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LITTLE MAZ

Minsk Automobile Plant has launched the production of medium-tonnage urban trucks MAZ-4370.

Vladimir ARBUZOV

GO FORWARD TO KLONDIKE!

The abbreviation MAZ has always been associated with a huge, slow and soft car. But with the advent of the market, only demanded models have chances to survive. Today these are main trucks capable of taking on board an almost railway wagon of cargo, and delivery trucks - in parts delivering this wagon along congested city streets to the consumer’s doors.

GAZ began to develop the first gold mine of delivery trucks, releasing Gazelle on the roads. Following him, it seems that all our car factories rushed to Klondike. Moskvich, VAZ, Izhmash, ZIL also want to carry small loads. The closest neighbor, the Minsk Automobile Plant, did not stand aside: he mastered a completely new class of cars for himself - MAZ-4370 with a lifting capacity of 4.5–5 tons. And let Belarus be another state, to call MAZ a foreign car, the language doesn’t turn: 85% of components supply Russian factories to its conveyor.

MAZs in the Union have traditionally been famous for their simplicity and reliability. The plant worked for the army. Hardy and unpretentious machines easily withstood all the hardships and deprivations of service. The new, small MAZ does not change traditions. It is also simple, unpretentious and, hopefully, reliable. However, it's time to get to know him better.

WHAT'S NEW?

Cabin. It was borrowed from the MAZ dump truck, only slightly changing. Where the engine box used to protrude, a second passenger seat appeared. The spacious cab fit the truck. Huge doors and a pair of steps almost from the ground make the entrance-exit as natural as breathing. Anyone who has to scurry a hundred times a day behind the wheel and vice versa will appreciate this “trifle”.

The driver's seat, in addition to the usual adjustment back and forth, can also change the tilt of the backrest, cushion and move up and down on the air suspension. Perhaps a completely healthy person does not need all this, only among drivers there are, alas, not many. Through one - “radikulichiki”, and they will surely like it.

The steering column is also not simple, but with an adjustable angle. Not all of our cars can boast of such an option. In a word, you can get quite comfortable behind the wheel.

Thanks to the wide cab, each passenger also got a separate seat. Even very well-fed movers will not push each other with their elbows, as, for example, in the Gazelle.

But in the cab we still ride, but for now we look at other elements of a car still outlandish for many.

Engine. Under the reclining cabin, a tractor diesel from MTZ-80 was sheltered. Together with an imported piston group and a turbocharger, which raised power to 136 liters. with. (And at the same time the price of the motor is $ 800), he received a new index - D245.9.540. In cold weather, an autonomous heater will help to start the engine and warm up the cab.

Chassis. Note the original two-leaf springs of the front and four-leaf rear axle. Both suspensions have anti-roll bars, while the rear also has powerful springs.

The rear axle gearbox is interesting - it has a locking differential. And even if the car is not intended for off-road use at all, this useful device will not hinder it. Small wheels are much more prone to slipping, and a few centimeters of snow on the pavement become a serious obstacle for them.

Brakes deserve a special talk. For the first time on our truck they are equipped with an anti-lock system as standard. It can be imported - Wabco (Germany) or Belarusian - “Screen”. Our, among other things, stores and provides information about the effectiveness of the last braking of the car and the pre-emergency operation modes for the previous 40 seconds - a kind of "black box". And another innovation: brake levers (ratchets) - self-propelled. And this means that there is no need to constantly monitor the gaps between the brake drums and pads.

AND WHAT IS MOVING?

Having adjusted the steering wheel and seat for ourselves, we leave onto the road. The most striking impression is the excellent steering. Without any effort, you keep the car on the set course. At the same time, the reaction on the steering wheel is quite noticeable and you can’t call it “cotton”. This applies to all modifications of the "baby" MAZ, which we traveled.

A car with an isothermal wagon is perhaps too rolls. Even the stabilizers on both bridges cannot completely save her from swaying.

The first slide forces you to turn on a lower gear - the motor is clearly weak. And this is on an empty machine, and if you download it, it will turn sour. However, the current engine is about to be replaced by a 150-strong one. Not a beast, of course, but it will be better.

The steering column switch on one of the cars (on the odometer about 30 thousand km) is no longer fixed. On the other two, newer, while it works. Looking back through four spherical mirrors (all electrically heated) is simply gorgeous. One glance is enough to have a complete picture of what is being done behind. You’re almost never tired of driving - the silence for the truck is unusual by our standards, the vibrations don’t bother you, the workplace is convenient. In a word - almost a foreign car.

Almost - because its “proletarian” origin nevertheless peeps out from under the noble robes. All the same creaky keys of switches or, for example, a faucet on the lower radiator pipe. It is some 25-30 cm above the surface of the road. Or we don’t have icy snowdrifts on the side of the road, or did we patch all the holes on the asphalt? The faucet will certainly come off. An experienced driver, of course, will replace it with an ordinary bolt. Moreover, in the cooling system, as a rule, “Tosol”, and there is no need to drain it every day.

And still we will not judge strictly. The price of the car is less than 10 thousand dollars. For this money in Minsk you can only buy a six-year-old Volvo or Mercedes with a mileage far beyond 350 thousand. And this, as you know, cars, although worthy, are still "cats in bags."

1. In the rear suspension - a powerful anti-roll bar and small leaf springs. The brake force regulator is fixed on the longitudinal axis of the car, which makes its work more logical.

2. A plastic wing liner protects the cab well from below, but is clearly not designed to be feet on.

3. Thanks to such mirrors you always know what is being done from behind.

4. The parking brake valve, it’s also an emergency brake, alas, not at hand, but under … a seat.

5. Removing the batteries without removing the protection is not so simple.

6. Spacious cab small MAZ is not inferior to large.