Showtime in Las Vegas

They gleamed, they glittered and they dazzled. No, they weren't the lights of Las Vegas, they were the trucks at the International Trucking Show held in June in Las Vegas. The trucks took center stage as practical examples of vehicles, components, products and services for trucking operations were introduced.

Here is a sample from the show, and a look at some other recent product introductions.

Allison Transmission Div. of General Motors Indianapolis Allison Transmission says its new 1000, 2000, 2400 Series of automatic transmissions were developed for a broad range of commercial vocations, including refuse and recycling.

The family of transmissions offers fully automatic, electronic 5-speeds with overdrive and lockup. The product line offers fully automatic planetary transmissions equipped with helical gearing. The 1000 Series, currently the only one in production, is designed for general use in trucks up to 19,850 pounds GVW. The 2400 Series is designated for general use vehicles up to 26,000 pounds GVW, and the 2000 Series serves vehicles up to 30,000 pounds GVW/gross carrying weight (GCW) These will be in production in October.

Chalmers Suspensions International Mississauga, Ontario, Canada Chalmers is launching its new Tridem Suspension System, which uses the rubber ring and walking beams concept. The new suspension system is available in 75,000-pound and 120,000-pound versions, and is designed for on/off road applications where three drive axles are required. The Tridem is fully equalizing and articulating.

Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. Akron, Ohio Goodyear has created a new casing design for radial truck tires to increase carcass life and retreadability, and effectively eliminate buzzouts, one of the most pervasive problems of retreading commercial truck tires.

A new top belt made of monofilament polymide in Goodyear's Enhanced Casing Design (ECD) truck tires, such as the new G397 LHS, is said to act as a barrier between the tire's tread rubber and high tensile steel belts, stopping moisture before it can reach the belts and cause rust.Goodyear's ECD radials also feature a cooler running tread and wire-coat compounds designed to resist heat buildup.

Hendrickson International Woodridge, Ill. Hendrickson has introduced a new walking beam technology, designed to take weight out of the walking beam suspension. The new beams are manufactured from high strength/low alloy (HSLA) steel that has an 80,000-pounds per square inch (psi) yield point. Beginning year-end 1999, the new beams will be standard on all 52-inch, 54-inch and 60-inch R, RS and RT/RTE truck suspension models ranging from 34,000 to 46,000 pounds tandem capacity.

The fabricated beams are constructed by forming steel into a tapered channel shape. The three-sided channel then is robotically welded to a bottom plate to form a box-shaped beam.

International Chicago International has launched its I-6 diesel engine family, and features its 530E and DT 466E family of engines, which are designed for refuse, municipal and other service markets. The International I-6 diesel engine family of in-line 6-cylinder units come standard with the Diamond Logic Electronic Controls (DLEC), which allow engine products to integrate fully with International dealer support systems for customer service, according to the company.

Mack Trucks Allentown, Pa. Mack Trucks has announced the E7-460XT engine, a new addition to its E-TECH 12-liter diesel engine line-up. Derived from Mack's E7-460 E-TECH, the E7-460XT produces its peak torque of 1,760 pounds per foot at 1,200 revolutions per minute (rpm). It reaches a maximum of 490 horsepower (hp) between 1,600 and 1,700 rpm. It has an operating range of up to 1,850 rpm, and a torque rise rated at 30 percent. It initially will be available in Mack's CH and CL models, and only with Mack transmissions.The E7-460XT features the V-MAC III total vehicle electronics control system with more than 100 customer-programmable features, from road speed limit to idle shutdown time to engine overspeed settings.

Meritor Automotive Troy, Mich. Meritor has revealed that it will join with ZF Friedrichshafen AG, forming ZF Meritor LLC to produce medium- and heavy-duty transmissions for heavy vehicle original equipment manufacturers and the North American aftermarket. Also, Meritor has announced a new line of modular heavy-duty front non-drive steer axles available in gross axle weight ratings (GAWR) from 10,000 to 20,000 pounds.