Severe Service

Overdrive Staff | June 01, 2012

Freightliner Trucks, freightlinertrucks.com

Eaton, roadranger.com

Low-cab-forward severe-duty truck

BY JACK ROBERTS

The new International LoadStar low-cab-forward severe service truck, unveiled in March at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky., is all new from the ground up, said Jim Hebe, Navistar vice president of North American Sales.

Though it shares many components with existing International vehicles, most notably the WorkStar, the new model is designed for applications such as waste hauling, concrete-pumping and aircraft refueling.

Drawing on feedback from drivers and fleet personnel, the new truck’s designers “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 design ot the new LoadStar’s interior takes into account driver feedback.

He pointed to optimized and body-builder-integrated control placements that put comfort on a par with dependable power — MaxxForce Cleanburn diesel emissions technology will underpin engine options, and a natural gas-powered version will be available early next year.

Key exterior features include a stainless steel cab to minimize corrosion and increase durability in the field, vocationally designed variable-depth frame rails for reduced weight and frame rail heights and improved ride characteristics.

The truck will be available for order this year, with production beginning in 2013.

International Trucks, internationaltrucks.com

Innovative drivetrain for extreme hauls

Volvo Trucks extended its award-winning XE drivetrain offerings to a package based around its 16-liter Volvo D16 engine (pictured in a Volvo VNL630). The drivetrain is designed specifically for the North American heavy long combination vehicle (LCV) market, with weights up to 143,000 lbs.

This one (of two new XE16 powertrain packages) delivers the full power and low-end torque needed for higher weight applications while downspeeding the engine at cruising speeds by 200 rpm or more. For instance, downspeeding from 1,425 to 1,225 at 62 mph yields a 3 percent fuel efficiency improvement, the company says.

Each new package utilizes a D16 engine rated at 500 hp with 2,050 lb.-ft. torque, a Volvo I-Shift automated mechanical transmission, heavy-duty suspensions, rear axles with a 3:21 ratio instead of the 3:73 rear axle often specified on North American LCVs, and proprietary software that facilitates seamless communication among Volvo’s integrated powertrain components. The full 2,050 lb-ft. of torque is available while running as low as 1,000 rpm.

Volvo Trucks, volvotrucks.com

Trailer has 24-foot deck

The Fontaine Magnitude 35 heavy-haul trailer is equipped with a 24-foot clear deck length and a loaded deck height of 20 inches, leaving 6 inches of ground clearance. A built-in storage compartment has a lockable cover, and bogie can be ordered with an optional beavertail and spring-assisted rear ramps.

Fontaine Trailer, fontaineheavy-haul.com

Tough tablet

Environmental exposure worries for your field computing device can be set aside with Panasonic’s Toughpad A1, a 10-inch Android-powered tablet designed for use in rugged applications. The 10.1-inch multitouch, daylight-viewable screen makes for a capable interface, and the device has a military rating for drops and dust and water resistance. The unit is capable of 4G mobile broadband service as well as Bluetooth v2.1 and 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi and satellite GPS.

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