Trucksales reviews the new PW 24 280

Thursday, 1 December 2016

At an event at the Mt Cotton training facility in Queensland, Trucksales got a chance to up close and personal with the new UD PW 24 280.

The PW 24 280is unique for the UD brand in that it has been developed as a collaboration between the parent company in Japan and engineers here in Australia. Built for Australian conditions the new 6x4 is designed to fit into the lighter end of the Heavy Duty truck market.

To break down the name of the new truck, the P dictates the P-series cab, W is for 6x4 configuration, 24 indicates the GVM of 23.5 tonnes and the 280 is the horsepower of the truck.

The basis for the new truck is the PK 4x2 and the new truck’s development was turned around in the surprisingly quick time of 12 months.

According to the Acting VP of UD Trucks Australia Mark Strambi, there were 55 people involved in the project and more than 1200 hours of development went into engineering and design.

The new truck is powered by UD’s GH7 six-cylinder engine which puts out 280hp (206kW) at 2500rpm and 883Nm (651 lb/ft) at 1400rpm. This is mated to the six-speed electronically controlled 3500 Series Allison automatic gearbox – there is no manual option.

The truck comes in two wheelbases with the shorter wheelbase getting leaf-spring suspension and the longer wheelbase getting Hendrickson HAS460 airbag suspension.

Axles are Meritor MT44-144GP with tandem single drive. The forward of the two drive axles features a driver-activated diff lock and there is inter-axle diff lock as well.

The short wheelbase version gets 200-litre fuel tank as standard and the longer version gets 400 litres but Mr Strambi said that these could be customised to suit different applications. Both get a 50-litre AdBlue tank.

Safety equipment includes driver’s airbag, seatbelt pretensioners and ABS brakes.



Climbing aboard the new PW 24 280, we note the standard air-suspension seat which offers a broad range of adjustment. The steering wheel (460mm) is also adjustable with both tilt and telescopic control.

Vision is excellent with big electrically-adjustable and heated mirrors supplemented with wide-angle spot mirrors and a passenger-side down-facing spot mirror.

There is the usual array of instruments and warning lamps as well as up to 38 different written warnings on the displayed on the LCD screen.

The 6.1-inch screen includes digital radio, inbuilt 32G hard drive, up to four camera inputs, option for night vision as well as USB, DVD and CD. Also included is the integrated Fleetmax Plus telematics system.

Everything falls to hand nice, as you’d expect in a modern Japanese truck with the possible exception of the diff-lock switches which are at the rear of the centre console and although they have lights to indicate that they’re engaged, they are not in the direct line of sight of the driver. They’d be better mounted on the dash.



Interestingly, UD is now offering different colours other than white. In the past, you could get any colour combination as long as was white with a black chassis, but now all that’s changed Well some of it. You still have put up with a black chassis but the cab can be ordered with up to three colours, all for just $2000 we understand. So now, instead of having to take your truck to spray painter, it can come ordered with your own choice of colour.

Mr Strambi said that UD is the only Japanese manufacturer offering this option.



We got to test the new trucks on the road circuit at Mt Cotton, which while it doesn’t allow for real-world traffic or highway cruising did highlight how easy this vehicle is to drive.

The Allison ’box is a beauty with smooth and quick changes of gear, although I did think it held onto the lowest two gears a tad too long and had me looking for a manual shift up. That said, the exhaust brake was a beauty with strong retardation on the steep-ish downhill sections.

It is a comfortable cab to be in, and I could see drivers spending all day in one and not getting tired. We spent a good few hours in the PW, getting in and out as a delivery driver probably would and it proved to be a very pleasant experience.

We did get to drive the PW 24 280 on an off-road circuit which really highlighted the versatility of the truck. The diff locks can be operated on the move, although it’s suggested that it be done at low speeds, and we got to use them in anger as we traversed the lumps and bumps of the off-road track.

We also got to use it in a gravel trap with a loaded truck and the PW pulled through well with the diff locks in. We didn’t try it without the locks in but on one run felt that without the locks we may have been in a spot of bother…

It was a good test of the truck’s off-road ability and certainly showed that the suspension has the articulation to handle it and the standard diff locks add to the versatility of the PW24 280.

Back on the road, according to UD’s data, the PW 24 280 will be running at 2088rpm at 100km/h with the standard 6.140 diff ration on 11R22.5 tyres.

UD Trucks are well known for being reliable, and with its robust chassis and low-maintenance engine and transmission, the Condor PW 24 280 should prove to be no exception. Although we couldn’t get accurate fuel consumption figures for the trucks, UD says that the combination of the 280hp UD engine with the six-speed Allison HD3500 transmission provides the kind of fuel economy that’s fundamental to profitability in the freight sector.

Standard warranty for the new truck is 36 months/200,000 kilometres and there is an unlimited kilometre cab corrosion warranty.

This review has been republished courtesy of Trucksales. You can read the full review here.