Technology: Paper Transport, Platform Science collaborate on driver experience
International’s newly unveiled LT Series is a clear response to the pillars of productivity that International has been talking about for the past several years—from uptime and DriverFirst amenities to connectivity and improved fuel efficiency.
“Driver retention is one of the things that every fleet talks about right now. We’re making it easier for fleets to retain drivers by providing a vehicle that drivers are really comfortable driving,” said Steve Gilligan, vice president of product and vocational marketing for the North American business unit at Navistar. “DriverFirst was an internal company banner that ultimately became something that we took to market. It’s not just for the driver—it also aims to incorporate the maintainer and the fleet owner to ensure that we are listening to their drivers’ needs are and increasing their satisfaction with us as a supplier. Being more customer-centric is what drove the new features that you see on the LT Series—our packaging decisions and our technology decisions are highly influenced by the feedback we get from customers.”
The LT Series will be offered in multiple configurations, including day cab, 56-in. low roof sleeper, 56-in. high-rise sleeper, 73-in. high-rise sleeper and 73-in. sky-rise sleeper. Currently, the LT Series sports the 2017 Cummins X15 engine, which has horsepower ratings of up to 500 HP in the efficiency series and up to 565 HP in the performance series. This spring, the truck will also be available with International’s new 2017 Navistar N13 engine, a 13-liter engine that produces up to 475 HP and 1,750 lb./ft. of torque. In terms of efficiency, when compared to a 2017 ProStar with the Cummins ISX15 engine, the LT Series improves fuel efficiency by 7%, the OEM reported.
The new offering also aims to take customization to a new level. Practically every feature within the cab, for example—from the trim styling to the button selection and placement—is customizable to the individual component. It was all part of International’s philosophy to decouple the standard and premium packages that exist within the market and have been offered by International in the past.
“The trucks themselves tend to be purpose-built. Fleet knows what they want on the truck, and so we try to provide them the option to combine those features together. That makes us integrators,” Gilligan said. “We have around 1,700 options—discrete options—currently on an LT model. Our job is to integrate those as seamlessly as we can.”
Much like its open-platform OnCommand Connection telematics platform—which can integrate data of any truck, not just one carrying the International logo on the grill—the LT Series itself is practically an open-platform truck. Take collision mitigation systems, for example. The Bendix Wingman Advanced collision mitigation system comes standard with every model in the series, but the optional Bendix Wingman Fusion and Meritor WABCO OnGuardACTIVE systems are also available.
“Our job is to integrate those systems seamlessly into the truck, regardless of whether you’re more comfortable with a WABCO or a Bendix system,” Gilligan said. “For example, we’ve integrated the electronics on the dash and eliminated the need for proprietary monitors.”