Product Showcase

by Jamie Popp
2004 Truck Show Review
This year’s Mid-America Trucking Show was an opportunity for more than 74,000 attendees from across the United States and 57 other countries to visit the showcase of the latest products and new technology for the over-the-road and pick-up and delivery markets, including beverage. More than 1,000 companies exhibited at the show, which was held at the Kentucky Fair & Exposition Center in Louisville, Ky.
The mood at the show was optimistic and major operation equipment managers projected strong growth for the rest of the year based on growing freight tonnage, low interest rates, clean air legislation leading to early buying of new technology, and aging fleets. On the other end of the spectrum, operating margins impacted by rising fuel costs and fleets still hampered by an ongoing driver shortage are realistic concerns.
A collection of new products from the show floor is featured below.
Transmission enhancement
Sterling Truck Corp. has announced enhancements to its medium-duty Acterra product line, which include two new pedal-automated shift transmissions and factory-installed all-wheel drive. The two-pedal Mercedes-Benz Automated Gear Shift (AGS) transmission is based on the Mercedes-Benz manual six-speed transmission, and the AGS offers improved efficiency, according to the company. The transmission control unit and automated clutch actuation also facilitate smoother shifts. Additionally, Acterra offers Eaton Fuller Ultrashift six-speed transmission, which combines the durability of manual transmission with automated shifting, and features a five-degree improvement on its wheel cut angle. — Sterling Truck Corp., 4420 Sherwin Rd., Willoughby, Ohio 44094; 503/745-5471;
Emission standard achievement
Detroit Diesel Corp. has announced it will use exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) and diesel particulate filters on its heavy-duty engines to meet the EPA’s 2007 emission requirements. The DDC Series 60 and the Mercedes-Benz engines marketed by the company will feature EGR. DDC and parent company DaimlerChrysler will also release a new heavy-duty engine that employs EGR and diesel particulate filters in 2007. Currently, the MBE 900 Series of engines marketed by DDC offers fuel economy, high power-to-weight ratio, high torque at a lower rpm and meets 2004 emission standards with EGR. — Detroit Diesel Corp., 13400 Outer Dr. West, Detroit, Mich. 48239-4001; 315/592-5000;
Tractor upgraded
Peterbilt has introduced the Model 335, its medium-duty vehicle available in Class 6 and 7 truck and tractor configurations. The Model 335 features an aerodynamic hood with integrated fenders made of Metton, a durable, impact-resistant material. The new fenders are compatible with 19.5-inch tires and 22.5-inch tires. Other new features include improved interior styling, repeater lights in the quarter fender, a forward lighting system, a side-view window that is 85 percent larger, a hood-tilt assist and anti-blowdown locking mechanism. — Peterbilt Motors Co., 1700 Woodbrook St., Denton, Texas 76205; 800/4-PETERBILT;
Engine Rating Expansion
Caterpillar will be introducing the “King of the Hill” 625 horsepower C15 and new ratings for the C11 and C13 this fall. The C15 will feature 2,050 pound per foot of torque at 1,200 rpm and constant torque as high as 1,700 rpm. Maximum horsepower of 625 is developed at 1,800 rpm. It also features higher flow series turbochargers and the next generation Caterpillar electronic control module (ECM), which is four times faster than the former C15 ECM with twice the memory. New horsepower ratings for the C13 include 470 horsepower with 1,550 pounds per foot of torque; 470 horsepower with 1,650 pounds per foot of torque; an economy rating of 470 horsepower Multi-torque with 1,550/1,750 pounds per foot of torque; 470 horsepower Multi-torque with 1,550/1,750 pounds per foot of torque; and 500 horsepower with 1,650 pounds per foot of torque available as a field upgrade. The C11 will be available in two new horsepower ratings: 350 horsepower with 1,450 pounds per foot of torque and 370 horsepower with 1,450 pounds per foot of torque. — Caterpillar Inc., Power Systems Marketing Division, P.O. Box 610, Mossville, Ill. 61552-6110; 800/321-7332;
Wing Dash Innovation
Freightliner Trucks has announced an optional wing dash will be available on the new Business Class M2112V, and Cummins ISC engines will be offered on Business Class M2 this summer. The dash offers extra space for additional gauges and switches, and is designed to make operation of the M2112V easier, according to the company. Featuring easier-to-reach controls, the ergonomically placed wing dash uses the Driver Information Module that is used on the standard Business Class M2 dash. Extra space on the new dash allows for eight additional switches or as many as four more gauges. The Cummins ISC diesel engine is a six-cylinder, 8.3-liter engine ranging from 240 to 330 horsepower with a torque range as high as 950 pounds per foot. The diesel engine is offered on Business Class M2 106 truck models. — Freightliner Trucks, 4747 N. Channel Ave., Portland, Ore. 97217-7699; 503/745-5471;
Brake System Upgrade
Volvo Trucks North America Inc. now offers the ABS-6 antilock brake system made by Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC on the Volvo VN and Volvo VHD. The Bendix ABS-6 is Volvo’s standard antilock braking system available in North America and the Bendix ABS-6 Advanced with electronic stability program (ESP) will be a customer option in 2005. Bendix ABS-6 will be available in configurations including four-wheel speed sensors and four brake modulators, with six sensors and four modulators and with six sensors and six modulators. — Volvo Trucks North America Inc., 7900 National Service Rd., Greensboro, N.C. 27409; 336/393-2000;
Drive Addition
This summer, factory-engineered four-wheel drive will be added to General Motors’ medium-duty Chevrolet Kodiak and the GMC TopKick. The four-wheel drive TopKick and Kodiak models are available in a variety of wheelbases ranging from 152 inches to 235 inches in both Regular Cab and Crew Cab configurations. The medium-duty trucks are powered by either the standard Vortec 8,100MD V-8 gasoline engine or the available Duramax 6,600 V-8 Turbo Diesel engine. Both powertrains are mated to the Allison 1,000 Series five-speed automatic transmission. The trucks also feature the electronically controlled New Venture Gear Model NV273 two-speed transfer case, an instrument panel-mounted rotary selector switch for 4L, 4H and 2H drive settings, manually activated front-locking hubs and an electronic throttle control. — General Motors Corp., Fleet Operations Call Center, 31 East Judson St., Pontiac, Mich. 48342; 800/FLEETOPS;
Communication Integration
International Truck and Engine Corp. has introduced International telematics to complement the International Diamond Logic electrical system. Providing driver and vehicle performance tracking, mapping capabilities and real-time information, International telematics technology integrates wireless communication, vehicle-monitoring systems and GPS location devices. Telematics hardware consists of an electronics module, cellular antenna and GPS receiver antenna, and a device in the vehicle communicates wirelessly to a desktop computer. Additionally, system architecture makes the technology compatible with heavy-, medium- and severe-service trucks, as well as buses. — International Truck and Engine Corp., 4201 Winfield Rd., Warrenville, Ill. 60555; 630/753-2910;