To the question "What is a truck?" anyone will answer - this is a car with a large trailer. Its rear part rests on two (usually three) axles, while the front part rests on a "saddle" - a special mechanism located in the tail section of the main car. Due to sufficient mobility at the coupling point, such a truck can also be seen in urban areas, although the main area of \u200b\u200bapplication of this transport is long-distance intercity or international flights.
It is possible to list the advantages of this type of transportation for a long time, but let's focus on two. The first is the trailer system. We arrived at the base, handed over such a system along with the contents to the customers, and immediately left. The truck will have to wait until it is unloaded. Another plus is that the tractor pulls the trailing system behind itself, and not on itself, which reduces the cost of using such a machine.
The Soviet Union began to produce freight transport as soon as the Great Patriotic War ended. The Germans in Minsk began to build a Wehrmacht car repair plant, but did not finish it.The Belarusians completed and rebuilt it. So one of the Soviet enterprises for the production of heavy vehicles appeared.
Immediately after the war, Yaroslavl transferred here the documentation for the production of YaMZ-200. The revised version of this truck became the first own vehicle of the BSSR. Then a military modification appeared, etc. As in many other industries, the machines produced here dispersed throughout the Land of Soviets. With the collapse of the Union, the number of orders fell sharply, for a sovereign power, so much freight transport was simply not needed. For some time, production was even idle. Nevertheless, today the MAZ plant is still engaged in the production of vehicles. The logo letters are worn by buses, trolleybuses and, of course, trucks.
About 20 years have passed since the completion of the construction of the first stage of the plant until the collapse of the Union. Over the years, more than a million cars have been produced. Some of them were assembled according to the drawings of other developers, but there were also versions that said a fundamentally new word not only in the production of Soviet trucks, but also in the global automotive industry. In particular, the idea of a cabover truck was first tested and then presented by Minsk engineers.
Before proceeding to the description of a fundamentally new model ("Perestroika", as many who saw the first model at the Paris Motor Show dubbed it), let's consider the freight transport produced by the plant before it.
In 1948-1965, MAZ produced model 205. It wasthe first generation, which became a small refinement of the YaAZ-200 model, transferred to Minsk by Yaroslavl. On December 31, 1965, the last 205 leaves the assembly line.
Since 1966, the plant has completely switched to the 500 model, which began to be assembled in small batches since 1957. This second generation was the progenitor of the 5335 series. At the World Industrial Exhibition held in Brussels, the 530, a 500 series dump truck, wins the Grand Prix.
Autumn 1970 marked the beginning of the development of an improved version of the second generation machines - 500A. It introduced a new security system, a more comfortable cabin and other developments.
In March 1976, the MAZ-5549 dump truck leaves the assembly shop. This is the first-born of the 5335 line - a series of very successful models for the factory.
In the spring of 1981, a new development appears. This is a car and road train MAZ-6422. Over the next few years, the plant is being reorganized, then preparing for the production of three-axle tractors.
At the end of the 80s, a separate group of specialists began to work on the next, radically revised model. A car of the 21st century, a completely new control system, a modular design, the ability to obtain any payload, an improved cab, a wide range of upgrade options - these were just a small part of what the designers said about the new car. In 1986, a MAZ-2000 leaves the factory gates.
Most of the ideas for new vehicles originate in Europe. And, of course, they are developed based on Western norms.and standards. As an example, we can recall the birth of the first KamAZ on the Moscow ZiL. As is known from history, a foreign truck served as the prototype of the new car. It is these European standards that limit the length of the road train to 16 meters. Different wheel formulas, load capacity, power are used, but the standard for 16 meters is observed very strictly.
The Union, with its size and capabilities, could afford not to blindly follow Western canons. Yes, most of the cars that the same MAZ plant developed met these requirements, but the developers of the new car asked themselves: “Do we need to follow Western standards?” Perhaps, if there had been another chief designer at the enterprise, the answer would have been different. But M. S. Vysotsky was interested in posing the question, the proposed ideas, and he gives the green light. This is how a fundamentally new car MAZ-2000 is born. In 1985, a decision was made to develop. He owes the numbers in the title to the same chief designer. 2000 marks the turn of the century, and the new car is the car of the future.
The main features of the new truck were to be modularity and a certain unification. Thanks to them, the carrier could quickly assemble a car from a certain set of "cubes". And the one that was needed at the moment. The first experimental sample of this car was created from the following "cubes":
- cargo platform on a supporting frame, later it was proposed to remake this unit into interchangeable bodies;
- transportmodule - driven wheels with additional equipment and fasteners;
- new and completely redesigned control cabin, more on that below;
- frame module - to connect all parts together;
- traction module, it mounted the power plant and drive wheels.
The steering was allocated in a separate block. There were powerful hydraulic cylinders and other parts that turned the front of the entire road train.
It is interesting that the designers managed to achieve the elimination of the dead zone between the rear wall of the cabin and the cargo trailer itself, which is typical for the entire line of road trains. This immediately increased the volume of the body, as well as increased aerodynamics.
During development, in addition to those already listed, completely new blocks and technical solutions were proposed. Many of them subsequently issued copyright certificates and patents. One of the solutions was to change the appearance of the control cabin.
For the MAZ-2000 "Perestroika" it was completely redesigned. In particular, the cabin has lost its fairing, but it is not needed for a new car. The cab is as high as the roof of the trailer, and the front, slightly rounded, improves aerodynamics. The lights of the road train - three yellow ones - were placed above the windshield, which also changed. The wipers turned 180 degrees and received attachments at the top of the cab. Due to the height, the windshield has also increased, it has become one-piece, panoramic.
Changesthe doors have gone through. Now, instead of opening it, as is done in most cars, the driver moved it back in the direction of travel. This decision had another advantage. It was not necessary to close the door, since the mirrors became the most protruding parts. The changes also affected the cabin interior. Since she herself became taller, a driver of any height could comfortably sit behind the wheel. Moreover, it was the only development in the Union that allowed a person to stand up to his full height. Other innovations included a table, refrigerator, stove and even air conditioning.
But the high cabin was not the only external difference of the new MAZ-2000. The next one could be called the inscription "Perestroika" in transliteration, flaunting on the side surface of the awning covering the cargo platform.
Besides these two constant details, the exterior of the car has been constantly reworked. In particular, three options were proposed:
- There should have been a red strip along the bottom, from the traction module to the rear overhangs. On the rear wheels, they were going to put decorative branded hubcaps and add a decorative grille to the bottom of the frame, below the cargo platform.
- The second option was to install the grille at the level of the rear wheels. They thought to change the color of the strip to blue.
- In both cases, the headlights were located on the traction module. The third design option moved them to the front wall of the cabin, and ventilation grilles were added in the module itself. It is in this variantthe car went to the Paris Motor Show in 1988.
Pros and cons
The main idea of the development was the ability to rebuild the car as a children's designer. We need a truck for 20 tons - one traction module and a trailer. If you want 60 tons - three traction modules operating synchronously, and, accordingly, three trailers. As conceived by the engineers, a couple of such machines could replace a dozen standard ones.
Another plus was improved aerodynamics. The base model could support speeds of 120 km/h.
The pluses also included an increased volume of the body. This was achieved mainly by eliminating the dead zone that exists between the cab and the trailer at the usual "saddler".
Not without cons.
Firstly, the wheel formula of the new car was different from all previously announced ones. There is only one driving axle. Accordingly, the standard version can be called 6x2, but what if we have an elongated type and two or three traction modules?
The second disadvantage was that the motor under the fixed cab could be difficult to repair.
And, finally, before the launch of this model, a complete redesign of the infrastructure was required - due to the unusual design, it would be very problematic to drive a car in the cramped conditions of current roads.
Since the MAZ-2000 did not go into serial production, it is quite difficult to say anything specific about the technical parameters.
The speed has already been indicated, we add that the total mass of the road train could be from 33 to 40 tons (only the basic version), andthe length of the experimental version is almost 15 meters.
This car never went into production. Two experimental samples were assembled, 6x2 and 8x2. The first lived until 2004, after which it was cut into metal, the second stands like a monument at the main gate of the plant.
The truck MAZ-2000 "Perestroika" was a bold decision of Minsk engineers, which would have gone into mass production, had the collapse of the Union not happened. The car was considered the car of the future, and if this decision appeared later, perhaps it would be in time.