Ford Motor Co.’s medium-duty lineup for the 2013 model year will feature a gasoline powertrain spec for the F-650 truck. It includes the 6.8L, 375-hp. V10 Triton engine, which cranks out 457 lbs.-ft. of torque, and a 6-spd. 6R140 automatic transmission with double overdrive gears. The transmission is the same one used in the diesel-powered version of the F-650, the OEM notes. It is capable of running on gasoline, CNG or propane.
Rob Stevens, Ford’s chief engineer for commercial products, says the F-650 gasoline powertrain spec will be available starting sometime this summer.
Ford says it’s aiming the F-650 gasoline engine at those who are seeking a cheaper alternative for replenishing an aging fleet. The F-650 gasoline engine option is pegged to meet the operational needs of those applications without sacrificing performance.
Ford notes that the average vehicle savings for an F-650 gas model compared to F-650 trucks with diesels is $8,300. The OEM is also offering its F-650 6.8L Pro-Loader with 19.5-in. wheels and the F-650 6.8L Dock Height with 22- in. wheels.
The 2013 F-Series Super Duty will be available with a truck-specific version of Sync with MyFord Touch, offering tactile button controls and large rotating knobs to accommodate truck users who may be wearing work gloves, the OEM says. Sync is a system designed to help keep drivers better connected without them having to divert their eyes from the road, thus allowing drivers to communicate wirelessly without sacrificing safety, Ford stresses.
The Sync system is accessed with an 8-in., high-resolution touchscreen display to give drivers easy access to phone, climate control, entertainment and navigation features. The display also provides a large, clear view behind the truck when in reverse to help drivers maneuver in tight spaces or line up conventional trailers with the truck’s hitch, Ford says.
Freightliner Trucks has introduced what it calls the SmartPlex electrical system for both its Freightliner 114SD and Business Class M2 models. The OEM says the new electrical system provides “unmatched flexibility” for truckequipment manufacturers (TEMs) when configuring a truck to a specific body installation.
“With SmartPlex, we focused on providing TEMs with the most efficient and reliable solution that will increase the ease of body integration and application programming, and keep our customers on the road and working smarter,” says T. J. Reed, director of product marketing, Freightliner Trucks.
The SmartPlex electrical system uses Freightliner’s proprietary control modules. These connect to the J1939 data bus, controlling power to lights and TEM equipment. SmartPlex also includes a new flex switch and lamp module, which provides capacity for up to 24 switches located in the overhead compartment.
Laser-etched plastic inserts with icons that are appropriate for each industry and/or the type of truck are also provided, allowing TEMs to simply snap the inserts into corresponding switches, notes the OEM. The system expands the total number of switches and lamps that can be connected to 35 (including dash switches).
The SmartPlex system is accessed using Freightliner ServiceLink software, which communicates directly with the OEM’s proprietary control modules. Freightliner says that ServiceLink allows TEMs to configure programming for unique needs at their own facility.
“SmartPlex greatly expands the capability of the computer control system by providing a large number of switches and lamps that are configurable by the TEM with simple snap-in legends and additional computer power with more inputs and outputs for control,” notes Paul Menig, chief mechatronics engineer for Freightliner’s parent, Daimler Trucks North America.
The major change for the 2013 model year coming from Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. (FCCC) is the introduction of the S2G chassis, which provides a factoryinstalled liquid petroleum gas or propane-powered engine package available to the medium-duty truck market.
Built on FCCC’s S2 chassis, the S2G’s 8L 325-hp. engine supplied by Powertrain Integration offers an LPG fueling system connected to a gasoline engine built on a General Motors long block. FCCC says the benefits of an LPG chassis include lower operational costs and reduced emissions without sacrificing payload capability or performance. The S2G chassis is suitable for pickup and delivery, student transportation and municipal applications.
“The S2G was developed in response to significant industry interest for an LPG solution without retrofitting or aftermarket additions,” says FCCC president Bob Harbin. He notes that FCCC has over a decade of experience designing and building factory-installed compressed natural gas (CNG) and LPG chassis for its commercial bus products.
“From the start, we invited our end-users, fleet managers and body manufacturers to tell us about their specific needs—from gross vehicle weight rating and chassis compo- FCCC nent placement to in-cab layout and electrical interfaces,” says Jonathan Randall, FCCC’s director of sales and marketing. “We didn’t want to just add an LPG engine to our S2 chassis; we wanted to make the best chassis our customers could envision while making it a body-builder friendly truck.”
Like its S2 diesel-only counterpart, the front-engine S2G is equipped with a Freightliner M2 business class cab, which features a sloped, forward-tilting hood for improved visibility and easier access to the engine compartment. It has a GVWR of 33,000 lbs.
Limited pre-production of S2G chassis is expected to begin in the fourth quarter, with full production slated for the first quarter of 2013.
New for the 2013 model year from Hino Trucks USA is the Class 5 cabover engine (COE) Model 195, available with either a diesel or diesel-electric hybrid powertrain. The 19,500-lb. GVW truck comes powered with a 5L J05E Series diesel engine generating 210 hp. and 440 lbs.-ft. of torque. The J05E engine, which is equipped with a selective catalytic reduction emissions control system, is matched with an Aisin 6-spd. automatic transmission.
The Hino 195h is a diesel-electric COE built with a parallel hybrid propulsion system that uses regenerative braking to charge a bank of nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries. This is coupled with what Hino calls its “hybrid adaptive control system” to assist the diesel during drive cycles.
Combining diesel and electric power keeps the engine in its fuel economy “sweet spot” as much as possible, helping improve fuel efficiency by as much as 30%, Hino says. With both built on a 33-in. frame made from highstrength steel, the diesel-only and hybrid models can be configured to fit a wide range of applications.
Hino notes that customers will be able to spec truck chassis, truck tank and all other necessary equipment right at their local Hino dealer, with its dealer technicians also being trained on installation, service and maintenance of Amthor tank bodies.
For its line of conventional Class 4-7 trucks, Hino hammered out a multi-year, long-term agreement with Allison Transmission late last year to make Allison the exclusive transmission for all current and future Hino conventional trucks sold in the U.S.
Through the agreement, Hino, a division of Japan’s Toyota Group, says its conventional models equipped with Allison’s 2000 Highway Series transmissions will now carry a 4-yr. warranty, while trucks spec’d with the 2000 and 3000 Rugged Duty Series transmissions will carry a 3-yr. warranty. Coverage terms begin with the 2012 model year.
The deal also affords Hino and Allison the opportunity to work closer together on research and development efforts to help “bring new technologies to the medium-duty market,” notes Glenn Ellis, Hino’s vice president-marketing.
Navistar International's introduction of a 4×4 version of its International TerraStar medium-duty truck last year helped fill in some gaps for customers looking for additional options from the work truck.
“With the addition of a 4×4 model, the TerraStar is poised to win over an even broader range of customers with more severe demands,” notes Jim Hebe, Navistar’s senior vice president-North American sales operations.
According to the OEM, International is now offering a wider range of alternative-fueled vehicles for the medium-duty market. These include the International DuraStar Hybrid and a DuraStar model powered by either a compressed (CNG) or liquefied (LNG) natural gas powertrain.
The natural gas option comes via a conversion program. Navistar explains that a kit developed by Emissions Solutions Inc. (ESI) allows DuraStar natural gas conversions ranging from 175-300 hp. with 460-860 lbs.-ft. of torque.
The OEM points out that it will also make available an ESI natural gas conversion kit—and either frame- or back-of-cab-mounted natural gas tanks—for customers ordering a WorkStar model with a DT 466 natural gas engine.
Changes are slated for certain Isuzu Commercial Truck of America’s N-Series low cab forward (LCF) trucks for the 2013 model year.
For starters, the Isuzu NPR gas model will be available with a three-person standard cab or seven-passenger crew cab rated at 12,000 lbs. GVW. It will be powered by a 6.0L Vortex V8 gasoline engine delivering 297 hp. and 372 lbs.-ft. of torque that is mated to a 6L90 Hydra- Matic 6-spd. automatic with double overdrive. Body payload allowance for the 2013 NPR gas runs between 6,186 and 6,994 lbs. with wheelbase options running between 109 and 176 in.
The 2013 Isuzu NPR-HD offers a GVW of 14,500 lbs. with payload allowance running between 7,699 and 8,503 lbs. This model features wheelbase options between 109 and 176 in.; a 5.2L Isuzu 4HK1-TC turbocharged intercooled diesel engine delivers 215 hp. and 452 lbs.-ft. of torque. The engine is mated to an Aisin A465 6-spd. double overdrive automatic transmission with lockup torque converter plus power take-off (PTO) opening. Also available is a manual transmission and a crew cab option.
An alternative fuel model, the NPR-HD N-Series, is also available. Powered by either compressed natural gas or liquid petroleum gas, this model has a 14,500- lb. GVW with payload allowances between 8,636 and 9,408 lbs.
The 2013 Isuzu NQR will offer a GVW of 17,950 lbs., payload range from 10,657 to 11,483 lbs., and wheelbase options between 109 and 200 in. It is equipped with a 5.2L Isuzu 4HK1-TC turbocharged, intercooled diesel engine offering 215 hp. and 452 lbs.-ft. of torque. This model is mated to an Aisin A465 6-spd. double overdrive automatic transmission with lockup torque converter and PTO opening, again with a manual transmission and crew cab configuration option.
Finally, the 2013 Isuzu NRR will have a GVW of 19,500 lbs., payload allowance of 12,493 to 12,897 lbs., and wheelbase options between 109 and 212 in. The NRR will be powered by a 5.2L Isuzu 4HK1-TC turbocharged intercooled diesel engine that produces 215 hp. and 452 lbs.-ft. of torque at 1,850 rpm. An Aisin A465 6-spd. double overdrive automatic transmission with lockup torque converter plus PTO opening comes standard and an optional manual transmission is available.
Kenworth Truck has expanded its medium-duty line with the new K270 Class 6 and K370 Class 7 cabovers, both of which are targeted at urban-delivery applications. “We’re excited to bring Kenworth quality to the cabover market,” says Gary Moore, Kenworth general manager. “Kenworth’s new K270 and K370 cabovers offer excellent maneuverability, durability, styling and ease of service for customers operating in urban operations.”
According to the OEM, applications for the K270 and K370 include P&D, lease/rental, towing/recovery, landscaping, furniture delivery, and food processing and distribution that require a highly maneuverable truck capable of carrying 18- to 26-ft. van bodies, stake beds or roll-on/roll-off beds. KW notes that the 63.4-in. BBC of both trucks provides a 55-deg. wheel cut for “excellent maneuverability.”
“There are areas [that have] length restrictions, whether it is time of day or overall length, and the new cabovers fit nicely into that,” points out Preston Feight, assistant general manager-sales & marketing. “What we didn’t have before is a tight urban truck. Now we do with the K270 and K370.”
The 33,000-lb. GVWR K370 will be offered in a 4x2 Class 7 truck configuration. It is built on a North American- based chassis that KW says is very similar to that of the existing Kenworth T370 conventional. The K370 is powered by the 6.7L Paccar PX-6 engine with a standard 220 hp. rating and 520 lbs.-ft. of maximum torque. Optional ratings are 240 hp. and 560 lbs.-ft. of torque and 250 hp. with 660 lbs.-ft. of torque. The K370 is available with Allison 2500 HS and RDS 5-spd. transmissions.
The K370’s 12-volt supplied chassis consists of 101/4-in., 120,000-psi steel frame rails; a wheelbase range of 166 to 214 in.; mechanical rear suspension; 45-gal. fuel tank; and horizontal aftertreatment system with a 6.6 gal. DEF tank.
The 26,000-lb. GVWR Kenworth K270 cabover is offered in a 4x2 Class 6 truck configuration. The OEM says it is built on a North American-based chassis very similar to that of the Kenworth T270 conventional. The K270 is also powered by the 6.7L PX-6 engine with a standard 220 hp. rating and 520 lbs.-ft. of maximum torque. Optional ratings are 240 hp. and 560 lbs.-ft. of torque and 250 hp. with 660 lbs.-ft. of torque. The K270 is available with Allison 2100 HS and RDS 5-spd. transmissions.
The K270’s 12-volt supplied chassis consists of 97/8-in., 120,000-psi steel frame rails; a wheelbase range of 166 to 214 in.; front air disc and rear drum brakes; mechanical rear suspension; 45-gal. fuel tank; and horizontal aftertreatment system with a 6.6 gal. DEF tank.
The OEM says both the K270 and K370 boast a wide cab that can accommodate up to three people with a driver airsuspended seat. The dash includes a master display information module that provides data on fuel consumption, service inspections, outside air temperature, coolant temperature, oil level, DEF level, and trip information.
For the 2013 model year, Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America (MFTA) is introducing a new Canter low cab forward (LCF) lineup, which is already in production.
In addition to the five colors MFTA has traditionally offered, the 2013 Canter can be ordered in solid black, which should help some customers from having to paint the cabs to match their company colors.
All new Canters will come standard with dual batteries, and will also include a factory-installed PTO wiring harness designed to receive an optional, matched control switch and to make connection to optional PTOs easy.
Moreover, a 33-gal. side-mounted fuel tank will once again be available as a factory-installed option. Mirrors will have new, wider mounting arms that facilitate the installation of bodies with outside widths up to 102 in. on all Canter FE models, including the Canter FE160 crew cab.
For cold climate operation, the Fuso Canter can be outfitted with an oil pan heater to make engine start-up easier; it replaces the block heaters available on earlier models.
“Being installed on the oil pan, the new heater can directly warm cold engine oil to reduce viscosity and required starting torque more efficiently than can a block heater,” notes Leighton Good, MFTA’s manager-product and applications. “In addition, as the heat rises, the block and components above are warmed as well to help reduce cold start engine wear.”
Fuso trucks come with a 5-yr./175,000-mi. powertrain warranty as standard.
The company also rolls out a new repair and maintenance parts program for its trucks this year dubbed “Diamond Value Parts.” The program helps supply authorized dealers and service points with a line of parts that provide substantial quality while offering pricing that allows them to compete more effectively with aftermarket maintenance and repair operations.
All parts that are in the program are intended for use after expiration of Fuso’s base warranty, the company notes, and durability, performance and efficiency should be a near match for Fuso’s “genuine” parts label.
“To help keep Fuso trucks in service even longer, we can now offer competitively priced maintenance and repair parts installed by factory-trained technicians,” says Len Doherty, MFTA’s vice president-parts operations.
Peterbilt Motors has announced new design enhancements for its medium-duty cabover Model 210 and Model 220, which serve the Class 6-7 market in such applications as P&D, wrecker and sweeper. Given those duty cycles, according to Bill Jackson, Peterbilt general manager, maneuverability is a key attribute. “The Model 210 and 220 offer that and driver comfort, entry safety features, serviceability, and vigorous power all in a compact package,” he adds. “And with its low-chassis weight, it’s perfect for high-volume payloads.”
The OEM says the cabover design pairs a lightweight chassis and frame rail with a strategically positioned electrical system to optimize body installation and increase payload capacity. The Models 210 and 220 use selective catalytic reduction exhaust-aftertreatment technology and are EPA 2010 emissions-compliant. In addition, the trucks are available with an Allison 2100 Series automatic transmission, which Pete says helps provide a smooth, comfortable ride.
The Model 210 is available as a Class 6 straight truck with GVW rating of 26,000 lbs. The OEM says it features a tight turning radius for maneuverability in difficult, confined spaces; a wraparound windshield; extra large side windows; and heated mirrors for exceptional visibility. Standard with an automatic transmission and air suspension, the Model 210 is recommended for bodies between 18 to 26 ft. in length and can be configured for non-CDL operation. The truck’s wraparound dash is a highlight of the spacious interior with its capacity to seat three people and provide ample storage with overhead compartments running the width of the cabin, Pete notes.
The Model 220 is now available either as a Class 7 or a Class 6 truck. It provides a low chassis weight that Pete says is perfect for high-volume payloads. The truck’s front panel opens for quick access to the air filter, coolant, washer fluid, power-steering fluid, refrigerant, and engine oil. Ergonomically positioned doors open a wide 90 deg. and the truck rides on 11R22.5 tires. The Model 220 is recommended for bodies between 20 and 28 ft. in length.
Both cabovers are powered by the Paccar PX-6 diesel with horsepower ratings up to 250 and torque ratings up to 660 lbs.-ft. The OEM notes that the fuel-efficient PX-6 is an inline 6 cyl. with four valves per cylinder and a high pressure common rail fuel system. It features the best power-toweight ratio available in its class, the company says.
The Model 210 and 220 cabovers are part of Peterbilt’s lineup of medium-duty vehicles that includes the conventional- hood Models 325, 330, 337, and 348. Models 330, 337, and 348 are also available in hybrid electric configurations.
Pete has made available its extended day cab feature on its medium-duty trucks. The OEM says customers now have the option to expand the length of a day cab by an additional 10 in. and receive nearly 6 in. of added headroom.
According to the OEM, the extended day cab is designed to increase driver comfort and productivity: Both the driver and passenger seat recline is doubled to 23 deg., and there is 4 in. of added space between the steering wheel and the seat. In addition, 4 cu. ft. of built-in rear wall storage compartments have been added for equipment or paperwork.
After making some changes to its Ram 4500 and 5500 medium-duty (Class 4 and 5) chassis cab for the 2012 model year, few alterations accompany the 2013 model year.
As part of a “max tow” package introduced last year, Chrysler boosted the GCWR of its Ram 4500/5500 chassis cab for both regular and crew cab models and in 4x2 and 4x4 configurations. The package includes a new transfer case gear set, chain and sprocket upgrades, recalibrated transmission software, and an enhanced collection of thermal management devices.
Ram 4500 and 5500 chassis cab trucks still come equipped with a commercial-grade 6.7L Cummins turbodiesel engine cranking out 305 hp. and 610 lbs.-ft. of torque. The max tow package adds an optional commercial-grade Aisin 6-spd. automatic transmission and 4.88 rear-axle ratio. A 4.44 axle is standard on 4500 models and not available with the max tow package. A 6-spd. manual transmission is standard on Ram 4500 and 5500 chassis cab models.
The 30,000-lb. GCWR gives the Ram chassis cab a 4,000-lb. boost in trailer-towing capabilities, up to a maximum of 22,300 lbs. on a Ram 4500 or 5500 chassis cab equipped with a 6-spd. automatic transmission.
Ram 3500 chassis-cab models, Chrysler notes, remain powered by the 5.7L Hemi V8. That engine delivers 383 hp. and 400 lbs.-ft. of torque and is mated to a new 6-spd. automatic transmission introduced last year to increase GCWR by 3,000 lbs. to the current 20,000-lb. rating. A Cummins turbodiesel remains available as an option.
Chrysler says “maximum upfitting friendliness” remains a hallmark of the Ram chassis cab lineup due to the 34-in. frame rail spacing and one-piece C-channel rear-frame rail that forms the base platform of those truck models.
Back in 2011, Chrysler upgraded the 3500, 4500 and 5500 chassis cabs with four upfitter switches integrated on the instrument panel. Each of these switches is linked to an auxiliary power distribution center located under the hood that includes one fused 20 amp battery feed and one fused relay-controlled 20 amp ignition.
Electrical connections remain user-friendly, thanks to one fused battery feed and one fused ignition feed routed into the cab and to the rear of the chassis. With built-in tandem power take-off (PTO) capability, all models feature a heavyduty cooling system in order to meet additional heat loads that are often generated from PTO upfits and/or extreme hauling.
Smith Electric Vehicles
The newest addition to Smith Electric Vehicle’s line of all-electric commercial vehicles is the Newton step van. The vehicle, built on the company’s Class 4-7 Newton platform, is configured with a walk-in body provided by Utilimaster.
Smith Electric says the Newton step van will offer a GVW of 14,000 to 26,000 lbs. with a top speed of 55 mph and range of 40 to 100 mi. on a single charge, depending on how the vehicle is operated. The company adds that the step vans are expected to be deployed in select U.S. markets throughout the remainder of this year.
The Class 4-7 Newton chassis is offered in 154-, 177-, and 201-in. wheelbase options, with payload capacities ranging from 6,100 to 16,200 lbs.
Smith Electric’s Class 3-4 Edison model features a 7,700 to 10,400 lb. GVW rating, offering 1,600 to 5,000 lbs. worth of payload capacity.
The company also continues to offer the Newton eTrans, an all-electric 42-passenger bus model built on the Edison chassis, which can travel up to 120 mi. on a single charge at speeds of up to 50 mph.
The company says the Newton eTrans is ideal for the fixed routes in urban areas most school buses take each day. It is equipped with Smith Power, using the latest in lithium ion battery technology and regenerative braking technology that will transfer energy from the brakes to the batteries when the vehicle is in operation.
Not much is going to change for the 2013 models produced by UD Trucks North America (UDTNA), a subsidiary of Sweden’s Volvo Group.
Last year, UDTNA added a rear engine-mounted power take-off unit as a dealer-installed option. The company now offers seven different models in the U.S. market with GVWs ranging from 17,995 lbs. all the way up to 32,900 lbs. (UD1800, UD2000, UD23DH, UD23LP, UD2600, UD26LP, and UD3300).
UDTNA’s trucks all come equipped with a 7L GH7 diesel engine that cranks out anywhere from 245 to 280 hp. The engine was jointly developed with Volvo and is equipped with a selective catalytic reduction system.
UDTNA notes its cab and interior were completely redesigned for the 2011 model year, adding more legroom and driver comfort upgrades, as well as the addition of a wide variety of transmission options, including the Allison 3000 Series automatic.
Workhorse Custom Chassis, a Navistar company, has added no new models since its launch two years back of its W62 step van chassis. That chassis is powered by a GM Vortec 6L gasoline engine that the OEM says delivers better than a 20% fuel economy gain over the larger Vortec 8.1L engine it replaced. The engine uses variable valve timing (VVT) to enable the powertrain to take advantage of lateintake valve closing for greater efficiency, says Workhorse.
The 6.0L powerplant is mated to the Allison 1000 HS automatic transmission. The W62 chassis ratings range from 19,500 to 23,500 lbs. GVW. The W62 is also offered with the International MaxxForce 7 diesel.
Workhorse’s latest W42 stepvan chassis is powered by the GM Vortec 4.8L gasoline engine, which also boasts VVT as well as extended maintenance intervals, points out the OEM. The 4.8L engine is mated to the GM Hydra-Matic 6L90 6-spd. automatic transmission, which replaces the previous 4-spd. 4L80E provided in this chassis.