Cat expands vocational truck line; will add 15-litre engine

TUCSON, Az. — Caterpillar’s line of vocational trucks has received a significant boost, with the introduction of a new model and the addition of more options and features for existing trucks.

New to the market, with production set to begin later this year, is the CT680. It’s a set-forward axle (SFA) Class 8 truck available in truck or tractor configuration, complementing Cat’s existing SFA model CT681, introduced late last year.

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The new Cat CT680

The CT680 comes standard with parabolic taper leaf springs for a smooth ride, and is available in two exterior designs. The CT680L features a stylish, serviceable design with three-piece Metton hood, chrome bumper and stainless steel grille surround as well as composite halogen headlights and incandescent park/turn signals. This model was designed for maximum serviceability and ease of replacing damaged parts.

The CT680LG features a one-piece fiberglass hood, three-piece black bumper, integrated grille surround, sealed-beam halogen headlights and LED park/turn lights.

“Our customers told us they want options on how they style the truck,” said Dave Schmitz, vocational truck product manager with Caterpillar. “The feedback we got from customer was ‘We want options. Give us options on that exterior trim’.”

Cat used common components where possible, to simplify the stocking of inventory for dealers. About 90% of components used on the CT680 are the same as those found on the CT660, Cat’s first vocational truck introduced in 2011.

The new CT680 is Cat’s longest truck, with a 124-inch BBC (bumper-to-back-of-cab). That’s 10 inches longer than the CT681 and slightly longer than the CT660. It features an aluminum alloy cab that reduces the weight of the truck by 200-400 lbs, allowing for more payload when compared to a truck with a steel cab.

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The new truck is being offered with the CT-series 13-litre vocational truck engine, but a 15-litre is coming, officials announced. The details of that engine will be released later this year, but both the CT660 and CT680 were built to accommodate a 15-litre engine. No further details about the 15-litre engine were shared today.

For now, customers can spec’ the CT13 engine with the following ratings: 410 hp/1,450 lb.-ft.; 430 hp/1,550 lb.-ft.; and 475 hp/1,700 lb.-ft. The engine, based on the Navistar N-13, has been programmed for vocational applications.

The engine can be coupled with Cat’s own CX31 torque converter-style automatic transmission. About 50% of Cat vocational truck customers are choosing this option. Manual and automated manual transmissions from Eaton are also available.

The truck can be serviced across Caterpillar’s North American dealer network, which boasts 400 locations. These trucks are being built in Escobedo, Mexico. Truck News will have more information on the new CT680, including a drive report, soon.


New options for CT660

Caterpillar also announced it has added 40 new features to its CT660 vocational truck within the past 20 months. The most popular of these are the parabolic taper leaf springs, which are standard on the new CT680.

Factory-installed lift axles, a lower ride with air suspension and paver brakes are among the other options that have been well received by the market, according to the company.

Cat also announced it’s bringing its vocational trucks to new markets in Mexico and Puerto Rico.


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James Menzies is editor of Today's Trucking. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 20 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies.

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