CLASS 8heavy

AUTOCAR Autocar LLC has introduced a completely redesigned cab for its Xpeditor line of Class 8 low-cab forward refuse trucks. The OEM said its ACX cab is significantly roomier, boasting an additional 18 cu. ft. of operator area as well as much improved ingress and egress. The company says the new design boasts such innovations as dash-integrated body switches and controls, and ergonomically placed


Autocar LLC has introduced a completely redesigned cab for its Xpeditor line of Class 8 low-cab forward refuse trucks. The OEM said its ACX cab is significantly roomier, boasting an additional 18 cu. ft. of operator area as well as “much improved ingress and egress.” The company says the new design boasts such innovations as dash-integrated body switches and controls, and ergonomically placed instruments both on the dash and in the overhead control console. An available tilt steering wheel further improves operator ergonomics.

“This cab is bigger than previous Xpeditors and offers a wide range of safety, convenience and ease-of-use improvements,” says Tom Vatter, vp of sales & marketing. “It's the only complete cab — doors included — that's manufactured entirely of fully welded, two-sided galvanized steel” instead of fiberglass and composites. He notes external cab improvements include window and visibility enhancements, top-mounted windshield wipers, and a front-mounted pump housed entirely behind the front bumper. Other new features include an electronic, fully blended HVAC system with 28% better efficiency, and multiplexed electrical systems with integrated diagnostic capabilities.

On its Xpeditor WX/WXR and WXLL models, Autocar offers a choice of diesel or natural gas Cummins powerplants as well as Allison automatic transmissions. The OEM notes it has developed a prototype hybrid truck — the E3 — that stores energy from braking to supplement the power of a diesel to improve fuel savings and reduce emissions. Designed for high start-and-stop applications, the E3 incorporates RunWise hybrid technology developed by Parker Hannifin, according to Autocar.


Freightliner Trucks has expanded its Cascadia line of Class 8 highway tractors with a 72-in. XT sleeper version. The Cascadia 72-in. XT is designed especially for flatbed and tanker operations and features a sleeper measuring 78 in. from the base of the bunk to the ceiling. It is available with an optional upper bunk or with storage cabinets placed against the back wall of the cab. Melissa Kellogg, director of product marketing, says Freightliner plans to roll out additional Cascadia sleeper variations, including a 60-in. raised roof, a 60-in. XT and a 48-in. XT version.

The Cascadia line itself was introduced last year as a truck engineered specifically to accommodate EPA '07- and '10-compliant diesel engines. This spring, the OEM reported the Cascadia had been designated a SmartWay-certified truck by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Freightliner also announced that the new Bendix ADB22X-V air disc brake is now a factory-installed option for its Class 8 models. The OEM says this is the only disc brake on the market compatible with all 22.5-in. wheel combinations without any limitations and is approved for all on-highway applications. It is available with all drive axles offered on Freightliners but only in combination with steer axles produced by Axle Alliance Corp. Two other factory-installed options now available are the Meritor Wabco electronic stability control (ESC) and the Eaton Vorad collision warning system. These can be spec'd on Cascadia, Coronado, Columbia and Century Class S/T models.

Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA), which builds Freightliner as well as Sterling and Western Star trucks, says it “will be utilizing [German parent] Daimler's Blue Tec technology for our Detroit Diesel engines beginning in 2010.” Production of Freightliner and other DTNA trucks powered by the new 15L Detroit Diesel DD15 engine began earlier this year. This engine will be offered as a base model 450-hp. unit producing 1,550 to 1,650 lbs.-ft. of torque for the fleet market, according to the OEM, as well as in a 560-hp. version, producing 1,750 to 1,850 lbs.-ft. of torque, primarily for owner-operators. Compared to the Detroit Diesel Series 60 it replaces, the DD15 offers 75% better torque response, is 31% quieter, and improves fuel economy by 2 to 5%, says DTNA. In addition, the OEM says operators will be able to maintain peak torque between 800 and 900 rpm, compared to the 1,100- to 1,300-rpm peak torque range of the Series 60.


International has rolled out a new premium flagship model — the LoneStar. The OEM says the LoneStar was designed to deliver the fuel economy of aerodynamic tractor models along with the comfort, customization and classic chromed looks of the long-nosed conventionals beloved by truck drivers for decades. “This is a modern interpretation of what ‘classic’ is,” says David Allendorph, International chief designer. “It is a product that is all about being authentic.”

According to International, the LoneStar is expected to be 5 to 15% more fuel-efficient than other so-called “classic” truck models. It features standard antilock brakes as well as roll stability and traction control systems, Bluetooth integration for hands-free phone use, and an automotive-styled dash and gauges boasting a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Despite the forward placement of the front axle, the LoneStar provides a 50-deg. wheel cut and the low, chromed front bumper is one piece of vacuum-formed aluminum.

The interior was designed to provide a clear delineation between the working space of the cockpit and the living space of the sleeper, according to Lenora Hardee, chief engineer, human factors and ergonomics for International, who notes wood flooring in the sleeper serves as a dividing line between the two areas. Driver and passenger seats both swivel; cabinets are closed “airline style” to make it easier to maintain a clean, uncluttered living space; and the pull-down bed converts to a contemporary-looking curved couch with back pillows, Hardee adds. The LoneStar also includes workspaces with plug-ins for laptops, plus a mini refrigerator and a Monsoon stereo system. International said the list of 42 factory-available options for customizing the truck will appeal to drivers. The choices include an array of lighting options, mag wheels and a “Latto Flex” mattress originally designed for the medical industry to further dampen road vibrations for driving teams.

Also new to the International Class 8 lineup is the PayStar 5900i set-back axle (SBA), a Class 8 vocational on/off-highway truck aimed at severe-service applications such as construction, oil field, logging, heavy-hauling, mining and recovery. The truck features a wide-track, set-back axle design for better front axle load distribution and improved maneuverability, the company says. It can be powered with Caterpillar or Cummins diesel engines up to 15L and 625 hp. International says the PayStar boasts a 12.25-in. frame rail chassis; 2.3 strength-to-weight ratio; front bumper with tow pin capable of pulling up to 150,000 lbs.; up to 2,050 lbs.-ft. of torque; standard dual power steering gears; and standard Whisper Cab sound insulation package. The 5900i is currently in production and available for order.


Kenworth Truck Co. will begin production of T800 Class 8 models fueled by liquefied natural gas (LNG) in 2009. The trucks will use Westport Innovations Inc.'s LNG fuel system technology adapted for the Cummins ISX 15L engine. “The T800, equipped with a Cummins ISX and Westport's HPDI fuel system, offers an industry-leading solution with world-class low emissions and greenhouse gases, while delivering outstanding horsepower, torque and efficiency comparable to a diesel engine,” says Bob Christensen, Kenworth gm and Paccar vp.

Initially introduced for the Kenworth T660, Kenworth Clean Power will become a factory-installed option for new W900s and T800s equipped with the 72-in. AeroCab sleeper. Kenworth Clean Power uses dedicated, advanced deep-cycle batteries that power a thermal storage cooler with 21,000 Btu of cooling capacity. The system has the capability to provide engine-off cooling and heating, plus 120V for hotel loads. Once the truck is shut off, a thermostat regulates the desired temperature and a variable speed fan circulates chilled air through a duct located near the bunk.

The T2000 now has the Kenworth Driver Information Center and new standard multiplex instrumentation. The driver center provides instant trip access information for miles per gallon, engine and idle hours, idle percentage, and optimum rpm range. A “sweet spot indicator” offers visual cues when the optimum rpm is reached, notes the OEM, while a bar graph displays current mpg against trip average mpg. The T2000's new state-of-the-art dash offers a more ergonomic, modern and visually appealing instrumentation system, says KW. A new speedometer and tachometer cluster features large, 2-in.-dia. gauges with chrome bezels, an engine hour meter, odometer, trip odometer, and outside temperature gauge. “The new dash design makes it much easier to check gauges and warning lights with LED back-lighting in the face plate and pointers, while dash rocker switches contain LED indicator lights,” notes chief engineer Mike Dozier.

Kenworth has added new front and rear suspensions for its heavy-duty trucks. The AG130 is a proprietary front axle air spring suspension; the AG400L tandem rear suspension offers a cost-effective solution for fleets and a smooth ride by using a proven trailing arm design, says the OEM.

KW has added new automatic transmission offerings for customers in construction and short-haul applications with high-horsepower requirements. Customers can now order the Kenworth T800 with Allison 4000 and 4500 Series transmissions when spec'd with Cummins ISX engines, not to exceed 1,650 lbs.-ft. KW says the Allison transmissions offered are especially designed for rugged duty or highway truck operators that are seeking productivity gains, durability advances and lower cost of ownership over the life of the truck.


Mack Trucks has unleashed a new top dog with its Titan. Aimed at both off-highway and on-highway heavy-hauling applications such as logging and heavy-equipment transport, it is the only Mack model powered by the OEM's new MP10 16L diesel, which produces up to 605 hp. and peak torque of 2,060 lbs.-ft. The Titan is available in both truck and tractor configuration, and Mack says initial deliveries are scheduled for this year.

The 16L MP10 is an inline 6-cyl. certified for U.S. '07 emissions and offered in ratings of 515, 565 and 605 hp. In keeping with the Titan's heavy-haul credentials, maximum torque ranges from 1,860 to 2,060 lbs.-ft. at 1,200 rpm. The Mack T300ES transmission can be spec'd with 10, 13 or 18 speeds; Eaton transmissions are optional.

The truck is distinguished by a long hood and high cab with an aggressive “heavy-hauler” design that features high airflow for better cooling and liberal use of chrome accents. Rounding out the Titan's specs is Mack's Cornerstone chassis, originally developed for its Granite vocational truck models. The Titan's Cornerstone chassis is available in three frame-rail thicknesses with optional inside channel reinforcements and application-specific crossmembers. The front axle is positioned for high load capacity (12,000 to 20,000 lbs.) and maneuverability, according to Mack. Available rear axle and suspension capacities range from 38,000 to 65,000 lbs.

The Titan cab, which sits on an air-ride suspension, was designed to minimize noise and vibration for the driver. Interior features include an air-assist clutch pedal, overhead storage bins, Mack's co-pilot display and three trim levels. Finishing off the Titan's heavy-hauler credentials, the new long-nose conventional looks the part with plenty of chrome, including chromed cast aluminum.

Mack has also added a new high-end “Rawhide” edition of its Pinnacle long-nosed conventional. Rawhide features a Texas chrome bumper, stainless steel cab and sleeper skirts, bullhorn exhaust stacks, and other chrome accessories. The Rawhide's interior offers button-tuck, ultra-leather seats; brushed nickel on the dash; and four interior color choices. The OEM also said the EPA SmartWay program has certified its Pinnacle tractors. The certification means these tractors meet EPA's environmental and fuel efficiency standards for excellence, says Mack.


Peterbilt Motors Co. has added a low-profile configuration of its Model 388 conventional that is aimed squarely at car carriers. The truck has been optimized with a lower cab height to allow for aftermarket installation of an over-the-cab car carrier body to maximize the number of vehicles hauled. It also gives users the ability to transport larger vehicles over the cab. The model variant can be spec'd with a variety of drivetrain and suspension options and can accommodate engines up to 600 hp.

The low-pro configuration Model 388 features a slightly sloped aluminum hood that increases visibility; removable aluminum fenders; and a proprietary, anti-blow-down locking mechanism to prevent unintentional closure. Halogen projector and aluminum headlamps enhance visibility and a multiplex electrical system includes the Electronic Service Analyst, which monitors the entire system, isolates sensors and gauges, and maintains an event log. The set-forward front axle configuration uses longer springs for a smooth and comfortable ride.

Coming to the Pete lineup later this year will be the Model 320 Hydraulic Launch Assist (HLA) truck, which is engineered specifically for stop-and-go refuse applications. The vehicle will improve fuel economy, reduce emissions and minimize maintenance service, says the OEM. The Model 320 hybrid leverages HLA technology developed by Eaton Corp.

HLA technology works by recovering up to 75% of the energy normally lost as heat by the vehicle's brakes in the form of pressurized hydraulic fluid. This fluid is stored in an onboard accumulator until the driver next accelerates the vehicle. Peterbilt says the system captures the truck's kinetic energy while braking to help launch and accelerate the vehicle, improving fuel economy and reducing annual brake realignment services. The Model 320 HLA is expected to be available later this year.

“The Model 320 HLA is an ideal environmental option for refuse applications,” notes Bill Jackson, Peterbilt gm & Paccar vp. “Dramatic improvements in fuel economy, reductions in emissions and lower maintenance costs spotlight it as the environmentally responsible, fuel-efficient solution for municipal and residential solid waste transportation fleets.”

The OEM is now offering its ComfortClass system on Pete Model 365, 367, 384, 386, 388 and 389 trucks equipped with a 63-in. Unibilt sleeper; it had earlier been introduced on 70-in. sleepers.

According to Peterbilt, ComfortClass provides a temperature-controlled environment and the capacity to run electronic devices in the sleeper without having to run the engine for up to 10 hours.

Peterbilt also has added a new proprietary front air-leaf suspension. The suspension has a lower spring rate for better isolation of road inputs and a 20% improvement in ride while maintaining the roll stiffness and handling performance of a taperleaf suspension, says the OEM. It will be available on Models 384, 386, 388 and 389 beginning this month.


Sterling Truck Corp. has launched its first natural gas-powered vehicle, a Set-Back 113 tractor model equipped with a Cummins Westport ISL G powerplant. According to the OEM, the factory-built truck is ideal for port operations, natural gas utilities and municipalities and can save up to $6,000 in fuel and operating costs a year per truck. Sterling notes customers in states such as California will benefit from tax incentives for alternative fuel vehicles and observed that since fuel providers can also take advantage of these incentives, accessibility to natural gas fuel is on the rise.

According to Sterling, the Cummins Westport ISL G, an 8.9L stoichiometric cooled-exhaust gas recirculation engine, offers the lowest emissions available without sacrificing top-level performance and efficiency. Available in ratings up to 320 hp., the ISL G already meets EPA '10 standards with 85% lower NOx emissions than the C Gas Plus engine, and it features the highest power-to-weight ratio in its class with an optimized turbocharger, says Sterling. The ISL G also features a maintenance-free exhaust system with a three-way catalyst and no further technology or aftertreatment will be required to meet the 2010 emissions standards, says the OEM.

Sterling is also making a new Cummins engine available for vocational applications. The 8.9L Cummins ISL is built for dump, mixer, LTL and government applications, and the OEM says it features better fuel economy and longer maintenance intervals. The engine is offered in both the Sterling Set-Forward L-Line 111-in. BBC and the Set-Back L-Line 113-in. BBC model. The OEM says the ISL comes rated for either 1,150 or 1,250 lbs.-ft. of torque, as well as a variable geometry turbocharger for enhanced drivability. Options include a compression brake and available rear engine PTO.

Sterling has also introduced several new factory-installed safety options on set-back axle models of the A-Line as well as on all L-Line tractors. These include air disc brakes, a new collision warning system from Eaton, and roll stability control (RSC) from Meritor Wabco. The OEM says its proprietary air disc brakes are ideal for applications that are notoriously hard on truck brakes.

The OEM is offering the new Eaton Vorad VS-400 collision warning system, which includes features such as a cruise control regulating tool, a more compact sensor, and an easier-to-understand driver interface unit.


Volvo Trucks North America has added a 42-in. sleeper cab model, designated the VHD 430, to its VHD vocational line. The new sleeper model is offered as a 6×4, 8×4 and 8×6 truck or tractor and in axle-forward and axle-back configurations.

According to the OEM, the sleeper's one-piece design minimizes noise levels, provides better insulation, and eliminates air and water leaks at the seal between sleeper boxes and cabs. The sleeper has 118 cu. ft. of space, which includes a full-length bed and windshield and sleeper curtains. Key VHD 430 specs include Volvo D13 engine, with up to 485 hp. and 1,650 lbs.-ft. of torque, and choice of Volvo I-Shift 12-spd. automatic transmission or Eaton Fuller 10- to 18-spd. manual and AutoShift transmissions.

The OEM reports it has partnered with the Environmental Protection Agency to develop a comprehensive package of vehicle components for the Volvo VN to deliver high fuel efficiency and low emissions as part of EPA's SmartWay tractor program. Trucks ordered with this set of components are eligible to receive EPA's SmartWay Tractor designation. Components required for the SmartWay designation include engines certified to U.S. '07 emissions standards and enhancements to reduce wind resistance, including integrated high roof fairings, fuel tank side fairings, side fairing gap reducers, aerodynamic bumpers and aerodynamic mirrors.

Volvo recently changed from incandescent bulbs to LEDs on all Volvo VN, VT and VHD tractors and trucks for marker lamps and side turn signal repeater lamps. LEDs, which are now standard for these lamps on all Volvo trucks, have several advantages compared to incandescent bulbs, including longer life, improved reliability, and reduced service and replacement costs, says the OEM. The LED marker lamps are used in all external sun visors, as well as the hood air intakes and bumpers of Volvo VT tractors, and have a clear lens with amber LEDs. The side repeaters are mounted on the side of the cab to alert other drivers alongside the truck to an active turn signal. The repeaters have black bezels, clear lenses and amber LEDs.

Increased visibility is also the goal of another new component: mirrors with integrated high-intensity LED turn signals. The mirror displays a flashing red arrow at the bottom of the mirror surface when a turn signal is activated by the driver. The signal has two light levels, for day and night driving, and has a 70-deg. viewing angle. It is visible to the driver, as well as to other drivers who may be blocked from seeing turn signals at the back or side of the truck. The mirror with integrated turn signal is now available for the Volvo VN, VT and VHD models.


Western Star Trucks has updated its LowMax tractor and announced several product enhancements for its trucks used in both on-highway and vocational applications, including the availability of air disc brakes, the largest on-highway radiator in the industry and new Holland fifth-wheel options.

According to T.J. Reed, Western Star product manager, the unique LowMax configuration has been updated and is now ready for ordering with EPA '07 engines. Almost a foot lower than standard trucks, both the 4900 EX and 4900 FA LowMax offer a customized look and premium image and performance, he notes. The LowMax is also now available as either a day cab or sleeper model.

The updated LowMax design includes an improved cooling package featuring a 1,625-sq.-in., lightweight aluminum radiator with optimized fan technology for improved fuel economy. Changes made to the LowMax's front suspension and steering system result in improved handling. An asymmetric front spring provides enhanced roll stiffness and the lower ride heights improve handling and cornering.

For all Western Star models, new proprietary air disc brakes can accommodate weight ratings up to 120,000 lbs. GCW. Reed points out these are the only disc brake on the market compatible with all 22.5-in. wheel combinations without any limitations. The brakes are available with all drive axle brands in combination with Axle Alliance Corp. proprietary steer axles.

Reed says that at 1,875 sq. in., the new copper brass radiator is the largest on-highway radiator in the industry and is intended to provide top performance for “extreme-duty applications.” Offered on 4900 SA day cab and sleeper cab models, the radiator was specifically designed to accommodate the added heat generated by EPA '07 engines. It can seamlessly be packaged into existing hood envelopes without modifications.

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