HOW TO BUILD A BETTER WORK TRUCK
International recently unveiled the LoadStar™, the first new low cab forward work truck in more than a decade.Read More
International recently unveiled the LoadStar™, the first new low cab forward work truck in more than a decade. The vehicle not only shows the OEM’s commitment to the waste hauling, concrete pumping, and airline refueler segments—it also demonstrates a dedication to delivering game-changing solutions throughout its portfolio.
With the LoadStar, International has built on its longtime leadership in the vocational segment. But to build a better low cab forward offering, Navistar engineers and designers knew they had to drill deeper. Before the first design sketch was drawn, the team analyzed existing vehicles and rode alongside drivers to gather firsthand knowledge of their needs.
The goal: To develop a true 21st century work truck for applications that, until now, had to rely on designs stuck in the past. “We didn’t want to design this truck from the office,” says Jerry Hlavacek, general manager, refuse and specialty vehicles, Navistar. “We wanted to learn how drivers actually utilize their vehicles, to find out what they do day in and day out.”
Navistar didn’t stop there. Along with driver input, engineers tapped fleet managers, technicians, and truck body builders for feedback to ensure the LoadStar fit the collective needs of every audience. “It was important that we understood the customer’s needs from multiple dimensions,” Hlavacek notes.
The result is a fully re-imagined work truck that’s built to last, one that accommodates the customer in ways that the competition can’t match.
Key features of the new LoadStar
To serve industries that typically run their trucks for a decade or more, and run them through the harshest of conditions, the LoadStar features the industry’s first stainless steel cab-over design. “This is an all-new, North American-built precision cab,” says Hlavacek. He points out that the design provides the ultimate corrosion resistance, along with weight savings thanks to lightweight aluminum doors.
Additional strength comes from variable depth frame rails. These lighter-weight frame rails bring added benefits in the form of more payload capacity and better ride characteristics when compared with traditional straight rail systems.
Engineers also did extensive studies on mirror placement. With superior front, side and rear visibility and excellent wall-to-wall turning radius, this highly maneuverable truck can take on the tightest corners. And that means a safer ride. “Most accidents with waste collection trucks happen when they’re backing up,” explains Melissa Gauger, manager, North American truck product platform. “A tighter turning radius means you’re backing up less.”
And in an industry where cramped quarters are the norm, the new LoadStar offers the kind of well-thought-out ergonomic features that can reduce fatigue for drivers of all sizes. Among the enhancements are an available tilt/telescoping steer column and optimal joystick placement, a 90-degree door opening, and easy 18-inch first step height. “Very few products in this market have put much thinking into ergonomics,” says Gauger. “We wanted to make the truck easy to get in and out of, and comfortable to operate for 10 hours a day.”
The clean, driver-friendly layout also puts body control switches within easy reach, making it simple to utilize the full capabilities of the Diamond Logic® electrical system. International’s proprietary technology provides seamless integration between chassis and body operations, allowing for a wide array of safety locks and power switches for equipment such as rear cameras, packers, and PTOs (power take-offs).
The Diamond Logic multiplexed electrical system is an upgrade from traditional hardwired systems because, instead of needing separate, point-to-point wiring for each single piece of data, it sends data across just a few sets of wires. This reduces complexity during the truck build for body builders, and makes troubleshooting a snap.
The LoadStar also offers a full lineup of engines that’s unparalleled in the industry. No other severe-service truck can touch the wide variety, which includes diesel-powered MaxxForce® 10,11, 13-liter options that feature CleanBurn™ Emissions Technology, the only no-hassle emissions solution without the burden of liquid urea or extra weight. And, coming in Spring 2013: a Cummins Westport ISL-G compressed natural gas version for additional versatility.
Finally, those who invest in the new LoadStar will benefit from the industry’s largest dealer network. More than 700 dealer locations across North America are available to provide parts and service expertise to keep operators on their routes and away from the shop.
“I think it speaks volumes that we’ve made such a significant investment in a truck that serves a relatively low-volume segment,” says Hlavacek. “The LoadStar proves that Navistar is only concerned with one thing: designing solutions for our customers.”
For more information on the International LoadStar, visit: Loadstar
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