December 21, 2011 Vol. 7, No. 30
Well, here we are, almost at the end of what has been a pretty eventful year. In my last newsletter of 2010 I wrote about the latest round of emission controls, not surprisingly. At that point there weren’t many 2010 engines in service, and very, very few from Navistar. They’d finally be hitting the street in numbers in 2011, racking up enough miles so that we could judge them. Would they be worth having?
Is it just me being a jaded journalist and moving on to the next story or have we settled into selective catalytic reduction and advanced exhaust gas recirculation without a lot of actual fuss and frenzy? I haven’t reviewed the engine scene in a serious way for a few months now so I can’t write anything fresh and insightful (as if…), but it seems to me that things have gone pretty well overall.
That said, I do still hear the odd tale of DEF (diesel exhaust fluid) being hard to find, especially in anything but little jugs, and the roll-out of DEF pumps at truckstops may have been a mite slow. It simply mirrors the relatively slow appearance of SCR-equipped trucks, I suppose, but all this can be a little frustrating for those who switched to ‘010 engines early. Still, it hasn’t been a big deal.
I did learn of a strange one the other day, namely a 2012-model tractor that had gone 6000 miles without using a drop of DEF. A programming glitch, I suspect.
Anyway, what else went on this past year? Lots, of course. So I’m going to be brave and single out a few product introductions that, in my tiny mind at least, moved us forward in some significant way. Call it Lockwood’s Personal Top 10, the bits and pieces of truck technology that caught my eye this past year.
Bravery is required here because I’ll necessarily be excluding a whole raft of companies and their latest offspring, and some of them might be ticked off. Then again, who the heck cares what this old motor noter thinks? So, once more into the breach…
CATERPILLAR’S CT660 VOCATIONAL truck has to top the list, even if I’m not doing this in any particular order. After a ton of speculation as to what we might actually see, the end result was pretty cool. I finally got the chance to drive one, albeit in a limited way, this past fall.
I wrote in September that the truck appears to live up to its ‘premium’ billing. Fit and finish seemed impeccable, and the aluminum-alloy cab, derived from the International Paystar but not really bearing much resemblance to it at all inside, is a comfortable place.
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