heavy CLASS 8

AUTOCAR For 2003, Autocar will focus on adding options to its Xpeditor line, designed primarily for vocational fleets. A new lineup of Cummins engines are offered, (285 to 330 hp.), with CNG and LNG versions optional. A selection of midrange and heavy-duty automatic transmissions are available, in conjunction with single or tandem rear-axle options with a maximum GAWR of 52,000 lb. Front axles are


For 2003, Autocar will focus on adding options to its Xpeditor line, designed primarily for vocational fleets. A new lineup of Cummins engines are offered, (285 to 330 hp.), with CNG and LNG versions optional. A selection of midrange and heavy-duty automatic transmissions are available, in conjunction with single or tandem rear-axle options with a maximum GAWR of 52,000 lb. Front axles are rated up to 20,000 lb. with dual steer capability.

Autocar offers seven different combinations to meet the full range of vocational needs, as well as a “lightweight package” of aluminum components. The Xpeditor has a low-profile cab design with a two-piece windshield and setback corner pillars to maximize field of vision. A setback axle design allows tighter turns for improved maneuverability.

The T-Ride suspension features high-articulation with standard 4-wheel differential-lock, meeting all working condition needs; permanently lubed and sealed torque rod joints mean easier maintenance. The Xpeditor's ABS braking system comes with a severe-service brake package offering extended relines and improved performance.


Freightliner Trucks has begun ramping up production of its new flagship model, the Coronado. According to the OEM, the new on-highway long conventional “marks the beginning of a new era for traditionally styled heavy-duty trucks.”

The 132-in. BBC truck boasts a distinctive exterior look that combines “retro” and contemporary styling cues that include standard polished aluminum wheels and Chaparral interior package. The Coronado is offered with both the OEM's 70-in. Raised Roof SleeperCab and its 70-in. Mid-Roof XT (Extra Tall) SleeperCab. It is also available as day cab for bulk and regional hauling applications.

Other standard features include the OEM's own AirLiner rear suspension and a unique “leaf-and-a-half” front spring suspension that improves the ride. And the Coronado SleeperCab meets or exceeds stringent European ECE R-29 and Swedish crashworthiness standards. Freightliner notes it will continue to produce its other long-nose conventional models, the Classic and Classic XL, along with the Coronado.


International Truck & Engine Co.'s latest Class 8 model is the International 8600 tractor. Newest member of the OEM's High performance Truck family, the 8600 day cab is designed for regional hauling applications. The 107-in. BBC truck features a 46-in. setback wide-track front axle, 50-deg. wheel cut, aerodynamically sloped hood, large, curved windshield and standard cab rear-mounted air suspension. The 8600 is offered in 4×2 and 6×4 versions and in an extended cab model with bunk.

Also new is the International 5900i tractor for severe-service applications. Designed for on/off-highway use, the 4×2 truck, says the OEM, meets the need for a “light yet strong construction tractor” that requires no additional reinforcing for severe-service tasks.

The 120-in. BBC truck boasts a set-forward 12,000-lb. front axle, matching parabolic taper-leaf front suspension, ArvinMeritor 23,000-lb. rear axle, Hendrickson HAS 230 rear air suspension and Sheppard M-100 power steering. Engine power is supplied by a 350-hp. Cummins ISM diesel.


Kenworth Truck Co. has made various improvements to its Class 8 lineup, including an extended day cab for T600, T800 and W900 models. It adds 6 in. to the current cab length, mounts the seat 2 in. further back from the steering wheel for added room, and offers a seat recline of up to 21 deg.

The extended day cab provides an additional storage of 2-1/2 cu. ft. on the rear wall and three more inches of headroom. It can be ordered with optional Kenworth proprietary corner window and will be available with back-of-cab or side-of-cab mounted exhaust. Production availability is planned for the fourth quarter.

The aerodynamic T2000 now offers a redesigned optional roof fairing that reduces air drag by 3% and improves fuel economy by as much as 1.5%. KW says the new fairing's modified shape allows better airflow up and over a van trailer.

Kenworth is also introducing a new hood for its on-highway W900L model with curved windshield. The new hood provides performance enhancements and reduced weight over the previous hood at no additional cost, while maintaining KW's traditional, long-hood look and design.

Newly offered lightweight components include the AG380 air suspension, available on all Class 8 models and Hendrickson's HAULMAXX suspension for vocational applications.


Mack Trucks Inc. is expanding its on-highway lineup with the Vision DayCab. The Class 8 model, available as a tractor or straight truck, offers GVW ratings ranging from 35,000 to 60,000 lb..

According to the OEM, the Vision DayCab is a “stylish, lightweight and aerodynamic alternative” for day-cab users. Among its key features is are a newly designed door, with larger side windows and a large lower “peep” window to significantly improve visibility.

The Vision DayCab can be spec'd with lightweight MaxAir suspensions and 12,000-lb. front and 40,000-lb. rear axles for regional use. For vocational applications, the truck can be ordered with 14,600-lb front and 46,000-lb. rear axles, Mack camelback suspensions and Mack's new Maxitorque T300 transmission.

Powering the new truck is the highway version of Mack's ASET (Application Specific Engine Technology) engine. It uses cooled EGR and variable-geometry turbocharging to meet the October '02 emissions regs. Models will range from 310 to 460 hp. and will include a new 380/410-hp. MaxiCruise version.

ASET engines will be offered in other Mack Class 8 trucks as well. Mack said ASET engines for on-highway fleets will use cooled EGR (C-EGR) technology, while vocational engines will rely on internal EGR (I-EGR) technology. C-EGR recirculates exhaust back into the engine's combustion chamber to burn off emissions, while I-EGR keeps the exhaust in the engine's cylinders from one combustion cycle to the next to reduce emissions.


Peterbilt Motors Co. is making various improvements to its Class 8 offerings. Most newsworthy among them is a new cooling package designed expressly for the EGR engines that will arrive later this year. According to Pete, the new setup improves cooling efficiency by 35% while reducing system weight by 80 lb. It also saves space by placing the charge-air cooler on top of the radiator rather than in front of it.

The Model 357 features a redesigned hood and set-back front axle package for its straight truck and tractor configurations. Pete says the increased slope of the hood improves forward visibility for the driver and the axle setback increases the truck's turning radius.

Peterbilt is offering Hendrickson's Haulmaax suspensions on all its vehicles. The OEM and its parent, Paccar, worked with Hendrickson to develop the new suspension, optimizing both its design and that of associated crossmembers on Peterbilt vehicles. The Haulmaax is offered in 40,000- and 46.000-lb. ratings for Models 379. 378, 385, 357, 362 and 320. It is also available for the Class 8 Model 330.


Sterling Truck Corp. has not announced any major changes to its lineup of Class 8 on-highway and vocational models. Sterling continues to offer L-Line heavy-duty vocational and on-highway trucks, A-Line highway tractors, and the low-cab-forward Condor for specialized vocational applications.

Sterling's L/LT snub-nose conventional models, which can be ordered with a wide range of options suitable for either on- or on/off-highway applications, offer GVW ratings up to 66,000 lb. and GCW ratings up to 138,000 lb. Engine ratings on these vehicles range from 175 to 600 hp.

The OEM's A/AT long-nose conventional models for on-highway operation offer GVW ratings up to 54,600 lb.. and GCW ratings up to 125,000 lb.. Engine ratings for these models span 280 to 600 hp. The Sterling SilverStar 77-in. integrated sleeper-equipped highway tractor offers a GVW rating of 54,600 lb.. and engine ratings from 350 to 600 hp.

The low-cab-forward Condor offers a maximum GVW rating of 80,000 lb.. and engine ratings from 305-350 hp. The Condor comes standard with an Allison automatic transmission and Eaton Fuller manuals are available optionally.


Volvo Trucks North America had some big news breaking at press time. Although few official details were available from the OEM, FleetOwner has learned that later this summer Volvo will roll out a new VN on-highway Class 8 model.

The new VN is said by the OEM to meet the key objectives of “increasing operator revenue and reducing costs” by the “maximization of vehicle uptime and the promotion of driver productivity.”

Significant features of the new tractor previewed by the OEM include “superb visibility,” convenient operating controls, and “excellent” climate control. Volvo says the new VN's cab was “developed with drivers for drivers” and boasts a design that is both luxurious on the inside and good-looking on the outside.

VN chassis improvements include a new front-axle position and a new front air suspension, also developed with input from drivers. Power will be supplied by the new Volvo D12 diesel engine, which features variable-pulse technology, as well as by Cummins powerplants.

Volvo says the integrated design of the new VN will result in a “reduction of component weight while meeting EPA '02 requirements and increasing performance.”

Stay tuned to www.fleetowner.com for more information. The official introduction of the VN is to take place in August.


Western Star Trucks has rolled out a new low-profile version of its 4900 EX heavy-duty truck. Dubbed the LowMax, the new truck features a lowered cab and sleeper height and styling features aimed at boosting driver appeal.

Designed as a high-style highway tractor, it comes with a 132-in.-BBC dimension and a set-forward front axle. Its cab height is almost a foot lower than standard and the resulting lowered step height allows easy access to the cab. According to Western Star, the LowMax's low center of gravity improves handling and stability. A reduction in the frontal area of the truck, says the OEM, provides significant aerodynamic enhancement as well as contributing to the truck's distinctive look.

Standard equipment includes a 1,300-sq.-in. crossflow radiator for optimum engine cooling, a low-ride-height front suspension and a 6.38-in. ride height AirLiner rear suspension. The LowMax is available with a range of sleeper sizes and roof heights, all arranged to the truck's lowered configuration. With cab lights and horns removed and running on low-profile 275/70 R22.5 tires, overall height is just over 104 in.

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