International takes orders for Class 8 MaxxForce

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Daimler Trucks North America has established a new Light Commercial Vehicle Team, combining the resources of Sterling Truck Corp.’s Class 3-5 lines and Mitsubishi Fuso brand low-cab-over-engine (LCOE) operations in North America. The operation will be based in Redmond, Mich., and will focus on the sales, marketing, product strategy and distribution of the Sterling 360, the Sterling Bullet and Mitsubishi Fuso Class 3-7 LCOE trucks.

Vipar Heavy Duty is expanding beyond parts into commercial vehicle equipment and now will be known in the market as VHD Equipment Network, which will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Vipar Heavy Duty. VHD Equipment Network will focus on the $9 billion North American commercial vehicle equipment market that represents more than 1,700 companies that distribute, install, buy, sell and repair truck-mounted equipment.

Kenworth and Peterbilt separately announced that certain medium-duty hybrid vehicles purchased in the United States had been approved by the Department of Treasury as eligible for federal tax credits of up to $12,000. Class 7 hybrids equipped with Paccar PX-6 and Eaton hybrid systems are eligible for the maximum credit. Class 6 trucks with the Paccar engine and Eaton system are eligible for $6,000 credits.

Corporate Express US, part of the Dutch-based Corporate Express NV, said it will be among the first companies in North America to pilot a prototype diesel hybrid-electric
delivery truck from Isuzu Commercial Truck of America.

Michelin’s Durable Technologies XDA5 drive tire was honored with the 2008 Truck Writers of North America Technical Achievement Award, which recognizes technical innovation in a widely available product or service. The XDA5 drive tire is molded in three dimensions; as the tire wears, the tread reveals new grooves and tread blocks, giving the tire a “second life,” self-regenerating to improve wet, worn traction.

Sterling Truck Corp. said the DD15 engine now is available for order on the Sterling Set-Back A-Line and Set-Back L-Line models. The truck maker also said several factory-installed safety options – air disc brakes, collision warning and roll stability control – are available now or will be soon on those two Sterling models, as well as the Set-Forward
L-Line and Acterra models.

Double Coin Truck Tire is offering the Double Coin National Account Fleet Program, which allows medium-sized and large trucking fleets to purchase Double Coin TBR products at competitive pricing through its North American dealer network.

Phillips Industries received the NAPA Heavy Duty Manufacturer of the Year Award for 2007.

Rockland Flooring has acquired Nelson International’s Trailer Components Division; terms were not announced. The deal allows Rockland to supply all wood components required in any type of trailer.

International Truck and Engine Corp. in late January opened the order books at International dealerships for its new MaxxForce 11 and MaxxForce 13 Class 8 diesel engines. The MaxxForce big-bore engines are offered exclusively in models of the International ProStar line-haul tractors, TranStar regional-haul tractors and WorkStar severe-service vehicles. Six MaxxForce big-bore models offer ratings in the ranges of 330 to 475 horsepower and 1,250 to 1,700 lb.-ft. torque.

The MaxxForce engines are built on a compacted graphite iron block – the first for the North American Class 8 market, International says. The MaxxForce family features fuel system electronics, an air management system, exhaust gas recirculation and aftertreatment technologies developed by International specifically for performance at low emissions levels. International says the benefits of this combination for vehicle owners include outstanding fuel economy; excellent power and torque; quiet operation with low noise, vibration and harshness; and high strength without added weight.

“Anticipation has been high since we announced our strategy nearly three years ago, and this world-class product will exceed expectations,” said International Engine Group President Jack Allen.

The MaxxForce engines incorporate a high-pressure common-rail fuel system, twin-series turbochargers with interstage cooler, and the Eco-Therm heat-management system. The fuel- and air-management systems help the engines reach peak torque at 1,000 rpm, allowing earlier acceleration upshifts and fewer grade-climb downshifts. The result is that the MaxxForce big-bore engines operate more often in the lower speed range, promoting better fuel economy, International says.

The new engines are the first outcomes of the collaboration between International and MAN Nutzfahrzeuge, announced in early 2005. Both global companies contributed to the design, development, engineering, sourcing, testing and manufacturing of the technologies, systems and components. Inter-national will build the MaxxForce engines at a new International
plant in Huntsville, Ala.

For more information on MaxxForce 11 and MaxxForce 13, visit www.maxxforcebigbore.com.

MaxxForce 11 Specifications
Displacement: 10.5 liters (641 cu. in.)
Bore and stroke: 120 mm x 155 mm (4.72 in. x 6.10 in.)
Compression ratio: 17:1
Aspiration: Twin-series turbocharger, air/coolant intercooled
Combustion system: Direct injection
Cooling system capacity: 49 liters (52 U.S. quarts) (engine only)
Lubrication system capacity: 42 liters (44.5 U.S. quarts)
Total engine weight (dry): 2,244 lbs. (1,018 kg)
Valves: 4 per cylinder, overhead cam actuated
Torque range: 1,250-1,400 lb.-ft. (1,693-1,964 Nm) @ 1,000-1,200 rpm
Clutch engagement torque: 660-830 lb.-ft. @ 800 rpm


Eaton touts hybrid safety
Addressing any concerns fleet owners might have regarding the use of high-voltage electrical propulsion on commercial vehicles, Eaton Corp. has outlined the safety features of its new hybrid-electric power systems.

“All of the components were selected and specified to provide safety for not only the driver, but also for any technician who might be working on the vehicle, and even for motorists and others who might be involved in an accident with a hybrid vehicle,” says Shane Groner, technical service manager-North America for Roadranger Marketing. (Roadranger Marketing is a joint initiative of Eaton and Dana Corp.)

“The bottom line is this – hybrid power is as safe as any other power source,” Groner says. “It’s just different, and calls for different training and product support.”

All high-voltage components are totally isolated from the 12-volt system, and high-voltage cables purposely were placed outside of the vehicle’s cab and enclosed to safeguard the operator and passengers. Also, high-voltage cables and connectors are bright orange, signaling caution to trained technicians and emergency response professionals and others who might respond to an accident.

Batteries and all other high-voltage systems are fully sealed and inaccessible without the proper tools, Groner says. Vehicles equipped with Eaton’s hybrid power systems also include a Limp Home capability, which prevents continued operation of the hybrid components during a system malfunction while eliminating the need for towing.

In addition, regenerative braking and anti-lock braking systems (ABS) are linked via the SAE J1939 datalink so that the hybrid system does not have any negative impact on the vehicle during an ABS event.


Cummins says APU will meet California regs
Cummins Inc. said last month that it has submitted all necessary applications to the California Air Resources Board for product testing and verification of two ComfortGuard auxiliary power unit solutions. Diesel APUs used on large trucks equipped with 2007 or newer diesel engines must be verified by CARB. Battery-powered solutions are not covered by the regulation and so don’t have to be verified. Verification became important as of Jan. 1 because that’s when a no-idle exemption for resting in the sleeper expired.

Once the company receives formal CARB verification, Cummins ComfortGuard will be available either with a standalone particulate filter or an installation kit to route the ComfortGuard diesel exhaust gas into the Cummins Particulate Filter.

Equipped with a Cummins alternator, ComfortGuard produces 4,000 watts at 120 volts and 60 Hz AC. It also produces up to 40 amps at 12 volts DC for charging the truck’s batteries and for powering lights and fans.


Towing could be new TMC focus
TMC panel to develop RP for urea

With an eye toward the introduction of the 2010 engines – many of which will meet the lowered emissions standards using selective catalytic reduction – a task force of the Technology and Maintenance Council’s S. 3 engine study group plans to develop a recommended practice for the use, handling and storage of diesel exhaust fluids (DEFs), namely urea. DEFs (32.5 percent urea and 67.5 percent demineralized water) react in a catalytic converter with NOx in diesel exhaust to produce water, carbon dioxide and harmless nitrogen.

In preparing its RP, the task force will define DEFs and offer suggestions for their storage, handling and quality management. With the infrastructure for distributing DEFs still uncertain, the task force also plans to provide a locator service.

Engine makers estimate that onboard DEF tanks will range in size from 15 to 40 gallons, depending on the application. DEF gets used at an average rate of about two to four percent per gallon of diesel fuel.

Answering concerns about the shelf life of DEF, Barry Lonsdale – president of DEF producer Terra Environmental Technologies – told meeting attendees that the product can be stored for 1 to 11⁄2 years at temperatures ranging from 15 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Although formalized distribution has not been determined yet, Lonsdale said DEF packaged in gallon sizes will have good availability when needed to support 2010 engines.
– Linda Longton


Towing could be new TMC focus
At its annual meeting last month, the Technology and Maintenance Council began to explore solutions to a thorny problem for over-the-road fleets – towing. TMC is considering launching a Towing Advisory Group that would bring together TMC-member fleets with leadership and members of the Towing and Recovery Association of America. The effort is spearheaded by Oren Summer, president of FleetNet America.

The Towing Advisory Group would address concerns like rogue, unprofessional towing companies preying on trucking companies and the frequent use by states of rotation lists of towing companies that must be used even when the trucking company already has made arrangements with preferred towing operators. In addition, the group would track and try to influence state and federal initiatives to expedite the recovery from accidents and incidents, as well as their impact on trucking companies.
– Avery Vise


Task force to catalog counterfeit parts
The Technology and Maintenance Council’s Counterfeit Parts Task Force soon will begin conducting field research and building a database of counterfeit parts issues reported by TMC members. Formed last year at TMC’s fall meeting in Nashville, Tenn., the group met at the TMC annual meeting to update its progress. Kenneth Calhoun, chairman of the task force and manager of on-highway product for United Engines, said the group has drafted a letter and survey that will be sent to TMC members to collect instances of counterfeit parts issues. The letter and survey currently are being reviewed by TMC.

The next step, Calhoun said, is to create an online database of counterfeit parts instances on the TMC website, followed by e-mail alerts to members when new counterfeit parts issues and instances are discovered. Calhoun said they are “hoping to facilitate getting the right people talking to each other.” He said the “width and breadth of this issue is huge,” and that it is a $12 billion problem in the automotive industry.
– Derek Smith


TMC revives study group on energy use
The Technology and Maintenance Council of the American Trucking Associations has decided to resurrect the S. 11 Study Group on energy conservation. The decision was announced at the traditional “town hall” meeting during TMC’s annual gathering in February.

Nearly 30 years ago, S. 11 introduced and validated the Type II fuel economy test procedure in conjunction with the Society of Automotive Engineers. Several years later, the study group released an information report based on Type II test data verifying the presumption that operating at 55 mph was substantially better from a fuel economy standpoint than driving at 65 mph.