Low-emission, comfortable, safe: Big Thumb carves the way to a new era

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Environmental issues such as air pollution and global warming came under close scrutiny once the 1980s rolled around. Since then, regulatory values have gotten stricter year by year with the enactment of various automotive exhaust regulations in Europe and the United States coupled with the strictest worldwide brought into effect in Japan.

UD Trucks has cleared all of these tough regulations with the advance development of low emission engines while at the same time enhancing the fuel efficiency and engine performance of its trucks. With the heavy-duty Big Thumb truck released in 1990, development focused on boosting comfort and safety as well as ensuring a modern design that blended in with the surroundings based on the concept “Kind to people and in harmony with the urban setting.” The new cabin of the Big Thumb significantly raised aerodynamic performance via flush surfaces based on 3D curves. The newly developed NF6 turbo engine enabled low emissions and greater fuel economy. Meanwhile, the Variable Nozzle Turbo (VNT) permitted the nozzle opening to be adjusted in a non-step manner.

big thumb

The Big Thumb series led the industry in terms of enhanced comfort and safety, achieved with the latest state-of-the-art electronic technology. The world’s first commercialized radar laser collision prevention system was made available as an option in 1989 and a couple of years later in 1991 electronic controlled automatic transmission (E-MATIC) was installed. 

In 1992, an Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) and Anti-slip Regulation (ASR) were introduced as options (later as standard) in an effort to further bolster operability and safety. The ESCOT-AT, the first semi-automatic transmission in Japan, was built into the truck in 1995, giving the driver a choice of either automatic or manual drive. In 1998, the GE13 engine was mounted on the Big Thumb. This engine employed an electronically controlled unit injector, the first in Japan, to realize maximum output of 440PS. Innovations continued to be infused into the Big Thumb to produce a truck that carved the way to a new era in the 21st century.