2017 saw homegrown manufacturers as well as global players — termed as ‘B7’ (Big Seven), display trucks, buses and vans. Also present were trailer manufacturers, specialists, and component manufacturers. With German and Chinese components manufacturers and specialists participating under the German and Chinese pavilion, Comtrans 2017 will be remembered for its quality, the emergence of alternate fuel propulsion technologies, and global flair. Expressed Sergey Alexandrov, General Director of ITEMF Expo that the revival of the commercial vehicles market since the second half of last year has contributed to Comtrans 2017. He opined, “Compared to 2015, companies have expanded their exhibition booths in-line with the market revival and increased competition. With gradual recovery of the economy and deferred demand since 2015 bringing a promising 40 per cent growth in the first half of 2017 compared to the same period last year, manufacturers are expecting that the market will continue to grow.”

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The highlight of the Mercedes-Benz stand were the new Actros range of heavy-duty trucks in Euro5 guise. Complementing the range of classic Actros and Arocs range of heavy-duty trucks, the arrival of new Actros range marks a step ahead for Daimler Kamaz Rus, a joint venture between Daimler AG and Kamaz Russia. Operating an assembly operation for the last seven years within the Kamaz manufacturing complex at Naberezhnye Chelny for the manufacture of Actros, Arocs and Fuso Canter range of trucks, the joint venture also offers buses under the Setra brand, and used trucks under the Select Trucks brand. On display at the Mercedes-Benz stand were the Actros all-wheel drive 3341K tipper with ‘S’ day cabin, Actros 4141k tipper, Actros 1844LS tractor, Actros 1848LS tractor, Actros 1840LS tractor, Arocs 4142K tipper, Actros 3341K tipper, Atego 1218L, Arocs 3345K tipper, and an Actros 2545L.

The Unimog U529 premiered at the show. Expressed Heiko Schulze, CEO, Daimler Kamaz Rus, “We want to take a lead in the B7 market with a deep focus on customer satisfaction. The new Actros range will add a new dimension in terms of reliability, efficiency and comfort. Stating that the Arocs will be discontinued in 2018, Heiko mentioned that the new Actros with a cabin built locally will be offered from 2019. Almost complete, the cabin plant at Naberezhnye Chelny, measuring 59,600 sq. m., will be operational by 2019. It will build 55000 cabs per year and employ 790 people in three shifts. The cabs will not only support the new Actros range assembled in Russia but also the new Kamaz range of heavy-duty trucks. Enjoying the status of a local supplier according to Schulze, the company won a tender for delivery of 50 Setra ComfortClass 500 coaches to the city of Moscow.

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Fuso Canter

Fuso Canter medium-duty trucks have been available in Russia since 2010. They are assembled at the Daimler Kamaz Rus joint venture plant at Naberezhnye Chelny from SKD kits sourced from Japan. At Comtrans 2017, Fuso premiered the Canter TF. Light in weight, and suitable for a wide application spectrum with an ability to consume less and carry more, the Canter TF is claimed to be the first truck in the world to feature a compact Duonic dual-clutch transmission that causes less wear to the auxiliary equipment, reduces the burden on the driver, and combines the convenience of an automatic transmission with the economy of a manual transmission. The Canter TF is available in 3.5-tonne and 7.5-tonne segments.

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Ford Trucks

Ford Trucks launched new construction and tractor series in the form of 3542D tipper, 1848T and 3542T tractors. More powerful, efficient and technologically advanced, the new trucks are equipped with an all-new 330PS and 480PS Ecotorq engines that ensure up to 8.5 per cent fuel economy improvement according to Emrah Duman, International Markets Director, Ford Trucks. With service period extended to 90,000 km, and up to 1,000 hours, the new trucks are available with cold packs that include cold pack fluids, cab heater, heated windshield and power mirrors.

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Hyundai Truck & Bus Rus

Hyundai premiered the HD35 City, which is intended to take the place of the legendary Porter for city operations. Offering high durability, economy and maneouvrability, the HD35 City features an increased wheelbase of 2810 mm when compared to the Porter. Displayed as a chassis and an isothermal van, the HD35 City is powered by a 130 hp, 2.5-litre D4CB engine. Hyundai also displayed the Mighty isothermal version apart from the HD350 LCV, HD78 food truck Naz, and a HD78 AGP-22T long chassis lift truck.

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Volkswagen premiered the Crafter van. Available in a wide range of cargo and passenger versions, the Crafter van range, according to Volkswagen, is practical ad economical. Also displayed were a Transporter van, Amarok pick-up truck, Caddy ambulance aid van, Caddy refrigerated truck, Crafter35 mobile service van, Crafter35 cargo van, a highly customised version of Caravelle, and a much loved vintage Camper van.

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Isuzu displayed a heavy-duty tractor on the GIGA chassis, a medium-duty ‘Forward’ 18.0 long chassis with a refrigerated van and a hydraulic lift, an all-wheel drive NM85 chassis, a NPR82 chassis with a CNG engine, and an ‘Artic’ version of the D-Max pick-up. Drawing attention to a sales growth of 43.8 per cent in January-July 2017 at 1766 units, Fabruz Horlie, CEO, Isuzu Rus said that production increased at the Ulyanovsk plant by 81 per cent during January-July 2017.

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Renault Trucks

Renault Trucks displayed

T Series trucks in the form of a 520 hp T high 4×2 tractor, 430 hp T 4×2 tractor and a 460 hp K 8×4 dump truck. The T High rage is a luxury truck with a sleeper cabin and a flat floor for maximum driver comfort. Powered by a 13-litre engine, the truck is equipped with an automated 12-speed Optidriver gearbox and an Optibrake.

To ensure comfort, the driver’s seat is air-suspended and electro-heated. The T 4×2 tractor is powered by a Euro5 11-litre engine and a 12-speed Optidrive transmission.

The dump truck, at the other end, is equipped with a 20 cu. m. Weilton body, and is powered by a 11-litre engine. The transmission is a 14-speed manual unit. The dump truck also features an enhanced braking and a reinforced chassis.

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MAN Truck & Bus RUS

MAN Truck & Bus RUS LLC displayed the current range of trucks it offers in Russia. On display were six TGX trucks – 4×2 (19.440), 6×2 (28.360), 6×4 (33.360) and 8×4 (41.440) tractor and special superstructure guise. Also on display was a TGX33.540 6×4 tractor, and a D2066 (280-360 hp, 10.5-litre) and D2676 (400-520 hp, 12.4-litre) truck engine. The highlight was a TGX 18.640 4×2 LLS performance ‘collectors’ long-haul tractor with special trim and a MAN D3876LF09 640 hp engine mated to a ‘tipmatic’ auto transmission, and a 12 m inter-city rear engine Lion’s coach with LED headlamps and an aerodynamic structure. The coach is powered by a D26 EEV 440PS Euro5 SCR engine and a ‘tipmatic’ transmission. MAN also unveiled a range of services to address the needs of its customers.

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Volvo Trucks

Illustrating superior design and cutting-edge technology in safety, fuel efficiency, and performance, Volvo Trucks displayed FH Viking powered by a 540 hp 13-litre engine; Volvo FH Ocean Race truck with Globetrotter XL sleeper cab; FH 6×2 powered by a 13-litre 500 hp engine; FMX 8×4 Tridem with 16 cu. m. Wielton Konish tipper body; FMX 6×6 with a reinforced 16 cu. m. Meiller tipper body; FM 6×4, and the speed record holder Iron Knight race truck that does 2400 hp and is equipped with I-Shift dual-clutch automated transmission. Also displayed were an I-Shift transmission with crawler gears; dynamic steering, D13 engine; Globetrotter cab cross-section, and a FH/FMX simulator.

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GAZ Group

The GAZ Group displayed the legendary Ural Next heavy-duty trucks in the guise of a drop-side 6×6 rigid, a 6×4 T25.422 tractor, and a 6×4 C25.330 16-tonne tipper with a 14 cu. m. body. The highlight were the aspiration vehicles in the form of Sobol, an amphibious vehicle, and Vepr Next, an expedition vehicle and a pick-up truck based on GAZ-33088 Sadko platform with a body of Gazelle Next. Apart from an electric 20-seater minibus bus Vahtan based on Gazelle Next minibus platform, and an electrobus prototype, developed with the participation of the Bauman Moscow State Technical University based on the large class LiAZ-5292 low-floor bus, the GAZ Group displayed the Gazelle Next and Gazon Next range of pick-ups and vans. Also displayed were a Kursor 9.5 m long, two Vector Next midi-buses, and a Gazelle Next version that offers 700 m more space due to an increase in wheelbase and the rear overhang. An agreement for the distribution of GAZ vehicles in the Philippines was signed with Eastern Petroleum, which is engaged in the development of a system of environmentally friendly transport in the Philippines and actively participates in the state program of public transport renewal. Eastern Petroleum will market Gazelle Next 17-seater and Gazelle Next Cityline 20-seater minibus in the Phillipines.

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Scania displayed the next generation truck that won the International truck of the Year 2017. Judged the 2017 Russian CV of the year, three models – S730 A4X2NA, R500 A4X2NA and G410 A6x2/4NB were displayed. Trucks with three types — base G, luxury cabin R and flagship cabin S with flat floor, were presented. Offering superior aerodynamic performance, which helps to reduce fuel consumption (by five per cent) and noise, the next generation trucks get new engines with renewed fuel injectors, a thermostat in the engine lubrication system and an optimised combustion process. Scania also displayed a G340 LA4x2HNA CNG tractor, G480 CA6x6 EHZ tractor, P400 CB6x4 HN2, P440 CB6x6 EHZ dump truck with a KH-Kipper body for non-metallic material, P440 CB6x4 EHZ truck with a KH-Kipper rock body, and a 12 m Touring 4×2 coach based on a K-Series bus chassis. The coach, powered by a 380-440 hp 12-litre engine mated to a revised 12-speed Opticruise automated transmission, is said to be built by Higer at its Suzhou plant in China.

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DAF Trucks Rus

DAF premiered the XF480 FT 4×2 Super Space cab tractor. It is powered by the PACCAR MX-13 engine with high injection pressure of 2500 bar. Available in three versions, and doing 412 hp, 462 hp and 510 hp respectively, the engine is mated to an efficient automatic TraXon transmission. Claiming fuel saving of up to 7 per cent, the XF had another XF 4×2 tractor in yellow and a CF85.460 FTT 6×4 tractor for company. Said Ari Hendricks, DAF Trucks Rus, “We have presented models that set new quality standards, have low operating costs and high productivity. We are confident that they will be appreciated.”

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Minsk Automobile Plant (MAZ)

MAZ displayed a 430 hp 643029-1420-012 6×4 tractor with ZF 16-speed transmission, and a 170 hp 4381CO 4×2 rigid truck with a ZF 6-speed transmission. The company also displayed a 231185 12 m long 18-tonne 47-seater city bus with an Allison auto transmission.

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Iveco Russia

Displayed were an Evadys inter-city bus, which is aimed at a position between the Iveco Crossway and the Iveco Magelys. Available in 12 m and 13 m lengths, the Avedys can accommodate up to 57 people and is powered by a 400 hp cursor 9 Euro6 engine. Also on display were the medium-class VSN bus based on an Iveco chassis manufactured in Russia, and an Iveco Daily minibus with a unique Iveco Daily Business Up Application.

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Schmitz Cargobull

Winning the Russian Trailer of the Year 2017 for its refrigerated S.KO Cool Complete reefer with telematics system, Schmitz Cargobull displayed a range of trailers it offers, including the celebrated S.KO cool trailer and the S.CS international trailer. Banking on the growth the Russian truck market has come to show, the company, celebrating 125th anniversary of its existence, is confident of doing good business.

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Kogel Trailer Rus

Kogel displayed a variety of trailers it offers. The Kogel Cargo on display is the company’s best selling trailer. It is praised for its robust build and an extensive range of standard equipment. The Kogel three-axle tipper trailer features 27 cu. m. load volume and a five-mm-thick floor as well as a four-mm thick hydraulic tailgate.

The KTA Kogel trailer axle is a new standard feature for many variants of the Kögel Cargo, Kögel Lightplus, Kögel Cool – PurFerro quality, and Kögel Box product ranges, along with various chassis. It promises low-maintenance, and is designed to enhance driving properties thanks to its double suspension concept.

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Displayed were a series of new generation trucks including the Foton Auman EST A BJ4189 4×2, designed to operate as part of a road train with a gross weight of up to 44-tonnes, and two Aumark M4 medium-duty trucks of 6 and 8-tonnes. Replacing the M3 series, and created in cooperation with Cummins, ZF, Bosch and many other leading companies, one of the Aumark M4 trucks on display was equipped with an isothermal superstructure.

The six-tonne Auman M4 is powered by a 150 hp 2.8-litre Cummins turbo diesel engine mated to a mechanical five-speed ZF gearbox. The 4200 mm wheelbase 8-tonne Auman M4 is powered by a 156 hp 3.8-litre turbo diesel Cummins ISF engine mated to a six-speed ZF gearbox. The Auman EST A 44-tonne tractor, at the other end, is a product of global alliance, which includes Cummins, ZF, Continental, WABCO, Knorr-Bremse, Baidu, and others. It is assembled at the Foton Daimler plant and has a 413 hp, 11.8-litre Cummins ISG1 engine mated to a ZF TraXon 12TX2420TD adaptive auto transmission. Equipped with disc brakes all-round, the Auman EST A comes with a a wide range of electronic security systems and assistance to the driver, including ABS, ASR, ESP, AEBS, LDWS. In Russia, Foton will also offer the 12-tonne S5 range in 2019.

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Unveiling the new generation K5 cabin, which looked uncannily similar to the cabin of the new Mercedes-Benz Actros displayed at the Daimler Kamaz Rus stand, and will be produced at a cabin plant being erected by Daimler Kamaz Rus joint venture at Naberezhnye Chelny, Kamaz displayed a wide range of CVs it offers. If the rally Kamaz truck made for an exciting product display, also present were a Kamaz 5490 Neo tractor and its gas diesel version; Kamaz 54901; Kamaz 54909 with pluggable front hydraulic wheel drive, and the hybrid Kamaz 65208 with garbage superstructure. Kamaz also displayed an electric bus of the second generation with a new interior and exterior; a station for ultra-fast charging; an unmanned vehicle called Hamm, dump trucks and a wide range of special purpose vehicles. Kamaz also displayed the Cummins G-Series engine, Cummins L-Series engine, and its own Euro5 910.10-550 engine.

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The UAZ Profi single-cab pick-up truck took the centre stage at the Ulyanovsk Automobile Plant stand. The 1.5-tonne Profi is about load capacity, power, efficiency, and comfort. Also interesting was the display of a cutaway Profi with what looked like a hybrid architecture. A new generation offering, the Profi is available in a double-cab four-wheel drive guise too. Aimed at diverse applications, the Profi could be also had with an hydraulic hoist mounted on a four-wheel drive chassis with a twin-cab, with a crane-manipulator installation on the all-wheel drive chassis, and as an isothermal van with nine-cubic meter capacity.

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Taking part for the first time, Lada displayed the Vesta CNG; Largus, which is claimed to be a leader among SW cars designed for commercial use; 4×4 pick-up based on the Niva, and the Granta pick-up. Apart from the Vesta CNG cab, the pick-up and van line-up of Lada is aimed at serving the needs of different production targets.

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JAC Motors displayed its entire range of CVs, including an isothermal truck based on the JAC N56 chassis, a truck with a full berth and a sandwich panel van with a multi-temperature partition based on the JAC N75 chassis, and a side tilt platform and fully sliding elements based on the JAC N120 chassis. What drew most attention was the 3.5-tonne JAC X200 light truck that boasts of high manoeuvrability, economy and a competitive price.

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Two new buses — long-distance ‘Marathon’ and gas-engine powered ‘CityRithm-10CNG2’ – were displayed by Volgabus. Serial production of these buses is planned to start in early 2018 at Volzhsky, and in the Vladimir region. Engineered to offer high level of comfort and safety, the two buses, according to Anatoly Bakulin, the general director of Volgabas Volzhsky, will offer different options of engines (280 to 300 hp), suspension, gearbox and additional equipment starting with the base version. The ‘Marathon’ can seat up to 53 people. The ‘CityRithm-10CNG2’ can seat up to 65 people, and is also equipped with special equipment for the carriage of wheelchair users. It is a low-floor bus with low cost of ownership.

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Displayed were vehicle connection systems, modules and components for trucks and trailers. These included fifth wheel couplings, trailer axle systems, telescopic landing gears, tipping hydraulics, and accessories for semi-trailers, etc.

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Showcased were a range of innovative technologies that improve vehicle safety, efficiency and connectivity. These included Maxx single-piston Air Disc Brakes (ADB), modular Braking System Platform (mBSP), advanced driver assistance systems, and OptiLock security systems. Wabco also introduced the ProVia brand of safe and reliable budget aftermarket spare parts for CVs.


On display were a range of systems the company offers, including an hydraulic system for tipper superstructure.

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Knorr-Bremse displayed a wide range of CV offerings in an interesting display.

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Two inter-city buses were displayed, and follow on the heels of a Yutong electric bus starting trial in Moscow as part of a plan by the Russian capital city to have an all-electric bus fleet in the next three years.

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ZF Friedrichshafen AG, which since 2005 has a joint venture ZF Kama with Kamaz at Naberezhnyeye Chelny, displayed the range of transmissions, disc brake modules and retarders/intarders. The range of transmissions included an automated and automatic version.

Golden Dragon Golden Dragon displayed two long-distance – XML6957 and XML6126JR — buses powered by 340 hp Dongfeng Cummins ISL8.9 engine.

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Witnessing strong growth at home, and in Russia of about 50 per cent in the January-July 2017 period, FAW displayed two updated CA3310 and CA3250 dump trucks with Euro5 377 hp CA6DL2-37E5 and 390 hp CA6DM2-39E51 engine respectively. The trucks also get an improved J6 cockpit with LCD instrument panel and four-point suspension mount. In Russia since 2008, FAW according to Alexei Lazarev, Deputy Head of Marketing, is confident of growth, and in-line with the growth of CVs that offer superior price and quality equation. FAW also displayed the CA3250 chassis that allows the installation of a variety of superstructures.

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Displayed were a refrigerated van, a tow truck with a sliding platform, and a refrigerated van with a load-carrying side. Also displayed was the Hino 500 dump truck. The refrigerated van with a 4×2 wheel-side loader is based on the Hino 300 XZU650L chassis (3.5-tonne.), and has a carrying capacity of 1278 kg. It is powered by a diesel engine mated to a 5-speed gearbox. The evacuator with a sliding platform is based on the Hino 300 XZU720L, and was developed in association with the SMARTEKO-NN company. The 500 dump truck is equipped with a 16 cu. m. Body, and powered by a six-cylinder engine. The refrigerated truck displayed was equipped with a diesel engine mated to a nine-speed Eaton gearbox.

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Mercedes-Benz vans & pick-ups

The Mercedes-Benz X-Class pick-up truck premiered at Comtrans 2017. The exterior styling bears traditional Mercedes-Benz cues including a centrally positioned star and the twin-louvre radiator grille. Measuring 5,340 mm long, 1,920 mm wide and 1,819 mm tall, the X-Class has a wheelbase of 3,150 mm and a maximum payload capacity of 1,042 kg. Flaunting a premium interior, the pick-up truck shares the platform with Nissan Navara and Renault Alaskan. Built on a ladder-frame chassis, the X-Class is powered by a 163 hp 2.3-litre, and a 190 hp 2.3-litre diesel engine mated to either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed auto gearbox. AWD is optional. Also displayed on the stand were a wide range of Sprinter vans in panel and passenger guise. The Sprinter vans are made at the GAZ facility in Nizhny Novgorod, which also makes the Gazelle Next and Gazon range of light and medium CVs. The Vito vans were also displayed.

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