Since last year ESTEPE has been actively involved with the product development of several TATRA products.
This truck manufacturer, from the Czech Republic, has a unique chassis concept with which they position themselves on several markets. There was the wish to produce a Crew Cab based on their new Phoenix truck. This model is equipped with a DAF CF cab, which is available in several variants, but not in a crew cab. The cabin variant is mostly used for fire and rescue vehicles.
It wasn’t a simple task to develop a cab that would fit perfectly within the concept that TATRA had envisioned. The interior space had to be as big as possible but the total cab could not use up valuable of the superstructure. Besides this, the Crew Cab also had to meet the EN 1846-2 guidelines. Finally, after several possible configurations, we have chosen to combine a Sleeper Cab (positioned at the front) with a Day Cab (positioned at the rear).
In order to produce the Crew Cab with the highest quality possible, we have opted for a special jig which was designed in house. On this special jig it is possible to align the two cabins perfectly. When aligned, the cabins will be fitted with the necessary structural reinforcements and are finally welded together. To obtain the ex-factory appearance we have opted for the development of several panels directly on the first prototype. This way the panels are in line with the design of the DAF CF cab. The panels for the series production derive directly from these prototypes and will be made from GRP. On the inside of the cab the factory appearance is achieved through several custom made panels, which are upholstered with the original fabric used by the factory. This way there will be no difference between the original and added panels.
To make sure that the cab would meet the strict demands set by TATRA, the first prototype was tested at TATRA’s own testing facility. It was put on a special moving jig where it underwent an endurance test, which mimics the use out in the field. The Crew Cab passed with flying colors, not a single remark was listed.
TATRA has chosen ESTEPE as her partner for this modification because of the fact that ESTEPE has extensive experience with cabin modifications that meet the design and quality standards set by the different manufacturers. Besides this, the very well organized project approach that ESTEPE incorporates was what TATRA was looking for. The entire project from design, building the prototype and the final testing was achieved within budget time wise and money wise. By now the Crew Cab is fully documented so that a consistent series production can be set up, including the after sales services.