2006 Makes & Models: Heavy-duty Class 7 and 8

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CCJ’s annual Makes & Models is intended to give truck buyers a general overview of what’s available for 2006. Basic specs are provided – including wheelbases, GVWs and engine choices – along with a summary of what’s new from the manufacturers.

This is the third installment of Makes & Models, covering heavy-duty vehicles in Classes 7 and 8. We covered light-duty models (Classes 1-3) in September, and medium-duty (Classes 4-6) in October.

Keep in mind that these are preliminary listings, as new models, specs and features may be released later this year.

Here are some highlights of what’s new:

For ’06, the Chevy/GMC Kodiak/ Topkick and T6500 models get a limited-slip, rear axle differential added, along with a range of available Allison vocational transmissions.

Freightliner Trucks says it has improved its Business Class M2 112V trucks with available hood access hatches for instances where the vehicle’s hood cannot be raised because of front-end equipment usage, and improved air filtration for vocational applications in high-dust or dirty conditions.

Freightliner also is offering an integrated, auxiliary heating/air conditioning and power generation package, supplied by Dometic Environmental Corp. and Temco Metal Products Co.; Tundra refrigerators as optional factory-installed equipment for sleeper compartments; and Bendix Spicer air disc brakes across its entire truck line.

According to International Truck & Engine, its Class 8, 7700 vocational truck combines the look of the company’s 7000 Series cab with the strength and body flexibility of its 5000i vocational truck, providing what the company calls “Polished Power.” The 7700 has a wide range of options designed for bridge formula mixer, super dump, block hauler and other severe-service applications.

Cummins’ 305-hp ISM is the 7700’s standard engine, producing 1150 lb-ft of torque, and it’s mated to a standard Eaton Fuller 10-speed overdrive transmission. Other power options include an upgrade to 470-hp Caterpillar or Cummins engines.

International and Hendrickson have announced the launch of the HTB – a lightweight, rear-air suspension – on International’s 9000 Series trucks.

Meanwhile, Isuzu has added the GM-based H-Series, its new line of conventional trucks, available with single and tandem axles, and in standard and crew cabs. H-Series vehicles also are powered by the 6HK1-TC diesel – with the same ratings found in the F-Series – and are available with a variety of Allison automatic and Eaton manual transmissions.

Kenworth has introduced a front engine power take-off (FEPTO) option for its T800 short-hood vocational model. A 950-square-inch radiator and stationary grille, the company says, make the model ideal for snowplows and other front-mounted pump applications.

Kenworth also is offering Bendix Spicer ESD225 air disc brakes on its T600 and T800 models.
Mack Trucks has introduced an axle-back version of its Granite Class 8 conventional. A 27-inch front extension version provides protection for a front-mounted PTO, and a wide range of frame rail thicknesses and crossmember options make it possible to configure Granite as a straight truck or tractor, says Mack.

At press time, Mack also introduced a new flagship highway tractor called Pinnacle and new models of the Granite and Granite Axle Back. (Details on Mack’s new offerings will come in December) The truck maker also unveiled the MP7 engine – the first in a new Mack Power family of engines for both highway and vocational applications that are based on the same architecture as the one that will be used to meet the 2007 U.S. emissions regulations. (For more details, see Paul Richards’ column, page 10.)

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

Also, Peterbilt’s Class 8 low-cab forward Model 320 is available with Cummins ISM engines rated at 280 to 350 hp.

Sterling Trucks feature a sleeper exterior with a smooth, rivet-free finish. Factory-installed sleeper options include the 50- and 68-inch Flat Top Plus, 72-inch Mid-Roof and 68-inch Aero Bullet Plus.

Sterling also introduced a new line of proprietary axles, a rear engine PTO option for the MBE 4000 engine, and a new taper-leaf front suspension, all aimed at construction.

Heil Environmental’s 10-foot DuraClass SL dump truck bodies now are available on Sterling’s Acterra chassis.

Volvo Trucks North America unveiled its new truck for the owner-operator market, the Volvo VT880, and a new high-horsepower engine, the Volvo D16, to power it. The long-hood truck will benefit truck owners who want to maintain high average legal speeds through mountains while transporting full-weight loads, says Volvo. The company also is offering the D16 for its VN series tractors.

The 200-inch BBC VT880 also will be available with the Cummins ISX with ratings from 475 to 565 hp.

And Volvo introduced a daycab version of its VT880, the VT800, with the D16 engine standard, with ratings from 500 to 625 hp.

Finally, Western Star is offering a Cat C15 engine rated at 600 and 625 horsepower in the 6900 XD, 4900 EX, and 123-inch BBC 4900 FA and 4900 SA.

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