Trucks & Components

Caterpillar, Navistar target 2010 heavy duty, Cat nameplate model A definitive agreement between Caterpillar Inc. and Navistar Inc. calls for development

Caterpillar, Navistar target 2010 heavy duty, Cat nameplate model

A definitive agreement between Caterpillar Inc. and Navistar Inc. calls for development of heavy-duty, on-off highway vehicles under the Cat Vocational Truck Line banner. Targeting a late-2010 initial model roll out through Caterpillar’s North American dealers, the manufacturers will collaborate in developing vocational truck prototypes; Navistar then will assemble the vehicles in Garland, Texas, alongside its construction-geared PayStar 5000 and WorkStar 7600 series.

Notes Caterpillar Global On-Highway Department Director George Taylor, The heavy-duty vocational trucks will be purpose-built to complement Caterpillar’s existing product line and give dealers [the] ability to support customer needs from [materials] extraction through delivery.

Announced in early April, the definitive agreement formalizes a memorandum of understanding Caterpillar and Navistar reached in mid-2008. At the time, Caterpillar indicated its intention to abandon outside sales of on-highway truck engines. Concurrent with the agreement supporting the Caterpillar Vocational Truck Line, the manufacturers announced a 50/50 joint venture to pursue global commercial truck opportunities outside North America. Following regulatory review and execution of the joint-venture operating agreement, a leadership team and board of directors comprising both Caterpillar and Navistar representatives will be named.,


A cost-effective alternative to repairing or replacing damaged fuel tanks, Acrafit models are available in sizes ranging from 50 to 150 gallons and 23-, 24.5-, 25-, and 26-in. diameters to fit all major OEM applications. The fuel tanks are fabricated by an ISO-certified manufacturer using aluminum of thickness and grade mandated by OEM standards. An acid etch provides a consistent, uniform finish; and, drop testing in compliance with rigorous OEM standards ensures structural integrity. The fuel tanks are available with filler necks in right, left and center locations to offer a wide variety of options for different fits and functions.

Acrafit fuel tanks are manufactured using robotic processes to ensure they consistently exceed performance standards, reports Jeff Sass, general marketing manager for Paccar Parts, which distributes the all-makes fuel tanks exclusively through Kenworth and Peterbilt dealers in the U.S. and Canada. Each Acrafit fuel tank is backed by a 24-month warranty.


The manufacturer announces a new 4900 FA series configuration option, geared toward construction and severe-duty applications such as West Coast mixers and super dump vehicles. Its set-forward 109-in. BBC twin steer features a 3_ wheel cut improvement over previous designs for greater maneuverability in off-road applications. Besides providing vocational customers better off-road capabilities and a tighter turning radius, notes Rich Shearing, senior manager of product strategy for Western Star, the factory-installed BBC option is more cost efficient as compared to an aftermarket conversion.

The 4900 FA 109-in. twin steer is equipped with a 450-hp, 12.8L MBE 4000 engine; Eaton Fuller 11-speed transmission; and, Meritor Tandem 40,000-lb. front axles and 46,000-lb. rear axles. In addition, the 4900 FA twin steer features shackled springs, versus slipper springs, for a 30 percent ride improvement without compromising load ratings. Manufacturer-cited features of the 4900 FA twin steer also include a roomy and well-insulated cab, plus suspended brake and clutch petals.


The manufacturer’s 2009 Full Line Product Catalog features 3,000-plus items, including 300 new offerings, for lighting and signaling functions from the front of the truck to the rear of the trailer. Showcased among a wide selection of lighting products and accessories are a full range of LEDs, sealed or replaceable lighting, harnesses, mirrors, forward lighting, flashers, work lights, and turn-signal switches. The new catalog can be obtained as a printed copy by calling 800/562-5012 or downloaded from the company’s web site.


The ready mixed industry’s first fully integrated, web-based driver management and scheduling system has been announced by Systech and CenApps Technologies, owners and developers of ScheduleCom. Completely integrated with Integra Dispatch, the new Integra Driver Management tool reportedly simplifies the process of establishing a daily schedule for drivers, publishing that schedule, and managing driver hours. The web-based product requires no local installation of computer, telephone or voice-recording hardware.

Key functions of Integra Driver Management include reading the order schedule for a selected date and automatically calculating driver requirements based upon actual order parameters. Additionally, an optional hours-of-service rule set can be user defined to highlight or limit the number of hours each driver serves within a given time period. Via its integration with Integra Dispatch, the new Driver Management module can maintain a running total of hours each driver has tallied through dispatch, applying the appropriate rule set to ensure compliance with local or federal hours-of-service rules.

Driver vacations, training meetings, and illness also can be automatically considered as schedules are generated. Further, user-defined assignment priorities, e.g., each driver’s seniority by plant, can be taken into account automatically in determining the daily driver call-out schedule. Then, based on an analysis of orders not yet received at the time of scheduling and/or adjustments for will calls and weather, schedulers can add drivers as needed.

A voice message is generated for each operator as the schedule is created, and drivers access their message via an Î800Ì telephone number and PIN. The system allows schedulers to determine who checked their message and when.

Integra Driver Management utilizes the driver, location, time card, ticket history, and vehicle master information within Integra Dispatch, thereby eliminating data replication and automating initial set-up. Since all necessary hardware and telephony equipment is maintained at the web service, start-up costs are minimal. A low monthly usage fee per driver is based on the number of drivers scheduled, and a one-time module license provides further economy. No long term contract is required.

A manual mode is available for implementing Integra Driver Management without web-site integration. Detailed scheduling reports are generated for dispatchers’ use in creating a driver roster.


Company announces two suspension system offerings: Parasteer HD, a front air suspension designed for twin- and tri-steer specialty applications on Autocar ACX; and, Primaax EX heavy-duty vocational rear air suspension in tridem configurations for Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) chassis, including Freightliner and Western Star.

Parasteer HD is offered as a 14,600- and 20,000-lb.-per-axle rating option on the Autocar ACX chassis. Suited to a variety of vocational and construction applications, including concrete mixers and cranes, the front-air suspension provides axle spacing flexibility, as it entails no fixed steer axle spacing constraints. Parasteer HD comprises individual, stand-alone steer-axle suspensions; accordingly, the end-user, chassis supplier, and body manufacturer can work together to obtain optimum weight distribution for an application. Further, Parasteer HD weight remains constant as steer axle spacing increases, the manufacturer asserts, offering a weight advantage over competitive systems that require longer or larger components at higher axle spacings.

The front-air suspension reportedly improves turning radius, performance and handling. Load equalization is achieved with a height-control valve that adjusts to the load, resulting in a constant height and comfortable ride. Also contributing to a smooth ride, product engineers note, each Parasteer HD suspension utilizes two heavy-duty air springs per steer axle that equally share the load. Air springs support 100 percent of the vertical load, thus cushioning the driver by isolating impacts and offering protection to the chassis and equipment. Additionally, over-sized rubber bushings require no lubrication.

Primaax EX heavy-duty vocational rear air suspension Û now available in tridem configurations for DTNA chassis Û offers 23,000-, 46,000- and 52,000-lb. capacities for Freightliner Century Class, Cascadia, Columbia, FLD SD and Business Class M2 truck models, as well as Western Star 4900 and 6900 models. It will also be available in tridem configurations rated at 69,000 lb. for all Western Star models, plus the Business Class M2 112 and FLD SD chassis.

A next-generation version of Primaax, the EX platform is designed to enhance joint integrity and durability, improve handling and performance, increase air spring capacity, and maximize resistance to torque rod bushing walk-out, the manufacturer affirms, while delivering weight savings compared to competitive systems. To that end, Primaax EX incorporates cast austempered and shot-peened ductile iron support beams; and, structural beams integrate cross beam attachment points for solid connections to form a rigid torsion system. Optimized suspension geometry Û owing to a new frame hanger and torque rod configuration Û contributes to more than twice the roll stability of competitive air suspensions, helps improve handling and roll stiffness, and significantly controls suspension-induced driveline vibration, product engineers contend. Improvements to the air spring piston shape and beam interface enable Primaax EX air springs to lift and support the load with less air pressure.


Q Series Superbright LED indicators Û offered in bright chrome, black chrome, and satin grey bezel finishes Û are reportedly well suited to applications including industrial control panels, construction vehicles, and trucks. The indicators are sunlight readable, providing 1,400 to 10,000 mcd of light and a life expectancy of 100,000 hours. Available options include 6-, 8-, 12-, 14-, 16-, and 19-mm package sizes, as well as prominent, recessed, and flush bezel styles. The product line is offered with six power supply voltage options [6VDC, 12VDC, 24VDC, 28VDC, 110VAC and 230VAC]. The indicators are available in red, green, yellow, blue and white LED colors, plus bicolor, tricolor and flashing LEDs. They can be supplied with solder lug/quick-connect terminals, PC pins, or 200-mm wires. Integral resistors are included, permitting direct circuit connections. The Q series LED indicators are available with panel sealing to IP67, custom engraving, and plastic bezels in 16- and 22-mm sizes.


The 360HD Tire Pressure Monitoring System provides drivers Îat-a-glanceÌ status updates, including date/time stamp storage of alarms, with a new patent-pending Green Means GOOD indicator. The next-generation system monitors up to 36 tires for truck, tractor and trailer applications via wireless tire pressure sensors attached to valve stems for signal transmission to a cab monitor. The driver is alerted through multiple modes Û audible, location, pressure and warning symbol Û and a new Fast Leak alarm for early treatment of low tire-pressure problems. The Doran 360HD suits fleets of all types and sizes, the manufacturer affirms, including owner-operators, panel or box trucks.

A user-friendly monitor features digital LCD screen with backlit display and four-way navigational buttons. Spin-welded, heavy-duty truck-tested wireless tire-pressure sensors are corrosion-resistant for long service life; and, a patent-pending sleep mode allows monitoring of tire pressures while potential warnings are withheld until the ignition is turned on.

Effective for traditional dual-wheel or wide-base single configurations, the system reportedly provides an estimated payback of less than nine months per truck (based on driving 100,000 miles annually). Installation can be accomplished in about one hour per truck/trailer.


The Caterpillar Remanufacturing Division facility in Summerville, S.C., will begin handling heavy-duty transmissions from Eaton Corp., effective Q3 2009. Eaton equipment processed at the operation-one of 18 Caterpillar Remanufacturing sites overhauling transmissions and engines-will carry the Fuller Reman brand.

Our relationship with Caterpillar’s Remanufacturing Division allows us to take advantage of their global scale and footprint, world-class technology and significant focus on product availability and reliability, says Eaton Truck Group’s David Renz, vice President – Sales & Marketing and Aftermarket. For our customers, nothing will change regarding distribution of genuine remanufactured transmissions through truck OEMs, OEM dealers and associated distribution channels.


The International PayStar 5900 Set-Back Axle will be offered with 10-in. frame rails, providing a more nimble, lighter-weight chassis for vocational truck customers, the manufacturer affirms. While the more traditional 12.25-in. frame rails remain a standard option for the PayStar, company representatives add, the 10.25-in. frame rails offer flexibility for a variety of on- and off-highway, severe-service applications. The smaller, lighter frame rail option will serve customers looking to take advantage of standardized trailer heights. Moreover, for states with highly sensitive weight restrictions, the 10.25-in. frame rails could reduce total vehicle weight by as much as 90 lb., providing additional payload capacity and bottom-line benefits.


Leveraging service technology to provide customers with faster and more standard service repairs, Navistar has linked two customer-focused solutions Û Diamond Estimating System and ServicePartner. International Truck dealers will provide consistent, straightforward estimates and repairs for one of the largest dealer networks in North America.

Launched in 2005, Diamond Estimating System is a web-based service that provides professional estimates and repairs for common operations at the customer’s specific pricing level. Already used by hundreds of International dealers throughout the network and incorporating Navistar’s parts catalog, the system automatically checks recall and warranty information, as well.

Beginning in 2008, Diamond Estimating System was combined with a new product, ServicePartner, which delivers expedited service to fleet and dealership accounts. ServicePartner uses the Diamond Estimating System to provide a series of customer-focused modifications. Through ServicePartner, the top 200 repair-related labor times are locked down based on industry-established norms.

Diamond Estimating and ServicePartner will interface with ISIS (International Service Information System), Navistar’s service application, which provides dealer and fleet technicians with access to service manuals, service bulletin updates, special campaigns and newsletters, operator manuals, warranty coverage and coding, new vehicle processing, and standard repair-time information.

These service systems are integrated with Navistar’s Fleet Charge purchasing program that guarantees consistent national pricing on International and all-makes parts at more than 900 International dealers in North America. Through Diamond Estimating System and ServicePartner, International dealers are able to provide fair and consistent labor times, expedited diagnostic advisories, and accurate repair estimates to customers. With the integrated systems, service locations and fleets benefit from a more precise and streamlined process that gets trucks back on the road faster and at more predictable costs.

More than 30 fleets are enrolled in ServicePartner; as the benefits of this product gain attention, Navistar contends, more and more customers are realizing the cost savings potential. The system integration is a result of a long-term agreement reached with Navistar’s technology partner, Decisiv, Inc. Through the agreement, Navistar is bringing Diamond Estimating System and ServicePartner in-house to create enhanced value for its dealer network and customers.


Introducing its SV-622 series side-view collision-avoidance camera, the company notes that the device helps increase driver safety by providing a better view along vehicle right or left sides. Plus, extra visibility facilitates maneuvering of larger vehicles for greater job efficiency, product developers affirm. Featuring a compact, aerodynamic design, the unobtrusive SV-622 allows multiple mounting options; and, adjustable pan/tilt installation permits manual positioning to the desired angle. Additional features include weather-resistant housing, infrared technology, built-in microphone, automatic sensors, and integrated auto iris. The camera’s 120_ field of view enables drivers to see multiple lanes without losing sight of the vehicle body.


In early April, California’s South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) approved funds to demonstrate a prototype natural gas-powered concrete mixer to help reduce emissions from the construction sector. Heavy-duty trucks are among the largest contributors of smog-forming pollutants in the Los Angeles South Coast Air Basin, but strides are being made to facilitate the commercialization of low-NOx and -PM (particulate matter) natural gas engine technology to achieve federal clean air goals. But currently, no original equipment manufacturer produces a concrete truck with a natural gas-powered engine.

We are looking forward to making this type of clean-fuel truck widely available to construction companies interested in promoting clean energy, said William A. Burke, Ed.D., governing board chairman of SCAQMD. It’s important to have natural gas vehicles for all applications, including heavy-duty construction equipment, and this is a great example of how clean fuel technology is spreading to all kinds of vehicles.

McNeilus Truck and Manufacturing Co., based in Minnesota, has been contracted to make the necessary modifications for compressed natural gas (CNG) to a truck prototype so it can be commercialized and sold. The project includes creating and conducting a six-month testing program and developing documentation for its maintenance and operational use. The total project cost is estimated at $380,000, with the SCAQMD’s share not to exceed $100,000 from its Clean Fuels Fund. All CNG modifications will be handled at McNeilus’ Dodge Center headquarters.

There are about 4,700 mixer trucks operating in the South Coast Basin, with the trucks typically running 350-hp, diesel-fueled engines. Mixers represent 4 percent of the total vehicular PM emissions in the region, SCAQMD reports. The natural gas engine in this demonstration project already meets the 2010 heavy-duty engine emission standards, making it reportedly the cleanest mixer truck anywhere in the nation.

Also in southern California, Robertson’s Ready Mix Concrete is currently demonstrating a non-commercial prototype in its mixer fleet. Company officials say they are considering purchasing as many as 100 natural gas-powered concrete mixer trucks if the demonstration project proves successful.


Craig Safety Technologies, Inc. is preparing to release Workhorse II, the next generation of a software program ready mixed concrete producers have used for fleet management and compliance with OSHA regulations, plus those of state and federal departments of transportation.

An online program, Workhorse II is intended to help track critical employee data, including pre-employment requirements and medical review waivers, plus dates for commercial driver’s license renewals, alcohol and drug testing. Workhorse II reduces paper usage by making all documents ready to scan or upload. Hosted on a secure server, the program centralizes information management thereby reducing IT costs. It can send e-mail alerts on a range of scheduling details, while producing on company stationery or via email formal 15-, 30- and 45-day notification letters.

A key West Coast ready mixed producer told Craig Safety that the Workhorse notifies plant managers months in advance of upcoming due dates for physicals, licensing and required road tests, allowing better appointment scheduling around peak production periods. A Midwest producer confronting legal proceedings after an accident involving a mixer truck and passenger vehicle found Workhorse’s proper documentation of compliance and training measures instrumental in preventing a lawsuit and the case going to trial. Another Midwest concrete operator estimated that Workhorse fleet management functions allowed a shop mechanic to curtail by 80 percent non-productive time consumed in maintenance and warranty paperwork.

Workhorse II builds on its predecessor program with these new modules: a) Safety Management, providing users the capabilities to create and maintain OSHA written programs within their systems, easily retrieved or transferred by appropriate managers; b) Risk Management, allowing users to create forms, audits, and track certificates of insurance; and, c) Workers Compensation, for tracking accidents or incidents, monitoring related activities or claims, and integrating with business intelligence software aimed at future loss prevention.

The Workhorse program is software as a service (SaaS), delivered via a network and priced on a subscription service basis Û often by number of users or seats. Craig Safety cites these benefits tied to SaaS: accelerated software deployment with less risk; lower up-front costs compared to in-house information technology hardware and software investments; lower internal staffing requirements; security and privacy; higher productivity/ROI, at a lower total cost of ownership; and, greater agility to scale software to meet changing business requirements.


Portland, Ore.-based Beall Corp. announces the opening of new quarters in Salt Lake City that will serve as a parts distribution center for its six factories and 13 parts and service facilities. It also will carry Beall’s full line of tank, bulk hauling and construction equipment. The 32,000-sq.-ft. building situated on five acres features 20 service bays and over 10,000 sq. ft. dedicated to a parts showroom and warehouse.

The Utah expansion increases Beall’s repair capability to 164 service bays with 160 mechanics and welders. All shops are ASME-certified, R Stamp facilities specializing in tank testing, repair, fabrication work, and major wreck rebuilds for all types of trailers. Beall carries over $20 million in heavy-duty truck and trailer parts. The company, founded in 1905, is a member of the VIPAR Heavy Duty Network.

Notes Beall President James Beall, Salt Lake City is a logical location for our service center to handle the many Beall customers in the region, as we like to service the equipment we manufacture.


The manufacturer reports that its new Housby Bridgemaster (B-5) and Standard (F-5) mixer models are distinguished by cutting-edge technology, including self-diagnostic capabilities as well as automatic settings for all drum functions. And, the in-cab screen displays graphic output versus mere text. Featuring completely programmable logic, the B-5/F-5 series ensures consistent mixes, while reducing costs by minimizing fuel consumption and vehicle wear, product engineers emphasize.


Kenworth’s PremierCare Connect Enterprise fleet and maintenance software program is credited by Service Rock Products Shop Supervisor Steve Womack for relieving the stress of his position: I used to get complaints from our mechanics that they didn’t have the parts needed to complete repairs, and operators or plant managers were dissatisfied with repair delays or repairs that didn’t get done. These complaints are all but gone.

Service Rock Products operates ready mixed and aggregate plants in the high desert areas of Southern California, as well as Las Vegas and its surrounding communities. The Mitsubishi Cement-owned company has maintenance shops at 11 of its 18 sites. Womack and his team are responsible for maintaining all the company’s equipment, including a fleet comprising nearly 200 mixer trucks Û mostly Kenworth W900S mixers Û plus 12 on-highway tractors and 250-plus pieces of off-road and support equipment, i.e., bulldozers, 100-ton haul trucks, and loaders.

Kenworth PremierCare Connect is a comprehensive fleet and maintenance software package used by 440 fleets representing about 35,000 trucks, system developers report. It provides electronic parts purchasing, preventive maintenance tracking, and in-depth reporting. For further convenience and reliability, Connect offers multi-user, multi-location functionality and extensive training with technical support.

Three versions of the program Û WebConnect, Connect Professional, and Connect Enterprise Û ensure scalability. Kenworth PremierCare also offers Connect Inventory Manager, a parts inventory-management tool introduced last year. Each program can be tailored to suit a specific operation using Connect’s optional modules. The Windows-based solutions for fleets of all sizes provide a comprehensive blend of essential tools and services to help optimize operations, Kenworth representatives emphasize.

Service Rock Products fully implemented Kenworth PremierCare Connect Enterprise about 18 months ago. Connect Enterprise’s bar code scanning feature enabled Womack to gain real-time monitoring of parts inventory and mechanics’ job-to-job labor at all company service locations. I’ve heard it said that Îyou can’t manage what you can’t measure,Ì and this Internet-based system gave us the tools to start measuring, Womack affirms.

Evidence of that success came after the system was fully implemented at two of the company’s 11 maintenance facilities. Average time spent on preventive maintenance (PM) per truck-service visit at those two sites was reduced by 40 percent, from 4.8 hours to 2.9 hours, Womack observes. Additionally, overall time-savings allowed the fleet to reduce intervals between PM servicing. As a result, worn parts are replaced sooner, engines are serviced more regularly, and potential issues are addressed earlier, he explains.

We realized a 2 percent increase in the number of hours our company’s trucks are available for jobs, instead of drivers sitting in the shop waiting for their trucks to be repaired, Womack notes. This translated into a $58,000 gain in revenue for our company. And, we’ve been able to prioritize maintenance work to better serve the needs of our customers by scheduling the repairs accordingly, he adds. That has helped our company expand into other regions, while keeping the same level of service at our maintenance shops.

Besides supplying homeowner, commercial, residential, CalTrans, and U.S. military projects, Service Rock Products provided ready mixed for the California Institute of Technology’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, including foundations for radio telescope antennas at the NASA Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex in California’s Mojave Desert. The antennas support NASA’s manned and unmanned space missions.
Û; 800/434-5076; [email protected]


Systech Inc. will begin marketing Trimble’s line of on-board intelligent GPS status devices with its Integra truck dispatching and tracking software. The new relationship will help provide ready mix producers with new tools to cut costs and improve productivity, said Systech President John Rabchuk. To stay competitive and thrive in a tough economy, producers must maximize the efficiency of their trucks and plant operations. Systech and Trimble are uniquely equipped with the right tools, expertise and knowledge to make that happen. The new Systech-Trimble relationship allows for joint marketing and sales efforts for Systech’s Integra Dispatch and Integra Track truck tracking software and Trimble’s intelligent GPS status devices. The agreement also enables both companies to collaborate more closely in developing and marketing ahead-of-the-curve automation solutions for their customers and to the construction materials industry.


A revamped production line offers concrete operators what ZF North America officials note are better pricing and distribution of remanufactured mixer drives, including the P5300, P6300, P7300, PK5300, PK6500 and PK7500 models. ZF Sales & Service has applied its Lean Manufacturing knowledge to the reman program to reduce operational costs and improve availability.

The manufacturer held a week-long Kaizen event, Japanese for continuous improvement, to determine if any operational waste could be removed from the mixer drive remanufacturing process. The team of Lean and product experts started by completing a process map, visually depicting the sequence of events needed to remanufacture a mixer drive. In total, 123 steps were recognized. Upon thoroughly scrutinizing and removing wasteful steps, the number of steps was reduced to 59.

ZF invested in redesigning and relocating the mixer drive assembly area to reduce excess transportation. In the new assembly area, all of the necessary parts and tools are an arms-length away, so transportation is minimized and build time reduced. The manufacturer also remapped the entire process, so waiting for tooling is minimized, further reducing unit build time.

All mixer drives are completely disassembled, cleaned and inspected. Parts that fail to meet stringent specifications are discarded and replaced by new, genuine parts. Factory trained technicians then reassemble each mixer drive to updated specifications before undergoing functional testing. With the reduced remanufacturing time, ZF Sales & Service cites an ability to turn around units more efficiently, offer remanufactured units at a lower price and have them available for immediate shipment.