A NEW series of trucks designed for severe service applications will be available this summer from Navistar International Transportation Corp. The International 5000i Series is targeted for specific industries, including heavy-duty dump applications, refuse, municipal, and forestry. Selecting the proper chassis for severe service applications has been simplified with the development of specific spec packages designed to match the chassis with the environment in which it will operate. Navistar will have more than 20 packages for the targeted markets, including five mixer packages, as well as packages tailored for construction and refuse collection. "These represent a core base of specifications," explains Don DeFosset, president of the Navistar International Truck Group. "They are the mandatory components that must be included on a specific type of severe service truck. From that, we will offer options that will enable customers to have the type of truck they want." The International 5000i Series will include the 5500i (114" BBC with set-forward front axle), the 5600i (114" BBC with set-back front axle), and the 5900i (120" BBC with set-forward front axle). The series will offer front axles with capacities up to 20,000 pounds, rear axles rated up to 70,000 pounds, and matched powertrains that include engines ratings up to 600 hp. They will be available as either trucks or tractors. "The trucks will not be converted tractors," says John Price, director of marketing for the Navistar Severe Service Vehicle Center. "They will have frame rails made of 120,000-psi steel and integrated crossmember and hanger brackets." While the frame can be reinforced, Price says that for 90% of the applications, the frame will not need to be reinforced. "By not needing to reinforce the frame, the overall weight is less," he says. "Plus, moisture does not collect as it does between the frame and the reinforcement." The new trucks are part of the company's effort to strengthen its position in the heavy-duty market. Navistar created its Severe Service Center in January 1998 under the direction of Jordan Feiger. "After looking at where the volume is in this segment, we have placed our emphasis on the dump market," Feiger says. "Our first step is to get the product in place. But we also will be spending a lot of time educating our dealers about the severe service market. We will be conducting training sessions as well as providing electronic and Web-based information." One of the things that make the severe service market different from general fleet operations is the lead time for purchasing, Feiger says. While some fleets have a planned replacement schedule for equipment, severe service operations frequently decide to buy when existing trucks need repairs. "We are trying to keep the lead times for our severe service trucks to within 60 days," Feiger says. Helping to make that possible will be the fact that the new trucks will be produced in a dedicated plant in Garland, Texas.