T815, T815-2, TERRN°1
Tatra T815 TERRno2
Manufacturer Tatra
Production 1983 - present
Assembly Kopřivnice, Moravia, Czech Republic
Predecessor Tatra T813
Class Heavy Truck
Body style(s) COE
Cab forward
Engine(s) [1] Diesel naturally aspirated or turbocharged
  • Tatra (Air-cooled)
    • V8 (12.6 L) 1983-present
    • V10 (15.8 L)1983-present
    • V12 (19.0 L) 1983-present
  • Deutz
    • V6 (11.9 L)
    • V8 (15.8 L)
  • Cummins
    • L10 (10.0 L)
    • M11 (10.8 L)
    • ISM (10.8 L)
    • ISL (8.9 L)
    • ISB (5.9 L)
  • CAT
    • C13 (12.5 L)
    • C15 (15.2 L)
    • C18 (18.1 L)
  • Detroit
    • 6067SK60 (11.1 L)
  • MTU
    • V12 (183TD224)(22.5 L)
  • Transmission(s) [2]
    • Tatra
      • 10 speed manual(10TS180)
      • 14 speed manual(14TS210L)
      • 14 speed semi-automatic
  • TwinDisc
    • 6 speed automatic (TD-61-1175)
    • 10 speed automatic (TD-101-3600)
  • Allison
    • 5 & 6 speed automatic
  • Electric range 24 V

    Tatra ON AIR T3D-928 EURO 5 SCR
    Manufacturer Tatra
    Configuration V8
    Displacement 12,667 cc
    Cylinder bore 120 mm (4.7 in)
    Piston stroke 140 mm (5.5 in)
    Turbocharger 1
    Fuel type Diesel fuel
    Cooling system Air cooled
    Power output
    • 280 kW (375 hp) @ 1700-1750 rpm
    • 325 kW (436 hp) @ 1700-1750 rpm
    Torque output
    • 1,800 N·m (1,300 ft·lbf) @ 1000-1200 rpm
    • 2,100 N·m (1,500 ft·lbf) @ 1000-1200 rpm
    Dry weight ~ 1,200 kg (2,646 lb)

    Tatra T815 is a truck family, produced by Czech company Tatra. It uses the traditional tatra concept of rigid backbone tube and swinging half-axles giving independent suspension. The vehicles are available in 4x4, 6x6, 8x8, 10x8, 10x10, 12x8 and 12x12 variants. There are both air-cooled and liquid-cooled engines available with power ranging from 230–610 kilowatts (310–820 hp). As a successor to Tatra T813 it was originally designed for extreme off-road condition, while nowadays there are also variants designated for mixed (both off- and on-road) use.

    The T815 and its descendant models brought the Czech truck racer Karel Loprais to victory six times in the Paris Dakar Rally.


    Brno, Autotec 2010, Tatra, hasiči T 815-7

    Current Tatra production

    Designed to eventually replace T148 the prototype T157 was introduced in 1970 and several more prototypes were designed between 1970-1974 period but no production resulted. Due to protests from another Czech manufacturer LIAZ which was assigned by the government central planning committee to manufacture trucks of similar class Tatra dropped the T157 and instead started to concentrate on a heavier class as the replacement for T813 and T148 which was introduced in 1983 as T815 series. In 1989 Tatra modernized T815 series and introduced new T815-2 which received further upgrade in 1994 and just 3 years later in 1997 the new cabin TerrN°1 is introduced. Another facelift followed in 2000 where changes included among others new instrument panel and cab attachment and for the first time there is a option for fitment of liquid cooled engines. The latest facelift of cabin came in July 2010. Due to emission requirements changes in 2003 Tatra developed all new V8 engine T3C to comply with Euro III where it followed the tradition once again with its air cooling design. The further developed T3D engine was introduced in 2006 with its SCR and Euro IV compliance.[3]


    See also: backbone chassis

    While most other manufacturers derive their trucks from road applications, Tatra T815 was purposely designed for extreme off-road conditions, and its road versions are derived from the off-road original concept. The principle consists in a central load-carrying tube with independently suspended swinging half-axles bolted as one whole. This gives Tatra vehicles outstanding driving qualities in the most difficult terrains. The concept allows higher off-road speed compared to classical rigid axle design.


    Tatra axles[4] are in their basic version always driven and equipped with locks. Inside the transmission case there is a pair of driven disc wheels (one for each half-axle) and two pinions transferring torque from the differential which is placed outside the axle in the central load carrying tube, and which is, unlike the classic axle solution with a bevel differential, a differential of a so-called crown or cylinder type. The inner space of the case is adapted for swinging motion of the half-axle. The axles have a brake system with pneumatic drum brakes equipped with Perrot wedge spacers, and for legislation versions, also with ABS system installation sensors

    Central load-carrying tubeEdit

    High torsional and flexural rigidity protecting superstructures from transferred load. Modular system is enabling configurations of 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6-axle vehicles with various wheel bases; all-wheel drive possible. The most critical part of torque distribution to axles, from the operational point of view, is placed into the load-carrying tube and thus protected by it.[5]



    • Mechanical suspension [6] of load capacity up to 8 tons per axle by torsion bars – for versions with one steered front axle (4x4 and 6x6) or by leaf springs – for versions with two steered axles (8x8, 10x10 or 12x12).
    • Air-bellows, with a load capacity of 9 tons per axle and a possibility of a ground clearance regulation.


    • Mechanical – by leaf springs, with a load capacity of up to 11.5 tons per axle[7]
    • Air-bellows with a load capacity of 10 tons per axle and a possibility of a ground clearance regulation
    • Tatra King Frame suspension system - combination of an air-bellow with a coil spring placed inside, with a load capacity of up to 11.5 tons per axle or combination of air-bellows with leaf springs, with a load capacity of 13, 15 and 16.5 tons per axle.

    All suspension types are equipped with telescopic shock absorbers; some versions also have stabilizer torsion bars.


    The Tatra engine[8] is an air-cooled, 12.7 liter 90° V8 diesel engine with direct fuel injection. It is turbo-supercharged, and equipped with an intake air cooler placed directly over the engine. The engine is equipped with a mechanically controlled in-line injection pump. Its roller crankshaft bolted together from individual segments belongs among unique technical solutions. The engine is available in emission specifications Euro 2 - Euro 5 with power output ranging from 230 to 325 kilowatts (310 to 440 hp) and 1,400–2,100 N·m (1,000–1,500 ft·lbf) torque. V10 and V12 air cooled Tatra engines also used to be part of T815 line.

    Tatra T815 can be fitted also with water-cooled engines made by other manufacturers - notably Cummins and Deutz with power ranging from 260 to 440 kilowatts (350 to 590 hp) with 1,550–2,750 N·m (1,140–2,030 ft·lbf) torque.

    The most powerful MTU engine that can be fitted in T815 has 610 kilowatts (820 hp) displacing 21,930 cc.



    Tatra T815 8x8 crane with low cab

    • Manually controlled mechanical Tatra transmission[9] which is mounted directly on the auxiliary transmission case, and which, therefore, is an integrated part of the chassis with 10 or 14 gears with two auxiliary gears.
    • An electronically controlled gear shifting Tatra - a driver using a joystick just pre-sets a speed gear, and after the clutch is engaged, the speed shifting is carried out. The driver is informed about the shifted speed gear by means of a dashboard display.
    • Twin Disc which is a six-gear auto transmission of 1189 or 1177 type
    • Allison six or seven-gear automatic transmission with a compact construction in one case, with a torque converter, which are mounted directly on the engine


    Brno, Autotec 2008, hasičská Tatra

    Tatra T815 TERRN°1 4x4 fire engine

    Tatra T815 is equipped with own Tatra-produced COE cab.[10] There is basic version, extended version with room behind seats used for a berth and especially for fire-fighting applications a long four-door cab enabling transportation of up to six persons.

    There is also special low cab version used mostly for cranes and other special applications. The cab is situated in front of the front axle.


    • Trucks equipped with air-bellows suspension have possibility of a ground clearance regulation.
    • Special protective surface finish
    • Central tire inflation system enabling deflation/inflation of tires during the drive in boggy terrain (standard for military versions, on demand for civilian)
    • Multi-fuel engines for military version (on demand)
    • Vehicle radio-shielding as per NATO standards for military version
    • Possibility of additional cab ballistic protection through a supplied and subsequently installed additional armoring set intended also for windows for military version


    Tatra 815 8x8 NVA

    Tatra T815 NVA military troop and cargo carrier

    • Civilian
      • Tatra T815
      • Tatra T815 low cab (for cranes and instalation of other special superstructures)
      • Tatra T815-2 (outdated, but still manufactured on demand)
      • Tatra T815-2 TERRN°1 (most demanded and sold, core of the current T815 range)
      • Tatra T815-7
      • Tatra T816 Force (ultra-heavy fire-fighting offroad truck)
        • There is wide variety of superstructures built on Tatra T815 ranging from tipper S1 and S3 trucks, flatbed truck, tanker,drilling platform (used notably in Australia and Russia), autocrane, excavator, concrete mixer, semitrailer tracktor and many other.
    • Military
      • Tatra T815 Armax
      • Tatra T816 Force (the category of the heaviest military trucks with outstanding mobility in the most difficult terrain conditions)
      • Tatra T815-7 (T817)
        • The military versions vary from 4x4 troop or cargo carrier to 12x12 BrahMos supersonic cruise missile carrier (used by India).
    • Racing
      • Rally raid - Tatra trucks are very successful in rally raids, notably in Dakar where Karel Loprais achieved 6 times victory with T815. There were both 4x4 and 6x6 used in rally raids, and T815 8x8 "Totálka" is the heaviest car ever used in rally.
      • Truck trial where T813 gained reputation of invincible off-road truck, of which T815 is a worthy successor

    T815 UsersEdit



    All versions for all applications are sold in countries of Central and Eastern Europe as well as in Germany and France. In Central Europe the trucks are used mostly by construction companies, logging companies and mining companies. They are notably popular as fire-fighting engines. In far Russian east the Tatra Trucks are used by oil and gas companies in the most difficult terrains, where also the air-cooled engine proves its superiority over water-cooled during harsh winter time.


    T815 is exported to the USA and Brazil. It used to be marketed under mark "American Truck Company" in the USA, where T815 and T816 Force is used as heavy fire-fighting engine.


    In Australia T815 is used notably by mining companies (i.e. as heavy drill 10x10 carrier)[11]


    There is assembly line of Tatra vehicles in India.

    T815 is available also in some African and Asian countries


    Tatra T815 vehicles are widely used by military of Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia, Saudi Arabia, India, Israel and many other countries.


    Slovakia army 868

    TATRAPAN of Slovak Army


    Tatra vehicle codingEdit

    The full name of a given vehicle explains most essential information about it.[12] Take as example T 815 - 231S25 28 325 6 x 6 . 2 R / 34 1:

    • T815 = truck family
    • 231S25
      • 2 = truck family - T 815-2 Cab over engine TerrNo1 or Armax
      • 3 = engine type - T3D-928.30 air cooled
      • 1 = vehicle variant - Euro 5 left hand drive with ABS
      • S = vehicle type - tipper (Sklápěč)
      • 2 = cab type and axle configuration - short cab, 6x6 or 4x4
      • 5 = Rear axles and suspension - Combined suspension, load capacity 11 tons, no reductions, axle ratio 3,385
    • 28 = gross vehicle weight (tones)
    • 325 = engine power (kW)
    • 6x6 = wheel drive
    • 2 = tire fitting - dual
    • R = hub reduction
    • 34 = wheelbase (mm) - number x 100
    • 1 = variant - serial vehicle

    References Edit

    1. "Tatra engines". Retrieved on 11 June 2010.
    2. "Tatra transmissions". Retrieved on 11 June 2010.
    3. "Tatra T815" (in czech). Retrieved on 11 June 2010.
    4. "Tatra axles". Retrieved on 11 June 2010.
    5. "Central load carrying tube". Retrieved on 11 June 2010.
    6. "Tatra front suspension". Retrieved on 11 June 2010.
    7. "Tatra rear suspension". Retrieved on 11 June 2010.
    8. "Tatra engines". Retrieved on 11 June 2010.
    9. "Tatra transmissions". Retrieved on 11 June 2010.
    10. "Tatra cab". Retrieved on 11 June 2010.
    11. "Off-road trucks Australia". Retrieved on 11 June 2010.
    12. "Tatra vehicle coding" (PDF). Archived from the original on 2009-11-22. Retrieved on 2010-05-13.

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