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Tatra light commercial vehicles: From T 13 to Beta

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Published under History, Press
October 8th, 2017

1973 T 613 prototype test by Svet Motoru

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The Czech text and photos:

Published under Press
September 30th, 2017

Disabled Czech scores world record towing 11.5-tonne Tatra lorry

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PhoenixPreaesidentDaniel MinsterSept2017

Disabled Czech scores world record towing 11.5-tonne lorry


Ostrava, North Moravia, Sept 23 (CTK) – Czech disabled bodybuilder Daniel Minster, 44, has become the first in the world to tow a heavy lorry, a Tatra Prasident weighing 11.5 tonnes, that he pulled away by 252 centimetres on a track during the Day of Records in Ostrava on Saturday.

Minster, a bronze medallists from the Arnold Classic 2017 professional bodybuilding contest, ended up in a wheelchair after a road accident ten years ago.

He said immediately after the record that his arms were aching the most.

He was supported by bodybuilder Lenka Ferencukova who also managed to tow away the Tatra lorry on Saturday. However unlike the wheelchair-bound Minster, she could use her legs and managed to pull away the lorry by 440 centimetres.

Minster, who has been training bodybuilding since the age of 16 and has been a registered contestant for four years, tried to score a similar record for the first time, he admitted.

He was just testing it in the middle of the week when he pulled away the lorry by one meter only. Otherwise, he went to a gym as usual, he added.

“The training has definitely helped me coordinate movements in the wheelchair. I have a better stability and trust myself more in it,” said Minster, who plans to take part in several competitions next year.

Ferencukova said Minster could set an example for many other disabled people.


Published under Events & Meetings, Press
September 28th, 2017

New 2017 Vladimir Cettl calendar + his T 77 project. Videos!

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September 25th, 2017

Jeff Lane’s T 700 tested

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Autoforum tested Jeff Lane’s T 700.

But haven’t we seen it before?

Published under Museums, Press
August 15th, 2017

Dutch experiences with the Phoenix Agritruck

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Original Dutch text and photos:

Background May 10, 2017

Tatra Phoenix: Fast and Comfortable Agritruck

The Tatra Phoenix is a mix of famous Daf components (cab, engine and transmission) and a patented Tatra off-road chassis. And if Berkers Techniek’s importer still takes care of the truck, the Agritruck will be created. A fast and comfortable ’self-propelled carrier’.

It is pleasant tours with the Tatra. The fat 8 × 8 is limited to 65 kilometers per hour. And with 460 hp and 16 auto-shifting gears, the car is in no-time at that speed. When pulling up, you’ll enjoy a deep-eyed engine noise coming out of the cabin. The automatic switching of the ZF AS-tronic tank is only visible through the varying engine sprocket, as this is hardly felt. At speed, you can hear the Paccar engine at 1,250 engine rungs, only a relaxing roast of eight Michelin XS tires sounds.

High and comfortable: on bumpy Twentse and German outer roads lies the air-ragged Tatra without jumps or deins on the road. With a semi-finished silage box on speed, regular driver Nick Oude Vrielink dares to release the steering wheel, as the truck is steady straight ahead. In the corners, the Tatra with a high and heavy load overlaps slightly; “Just get used to it,” says the driver. With a modification to the air springs, this is improved by Berkers.

Type: Tatra Phoenix 8×8
Engine: Paccar (DAF) 12.9 liter 400 hp (option 460 or 510 hp)
Transmission: ZF manual (option: automatic or 6-speed Allison Powershift)
Speed: T5 approved, limited to 65 km / h
Width: 2.80 meters on Michelin 24R20.5 XS
Weight: 13,600 kg empty (18 tons incl. Hook arm)
Max. Weight: Legally allowed up to 46,000 kilos
Price: From net € 200,000 (8 × 8, Daf cabin) to € 320,000 (all options incl. Hook arm, hydraulics, weighing etc.)

The known ‘V’

The Tatra brand makes many people alike think of a spartan army vehicle. Heavily run, all wheels driven, a tiny cab and wheels that stand like a ‘V’. The Czech brand is still active in that world, with heavy army and forestry trucks. But Tatra has been building modern trucks for many years, also for agriculture. Tatra has been purchasing from DAF since 2011. The 12.9 liter six-cylinder Paccar engine, day cab and transmission come from DAF (Paccar). The patented bucket chassis with independent axle suspension is Tatra-own. The result is a very comfortable, self-propelled 8 × 8 ‘carrier’.


That buzz chassis with independent axle suspension is really a Tatra thing. The truck has one tube as a chassis, and through it runs a central drive shaft. Through this narrow chassis, large tires easily fit under the Tatra while maintaining the steering rack. Each wheel has its own branch from the drive shaft. Pignon wheels float the crown wheels with a diameter of 35 centimeters. Due to this gear transmission and independent suspension, the axles have great freedom of shuttle. They are shielded with a kind of pleated rubber.

Each wheel is powered by its own crown and pignon wheel, and has its own oil bath. Due to this transmission and independent axle suspension, the axles have a large shuttle path. - Photo: Tatra Trucks

Because of the pulley wheels on both sides, the axes jump each other 5 centimeters. The planetary differential is also on the central drive shaft. With a pneumatic cylinder you can lock it 100%. Turn the central drive shaft, gearshifts and differential in an oil bath. The crown wheels also spatter oil against the scales of the shuttle. The chassis has no rotating drive shaft on the outside where grass can go winding.

Three positions for air pressure

Tatra builds a lot for the army. For example, all vent pipes have been worked upwards, so that the Tatra can drive up to 1 meter deep into the water. Also air pressure switching systems are cuttings for the army. Tatra is building the pipelines for years. The air pipes run through the oil bath and through the crown wheel. A flexible piece of pipe bridges the fusee.

Berkers builds a self-imported compressor. That’s a one-stroke three-cylinder piston compressor that supplies 1,350 liters per minute. In order to get the eight XS tires from 1 bar to 5 bar, this according to Berkers requires about 6 minutes. Berkers built their own drive in the cabin with a 3-position switch (1, 3 or 5 bar).

Read how Nick Old Vrielink, the wage earner, wins the Tatra by moving the mouse over the numbers:

Saw in the cabin

Berkers adjust the Tatra even more before it comes to the market under the name of Agritruck. By default, the 8 × 8 version has two straight axes. But at the request of Berkers, Tatra builds a steering wheel in front of them. As a result, the standard leaf suspension (additional to the air suspension) has disappeared and Berkers builds a hydraulic spring cylinder.

This spring cylinder builds Berkers only at the rear and helps with heavy loads. Also, larger tires are now used in the front, which makes use of the same rims and hub reductions. For this, Berkers had to see a piece from the cabin. There was also a wooden cart attached to the chassis. And the anti-backbone is given an ‘S’ shape, to accommodate any displacement pump.

Behind the cabin is a 250 liter oil reservoir with on top of oil coolers. This does not limit sight to rear. You look obliquely on the hook, which facilitates picking. - Photo: Bob Karsten

Tilt the hook

Who chooses for a hook arm makes it harder. For this reason, Berkers must reduce transmission and engine. Because, with 1.37 meter high tires, the total height is a limitation. On the Tatras of Wassink, a Schuitemaker Siwa 720 fits on the hook arm and stays (without the yellow rim) below 4 meters.

The angle of the hook arm then reaches 1.5 meters. Berkers Techniek then builds a 6.9 meter long VDL hook arm of 30 tons. One with a nod, making it short on the truck. By the way: From the driver’s seat you look at the hook, which facilitates picking up a container.

3 months lead time

Berkers builds an oil pump himself. Just behind the cabin comes a 250 liter oil reservoir with oil coolers on top of it. Berkers take the drive directly from the engine, and so it runs independently of the transmission (coupling). Useful when unloading on the pit. A load sensing controlled plunger pump delivers 225 liters per minute at 350 bar for the hook arm and structure (for example, dosing rollers, bottom chain, and the like). At 1,700 engine speed, the pump gives 225 l / m with 350 bar and thus 145 kW. All in all, Berkers Technique has been keying 3 months to build the Tatra to Agritruck.

Berkers builds a Loadsensing-controlled oil pump directly on the engine. Thus, unloading on the pit will not depend on the transmission. At 1,700 engine rigs, it produces 145 kW. - Photo: Bob Karsten

Switch in the dredger

Tatra delivers three different transmissions. A ZF manual transmission, ZF automatic gearbox and an Allison power hitch with torque converter. Berkers has so far provided the self-switching ZF AS-tronic. This has 16 gears. Limited at 65km / h, it drives exactly in the highest gear (about 1,250 rpm at 65 km / h).

In wet conditions the manual setting is better, otherwise the Tatra will switch back and forth. The Allison box has only six gears and has a fluid coupling. Probably better in the heavy drag, but expected to increase slightly more in road transport.

The cab comes from DAF. Berkers builds the front armrest control on (right next to the seat) and the control of the tire pressure switch system. A comfortable workplace. - Photo: Bob Karsten

Market space

Berkers Techniek has been an importer of Tatra trucks for two years. The company already built used trucks for agricultural trucks, but this usually appears to be expensive to handle. Terberg has stopped in this segment. According to Frank Berkers, space is in this niche market for the Tatra. Berkers also sees a market in earth-moving. There the Tatra Phoenix would compete with a self-propelled knee dumper. Berkers wants to operate this market itself.

Read how the Wage Company of Eijck in Alps (Brabant) experiences the Tatra by moving the mouse over the numbers:

In addition to the 8 × 8, of which four now work in the Netherlands, Berkers also sees opportunities for the 10 × 10 trucks or 6 × 6 models with semi-trailers. “A baking structure should not be broader than 2.55 meters. Whoever wants to have a lot of loading volume must look for it in length. “The 10 × 10 chassis is 80 centimeters longer, for example, a Kaweco Radium 60 (over 55 kuub) or 36 kuubs manure tank could fit. Frank Berkers also has schematic drawings of a high resolution 10 x 10. If the maximum speed of 65 km / h is another drawback for you, the Tatra has been selected to allow for faster tires and cabin construction.

Published under Press, Tatra Works
May 11th, 2017

Comments on the ex-KGB T 613

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Published under History, Press
May 6th, 2017

T 603 article in Autorevue (CZ)

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Published under History, Press
January 21st, 2017

Tatra article in Dutch magazin

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In the January 2017 issue of the “Onschatbare Klassieker” a fine article was published on Tatra illustrated with 23 photos, regrettably all most well-known.  Text is in Dutch and is of a higher quality than common in these articles, though author Eric van Spelde put is some fairy tales that the T 87 was Czechoslovakia’s secret weapon.  Nevertheless, it is good to a magazine pay attention to “Nearly the oldest automobile works”

Published under History, Press
January 21st, 2017

Czech car production rises to record levels in 2016

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17-01-2017 14:18 | Ruth Fraňková

Car production in the Czech Republic increased by eight percent in 2016 compared to the previous year to a record figure of 1.344 million cars, the president of the Automotive Industry Association Bohdan Wojnar announced at a press conference on Tuesday. Production increases were recorded by all three of the Czech Republic’s major car production companies.

Photo: Marián Birošík, Public DomainPhoto: Marián Birošík, Public DomainThe biggest producer, Škoda Auto last year recorded the highest increase in production, by 12.5 percent, to 765,171 cars. The Hyundai plant in Nošovice, Moravia, increased its production by five percent to 358,400 and Kolín-based joint venture TPCA boosted its output by less than one percent to 220,611.

Mr. Wojnar warned though that both Škoda Auto and Hyundai car producers have started to reach the ceilings of their production capacities with a maximum number of shifts operating and problems developing with supplies from sub-contractors.

Exports of Czech car producers increased last year by 8.6 percent to 1.6 million vehicles, while domestic sales rose by four percent to 104,163 vehicles.

“We are not expecting the fast rate of growth to continue in the future. It will be difficult to exceed that eight percent,” Mr Wojnar said. According to him, the increase in production could reach about five percent this year. Besides production limits, the rate of growth will also depend on the situation on various markets.

The country’s truck production, represented by Tatra Kopřivnice, increase last year by 56 percent to 1,326 lorries, while production of buses dropped by three percent to 4,388. The highest production was recorded by Iveco Bus with 3,885 vehicles, followed by SOR with 454 buses and KH Motor Centrum with 49 buses. Motorcycle producer Jawa Moto recorded a drop in output by 29 percent to 1,228 pieces.

In terms of car production relative to the size of the country’s population, neighbouring Slovakia remains the world’s largest car producer, currently manufacturing 191 cars per 1,000 inhabitants, and is considerably ahead of the Czech Republic in these terms.

Car production in Slovakia also reached a record figure last year, with the country’s three major car makers, Kia Motors, Peugeot Citroën and Volkswagen manufacturing 1.04 million cars.

Published under Press, Tatra Works
January 18th, 2017
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