Heavy-duty Class 7-8 (More than 26,000 lb. GVWR)
Say hello to Kenworth’s T700, Peterbilt’s Model 587 and Navistar’s International ProStar+
Like many light- and medium-duty OEMs, several heavy-duty truck makers are launching new models and introducing big redesigns, updated engines and revamped platforms, along with a few other touchups worth noting, such as added technologies and safety features. Here are some highlights of what to expect:
Freightliner added enhanced aerodynamics, updated technology and styling to its on-highway long-nose Coronado, boosting the tractor’s fuel economy and driver comfort. A one-piece hood is made of robust fiberglass that incorporates “parting lines” to simplify body repair and reduce costs, while a chrome-plated hood handle helps enhance airflow. Dual chrome steel grille intakes are positioned on either side of the hood to help minimize infiltration of water, snow, debris or dust.
The sleeper includes strategically placed cabinets to maximize storage, while driver comfort is enhanced via a pullout writing surface, a clothing rack, a stowaway upper bunk with extra bed space and a separate control panel for heat, air conditioning and lighting.
Recent additions to Freightliner’s lineup include the Cascadia daycab and the Coronado Severe Duty vocational model, which is available in both set-back and set-forward axle configurations and features a fiberglass hood, an all-aluminum cab, 90-degree hood tilt for easier engine access and fenders with impact-absorbing material to help eliminate damage common in vocational operations.
Kenworth’s wide-cab T700, which replaces the T2000 highway tractor, is a high-roof aerodynamic long-haul tractor that offers a 3 percent improvement in drag compared to the T660. The tractor was designed through computational fluid dynamics to optimize aerodynamic performance while also allowing engineers to sculpt its appearance. The T700 features the Kenworth NavPlus system, 8 feet in interior sleeper height, easier serviceability and premium forward lighting.
Options include Bendix Wingman ACB-Active Cruise with Braking for the T660, T700 and T800, and the Eaton UltraShift Plus automated transmission for all of Kenworth’s Class 8 trucks; the transmission is available in 10- to 18-speed configurations.
A natural gas-powered version of the T440, which targets local and regional haul and vocational applications, can be equipped to operate either on compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied natural gas (LNG). It is powered by a Cummins ISL G engine mated to an Allison automatic transmission.
The C500 vocational model now has an updated hood, available either in fiberglass or sheet metal, to accommodate a 1,780-square-inch cooling module; the increase also allows for stationary pumping.
Mack’s mDrive automated manual transmission is designed to provide up to 1.5 percent improved fuel efficiency, better driveability and enhanced driver satisfaction by automating gear shifting while improving safety. Engineered to work exclusively with MP engines, mDrive will be available on Pinnacle model highway tractors powered by MP7 and MP8 engines.
Mack also introduced Econodyne engine ratings to maximize fuel economy; the C150/151 family of rear axles with gear ratios tailored for the MP engine series; a cab-mounted exhaust for the Granite model; and the standard fitment of Bendix ES (extended service) foundation brakes.
Navistar’s International ProStar+ was designed for improved aerodynamics and a nearly 1,300-pound weight reduction from the previous ProStar model. The tractor has a re-engineered overhead console and improved storage, with the Hi-Rise model providing a 150 percent increase in captured storage and a 50 percent improvement in total storage. In-cab noise levels have been reduced 9 percent compared to the original ProStar. Other driver satisfaction improvements include a 20-pound force reduction in clutch feel, providing easier shifting and less fatigue.
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