An attention-grabbing field worker, thanks to the distinctive semi-trailer. The tractor is as bland as they come. I’d say this combination is mainly used to collect fruit from the growers and their cold stores. And not only because of the Conference pears promotion on the semi-trailer.
It looked a bit grimy, clearly indicating that rolling down the freeway and driving around in built-up areas isn’t its main job. Furthermore, the whole configuration says twisting, turning and maneuvering all day long. I’ll get back to that later.
The 2004 Pacton tridem axle semi-trailer chassis has a Chereau temperature-controlled body and a Dhollandia slider liftgate.
Six axles in total, this is a 50 (metric) tons Dutch big rig alright, regardless axle spacing and the front axle’s maximum axle load.
That’s too heavy for the surrounding countries though. You’ll have to unload ten tons of pears before crossing the German border. Or six tons of apples when going to Belgium and another four tons when driving further south, into France. Nothing wrong with comparing apples and pears, in these calculation examples.
Anyway, the weight distribution is just perfect, either with a partial or full load. Only the tractor’s drive axle and the semi-trailer’s second axle are non-steering axles.
I did a quick chassis scan, the Pacton seemed to have a Tridec TD-X steering system. That’s a mechanical, rod-controlled steering system on the first and third semi-trailer axle, all directed by the tractor’s fifth wheel coupling.
Legal maximum weight and legal maximum overall length, combined with maneuverability. That’s what it’s all about when collecting heavy produce in rural areas.
Back to the front end. The tractor is a 2011 Renault Premium with a 470 hp, 10.8 liter inline-six. Although it does have a sleeper cab with a raised roof, the Premium is not a top segment model, specifically designed for the long haul. It was introduced in 1996 and evolved into the current Renault D-Wide, the cab of which is also used by parent company Volvo for their FE-series.