Giant Truck Show, Giant Products

ArvinMeritor Inc.
Troy, Mich.

ArvinMeritor has announced a new tandem axle designed to reduce issues relating to driveline angularity.

The MT-40-143-MA-N is 40,000-pound (lb.) gross axle weight rated (GAWR), and the rear carrier features Amboid gear designs to provide above-centerline positioning of the drive pinion, which should reduce interaxle driveline angularity, according to the company. This consequently should minimize driveline vibration and damage to all other drivetrain components, ArvinMeritor says.

Incorporated in this new design is an integral pinion-bearing cage, which eliminates the bearing cage-to-carrier joint and its potential leak path.

The ratio range of the new tandem is 2.64-to-4.11. It is compatible with all current air suspensions, the company says. The new axle will be available in July through all original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and will be covered by a 5-year/750,000-mile warranty.

The 4-piston Quadraulic disc brake for medium duty applications also was introduced. Designed to package within 19.5-inch (in.) and 22.5-in. wheel sizes, the brake caliper is an alternative to conventional rail and pin slider hydraulic calipers.

The new calipers come in 4×64-milimeters (mm) and 4×70-mm sizes, and are hard-mounted to the anchor plate, a design unique to ArvinMeritor. This feature, combined with a high-temperature piston boot compound, sealed bleeder screws and full-coverage zinc plating, is designed to minimize maintenance by reducing the need to replace the caliper or anchor plate, the company says.

The Quadraulic disc brake can be adapted to fit most vehicles with a hydraulic system capable of 1,800 pounds per square inch (psi). The maximum weight rating for the 4×64-mm caliper is 24,000 lbs. gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR); the maximum vehicle weight rating for the 4×70-mm caliper is 33,000 lbs. GVWR.

Additionally, Merrier WABCO has announced the launch of its new E-version tractor anti-lock braking system (ABS). The E-version ABS was developed in conjunction with the Mar. 1, 2001 federal requirement for an in-cab trailer ABS indicator lamp, but provides the foundation for future communications capabilities.

E-version ABS incorporates power line carrier (PLC) communications technology, which allows data and power to be transmitted simultaneously on the ABS power wire. PLC also provides the foundation to communicate between tractor and trailer.

E-version can be configured to meet 4S/4M, 6S/4M, 6S/6M applications, and comes with a standard blink code, Merrier WABCO's PC Diagnostic Toolbox Software, and Pro-link 9000 or Pro-link Plus. Also, extended diagnostics capabilities have been added to diagnose Easy-Stop trailer ABS via the tractor ABS. An automatic traction control (ATC) option is available for all ABS ECU configurations, and a Roll Stability Control (RSC) option in frame-mounted ECUs is available for select applications, according to the company.

Eaton Corp.

Eaton Fuller's first fully automatic medium duty transmission, the two-pedal Eaton Fuller Automatic 6-Speed with two torque capacities, now is available. The FO-6406A-ASW is rated at 660 pounds per foot (lbs./ft.) and the FO-8406A-ASW is rated to 860 lbs./ft.

The new automatic incorporates a modular design that uses a base mechanical transmission, then applies increasing levels of electronic and mechanical automation to fit the needs of specific vocations. Building on the Autoshift three-pedal heavy and medium duty transmissions, the new automatic uses the Eaton Fuller FSO Series six-speed manual transmission as its foundation.

Additionally, an electronic control unit (ECU) enables communication between the engine and transmission via the SAE J1939 data link. An electro-mechanical shift control replaces the driver's hand on the shift lever. And, an oil-cooled “electro-hydraulically” actuated clutch replaces the dry pedal-actuated clutch and is linked electronically to the ECU and shift controls.

Portland, Ore.

Freightliner has unveiled a DX (Deluxe) edition of its Columbia heavy duty truck model. Combining high styling with luxury and performance features, the truck is designed for drivers who want a traditional look in an aerodynamic Class 8 truck. The Columbia DX comes as a package of exterior treatments, interior additions, and ride and performance enhancements. For traditional appeal, the truck incorporates dual external cab-mounted stacks, chromed engine compartment air vents on the hood, a chrome sun visor inset with styled clearance lights and aerodynamic, chrome-backed mirrors. The bright work extends to the front of the truck. The chrome bumper is accented by styled headlamps with chrome bezels. Light-emitting diode (LED) marker lights run along the chassis side fairings, down the length of the cab and sleeper, and are styled into the chrome sun visor.

Inside, the Columbia DX features an upgraded interior trim package with padded coverings on the seating, wall and door panels. A noise-reduction package is designed to reduce external noise by approximately three decibels, the company says. This includes additional insulation on the cab floor, bunk floor, walls, firewall and storage bins. Other noise reduction measures include a double-barrier forward deck, shift lever knob skirt, full hoodliner, doghouse noise liner, foam tape in the A-pillar and baffles in the B-pillar.

Finally, Freightliner has unveiled a line of manual transmissions built by Mercedes-Benz for Sterling Acterra and Freightliner business class medium-duty trucks.

The six-speed manuals feature hydraulically actuated clutch systems and are offered in two versions: the direct-drive MBT520S-6D for trucks up to 40,000 lbs. gross combination weight (GCW), and the overdrive MBT660S-60 for trucks up to 60,000 lbs. GCW. Both are suitable for class 5-8 Acterras and business class trucks.

The new transmissions are compatible with Caterpillar, Cummins, and M-B medium duty diesel engines, the company says. Transmissions carry a 3-year/150,000 mile warranty and were designed with a maintenance-free clutch actuation system that can run 160,000 miles between oil change intervals, according to Freightliner. Precision-machined gear faces are designed to reduce transmission noise and extend operating life.

Kenworth Truck Co.
Kirkland, Wash.

Kenworth has introduced a hydraulic brake option for its T300 Class 6 model. The Bosch hydraulic disc brakes come with Bosch HydroMax brake booster, WABCO modulator valve and Bosch zero offset pin slide calipers.

The brake is available on the 26,000-lb. GVWR T300s with a Caterpillar 3126E engine with a horsepower range of 190 to 250, and Eaton 6-speed transmission. The T300s also come with cable-activated driveline parking brakes.

Kenworth also has announced that the Dana Spicer Premium-40TM tandem drive axle will become standard on all new Kenworth Class 8 vehicles.

The 40,000-pound Premium-40 axle, DSP40, will be available beginning May 1. The new axle was developed for the company by Dana Corp.'s Commercial Vehicle Systems, and is exclusively available on PACCAR vehicles until July 1.

The DSP40 lightweight axle is designed to work with more powerful engines and higher payloads, according to the company. It comes with a 5-year, 750,000-mile warranty.

Peterbilt Motors
Denton, Texas

Peterbilt's focus at the Mid-America Truck show was to enhance driver comfort and convenience in its medium duty Model 330. Some of the additions include an extended rear window, an air seat, a floor-mounted cup holder and a driver side pouch for papers.

The 330 is available in Class 6 and 7 configurations.

An optional feature on Peterbilt's Unibilt cabs is an extended rear window, which provides an additional two inches of rearward seat travel for greater leg and belly room.

And, Peterbilt's UltraRide seat now is available with an integrated air seat base for the Class 6 model. According to the company, the seat features an electric compressor and controls to make adjustments.

Finally, Peterbilt has announced its new FLEX Air tandem air suspension, rated at 38,000 lbs and featuring the lowest installed weight of comparable suspensions for a Class 8 tractor, according to the company.

FLEX Air has an installed weight that is 400 lbs. lighter than the Peterbilt Low Air Leaf. It has a lightweight aluminum beam with a small semi-elliptic taper leaf spring mounted at one end and an air spring at the other end. Aluminum suspension brackets, shock brackets and extruded air spring support beams also help to reduce weight.

The new suspension is available on models 379, 387, 385 and 378.

Western Star Trucks
Louisville, Ky.

Western Star Trucks has introduced a new twin-steer option for the Constellation 5800 heavy duty model. Designed for vocational truck operators operating under distinct weight laws and restrictions, the option provides maneuverability and maximum weight transfer for the short-nosed, 109-inch bumper to the back of the cab (BBC) truck. It has a 40,000-lb. combined rating for the twin steer axles and provides a maximum GVW of 86,000 lbs.

The new configuration also features a 50-in. setback to the first steer axle with an 86-in. setback to the center of the steer tandem. In combination with the 5800's short BBC, the configuration is designed to provide good weight transfer and allow for a higher payload, the company says. A 72-in. spread between the steer axles matches the cabin door position to allow for simple entry and exit.

According to the company, this option also matches the linkages of the steering arms with the suspension movement to eliminate road “kick-back” through the steering wheel.

The steering system incorporates the latest Sheppard M110 steering gears via a master gear, a slave gear and two linear assist cylinders to provide power steering at all four wheels and reduce stress in the steering linkage and axle steering arms.

Bob Deierlein is Waste Age's truck editor. For more information on trucks, visit