Some may argue that the global financial crisis, combined with growing environmentalist sentiments, have rendered full-size trucks into a thing of the past. Of course, the size and importance of commercial fleets will probably keep them from going obsolete any time soon – but, let’s face it, big, gas-guzzling trucks are not what they used to be anymore, right? Wrong, say the latest sales figures released by manufacturers and industry pros for 2012. It’s a clear case of an industry adapting to the times and rethinking its own standards, in order to meet eco and cost demands of the modern world. That being said, let’s see which tractor units made it into the top ten best recommendations for purchase.
10. The Volvo FH12
The Volvo FH12 is an immediate ‘descendant’ of the Swedish carmaker’s F series, whose cabin made legend among truck drivers around the world. Production of the F series was eventually discontinued in 1993, as the line was replaced with the brand new design of the FH cabin. It was a brand new day in terms of design at Volvo and it took twelve years for its design to be completed. The FH12 was named ‘Truck of the Year’ in 1994.
9. The Mercedes Benz Axor
Axors come with a manual gearbox or an EPS system (Electronic Power Shift), as well as with a fully automated gear-shift system. Axors are also powered by straight six engines, which run on twelve liters of fuel. The Axor was produced in order to ensure brand continuity for their truck line, in between the Actros and the Atego lines.
8. The Iveco Stralis
The Iveco Stralis first hit the scene in 2002, when Iveco decided it was high time they replaced their EuroStar and EuroTech models. Its range is higher than that of the Eurocargo, in terms of weight, as it comes in at 19 to 44 tons. The most recently updated version dates from 2007, when the cabin got a slight facelift and all cars were equipped with the EuroTronic gearbox. They all come with four-valve straight-six engines.
7. The MAN TGX XXL
The MAN TGX line is a variant of their TGS model range – one such truck was even used in the Dakar Truck Rally, which attests to their durability. They come in a diverse range of models and all are Euro V compliant. They are also noted for their highly comfortable interiors, which may include bunks, climate control, leather seat covers, etc..
6. The DAF XF95 Superspace
DAFs are trucks produced by a Dutch company, who was eventually purchased by PACCAR. Nowadays, all DAF XF trucks with a steering wheel on the right-hand side are produced in the UK, at the Leyland Trucks factory. Among other things, the DAF XF95 is famous for also ‘serving in the military’, under the DAF YTZ95.530 moniker.
5. The DAF CF85
The DAF CF series comes with one, two, or three axles. Since DAF takes pride in building trucks that were made to last, perhaps the biggest advantage of such a truck is that it can be driven on all types of terrain, locally, as well as internationally. Its steering, brake, and suspension systems were especially designed for top maneuverability and all engines used are high-torque yielders.
4. The ERF EC14
British brand ERF was purchased by MAN AG in 2000, which spelled the end of the line for this popular make of tractors. However, their qualities still recommend them to this day and many of them can be found for sale as second-hand products. The EC14 was part of the brand’s final model range, built in Munich and Sandbach, Germany. Production ceased at the same time as the closedown of the factory in Sandbach.
3. The Scania R480
Scania is yet another automaker famous for its trucks and based in Sweden. As a matter of fact, the brand derives its name from the homonymous area in Sweden. The R-series of trucks produced by Scania made its commercial debut in 2004 and immediately went on to garner the ‘Truck of the Year’ title in 2005, with a repeat of that performance in 2010. The R480 is a medium range, yet highly efficient model, and, as all models in the line, it comes as a rigid platform or as a tractor.
2. The Volvo FH Globetrotter XXL
The current cabin variant on the world-famous Volvo FH series is titled the Globetrotter XXL. Its highly suggestive name indicates the emphasis that the Swedish automaker wanted to place on size, resilience, and, implicitly reliability with this new design. Work on the design of this cabin started in August 2008 and some of its more impressive and innovative features include a rain sensor, cornering lights, a state-of-the-art sound system, and passenger seat that swivels.
1. The Mercedes Benz Antos
The Mercedes Benz Antos first saw the light of day and of international markets in September 2012, after official announcements regarding its release came in May of that same year. It can be purchased either as a platform truck or a tractor unit. Its axle width ranges from 104.3 inches to 263.8 inches and weighs in at 18 tons. It is available with a six-cylinder engine only, which is compliant with Euro VI environmental regulations for all specifications. See more here.