Changing Gear: Updates from Kenworth, International, Mack, Freightliner

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Kenworth sleeperKenworth Truck Co. wants to make sure your home away from home is as comfy as your personal residence. The truck maker recently announced that its 76-inch mid-roof sleeper is now available for order with the T680 and T880. Introduced at the 2015 Mid-America Trucking Show, the sleeper is optimized for liquid bulk tankers, flatbed haulers and other truck operators that prefer a lighter-weight and more aerodynamic truck.

Compared to Kenworth’s 76-inch high-roof sleeper, the mid-roof version offers less aerodynamic drag and a 100-pound weight savings for additional payload capacity. For comfort, the mid-roof sleeper offers 6½ feet of headroom, a liftable lower bunk and side storage towers for hanging and storing clothes. An optional upper bunk for team drivers or a back wall sleeper storage unit is available. Other options include a premium sound system, a mount to install a flatscreen TV and the Kenworth Idle Management System, a factory-installed battery-based auxiliary power unit.

International Trucks also is making news, but theirs comes from under the hood. The company has started production of its first International WorkStar vocational trucks powered by the Cummins ISB6.7 engine. Both the WorkStar and the International DuraStar medium-duty truck are available with the ISB6.7 as an engine option, rated up to 325 horsepower and 750lb.-ft. torque, with higher ratings specifically for fire and emergency applications.

The addition of the Cummins ISB 6.7-liter engine expands the WorkStar model’s powertrain options, which include Navistar’s own 9.3-liter and 13-liter offerings. WorkStar also is available with a suite of traditional manual and automated-manual transmission offerings from Eaton and fully-automatic offerings from Allison.

Over at Mack Trucks, the truck maker recently enhanced its Uptime solutions through the expansion of its partnered services offering, designed to enable faster, more accurate diagnostics and improved communication so customers can get their vehicles back on the road quicker. Partnered services allows Mack to integrate service providers into its customer support environment.

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The improved diagnostics results from the integration of Mack ASIST, Mack’s Web-based fleet service management platform developed by Decisiv, with Truck Diagnostics System, a JPRO-based software solution from Mack’s partner Noregon that diagnoses engine, transmission, aftertreatment systems and all vendor components. Once TDS or JPRO software identifies a vehicle fault, a service case is opened automatically in ASIST, and the customer has a quicker diagnosis of what’s wrong with the truck.

Speaking of telematics, Daimler Trucks North America is now a minority investor in Zonar Systems. The long-term strategic partnership aims to help DTNA and Zonar achieve the companies’ shared vision of optimal transportation logistics through intelligent connectivity.

Zonar, a provider of high-tech telematics systems to monitor safety and compliance, will continue to operate independently of DTNA, with Martin Daum, chief executive officer of DTNA, becoming a member of its board of directors.