AUTOCAR Autocar LLC's newest model is the E3 hybrid low-cab-forward refuse truck, which uses a RunWise hybrid drive developed by Parker Hannifin to reduce fuel consumption in high start-and-stop applications. The first E3 trucks will be offered in the fall of '07. The E3 is something new for the industry and the environment, says Tom Vatter, Autocar vp of sales & marketing. The E3's RunWise drive


Autocar LLC's newest model is the E3 hybrid low-cab-forward refuse truck, which uses a RunWise hybrid drive developed by Parker Hannifin to reduce fuel consumption in high start-and-stop applications. The first E3 trucks will be offered in the fall of '07.

“The E3 is something new for the industry and the environment,” says Tom Vatter, Autocar vp of sales & marketing. The E3's RunWise drive system recovers brake energy and stores it to be used later. Energy is recovered when the unit is in hydrostatic mode and the brakes are applied. Upon braking, the RunWise controller commands the hydrostatic motors to become pumps and brakes the vehicle by converting vehicle inertia into stored, high-pressure energy in the accumulators. Accumulated energy is stored until the next time the vehicle launches, when it is discharged to accelerate the vehicle instead of using power from the diesel engine.

Autocar has also made improvements to its Xpeditor refuse truck model. A new front grill “now unmistakably stamps Xpeditor with the Autocar identity,” says the OEM. The Xpeditor's new MFS 20 axle provides a significantly reduced turning radius, for easier operation and improved access to tight spots, says Autocar. www.autocartruck.com


Freightliner Trucks is making new components available on its Class 8 trucks for 2007. Chief among these is a rack and pinion steering option offered on the Freightliner Century Class S/T, Coronado, Columbia, Classic and Classic XL Class 8 models.

The decision to offer rack and pinion steering on heavy-duty trucks resulted from work done by Freightliner engineers with Pikes Peak Freightliner Century Class S/T racer Mike Ryan, says Jonathan Randall, director of product marketing. “The lighter weight and extreme precision required to race up a 14,000-ft. mountain are the same qualities needed by on-highway trucks to increase payload and maneuver through traffic or in cramped loading docks,” Randall says.

Rack and pinion steering consists of two components, he explains. The rack is a horizontal shaft with teeth, which intersects the pinion at a 90-deg. angle. Turning the steering wheel turns the pinion, moving the rack to the left or right, thus steering the wheels. This provides more accurate and responsive steering while slicing 45 lb. of weight out of the steering control system, according to Randall.

Another significant new option is a “no-idle” climate-control system for Freightliner Century Class S/T, Coronado and Columbia tractors. Called the Bergstrom NITE (No-Idle Thermal Environment) system, it is designed to keep the sleeper compartment cool in hot weather and warm in cold weather.

The NITE system employs four rechargeable batteries to supply electricity to a hermetically sealed air-conditioning unit and an auxiliary heater powered by a generator. The entire system adds only 345 lb. to the truck's overall weight, says Randall. The air conditioner pumps out 3,500 BTUs of cooling capacity and the diesel fuel-operated heater generates 2,900 to 7,500 BTUs per hour.

According to the OEM, engines that will be offered on 2007 Class 8 Freightliner truck models are the Mercedes-Benz MBE4000 (350 to 450 hp. at 1250 to 1650 lb.-ft. torque); Detroit Diesel Series 60 (425 to 515 hp. at 1450 to 1650 lb.-ft. of torque; Caterpillar C13 (from 305 [email protected] 1150 lb.-ft. to 470 hp. @ 1750 lb.-ft.); and the Caterpillar C15 (from 435 hp. @ 1550 lb.-ft. to 625 hp @ 2150 lb.-ft). www.freightliner.com


International Truck & Engine Corp. is debuting its new ProStar Class 8 tractor family, which will replace the 9400 next year and the 9200 in 2008.

According to Dee Kapur, president of International's truck group, the ProStar results from five years and $300 million worth of development work. As a completely new Class 8 tractor platform, it was designed in part to help offset expected fuel economy losses due to the emissions control technology required for all new heavy trucks in 2007.

“We focused on creating a completely integrated truck, from the truck's aerodynamics to the transmission and even tires, to compensate for the fuel economy losses predicted for '07 engine and aftertreatment systems,” says Ed Melching, director of International's heavy truck development center. “Altogether, the aerodynamic changes we've made with the ProStar design improve fuel economy 4% to 4.5% compared to our previous tractor models,” he explains. “That more than offsets the 1% to 3% fuel economy loss projected for '07 trucks.”

Tom Baughman, vp & gm — heavy truck group, says the new tractor will come in four model designations — the ProStar, ProStar Premium, ProStar Eagle, and ProStar Limited. He says all will incorporate the same functionality in terms of chassis, axle, transmission and engine options but offer successively more luxurious interior and exterior trim packages.

“We designed the ProStar with four key elements in mind,” says Baughman. “The first is uptime. We've conducted six million miles of testing on this truck in the lab, on test tracks, and with customers and believe it offers superior reliability and durability.

“We also focused on driver comfort and ergonomics, based on 2,000 distinct driver profiles, male and female,” he continues. “Drivers will benefit from advanced, integrated ride and handling that is designed to reduce fatigue and improve responsiveness. The seat, the cab and chassis suspensions have been integrated and tested to complement and enhance vehicle level ride and handling characteristics.”

As for the third element, serviceability, he says routine maintenance is synchronized around oil changes to keep the truck on the road an additional 60 to 70 days over a five-year ownership cycle.

“Finally,” continues Baughman, “major aerodynamic changes have vastly improved the vehicle's fuel economy profile.” Baughman says that key test applications used to achieve the aerodynamic design were Computational Fluid Dynamics, a computerized application used to optimize design in the early stages of the process and 1/8 scale wind tunnel testing for basic shape development. “Then, full-scale wind tunnel testing was completed with a trailer attached, which revealed an 8% drag reduction improvement compared to International's previous best-in-class model.”

ProStar engine offerings will include two International MaxxForce big bore diesels in the 11-liter and 13-liter class. These engines were developed by International and MAN Nutzfahrzeuge. Shipments of the ProStar to dealers will begin in the first quarter of 2007.

International is also revealing a new “sleek, powerful look” for its 7000 Series trucks brought on by a new hood design and cooling system to increase the capacity of the newer engine cooling requirements of EPA '07-compliant engines.

The OEM decided not to relocate the larger radiator down between the frame rails so that the trucks will still be able to provide front PTO options for demanding stationary applications such as well-drilling, oil field, remote power generators and field service pumpers. Additionally, the design allows for other non-stationary applications, including refuse trucks, concrete mixers and snow plows.

“Not only will the 7000 Series get a new look to the hood, we are still able to provide customers with the option for front PTOs,” says Bill Sixsmith, director of severe service marketing. “With the high demands of construction, municipal and waste industries, maintaining the front PTO option is an important feature.


Kenworth Truck Co. is rolling out the replacement for the granddaddy of aerodynamic tractors. New for '07, the Kenworth T660 is replacing the T600, which debuted 20 years ago as trucking's first aerodynamic tractor. The Class 8 T660 will be powered by EPA '07-compliant engines.

“We're excited to introduce the new Kenworth T660 with modern styling, superior forward-lighting technology, enhanced aerodynamics and fuel economy, advanced technology, and increased driver comfort,” says Bob Christensen, Kenworth gm & Paccar vp.

“The new T660 is poised to take over the reins of Kenworth's aerodynamic leadership pioneered by the T600,” states Mike Dozier, Kenworth chief engineer. The T660 grille is 5% larger to accommodate the increased airflow and cooling performance required by 2007 engines. “Yet, says Dozier, “Kenworth was able to actually achieve a positive increase in aerodynamics and fuel economy. We used computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis extensively to fine-tune the aerodynamic performance of the whole vehicle.”

Another key feature of the T660 is halogen projector low beams that provide 40% more light down the road than a sealed beam lamp and last three times longer. A High Intensity Discharge option provides 75% more light and lasts 11 times longer than sealed beams.

Advanced technology inside includes an enhanced multiplexed electrical instrumentation system, GPS navigation system (standard with Diamond cab interior and optional for Splendor interior), and new driver's display with real-time fuel economy, ignition timer, on-board diagnostics, gear display, vehicle system configuration reporting, and an alarm clock.

New proprietary seats feature armrests that can be folded away behind the seat, giving occupants an additional four inches of sleeper access between driver and passenger seats.

Kenworth is also making Bendix ADB22X front and rear air disc brakes available on select Class 8 trucks and tractors. “Air disc brakes provide reduced brake wear,” points out Dozier. “The Bendix air disc brake's longer life may help eliminate one steer axle brake reline for many line haul customers. In addition, drivers have found disc brakes on steer axles improve the feel and control of the vehicle during braking.”

And Bendix ABS-6 Advanced with ESP (Electronic Stability Program) is now optional on select Kenworth T2000 tractor configurations with air brake systems.

Earlier this year, Kenworth announced making the Bendix ABS-6 system standard on its Class 8 models and has begun offering Bendix ABS-6 Advanced with ESP as an option on select Kenworth T600, T800 and W900 tractor configurations with air brake systems.

The OEM is offering its new Kenworth Clean Power System, a battery-powered climate control system with the capability to provide “engine-off” heating and cooling along with 110v “hotel load” power to truck drivers for a full 10 hours.

Also new is the Kenworth GPS navigation system on T600, T800 and W900 Class 8 models “to help enhance fleet and driver productivity by reducing out-of-route miles,” says Kenworth. “For customers driving 100,000 miles annually, an out-of-route rate of just 6%, or 6,000 miles, can add $2,500 in fuel costs based on $2.50 per gallon for diesel fuel, not to mention the cost of their time,” says Dozier. “The Kenworth GPS navigation system can help to significantly reduce this extra cost.”

The GPS system is standard with Diamond cab interior and optional on the Splendor interior. The navigation unit is integrated into the right-hand dash panel within reach of the driver. The system uses touch screen technology for menu control and backlit push button controls for easy night viewing. Functions include routing, turn-by-turn voice commands, waypoint selection, and multiple route selection. Voice commands are played through Kenworth's premium AM/FM/CD radio sound system. When the navigation unit issues a turn command, the radio stops transmitting the radio or CD audio and broadcasts the voice command. Once the command is complete, the radio continues with the previous audio source.


Mack Trucks' new highway flagship is the Pinnacle and it is being joined by new versions of the OEM's Granite and Granite Axle Back vocational models.

These Class 8 trucks will be available with two new diesels — the MP7 and MP8 — from the OEM's “MackPower” or MP engine family that were designed to be part of an integrated powertrain. The 11-liter MP7 and the 13-liter MP8 will be offered in Maxidyne, Econodyne and MaxiCruise performance versions.

The MP7 comes in six horsepower ratings between 325 and 405 hp. and ranging from 1260 to 1560 lb.-ft. of torque. The MP8 will offer ratings from 415 to 485 hp. matched to torque levels from 1450 to 1700 lb.-ft.

The Pinnacle highway truck is being offered in a 116-in. bumper-to-back-of-cab (BBC) day cab configuration, as well as 48-in. and 56-in. flat-top, 60-in. and 70-in. mid-rise, and 70-in. high-rise sleepers — all built on Mack's Advantage highway chassis, says Tom Kelly, vp-marketing.

Both the new Granite and Granite Axle Back models feature a 116-in. BBC dimension and are built on Mack's Cornerstone vocational chassis, he adds.

A key feature of all these models is an entirely new driver environment, with more leg and belly room, better gauge lighting, control layout, etc., according to Kelly.

Mack is also offering a new stability system for its vocational concrete mixer chassis to reduce vehicle rollover incidents and thus cut accident costs for fleets.

The system, dubbed the Mack Road Stability Advantage by Bendix, or Mack RSA, is available for mixer applications on Mack's Granite model. Mack RSA uses the existing wheel speed sensors on the truck's antilock brake system (ABS), along with steering, yaw and lateral acceleration sensor inputs, to deactivate the throttle and selectively apply the brakes in sharp curves, sudden lane changes, or obstacle avoidance maneuvers, reducing the potential of a rollover.

According to Kelly, Mack began offering full electronic stability technology on its Class 8 highway tractors late last year in conjunction with Bendix, and the current offering is the first step in the OEM's effort to expand Mack RSA throughout its vocational products as well.

“Engineering this technology for tractors is more straightforward, but we're committed to getting this technology in the hands of mixer and dump customers as soon as possible,” Kelly notes. He adds that strong demand for stability control from concrete customers could be attributed to the fact that mixers, in general, are recognized as having a high center of gravity and carry dynamic loads.

Mack has partnered with Allison Transmission to make heavy-duty Allisons the only automatic offered in Mack Granite, Vision, Pinnacle, CH and MR models.

“With the industry trend shifting to more automatic transmissions, particularly in heavy-duty mixer and dump applications, we saw the opportunity to partner with Allison in their EDGE Program as an effective way to take full advantage of this trend and, more importantly, to offer our customers a greater overall value,” states Kelly.


Peterbilt Motors Co. is heading into 2007 with an all-new vehicle lineup it declares is the result of the largest product development investment in its history. In Class 8, the OEM is rolling out six new trucks to appeal to buyers of aerodynamic, traditional and vocational trucks.

The new Petes are the aerodynamically styled Model 384 and Model 387 day cab, which join the Model 387 and Model 386 to complete the OEM's “aero” lineup.

According to Landon Sproull, Peterbilt chief engineer, the Model 387 day cab is “ideal for tanker and regional-haul applications where aerodynamic performance and a spacious, comfortable operator environment are preferred.” It will come in both a medium-length and a long-length BBC, and boasts optimized front-axle placement for exceptional maneuverability and weight distribution. Its sloped hood, large windshield and 1,200-sq.-in. rear window enhance visibility.

Sproull says the Model 384 can be configured as a day cab or with the full range of detachable Peterbilt Unibilt sleepers, like the Model 386. A mid-length truck, the Model 384 has a 116-in. BBC and setback front axle for exceptional maneuverability in vocational and urban operation and is lightweight for increased payloads in weight-sensitive applications, he notes.

Sproull says the optimized position of the setback front axle provides ideal weight distribution and improves maneuverability by allowing for 50 degrees of wheel cut and decreases the turning radius by 12 in.

Also new are the “traditionally styled” Model 389 and Model 388. Sproull says these trucks feature improved aerodynamic performance, styling, durability, serviceability and forward lighting. They boast all new, durable aluminum hoods, a new one-piece aluminum surround with a punched-oval pattern grille and polished aluminum grille bars, polished-aluminum fender reinforcements, innovative headlamps, aero-style mirrors and a new aerodynamic hood ornament.

Sproull says the distinctive look and aerodynamic performance of the Model 389 and Model 388 are achieved through all-new, durable aluminum hoods, a new one-piece aluminum surround with a punched-oval pattern grille and polished aluminum grille bars, polished-aluminum fender reinforcements, innovative headlamps and aero-style mirrors.

The Model 389 and Model 388 chassis also has simplified routings to allow for easier access to service points. In addition to improving aerodynamics, Sproull states that new high-grade aluminum headlamps feature complex-reflector technology that increases forward lighting by 226% to help reduce operator fatigue.

And for vocational applications, there are the new Model 367 and Model 365. Sproull says these work trucks feature hoods made from a durable composite material, and a new one-piece aluminum crown and stainless steel grille provide impact-resistant performance and distinctive styling. The hoods also have a proprietary anti-blow-down locking mechanism that keeps them in an open position to prevent unintentional closing and open a full 90 degrees to facilitate engine service access. Both trucks have a new bumper that can accommodate both a center hook configuration and a dual, removable pin configuration that meet TMC towing requirements.

The Model 367 and Model 365 will be available in set-forward and setback front axle positions to comply with bridge law requirements. And the Model 367 will be available in a special heavy-haul configuration that boasts a high-capacity cooling system to accommodate the highest horsepower engines available.


Sterling Truck Corp. has no major product announcements for its A-Line of Class 8 vocational and L-Line highway trucks but reports making various enhancements to all models.

The OEM reports changes to A-Line models are aimed at improving driver comfort and satisfying more customer needs. These include making cab air mounts standard equipment for a better driving environment and making air conditioning a standard feature of the climate control system. In addition, stationary extreme outboard single right-hand vertical exhaust is now standard.

On the medium/heavy-duty Acterra Crew Cab, the B pillar trim will be upgraded offering new panels with needle punch fabric designed for an improved appearance and sound dampening.

For fire and emergency vehicles, self-contained breathing apparatus seats will be available as a factory-installed option in 2007. In addition, power windows and locks for both forward and rear doors will be available in 2007.

On all Sterling A-Line and L-Line models, the base level headliner will be upgraded by offering new panels with needle punch fabric for better appearance and sound dampening.

Beginning in September, all Sterling trucks will be offered only with suspended brake pedals to give customers more floor room and mobility, the OEM notes.

And starting in February 2007, Sterling will offer enhanced door trim at all levels, including improved materials, more surface coverage for base level options, and standard courtesy lamps for premium level interiors.


Volvo Trucks North America is adding two mid-roof Class 8 sleeper models — the VN 730 and the VT 830. Peter Karlsten, president & CEO, says the new mid-roof models will broaden the OEM's product range to meet customer demands for more fuel-efficient tractor options for pulling low-height van trailers, tankers, flatbeds, lowboys and intermodal containers.

Volvo says there is a significant aerodynamic advantage with a mid-roof when pulling low-height trailers — 20% less drag vs. using a high-roof sleeper configuration. In addition, the mid-roof design weighs about 425 lb. less than a comparable Volvo high-roof sleeper.

“The lower roof height on these trucks significantly improves aerodynamics, while continuing to deliver the premium performance Volvo is famous for, including great visibility and safety, a comfortable driver environment, a very quiet cab, and a smooth, precise ride,” says Karlsten. “Yet even with the mid-roof height, a 6 ft. 4 in. driver can stand upright between the seats.”

The height at the rear of the sleeper for both trucks is 86 in, which is a full two feet less than for Volvo VT 880 and Volvo VN 780. The other sleeper dimensions have not changed. The sleepers for the Volvo VT 830 and Volvo VN 730 are each 77 in. deep and 95 in. wide. With the new models, Volvo now has three different mid-roof sleepers available, including the existing VN 630 with its 61-in.-deep sleeper.

The OEM expects the two new sleepers to be “very popular with driver teams, especially husband and wife teams.” Therefore, it is making three different bunk configurations available for either model.

The newest is a single 53-in. by 79-in. bunk, which is the same width as a traditional full-sized mattress. Volvo offers two innerspring 53-in. mattress choices. This configuration also includes additional under bunk storage capacity. The bunk rises on two gas-filled struts to allow easy storage access. Overhead storage on the bunk wall is included. Two other bunk configuration options are available: dual bunks, with a 42-in.-wide lower bunk and a 32-in. upper bunk, or a single 42-in. lower bunk.

The VT 830 comes equipped with Volvo's proprietary two-way satellite communications system, Volvo Link, and the Volvo Link Sentry service. Volvo Link Sentry monitors the VT 830's onboard computers to track vehicle fault codes.

The new mid-roofs are slated to go into production in the late third quarter of 2006.

Volvo also says its line of '07-compliant engines will replace its D-12 mainstay with the D-13 and add a smaller bore D-11 to complement its larger D-16, released just last year. Available in medium- (VNM) and long-hood (VNL) models, the D-11 will offer 325 to 405 hp., with torque ratings from 1,250 to 1,450 lb.-ft. The engine, which weighs 2, 175 lb., will be available in seven rating combinations. It's designed for P&D, LTL, regional distribution and weight-sensitive applications such as bulk tanker and petroleum transport.

The D-13 will offer 335 to 485 hp.; with torque levels ranging from 1,350 to 1,650 lb.-ft. Dry weight is 2,550 lb. It will be available in eight ratings for the VNM and VNL tractors, as well as for the VHD vocational truck and tractor.

The D-16 has been updated to meet EPA '07 standards. It will be available in seven ratings for VNL and VT tractors, ranging from 450 to 600 hp. and torque from 1,650 to 2,050 lb.-ft. Dry weight is 3,070 lb.

Oil drain intervals will depend heavily on the vehicles' duty cycle, but in general will run up to 30,000 miles for the D11, 45,000 miles for the D13, and 50,000 miles for the D16, according to Volvo.

Some key features of the new Volvo engines include a Volvo Engine Brake with high retardation over the speed range, integrated into the engine for safety and longer foundation brake life, and Volvo Vectro EMS engine electronics with enhanced diagnostics.

The OEM will also continue to offer the 15-liter Cummins ISX as an option on VN and VT highway tractors. www.volvotrucks.us.com


Western Star Trucks is growing its Stratosphere walk-through sleeper line with three new models for 2007. The new additions are a 40- and a 54-in. size aimed at vocational operators and an 82-in. “Ultra High” model for over-the-road truckers.

The new sleepers will be available on 4900 EX, 4900 SA, and 4900 FA models. They join the existing 68- and 82-in. Stratosphere sleepers and boast the same trio of key features: walk-through design, flat floor and roof-mounted air horns and marker lights.

The new 40-in. sleeper, the shortest walk-through sleeper offered by a Class 8 OEM, is aimed at vocational users such as specialized hauling, construction, oil field, and logging. Even though in these types of applications the sleeper may only be needed to meet operating requirements or for storing equipment, customers will benefit from the same stand-up room as a larger sleeper but without the added weight or reduced visibility, says Matt Stevenson, manager of product strategy.

Designed for heavy haul, regional haul and construction, the 54-in. sleeper was designed to be light but strong as weight and payload are critical in these applications. The 54-incher has a 35-in. bunk. It has a full roof fairing and side extenders for over-the-road applications to help improve fuel economy.

Designed for long-haul drivers, the new 82-in. Ultra High Stratosphere sleeper is 13.8 in. higher than the original 82-in. Stratosphere and provides more than 30 cu. ft. of additional living and storage space. A fixed upper bunk can be used with optional “dinette” seating.

To address EPA '07-compliant engines, Western Star will update cooling packages and add new exhaust systems. However, according to Stevenson, a new drop-front frame casting for all models means no exterior modifications will be needed to the traditional Western Star hood and grille.

Changes made to accommodate the larger radiators also enabled improvements to front suspensions including a new 56-in. asymmetric spring that provides improved roll stiffness and better handling in turns while maintaining soft ride characteristics.

Western Star will also add the AF-18.0-5 18,000-lb. steer axle to its offerings in combination with ‘07 suspensions, Stevenson says, with aftertreatment systems offered in both horizontal and vertical frame mounting assemblies with vertical tailpipes.

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