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Peterbilt’s 386 aero

Peterbilt’s 386 aero
Peterbilt launched the Model 386, an aerodynamic highway tractor that can be configured as a day cab or with a Unibilt detachable sleeper. The Model 386 replaces the 120-inch BBC version of the Model 385 and features aerodynamic styling similar to the Model 387, which has an integrated sleeper. Peterbilt continues to sell the 112-inch BBC Model 385.

“The Model 386 was developed to impact a customer’s bottom line through improved fuel economy, increased driver productivity, greater resale value and as a tool for attracting and retaining drivers,” says Dan Sobic, Peterbilt general manager and Paccar vice president.

Peterbilt Chief Engineer Craig Brewster says numerous elements of the 386 were designed to maximize aerodynamics, including a contoured sunvisor, side chassis fairings, dramatically sloped hood, integrated headlamps, swept-back fender design and form-fitted bumper. For example, the company designed and evaluated 80 different sunvisor shapes before selecting the final design. The Model 386 represents a 10 percent improvement in aerodynamic efficiency over the 385-120, resulting in a fuel economy improvement of about 0.3 mpg, the company says.

The Model 386 chassis design also lowered radiator mounting, allowing for a lower hood crown that increases forward visibility ground-strike by about two feet, Brewster says. A repositioned front axle facilitates improved weight loading capabilities and allowed for a shorter wheelbase to help reduce turning radius.

An advanced forward lighting system offers better aerodynamics as well as better lighting and longer life, Peterbilt says. The design creates a higher intensity beam that increases forward lighting by 43 percent, helping to reduce driver fatigue and improve safety, the company says.

Flexibility in application and resale options is another feature of the Model 386. The Unibilt sleeper system allows for the sleeper to be detached from the cab, providing the vehicle with a second and even third service life as a day cab in regional or vocational applications. The Unibilt sleeper is available in 48-inch, 63-inch and 70-inch roof configurations. Production of the Model 386 begins in July.

The Model 386 is one of several Peterbilt Class 8 conventional trucks and tractors – including the 379, 385, 378 and 357 – to incorporate significant changes for the 2006 model year. The 2006 models feature new interior options and multiplexed electronic technology, which is based on the industry standard J1938 data bus, which improves the reliability of gauges and instrumentation. The 2006 trucks also feature side-view visibility enhancements and improvements in the climate control system.
Peterbilt Motors Co.

Great Dane’s cooler reefer insulation
Great Dane Trailers introduced ThermoGuard, a new refrigerated trailer insulation the trailer manufacturer calls the “most revolutionary new reefer product since the company developed the first produce van in the 1940s.” ThermoGuard, which was designed and engineered by Great Dane, is a glass-reinforced, thermoplastic liner available exclusively on all Great Dane refrigerated trailers. The lightweight lining helps maintain the thermal efficiency of the trailer, the company says.

As refrigerated trailers age, insulation effectiveness continually decreases. Traditional liners do not provide a complete seal, resulting in an “out gassing” effect that causes the foam insulation to degrade over time. ThermoGuard, however, contains a composite layer that seals the trailer’s insulation and significantly reduces the loss in insulation performance, Great Dane says.

“Until now, the only way to compensate for the decreasing insulation performance has been to make sure the cooling unit had enough excess capacity to maintain temperatures over the course of time,” says Phill Pines, Great Dane’s chief operating officer. More efficient insulation, therefore, gives fleets more options for the types of loads they can haul.

In addition to longer life, ThermoGuard will help reduce operating costs due to decreased cooling unit run time, resulting in less fuel consumption costs, Great Dane says. The company estimates that ThermoGuard could reduce cooling unit run time by more than 1,000 hours and save more than 1,200 gallons of fuel over the course of five years. Other benefits include lower maintenance and extreme puncture resistance, while saving up to 200 pounds compared to reefers with traditional insulation.
Great Dane Trailers

Sloan’s MAXXDuty line
Sloan Transportation Products’ MAXXDuty with WeatherGuard line of electrical wire harnesses, sealed plugs, gladhands, connectors and other electrical and air components are designed to fight severe weather as well as the latest corrosion challenges facing the trucking industry.

The MAXXDuty line includes the USA-Plus premium line of electrical wire harnesses that has been patented by Winnsboro, Texas-based USA Harness and will be marketed by Sloan under the MAXXDuty line as part of a strategic alliance between the companies. Sloan is the exclusive aftermarket distributor of the USA-Plus harnesses, which use both a secondary pin-lock and an integral “O-ring” style sealing protection that’s molded into the connector. These features help prevent moisture from reaching the terminal areas.

As part of its announcement of the MAXXDuty line, Sloan introduced its Coiled Electrical Seven-Way Sealed Plug, which uses the industry’s first plug-face gasket to ensure a positive seal to the socket and an integrated drip edge to keep contaminants from tracking down the cable into the plug/socket connection. Sloan also introduced a Sealed Receptacle that mates to the Sealed Plug.
Sloan Transportation Products

Karmak looks to fleets
Business software maker Karmak is moving to expand its Windows-based Director Series product into trucking fleets. Director Series is a service shop and inventory management software designed to improve customer service, reduce paperwork, prevent lost sales, and track unit repair costs and scheduled maintenance.

Dana’s vocational drive axles
Dana Corp.’s Commercial Vehicle Systems group introduced the Dana Spicer 590 drive axle series, which is designed for vocational applications such as construction, heavy hauling, mining, logging, oil fields and refuse. The helical reduction axles represent a natural extension of the 190 series that debuted last year.

The helical reduction gearing technology enhances startup performance and durability on severe grades, the company says. The new 590 series models are available both as single and tandem drive axles with drivetrain ratings up to 2,450 pound-feet of torque and 700 horsepower, and gross combination weight ratings (GCWR) in excess of 260,000 pounds.

Primary features include the widest ratio coverage in the industry, from a fast 4.75:1 to the deepest 10.90:1, allowing for maximum spec’ing flexibility. In addition, both front and rear axles can be specified with driver-controlled wheel differential locks for maximum traction. An on-demand lube pump provides spin-out protection without generating excessive heat, resulting in axle sumps that run significantly cooler than competitive models, Dana says.

The 590 series axles have 50 percent fewer components than competitive models, resulting in improved reliability and simplified service and maintenance, Dana says. Production is slated to begin in September 2005.

Meritor WABCO’s latest stability control
Meritor WABCO Vehicle Control Systems introduced Electronic Stability Control (ESC) for truck/tractor applications based on the company’s existing E-version anti-lock braking system (ABS). The ESC system is available now and builds upon the already-established Roll Stability Control (RSC) system currently operating on more than 10,000 commercial vehicles across North America.

The ESC system senses the vehicle’s tendency to rotate and automatically applies brakes to reduce the risk. ESC combines the features of the RSC system with added yaw, or rotational, sensing. This capability improves vehicle handling and performance if there is an impending loss of control due to rotational forces resulting from a rapid lane change or cornering maneuver on a slippery surface, for example. To allow for the additional yaw stability control, the current ABS electronic control unit has been enhanced to allow for the integration of ESC across a variety of vehicle configurations with different engines, transmissions, suspensions and wheelbases.

Meritor WABCO is a joint venture of ArvinMeritor and the WABCO Automotive Products Group of American Standard Companies.
Meritor WABCO

Webasto’s bunk cooler
Webasto’s new BlueCool Truck is designed to keep the sleeper bunk of a heavy-duty truck cool without the need for engine idling or the operation of an auxiliary power unit. The BlueCool Truck operates on a cold storage cell that is charged during the daytime while the truck is moving. When the driver rests, the 17,000 BTU cold storage cell discharges, keeping the bunk area cool.

BlueCool Truck runs independent of the vehicle’s air conditioner and uses a small amount of electricity to circulate super-chilled coolant between the cold storage unit and a specially designed head exchanger in the sleeper cabin and to run four small quiet fans. Tests have demonstrated the capability to cool a truck’s sleeper cab to below 70 degrees F for about nine hours in ambient temperatures above 90 degrees. Production of BlueCool Truck is scheduled to begin this summer.

Michelin adds to X One line
Michelin Americas Truck Tires has added the Michelin X One XDA-HT Plus drive tire to the company’s line of wide single tires for use in weight-sensitive, long-haul and regional operations. The new tire is the sixth addition to the line.

The X One XDA-HT Plus tire, which will replace the current X One XDA-HT tire, offers weight savings of approximately 415 pounds per tractor compared to a dual assembly configuration. The tire features increased tread depth of 2/32-inches and a 16mm wider tread. Michelin’s Co-Ex dual compound technology offers a cooler running rubber underneath for optimum retreadability and an application-specific compound on top for additional mileage. The new tire has improved wet traction compared to the X One XDA-HT tire, through optimized tread block distribution and 1mm wider groove bottoms.
Michelin Americas Truck Tires

Three long-haul General tires
Continental Tire North America introduced three new truck tires under the General Tire brand, including the General D660 drive tire, the General S580 steer tire and the General ST250 trailer tire. All three long-haul tires feature Continental’s stone ejection system, which helps reduce stone retention and casing penetration, allowing for multiple retreads in the case of the D660 and ST250.

The General D660 features an extra-deep 30/32-inch tread depth and a closed-shoulder tread design, providing long original mileage, even wear and excellent traction in all types of weather conditions.

The General S580 features an 18/32-inch six-rib tread design to provide long original mileage and low rolling resistance, which helps improve fuel economy. The optimized footprint ensures even pressure distribution that resists irregular wear and provides long original tread life.

The General ST250 features a 13/32-inch tread depth that helps to minimize tread squirm and irregular wear. Although the tire is engineered for trailer use, it also can be used in the steer position. The tire is available in load range G and H.

The D660, S580 and ST250 are available in the following sizes: 11R22.5, 11R24.5, 285/75R24.5 and 295/75R22.5.
Continental Tire North America

FEPTO for Kenworth T800
Kenworth introduced a front engine power take-off (FEPTO) option for its T800 short-hood vocational model. The new option will expand Kenworth’s reach further into the vocational market, the company said. The addition of a FEPTO will make the T800 available for use in new snowplow, municipal dump, mixer, crane and refuse packer configurations.

To add the FEPTO option, Kenworth started with the T800 short-hood chassis and designed a straight-through front frame extension. A 950-square-inch radiator and stationary grille make the model ideal for snowplows and other front-mounted pump applications, Kenworth says.
Kenworth Truck Co.