With the exception of the Ford Super Duty launch coming later in the year, new truck model news will be comparatively thin for 2016, but that’s not to say that all is quiet. Most truck manufacturers have announced at least one or two refinements for 2016, while others have been more prolific.
Here’s a look at the highlights for 2016 beverage truck news:
2016 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD
Chevrolet will expand its compressed natural gas lineup (CNG) to include bi-fuel 2016 Silverado 3500HD Chassis Cabs, allowing operation of the vehicle on CNG or gasoline. Bi-fuel will be available on the regular cab in 2WD and 4WD drivetrains. Bi-fuel trucks use a 24.5-gallon CNG tank, located directly behind the cab, in addition to the 23.5-gallon gasoline tank. This provides fueling flexibility and optimal range between fill-ups, the company says. All major components associated with the CNG system carry General Motors (GM) service part numbers and are available throughout GM’s dealer network. The Silverado 3500HD Chassis Cab joins the bi-fuel Silverado 2500HD and 3500HD as well as the dedicated CNG full-size Chevrolet Express and vans.
Additionally, a new Digital Steering Assist power steering option will be available on some Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD double cab and crew cab models. This feature helps make hauling and trailering easier with electronic controls that enhance road holding and stability on the highway — particularly on crowned roads — regardless of whether the truck is loaded, according to the company. It also offers greater responsiveness and an improved steering feel, it adds.
2017 Ford F-Series Super Duty Truck
Set to launch in late 2016, Ford recently introduced its all-new 2017 Ford F-Series Super Duty truck lineup. Using advanced materials to reduce weight, the 2017 F-Series Super Duty pickup truck and chassis cab models feature technology that helps increase productivity, comfort and convenience, the company says.
The backbone of the lineup is a new, fully boxed frame comprised of more than 95 percent high-strength steel, which is as much as 24 times stronger than the previous frame, the company says. The new truck line features heavier-duty four-wheel-drive components, driveline, axles and towing hardware. For the first time, the Super Duty body uses high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloy, which is more dent- and ding-resistant than the outgoing steel body and less likely to experience corrosion, it adds. Together, the high-strength steel and aluminum alloy help reduce weight by as much as 350 pounds.
The Super Duty chassis cab models feature an all-new, high-strength steel frame with an open-C-channel design behind the cab to enable easy aftermarket body upfit and modification.
Additionally, adaptive steering provides increased confidence to make towing the heaviest loads easier and brings greater ease to navigating event locations and delivery stops — with or without a trailer — the company says. The technology reduces the amount of steering input needed to change direction at low speed, while reducing sensitivity to steering input at higher speeds.
The second-generation Ford-designed, Ford-built 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 diesel engine is available for pickup trucks and chassis cabs. The 6.2-liter V8 gasoline engine comes equipped with the new TorqShift-G transmission for the F-250 pickup. The Super Duty chassis cab lineup offers a choice of 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 diesel, 6.8-liter V10 gasoline or 6.2-liter V8 gasoline engines.
2016 Ford Transit
Also available from Ford, in passenger and cargo versions, three lengths, three heights and two wheelbases; Ford’s Transit van now offers dual sliding doors on medium- and high-roof van models. With the introduction of this option on the 2016 Transit van, fleets can choose from as many as 58 vehicle configurations, up from 47 in the 2015 model year, the company says.
The Transit also is available in chassis cab and cutaway body styles.
A CNG/propane gaseous engine prep package is available for the 3.7-liter V6 to enable operation on CNG or liquid propane. The engine also is engineered with E85 flex-fuel capability. The 3.2-liter, Power Stroke, five-cylinder common-rail turbo diesel — based on Ford’s global diesel engine architecture — features fuel, turbo and emissions systems that meet U.S. clean diesel standards, the company says. For maximum capability, the 3.5-liter EcoBoost gasoline engine delivers 400 pound-feet of torque. Each engine is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission for efficient rear-wheel-drive operation, it adds.
Medium-duty conventional cab from GM, Navistar
General Motors (GM) and Navistar recently reached a long-term agreement to develop and assemble future medium-duty, conventional cab Class Four and Five commercial vehicles, allowing Navistar to strengthen its product lineup and GM to expand its Chevrolet commercial truck portfolio. The future trucks will be jointly developed using Navistar’s rolling chassis configurations and manufacturing capabilities, with GM’s commercial components and engines, the companies say. Slated for production in 2018, the vehicles will be manufactured at Navistar’s facility in Springfield, Ohio.
“Bringing medium-duty conventional cab trucks back into the portfolio strengthens Chevrolet’s commitment to providing commercial customers with more choices and one-stop shopping for a versatile lineup of trucks, vans and crossovers,” said Ed Peper, GM’s VP of Fleet and Commercial sales, in a statement.
Hino Class Four 155 Truck
Earlier this year, Hino Trucks announced the addition of a Class Four 155 model, expanding its product offerings to range from Class Four through Class Seven. The 155 model has a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 14,500 pounds and is powered by Hino’s J05E-TP engine, which is rated at 210 horsepower.
The Class Four cabover also comes standard with a five-year, 175,000-mile powertrain warranty, the HinoWatch 24/7 roadside assistance program and the HinoCare two-year/60,000-mile preventative care program. Hino also will offer a double-cab version of the Class Four, marketed as the 155-DC model, the company says.
International ProStar with Allison TC10, Cummins ISX15
International Truck will launch its International ProStar model with the Allison TC10 fully automatic transmission and the Cummins ISX15 in December.
The Allison TC10, offered with 10 forward and two reverse speeds, uses a torque converter and full power shifts to deliver superior performance and productivity when compared with automated manual transmissions, the company says. The premium transmission is ideal for tractor applications and is well-suited for distribution applications where the tractor-trailer splits its work cycle between city and highway conditions, it adds.
“With the TC10, Allison has been able to bring its reputation for smooth vehicle drivability along with transmission reliability and performance to the Class Eight tractor market,” said Allison’s Sales Director Heidi Schutte in a statement.
First introduced in 2014 on International’s ProStar and International TranStar powered by N13, the Allison TC10 is the first fully automatic transmission for the Class Eight on-highway segment, the company says. The TC10 transmission’s design uses a blended architecture with full-power shifts, a torque converter and a twin countershaft gear box.
The TC10 comes equipped with Allison’s newest generation of electronic controls and FuelSense technology, which provide superior fuel economy features, prognostics to eliminate unnecessary oil and filter changes, and enhanced shift selector functionality, the company says. A standard five-year/750,000-mile warranty also is included.
2016 Isuzu NPR Diesel
Isuzu Commercial Truck of America recently introduced its newest model — the 2016 NPR Diesel, which features a 13,000-pound GVWR and a 33.5-inch frame to offer more capability than previously available in an entry-level Isuzu diesel truck, the company says. “With a 13,000-pound GVWR, the new NPR Diesel approaches the capacity of a Class Four truck, but at a Class Three price,” said Isuzu Executive Vice President Shaun Skinner in a statement.
Key features on the 2016 NPR Diesel include a standard 30-gallon, rear-mounted in-rail fuel tank; a frame width of 33.5 inches, which will accept bodies as large as 102 inches wide and 91 inches high; and four wheelbases, ranging from 109 inches to 176 inches that will accept body lengths as much as 20 feet.
Additionally, the new NPR Diesel is powered by the 3.0-liter 4JJ1-TC turbocharged and intercooled diesel engine, producing 150 horsepower and 282 pound-feet of torque at 1,600 to 2,800 revolutions per minute (RPM). “With its peak torque available at low- and mid-range engine speeds, the 4J engine offers good off-the-line acceleration and passing power,” Skinner said.
That power doesn’t come at the expense of durability. The engine has a B-10 diesel engine life rating of 310,000 miles. In keeping with Isuzu’s commitment to environmental responsibility, the engine is capable of running on B20 biodiesel fuel, the company says. The power plant is mated to an Aisin A460 six-speed automatic transmission with double overdrive, a lock-up torque converter that operates in second through sixth gears and an available PTO.
The 2016 NPR Diesel is backed with a standard powertrain limited warranty that covers the engine and drivetrain against defects in material and workmanship for three years with unlimited mileage. The NPR Diesel also is warranted against perforation from corrosion for four years regardless of mileage.
T270/T370 Kenworth frame packaging options
Kenworth announced the availability of two new product enhancements on the Kenworth T270 and T370 fuel tanks: mounting between the frame rails behind the rear axle and a narrower battery box. Together these enhancements open more frame packaging options for beverage distributors that operate medium-duty straight-trucks with side-load bodies.
“By choosing these two new options together, distributors will find it much easier to install specialized bodies on the Class Six Kenworth T270 chassis and the Class Seven Kenworth T370 chassis,” said Kenworth Marketing Director Kurt Swihart in a statement.
The new battery box, which is six inches narrower than the standard box, frees up space on the left side for body installations and for a small DEF tank to be mounted under the cab, the company says. With this option, the air tanks now are located on the back of the cab rather than the standard placement below the battery box, it adds. “Even though the new battery box is narrower, fleets won’t lose any battery capacity on their T270s or T370s,” Swihart said. “The new battery boxes can still accommodate two or three batteries.”
A matching narrow tool box also is available for the right side of the T270 and T370 and can be combined with a fuel tank pulled forward to lessen the effect on the back of the cab, the company adds. In this case, the DEF tank is mounted behind a right-hand narrow tool box.
The new steel rectangular fuel tanks, mounted between the frame rails behind the rear axle, are available in 45- and 70-gallon capacities, supporting most specialty body applications, the company says. The fuel tanks feature temporary fuel fillers, which can be relocated to accommodate various bodies and equipment. Because the tanks are supported by welded steel cross members, they can be used with or without frame inserts, it adds.
The narrower battery box and the rear between-frame-rail-mounted fuel tanks can be ordered separately depending on the fleet or truck operator’s needs. Swihart also notes they are designed to work in tandem to clear as much frame space as possible making complex body installations easier.
Allison Transmission FuelSense packages
Kenworth now offers Allison’s FuelSense packages for new trucks specified with Allison Highway Series and Rugged Duty Series automatic transmissions. Allison’s FuelSense delivers a unique package of software and electronic controls that target critical components of a truck’s duty cycle to help enhance fuel savings, the company says.
FuelSense incorporates features that automatically adapt shift schedules and torque, maximizing transmission efficiency based on load, grade and duty cycle, while maintaining performance, the company says. FuelSense is available in three packages, each featuring Allison’s new Fifth Generation Electronic Controls. The controls are designed to improve fuel economy, it adds.
The base package includes EcoCal, which lowers engine speed, and Dynamic Shift Sensing, which automatically selects between EcoCal and a higher shift speed schedule based on the truck’s load and grade on which it is operating, the company says.
In addition to those features, the FuelSense Plus package adds Neutral at Stop, which eliminates the load on the engine when the vehicle is stopped to help reduce nonproductive fuel consumption, the company says. For top fuel efficiency, the FuelSense Max package adds Acceleration Rate Management, which automatically controls the engine torque and is available in base, high and ultra-economy options, it adds.
Kenworth Advanced Charge/Start system
Kenworth introduced advanced technology to enhance protection against battery drainage and a new inverter/charger option for easier battery recharging while parked.
The ultracapacitor-based Maxwell Engine Start Module (ESM) is a factory-installed option for new Kenworth T680s and T880s. The module provides dedicated power to start the truck and frees the truck’s standard batteries to focus on powering accessory devices as well as the truck’s electronics and lights, the company says. The ESM is designed to start an engine in temperatures as low as minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit to a high of 149 degrees Fahrenheit, even when the batteries have low voltage.
“Kenworth customers can benefit from the Engine Start Module option, which is a cost-effective way to help reduce downtime and maintenance costs caused by low voltage,” Swihart said in a statement. “The Engine Start Module has proven itself as a very capable solution for situations where starting reliability is critical.”
Kenworth dealers also offer the ESM as an aftermarket solution.
Also, now in production is Kenworth’s new, enhanced 1,800-watt inverter, which provides the convenience of AC power in the cab and sleeper.
The Kenworth inverter also offers charging capability. “Plug the truck into shore power, and run accessory loads while charging the batteries,” Swihart said. “In the sleeper, there is a control panel with on/off switching, plus battery status.”
The inverter is mounted on the rear wall in the sleeper storage compartment, which provides easy access to the toolbox and additional outlets through the toolbox door, the company says. The new inverter is optional for the Kenworth Idle Management System with the T680 76-inch sleeper and charges the starter and idle management system batteries when plugged into shore power.
TRUCKTECH+ Vehicle Diagnostics
TRUCKTECH+ now is in production on new Kenworth Class Eight trucks specified with the PACCAR MX-13 engine. The system enhances vehicle diagnostics by providing information on engine health to fleet managers and dealers that helps optimize truck uptime and productivity, the company says. The system not only diagnoses the problem, but also provides the recommended solution to the driver and fleet manager, it adds.
TRUCKTECH+ notifications could include keep driving, no action required; keep driving and have the fault addressed during the next service interval; head to a dealer for service; or pull over to prevent damage.
If the truck needs to be taken for service, the system maps out the locations of the three closest repair facilities. Additionally, the data is sent to a secure web portal where the fleet manager can review the truck’s location, status, identified issue and recommended solution.
Every new Kenworth Class Eight truck equipped with a PACCAR MX-13 engine comes with a complimentary subscription to TRUCKTECH+ as long as the truck is under the two-year standard warranty, the company says. The subscription also is complimentary for customers purchasing extended warranty. After the warranty period, Kenworth’s remote diagnostics tool can be maintained by subscription, it adds.
Now standard in new Kenworth T680s and T880s specified with PACCAR MX-13 engines with automated or manual transmissions, the Driver Performance Assistant is a built-in virtual driver’s coach that helps enhance driver performance for fleets and owner operators, the company says. The system provides drivers with real-time coaching based on coasting and braking as a means to improve fuel economy and reduce brake wear.
A point system gives drivers and fleets the visual feedback they need to improve, the company says. The “assistant” can calculate whether the driver or fleet performed at a very high level — 80 percent or more — or it can give them a low score to help indicate where improvement can be made.
Drivers can view a trip performance chart, and then the system combines the scores to give an overall driver performance rating. The Driver Performance Assistant tool can be customized and programmed to offer performance settings selected by fleets or owner operators, it adds.
Additionally, Predictive Cruise, a cruise-control system that optimizes cruising speeds based on topographical GPS data inputs, can help maximize fuel economy. As a truck enters certain types of terrain, such as rolling hills, Predictive Cruise will modulate cruising speed to correspond to the surrounding geography, the company says.
The integration of Predictive Cruise into the Kenworth Driver Performance Center is seamless with intuitive displays that only provide operators with the information they need. Predictive Cruise Control is available for the Kenworth T680 and T880 when specified with the PACCAR MX-13 engine.
Adaptive Cruise Control is a radar-based safety system with collision mitigation technology that works in conjunction with standard cruise control, the company says. When the operator sets the cruise speed, the radar, mounted in the front bumper, monitors the truck’s following distance behind the vehicle ahead and automatically will reduce vehicle speed to keep a consistent following distance. When the vehicle ahead accelerates or changes lanes, the system accelerates back to the original cruise control set speed.
This functionality makes the driver’s job easier when navigating through traffic, the company notes. Collision mitigation technology continuously monitors vehicle speed and following distance, it adds. And when the system determines a collision is imminent, it will apply the service brakes to help mitigate the incident. Both of these systems have been seamlessly integrated into the Kenworth Driver Performance Center, it says.
The intuitive display puts the information that operators need right at their fingertips, the company adds.
Peterbilt CNG configurations for Model 337, 348
Earlier this year, Peterbilt introduced CNG configurations for its Model 337 and Model 348.
Both the CNG models are powered by the Cummins Westport ISL-G with 320 horsepower and 1,000 pound-feet of torque, the company says. The high-torque PACCAR PX-9 engine now is available for the Model 337 and 348, with ratings of 1,250 pound-feet of torque and as much as 450 horsepower, the company adds.
Peterbilt Model 220 cabover
Peterbilt’s Class Six and Seven Model 220 cabover expanded versatility with availability of a dropped frame option for beverage body application. The Model 220’s short 63.4-inch BBC can accommodate a wide range of beverage bodies, including a 30-foot drop-style body for optimum payload, the company says.
“As we work with customers, more and more realize that a Class Six or Seven cabover can meet their business and application requirements, while providing them with a vehicle that is highly maneuverable, easy to operate and can be configured in an efficient, compact package,” said Wesley Slavin, Peterbilt’s medium duty marketing manager, in a statement.
2016 Ram 2500 and 3600 Heavy Duty pickups
For the 2016 introduction of Ram’s 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty pickups, Ram Engineering and Cummins developed a new, hard-hitting fuel delivery and turbo boost calibration for the 6.7-liter I-6 diesel, which produces an additional 35 pound-feet of torque, bringing the new spec to 900 pound-feet of torque, the company says.
The improved torque power raises the GCWR of the Ram 3500 from 30,000 pounds to 31,210 pounds, with similar improvements to payload and towing capacity, the company says. To handle the increased workload, Ram engineers improved the rear axle ring gear hardware to assure long-term durability, it says.
2016 Ram 3500, 4500, 5500 Chassis Cab trucks
Key features on the Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cab trucks for 2016 include expanded fuel tank capacity, a rear obstacle detection system and increased gross cab weight (GCW) ratings.
All configurations of Ram Chassis Cabs now can be ordered with a dual fuel tank capacity of 74 gallons.
For 2016, Ram Chassis Cab trucks can be ordered with an optional ParkSense Package, which now includes a new front park assist system. This feature further enhances safe operation and complements the current backup camera offering, the company says. It also lowers total cost of ownership and reduces potential damage by audibly notifying the driver of oncoming contact, it adds.
When towing event trailers or hotshot loads at the extremes, the Ram Chassis Cabs now offer GCWR as much as 37,500 pounds and a towing capability of as much as 29,600 pounds.
2016 Ram ProMaster Full-Size Van
The 2016 Ram ProMaster added side window availability to the 159-inch, high-roof, extended configuration. Calls for more electrical function and capability have been addressed with the provision for a second battery at the rear of the cab and new, 20-amp auxiliary switches easily accessible on the dash panel.
The ProMaster is available in 15 different configurations including two roof heights, three wheelbases and four body lengths.
Additionally, the ProMaster offers both a chassis cab and cutaway from the factory. The unibody frame architecture makes it lighter, resulting in a payload capacity as much as 5,160 pounds and a maximum towing capacity as much as 5,100 pounds, the company says. The GCWR for the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 is 11,500 pounds and 12,500 pounds for the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel I-4, it adds.
The unibody chassis is an enabler for the ProMaster’s front-wheel-drive system. Without rear driveshafts or rear differentials, the drive system offers a number of advantages, including a narrow turning diameter, lower step-in height and load floor, higher standard ceiling height and lower maintenance costs, the company says.
The ProMaster offers two roof heights, 91 inches or 101 inches, with vertically oriented sidewalls for optimal cargo capability, the company says. The standard sliding door on the passenger’s side and optional sliding door on the driver’s side feature door openings for the low-roof model of 42 inches-by-60 inches, and 49 inches-by-70 inches for high-roof models. In the rear, an available three-position rear clamshell door swings open up to 260 degrees, folding almost flat to the side of the van. All three door openings enable forklift pallet loading and unloading, the company says.
2015 Ram ProMaster City
The 2016 ProMaster City is Ram’s newest addition and replaces the Ram C/V as a Ram Truck’s Class One van offering. The ProMaster City features compact commercial and passenger vans in payload capacity, cargo area, performance and fuel economy, it adds.
The 2016 Ram ProMaster City shares its basic design with the Fiat Doblò.
Offered in eight different body configurations, the foundation of the Ram ProMaster City is a steel unibody design that helps minimize curb weight, a key contributor to the ProMaster City’s best-in-class payload capability of 1,883 pounds. A wheelbase of 122.4 inches offers a stable ride and handling while creating the space needed for the large cargo area.
The ProMaster City features a 48.4-inch span between the rear wheel wells, while above the wheel wells nearly vertical side panels offer a width of 60.4 inches. Combined with an interior roof height of 51.8 inches, the result is 131.7 cubic-feet of volume in the cargo van version. Each side of the ProMaster City cargo van is fitted with a sliding door with a 26-inch opening to access the cargo compartment.