Jump to content

Paul Berliet and his T100s


Recommended Posts

Designed to run in Algiers and Chad (then French North Africa) to oil production sites in the Sahara desert, the massive Berliet T100 was the largest truck in the world when introduced in 1957.

Paul Berliet had been on a business trip and heard people complaining they didn’t have trucks strong and large enough to run deep into the desert for oil exploration. Upon returning to France, Berliet had a design for the first T100 on paper in eight days, and produced it in just nine months.

Cummins VT-12-BI 29.6-liter V-12 engines available in 600 and 700 horsepower ratings fed power to a Clark R1400 FS 4-speed semi-automatic transmission.

Four units were built, in both 6x4 and 6x6 configurations. It rode on Michelin XR 37.5x33 tires.

The T100 lost the oilfield market in North Africa when those countries began declaring their independence from France.

Paul Berliet, son of company founder Marius Berliet, was a sharp heavy truck man that increased his company’s sales tenfold from 1950 to 1974 when he sold out to Renault. In 1978 Berliet and Saviem were merged under Renault, forming Renault Vehicle Industries (RVI). The Berliet and Saviem brands were phased out two years later in 1980.


  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

T100 number 4 (1959) was a 6x4 oilfield COE version called the “Tulsa” because it was shipped to the U.S. and exhibited at the 1959 Oil Industry Show in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It no longer exists.

The Tulsa’s Cummins engine was removed in 1962, and a 1000 horsepower Turbomeca Turmo IIIC gas turbine helicopter engine was experimentally fitted. Always the case with turbines, fuel consumption proved excessive and the Cummins engine was refitted.







  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 years later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...