Fuso reenters Class 3 market

user-gravatar Headshot

The Idle Free Hybrid System, now available as an option from Mack Trucks, is a nonpolluting anti-idling system that utilizes battery power to provide reliable electrical power. The unit reportedly can run A/C for up to 10 hours at 90 degrees F. 

Eaton Corp. has made remanufactured medium-duty manual transmissions with genuine Fuller components available for the first time at OEM dealerships throughout North America.

ConocoPhillips announced that 76 Super Diesel and Kendall GT-1 diesel synthetic blend motor oils have been upgraded to API CJ-4 quality.

Goodyear Tire & Rubber has been awarded a supply arrangement by Dart Transit, under which Goodyear will supply replacement and retread truck tires and tire services.

Workhorse Custom Chassis is providing new service options for walk-in trucks. Called Extended Service Coverage (ESC), these options offer different levels of warranty protection for up to five years or 100,000 miles for gas chassis, and five years or 250,000 miles for diesel chassis.

Continental Tire North America announced about $78 million in new investments for its facility in Mt. Vernon, Ill.

Dana Corp.’s Commercial Vehicle Systems group’s SmartWave TPMS tire pressure monitoring system is available for retrofit installation through International Truck dealerships.

Hendrickson is offering its Aero Clad bumper for International 4000 medium-duty and 8000 heavy-duty series vehicles.

Allison Transmission said it has surpassed the milestone of 5 million transmissions.

ArvinMeritor has been selected by International Military and Government, a wholly owned subsidiary of International Truck & Engine, to supply 1,200 sets of front and rear drive axles, with brakes and transfer cases, for new armored personnel carriers for the U.S. military, called Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles.

The Kenworth Customer Loyalty Program, which offers a $2,000 rebate on qualifying truck purchases, has been extended through September.

Thermo King announced its new Instant Rebate Program on parts for Thermo King and Carrier units through Sept. 28.

Body builders, upfitters and dealers can visit www.M2BodyBuilder.com to download pertinent chassis and electrical information for the Freightliner Business Class M2 family of trucks.

More than 85 years of Chevron lubrication expertise now is available to maintenance personnel through the company’s online training resource, www.lubricantsuniversity.com.

Haldex Brake Products’ plant in Monterrey, Mexico, has been awarded ISO/TS 16949: 2002 certification.

The Aftermarket Business Unit of Webb Wheel and Leland Brake & Wheel Parts have formed a strategic partnership to source and supply brake system components to the aftermarket.

Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America’s 2008 model year lineup includes the company’s return to the Class 3 market with the FE 125 low-cab-forward truck. Mitsubishi Fuso had dropped a Class 3 offering in 2005 because it was not ready to offer the required onboard diagnostics. The new FE 125, with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 12,500 lbs., now is equipped with OBD II, allowing it to be sold throughout the United States.

In another significant change, Mitsubishi Fuso is offering only automatic transmissions on the FE 125 as well as on its Class 4 FE 145 (14,500-lb. GVWR). Although the move is significant in that the company is foreclosing the option for a manual transmission, in reality only a few buyers were spec’ing manual transmissions anyway, says Robert Aquaro, vice president of product assurance. In another nod to the marketplace, air conditioning is now standard on all Fuso trucks. The change improves manufacturing quality by incorporating air conditioning into the routine assembly process, Aquaro says.

On the FE 125 and FE 145, cruise control will be standard in 2008 along with the automatic-only transmission option. The cruise control will be programmable by the dealer to customer specifications, allowing the owner to set top speed whether or not the cruise is engaged. Other changes in the lighter-duty models, which also includes the Class 5 FE 180 (17,995-lb GVWR), are a programmable power takeoff (PTO) and an on-off switchable exhaust brake. A new bumper also reduces weight and improves airflow. And the trucks offer keyless entry for drivers.

The FE 125 offers body lengths to 18 feet. With new wheelbases, the FE 145 and the FE 180 offer body lengths up to 20 feet and 22 feet, respectively.

The medium-duty models – Class 6 FK 200 (19,850-lb. GVWR) and FK 260 (25,995-lb. GVWR) and the Class 7 FM 330 model (32,900-lb. GVWR) – represent more extensive changes for 2008 than their lighter-duty siblings, Aquaro says.

All three models have lower frame heights than previous models. The FK 200 offers body lengths of 16 to 24 feet, which the FK 260 can be fitted with bodies of 16 to 30 feet. One major change on the FK 260 from its predecessor is that it is fully equipped with air brakes. The FK 260 also is available with air suspension that can lower the truck an additional 2.5 inches.

The cabs on all the Class 6 and Class 7 models offer improved aerodynamics with a 4 percent improvement with van bodies installed and a 25 percent improvement with flatbeds and other low-profile bodies installed.

The medium-duty models also feature major cab interior enhancements, principally aimed at improving driver ergonomics and comfort.
– Avery Vise

Isuzu rolls out new N-, F-Series trucks
Isuzu recently showed off its new N-Series low-cab-forward truck. Enhancements for 2008 are focused on increasing driver comfort and safety, with a new cab-mounting system said to deliver a smoother ride. The cab itself is larger and more spacious, with more side-to-side and front-to-back room, providing more seat travel on both standard and crew-cab models.

The N-Series also features a new dashboard with a full complement of easy-to-see gauges and warning lamps. A 5-inch opening can accommodate such optional equipment as radios, GPS systems and rear-view cameras.

In addition to being more comfortable and more convenient, the all-new cab has greater rust and corrosion protection, from the galvanized steel panels to the electro-deposit paint primer and high-quality enamel paint top coat. The close section and increased gussets and reinforcements also improve the durability of the new cab, while increasing the safety of the driver and passengers.

Additional safety items found on the 2008 N-Series include a new seat belt design; low-cut side windows; larger 17-by-8-inch side mirrors with integrated convex sections; and available heated mirrors.

The N-Series Onyx Edition features a 14,500 GVWR and a 14-foot Supreme van body. It’s powered by the Isuzu 5.2L 4H turbocharged diesel engine delivering 205 horsepower and 441 lb-ft of torque @ 1,850 rpm. A new Aisin A465 heavy-duty six-speed automatic transmission with double overdrive also is standard.

New F-Series trucks offer a number of enhancements to Allison transmissions. The Extended Service Coverage on the Allison 2200 HS and 2500 HS transmissions increases to four years with unlimited miles; previously, the service coverage was for three years. Both transmissions are now 6-speed, with a second overdrive ratio to improve driveability and fuel economy.

Factory-fill TranSynd transmission fluid is required by Allison to allow the longer Extended Service Coverage. TranSynd also can extend Allison transmission oil drain intervals up to 400 percent.

Also, F-Series customers may spec their vehicles with an Eaton-Fuller manual transmission, available in 6-, 9- or 10-speed (8+2) configurations.

The N- and F-Series will be sold under the Isuzu, Chevy and GMC nameplates.

Back in June, we asked: What’s the difference between halogen and xenon headlights? The answer is that a halogen headlight has a filament, which burns in an atmosphere of halogen gas. Xenon headlights have no filament, but produce extra-bright light by means of a high-voltage arc.

No one got this one, but keep those light bulbs burning. You’ve got another shot at receiving an elegant CCJ pen and Air Brake Book if you’re the first to e-mail [email protected] with the correct answer to this month’s Puzzler, or if you send in a Puzzler of your own and we use it.

This month’s Puzzler: What are tire sipes?