International Trucks on Wednesday, March 21, debuted a brand-new severe service low cab-forward work truck at an annual trucking industry function in Louisville, Ky. Jim Hebe, vice president of North American Sales for International, said the new truck shows that the company is laser-focused on all aspects of the vocational truck market, regardless of size.
“The industries this truck is designed for is fairly small in terms of volune” Hebe said. “Generally, you’re talking 6,000 to 8,000 units a year. To say that International will build a product to solve all the customer challenges our customers face in a market that small proves that we strongly believe in vocational markets and reinforces our determination to be the number-one player. To meet that goal, we have to satisfy all the requirements those customers have, and the LoadStar is a truck that does just that.”
Hebe said the LoadStar is all-new from the ground up, even though it uses many shared components from preexisting International vehicles – most notably the WorkStar. But drivers and fleet managers were involved in the design process to meet a variety of needs in the waste, concrete-pumping and aircraft refueling markets – to name just a few, he said.
Key features identified during the conception process and finalized in the final product include a stainless steel cab to minimize corrosion and increase durability life in the field, vocationally-designed variable-depth frame rails for lower weight and frame rail heights as well as an improved ride, an ergonomically designed cab interior with fully optimized and body-builder-integrated control placements, and full Diamond Logic capabilities as well as integrated powertrain options including MaxxForce Cleanburn emissions technology or an optional natural gas version available early next year.
“To fit driver needs, we optimized the space in the cab, increased seat and steering wheel movement and adjusted joystick placement to deliver an outstanding ergonomic and customizable work environment,” Hebe said. “The exterior boasts the signature appearance and design of the International Truck brand.”
In other news, Hebe announced the new OnCommand Connection telematics vehicle support system from International – a program that provides commercial vehicle operators with vital operating information while the vehicle is on the road. “Celadon is testing this system now,” he said. “We expect a full launch later this year.”
The system is so sophisticated, Hebe said, that it can offer users a host of innovative information options – everything from critical parts, repair and service information when a fault code appears during vehicle operation, all the way down to formulation of Compliance, Safety, Accountability scorecards for drivers or real-time route planning and GPS navigation. The system will be free to any customer running International MaxxForce engines.