HEAVY CLASS 8

Autocar Autocar reported it is holding off on major changes to its Xpeditor truck line as it weathers the current economic downturn while also preparing its heavy low-cab-forward (LCF) vehicles to meet the 2010 EPA engine emissions standards. Like many others in the industry, we've made adjustments and imposed a little belt-tightening to weather the economic slowdown, said Tom Vatter, vp-sales and

Autocar

Autocar reported it is holding off on major changes to its Xpeditor truck line as it weathers the current economic downturn while also preparing its heavy low-cab-forward (LCF) vehicles to meet the 2010 EPA engine emissions standards. “Like many others in the industry, we've made adjustments and imposed a little belt-tightening to weather the economic slowdown,” said Tom Vatter, vp-sales and marketing. “But we're as committed as ever to the essentials,” including Xpeditor ACX cab enhancements and product line expansion.

“We are confident that our design [for EPA 2010 compliance] will offer advantages in visibility, packaging and functionality that will allow Autocar to maintain its best-in-industry standing,” said Ed Steyn, vp-engineering. The last big makeover for the Xpeditor line was the introduction of the completely redesigned ACX cab. The ACX cab is roomier, with an additional 18 cu. ft. of operator area and much improved ingress and egress. Vatter said the ACX cab features ergonomically placed instruments both on the dash and in the overhead control console and offers a tilt steering wheel to further enhance operator ergonomics. The entire ACX cab — doors included — is manufactured of fully welded, two-sided galvanized steel. External cab improvements include window and visibility enhancements, top-mounted windshield wipers and a front-mounted pump housed entirely behind the front bumper. An electronic, fully blended HVAC system boasting 28% better efficiency, and multiplexed electrical systems with integrated diagnostic capabilities round out the ACX list of improvements.

Alternative fuels continue to be a significant market segment for Autocar, and the OEM plans to continue pursuing this niche with its 2010 models. The company sold over 500 natural gas Xpeditors in 2008, and aims to become the leading supplier of LCF Class 8 natural gas refuse trucks. “We will continue to invest in and perfect the overall use of natural gas engines in refuse applications,” said Vatter. www.autocar.com

Freightliner

Freightliner Trucks' 2010 model lineup will boast an increase in available options, especially for the flagship Cascadia highway tractor. For starters, the ParkSmart HVAC system, which replaces traditional auxiliary power units (APUs) for heating and cooling applications, is now available as a factory-installed option for the Cascadia, where it is fully integrated into the sleeper compartment. When the Cascadia is being driven during normal operation, ParkSmart uses electrical current from the alternator to run the air conditioner, and coolant from the engine to run the heater. But when it is parked and the truck engine is off, the cooling system uses an electrically driven air conditioning compressor that runs on four additional batteries located between the rails behind the sleeper. The OEM said this setup will maintain driver comfort in any climate for eight to ten hours. Heating is provided by a diesel-fired coolant heater that circulates coolant through the auxiliary heater core and engine — and provides the added benefit of serving as a block heater.

Another new option is the Cummins ISX Series engine for the 125-in. BBC model of Freightliner's Cascadia. The powerplant is available with 400 to 500 hp. and 1,450 to 1,850 lbs.-ft. torque ratings. The Cummins ISX joins Detroit Diesel's DD13, DD15, Series 60 and MBE 4000 engines as options for the Cascadia. Freightliner is also offering Thermo King's TriPac APU as an option for its Cascadia tractor models with DD15 and Series 60 engines, as well as on Freightliner Century Class S/T, Columbia and Coronado models with Series 60 engines.

On the electronic side, Freightliner is making the Lectronix T7000 Infotainment system available as a pre-wire option for the Cascadia. A single integrated system specifically for use in trucks, the T7000 combines truck navigation, voice, video and entertainment into one system. Many navigation features are also included with the T7000, such as bridge height, maximum weight and haz-mat alerts. The system, which has a J1939 databus connection, tracks fuel consumption and maintenance intervals, and features customizable alarms.

According to the OEM, work is continuing on fine-tuning the integration of selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology into Freightliner heavy-duty models. A subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America and a sister company to Detroit Diesel, Freightliner Trucks delivered Cascadia customer demonstration units equipped with SCR-enhanced DD15 engines to Schneider National back in January.
www.freightlinertrucks.com

International

Navistar International Corp.'s biggest news heading into the new model year remains its unique decision to offer heavy-duty diesel engines using what it calls Advanced EGR plus banked emissions credits — rather than the SCR-based engine solutions adopted by the other Class 8 truck makers — to meet the EPA 2010 emissions rules. Designed and engineered specifically to power International trucks, the OEM's line of MaxxForce Big Bore engines offers six ratings from 330 to 475 hp. and 1,250 to 1,700 lbs.-ft. torque.

Built on a compacted graphite iron block, which Navistar said is the first for the North American Class 8 market, the MaxxForce 11 and MaxxForce 13 engines feature “technologically advanced materials and components designed to provide International vehicle owners with outstanding fuel economy, excellent power characteristics, quiet operation with low noise, vibration and harshness, and high strength without added weight,” said the OEM. Innovative technologies, including a high-pressure common-rail fuel system, twin-series turbochargers with interstage cooler and advanced heat-management system, set “new industry standards for heavy-duty diesel performance, driveability and fuel efficiency,” stated Navistar. Specifically, the OEM pointed out that advanced fuel- and air-management systems provide instant response to reach peak torque at 1,000 rpm, or provide earlier acceleration upshifts and fewer grade-climb downshifts. This keeps MaxxForce Big Bore engines operating more often in the lower speed range, where fuel economy is inherently best, said the manufacturer, which stated other 11- and 13-liter engines do not achieve peak torque until higher engine speeds.

Via a joint venture with American LaFrance, Navistar is also developing an addition to the International truck lineup based on an existing American LaFrance low-cab-over engine (LCOE) platform. The two companies plan to work collaboratively to make enhancements to the existing LCOE chassis. Navistar said that, over time, the modifications will produce noticeable changes. Navistar's MaxxForce Advanced EGR engines will be incorporated, and the International LCOE truck will be the only LCOE chassis on the market available without a urea-based SCR engine-emissions system.

The joint venture's initial focus will be on waste and construction applications, with future products planned for other vocational markets. The American LaFrance Summerville, SC, plant will become the “manufacturing hub” for the new vehicles. “Working with American LaFrance is another example of Navistar's strategy of growth through leveraging our own assets and those that others have built,” said Jack Allen, president of Navistar's North American Truck Group.
www.internationaldelivers.com

Kenworth

Kenworth Truck will offer a range of new features — some standard and some optional — on its 2010 heavy-duty trucks, including its T660 flagship highway tractor. KW will now provide as standard a tamper-resistant anti-siphoning device on all of its Class 8 vehicles specified with round diesel fuel tanks. The device, which is located on the tank filler neck, features a robust tamper-resistant heavy metal barrier that is a quarter-inch thick but does not slow down the refueling process, said the OEM.

A DuPont Imron Elite clear-coat finish is now part of the standard paint application on all Kenworth models to help provide long-lasting paint quality. Made of polyurethane, the clear coat is applied over the color base coat to give a thickness and layer of protection in the face of extreme weather conditions, power washing, and ultraviolet rays from the sun.

Kenworth's Clean Power no-idle system has been qualified for an exemption from the 12% U.S. Federal Excise Tax (FET). Clean Power is a factory-installed option for its T660, T800 and W900 models equipped with 72-in. AeroCab sleepers. Kenworth offers full warranty coverage on the no-idle system, which is in full compliance with California Air Resources Board (CARB) idling regulations for sleeper trucks with 2007 and later model engines. The disc brake-compatible Kenworth AG400L proprietary 40,000-lb. rated highway rear suspension system is an available option for T660, T800, T2000 and W900 models. The company noted this four-bag suspension is well-suited for over-the-road and P&D applications.

The Kenworth AG130 proprietary front air suspension is another new option. It is disc-brake compatible and available in 12,000- and 13,200-lb. ratings for the T660, T800 and T2000 Class 8 models. The AG130 features a four air-bag configuration to better resist high-input torque encountered with disc brakes. The OEM said that the AG130's four air bags handle 75% of the vertical load while a lower leaf spring handles the remainder — reducing vibration into the cab and onto the chassis to help provide a smooth ride without sacrificing the feel of the road.

Finally, Kenworth stated it is still on track to offer proprietary engines sourced through Paccar, its parent company, that will use SCR to comply with 2010 emissions engines. Built off a design developed by DAF, Trucks, its European subsidiary, the Paccar 9.2L and 12.9L MX engines were originally going to be built at a $400 million domestic engine plant in Columbus, MS, but that's been put on hold for now. The engines will instead come from DAF's Netherlands factory.

Bob Christensen, Kenworth's gm, said the OEM is testing pre-production models of the Paccar 12.9L MX engine in T800 tractors in its own rapid evaluation fleet, as well as in customer fleets, and expects to accumulate 20-million test miles by the time the engines are released in late 2009. www.kenworth.com

Mack

Mack Trucks Inc.'s biggest news for its on-highway trucks in the new model year will be their readiness to meet the EPA 2010 emissions standards using SCR technology as well as their availability with a new optional safety system developed by Bendix.

The OEM said extensive field-testing of its SCR solution — with both on-highway and vocational fleets — confirms there will be significantly less active regeneration events of the diesel particulate filters (DPF), which will result in increased fuel economy. The SCR used on 2010 Mack Pinnacle tractors will virtually eliminate active DPF regeneration in over-the-road applications, which Mack said will save about a half gallon of fuel for each regeneration cycle. That could allow a typical highway truck to cut its fuel costs by $1,650 per year, said David McKenna, director of powertrain sales and marketing.

The truck maker is also reporting its SCR system uses 30% less diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) — the ammonia-based liquid injected into the exhaust stream to reduce oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions — than expected. That means Mack trucks should be able to travel farther on a single tank of DEF than previously thought, using 2 or 3 gal. of DEF per every 100 gal. of diesel consumed.

Mack also has introduced a new Bendix safety system for its Pinnacle tractor to help prevent accidents by automatically maintaining a safe vehicle following distance on the highway through the use of proactive braking and driver alerts. Called the Mack Road Stability Advantage by Bendix with Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), the system helps avoid collisions by integrating throttle, engine brake and foundation brakes into the cruise control function, said Jerry Warmkessel, marketing product manager for highway products.

Road Stability Advantage uses a radar sensor mounted behind the front bumper to identify and track moving objects in front of the truck. Once the driver turns the cruise control on and sets the speed, ACC works to maintain a set time gap — 2.8 sec., which equals 246 ft. at 60 mph — behind the vehicle in front of it. In sequence, it will reduce throttle to the engine, apply the engine brake and, finally, apply the foundation brakes as needed. Once the vehicle ahead increases speed and resumes a safe distance, ACC will automatically resume its set speed. Production of trucks with this new system is slated to begin in the third quarter of 2009.
www.macktrucks.com

Peterbilt

Peterbilt Motors' major news is a series of aerodynamic packages for its on-highway Model 386 and 384 tractors. These packages can also be retrofitted to older Peterbilt models as well, as can new interiors for both its on-highway and vocational trucks.

The OEM said its new aerodynamic treatments can reduce vehicle drag by up to 24%, resulting in an estimated 12% fuel economy benefit or $5,600 in yearly savings for trucks compiling 130,000 mi. annually and paying $2.30/gal. for diesel — compared to a comparable non-equipped Model 386 or 384.

The proprietary Pete aerodynamic packages include roof fairing and trim tabs to help push air up and over the cab and trailer to reduce drag and improve fuel economy; a sleeper roof transition fairing to provide a smoother transition between the cab and sleeper roof lines; enhanced chassis fairings re-contoured at the end to feature a “flare” design element that redirects airflow around the rear tires and wheels; an aero battery box/tool box designed to improve airflow under the cab; a composite sunvisor that provides less aerodynamic drag yet maximizes glare protection; a sleeper extender with 3-in. rubber flares to redirect airflow outward and around the trailer; and finally, more aerodynamic mirrors, an integral convex mirror and fully heated primary and convex mirrors.

Peterbilt's aerodynamic package will also be available from Paccar Parts for retrofit onto Model 386 and 384 tractors, with another package offered to help reduce aerodynamic drag for the OEM's “classic” tractors, such as the Model 389.

The truck maker is also introducing new interior enhancements for its on-highway and vocational trucks for all interior trim levels, including the upscale Platinum; the Prestige level for contemporary and cost-efficient operation; and the ProBilt for customers who demand rugged efficiency.

The new series of interior enhancements available on Peterbilt Model 386, 384, 389, 388, 367 and 365 trucks feature a contemporary dash design, which utilizes an “in-mold” process that embeds color directly into the dash material rather than requiring an add-on finish. This process virtually eliminates fading, peeling and color degradation with standard availability on all interior finish levels, Peterbilt said.

Additionally, all new interiors are equipped with an HVAC system providing a 20% improvement in air conditioning performance. Finally, Peterbilt stated it is still on track to offer proprietary engines sourced through its parent company, Paccar, that will use SCR to comply with 2010 emissions engines. The Paccar 9.2L and 12.9L MX engines will be built at the Eindhoven, Netherlands, factory owned by its European subsidiary DAF Trucks.
www.peterbilt.com

Volvo

Volvo Trucks North America as of press time is the only OEM to have publicly stated the pricing charge for its 2010 emissions compliant trucks: $9,600 per tractor. That upcharge will include the cost to integrate SCR and DPF into one complete system onboard Volvo's trucks, including its VN, VT and VHD models.

The OEM said its 2010 emissions control system will only use passive regeneration of the DPF in highway operation. That will eliminate the need to inject diesel fuel into the DPF to oxidize accumulated soot, thus reducing fuel consumption, reducing thermal cycling of expensive catalysts, and lowering operating costs. Volvo added that this also simplifies vehicle operation by freeing the driver from having to keep track of when an active regeneration needs to take place.

Scott Kress, senior vp of sales & marketing, noted that Volvo has achieved near-zero active regeneration in its vocational applications with SCR and that the company currently has about 30 or so 2010 test trucks in customer fleets operating with over 2 million mi. of operation with no active regenerations. Volvo also currently has about 40 other 2010 test trucks in operation in its corporate engineering test fleets. In addition, another 23 Volvo trucks in an earlier North American SCR demonstration and test fleet have been driven more than 9 million mi. without an active regeneration, he said.

Volvo Trucks is also offering an advanced collision avoidance system as an option on its 2010 highway models. Called Volvo Enhanced Cruise (VEC) and developed in partnership with Bendix, it uses a truck's automatic cruise control to maintain a safe following distance between vehicles. The system also provides the capability to automatically slow the truck with the engine and foundation brakes to maintain a set following distance, while at the same time alerting the driver.

Using a radar sensor typically mounted behind the front bumper, VEC monitors vehicles moving in the same direction as the truck. It can detect up to 32 objects within approximately 500 ft. in front of the truck.

“VEC combines adaptive cruise control with proactive braking to help drivers avoid collisions,” said Frank Bio, product manager-trucks. “Volvo Enhanced Cruise does more than give timely warnings to drivers. It also takes action and gives the driver — and the other highway users — that much more of a safety advantage. Since VEC is integrated into our cruise control system, simply turning on cruise control and setting the speed activates the proactive intervention features.”

According to Volvo, if the vehicle in front slows below the truck's cruise control set speed, VEC will sequentially reduce throttle to the engine, apply the engine brake and apply the foundation brakes to try to maintain the set following distance. If the vehicle in front of the truck speeds up and moves away, VEC will automatically increase vehicle speed to the set cruise control speed. VEC automatically intervenes only if the cruise control is on and the speed is set by the driver. The system's default following distance is 2.8 sec. between vehicles, or almost 250 ft. when traveling at 60 mph.

Bio noted VEC is an extension of the Volvo Enhanced Stability Technology (VEST) platform: a full stability system designed to help prevent loss of control and rollovers, and is a standard, nondelete feature for the Volvo VN and VT, as well as for Volvo VHD mixer chassis.
www.volvotrucks.us.com

Western Star

Western Star expects to make only minor changes to its truck models for 2010 as the sister company to Freightliner Trucks continues to prepare to meet the 2010 EPA engine emissions standards. Western Star has rolled out a new day cab conversion kit to convert tractor models equipped with its Stratosphere sleepers into day cabs while maintaining the trucks' distinctive look. Included is a new overhead console, roof cap with reinforcements, new headliner, new back wall and trim panel, new cantrails and new glass for the rear window.

The Detroit Diesel DD15 engine is now available as an option, targeted mainly for Western Star vocational market applications. The DD15 delivers up to 5% better fuel economy compared to Detroit Diesel's Series 60, largely due to its turbo-compounding technology and Amplified Common Rail Fuel System (ACRS). The DD15's 6-cyl., in-line design is available in output and torque variants from 455 to 560 hp. and 1,550 to 1,850 lbs.-ft. torque, including dual torque ratings for special applications. The OEM said this engine choice should launch a Western Star truck with up to 90% peak torque in 1.5 sec. because of its simple and reliable turbocharger and dual overhead cams.

Other Detroit Diesel engine variants, the 12.8-liter DD13 and 15.6-liter DD16, will be introduced at intervals over the coming months, and will eventually supplant current Detroit Diesel and Mercedes-Benz heavy-duty engine offerings. The 14.8-liter Cummins ISX will round out the engine options for Western Star. www.westernstar.com

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