Anybody who is only slightly interested in big diesel trucks will know the heavy-duty Mercedes-Benz L-series. The L-series was built for a very long time. However, its pure and long-lasting design certainly wasn’t unique. There were more truck makers in Europe (and in other parts of the world of course) that built the same kind of rugged conventional trucks. The kind of trucks that could withstand Armageddon.
Mostly all wheel drive. Heavy-duty, durable and reliable under extreme conditions. With simple and clean looks, almost “naked”. No jewelry, no chrome, no wild graphics. One of these direct Mercedes L-series competitors was the last (1971-2003) generation of the Magirus-Deutz Eckhauber. Hauber is the German word for a conventional truck, so with a nose. In this case Eck means that the truck’s nose has sharp edges. And indeed, there also were Magirus-Deutz Rundhaubers, these were the conventional trucks with a more rounded nose.
Magirus-Deutz was the former bus- and truck division of the Klöckner-Humboldt-Deutz AG company from Cologne, Germany. The division also built military trucks, fire trucks and other equipment for fire brigades. Klöckner-Humboldt-Deutz (since 1997 officially called Deutz AG) is an engine manufacturer, founded in 1864. Currently the company builds water-, air- and oil cooled diesel engines. Their engines are everywhere, all over the world; as generators and in trucks, buses, farm- and construction machinery and equipment and in boats. The company’s most renowned specialty is building air cooled diesel engines.
Magirus was founded in 1866 in the city of Ulm, Germany. The company built trucks and equipment for fire brigades. Magirus was taken over by Humboldt-Deutz in the mid thirties (from 1938 onwards Klöckner-Humboldt-Deutz). The famous Magirus logo, introduced in 1932, is the letter M combined with the Ulmer Münster (Ulm Minster), the main church of Ulm with the world’s tallest church tower. The name Magirus-Deutz for the trucks was introduced in 1949, with the old Magirus logo prominently on the grille.
Of course, just like the Deutz farm tractors the Magirus-Deutz trucks also had the corporation’s own air cooled diesel engines, roaring loud and clear !
Back to the Eckhauber. The last generation was introduced in 1971; its nickname was “Baubulle”, which means something like Construction (site) Bull, a pure workhorse.
They were available as 4×2, 4×4, 6×4 and 6×6 trucks and tractors. From 1978 onwards the Eckhaubers were only available as all wheel drive trucks and tractors with two or three axles, so as 4×4 and 6×6 only. The transmissions came from ZF.
In the first years power ratings started at 120 hp from a straight six engine and the most powerful Eckhauber had a 310 hp V10 engine (Magirus-Deutz also offered a 17 liter V12 in other trucks, but not in the Eckhauber).
The engines were four-stroke, air cooled and naturally aspirated diesel engines with direct injection. Later on the turbo chargers arrived. The V-engines, known as the Deutz 413-series, were available with six, eight or ten cylinders; respectively the F6L413 (8.5 liter), the F8L413 (11.3 liter) and the F10L413 (14.1 liter).
The longer the Eckhauber’s nose, the more cylinders it had. The six cylinders had the shortest nose, consequently the V10 had the longest nose.
Just like the Mercedes L-series the Magirus-Deutz Eckhaubers found their way all over the globe and were used in the most harsh road- and weather conditions. From the Sahara-desert to Siberia.
In my country (and in the rest of Europe) it was mostly used as an on-/off-road 6×6 dump truck. Again, alongside the Mercedes L-series and other contemporary conventional off-road trucks from MAN, Tatra and Hanomag-Henschel. Back then most of these 6×6 dump trucks were rated at 26 tons (57,320 lbs) GVW by the truck maker.
Meanwhile, further down south in Italy, Fiat founded the Industrial Vehicles Corporation (Iveco) in 1974. A merger between Fiat’s truck division and the small truck makers OM from Italy and Unic from France. A year later Klöckner-Humboldt-Deutz acquired 20% of the Iveco shares (the Fiat Group owned the other 80%) in exchange for their Magirus-Deutz AG truck division.
In 1980 Klöckner-Humboldt-Deutz sold their Iveco-shares to the Fiat Group, but the Eckhauber just soldiered on for many years to come. The name Iveco on the grille, but still the same last generation of Eckhauber Baubullen. Right until 2003, and then the curtain finally fell. A pure and long-lasting design indeed. And Deutz AG ? The company still has the old Magirus logo, the letter M combined with the tower of the Ulm Minster.
And finally, a short video with an Eckhauber 6×6 dump truck with a 310 hp V10: