Renault Trucks has, in theory, two offerings when looking at the needs of the construction sector the ‘K’ model is a more European style product and caters for what would be traditionally called the ‘muckaway’ sector. Of course, the needs of UK operators have always been focussed around maximising the payload potential which results in a low chassis weight requirement. After looking at the specification of the ‘heavier’ K range, Renault Trucks decided a lighter weight product range was necessary and this became the ‘C’ Range.
Perhaps one of the most popular models within the range is the four axle C460.320 8x4 tridem which believe it or not starts life as conventional 6x4 chassis before it undergoes a converter transformation when a fourth rear steer axle is added, tridem style.
The ‘460’ section of the Renault Trucks nomenclature denotes the nominal engine horse power rating and in the case of this eight wheeler, its powered by their DTi 11 litre Euro VI diesel engine rated at 453bhp (338kW) developed between 1700 and 1900 rpm. The torque hits a high of 2200Nm between 1000 to 1400 rpm helping to provide the potential for a good driving style. The 10.8 litre six cylinder common-rail engine uses various after-treatment system involving a catalytic converter, diesel particulate filter and Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) along with a partial gas recycling. Interestingly the engine also reduces the engine power by 25% when vehicle emissions are above the legal limits.
Behind the engine sits a 430mm single plate clutch matched to Renaults well known and respected automated gearbox the Optidriver and in this case it’s the ATO 2612 version resulting in a 0.79 overdrive gear at the top end. The ‘26’ denotes the gearbox is rated up to a maximum torque input of 2550Nm, well within the engines 2200Nm output and the ‘12’ denotes a 12 speed gearbox.
Naturally, a multi-wheeler normally requires a power take off to power various types of ancillaries and the ‘C’ comes standard with the S81 model with a maximum torque rating of 1000Nm.
The good news from a turning circle perspective is the wheelbase remains the same as the 6x4 at 3900mm measured from the centreline of the front axle to the centreline of the second axle and this results in a maximum overall chassis length of 9610mm. One of the main reasons for the continued growth in tridems is often their enhanced turning circle credentials and the Renault is no different. Measured kerb to kerb, it takes 7.78m to complete the sweep while is requires 10.3m for the traditional 8×4 chassis, which is 32% difference although it does weight around 200kg heavier than a conventional 8×4.
Ground clearance is a key dimension when looking at a vehicle that could spend a lot of time off -road and the C Range is in the laden condition is 289mm at the front axle and 251mm at the rear.
The tridem has a gross vehicle weight of 32,000kgs and matched to Renault Trucks Day and Night cab has a kerb weight of 10,249kgs which includes a full 48 litre tank of Adblue, 315 litre fuel tank filled to 90%. All this means there’s a potential body and payload allowance of 21,751kgs.
The front suspension consists of a two leaf springs and an anti-roll bar, with the rear bogie using air suspension and an anti-roll bar and rear shock absorbers. Of course steel rear suspension is also available along with a two channel remote control for the rear suspension.
Braking on the ‘C’ range start at the engine, with Renault Trucks Optibrake ‘retarder’ fitted as standard which uses a combination of a conventional exhaust brake and valve compression braking coupled to the service brake and rated at 300kW(403bhp) at 2300rpm.
The service brakes consist of ventilated disc brakes all round with automatic brake line slack adjusters. The usual array of electronic braking systems comes standard including Anti-Lock Braking, Anti-Slip Regulation, Hill Start Assist, Electronic Stability Control and Emergency Brake Assist. There is also Drag torque control which controls the torque input whilst down shifting and the park brake is the latest generation electronic type which automatically engages and has an anti-rollaway feature available.
The all steel large ‘Night & Day Cab’ features heated and electronically controlled rear view mirrors, as well as door hatches either side of the cab one of which is accessible from inside for two large storage boxes. The front 5 cell LED lights produce three times more light than the standard, with 1450 lumens on the main beam and 700 lumens on low beam.
The interior is 2260mm wide and single bunk is 2010mm long and 670mm wide, and the mattress is 170mm thick with twice as many springs as the previous model and its detachable from its base to use fitted sheets. A memory form topper is also available.
The instrument panel features a 7 inch HD colour information display and the steering wheel has a handy removable writing board complete with a set of controls for the media system.
Verdict: The C460 is an excellent blend of a strong chassis that’s optimized to the needs of the UK lightweight multi-wheeler operator. The large Renault Trucks’ Night & Day’ cab provides an excellent work environment for the driver with a single comfortable bunk if needed. Renault Truck have thought about their product line-up and converting a base 6x4 to a tridem configuration offers the best of both worlds, especially if you’re in a tight corner.