Autocar has announced more details about its first new conventional truck in more than 30 years – including answering HDT's question on whether it will be available beyond the refuse market.
Earler this month, Autocar unveiled a new conventional model truck, the Autocar DC-64R – a completely new conventional truck, purpose-built from the ground-up for severe-duty refuse applications, according to the OEM.
The company says the truck’s new cab is one of its standout features. Inspired by Autocar’s legendary conventional cabs, the DC cab has a large workspace and ergonomics optimized for productivity in refuse applications, according to Eric Schwartz, managing director of Autocar Trucks.
“The DC’s cab maximizes space and productivity for drivers from the biggest guys to petite women,” Schwartz said. “That was a hard balancing act to accomplish, but we focused on it because our customers have diverse work forces today." The company used ergonomic-simulation software to optimize factors such as gauge readability, controls reach, comfort adjustments, and the placement and spacing of steps and grab handles. "We’re proud the new DC cab was designed to accommodate a work crew of three very big people sitting comfortably and safely.”
James Johnston, president of Autocar, touted the truck's safety and durability. "Those are always our first objectives. So our new DC cab is built from a combination of engineered steel, judiciously chosen aluminum components, and robust steel corner castings. We also maximized driver visibility, with a steeply raked wraparound windshield for upward and forward visibility and large rear corner windows standard, very rare in Class 8 conventional cabs. The best way to stay safe is to see all around and avoid getting into trouble in the first place.”
Schwartz also pointed out that despite a name that harks to the past, the technology in this truck is all right now.
“While the new Autocar DC cab was inspired by Autocar’s legendary driver cab from the previous generation of the Autocar DC conventional, our totally upgraded electrical system and Always Up one-touch diagnostics establishes a new state-of-the art platform for the future of vocational trucks,” he said. “The truck actually monitors and diagnoses itself in real-time, not only alerting techs of issues, but even showing a description of what fault has occurred and as well as where and how to fix it. It enables trucks to be rapidly root-caused and placed back into service, making money again for our customers.”
The theme of easy tech access for maintenance and repairs is carried throughout the cab’s design, Schwartz noted, with exposed fasteners on all the panels and easy access from within the cab to the HVAC system, cab roof-mounted components, transmission, rear of the engine, fuse boxes, control modules, and even the wiring inside the A-pillars. If service is required, technicians can quickly gain access to the location of the issue and get the truck back into service.
Autcar also revealed a new feature on the DC model that extends beyond the cab: a process the company call its Power of One integration. According to Autocar, the DC is the first truck to fully integrate all components, not only inside the cab, across the powertrain and electrical systems, but also including the refuse body as well. Autocar’s Power of One integration treats the total vehicle as one complete tool, not only at the engineering stage, but actually extends to installing body components on the Autocar production line in Birmingham, Alabama. This unique process is said to avoid numerous issues that might otherwise arise, enhancing uptime and ROI for waste haulers.
The initial engines are the Cummins L9, with ratings up to 380 hp, and the Cummins X12, rated up to 500 hp and 1,700 lbs-ft of torque. Autocar intends to offer the Cummins ISX12N natural gas engine as well in the future.
Although the focus of the DC launch has been refuse applications, Autocar told HDT that the Autocar was designed for multiple vocational applications. Details and developments concerning models for construction will be announced soon, and other applications explored depending on market demand.
Autocar says it is taking orders for the DC-64R now for production and delivery later this year. The first buyers of the truck are specifying roll-off and rear-loader refuse applications.