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International’s LoneStar
International Truck and Engine unveiled the LoneStar, a new Class 8 tractor that is designed to combine the fuel economy advantages of aerodynamic trucks with classic styling preferred by many owner-operators and small fleets. By bridging the “premium aero” market and the “classic” market, International says it has created an entirely new Class 8 category, which it calls “advanced classic.”

The truck combines “peak productivity with emotional appeal,” said Daniel Ustian, Navistar chairman, president and chief executive officer. “Now, drivers don’t have to compromise,” said Dee Kapur, president of Navistar Truck Group. “They can have it all – looks, efficiency, comfort, functionality and productivity.”

A major theme in the LoneStar’s marketing is customization. International offers 42 factory accessories – 23 in the truck’s interior and 19 on the exterior, says Tom Baughman, vice president and general manager of the Navistar Truck Group’s Heavy Vehicle Center.

The target markets for the LoneStar are owner-operators who want efficiency without sacrificing image and pride, as well as fleets that want greater driver satisfaction, says Steve Gilligan, assistant general manager of Navistar Truck Group’s Heavy Vehicle Center. Gilligan expects greater appeal among fleets than many would expect. Classic styling represents about 18 to 20 percent of heavy truck sales – or about 25,000 units a year – but contrary to conventional wisdom, that isn’t just owner-operators, Gilligan says; about 63 percent are registered to fleets that own 26 or more trucks.

International expects the LoneStar to be 5 to 15 percent more fuel-efficient than classic trucks, equating to an annual savings of $3,000 to $8,000. “Truck pros can have a unique, customizable truck that will reward them at the pump,” said David Allendorph, chief designer for Navistar’s Truck Group, at the LoneStar’s unveiling in February at the Chicago Auto Show.

The LoneStar is the result of extensive customer research, including interviews with hundreds of drivers, International said. Among the benefits to the driver are improved ergonomics, advanced electronics and a quiet cab, the company says. For example, like the ProStar, numerous controls are integrated into the steering wheel for driver safety and comfort, Allendorph says.

Although International views the LoneStar as very much a truck of the future, its design recalls that of a pickup truck International sold more than 70 years ago. The distinctive grille and sloped hood were inspired by International’s D Series trucks of the 1930s, which boasted pontoon fenders, split windshields and passenger-car looks.

One of the design objectives with the LoneStar was to provide a sleeper environment that was as premium and high quality as the cab. One common driver frustration International found in its research – conducted in conjunction with students from Carnegie-Mellon University – was that most trucks required the driver to relax and entertain in the same space as they slept, Allendorph says. So the LoneStar features a foldaway bunk and a couch. In addition, the driver and passenger seats swivel to create an environment for conversation with guests. International also wanted to clearly separate the work and rest environments, which it accomplished with wood flooring, he says.

Among LoneStar’s features are:

  • Standard ABS;
  • Roll stability;
  • Traction control;
  • Bluetooth integration for hands-free phone use;
  • Automotive-style dash and gauges with rosewood or titanium trim; and
  • 50-degree wheel cut.

Interior highlights include:

  • Wood flooring in the sleeper cab;
  • Sofa-bed design with back pillows;
  • Swivel chairs;
  • Closed “airline” cabinets for maximum storage;
  • Monsoon stereo system with 11 speakers, subwoofer and amplifier;
  • Pull-down bed with 42-inch premium mattress;
  • Workspaces to plug in laptop computers and work in a desklike setting; and
  • Miniature refrigerator.

Pricing for the LoneStar will range from about $115,000 for a daycab version to about $135,000 to $140,000 for the top-of-the-line model, known as the LoneStar Suite. The LoneStar can be ordered from International dealers beginning in April for fall delivery. Production will begin in August at Navistar’s plant in Chatham, Ontario. The Cummins ISX engine will be available at the beginning of production, and the Caterpillar C-15 will be available about two months later.
International Truck and Engine

Hybrid drop frame beverage truck
Freightliner Trucks announced that its Business Class M2 106 Hybrid drop frame beverage truck is now available. Designed for fuel savings and reduced emissions, the Class 6 truck features the Eaton medium-duty hybrid-electric system and is built specifically to address the challenges of hauling loads in an urban setting.

The hybrid-electric vehicle, which features a diesel engine coupled with an electric motor/generator and batteries, is designed to work in line with the engine and transmission, enabling operation with electric or diesel power either separately or together. “The M2 106 can boast up to a 30 percent savings in fuel consumption and up to an 87 percent reduction in idling time,” says Mark Lloyd, market development manager for Eaton.

According to the truck maker, an added benefit of reducing idling time and subsequent lower emissions is that the M2 106 produces less noise, allowing for quieter loading and unloading in urban settings. Freightliner engineers also maximized the amount of space of the 12-bay beverage body by mounting most of the integrated hybrid components underneath and behind the cab.

Suited for easy access to cargo and featuring simplified loading and unloading, the drop frame truck also is designed to provide additional maneuverability, visibility and safety; the aerodynamic aluminum cab offers a 55-degree wheel cut, sloped hood and a 2,500-square-inch windshield. In addition to the beverage market, the M2 Hybrid is suited for utility, pickup-and-delivery and power-takeoff operations.
Freightliner Trucks

Michelin’s improved all-position tire
Michelin Americas Truck Tires says it has taken its best-selling tire – the all-position Michelin XZE – and made it better through continued innovations that improve tire life and durability, helping regional fleets and operators reduce their total cost of operation over the long run. The company says its XZE2 features a number of improvements:

  • A 15 percent increase in overall tread life, meaning more miles of operation without compromising other performance attributes;
  • An optimized tire profile, incorporating Michelin’s siping technology and four-groove design, that protects the tire against irregular wear;
  • A 6 percent wider tread area that delivers enhanced traction and stability, improving handling and maneuverability for the driver;
  • An enhanced chip- and cut-resistant tread compound for all load ranges. Previously only in LRH tires, this compound – combined with the 22/32-inch original tread depth – allows the XZE2 tire to deliver the best wear in high-scrub applications; and
  • A 5 percent reduction in rolling resistance, providing increased fuel efficiency.
    The XZE2 tire is now available in sizes 11R22.5, 275/80R22.5 and 11R24.5, with a 275/80R24.5 size becoming available in April. The XZE tire will remain available through the end of the year.

Michelin Americas Truck Tires

On-/off-highway wide base tire
Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire describes the Bridgestone L315 as an aggressive-traction on-/off-highway wide base radial engineered for long mileage, superior traction and outstanding flotation. The L315 is designed for axles carrying extra-heavy loads, such as front-discharge cement mixers with front-wheel or all-wheel drive. The tire also is suited for job situations where superior traction is required, such as on dump trucks, specialty oil-field equipment and other on-/off-highway construction vehicles. The L315’s lug tread and open shoulder design provide hundreds of biting edges to dig into soft surfaces, promoting superior drive traction in mud and on gravel. The wide base design distributes footprint pressure for added flotation while also allowing higher payload; Bridgestone says the L315 has an “L” load rating, which allows it to carry 12,300 lbs. at 120 PSI.

The L315 has a 30/32-inch tread depth to facilitate long original tread life, as well as tough tread compounds designed to resist cuts, chips, tearing and irregular wear. The enhanced compound

is made to fight heat buildup so that the tire can be used at sustained speeds to 65 mph. To enhance retreadability, the groove walls are angled to help prevent the retaining of stones that could pierce the belt package. Heavy-duty casing construction combats bruises and resists belt penetration for added retreadability, and the tire’s casing is engineered to be retreaded for any axle position, with four full steel belts and an all-steel casing ply. The L315 wide base tire is available in the 445/65R22.5 size in “L” load range.
Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire

Real-time tire pressure
Par Logistics Management Systems and Advantage PressurePro have introduced what they say is the first real-time tire pressure management system, providing trailer managers with immediate information on trailer location, temperature, fuel levels and door activity, while also receiving critical alerts on reefer failures, rapid fuel loss and insufficient tire pressure. Automated alerts arrive in e-mails and text-message PDA devices (cell phones), according to the companies. PAR and PressurePro say their strategic alliance offers easy installation and use, along with significant additions to safety. Combined, the systems provide the tire pressure information needed to increase fuel efficiency, cut downtime, extend tire life and improve handling and performance, while also providing a complete management system contributing engine diagnostics, tracking and more, the companies say.
Par Logistics Management Systems
Advantage PressurePro

Dual-purpose battery
EnerSys says its Odyssey 75/86-PC1230 dual-purpose battery is designed for automotive/light truck and heavy-duty/fleet applications, and offers cyclic, starting, lighting and ignition functionality. The battery, which consists of a 12-volt absorbed glass mat (AGM) design, offers the option of 75-side terminals and 86-top terminals. It provides 1,230 cranking amps for five seconds at room temperature and a 90-minute reserve capacity, according to the company; additional specifications include a CCA (cold cranking amps) rating of 710 and a nominal capacity of 55 Ah at the 20-hour rate of discharge. Other specifications include: MCA, 815; dimensions, 9.46-by-6.99-by-7.92 inches; and 60 inch-pounds torque for terminal connection. The AGM design eliminates the need for an acid vent tube and recycling of internal gas during operation and charging, making it safe for mounting inside passenger compartments and in any orientation except inverted, EnerSys says, while the rugged construction makes the battery more tolerant of mechanical abuse.

Crush-resistant hose
Flexaust says it has developed a crush-resistant heater/defroster and auxiliary power unit hose for automotive, trucking, motorhome, heavy-equipment, marine, RV and related applications. The Flexaust Dayflex DFD-T Heater & Defroster Hose is made from lightweight thermoplastic rubber and is reinforced with an internal polypropylene helix. Pliable, crush-resistant and compressible for easy installation, the hose meets FMVSS 302 flame standards, operates from -40 to 225 degrees Fahrenheit, and is suited for a range of heater, defroster and ventilation applications, according to the company. Available in eight sizes from 1 to 4 inches I.D. in standard 25- and 50-foot lengths, the hose is supplied black with a plain cut end finish and is available with optional cuffs. It also can be supplied white and can be manufactured with PVC materials.

Solid solenoids
Waytek says its new solenoids remotely switch high electrical current when a much lower current is applied to its electromagnet coil. The solenoids can be used in automobiles, trucks, buses and trailers, as well as agricultural, recreational, marine and construction equipment. Solenoids are similar to a relay, but they can be used for heavier-duty applications such as a starter motor. Waytek offers the solenoids in single-pole, single-throw (SPST), continuous or intermittent, and grounded or insulated configurations, with 12- or 24-volt DC ratings. Solenoids with weather- and dirt-resistant plasticized steel casings also are available.

Brake pads with ‘bite’
Brake Performance says its auto, truck and SUV brake pads deliver increased stopping power and reduced brake fade, and reduce wheel dust by up to 80 percent over other aftermarket semi-metallic offerings. The disc pads – manufactured from manmade aramid fibers – offer high initial “bite” and are effective up to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the company.
Brake Performance

Bonding foam for reefers
Convenience Products says its Liner Bond one-component cylinder adhesive is a portable gun-applied spray polyurethane foam used to bond fiberglass liners in refrigerated trailers. Liner Bond is safer, stronger and fills voids more completely than caulking, glues or other commonly used adhesives, and is suitable for repairs in hard-to-reach areas, or to return old trailers to original insulation efficiency, the company says. The product’s foam composition fills voids in presprayed foam insulation, and its 30-minute dry cycle allows time to spray trailer walls and adjust the liner as needed before the sealant cures, according to the company; it cures in 24 hours, so trailers have minimal downtime.

Liner Bond is designed to be nonflammable and has no harmful solvents, which helps prevent odors in confined trailer spaces while alleviating health concerns. The portable, disposable product is available in a 23-pound canister with 10-foot hose and bottom-load gun applicator (No. 4004517100) or as a refill canister only (No. 4004517101).
Convenience Products

Wireless parking sensor
Mobile Awareness says its MA-WPSS-4M17 Wireless Parking Sensor System is geared toward commercial trucks with trailers, utility vehicles, buses and RVs to help prevent backing accidents. Activated automatically when reverse gear is engaged, the driver is alerted to objects behind the vehicle with both an audible (active) and visual indicator (LED display), according to the company. The waterproof sensors work in all weather conditions and provide the location of an obstacle within four individual areas behind the vehicle, accurate to within 1/2-inch, Mobile Awareness says. The Truck & Trailer Exchange function allows a truck equipped with the Warning Display Unit (WDU) to detect the Electronic Control Unit (ECU)/sensors located on more than one trailer, and the WDU can be matched with other ECU/sensors installed on additional trailers, according to the company. Other features, according to Mobile Awareness, include the ability to adjust the furthest end location of the vehicle due to overhanging objects such as a trailer hitch or extended bumpers; additionally, the monitor displays all zones simultaneously in real time and includes a wireless signal strength meter.

Developed using wireless technology, the system is simple to install and maintain, the company says; the waterproof sensors and ECU mount with 10 screws and two wires connected to the backing lights, while the dash-mounted WDU requires a power and ground connection.
Mobile Awareness

Loading dock safety system
Castell says its Salvo loading dock safety system is designed to ensure that a particular sequence of events happens before a truck is able to pull away from the dock, decreasing risk to workers and the potential for damage to loading docks and equipment. A new product design and kit purchase option have increased ease of installation, the company says.

Once the gladhand lock is attached to the truck’s brake line – ensuring that brakes are applied and trailer movement has stopped – a coded key is released, which then is used in either the automatic or manual door lock, which traps the key and allows workers inside the plant to unbolt the lock and begin loading or unloading the trailer. When work on the trailer is complete, the door interlock is bolted and the key needed to open the Salvo gladhand brake lock is released, making it possible for the driver to depart.

Castell now is packaging the safety system as a kit, which includes all system components and control panel wiring, as well as a one-size-fits-all design for the Salvo bollard, brackets and barrier chain set. Castell says it also has increased durability with a redesigned temperature-resistant gladhand lock and weatherproof stainless-steel storage box.

Fuel filter/water separator
Parker Hannifin’s Racor Division has introduced its 12- and 24-volt 7120R Integrated Fuel Filter/Water Separators with a two-stage filtration and repriming system to fit applications that require higher flow rates or capacity. The 7120R is available with 10- or 30-micron filtration elements and either a 12- or 24-volt priming pump. The company says the 7120R, which offers higher capacity and a flow rating of 120 gpm, allows the system to be primed with the push of a button. The 7120R – which is compatible with ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel and B2 to B20 biodiesel – is designed to be integrated into many different diesel engine applications, including power generators, medium-duty trucks and recreational vehicles.
Parker Hannifin

Tape measure
Klein Tools has added a Tape Stop Power-Return Rule (Cat. No. 915-25) to its existing line of power-return rules. The 150th anniversary limited-edition tape measure features a self-lock blade designed to secure the blade automatically. The rule also features oversized easy-to-read numbers and a dual-end hook designed for effortless attachment. The Tape Stop Power-Return Rule features architectural markings in 1/8-inch and 1/4-inch scale printed on the first 10 feet on the back side of the nylon-coated blade for easier elevated- and flat-surface measurements. Weighing less than a pound, the rule is one inch wide and extends to 25 feet.
Klein Tools

Illuminated pushbutton switches
E-Switch says its modular MDP-16 series of illuminated pushbutton switches feature an attractive front panel and many illumination options. Actuator styles for the modular interface design include a low or high bezel, and a flush-mount or full-guard option; six actuator colors are available. The robust switch is suited for transportation equipment, industrial control applications and telecommunications.

Aluminum platform for lift gate
Leyman Lift Gates says its LHLP Hide-A-Way Tuck-Under Style Gate models feature a large aluminum platform and have a lifting capacity of 2,500 to 5,500 pounds. Platform sizes range from 80 inches wide by 60 inches deep, and 86 inches wide by 63 inches deep, with a floor height range of 46 to 60 inches. Thirteen additional styles are available.
Leyman Lift Gates

Custom-engraved mudflap
While traditionally hotstamped or embossed mudflaps fade over time, Spray Control Systems says the designs on its Minimizer custom-engraved mudflap will maintain color and vibrancy indefinitely. Using a proprietary process, the company developed the mudflap – which comes in blue, white, red, green or black – from a durable poly material. Customers can choose their own symbol, logo, name or word, which is etched into each flap.
Spray Control Systems

Truck tire changers
Hunter’s TCX620HD and TCX640HD heavy-duty truck tire changers are designed to meet the specific needs of shops servicing the heavy-duty truck and commercial vehicle market.

  • The TCX620HD is a compact design machine optimized for over-the-road truck wheels, including super-singles; it combines an efficient electrohydraulic power system with a mount-demount roller mechanism for faster, safer operation. The TCX620HD employs twin rollers to quickly and easily break beads and demount/mount tires without damage to the tire or rim, the company says.
  • The TCX640HD combines a range of features and capabilities to make wheel service for trucks, buses, tractors and other specialized equipment faster and easier, according to Hunter; it employs power systems and design features similar to the TCX620HD, but adds a standard clamping capacity of up to 46 inches and 56 inches using optional accessories.

All spindle and wheel carriage operations for both the TCX620HD and TCX640HD are controlled from a single control box. The TCX620HD control box is mounted to a pivoting arm that allows the technician to move about the tire changer as needed during service procedures. Controls for the TCX640HD are mounted to a movable pedestal that can be positioned anywhere around the tire changer for additional safety and visibility.

Tire changing station accessories
TSISSG says its five latest tire changing station accessories – available as a bundled kit, or sold separately – are designed to enhance the station’s stability and capability:

  • Floor plate: By mounting the CH-23 stand on the floor plate, users can stand on the floor plate, eliminating the need to mount the tire changer permanently to a cement slab;
  • Shorter jaws (set of three): Intended to be used with a larger-size passenger tire or a stiff sidewall tire, these jaws prevent the bead from dropping back into the bead seat area on the wheel;
  • Wheel protectors (set of four): Two-mount and two-demount plastic wheel protectors, for use with the Mongoose Tire Tool, wedge between the tool and wheel to help prevent damage to the aluminum rim;
  • Mounting clamp: Used on the stiffer sidewall tires, the clamp allows users to clamp the wheel, holding the bead in place, so that the tire does not turn on the wheel while mounting or dismounting; and
  • Mini Mongoose Kit: This accessory, which includes a smaller center post and a smaller CH-4 Mongoose Tire Tool, allows users to mount and dismount small bearing-type wheels without having to clamp them into the jaws of the CH-22.


Pallet truck
Wesley International has added the International, an imported pallet truck, to its product line of special-design pallet trucks and electric utility vehicles. The International has a load capacity of 5,500 pounds, a unitized steel frame and high-strength polyurethane wheels on aluminum cast hubs, according to the company; a forged pump and tubular push rod help make the device lighter.
Wesley International

Electromagnetic on/off fan drive
Horton’s higher-torque EC600 Electromagnetic On/Off Fan Drive is designed for use on medium-duty trucks, buses and off-highway equipment. The fan drive features 1,500 in.-lbs. (170 Nm) dynamic out-of-box torque, compared to 850 in.-lbs. (96 Nm) of Horton’s EC450 Electromagnetic On/Off Fan Drive. The EC600 delivers efficient, rapid cooling, and it engages only when needed – about 10 percent of the time, the company says; this precise engine temperature control ensures that the vehicle operates at maximum fuel efficiency and horsepower and can haul heavier loads and scale steeper grades with minimal drag. Other benefits, according to Horton, include faster engine warming, more heat to passenger and drive compartments, and improved air conditioning.

The EC600 requires minimal installation and features zero lifetime maintenance, the company says. It is suited for vehicles without air brakes and those in highly regulated cost-conscious environments. Current applications include Freightliner, Peterbilt and Kenworth trucks.