American trucks in Europe are a regular topic in articles. In this case, the topic will be exactly the opposite, since the European truck is about to start working in America. Moreover, this car will travel abroad not only out of curiosity, but also because of the very high comfort that it offers … the European cabin.
The protagonist of this text is David Roberts, a tanker driver from the US state of Iowa, who turned out to be a huge fan of under-cab engine trucks (referred to in the United States as “cabover”) and even called his own transport company OTW, in honor of these vehicles (short for from “Over The Wheel” or “Nad Kołem”). Until now, David used the International 9700 – one of the last American tractors with a short-body design, produced until the end of the 90s. Compared with conventional models, the car provides excellent maneuverability and has compact dimensions, combining it with good aerodynamics and a typical American aluminum body.
The problem, however, is that the American cabin has never been very comfortable, and the 9700 has unfortunately confirmed it. Inside, there was a huge engine tunnel, the driver’s workplace was short and narrow, and the corridor to the bedroom required some exercise. An additional problem was also the rigid “American” suspension, which can be additionally annoying if there is a seat on the front axle. That is why David began to think about bringing a truck from Europe, paying special attention to Renault Magnum. This car pleased him with a flat floor and comfortable air suspension, and thanks to the American Mack engines, it seemed the perfect candidate for a job in the States.
Magnum’s dream has turned into a concrete plan over time. Its implementation became possible when David Roberts Bartek Sołtys came across on the Internet. The Opole resident, also known as “Henry Hill”, owns the entire range of American trucks, some of which are imported to Poland directly from America. David asked him to organize a project in the opposite direction, that is, to search for a suitable Renault Magnum in Poland, then take it on a ship and send it to the United States. Since the enthusiasts quickly found a common language, shortly thereafter, Partek was looking for a suitable car on the market.
Newly purchased Renault:
Particularly important were the annual requirements, which relate to US regulations. First, for a truck from Europe to be registered in the US, it must be at least 21 years old. Only these vehicles, which there are considered classics, are not subject to import barriers in terms of safety and the environment. Moreover, David also made the decision not to make it newer than 1999. For this year, American trucks do not need to have electronic tachographs (introduced in 2017). Added to this is the engine’s above expectations that the car should have a Mach drive system, not a Renault unit.
A suitable car was found near Turek in the Greater Poland Province. It turned out to be Renault AE520 Magnum from a very early production batch, that is, since 1991. The car was equipped with a powerful 15.6-liter Mack engine, which made the Magnumki the fastest accelerating tractor on the European market in the era of modernity. Most importantly, the 31-year-old tractor originally survived, so its cabin and front body side avoided spacers from the newer generations. In short, it is a truly perfect material for a classic car, and Americans will be even more surprised at how the futuristic car was put up for sale with us three decades ago. I can already imagine the feeling this car would make in Iowa 80, the world’s largest truck parking lot (given by me over here), which is located just two hours from David’s Base.
Additional photos, already from Opole:
Currently, Renault is located in Opole and organizes the procedures for transportation. Logistically, the topic will not be simple, because importing from America to Europe is a more common service than in the other direction. In addition to the tractor, David also likes to bring a large stock of spare parts, especially those that he will never get or exchange for anything in America. So you have to find, buy and assemble the right parts, and then arrange transportation separately. It should be noted here that a car shipped across the ocean cannot only be filled with spare parts.
Once the truck arrives in the US, it simply has to do a job, i.e. pull the US trailer and pull the loads. Although before that the car will have to be modified a little, since the 4×2 tractor will not have much chance of success in America. In combination with domestic two-axle trailers, many jobs will simply run out of payload, and the speeds achieved by Americans – often over 100 km / h – require long wheelbases for stability. So, already in place, the rear of the frame will be cut and lengthened, and next to the drive axle there will be an additional third axle on the twins. Additionally, changes to the lighting may be necessary, not only because of the color scheme (like the mandatory five orange lights, for example), but also because of the 12-volt systems used on American trucks. After these changes, the Renault AE Magnum can closely resemble its Australian cousin, the Mack Magnum, which was introduced In this article.
Once the Magnum is ready to ship and headed toward port, I’ll seamlessly post an update on this. You can also expect a movie by Bartik Sotis himself, who leads Popular channel on YouTube, presenting their classics there, or solutions such as, for example, a two-stroke diesel engine. And finally, the curiosity of perceptives – yes, current David’s International has a very strange gear stick. It is the control unit of the Caterpillar 7155 automatic transmission, in which gears are selected manually, without using a clutch, by moving the joystick along a graph with 16 fields:
“Infuriatingly humble musicaholic. Problem solver. Reader. Hardcore writer. Alcohol evangelist.”