Independent Wheel and Axle Suspension Meets Off-Road Mayhem

TATRA is a Czech manufacturer who’s been making independent wheel and axle suspension vehicles for extreme off-road purposes since the 1950s. These trucks are brought in when you need to get to places no road goes – like through the dense forests of Siberia or nearing the arctic circle. That’s why, in Europe, they get a lot of amusement out of seeing just how far these TATRAs can go. Like mud boggin’ and extreme off-roading events in the United States, Europeans love themselves some turf-tearing action.

Teams from all across the European Union and Russia send their best rigs up to regional and continental contests in the Czech Republic, Spain, and Italy. Most of the vehicles entered are none other than modded variants of the TATRA 813. This famous model, initially manufactured in the 1960s, has independent track and wheel alignment with planetary hub differentials made for grinding up dirt and rock.

TATRA 813 – A History of Power and Performance

The first TATRAs to sport the 8×8 configuration had a V12 engine which incorporated natural aspiration. Diesel injection turbo-charged power meant this truck could venture well outside the range of the road – and make it back. What was truly great about the TATRA 813 is that the company allowed for so much variation of payload.

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Their only major competitor at this point is the Oshkosh HEMETT class of heavy diesel trucks. These are almost exclusively manufactured within the United States for the main purpo