Bedford TL

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bedford TL
1986 Bedford TL, J.K. Sturge.jpg
Also calledAWD TL
Production1980–1986 (Bedford)
1988–1992 (AWD)
Body and chassis
ClassCommercial vehicle
Body styleChassis cab
LayoutLongitudinal front engine
ZF Friedrichshafen
Wheelbase4.45m (6x4)
Height2.53m (cab)
PredecessorBedford TK

The Bedford TL was a truck manufactured by Bedford. Launched in June 1980, the TL was intended to complement the Bedford TK, on which it was heavily based. One of the main advantages of the TL over the TK was the incorporation of a tilt cab, improving maintenance. A tilt cab was a feature of the TK's main competitor, the Ford D series, and had long been seen as a major advantage.

Production began in April 1980, to allow trucks to reach dealers for the premiere.[1][2][3] The TL was taken out of production with Bedford's demise in 1986, but production recommenced in 1988 with new owners AWD.[4] The range expanded to include various derivatives before production ceased in 1992 when AWD was placed in receivership.[5]

History and use[edit]

The chassis was as for the TK, with some minor alterations at the front to accommodate the new flat-floor cab. The front suspension, now taper leaf sprung, was also new.[6] The TL was designed mainly for short hauls, but comfort was a bigger priority than for the TK. While an ample number of combinations were available, power outputs were higher than for the TK.[7] From launch, the TL was powered by petrol and diesel engines. The six-cylinder petrol power units were the 214P 3.5-litre and the 300P 4.9-litre. The diesel units were the updated versions of the TK's 3.6-litre four-cylinder 220D and the 5.4-litre six-cylinder 330D, with the option for heavier models of the 8.2-litre Blue Series. Power outputs are 83 or 114 hp (62 or 85 kW) for the petrols, while the diesels offer 65 or 98 hp (48 or 73 kW) for the 220D and the 330D. The Blue Series offered either 128 or 151 hp (95 or 113 kW) depending on the model.[7]

By 1984 the engine power was slightly increased with the adoption of turbocharging and the engines were reclassified and now called Red Series. The 3.6-litre 220D was now called the 70TD and the 5.4-litre 330D became the 105TD - the new names signified maximum power outputs. The 8.2-litre Blue Series engines continued in two version; the 130TD and the higher rated 175TD.[8] With the truck's discontinuation in 1986, it was replaced by a re-badged Isuzu Forward that was re-badged under the Bedford brand, although it was mostly available to export markets only.

When AWD re-launched the TL in 1988, it was equipped with two 6-cylinder engines; initially as the 17-18 model with a Perkins Phaser 180 bhp (134 kW; 182 PS) unit, and from 1990 with the 17-27 with a Cummins 8.3-litre producing 269 bhp (201 kW; 273 PS).


  1. ^ New Bedford range launched today Commercial Motor 31 May 1980 page 20
  2. ^ New Bedford range proves its paces Commercial Motor 28 June 1980 page 22
  3. ^ Kennett, Pat (June 1980). "What's new: Bedford lay on the luxury". Truck. London: FF Publishing: 29.
  4. ^ AWD wins MoD order Commercial Motor 31 March 1988 page 15
  5. ^ The End for Bedford Commercial Motor 23 June 2011 page 39
  6. ^ New Bedford TL range Truck & Bus Transportation November 1980 page 64
  7. ^ a b Kennett (ed), June 1980, p. 31
  8. ^ "Classic Truck: The Bedford TL". Classic Truck. 7 July 2011. Archived from the original on 16 October 2013. Retrieved 14 October 2013.

External links[edit]

Media related to Bedford TL at Wikimedia Commons