E483, 4 Cyl, 3.3L CRS diesel engine / BS IV
ET30 S5 / 5 Speed (5 forward, 1 reverse) with Hybrid
300Nm @ 1600-1800 rpm
Semi-elliptical laminated leaves (with shock
195/ 60 R16
area / payload
5.6 sq metres / 2.7 tonnes
3068mm (10ft) x 1850mm (6 ft)
I remember as a child in
school, I hated a few subjects and the moment I saw the teacher entering the
class I would brood like no one’s business. Many years later I realised that it
was not the subject that had to be blamed, but the teacher who taught the
subject in a very boring way. It’s the same with commercial vehicles. It’s a
B2B product and is always construed boring by motoring journalists. One fine
day I decided that it’s time I begin my experiment with these vehicles. I took
upon the challenge to make these boring subjects come alive to the smart world
of B2C vehicles. My journey began a few months back with a couple of Volvo
luxury buses which I drove at the Volvo plant in Karnataka. Motown India
viewers on youtube loved it and asked us to review lot more of such vehicles.
When I got an opportunity to
drive the Eicher Pro Series sub 5 tonne vehicle I was only too willing to
travel to the Volvo Eicher Commercial Vehicle (VECV) plant in Pithampur in
Madhya Pradesh. I was a tad disappointed with the test track at the plant. It
was being re constructed to extend the length of the plant. The track I had to
test could barely test the speed of the vehicle because of its limited length.
But then I decided not to brood and go ahead with my review.
The Pro series of VECV
consists of the 1000 SERIES (5 - 14 tonnes), 3000 SERIES (10 - 15 tonnes), 6000
SERIES (16 - 40 tonnes) and 8000 SERIES (25 - 49 tonnes). The Pro 1049 is the
latest addition to the Pro 1000 series and is a sub 5 tonne vehicle. While the
8000 series is made at the Hoskote plant of Volvo Eicher in Karnataka, the others
are made in Pithampur in Madhya Pradesh.
Though the pro series 1049
comes in both BS III and BS IV engine options, I was thankfully given the one
with the BS IV engine to drive. The Pro 1049 is powered by an E483, 4 Cyl, 3.3L
CRS diesel engine which delivers around 95hp @ 2600 rpm and a peak torque of 300
Nm @ 1600-1800 rpm. Trucks are not about speed and acceleration but rather
about load bearing capacity and its pull power. Torque is a very important
factor in such vehicles as they have to climb steep roads bearing tonnes of
The diesel engine of the Pro 1049 is quite
robust and it is mated to a five speed gearbox. Thankfully, this vehicle comes
with a Hybrid Gear Shifting Lever (HGSL) which in essence offers less gear
shifting effort and reduces driver fatigue.
The vehicle has a contemporary
designed cabin with “Pegasus” look in front and clear lens integrated headlamps.
From the driver’s seat the view outside is wide and clear, thanks to the optimised
design windshield. Among the sub 5 tonne vehicles in the CV segment in India,
this one stands out for its practical features that it has to offer. Apart from
the wide windscreen, the vehicle comes with tilt and telescopic steering,
offering driver friendly 30 mm telescopic movement.
But more than the looks and
speed of a commercial vehicle, it is the spaciousness that really matters. The
Pro 1049 has a spacious cargo with around 5.6 Sqm with a loading deck length of
10ft “the longest” - ideal for applications like fruits & vegetable,
poultry, milk, LPG cylinder, water can distribution etc.
Another practical feature is
that it has a best in class cargo body height from the ground (1290 mm) which
is suitable for easy and fast loading and unloading. While in passenger
vehicles, it is the ease to enter and exit that really matters, here the
loading and unloading of goods is of great importance. Eicher claims that ever
since the Pro 1049 was introduced in the Indian market in 2016, it has grabbed
more than 22pc market share in the sub 5 tonne segment in the country’s CV
space. SO the next time you go out to buy your vegetables and milk and other
groceries, you can thank your Eicher Pro 1049 for delivering them to your
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