Vegas provides backdrop for International’s HX Series debut

Feb. 1, 2016
New Class 8 vocational trucks offer 15L engine option

LAS VEGAS. When in Vegas…that was the backdrop as Navistar International officially unveiled its new HX line of Class 8 vocational trucks with a short “Channel 9 breaking news” report. That fake news report featured something that could only happen in Las Vegas – three men dressed as Elvis ripping off a casino before one of them steals the new HX620, leading police on a chase that ends at a construction site just off I-15.

The truck’s stunt driver, police and Elvis impersonators were fake, but there is nothing fake about the HX line, which is immediately available for order with delivery set for the spring.

“Of course, we couldn’t resist unveiling our new truck in an over-the-top way,” said Dennis Mooney, senior vice president, global product development, Navistar. “It’s Vegas. They invented over-the-top.”

Photos: International HX Series gets Vegas sendoff

The trucks, which replace the PayStar, were officially launched on Monday ahead of the World of Concrete show here. Three of the four models are on display for visitors to the show, which runs through Friday.

The HX Series also marks International’s return to the severe duty construction and concrete market.

“The HX will be a catalyst in the market to get [us back] to market leadership in vocational [applications], a category we’ve traditionally led” said Bill Kozek, president-truck and parts, for Navistar.

The Class 8 model is the first new vehicle introduced by International since 2010. Last year, International reached agreement with General Motors to build a new Class 4-5 truck platform for both companies. That model, set for production in 2018, will replace the TerraStar in International’s lineup.

Kozek told Fleet Owner the introduction of the HX line gives International options throughout weight classes, and also provides customers a vehicle with a 15L engine, which the PayStar didn’t.

“[Without a Class 8 option] you’ve opened the door for the competition,” Kozek said. “This is great for our dealers. These trucks [tend] to stay in the local markets, so it offers” the dealer opportunity to generate a lasting customer.

It took 2 full years to develop the truck line and Kozek said it was one of the first projects he pushed when he joined Navistar.

Because the vehicles will be working in extreme environments, Navistar said it tested the trucks under such conditions at its Navistar Proving Grounds in Indiana. Those tests included accelerated life testing to simulate 10 years of wear and tear and vibration; staggered bump testing, which generates torsional twist in the chassis; and “severe duty ditch events,” in which fully loaded trucks are run through four 12 in. deep ditches.

“I told our test engineering team to take the truck and punish it,” Mooney said. “We wanted them to break it, and when things broke, we redesigned them so they didn’t break. …And now this truck is ready for prime time.”

All four models will offer both set-forward and set-back front axle configurations in either short or long hood.

The four models are:

  • The HX515, a 115 in. BBC set-forward axle straight truck with primary vocations including concrete mixer, construction dump, refuse/roll-off and crane.
  • The HX615, a 115 in. BBC set-back axle truck or tractor with primary vocations including construction dump, concrete mixer, platform stake/crane and refuse/roll-off.
  • The HX620, a 120 in. BBC set-forward axle truck or tractor with primary vocations including heavy haul tractor, construction dump and platform stake/crane.
  • The HX520, a 120 in. BBC set-forward axle truck or tractor with primary vocations including heavy haul tractor, construction dump and platform stake/crane. 

The HX515 and the HX615 models are powered by Navistar N13 engines, while the HX520 and HX620 models offer Cummins’ ISX15.

Each model features huck-bolted frame and cross members to minimize vibration and maximize structural integrity; a 12.5 in. x 5 in. single rail which delivers 3.5 million RBM at 13% less weight than a 10 in. rail, allowing room for a heavier load; and an aluminum cab.

The trucks also include stainless steel piano hinges on doors for improved strength and a three-piece Metton hood designed to resist cracking. The tow pin is rated at 150,000 PSI for extreme recovery towing.

As with any truck designed today, driver productivity was front of mind. Navistar said it designed the HX Series to offer best-in-class maneuverability and visibility with a 40-deg. wheel cut, angled fenders for greater wheel clearance, low hood angle for forward visibility, and larger rear window compared to the PayStar.

The cab also includes the DriverFirst cab air suspension system. Designed with 52 in. springs, the system produces a comfortable and quiet ride. The Metton hood features an assist mechanism to make opening easier.

An ergonomically designed interior offers contoured door handles to allow for more hip room for drivers and an angled central console for easy access to controls. Gauges are designed and positioned to quickly deliver information at a glance. LED lighting is standard, as is air conditioning and power windows and locks.

About the Author

Brian Straight | Managing Editor

Brian joined Fleet Owner in May 2008 after spending nearly 14 years as sports editor and then managing editor of several daily newspapers.  He and his staff  won more than two dozen major writing and editing awards. Responsible for editing, editorial production functions and deadlines.

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