Flurry of activity

Nov. 1, 2009
Several truck manufacturers announced updates and additions to their product lines over the past couple of months

SEVERAL truck manufacturers announced updates and additions to their product lines over the past couple of months. The rollouts came during a recession-hobbled year that saw relatively few new truck launches.

Freightliner Trucks introduced an updated long-nose on-highway Coronado that features luxurious traditional styling, enhanced aerodynamics, and updated technological innovations. The tractor debuted at the Chrome Shop Mafia headquarters in Joplin, Missouri.

“The Coronado commands attention on the road — it is ideal for owner-operators who want a truck that not only turns heads - but turns profits,” says Melissa Clausen, director of product marketing for Freightliner Trucks. “Sleek design updates, both inside and out, have resulted in a fuel-efficient truck that's comfortable to drive.”

The Coronado's hood is constructed out of one-piece fiberglass that is robust, yet easy to repair — incorporating parting lines to assist the body shop and reduce repair costs. The Coronado's chrome-plated hood handle was designed in Freightliner's wind tunnel to specifically enhance airflow over the truck. Further enhancing aerodynamics, the curved shape of the Coronado two-piece windshield is sloped for better airflow around, and over the cab, decreasing wind resistance and further lowering fuel costs.

Dual chrome steel intakes come standard on the Coronado. Air enters the system through two chromed steel grilles on either side of the hood, combining an aerodynamic and functional inlet with a stylish design. Designed for maximum efficiency, the intakes are positioned on either side of the hood to minimize the infiltration of water, snow, road debris or dust.

The Coronado features a strong, durable cab made of high-strength, lightweight aluminum. This lightweight construction allows owner-operators to increase revenue by hauling larger payloads. An up-to-50-degree wheel cut — comparable to many set-back axle trucks — helps the Coronado easily maneuver.

The truck's hood tilts almost 90 degrees for easy engine access, making daily fluid level checks effortless. A special spring helps open and close the hood and reduces the lift effort to 40 pounds for a smooth, easy opening.

Coronado's updated design includes new headlights that are both stylish and durable. The headlights are made from a strong composite material and incorporate a single reflector, which offers excellent lighting capability both forward and to the side. For added convenience, the headlight uses just a single bulb, which is readily available at any auto parts store for replacement without any special tools.

Available with the Detroit Diesel DD13, DD15, and DD16 engines, as well as the Cummins ISX, the Coronado is designed to meet the upcoming EPA 2010 standards. Detroit Diesel engines are equipped with BlueTec emissions technology. BlueTec-equipped engines deliver a fuel economy improvement of up to 5% compared to EPA 2007 engines and are an evolution of the selective catalytic reduction technology developed by Daimler.

Kenworth T440

Kenworth Truck Company launched the T440 model in tractor and truck configurations for petroleum hauling and other vocational applications. Built on the same platform as the T470 introduced in June, the Kenworth T440 has a gross vehicle weight ranging from a heavy Class 7 vehicle at 33,000 pounds up to a light Class 8 truck at 68,000 pounds. The 2010 PACCAR PX-8 engine, rated from 260 to 350 horsepower and 660 lb-ft to 1,000 lb-ft of torque, is standard equipment. The optional nine-liter, 2010 Cummins ISL engine is rated from 345 hp to 380 hp and 1,150 lb-ft to 1,300 lb-ft of torque. Other key T440 features include 10-, 11-, and 13-speed manual and 5- and 6-speed automatic transmissions; and 12,000 to 22,000 pound-rated front axles, 21,000 to 26,000 pound-rated single-drive axles, and 40,000 to 46,000 pound-rated tandem-drive axles.

The T440's modern styling features an aerodynamic sloped hood, which gives the driver enhanced forward visibility. A three-piece aerodynamic bumper, Kenworth grille, and best-in-class forward lighting with Halogen projector headlamps are standard equipment. An aluminum or steel channel bumper and high intensity discharge lighting are available as options.

The Kenworth T440 offers the same high-quality multiplexed dash installed in Kenworth's Class 8 product line with a large panel for convenient installation of body controls and gauges. The Kenworth Driver Information Center is standard in the T440.

The optional spacious Kenworth Extended Day Cab enhances driver comfort with an additional six inches of length and five inches of cab height compared to Kenworth's traditional day cab. The T440 can be ordered with the air ride cab and a 38-inch Kenworth AeroCab sleeper. Also available are factory installation of a power take-off (PTO) and one lift axle.

Peterbilt 348

Peterbilt Motors Company's new Model 348, which replaces the Model 340, is designed to exceed the rigid demands of the Class 7 and Class 8 specialty application market that requires rugged durability and a wide range of option content. The Model 348 offers gross vehicle weight ratings beginning at 35,000 pounds and optional capacity ratings to suit almost any speciality vocation.

The Model 348 is available in truck or tractor configurations and offers critical vocational options such as FEPTO, REPTO and application specific transmissions including a hybrid configuration. The Model 348 is available with two powerful and fuel-efficient PACCAR engines. In the hybrid configuration, the PACCAR PX-6 engine (280 hp) offers the highest horsepower to weight ratio in the industry while the PACCAR PX-8 engine (240-380 hp) provides 1,050 lb-ft of torque for heavier loads.

The all-new interior enhances the vehicle's durability, reliability and value through its “in-mold” color process that imbeds the color permanently into the material to virtually eliminate peeling, scratches, scuffs, and fading that can occur in harsh operating environments. Additionally, the ergonomically designed driver display package features backlit gauges that are easy to read.

The Model 348 is constructed of an all-aluminum cab that is lightweight for fuel efficiency and corrosion resistant for durability. The new lowered and slanted side window beltline that increases the view outside the passenger side window, as well as a lowered dash sightline, has contributed to an overall 17% improvement in side window.

Mack hybrid

Mack Trucks Inc showed off its hybrid power capabilities in October at the Hybrid Truck Users Forum in Atlanta, Georgia. On display was a diesel-electric Mack Granite, stationed at Dover AFB in Delaware since June 2009. The tractor is powered by the latest generation of Mack heavy-duty hybrid technology and meets the near-zero EPA2010 emissions regulations.

The Granite model diesel-electric hybrid powertrain features an integrated starter, alternator and electric motor. The system captures energy from braking in the form of electricity, stores it in a 630-volt lithium-ion battery pack, and uses it to power the electric motor that assists the MP7 diesel engine with propulsion of the truck.

Mack's hybrid technology demonstrates as much as a 30% fuel economy improvement, depending on the truck application. Better fuel economy translates to lower emissions of greenhouse gases, a smaller carbon footprint, and less dependence on imported oil, according to Mack officials.

The MP7 engine was specified with the selective catalytic reduction emissions control system to comply with EPA 2010 emissions limits for nitrogen oxides (NOx). Another plus: the Air Force tractor runs on a 20% (B20) blend of biodiesel, originating from vegetable oil.