Tatra T815 my saga ...,


After much mental deliberation and first hand experience with Ex Nato / Eastern Block military trucks I set about searching for a suitable Tatra, with the ultimate goal of exploring Siberia - Kamchatka regions of Russia.
I dismissed the much loved T813 as being too old and less reliable, so that meant T815 series produced since 1982, the most sort after trucks in Siberia and used by the likes of Gazprom nuff said I had to have planetary axles which are mainly used on military versions along with special heavy haul & cranes etc, though a 8x8 would be nice I finally settled an this 1987 6x6 TP24
version pictured below choosing better power / weight ratio, maneuverability over ultimate climbing.



Standard Equipment;
Air cooled V12 twin turbo diesel
4 door cabin with fold down rear seat / bed
planetary hub reduction axles,
45,000 lb winch,
AWD, full locking axles,
+ ability to install CTI (central tire inflation)

Originally designed for heavy haul towing draw bar trailers they came with 2 concrete block ballast weights. with these weights removed military wheels & tires installed they have become very successful in European Truck Trials, just look at youtube


soon be on its way across the pond
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re CTI

Hi, The hubs / axles on planetary hub reduction axles for Tatra are set for CTI installed or not, civilian units they are plugged, so I plan to buy the hand valve control/guage pk and hub/tire hose ends on my next trip over along with a whole list of spare parts which will be shipped separately.

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Honestly have not paid any great attention to it, but you can see the bed base is in fold down position, with rear facing jump seats, engine tunnel runs through middle so rear area is segmented, front area of cab is flat floor with 3rd middle seat if needed so long answer short its a 5 seater but, plenty of room especially in front as the trucks cabin is right around 98" wide On TP and VT (4 door) models of T815 the engine is set back by approx' 20" v the std 2dr or 2 dr extended cabin models.


Expedition Leader
Welcome to ExPo! Tell us where one goes to shop for a Tatra. And tell us more about your Kamchatca plans!


Welcome to ExPo! Tell us where one goes to shop for a Tatra. And tell us more about your Kamchatca plans!
Tatra from Czech Republic is one of the oldest manufactures around, since there 1st successful heavy truck T111 which proved itself with monuments to Tatra in Magadan, Khyber Pass among others, has made its make from Eastern Europe - Russia - Asia.
CZ is still the best place to buy as other countries have higher re sale prices, Spares are available through the dealer network and factory direct. + China as always has so called authorised copy parts, on these Ive yet to learn which items to buy and stay away from as they are half the price of CZ parts. Driveline and cabin is Tatra unique, but normal replacement parts brakes airlines etc are Euro standard. Tatra reliability with normal maintenance is legendary particularly T815 S1 - S3 (minimal electrics Euro 1 emission engines)

1. get truck here and fully rebuild it
2. use exploring the West mtn's & deserts - Northern Territories - Alaska as a precursor to my Russian adventure

Russia no real plans just get the necessary docs visa's and go, mainly looking at exploring the whole country may take a trailer (buy in Russia) as there are some high paying truck loads in the east which will help in financing, I have a Czech contact who has worked, driving Tatra's in Russia Mongolia & China last 20yrs he has been a wealth of advice. On Adventure Rider I followed the trip 3 KTM's go east, where 3 Polish guys over 2 summer trips rode Poland Magadan Vladivostok yr 1, Then yr 2 did Kamchatka Chukotka ( requires special Permission ) You can plan all you want but its Russia, it works at its own pace, really this is the last true frontier.
I've been lucky enough to have been on 2 company paid trips to the Ural truck factory in Miass, 3hrs west of Chelyabinsk both times in winter.
Ural 012.jpg
Had chance to drive factory trial trucks 4x4 6x6 8x8, all trucks ran V8 air-cooled Deutz diesels !!! Copy on Tatra's original design.
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Regarding questions about 4 dr cabin seating and room etc, I didn't buy this truck for the cabin, but for the driveline. I actually require more space without extending length, so I am looking at the semi armored military 2 door cabin as per photo's below




On my next Czech trip I am meeting with the owner of this truck, If I cannot purchase just cabin from military re-seller, then I will be reverse engineer drawings to fab / weld copy here in USA, I have a couple other Tatra owners looking for same cabin, due to its plate steel construction they survive severe roll overs without damage, this will negate the need for elaborate roll cage ROPS system etc provide more bed space for camper body.


Expedition Leader
Welcome and thanks for sharing. I will be following this one...

You seem to be just the guy to answer a question I have had for years. These Tatra 6x6s have a very unusual configuration, with two axles forward and one back. That doesn't seem logical to me for any hauling scenario. Even the trailer towing you mentioned, it seems you would have better weight distribution and traction with the more standard configuration. Unless they have a REALLY heavy engine...

Can you educate me on this?



This is in response to a question from LYNN, why the unusual 3 axle combination (twin steer)

Hi, good question, I used to think the same too but, when one looks at driveline layout you will see there logic. Disregard conventional thoughts listed are the key features

* all wheel drive, full time
* rear set engine + 10 tons ballast

So being primarily designed for drawbar heavy haul the tractor is within 2400 kg of its full load GVW full time with 3 driving axles. 2 of which are steering this leaves the ability to tow addition 120T, if they had an 8x8 it would not tow as much, Tatra reduced towing on ballasted 8x8 to 90T.
TP24 have towed 360T in the past moving nuclear reactor parts
I'll post pics later
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I suspect that having an axle config set up is more about weight distribution than traction. Big fat tires, large foot-print, balasting when needed. Perfect for carrying a large load thru the muck.

I wonder what your fuel consumption will be?


Hey T815
You're just fond of this brand - admit this! :bike_rider:
And U're right - they are most heavy duty tools and unbelievable reliable vehicle.
we have them quite many in PL and some keep working for 20 years and more.

Still Your plans are to visit eastern Siberia which is most lonely place... if ever need any mech help there should focus on URAL or ZIL. They're are also extremely tough trucks.

Here You might find some trip of Polish traveler Romuald Koperski who made this trip in winter :Wow1: Actually Rock's Cape in Portugal up to the ends of Chukotka - I guess this is more or less Your goal.


They have adopted MAN KAT1 and rebuilt hut of military truck - maybe this would be helpful for You.
All best in Your plans


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Hi Ravscin / Rafael,
Ural 4320 / 375 Kraz 255b 260 yes good options, Zil no, not for me, Aircooled Tatra is king of eastern Russia, and most prized
A Czech friend of mine has been running Tatra's for 20 yrs Russia China & Mongolia so yes I am biased, but so is everyone else. It would be a boring world if we all liked the same things !!!

TP6 heavy hauling

View attachment 113817

View attachment 113818

This is want I run at work 50% offroad, KW C500 tri-drive with Pearless oilfield trailer 2+3+2 steering is big problem offroad, rarely obtain enough weight on tractor drive axles, traction and steering is a problem, twin steer ballast weight anybody !!

View attachment 113819


I suspect that having an axle config set up is more about weight distribution than traction. Big fat tires, large foot-print, balasting when needed. Perfect for carrying a large load thru the muck.

Truck is always ballasted for heavy haul

I wonder what your fuel consumption will be?
Empty 6-7 mpg, pulling 100T 0.5 - 1.5 mpg, will run on WVO !!!