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:
Dodge Truck
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 transmission.
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 the vehicle.
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 applications.
The Model 387 day cab has a dramatically sloped hood, large windshield and 1,200-square-inch rear window to provide excellent visibility.
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 fairing.
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 distribution.
Sterling Truck
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.
Hybrid vehicles
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 technology batteries.
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 Japan.
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 system.
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 effective aftertreatment.
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 1,440 rpm.
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 1,200 rpm.
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 enhanced diagnostics.
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 standard.  
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 diesels.
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).
Vehicle components
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.
Axle ratio
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 percent.
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 overnight idling.
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.
Driver systems
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 rollover.
Exhaust aftertreatment
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 emissions requirements.
Fuel economy
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 costs.
The white paper is available as a PDF file for electronic download and printing on Kenworth’s Web site ( 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.
Reman Trans
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.
Rollover stability
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 imminent.
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 combination.
StarterDelco 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.    
Trailer suspensions
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 profits.”
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.
Wide-based hubs
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 delivery stops.
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 pallet operations.
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 lubrication.
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 platform opening/closing.
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 folding section.
Reduced maintenance features include self-lubricating, fiberglass-reinforced Teflon bearings at key pivot points and a closed-loop hydraulic system.
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