New At The Mid-America Trucking Show
The Mid-America Trucking Show, held recently in
Louisville, Ky., boasted a record 1,144 exhibitors, representing 46 states
and 11 countries, as well as 80,291 attendees. The show featured a total
exhibit space of 1 million square feet indoors and 200,000 square feet
outdoors. The Mid-America Trucking Show is the largest annual event
dedicated to the heavy-duty trucking industry, and offered a look at the
newest truck models and driver enhancements, as well as insight into
current industry issues via seminars and special events. Here is a look at
some of the show’s highlights:
The Ram 3500 chassis cab is a new 2007-model Class 3
offered in a single-rear-wheel model with a gross vehicle weight rating
(gvwr) of 10,200 pounds and a maximum gvwr for dual-rear-wheel models of
12,500 pounds (gvwr of 23,000 pounds on optional diesel-powered models.)
There are two cab-axle lengths: 60 inches and 84 inches.
The model comes standard with a 5.7-liter,
330-horsepower (hp) Hemi V-8 engine and four-wheel disc brakes with ABS. A
new 6.7-liter, 305-hp Cummins Turbo Diesel is optional.
Ford Commercial Trucks
Ford’s LCF (Low Cab Forward) provides maximum
maneuverability, visibility and durability in a diesel-powered vehicle with
gvw ratings as high as 19,500 pounds. The powertrain is the 200-hp Power
Stroke 4.5-liter V-6 diesel mated to a TorqShift five-speed automatic
Available wheelbases go from 113 to 185 inches, all
with a clean top-of-frame rail for easy, more cost efficient body mounting.
International Truck and Engine
International’s ProStar Series of line-haul
tractors, the result of five years and $300 million in development, are
said “to provide best-in-class fuel economy, unparalleled driver
satisfaction, unprecedented uptime and lowest cost of ownership.”
Styled with boldly sculpted fenders, a sloped hood to enhance visibility
and streamlined cab and roof shaping, the ProStar efficiently cuts through
air, reducing wind resistance and improving fuel performance.
The seat, the cab and chassis suspensions have been
integrated to complement and enhance vehicle level ride and handling
characteristics for reduced driver fatigue and improved responsiveness.
In-depth ergonomic research was used to design the cab and sleeper with
maximum comfort, safety and productivity.
International developed monitoring, prognostic and
diagnostic systems to improve uptime performance and provide information to
the drivers and fleet managers. More than 60 efficient repair and
maintenance features have been incorporated. Service intervals have been
synchronized so that customers gain more days on the road over the life of
Initial production will be based on 122-inch
bumper-to-back-of-cab (BBC) tractors with day cab and high-rise sleeper
configurations. The second phase of production will include additional BBC
and sleeper configuration options.
Johnson Refrigerated Truck Bodies
The RouteMaxTM System allows extended route cold plate
deliveries. Powered by International Truck and Engine’s PowerPack 3,
RouteMaxTM converts the DC current from the alternator into AC current,
providing continual charge to the cold plates without a drag on fuel
economy. Electrical power is optimized for the continuous operation of a
refrigeration compressor, which can then charge the cold plates enroute or
while the truck is idling.
RouteMaxTM is chassis mounted and does not intrude on
cargo space like an add-on generator or mechanical blower. It has very few
moving parts susceptible to breakdown and is virtually maintenance-free.
Kenworth Truck Co.
Kenworth’s T300 Class 6 25,000-pound gvwr
vehicle equipped with air brakes is targeted at pickup and delivery
applications. A non-CDL truck, it features a new 8,000-pound front and
17,000-pound rear axle and is available with Cummins ISB and ISC engines
and Caterpillar C7 engine. A low-profile chassis with 19.5-inch wheels and
tires is an option. Also available are 22.5-inch wheels and tires.
Among the new standard features for T300 Class 6 and 7
vehicles — in straight truck or tractor configurations — are
power door locks, passenger-side electric windows (optional on the
driver’s side) and glove box with locking door. New options include
remote keyless entry and a low voltage disconnect system that continually
monitors battery voltage.
Another new offering is Kenworth’s T660 —
its latest aerodynamic long-haul conventional tractor. Features include
modern styling, superior forward-lighting technology, enhanced aerodynamics
and fuel economy, advanced technology and increased driver comfort.
New halogen projector low beams provide 40 percent
more light down the road than a sealed beam lamp and last three times
longer. An optional High Intensity Discharge configuration provides 75
percent more light and lasts 11 times longer than sealed beam lamps.
Advanced technology includes an enhanced multiplexed
electrical instrumentation system, GPS navigation system and new
driver’s display with real-time fuel economy, ignition timer,
on-board diagnostics, gear display and vehicle system configuration
reporting. New seating innovations include armrests that can be folded away
behind the seat for an additional four inches of sleeper access between
driver and passenger seats.
Peterbilt Motors Co.
Peterbilt has an all-new product lineup, with new
vehicles specifically designed for the aerodynamic, traditional and
medium-duty markets. It is “the result of the largest product
development investment in the nearly 70-year history of the company.”
Among the new trucks introduced were:
The aerodynamically styled Model 384 and Model 387.
The Model 384 is a mid-length truck with a 116-inch BBC and set-back front
axle for exceptional maneuverability in vocational and urban operation. Its
light weight allows for increased payloads in weight-sensitive
The Model 387 day cab has a dramatically sloped hood,
large windshield and 1,200-square-inch rear window to provide excellent
The traditionally styled Model 389 and Model 388 offer
improved aerodynamics and fuel efficiency, plus enhancements to overall
performance and durability. New high-grade aluminum headlamps with
complex-reflector technology increase forward lighting by 226 percent,
helping reduce operator fatigue. Bulb life is improved by 600 percent.
The tractors’ improved aerodynamics can be
further enhanced with an optional Fuel Efficiency Package —
aerodynamically enhanced exterior components that include a new contoured
roof fairing, oval-shaped cab-mounted exhaust, aerodynamic air cleaners,
streamlined tool and battery boxes and contoured bumper and underbody
Model 340 and Model 330, which join Peterbilt’s
Model 335 to complete the company’s medium-duty truck lineup. The new
lightweight Model 330 is a Class 6 configuration available with gvw ratings
up to 26,000 pounds. It can be equipped with hydraulic brakes and
low-profile tires to allow for operation by a non-CDL driver.
The new Model 340 is available in 33,000-pound and
higher gvw ratings. The Class 7 Model 335 will remain the company’s
best model for the majority of Class 7 applications, especially beverage
Sterling’s new low cab-over-engine truck, the
360, is designed for fuel economy, easy entry and egress, outstanding
maneuverability and visibility, and a body builder-preferred design. Its
cab has more than 90 cubic feet of volume and more floor and belly room
than competitive models.
Available at select Sterling dealers across North
America, the Sterling 360 in Class 4 and 5 versions will be rolled out this
spring; Class 3 in mid-2007. The new model completes Sterling’s Class
3-8 product line.
Toyota has an all-new “next generation”
Tundra full-size pickup truck for the 2007 model year. Key features include
an all-new U.S.-built 5.7-liter V-8, new six-speed heavy-duty automatic,
disc brakes all around and a towing capacity of more than 10,000 pounds.
Its new chassis platform has 30 percent higher tensile
strength steel and a 145-inch wheelbase — 10 inches longer than the
current model. The new pickup will be offered in more than 30 models,
nearly double what is now available.
Volvo Trucks North America
The mid-roof Volvo VT 830 and VN 730 tractors are
designed for customers who want the same large sleeper and premium level of
features and benefits already found in Volvo’s VT 880 and VN 780, but
with a lower roof height for improved aerodynamics.
Even with the mid-roof height, a 6-foot 4-inch driver
can stand upright between the seats. The height at the rear of the sleeper
for both trucks is 86 inches. All chassis and powertrain options currently
available for the VT 880 and VN 780 are available on the two new models.
Eaton is providing hybrid power systems for 50 stepvan
delivery vehicles. The vehicles are being built by International using its
VT-275 six-cylinder diesel engine and by Freightliner Custom Chassis using
a Mercedes-Benz MBE 904 four-cylinder diesel. The hybrid system will employ
an Eaton automated transmission, integrated motor/generator and advanced
Mitsubishi Fuso is developing a medium-duty diesel
electric hybrid truck called the Canter Eco Hybrid. It features a small
clean-burning diesel engine, an electric motor/generator and advanced
lithium batteries in a drivetrain with a high-efficiency mechanical
transmission. Electrical or mechanical energy is used to power the truck,
depending on the operating speed. Kinetic energy is recovered during
braking. The vehicle, being evaluated for use in the North American market,
has achieved as much as a 30 percent increase in fuel efficiency over
similarly equipped trucks in urban pickup and delivery applications in
Volvo Group’s hybrid concept for heavy vehicles,
I-SAM, provides maximum fuel savings on routes with frequent braking and
accelerations, such as city distribution. I-SAM consists of a combined
starter motor, drive motor and alternator, along with an electronic control
unit, which interacts with Volvo’s I-Shift automatic gear-shifting
The batteries are recharged by the diesel engine and
whenever the brakes are applied. The electric motor offers smooth
performance at low speeds, allowing the truck to accelerate under electric
power alone, for lower fuel consumption, emissions and noise levels.
Caterpillar’s on-highway engine line for 2007
comprises four models: the C7, C9, C13 and C15 — all equipped with
the company’s ACERT technology to meet the more stringent 2007 U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency emissions regulations. This technology
incorporates air management, precision combustion, advanced electronics and
The mid-range 7.2-liter C7 engine is available in
horsepower ratings of 190 to 300 with 520 to 860 pounds-foot of torque at
The C9 9.3-liter engine comes in 285 to 350 hp ratings
with 890 to 1,350 pounds-foot of torque at 1,400 rpm and a Cat integral
brake. Both engines have a new Cat Common Rail Fuel System that optimizes
performance and fuel economy.
The C13 12.5-liter engine is available in on-highway
vocational and heavy-duty line-haul configurations that deliver 1,150 to
1,750 pounds-foot of torque at 1,200 rpm. Vocational ratings are 305 to 370
hp; line-haul ratings are 380 to 470 hp at 2,100 rpm.
The heavy-duty 15.2-liter C15 is reported to
“provide the highest horsepower and torque rating in the
industry” with the 625-hp King of the Hill. Ratings range from 435 to
625 hp at 2,100 rpm, with torque ratings from 1,550 to 1,850 pounds-foot
and a King of the Hill torque rating of 1,850 to 2,150 pounds-foot, both at
Cummins will have a full lineup of ratings for its
heavy-duty ISX and ISM diesel engines for 2007, which includes two new
ratings for the 13-liter ISM — 410 and 425 hp — and three new
ISX ratings — ISX 425 SmartTorque, ISX 485 ST and the ISX 600.
New ratings for the 13-liter ISM engines include 410
and 425 hp. All engines will use cooled exhaust gas recirculation, variable
geometry turbochargers and diesel particulate filters to meet the strict
2007 emission standards.
The ISX 425 SmartTorque provides 1,550 to 1,750
pounds-foot of extra torque, allowing drivers to stay in top gear longer,
maintain road speed better and shift less often on grades, providing
increased driver satisfaction. Increased time in top gear and less shifting
mean better fuel economy.
The ISX 485 ST is designed for the performance and
fuel economy needs of the premium truckload market. The ISX 600 will have
1,850 pounds-foot of torque.
All of the new ratings are compatible with a range of
automated and manual transmissions. Engines will use cooled exhaust gas
recirculation, variable geometry turbochargers and diesel particulate
filters, plus integrated engine and aftertreatment controls.
Detroit Diesel Corp.
Detroit Diesel will launch its redeveloped Series 60,
MBE 4000 and MBE 900 diesel engines in January, ready to meet the strict
2007 emissions standards.
The Series 60 will be equipped with an electronic
variable geometry turbocharger that automatically — and precisely
— adjusts its boost across the operating range, and delivers quick
lift on the low end, where turbo lag would otherwise occur. The engine also
has Detroit Diesel’s next generation electronic control system, DDEC
VI, which employs a more powerful microprocessor, increased memory and
The 2007 medium-duty MBE 900 diesel will be offered in
a standard power version with ratings of 190 to 250 hp and 520 and 660
pounds-foot of torque and a high performance version with 260 to 300 hp and
800 to 860 pounds-foot of torque.
The MBE 4000 heavy-duty diesel comes in models from
350 to 450 hp and 1,250 to 1,650 pounds-foot torque. An engine brake is
International Truck and Engine
MaxxForce International Diesel Power is the new global
brand for International Truck and Engine’s 2007 on-highway automotive
engines. This product line will range from a four-cylinder 2.8-liter engine
up to the company’s new big bore cylinder block 11- to 13-liter class
MaxxForce engine-powered International brand
commercial trucks in North America will offer proven air- and
fuel-management technologies and exhaust gas recirculation systems, with
the addition of advanced aftertreatment systems, necessary to meet the 2007
emissions standards for diesel engines.
Volvo Trucks North America
Volvo will have a comprehensive new family of
heavy-duty diesel engines for 2007. The Volvo engines — 11-liter D11,
13-liter D13 and 16-liter D16 — are designed to deliver excellent
fuel economy, reliability, durability and driving performance.
The engines will meet the strict 2007 emissions
standards using high-performance cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) and
diesel particulate filters (DPF).
Caterpillar has formed Cat Environmental Technologies,
a new group that brings the development and manufacturing of all
aftertreatment technology and products in-house to create a single source
for engine technology.
The group currently is manufacturing the diesel
particulate filter used for mass transit buses and aftertreatment products
for the retrofit market, including school buses and some off-road
machinery. The group will manufacture the new DPF for use with Caterpillar
on-highway engines with ACERT Technology for 2007.
ArvinMeritor has a 2.50 ratio for its RS-23-160
single-axle series. Specifically designed to work with low-speed engines,
the ratio will allow truck operators to optimize performance and fuel
economy with the new generation of emissions-controlled engines due in 2007
by traveling at a cruising speed without sacrificing fuel mileage.
Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake’s Bendix ADB22X
air disc brake will be available on front and rear axles of select Kenworth
and Peterbilt Class 8 trucks and tractors.
Air disc brake testing has proven the ADB22X to
provide stopping distances comfortably within the range of National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration’s December 2005 proposed rulemaking to
improve the stopping distance performance of trucks by 20 percent to 30
In addition, air disc brakes have been shown to
virtually eliminate brake fade with no degradation of stopping power;
reduce brake wear; enable a passenger car-like feel; and permit straight,
stable stops due to high brake efficiency.
Climate control systems
Freightliner has a climate-control system available
for its Century Class S/T, Coronado and Columbia Class 8 trucks that works
independent of the vehicle’s main engine. The Bergstrom NITE (No-Idle
Thermal Environment) System is designed to keep the sleeper compartment
cool in hot weather and warm when it’s cold outside, without relying
on power from the engine.
In addition to year-round temperature control, other
benefits include savings on fuel and reduced engine wear by eliminating
International’s factory-installed No Idle
Auxiliary Power Unit allows drivers to operate heating or air conditioning,
as well as “hotel loads” such as a microwave or television,
without running the truck’s engine. Also offered as part of the No
Idle Solution product lineup is an integrated fuel fired cab and engine
heater with engine preheat option for cold starting. The system, integrated
into the truck’s cooling and heating system, allows for engine-only
preheat and requires just one coolant fill maintenance location.
Kenworth’s Clean Power System is a
battery-powered climate control system with the ability to provide
engine-off heating and cooling, plus 110-volt “hotel load”
power for a full 10 hours to help eliminate idling. The system offers the
potential for as much as an 8 percent improvement in overall fuel economy
by eliminating the gallon of fuel typically burned per idle hour.
Kenworth has added advanced communications for its
T600, T800 and W900 Class 8 models. These include an integrated, hands-free
audio unit that works with standard Bluetooth cell phones and a GPS
Navigation System integrated into the right-hand dash panel within easy
reach of the driver.
Using touchscreen technology for menu control,
navigation functions include routing, turn-by-turn voice commands, waypoint
selection and multiple route selection.
Dana’s Commercial Vehicle Systems expands its
line of limited-slip differentials for its Spicer medium-duty single and
tandem axles. These differentials are ideally suited for vehicles
encountering rain, ice, snow, sand, mud and excessive grades that can cause
poor traction conditions.
Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems and its European
affiliate, Knorr-Bremse, have formed a strategic alliance with Robert Bosch
GmbH to co-develop commercial vehicle driver assistance systems.
Plans are to use radar technology, active collision
mitigation systems and electronic stability control technology to help
“predict” driving situations and then automatically employ
systems for a certain amount of braking power and engine throttle reduction
to help reduce the threat and impact of vehicle collisions.
The Bendix ABS-6 Advanced with ESP (Electronic Stability Program) is an option on select Kenworth T600,
T800, W900 and T2000 tractor configurations with air brake systems. Earlier
this year, Kenworth announced that it made the Bendix ABS-6 system standard
on its Class 8 models.
Key benefits of Bendix ABS-6 Advanced with ESP include
superior traction systems which help stabilize the vehicle during under-
and over-steer driving situations and may assist in avoiding a potential
ArvinMeritor’s Commercial Vehicle Systems (CVS)
group will supply all of the exhaust aftertreatment device packaging for
DaimlerChrysler’s heavy-duty engines for the U.S. market in 2007.
This includes packaging for Detroit Diesel and Mercedes Benz engines
designed for Freightliner, Sterling and Western Star brands.
ArvinMeritor will provide the engineered packaging for
all configurations of these aftertreatment devices, which are part of the
engine manufacturers’ emissions system to meet U.S. EPA 2007
Kenworth has published a White Paper on Fuel Economy
to assist fleets interested in exploring ways to enhance fuel economy. It
explores six major areas — aerodynamics, component spec’ing,
advanced technology, route management, driver behavior and proper
maintenance — and offers recommendations and tips for reducing fuel
The white paper is available as a PDF file for
electronic download and printing on Kenworth’s Web site
(kenworth.com). Also available on the Web site is Kenworth’s Push
Less Air Pull More Profit guide which offers spec’ing tips on the use
of full roof and chassis fairings, side extenders and under-hood air
cleaners, in addition to ensuring optimal trailer gap for fuel economy
through careful selection of wheelbase and fifth-wheel settings.
Dana Commercial Vehicle Systems’ new generation
of heavy-duty drive axle hypoid gearing, GenTech, is said to “provide
automotive level, best-in-class reductions in noise, vibration and
harshness for medium- and heavy-duty vehicle applications that require
increased torque capacity and maximum durability. The gearing is initially
available in Dana’s newest Spicer S110 and S130 single drive axles
with gross axle weight ratings up to 16,500 pounds. Additional axle models
will follow later this year.
Thermo King is extending its SVC (Servicing Valued
Customers) Thermo Gard Service programs, developed to provide reefer
customers with a variety of preventative and predictive refrigeration unit
maintenance options. Now included is its TriPac Auxiliary Idle Reduction
and Temperature Management System, with several maintenance options.
Eaton’s Fuller 360° program is touted as
“the most comprehensive transmission overhaul program in the
industry,” providing a simple system for ordering and stocking
genuine Fuller parts, remanufactured transmissions, Master Rebuilder kits
and Subassemblies. The program allows the purchase of complete Fuller Reman
transmissions or pre-assembled Fuller subassemblies, each performance
tested to meet the same specifications as new transmissions.
Haldex TRS is a Trailer Rollover Stability System
designed to reduce the potential of combination vehicle rollovers by
monitoring the trailer’s speed and lateral force. It delivers braking
performance by adjusting for the trailer conditions during normal and ABS
braking events, as well as reacting if conditions indicate a rollover is
To reduce the risk of a rollover, the TRS uses a
learning process called adaptive learning loop (ALL) technology. ALL allows
the system’s electronic control unit to learn by calculating the
trailer’s lateral acceleration, vehicle speed, air suspension and air
system pressure 100 times per second. If a rollover is imminent, TRS
applies the trailer brakes to slow and stabilize the tractor and trailer
Remy’s 42MT HD premium starter has new technologies designed to
eliminate the leading causes of starter failure, such as degraded or
inadequate vehicle wiring, thermal damage or solenoid-related mechanical
failure and low system voltages.
Freightliner Trucks will begin offering rack and
pinion steering as an option on its Century Class S/T, Coronado, Columbia,
Classic and Classic XL Class 8 models later this year.
Rack and pinion steering increases control and
responsiveness, is lighter and has fewer moving parts than the integral
gear steering system used on most heavy-duty trucks. Because rack and
pinion steering has fewer parts and pivot points, it offers more accurately
controlled wheel direction. Driver comfort is also improved due to the
enhanced driveability and increased feeling of control.
The Meritor RideSentry MPA
series of trailer air suspensions have been developed to provide
“advanced cargo and trailer protection, unmatched roll stability,
enhanced mobility and reduced downtime for improved operating
The suspension — with a wide variety of axles,
brakes and spindle profiles — is available for dry van and
refrigerated trailer applications in 38,000- and 40,000-pound capacities.
Key features include: slider mechanism protection to
reduce downtime from damaged pin linkage; pull handle repositioned in front
of the slider for improved visibility and ease of operation; E-coat
protected slider for enhanced corrosion resistance and durability; no
dock-walk by design to help protect trailer and cargo from damage caused by
the fore and aft movement of conventional trailing arm suspensions during
loading and unloading of cargo at commercial loading docks; and an
“exceptionally smooth ride” due to suspension geometry that
eliminates “backslap” and air springs directly over the axle
that provide 100 percent air ride.
ArvinMeritor’s wide-based tire hubs for drive
and trailer axles offer improved fuel economy, better handling and
stability. The hub, which carries a 40,000-pound application rating,
requires no modification to the drive axle. Drive- and trailer-axle hubs
will be available on new tractors and trailers, as well as through the
company’s commercial vehicle aftermarket for users who choose to
retrofit to the wide-base single tire.
Anthony has two new liftgates: Power Close Medium
RailTrac Series and AST-Plus Tuckunder hydraulic liftgate. The Power Close
Series features large platform sizes along with its Power-Open,
Power-Close, Power Latch system, designed to increase efficiency by doing
away with delays while operators unfold, fold and latch the liftgate at
Platforms, all 90 inches wide, are available in steel
and aluminum. Steel platforms come in depths of 36 inches and 42 inches,
with an additional 6-inch fixed ramp. Aluminum platforms are 55 inches deep
with an additional 12-inch fixed ramp and optional pop-up cart stops.
The AST-Plus Tuckunder is said to offer the largest
platform in the industry at 80 inches wide by 50 inches deep. Made from
1/8-inch industrial diamond tread steel and reinforced with steel channels,
the 2,500-pound capacity platform is engineered and built specifically for
This liftgate features a pressure compensated flow
valve that provides constant and controlled platform lowering speed, loaded
or unloaded. The hydraulic system is completely sealed to protect it from
contamination against outside dirt and moisture. Service-free bushings are
used at critical pivot points to extend service life and eliminate routine
Thieman Tailgates also has two new liftgates:
2,000-pound capacity TT-16/20 and MDC Series. The TT-16/20, available in an
80-inch or 86-inch wide platform, comes standard with dual cylinders for
maximum lifting capacity and stability and torsion assist for easier
The MDC (dual cylinder)
Series, available with a 2,500- or 3,000-pound capacity, features an
available platform size of 84 inches by 42 inches with a 10-inch retention
ramp, or an 84-inch by 48-inch wedge-style platform. With the dual torsion
spring assist, an operator can fold/unfold the platform with minimal
effort. Maintenance-free bushings are used at all major pivot points.
The GlideTrac Series of slide-away trailer liftgates
and the WDL Ultra Series of rail-type liftgates are the latest offerings
from Waltco Truck Equipment.
The GlideTrac Series is available in capacities of
3,300 and 4,400 pounds and platforms of 56 inches by 80 inches or 70 inches
by 80 inches. The liftgates feature a large, single-fold, level-ride
platform with a rugged steel main section and a lightweight aluminum
Reduced maintenance features include self-lubricating,
fiberglass-reinforced Teflon bearings at key pivot points and a closed-loop
Its WDL Ultra Series of rail-type liftgates is
available in steel or aluminum platform models in capacities of 3,500,
4,500, 5,500 and 6,600 pounds. A platform auto-latch system engages
automatically when the platform is raised to the stored transit position. Push-button controls are fully recessed. BI