ⓘ Tatra 138


ⓘ Tatra 138

The Tatra 138 was a truck produced in Czechoslovakia by the Tatra company. The immediate successor to the Tatra 111, the model introduced a number of new features while continuing the evolution of Tatra concept. The truck was produced from 1959 to 1971.


1. History

The decision to replace the Tatra 111 was made in 1952 as part of a central state planning economy, where Tatra Kopeivnice was to produce 7-10 ton utility trucks. In 1956 at II. Czechoslovak Machinery Expo in Brno, Tatra exhibited 2 new models, the T137 and T138. Both vehicles had up to 70% of parts in common across the range. New design features were introduced, such as improvement in driver environment and usability e.g. hydraulic power steering, a compressed air assisted clutch and electro-pneumatic auxiliary gearbox gear selection.


2. Design and technology

The design was of central backbone tube construction with modular power train concept in 4×4, 4×2, 6×6, 6×4 and 6×2 configuration. Version 4×2, 6×4, and 6×2 were produced in very low quantity. The main advantages of central load carrying backbone tube are in its high torsion and bend strength protecting truck body against load stresses. The secondary advantage is that it houses all important parts of the drive train. In addition, it enables a concept of modular construction where designers and customers can specify 4, 6, wheel drive and various length and wheelbase combinations.


2.1. Design and technology Engine

The engine was located ahead of the front axle. It featured an air-cooled V8 75° with dry sump design and a new featured thermostat controlled cooling fan by engine oil temperature via hydraulic clutch drive to reduce noise and fuel consumption. The engine was also used in the OT-64 APC.


2.2. Design and technology Transmission

  • Auxiliary gearbox - 2 speed half split electro-pneumatic control
  • Step down transfer case
  • Main gearbox - 5+1 2-5 gear synchronized
  • Clutch - 2x plate dry

2.3. Design and technology Brakes

  • Park brake ----> mechanical via output shaft at the back of the gearbox
  • Supplementary brake ----> exhaust brake electro-pneumatically controlled
  • Main wheel brakes ----> dual circuit full air drum brakes

2.4. Design and technology Bodywork

All steel cab construction with various body builder equipment such as tippers, flatbeds, concrete mixers, tankers, cranes, excavators and firefighting. The vehicle had a top speed of 72 km/h, capable of water crossing depth 800 mm 31 in, with maximum payload of 12.000 kg 26.500 lb and could tow trailers up to 15.000 kg 33.100 lb GCM.


3. Production

Total production exceeded 45.900. The Tatra T138 was exported to the USSR, Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, France, Austria, Yugoslavia and the Netherlands

  • Primary variants
  • T138 S1 - one-way tipper
  • T138 CAS - firefighting unit
  • T138 S3 - three-way tipper
  • T138 PP7 - concrete mixer
  • T138 PP5, PP4V, PP7 - tanker
  • T138 P1V - military special
  • T138 V,VN - civilian and military flatbed
  • T138 PP6V - excavator
  • T138 P3, P11, P18, PP2, PP5, PP6, PP7, PP8V - crane