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Caterpillar, A Surprise Decision from an Industry Giant

Trucks December 13, 2017

Caterpillar Cat CT660

Last year, Caterpillar shocked the heavy equipment world by announcing their retirement from the game, even though a year previously in 2015, they had committed to building their own trucks. The CT660, CT680, and CT681 will no longer be produced, though there will be support for those vehicles already being used. The vehicles, sold only through licensed Caterpillar Inc. merchants, will continue to be used on the road until they are no longer capable of being repaired.

The CT660, a class-8 vocational truck, is used for highway trucking and was built using Navistar’s facilities in Garland, Texas. The specifications for this particular vehicle include axles from either Meritor, Dana, or Fabco, fuel tanks with the capacity to carry between 60-120 gallons of fuel at a time, multileaf shackle or slipper type suspension, heat-treated alloy steel frame rails, and Set-Back Axle (SBA) (166 or 122 inch available). It comes with a Cat CT13 diesel, 4-cycle engine (365-475 horsepower), a Cat CX31 Automatic Transmission ( with maximum input speed of 2500 rpm).

Since 2011, Caterpillar has partnered with Navistar to produce its vehicles. The plan in 2015 was to separate from Navistar and set up a manufacturing plant in Victoria, Texas, in order to commit fully to creating their own trucks, which would allow for more control over the designs and specifications. Unfortunately, the move, time, and finances that would have allowed Caterpillar total control were deemed to be too high, and the company has decided to shut the project down.

Ramin Younessi, the Vice President for the Caterpillar Industrial Power Systems Division, stated, “Remaining a viable competitor in this market would require significant additional investment to develop and launch a complete portfolio of trucks, and upon an updated review, we determined there was not a sufficient market opportunity to justify the investment,” which led to the decision to cancel the move to Victoria, Texas, as well as consolidate the number of employees to cut costs, which will happen gradually throughout the next year at least.

If Caterpillar’s history is anything to go by, however, we will still probably see plenty of their class-8 trucks remain on the roads for some time. Caterpillar is known for its rugged, heavy-duty equipment as well as its maintenance and support available to owners and operators, both of which ensure the longevity of Caterpillar’s popular vehicles.

Despite the decision to forego building their own production facilities due to a lack of ability to compete with larger brands who produce more popular class-8 trucks such as Freightliner and Kenworth, Caterpillar will still remain as one of the most reliable producers of other heavy-duty equipment for building and transportation. It remains to be seen, however, whether Caterpillar will find another niche to fill or if it will just stick with what it knows best, which is nothing to sneeze at, since Caterpillar is the largest construction equipment manufacturer in the world, producing vehicles, engines, insurance, and even a clothing line for its loyal customers. Dedicated to environmental concerns, economic developments in developing countries, and innovation will continue to sustain Caterpillar beyond the present day and into the future.

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A Classic, Never Forgotten: Brockway Motor Company

Trucks December 13, 2017

Brockway Motor Company

Brockway Motor Company, originally the Brockway Carriage Works, began producing vehicles in 1875 in Cortland, New York. It passed from father William Brockway to his son George Brockway, who shepherded the company through the change from building carriages to trucks in 1912. Though the Brockway Motor Company became part of Mack Trucks Inc. in the 1950’s, and closed its doors in 1977, it remains as a beloved part of trucking history, celebrated every year at the Central New York Living History Center in Homer, New York.

Represented by the Huskie (hence Cortland’s nickname of “Huskie Town USA”), Brockway Motor Company’s dogged determination and devotion to producing quality custom-built trucks and military vehicles is still appreciated by fans today. There are several models available to view at the Living History Center, along with a documentary from Wiffle Ball Productions. There’s also a yearly Brockway Truck Show in Cortland for those who are nostalgic enough to make the trip to appreciate these beautiful vehicles.

During World War II, Brockway Motor Company joined the war efforts by building bridge erectors and cranes to accompany their B6 heavy truck and the 6-ton 6×6 bridging trucks. Their vehicles were equipped with Cummins engines, Detroit Diesels, or inline six engines, which were often paired with Rochester 2G carburetors.

Interestingly, Brockway was one of the first manufacturers to include sleeper cabs and quads with their class 3, 4, and 5 vehicles. Provided mostly to municipalities as road maintenance or show shoveler vehicles, or to various businesses such as breweries, dairy farms, oil companies, and meat packers, Brockway trucks were proven to have quite a bit of longevity, some even lasting 40 years after production ended. Used up and down the East coast, the Brockway was popular with conservative businesses that appreciated the Brockway commitment to consistency in specs and design, which helped keep the cost of maintenance and servicing to a minimum.

Its reputation for quality along the Atlantic seaboard helped keep Brockway in business for one hundred years, despite its “assembly” style and unique look due to its backward fenders and hood-top vents. These helped create its singular look, which it kept for its entire run. The majority of the vehicles were put together in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, and then sent out to businesses on the North American East Coast, South America and the Middle East.

“The Right Way” slogan of Brockway Motor Company proved true for decades as the popularity of their vehicles remained steady. Unfortunately, Mack Truck Inc was not able to uphold its reputation and after being sold to the Mack Truck company, the Brockway Motor Company became a small division before being shut down in the late 1970’s for good.

Despite the fact that Brockway Motor Company is no more, people still gather yearly to remember its long history, its unique and sturdy vehicles, and its contribution to America’s bridges, buildings, and businesses. If you’re ever in Cortland for the National Brockway Truck Show, you can see the evolution of the business in over 100 vehicles, from the carriages that were made in the late 1800’s to the military vehicles and commercial trucks that served communities along the coast for decades after the manufacturers closed their doors.

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1951 Ford Pug CEO

Trucks November 28, 2017

1951 Ford Pug CEO

The Ford 1951 Pug CEO is a beautiful combination of a truck and a classic car. With its bright yellow color it stands out on the road like no other classic vehicle. The owner of this Ford 1951 Pug CEO will need to be someone who reveres classics and is willing to keep this mint condition vehicle in top running condition along with taking care of its extraordinary exterior and interior. The tan interior and yellow exterior blend well together and gives this vehicle a classy sophisticated look.

Another plus to this Ford Pug is that it has an automatic transmission. Not everyone is interested in driving manual transmission vehicles. It will also make it more saleable because not everyone can drive a manual stick car. There will be more interested buyers due to its automatic transmission feature. The Pug is also on a motor home chassis that is 5 ton and comes with a 100 gallon gas tank. A truck cover is also included giving the buyer extra security when it comes to preventing damage to its stellar paint job.

Only serious collectors would be truly interested in a vehicle of this caliber. This is not just any classic Ford, the Pug always attracted buyers who were seeking a very special mode of transportation. And this 1951 Pug CEO has been redone in the manner of style it can call its own. It has power on the road and will draw attention everywhere it goes. A buyer interested in this classic vehicle will be one who appreciates the classics and all the work that was put into this Pug CEO. With tinted windows and seating for 5 people comfortably, families would also enjoy traveling in this Ford Pug.

This Pug also comes with a 5-wheel towing package which is a great plus for owners so that there is no trouble if it should ever need to be towed from one location to another. It can towed safely and without damaging the vehicle. The front of this 1951 Ford Pug CEO also comes equipped with brand new front tires which is also a plus for the new owner. That is an expense that does not have to be passed down to the next driver of this magnificent truck/vehicle.

Seller’s description when it was listed not long ago, which has some specifications: 1951 Custom PUB CEO – big block 454 – Allison automatic 21 speed – LOADED – Dually – 5 ton motor home chassis – 100 gallon gas tank – fifth wheel/towing package – new tires on front – $200,000 build – wizard pin stripping – tinted windows – seats 5 comfortable – truck cover included

You can see our gallery for this one below. All the images on our website expand when you click them, so you can get a better look.

For more from Hemmings, find them indexed in our vehicles, trucking and RVing directory. You can search for the company’s name and look for suppliers and dealers in an area near you by looking at our regional headers. And to see more Trucks, click here.

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Tesla Semi Tractor… Fully-loaded 0-60 in 20 seconds

Trucks November 18, 2017

Tesla Semi Tractor... Fully-loaded 0-60 in 20 seconds

Elon Musk has now revealed the new Tesla semi truck, a tractor that’s more aerodynamic, more environmentally friendly, and faster than any semi truck ever built, showing graphs that made regular tractors appear to be barely moving compared with the fast-accelerating Tesla option. Truckers, can you imagine a fully weighted 0-60 in 20 seconds?

Of course, the first thing people wanted to know was how expensive it would be — how could semi truck owner/operators and companies purchase such a truck, given Tesla’s high price tags? While the final cost of the vehicle is unknown as of yet, Musk gave out an estimate that because of the lower costs associated with owning one of the semis, owners could make back what they paid in two years or less.

The loss of the engine is the truck’s gain, as it allows the vehicle to be roomier. It is also upgraded with the Tesla AutoPilot feature, with two screens on each side of the driver (the driver will be seated in the middle of the truck as opposed to the left side). With the ability to go from 0-60 in five seconds as an empty truck, and 0-60 in twenty seconds with a full load, the semi’s appearance and performance put it squarely in the future of trucking.

While truckers still hold some reservations (the biggest being that the truck can travel for 500 miles without needing a recharge while diesel-fueled vehicles can go for much longer and take a shorter time to fuel), Musk continues explore how best to serve the trucking industry in ways that will make it more efficient and better for the environment. If he manages to solve the fueling issue, we might well be on our way to highways full of responsibly fueled semi trucks. Another issue is the lack of a sleeping area, but since this is the first step in introducing the world to an electric semi, it is assumed that there will be arrangements and redesigns made in the future.

With the drive system guaranteed for a million miles and future upgrades in the works, Tesla might just have created a vehicle that will compete with the likes of Peterbilt and Kenworth. Though the semi will not be available until 2019, there are already large companies like JB Hunt, Loblaw and Wal-Mart that have signed on to try out a limited number of these trucks.

Musk also showed the updated Tesla Roadster, which can go from 0-60 in under two seconds, which gives it the distinction of being the only production car ever made to accelerate at that speed. It’s to be expected that Musk and Tesla would want to improve on the sports car — there are plenty of people with enough money to buy these beautiful, environmentally friendly vehicles to make it profitable. What was unexpected about the night was that this was not the only announcement made about a new Tesla vehicle.

Tesla already has orders for at least 45 vehicles, some that will be put to use in Canada and others that will be driven in the United States. Whether they will continue to be sold and used, and if they will be sent elsewhere remains to be seen, but Musk’s confidence in the product and the innovations used seem to have inspired a new wave of exploration into environmentally conscious products.

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Kenworth W900 – ‘Worth’ Its Weight

Trucks November 9, 2017

Kenworth W900

I wrote about the Kenworth corporation and their K-series a few months ago, but this time around I’m going to talk about the W900, a model so popular that it is still being produced despite its classic design.

The Kenworth W900 is produced in North America and Australia, and has been on the market since 1961. It’s a Class 8 truck along the lines of the Peterbilt 379, with a 180-600 engine available from Caterpillar, Cummins, Detroit Diesel, or PACCAR, in a variety of sizes ranging from 9 to 16 liters. There are three transmissions options, all automatic: the 10-speed, 13-speed, or 18-speed. The wheelbase averages around 285 inches. There are several sleeper options available for the W900, ranging from a 38” Aerocab Flattop Sleeper to an 86” Studio Sleeper, making this a convenient way to watch a budget or upgrade to something a bit fancier.

While the W900 (The “W” stands for Worthington) has undergone major updates through every decade, it’s still the same quality truck underneath. There are a few versions of the vehicle, including the W900L (The “Long” version), and the “V.I.T.” (Very Important Trucker), which was introduced during the American Centennial. The V.I.T. came with double beds and a refrigerator, and these options began to be included in later versions of the W900 as people began to want more extras for traveling longer distances.

The W900L is one of Kenworth’s top sellers, especially for owner-operators. It was at first intended as a special edition version of the W900, which had made an appearance in the James Bond Film “License To Kill”. However, due to its popularity, it became a regular option rather than merely a short-run special edition. The “Long” version has a 10” longer BBC for a total of 130 inches. It officially became a regular sale item in 1989.

For the W900’s 25th birthday, an ICON900 was released, complete with its own special badge and almost all the brightwork or chrome options available. In the late 80’s, the T600 was created as a more aerodynamic cousin of sorts to the W900, but the W900 continued to be so popular that it was never retired. There are also two versions of the original W900, the W900A and the W900B, the biggest difference between them being one as round headlights (the W900A), and one has square headlights (W900B). The round headlights, of course, became more popular as time went on, but the early W900B could still be ordered with the specification of round headlights.

As the W-series waned (there were buses similar in appearance to the K-series, as well as other interurban vehicles like mass transit buses), the W900 continued to go strong, its quality, durability, and comfort popular with drivers nationwide. Showing no signs of stopping, this truck looks like it will be around for a very, very long time. With their focus on special orders (like fleet of trucks for the Great Northern Railway) and popularity with small businesses, they have a good grasp of what the market wants, and the W900 provides.

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Supertrucks

Trucks November 7, 2017

Supertrucks

What comes to mind when you hear the words “Super Truck”? Do you picture a Superman-esque cape flying behind a speeding pickup, or a Batman-like cowl draped around a truck slowly, quietly moving through the city? While super trucks don’t really wear capes, nor are they used for search and rescue missions, they are bigger, more powerful, and able to take more wear and tear than the regular truck.

Super trucks are typically commercial trucks, used in a myriad of ways that utilize their heavy-duty status. There are several companies that manufacture these big guys, including, Nissan, Denby, Daewoo, Samsung, and Bering HDMX, and some make multiple versions of the trucks to enable clients to choose what works best for them, whether they want an 8-ton truck or a 25-ton cargo truck, an 8-ton or 24-ton dump truck, or a mixer or tractor.

Hyundai’s super truck is just such a product, a line of vehicles rather than one particular model. They’re usually rear-wheel drive, with a manual or automatic transmission, and are capable of hauling up to 25 tons. They’re used for all sorts of commercial work, and are competitive with other brands such as Samsung and Daewoo. They’re available in North America, South America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.

Nissan’s Diesel Big Thumb was popular in the 90’s and early 2000’s, competing with such vehicles as the Hino Profia, the Isuzu Giga, and the Mitsubishi Fuso Super Great, which were also made available in Australia and New Zealand. After the Big Thumb retired, the Nissan Diesel Quon took over.

Hyundai’s New Power Truck became available in 2004, again with a variety of options, including different transmission packages, engine options, and cargo availabilities. Whether buyers wanted a truck to haul cargo, dump, mix concrete, or work as a tractor, Hyundai provided an array of possibilities with four or more choices in each category.

The Denby Eco-Link, another super truck, hails from the UK and is designated as a super lorry, and although it has been tested for quite some time, is still the subject of much debate because of its size and weight. Embroiled in a legal battle since 2004, it is not legal to be sold in the UK, although a loophole was found that allowed it to be tested on public roads. It remains to be seen whether the Denby Eco-Link, a truck that was built to answer the need for an environmentally friendly, productive, safe cargo vehicle, will at some point in the future be able to service the UK. It is, however, legal in the Netherlands.

If you are not familiar with super trucks, they are worth looking into and I recommend learning more about them. They are an interesting group of vehicles, and without recognition of all they’re capable of, they are sometimes looked over for flashier models. Without them we would not be able to keep large areas clean, we could not put down new roads, and we would be unable to haul cargo over long distances. Without them, commerce would be nigh impossible. So when you see a super truck next, be sure and notice just how much they’re capable of — they’re pretty heroic in their own right.

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1932 Ford Pickup Truck

Trucks November 6, 2017

1932 Ford Pickup Truck

This is a gorgeous 1932 Ford in off-white and vivid orange. For classic car collectors, this is a dream vehicle to have on the road or on display. During the time this classic Ford Pickup was originally made gas was only 10 cents a gallon. Weren’t these good days for drivers, especially Ford drivers. The 1932 Ford is a beauty and has the class of many of today’s most stylish vehicles. An interesting fact about this car is that it rolled off the assembly line when Amelia Earhart took her first flight. What a legacy to be driven by the next owner of this wonderful vehicle located in Englewood, Colorado. Since its original release date, this amazing Ford has been given the remodel of a lifetime. The focus of the rebuild was both speed and style. What a great combination on which to focus.

This classic car holds a 348 tri-power V8 engine backed up by Tremec 5 speed  transmission, under its beautiful hood. Its the perfect car for a classic lover and a speed lover rolled into one. It even has a bluetooth stereo system and a brand new interior. You can easily show off this classic Ford on the roadways and at car shows. The shape is classic in style reminding us of old movies where millionaires drive the best of vehicles. This car only has 1500 miles on the rebuilt engine. This makes it almost a brand new vehicle with a classic look. The Ford company only produced 3 cars between 1932 and 1934, the Model B, Model 18, and the Model 40.

For a vehicle such as this one, the asking price is certainly a steal. You will be driving a car with its own history but all the modern conveniences as well. It was rebuilt in 2010 while still holding on to its classic look. This is almost like getting two vehicles in one, the classic and the modern. Classic drivers look for style, a good engine, and low mileage, just to name a few, and this 1932 Ford has it all. It is a pickup which means you can carry things in the back, of course, the car is so beautiful one would probably try to keep it in stellar condition. The cab of this vehicle is quintessential Ford and brings back memories of times gone by. This is a car lover’s quest, to find a classic vehicle that has not been altered so much that it is unrecognizable, but also has modern comfort.

With touches of magenta striping against bright orange, this vehicle is not for those who want to go unnoticed. This is a vehicle for those who want to be seen, whether on the road for a road trip, or at a car show. It is sure to win many awards if the new owner chooses to share it at car show competitions. It is certainly worthy. Whether a classic car lover or if you’re new to classic cars, this 1932 Orange, magenta, and white Ford is sure to please.

You can see our gallery for this one below. All the images on our website expand when you click them, so you can get a better look.

For more from Hemmings, find them indexed in our vehicles, trucking and RVing directory. You can search for the company’s name and look for suppliers and dealers in an area near you by looking at our regional headers. And to see more Trucks, click here.

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Scania’s Premier Class 8 Trucks

Trucks November 3, 2017

Scania's Premier Class 8 Trucks

Over 100 years ago, two companies called Vabis and Scania joined forces to become a European powerhouse, delivering trucks, special vehicles, and buses to Europe. With production facilities in South America, Africa, Asia, and Europe, and over 40,000 employees, Scania AB is widely recognized as the premier European distributor of class 8 vehicles.

What began as two separate companies (one was involved in railroads while the other was in the bicycle industry) merged into one in 1911, and quickly became involved in the luxury car business, including a 1920 model that included a top hat holder. Sports cars were also a popular project, though as interest waned, the company feared they were on the brink of disaster.

During the First World War, Scania AB became focused on providing the Swedish Army with vehicles, revamping its facilities in order to do so. This led to the decision to solely produce large vehicles, which almost caused the disaster they had so feared previously. With some help from a banking family and a subsidiary in Denmark, however, Scania AB began to rise.

The Second World War provided another opportunity for the production of military vehicles, but after the war was over, Scania was able to hold on to their experience without losing finances. They instead became competitive with Volvo, branching out into jeeps and trucks. Exporting became a more serious business at this juncture, about half of Scania’s sales.

Throughout the years, Scania has been sought after by several other companies, including Volvo and MAN, but Volkswagen was the eventual winner, holding 100% of the company’s shares by 2015. In September 2017, Scania was fined over 800 million euros for participating in fixing prices with other members of the automotive industry (including Volvo/Renault, Daimler, MAN, DAF and Iveco) for the last 14 years.

Despite this scandal, Scania’s long history stands in good stead, and it continues to produce and sell trucks, special vehicles, and buses commercially. Their line of trucks include the P-Series (construction, distribution, and transportation uses), the G-Series (construction and long haul applications), the R-Series (Which won both the 2005 and 2010 International Truck of the Year award and is available for long haul use), and the S-Series (which is notable for being the highest cab ever constructed by the company).

Chassis production is also a large part of Scania’s work, mostly for coaches and buses used in cities, though there are complete buses put together for use in Scandinavia, including the Citywide, Interlink, Metrolink, OmniExpress, and Touring buses. Scania also produces engines for marine use as well as industrial jobs, such as moving large amounts of dirt and agricultural tasks. Branching out from engines, chassis, buses, trucks, and coaches, Scania has also produced a line of clothing specifically for truckers who utilize their vehicles, called Scania Truck Gear.

If you’re ever in Sweden, you can see some of the Scania vehicles in the Marcus Wallenberg-hallen. Scania also has a concept car named the Scania Torped, which sports an environmentally-friendly eco-diesel V8 engine. Designed by Louise Temin, the Torped is a two-seat roadster with some similarities to the Dodge Viper. Whether Scania decides to explore more car production in the future, it will most likely continue to largely manufacture class 8 vehicles that will be used worldwide.

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