Continual Advances

Judging by what was shown at the final truck show for 2000, sales haven't slowed any new truck and component advances.

The Great American Trucking Show (GATS) held in Dallas on November 16-18 hosted a number of innovative truck, component and product introductions. Here are some highlights.

Eaton Corp. Cleveland Dana Corp. Kalamazoo, Mich.

Eaton and Dana have joined to introduce a new Roadranger Drivetrain package to reduce the damage that results from torsional vibrations. Integral to this package is the Dana Spicer 40,000-pound tandem-driven axle. The Torsionally Tuned-40, model DST40, is designed to reduce excessive inter-axle driveline angles and improve drivetrain durability and performance while minimizing size, cost and weight, the company says. The DST40 has been engineered for line-haul and various vocational applications with engine ratings as high as 1,650 pounds-foot up to 500 horsepower (hp) and a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) up to 110,000 pounds.

The Dana Spicer Heavy Axle and Brake Division also announced an addition to its line of tire management systems - the Dana Spicer Tire Maintenance System for Trailers. It helps maintain at least a minimum tire pressure level.

Freightliner Portland, Ore.

Freightliner introduced several new products, including the Coronado heavy duty truck. The Coronado is a long, conventional, 132-inch BBC truck with a standard 500 horsepower DDC Series 60 engine.

The Coronado also is available with SmartShift, Freightliner's steering column-mounted shift that allows hands-on-the-wheel shifting of Meritor and Eaton automated transmissions.

The new truck offers various low or no-maintenance components such as long stroke brake chambers, a self-adjusting clutch, and front and rear aluminum hubs with pre-set bearings and oil seals.

A new safety feature from Freightliner is the Tubular Side Airbag System (TSAS) that deploys a tubular-shaped airbag on the driver's side to cushion head rolling during rollover. The TSAS works in conjunction with Freightliner's Seat Pretentioner Activation for Crash Survival Enhancement (SPACE) system, an occupant restraint system.

Freightliner also unveiled a lightweight version of its Century Class S/T (Safety/Technology) that offers an estimated 1,200 pounds in weight savings. The lightweight unit will be available in both 120-inch BBC and 112-inch BBC models, and in a variety of cab and sleeper configurations, the company says.

Hendrickson Woodridge, Ill.

Hendrickson introduced Airtek, a lightweight front air suspension and steer axle. Airtek is the company's first integrated front air suspension and steer axle design and can run on a full-air platform, consisting of a trailer air suspension, drive axle air suspension and steer axle air suspension. The Steertek box-shaped axle beam resists vertical and longitudinal loads to reduce variations and changes in dynamic camber and toe, the company says.

Airtek also has eliminated components that need frequent repairs. It offers a quick-snap feature and push-to-connect air supply design to remove the air springs. Rubber front and rear bushings on the leaf spring are maintenance-free.

Additionally, the axle clamp group with four-sided clamping pressure eliminates the need for retorquing, the company says. The 12,000-pound-rated Airtek consists of a 238-pound suspension and a 274-pound axle assembly. The SteerTek axle is also rated for 12,000 pounds.

Michelin North America Greenville, S.C.

Michelin announced the X-One, a wide-base tire for heavy duty trucks to take the place of its conventional dual truck tires. It offers more contact surface with the road, and its dimensions, 445/50R22.5, have the same rolling radius as a conventional 275/80R22.5 tire, along with the same inflation pressure of 100 pounds per square inch (psi). It comes on a 22.5 x 14.00 Accuride wheel, available in steel or aluminum, with a standard 10- bolt hub-piloted design.

The Michelin X-One XDA is made for drive axles, and the X-One XTA tire is designed for trailer tandem axles. These tires provide a weight savings of approximately 115 pounds per wheel, 460 per tandem, when compared to conventional duals on steel wheels, or 102 pounds per wheel, 408 per tandem, compared to aluminum wheels.

The new tire has three full-width steel belts, one radial steel belt and a continuous stabilizing belt, the InfiniCoil. It also offers a 24/32nd, fully retreadable tread depth, the company says.

ReycoGranning Springfield, Mo.

ReycoGranning introduced an 854- pound lightweight 19AR/RS1062 air ride van slider/suspension. It uses narrow beams and hangers, only two main crossmembers and eliminates U-bolts in the axle attachments, the company says. The slider/suspension fits Binkley, Hutch or TTMA rails.

Additionally, the slider/suspension features side wear pads in hangers and an axle connection in beam form to distribute stress loads. It can be used on 23,000, 25,000 and 30,000 suspensions, the company says.

Sterling Truck Corp. Portland, Ore.

Sterling's Mercedes-Benz MBE4000 diesel now is available for the company's L-Line 9500, A-Line 9500 and SilverStar models. An in-line, 6-cylinder, 12.8-liter diesel engine, the MBE4000 is designed for vocational applications, offering 350 hp to 450 hp, and a torque range from 1,350 pounds-foot to 1,550 pounds-foot.

The MBE4000's components include a cast-iron engine block; induction-hardened cylinder liners, cam and crankshafts; forged steel connecting rods; and a ceramic-coated piston.

Oil changes are extended to 25,000 miles with standard CH-4 oil. Injection pumps are individually replaceable. The standard engine brake delivers 325 breaking horsepower (bhp) at 2,100 revolutions per minute (rpm).