June 24, 2014
The heavy-duty new truck market is constantly evolving. Building the perfect truck is a never ending battle, and OEMs are active in searching for the right spec’ing and design combinations to maximize performance and meet customer needs.
In just the last six months, North American OEMs have announced more than a dozen new product designs, spec’ing changes and new powertrain offerings to beef up their new truck lineup.
Below is a list of each OEM’s 2014 product line enhancements.
All 2014 Freightliner improvements have been made to its popular Cascadia. In February, parent company Daimler Trucks North America announced Freightliner would begin offering the Detroit DT12 automated manual transmission for Detroit DD16-equipped Freightliner Cascadia sleeper and day cabs. One month later at the Mid-America Trucking Show the company released a list new options for the Cascadia and Cascadia Evolution.
The company also announced a change to its natural gas offering at MATS when it announced it Freightliner would begin production on a natural gas-powered Cascadia sleeper.
An enhanced drivetrain highlights the changes made by Navistar to its International brand in 2014. The company announced in May its renewed partnership with Cummins has allowed the truck maker to take a leadership role with the Cummins-Eaton SmartAdvantage integrated drivetrain. Previously, Navistar announced in March it would add Cummins’ SCR technology to its MaxxForce 9 and 10 engines in DuraStar and WorkStar trucks.
This year has been a busy one thus far for the Northwestern truck maker. Kenworth has announced multiple enhancements to its heavy-duty truck offering.
The company started its announcements at MATS with updates to its medium-duty cabover and T680 models. And the latter change — the addition of an automated manual transmission option — was just one of two changes to the T680 in 2014. Kenworth also introduced a new lightweight 52 in. sleeper.
Natural gas also proved to be a driver of major change for Kenworth, as the company announced it would debut a natural-gas powered T680 with an option for the Eaton UltraShift PLUS automated transmission.
A production ramp up at an existing facility has highlighted the changes at Mack in 2014. This comes on the heels of the company’s busy conclusion to 2013, when it debuted its new medium-duty truck, Granite, in November.
New powertrain packages mark the change at Pete this year. The company announced its new EPIQ and APEX powertrain packages at MATS. This year also featured the company’s advancements to its NG-powered 567 and 569 models in the market.
The big news at Volvo thus far this year has been the announcement the company will now offer the Eaton SmartAdvanage Powertrain in all VNL series models, and that the company’s 2014 GHG-certified engines are ‘exceeding expectations’ on fuel economy and performance.
DTNA also added spec’ing options to its Western Star brand. In February the company announced it would begin offering Allison 4700 Rugged Duty Series (RDS) series automatic transmissions in its Western Star 4700 trucks.
And with six months left in 2014, it’s safe to say North America’s truck makers aren’t finished. So expect a lot more new trucks and product configurations moving forward.