Article

Test Drive

April 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Cummins and Navistar Reunite

The cockpit is familiar territory, except for the DEF tank level gauge.

By Jim Park

Red engines have been fixtures under Navistar hoods since the late ‘90s. Except for the recent hiatus, you have to go back some 75 years to the days when Cummins and International trucks weren't almost synonymous in North America.

Tags: Cummins, Navistar, Test Drive

March 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Test Drive: Meritor's 6x2 SmarTandem

What better place to traction-test a 6x2 drive axle system than Michigan's Upper Pennisula in February?

By Jim Park

The 6x2 concept isn't new, but it's not popular on our side of the Atlantic Ocean. Meritor aims to change that with its new SmarTandem single-drive-axle tandem configuration. Equipment Editor Jim Park reports on his driving impressions.

Tags: Meritor, SmarTandem, Test Drive, Winter

February 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Test Drive: Cat CT-660 at Work

The CT-660 comes with a setback steer axle. A CT-680 with a set-forward axle is due out later this year.

By Tom Berg

When reviewing a product like the Caterpillar CT-660, there is no replacement for getting the opinion of the people who have been using it day in and day out. “The drivers love it,” said John “Dick” Jones, president of Jones Fuel Co. in Columbus, Ohio, talking about the fleet’s first in-service dump truck.

Tags: Caterpillar, Test Drive, Vocational

January 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Test Drive: WorkStar 7600

By Tom Berg

The sloped hood on International's WorkStar 7600 was first shown off at the World of Concrete show in 2010, but with vocational-truck business seriously down during the recession, it only went into production last fall.

Tags: International, WorkStar, Test Drive, Navistar, Vocational

January 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Test Drive: Daimler's DT12 Automated Transmission

This Freightliner Cascadia Evolution boasts the new DT12 automated transmission from Deroit.

By Jim Park, Equipment Editor

The arrival of Detroit's DT12 automated manual transmission wasn't unexpected. Daimler AG, the parent company of Daimler Trucks North America and Detroit Inc., has been using such transmissions in Europe for many years in the Mercedes Actros line and earlier products

Tags: Equipment, Test Drive, Detroit, Daimler

October 2012, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Test Drive: Mack's SuperEconodyne Can Lug Down Low for Fuel Savings

By Tom Berg

Cruising down the Interstate, you glance at the tachometer and gasp as you see the needle hovering at under 1,200 rpm. Yet the engine isn't vibrating or straining, and the rig continues to move steadily forward

Tags: Equipment, Mack, Test Drive

November 2012, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Test Drive: Peterbilt Model 579

By Jim Park, Equipment Editor

The urge to compare is great, but I will resist. Both Peterbilt's Model 579 and Kenworth's T68O were introduced with much fanfare at the Mid-America Trucking Show earlier this year

Tags: Equipment, Test Drive, Peterbilt

January 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Test Drive: Daimler's DT12 Automated Transmission

By Jim Park, Equipment Editor

The arrival of Detroit's DT12 automated manual transmission wasn't unexpected. Daimler AG, the parent company of Daimler Trucks North America and Detroit Inc., has been using such transmissions in Europe for many years in the Mercedes Actros line and earlier products

Tags: Test Drive, Detroit, Daimler

November 2012, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Test Drive: Peterbilt Model 579

By Jim Park, Equipment Editor

The urge to compare is great, but I will resist. Both Peterbilt's Model 579 and Kenworth's T68O were introduced with much fanfare at the Mid-America Trucking Show earlier this year

Tags: Test Drive, Peterbilt

October 2012, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Test Drive: Mack's SuperEconodyne Can Lug Down Low for Fuel Savings

By Tom Berg

Cruising down the Interstate, you glance at the tachometer and gasp as you see the needle hovering at under 1,200 rpm. Yet the engine isn't vibrating or straining, and the rig continues to move steadily forward

Tags: Test Drive, Mack, Diesel

September 2012, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Test Drive: Kenworth K270

By Tom Berg

If the Kenworth K270 had been introduced in time to be judged for the medium-duty Commercial Truck of the Year award, it might have given the Model 210 from KW's sister company, Peterbilt, a run for the title

Tags: Test Drive

September 2012, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Test Drive: The Cummins Westport ISX12 G

By Jim Park, Equipment Editor

When I first throttled up the new Cummins Westport ISX12 G, I wanted to make a comparison between this natural-gas-fueled engine and its diesel-fired counterpart. But they are different engines, with very different approaches to getting fuel into the cylinders

Tags: Test Drive

July 2012, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Test Drive: Western Star 4700

The 4700 series uses the same cab as heavier models but has unique hood and grille stylings. Daycab-only tractors are aimed at local and regional hauling.

By Tom Berg, Senior Editor

For many years, Western Star Trucks played last fiddle in truck sales symphonies, with U.S. Class 8 market share numbers of 1% and less. The company's share climbed a bit when it was bought by Freightliner in 2000

Tags: Test Drive

May 2012, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Test Drive: Kenworth T680

Kenworth says the company invested $400 million and more than four years bringing this truck to market.

By Jim Park, Equipment Editor

When I first heard that Kenworth's new T680 was unveiled at the Mid-America Trucking Show, I wondered why Kenworth was already upgrading the two-year-old T700

Tags: Test Drive

April 2012, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Test Drive: BAE HybriDrive -- New and Smooth

BAE HybriDrive in this Kenworth T800 dump supplies only propulsion power, but could be set up to help tip the bed. For now the Cummins engine, running through a PTO, spins the hydraulic pump that operates the bed's hoist.

By Tom Berg, Senior Editor

BAE Systems is a multi-national company that claims to have built HybriDrive electric powertrains for more than 3,500 transit buses in cities around the world, plus many thousands of straight diesel trucks for the U.S. Army. And it's developing hydrogen fuel cells and electric propulsion systems

Tags: Test Drive

April 2012, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Test Drive: Allison's TC10 is a Future Tense Tranny

This Peterbilt 384 has a TC10 mated to a 12.9-liter Paccar MX. The transmission shifted smoothly and quickly.

By Tom Berg, Senior Editor

Last fall, Allison Transmission invited a few trade press reporters to Indianapolis to fill us in on a future product: the TC10, an automated mechanical transmission the company will release in late 2012.

Tags: Test Drive

March 2012, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Kenworth's T680: A Home Run Waiting to Happen

By Jim Park, Equipment Editor

When I first saw the T680 on the show floor at the Mid-America Trucking Show, I thought, that's the same as the T700. That truck is only two years old, and I was wondering why the truck maker was introducing its replacement after such a short lifespan

Tags: Test Drive

March 2012, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Test Drive: 'Baby 8' Peterbilt 382

This 10-wheeler has axles and suspensions strong enough to gross 66,000 pounds, but for that, some states would limit weight on the tandem and require a lift axle or two, which will soon be available.

By Tom Berg, Senior Editor

Baby 8 trucks (Class 8 chassis with midrange engines) have long been useful conveyances of moderate load

Tags: Test Drive

February 2012, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Test Drive: Fuso FG 4x4 Goes Almost Anywhere

FG's go-anywhere mechanicals were hobbled by street-style tires that slipped on sandy soil of inclines at this quarry in northeastern Ohio, but block-treaded "traction" tires are available.

By Tom Berg, Senior Editor

Unique to North America, this all-wheel-drive cabover is strong, maneuverable and fun to drive. Driving this Canter FG was like seeing an old friend who's aged gracefully

Tags: Test Drive

January 2012, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Test Drive: Ram Tradesman is Quiet, Comfortable, Fast -- But Built for Work

Sharp-edged styling of fancier Ram pickups is used on teh simple Tradesman 1500. Photo by Tom Berg.

By Tom Berg, Senior Editor

I recently sold my '87 Dodge W150 pickup, and I don't miss it at all. Oh, I liked it when I bought it a year earlier, because it was a funky Power Ram 4x4, built just a few years afte

Tags: Test Drive

December 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

QuickSpin: NPR Gas 'N' Go vs. Eco Diesel Slow(er)

Driving the Isuzu NPR Gas is an entirely different experience compared with the diesel models.

By Tom Nunlist, Associate Editor

After several years of absence, Isuzu's gasoline-powered, medium-duty trucks are back for the 2012 model year. I had a chance to test drive the new 2012 NPR Gas truck, as well as the comparable NPR Eco-Max diesel

Tags: Test Drive

December 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Test Drive: Kenworth T800 Dump Truck with Latest Powertrain

This T800 has a setback steer axle that allows a tight wheel cut and good maneuverability. The hood is steeply sloped for excellent forward visibility.

By Tom Berg, Senior Editor

The "viper yellow" paint on this Kenworth T800 grabs your attention, but there was much more to this dump truck I drove last summer

Tags: Test Drive

November 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Quickspin: Driving the new Cat Truck

Short demo drive of Caterpillar's first on-highway truck reveals whether it lives up to its 'premium' billing.

By Tom Berg, Senior Editor

We came, we saw, we drove -- but not far. Caterpillar people are very proud of their CT660 vocational truck. They introduced it earlier this yea

Tags: Test Drive

November 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Test Drive: Volvo's Torque Magic

Volvo's new XE13 and Eco-Torque powertrain packages will make a big difference to drivers in ways they will never know -- and a few they will.

By Jim Park, Equipment Editor

What a difference a little extra torque makes. I recently had the privilege of being one of the first drivers outside of test fleets to put a new fuel economy and performance concept from Volvo through its paces

Tags: Test Drive

October 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Test Drive: Mack's Granite MHD

Mack's new Granite MHD is a 'baby 8' designed for shorter runs and lighter-duty cycles but still offers the strength to tackle heavy chores.

By Tom Berg, Senior Editor

One way to cut weight and cost from a new truck is to choose a relatively small engine. This is the essence of the Mack Granite MHD, announced early this year and recently put into production

Tags: Test Drive

October 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

QuickSpin: A First Look at Hino's New COEs

Hino's compact 155 and 195 series trucks, including a diesel-electric hybrid, will be at home on congested city streets.

By Jim Park, Equipment Editor

The dynamics of the U.S. transportation market are changing, opening the door to smaller, more efficient trucks

Tags: Test Drive

October 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Test Drive: Kenworth's T660 Regional Hauler

The day cab aero package includes cab-side fairings and a roof-mounted air deflector. the DPF/SCR package is under the passenger access step. (Photo: Jim Park)

By Jim Park, Equipment Editor

The emergence of the regional transportation market is causing many fleets to rethink their equipment demands

Tags: Test Drive

September 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Test Driving the Nissan NV Light-Duty Commercial Van

By Tom Berg, Senior Editor

As light-duty commercial trucks go, cargo vans are a hot seller because they're so useful. In a good year, about a quarter million are built and snatched up by tradesmen, building contractors, rental fleets and many other types of users

Tags: Test Drive

August 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Test Drive: MaxxForce 15 for the Big Hills

By Jim Park, Equipment Editor

When Navistar execs turned the key on one of the first MaxxForce 15 engines at the 2009 Mid-America Trucking Show, there were more than a few doubting Thomases in the audience

Tags: Test Drive

July 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Test Drive: Paccar 12.9-Liter MX -- When 13 Liters Are Enough

By Tom Berg, Senior Editor

Proof of performance is on the road. So Las Vegas Peterbilt set up a demonstration rig promoting Paccar's 12.9-liter MX

Tags: Test Drive

July 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Test Drive: Freightliner SD114 SFA

Freightliner SD114 SFA

By Tom Berg, Senior Editor

Freightliner has long been a sales leader in on-highway tractors, and now it wants to dominate the vocational truck business. Its recently designed Severe Duty products are meant to do that, and a big marketing campaign will support them. Will they be up to the task

Tags: Test Drive

July 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Test Drive: Western Star 4900FA with Allison 2nd Reverse

By Tom Berg, Senior Editor

Steep hills can be tough on trucks, even if their manual transmissions have sufficiently low gearing and drivers are adept with the clutch

Tags: Test Drive

May 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Test Drive: TerraStar Ready to Work

International TerraStar is a downsized heavier truck, and looks it, with its big cab nestled onto the low-slung frame.

By Tom Berg, Senior Editor

Does the world need another Class 4 and 5 vehicle in a market already crawling with trucks

Tags: Test Drive

December 2010, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Test Drive: Hino 338 Dumper

This compact but tough Hino 338 is one of 175 ordered by West Virginia's Highway Department. The 2010 model has old wing-like grille bars; new 2011s have blockier styling. (Photo by Tom Berg)

By Tom Berg, Senior Editor

What's this foreign truck doing in the hands of an agency of one of these United States? Helping West Virginia's Department of Highways maintain roads and bridges, and plowing snow and spreading salt in the winter.

Tags: Test Drive

December 2010, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Test Drive: Air-Ride Axle on the Road in a T660

By Steve Sturgess, Executive Editor

In line with an emerging trend to migrate air suspensions up to the front of the truck, Kenworth has introduced the AG130 for T660, T800 and T2000

Tags: Test Drive

November 2010, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Test Drive: Peterbilt Model 587 with Paccar MX Make Dynamic Duo

By Jim Park, Equipment Editor

You can't argue with the design, engineering, and manufacturing synergies of improving on an existing product

Tags: Test Drive

November 2010, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Test Drive: Driving GM's 2011 HD Pickups

Sierra 3500HD took three guys and a horse trailer over hill and dale, and they got lost only once. The truck rode smoothly, partly because of hydraulic rear cab mounts.

By Tom Berg, Senior Editor

Sometimes a marketing department's claim of "all-new" approaches the truth. That's the case with General Motors' Heavy Duty pickups and cab-chassis trucks, which were extensively upgraded and refined for the 2011 model year, even if GM doesn't call them all-new

Tags: Test Drive

November 2010, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Test Drive: Mack's mDrive Programmed for Bulldog Shifting

By Tom Berg, Senior Editor

Knowing that Mack and Volvo are sister companies, it would be easy to dismiss Mack's new mDrive as an I-Shift with a dog's name.

Tags: Test Drive

October 2010, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Test Drive: The Transit Connect Electric

By Tom Berg, Senior Editor

We were stopped at a red light on 11 Mile Road, a broad, eight-lane boulevard in Oak Park, Mich., northwest of Detroit, and I eyed the cars and trucks alongside us.

Tags: Test Drive

August 2010, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Test Drive: Kenworth's T440

Loud yellow paint belies the quiet ride of this T440 regional tractor. Its smooth styling resembles that of the heavier T660, but at 35,000 pounds GVW, it's just barely a Class 8 vehicle.

By Tom Berg, Senior Editor

So there I was, westbound on Bow Hill Road in Skagit County, a few hours north of Seattle, wondering if I'd ever find a place to turn around

Tags: Test Drive

July 2010, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Test Drive: Kenworth's New T700

Kenworth's new T700 has a strong family resemblance to Kenworth's familiar T660. But subtle changes to the doors, the big roof cap and a stylish hood make the T700 new. (Photo by STF)

By Steve Sturgess, Executive Editor

The first impression on being presented with a line-up of trucks at the Paccar Tech Center is that Kenworth's new T700 - unlike its T2000 predecessor - is recognizably from the same stable as the highly popular T660

Tags: Test Drive

June 2010, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

First Impressions of New Kenworth T700

(Photo by STF)

By Steve Sturgess, Executive Editor

Last week's ride 'n drive at the Mount Vernon, Wash., Paccar Tech Center was set up to experience over a day both the new Kenworth T700 and the Paccar MX along with other Kenworth models and optional Cummins engines

Tags: Test Drive

June 2010, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

First Impressions of New Kenworth T700

(Photo by STF)

By Steve Sturgess, Executive Editor

Last week's ride 'n drive at the Mount Vernon, Wash., Paccar Tech Center was set up to experience over a day both the new Kenworth T700 and the Paccar MX along with other Kenworth models and optional Cummins engines. Several hours with Kenworth's redo of the T2000 show the new T700's way better

Tags: Test Drive

June 2010, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Driving Navistar's eStar Van

The eStar's turning circle is only 36 feet. Electric propulsion is so quiet that Navistar is thinking of broadcasting music from an external speaker to avoid sneaking up on pedestrians. (Photo by Navistar)

By Tom Berg, Senior Editor

Primitive batteries and limited range caused electric cars and trucks to lose a technology battle with the internal combustion engine in the early 20th century. But electrics have come a long way, buddy

Tags: Test Drive

May 2010, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Hydraulic Hybrids: Ride-and-Drive Report From Work Truck Show

Built for New York City's sanitation department, American La France Condor has a Cummins ISM and Rexroth hydraulic hybrid system. It was smooth and quiet. (Photo by Tom Berg)

By Tom Berg, Senior Editor

Well-attended educational sessions and an ever-larger trade display marked the National Truck Equipment Association's annual meeting and Work Truck Show, held in March at the St. Louis Convention Center

Tags: Test Drive

May 2010, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Test Drive: Ford's New Power Stroke Diesel's a Smoothie

King Ranch seats have thick, soft leather like that on a quality baseball mitt, but they're part of a high-end trim package. (Photo by Tom Berg)

By Tom Berg, Senior Editor

There apparently was never any question whether Ford Motor Co.'s new Power Stroke diesel would be another V-8 because, as an engineer explained when it was announced last year, "V-8s are in Ford's DNA.

Tags: Test Drive

April 2010, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Test Drive: MX-13 in a Peterbilt 365

Most Peterbilt 365s are built as dump trucks or mixers, but this one is set up as a city delivery tractor, with 4.11 axle gears and no aero fairings. (Photo by Tom Berg)

By Tom Berg, Senior Editor

Paccar, the corporate parent of Kenworth Truck and Peterbilt Motors, should print up some new stickers that say, "Low Revs 'R' Us," then smack 'em on the dashboards of all trucks equipped with its new MX-13 diese

Tags: Test Drive

March 2010, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Test Drive: Dodge's Heavy Duty Pickups

Along with sharp styling and fresh interiors, Dodge has bestowed a smooth ride to its revised Ram Heavy Duty pickups. (Photo by Tom Berg)

By Tom Berg, Senior Editor

One of the things we expect from 3/4- and 1-ton pickup trucks is a stiff ride. Strong springs are needed to haul heavy loads, so when the truck's empty it's got to ride a little rough

Tags: Test Drive

February 2010, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Test Drive: Freightliner's Coronados

Reshaping of some exterior trim and a 2010-legal engine are among features of the latest Coronado tractor (left), which debuted as a 2001 model but has re-emerged as Freightliner's premium road tractor. (Photo by Tom Berg)

By Tom Berg, Senior Editor

Premium is as premium does, and at least for the driver, Freightliner's Coronado does things very well

Tags: Test Drive

February 2010, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Test Drive: Ford/Eaton Plug-In Hybrid

Ford does not offer hybrids from the factory, but Eaton engineers installed an electric-drive system on this F-550 chassis to show that retrofits are entirely doable on this popular class of truck. (Photo by Tom Berg)

By Tom Berg, Senior Editor

Eaton's electric-drive system is the one usually used by truck manufacturers who offer a medium-duty hybrid, including Freightliner, Freightliner Custom Chassis, Kenworth, Peterbilt and Navistar International. One builder that doesn't make hybrids is Ford Motor - but it does suppl

Tags: Test Drive

Newsletter

We offer e-newsletters that deliver targeted news and information for the entire fleet industry.

GotQuestions?

Transmissions

The expert, Brian Fletcher from Eaton, will answer your questions

View All