Ford fills out its Super Duty F-Series

All-new Class 6 and 7 models join popular light-duty and midrange lineupExpanding its successful Super Duty F-Series into the medium-duty classes, Ford Motor Co. has introduced the Super Duty F-650 and F-750. The all-new Class 6 and 7 trucks replace the current F-800 series and will share a high percentage of cab components with the Super DutyF-250, F-350, F-450, and F-550. As the final piece in Ford's

All-new Class 6 and 7 models join popular light-duty and midrange lineup

Expanding its successful Super Duty F-Series into the medium-duty classes, Ford Motor Co. has introduced the Super Duty F-650 and F-750. The all-new Class 6 and 7 trucks replace the current F-800 series and will share a high percentage of cab components with the Super Duty

F-250, F-350, F-450, and F-550. As the final piece in Ford's reorganization of its commercial truck business, the new vehicles will give some 5,000 dealers who currently handle the midrange Super Duty models a complete Class 2 through 7 straight-truck lineup.

Released later this spring as 2000-year models, the Super Duty F-650 will carry a 26,000-lb. GVW rating, while the new F-750 will be available with 30,000- and 33,000-lb. gross weight ratings. Both will come in wheelbases ranging from 158 to 260 in. and will be offered with a factory-installed Crew Cab and four-door SuperCab, as well as a standard cab. All three cab styles are shared with the lighter Super Duty models, providing a wider production base for better fit and finish and wider availability of parts, according to Ford. The family similarity inside the cab will also make it easier for drivers moving up to the heavier F-650 or F-750 from the lighter Super Duty models.

The medium-duty Super Duty models will be offered with a choice of three diesel engine families: the Cummins 5.9-liter ISB with horsepower ratings of 175, 190, and 195; the Caterpillar 3126E with ratings ranging from 190 to 250 hp., and the Ford 7.3-liter V8 Power Stroke rated at 210 hp. Transmission choices include Eaton and Spicer manuals, and Allison automatics.

Full air brakes are standard on the 33,000-lb. Super Duty F-750, while the other two ratings come with a 4-wheel disc hydraulic system. Four-channel ABS is standard on both the air and hydraulic systems.

Both the F-650 and F-750 use multi-leaf spring suspensions designed for improved ride, handling, and roll stiffness, according to Ford officials. Turning radius and steering response have also been improved with a new steering gear mount.

The medium-duty Super Duty F-Series will be offered with two interior trim levels. The base XL trim includes auxiliary power points, an AM/FM stereo radio, and a full automotive-style dash. The XLT trim option adds air conditioning, power locks and windows, a floor-mounted utility tray, and a National Easy-Air-Back driver's seat with a two-person vinyl passenger seat.

Hi-Lite Safety Systems has introduced a state-of-the-art LED turn/brake/taillight system for tractors and trailers. The system uses oversize, high-mounted orange-red signal lights to help make vehicles more visible, particularly in bad weather conditions.

The Hi-Lite LED lights have an emergency backup system, dubbed the Mayday Flasher, that automatically shifts to flashing mode if the vehicle jackknifes, is hit from behind, rolls over, or is totally disabled.

The new lights can be easily installed, are available in three different configurations, and are said to fit almost any vehicle. Specially designed sidelights are also available.

Designed to reduce accidents, Hi-Lite's LED system has a secondary benefit as well. According to company president and CEO Jeff Hymer, insurance costs will also decrease, enabling the system to pay for itself in less than a year.

More comfortable cabs top list of company's latest innovations

International unveiled enhancements to its 9000 series of Class 8 highway vehicles last month that offer roomier and more comfortable cabs and deliver key improvements in operating efficiency. Similar changes were made to the company's 5000 series of vocational trucks. The company also introduced a new tractor aimed at the owner-operator market.

Dubbed the International 9000i series (the "i" stands for innovation), the improved over-the-road line is made up of the International 9100i, 9200i, 9400i, and 9900i, as well as the Eagle 9900ix, a new 130-in.-BBC offering. All models are available in day cab and Pro-Sleeper versions, except for the 9100i, which is available in a day cab model only.

All 9000i series offer two more inches of belly room and one inch of additional headroom. In addition to a more ergonomic interior design, International has incorporated a new electronic blend-air HVAC system that needs no cables.

The new climate control system, combined with improved insulation, offers better temperature retention. In fact, the new system will drop a 110 degrees F temperature to 81 degrees F in 15 minutes. It will also bring a -10 degrees F temperature to 74 degrees F in the same amount of time.

A new fully curved and sloped (22 degrees) wraparound windshield increases the glass surface area by 60%, improving driver visibility; door windows are 14% bigger. Windshield wipers, which are 22 in., provide 90% coverage.

All day cabs now feature a pod-style roof fairing, while all cabs include aero sunshade and breakaway mirrors, plus chassis skirts that are up to 80 lb. lighter. All told, these improvements are said to result in 2-5% fuel savings.

To address serviceability, the mirrors are mounted on breakaway brackets and no tools are required for replacing the flat-glass portion of the mirror.

The 9000i series trucks are available through Diamond SPEC, a simplified spec'ing and ordering process designed to ensure component compatibility. All Diamond SPEC orders are supported through free replacement vehicles and guaranteed parts availability.

The enhanced 5000 series - which offers classic styling and roomier cabs - includes the 5900i set-forward axle (SFA) with 120-in. BBC; the 5500i SFA with 114-in. BBC; and the 5600i set-back axle with 114-in. BBC.

International has improved the ergonomics of the all-aluminum cab by pushing the instrument panel forward, creating two additional inches of belly room, and decreasing the length and angle of the accelerator pedal. All units have the new blend-air HVAC system found in over-the-road models.

Changes to the outside include a wider chrome grille, a larger hood, and headlights set in chrome, external air cleaners, and chrome bumpers. Both the 5500i and the 5600i come standard with International's 330-hp. diesel powerplant, which offers 1,150 lb.-ft. of torque; engine options up to 600 hp. are available. The units also include a Diamond Logic engine brake.

Joining Mack Trucks' T-200 transmission series is an 11-speed vocational transmission, the T-2110B, featuring triple countershaft performance for on- and off-road applications.

The new unit has a low gear and 10 driving gears with matching steps averaging 30%, which allows maximum use of the powerful torque rise of the Mack E-Tech Econodyne engines. "Heavy-duty vocational customers are not immune to the horsepower creep occurring in the trucking industry," says Steve Ginter, vocational product manager. "The T-2110B transmission is the solution for customers using higher horsepower engines for their demanding work."

An overall transmission ratio of 19.48:1 is achieved via a low gear ratio of 15:1 and high gear ratio of 0.77:1 overdrive. Four progressively shiftable reverse gears are featured: 13.16:1; 7.47:1; 5.70:1; and 4.37:1.

Additional features of the T2110B include a heavy-duty countershaft design torque rated at 1,700 lb.-ft.; range-type shift patterns; the Maxitorque splash and gravity lubrication system; lightweight treated aluminum outer case; and rear-mounted PTO options.

Further automation and higher capacities to come in future models

Representing a "radically new approach," Eaton Corp.'s Lightning Series heavy-duty fleet transmission is a significant departure from its current Eaton Fuller Super 10, which it will eventually replace. While it retains the familiar "non-repeat" shift pattern of the Super 10, the new premium fleet transmission does away with the separate auxiliary "back box," resulting in a 120-lb. weight reduction. The new Lightning also moves the Eaton fleet offering to all helical gearing and is the company's first transmission to be designed with integrated electronic controls.

Packaging the main and auxiliary gearing in a single casing not only reduces weight and shortens overall length, but combined with the helical gearing, it also provides drivers with a short lever travel and a more precise shift feel, according to Eaton.

In addition, the compact design offers improved longevity and reduced maintenance by cutting wet flange area 30% to reduce the potential for lubrication leaks. The new design also accommodates an internal lube cooler that eliminates external oil lines and uses a pump-driven pressurized system for internal lubrication distribution. In addition, an oil sight glass allows a quick visual check of lube levels.

The Lightning's advanced integrated electronics affects both driveability and durability, the company says. Communicating with the engine via the J1978 control data bus, the Lightning improves splitter shift performance by monitoring engine and vehicle speed and then adjusting shift logic to make the best shift possible. It will even change shift characteristics based on ambient temperature, and will reduce engine torque if an inexperienced driver attempts to start in the wrong gear. The new ECU also offers built-in Top2 automated shifting between 9th and 10th gears, and will eventually accommodate optional engine brake and cruise controls mounted on its ergonomic shift knob.

Other highlights of the new 10-speed include two 6-bolt PTO openings that have been repositioned for easier access and provisions for two rear-mount PTOs. The Lightning's aluminum clutch housing has also been designed as an integral part of the transmission, cutting overall weight by eliminating the case's front wall and improving direct lubrication of head bearings and other critical areas.

Already in production, the first Lightning is the FRLO-16410C-T2, a 1,650 lb.-ft. torque capacity model with Top2 automation. Later this year, Eaton will add 1,450 and 1,550 lb.-ft. capacity models. The standard warranty coverage is 5 yr./ 750,000 mi. for approved applications. All major truck OEMs are expected to add the Lightning to their data books by the end of the year.

Future models will add additional levels of electronic control and automation, as well as higher torque capacities. The Lightning will eventually replace the Super 10 as Eaton Fuller's premium fleet transmission, but the company will continue offering its base fleet transmission, the FR Series.

Western Star Trucks introduced its new Galaxy premium sleeper. The Galaxy, which is currently available in a 76-in. single bunk model, features the space-age sandwich panel construction found on the company's Star Light Sleeper.

Optional on the new sleeper are a broad selection of closet and storage spaces, office facilities, and appliance and entertainment accommodations. Both onboard and outside 120V AC power capabilities are provided for lighting, appliances, and entertainment equipment.

Enhanced storage capacity includes left side floor-to-ceiling cabinets for a refrigerator, pantry, and cupboard with rollout wire baskets; a slide-out laptop surface; a compact-disc changer; and behind-the-door netted storage.

Opposite this is another floor-to-ceiling cabinet with space for a TV/VCR unit and microwave oven, as well as more closets.

Standard on the Galaxy is 12V power for TV and refrigerator. A 120V AC outside power source for microwave, refrigerator, and laptop computer is optional, as is the 120V AC utility outlet.

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