Mid America Trucking Show Report (April 01, 2003)

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Freightliner adding new configurations to product line

Freightliner has expanded its product lineup to include three new trucks – the Columbia 112, the Business Class M2 100 and the Business Class M2 112.

The Columbia 112 is a 112-inch BBC (bumper-to-back-of-cab) version of the company’s traditional 120-inch BBC Columbia. The shorter length offers improved maneuverability, visibility, payload and ease of operation, says Mark Lampert, Senior Vice-President of Sales and Marketing with Freightliner.

Lampert says the new configuration is ideal for bulk haulers, LTL carriers and inner-city delivery applications. The truck features a set-back front axle, sloped hood and a full range of sleeper options. It’s also available as a daycab. The MBE4000 engine is standard on the Columbia 112, however, a Caterpillar engine can also be spec’d.

Production of the Columbia 112 will begin in the third quarter of 2003.

The Business Class M2 100 is what the company is dubbing a “spec’-ready go-truck.”

It comes standard with an MBE900 engine and a 2,500 sq. in. windshield for improved visibility. It also features a redesigned heating/cooling/ventilation system and a shorter wheelbase for a decreased turning radius.

The Business Class M2 100 is built for medium-duty and vocational applications and is available in gross vehicle weight ratings of 16,000 to 26,000 pounds.

“The Business Class M2 100 further expands the versatility of the new Freightliner medium-duty product line with a vehicle that suits a variety of urban and P&D applications,” says Lampert.

The Business Class M2 112 was also unveiled at the Mid-America Trucking Show, featuring a slightly larger BBC of 112-inches, making it the largest of the Business Class M2 truck line.

The MBE4000 comes standard on the M2 112, but later this year, customers will be able to spec’ Cat C9, C11 or C13 power.

Pete’s Model 330 is now able to convert to crew cab

Peterbilt’s medium duty Model 330 can now be converted to a four-door crew cab through a new program by Bentz Transport Products.

“This will be a particularly attractive option for customers in construction, utility, fire and rescue, wrecker and other vocational applications,” says Dan Sobic, Peterbilt Assistant General Manager.

The integrated crew cab seats five people and measures 52 inches long and 84 inches wide for a 160-inch BBC. The roofline is increased making it a 61-inch interior height throughout the entire cab. The conversion uses original Peterbilt parts, such as rear door assemblies, rear corner panels, rear window, interior lighting and grab handles.

Peterbilt has also launched its special edition Model 379X truck, aimed at owner-operators. Peterbilt is offering its classic design elements on the interior and the exterior of the 379X.

Western Star introduces new sleeper cab

The Stratosphere is Western Star’s new 82-inch walk-through light sleeper designed for over-the-road drivers.

The sleeper offers full stand-up room and a flat floor throughout the cab and sleeper. The Stratosphere’s exterior allows for the installation of roof-mounted air horns and marker lights.

The Stratosphere is available in three trim levels with many cabinet, storage, window and lighting options. Four different bunk configurations are available, and new optional skylight windows add to the sleeper’s open concept.

The Stratosphere can be converted into a day cab after being used as a sleeper, which increases the resale value of the vehicle.

Stratosphere sleepers are available on all Western Star 4900 models, including the EX, FA and SA, and can now be ordered.


Caterpillar ready to roll out its ACERT engine lineup

The battle of competing engine technologies is heating up now that Caterpillar’s ACERT-technology driven engines are coming up for certification. The engine maker came out all guns blasting at the Mid-America Trucking Show.

The company made several bold claims of superior performance for its engines over cooled EGR, the engine technology most of the other engine manufacturers employed to meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2002 emissions standards. These claims included fuel economy gains of 3 -5% over cooled EGR.

Jim Parker, Vice President, Power Systems Marketing Division, said that for a fleet getting an average of 6.5 mpg and paying an average $1.70/gallon (a low estimate at the moment) the better fuel efficiency would result in $5,000 in savings over 500,000 miles.

He added that research shows EGR technology will also result in three more repairs per 500,000 miles at an average total cost of $2,100 and 25% less life to overhaul than 2001 engines. Meanwhile, he claimed, ACERT technology will deliver the same reliability as 2001 engines. Parker also said Cat’s own research shows ACERT engines would deliver $700-$3,000 better resale values.

“We spent several years and millions of dollars looking at EGR. We had intimate knowledge of that technology and we abandoned it.” Parker said.

But it seems that Cat’s technology will come with a higher price tag. Although Parker would not reveal a specific price, he did say: “We intend to sell it at a premium. It will be a significant premium and it will be well deserved…This is far and away the most advanced engine today. It is far and away the best value…It is a game changing technology.”

Strong words, but Parker said Caterpillar has invested heavily in the project. In fact, the ACERT engines mark the largest product development undertaken by Caterpillar.

The ACERT technology is actually the result of investment in four core engine systems: fuel systems, air systems, electronics and aftertreatment.

The key to the technology, according to Cat, is an efficient combustion process. Computer algorithms identify the optimum settings for the lowest possible NOx emissions and fuel economy. Conventional, electronically wastegated turbochargers, in series on heavy-duty engines, coupled with hydraulic-assist valve control yield what Cat considers a “robust, flexible air management system.”

The system recovers exhaust energy, which Cat says improves fuel economy and lowers in-cylinder combustion temperatures to improve emissions. The exhaust system has a tailored aftertreatment system, which changes particulate matter into carbon dioxide and water.

There are five engines in the CAT lineup using ACERT technology: the C7, C9, C11, C13 and C15. The C7, which replaces the 3126E, is aimed at the medium haul, pick up and delivery, lease rental and specialty markets. Available in June 2003, the engine’s ratings range from 190 to 330 hp and 520 to 860 lb-ft of torque.

The C9 and C11 are intended for vocational and daycab operations. The C9, which is available now, has two ratings: 335 and 350 hp with 1050 and 1100 lb-ft of torque for on-highway applications.

The heavy duty C11 will be offered with ratings from 305 to 370 hp with 1050 to 1350 lb-ft of torque. The C11 will be available in December this year.

For fleet and linehaul business, Caterpillar provides the C13 and C15. The C13, replacing the current C-12 in the heavy-duty lineup has additional displacement, changes to the cylinder head and increased sump capacity to offer the same durability as the larger C15. It provides 335 to 505 hp with 1350 to 1650 lb-ft of torque. The C15 will be available from 435 to 550 hp with 1350 to 1850 lb-ft of torque. Both engines will be available in October 2003.

Cummins announces addition of ISX 385 ST to engine lineup

Cummins Inc. has added the ISX 385 ST to its heavy-duty on-highway product line. Like all ISX ratings, the 385 ST, with 1450/1550 lb-ft of torque, is compliant to the strict new emissions standard.

The ISX 385 ST is designed for fleets looking for a higher displacement engine option, with increased durability and higher residual values, for applications that don’t require an engine brake.

SmartTorque technology has been integrated into the ISX 385 ST which offers a Cummins-designed torque-management rating that delivers an additional 100 lb-ft of torque in t
he top two gears of the transmission automatically. The ISX 385 ST keeps downshifts to a minimum on the open road.

Cummins extends uptime guarantee to Dec. 31, 2003

Cummins is extending its Uptime Guarantee program for its heavy-duty on-highway truck engines compliant to the tough new emissions standard.

The Uptime Guarantee applies to Cummins ISX and ISM engines purchased and built between Oct. 1, 2002, and Dec. 31, 2003, with coverage from the date of purchase through Dec.31, 2003. When announced in Aug. 2002, the guarantee applied to ISX and ISM engines purchased and built through March 31, 2003.

With the guarantee, if any part on a customer’s ISX or ISM engine fails and can’t be repaired within a 24-hour period, Cummins will reimburse the customer for up to three days’ truck rental.

Mack delivers engine brake for ASET family of engines

Mack’s newly introduced PowerLeash brake is an integrated engine brake available for the truck maker’s Application Specific Engine Technology (ASET) engines.

Mack said the design integrates the PowerLeash brake within the base engine envelope, saving 50 pounds over other engine brakes.

“Over half of Mack’s customers spec an engine brake in their truck purchases today, and we expect that figure to grow as drivers become aware of the PowerLeash brake and its improved vehicle control,” said Tom Kelly, Vice-President, Marketing.

Mack says a major advantage of the new product is improved performance throughout the engine operating range, reaching 420 braking horsepower at 2100 rpm. It claims the PowerLeash can deliver a 50% reduction in brake response time.

The PowerLeash’s adjusting screw and actuator pin are designed as separate, solid pieces to resist wear. An internal oil screen provides an additional layer of protection from any particles in the oil, while electrical components are on the cold side of the engine away from heat sources.

To make service easier, the PowerLeash has been designed in a way that allows the injectors to be serviced without removing the rocker shaft and the valve lash is easy to set.

Load-Based Speed Control improves driver fuel economy

Cummins says its new Load-Based Speed Control, an electronic feature available on all new ISX and ISM engines, will help drivers improve fuel economy.

Load-Based Speed Control, a patented feature, has been released to meet the October 2002 emissions standard and is standard on Cummins SmartTorque ratings.

Cummins guarantees ‘Same Day’ QuickServe for North America

Cummins has introduced the “Same Day Or We Pay” QuickServe Guarantee at every authorized Cummins QuickServe location in North America for its on-highway customers, and on-site for its off-highway customers.

With this new QuickServe Guarantee, qualifying in-shop repair jobs with a standard repair time of four hours or less, will be completed that same day – or Cummins will offer a $75 credit toward future Cummins parts and service.

For off-highway customers, Cummins guarantees that with one call, a Cummins QuickServe truck staffed by a certified Cummins technician will be dispatched within four hours or Cummins will offer a $75 credit toward future parts and service.


Eaton unveils Fuller UltraShift10-speed transmission

Eaton Corp. has come to market with the Eaton Fuller UltraShift 10-speed, a fully automated heavy-duty truck transmission that provides two-pedal operation.

The UltraShift 10-speed is based on the Eaton Fuller 10-speed “B” ratio transmission and is offered in four torque capacities from 1,050 lbs. ft. to 1,650 lbs. ft. The UltraShift 10-speed is currently in limited quantity release with an initial production quantity of 1,000 over the next 12 months. Full production begins in the spring of 2004.

UltraShift 10-speed key features include:

An automatic start with no clutch pedal that helps to reduce drivetrain abuse.

Automatic shifting .

Computer-controlled shifts.

“Skip-shifting” provided as operating and load conditions allow.

A patented automated mechanical Eaton Fuller “DM AutoClutch” that uses a 15 1/2- inch, two-plate design with industry-standard ceramic facing material.

A high capacity inertia brake that speeds automated up-shifts, and serves as a clutch brake.

Clutch-less “float shifting” between gears.

The UltraShift 10-speed allows drivers to use the transmission in full automatic mode or with manual intervention, depending on conditions or driver preference.

New 10-speed added to Mack’s T300 family lineup

Mack’s latest addition to its family of T300 Maxitorque ES transmissions is the T310.

The new transmission is aimed primarily at highway applications but Mack says it is suitable for many on/off highway jobs as well. The 10-speed is available with the Mack Vision, CH and Granite model vehicles and can be matched with any of Mack’s ASET engines.

Shifting is via a conventional 10-speed range box pattern with 39% steps. The 19.04 overall ratio of the T310 gives it a wide operating range. Highway cruising is tackled with the .73 overdrive top gear ratio, while the 13.81:1 first gear ratio provides low speed gradeability.


Dana offers new trailer suspension

Dana Corporation’s Commercial Vehicle Systems Division has introduced the Dana Spicer RF Series Air Ride Trailer Suspension module for flatbed and tanker trailers.

Dana is offering the suspension with a number of hanger options such as a weld-on version and a bolt-on version with multiple top plate configurations that can be customized to meet the OEM trailer manufacturers’ needs. Both designs have reinforced internal gussets to improve strength.


ArvinMeritor offers air disc brake for trucks and trailers

ArvinMeritor’s Commercial Vehicle Systems business has expanded its DiscPlus air disc brakes family to include two EX225 models – available October 2003 throughout North America – for a wide variety of heavy-duty truck, specialty vehicles, and trailer applications.

The new air disc brake will be offered in two configurations, designated the EX225L, a significantly lighter air disc brake over previous designs for linehaul applications, and the EX225H for heavier duty applications, such as coaches and fire trucks.

The air disc brakes have a modular sliding caliper design, which installs in 22.5-inch wheel envelopes. The EX225L offers a 35% increase in torque, a 15% increase in wearable lining volume, and is 12% lighter compared to its predecessor, the DX225.

The company also released the Meritor MA312 friction material, which surpasses FMVSS 121 requirements with both full cast and lightweight SteelLite X30 brake drums.


CR develops internal oil separator to address blow-by

Chicago Rawhide has developed an internal oil separator for its Turbo-2000 and HD-2000 Brakemaster air dryers.

The new development will help address compressor oil blow-by. It can be retrofitted to existing dryers already in service. The oil separator fits inside the air dryer and extracts oil from the air system, protecting the desiccant bed and downstream air system components, the company says.

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