Truck OEM Navistar is seeking to more closely integrate its freshly acquired rear discharge mixer manufacturing arm, revamped vocational truck chassis offerings, and MaxxForce lineup of big block engines so it can offer a “one-stop shop” of sorts to construction industry customers of all stripes.
“What we’re trying to do is build synergy within all these product lines, so a vocational customer can go to just one place to buy and service concrete mixer trucks,” Steve Guillaume, gm of Navistar’s newly renamed Continental Mixers LLC division, told FleetOwner.
Speaking by phone from the World of Concrete show in Las Vegas, Guillaume said the focus is to offer a completely factory-built product – mixer body, truck chassis, and engine – supported by select locations within Navistar’s 900-plus North American dealership network.
He added that Navistar is finalizing plans to expand parts and service coverage of Continental Mixer products to 30 new locations within the U.S. and Canada by year’s end. These existing Navistar truck dealerships will offer a full line of service parts for both mixers and chassis, with the capability to perform comprehensive chassis and body maintenance, from oil changes and tire rotations to complete mixer drum replacement and maintenance.
“In the past, mixer owners had to visit two or three different locations to service the truck, the mixer body or the engine, and in some cases needed to hire in-house expertise to maintain one or more of those systems if their service provider was too far away,” Guillaume said. “Now they can buy and maintain their equipment through just one provider. We think this style of ‘one-stop shop’ offers efficiencies to the customer.”
Navistar purchased the former Continental Manufacturing Co. – now Continental Mixers LLC – in December. It offers a full lineup of rear discharge mixer products sold under both the Continental Mixers and CBMW Mixers brands and continues to operate independently out of Houston, TX.
While Continental Mixers dealerships will provide service and support for integrated mixer bodies mounted to Navistar’s International truck chassis, the company will still continue to mount mixer bodies and provide comprehensive support on all makes of chassis.
The integration with Navistar, however, allows Continental to expand its service footprint beyond the Southeastern U.S., where products had been primarily sold until now.
Navistar is also beefing up its vocational chassis to generate more widespread appeal for vocational customers.
First, it’s combining the two heavy-duty International WorkStar models – the 7600 and 7700 – into one with two variations; 7600SBA (46-in. set-back axle) and 7600 SFA (30-in. set-forward axle). Both variations will feature a new 113-in. BBC length for increased cooling efficiency and an optional crew cab configuration with front axle ratings up to 18,000 lbs..
The upgraded WorkStar also now offers: optional all-wheel drive (AWD) up to 18,000 lbs on front axles on mid-range diesel configurations; a steerable 20,000-lb lift axle option direct from the factory; and standard aluminum fuel tanks.
For Navistar’s International PayStar chassis, electronic stability control (ESC) is now available on all PayStar models, with 8,000-, 13,200- and 20,000-lb lift axles available direct from the factory and new 10.25-in. by 3/8-in. frame rails as a standard feature on the PayStar 5900 SBA. Navistar’s advanced exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) MaxxForce 11 and 13-liter diesel engines will be available in the PayStar in the coming months, with the advanced EGR equipped MaxxForce 15-liter as an added option in late 2010.
All of these vocational chassis upgrades are designed to give customers improved warranty and service coverage, Guillaume added. “Options like steerable lift axles, AWD, and ESC are being offered from the factory so customers get OEM warranty coverage on them,” he said. “They also don’t have to wait longer to get their trucks due to aftermarket upgrades to add these options onto the chassis.”