Truck Manufacturers Unleash Updates

Kenworth adds FEPTO

During the recent frenzy of trade shows between January and April, many of the major truck manufacturers have unveiled new options and features that you will want to consider when spec'ing your next truck.

Kenworth Truck Co. adds a front engine power take--off (FEPTO) option to its T800 short--hood model. Engineers designed the T800 FEPTO with a straight--through front frame extension. A unique 950--sq.--in. radiator and stationary grille complete the package.

The company also unveiled multiplexed electronic instrumentation on its 2006 models. "The innovative instrumentation demonstrated significant reliability improvements during our exhaustive testing program," says Mike Dozier, chief engineer. "We greatly simplified wiring behind the dash, then color coded and numbered it for easier servicing."

Sterling unveils axles

Sterling Trucks adds a full line of front and rear proprietary axles. The front axle is claimed to provide up to a 28--lb. weight savings over similarly spec'd competitive axles. To reduce service and downtime, the kingpins are supported by needle bearings instead of bushings. This allows the kingpins to roll instead of rub when the axle is being steered. This entire axle is covered by Sterling's standard warranty, including the needle bearings and the kingpins.

Sterling will also offer single and tandem rear axles, which are claimed to save up to 128 lbs. over similarly spec'd competitive axles. The use of precision cut gears is intended to transfer more torque to the wheels instead of losing it to friction.

Sterling Trucks will also offer its Mercedes--Benz MBE 4000 engine with a rear engine power takeoff (REPTO) option. This option offers a 1 to 24.1 output shaft ratio, no added engine length and a 10 o'clock output location. Gear driven off the rear of the engine camshaft, and an integral part of the flywheel housing, the REPTO supplies power while the truck is moving or stationary.

Western Star offers all--wheel drive

Western Star Trucks adds an all--wheel--drive option to its 6900 XD Twin--Steer. Designed for off--road mobility, the all--wheel--drive option is ideal for jobs that demand additional power and traction, such as maneuvering through deep mud and climbing up and down slick ramps.

This truck offers the benefit of a dual circuit steering system to provide increased capacity to steer the oversize flotation tires in deep mud. The front suspension utilizes four asymmetrical taper--leaf slipper springs with four parallel torque rods to control each front steer axle through the 12 in. of suspension travel.

Peterbilt specs heavy hauler

Peterbilt Motors Co. announces that its Model 357 is now available in a specialized heavy haul configuration. The Model 357 Heavy Haul is equipped with a high--capacity cooling system with a 1,440--sq.--in. radiator core. This allows it to be spec'd with the most powerful trucking engines available, including the 625--hp Caterpillar C15.

A stationary grille allows the hood to open without interfering with auxiliary equipment mounted to the front bumper. "Additionally, it can be customized with a wide range of heavy--duty options'such as axles, frame rails and liners, suspensions and pusher or tag axles'to best meet customer needs for performance and durability," says Dan Sobic, Peterbilt general manager and PACCAR vice president.

The Model 357 Heavy Haul has a 119--in. BBC and a set--back front axle. It is well suited for other demanding applications such as dump and it is available in both truck and tractor configurations.

International expands program

International Truck and Engine has expanded its integrated dump truck program to offer customers a one--stop shopping resource. Its dealers will use a national network of body upfitters with the goal of saving customers time and money.

The program is now available in all of the United States and Canada. The integrated body partners include Rogers Mfg. Co., Crysteel Mfg., Warren, GinCor Industries and J&J Body.

Freightliner adds options to M2 V

Freightliner Trucks offers a collection of new options for its recently introduced Business Class M2 V models for the vocational market. They include a one--piece heavier bumper that is 1/4--in. solid steel. It is available in chrome or it can be painted.

For instances where the vehicle's hood cannot be raised due to front--end implement usage, hood access hatches are now available. These hatches allow for easy pre--trip inspections and general maintenance.

An air--intake precleaner is also listed among the new options. This option is ideal for applications in highly dusty or dirty conditions.

Volvo unleashes new engine

Volvo Truck Corp. will offer a new 16--liter Volvo D16 engine on its VN Series tractors. The 16--liter displacement means this engine can generate more power and torque than a 15--liter engine. Its shorter stroke also means less piston travel inside the cylinder.

Heavy equipment haulers are just one of the key targets of this new engine, which is equipped with an intelligent torque management system (I--Torque) in the 500-- and 535--hp ratings. I--Torque protects drivelines from excessive torque at low speeds. It limits engine torque output to 1,650 lb.--ft. in startup gears, switching to 1,850 lb.--ft. as speed increases.

Ratings for the D16 range from 450 to 535 hp and 1,650 to 1,815 lb.--ft. of torque.