Trucks debut at Work Truck Show

DAIMLER CHRYSLER took potshots at Ford's Super Duty, and several truck manufacturers are taking their shot at the hybrid market during The Work Truck Show.

Dodge and Sterling both unveiled Class 4 and 5 models aimed at Ford's substantial share of the commercial truck market — Dodge with its Ram 4500 and 5500 chassis cabs, and Sterling with its Bullet.

Dodge expanded its commercial chassis-cab range into heavier territory with the introduction of its new 2008 Ram 4500 and 5500 chassis using the 6.7-liter Cummins turbo diesel rated at 305 hp (3000 rpm) and 610 ft-lb torque (1,600 rpm). It has an expected life-to-overhaul of 350,000 miles.

The one-piece C-channel frame rails are flat and clean with all back-of-cab components mounted below the top of the rail. Crossmembers back of the cab are riveted for easy modification, and the exhaust hangers are bolted or riveted. Four cab-to-axle dimensions are available: 60, 84, 108, and 120-inch. Both the manual and automatic six-speed transmissions are PTO capable. The trucks have diesel exhaust brakes as standard. Maximum gross vehicle weight rating is 16,500 lb for the 4500 and 19,500 for the 5500. Gross combination weight rating is 26,000 lb for both.

Sterling Truck Corporation aims Bullet chassis cab at medium-duty market

Sterling Truck Corporation unveiled its Bullet at The Work Truck Show, aiming it at the heart of the medium-duty market.

The Bullet will be offered in GVW ratings of 16,500-19,500 pounds and GCW ratings up to 26,000 pounds. The conventional cab Bullet will be available in regular cab (123" BBC) and quad cab (143" BBC) models. The regular cab will be built on 144.5", 168.5", 192.5", and 205" wheelbases, providing C/A dimensions of 60", 84", 108", and 120”. The quad cab also will have 60" and 84" C/A dimensions, but on 164.5" and 188.5͂ wheelbases.

The 6.7-liter Cummins ISB diesel will provide the power — 305 hp and 610 lb-ft of torque. A choice of transmissions will be available — a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic with overdrive. PTO capability will be standard.

Axles will be rated at 7,000 pounds on the front and 13,500 on the rear. The frame of the Bullet will have 34-inch frame rails made with 50,000-psi steel.

Sprinter chassis now longer, wider

With the introduction of the new 2007 Dodge “super-size” Sprinter, this popular world-wide van now has two new wheelbase lengths of 144 and 170 inches and a heavier gross vehicle weight rating of 11,030 lb. Maximum payload and body allowance is about 6,500 lb. The chassis-cab CA lengths are 85.2" and 111.2". With a rear frame overhang of 49.2" and 53.1", this allows body lengths of 13 ft and 16 ft, respectively. Frame height is 26.6" laden and 33.6" unladen. Maximum towing capacity is 7,500 lb. The standard engine is the 3-liter V-6 turbo diesel with 280 ft-lb torque or available 3.5-literV-6 gas delivering 250 ft-lb torque.

In addition to the flat frame rails and flat cab rear wall, body builders will appreciate the incorporation of the fuel filler neck into the cab structure. The rear crossmember of the frame is bolted. Taillight wiring harnesses may be lengthened easily.

Available in the global market since 1995 and used in more than 100 countries, Sprinter has sold more than 1.2 million units. Production is in Düsseldorf and Ludwigsfelde, Germany, as part of DaimlerChrysler.

Return of the panel delivery truck

The 2007 HHR delivery van has no windows in the side panels and rear, by customer request. It also has no door handles on the cargo doors, but instead a dashboard release button. Besides the added security, it provides a better advertising space. Instead of rear seats, it has a flat floor for cargo — 57 cubic feet of cargo plus another 6 cubic feet of underfloor covered and lockable storage space. Engine options of 2.2-liter (149 hp) or 2.4-liter (175 hp) help deliver a 30 mpg highway fuel mileage.

2008 low cab forwards offer more room

The new 2008 W-series from Chevrolet and GMC offers more cab room and more power. Larger from side-to-side and front-to-back, they offer more headroom, shoulder room, leg room, and belly room. Crew cab models even offer room for seven workers. And more room to get in and out. The driver's door swings 85 degrees and is wider. Side mirror size has been increased to 17 by 8 inches and includes convex sections to eliminate blind spots.

The W-series' 5.2-liter turbocharged and intercooled diesel offers more power and reduced emissions. Power is increased to 205 hp at 2400 rpm, up from 190 hp. Torque is 441 ft-lb at 1850 rpm, up from 387 hp. The Aisin A465 heavy-duty six-speed automatic transmission has double overdrive. A six-speed manual gearbox with all forward gears synchronized will come out later in the year.

Workhorse adds heavy-duty chassis

Workhorse Custom Chassis launched another new walk-in truck at The Work Truck Show. Called the W62, the new truck (chassis by Workhorse, bodies by Morgan Olson or Utilimaster) extends the capacity of the Workhorse walk-in lineup with 19,500 lb and 23,500 lb GVWR models.

Of special interest is that Workhorse's initial offering in these weight classifications will be gasoline powered. It will use General Motors' 8.1 L Vortec V8 gasoline engine mated to the five-speed Allison 1000HS (for 19,500 lb GVWR) or Allison 2200HS (for 23,500 lb GVWR) transmission. The big block Vortec produces 310 horsepower and 455 lb-ft of torque.

Workhorse says it is the only chassis manufacturer to power a gas walk-in at these GVWRs. A diesel version using International's MaxxForce 5 V6 engine will be launched by mid summer.

Workhorse also displayed its new hybrid truck chassis. Based on the W62 platform, the hybrid is the first of its kind manufactured by Workhorse.

Workhorse already had been partnering with Azure Dynamics Corporation on orders of electric hybrid versions of its W42 chassis (9,400 to 16,000 lb GVWR). These were electric hybrids using the gasoline powered versions (GM Vortec 6.0L and 4.8L engines) of the truck. In this process, a contracted supplier added the hybrid components in the final stage of manufacturing with minor design changes.

The W62 integrates parallel hybrid components with existing chassis hardware and International's V-6 VT-275 diesel engine (200 horsepower, 440 lb-ft of torque).

The design team began in August to develop the best way to integrate Eaton's various components, such its automated mechanical transmission.

Ford unveils new E-Series

Ford showed the new-look 2008 model E-Series commercial van.

The new design affects the A-pillars forward. However, critical dimensions for body builders remain the same.

International showcases trucks, engines

International Truck and Engine Corporation showcased several new products, including new nameplates and a lineup of hybrid trucks.

International's line-up of diesel hybrid electric trucks have the capability to provide fuel savings from 30-40% on a standard in-city pick-up and delivery applications and 60% in utility-type applications when the engine can be shut off, the company said.

International is embarking on an aggressive timeline to bring hybrid trucks to market:

  • In 2006, International hand-built and delivered 24 developmental hybrid units to 14 major utility companies across North America with overwhelmingly positive results.

  • Beginning in November 2006, International began limited “on-the-line” production of hybrid trucks at its Springfield, Ohio, Assembly Plant, producing 27 units that are currently being tested in the field by customers.

  • International is now preparing to build the next round of hybrid trucks on the assembly line with the new 2007 emissions-compliant MaxxForce engines. These trucks will also be tested with customers to ensure they meet International's stringent quality and durability standards.

International also announced new names for familiar models. What was once the International 4000 Series is now known as International DuraStar trucks. The new DuraStar lineup includes:

  • International DuraStar 4100 4×2 (Class 5)
  • International DuraStar 4300 4×2 (Class 6)
  • International DuraStar 4300 4×4 (Class 6)
  • International DuraStar 4400 4×2 (Class 7)
  • International DuraStar 4400 6×4 (Class 7)

Severe service trucks also are getting new names. Formerly known as the International 7000 Series, the International WorkStar debuted at the World of Concrete Show in Las Vegas in January.

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