SALT LAKE CITY - The upcoming International LoadStar heavy low cab-over-engine truck will use the only stainless steel cab in the segment, and will be available as an integrated trash truck
complete with an EZ Pack body installed on its frame, said Navistar executives who showed it and other trucks at a sales training event in Utah this week.
The Loadstar, announced in March at the Mid-America Trucking Show, will go into production next July with only a Cummins Westport ISL-G engine at first, partly because of the fast-growing popularity of natural gas fuel among trash haulers, executives said. This also will give Navistar engineers time to adjust their own engines to use selective catalytic reduction equipment from Cummins Emissions Solutions.
MaxxForce diesels with SCR will be available by the end of 2013, first the MaxxForce 10 and then the 9, said Steve Gilligan, a Navistar vice president and vocational segment manager. Left-, right- and dual-steer arrangements will initially be available, with a factory built stand-up right-hand-drive option to be offered later in 2013.
LoadStar marks Navistar's return to the low COE business it left more than 30 years ago when it discontinued the old Cargostar.
The stainless steel and aluminum cab will be strong and highly resistant to corrosion from trash "juices" and road salts, Gilligan said. Other LoadStar features include strong variable-depth frame rails; wide offset steps for easy entry and exit; a flat floor on both sides of the cab with suspended pedals for good foot room; ergonomically designed switches and controls; and a huge windshield and large side windows for excellent outward visibility.
A LoadStar prototype was shown alongside competitor products from Autocar, Mack and Peterbilt so sales people could be aware of the strengths and weaknesses of each. Short drives of each truck underlined participants' observations.
Officials said the LoadStar is the first all-new new truck product for the refuse business in many years, and Navistar's large dealer body with over 600 locations is a major selling point. Concrete pumping will be another application.
The involvement with EZ Pack will culminate in February with Navistar's purchase of the company, said Jim Rogers, EZ Pack's president who briefed reporters on the deal.
People from the two companies are cooperating closely on planning for the acquisition as well as production of integrated trash trucks, and it will include efficient shipping of chassis from a Navistar plant to EZ Pack's facility near Lexington, Ky., for installation of packer bodies.
Navistar's Diamond Logic electrical system will make for easy joining of the chassis to the body through a single sealed and locking plug. With multiplexing, body functions can be tied into the trucks' wiring, switches and controls, and functions can be programmed to work based on what the trucks are doing, Rogers said.
EZ Pack's rear-, side- and top-loading bodies will be available in the integrated program, and even after the Navistar acquisition, EZ Pack will continue to sell bodies for installation on other chassis.
Navistar managers also highlighted a slope-nose version of the WorkStar 7600 and a 4x4 variant of the TerraStar Class 4-5 truck. These were among a dozen International medium- and heavy-duty models available for driving on an off-road course by dealer sales people and press reporters. There were also several competitors' models there for comparison.
The sloped-hood International WorkStar was announced two years ago and is now being produced. The front of its hood sits several inches lower than standard height. This enhances a driver's forward vision, especially of the ground area close to the truck's front, managers said.
This was done by lowering the radiator between the frame rails and mounting it on a "megabracket" instead of sitting across the top of the rails. The tradeoff is loss of a front-engine power take-off option because the radiator blocks passage of a forward driveshaft.
The International TerraStar 4x4 was announced twice in as many years, but was delayed because executives weren't happy with components offered by suppliers, said Jim Hebe, senior vice president for North American sales. The proposed transfer case was chain-driven, which execs deemed too weak for medium-duty service, even though major competitors use such gearboxes.
Instead, the TerraStar 4x4 will use a Fabco gear-driven transfer case with high and low ranges, along with an 8,000-pound Dana Spicer front-driving steer axle.
Navistar is moving production of TerraStars from Garland, Tex., to Springfield, Ohio, and the first batch of 4x4s will be built early next year. WorkStars, like other severe-service trucks, are made in Garland.
The announcements and drives were part of a Vocational Boot Camp run by Navistar for dealer personnel. It also featured training sessions on Navistar and competitor engines with comparisons of their respective advantages and disadvantages.
The camps for vocational trucks have become an annual event and will probably be run again next year, Hebe said, and probably at the Miller Park Motorsports complex about 50 miles west of Salt Lake City.