A low-profile ‘LowMax’ version of the Western Star 4900EX heavy-duty truck has arrived. It features a lowered cab and sleeper height, and it’s loaded with styling features. The retro-styled tractor is 132-inch BBC with a set-forward front axle. It has an extended hood, dual six-inch exhaust stacks with horizontal, low-noise mufflers and close-to-the-road design. The cab height is almost a foot lower than standard, and its lowered step height makes for easy operator access. The truck’s low center of gravity also provides road handling and stability advantages, say its makers. The 4900 EX LowMax has a minimum overall height of just more than 104 inches with the cab lights and horns removed and with low profile tires. Standard equipment includes a 1,300 square-inch cross-flow radiator, a low-ride-height front suspension and 6.38-inch ride height AirLiner rear suspension. The Dana Spicer front axle has a five-inch drop.
Western Star Trucks
White Light Fever
Osram Sylvania has expanded their Xenarc High Intensity Discharge (HID) lighting product line with sealed beam models. These systems directly replace a vehicle’s standard sealed beam headlights, and are simple to install using standard tools. All of the upgrade kits (they are available for H6054, H6024, H4656 and H5006 models) come with headlight assembly including lamp, ballast, cables and electronics. For truckers, the new X4656 is for small, rectangular sealed beams for four-headlight systems. Many heavy-duty trucks models from OEMS such as Peterbilt, Western Star, International and Kenworth use this type of lighting.
HID lighting produces a more intense, higher color temperature light than standard halogen bulbs, says the company. This light illuminates a wider area in front of the vehicle and provides enhanced peripheral vision.
Sun-Tech Innovations, known for its Balance Masters Active Balancing System for truck wheel and tire assemblies, now makes a system for driveshafts. This active balancing system has been engineered to fit most heavy-duty trucks. Balance Masters are mounted at the end of the driveshaft, approximately 1 to 4 inches from either end. The system uses liquid metal (mercury) technology and works by centrifugal force to help increase bearing life and reduce running vibrations up to 50 percent, and it’s maintenance-free says the company. The system works at all speeds while you drive and is not affected by temperature or weather extremes.
The company has also announced that its Balance Masters self-adjusting wheel balancing products are now available for almost all classes of medium and heavy-duty trucks. The system stops tire cupping and increases tire life up to 50 percent or more at all speeds, says the company. The system is a simple bolt-on part that mounts behind the wheel next to the brake drum on steering axles, or between dual wheels.
A Little Powerhouse
TruckGen has announced the production of an ultra-compact diesel gen-set that the company says is “small enough to fit where others won’t.” The ‘Stacker’ is 21 inches wide, 17-inches deep and 24-inches high. Officially titled UCI-3.5, the generator’s compact size is achieved by stacking a Kubota engine on top of a Stamford Newage generator.
The $3,495 UCI-3.5 weighs 160 pounds and produces 3,500 watts of 120-volt AC power at 2,800 rpm. The mid-range operating speed and extra-resilient isolation mounts greatly reduce vibration and noise, says TruckGen. The Kubota engine is a water-cooled, single cylinder machine that averages just 1/10th to 2/10th of a gallon an hour. It has a remote stop-start panel and wiring harness, oil pressure and water temperature shutdown, two-step epoxy paint and heat shrunk terminal ends. All of the gen-set’s service points are on one side which allow the machine to be serviced while it remains in a tight spot, says TruckGen.
Magnet Paints now offers Chassis Saver underbody coating, a product specially formulated to prevent automotive and truck corrosion without the use of primers and top coats. The product is a “one-paint solution that chemically bonds to rusted metal to create a hard, glaze-like, non-porous finish that provides long-lasting protection to the underbody components of any car, truck or SUV,” says the company. By sealing off areas such as frames, floor boards, fender wells and firewalls from damaging moisture, Chassis Saver helps vehicles resist road salts, gasoline, oil, battery acid and other solvents, says Magnet Paints.
Clean, Muscular V-8
International Truck and Engine has a new engine – the VT 365 V8 diesel – to provide improved life-cycle value for International 4200 trucks. With this engine, International unveils its Electro-Hydraulic Generation Two (G2) fuel injection technology. The engine is also the first International V8 to use the company’s cooler exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system for lower nitrogen oxide emissions and International EVRT (Electronic Variable Response Turbocharger) technology for improved throttle response.
The engine, which replaces the company’s T 444E, is available in 175, 195, 215 and 230 horsepower models. The company claims the engine offers more power and better combustion because it has four valves per cylinder. The diesel offers 340 pounds of clutch engagement torque and, at its highest rating, 620 lb.-ft. of torque.
International Truck and Engine Corp.
Hendrickson International has announced the availability of unitized aluminum hubs for their AIRTEK integrated front axle and air suspension. In what the company calls “an industry first,” the AIRTEK is combined with a lightweight, maintenance-free unitized aluminum hub made by ConMet to enhance the AIRTEK’s already lightweight and low-maintenance characteristics.
Proven with extensive laboratory fatigue and vehicle durability testing, Hendrickson and ConMet designed, tested and approved the hub system specifically for the demanding requirements of long haul on-highway applications.
DX Products now offers a new antenna specifically designed to increase reception in the AM radio broadcast band. The DX-1600, which provides long-range reception, is two antenna systems in one, says the company. The AM antenna is a heavily loaded 1/4 wave resonant active antenna (not just a sensing antenna) and the FM is a 1/4 wave resonant .100 stainless steel whip, says DX Products. The company says it has condensed what would be about 200 feet of wire into a linear loaded fiberglass whip.
The antenna’s construction is linear wound composite fiberglass. The new antenna has an advanced ferro-magnetic design and is attached with a standard 3/8th x 24 mount.
The company says an over-the-road driver who tested the 43-inch DXZ-1600 reported significant improvement over the standard 31-inch antenna he was using and clearer talk radio reception from greater distances.
An all-new red, white and blue design announces the arrival of Volvo’s limited (only 150 made) special edition VN770, its American Commemorative Edition. The tractor’s custom finish features an American eagle over a ribbon of red and white stripes. The Great Dane trailer comes with a matching stars and stripes motif. The pre-spec’d patriotic edition comes with a Cummins ISX engine, and buyers can choose from ten horsepower/torque offerings ranging from 475 h.p. /1650 ft.-lbs to 565 h.p. /1850 ft.-lbs. Buyers can also choose from a variety of Eaton transmissions.
Volvo Trucks North America