GMC’s new Class 6-8 trucks
The 2003 Chevy Kodiak and GMC TopKick C6500, C7500, and C8500 (Class 6,7 and 8) series feature a new, sloping, aerodynamic front hood that gives improved forward visibility, allowing the driver to see the ground 18.8 feet from the front bumper. The hood is hardly visible from the cab, meaning that visibility extends almost to the bottom of the windshield. Mounting the instrument panel slightly lower than before means the advantage is retained even for shorter drivers.
Wider front axles allow shorter turning diameters via higher steering angles. With tires farther away from the frame rails, not only do tighter turns become practical, but stability is enhanced, the company says.
Improved axles and driveshafts help all three series to achieve excellent handling. Tapered-leaf front suspensions are standard, and the buyer can specify a front stabilizer bar, which allows a much lower spring rate to soften the ride. Twin-tube 35-millimeter shocks provide damping.
Available engines include the Duramax 7800 inline 6-cylinder diesel with four valves per cylinder and ratings from 200 to 275 horsepower @ 2,200 rpm and 520-860 lb.-ft. of torque at 1,450 rpm. This engine features a high-pressure, common rail injection system with pilot injection to greatly reduce combustion noise. It is rated at 410,000 miles before major service.
Also offered is the Caterpillar 3126E, an inline, air-to-air aftercooled, 6-cylinder diesel with three valves per cylinder and the HEUI (hydraulic-electronic unit injector) fuel injection system, which also provides pilot injection. Power ratings range from 175 to 300 horsepower @ 2,200 rpm. Torque ratings range from 420-860 lb.-ft. @ 1,440 rpm.
The gasoline Vortec 8100 engine is available for users running relatively few miles.
Transmissions offered include: Eaton Fuller 5, 6, 9, and 10-speed manuals; TTC 7-speed manuals; Allison 2000/2400 Series 5-speed automatics, and 5/6-speed 3000 MD series automatics.
GMC’s Class 4-5 offerings
The 2003 Chevy Kodiak and GMC TopKick C4500 and C5500 Series trucks feature a wider front track, set-back axle, and a 53-degree wheel cut, which gives turning diameters as low as 35.3 feet. GM says this gives curb-to-curb turns 17-19 feet shorter than competitors.
The foundation frame on these vehicles is more durable than in the past and is constructed of 50,000- and 80,000-psi strength steel. The electrical system design takes advantage of multiplexing technology, which means fewer wires and connections and less complexity.
Hydraulic braking system improvements increase the life of pads by providing more consistent pressure to the pads, and make brake pad removal and replacement simpler. Air brake systems feature color-coded manifolds for error-proof line repairs.
Visibility is improved with a windshield that is 40 percent larger, and integral, convex, foldable outside rearview mirrors mounted on the cowl to reduce vibration. Looking forward, drivers can see objects only 13.8 feet from the front bumper.
Available engines include the Duramax 6600 diesel and Vortec 8100 gasoline V8s. The Duramax offers ratings to 300 hp @ 3,100 rpm and 520 lb.-ft. of torque at 1,800 rpm. The Vortec 8100 provides up to 325 horsepower at 4,000 rpm and 450 lb.-ft. of torque at 2,800 rpm. The engines mate with the Allison 1,000 Series 5-speed automatic or a fully synchronized ZF six-speed.
Electronic shifting aid
The GearMaster II displays what’s happening with the gearing inside your transmission. It’s for the inexperienced driver saddled with a manual gearbox. It reads truck speed and engine rpm electronically from the engine ECM, and displays the synchronization rpm for each gear, as well as which gears the driver can shift to without over-speeding or lugging down the engine. Even an experienced driver can use it to minimize missed shifts, frustration and shift collar damage.
This is a recently redesigned version, capable of either taking its readings directly from the engine ECM or from sensors installed on the drivetrain components of older trucks.
Del City’s Handy Spools contain 10- to 18-gauge general purpose primary wire in graduated lengths from 20 to 100 feet. The single conductor, copper stranded, polyvinyl chloride insulated wire is resistant to grease, oil and acids, and is designed for original equipment and replacement automotive applications. It is rated for 12 volts, and operates optimally between 30 and 165 degrees F.
Mercedes-Benz transmissions on Sterling Acterra trucks
Mercedes-Benz’ manual transmissions are now available for order on Sterling Acterra Class 5-8 trucks. The six-speed transmissions feature hydraulically-actuated clutch systems, and are offered in two versions – the direct-drive MBT520 for trucks up to 40,000 pounds GCW and the overdrive MBT660 for trucks up to 60,000 pounds GCW.
The MBT520 is a direct-drive transmission with an overall gear ratio of 9.20, for engines that produce peak torque up to 520 lb.-ft. The MBT660 is an overdrive transmission for engines up to 660 lb.-ft peak torque, with an overall gear ratio of 9.18.
Class 5 diesel engine
Mitsubishi Fuso’s newly designed 4M50, dual overhead cam diesel engine is now available in its Class 5 vehicle. The model designation for the 17,900-pound GVWR vehicle is FH, and it comes with an Aisin 4-speed automatic transmission. The FH is suited for many applications, but especially for refrigerated applications because the vehicle’s heavier front axle capacity can accommodate the extra weight. The 175-horsepower 4M50 engine produces 347 lb.-ft. of torque at 1,600 rpm. The 4M50 engine also incorporates Mitsubishi Fuso’s twin balance shaft system.
Firestone’s new radial tire is designed for high-scrub urban use, on-highway refuse hauling, construction and pickup and delivery applications. The FS560 Plus features: an all-position design; 19/32-inch tread depth; a solid shoulder design; and multiple cross-rib sipes and wide grooves to evacuate water. It is available in both standard and low profile sizes, with G and H load ratings for 22.5- and 24.5-inch wheels.
Tuff’s new line of self-contained, skid-mounted, gasoline- and diesel-powered hot-water pressure washers includes 12 models. Eight of the models are gasoline-powered while four are diesel-powered with a cleaning range from 3.5 to 5.6 gallons per minute and 3,000 to 3,500 psi of pressure. All 12 models are encased in a steel cage made of 1 1/4-inch steel tubing and painted with an epoxy powder coat for all-weather protection.
Tuff Pressure Washers
Western Star’s low-profile, LowMax version of the 4900 EX heavy-duty truck features a lowered cab and sleeper height, and is loaded with styling features for driver appeal, the company says. It is available as a highway tractor in a 132-inch BBC dimension with a set-forward axle.
The 4900 EX LowMax has a minimum overall height – just over 104 inches, with the cab lights and horns removed and with low-profile 275/70 R22.50-inch tires. Standard equipment includes: a 1,300-square inch cross-flow radiator; a low-ride-height front suspension and 6.38-inch ride height AirLiner rear suspension; a Dana Spicer E-13201 front axle with a 5-inch drop; and duel 6-inch exhaust stacks with horizontal low-noise mufflers.
Sun-Tech Innovations now has self-adjusting wheel balancing products to fit most all classes of medium and heavy duty trucks, buses, vans and motor homes. Balance Masters’ Patented Liquid Material works with centrifugal force to stop tire cupping, the company says. Balance Masters do not need pre-balancing and they come with a 100-day money-back guarantee and a three-year warranty against defects in workmanship or materials.
Rear Axle Aligner
Bee Line’s Axle Indexing Rear Axle Aligner allows axle alignments to be referenced to the center of the axle accurately, eliminating the need to get under the vehicle for most alignment measurements, the company says. The 21000 Laser Tube Assembly can be switched back and forth between the axle indexing fixture and standard wheel cradles, making it ideal in shops where alignments are performed on standard and non-standard vehicles.
The fixture is mounted on casters to create equal tension on the axle arms and to allow freedom of movement when not in use. If the user wants to switch the fixture to a center shooting aligner, the legs can be removed, allowing the unit to be operated near floor level. Additional gauges are available to use the side shooting feature on trailers.
Kiene Diesel’s Tire Topper keeps tools and small parts in a tool tray atop any vehicle. The Tire Topper’s “gripper edge” legs keep the tray in place on any size tires, including duals. A non-skid tray surface keeps tools and parts from sliding off. The Tire Topper is made of heavy-gauge powder-coated steel and resists rust and corrosion.
Aux Generators’ Idle Hawk genset provides air conditioning and heating to maintain cab temperature at 70 degrees F in ambient temperatures ranging from -25 to 108 degrees F. The Idle Hawk’s 9.5 horsepower Kubota diesel engine consumes less than one-tenth of a gallon of fuel per hour, the company says. The unit rolls out without disconnection for 360-degree service access.
Accuride’s Lightweight Steel Wheel uses high-strength, low-alloy steel, providing the economy and strength of a standard steel wheel and weight similar to an aluminum wheel, the company says. The wheel measures 22.5 by 8.25 inches and is available for standard hub-mount applications. It is powder top-coated in standard white, gray or black with custom colors available. The wheel weighs approximately 65 pounds with a maximum load rating of 7,400 pounds.
Tire inflation system
Hendrickson’s Tire Inflation System for Intraax or Vantraax trailer suspension systems maintains inflation to a specified level, which minimizes tire wear and improves productivity and fuel mileage, the company says.
The system detects low tire pressure and alerts the operator. It responds by directing air when a tire dips below a predetermined pressure level. Air travels from the supply tank through air lines inside the axle to the wheel ends. A rotary union allows air to flow from a non-rotating axle spindle to the rotating hubcap fitting. Hoses connect from a hubcap tee to the tires. Check valves help prevent tire pressure loss back through the system.
Link-It Software’s EZ Maintenance maintenance control software allows users to schedule, manage and track all costs of routine preventive maintenance or random repairs. The system supports bar coding for equipment unit or parts identification. Work orders automatically print out step-by-step instructions on how to perform a particular procedure, including a required parts and materials list. Supervisory password control for multi-level permissions is available, allowing only supervisors to approve or edit a maintenance history or alter schedules.