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May 5, 2010 Vol. 6, No. 9

Despite the dreaded code on my boarding pass that told the rabid security folks at the airport to give me everything but a cavity search, I got on a chartered plane last week with a bunch of International dealers and customers to tour Navistar’s engine plant in Huntsville, Alabama. It wasn’t a press event, so I was just tagging along — by invitation, no gate crasher am I — to learn more about 2010 MaxxForce engines, hoping as well for some unrushed time to chat with Navistar senior vice president Jim Hebe. Happily, I got both.

The cavernous plant is presently building some 70 MaxxForce 13 engines a day, up from 40, to make up for a small backlog caused by delays in getting components shipped from Europe, thanks to the Icelandic volcano. It’s presently a mix of 2007- and 2010-spec motors, and before long they’ll be joined by the MaxxForce 15 as the factory ramps up to its maximum capacity of 400 a day.

Jim Hebe says the target is to have nearly 16,000 MaxxForce 13 engines (see photo) in the field by year-end, both ’07 and ‘010 models, 4000 of them with the newer spec. He says 1500 of them have already been sold, though nowhere near all of those are in the field yet.

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Rolf Lockwood is editor emeritus of Today's Trucking and a regular contributor to

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