New UD Trucks Quester range Made to go the Extra Mile

12 March 2015 | Print

South Africa, March 2015. UD Trucks Southern Africa has launched its new Quester extra heavy truck range that includes 13 derivatives in its line-up.

South Africa, March 2015. UD Trucks Southern Africa has launched its new Quester extra heavy truck range that includes 13 derivatives in its line-up.  

Quester is specifically aimed at developing markets and is ideally suited to industry segments like agriculture, forestry and paper, public utilities, building and construction, mining and petro-chemical. 

“The Quester range is the first in a new generation of UD Trucks specifically developed for growth markets across the world, including the very unique African market,” said Rory Schulz, managing director of UD Trucks Southern Africa.  “It combines UD Trucks’ Japanese quality heritage, with global resources and the insight and expertise of our local experts.” 

The main aim of the range is to make the fleet owners’ day simpler and more productive.  Quester is UD Trucks’ most cost-efficient truck yet, not only when you buy it, but also when you drive it.  It cuts fuel costs and maximises uptime, giving operators a dependable payback that will help them succeed in their business. 

“We believe that Quester is a range that excels on durability.  Robust and easy to maintain, it is essentially a business tool that can handle tough daily use, especially off-road.   It stands for quality and durability,” explained Schulz.  “And all of this is backed up by a wide range of configurations with easy body mounting that offers our customers a tailored and purpose-built-solution for all types of applications. 

Designed and Tested with Local Customers in Mind 

The development of the Quester range started back in 2007, where the UD Trucks project team travelled to customers in eight developing markets to get feedback and experience each site’s unique operational environment.  

Being part of one of the largest commercial vehicle manufacturers in the world, UD Trucks was able to utilise the company’s global resources, as well as design, technical and manufacturing expertise from across the globe in order to develop the Quester range to exacting standards. 

Quester is on the forefront of UD Trucks’ global aspirations of being a modern smart truck supplier, which excels on the essentials while retaining its inherent Japanese heritage.  

“More than 400 full-time experts from different nationalities have contributed to the design, development and production of the Quester range and all its offerings,” said Schulz.  “We have spent 1.5 million engineering hours and 65 000 test hours to ensure that Quester delivers on its promises in actual operating conditions.” 

UD Trucks Southern Africa’s engineering division undertook numerous hours of local testing to ensure that Quester is Africa-tough and performs according to regional fleet owners’ business requirements. 

 In essence, Quester was built to last and designed to save time.  Everything in and around the Quester is developed to create strong, efficient and robust solutions for day-to-day operations.   Some of these quality elements include three-piece steel bumpers, in-vehicle diagnostics, easy maintenance, as well as UD Genuine Service and Genuine Parts

 Range & Performance

 The Quester range launched in southern Africa includes 13 model derivatives, including freight carriers, truck tractors, rigids and specific construction applications such as tippers and mixers. For the first time also, UD Trucks will offer a 8x4 model options for the related sub-segments within the market. 

UD’s two engine options are designed with fuel-efficiency and performance in mind. UD specifically developed the engines with wide torque bands to adjust to all operating conditions such as high-traffic scenarios, as well as for operations on tarred and gravel roads, and of course for cruising conditions. 

The 8-litre GH8E engine has already built a good reputation for its economy and performance, which makes it ideal for distribution and construction work. The engine is turbo-charged with an air-to-air intercooler and delivers 243kW at 2 200 rpm, as well as 1 200Nm of torque at between 1 400 and 1600 rpm.  

The 11-litre GH11E engine offers good torque of 1 734Nm at low revolutions which results in a quick response to acceleration.  It delivers 278kW of power at 1 900 rpm.  An electronically-controlled cooling fan reduces losses and it has an engine-driven power take-off with a high torque output of maximum 650Nm. 

UD also offers a UD Extra Engine Brake on the 11-litre engine derivatives, which uses the engine as an auxiliary braking devise.  The GH11E engine boasts a sturdy, dependable design featuring an overhead camshaft, four valves per cylinder and a precisely-controlled electronic unit injector.  Driveability is enhanced by the broad torque range. 

The heart of every Quester is the integrated powertrain that performs optimally because they were specially designed and manufactured to work together.  They combine the efficiency and durability of a Quester engine with a selection of globally-proven drivetrain components.  

In addition, the driveline has been carefully balanced to optimise performance under varying conditions, while providing good fuel economy at cruising speeds by matching the driveline with the correct rear axle ration. 

Quester utilises proven UD SYNCRO transmissions that are built for reliability and durability.  For the 11-litre engine there are 9 or 12-speed options available, while the 8-litre engine range has a 9-speed transmission.   It has a very high input-torque of up to 2 000NM on both transmissions.  

For rough and hilly operations, Quester offers hub reduction for the 6x4R, 8x4R and 6x4T configurations.  Quester’s rear axle housing is also made from fabricated steel to handle heavy loads. The 6x2R configurations can also be provided with a bogie lifting axle which is used to lift the axle in an unladen condition.  The lifting function gives the truck more traction when activated.  

Versatility and Toughness to Build a Business On 

Fleet owners are constantly looking for new ways to transport more cargo on every run, without the worry that the added capacity will compromise the truck’s safety.  

The chassis frame forms the backbone of quester as it is dimensioned to provide stability, payload capacity and long-life performance.  The frame is made from cold-formed steel and produced in a rolling form process that gives the chassis extended strength and flexibility.  

By having a wide product range and many available wheelbases, Quester is able to maximise the payload depending on the application and business needs of fleet owners. Due to the robust design and axles, Quester is intended to operate at high Gross Combination Weight (GCW) to give it a competitive load carrying capacity.  

In essence, the potential of Quester lies in its versatility.  The range offers customisation for a variety of adaptions that will suit varied transport requirements.  For example, Quester is designed for ease of superstructure installation with comprehensive bodybuilder instructions and drawings.  The parallel side members, designed bodybuilder mounts and a range of power take-offs add to the ease of installation. 

The correct wheelbase range is necessary to optimise the body length and payload.  The product line-up is available with a large wheelbase range direct from the factory, from 3 500mm up to 6 285mm. 

Quester offers ideal axle positioning, being available in 4x2T, 6x2R/T and 8x4R configurations for distribution and mining work. 


The T-ride rear suspension on the 6x4T/R has been especially designed for rough conditions and particularly suitable for construction where durability and reliability are of the highest importance.  Rubber springs between the springs and rear axles contribute to good comfort under all axle loads.  Rubber journalled V-stays and reduction rods ensure a smooth operation.  

A system of coil springs supports the entire cab, absorbing road shocks and vibrations. It’s a reliable and hassle-free system that keeps maintenance costs to a minimum. 

Room for Efficient Driving

Within the cab of the Quester it is all about efficiency, productivity, space and safety.  This is place for long work hours.  The cab has specifically been designed with the driver’s needs in mind, making it easy to work with great precision in any situation. 

The ergonomic layout of the dashboard increases the safety on the road.  The large 4.5” display ensures readability, and also displays information on the innovative fuel coaching system that comes standard with every truck in the range.  The in-vehicle diagnostics, including engine performance and early warning of malfunctions through pop-up messages and warning lamps, also appear on the dashboard.  

Quester’s cab has passed the globally-rated ECE R29/ AIS029 crash safety test in order to ensure the safety of the driver. 

Fuel Economy to Ensure Profitability 

The Quester range has built-in fuel economy, as the wide driveline offer gives customers the ability to optimise the powertrain with respect to power output, transmission and real axle ratio.  The well-specified powertrain ensures that the engine operates at its peak efficiency at all times, enabling good fuel consumption and high average speeds. 

“As the highest cost for fleet owners, cutting fuel expenses was a priority for UD during the development of the Quester range,” said Schulz.   

Quester’s built-in fuel coaching system constantly monitors the performance of the driver in real time.  This system keeps the driver informed of the truck’s current fuel consumption and if they are driving at the optimum speed and gear in order to ensure the best economy.  Fuel Coach is also able to advise the driver which corrective action to take in order to get back into the so-called sweet spot of performance.  

UD Trucks has also included a new interactive telematics system as standard on all Quester models, which also monitors fuel economy and even fuel theft.  

“As such, Quester gives fleet owners 100% control of their fuel expenses while saving 30% on diesel costs,” said Schulz. 

Interactive Aftermarket Support 

UD Trucks is offering a free three-year or 150 000km UD Basic service contract with the sale of every Quester unit. 

Quester’s telematics system, which is managed by the UD Trucks Call Centre basically monitors the heartbeat of the truck as it provides real-time positioning, information on preventative maintenance and manages the breakdown assistance.  

This also provides fleet owners and UD dealers with all the information they need to do the required preventative maintenance on time, and to schedule standard services more efficiently.  In essence it means that fleet owners are able to keep their trucks running for longer, and more productively. 

With 70 franchised dealers already present all along the major routes and trade corridors in southern and east Africa, fleet owners are able to get complete support from UD Trucks no matter where they operate in the region.  

“Ultimately, Quester address the top concerns every fleet owner have, namely fuel consumption, durability, productivity and maintenance in a smart and modern fashion,” said Schulz.  “Quester will take UD customers that extra mile every time.”
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