Class 8

Class 1-3 Class 4-7


Autocar’s newest model remains the E3 Advanced Series hybrid cab/chassis truck. This model is aimed specifically at the refuse-hauling market. The OEM positions the E3 cab/chassis as “the industry’s lowest emission, fully functional Class 8 truck available today.” According to Autocar, the truck’s hybrid drive is capable of reducing fuel consumption by 30 to 50%, with typical savings coming in at around 45%. The company says that such a fuel-economy gain translates into a savings of up to 4,500 gals. per year in the average refuse-truck application.

In addition, the OEM notes, those fuel savings come along with an environmental benefit as the hybrid drive reduces carbon-dioxide output by some 50 tons per truck. The E3 makes use of the trademarked Runwise hybrid module, which was developed for Autocar by partner-supplier Parker Hannifin. The Runwise module replaces the traditional automatic transmission in the standard refuse model, Autocar notes.

The truck maker also continues to offer the Autocar ACX. According to the OEM, the ACX boasts the “strongest frame and cab in the industry and the best overall strength-to-weight ratio” as well as diesel and natural gas powertrain options.


Caterpillar Inc. has released no further word on when it will debut the Cat CT680, the second model in its line of on-highway vocational trucks; however, the OEM had originally planned to do so in the first quarter of this year. Like its existing sibling, the set-back axle Cat CT660, , the CT680 Class 8 model will be built in America and sold and serviced exclusively through the North American Cat Dealer network in the U.S. and Canada.

According to Cat, the CT680 will feature a set-forward axle and will be offered in 116- and 122-in. BBC lengths. Engine options for the CT680 will include the Caterpillar CT11 diesel with ratings from 330 to 390 bhp; the CT13 with ratings from 410 to 475 bhp; and the CT15 with ratings from 435 to 550 bhp. The OEM said a “notable” transmission option for the CT680 will be the Cat CX31 automatic transmission. The CT680 will also offer other transmission options, including Eaton manual and UltraShift Plus vocational automated transmissions. Cat had previously stated that the CT680 will be a key model in the company’s longer-term product development strategy.

Meanwhile, the Cat CT660, introduced in 2011 as a truck or tractor model, is offered in 116- and 122-in. BBC lengths. It can be powered by Cat CT11, CT13 and CT15 engines as well. And it offers the choice of a Cat CX31 automatic or various Eaton manual and automated transmissions.


Freightliner Trucks has rolled out the new severe-duty 122SD vocational truck model. The OEM says the 122SD will join the 108SD and the 114SD models in late August and “with numerous enhancements to the former Coronado SD,” the 122SD will be the cornerstone of the SD line of Freightliner severe-duty vocational trucks. With a GVW rating of up to 92,000 lbs. and a GCW rating of up to 160,000 lbs., the 122SD is engineered to haul heavy, oversized loads and can be configured for a variety of severe-duty applications such as logging, oil/gas field services, concrete mixing, specialty/heavy-haul, crane, dump, vocational on-highway and towing/recovery.

The 122SD boasts a durable, non-corrosive aluminum SD cab reinforced with e-coated steel, which meets stringent A-pillar impact, rollover and back wall impact tests. The OEM says that state-of-the-art adhesives and Henrob rivets further reinforce the ergonomically designed cab’s durable structure. The chassis features a broad offering of vocational suspension choices, and single- or double-channel frame rails have tensile strength of up to 120,000 psi and up to 5 million RBM. The truck is offered with new sleeper interior options, including cabinet nets and “extreme climate insulation.”

“Not only did we put the 122SD through a variety of virtual and physical tests, we developed a customer forum that provided important feedback that helped steer our product development,” advises Mary Aufdemberg, Freightliner’s director of product marketing. “The result is a severe-duty vehicle that is engineered to handle the most challenging jobs with ease and efficiency, while delivering the performance and reliability customers expect.”

Standard power for the 122SD is the OBD13-certified/GHG14-compliant Detroit DD1 TC engine. The Detroit DD13, DD16 and the Cummins ISX15 engines can also be spec’d. Engine ratings are available up to 600 hp. and 2,050 lbs.-ft. of torque. The truck is offered with a variety of Eaton manual and automated manual transmissions, including the Eaton Cobra shifter or Allison automatic transmission options with Gen 5 controls.

Additional standard and optional components on the 122SD include West Coast-style door-mounted mirrors; severe-duty front cab mounts; impact-resistant rear window; lower radiator rock guard and an up to 1,700-sq.-in. radiator; new durable halogen headlights with replaceable glass lens reflectors; one-piece skid plate; 80,000-lb. rated “logger” front bumper; disc brakes; and an in-cab battery box for the day-cab version.

In other news, Freightliner has introduced an integrated in-cab exercise and flexibility system. Dubbed the Freightliner In-Cab Training (FIT) system, the system is designed to provide drivers with full-body strength and conditioning workouts in the comfort of their own cabs. The system uses existing seat tether and bunk restraint mounting points for installing custom brackets.



Navistar International’s biggest heavy-duty product news is that this spring it began shipping its on-highway ProStar Class 8 tractors powered by EPA-certified International MaxxForce 13L engines that include SCR exhaust aftertreatment systems. The first International ProStars with SCR engines were shipped in December 2012. Those trucks were powered by Cummins ISX 15L engines, which the OEM continues to offer in the ProStar.

According to Navistar, the MaxxForce-powered trucks were shipped ahead of schedule, starting in April from its truck manufacturing plants in Springfield, OH, and Escobedo, Mexico.

“Delivering our 13L engine ahead of schedule is another important milestone for Navistar, and it completes our transition to SCR-based heavy-duty engine offerings,” says Troy Clarke, Navistar’s president & CEO. “We continue to receive great customer feedback on the refined 13L engines we’re delivering today. And customers will continue to see outstanding levels of quality, reliability and uptime with our 13L engine combined with the proven Cummins SCR aftertreatment system.”

Navistar has also “relaunched” its International 9900i heavy-haul and PayStar 5900 SBA [set back axle] vocational truck models as both truck models are now available with the high-horsepower Cummins ISX15 engine. Production of both of these truck models resumed in April. According to the OEM, the “proven ISX15 engine offers robust electronic controls and horsepower ratings that range from 400 to 600 hp. with 1,450–2,050 lbs.-ft. of torque for excellent power and performance” in these models.

The 9900i is now available exclusively with the ISX15 engine, while the PayStar 5900 SBA can be ordered as well with International’s MaxxForce 13 engine, which also includes SCR aftertreatment. That engine comes in horsepower ratings ranging from 365 to 475 with torque ratings from 1,250 to 1,700 lbs.-ft.

According to Clarke, the Cummins ISX15 is also slated to become available in the OEM’s premium LoneStar highway tractor “at a date to be determined.” Clarke says the truck and engine builder now aims “to give customers what they want; there is ample demand in the market for both 13L and 15L diesels across our heavy-duty portfolio.”

Clarke also says the OEM is committed to making further efficiency improvements to its truck models, such as through more advanced aerodynamics. He pointed out that the OEM’s “Project Horizon” vehicle, which it showed off publicly at the Mid-America Trucking Show, is not so much a concept vehicle as it is a demonstration project that showcases what he called near-term possibilities for the ProStar highway tractor that will reach the market in 24 to 36 months. Clarke notes that, taken together, those improvements will amount to “a mid-cycle redesign of the ProStar.”




Kenworth Truck has launched a new Class 8 truck model—the T880 vocational truck—and a 52-in. mid-roof sleeper configuration for its T680 tractor. According to Kenworth chief engineer Kevin Baney, key attributes of the T880 include a stamped aluminum cab with more interior space; a panoramic windshield for enhanced visibility; triple-sealed doors; a five-piece hood for easier and faster repairs; air-assisted hydraulic clutch; complex reflector headlamps; and new lightweight, factory-installed lift axles.

The vocational truck is engineered for applications including dump, mixer, refuse, and heavy haul. It complements Kenworth’s heavy-duty vocational lineup, joining the T800, T440, W900S and C500. Production on the T880 will begin later this summer.

The T880 comes standard with the 12L Paccar MX-13 engine. With its high-end ratings of 500 hp. and 1,850 lbs.-ft. of torque, according to the OEM, the Paccar MX-13 engine provides “a lightweight, fuel-efficient engine option for vocational applications,” including those over 100,000 lbs. The T880 also is available with the Cummins ISX15 engine, rated up to 600 hp. and 2,050 lbs.-ft. of torque.

The truck is available in a 116.5-in. BBC and a 122.5-in. BBC standard length with two hood configurations. One hood is designed specifically to accommodate the company’s 12.9L Paccar MX-13 engine, while the other, larger hood covers the Cummins ISX15 engine option. Baney notes that Paccar updated the MX-13 for the 2013 model year, reducing its weight by 100 lbs. and improving fuel economy by some 3.5% over the previous version. It also offers onboard diagnostics and more engine ratings, up to 500 hp. and 1,850 lbs.-ft. of torque.

The T880 uses Kenworth’s 2.1-meter wide, stamped aluminum cab, which is robotically assembled. The cab has 23 in. of room between the seats. It comes with either the premium Diamond VIT or Vantage trim levels and in Sandstone Tan and Slate Gray interior colors.

The T880 is available with five factory-installed lightweight Watson & Chalin lift axles, including a 10,000-lb. capacity offering for the first time and a 20,000-lb. version offering a 200-lb. weight savings. Also available are new steering gears for improved steering feedback and increased wheel cut for greater maneuverability, the truck maker notes.

Kenworth says the 52-in. mid-roof sleeper configuration for the T680 tractor is designed to accommodate the need of tanker and flatbed fleets; however, the OEM offers an aerodynamic roof cap as well for its mid-roof sleeper for dry van-trailer operations, noting that that configuration offers more upper bunk storage space as well.

The OEM has also developed a special demonstration vehicle dubbed the “T680 Advantage” to showcase the possibilities for fuel economy savings if fleets engage in comprehensive spec’ing efforts that integrate the powertrain, tractor and trailer as a single unit. Equipped with a battery-powered Bergstrom engine-off air conditioning system, aerodynamic enhancements to reduce drag, wheel hub covers, and other fuel-sipping improvements, the T680 Advantage is designed to show fleets how Kenworth can help them optimize the entire tractor-trailer to maximize fuel economy for their particular operation, according to Baney. “We’re trying to show fleets how to develop tractor-trailers as a complete package, one that maximizes operational savings for them,” he says.




Mack Trucks has unleashed a new high-horsepower 13L Econodyne diesel and two new suspensions, one for its on-highway tractors and the other for its vocational truck models. The OEM says its new Mack MP8 Econdyne+ is a “powerful and high-performing engine ideal for on-highway customers who require additional muscle to move their loads.” Available in Mack Pinnacle on-highway models, the 13L MP8 Econodyne+ engine produces 505 hp. with 1,860 lbs.-ft. of torque when operating in either of the top two gears. According to Mack, this capability “maximizes fuel efficiency while providing the necessary power to help drivers conquer long and steep grades.”

According to Mack, its new Twin Y air suspension is the industry’s first suspension to use an innovative Y-shaped high-strength steel design. The OEM says it delivers “unmatched comfort, handling and fuel efficiency for highway customers desiring a smoother, more stable ride.” In addition, the Twin Y is up to 403 lbs. lighter than other air suspensions. The Twin Y has been field-tested by customers for more than 3 million mi. and is available on Mack’s Pinnacle Axle Back and Axle Forward models. It features Mack S38 and S40 Series axles with C125/126, C150/151, and 200 Series carriers.

The OEM says its new Mack mRIDE spring suspension is offered with Mack axles and is “ideal for vocational customers demanding a durable, stable ride with greater articulation.” Paired with Mack C150/151 Series axle carriers, the mRIDE is available on the Mack Granite, Titan by Mack, Mack Pinnacle Axle Forward and Mack TerraPro trucks. “Customers want a durable, rugged truck that gets the job done, but they also demand outstanding performance, handling and comfort,” says John Walsh, vice president of marketing. “This is where Mack excels. The fully integrated Mack Twin Y and mRIDE suspensions featuring our proprietary Mack axles offer improved stability, fuel efficiency, and ultimately a greater ROI for our customers.”

The design of the Mack Twin Y air suspension includes two stamped high-strength steel Y-shaped blades per wheel end. Clamping the axle with both upper and lower axle seats, the Twin Y blades greatly reduce suspension windup and significantly improve tire traction and braking control. They will also increase tire life by up to 25%, according to the OEM. As for the mRIDE, Mack says the use of spring leafs over four separate rubber block packs provide stability and articulation while also allowing the clearance needed for larger tires and brake components required in certain applications.

Mack has also rolled out a 12L LNG-powered Pinnacle Axle Back model for on-highway applications, noting that this option expands Mack’s natural gas lineup to the highway segment. The LNG-fueled Pinnacle day cabs are powered by Cummins Westport ISX 12G natural gas engines, which are factory-installed by Mack. The OEM notes it offers natural gas-powered TerraPro low-entry and TerraPro cabover refuse-truck models. According to Mack, the company plans to introduce a natural gas-powered version of its Granite vocational model later this year.




Peterbilt Motors has rolled out the new Model 567, which the OEM says is designed to meet the severe-service and high-performance demands of vocational fleets. The new truck is the result of extensive research and development, according to Peterbilt. The 567 will be offered in 121- and 115-in. BBC configurations as either a day cab or with a selection of detachable sleeper configurations. It will be available with single, tandem or tridem drive axles and a variety of lift axles. The truck is powered by the Paccar MX-13 engine in ratings of up to 500 hp. and 1,850 lbs.-ft. of torque. A Cummins 12L engine is also available, and Peterbilt says a compressed natural gas option is “a future part of the program.”

The Model 567 can be spec’d with a wide variety of heavy-duty components and in a number of configurations for increased payloads and optimized weight distribution. It is available in set-back front axle configuration for increased maneuverability in congested worksites and with steer axle ratings up to 22,000 lbs. An angled steering gear installation further improves maneuverability by increasing wheel cut by up to 9 deg. over other designs, reducing curb-to-curb turning diameter by up to 9 ft.

The new model also comes standard with front air disc brakes to provide straight-line braking stability and significantly increased brake maintenance intervals. Complementing air disc brakes, the standard electronic stability control system provides added stability and traction by applying the brakes when excessive wheel slip or a critical stability threshold is detected. Other key features of the Model 567 include an enhanced forward-lighting system; a new “panoramic” windshield with narrower A-pillars for improved visibility; a lighter-weight, stiffer chassis design to improve ride and handling and reduce noise; and a new interior available in Platinum and Prestige trim levels. The OEM notes that the truck’s interior has been designed to reduce driver fatigue and improve efficiency.

According to Peterbilt, the stainless steel oval mesh grille and surround provide enhanced protection from gravel and road debris, while a new Metton hood is designed to absorb many impacts that could shatter or crack other materials. In addition, the hood pivot system has a protection feature designed to direct energy around the cooling module in the event of an impact.

The OEM has also added a lightweight 117-in. BBC mid-length version of the Model 579. It will be available with the Paccar MX-13 engine and is designed to offer “excellent maneuverability and outstanding visibility, while maintaining the Model 579’s aerodynamic characteristics.” It can be configured as a day cab or with a full range of sleepers.

Peterbilt has also introduced other additions to its product line as well, including an 80-in. sleeper option for the Model 579, an enhanced interior for the Model 587, and extensions to its natural gas engine lineup. The OEM notes it has also made enhancements to its SmartNav navigation system.


Volvo Trucks has launched a new heavy-haul tractor and will be adding to its Class 8 alternative-fuel offerings in the next two years. Stating it aims to broaden the appeal of its product line in the North American market, the OEM has rolled out the VNX heavy-haul tractor, which is designed for “extreme” gross-weight applications. It is powered by a Volvo D16 diesel rated for 600 hp. and 2,050 lbs.-ft. of torque that is mated to the Volvo I-Shift automated manual transmission. Developed for applications up to 225,000 lbs., the VNX will be available this fall in 6x4 and 8x4 configurations. Front axle ratings will range from 16,000 to 20,000 lbs. with parabolic springs. Rear axle capacities will range from 46,000 to 52,000 lbs. in regular, dual-track and wide-track tandem configurations. Dual steering gears and a 20,000-lb. steerable pusher axle will be available.

Also new from the OEM is the Volvo Blade air suspension for its VNL and VNM models. According to Volvo, the Blade suspension features paired high-strength steel blades for each wheel end that are attached to the axle using the upper and lower axle seats. With that setup, the design acts to control “wind up” for smoother and more effective braking and improved traction.

The OEM has revealed it will begin limited production of VNL models powered by the alternative fuel dimethyl ether (DME) in 2015. According to Volvo, DME can be produced from a variety of biomass waste materials or from natural gas, and it offers CO2 reductions of up to 95% compared to diesel. Handling and storage of DME is similar to propane, Volvo says, and it does not require cryogenic or high-pressure storage. The truck maker says modifications needed to fuel the Volvo D13 engine with DME are relatively minor and will not require the use of diesel particulate filters. In addition to the CO2 reduction and handling benefits, DME is similar to diesel in performance and efficiency and is non-toxic, says Volvo. And unlike natural gas, it is a compression-ignition fuel that does not require spark or diesel-pilot injection. It also has enough storage density to be suitable for long-haul applications or for trucks fitted with vocational bodies.

Volvo points out that the addition of DME-powered vehicles will expand its alternative-fuel product range, which already includes compressed natural gas-powered Volvo VNM and VNL day cabs. The OEM says it will introduce its proprietary D13-LNG (liquefied natural gas) engine in both VNL day cabs and sleeper models next year. Volvo notes that the LNG-fueled D13, which uses compression-ignition technology developed by Westport Innovations, uses a small amount of diesel fuel to ignite the LNG to provide “diesel-like durability and performance.”

Western Star

Western Star Trucks is not making any major product changes but will continue to offer “affordable tractors and rugged, fuel-efficient models suited for a range of haul applications, building off its success in the on-highway segment,” advises Guy Lemieux, marketing segment manager. He says the Western Star 4700 set-forward (SF) tractor “marries real trucking intelligence and innovative engineering in an affordable package” and calls it an ideal solution for bulk haul, local delivery and construction applications.

The 4700 tractor features a short 110-in. BBC for optimal maneuverability and a durable steel cab both to promote safety and provide long-term durability. This model also features one of the broadest power range offerings in a single truck model, according to Lemieux. The 4700 features power ratings from 260 to 470 hp. through its engine offerings, which include the Cummins ISL and the Detroit DD13. Transmission choices include Allison automatic, Eaton Fuller manual and the Eaton Fuller UltraShift Plus automated manual. “Overall, the 4700 tractor is a smart return on investment, combining rugged design, premium components, and a roomy, quiet interior for the ultimate workhorse model,” says Lemieux.

According to the OEM, the Western Star 4900SB with Fuel Efficient (FE) package significantly reduces fuel consumption without sacrificing performance or style, thanks to its combination of aerodynamic engineering and Detroit engine technology. Lemieux says the 4900SB with FE package is “ideal for fleet, long-haul, bulk and manufacturing segments.” This model features a wraparound front bumper, underhood air cleaners, and sloped hood to improve overall fuel efficiency while maintaining classic Western Star exterior styling. It can be equipped with the Detroit DD13 or DD15TC engine with ratings of 350 to 505 hp. and 1,250-1,750 lbs.-ft. of torque, or the Cummins ISX with ratings of 400 to 500 hp. and 1,450-1,850 lbs.-ft. of torque.

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