Dodge is expanding its Ram pickup line into the Class 3 segment with the 2007 Dodge Ram 3500 Chassis Cab, offering an upfit-friendly design that does not require expensive re-engineering for body installations, according to Joe Veltri, director of body-on-frame designs for Dodge.
The 3500 is offered in single-rear-wheel and dual-rear-wheel models, and two cab-axle lengths (60 and 84 in.)
The '07-model Class 3 carries a single-rear-wheel GVWR of 10,200 lb., while maximum GVWR for dual-rear-wheel models is 12,500 lb. When equipped with optional diesel power, the truck has a GCWR of 23,000 lb. Standard power is a Chrysler V8 330-hp. Hemi engine rated 330 hp. and 375 lb.-ft. of torque; the 6.7-liter Cummins TurboDiesel, with 305 hp. and 610 lb.-ft. torque, is optional.
Other key features include a 50-psi steel 52-gal. fuel tank; 121.6 cu. ft. of interior space for Quad Cab models and 65.2 cu. ft. for regular cab models; 15,000-mi. oil change intervals; four-wheel disc brakes with ABS; optional exhaust brake.
The Ram 3500 is available with a 6-sp. automatic transmission (diesel only) with PTO capability, or a 6-sp. manual with PTO capability. Both 2WD and 4WD models feature a re-circulating ball system that the OEM said provides precise response and on-center steering feel through lower internal friction. The truck also has solid-beam front and rear axles and a five-link, coil-spring front suspension with beam axle. A front and rear link-type sway bar and heavy-duty tubular shock absorbers are also standard.
Ford Motor Co. anticipates very few changes to its E-Series and F-Series medium-duty trucks in 2007. While base models for the E-Series continue to be the E-350 and E-450, the OEM is adding a stripped chassis configuration, including a cutaway version that can be prepped for ambulance, school bus, and shuttle bus bodies, for example.
Standard on E-Series vehicles is an Electronic Throttle Control (ETC). And for the cutaway chassis spec'd with the 6.0-liter PowerStroke diesel engines (built by International Truck & Engine Corp. exclusively for Ford), a 140-amp alternator is an option.
For gasoline fleets, the E-350 comes with a 5.4-liter EFI V8 engine, while the E-450 gets a 6.8-liter EFI V10. The transmission package for both engines is a TorqShift electronic 5-sp. automatic with tow/haul mode.
Ford F-Series models F-250 through F-750 are offered with several engine options: the 5.4-liter 3-valve Triton V8 and 6.8L 3-valve Triton V10, both with electronic throttle control (ECT) and an optional 50-state emissions system; and the 6.0-liter PowerStroke V8 Turbo Diesel. All engines are available with the TorqShift 5-sp. automatic transmission.
Also standard are antilock brakes, coil front springs and the BlockerBeam front bumper underride protection system. A trailer brake controller is optional.
Ford will continue to offer its Class 4-5 Low Cab Forward (LCF). Built in conjunction with International, it features four GVWRs ranging from 15,000 to 19,500 lb.; a V6 diesel engine with 200 hp. and 440 lb.-ft. of torque; a clean cab-to-axle on top of the frame; and standard 34-in. frame spacing.
Freightliner Trucks' medium-duty Business Class lineup now includes an All Wheel Drive option on M2 106 and M2 106V vocational models. The front drive axle option is a part-time system that the OEM says is ideal for use in fire and rescue, utility, snowplow and municipal applications. The system is activated by the operator when AWD is needed during traction-poor conditions. It can be engaged at or below 10 mph or while the vehicle is coasting on a level grade.
The AWD setup is enabled by factory-installed Meritor front drive axles. These axles utilize straight front-to-back frame rails, eliminating the need for a step frame for optimized cab height. The transfer case of the front drive axle is mounted between the transmission and rear axle. Additionally, the axle bowl is offset by 11-inches to the passenger side, matching the driveline angles and eliminating the need for a lift kit.
The front drive axles are available in a 4×4 or a 6×6 configuration on M2 106 or 106V models powered by Mercedes-Benz MBE900 or Caterpillar C7 engines.
The AWD option is offered with 12,000-, 14,000- and 16,000-lb. ratings and is available in combination with a variety of single and tandem rear suspensions.
Business Class M2 models are offered in day cab, extended cab and crew cab configurations with a variety of front and rear seating options.
Gasoline engine options will be the big news for GM's medium-duty offerings in 2007, when new emissions technology puts a price premium on diesel engines. GM estimates that the changes required to meet EPA's more restrictive '07 emissions mandate will add $3,000 to $6,000 to the base price of its diesel-powered vehicles, including the GMC TopKick and Chevrolet Kodiak conventionals, and the T-Series and W-Series cabovers. The OEM says this could increase demand for its standard Vortec 8100 MD gasoline engine.
According to Ross Hendrix, marketing director for General Motors Fleet and Commercial, fleets that operate their trucks less than 25,000 miles a year, with low idle time and no need for a PTO, are ideal candidates for gasoline engines in '07.
The OEM says the Vortec 8100 MD can power its entire line of Class 5-7 trucks, including its single-rear-axle “Baby 8” tractor configuration, which has a GVWR of 37,600 lb. Horsepower ratings range from 295 to 325, with 440 to 450 lb.-ft. of torque.
A new 6-sp. Allison automatic transmission will replace the 5-sp. in '07, and the ML6 manual transmission will no longer be offered. LED front marker lights will be optional on all models.
TopKicks and Kodiaks will continue to have factory-engineered 4WD, with the 4×4 option available on both regular and crew cab configurations. Wheelbases range from 152 to 235 in.
For the C4500 and C5500 4×4 regular cab models, a 22.5-in. wheel and tire option will be available. One change to the C4500 for '07 is the base front axle, which will be 7,000 lb., thus eliminating the 6,350-lb. front axle option. Off-road handling continues to be enhanced with an electronically controlled Venture Gear Model NV273 2-sp. transfer case and an instrument panel-mounted rotary selector switch for 4-low, 4-high, and 2WD settings.
For additional traction, 4WD TopKick and Kodiak models have manually activated front locking hubs; a heavy-duty off-road skid plate protects the transfer case. All TopKick and Kodiak models come equipped with electronic throttle control, providing better control in slow-speed maneuvers like parking, as well as during fast response situations when operating off-road.
Hino Motor Sales USA plans to offer some new options and features in 2007 for its line of Class 4-7 conventionals, which were introduced three years ago in the U.S. to replace the company's cabovers.
Hino offers six conventional truck models: the 145, 165, 185, 238, 268, and 338, with GVW ratings range from 14,050 to 33,000-lb. All are equipped with Hino's J-Series 5-liter or 8-liter engines, which offer horsepower ratings of 175 to 260.
New factory options include rear rib tires, air horns and chrome bumpers, as well as the Allison 200HS automatic transmission without the PTO gear. In addition, synthetic oil will be used for all Allison transmissions spec'd on Hino trucks.
In addition to a new Low Pro chassis package, the 258A, Hino will also introduce two new wheelbase options next year — the 212-in. version for the 258LP model and a 152-in. version for the 268.
Finally, a variety of new “local options” will be available on '07 models to fit specific customer applications. Examples include vertical exhaust stacks, air suspension dump valves, fender-mounted mirrors, fire extinguishers and safety triangle kits.
International Truck & Engine Corp. has added the International 4100, a new Class 5 conventional truck, to its medium-duty 4000 Series.
The new truck, offered in 17,800 and 19,500 GVW ratings, is aimed at a wide array of vocational applications, including construction, landscaping, flatbed, service body, dry van and utility service.
According to the OEM, the 4100 offers superior maneuverability and visibility, as well as extended and synchronized service intervals for reduced maintenance and operating costs.
Mike Elwell, director of marketing, Medium Vehicle Center, points out the 4100 extends International's “family of industry-leading medium-duty trucks and maintains all of the key features and benefits of the International 4000 Series.”
The new truck is powered by an International VT-365 diesel engine with a 230-hp. and 540- lb./ft. torque rating. It's driven through an Allison 1000 Series automatic transmission.
The 4100 boasts a spacious cab with available air-ride suspension, optional crew or extended cabs, and durable frame ladder system for more demanding jobs supported by a seven-year warranty, says the OEM. “Recognized as the industry standard, the cab is built to automotive tolerances for a comfortable and quiet environment.”
In addition, the 4100 is built on a low-profile frame for easy loading and unloading. According to International, the 4100 offers superior maneuverability and visibility, as well as extended and synchronized service intervals for reduced maintenance and operating costs.
Other key features of the new model include commercial grade, four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes with 15-in. rotors, and the exclusive International Diamond Logic Electric system, which the truck maker says is a self-diagnosing system that “brings integrated intelligence to truck operations.” International's new Aware Vehicle Intelligence telematics system is also available on the 4100.
While cabover models from Isuzu Commercial Truck of America are not expected to see any major changes in '07, they will be equipped with a new 6-sp. Allison automatic transmission. The gearbox features Gen IV controls for smoother shifting and better torque management, allowing for higher torque capacity — up to 660 lb.-ft. in some cases.
Isuzu N-Series (Class 3 NPR, Class 4 NPR HD and Class 5 NQR and NRR) will have diesel power available for all five of its GVW ratings: 12,000, 14,500, 17,950 and 19,500 lb.
The 5.2L Isuzu 4HK1-TC turbocharged, intercooled diesel engine produces 190 hp. and 387 lb.-ft. of torque, and can be paired with a 6-sp. manual transmission or the Aisin 450-43LE 4-sp. automatic.
The gasoline-powered Vortec 6000, 6.0L V8 engine can also be spec'd for the NPR and NPR HD models. It delivers 300 hp. and 358 lb.-ft. of torque driven through a Hydra-Matic 4L80-E 4-sp. automatic.
Isuzu's conventionals, dubbed the H-Series. are available in Cl 6 (HTR, 25,950 lb.), Cl 7 (HVR, 25,950-33,000 lb.) and Cl 8 (HXR, 33,000-54,600 lb.) weight ratings.
Kenworth Truck Co. has added a new Class 6 rating to its T300 medium-duty line. The 25,000-lb. GVW model is equipped with air brakes and is targeted at P&D as well as other applications.
“We're excited to offer the popular Kenworth T300, featuring outstanding quality, performance and durability, in an additional Class 6 weight rating to pickup and delivery and other customers in the growing Class 6 air brake market,” says Gary Moore, asst. gm for marketing & sales.
“We anticipate Class 6 customers will welcome this new 8,000 lb. front and 17,000 lb. rear axle combination for T300s with air brakes, especially as freight becomes more regionalized and companies increasingly use non-CDL product alternatives to staff their driver needs,” Moore adds
The T300 Class 6 model is available with Cummins ISB and ISC engines and with the Caterpillar C7 engine. Along with the air brakes, Kenworth is offering a low profile chassis on this model that comes with 19.5-in wheels and tires. Also available are 22.5-in. wheels and tires.
Kenworth has also announced new standard features and options for its full line of T300 Class 6 and 7 models. The T300 now comes standard with “the same world-class door pads” currently used in Kenworth's Class 8 models. Also now standard are power door locks, passenger-side electric windows (optional on the driver's side), heating and air conditioning, a 10-5/8-in. by 5/16-in. frame rail, and a glove box with locking door.
New T300 options include remote keyless entry and a low voltage disconnect system that Kenworth says continually monitors battery voltage.
The OEM notes it also continues to provide hydraulic brakes on its T300 Class 6 and 7 vehicles, which are available as straight trucks or tractors.
For model-year 2007, Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America is bringing back on old favorite to its lineup of Class 3-7 cabovers, which was completely redesigned in 2005. Back on the scene will be the Class 3 FE 120.
“This model was dropped a few years ago when OBII was required on all Class 3 vehicles,” explains Mitsubishi Fuso spokesman Joe Devlin. “At that time, a decision was made not to spend the money needed to comply with the OBII requirements on an engine that would only have a limited life considering the stricter '07 requirements. Now, the return of the FE 120, rated at 12,000 lb. GVW, allows us to again offer a complete line of commercial vehicles from Class 3 through 7.”
The OEM emphasizes that the key design marker for its trucks remains the comfort and ergonomics of its cabs, with car-like controls used wherever possible. The FE 120, FE 145, FE 180 and FG 140 4WD models offer cabs with plenty of room for a 6-ft. tall driver, plus two workers.
If more room is needed, the FE 145 Crew Cab is available to seat seven, with four full-access doors and storage areas under the rear bench seat.
To reduce driver fatigue, all models are equipped with one-touch tilt/telescoping steering wheel adjustment, high-mount HVAC vents, easy-to-reach storage slots, adjustable driver's armrest, noise-reducing door seals and high-mount air intake, tinted windshield glass, and power windows and door locks.
Peterbilt Motors Co. has added the Model 330 and the Model 340 to the existing Model 335 to fill out its medium-duty truck range. The new trucks were rolled out as the result of the largest product development in Pete's history, according to the OEM.
“The Model 330 and Model 340 join our award-winning Model 335 to provide medium-duty operations more choices than ever before,” says Dan Sobic, Peterbilt gm & Paccar vp. “The full range of Class 6 and 7 medium duty truck GVW ratings will be available, accommodating everything from urban P&D to rugged construction applications.”
The new lightweight Model 330 is a Class 6 truck offered with GVW ratings up to 26,000 lb. According to Peterbilt, it can be fitted with hydraulic brakes and low-profile tires for operation by a non-CDL driver. “For customers that can utilize Class 6 vehicles in their operations, the Model 330 will help open up a wider pool of potential operators,” points out chief engineer Landon Sproull.
On the other end of the medium-duty scale, the new Model 340 is available in 33,000 lb. and higher GVW ratings. According to Peterbilt, this model is “best suited for vocational, municipal and specialty applications.”
Sobic points out that the Class 7 Model 335 will remain the “best model for the majority of Class 7 applications, such as van body and beverage distribution.”
Peterbilt medium-duty models are offered with Caterpillar and Cummins engines, as well as Allison automatic and Eaton Fuller automated and manual transmissions.
Sterling Truck Corp. has rolled out a new low-cab-over-engine (LCOE) medium-duty truck, the Sterling 360. Based on a Mitsubishi Fuso design, the Sterling 360 will be available at select Sterling dealers. Already, Class 4 and 5 models have debuted and a Class 3 version is due by mid-2007.
The new model boasts “leading fuel economy in a low-cab-over-engine truck, as well as the industry's easiest entry and egress, biggest cab, outstanding maneuverability and visibility, and a body builder-preferred design,” according to the OEM.
According to John Merrifield, senior vp of distribution for Sterling's parent, Freightliner Group, the 360 will be distinguished from competitive models, including those of sister DaimlerChrysler operation Mitsubishi Fuso, by a “complete, value-added package, including expert customer support, easy financing and body-upfitting options.” He also states the 360's fuel economy can deliver $600 a year or more in savings over competitive trucks.
The Sterling 360 is powered by a 4.9-liter turbodiesel rated 175 hp. @ 2700 rpm and 391 lb.-ft. torque @ 1600 rpm. It is driven through a 6-sp. automatic with a final gear ratio of 5.285.
The truck is available in GVW ratings of 14,050, 14,500 and 17,995 lb. Available wheelbase and body length combinations are 115 in and 12 ft.; 134 in. and 14 ft.; 152 in. and 16 ft.; 164 in. (at 14,500 and 17,995 GVWR only) and 18 ft.; and 176 in. and 20 ft. (17,995 GVWR only). Standard features include air conditioning, power steering, an engine brake and ABS.
Further, says the OEM, drivers can effortlessly “walk” into the cab and ease in directly under the steering wheel because the 360 features an 11.75-in. distance from step to cab, which is up to 4.25 in. less than competitive designs.” Offset hinges also allow full access to the larger door opening. And a dash-mounted gearshift allows easier movement inside the cab and provides power and brake interlocks with an accessible override button. To ensure driver safety, the transmission control interlocks require electrical power and the service brake must be applied.
For more room and ergonomic seating positions, the 360 features a 1.5-in. steering column tilt. “The distance from the center fuel pedal to the seat base is 16.5 in., the depth of the cab is 51 in. and the seatback area is 7.5 in., which gives more room and comfort to the driver,” Sterling states.
“Just like the other trucks in Sterling's lineup — the A-Line, L-Line, Acterra and Cargo — the Sterling 360 is body builder preferred,” the OEM states. “For easy upfitting, the truck's shorter cab-to-body clearance of 4.5 in. allows for longer bodies with more load-carrying capacity and a greater range of body mount positions for optimum weight distribution and reduced wind resistance. Additionally, with 300 lb. less curb weight than comparable models, the Sterling 360 carries more payload.”
The parallel top and bottom flanges help make it easier to mount bodies, says Sterling. Similar to a Class 8 design, the straight frame also makes wheelbase changes simple because all components can easily be slid to a new location.
The UD Trucks that will be introduced in 2007 are actually considered model-year 2008 by the OEM, explains Dave Trussell, marketing manager for Nissan Diesel America, UD's parent company. In addition to changes related to emissions technology, the lineup will offer several new features.
While the dual convex side view mirror is standard, a heated version will be available as an option. As Trussell points out, this is ideal for fleets operating in wintry conditions to keep those mirrors free of ice and snow.
Factory-installed back-up alarms will become standard equipment on all UD vehicles, not only to boost safety, but also to make the upfitter's job easier. Tensile steel frames, which were previously an option, will now become standard.
WORKHORSE CUSTOM CHASSIS
Workhorse Custom Chassis had added a 16,000-lb. GVWR model of its W42 chassis for '07. Previously, the highest GVWR was 14, 500 lb. Wheelbase options for all W42 models are 125, 133, 157, 178 and 190 in., and all are available with a diesel or gasoline engine.
The diesel option is powered by an International VT 275 V6 diesel engine that produces 200 hp. and 440 lb.-ft. of torque, coupled to an Allison LCT-1000 electronic 5-sp. transmission. The engine has a dual-staged turbocharging system, with a small turbo for quick, low-speed responsiveness and a second turbo for power at higher rpms.
Workhorse also announced plans to reinvigorate its FasTrack program in '07, making it possible for fleets to order W42 chassis equipped with Utilimaster bodies all under one invoice and warranty. The offer applies to common walk-in models. FasTrack makes it easier for dealers to stock walk-ins, making them more immediately available for customers.