In January 2005, International Truck & Engine Corp. plans to roll out a new heavy-duty construction truck – the 7700 – at the World of Concrete show. The new Class 8 will offer what the company calls “polished power” to super dump, rock truck, tanker, logger, and heavy concrete mixer users.
“We’re combining the attributes of our 7600 and 5000I series to give customers better payload optimization in a bigger package,” Bill Sixsmith, severe service marketing director for International, said during a conference call with reporters. “We expect the 7700 to go toe-to-toe with Mack’s Granite [vocational] truck model.”
Shawn Nesbitt, International’s construction segment marketing manager, said several features on the 7700 model should make it attractive to fleets in the construction field. First, the 7700’s single 12.25-inch frame rails offer durability without the need for frame rail inserts – reducing the frame weight by 400 lbs compared to competitive models. That helps optimize the 7700’s payload capacity, Nesbitt said.
Second, the 7700 will offer a “cleaner” cab-to-rear axle frame to allow for faster and easier body installation across a range of vocational applications.
The 7700, which goes into full production in February 2005, will be offered in 4x2 and 6x4 configurations, with a set-back front axle 6x4 option as well, Nesbitt said.
Sixsmith added that the construction market remains very strong and International expects to see a lot of demand for the 7700 as a result.
“We feel the severe-service market overall is going to stay strong into 2005 – and that’s after 2004 exceeded all of our expectations,” he said. “Overall, we expect severe-service sales – construction, government & municipal, and refuse – to total between 50,000 and 55,000 units in 2005.”