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Old 14th November 2009, 18:54   #46
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Nice thread. Brings back the nostalgic times, when we sued to own AL.

Yes, vehicles have 5 forward gears, and the 1st gear is usually extreme left > back. That is the "load" gear, as described. Passenger vehicles almost always start on the 2nd gear. What is described as the 2nd gear in the owner's manual is the 1st for drivers. ;-)

But, there is no overdrive. But, I remember reading in the owner's manual of one of 1979 model AL "cheetah" we owned that overdrive is an optional extra.

Even today, only Tata vehicles have tachometers.

BTW, Tata vehicles have a contraption near the left leg of the driver - between the bonnet and driver's seat - it is called a "engine brake". Never knew what it really does, since we never owned tata vehicles.

Drivers used to say that it is used while going down a slope. Not sure if 16/15XX series have it, but 1210 definitely had them.

Sometimes, the starter "push" button goes bad due to age, and drivers use a old (the big one) one rupee coin to connect the wires - they have to reach under the dash. (have done it!!!).

And sometimes, things can get really hilarious - I have actually used the starter push button as a switch for the horn!!!! (this is because starter buttons last longer and are designed to take more current).

Starting early 1990s, air filters have gone back to where they used to be - outside the bonnet. An old Fargo (!!!) we used to own and sold after several years of service, sometime in late 1970s, had air filters outside the bonnet. And Ford had sold quite a few heavy vehicles in mid 1980s; they too had air filters outside the engine compartment.

BTW, the MICO fuel pumps on 1210 and on AL vehicles were almost identical - except for the drive wheels and mounting assembly. There were some smaller changes too.

@pearljam - that "releasing air" -s engaging the "hand brake". From mid 1990s, all heavy vehicles have vacuum hand brakes - brakes are engaged if air enters the brake circuit.

That brings up yet more memories.

Sometime starting with 1210 series, (1980s mid)Tatas introduced the 24 V electric system and air brakes. Till then, only AL had the 24V electric system and air brakes. Tatas used to have brake system which required brake fluid. One of the pics in the first page from the 1613 truck has what I think is a brake fluid tank.

I recall AL truck drivers used to fill air from - hold your breath - air tank on their own vehicles.

Early 1990s, tatas switched over to air brakes, and dual circuit (diagonally split) braking circuit.

I guess both AL and Tatas now use the vacuum brakes. Since leaks mean air entering the circuit, and brakes engage with loss of vacuum, I guess this is far more safer.

And sometime in the 1210 series, I think tatas introduced the power steering too. But that was because the law mandated them, and not because they were doing the drivers / customers any favour.

Why am I talking more about Tatas rather than AL, though I have not owned any Tatas? SImple. AL have not done much innovation. ;-P

To be fair, AL was first with syncromesh gear boxes, Hino engines (not sure if they were TC). better placed gear levers (which were a failure with drivers), air suspension, rear engined buses (both from mid to late 1980s), But for some reason the innovations from AL never clicked.
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Old 14th November 2009, 19:56   #47
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Nice thread!!

Looking at the pictures of the truck made me realise how each place has it's own kinda unique truck decorations . Here in Kerala, the traditional Tata trucks have no doors..instead the cab has this well carved wooden shell. This is painted in beautiful colors. On the front above the windshield they have the trucks name and a usually a huge picture on the back of the cab. I love them especially the flatbed log hauling ones. A sample picture that I found on flicker - Redirect Notice.

I remember the time during my school days when the the KSTRC introduced those low engines Tata buses with the short gear levers. A long trip in one of them with me sitting in the front seat just behind the driver used to make my day. The engines used to be so silent and quiet. Only thing though - most of the drivers used to put them into reverse with both hands!!

Drive on!!
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Old 14th November 2009, 20:04   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post

Even today, only Tata vehicles have tachometers.

BTW, Tata vehicles have a contraption near the left leg of the driver - between the bonnet and driver's seat - it is called a "engine brake". Never knew what it really does, since we never owned tata vehicles.
And sometime in the 1210 series, I think tatas introduced the power steering too. But that was because the law mandated them, and not because they were doing the drivers / customers any favour.

Why am I talking more about Tatas rather than AL, though I have not owned any Tatas? SImple. AL have not done much innovation. ;-P

To be fair, AL was first with syncromesh gear boxes, Hino engines (not sure if they were TC). better placed gear levers (which were a failure with drivers), air suspension, rear engined buses (both from mid to late 1980s), But for some reason the innovations from AL never clicked.
If AL had air brakes/24v etc before TATA, how can u blame them for lack of innovation?

Turbocharged AL buses/trucks now have tachometers, maybe you should have another look. Leyland have had some wierd gear lever positions, no wonder they were a failure !
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Old 14th November 2009, 20:37   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
And sometime in the 1210 series, I think tatas introduced the power steering too. But that was because the law mandated them, and not because they were doing the drivers / customers any favour.
now thats news to me.
why is it mandatory to have power steering? i mean, why was it implemented? any specific reason?
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Old 14th November 2009, 21:11   #50
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Originally Posted by tortoiseNhare View Post
I'll look forward to the correct details on this thread. Will it be possible to get photos of round headlamp models? I'll also like to see a photo of the model with engine/bonnet outside the cabin and round headlamps on rod like stands.
1. Truck Photos - Tata Mercedes-Baez SFC, Old Model 1985, India

2. Tata Motors - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

3. Tata Motors : 50 Years look at pics 4, 8 and 11.

[quote=kuttapan;1582794]If AL had air brakes/24v etc before TATA, how can u blame them for lack of innovation?/quote]

Oh. I admit you have me there.

In several aspects, AL was far ahead of Tatas. They had air suspension, overdrive (the gear), rear engined chassis, etc, loooong before Tatas.

Quote:
Turbocharged AL buses/trucks now have tachometers, maybe you should have another look.!
Thanks for pointing out. But none of the newer KeSRTC buses (or the long distance private vehicles in north Malabar) have the tacho meter. At least, on the ones I have travelled.

Quote:
Leyland have had some wierd gear lever positions, no wonder they were a failure !
In fact, AL was first to introduce synchromesh gearboxes.

But drivers expected AL vehicles to shift without using the clutch at all. I have tried this. ;-)

And when faced with the zero fault tolerance synchro gear box, they resorted to shifting gears at half clutch. This of course, meant faster wear and tear, and AL got dubbed the "high maintenance" vehicle.

But the weird gear positions was partly due to the policy of AL to allow chassis with unbuilt front end ("cowl"). Unbuilt front meant each body builder was free to build their own dimensions for the bonnet, and the gear lever was often modified to suit the bonnet. The synchro gear boxes had levers on the bonnet (like the Tata lever); and in the hands of the way side body builder, this was certain invitation to disaster.

OTOH, gear-on-bonnet bodies built by good companies like Irizat TVS run like a charm. But several are replaced with old style lever behind the bonnet type.

Quote:
Originally Posted by raj_5004 View Post
now thats news to me.
why is it mandatory to have power steering? i mean, why was it implemented? any specific reason?
To reduce driver fatigue. Believe me, first time I used a clutch on an AL vehicle, it was so heavy, that I almost shot up from the driver's seat due to the recoil of the pedal.

And 20 years after driving the heavy vehicle with no PS, I actually asked the sales man at the car dealership "what use power steering?" and he gave me a strange look.

But once power steering was introduced, drivers were not available for older, non PS vehicles, that owners of older vehicles were forced to convert / modify them to PS versions.


And a small bit of info - for stopping the engine, AL buses have a small thingie, usually mounted on the bonnet, which is connected by a cable to fuel pump. To stop the engine, the drivers (rarely) pull this cable. The preferred way of switching off the engine is to put the vehicle in first gear, hold teh brakes, and release the clutch. is all owners can do about this.
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Old 14th November 2009, 22:43   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
... for stopping the engine, AL buses have a small thingie, usually mounted on the bonnet, which is connected by a cable to fuel pump. To stop the engine, the drivers (rarely) pull this cable. The preferred way of switching off the engine is to put the vehicle in first gear, hold teh brakes, and release the clutch.....
Pulling a lever is far less work than engaging a gear to switch off the engine - and far more smoother too. Dont see any reason for drivers to do that. And I haven't : have always seen them pull the level to switch off the engine and never use the gears for that. I guess you will know how much of a jerk will be caused by stalling like that.
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Old 14th November 2009, 23:00   #52
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You don't want to jerk with the clutch, it is extremely expensive to replace a truck clutch, which normally lasts for nearly 80k kms.

Its a choke lever that is used to stop the engine. If you have used a diesel generator you will know more clearly how its is connected.

In 1210D it was similar to what we have in Mahindra DI. In 1210SE its connected to Accelerator pedal.

PS: I don't like previous Leylands for the sheer lack of detailing the cabin, cluster and seating position. They should have done better. The instrument cluster looks like an after thought mounted on the column.
It clearly shows on highway. out of 50 tata, you have one leyland that too southy registered. (Like KA or KL AP or TN)

i like the stallion 4x4 though.
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Old 15th November 2009, 07:04   #53
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Thanks a lot indeed. I also loved this one:

Tata Motors : 50 Years
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Old 15th November 2009, 11:21   #54
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Tata or AL - the choice seems to be overwhelmingly different across the country. For example, most of the heavy vehicles in Tamil Nadu are AL. I heard from drivers that AL pulls better on ghat sections. But if you go to Karnataka, you see a lot of Tata 1210 and 1510.
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Old 15th November 2009, 12:48   #55
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Engine brake is an Exhaust brake. It is a means of slowing a diesal engine by closing off the exhaust path of the engine, casuing the exhaust gasses to be compressed in the exhaust manifold, and in the cylinder. Since the exhaust is being compressed, and there is no fuel being applied, the engine tends to retard slowing down the vehicle. The amount of negative torque generated is usually directly proportional to the back pressure of the engine. ( source :- Wikipedia )
In in the old models of tata ( pre 1998 ) There was a switch which was operated by a driver using his leg. later There was a lever near the instrument panel which could be switched on, and the exhaust brake would operated only if the brake pedal was pressed. It is a good means to slow down the vehicle going down hill. i personally used to use it even on an unloaded vehicle driving on a rainy day.
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Old 16th November 2009, 15:51   #56
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Default great review

Great review. I am similarly minded. When i was working as a site engineer in 1995 -1996, i used to do exactly the same thing with the trucks that came to deliver my air con equipment and materials to site

Since our site was enclosed and gated, most drivers didnt mind letting me take their trucks for a spin. Most were LCV's (Swaraj Mazda and Canter) and very easy to drive, power steering and all. Got to drive a 1210 once. When I got in it felt like there were 2 brake pedals. Then I realised the one on the left was the clutch

Great experience, but I instantly felt sorry for lorrywallas doing city runs. It must to a dog to drive in traffic

I am glad all the modern conveniences are coming into to our new trucks on a more regular basis

I have hitch hiked many many times from Solapur to Mumbai on trucks. Amazing experiences. I remember one particular trip after I had completed a particularly difficult bunch of exams. A nice quarter of rum for company and did the 7 hour drive from Solapur to Pune on the cab of the truck (more spacious than you would imagine)

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Old 16th November 2009, 16:37   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kuttapan View Post
Can anyone confirm if all the buses now use turbocharged engines?
All new buses are TCed to meet the emission norms!

@SirAlec: Interesting thread and kudos to you for detailing with the pictures!

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Old 16th November 2009, 16:52   #58
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Default Tata vs AL - already discussed in CV thread

Quote:
PearlJam : Tata or AL - the choice seems to be overwhelmingly different across the country. For example, most of the heavy vehicles in Tamil Nadu are AL. I heard from drivers that AL pulls better on ghat sections. But if you go to Karnataka, you see a lot of Tata 1210 and 1510.
Preference & choice - including LP or S models, depends on applications, and the specific owners/transport company.. IIRC, already discussed in the CV thread, so let's stick to the product discussion here (1613 only).

@PearlJam, Tata's are preferred for hilly driving.

Last edited by condor : 16th November 2009 at 16:55.
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Old 16th November 2009, 16:53   #59
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I guess the loud sneeze heard on trucks sometimes, esp when they are climbing mountains at high rpm is the excess air being released?
Speaking of air, if cars had air tanks, we could easily install those el cheapo air horns which can be heard far away
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Old 16th November 2009, 17:01   #60
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I guess the loud sneeze heard on trucks sometimes, esp when they are climbing mountains at high rpm is the excess air being released?
Speaking of air, if cars had air tanks, we could easily install those el cheapo air horns which can be heard far away

TSK, You just made me remember a funny thing.
truckers say " The truck is not sneezing " which means that there is a air leak in the system which results that the air tanks do not presurize enough to sneeze, " sait gadi cheenkh nahi mar rahi hai "
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