Updated Apr 2, 2010

Navistar makes medium-duty splash


TerraStar, new engine take aim at Class 4, 5 market

At the 2010 National Truck Equipment Association’s Work Truck Show last month in St. Louis, Navistar announced its new MaxxForce 7 V-8 diesel engine and International TerraStar vocational truck, both aimed squarely at the North American Class 4 and 5 markets.

Navistar says the new International TerraStar is a conventional truck design built on a strong, durable commercial-duty platform.Navistar says the new International TerraStar is a conventional truck design built on a strong, durable commercial-duty platform.

According to Jack Allen, president of Navistar’s North American Truck Group, the new engine and truck are designed specifically to take advantage of major changes in the North American vocational environment, including the departures of both General Motors and Sterling, which together represented almost a quarter of the commercial trucks sold into vocational applications. “At the same time, customers in this market are shifting their truck purchases, with many moving up and acquiring larger-GVWR trucks to fulfill their business requirements,” Allen says. International aims to fill both needs with its new commercial-grade medium-duty truck that features the company’s heavy-duty truck DNA and is built to handle even the toughest jobsites and applications, he says.

International engineers designed the TerraStar with a large front windshield for premium visibility, a 107-inch BBC (bumper to back-of-cab) length and a 44-foot curb-to-curb turning radius, while a roomy cab allows plenty of room for three adults to fit comfortably in the front seat. The TerraStar – which will be offered with optional extended cab or crew cab configurations – initially will be available with a 4×2 drivetrain, with a 4×4 drivetrain planned for 2011.

The TerraStar will feature International’s Diamond Logic electrical system, which maximizes ease of body integration and helps deliver a number of smart, customizable features for added convenience and safety, such as automated pretrip inspections, headlights on with wipers, interlocks, programmable switches and more, depending on the application.

Under the hood, the TerraStar’s MaxxForce 7 V-8 diesel engine, like its bigger MaxxForce brethren, is crafted from compacted graphite iron, which is lighter yet stronger than conventional cast-iron engine blocks. While noting that the new engine carries much of the same DNA as the Power Stroke diesel engine line that Navistar had supplied to Ford for F-Series trucks since the early 1980s, Allen says the MaxxForce 7 was designed from the ground up “for International and nobody else.”

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The MaxxForce 7 churns out 300 hp and 660 lb.-ft. of torque, thanks to a 28,000-psi high-pressure common-rail fuel system and a dual sequential turbocharger system. “This V-8 marks one of the most significant product upgrades in our history, as we’ve met the market’s challenge for big power from an efficient, reliable and durable platform,” says Jim Hebe, Navistar’s senior vice president of North American sales operations. “Customers whose business involves pickup and delivery, towing and recovery, landscaping or emergency vehicles such as ambulances will find the MaxxForce 7 to be the perfect fit for their operations with true commercial vehicle power, durability and capability.”

– Jack Roberts

In brief

* Terra Environmental Technologies (TET), a supplier of diesel exhaust fluid, announced agreements with Barjan and DAS to distribute the company’s TerraCair Ultrapure DEF to truckstops and travel centers.

* Bergstrom Inc., a provider of climate systems to the commercial vehicle industry, acquired Modine Manufacturing Co.’s vehicular HVAC products business in North America. The subsidiary serves off-highway vehicles, trucks and school buses, specifically major commercial vehicle OEMs.

* Mack Trucks Inc. says it had nearly one-third of total truck exports from the United States, Canada and Mexico to countries outside North America in 2009, with a 30.8 percent market share.

* GE’s Trailer Fleet Services announced it sold more than 14,000 late-model trailers in 2009. The company expects to remarket between 18,000 and 20,000 used trailers this year through its network of U.S. dedicated retail centers and rental branches.

* Effective Oct. 9, Navistar International Corp. and Iveco Trucks Australia Ltd. will terminate agreements under which Iveco markets certain models of Navistar’s International brand trucks in Australia. After that date, Navistar products will be designed, manufactured and distributed by NC2, the global commercial truck joint venture between Navistar and Caterpillar Inc.

* Haldex says it will move its plant in Monterrey, Mexico, which manufactures spring brakes and service chambers, to a larger facility during the third quarter of this year because of space demands due to new business and new product offerings or improvements.

Rush dealership sells its 1,000th Hino truck

Earlier this year, Rush Truck Centers–Houston became the first U.S. truck dealership to sell 1,000 Hino trucks. Representatives from New Braunfels, Texas-based RTC and Hino representatives marked the occasion by handing the keys to Odis Peavy, president of Houston-based PV Rentals Sales & Leasing, during a Feb. 24 ceremony at the RTC-Houston dealership.

The 1,000th Hino truck sold by Rush Truck Centers – Houston is a Class 6 Model 268 with a 25,900-pound GVWR.The 1,000th Hino truck sold by Rush Truck Centers – Houston is a Class 6 Model 268 with a 25,900-pound GVWR.

Since 2004, RTC has grown to become Hino’s largest dealer in both numbers and volume. It carries the Hino brand at 18 dealerships from California to North Carolina, with a volume of more than 3,400 conventional trucks, roughly 17 percent of Hino Trucks’ U.S. sales. RTC’s Houston dealership accounts for nearly 30 percent of Hino sales companywide. Glenn Ellis, Hino Trucks vice president of marketing and dealer operations, presented RTC-Houston with Hino Trucks’ Presidential Sales Leadership Award.

“We realized a need to leverage more out of these facilities and service more customers,” says Rusty Rush, RTC president and chief executive officer. “Growing the vocational and medium-duty business became a focus. We’re excited about where we are, but we’re more excited about where we’re going representing a premium product like Hino.”

“Our conventional product line continues to expand,” Ellis says. “Early next year, we will re-introduce a Class 4-5 cabover product, and we’ll offer that in a diesel version and a diesel-hybrid version. Because of urbanization going on, Class 5 has been a growing market, and we believe that trend will continue as people continue to look for smaller, more regional trucks.”

–Jeff Crissey

NY/NJ Port Authority to phase in cleaner trucks

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last month announced the phasing-out of the oldest diesel trucks servicing port facilities by Jan. 1, 2011 – replacing them with cleaner vehicles. The program initially will replace 636 trucks made before 1994 that regularly service the port. By 2017, the program also will replace all of the more than 4,500 trucks that regularly service the port with engines made before 2007. The initiative provides $28 million in joint financial assistance from EPA and the Port Authority.

“Nobody drives a 30-year-old truck because they like the exhaust – they drive them because they can’t afford to buy a newer truck,” says Richard Kassel, director of the National Resources Defense Council’s Clean Fuels and Vehicles Project, and co-chair of the work group that designed the new program. “With this program, drivers will get the financing incentives they need to upgrade to newer, cleaner and more reliable trucks.”

Truck drivers will be eligible for a 25 percent grant toward the total purchase price of a replacement truck, as well as low-interest financing – 5.25 percent over five years – for up to 75 percent of the total purchase price. Drivers that regularly call on the port’s marine terminals are eligible for assistance. Information about the program and application process is available at or in Spanish at

Truck makers grab headlines at Work Truck Show

Several OEMs showcased their latest products and technology at last month’s NTEA Work Truck Show in St. Louis.

Peterbilt Motors Co. launched All-Wheel Drive (AWD) for its Models 337 and 348 to provide vocational customers off-road versatility and maneuverability. The Model 337 AWD is available with the Paccar PX-6 rated up to 325 hp and 750 lb.-ft. of torque, and a choice of Fuller manual or Allison automatic transmissions. The Model 337 AWD, starting at 29,000 pounds GVWR, has a strong steel frame and multiple available axle ratings to support off-road confidence and enable an easy transition to urban streets.

Peterbilt Motors Co. launched All-Wheel Drive (AWD) for its Models 337 and 348 to provide vocational customers off-road versatility and maneuverability.Peterbilt Motors Co. launched All-Wheel Drive (AWD) for its Models 337 and 348 to provide vocational customers off-road versatility and maneuverability.

Both AWD vehicles are constructed with a strong all-aluminum cab that is lightweight for maximum fuel efficiency and corrosion-resistant for durability. Both models offer 17 percent better side-window visibility, and improved forward visibility provides an advantage for drivers operating in challenging off-road environments.

Kenworth Truck Co. announced a new enhanced multiplex instrumentation system that can be ordered on all T170, T270 and T370 models with 2010 engines. The system provides increased serviceability and reliability with wiring behind the dash color-coded and numbered for easier servicing, and critical connections maintained with positive locking connectors.

The company also showcased its previously announced T440 model and announced that it will add Bendix Electronic Stability Program as an option on select medium-duty tractor and full truck applications with air brake systems. In addition, Kenworth announced enhanced component packaging for its T270 and T370 diesel-electric hybrid models while also adding a new inverter design for 2010.

Western Star announced a partnership with Allison Transmission to offer a specially designed Allison Optimized package that features shift energy management, prognostics, reduced engine load at stop, load base shift schedule, auto neutral, TES 295 synthetic fluid and warranty. The transmission is geared for heavy haul, mixer, dump and short-haul tractor applications.

Targeting construction, government, refuse and utility applications where the truck must maneuver through congested areas, Western Star also introduced the 109-inch BBC 4900, which includes a Detroit Diesel DD13 engine and Allison 3000RDS transmission, and is available with a 12,000- to 20,000-pound front axle and 21,000- to 46,000-pound rear axles.

Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. unveiled its plug-in all-electric walk-in van (WIV) chassis as the first in the industry to be completely all-electric (including HVAC system) in North America. The all-electric chassis, developed in partnership with Enova Systems, is built on the MT-45 platform.

FCCC says its all-electric chassis integrates the ergonomics and safety features of WIV bodies, such as a curb-side exit, a walk-through cargo area and direct access to the cargo area from the driver’s station.

Isuzu Commercial Truck of America introduced its 12,000-pound GVWR NPR Eco-Max low-cab-forward truck, offering up to 20 percent improved fuel economy and increased payload capacity compared to previous NPR models. The new 2011 model year truck is powered by Isuzu’s next-generation 4JJ1-TC diesel engine, which has operated globally in Isuzu’s N-Series models for the last five years. This is the first time the 4J engine will be utilized in the U.S. market.

The turbocharged 4-cylinder 3-liter engine, which delivers 150 hp and 282 lb.-ft. of torque, is compliant with 2010 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board emissions mandates. It offers a B10 engine life rating of 310,000 miles and is mated to an Aisin heavy-duty six-speed automatic transmission with double overdrive and lockup PTO function.

Nissan’s first entry into the commercial vehicle market in North America, the 2011 Nissan NV (Nissan Van), is scheduled to launch in late 2010 and will be available in three models – NV1500, NV2500 HD and NV3500 HD – and in standard roof or high roof configurations. The NV’s rugged design combines a full-length hood with access to the engine for service and maintenance, along with signature Nissan styling cues such as large headlights and a vertical grille. The broad bodysides provide ample room for company logos or advertising messages, while the tall, wide doors offer easy access to the cab and cargo areas. Powering the rear-wheel-drive Nissan NV will be a choice of two powerful fuel-efficient engines – a 4.0-liter V-6 and 5.6-liter V-8. Both will be mated to a standard 5-speed automatic transmission.

Inside the cab is a roomy comfortable interior with wide supportive seating and an expansive instrument panel. The passenger seat includes a segment-exclusive fold-down feature, providing a convenient worktable. An available center console offers storage compartments and space to hold binders and a laptop computer. Other convenient storage spaces include a wide overhead console (available with high roof models) and large door pockets. The NV also provides exceptional utility, thanks to a long, wide cargo floor, square-top wheelwell housings and nearly vertical sidewalls that accommodate aftermarket storage systems without excessive modification. There also are multiple weld-nut attachment points for mounting shelving and racks. n