Kenworth's T700 sleeper-cab tractor and Hino's 2012-model 338 took heavy and medium-duty honors, respectively, in the American Truck Dealers' Commercial Truck of the Year competition for 2011.
The Kenworth T700, above, and the Hino 338, below, were named Truck of the Year by an independent panel of trucking journalists.
The Kenworth T700, above, and the Hino 338, below, were named Truck of the Year by an independent panel of trucking journalists.

The top commercial trucks-selected by a panel of journalists from leading trucking publications-were announced Sunday, April 17, at the 48th annual ATD Convention and Expo at the Phoenix Convention Center.

Heavy Duty Trucking's senior editor, Tom Berg, was chief judge, and presented trophies to Kenworth and Hino executives. Jim Park, HDT's senior equipment editor, was one of the six other judges. They and their colleagues drove, evaluated and scored 10 competitors in the two categories on March 11 at a Manheim Auto Auction site and on nearby roads outside Indianapolis.

Bill Kozek, general manager of Kenworth and vice president of parent company Paccar Inc., accepted the award on behalf of his firm's more than 3,000 employees and its 300 dealers across the country.

The T700's smooth ride, interior roominess and attractive styling were among the reasons it won in the heavy category, said Berg. It was powered by Paccar's MX diesel.

Sumio Fukaya, president and CEO of Hino Motor Sales, U.S.A. and chairman of Hino Motors Manufacturing, U.S.A., said winning the award will help Hino achieve its corporate mission "to make the world a better place to live by helping people and goods get where they need to go-safely, economically and with environmental responsibility."

The Hino 338 was set up as a short dump truck such as purchased by municipalities and construction contractors in the U.S. Berg said its comprehensive gauge and display package and outward visibility for the driver were among the truck's attributes.

There were two other candidates in the heavy-duty category: International's ProStar+ with MaxxForce 13 engine and Peterbilt Model 386 lightweight sleeper-cab tractor, also with the Paccar MX engine. Six other medium-duty truck entries were the Ford F650/F750 Super Duty, International TerraStar, Isuzu NPR Eco-Max, Kenworth T370 4x4 and Peterbilt Model 337 4x4.

This is the third ATD Commercial Truck of the Year competition, said Barbara Robinson, an ATD director. It recognizes one winner from the medium-duty truck category (classes 3-7) and another from the heavy-duty truck category (class 8). "

Original equipment manufacturers enter new or significantly improved trucks each year, she said. All were judged on fitness for their intended applications, innovation, design, driver comfort and satisfaction, ease of maintenance and safety.

Hino's 2011-model Hino 268 won the medium-duty category last year and Peterbilt's Model 384 tractor won in the heavy duty class. In the 2009 competition, International's LoneStar tractor won; there was no medium-duty competition that year.

About the ATD Convention

Several hundred of nation's commercial truck dealers and their top managers are meeting in Phoenix for the annual ATD Convention and Expo, which runs April 15-18. Keynote speakers included ATD Chairman Kyle Treadway and Bill Graves, president of the American Trucking Associations. Political analyst Charlie Cook will headline the convention's first-ever legislative and regulatory affairs session on Monday, April 18.

Truck dealers also had an opportunity to meet face-to-face with their manufacturer executives at 12 franchise meetings and with suppliers on the expo floor.

More than a dozen workshop sessions were offered for dealers and their managers to learn ways to improve their business operations.

About ATD: Founded in 1970, the ATD division of the National Automobile Dealers Association is a national trade organization representing more than 2,000 dealers selling new medium- and heavy-duty trucks.
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