EXCLUSIVE: Dennis Eagle swoops into Brisbane Truck Show

The Brisbane Truck Show will be the first stop for the Dennis Eagle truck range. ATN got a sneak peek

By Gary Worrall | March 16, 2011

Visitors to the Brisbane Truck Show will be the first in Australia to see the new Dennis Eagle truck range, with the first models to arrive configured for waste management duties.

Dennis Eagle and Foton Trucks General Manager Mark Gobessi says the new truck range is designed from the ground up for Australian waste management operations.

"There are three drive options, 4x2, 6x4 and also 8x4, with different wheelbases to suit different applications," Gobessi says.

With the trucks arriving in Australia as an empty chassis, Gobessi says this gave the opportunity to not only choose the driveline but also to ensure it was properly engineered for the chassis.

"We deliberately went with the Euro 5-spec Cummins ISL and Allison 3500P transmission, knowing this is a driveline operators are familiar with and can it can be serviced easily," he says.

The truck also comes standard with Knorr Bremse disc brakes and Dana axles, making it a combination of proven technologies.

Gobessi is confident it will eliminate operator concerns about taking on a new chassis.

"By choosing proven brands for the main components in the drive train and suspension we can offer operators technologies they are comfortable with, and it is only the European chassis that is new to them," he says.

Gobessi likens the British truck manufacturer to the multitude of sports car manufacturers in that country, with the ability to respond quickly to customer needs and requests.

"We worked with Dennis Eagle to ensure the chassis is fully prepared not just for the driveline but also the Australian specification compactor," he says.

"It also allowed us to specify the Hendrickson HA 8-airbag rear suspension for maximum ride comfort and handling, knowing it would work in combination with the rest of the truck."

Other design features include the exhaust exiting under the chassis on the right hand side, minimising noise pollution in urban areas, as well as side-by-side radiators for the engine and charge air cooling systems, rather than mounting them "line astern", which is the general practice.

"By mounting the radiators alongside each other, it prevents the build up of dirt, grit and other debris, especially in waste management applications, which also means less downtime having the radiators cleaned as well as preventing engine power de-rates," he says.

Gobessi says the new radiator installation has proved successful in testing, with the package not only able to deal with the standard 280 horsepower engine rating, but also the 320 horsepower rating used in 8x4 applications.

While much of the engineering was done in conjunction with Dennis Eagle, Gobessi says Western Star’s Wacol factory near Brisbane developed the 8x4 configuration in Australia, fitting the second steer axle after the trucks arrive at the local factory.

Gobessi says the standard trim for the trucks include factory-fitted dual controls that are an exact mirror, with full duplication of all gauges and switches to ensure the truck works equally well in left hand drive.

With the cab offering one-step entry and a walkway between the seats, Gobessi says the Dennis Eagle allows operators the option of always entering and exiting the cab on the kerb side, eliminating the need to exit onto the roadway.

As well as meeting ECE 29 requirements for crashworthiness, Gobessi says the vehicle is fully insulated to eliminate noise and heat from the engine, while the stainless steel construction provides corrosion resistance for waste management operators.

In a nod to Dennis’ experience in bus building, the cab windscreen extends below the height of the dash pad, providing a field of view similar to a bus for operations in densely populated urban environments.

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