Truck of the Year judging lets you stare the future in the face
By Jack Roberts
I spent a day last month in Las Vegas at an auction site on the northern edge of the city as one of a handful of Truck of the Year judges. This is the fifth year of the event sponsored by the American Truck Dealers, and the judges were given some interesting choices to consider throughout the long day.
The event was divided into two distinct classifications – medium- and heavy-duty. The medium-duty entries were:
• The Hino 195H: A “mild” hybrid optimized for urban pickup and delivery;
• The Isuzu Reach: A fuel-efficient P&D truck designed in tandem with Utilimaster;
• A Peterbilt Model 337 dump truck: The conventional “big boy” in the group.
Things were equally interesting on the heavy-duty side, where the judges drove:
• Freightliner’s Cascadia Evolution: The company’s super-slippery aerodynamic next-generation tractor (see CCJ Test Drive, page 24);
• Kenworth’s T680: A new tractor featuring next-generation aerodynamics and new concepts in cab, sleeper and driver comfort;
• Western Star’s 4700SF dump truck: A sleek modern look from a company known for its blend of heightened refinement and bare-knuckle-brawler toughness.
I honestly don’t know which two trucks will win their respective categories. The final scoring will be an aggregation of all the judges’ scores – and there’s simply no way to predict how that will shake out.
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