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Transportation update.

Transportation Update

Trailer-Loading Computer Program

A computer program designed to assist beverage fleets in determining load distribution has been released by Great Dane Trailers of Savannah, GA. The manufacturer says the program calculates positioning of beverage cargo to remain within bridge laws.

According to the company, dimensions and weights of the tractor trailer combination and the pallet load are entered into the computer, and the program subsequently generates positioning for the truck fifth wheel, trailer bulkhead and tandem.

Great Dane has also developed a product to complement the software system. Since the results of the program calculations will often indicate the need to shift a bulkhead, Great Dane has designed a bulkhead that can be shifted quickly and placed securely to hold the load. When not in use, Great Dane's moveable bulkhead can be stored flush against the nose of the trailer.

M-B Beverage Truck Modifications

The Mercedes-Benz Truck Company of Portland, OR, has introduced modifications to two models of Class 7 trucks to further tailor them to beverage applications. According to the company, modifications have been made to two models that are particularly well-suited to beverage applications - the L 1919 short-nose conventional with a 30,000 GVWR and the LP 1419 cabover with a 32,900 GVWR.

Both vehicles incorporate a set-back front axle for improved manueverability. The company reports the L 1319 boasts the smallest turning radius in its class, with a wheel cut of 50 degrees.

According to the manufacturer, the new options, coupled with the inherent benefits of the truck chassis, will save time and money in frame conversion when installing a beverage body.

The new options introduced include a compact rear spring package, fitted with stiffer springs that provide less vertical deflection. M-B states this allows low mounting of the body over the rear axle for better vehicle stability and ready access to the bays.

In another development, the manufacturer has relocated air brake reservoirs in a bundle crosswise behind the rear axle. M-B says this makes it unnecessary for the body company to relocate air reservoirs when the body is mounted.

The L 1319 can also now be ordered with a 38-gallon step fuel tank mounted under the passenger door to allow full bay utilization. M-B states the options minimize the need for chasis reworking and make body mounting simpler, less time consuming and more cost efficient.

Utilimaster Novelty Beverage Body

A beverage body designed as a rolling Corporation of Wakarusa, IN. The company has produced a 'six-pack" beverage body that is intended to make wholesalers a focal point while making deliveries or servicing special events. The body is shaped like a six-pack, and can be fitted with a tap to serve as a beverage dispensing point. The vehicle is currently in use in a number of applications, including refrigerated or nonrefrigerated beverage transport, special events dispensing, parade vehicles and as a reserve or overflow tnasport vehicle. The beverage can replicas mounted on the vehicle sides are manufactured of one-eighth-inch thick Lexan, and each panel can be illuminated by a high-intensity flourescent lamp. Interior dimensions are 84 inches(height) x 52 inches(width) x 130 inches(length), with an interior lining of Kemlite .060 over plywood.

New Mitsubishi Medium-Duty Hauler

An addition to Mitsubishi Fuso's line of medium-duty vehicles has been announced. The FK-MR 455 is GVW-rated for 25,995 lbs., with a curb weight ranging from 8,535 to 8,895 lbs. and wheelbases from 163.8-218.5 inches. The vehicle is powered by a Mitsubishi 6D14-2AT four-stroke-cycle, watercooled, direct-injection, in-line six cylinder diesel. The turbocharged powerplant is rated 185 HP at 2900 RPM and produces 408 ft-lbs. of torque at 1600 RPM. Additional specifications include a hydraulic-control 13.8-inch cerametallic clutch and a five-speed synchromesh transmission and a full-floating rear axle. Steering is ball-nut type with integral hydraulic power-booster and brakes are air-over-hydraulic, dual-circuit, air-dryer standard. The FK-MR 455 joins a line that already includes a variety of medium-duty vehicles suitable for beverage applications, including the FK-MR's slightly heavier cousin, the FK-HD 455 (pictured). The FK-HD 455 boasts a maximum GVWR of 28,000 lbs. in the same range of wheelbase offerings as the FK-MR.

Ford Brings Cargo Home

A number of developments have been announced by the Ford Motor Company, including significant alternations for the company's cabover line. The venerable Ford C-Series was retired in June, after serving as a medium-duty workhorse for over 30 years. The C-Series production line will turn to buiding Ford's Cargo cabover. This will mark the first availability of a North American-built Cargo. Previously the vehicle was produced in Brazil. Together with the change in plant, Ford reports the Cargo will benefit from extensive tooling and sourcing changes. The first North American Cargo will be the CF-8000, powered by the Ford 210-HP 7.8-liter diesel. A vehicle equipped with the 190-HP engine will follow, and in the spring of 1991 assembly of the CF-7000 will begin.

Other changes for the Ford medium-duty line include added features on the Ford F-Series. For 1991, the F-Series will feature powertrain revisions to meet the 1991 Federal emissions standard, and will incorporate a new exhaust brake. The exhaust brake will be offered on F-Series vehicles equipped with a manual transmission. According to the manufacturer, the addition of the exhaust brake was triggered by increasing driver demand. The company says the brake will enhance smooth operation of the vehicle and increase service brake life.

Mickey "Club" Mini-Body

Mickey Truck Bodies, Inc. of High Point, NC, recently announced a design overhaul for their mini-body "cub" unit. "Wholesalers need a strong mini-body to carry a wide variety of brands in their inner-city accounts," says Ken Lopp, vice president of sales for Mickey. "There have been several units on the market, but they were mostly for light duty. They could handle the variety, but not the quantity. And they were not very flexible in terms of how they could be loaded."

According to Mickey, the redesign of the cub body was undertaken to meet the needs of wholesalers for more flexible bay configurations. By way of example, the company notes that a new eight-bay cub can be ordered with four full bays for hauling full pallets of a flagship brand, and four additional bays with corrugated sidewalls to accomodate adjustable shelving. "These shelved bays can be used to carry the wholesalers allied brands," Lopp explains, " and they can be adjusted to carry a specific amount of each brand on an as-needed basis. Since beer marketers are expanding into other beverage segments, such as juice and bottled water, this body becomes very useful as they build those businesses to volume levels.

"The Cub meets a wide range of delivery needs," adds Dean Sink, Mickey president. "It's a heavy-duty unit that is also very easy to manuever in tight urban traffic. The cub can accomodate full pallets and subdivide the bays for carrying smaler quantities of fill-in brands, and we can configure the bays to meet the specific needs of a particular customer.

"We are now working on one prototype that will have four bays," Sink reports, "three for full pallets and one with corrugated sides for adjustable shelving. The new units will be a little larger, but the overall height will be lowered two to four inches. We want to make the working height of these bodies as convenient as possible."

Kent Lopp also notes that Mickey's larger trailers have undergone considerable modification over recent years. "For several years, beer industry distribution equipment has been trending away from mid-sized equipment, such as the 12-bay units," he says, "in favor of larger trailers for bulk delivery and smaller `hot-shot' bodies for `fill-in' accounts.

"The 16-bay side-load trailer is still our most popular beer unit," Lopp observes. "Wholeselers appreciate the structural strength of our aluminum frame, but at the same time they can carry more product because of the lighter weight of aluminum versus steel."

Hackney's Extra Bay-Depth Trailers

The all-aluminum Quantum trailer from Hackney & Sons fo Washington, NC, provide 44-1/2 inches of bay depth, opposed to 43 inches for standard Hackney units. According to the manufacturer, the increased bay size is a result of the company's Unibay construction methods. The trailers feature an aluminum center divider that run the length of the trailer between the left and right bays, and also serves as ann integral beam to support the load of the trailer. Hackney reports this dual-purpose member saves on the number of parts required and on the total weight of the unit. The company notes that a 16-bay, all-aluminum Quantum weighs about 1,200-lbs. less than a comparable standard trailer with the same configuration. The units also feature specially extruded intregral floor design, which yields more weight-bearing strength, allowing increased load capacity.

The Unibay configuration was developed by Hackney & Sons in 1982, and all the company's Combo and Dockmaster units now utilize Unibay construction.

"We've been offering Unibay units for some time," says R. Hodges Hackney, "but we've only recently given them the Quantum moniker to distinguish them from our Vision 2000 trailers. We wanted beverage distributors to be aware that this was yet another distinct option open to them when buying Hackney and Sons. And with the proliferation of new odd-sized pallet configurations, we think it's option that is increasingly valuable to distributors.

Morgan Refrigerated Van Bodies

A new generation of refrigerated van bodies has been introduced by Morgan Corporation. Gold Star refrigerated van bodies feature stainless steel frames, three-inch I-beam crossmembers on 12-inch centers and a unique reefer support structure. The company reports that interior liner fasteners have been eliminated for thermal efficiency and advances has also been made in the design of the door seals.

The manufacturer states that the reefers use advanced construction methods to reduce unit weight and increase payload potential. A one-piece glassboard subpan offers light weight and durability, Morgan says, while remaining impervious to road salts and contaminants.

Additional features cited by the company include aerodynamic front-corner design, aluminum flooring with six-inch integral scuff as standard, reinforced flush entry at all door thresholds and self-closing thermal-resistant floor drains.

The refrigerated bodies from Morgan are available in 10- and 28-foot lengths in a variety of heights and widths.

American-Built Volvos

Major changes are planned for the medium-duty FE Series cabovers produced by Volvo GM Heavy Truck Company. As of January, 1991, the trucks will be put together in the United States at the company's Orrville, OH, assembly plant. According to the manufacturer, the vehicles will continue to incorporate European-sourced and cabs and front axles, but the trucks will feature a U.S. Class 8 chassis and a variety of Class 7 U.S. drivetrains. The company notes that optonal Volvo engines and transmissions will continue to be produced in Europe.

The new FE Series will include two Class 7 low-cabover models, the forward-entry FE42 and the FE42T tractor. Gross vehicle weights range from 30,000 to 37,500 lbs. and Gross Combination Weights from 55,000 to 70,000 lbs. Both truck and tractor models are available with either 1/4 or 9/32-inch, 110,000-psi frames of the WhiteGMC WG Class 8 truck and tractor. The new FE Series will feature a 59-inch front-exle setback and an 83-inch effective BBC (bumper-to-back-of-cab measurement).

`These upper-end Class 7 trucks and tractors are ideal for beverage operations," says Roger Johannson, Volvo GM director of marketing, "as well as more arduous leasing and overnight delivery applications."

The FE42 and FE42T are available with 185- or 210-HP Caterpillar 3116 or 215 or 250-HP Volvo VE7 engines. These can be matched with fully-synchronized five-speed Spicer or six-speed Fuller transmissions or Allison automatic transmissions. Front axle options include the 10,000-lb Volvo VF10, 12,000-lb VF 12 or 14,500-lb VF 14 axles. Also available are the 21,000-lb Rockwell RS-21-145 or Eaton 23,000-lb 23070S axles.

Cabs for the FE Series are fabricated in Sweden with corrosion resistant double galvanized steel, and the company notes they are welded for increased structural integrity.

According to Volvo, the cabs are designed with an emphasis on driver comfort. Features noted by the company include roomy cabs, padded interiors and head-liners, unimpeded visibilty, bolstered sound insulation and ergonomically-designed seats with lumbar supports. Standard features include power steering, short-throw gear shift, clutch assist and 48-degree wheel cut.

`The extra care we have taken to design the truck from the driver's point of view results in more productive and efficient trucks and drivers," says Johannson. "We think these vehicles, blending the best of Swedish and American technology, will meet the needs of a wide cross-section of American trucking companies."

Hino Medium-Duty

According to Hino Diesel Trucks, U.S.A. the Hino model SG198 can provide beer distributors with a number of performance advantages. The SG198 features a 228.3-inch wheelbase, with a cab-to-axle measurement of 192.1 inches. The vehicle is powered by a Hino H06C-TJ in-line six-cylinder watercooled diesel. The engine is rated for 180-HP at 3000 RPM and generates 398 ft-lbs of torque at 1600 RPM. Availabe transmissions include a six-speed direct-drive synchromesh with a rear axle gear ratio of 5.4, a six-speed synchromesh with a 4.8 rear axle ratio or an Allison MT643 four-speed automatic. Other specifications include dry single-plate Spicer cerametallic clutch and an electric pneumatic exhaust brake. The front axle is rated for 11,700 lbs and the rear axle for 21,300 lbs, providing the vehicle with a GVW-rating of 32,900 lbs. The manufacturer reports that the truck's engine-transmission combination should give users good response under maximum load. The company also claims a high degree of reliability for the vehicle, and cites as one fleet user the Shore Point Distributing Co. of Freehold, NJ.

Navistar's Medium-Duty


A city tractor intended to provide increased maneuverability and improved driver entry/egress has been introduced by Navistar International Corporation. `The Model 4900 4x2 tractor will be powered by the International DT 466 diesel engine," says Charles V. Imbler, Jr., manager, medium-duty truck marketing. `The turbocharged Dt 466 has the muscle to handle the more rigorous inner-city and suburban operations. And, due to the 4900's low cab-to-ground dimensions, the new tractor also provides for superior driver comfort and productivity. This makes it an excellent choice for applications such as beverage delivery.

"A city driver may get in and out of his truck up to 60 times per day," Imbler notes. "That driver needs a tractor which is close to the ground with a low first step height."

Navistar states the 4900 features a roomy cab, measuring 101 inches bumper-to-back-of-cab. The manufacturer also reports the vehicle has a tight turning radius to allow access to tight loadinng docks. "This tractor offers superior maneuverability along with the comfort of a conventional cab configuration," Imbler states.

Additional features include a special air intake system with a high frontal air pickup to draw in the cleanest possible air.

"The 4900 tractor follows in the footsteps of the International 4000-Series as "a truck of the '90," says David LaPalomento, Navistar's medium-duty marketing manager. "The 4900 includes all the features that have made the 4000 Series a popular choice among users. Modern aerodynamic styling, one-piece front-end assembly of molded fiberglass, standardized chassis, wide-track front axles and ergonomically-designed interiors. Like the 4000, it is designed for ease-of-maintenance over the life of the vehicle."

Lapolomento states the 4900's fiberglass hood tilts a full 80 degrees for better engine compartment access. He notes that other maintenance-related features included color-coded and continuously-numbered wiring, an instrument panel with quick-disconnect front-access guages and lights and fully color-coded nylon brake tubing with standardized routing.

The turbocharged DT 466 is the standard powerplant, with optional horsepower ranges up to 245 HP with the turbocharged and air-to-air intercooled DTA 466 diesel. California and 49-state versions are available.

The standard front axle is rated 8,000 lbs., with optional exles up to 12,000 lbs. Also standard is a five-speed direct transmission with six through 13-speed units optional. A 17,5000-lbs. rear axle is standard, with options up to 23,000 lbs. The standard GVWR is 25,000 lbs, although optional equipment can raise the GVWR up to 35,000 lbs.

Transmission with a plus

A fully-synchronized medium-duty truck transmission has been introduced by Navistar International for use with International 7.3, DT 360, DTA 360, DT 466 and DTA 466 diesel engines. The new Six-Plus transmission features six forward gears for everyday operations pluas seventh, extra low gear for use in situations involving unusually heavy loads or steep grades.

Two versions of the transmission will be produced. The first version has a direct ratio top gear and a torque rating of 520 ft. lbs. According to the manufacturer, it is recommended for all International truck applications using engines rated at 210 HP or lower. The company notes that these applications include Model 4600, 4600 Low-Profile, 4700, 4700 Low-Profile, 4900 4 x 2, 4900 6 x 4, and 7100 delivery trucks and tractors.

The other version, with a torque rating of 650 ft lbs is intended for use with higher horsepower applications utilizing DTA 466 diesel engines rated at 220 HP and 245 HP. Vehicles in this category would include the Model 4800 4 x 4, 4900 4 x 2, 4900 6 x 4 and 4900 6 x 6.

According to Navistar, a key benefit of the new component is the simplified shifting it should provide. `Private fleet customer needs have changed with respect to route delivery and today's driver profiles have changed as well," points out Wayne Krzysiak, Navistar vice president of sales. `Today, pickup and delivery route drivers are more often sales persons who need to drive a truck as part of their job. They are less likely to be experienced in shifting the more complex transmissions on the market. Consequently," he says, 'there is a growing demand from private fleets for medium trucks with simpler, low cost-of-maintenance powertrains.

'The International Six-Plus offers improved startability." Krzysiak continues. 'as well as reduced powertrain stress, narrower gear splits and less time needed to reach maximum road speed. It's a 'driver-friendly' transmission that doesn't require doubleclutching."

Featues of the new unit include a dual-ratio gimbal shift tower that Navistar says creates a narrower 'automotive-style" shift pattern for easier shifting. The company also notes the unit s constructed with an end-loaded case design to allow easy access to shafts, gears and other transmission components. Standard-sized fasteners are used for simplicity, and Navistar reports the entire transmission can be disassembled without special tooling.

GM Announces Modifications

A number of improvements have been announced for General Motors Truck Division's 1991 model year. According to the company, Kodiak and TopKick trucks will be avalable with revised powerplants, including enhanced GM big block gasoline engines. GM reports the 1991 big block 6.0 and 7.0-liter gas engines incorporate a number of engineering improvements, including new valve covers with a srew-in oil fill cap, structural revisions to the cylinder case for improved bore integrity, a one-piece inlet manifold and improved oil sealing. The company notes that the oil cooler line adapter has been eliminated.

The availability of a 170-HP version of the Caterpillar 3116 diesel was also announced. According to the company, the 170-HP version replaces the 165-HP option with no change in torque or transmission requirements.

Several axle specifications are modified for the coming year. New additions to the spec list included 12,000- and 14,600-lb. front axles. The 14,600-lb. option replaces the 14,000-lb. option. The two new axle ratings will be available in addition to the existing 8,100-and 11,000-lb. front axles.

GM has also announced the modification of truck cab structure as an option for 1991. The company has developed a raised-roof option that GM says is designed for use in utility vocations and for use when air-ride seats are speed.

Nissan Diesel Medium-Duties

The UD Class 7 truck line from Nissan Diesel America include vehicles suited for beverage applications, including the model UD 2800. The UD 28000 is a step up from Nissan's Class 6 UD 2600, with a heavier GVW rating, axle and suspension capacity and tires. The UD 2800 is ratedat 27,560 lbs. GVW, and is equipped with a front axle rated for 9,920 lbs.

The truck is powered by the Nissan Diesel Motor FE6T. The FE6T is an in-line six-cylinder turbocharged diesel that provides 180 HP at 3000 RPM, with maximum torque rated at 332 ft. lbs. at 1800 RPM. The UD 2800 comes standard with a manual six-speed overdrive transmission, although the Allison AT545 four-speed automatic is offered as an option.

The UD 2800 is offered in wheelbases ranging from 147 to 218 inches. Recommended body lengths range from 15 feet for the shortest wheelbase to 24 feet for the longest wheelbase. The minimum turning radius ranges from 20 to 29 feet.

PHOTO : Mercedes-Benz cabover

PHOTO : Utilimaster "six-pack" beverage body

PHOTO : Mitsubishi-Fuso FK-HD 455

PHOTO : Ford Cargo

PHOTO : Mickey "Cub"

PHOTO : Hackney Quantum trailer

PHOTO : Morgan refrigerated van body

PHOTO : Volvo Class 7 low-cabover

PHOTO : Hino SG 198

PHOTO : Navistar 4900 tractor

PHOTO : GM conventional cab medium-duty

PHOTO : Navistar "Six-Plus" medium-duty truck transmission

PHOTO : Nissan UD 2800
COPYRIGHT 1990 Business Journals, Inc.
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Title Annotation:trucks for the beverage industry
Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Date:Nov 19, 1990
Previous Article:On the move: Quality House Beverage is putting its future on wheels.
Next Article:Playing it cool.

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