Considered as the reference worksite vehicle, the Kerax broke new ground last year with its 500hp engine version. Obviously a good move because it is proving very popular with customers with sales up 7.8% and the title of “Truck of the Year” in Finland!
Familiar with extreme terrain and difficult worksites, the Kerax has, since its inception, been considered the reference on the construction market. Its sturdiness and fording capacities are admired by professionals throughout the world. Sales figures speak for themselves. We had a 7.8% increase in sales in 2008, increasing from 7,928 in 2007 to 8,543 last year. A good performance due in particular to the arrival of the new 500hp version.
Available with the DXi 13 litre engine (6 cylinders in-line), this engine has improved effectiveness still further with a power rating of 368kW and torque of 2,450Nm available between 1,050 and 1,400rpm. Thanks to this added power, the Kerax is adaptable to all situations and particularly the most arduous, and has reported faultless performances in all operating conditions.
The vehicle is primarily intended for public works, concrete transport on hazardous terrain and more generally, because it is used in all difficult worksite conditions, the Kerax obviously has no margin for error. In extreme situations, the available power, efficiency and safety of the truck play a key role. Such as in Russia and in neighbouring countries where it is used for pipeline laying under extreme climatic and geographical conditions. On some terrains, the climb angle reaches 35° in the 6x4 / 8x4 and 50° in the 6x6 versions and the temperature differences from one country to another can reach 80°C! In Chile, the Kerax and its engine need to be capable of operating perfectly in spite of the lack of oxygen at over 4,500m altitude in Andes mountain range mines. On Borneo in Indonesia, it is used in their very tropical climate for logging with 6x4 and 6x6 configurations and 85 tons of AGVW!
It is no surprise then that within this range, the 500hp version has found favour with customers when they opt for the 13 litre DXi engine. It accounts for the vast majority of sales compared to the 460hp version. It should also be noted that over three quarters of Keraxes are sold in flatbed 8x4 and 6x4 configurations and that the robotised gearbox is gaining in popularity all the time. Whilst 20% of sales are in this format over the whole of the range, for the DXi 13 litre version, that proportion increases to 50% (460 and 500hp). This development is a clear indicator that the worksite world, which until now had been fairly reticent with regard to automated gearboxes, is slowly being won over by the qualities of the Renault Trucks robotised gearbox and its off-road mode, powertrain management which is particularly adapted to the uses to which Kerax is put. Apart from much enhanced comfort for the driver, this solution allows greater mobility in all circumstances whilst protecting the mechanics of the truck and reducing its fuel consumption.
Also, it is not because Kerax is designed for the construction market that it should not have a degree of comfort, quite the contrary. Thanks to its acoustic isolation and rigid cylinder block, the noise level is reduced to a minimum and the cab offers all the comfort features that you would expect to find in a long-haul vehicle.
All these qualities have led to it being voted “Truck of the Year” by the Finnish magazine Ajolinja, one of the biggest Finnish publications dedicated to HGV vehicles. Within the range, it was the 500.26 6x4 Optidriver Plus version in the logging format that was particularly well liked. Wood transport is one of the most common applications in Finland, also recognised as one of the most arduous for the vehicles.