If we evaluate the statistics of the structure of cargo transportation over the past decades, we can be convinced that the share of trucks, according to such an important parameter as the total tonnage, accounts for about 70% of all transported goods. Railway transport, which is in second place, is significantly inferior with a share of 15%, so the demand for freight vehicles remains high. There are a number of objective reasons for this, the consideration of which is not included in our tasks. But to find out which truck models are the best in 2021, taking into account such factors as reliability, cost, carrying capacity, is not a trivial task, and we will try to solve it.
Our proposed rating includes the best trucks in the world in the heavyweight segment, which have proven themselves with excellent performance and reliability indicators, the ability to minimize the number of downtime due to scheduled and unscheduled repairs.
Topping the ranking of the best trucks is the German long-haul tractor, which won the honorary title of the best truck in 2020, leaving far behind its main competitors. The sixth generation Actros is distinguished by a large number of innovations, some of which can be safely called innovative. It is worth admitting that the truck is quite expensive, therefore it is not often found on domestic roads, but if we take into account such indicators as reliability, comfort and safety, then buying a tractor unit will be an excellent investment. Among the available truck options, we can mention the presence of functional cruise control, all-round cameras, semi-autonomous driving mode, and a modern digital control panel.
The novelty, the start of sales of which fell on 2020, is positioned by the manufacturer as the machine of the “next decade”. Indeed, there are no less technical innovations here than the leader of the top 10 best trucks. The adjustable top spoiler is designed to reduce aerodynamic drag depending on the speed, side deflectors and fairings, which guarantee a 4% reduction in diesel fuel consumption, also contribute to this. Instead of side mirrors, the truck, like the Mercedes-Benz Actros, has cameras, the cab is equipped with the latest technology (there is a microwave oven, a TV, and in the Fit Cab version it turns into a real fitness center with a horizontal bar, dumbbells and a foot trainer). Iveco
The range of engines of the Italian truck complies with the latest edition of the Euro-6d eco-standard, which has been in effect in the EU since September 2020. It includes diesel power units with a volume of 8.7 to 12.9 liters and a capacity in the range of 330-570 horsepower, as well as engines running on methane (8-13 liters, 275-460 horsepower). The modification of the truck with the S-Way Natural Power engine, for which the fuel is liquefied methane, deserves special attention. It is the only LNG-powered long-haul tractor to date with an impressive range of 1,600 kilometers.
The main advantage of the Scandinavian novelty, which debuted in 2019, is its super-efficient engines. The Swedish mainline tractor, ranked third in the ranking of the best trucks, is equipped with the latest power units that actively use turbo compound technology (use of exhaust gas energy). To do this, changes were made to the design of the turbine of the truck, which made it possible to increase the torque by 300 Nm in comparison with the same engines, but without the turbo compound. Such motors with the designation D13TC (the letters TC denote the presence of compound technology) have two degrees of boost, at 460 and 500 horsepower, and the increase in torque was achieved at lower revs, which provided an increase in fuel economy by 5-7%
Improved aerodynamics of the tractor cab, the use of tires with reduced rolling resistance and adaptive cruise control contribute to the same goal. The smart automatic I-Shift is able to select the optimal gearshift algorithm based on the topographic features of the terrain, and the use of the dual clutch allows the truck to shift gears faster and smoother, without jerking from power interruptions.
The well-known Dutch brand has also supported the traditions of European manufacturers of long-haul tractors. True, the XF 105, which is one of the best trucks of 2021, cannot be called a new product, since it has been produced since 2007, but this does not prevent the commercial tractor from occupying high places in all sorts of ratings. In Europe, the model is especially popular because, along with high reliability and comfort for the driver, it is cheaper than many competitors. A roomy cab, relatively low operating costs of the tractor, compliance of the line of power units with the modern Euro-6 eco-standard, good maintainability and a minimum number of serious breakdowns - these are the qualities that contributed to the growing popularity of the DAF XF 105 truck.
The 850-liter fuel tank allows non-stop driving up to 5,000 kilometers, in mixed mode the fuel consumption is 32 liters per 100 kilometers.
Despite its ten years of age, this long-haul tractor continues to be considered one of the most demanded trucks in the Old World. It is also often found on Russian roads. The main advantage of the model is considered to be ease of use and a high level of reliability.
Over these ten years, the truck has been repeatedly improved taking into account the identified shortcomings, and at present the tractor is able to reliably transport large loads on roads with relief of any complexity, including off-road, feel confident in the composition of road trains and withstand the hardships of hot and cold climates with dignity.
Despite its decent dimensions, the tractor is considered to be quite maneuverable, but at speeds the truck holds the road confidently. And although the cost of the German car is high, the payback is also at a decent level due to the excellent durability of all components and assemblies.
The most requested modification of the TGX 18.440 truck is equipped with a six-cylinder 10.5-liter 440-horsepower D2066LF40 power unit with a turbocharger, Common Rail injection, an intercooler and combined lubrication technology. This truck tractor cannot be called the most reliable or economical truck, but drivers note its high maintainability, low operating cost, reliability of the engine, transmission and suspension elements. The truck cab is distinguished by well-thought-out ergonomics and a high level of comfort, with one or two berths, depending on the configuration, a refrigerator, air conditioning, an autonomous heater and other "chips".