Paccar builds on tradition

Updated Mar 10, 2010

Paccar builds on tradition

New MX engine relies on company’s experience

Paccar’s MX diesel engine will be installed in Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks this summer.Paccar’s MX diesel engine will be installed in Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks this summer.

You might be tempted to say that Paccar’s MX Diesel Engine is all-new. But if Paccar Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mark Pigott were close enough to hear, he’d quickly correct you.

“While it’s true that the MX Engine family is new to North America, and the MX Engine project is a 10-year effort that is finally coming to fruition, Paccar has been building engines via our DAF subsidiary in Europe for more than 70 years,” Pigott notes.

At an event at Paccar’s Technical Center in Mt. Vernon, Wash., the company showcased its new MX Engine that will be installed in Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks this summer, available with a range of 380 to 485 horsepower and torque outputs up to 1,750 lb-ft. Paccar says this power range – combined with excellent fuel efficiency, high reliability, durability, lightweight design and low cost of ownership – makes it suitable for both over-the-road linehaul and vocational applications. The MX uses selective catalytic reduction in combination with exhaust gas recirculation to meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2010 diesel engine emissions regulations.

“Currently, there are more than 125,000 SCR-equipped MX Engines on the road in Europe, and Paccar has relied heavily on the technology and real-world experience we’ve gained, not only from our MX Engine Series, but from the 50-year history of DAF diesel engine development in Europe and the more than 900,000 diesel engines delivered in that time,” Pigott says.

Pigott says the new family of five diesel engines is a significant step forward for the 106-year-old company. One need only witness the $1 billion total investment the company has made in this engine – including an all-new $400 million MX Engine plant in Columbus, Miss., that will begin production later this summer.

A million-mile life

Paccar engineers put the MX Engine family through a series of laboratory and real-world testing to ensure optimal performance in North American trucking applications. This included more than 125,000 hours of extreme-application, durability and thermal shock-cycle testing in 42 engine test cells, as well as high-altitude testing at Colorado’s Eisenhower Pass, high-temperature testing in the Mojave Desert and Arizona, and cold-weather trails in Canada’s Northwest Territories.

The end result, according to Craig Brewster, Paccar assistant vice president, is more than 50 million verification miles for the MX Engine Series in both real-world and test track conditions. “This lengthy and intense testing cycle has given Paccar the confidence to release the MX Engine family with a 1-million-mile design criteria,” Brewster says.

Paccar Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mark Pigott says there are more than 125,000 SCR-equipped MX Engines on the road in Europe.Paccar Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mark Pigott says there are more than 125,000 SCR-equipped MX Engines on the road in Europe.

Paccar says the key to the engine’s durability is the fact that all MX Engines in this series are designed with compacted graphite iron (CGI) heads and blocks, making the company the only OEM in the industry to construct both crucial engine components from this lighter yet stronger material. “CGI gives MX Engine components a 75 percent increase in both strength and stiffness,” Brewster says. “At the same time, it provides a 200 percent increase in thermal fatigue resistance. The result is uncompromised durability for long engine life using materials that are 150 pounds lighter than competitive engines using conventional cast iron components.”

An added bonus is that CGI is both quieter and transmits fewer engine vibrations to the cab of the truck. “We knew we were on the right track with CGI when drivers told us they could turn their radio volume down by half compared to their old trucks and still enjoy the music,” Brewster says. “The result for trucking companies is that a quieter, smoother ride results in less fatigued, more alert drivers.”

Other design enhancements for the MX Series, according to the company, include integral fuel channels cut directly into the engine block, an integrated Paccar-designed engine brake and a single well-balanced crankshaft that does not require counterweights, resulting in an additional 25-pound weight savings for the design. “Every aspect of this engine family has been optimized to deliver leading fuel economy,” Brewster says. “This includes highly advanced electronic engine control systems, which allow operation at 36,000 psi (25,000 bar), and an integral power steering and fuel pump system to reduce parasitic drag.”

Tools, parts and techs ready

The MX Engine family features an inline six-cylinder design with four valves per cylinder. The engines come standard with a two-year/250,000-mile warranty. More than 650 authorized Paccar dealers already have received extensive technical training to support the MX Series, and each certified Paccar dealer is required to have trained technicians, tools and parts on-hand to provide full service support for the new engines.

Kurt Freitag, director of aftermarket support, says more than 1,000 Kenworth and Peterbilt technicians are ready now to provide MX Engine support, including Pigott, who rolled up his sleeves and underwent technical training (including a complete engine tear-down and rebuild) as the company geared up to launch its new flagship MX Series.

Orders may be placed now for summer deliveries. Paccar sources say pricing will be “competitive” with Cummins’ ISL engine, and initial oil drain intervals are set at 40,000 miles.

—Jack Roberts

In brief

* Great Dane Trailers acquired Johnson Refrigerated Truck Bodies, a manufacturer of insulated fiberglass refrigerated truck bodies and all-electric refrigeration solutions, and a developer of truck refrigeration technology. Terms were not announced.

* Navistar Inc. signed a concept development agreement with Clean Air Power Ltd. to develop Navistar’s MaxxForce 13 advanced exhaust gas recirculation big bore engine to run on natural gas and clean diesel fuel and be fully compliant with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2010 on-highway diesel emissions regulations.

* Meritor WABCO Vehicle Control Systems announced the availability of its proprietary Single Piston PAN 22 Series Air Disc Brake on selected Hendrickson trailer axles and Intraax and Vantraax suspensions.

* Freightliner Trucks announced a partnership with Allison Transmission Inc. to offer Allison Optimized packages for vocational markets.

* Kenworth Truck Co. and Paccar Financial introduced a no-cost three-year/300,000-mile basic vehicle extended warranty for customers choosing Paccar Financial to finance purchases of new 2010 emissions-compliant Kenworth Class 8 factory trucks.

* Knight Transportation ordered 370 Volvo VNs equipped with selective catalytic reduction emissions control technology. Volvo Trucks North America will begin deliveries to the Phoenix-based fleet in April.

* Continental Tire The Americas’ HDL2 DL now includes an offering of load range H in the 11R22.5 size, allowing the tire to carry up to an additional 435 pounds of useful load in a single fitment.

* Forestry Equipment of Virginia purchased 75 Freightliner Business Class M2 106 trucks. Based in Forest, Va., FEVA specializes in mounting aerial lifts for the forestry industry.

* Cummins Inc. announced a multiyear extension of its current agreement with Chrysler Group to supply 6.7-liter Turbo Diesel engines for Ram Heavy Duty pickups and Chassis Cab trucks.

* Four Yokohama Tire Corp. commercial truck tires have been added to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay list of verified technologies for tires, bringing the number of Yokohama products recognized as SmartWay low rolling-resistance tires to seven.

* Participating Kenworth and Peterbilt dealers now offer a diesel particulate filter cleaning service using FSX’s cleaning machine.

* Truck Writers of North America recognized the rust-preventive coating on ArvinMeritor’s PlatinumShield Brake Shoes as the top technical achievement for 2009 at the annual Technology & Maintenance Council meeting in Tampa, Fla.

* Navistar Parts’ “Buy More, $ave More” program offers purchasers of used trucks and buses a tiered rebate program on parts purchased at participating International or IC Bus dealerships in the United States and Canada through Oct. 31.

* Penske Truck Leasing ordered more than 1,800 new Fuller UltraShift HV (Highway Value) medium-duty automated transmissions.

* Dana introduced two new Spicer tag axles designed to improve fuel efficiency, reduce vehicle weight and lower OEM installation costs while enabling fleets and owner-operators to easily convert a 6×2 configuration into a 6×4.

* Volvo Group chose Penn State as its first academic preferred partnership in North America to explore and resolve some of the serious issues in commercial transportation markets around the world.

Bad-boy bowtie

2011 Chevy Silverado HD looks the same, but it’s way different inside

The 2011 Chevrolet Silverado Heavy Duty sets a new towing standard by not requiring a weight-distributing hitch to tow maximum loads.The 2011 Chevrolet Silverado Heavy Duty sets a new towing standard by not requiring a weight-distributing hitch to tow maximum loads.

If you’re a Chevy lover and considering a step up to a new heavy-duty GM diesel pickup, put a hold on looking at a 2010 model and put your money on a 2011. The two may look identical, but according to GM’s latest press information, they’re definitely not equal under the skin. Such was the word from the bowtie camp when they unveiled the 2011 Chevrolet Silverado Heavy Duty pickups at last month’s 2010 Chicago Auto Show.

The 2011 Silverado HD and its yet-to-be-revealed GMC Sierra counterpart have received enough technological advancements in the frame, engine, braking and suspension areas to make it tow, haul, ride and perform much better than the previous (current) model. Those who love the performance of the current Duramax/Allison package will love the new setup, which is said to be stouter, more powerful and more efficient.

One item among the many catching the public’s attention is fuel economy. Although none of the pickup manufacturers are required to post fuel economy numbers on their heavy-duty offerings, GM all but says the new Duramax/Allison 1000 combo will deliver 18.9 mpg on the open road. (GM’s claim: The Silverado’s 36-gallon fuel tank will take you 680 miles.) This is an 11-percent improvement over the 2010 model.

Another area of importance to the working/recreational diesel pickup user is what’s under the body. GM went to a fully boxed frame and a heavier independent front suspension, both of which contribute to the new pickup’s “class-leading” load-carrying and towing capacities. The design upgrades also are said to deliver a smoother, quieter ride and more precise handling – especially under heavy load situations, such as carrying big slide-in campers or towing travel and equipment trailers.

However, for the buyer of a 2011 Chevy Silverado HD, the biggest news is you no longer have to worry about installing and setting up a weight-distributing hitch. The maximum towing capacity (13,000 to 16,000 pounds, depending on model) is SAE J2807-certified towing “on-the-ball.” In the world of towing, this is huge news.

In years past, to have your pickup “properly equipped” as stated in the owner’s manual, all GM HD pickups required the use of a weight-distributing hitch when trailering more than 7,500 pounds, while the majority of other manufacturers’ pickups required a W-D hitch for trailered loads weighing more than 5,000 pounds. Through the chassis, brake and drivetrain changes, GM engineers have found a way to eliminate the need for an aftermarket W-D hitch.

According to Jim Mikulec, lead development engineer for GM HD trucks, “You can tow up to 16,000 pounds [3500 model] in the conventional ‘weight-carrying’ mode, which is towing on the ball and shank. You don’t need to use a weight-distribution hitch.”

The new pickup’s door tag probably will show both the “weight-carrying” (trailer hitched straight to the ball/shank) and “weight-distributing” ratings being one and the same. Although GM marketing hype has overlooked this point, it’s probably the biggest news of all, as GM becomes the first manufacturer to build an SAE-certified pickup and hitch package capable of towing this much weight without requiring the use of a W-D hitch assembly.

This should be great news to those who tow travel-trailers and heavy equipment trailers on the factory hitch because this eliminates having to deal with the setup and expense of a W-D hitch and removes any confusion as to having the vehicle “properly equipped” when it comes to towing limits and related vehicle operator liability issues facing older pickups.

All in all, it appears GM thought out the redesign of the 2011 Silverado HD quite well. If it’s as good as they claim, the Chevy HD pickups should be stiff competition for the 2011 Ford Super Duty and 2010 Dodge Ram HD.

– Bruce Smith

Navistar makes headlines at World of Concrete

Navistar announced a number of customer-centric product enhancements to its International WorkStar and PayStar severe service trucks.Navistar announced a number of customer-centric product enhancements to its International WorkStar and PayStar severe service trucks.

At a press conference at the annual World of Concrete trade show, Navistar International Corp. announced a number of customer-centric product enhancements to its International WorkStar and PayStar severe service trucks. The company also formally introduced Continental Mixers as the latest addition to the Navistar portfolio of brands.

New enhancements for the PayStar and WorkStar models, which will feature MaxxForce Advanced EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) engines, include:

For WorkStar models:

• Heavy-duty diesel WorkStar models (7600 and 7700) are combined into one model with two variations, 7600 SBA (46-inch set-back axle) and 7600 SFA (30-inch set-forward axle). Both models will feature a new 113-inch BBC (bumper to back-of-cab) for increased cooling efficiency.

• A crew cab configuration now is available in heavy-duty diesel models, with front axle ratings up to 18,000 pounds for select applications.

• All-wheel drive (AWD) now is available up to 18,000 pounds on front axles on midrange diesel configurations.

• Steerable 20,000-pound lift axles now are available direct from the factory.

• Now standard on the WorkStar, aluminum fuel tanks improve corrosion resistance and reduce weight.

• HVAC system has been redesigned to improve in-cab comfort and system reliability.

For PayStar models:

• Electronic stability control now is available on all PayStar models.

• 8,000-, 13,200- and 20,000-pound lift axles now are available direct from the factory.

• New 10.25-by-3⁄8-inch frame rails now are standard equipment on the PayStar 5900 SBA. The 10.25-inch frame rail provides customers with a strong vocational frame in applications where vehicle weight is important.

• MaxxForce 11 and MaxxForce 13 diesel engines will be available in the PayStar in the months ahead.

• MaxxForce 15 will be available in late 2010.

Navistar says the new name of the Continental Mixers company signals a new chapter in the already strong heritage of Continental Manufacturing Co., which Navistar acquired in December 2009. Continental Mixers will offer a full lineup of rear discharge mixer products sold under both the Continental Mixers and CBMW Mixers brands. Continental Mixers will continue to operate independently, with operations based in Houston.

Great Dane to launch national parts program

Great Dane Trailers now is taking applications from fleets to enroll in its AdvantEDGE program, a national accounts purchasing program for parts and service. The company is also in the process of implementing the program throughout its 130-location network of Great Dane dealers and affiliated service and parts provider partners in the United States and Canada.

Among the benefits the program offers fleets is consistent parts pricing, standardized labor rates and centralized billing, according to Great Dane. Users will be able to view their service and parts purchase history online, allowing them to track expenses and trends better.

Fleets also can control expenditures by assigning user-specific spending limits and putting safeguards in place, such as the requirement of a purchase order number if charges exceed a pre-assigned amount.

For Great Dane dealers and affiliated parts and service providers, the program “will bring new fleet business to their door, and expand business among existing customers as well,” says David Durand, director of aftermarket parts for the Savannah, Ga.-based company. The program also will help control cash flow better because there is guaranteed reimbursement through Great Dane.

Great Dane partnered with Multi Service to execute the program, which currently is being tested and is expected to fully launch throughout the United States and Canada in the next several months.

Volvo, Mack say MVASIST provides control over service

MVASIST from Volvo Trucks North America and Mack Trucks gives customers control over their service experience to improve vehicle uptime, reduce time fleets spend on the service process and increase customer satisfaction, the truck makers said.

MVASIST is an Internet-based system that keeps together all information and communication about a truck service event in one online folder to streamline communications and the service write-up process. It allows Volvo and Mack service providers to deliver consistent service processes. Fleet- and truck-specific information is tied to each service event. And MVASIST furnishes a complete record of in-context communication between service provider and customer available online so that all involved in the service event are on the same page, reducing miscommunication and delays.

The result is consistent, complete and professional estimates of service recommendations, including standard repair times, regardless of which dealer in the Volvo/Mack network performs the service. At the same time, MVASIST makes dealer service personnel aware of fleet- and vehicle-specific information, such as warranty coverage, previous service performed and negotiated parts pricing.

The truck makers say MVASIST addresses concerns and complaints that were voiced by fleet managers in a 2009 TMC study about the typical industrywide truck service customer experience. More than 240 dealers in the Volvo/Mack network currently are enrolled in the MVASIST system, with full participation planned for the end of 2010.

Mitchell 1 introduces Repair-Connect

Repair-Connect, a new tool designed to shorten repair time and lower truck operating costs, was introduced by Mitchell 1. The company, which also provides Web-based service and repair information with and, says Repair-Connect speeds up the repair process by taking an experienced technician using Mitchell 1 programs directly to the service information he needs by simply inputting the diagnostic trouble code. Repair-Connect anticipates what detailed information is required to fix the vehicle based on the DTC and retrieves it in seconds.

An easy selection menu quickly navigates the program and delivers a “to-the-point” wiring diagram displaying just the wires making up a particular circuit; Repair-Connect also provides the entire engine diagram when needed. Thousands of digital photos provide detailed real-world views of components involved with the repair.

Mitchell 1 says that by using the intelligent diagnostic capabilities of Repair-Connect, truck service facilities can increase productivity and lower operating costs.

Fontaine debuts Revolution Hybrid Dropdeck 

Fontaine Trailer’s Revolution Hybrid Dropdeck is a 48-foot-by-102-inch dropdeck platform trailer that weighs only 9,300 pounds.Fontaine Trailer’s Revolution Hybrid Dropdeck is a 48-foot-by-102-inch dropdeck platform trailer that weighs only 9,300 pounds.

Fontaine Trailer introduced its new Revolution Hybrid Dropdeck, a 48-foot-by-102-inch dropdeck platform trailer that weighs only 9,300 pounds. The advanced-technology trailer features steel main beams with an extruded aluminum floor for added strength and stability. The patented design is lighter and stronger and boasts a concentrated load capacity of 54,000 pounds in 5 feet.

The sleek, unitized design – which the company says is made possible by technology borrowed from the aerospace industry – maintains the integrity of the trailer geometry under load and under centrifugal force to facilitate superior handling, reduced tire wear and improved fuel economy. The added stability helps eliminate “side-bow,” preventing secured loads from shifting in transit and reducing the potential for rollover situations. The patented one-piece extruded aluminum siderail is designed to withstand impact damage better than steel siderails, while an integrated load securement system helps make loading and unloading faster, safer and more driver-friendly.

This is the third branch of the Fontaine Revolution family, which also includes the all-aluminum Revolution 60 and Revolution 52 flatbed trailers, and the Revolution Hybrid composite flatbed trailer.

Webb Wheel expands Vortex brake drum line

Three new Vortex heavy-duty brake drum models will be available through Webb Wheel’s national dealer network in March.Three new Vortex heavy-duty brake drum models will be available through Webb Wheel’s national dealer network in March.

With the federal government’s 2011 stopping distance mandates going into effect next year, Webb Wheel announced that it has expanded its Vortex line of heavy-duty brake drums, adding three new models that will be available through Webb’s national dealer network in March.

Like previous Vortex drums, the expanded product line will be lighter than conventional brake drums, while manufactured from the same gray iron material. According to Ken Kelley, vice president of Webb’s aftermarket business unit, the new Vortex drums also will run cooler than conventional drum designs, thanks to Webb’s patented design with better heat dissipation characteristics, reduced wall thickness, centerline squealer band and external ribs. All of these features, Kelley says, help maximize Vortex liner life and reduce lifecycle costs for fleets.

Webb’s new Vortex brake drums include a 15-by-4 drum weighing 65 pounds, a 16.5-by-5 drum that weighs 79 pounds, and a 113-pound 16.5-by-8.625 model. n