Dimensions might be smaller but the CT630S is no softie
A BIG bore engine and a compact prime mover — that’s the formula CAT Trucks has come up with to entice more customers.
The new CT630S is aimed straight at operators wanting to run B-doubles.
Australia’s trucking regulations are built around measurements that start at the front of the bumper and run to the end of the trailer.
CAT’s new truck is 265mm shorter from the bumper to the back of the cab, which means operators can now comfortably run it with a 34 pallet B-double.
The standard CT630, which was introduced in late 2010, could sometimes be run as a B-double but the truck was right on the dimension limit, which meant many B-double combinations were too long.
This stems from the fact that the standard CT630 is based on the International Prostar, an American truck.
Most US trucks run a single trailer and the dimensions used for the regulations don’t count the length of the cabin. So, they don’t really care about the BBC (the Bumper to Back of Cab measurement).
The standard CT630 will still be available in Australia, because it works well with a single trailer.
CAT Trucks Australia worked with parent company Navistar in the US to develop the shorter CT630S truck for Australia.
The Australian team was adamant the short truck had to have the C15 15-litre CAT engine, instead of the new CT13 13-litre, something that would involve a lot of engineering work.
“Initially, they told us it couldn’t be done,” says CAT Trucks Australia chief engineer Adrian Wright.
He says that pretty much every part of the truck had to be changed to come up with the shorter CT630S.
The engine was elevated by 50mm to assist airflow and keep it cool.
There are a new bumper and steering shafts, revised front suspension, raised cab mounts, unique fuel tanks, revised intake and exhaust and a repositioned battery box.
Wright says that even items such as the airconditioning tubing needed updating as the dimensions had changed.
The bonnet is shorter but the CT630S has the same smooth and rounded design as the other CT models.
Wright says the design creates less drag than conventional blunt-nosed trucks on the market from Kenworth and Western Star: “One’s like the front of a house brick, the other looks more like the front of a plane.”
It also has an aerodynamic cab top fairing that looks like some kind of jelly mould but is designed to push the air around and over the cabin in the most efficient way.
The CT630S has a 40-inch bunk that contains a 711mm wide inner-sprung mattress.
There is also a stand-up sleeper cab option that has been developed in Australia, which will soon be available in a series of lengths and will provide 1985mm of standing space.
Power comes from the much-loved C15 15-litre CAT engine that somehow manages to meet existing emission regulations without exhaust gas recirculation or Selective Catalytic Reduction, which means it does not require AdBlue exhaust treatment fluid.
It instead runs Diesel Particulate Filters, which collect soot and burn it off at super high temperatures.
The engine produces 410kW (550hp) and 2508Nm of torque and is available with an 18-speed Eaton RoadRanger manual or a fully automated Eaton Ultra-Shift gearbox.
CAT Trucks Australia first showed a CT630S prototype in early 2012 but the development has taken longer than expected.
This is mostly due the tough times parent company Navistar has been going through in the home market, which pushed back many projects.