W42 diesel chassis kicks off Workhorse-International era

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Workhorse Custom Chassis has marked the production start of its first diesel chassis with an International diesel engine. The W42 Workhorse chassis uses the International VT 275 4.5L diesel V6 engine with 200 hp and 440 lb.-ft. of torque.

Workhorse’s discussions with International involving the use of the VT 275 in Workhorse’s new diesel chassis led to International’s offer this past summer to acquire Workhorse. International’s purchase of Workhorse was completed Aug. 19.

“We’re very excited about this new chassis,” says Jay Sandler, vice president of commercial products for Workhorse. “We’ve been strong in the gas market, but did not have a diesel in 2005. This chassis gives us a great product for the diesel market.” Workhorse says it is the only manufacturer that provides both gas and diesel chassis for walk-in trucks.

“We’re also excited that Workhorse essentially has its own engine now,” Sandler says. “The merging of this engine’s advanced technology with the enhanced features of our new chassis perfectly reflects the expanded capabilities that the new International-Workhorse relationship will provide our customers.”

“Our combined engineering expertise and expanded parts and service resources will have a substantial impact on the benefits we can provide,” says Tim Cooney, vice president of worldwide sales and marketing for International Engine Group. “Workhorse makes a great platform that will complement our own products very well. Diesel customers now have a great choice supported by our combined service networks.”

The gas version of the W42 went into production in July. With the fall start of the diesel W42 production, walk-in truck customers now have the best of both worlds available to them, says Sandler. The diesel W42 comes with GVWR options of 10,000, 12,000 and 14,500 lbs., with wheelbases of 125, 133, 157, 178 and 190 inches. Enhancements, according to Workhorse, include:

  • New state-of-the-art, high-performance Brembo four-wheel disc brakes.
  • A new Westport Wide Track I-Beam front axle with a full 50-degree wheel cut. The rear axle track also is wider.
  • An upgraded transmission for its diesel application, the Allison LCT-1000 electronic 5-speed, that provides smooth shifting and longer lifecycle.
  • New parabolic taper leaf suspension springs, front and rear, with custom-tuned 35mm shock absorbers.
  • Change in rear axle ratio from 5.13:1 to 4.63:1 on the diesel application, resulting in reduced prop shaft speeds and longer drive-line life, along with quieter operation.
  • New Meritor WABCO four-channel ABS system with full J-1939 diagnostics capability.
  • New ZF variable ratio power steering box and ZF belt-driven power steering pump.
  • Bigger radiator and cooling fan.
  • New Smart Cluster instrument panel with LCD screen for driver and diagnostic information. Introduced earlier on the gasoline-powered chassis, this now is included in the diesel-powered chassis.
  • Workhorse says the International VT 275’s dual staged turbocharging system provides excellent acceleration for a diesel engine; it uses a small turbo for quick, low-speed responsiveness and a second, larger turbo for power at higher rpms. The International Electro-Hydraulic generation Two (G2) fuel injection system is engineered to deliver higher injection pressures with precise control, which enhances performance, fuel economy and emissions control. At the same time, four valves per cylinder boost airflow for reduced emissions and optimum fuel efficiency, according to Workhorse. The engine has a 250,000-mile lifecycle design, and features such as accessible cartridge-style fuel and oil filters should simplify maintenance.

    “All of these powerful features make the W42 a radically different chassis than its predecessor,” says Sandler. “It’s a chassis that’s going to immediately change the walk-in driving experience for anyone who gets behind the wheel.”

    Workhorse presently sells and services its chassis through a continent-wide network of more than 450 sales and service locations. Workhorse, based in Union City, Ind., also offers 24-hour emergency roadside assistance.

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