Navistar International won both categories in the American Truck Dealers’ 2014 Commercial Truck of the Year competition with its ProStar heavy-duty and TerraStar medium-duty models.
ATD announced the winners at a lunch on Sunday, during its joint annual convention with the National Automobile Dealers Association in New Orleans. The trucks were among three heavy and four medium-duty models submitted by manufacturers for judging last fall.
“It is an honor to be recognized this year with both the 2014 ATD Heavy-Duty and Medium-Duty Commercial Truck of the Year titles,” said Bill Kozek, president of North America Truck and Parts for Navistar. “Being recognized in both these categories proves International is back with great product offerings.”
Competitors were Kenworth’s T880 vocational truck with a Paccar MX-13 engine and Peterbilt’s Model 579 tractor, also with an MX. The medium-duty nominees were Hino’s 195h Double Cab hybrid, Kenworth’s K270 low-cabover and Peterbilt’s Model 220 low cabover.
It’s unusual for one manufacturer to win both vehicle classes, ATD officials said.
Trucks were judged by a panel of journalists headed by Tom Berg, senior editor of Heavy Duty Trucking magazine and TruckingInfo.com, and also included Jim Park, HDT’s senior equipment editor, and Jack Roberts, executive editor of CCJ magazine.
The International ProStar daycab tractor scored high because its simple trim was ideal for its application as a regional and local tractor, Berg said. Its comfort, quietness, excellent maneuverability and the power from its Cummins ISX15 big-bore diesel all contributed to its high score.
The TerraStar, a 4x4 crewcab model, had a tilt hood for easy access to its engine, pulled a heavy trailer well, was very roomy inside, and was fun to drive, he said.
The scoring method requires judges to consider each truck on its own merits rather than rate one against another, Berg added.
A prime criterion is suitability for its intended purpose, which this year put a daycab tractor, a sleeper-cab tractor and a dump truck on an equal footing for judging purposes. The same is true of the medium-duty models, which were outfitted for different applications.
Judging was done at a Manheim Auto Auction facility in Orlando, Fla., last October. Judges thus inspected and drove all trucks at the same place and under the same conditions.