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Heavy-duty

Durability, fuel efficiency reign at MATS

New offerings from truck OEMs at last month’s Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS) held March 21-23 in Louisville, Ky., trended both toward the durable and the fuel-efficient.

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New offerings from truck OEMs at last month’s Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS) held March 21-23 in Louisville, Ky., trended both toward the durable and the fuel-efficient.

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On the fuel efficiency side of the spectrum, Kenworth said its new T680 Advantage effectively integrates aerodynamics, powertrain and electronic efficiencies combined into a complete tractor/trailer package to maximize fuel economy.

The truck is equipped with a 12.9-liter PACCAR MX-13 engine, estimated to be up to 3.5% more fuel-efficient than the previous 2010 PACCAR MX engine. The MX-13 engine is paired with an Eaton UltraShift Plus automated manual transmission to maximize fuel efficiency. Other features include instantaneous fuel economy feedback on the dash, and an electronic speed limiter and engine idle shutdown software combined with the T680 Advantage’s Kenworth Idle Management System.

The trailer aerodynamics complement the aerodynamics of the T680. A Laydon nose fairing fills the gap between the tractor and front of the dry van, providing an estimated 3% fuel economy improvement. In addition, the package includes Utility side skirts, which have been SAE-tested to provide a 5% improvement in fuel economy, and the ATDynamics TrailerTail, which has been tested to provide more than a 6% improvement in fuel economy when driven at typical freeway speeds, Kenworth said.

Peterbilt Motors Co. announced the addition of a mid-length BBC (bumper-to-back-of-cab) configuration to its Model 579 product lineup, saying the new lightweight 117-in. BBC design offers excellent maneuverability and outstanding visibility while maintaining the Model 579’s aerodynamic characteristics.

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“The Model 579 improves customers’ bottom lines through higher reliability, better fuel economy, increased driver retention and enhanced resale value,” said Bill Kozek, Peterbilt general manager and PACCAR vice president. “The new mid-length BBC Model 579 configuration offers additional weight reduction and performance advantages with the standard PACCAR MX-13 engine as the perfect powertrain complement.”

The 117-in. BBC hood is dramatically sloped for enhanced aerodynamic efficiency. Also, the set-back front axle position optimizes weight distribution and provides excellent maneuverability in congested environments, the truck maker added.

On the durable side, Freightliner Trucks displayed its 122SD, which the company said features rugged components tough enough to handle the most grueling of applications. With numerous enhancements to the former Coronado SD, the 122SD is now the cornerstone of the SD line of Freightliner severe duty vocational trucks.

With a GVWR of up to 92,000 lbs. and a GCWR of up to 160,000 lbs., the 122SD is engineered to haul heavy, oversized loads and can be configured for a variety of severe duty applications. The 122SD has a durable, non-corrosive aluminum SD cab reinforced with e-coated steel, which meets stringent A-pillar impact, rollover and back wall impact tests. Freightliner added the truck’s chassis features a broad offering of vocational suspension choices and single or double channel frame rails having tensile strength of up to 120,000 PSI and up to 5 million RBM.

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Rounding out the durable trend was Volvo Trucks, which introduced the VNX heavy-haul tractor designed for extreme gross weight applications. It features a Volvo-built D16 engine—the company’s most powerful in North America—that offers 600 HP and 2,050 ft.-lb. of torque, and a Volvo I-Shift automated manual transmission.

The VNX, developed for applications up to 225,000 lbs., is ideal for long combination vehicles, heavy equipment hauling, aggregate, low-boy, logging, oil field and mining operations, according to Volvo.

Available in 6×4 and 8×4 configurations, the truck offers a range of heavy-haul components to ensure it’s properly spec’d for the job. Front axle ratings range from 16,000 to 20,000 lbs. with parabolic springs.

Available rear axles range from 46,000 to 52,000 lbs. in regular, dual-track and wide-track tandem configurations.

More details about these trucks—and the many other new products introduced at MATS—are featured in this issue. 

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