This year’s Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS) was the largest thus far, in terms of both size and attendance. Renovations to the Kentucky Exposition Center, the site for the annual event, bolstered the facility to more than 1.2 million square feet of exhibit space. The show featured 1,174 exhibitors representing 47 states and 12 countries, and nearly 76,600 attendees, making it the largest heavy duty trucking event in history. Here are some highlights of the news and developments from MATS.
Peterbilt Motors Co. will begin full production of its Model 330 and Model 335 medium-duty hybrid vehicles this summer. The models feature the Eaton Hybrid Power system and provide a 30 percent improvement in fuel economy in an urban driving cycle.
The Model 330 can be configured for non-CDL operation with hydraulic brakes. The vehicles use a parallel hybrid system with an electric motor that assists the diesel engine with supplemental torque for improved fuel economy. The system stores energy during stopping through a process called regenerative braking, and then reuses it to launch and accelerate the vehicle.
Both models, powered by a Paccar PX-6 engine, are eligible to receive federal tax credits: a maximum $12,000 credit for Class 7 hybrids and a maximum $6,000 credit for Class 6 hybrids.
Starting in June, Peterbilt’s ComfortClass system â€” a battery-powered climate control system â€” will be available on 63-inch sleeper configurations. The system currently is available on its Class 8 vehicles equipped with a 70-inch Unibilt sleeper. A combination of batteries and a thermal storage cooler, the ComfortClass provides a temperature-controlled environment and 110-volt electrical power without the need for the engine to run for up to 10 hours.
If shore power is available, the system can be plugged in to provide power for all the system functions, as well as hotel loads and battery charging needs.
Starting in July, Peterbilt’s Models 384, 386, 388 and 389 will be available with a new proprietary front air leaf suspension, designed to deliver “significant improvements in ride and overall service maintenance,” said Peterbilt Chief Engineer Landon Sproull.
“The suspension has a lower spring rate for better isolation of road inputs and a 20 percent improvement in ride, while at the same time, maintaining the roll stiffness and handling performance of a taperleaf suspension. Reduction of road inputs to the cab, chassis and powertrain extends component lifecycles.”
Peterbilt’s medium-duty lineup of vehicles is getting a new dash featuring an enhanced ergonomic instrumentation layout, improved visibility for safety and driver comfort, and navigation functionality.
The dash, available this July, will include an enhanced side window defrost system and new dash panel colors. The Peterbilt Navigation System, with its 5-inch touchscreen, simplifies navigation with turn-by-turn directions and visual and audio cues integrated with the vehicle’s stereo system. It comes pre-loaded with Peterbilt dealer locations and lodging, fuel, ATM and restaurant locations across the United States and Canada.
Peterbilt has partnered with Westport Innovations to develop a liquid natural gas (LNG) version of its Model 386. The truck will have a Cummins ISX engine rated at 400 to 450 horsepower, and up to 1,750 pound-feet of torque. Provisions for mounting the system’s LNG tanks, fuel pumps and associated electronics will all be included.