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Cummins ups ratings

New 425 offers better acceleration and fuel economyCummins Engine Co. has punched up the vocational rating for its ISM engine. The diesel powerplant - the 425 VSP - now delivers 2,100 rpm and improved driveability and acceleration to the high-horsepower vocational truck market.The new rating delivers dual-torque-curve technology for improved acceleration, automatically switching to a higher torque

New 425 offers better acceleration and fuel economy

Cummins Engine Co. has punched up the vocational rating for its ISM engine. The diesel powerplant - the 425 VSP - now delivers 2,100 rpm and improved driveability and acceleration to the high-horsepower vocational truck market.

The new rating delivers dual-torque-curve technology for improved acceleration, automatically switching to a higher torque setting when starting under load, and adds 100 lb.-ft. of torque in all gears to get the vehicle up and moving. Once the vehicle reaches highway speeds, the ISM reverts to the lower torque mode for maximum fuel efficiency. Cummins says the engine will also save some 450 gallons of fuel a year for a truck logging 50,000 miles.

A "burn-only" version of the Centinel Advanced Engine Oil Management System is standard on the ISM 425 VSP model. This eliminates the need for oil changes for 4,000 hr./525,000 mi. in operations that see the vehicles on a daily basis and can monitor and maintain the proper oil levels. The Centinel system blends used engine oil with diesel fuel.

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In a related development, Cummins has extended coverage beyond the base warranty period for owners of its Signature, ISX, N14 Plus, ISM, and ISL diesel powerplants through a choice of deductible or nondeductible plans purchased during the first year of ownership.

The coverage plans include total parts and labor, with reimbursement for any progressive damage that is traced to the failure of a covered Cummins component. Consumables such as oil, antifreeze, and filters are also replaced if found to be unusable due to the covered failure.

The 5-yr./500,000-mi. protection plan is designed for operators who need universal coverage on more than 20 major components and 3-yr./ 300,000-mi. coverage on the entire engine, including maintenance components. Items not covered include hoses and belts.

The 5-yr. value plan provides 5-yr./500,000-mi. protection on all components, with the exception of maintenance items, with a $250 deductible.

Fontaine Fifth Wheel has introduced a wheel assembly to meet the heaviest of hauling needs. Based on the company's 5092 series, the XTRA Heavy-Duty fifth wheel features a high-strength, low-alloy formed steel top plate, as well as Fontaine's No-Slack locking system.

A reinforced substructure, along with extra reinforcement at strategic load-bearing areas, enables the unit to handle a 75,000-lb. vertical load and a drawbar pull of 200,000 lb. The XTRA Heavy-Duty comes in mounting heights of 9.5, 10.5, and 11.5 in.

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The DiodeLite 19 Series LED marker lamp from Dialight Corp. is thin enough to be mounted above rear trailer doors, and is in compliance with NHTSA rules. The sealed polycarbonate assembly, which is only 0.656- in. wide, has a lifetime warranty.

The Underslung DuraLite Suspension from Holland Binkley is built for low mounting-height applications. The high-strength steel unit, which provides a weight savings of up to 64 lb., comes in tandem, tri-axle, and widespread versions.

Chevron Global Lubricants and Cummins Engine Co. are teaming up to develop advanced lubrication technology to support new engine programs focused on meeting the 2002 emissions levels. The companies intend to collaborate on optimal engine and lubricant design, says Jim McGeehan, engine oil technology manager.

Stemco's new "Advantage" wheel-end system, designed for use with Walther EMC's Dura-Light hub, consists of Stemco's hub-installed, unitized Discover seal; Pro-Torque axle-spindle nuts for consistent bearing settings; and a Sentinel hub cap. The system carries a 5-yr. limited warranty.

Ford's new heavy-duty utility vehicle is based on Super-Duty F-Series

Based on the Ford Super Duty F-Series chassis, the Ford Excursion can carry up to nine passengers and luggage as well as handle a 10,000-lb. tow with its standard equipment Class IV trailer hitch. The all-new 2000 model is the largest heavy-duty utility vehicle now on the market and will be offered with a wide range of trim packages, including a fleet work-truck spec with rubber floor mats, steel wheels, and other functional features.

Power choices for the Excursion are the 5.4-L Triton V8 (255 hp., 350 lb.-ft. peak torque), the 6.8L Triton V10 (310 hp., 425 lb.-ft. peak torque), and the 7.3L Power Stroke V8 diesel (235 hp., 500 lb.-ft. peak torque). All three engines are mated to Ford's electronically controlled 4R100 4-speed overdrive automatic transmission. A propane-fired version of the V10 featuring Ford's new direct-injection system is also being offered in limited quantities.

The new truck's strong point is carrying capacity. The Excursion is 227 in. long, 80-in. wide, and has a 137-in. wheelbase. With all three rows of passenger seats in place, it offers 48 cu. ft. of cargo space. Removing the third-row bench seat boosts capacity to just over 100 cu. ft., while also folding down the split second-row seats provides a 146-cu.-ft. cargo area that's wide enough to carry standard 4x8 sheets of plywood.

Other technical specifications of note include front and rear disc brakes with 4-wheel ABS, a 44-gal. polyethylene fuel tank protected by a skid plate, modified Super Duty suspension for a smoother ride, and a full steel chassis.

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AlliedSignal Truck Brake Systems is extending its Bendix air-dryer line with the addition of the Trailer System-Guard dryer, which it says is the first unit designed specifically for trailer air systems.

The new System-Guard removes moisture and contaminants that can accumulate in the air system when a trailer is uncoupled from a tractor.

A desiccant-type air dryer, it acts as a buffer to absorb moisture in wet times and release it in dry. Instead of using a purge valve, the System-Guard gains additional purging each time the driver steps on the brakes or parks the vehicle.

The System-Guard weighs less (under 5 lb.) than typical air dryers because it doesn't use a cartridge. Instead, the entire dryer is changed-out at established service intervals. AlliedSignal says installation takes only 20 to 30 minutes. The dryer includes bypass valves that prevent malfunction "in the unlikely event" of clogging.

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New aluminum hub and rotor assemblies for L-Series axles have been introduced by ConMet, offering fleets a savings of up to 30 lb. per hub compared to iron units. The new rotors contain integrated antilock braking exciter rings

A 30x78-in. folding upper bunk is now available for Kenworth's T2000 75-in. Aerodyne sleeper. The new option includes a 30x78-in. foam mattresss

Workhorse Custom Chassis has introduced a 16,000-lb.-GVW chassis, the highest rated commercial chassis in the company's portfolio. The unit is designed for industries with heavy payloads like linen and uniform services, parcel deliveries, and newspapers.

Trailmobile Corp. has opened the doors to its newest manufacturing facility in Liberal, Kan. Designed to produce 25,000 reefer trailers a day, the 250,000-sq.-ft. facility will employ 500 workers. The plant can also accommodate dry van trailers.

Organic acid product may degrade silicone seal

Cummins Engine Co. has recommended that truck manufacturers stop factory filling all Cummins engines with Texaco Extended Life Coolant because it could potentially lead to early failure of silicone seals in the cooling system. The engine maker has declined to make any public comment on the issue, but according to a technical bulletin issued by Equilon Lubricants, the manufacturer of the coolant, Cummins is also recommending that the organic acid-based coolant be drained from existing engines and replaced with a conventional heavy-duty coolant. All Cummins automotive diesel engines use silicone seal material in their cooling systems.

Similar organic acid-based coolants produced by Texaco for Shell (Rotella Extended Life Coolant), Caterpillar (Cat Extended Life Coolant), and Detroit Diesel (Power Cool Plus) are also being included in the Cummins recommendation.

Stating that Cummins, Texaco, and Equilon are working on both short- and long-term solutions to the problem, the Equilon bulletin recommended that OEMs avoid the organic acid-based coolant for the Cummins N14 Plus engine only, and that they continue using the coolant in all other engines. It pointed out that "Cummins N14 (Plus) rocker box seal gasket leaks have been observed in a limited number of trucks that have been factory filled with Texaco Extended Life Coolants."

Equilon says that there have been no engine failures attributed to the leak, which "appears as an external release of coolant onto the outside of the engine block." The company's bulletin also recommended "that all aftermarket customers continue to use our organic acid coolants in all engines including the Cummins N14" since there is "no data that suggests replacement of this coolant ... will remedy the N14 rocker box seal leak."

Information sent to truck makers by Cummins says that the coolant in question appears to degrade silicone seals within 80,000 to 100,000 mi. Cummins also informed OEMs that it will decline warranty responsibility for failures attributed to the use of the Texaco product.

Spartan International has introduced Trail Blazer ultra-reflective safety tape, which is designed to meet the federal government's new conspicuity requirements for trailers manufactured before 1992. The red-white pattern is available in 11x7-in. and 6x6-in. patterns - both in kiss-cut kits designed for easy peel-and-stick. The tape has a new adhesive that allows the material to be repositioned within the first 10 minutes of application.

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The Cummins ISX engine described in the June issue of FLEET OWNER (nuts & bolts, p. 65) should have been referred to as a 15 liter.

Eaton Corp.'s Truck Component Operations plans to invest more than $100 million to build a new truck transmission manufacturing plant in Mexico, with construction slated to begin before the end of the year. The facility will have complete transmission fabrication and assembly capability and is expected to employ 400 to 500 people.

This summer Meritor Automotive will open a Heavy Vehicle Systems (HVS) assembly plant in the Mexican State of Queretaro to serve the supplier's Mexican-based heavy-vehicle OEM customers. The 120,000-sq.-ft. facility initially will assemble drive axles and drivelines for linehaul vehicles.

Limited protection plan for Sterling used trucks covers engines, transmissions, and rear axles. Coverage is offered in two versions: Silver Shield 6/50 (6 mo./50,000 mi.) or Silver Shield 12/100 (12 mo./100,000 mi.). Contact a Sterling Trucks dealer for details.

A 40,000-lb. tandem drive axle produced by Dana's Heavy Axle & Brake Div. is now available on Kenworth's full line of on-highway vehicles. The DSH40 axle is designed for use with engines rated up to 650 hp. and developing 1,850 or 2,050 ft.-lb. of torque.

Only the damaged element needs replacement

Lang Mekra's new 300 Series mirrors, available in Aero and West Coast styles, feature a modular design that prevents fleets from having to replace the entire system when only one element is damaged.

The Aero Style offers 4-way glass plate adjustment as standard, with 4-way remote as an option; heated mirror surface; and choice of flat or 2,100-mm radius glass.

The 7-in. x 16-in. West Coast designs have 4-way head adjustment, with 4-way remote control optional; a self-regulated heated mirror surface is standard on remote control models and optional on manual systems. Users have a choice of flat, split-face, or 2,100-mm radius glass.

Advantages of both Aero and West Coast versions include safety, fast glass replacement, and stability.

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The International 5900i SFA (set-forward axle) dump truck was showcased at the International Southwest Region sales fair in Corpus Christi, Tex., recently. Developed for rugged applications such as construction, refuse, and forestry, the new vehicle has engine options up to 600 hp. and features a BBC of 120 in.

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Volvo Trucks North America has broken ground for a $148-million expansion of its New River Valley assembly plant. The three-year project is expected to result in the creation of 1,277 new full-time jobs and increase the production of commercial trucks by 66% (50,000 units) annually.

Navistar International Transportation Corp. is launching a new Web site - - that will provide fleets with up-to-date information on current and future vehicles. Late-breaking releases on parts and service specials, company news, and customized spec information will also be made available. For easy access to the company's dealer network, nearly every Web page on the site offers a link to find the nearest dealer.

Saying the average trailer refrigeration units are running up to 2,000 hours a year, Thermo King Corp. has bumped up the standard warranty coverage for its units to 3-yr./6,000 hr. The second and third year coverage includes parts and labor on the engine and internal parts, compressor, microprocessor controller, coils, injection pump, tapered roller bearing fanshaft assembly, three-way valve, and idler assembly.

Transmission Technologies Corp. (TTC) is using an eye-catching 53-ft. trailer to showcase the benefits of its new "No Cooler Required" TTC transmission. The patented OPTI-LUBE system is standard on all Spicer 9- and 10-speeds. It uses an internal oil pump and a simple delivery method to spray lubricant directly and continuously onto all critical gear sets and bearings, keeping the transmission up to 50 degrees cooler than conventional systems.

The opening of TravelCenters of America's (TA) first state-of-the-art prototype facility in Commerce City, Colo., sets a new standard for travel centers nationwide. The 30,000-sq.-ft. facility is a dramatic departure from the traditional highway truckstop, featuring a wide array of services and amenities designed for both professional drivers and other highway travelers.

Featuring a dynamic appearance both inside and out, the facility has an impressive front entrance bearing a large TA logo on a 42-ft.-tall pylon with a red neon arch and "Welcome" sign to greet visitors. A large, vaulted, glass-encased main central hall, a backlit restaurant awning, and a colorful facade create a bright invitation for customers to come inside.

TA plans to use the design in new and redesigned facilities that will be part of a $250-million network-wide capital improvement program.

The facility features modern showers and restrooms; 24-hour truck repair and maintenance service; a variety of dining choices; an automated fuel island system called ProntoPay; a large, fully stocked travel store; special entrance for professional truck drivers; and comfortable, spacious drivers' lounge and game room. The Park 'N View area for longhaul drivers offers in-cab conveniences such as cable TV, Internet access, phone service, 24-hour e-mail, faxing, voice mail, and wake-up calls.

Peterbilt Motors Co. recently celebrated the production of its 400,000th Class 8 truck at its manufacturing plant in Denton, Tex. The keys for the Model 357 were presented to Victor Lattimore of Lattimore Materials Co., a McKinney, Tex.-based ready-mix company whose fleet hauls a variety of construction materials and is comprised of mixer trucks and trailer dump vehicles.

Conley, Ga., is the site of first facility in the U.S. to combine Speedco Truck Lube and VehiCare integrated quick lubrication, and preventive maintenance and inspection (PMI) services under one roof. Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the 11,000-sq.-ft. facility offers three-bay Speedco 30-minute lubrication service for Class 6-8 trucks and two-bay VehiCare PMI services.

Navistar recently demonstrated its Green Diesel Technology in a 1999 International Type D bus equipped with an International T 444E diesel engine, a continuous regenerative particulate trap, and ultralow-sulfur diesel fuel (less than 5 ppm). The technology meets EPA's stringent proposed Tier 2 emissions standards for passenger vehicles and light trucks.

European-based Valeo has inked a pact to acquire the alternator and starter business of South Korean manufacturer Mando Machinery Corp. The firm is a leading supplier to Hyundai and Kia and is active in the aftermarket. The acquisition will strengthen Valeo's electrical/electronics business, which accounts for 60% of its total sales.

A new line of U-joints rounds out the aftermarket driveline product offering of Meritor Automotive. The U.S.-made U-joints feature twin zerk fittings and an advanced sealing system.

New International engine line boasts performance with greater payloads

Navistar International Transportation Corp. has launched a new, more robust line of in-line 6-cyl. diesel engines for demanding severe-service and medium-duty applications.

According to Navistar, the new 530E and DT466E engines, weighing 1,425 lb., replace weight with strength while packing the power and durability of comparably rated engines weighing hundreds of pounds more.

"Our engineers have proven technically advanced 8- and 9-liter engines can do the work of heavy 10- and 11-liter engines with more payload benefits," said Dan Ustian, group vp and general manager of the Engine & Foundry Div.

The 8.7-liter engines use innovative technology to optimize air and fuel management, including wastegated turbocharging, Split-Shot fuel injection, and Diamond Logic electronic controls.

The engines are offered on International 2000 Series medium and severe-service vehicles, International 8100 heavy-truck applications, and on the new International 5000i Series severe-service line.

The International 530E is a premium midrange offering in ratings of 275, 300, and 330 hp., and the 530E HT (high torque) offers "big bore" power and performance in ratings of 280, 300, and 330 hp.

The DT 466E comes in midrange ratings of 175, 195, 215, and 230 hp. The higher-torque DT 466E HT features a horsepower range from 195 to 250.

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National Truck Protection is offering new protection plans for all used, on-highway light-, medium- and heavy-duty diesel truck engines, transmissions, and rear axles. The company's Wear-out coverage will be a standard component of each of the new plans for the first year or 100,000 mi. on major engine components and internal lubricated engine parts, as well as provide protection against excessive oil consumption and lower power.

The platinum programs extend the coverage to injectors, turbochargers, and air compressors, while the gold and platinum 24/200 plans provide additional coverage through the second year and 200,000 mi.

Mobil Corp. is again sponsoring the ATA National Truck Driving Championship, which takes place August 18-21 in Tampa, Fla. The fourth annual National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, sponsored by Mack Trucks and Petro Stopping Centers, immediately follows the driving championships. Events are planned for the week of August 21-28.

Continental General Tire (CGT) introduced a new 24-hour roadside assistance program called TRUK FIX. Customers can call 1-877-TRUK-FIX to request immediate help or get the phone number and address of the nearest CGT dealer.

A compact lubrication system for trailers from Groeneveld USA supplies S-cams and slack adjusters with the correct amount of grease via individual metering units. The CompAlube unit, which is installed on the tandem of the trailer, lubricates every 35th brake application, maintaining a grease film between the moving parts. Designed with the grease pump, brake application counter, and metering element as one unit, the system is relatively easy to install.

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