UD GW 470 Autoshift Delivers Less Stress For Brisbane Owner Operator
Wednesday, 1 September 2010 | Print
A Brisbane owner driver is making significant savings since switching to a UD GW470 Autoshift to haul steel products in and around Brisbane, thanks to its ease of operation and economical fuel consumption.
Bob Rose of Rose Transport configured the GW470 Autoshift as a rigid, and admits some might think the truck is a little overpowered.
"I don't think it is overpowered, I prefer to say it is under stressed," says Bob Rose.
Bob says he chose the new GW 470 because he has always liked UDs, and believes the engineering is superior to opposition Japanese brands.
"I've always liked UDs and I have never been a great fan of some of the other Japanese trucks, but UD has a much stronger construction in my opinion," said Bob.
"This GW has got a big heavy, tough diff, and unlike a lot of others it has double rail chassis which makes it easier to put the crane on back and cart steel.
"Many of the other trucks I was looking at had diffs half the size of this thing, which only made it easier to choose the UD."
However it is the effortless power and torque of the 13 litre UD turbo diesel and the convenience and ease of operation of the Eaton Auto shift that really won Bob Rose over.
"I really love the Autoshift, it is the way of the future, in the city I can drop it back into manual and it will hold the gear.
"You can go up and down the box when you need it and with low range you can bring the speed back very quickly and safely, but if you want to let the box do the work you can let the clutch out and just steer it, it is much more relaxing to drive in Brisbane's busy city traffic.
"I've only done about 8500 km so far and I just love it, I've been driving trucks for a long time and this is by far the best and easiest truck I have ever had the pleasure of piloting."
By specifying the flagship 470, Bob says the engine is never really working that hard and that has meant excellent fuel economy.
"I could have chosen a UD PK10 but that would have been near the top end of its performance envelope, particularly with the crane on the back, however with the GW470 it easily purrs up and down the hills without fuss or stress, put nine tonne on this and it is hardly working," said Bob.
"This is very under stressed, and as a consequence it is never working very hard and my fuel economy is already excellent despite the fact that it is still very new and hardly run in."
Bob is also enthusiastic about the safety aspects of the Autoshift which he says is particularly easy to use even on steep descents.
"A perfect illustration was coming down the Toowoomba range the other day with 6.5 tonnes on board, it started to run on me, I very simply put it in low, touched the brakes and changed down one gear she held it all the way to the bottom, it is magic," said Bob.
"It means you won't wear out the brakes out, I can go down the range at 40 km/h and the Autoshift is able to hold it, it is much easier than on a manual Road Ranger, on those you have to brake too hard to get it back to get into low gear.
"It is also much easier on the drive line and on the gear, it always choosing the optimum gear as well as that it is easier on start ups easier on braking it is just easier all round."
Bob was also impressed with the financial side of the equation, and says the UD GW 470 was a lot less expensive than many of the other trucks he was considering.
"This truck also looks great and blokes come up to me and ask for my card, they like the look of it and it attracts business," Bob added.
While most of his work is in and around Brisbane carting primarily for One Steel, Bob also has some occasional longer runs down into Northern New South Wales and also to Roma, Dalby and Chinchilla.
"Most of my work is in the construction industry, but this truck is just as easy in the city as it is on the highway," said Bob.
"I had to do a trip to Nimbin in Northern NSW and some of the roads there aren't that great, the GW handled it with ease, it rode and steered beautifully.
"The other truck travelling with me hung in there until we hit the hills, but this one just keeps pulling."
Interestingly Bob has configured the GW with the crane at the back of the vehicle keeping weight off the front axle and also keeping the crane away from the heat of the engine.
"The main reason for putting it at the back is to get the crane away from the heat of the motor, but also many of the companies I work for like crane at back rather than at front for safety reasons," Bob said.
"The crane definitely operates a lot cooler and having it away from the noise of the motor means you can hear instructions better , it is a lot safer plus it not as hard on your front tyres, plus and it doesn't take away from the pay load on the front axle.
"The advantage of having the crane is you can lift 2.5 tonnes of steel and you can unload yourself without having to wait for the tower cranes if there is a delay, which makes for much better efficiency."
Bob says the other great aspect of the GW is its high level of comfort and smooth ride.
"The comfort in the cab is excellent, the cab is suspended, the seats are air suspension and I have airbag rear suspension which helps the ride laden and un-laden, but it also means I can drop the rear end while unloading which stabilises the truck when I am using the crane and it is a lot safer and more stable."
Bob says the SCR emission system has been easy to use and has certainly not been a problem for the veteran driver.
"The Ad Blue has been very good easy to add," Bob said.
"I get it from the local servo in 15 litre drums, and it is easy and relatively inexpensive, so it has just not been a problem as far as I am concerned."