Assembly under way at Spartan Motors facility
Isuzu Commercial Truck of America announced last month that full production of gasoline-powered Isuzu N-Series trucks was under way at the Spartan Motors facility in Charlotte, Mich. The trucks will be available in Isuzu dealerships nationwide beginning this month, marking the first time in two years that Isuzu has offered gas-powered N-Series trucks.
According to Shaun Skinner, executive vice president and general manager of Isuzu’s North American operations, the company never wanted to cease production of its gas-powered low-cab-forward truck in 2009, but had no choice given the financial instability of General Motors – producer of the 6.0L Vortec gas engine used by Isuzu N-Series trucks – and the subsequent closing of the GM plant in Janesville, Wis., where N-Series trucks were assembled.
GM’s small-block V8 engine produces 297 hp at 4,300 rpm and generates 372 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,000 rpm. The powerplant is mated to a new six-speed automatic transmission with double overdrive and lockup torque converter to facilitate added fuel economy and performance. Previous N-Series gasoline models offered only a four-speed automatic.
A full range of gas-powered models is available, including the 12,000-lb. GVWR NPR and the 14,500-lb. GVWR NPR-HD, both with single cab wheelbases of 109, 132.5, 150 and 176 inches, and crew cab wheelbases of 150 and 176 inches.
“We are especially pleased that Spartan is assembling our N-Series gas trucks,” Skinner says. “Their expertise and quality workmanship will be an enormous benefit to us, to our dealers and to the end users of our vehicles.”
* Dana Holding Corp. launched a new line of SVL drivetrain components for the automotive, commercial-vehicle and off-highway aftermarkets. The SVL products target older post-warranty vehicles and are designed to offer quality replacement parts for vehicles with lower usage cycles.
* Continental Tire the Americas will sell Continental brand commercial tires at TravelCenters of America and Petro Stopping Center sites throughout the United States and Canada.
* Double Coin Tires and Michelin will create a joint venture to produce Warrior-brand passenger car and light truck tires.
* Navistar said it has created more than 280 new jobs since the January 2010 founding of its Pure Power Technologies facilities in South Carolina and plans to add more in the months ahead. In addition, Navistar will offer a program to train school students to be truck and diesel engine technicians.
* Mack Trucks in May celebrated 50 years of powertrain assembly at its facility in Hagerstown, Pa.
* Kinedyne launched its third annual Kinedyne Cares College Scholarship Program, which in 2011 will provide a $2,500 award to one applicant each from the Alabama and New Jersey state trucking associations. Applicants must write an essay and submit an entry form available at https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/-ym7dP-EkFbMgjPYAtm7WAsTTMNPyvbYR8JSO96qFoE?feat=directlink. The deadline is July 1.
Jacobs unveils ‘next generation’ engine brake technology
Jacobs Vehicle Systems has developed the next generation of engine braking technology that it says delivers 50 percent more power than a traditional compression release braking product and has been designated “HPD” to recognize the difference in technology.
According to Jacobs, traditional engine brake technology provides up to 100 percent of the engine’s rated power. The new Jacobs HPD Engine Brake can provide up to 150 percent of the engine’s rated power while also reducing loads on the valvetrain. Originally designed for smaller displacement engines used in heavy-duty applications, HPD also can maximize the performance of large displacement engines for applications requiring additional retarding performance. Jacobs’ engineers developed HPD in response to the global engine suppliers’ drive to provide higher power-density engines for fuel economy; as a result, this new technology provides large displacement retarding power in small and medium displacement engines, according to the company.
The braking system, which was launched globally last month at the Engine Expo in Stuttgart, Germany, consists of two dedicated braking rocker arms and two collapsible bridges per cylinder. The configuration enables a second braking event to occur during each engine cycle by deactivating the main intake and exhaust events via the collapsible bridges and actuating the two braking rockers to provide optimal braking. This new braking process provides for even stronger braking power, according to the company.
Partnership results in multipurpose refuse truck
A partnership between Fontaine Modification Co., Fyda Freightliner and GSP Marketing Inc. has resulted in the MP8000/M2 106 Dual Stand-Up Drive Combo multipurpose collection truck that incorporates a Freightliner M2 106 conventional cab chassis, a semi-automated dual side-loader body from GSP and Fontaine Modification’s dual low-entry stand-up drive cab. The vehicle debuted at last month’s WasteExpo 2011.
The MP8000/M2 106 Dual Stand-Up Drive Combo is designed to allow two operators to efficiently collect and load material from both sides of the route. The Combo’s dual stand-up cab offers low-entry access on both sides so two operators can enter and exit quickly; the cab also can be equipped with dual steering for maximum flexibility. The MP8000 body has large 1.5-cubic-yard receiving hoppers on both sides that enable the operators to independently load and dump carts, loose trash, compost, bagged trash or single-stream recycling.
“The new MP8000/M2 106 Dual Stand-Up Drive Combo lets customers currently running three-man crews on rear loaders shift to two-person crews for a significant savings in labor costs,” says Will Trantham, president of Fontaine Modification. “It’s also safer for the workers. Instead of one driver in the cab and two helpers hanging on the outside of the vehicle, both operators of the Combo ride in the climate-controlled comfort and protection of the cab.”
The Combo’s lighter weight and small-block engine helps facilitate added fuel economy, while the M2 106 chassis is designed for added maneuverability and visibility. It is available with capacities ranging from 13 to 37 cubic yards in single- or tandem-axle configurations and is sold by GSP Marketing.