Tatra Reliability?

AZBaobab

Observer
Well, I'm been reading long enough, I'm going to start posting, so hello to everyone!

I've seen Tatra's name mentioned occasionally, but nothing about how they actually perform. I've seen the truck-trial videos, but how are they for expedition work?
 

Lynn

Expedition Leader
AZBaobab said:
Well, I'm been reading long enough, I'm going to start posting, so hello to everyone!

I've seen Tatra's name mentioned occasionally, but nothing about how they actually perform. I've seen the truck-trial videos, but how are they for expedition work?
Hi, and welcome.

Like you, 'bout the only place I've seen 'em mentioned is the truck trials you speak of (where they seem to fair very well) and old cold war propoganda.

However, for an expo rig, I seriously doubt that they have the parts availability (outside of the former USSR and maybe Cuba?) of the more mainstream trucks like Mercedes, Man, Iveco, Mitsubishi, Isuzu...

I've drooled over pix of some really nice rigs put together by Unicat, ActionMobil, Lonno, Bimobil, etc, but have yet to see one based on a Tatra. There's probably a good reason...

Where do you live, and where are you planning on going with it?
 

GaryMc

Explorer
One of our field office fire crews has a custom wildland firefighting Tatra and they love it, parts availability is not a big problem. They take it to a 'big rig' service center for repairs and parts.
I've seen them take that big pig into some hairy terrain w/o any trouble, I've also seen them get it stuck frame deep in mud.... that was expensve.

I'll get some pics of the rig when I go back to work on Friday.
 
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haven

Expedition Leader
new engine choices

The current Tatras, including the cool 8 wheel monsters, offer CAT and Cummins engine choices. No more air-cooled diesels (which in reality were supposed to be very reliable). So no problem with parts and service world-wide for the engines.

Chip Haven
 

Doin_It

Adventurer
Ask what you want and I'll ask my neighbor, as he has a deal with Tatra to build all the oilfield service equipment they sell on thier trucks. He claims taht due to the design of thier "frame" they are the best oput there. Maybe thats why they tend to win Dakar. (this is his co. http://www.wellquip.ca/ ) The owner of Tatra now, is actually a Texan.
 

4Rescue

Expedition Leader
All I can see is that they apear to be BEASTS!!!! I mean seriously, when the approach angle doesn't allow them to get up or down something, they just plow throght the earth and rocks. Plus you've got to love a truck that sounds like that.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mq5mMVd3p1E

I belive it's the Kamaz trucks that are always winning Dakar isn't it?
 

AZBaobab

Observer
Robthebrit said:
I thought it was Kamaz who always wins the dakar.
They did up till last year when they crashed and let a MAN win. I know those 8X8s are monsters, I think the 813 had a 18+ liter engine. Through the '90's Kamaz and Tatra were pretty neck and neck.

How many spares would you need for 8 wheels?
I was thinking more along the lines of a 4X4, something like this:


I would think that the "torque-free-backbone-tube" system would let one build on the back much easier than on a traditional flexy frame. Just u-bold your camper directly to the rails.

Does anyone know if there are any weird handling characteristics due to the offset wheels?
 

AZBaobab

Observer
Another question, what would be the point of having a 4:2 set up vs a more traditional 2:4 set up on the 6X6's?

Why wouldn't you want the middle axle closer to the rear, where the weight is?
 

canucksafari

Adventurer
Just a post note. Tatra also makes 4x4s and 6x6s. Apparently the Brazilians also race them but they will race any truck.

Also, I seriously doubt that any truck in this class would have easy and quick parts support world wide.
 

Ursa Minor

Member
The Tatra company was bought out a few years ago, I seem to recall it was by Terex. They've shipped them all over the developing world, but the engines prevented them from being in most emissions-controlled markets, eg EU/USA. Their markets are almost all commercial, so while it may be hard for individuals to get parts, companies can.

I was in their plant back in '02 - huge operation, legacy from the vertical approach favored under a command economy. Really pretty amazing chassis designs as well

For more www.tatra.cz mluvis cesky?

cheers
John
 

AZBaobab

Observer
Ursa Minor said:
The Tatra company was bought out a few years ago...

...For more www.tatra.cz mluvis cesky?

cheers
John
I had heard they got bought out also, but I think they were sold off again and now they're pretty much independently owned.
http://www.tatra.cz/en/akcie_en.asp

I learned a little Russian a while ago and promptly forgot it ;) Czech does have some similar words, but the same site is available in English anyway. http://www.tatra.cz/en/spodek_en.asp

In asking about their reliability, I was primarily interested in anyone with experience in air-cooled diesels. I haven't heard much about their application outside Tatra's.

Newer CAT or Cummins engines would be great, but if it is coming to the states... I don't think they were using US motors 25 yrs ago.
Maybe a swap wouldn't be too tough?

Also, is there any functional advantage to the swinging half-axle design over a conventional setup beyond simply eliminating frame flex? (although that would make mounting a camper MUCH simpler...)
 

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Lynn

Expedition Leader
AZBaobab said:
I was primarily interested in anyone with experience in air-cooled diesels.
No experience personally, but there was a member (from California) on ExpeditionCampers that built a camper on a Magirus Deutz truck. Sorry, I don't remember his screen name, and I couldn't find any info on the threads that have been ported over here.

While I don't know for certain what engine his truck used, I do remember reading an eBay Austrailia ad for a similar Magirus Deutz truck that had a huge Deutz air-cooled engine. I also know that Deutz makes air-cooled stationary diesel engines as well as truck and marine engines.

Sorry I don't have more info. Maybe someone here can help fill in the blanks.
 
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