Tomorrow People

The Vast and the Furious: Ridiculous Trucks from Around the World

Blog post   •   Jul 25, 2012 10:16 BST

You worry about escalating fuel costs; you sign up for company fuel cards; you introduce incentives for your drivers to stop them from using a heavy right foot. In fact, your job is one big stress bomb. So can we recommend that you make a brew and put up your feet to contemplate how bad your finances might be if you had any of these vehicles in your company fleet? They're the kind that would render even the most economical discount fuel cards utterly impotent...

“Mean green machine”

What is it? The world's fastest hybrid diesel truck 

How vast? How furious? Hybrids in any shape or form are usually associated with terribly sensible people who like the warm, self-satisfied glow they get from driving something 'green'. And when you think of Volvo, you think of, well, 'safe'. So imagine our surprise when the Swedish giant set two world land speed records for hybrid diesel trucks in Utah earlier in the year. Powered by a 2,100BHP D16 diesel-electric powertrain, 'Mean Green' hammered a flying kilometre, posting a 147MPH time, and hit 95.2MPH in the standing kilometre category. What's most impressive is that the Volvo parallel hybrid drive system used in Mean Green is the same one featured in the company's London double-decker buses. So how come we’re always late for work, Boris?

US farmer, Brent Hajek, raced his modified Ford pick-up truck across the Bonneville Salt Flats in 2011, managing to hit 182MPH. Not bad for a vehicle that weighs 8,000 pounds; though the 6.7-litre V8 Turbo Diesel engine probably helped...

“Masters of bling”

What is it? The Japanese phenomenon of 'dekotora'

How vast? How furious? In need of corporate rebranding for your fleet of vehicles? Then seek inspiration from the land of the blinding bling. Some Japanese enthusiasts fit their trucks with up to £100,000 worth of eyeball-blistering bulbs. With outrageous external lighting schemes, fully-lit 'tusks' that jut out from the front and mad interior décor (chandeliers and wall-papered dashboards, anyone?), each truck needs to pack extra gas-guzzling generators just to keep the gaudy light show going. So forward the above weblink to your accounts team... and wait for the screams of horror.

“Drag van man”

What is it? The world's fastest Mercedes Vito Van

How vast? How furious? While its fuel bills would be aneurysm-inducing, deliveries round town could be four times as quick if your drivers were using Aussie Andrew Bartlett's Vito. He took a normal Vito, stripped it, then installed a full-tube chassis with carbon fibre body work and, most importantly, some serious firepower in the shape of a 632-cubed inches big block Chevy powerplant. The mechanical mentalist then fitted drag setup suspension plus wheelie bars. After successfully debuting the tarmac-shredding Vito, Andrew is now planning to add a nitrous system to his mad van...

Using two pick-up trucks based on the Toyota Hilux platform, modifiers Arctic Trucks set a new world record in 2010 when they made it across Antarctica to the South Pole in just 4.5 days, covering 2,308km. Their average fuel consumption? A whopping 2.2km per litre...

“Big, big Daddy”

What is it? One of the world's biggest, heaviest trucks.

How vast? How furious? Sick of running a fleet of trucks? How about getting one to do the task of, say, ten? Roll forward and take a bow, the miner's favourite, the dump truck Liebherr T 282 C. It offers a payload capacity of 400 tons and can hold 1,250 gallons of fuel. It can also generate 3,650BHP from its diesel/electric hybrid engine and can hit speeds of up to 40 quite-frankly-terrifying miles per hour. Alas, standing at 25 feet tall and 48 feet long, your drivers may have issues manoeuvring round town and accidentally flattening entire shopping malls while reversing.

For more down-to-earth advice on managing drivers, download our eGuide ‘Keep an eye on your heavy footed drivers: without a heavy hand’


Guest Post: James Knight is the fuel management consultant of The Fuelcard Company, the largest commercial reseller of company fuel cards in the UK. You can read more on his expertise in fuel control and solutions on vehicle maintenance by reading Fuel Cards Blog here. You can also find him on Google+ and Twitter.