Truck makers are making a serious run at 2013 — in most cases loading their commercial vehicle lineups with an array of new models and a host of new features and options that enhance everything from powertrain performance to driver comfort.

Whether it’s with the rollout of an all-new model or via all sorts of enhancements made to standard and optional equipment, OEMs are highly tuned to improving the total cost of vehicle ownership for truck fleet owners.

This cost focus means changes are being made to vehicle offerings that will ensure next year’s trucks are more fuel-efficient, less expensive to maintain, and more productive for drivers to operate. OEMs are determined as well to deliver trucks that are safer and greener to run.

Class 1-3 and Class 4-7 truck builders, many of whom brought out new models in recent years, are now generally holding steady with their lineups. The biggest exception is Ford, which will begin phasing out its venerable E-Series van as it introduces its all-new and European-bred Transit van.

However, across the GVW board, nearly all OEMs are introducing more and more alternative-fuel powertrain options. Especially notable for 2013 is the large number of both compressed and liquefied natural gas engines that will be available, as well as more propane engines and hybrid-electric drive powertrains.

Fleet owners will find that whether they run light- or medium-duty trucks, this special annual section lays out for them all the significant changes coming to North American trucks in 2013. So turn the page, and take a test drive — or a few.

LIGHT DUTY

Ford

While only minor changes are being made to the venerable F-150 pickups for the 2013 model year, Ford is planning to make big changes to its line of light-duty commercial vans. The company will gradually phase out the E-Series and replace it with an all-new Transit van platform, which will be introduced with a diesel engine option for the 2013 model year.

Changes to the 2013 Ford F-150 include a new front-end design, new grille, high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps, 18-in. and 20-in. wheels with various trim packages, and power-telescoping and power-folding trailer-tow sideview mirrors.

The F-150 can also be equipped with Ford’s Sync voice-activated communications and entertainment package with 911 Assist and Vehicle Health Report as standard equipment for the XLT Series and above. Sync includes a 4.2-in. LCD center-stack screen that provides enhanced displays of audio and climate-control functions. In addition, the instrument cluster contains a 4.2-in. driver-configurable LCD productivity screen that includes menus for gauge setup, trip computer, fuel economy, towing, and off-road applications.

On the van side, when Ford begins building the new full-size Transit cargo and passenger van in 2013, it plans to offer a diesel powertrain as an option to the vehicle’s standard 3.5L EcoBoost V6 gasoline engine.

Mike Levine, Ford’s truck communications manager, stresses that the E-Series will continue to be built even after the U.S.-built Transit goes on sale.

The full-size Transit, which will be built at Ford’s Kansas City assembly plant, represents a $1.1 billion investment by the OEM. It will weigh about 200 lb less than the E-Series it replaces and should provide up to a 25% improvement in fuel economy.

Eric Guenther, Ford’s general marketing manager for North American fleet, leasing, and remarketing operations, notes that the OEM is expanding the range of alternative fuel and hybrid powertrain options for its trucks, with only the F-150 remaining in its lineup without an alternative fuel prep package, something he says the company plans to change soon.

Right now, Canada’s Westport Innovations is providing a bi-fuel CNG/gasoline option for Ford’s F-250 and F-350 Super Duty models called the “WiNG” system. Westport says it expects its WiNG production facility, located alongside Ford’s Kentucky Truck Plant outside Louisville, to be fully ramped up by September. 

www.ford.com

 

General Motors

The big news from General Motors for the 2013 model year is that it will offer a factory-built bi-fuel system for both its Chevrolet and GMC extended cab heavy-duty pickup trucks. This option allows the trucks to run on both CNG and gasoline and will sell for $11,000 above the suggested base-vehicle prices.

GM’s 2013 Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra 2500 HD equipped with the bi-fuel package come with a Vortec 6.0L V8 engine that seamlessly transitions between the two fuels, with a single lightweight Type 3 tank in the bed maximizing available payload and bed space.

The automaker says the trucks should attain more than 650 miles in range as well. With the current average price of CNG equivalent at $1.89/gal, GM believes its pickup customers could save $5,000 to $10,000 over a 3-yr period, depending on their driving habits, running its bi-fuel capable trucks on CNG alone.

The bi-fuel trucks will be available in standard and long-box, 2WD or 4WD in the extended cab models, and will be covered by GM’s 3-yr/36,000-mile new vehicle limited warranty and 5-yr/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty and vehicle emissions warranty. All Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board emissions certification requirements are met.

GM adds that its bi-fuel trucks are being built in Fort Wayne, Ind., and then sent to the Tier One supplier for installation of the CNG bi-fuel delivery and storage system.

A bi-fuel option already exists for the company’s Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana cargo vans, which won’t see any change for the 2013 model year.

Both vans are available in regular 135-in. and extended 155-in. wheelbase lengths, with models rated at 7,300 lb, 8,600 lb, and 9,600 lb GVWR; vans at the heaviest end of the GVWR spectrum will be offered with either a 6.0L V8 gasoline engine or the Duramax 6.6L diesel engine.

www.gm.com

 

International

While the base design for International’s eStar Class 2c-3 all-electric truck won’t undergo any changes for the 2013 model year, it’s going to be central to a broader strategy to bring electrified commercial vehicles to urban centers across the United States. The truck is built by the Navistar-Modec EV Alliance.

Navistar says its eStar is an ideal fit for this effort, as it retains a range of up to 100 miles per charge and can be fully recharged within 6 hr to 8 hr.

Navistar reiterates that the eStar is a “purpose-built” all-electric truck, meaning it’s been designed to run on electric power from the beginning. Hallmarks of this design, the company says, are its low center of gravity, with battery placement between the frame rails and not mounted on top of the vehicle; a 36-ft turning circle; walk-through cab; and a quick-change cassette-type battery that can be swapped out in 20 min.

Other features include nearly 180° visibility, a low-floor design that provides easy loading/unloading, and a noise level near zero, which makes this nimble vehicle suitable for urban areas facing noise challenges.

The eStar is built at Navistar’s manufacturing plant in Wakarusa, Ind. 

www.estar-ev.com

 

Mercedes-Benz

Few, if any, changes have been announced for 2013 model-year Sprinter vans, with a lineup that still consists of the cargo van, passenger van, minibus, cab chassis, and crew van, which seats five with remaining interior room for cargo.

Controlled and sold by Mercedes-Benz USA (MB-USA), a division of Germany’s Daimler AG, the Sprinter is powered by a 3.0L V6 diesel that offers 30% better fuel economy than a comparable gasoline engine, according to MB-USA. The 4-valve-per-cylinder Mercedes-Benz BlueTec diesel features centrally located piezo-electric injectors, CDI direct injection, variable-nozzle turbocharger, exhaust gas recirculation, and provides 188 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque.

The Sprinter’s interior standing height remains at 6 ft, 4 in., with cargo capacity of up to 547 sq ft and payload capacity of up to 5,358 lb. Cargo van models feature a side-door opening that’s 4 ft, 3 in. wide and 6 ft high, and has the industry’s lowest step-in height at 19.9 in.

The Sprinter is also still available in three different gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) platforms for the cargo van model: the 2500, with a GVWR of 8,550 lb, and two versions of the 3500 — one with a GVWR of 9,990 lb and another with a GVWR of 11,030 lb

www.mbsprinterusa.com

 

Nissan

The big news coming from Nissan’s commercial vehicle division for the 2013 model year is the Nissan NV200 compact cargo van, designed as a “new entry point” for cargo van and small pickup fleets looking for improved fuel efficiency.

The NV200 joins Nissan’s NV cargo full-sized van and its full-sized NV passenger van introduced earlier this year. Nissan points out there won’t be any major changes to those two existing models for the 2013 model year, with only exterior color options shifting to red, white, and dark blue. All options and specs for the NV cargo and passenger vans remain the same from the 2012 model year.

While the NV200 will be new to the North American market for the 2013 model year, it’s already on the ground in approximately 40 countries around the world.

The key attributes of the North American version of the NV200, says Joe Castelli, Nissan’s vice president-fleet, are its cargo capacity of 123 cu ft and extended body size — a full 7.9 in. longer than the non-North American version.

Measuring 186.2 in. in overall length on a 115.2-in. wheelbase, the NV200 can carry a 1,500-lb maximum payload. It comes with standard integrated mounting points that allow for the installation of racks and shelves without drilling into the sidewalls, plus six available floor-mounted hooks in the cargo area.

The van is powered by a 2.0L 16-valve dual overhead cam 4-cycle engine matched with an Xtronic CVT transmission. The van’s suspension features independent struts with a stabilizer bar in front and a leaf spring design in the rear. Front disc/rear drum brakes with antilock braking system and electronic brake force distribution are standard, along with electric power-assisted steering and 15-in. steel wheels mounted with 185/60R15 high-load all-season tires.

The van also features low-effort dual sliding side doors, tall 40/60 split rear doors with dual opening positions (90° and 180°), plus low floor height and tall interior cargo height to make loading and unloading easier. Other exterior features include halogen headlights, durable black front and rear bumpers, and outside mirrors with wide-angle spotter mirrors and available heated function.

Standard safety features include the Nissan advanced air bag system, roof-mounted curtain side impact supplemental air bags for front occupant head protection, front seat-mounted driver and passenger side impact supplemental air bags, vehicle dynamic control, and tire pressure monitoring system.

www.nissancommercialvehicles.com

 

RAM Trucks

Chrysler’s Ram Trucks division has overhauled the Ram 1500 pickup for the 2013 model year, offering a pair of retooled engines connected to a new 8-speed automatic transmission dubbed the TorqueFlite 8. The new transmission, which replaces the 4-speed model, is said to improve fuel economy without sacrificing power.

The new 3.6L Pentastar V6 is the standard powerplant and offers 42% more horsepower, 13% more torque, and at least 20% better fuel economy than the 3.7L V6 powertrain it replaces. The optional 5.7L V8 Hemi, equipped with what Ram calls “fuel-saver technology” and variable-valve timing, cranks out 395 hp, 407 lb-ft of torque yet offers 10% better fuel economy than the 2012 Ram V8 powertrain it replaces.

That extra power also gives the 1500 heavy-duty tradesman model, which automatically comes with the V8 package, 11,500 lb worth of towing capacity and 3,125 lb of payload.

The TorqueFlite 8 electronic transmission is also operated in a different way — via a dash-mounted “rotary e-shift dial” that eliminates the need for steering column or floor-mounted shift levers, enabling what the company calls “quick blind-shift” transitions from reverse to drive when towing or navigating out of mud, snow, or busy parking lots. The dash-mounted shift system also yields space for more functional and usable storage in the console as well, Ram notes.

A new air-suspension option offers five ride height settings to choose from, including two higher levels for off-road operation, a low-to-the-ground aerodynamic setting, as well as one to help during parking maneuvers.

Ram is also offering a factory-built bi-fuel configuration for its 2500 HD pickup that runs on both compressed natural gas (CNG) and gasoline. Sold in a crew cab configuration with either a long or short bed, Ram’s bi-fuel model is powered by a 5.7L Hemi V8 engine linked to a 6-speed automatic and is equipped with two CNG tanks providing 18.2 gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE) worth of storage secured in the pickup’s bed to its frame. The truck also comes with an 8-gal gasoline tank that can be upgraded by Canadian customers to a 35-gal option.

www.ramtrucks.com

 

Toyota

Few changes are in the works for Toyota’s Tundra full-size pickup for the 2013 model year. The company says it plans to remain focused on offering simplified option packages, which it first rolled out for the 2012 model year. Among those option packages is the “work truck” configuration.

The Tundra continues to come with three engine choices: 270-hp 4.0L V6, 310-hp 4.6L V8, and 381-hp 5.7L V8. All Tundras now feature standard heavy-duty battery, heavy-duty starter, windshield wiper de-icer, daytime running lights (DRL), front and rear mudguards, and heated power outside mirrors.

Like previous iterations, the 2013 Tundra is offered in two grades (Tundra and Limited); three cab styles (regular, double cab, and CrewMax); three wheelbase lengths (126.8 in., 145.7 in., and 164.6 in., depending on model and configuration); and three bed lengths (78.7 in., 97.6 in., and, for the CrewMax configuration only, 66.7 in.).

By combining popular equipment, option packages for the Tundra debuted last year were simplified to make it easier for customers to spec this pickup for specific applications. Tundra-Grade double cab and CrewMax models now offer 
four streamlined packages: convenience package, convenience package with bucket seats, upgrade package, and SR5 package. Regular cab offers four redesigned packages: SR5 package, SR5 upgrade package, TRD off-road package, and color-keyed bumper package.

For commercial users, the Tundra work truck package remains available for the 2013 model year, crafted for customers who desire a “no-frills” truck with exceptional cargo and towing capacity, Toyota says.

The work truck package features heavy-duty, vinyl-trimmed seating surfaces, and heavy-duty, all-weather flooring; it is available in regular and double cab configurations with any of the Tundra’s three engine choices.

Toyota notes that the Tundra continues to be built on what it calls its “TripleTech” frame, using wide, full-boxed rails for the front portion; a reinforced C-channel under the cab; and an open C-channel underneath the bed to maximize strength, ride quality, and durability. The double arm front suspension uses coil-over spring shock units, while a front-mounted steering rack helps enhance steering feel and response; the rear suspension uses staggered shocks mounted outboard of the springs to improve the shocks’ dampening efficiency. Spring rates are tuned to provide a flat vehicle stance when fully loaded, Toyota says.

www.toyota.com

 

MEDIUM DUTY

Ford

Ford Motor Co.’s medium-duty lineup for the 2013 model year will feature a gasoline powertrain spec for the F-650 truck. It includes the 6.8L, 375-hp V10 Triton engine, which cranks out 457 lb-ft of torque, and a 6-speed 6R140 automatic transmission with double overdrive gears. The transmission is the same one used in the diesel-powered version of the F-650, the OEM notes. It is capable of running on gasoline, CNG, or propane.

Rob Stevens, Ford’s chief engineer for commercial products, says the F-650 gasoline powertrain spec is now available.

Ford says it’s aiming the F-650 gasoline engine at those who are seeking a cheaper alternative for replenishing an aging fleet. The F-650 gasoline engine option is pegged to meet the operational needs of those applications without sacrificing performance.

Ford notes that the average vehicle savings for an F-650 gas model compared to F-650 trucks with diesels is $8,300.The OEM is also offering its F-650 6.8L Pro-Loader with 19.5-in. wheels and the F-650 6.8L Dock Height with 22-in. wheels.

The 2013 F-Series Super Duty will be available with a truck-specific version of Sync with MyFord Touch, offering tactile button controls and large rotating knobs to accommodate truck users who may be wearing work gloves, the OEM says. Sync is a system designed to help keep drivers better connected without having to divert their eyes from the road, thus allowing drivers to communicate wirelessly without sacrificing safety, Ford stresses.

The Sync system is accessed with an 8-in., high-resolution touchscreen display to give drivers easy access to phone, climate control, entertainment, and navigation features.

 The display also provides a large, clear view behind the truck when in reverse to help drivers maneuver in tight spaces or line up conventional trailers with the truck’s hitch, Ford says.

www.ford.com

 

Freightliner

Freightliner Trucks has introduced what it calls the SmartPlex electrical system for both its Freightliner 114SD and Business Class M2 models. The OEM says the new electrical system provides “unmatched flexibility” for truck-equipment manufacturers (TEMs) when configuring a truck to a specific body installation.

The SmartPlex electrical system uses Freightliner’s proprietary control modules. These connect to the J1939 data bus, controlling power to lights and TEM equipment. SmartPlex also includes a new flex switch and lamp module, which provides capacity for up to 24 switches located in the overhead compartment. 

Laser-etched plastic inserts with icons that are appropriate for each industry and/or the type of truck are also provided, allowing TEMs to simply snap the inserts into corresponding switches, notes the OEM. The system expands the total number of switches and lamps that can be connected to 35 (including dash switches).

The SmartPlex system is accessed using Freightliner ServiceLink software, which communicates directly with the OEM’s proprietary control modules. Freightliner says that ServiceLink allows TEMs to configure programming for unique needs at their own facility.

www.freightlinertrucks.com

 

FCCC

The major change for the 2013 model year coming from Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. (FCCC) is the introduction 
of the S2G chassis, which provides a factory-installed liquid petroleum gas or propane-powered engine package 
available to the medium-duty market.

Built on FCCC’s S2 chassis, the S2G’s 8L 325-hp engine supplied by Powertrain Integration offers an LPG fueling system connected to a gasoline engine built on a General Motors long block. FCCC says the benefits of an LPG chassis include lower operational costs and reduced emissions without sacrificing payload capability or performance. The S2G chassis is suitable for pickup and delivery, student transportation, and municipal applications.

Like its S2 diesel-only counterpart, the front-engine S2G is equipped with a Freightliner M2 business class cab, which features a sloped, forward-tilting hood for improved visibility and easier access to the engine compartment. It has a GVWR of 33,000 lb.

Limited pre-production of S2G chassis is expected to begin in the fourth quarter, with full production slated for the first quarter of 2013.

www.freightlinerchassis.com

 

Hino

New for the 2013 model year from Hino Trucks USA is the Class 5 cabover engine (COE) Model 195, available with either a diesel or diesel-electric hybrid powertrain. The 19,500-lb GVW truck comes powered with a 5L J05E Series diesel engine generating 210 hp and 440 lb-ft of torque. The J05E engine, which is equipped with a selective catalytic reduction emissions control system, is matched with an Aisin 6-speed automatic transmission.

The Hino 195h is a diesel-electric COE built with a parallel hybrid propulsion system that uses regenerative braking to charge a bank of nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries. This is coupled with what Hino calls its “hybrid adaptive control system” to assist the diesel during drive cycles. Combining diesel and electric power keeps the engine in its fuel economy “sweet spot” as much as possible, helping improve fuel efficiency by as much as 30%, Hino says.

With both built on a 33-in. frame made from high-strength steel, the diesel-only and hybrid models can be configured to fit a wide range of applications.

Hino notes that customers will be able to spec truck chassis, truck tank, and all other necessary equipment right at their local Hino dealer, with its dealer technicians also being trained on installation, service, and maintenance of Amthor tank bodies.

For its line of conventional Class 4-7 trucks, Hino hammered out a multi-year, long-term agreement with Allison Transmission late last year to make Allison the exclusive transmission for all current and future Hino conventional trucks sold in the United States. Through the agreement, Hino, a division of Japan’s Toyota Group, says its conventional models equipped with Allison’s 2000 Highway Series transmissions will now carry a 4-yr warranty, while trucks spec’d with the 2000 and 3000 Rugged Duty Series transmissions will carry a 3-yr warranty. Coverage terms begin with the 2012 model year.

www.hino.com

 

International

Navistar International’s introduction of a 4×4 version of its International TerraStar medium-duty truck last year helped fill in some gaps for customers looking for additional options from the work truck.

According to the OEM, International is now offering a wider range of alternative-fueled vehicles for the medium-duty market. These include the International DuraStar Hybrid and a DuraStar model powered by either a compressed (CNG) or liquefied (LNG) natural gas powertrain.

The natural gas option comes via a conversion program. Navistar explains that a kit developed by Emissions Solutions Inc. (ESI) allows DuraStar natural gas conversions ranging from 175 hp to 300 hp with 460 lb-ft to 860 lb-ft of torque. 

The OEM points out that it will also make available an ESI natural gas conversion kit — and either frame- or back-of-cab-mounted natural gas tanks — for customers ordering a WorkStar model with a DT 466 natural gas engine.

www.internationaltrucks.com

 

Isuzu

Changes are slated for certain Isuzu Commercial Truck of America’s N-Series low cab forward (LCF) trucks for the 2013 model year.

For starters, the Isuzu NPR gas model will be available with a three-person standard cab or seven-passenger crew cab rated at 12,000 lb GVW. It will be powered by a 6.0L Vortex V8 gasoline engine, delivering 297 hp and 372 lb-ft of torque that is mated to a 6L90 Hydra-Matic 6-speed automatic with double overdrive. Body payload allowance for the 2013 NPR gas runs between 6,186 lb and 6,994 lb with wheelbase options running between 109 in. and 176 in.

The 2013 Isuzu NPR-HD offers a GVW of 14,500 lb with payload allowance running between 7,699 lb and 8,503 lb. This model features wheelbase options between 109 in. and 176 in.; a 5.2L Isuzu 4HK1-TC turbocharged intercooled diesel engine delivers 215 hp and 452 lb-ft of torque. The engine is mated to an Aisin A465 6-speed double overdrive automatic transmission with lockup torque converter plus power take-off (PTO) opening. Also available is a manual transmission and a crew cab option.

An alternative fuel model, the NPR-HD N-Series, is also available. The 2013 Isuzu NQR will offer a GVW of 17,950 lb, payload range from 10,657 lb to 11,483 lb, and wheelbase options between 109 in. and 200 in. It is equipped with a 5.2L Isuzu 4HK1-TC turbocharged, intercooled diesel engine, offering 215 hp and 452 lb-ft of torque. This model is mated to an Aisin A465 6-speed double overdrive automatic transmission with lockup torque converter and PTO opening, again with a manual transmission and crew cab configuration option.

Finally, the 2013 Isuzu NRR will have a GVW of 19,500 lb, payload allowance of 12,493 lb to 12,897 lb, and wheelbase options between 109 in. and 212 in. The NRR will be powered by a 5.2L Isuzu 4HK1-TC turbocharged intercooled diesel engine that produces 215 hp and 452 lb-ft of torque at 1,850 rpm. An Aisin A465 6-speed double overdrive automatic transmission with lockup torque converter plus PTO opening comes standard, and an optional manual transmission is available.

www.isuzucv.com

 

Kenworth

Kenworth Truck has expanded its medium-duty line with the new K270 Class 6 and K370 Class 7 cabovers, both of which are targeted at urban-delivery applications.

According to the OEM, applications for the K270 and K370 include buyers that require a highly maneuverable truck capable of carrying 18-ft to 26-ft van bodies, stake beds, or roll-on/roll-off beds. KW notes that the 63.4-in. BBC of both trucks provides a 55° wheel cut for “excellent maneuverability.”

The 33,000-lb GVWR K370 will be offered in a 4×2 Class 7 truck configuration. It is built on a North American-based chassis that KW says is very similar to that of the existing Kenworth T370 conventional. The K370 is powered by the 6.7L Paccar PX-6 engine with a standard 220-hp rating and 520 lb-ft of maximum torque. Optional ratings are 240 hp and 560 lb-ft of torque and 250 hp with 660 lb-ft of torque. The K370 is available with Allison 2500 HS and RDS 5-speed transmissions.

The K370’s 12V supplied chassis consists of 10¼-in., 120,000-psi steel frame rails; a wheelbase range of 166 in. to 214 in.; mechanical rear suspension; 45-gal fuel tank; and horizontal aftertreatment system with a 6.6-gal DEF tank.

The 26,000-lb GVWR Kenworth K270 cabover is offered in a 4×2 Class 6 truck configuration. The OEM says it is built on a North American-based chassis very similar to that of the Kenworth T270 conventional. The K270 is also powered by the 6.7L PX-6 engine with a standard 220-hp rating and 520 lb-ft of maximum torque. Optional ratings are 240 hp and 560 lb-ft of torque and 250 hp with 660 lb-ft of torque. The K270 is available with Allison 2100 HS and RDS 5-speed transmissions.

The K270’s 12V supplied chassis consists of 97/8-in., 120,000-psi steel frame rails; a wheelbase range of 166 in. to 214 in.; front air disc and rear drum brakes; mechanical rear suspension; 45-gal fuel tank; and horizontal aftertreatment system with a 6.6-gal DEF tank.

The OEM says both the K270 and K370 boast a wide cab that can accommodate up to three people with a driver air-suspended seat. The dash includes a master display information module that provides data on fuel consumption, service inspections, outside air temperature, coolant temperature, oil level, DEF level, and trip information.

www.kenworth.com

 

Mitsubishi-Fuso

For the 2013 model year, Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America (MFTA) is introducing a new Canter low cab forward (LCF) lineup, which is already in production.

In addition to the five colors MFTA has traditionally offered, the 2013 Canter can be ordered in solid black, which should help some customers from having to paint the cabs to match their company colors.

All new Canters will come standard with dual batteries, and will also include a factory-installed PTO wiring harness designed to receive an optional, matched control switch and to make connection to optional PTOs easy.

Moreover, a 33-gal side-mounted fuel tank will once again be available as a factory-installed option. Mirrors will have new, wider mounting arms that facilitate the installation of bodies with outside widths up to 102 in. on all Canter FE models, including the Canter FE160 crew cab.

For cold climate operation, the Fuso Canter can be outfitted with an oil pan heater to make engine startup easier; it replaces the block heaters available on earlier models.

“Being installed on the oil pan, the new heater can directly warm cold engine oil to reduce viscosity and required starting torque more efficiently than can a block heater,” notes Leighton Good, MFTA’s manager-product and applications. “In addition, as the heat rises, the block and components above are warmed as well to help reduce cold start engine wear.”

Fuso trucks come with a 5-yr/175,000-mile powertrain warranty as standard.

The company also rolls out a new repair and maintenance parts program for its trucks this year dubbed “Diamond Value Parts.” The program helps supply authorized dealers and service points with a line of parts that provide substantial quality while offering pricing that allows them to compete more effectively with aftermarket maintenance and repair operations.

All parts that are in the program are intended for use after expiration of Fuso’s base warranty, the company notes, and durability, performance, and efficiency should be a near match for Fuso’s “genuine” parts label.

 “To help keep Fuso trucks in service even longer, we can now offer competitively priced maintenance and repair parts installed by factory-trained technicians,” says Len Doherty, MFTA’s vice president–parts operations.

www.mitfuso.com

 

Peterbilt

Peterbilt Motors has announced new design enhancements for its medium-duty cabover Model 210 and Model 220, which serve the Class 6-7 market.

The OEM says the cabover design pairs a lightweight chassis and frame rail with a strategically positioned electrical system to optimize body installation and increase payload capacity. The Models 210 and 220 use selective catalytic reduction exhaust-aftertreatment technology and are EPA 2010 emissions-compliant. In addition, the trucks are available with an Allison 2100 Series automatic transmission, which Pete says helps provide a smooth, comfortable ride.

The Model 210 is available as a Class 6 straight truck with GVW rating of 26,000 lb. The OEM says it features a tight turning radius for maneuverability in difficult, confined spaces; a wraparound windshield; extra large side windows; and heated mirrors for exceptional visibility. Standard with an automatic transmission and air suspension, the Model 210 is recommended for bodies between 18 ft to 26 ft in length and can be configured for non-CDL operation. The truck’s wraparound dash is a highlight of the spacious interior with its capacity to seat three people and provide ample storage with overhead compartments running the width of the cabin, Pete notes.

The Model 220 is now available either as a Class 7 or a Class 6 truck. It provides a low chassis weight that Pete says is perfect for high-volume payloads. The truck’s front panel opens for quick access to the air filter, coolant, washer fluid, power-steering fluid, refrigerant, and engine oil. Ergonomically positioned doors open a wide 90°, and the truck rides on 11R22.5 tires. The Model 220 is recommended for bodies between 20 ft and 28 ft in length.

Both cabovers are powered by the Paccar PX-6 diesel with horsepower ratings up to 250 hp and torque ratings up to 660 lb-ft. The OEM notes that the fuel-efficient PX-6 is an inline 6 cyl. with four valves per cylinder and a high-pressure common rail fuel system. It features the best power-to-weight ratio available in its class, the company says.

The Model 210 and 220 cabovers are part of Peterbilt’s lineup of medium-duty vehicles that includes the conventional-hood Models 325, 330, 337, and 348. Models 330, 337, and 348 are also available in hybrid electric configurations.

Pete has made available its extended day cab feature on its medium-duty trucks. The OEM says customers now have the option to expand the length of a day cab by an additional 10 in. and receive nearly 6 in. of added headroom.

According to the OEM, the extended day cab is designed to increase driver comfort and productivity: Both the driver and passenger seat recline is doubled to 23°, and there is 4 in. of added space between the steering wheel and the seat. In addition, 4 cu ft of built-in rear wall storage compartments have been added for equipment or paperwork.

www.peterbilt.com

 

RAM Trucks

After making some changes to its Ram 4500 and 5500 medium-duty (Class 4 and 5) chassis cab for the 2012 model year, few alterations accompany the 2013 model year.

As part of a “max tow” package introduced last year, Chrysler boosted the GCWR of its Ram 4500/5500 chassis cab for both regular and crew cab models and in 4×2 and 4×4 configurations. The package includes a new transfer case gear set, chain and sprocket upgrades, recalibrated transmission software, and an enhanced collection of thermal management devices.

Ram 4500 and 5500 chassis cab trucks still come equipped with a commercial-grade 6.7L Cummins turbo­diesel engine cranking out 305 hp and 610 lb-ft of torque. The max tow package adds an optional commercial-grade Aisin 6-speed automatic transmission and 4.88 rear-axle ratio. A 4.44 axle is standard on 4500 models and not available with the max tow package. A 6-speed manual transmission is standard on Ram 4500 and 5500 chassis cab models.

The 30,000-lb GCWR gives the Ram chassis cab a 4,000-lb boost in trailer-towing capabilities, up to a maximum of 22,300 lb on a Ram 4500 or 5500 chassis cab equipped with a 6-speed automatic transmission.

Ram 3500 chassis-cab models, Chrysler notes, remain powered by the 5.7L Hemi V8. That engine delivers 
383 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque and is mated to a new 6-speed automatic transmission introduced last year to increase GCWR by 3,000 lb to the current 20,000-lb rating. A Cummins turbodiesel remains available as an option.

Chrysler says “maximum upfitting friendliness” remains a hallmark of the Ram chassis cab lineup due to the 34-in. frame rail spacing and one-piece C-channel rear-frame rail that forms the base platform of those truck models.

Back in 2011, Chrysler upgraded the 3500, 4500, and 5500 chassis cabs with four upfitter switches integrated on the instrument panel. Each of these switches is linked to an auxiliary power distribution center located under the hood that includes one fused 20A battery feed and one fused relay-controlled 20A ignition. 

Electrical connections remain user-friendly, thanks to one fused battery feed and one fused ignition feed routed into the cab and to the rear of the chassis. With built-in tandem power take-off (PTO) capability, all models feature a heavy-duty cooling system in order to meet additional heat loads that are often generated from PTO upfits and/or extreme hauling. 

www.ramtrucks.com

 

Smith Electric Vehicles

The newest addition to Smith Electric Vehicle’s line of all-electric commercial vehicles is the Newton step van. The vehicle, built on the company’s Class 4-7 Newton platform, is configured with a walk-in body provided by Utilimaster.

Smith Electric says the Newton step van will offer a GVW of 14,000 lb to 26,000 lb with a top speed of 55 mph and range of 40 miles to 100 miles on a single charge, depending on how the vehicle is operated. The company adds that the step vans are expected to be deployed in select U.S. markets throughout the remainder of this year.

The Class 4-7 Newton chassis is offered in 154-in., 177-in., and 201-in. wheelbase options, with payload capacities ranging from 6,100 lb to 16,200 lb.

Smith Electric’s Class 3-4 Edison model features a 7,700 lb to 10,400 lb GVW rating, offering 1,600 lb to 5,000 lb worth of payload capacity.

The company also continues to offer the Newton eTrans, an all-electric 42-passenger bus model built on the Edison chassis, which can travel up to 120 miles on a single charge at speeds of up to 50 mph.

The company says the Newton eTrans is suitable for the fixed routes in urban areas most school buses take each day. It is equipped with Smith Power, using the latest in lithium-ion battery technology and regenerative braking technology that will transfer energy from the brakes to the batteries when the vehicle is in operation.

www.smithelectric.com

 

UD Trucks

Not much is going to change for the 2013 models produced by UD Trucks North America (UDTNA), a subsidiary of Sweden’s Volvo Group.

Last year, UDTNA added a rear engine-mounted power take-off unit as a dealer-installed option. The company now offers seven different models in the U.S. market with GVWs ranging from 17,995 lb all the way up to 32,900 lb (UD1800, UD2000, UD23DH, UD23LP, UD2600, UD26LP, and UD3300).

UDTNA’s trucks all come equipped with a 7L GH7 diesel engine that cranks out anywhere from 245 hp to 280 hp. The engine was jointly developed with Volvo and is equipped with a selective catalytic reduction system.

UDTNA notes its cab and interior were completely redesigned for the 2011 model year, adding more legroom and driver comfort upgrades, as well as the addition of a wide variety of transmission options, including the Allison 3000 Series automatic.

www.udtrucksna.com

 

Workhorse

Workhorse Custom Chassis, a Navistar company, has added no new models since its launch two years back of its W62 step van chassis. That chassis is powered by a GM Vortec 6L gasoline engine that the OEM says delivers better than a 20% fuel economy gain over the larger Vortec 8.1L engine it replaced. The engine uses variable valve timing (VVT) to enable the powertrain to take advantage of late-intake valve closing for greater efficiency, says Workhorse.

The 6.0L powerplant is mated to the Allison 1000 HS automatic transmission. The W62 chassis ratings range from 19,500 lb to 23,500 lb GVW. The W62 is also offered with the International MaxxForce 7 diesel.

Workhorse’s latest W42 stepvan chassis is powered by the GM Vortec 4.8L gasoline engine, which also boasts VVT as well as extended maintenance intervals, points out the OEM. The 4.8L engine is mated to the GM Hydra-Matic 6L90 6-speed automatic transmission, which replaces the previous 4-speed 4L80E provided in this chassis.

www.workhorse.com