Heavy-duty "light" trucks

Feb. 1, 2000
GMC/Chevy models pick up GVWRsHeavy-duty versions of the new GMC Sierra and Chevy Silverado with GVW ratings up to 12,000 lb. will be introduced later this year as 2001 models.Both the Silverado/Sierra 2500HD three-quarter-ton version of General Motor's newest full-size pickup, and the one-ton Silverado/Sierra 3500 will be available with a regular cab, a 4-door extended cab, and a crew cab. The 3500

GMC/Chevy models pick up GVWRs

Heavy-duty versions of the new GMC Sierra and Chevy Silverado with GVW ratings up to 12,000 lb. will be introduced later this year as 2001 models.

Both the Silverado/Sierra 2500HD three-quarter-ton version of General Motor's newest full-size pickup, and the one-ton Silverado/Sierra 3500 will be available with a regular cab, a 4-door extended cab, and a crew cab. The 3500 will also be offered as a cab-chassis model with straight frame rails.

When GM first introduced its new Silverado/Sierra full-size pickup two years ago, it offered only a half-ton version, retaining the older C/K chassis for heavier applications. The 2001 models now move the new design into the "heavy-duty" light truck range with a 9,200-lb.-GVW rating for the 2500HD and 12,000-lb. rating for the 3500 models. Dual-tire models offer towing capacities close to 16,000 lb. and GCW ratings of 22,000 lb.

The standard engine for both heavy-duty models is GM's Vortec 6000, a 6-L V8 that produces 325 hp. and has a peak torque of 370 lb.-ft.

Two optional engines are new to GM's lineup - the 340-hp. Vortec 8100 V8 and the Duramax 6600 diesel.

The diesel was developed by a joint venture between GM and Isuzu Motors, which already produces the Duramax 7800 for GM's medium-duty truck line. The direct injection, inline 6 will produce 300 hp. at 3,100 rpm and a peak torque of 520 lb.-ft. at 1,800 rpm.

Features include a common-rail fuel injection system with advanced electronic controls developed by Robert Bosch Corp., four valves per cylinder, and a charge air cooler. The durability target for the new diesel is 200,000 mi. without major component failure.

The optional engines can be mated with either the new Allison 1000 Series 5-speed automatic (see sidebar for details) or a new 6-speed manual from ZF, a fully synchronized high-capacity transmission rated for GCWs as high as 26,000 lb.

Other standard features for the new Silverado/Sierra heavy-duty models include a torsion bar front suspension, four-wheel disc brakes, and availability for GM's On Star emergency communications system.

Allison is bringing its truck expertise to light-duty and midrange vehicles with its new 1000 Series, an electronically controlled, fully automatic 5-speed transmission. The first commercial application for the new automatic will be GM's 2001 Sierra/Silverado HD pickups and cab-chassis models.

Drawing on the helical gearing design of Allison's World Transmission models, the new 1000 Series can handle GVWs up to 19,850 lb. and GCWs as high as 26,000 lb. It's rated for up to 375 hp. and 545 lb.-ft. gross torque.

Features for the 1000 Series include lockup, overdrive, two power-takeoff drives, selectable normal and towing shift modes, and a 12-in. torque converter with an electronically controlled, hydraulically actuated converter clutch. It also has an integrated parking pawl and smart shifting technology to provide engine braking on downgrades under heavy loads.

Jacobs Vehicle Systems announced production of its two-millionth Jake Brake engine retarder.The Bloomfield, Conn.-based company reached this milestone only six years after producing its one-millionth Jake Brake. The company also makes the Jacobs Exhaust Brake.

Cummins L-10 in-frame cylinder kits from Interstate-McBee contain a piston, piston pin, liner and liner seals, retainers, ring set, rod bearings, main bearing, head gasket, and oil pan gasket and seal. Individual components also available.

Wheel-alignment software for Josam Product's Laser AM wheel alignment machine lets the computer do the calculations, print "before" and "after" graphic report sheets, and store information to the hard drive for future use.

Linehaul drive-axle tire, Power Fleet 948+, from Kumho Tire features an improved closed solid shoulder design that maximizes removal mileage by minimizing uneven wear. The flatter tread radius also resists uneven wear.

F-150 pickup now comes in SuperCrew variant

Offered as a 2001 model, the Ford F-150 SuperCrew pickup is the first truck under 8,500-lb. GVW to provide four full-size doors and a full rear passenger compartment. "The F-150 SuperCrew seats up to six adult passengers comfortably without sacrificing its work-truck capability," says Gurminder Bedi, vp of Ford North America Truck.

Bedi says it's the only pickup on the market with power-adjustable pedals. The SuperCrew features a 5.5-ft. box and, with its optional Bed Extender, provides up to 7 ft. of cargo-carrying capacity.

The SuperCrew is the same overall length of the 139-in. wheelbase F-150 SuperCab variant. But unlike the SuperCab, which has smaller, hinged doors that swing out from the C-pillar, the SuperCrew has four full-size doors separated by a B-pillar on each side.

In addition, there are inside and outside handles on each door. Bedi says it is the same type of system already offered on F-Series SuperDuty Crew Cab trucks.

The SuperCrew also boasts 12 in. more cab length than the current SuperCab model. Standard on the SuperCrew is a front 40/60 bench that seats up to three people. Captain's Chairs with floor-mounted center console are optional. A full-size 60/40-split rear seat with fold-flat capability is standard.

While the pickup box measures 5.5-ft. long, it is the same width at the wheelhouses as the rest of the F-150 lineup. Total cargo capacity of the box equals 44.2 cu. ft. The standard payload of 1,765 lb. is the same as the F-150 SuperCab's. Towing capability is up to 8,000-lb. trailer weight.

According to Bedi, that classic measure of a pickup's versatility - the 4x8-plywood sheet - can be carried with the tailgate lowered. For longer loads, the optional Bed Extender can be used.

Carrier Transicold says its new Advance microprocessor controller for refrigeration units improves monitoring accuracy, reefer control, and troubleshooting, yet provides a unit that's easy to read, understand, and operate.

"Advance is new and different in many ways," points out Mark Cywilko, Carrier Transicold's senior vp-Truck/Trailer North America, "from comprehensive, eight-minute pre-trip inspections to the control readout that uses everyday phrases - instead of just codes - to tell everyone exactly what they need to know about the system."

According to Cywilko, the Advance unit offers benefits to shippers, drivers, technicians, and fleet managers. A key Advance feature is its MessageCenter, which takes complex reefer-system readings and converts them to easily understandable English phrases.

The Advance microprocessor helps reduce errors and downtime through a simple, logical screen layout designed to assist drivers with little or no training. The system provides programmable keypad lockouts to prevent accidental or intentional tampering. It can also reduce driver control by limiting set points to a specific range, such as between 3 and 5 deg. F.

"Drivers can be confident they're making accurate readings and avoiding costly mistakes," Cywilko says, "while fleet managers have peace of mind knowing that their investments are protected."

Truck-Lite's LED Model 19 combination lamp can function as two since it meets the legal requirements necessary for lights mounted horizontally at a 45-deg. angle. This eliminates the need for individual clearance/marker lamps on the side and back edges of trailers. With dimensions of 1.25 x 3.75 in., the lamp can be used when mounting space is limited. A direct fit for incandescent Model 19 units makes retrofit easy.

Axle alignment techniques for trailers equipped with Hendrickson air-ride suspension systems are demonstrated in a training video available from Hendrickson sales representatives or by calling 330-489-0048.

500- and 600-hp. Cummins ISX engines are now offered by Kenworth on certain configurations of Kenworth T600, T800, W900, T2000, and C500 trucks. Availability depends on radiator size and hood style and size. Contact KW dealer for details.

Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems has introduced a technology that enables air disc brake rotors to be charged without removing the hub, wheel bearings, air disc brake caliper, and carrier from the wheel end.

With this new split rotor design, only five steps are needed to change air disc rotors:

* Replace friction pads with wedges;

* Actuate foot brake pedal to apply brake pressure to wheel ends and crack rotor into two pieces;

* Disconnect the two rotor pieces from the adapter or hub by removing interconnecting pieces;

* Install precracked replacement rotor onto axles and bolt both pieces together with a conventional tool;

* Unwind actuation pistons, insert new friction pads, and adjust air disc brake for correct pad-to-rotor clearance.

This new, more contemporary logo will be the symbol that unites the truck, engine, and finance operations of Navistar International Corp. As part of a strategy to deliver more value to customers, the company has aligned all of its business groups under the International brand. The official launch of the logo will take place at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville this March.

The factory-installed Jake Brake 790 will be available on Detroit Diesel Series 60 engines beginning with mid-year 2000 production. According to Jacobs Vehicle Systems, the new engine brake is more powerful and reliable, and weight has been reduced by one-third.

The "No-Strain" fifth-wheel retrofit kit reduces the force needed to uncouple Fontaine's Model 5092 fifth wheels. The kit, available to qualified distributors from Fifth Wheel Safety Products, reduces potential back injuries, provides a new jaw and wedge, and eliminates damage to the locking mechanism.

Transmission shift-rail called Opti-Rail is designed to reduce operational stress concentration by distributing it evenly throughout the structure. Transmission Technologies Corp. engineers say the result will be smoother, more precise shifts for years to come with less vibration, noise, and wear.

Kenworth has expanded its PremierCare Program to include preventive maintenance. Customers signing preventive maintenance contracts with Kenworth can have their equipment serviced at any participating Kenworth dealer in the U.S. and Canada at a predetermined price. The PremierCare Preventive Maintenance Program is particularly geared to fleets that operate in a number of different states and don't have in-house maintenance shops, as well as those with equipment that is difficult to maintain.

Kenworth designs customized PM plans based on a fleet's vehicle size, preferred service intervals, contract length, and operating profile. Appointments can be made at the most convenient dealer location. Out-of-pocket expenses will not be incurred if no additional repairs or service are needed.

For more information, call Kenworth's PremierCare Customer Center at 1-800-KW-ASSIST.

Horton Inc. is freshening its image to better reflect its position as an environmentally conscious, global provider of diesel cooling solutions. Long known for its fan drives, controls, and cooling fans for over-the-road trucks, the company's new image will emphasize its influence on the entire diesel-engine universe.

Horton's new logo incorporates the statement "Cooling Solutions for Diesel Engines" with a polar bear mascot against an Arctic background.

In a move that reflects both its new corporate ownership and the allure of its powerful trucking brand name, AlliedSignal Truck Brake Systems has been renamed Honeywell Commercial Vehicle Systems Co. and will do business as Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems.

"We've made this change to reflect our broad product offering and to better represent the markets we serve," said Rick Batyko, director of communications & brand management.

Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, now an operating unit of Honeywell, is a joint venture owned 65% by Honeywell and 35% by Germany's Knorr-Bremse AG.

Holland Neway International is introducing the new NL Series non-steer auxiliary lift-axle suspension for heavy-duty vocational use. Applications for the unit include construction, mixer, refuse, tanker, and platform trucks.

The suspension is available with or without axle for quick delivery, and is suitable for both tag and pusher installations.

Holland Neway says the unit's compact design provides a "generous" 10 in. of axle travel for excellent off-highway clearance.

The NL also boasts dual lift bags positioned just inside the frame rails. This setup provides easy access to the bags while allowing ample clearance for the driveline. This feature also prevents dirt and debris buildup that can occur when lift bags are mounted within the frame brackets.

Results of the J.D. Power and Associates 1999 Medium-Duty Customer Satisfaction Study put Peterbilt at the top of the list for overall customer satisfaction among owners of conventional trucks. Among cabover customers, Mitsubishi Fuso ranks highest in dealer service and ties with UD Trucks for the top product ranking.

Peterbilt's scores in vehicle performance, drivetrain, and warranty, as well as design and styling, contributed to the company's top customer service ranking.

Mitsubishi Fuso and UD Trucks tied for the top cabover vehicle performance rating, which included factors such as how well the vehicle is matched to the job, operation costs, and resale value. While Mitsubishi takes the top position for vehicle downtime, warranty, and design and styling, UD Trucks ranks highest on the drivetrain factor. By leading in five of the six service factors, Mitsubishi Fuso takes top honors among all medium-duty OEMs for service satisfaction.

The Traffic Audit Bureau has developed a new way to measure the number of people who see an advertiser's message carried on the side of a truck. A global positioning system (GPS) tracking device estimates the number of impressions visible to occupants of cars passing the truck in both directions. Statements are generated that provide the total number of impressions during a campaign, as well as average daily impression per truck.

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