July 1, 2011
Autocar Autocar LLC has rolled out its new E3 Advanced Series Hybrid cab/chassis model, which is aimed specifically at the refuse market. The OEM positions the new model as the industry's lowest emission, fully functional Class 8 truck available today. According to Autocar, the Class 8 hybrid is capable of reducing fuel consumption by 30 to 50%, with typical savings coming in around 45%. And, says


Autocar LLC has rolled out its new E3 Advanced Series Hybrid cab/chassis model, which is aimed specifically at the refuse market. The OEM positions the new model as “the industry's lowest emission, fully functional Class 8 truck available today.”

According to Autocar, the Class 8 hybrid is capable of reducing fuel consumption by 30 to 50%, with typical savings coming in around 45%. And, says Tom Vatter, vice president-sales & marketing, that fuel-economy benefit translates into a savings of up to 4,500 gals. per year for an average refuse application. He added that with those savings comes a corresponding annual carbon dioxide reduction of some 50 tons per truck.

Partner-supplier Parker Hannifin developed the trademarked Runwise hybrid module that replaces the traditional automatic transmission in the standard refuse model, Vatter says. The E3 and Runwise combo have been recognized by CARB for its “Hybrid Vehicle Incentive” voucher program, and by the U.S. EPA as an “Emerging Technology” per the National Clean Diesel Campaign.

In addition to fuel savings, Vatter says the E3 hybrid should also help refuse fleets realize a dramatic reduction in brake wear and reduced operational noise.

Before its commercial launch, the E3 hybrid was put through a “rigorous testing and validation program and follows the very successful implementation of a pre-production E3 fleet that is in service in the greater Miami area,” according to Vatter.

“Autocar is excited to bring the E3 to the marketplace,” says Vatter. “Its benefits have been shown to pay dividends in the field trials and with the pre-production units in service. Adding this chassis reinforces Autocar's position at the leading edge of alternate fuel and alternate propulsion solutions for the refuse industry.”

Autocar, headquartered in Hagerstown, IN, is a subsidiary of Highland Park, IL-based Grand Vehicle Works Holdings LLC.


Caterpillar Inc. has entered the on-road truck market with the CT660, the first model to debut in a promised full line of heavy-duty vocational trucks. The set-back axle CT660 will be offered in truck and tractor day cab models with 116-in. and 122-in. BBCs. Initially, power choices will be 11L and 13L Cat-branded engines with a 15L diesel expected in the first quarter of 2012. Notable powertrain options include Cat's own CX31 automatic transmission as well as standard and automated mechanical transmissions from Eaton and axles from Meritor, Dana and Fabco.

According to George Taylor, director of Caterpillar's on-highway truck group, a set-forward axle model dubbed the CT680 will be added to the line in 2013 “and we have a list of others we'll be developing.” A twin-steer 8×4 for Canadian markets and a model engineered more for off-road use are to be among those joining the line in the future.

Cat partnered with Navistar to develop a truck to complement its heavy-equipment business. The new Cat truck is being built by Navistar at its Garland, TX, factory, where it also builds the International Paystar vocational truck.

While the CT660 will be assembled on the same line as the Paystar, it contains “fairly significant Cat unique content,” according to Gary Blood, product manager for the Caterpillar on-highway truck group. “Everything above the frame rail — the body, the interior — is ours,” he points out.

The new aluminum cab design picks up styling cues from Cat's wheel loaders and its other pieces of iconic heavy equipment. A multi-piece stainless steel grille surround and bumper as well as flexible fender panels and a five-piece hood design allow users to replace damaged components rather than entire assemblies, Blood notes. Inside, the CT660 boasts an interior design ergonomically optimized for vocational applications. According to Blood, the sloped hood, wraparound windshield and cowl-mounted mirrors offer “best in class” visibility.

The CT11 and CT13 engines are essentially Navistar 11L and 13L diesels, respectively, with ratings chosen by Cat specifically for vocational applications, Blood relates. The engines use Navistar's Advanced EGR to meet EPA 2010 emissions requirements. Governed at 2,100 rpm, the 11L will be offered in four ratings ranging from 330 to 390 hp., with peak torques up to 1,450 lbs.-ft. The CT13 will be available in three ratings — 410, 430 and 475 hp. — with peak torques up to 1,700 lbs.-ft.


Freightliner Trucks is juicing up the aerodynamics of its already aerodynamic Cascadia Class 8 tractor with new chassis side fairings and side extenders that the OEM says will improve the truck's fuel economy performance an additional 1.8%. Freightliner is also offering lightweight options on the Cascadia to help lower total cost of ownership for fleets.

The new aerodynamic enhancements join previous changes that included a roof deflector, chassis skirts, valence panel and bumper with closures on the vehicle.

The Cascadia's Detroit Diesel DD15 engine, direct-drive transmission, a variable speed fan, and Freightliner's proprietary RunSmart Predictive Cruise control system add to the efficiency of the vehicle, the company notes.

For those customers seeking even greater fuel efficiency, Freightliner is packaging lightweight specs for the Cascadia, regardless of whether it is ordered as a sleeper configuration.

Among the lightweight options are the Detroit Diesel DD13 engine with the Detroit Diesel BlueTec 1-Box Configuration; a new ArvinMeritor aluminum carrier for the M-14X tandem rear axle; Steelite X30 brake drums; Hendrickson Steertek/Airtek axle and suspension; 11⅛-in. aluminum frame rails and aluminum air tanks; Michelin X One rear tires and Alcoa forged aluminum wheels; SAF-Holland 12-in. aluminum air slide fifth wheel; and a wide selection of lightweight sleeper options.

On the work truck side of the business, Freightliner has revamped its vocational lineup with two new severe duty, or SD, models — the 108SD and 114SD. These models fill in the gap created when Freightliner's parent, Daimler Trucks North America, discontinued its Sterling brand of vocational trucks. Along with the existing Coronado 122SD, the new vocational models join Freightliner's medium-duty M2 Business Class and over-the-road Cascadia and Coronado models to give the truck maker a complete family of commercial trucks, according to David Hames, general manager for marketing and strategy.

The two new severe-duty trucks are intended for heavy vocational applications such as dumps, cranes, mixers and roll-offs. The 108SD has a 42-in. set-back front axle with ratings from 10,000 to 20,000 lbs. It can be spec'd with single or tandem rear axles with capacities up to 46,000 lbs. Engine choices include the Cummins ISB and ISC diesels with power ratings from 200 to 350 hp. and peak torques ranging from 520 to 1,000 lbs.-ft.

The 114SD will be offered in two models — a set-forward axle configuration and a set-back axle version. Front axle capacities will go up to 23,000 lbs. and rear axle ratings up to 38,000 lbs. for a single, up to 58,000 lbs. for a tandem, and up to 69,000 lbs. for a tridem.

The standard engine for the 114SD is the Detroit Diesel DD13 with ratings from 350 to 450 hp. and peak torques from 660 to 1,300 lbs.-ft. Power options include the Cummins ISC and ISL diesels, as well as Cummins' factory-built ISL/G natural gas engine.

The cab for both new SD models is made of aluminum with steel reinforcement and is based on the M2 cab. Day, extended and crew-cab versions will be offered. Both truck models can be spec'd with either single- or double-channel frame rails to fit a broad variety of vocational applications.

Flexibility and ease of body installation were key design goals for the new models, according to the OEM. The emissions aftertreatment system with diesel particulate filter and selective catalytic reduction unit fits under the cab, Freightliner points out, and a variety of fuel and DEF tank configurations are offered to accommodate all types of vocational bodies.

The trucks also feature the newest generation of Freightliner's SmartPlex multiplex electrical system, designed to provide body installers with simpler electrical integration and capacity for up to 20 auxiliary switches and lamps.


Navistar International Corp. earlier this year announced production availability of its new MaxxForce 15 engine. According to the OEM, the powerplant was engineered specifically for International's Class 8 heavy-duty on-highway trucks. And, says Navistar, packaging the new engine with its latest ProStar Plus tractor model “delivers the ultimate combination in durability and power” to customers.

The MaxxForce 15 is available in ratings up to 500 hp. and 1,850 lbs.-ft. of torque in highway tractors and rated up to 550 hp. in International PayStar heavy-duty vocational trucks. According to Jim Hebe, Navistar's senior vice president, North American sales operations, the engine is the most powerful ever built by Navistar and is “designed to handle the most extreme demands that customers require.”

Hebe says the engine is “built on a proven block and crankshaft combined with the fuel and air systems of the MaxxForce Advanced EGR system. This combination delivers unprecedented hauling power and unrivaled durability with the convenience of a hassle-free 2010 emissions solution. Peak torque is achieved at 1,000 rpm and holds steady to 1,600 rpm, which reduces gear-shifting needs uphill and allows for shifting at lower speeds when accelerating. Durability is enhanced with a four-bolt connecting rod design. The four-bolt design assures the clamping force and rigidity required for extreme loads and terrain,” he adds, “for which the MaxxForce 15 is designed.”

Via a strategic partnership with Indiana Phoenix, Navistar's Continental Mixers unit will offer a new front-discharge mixer to complement its lineup of integrated rear-discharge mixers. This development integrates the “components and engineering expertise of Navistar's International truck brand with Indiana Phoenix's 20-plus years in the front discharge mixer business,” according to Steve Guillaume, general manager for Continental Mixers.

The new front-discharge mixers are powered by International's MaxxForce 11 and MaxxForce 13 engines with ratings up to 430 hp. The trucks will be sold and serviced through Continental Mixer dealers.

The company also is adding an all-new lightweight integrated mixer that will use a proprietary high-strength steel specifically formulated for concrete mixers. This is expected to deliver a nearly 2,000-lb. weight savings vs. comparably spec'd steel mixers. The new lightweight mixers offer an optional ZF gearbox that integrates the hydraulic pump in the gearbox housing. This option will also be made available on International WorkStar and PayStar chassis.

Navistar also relates that its WorkStar chassis itself is being improved with the addition of a new high-visibility sloped-hood option as well as new interior ergonomic enhancements and driver-comfort features.

A strong vocational “mega-bracket” design inspired by the PayStar 5900 set-back axle model now supports the WorkStar 7600 sloped hood model's radiator and front end. Other enhancements include a 113-in. BBC for maximum maneuverability; heavy-duty 150,000-lb. tow hooks; 4×2 and 6×4 axle configuration options; availability for rear end power take off (PTO) as well as transmission-mounted PTO applications.

New WorkStar interior features include easy-to-read ivory gauges or chrome bezel black gauges; premium rosewood trim on the dashboard and instrument panel; and an ergonomic center panel for easy access to auxiliary truck and body control switches.


Kenworth Truck Co. has rolled out a new application-specific “regional hauler configuration” of its Class 8 T660 tractor. According to chief engineer Preston Feight, the T660 regional hauler features shorter wheelbases, tighter chassis packaging, enhanced maneuverability and weight savings. He stresses those benefits were attained without sacrificing the same fuel-tank capacity as a T660 with forward chassis fairings. “This new Kenworth T660 option is especially useful for regional haulers interested in operating aerodynamic trucks to help increase fuel efficiency and reduce fuel costs,” explains Feight. “The regional hauler configuration offers the same styling and lighting advantages — and similar aerodynamic advantages — as the standard T660 with the maneuverability and fuel capacity of the Kenworth T800.”

The new configuration removes the standard under-cab chassis fairing and replaces it with a cab-mounted extension of the hood fender. Accordingly, says Feight, this allows larger diameter 24.5-in. and 28.5-in. fuel tanks to fit under the cab. As a result, the new configuration gains significant wheelbase reductions while maintaining the 75, 100 or 120 gal. fuel tank capacities offered by the standard T660 configuration with forward chassis fairings and 22.5-in.-dia. fuel tank. With the T660 regional hauler configuration, the use of a 24.5-in.-dia. fuel tank can reduce the wheelbase by up to 19 in., while a 28.5-in.-dia. fuel tank provides a potential wheelbase reduction of up to 34 in.

The regional configuration also reduces weight by at least 250 lbs. compared to a comparably equipped Kenworth T660 with forward fairings — providing the truck with more payload capacity. In cases where the wheelbase is not critical to an operation, the customer can order the same wheelbase as a standard T660 configuration, but with a higher fuel capacity for traveling longer distances between fuel-ups.

The OEM is also offering a new line of proprietary seats exclusively in the T700 Class 8 tractor. The new Kenworth GT701, GT702, and GT703 seats offer a range of options and features, including an advanced air suspension system that can automatically adjust to the weight of the driver. The seats also boast an adjustable shock that provides drivers with a full range of height adjustments. All GT700 series seats offer optional heating while the GT703 adds the option for cooling with premium leather covering. The GT703 also comes with an exclusive upper back adjustability feature that provides improved shoulder and neck support over a wide range of recline angles.

KW adds that NavPlus, the in-dash technology platform available on all Kenworth Class 5-8 trucks, is being enhanced with optional mobile connectivity from Sprint. The solution provides diagnostics/logistics, back-office, GPS/location-based services and other functionality to truck operators. The truck maker says this functionality will allow fleets to enjoy enhanced communications with dispatchers, logistics providers and shippers, while improving driver productivity and comfort on the road.


Mack Trucks Inc. has made a number of enhancements to its heavy-duty lines of on-highway and vocational trucks. Pinnacle on-highway tractors now boast new “optimized” roof and chassis fairings along with additional fuel-efficient Econodyne ratings for its Mack MP engines. Also new are interior improvements aimed at raising driver comfort and productivity.

Roof fairings have been redesigned for the Pinnacle 70-in. high-rise, 70-in. mid-rise and 60-in. mid-rise sleepers. These new chassis fairings are “stronger, lighter and longer, covering up to a 140-gal. fuel tank, yet cost considerably less than the previous option,” says Jerry Warmkessel, marketing manager—highway products. “Customers ordering Mack Pinnacle model sleepers with improved aerodynamics can expect up to a 6% fuel-efficiency improvement,” he added.

According to Mack, the new roof fairings are optimized for the lowest possible coefficient of drag and for a much smoother transfer of air from the truck to the trailer. “The design of the new chassis fairings is simpler, and more aerodynamic,” notes Warmkessel. “The fuel efficiency improvements achievable with these optimized aero aids and the proven performance of our MP engines with ClearTech SCR [emissions aftertreatment] positions the Pinnacle among the best in highway fuel efficiency.”

Other Pinnacle enhancements include a new optional one-piece windshield. There’s also an updated Grand Touring trim package with button-tuck vinyl and ultra-leather seats that “provide driver comfort and a welcoming environment, at no extra charge over the previous trim offering,” according to Mack.

The OEM has added four new Econodyne ratings – MP7-405E, MP8-415E, MP8-445E, MP8-505E— “each fully optimized for fuel efficiency without sacrificing power,” points out David McKenna, director of powertrain sales & marketing. “Through an enhanced fuel mapping strategy, Mack’s EconoBoost intelligent torque management system offers an extra 200 lbs.-ft. of torque seamlessly through the system command.”

McKenna explains that “we found drivers can significantly increase fuel efficiency by remaining in the top gear as much as possible. EconoBoost initiates at 1,300 rpm, providing additional power that allows drivers to remain longer in the top two gears. The engine torque reverts back to the lower profile when the engine senses situations with zero torque input, such as cresting a hill.”

For the vocational market, Mack has rolled out a new twin-steer package for its Granite straight truck. Available in axle-forward or axle-back packages, the new twin-steer offers vertical back-of-cab placement of DPF/SCR aftertreatment components.

Also new to Mack vocational models is Body Link III. Designed with extensive input from body builders, this newest version of Body Link “provides a conveniently located under-cab 29-pin connector, cab pass-through boot for a quick and reliable body hookup, and assignable in-cab switches,” says Curtis Dorwart, vocational marketing product manager.

Mack also has added a new sleeper cab version of the Granite. Dorwart says that “with a 36-in. flat-top sleeper compartment equipped with a curtain, bunk restraint and a 30-by-80 in. mattress, the axle-forward Granite Sleeper is ideal for customers in any market working to meet hours-of-service requirements.”

Also new for vocational buyers is the Granite Medium Heavy Duty model. Dorwart points out this truck was designed to “meet the needs of vocational customers for whom a lighter spec gets the job done.”


Peterbilt Motors Co.'s big news this year is that it has elected to make Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake air disc brakes standard on the steer axle of all its Class 8 truck models. Pointing to the new federal stopping-distance rules going into effect this summer, Bill Jackson, Peterbilt general manager, says air disc brakes offer the shortest stopping distances on the market today and provide a compact design, minimize weight, reduce maintenance, and improve both vehicle and operator efficiency. Peterbilt is the first OEM to make discs standard across its full Class 8 line.

According to Peterbilt, air discs have a dual, internally adjusted piston design that offers precise automatic brake adjustment and minimal brake force variation for maximum straight line stability. In addition, the OEM says optimized friction-pairing provides minimal noise and maximum pad and rotor life, which results in extended service intervals, minimal downtime and reduced maintenance costs.

Bendix says its ADB22X offers longer brake life; virtually eliminates brake fade with no degradation of stopping power; and permits straight, stable stops with a “car-like feel.”

A new option for all Class 8 Peterbilts is an extended day cab that expands the length of the cab by an additional 10 in. and provides nearly 6 in. of added headroom.

“Peterbilt's extended day cab is ideal for customers who require a larger operating environment and increased maneuverability,” says Jackson. “With the large standard rear window, the extended cab also provides superb visibility, making it optimal for vocational, heavy-haul and P&D applications.” Peterbilt says the optional cab increases driver comfort and productivity as 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 to hold equipment and/or standard hanging files for organizing paperwork. The extended day cab comes standard with a rear window and is available on Models 389, 388, 386,384, 367 and 365.

Also new is a “short haul” configuration for the Model 382. According to Peterbilt, the truck's 110-in. BBC ensures greater maneuverability on city streets and its chassis is designed for urban use. The short-haul 382 also features a new interior and a one-piece windshield and is powered by a Cummins ISL 9L engine.

A new lightweight package available on Class 8 Peterbilts includes a variety of weight-saving components that result in day cabs weighing as little as 14,200 lbs. and sleeper configurations as little as 15,800 lbs., according to the OEM.

A complete lightweight package includes a Paccar MX engine, composite springs, and aluminum components including cabs. Also, batteries and an aluminum space-saver battery box help package chassis components to reduce wheelbase requirements. A battery disconnect system preserves the battery power when a truck is idle for an extended period of time, allowing the need for only two batteries instead of four.

There is also an aluminum fifth wheel and ILS slider; and a rear drivetrain with a proprietary FlexAir suspension comprised of a lightweight aluminum drive beam providing low weight and ride height. The drivetrain features the only aluminum rear axle housing unit in the industry. Wide-base tires with aluminum wheels provide maximum weight savings.

The lightweight package can be spec'd as a complete package or its components individually selected based on customer needs.

IMMI-manufactured RollTek, a side-roll protection system that uses side-airbag protection and advanced seat belt technology to protect occupants in a rollover situation, is now available on Class 8 Peterbilt trucks. IMMI says that when a rollover is detected, the RollTek system deploys within a quarter-second to minimize driver movement, increase survivable space and cushion head and neck impact.


Volvo Trucks North America (VTNA) has been busy fine-tuning its VN highway tractor to boost its fuel efficiency by 8% over earlier models through aerodynamic enhancements and changes to powertrain components. The new Volvo VN sleeper model trucks feature redesigned mirror heads with aerodynamic shrouds and arms, redesigned hood mirrors that also increase visibility, new bumper and side fairings, and a newly designed bug deflector that reduces fuel efficiency degradation compared to aftermarket devices, according to the OEM. Its VN day cab models now offer a more aerodynamic roof fairing and sun visor. “The fuel-enhancement package allows customers to optimize airflow around the cab, eliminating turbulence during the transfer of air to the trailer and improving fuel efficiency,” points out Frank Bio, product manager.

As for the powertrain's contribution to the stated 8% mpg gain, VTNA says its new 455-hp. Volvo D13 engine with available torque ratings of 1,550/1,750 lbs.-ft. complements the OEM's existing eco-torque and dual-torque ratings of 405, 425, 475, and 500 hp. These ratings are said to maximize fuel economy by offering a “driver-intuitive, easy-to-use algorithm” that rewards fuel-efficient driving and encourages low-rpm engine operation. “Eco-torque and dual-torque ratings take advantage of high-torque-rise engine curves and take effect in the top two gears, where drivers in linehaul operations spend as much as 95% of their driving time,” explains Ed Saxman, drivetrain product manager. “On demand, engine torque will increase by 200 lbs.-ft. — even 300 lbs.-ft. in the case of the 425 hp. engine — to allow the vehicle to remain in top gear on most grades. Eco-torque ratings allow full performance and fuel economy in the remaining gears, while dual-torque ratings are available to allow lower-rated transmissions to be used.”

VTNA offers the eco-torque ratings on both its D11 and D16 engines. Volvo also created a mass-based variable torque software program to complement the engines. VTNA says the software senses the GCWR of a truck and adjusts the engine's torque when the truck is hauling less weight.

Western Star

Western Star Trucks, a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America, has rolled out a new 34-in. Stratosphere sleeper model as well as new interior options and new naming convention for its trucks. Available on 4800 and 4900 models, the new sleeper provides additional headroom and more storage space. It has the “look and feel of a day cab” while providing sleeping space to allow drivers to stay in compliance with hours-of-service regulations, says the OEM. New interior color and storage options, plus ample room between the front seats to allow easy access to the sleeper portion of the cab, are among the key features of the Stratosphere.

The company also has made various interior enhancements available for all its truck models. Customizable compartments and shelving and brighter color options are among the choices. These choices include a new interior door with door panels for logbooks and maps; flexible storage space with movable shelving and larger cabinets; premium color choices; easy to clean vinyl roof panels; and an electronic interface prep package with factory-installed mounting and power connections.

In addition, Western Star is making two new suspension options available on its various truck models and configurations. The first is a Neway 60,000-lb. capacity AD 260 tandem air suspension system that is available for all Western Star truck models using Dana D60-190 axles. The OEM says this choice will contribute to vehicle handling and positive axle alignment. The highest capacity air suspension in the industry, the Neway system also provides predictable roll stiffness for high center of gravity loads — particularly important for front and rear discharge mixers, Western Star notes.

In addition to the Neway system, the 40,000-lb. TufTrac all wheel drive (AWD) high-performance vocational suspension is available on the Western Star 4800 with 40,000-lb. axles. Designed for on- and off-road high articulation operations “where it's important to navigate bumps, ridges and washboard without bottoming out,” the 40,000-lb. TufTrac mounting is a lighter, more affordable alternative than the 46,000-lb. option.

As for how Western Star models will be designated going forward, the OEM is now grouping its vehicles into four distinct models: the 4700, 4800, 4900, and 6900. All axle configurations are represented as well, including the set-forward (SF), set-back (SB) and twin-steer (TS).

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