Along with Ford’s super duty pickup lineup, the 2017 super duty chassis cabs, including F-450 and F-550 models, get a reboot with the new product launch. The chassis cabs arrive with a 7,500-lb gross front axle weight rating – up 500 lbs from previous models – designed to support bigger snow plows , utility buckets, and other vocational upfit equipment. The F-450 and F-550 chassis cabs have a combined weight rating of up to 40,000- lbs, which Ford notes is half the 80,000-lbs for heavy trucks. The manufacturer also highlights the 2017 chassis cabs frame, which Ford says is 95% high strength steel and has eight times more torsional rigidity than prior models. For the first time with the super duty trucks, the bodies boast high-strength aluminum throughout the cab, which Ford says allows for “significant increase in towing and payload capabilities”. The new models offer weight savings of up to 350 lbs. with the materials used. An optional Ford 6.7L Power Stroke V8 diesel brings the super duty chassis up 30 hp and 90 lbs-ft of torque to 330hp/750lbs-ft, the most ever for the lineup. Based on the 330-hp configuration, Ford says the F-650 and F-750 models provide a B10 engine life of 500,000 miles, meaning 90% of them are expected to reach that point without requiring major engine service. According to the OEM the 6.7L is 25% quieter at 60 mph and up to 45% quieter at idle inside the cab.
Kenworth is adding a set-forward front axle configuration to its T880, the company announced at the ConcreteWorks truck show hosted by the National Ready Mix Concrete Association. The new configuration-the T880S- is designed for fleet and truck operators in ready-mix, dump, and mobile crane applications. Jason Skoog, Kenworth assistant general manager for sales and marketing, says the truck is available with a 114-inch BBC and best-in-class 28-inch bumper setting. Tare weight is minimized, he adds, and weight distribution is optimized so the Federal Bridge Formula can be easily met. The bumper setting is especially important in spec’ing Bridge Formula chassis required to stay under the 40-foot length limit. The new T880S is available with a set-forward front axle ranging from 14,600 pounds to 22,800 pounds. Single, tandem or tridem drive axles and a wide variety of factory installed lift axles, are among a range of options available to meet the most demanding jobsite requirements. The T880S is standard with the 12.9 liter Paccar MX-13 engine, which provides up to 500-hp and 1850 lb-ft of torque.
Glider kits will be almost outlawed by 2021 due to provisions of the federal Phase 2 Greenhouse Gas and Fuel Economy rules released earlier this month. Starting in January of 2021 gliders will be only allowed for their original purpose, which was reclaiming late-model powertrains from wrecked trucks. This goes back many years, to when glider kits were bought as service parts. Today, truck builders produce glider kits for assembly by individuals and commercial concerns. Though they make up a small percentage of total new truck sales, gliders produce far more exhaust emissions. The EPA became concerned after a surge in sales from a few hundred per years 20 years ago to more than 20,000 in 2015. Most of those were high-mile highways trucks with older engines that spew many times more exhaust emissions than new engines. “Although glider vehicles make up only 5% of heavy-duty tractors on the road, their emissions would represent about one-third of all NOx and PM emissions” the EPA said. Instead of abruptly outlawing them, however, the new rules will phase out gliders over the next four years.
The Department of Energy last week announced $137 million in grants to heavy-duty engine and truck manufacturers for the development of the next SUPERTRUCK iterations, awarding $20 million each to Cummins, Daimler, Volvo and Navistar. The DOE announced the SUPERTRUCK II program earlier this year. The goal is to double so-called freight efficiency on Class 8 tractor-trailers by driving down fuel consumption. The grant recipients will match the DOEs $20 million with $20 million of their own research and development funds. The SUPERTRUCK II teams will each be responsible for developing different technologies. Cummins is tasked with developing new technologies to advance engine and drivetrain efficiency. Daimler will concentrate on full tractor-trailer aerodynamics and electrification of engine accessories. Navistar will work on electrified engine components and cab aerodynamics. Volvo will work on lightweighting and alternative engine designs.
Trailer manufacturers are the first companies serving the trucking industry that will have to meet provisions of the new federal green-house-gas rule. The final rule issued August 16th by EPA and the NHTSA said a trailer is “an integral part of the tractor-trailer vehicle which significantly contributes to the emissions and fuel consumption of the tractor.” The phased-in trailer portion of the rule begins in 2018, whereas truck and engine makers won’t see mandates until 2021. The 2018 segment institutes standards for 53′ dry and refrigerated vans that can be met “with common tire technologies and Smartway-certified aerodynamic devices and standards for the other regulated trailers based on tire technologies only.” The rule said trailers should contribute to fuel economy and lower emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in three stages, 5% in 2021, 7% in 2024, and 9% in 2027-all based on comparisons with a 2017 baseline. EPA and NHTSA also offered cost projections, saying the additions will probably add about $860 to the cost of a 2021 trailer, $1,015 to the cost of a 2024 trailer, and $1,090 to the cost of a 2027 trailer, -all compared with 2017 levels.
After 15 months in review, the Heavy Vehicle Speed Limiters proposed rule has cleared the White House Office of Management and Budget, meaning it is available to be published in a few days and a public comment period will begin. The rulemaking was officially initiated in May 2013. The OMB approved the proposed rule as “consistent with change” indicating the mandate meets federal regulatory guidelines. Still unknown is the speed at which the limiters would be set. The American Trucking Association has suggested a 65 mph limit. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association opposes such a rule contending the mandate “would make highways less safe”.
KENWORTH is enhancing its T370 with additional options that further expand its capabilities for vocational customers. The T370 is a proven option for the medium-duty vocational market and shares a heavy-duty heritage and key components with KENWORTH’S heavy-duty vocational trucks. The T370 is adding a durable straight steel channel bumper, large size 385/65R22.5 tires, and rugged, molded thermoplastic fender extensions to benefit vocational customers. 16,000, 18,000 and 20,000 pound front axles can be paired with 46,000 pound rear axles to create specifications ideally suited for vocational applications, such as dump, fuel delivery, crane, service trucks, or mixers. The T370 can be spec’d with the PACCAR PX-9 engine rated up to 350-hp and 1,150 lb-ft of torque.