The all-new Ram 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cabs join Dodge's medium-duty truck lineup for the 2008 model year and are designed to compete within the Class 4 and 5 segments, with their gross vehicle weight rating topping out at 14,000 and 19,500 lb., respectively.
The Ram 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cabs have a 52-gal.fuel tank, 390 mm brake rotors, 66 mm caliper pistons, and 34-in. frame rail spacing with flat, clean frame rails on a one-piece C-channel rear-frame rail made from 50,000-psi steel.
Both are offered in dual-rear-wheel models and four cab-axle lengths (60, 84, 108 and 120 in.), in 4×2, 4×4, regular and Quad Cab configurations, along with a standard 6.7L Cummins High Output Turbo Diesel cranking out 305 hp. and 610 lb.-ft. of torque. Cummins' 6.7L engine is also B5 biodiesel compatible and has life-to-major overhaul intervals of 350,000 mi.
Completing the powertrain package is a 6-sp. automatic transmission with PTO capability or a 6-sp. manual with PTO. An electronic-shift transfer case is optional, and a factory-installed exhaust brake contributes to both safety and superior brake life.
Bolt-on and riveted-on exhaust hanger brackets provide increased up-fitter flexibility, and riveted cross-members behind the cab allow for easier modification.
The fuel filtler is routed through the frame and an optional mid-ship fuel tank frees up more space behind the rear axle for special up-fit applications. Fuel and brake lines are routed together on the frame's left side to make better use of space along the frame, which also has clearance for rear-exhaust routing.
Electrical connections are user-friendly, thanks to three fused battery feeds routed into the cab and onto the rear of the chassis. A high-current 50-amp ground stud is located at the rear of the frame. Up-fitter wire circuits and electrical schematics are identified in the body builder guide.
Targeted at small-business tradesmen, fleet customers and traditional chassis cab users, the Dodge Ram 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cabs join the Dodge Ram 2500/3500 Box-Off models, Dodge Ram 3500 Chassis Cab, Dodge Sprinter, Dodge Ram pickup, and Dodge Caravan and Grand Caravan cargo vans in its commercial vehicle lineup.
The F-Series Super Duty is getting a complete makeover for the 2008 model year, including a new 6.4L Power Stroke V8 turbocharged diesel engine (built by International Truck & Engine Corp.), beefed up towing capacity of 24,000 lb. and maximum payload of more than 6,000 lb., an integrated tailgate step and stowable bed extender, a PowerScope power-fold and power-telescoping trailer-tow side mirrors.
The F-450 for 2008 incorporates a new rear leaf-spring suspension while using the radius arm front suspension from the F-450 chassis cab for improved maneuverability when towing. Selected F-350 DRW models can also be outfitted with the F-450's front suspension.
The new 6.4L Power Stroke diesel engine delivers 350 hp. at 3,000 rpm and 650 lb.-ft. of torque (on the F-250 & F-350) starting at 2,000 rpm. Transmission choices include a 6-sp. manual with overdrive or a TorqShift 5-sp. automatic. On the gasoline side, a 5.4L three-valve SOHC Triton V8 gas engine is offered with a 6-sp. manual.
The powertrains use a new unique mounting system that better isolates the powertrain and reduces vibration, while air vents, mounted on the fender just behind the wheel arch, dissipate engine compartment heat and designate powertrain type: red for diesel, black for gasoline.
New technologies also provide an ultra-quiet cabin. Quiet Steel, a unique composite laminated steel sheet, makes up the vehicle's dash panel and works with extra sound padding in the dash and floor, while a rear bulkhead panel and thicker side glass help keep unwanted noise out of the cabin.
A totally redesigned climate control system has more balanced airflow and refined, quieter operation that improves cabin comfort. The system uses a more reliable, more durable, higher capacity compressor, one of the many components that contribute to the better performance of the A/C system. Floor ducts for the heater now run under the seat, out of site of the rear-seat passengers.
Ford has also beefed up its medium-duty E-Series cutaway chassis, with a new exterior that matches the Super Duty — all new sheet metal from the A-pillars forward, including hood, fenders, radiator support, grille and bumpers. The larger grille, which improves cooling capability by increasing airflow to the powertrain, sits on a sharp, horizontal line that defines the upper portion of the bumper and provides a base for the unique stacked, dual-beam headlamps. Base models come with a contrasting black bumper, grille and headlamp surrounds, while the high series feature an all-chrome treatment.
The 2008 E-Series line also features a re-engineered front suspension that uses an all-new geometry and larger sway bars to provide a better stance and firmly plant the front end to the road. New valve technology on the rear shock absorbers further enhances the E-Series ride and handling while upgrades to the steering system provide a better on-center feel and reduced steering efforts.
An all-new braking system features larger front and rear rotors and calipers. A great swept area and new brake lining material help lower brake operating temperatures adding to pad and lining life and reducing maintenance costs.
The chassis and suspension improvements have also resulted in an increase in the maximum GVWR to 14,500 lb., up from 14, 050 lb. Maximum front GAWR is increased to 5,000 lb. from 4,600 lb.
The E-350 SRW Cutaway model has an optional mid-ship fuel tank to allow for more usable rear GVWR, and the E-450 has a 37-gal. tank as an option, as well as the standard 55-gal. tank.
Few changes are being made to Freightliner Trucks' medium-duty Business Class lineup for the 2008 model year. Introduced in 2002, the Business Class line now includes an all-wheel drive (AWD) option on M2 106 and M2 106V vocational models.
The AWD option is a part-time system that the OEM says is ideal for use in fire and rescue, utility, snowplow and municipal applications. The operator activates the system when traction conditions are poor; it can be engaged at or below 10 mph or while the vehicle is coasting on a level grade.
The AWD setup is based around 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 xle is mounted between the transmission and rear axle. Additionally, the axle bowl is offset by 11 in. to the passenger side, matching the driveline angles and eliminating the need for a lift kit.
Front drive axles are available in 4×4 or a 6×6 configurations 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 engines are still being touted as a cheaper alternative to more expensive 2007-grade low-emission diesel engines for GM's medium-duty conventional line, which includes the GMC TopKick and Chevrolet Kodiak.
GM's 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 has replaced the traditional 5-sp. model; manuals are no longer offered. 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 remains available. Off-road handling continues to be enhanced with an electronically controlled Venture Gear Model NV273 2-sp. transfer case. These models feature the Duramax 6.6L engine with the base diesel models featuring 300 hp. with 520 lb.-ft. of torque and 330-hp. with 620 lb.-ft. of torque.
C6500/7500/8500 models are available with an optional Caterpillar C7 (7.2L diesel I-6) that delivers horsepower ratings from 207 to 250, and torque ratings up to 800 lb.-ft.
On the cabover side, Chevrolet and GMC get a newly overhauled W-Series line. It gets a larger and more spacious cab, with more side-to-side and front-to-back room, and a redesigned dash. The W5500 now comes in a 22-ft. model available with a 200-in. wheelbase, with the W5500 HD offering 22- and 24-ft. models with a 212-in. wheelbase.
W5500 and W5500 HD LWB models are powered by the overhead cam 5.2L 4HK1-TC turbocharged diesel engine. It delivers 205 hp. and 441 lb.-ft. of torque and is mated to a new Aisin A465 heavy-duty 6-sp. automatic with double overdrive.
Also new is a W3500 Gas Crew Cab, powered by a 325-hp. Vortec 6.0L V-8 engine, mated to a Hydra-Matic 4L80 4-sp. automatic with lockup torque converter and overdrive.
New cleaner diesel engines are the biggest change to Hino Motor Sales USA's line of Class 4-7 conventional trucks for the 2008 model year. The six conventionals, with GVWRs from 14,050 to 33,000-lb., are equipped with Hino's J-Series 5L or 8L engines rated between 175 and 260 hp. Modifications include a bigger EGR cooler, diesel injection pressures constant at 26,000 lb., up from 22,000 lb., and a 16-bit electronic processor on the variable nozzle turbo for better control.
All of Hino's 2008 models come standard with an air tank, even those using hydraulic brakes. That's because all trucks will be equipped with a new air-controlled butterfly valve engine brake to help manage exhaust backpressure and engine heat while offering a way to slow the vehicle without using the brakes.
A new hydraulic anti-lock braking system is the big 2008 model year upgrade for International Truck & Engine Corp.'s medium-duty truck line. It will be standard on the RXT, 3200, 4200 4×4 and 4000 Series 4×2 models, with the exception of the mid-cab tractor.
While previous brake options used pressure from the power steering system to boost the master cylinder pressure output, electric pumps will now be used to generate hydraulic pressure. This means that stored pressure in the accumulators will allow the full power system to build pressure at the brake calipers significantly faster, providing drivers with reduced stopping distances.
This new electronic brake force distribution (EBD) hydraulic braking feature, supplied by Meritor Wabco, proportions braking force relative to axle load conditions.
The braking system also improves pedal feel since the stored energy provides an almost immediate response when brake pedals are applied. This is unlike the system used by other OEMs where the system is asked to provide pressure energy, but the energy must be created to apply the brakes. The master cylinder sends signal pressure to a control valve, and in response to that, fluid from the accumulators is sent to the brake calipers for stopping the vehicle. As a result, the master cylinder does not have to stroke as far, resulting in the better pedal feel. Less overall stroke allows for the repositioning of the brake pedal so it is set at a more comfortable height for drivers. Optional in 2008 is automatic traction control (ATC), which works at low-speed conditions, sending brake pressure to wheels that are spinning for better traction. When sensors detect spinning wheels above 30 mph, the ATC initiates “engine management,” which backs off of engine power and does not apply braking pressure.
Powered parking, which will be an option for all medium-duties with full power, uses the Spring-Apply Air-Release (SAAR) parking brake chamber. This chamber includes stoke indication, which identifies any damage or out-of-adjustment conditions in the parking brake. A service park brake indicator lamp on the dash will be lit should any such out-of-adjustment conditions be identified.
The N-Series line of medium-duty low cab forward (LCF) trucks from Isuzu Commercial Truck of America is getting a serious makeover for the 2008 model year.
The N-Series models not only meet the 2007 EPA and California diesel emission standards, but also feature front-to-back enhancements, including more cab room, enhanced safety and convenience, and more power.
Horsepower has increased to 205 at 2400 rpm for the 5.2L diesel engine, with torque getting a boost to 441 lb.-ft. at 1850 rpm. That engine covers GVW ranges from 12,000 lb. to 19,500 lb. and has a B10 durability rating of 310,000 miles.
Isuzu's new 5.2L diesel can be paired with the new Aisin A465 heavy-duty, 6-sp. automatic with double overdrive, or a 6-sp. manual transmission. The gasoline Vortec 6.0L, V-8 engine delivers 325 hp. and 360 lb.-ft. of torque, driven through the Hydra-Matic 4L80 4-sp. automatic transmission.
Isuzu N-Series diesel models include the NPR, NPR HD (regular and crew cab), NQR (regular and crew cab) and NRR. For 2008, they can also accommodate longer and wider bodies — up to 24 in. long and 102 in. wide.
Cab interiors get a big upgrade, including more room and higher seatbacks covered in a Tricot cloth that stays cooler in summer and warmer in winter. Cab mounting has been improved cab to deliver a smoother ride.
An easy-to-remove panel at the front of the cab provides access to the wiper motor and linkage, electrical connections and air intake filters. To enhance safety and durability, Isuzu engineers redesigned the seatbelt for easier operation, cut side windows lower to enhance visibility, mounted larger side mirrors with integrated convex sections and increased cab structural strength and corrosion resistance.
New to Kenworth Truck Co.'s medium-duty family for 2008 are the Class 7 T370, Class 6 T270 and T270 hybrid-electric conventional models, and the Class 6 K260 cabover, which joins the Class 7 K360 cabover.
The T370 and T270 feature have halogen projector low beam headlamps, which provide 30% more light down the road. The new hood and grille is made of sheet molded composite for enhanced fit and finish, while a new hood assist device and 90-deg. hood tilt opening offer easier access to the engine. A one-piece chrome or painted bumper and new Metton quarter fenders provide additional durability and impact resistance.
The T370 and T270 are available with Paccar's PX-6 engine rated to 325 hp. and 750 lb.-ft. of torque, along with the Paccar PX-8 engine rated to 330 hp and 1,000 lb.-ft. of torque. Customers can choose manual or automatic transmissions and air or hydraulic brakes.
The interior of the new T370 and T270 features wrap-around instrument panels with easy-to-read, glare-free gauges. The fact that there's no doghouse reduces interior noise. Standard features include power door locks, passenger-side electric windows (optional on the driver's side), DayLite doors with peeper window, and a 50-deg. wheel cut for improved maneuverability.
The hybrid-electric version of the T270 is powered by the Paccar PX-6 engine and features an integral transmission-mounted motor/generator, a frame-mounted 340-volt battery pack, and a dedicated power management system. The hybrid operates like a standard diesel vehicle with all power coming from the engine during steady driving conditions above 30 mph, and uses a combination of diesel and electricity below 30 mph.
The K260 and K360 cabovers are based on the LF55 chassis — known for its low chassis weight and clear back of cab — built by Paccar's European subisidary, DAF. www.kenworth.com
A new cab for medium-duty models, new configurations on the light-duty side and new engine emissions systems with diesel particulate filters (DPFs) lead the changes for the 2008 North American Mitsubishi Fuso cabover truck line.
The light-duty FE 2008 models bring the return of the Class 3 FE125 (12,500 lb. GVW), which now has the OBD II emissions monitoring system required by California and other states. Power is provided by a 4.9L Mitsubishi diesel producing 185 hp. and 391 lb.-ft. peak torque. It will only be available with an Aisin 6-sp. automatic transmission. Offered in three wheelbases ranging from 114.6 to 153.4 in., the FE125 will accommodate bodies up to 18 ft.
The Class 4 FE145 (14,500 lb. GVW) is available in four wheelbases, including a new 155.3-in. length. Transimission is the Aisin automatic.
A 6-sp. Mitsubishi manual transmission remains available for Class 5 FE180 (17,995 lb. GVW), which adds a fifth wheelbase of 189.4-in. for 2008.
Also returning to the MFTA lineup for 2008 is the 4×4 FE140 (in a 138.2-in. wheelbase) and the FE145 Crew Cab.
The FK/FM medium-duty Mitsubishi Fuso models for 2008 will feature a new cab that cuts aerodynamic drag up to 25% in flatbed applications and lower chassis heights. Driver comfort and productivity features have also been upgraded.
The 2008 low-profile Class 6 FK200 (19,850 lb. GVW) has a frame height of only 36 in. and can accommodate bodies up to 24 ft. long. Like all FK/FM models, it is powered by the 7.5L 6M60 Fuso diesel producing 243 hp. and a peak torque of 513 lb.-ft.. That engine does not require a variable geometry turbocharger to meet the new emissions requirements, and retains its wastegated turbo.
The Class 6 FK260 (25,995 lb. GVW) will be offered with either a spring or full-air rear suspension. Frame height drops three inches to 38, while the air-suspension version can dump its air bags to lower the truck an additional 2.5 in. while stationary. The FK260 features full air brakes for 2008 and adds a 253-in. wheelbase. The Class 7 FM330 (32,900 lb. GVW) can be fitted with bodies ranging from 16 to 28 ft.
The big news for Peterbilt Motors Co.'s 2008 model year is the addition of two cabovers — the Model 220 and 210 — to its line of medium-duty trucks, which also includes the Model 325 (also new) Model 330, Model 335 and Model 340 conventionals. The Model 220 is being offered in both Class 6 and 7 configurations and is based on the LF platform; a truck chassis originally introduced to the European market in 2001 by Peterbilt's sister company, DAF Trucks. The Model 210 is a Class 5.
On the conventional side, the OEM is adding a Class 5 version of its Class 6/7 Model 330/335, called the Model 325. The OEM's Model 330 can be spec'd in either a Class 6 truck or tractor configured for non-CDL operation, while the Model 340 is designed for vocational applications.
Diesel-electric hybrid versions of both the Model 330 and 335 are being added to Peterbilt's 2008 model year lineup as well.
According to Scott Pearson, Peterbilt's assistant gm-sales & marketing, customers have cited the new models' capability to operate with greater levels of productivity, efficiency and cost effectiveness. “In development of our new products, we were able to mitigate the impact of the new engines and aftertreatment devices used to meet the new 2007 emissions regulations, so we were able to introduce new vehicles … with more fuel-efficient aerodynamic designs, reduced chassis weight, improved serviceability and reliability, and greater overall performance.”
Two new trucks join Sterling Truck Corp.'s medium-duty family for the 2008 model year: the Bullet Class 4-5 conventional and the Class 3 Sterling 360 cabover.
The Bullet features a Cummins 6.7L ISB engine with exhaust brake, a PTO prep package, and a rugged 34-in. wide, 50,000 psi frame for easy body builder up-fitting. It's offered as a regular cab in four wheelbases or as a quad cab in two wheelbases, while featuring both 2WD and 4WD configurations, plus optional snowplow and towing packages.
A manual 6-sp. transmission comes standard on the Bullet, with a 6-sp. automatic option. Standard features for the cab include air conditioning, easy-to-read gauges, an adjustable tilt steering wheel to reduce operator fatigue, and driver- and passenger-side airbags.
Options include cruise control, fog lights, power windows and locks, power trailer tow mirrors and numerous radio options. A premium interior package is also available, with options such as a navigation radio with available GPS, a cloth six-way power seat and an Infinity MP3/CD player.
The Bullet comes in several configurations, including the regular cab (123-in. BBC) and quad cab (143-in. BBC), with both available in 2WD and 4WD. Vehicle GVWRs total between 16,500 and 19,500 lb. for both regular and quad cab, with a GCWR of 26,000 lb.
For the regular cab, wheelbase/cab-to-axle measurements are 144.5 in./60 in., 168.5 in./84 in.; 192.5 in./108 in., 204.5 in./120 in.; and for quad cab, 164.5 in./60 in., 188.5 in./84 in. Axle ratios of 4.10, 4.44 and 4.88 are available, with front axles rated at 7,000 lb. and rear axles 13,500 lb.
The Class 3 version of Sterling's low cab forward (LCF) 360, with a GVW of 12,500 lb., joins the existing Class 4 and 5 models that debuted early last year.
For 2008, engines have been upgraded from 175 to 185 hp., and the chassis is two inches lower, thanks to an improved cooling system and change in frame height.
The LCF 360 line also features the OBD-II on-board diagnostics system for 2008, providing a universal inspection and diagnosis method to be sure the vehicle is performing correctly and to EPA emissions standards.
Air conditioning, automatic transmissions and cruise control are all standard, and an improved electronic engine management system enables drivers to limit top speed and accelerate the engine during stationary PTO applications.
Also new in 2008 is a 189-in. wheelbase option for the Class 5 360. www.sterlingtrucks.com
The big news from UD Trucks for the 2008 model year is that a new “low profile” model — the UD 2600 LP — is being added to the lineup. This 26,000-lb. GVW option is designed for fleets working in tight urban areas.
In addition, UD 1800 through 3300 chassis will now have the option of being spec'd with factory-installed air suspensions.
All UD models will have 12 volt power outlets in the cabs, so operators can charge and use cell phones and laptops while on the go. Highway rib tires are now standard for all positions, replacing the heavier lug tires that were standard on rear wheels, although customers can still request lug tires on the rear wheels.
Dual convex side view mirrors are standard, with heated versions available as an option. Factory-installed back-up alarms are also now 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, are now standard as well.
New from Workhorse Cusom Chassis Corp. for 2008 is the W62 chassis, available in 19,500- and 23,500-lb. GVWR models. Initially, they will be gasoline powered, equipped with the GM 8.1L Vortec V8 engine mated to a 5-sp. Allison 1000HS (for 19,500 lb. GVWR) or 2200HS (for 23,500 lb. GVWR) transmission. The Vortec V8 produces 310 hp. and 455 lb.-ft. of torque. A diesel version powered by International's MaxxForce 5 V6 will be available this summer. Wheelbase choices are 157, 178, 190, 208 and 218 in.
The W62 incorporates a number of features developed for the Workhorse W42, including Meritor Quadraulic brakes with WABCO 4-channel ABS. The W62 also has two-leaf parabolic springs coupled with premium gas shock absorbers for a smoother ride.
ZF Servocom 8095 variable ratio power steering makes turning easier, while the truck's dashboard sports a new information display within the instrument cluster. A tilt steering column and standard 15.5-in. steering wheel, cruise control and a brake-transmission-shift interlock round out the W62's interior features. www.wccc.com