Tatra’s famed and proven central backbone tube, with independently suspended swing half axles, guarantees sublime off-road capabilities. But to maximize the possibilities the Dutch legislation offers, the factory 8×8 set-up needed some modifications. The final outcome: over 100,000 lbs street-legal GVW on just eight wheels.
Thanks to the wide spread axle conversion -at least 180 cm axle spacing is required- each axle (a couple of swing half axles, in Tatra’s case) is now rated at an axle load of 11.5 metric tons, which is the legal maximum for a drive axle. Furthermore, the rearmost axle was changed into a steering axle.
Also, the factory air suspension is combined with hydraulic cylinders. You must have noticed the super singles all around, so this Tatra is a true eight-wheeler indeed.
That’s a simple sum, add up the axle loads and the result is 46 metric tons (101,413 lbs) GVW. The payload capacity, also stated on the dump bed’s side, is 27.8 metric tons (61,290 lbs). Thanks to its three steering axles and an overall length of only 9.25 m (30’4”), the burly Tatra can make tight turns like a champ.
The cab and engines for the Phoenix-series are sourced from DAF, the transmissions come from ZF. The inline-six turbodiesel is either the 10.8 liter MX-11 or the 12.9 liter MX-13.
Some action on a sand track, featuring the same demo-truck. An advice to the videomakers: next time, when a heavy off-roader is the main character, just play the authentic diesel engine roar as music.
The Tatra Phoenix (available as 4×4, 6×6, 8×8 and 10×10) trucks and tractors are sold and serviced by multiple DAF dealerships throughout the Netherlands, as these are a welcome addition to DAF’s factory product line (photo courtesy of ESA Trucks Nederland). Hang on there!
Related article (with plenty of central backbone tube and swing half axles pictures):