The Tatra T111 was a truck produced in Czechoslovakia by the Tatra Company.
The T111 was developed and manufactured during WWII as heavy truck for use by the Wehrmacht. Production started in 1942 and continued for twenty years, ending in 1962 when it was replaced by the Tatra T138. Despite being built for the Nazi war machine, the vehicle ultimately played important role after the war ended. The Tatra T111 contributed significantly to the rebuilding effort during the postwar era, mainly in Eastern Europe and the USSR. To its chief designer however it brought the charges of treason and collaboration with Nazi regime after communists’ takeover of Czechoslovakia and contributed to the imprisonment of Tatra design guru Hans Ledwinka.
Design and Technology
The design was based on the proven Tatra concept of a backbone tube chassis construction with swing half axles, a modular gearbox and differential assemblies. The main advantages of the central load carrying backbone tube are its high torsion and bend strength, which protects the truck body against load stresses. The secondary advantage is that it houses all important parts of the drive train. Due to its torsion stiffness and use of differentials locks the vehicle had an exceptional off-road capabilities. Of note was the ability to use a cranking handle to start the engine.
Model V910 - the first Tatra aircooled powerplant V12 75 degree V developed from Tatra V850 engine intended for use in Tatra 103 (Sd Kfz. 234 Puma).The engines had power output of 210 horsepower at 2250 RPM mainly for war use (An average life expectancy during combat for Wehrmacht was 6 hours.) which was later reduced to 180 hp at 1800 rpm to increase reliability.
Central backbone tube, front and rear axles with independent swing half axles. Front axle suspended on quarter elliptic leaf springs, rear axles suspended on half elliptic longitunal leaf spring. The service brakes were air all-round drums, parking brake was mechanical acting on rear end of backbone tube output shaft via rotating drum.
* Front track = 2,080 mm (81.9 in)
* Rear track = 1,800 mm (70.9 in)
* Wheelbase = 4,175 mm (164.4 in)+1,200 mm (47.2 in)
* Road clearance = 300 mm (11.8 in)
* Drive - 6x6 Selectable front wheels drive
* Main gearbox - 4+1 (1 and 2 gears synchronized)
gear ratios - 5.29, 2.78, 1.62, 1.00, R 5.91
Auxiliary gearbox - 2 speed
gear ratios - off-road - 4.52, highway - 1.82
* Differentials - ratio 3.19
* Clutch - 2x plate, dry
The cab originally used wood for its construction due to strategic unavailability of steel during the war, in later years the wooden frame was steel plated and the last models used an all steel cabin. The vehicle was capable of a top speed of approximately 65 km/h (40 mph). The maximum cargo capacity was 10.3 tonnes and it had the ability to tow up to 22 tonnes trailer.
The Tatra T111 was in production for 20 years, with a total of approximately 34,000 units made. The T111 engine was widely used in the variety of other vehicles such as a heavy tractor T141, a railway car M 131, airport tugs and pontoon bridges used by the army. The engine was also "halved" to create an inline 6 cylinder version for the Praga V3s 6x6 light utility military truck and civilian Praga S5T light truck. T111 main product range was in flatbed, tipper, tanker and crane configuration.
T111 R - Flatbed
T111 NR - Flatbed with auxiliary gearbox powered winch
T111 N Special - Flatbed with foldable sides , winch military specs
T111 S - Three way tipper with wooden sides
T111 S2 - All steel three way tipper heavy duty
T111 C - Tanker
T111 D - Bodybuilders chassis
The Tatra T111 exploits at Siberia had earned its reputation and its legendary reliability contributed to its iconic status among those who had driven and lived in those conditions. The T111 concept and technology continued its evolution in following years with successful line of Tatra models.