The all-new Tundra enters the ranks of America's full-size pickups

Marking Toyota's first effort at a full-size pickup, the Tundra takes a somewhat different approach than the well-established light trucks from Detroit's Big Three. Big enough to be full size but small enough for city applications, and tough enough to stand up to truck use but refined enough to appeal to car buyers, the Tundra isclearly staking out a niche of its own in the highly competitive pickup market.

With a 128-in. wheelbase and an overall length of 218 in., it is definitely a big pickup, and is available with either a standard cab or an extended-length "Access" cab with four doors. The cargo bed with the standard cab is 8-ft. long and wide enough to pass the plywood-sheet test.

However, if you need an extended wheelbase or a long cargo bed with the extended cab, you'll have to wait. There's only one size Tundra for 2000, and if you choose the Access cab, the bed has to shrink to 6.5 ft. Cargo payload is in the half-ton range for two-wheel-drive versions and towing capacity reaches up to 7,200 lb., placing the Tundra at the lower end of the full-size work spectrum.

Inside, the all-new Toyota is clearly a bit smaller than its competition, especially the rear bench in the Access cab, and decidedly more car-like in both appearance and ambiance. However, it's also as quiet and comfortable as an upscale sedan and clearly up to Toyota's reputation for quality fit and finish.

As for convenience, the Access rear doors open rearward and make it easy to get to the back seat, which flips up and really is more of a storage area than a place for full-size passengers. Up front, there's plenty of storage space and dual 12V power outlets.

While the standard engine is a 3.4-liter V6, the test truck came with the optional 4.7-liter V8, which is likely to find its way into most Tundras sold. Borrowed from the company's Land Cruiser, it's a double-overhead cam design with 32 valves, producing 245 hp. and a peak torque of 315 lb.-ft. at 3,400 rpm.

Mated with a 4-speed automatic, which is standard with the V8, the transmission provides spirited performance without any cargo and more than enough power to handle the truck's rated maximum payload/towing capacity. A 5-speed manual is available with the smaller engine.

The suspension is typical for a half-ton, full-size pickup - straight axle with leafsprings in the rear and coil spring double wishbone up front. Unlike the competition, however, the Tundra uses disc brakes only on the front. When combined with 12-in. rear drums, the brakes, which have a 4-piston caliper design, are predictable and powerful even at maximum GVW. ABS is an option, although it's hard to imagine any commercial user buying a pickup of this size without it.

Given its size limitations and automotive amenities, the Tundra is certainly aimed at the immense consumer portion of the full-size pickup market, but it also seems quite capable as a work truck, especially in urban areas where maneuverability with a longer, wider truck can be a problem.

The Power Fleet 945A from Kumho Tire is a drive-position radial developed for a variety of applications, including regional highway, P&D, and light- and medium-duty off-road service. The redesigned shape features an open shoulder design, a full 26/32-in. tread depth, flatter tread radius, and close-packed center tread elements. A tougher tread compound improves tire and wear resistance. The PowerFleet 945A is available in 11R24.5 and 11R22.5 sizes.

Meritor WABCO Vehicle Control Systems announced the sale of its one-millionth heavy-duty ABS system. This milestone reflects the growth that has led the company to break ground for a new assembly and distribution facility near its Florence, Ky., plant.

Tuthill Transport Technologies acquired two companies in the heavy-duty off-road axle and suspension industries - Fluidrive and Reyco Industries. The Mud Hog brand name for hydraulic axles will be retained, while a new brand name, Reyco/Granning, will include suspension products for trucks, trailers, and specialty vehicles.

The International Eagle Tour '99 - which is actually running three routes - is on the road through early November. This time out, the sixth annual rolling showroom is featuring International's new 9000i Series trucks. The tour will make over 145 stops across the country and in Canada, including visits to dealer locations, travel plazas, and truck shows. At each stop, customers and/or their drivers can test-drive 9200i, 9400i, 9900i, and (in the U.S. only) 9900ix tractor models hooked up to demo trailers. In early August, Fleet Owner caught up with the tour as it rolled into Lake City International Trucks in Salt Lake City

Petro-Canada America Lubricants, Parkesburg, Pa., says its Duron 15W-40 premium heavy-duty engine oil exceeds the latest 1999 engine-oil specs for protection against increased soot levels and oxidation. Because Duron 15W-40 exceeds the new Mack EO-M Plus and Cummins CES-20076 specs, Petro-Canada says the oil will allow fleets to maintain OEM-recommended drain intervals for most '99 engines as well as newly rebuilt engines.

Accuride Corp. has acquired Industria Automotriz S.A. de C.V.'s 49% interest in Accuride de Mexico (AdM), a joint venture formed by the two companies in 1997. The acquisition gives Accuride 100% control of AdM.

Through an exclusive arrangement between Pennzoil and Arsenault Assoc., Pennzoil is offering fleet customers the Dossier software package. Dossier is designed to automate the process of managing and controlling fleet maintenance and operating costs.

Freightliner's largest truck manufacturing facility, located in Cleveland, just celebrated its 10th anniversary. The facility spans more than one-million sq. ft. and produces 185 heavy-duty trucks daily, including Century Class and Argosy models.

Designed for carriers hauling cargo with different temperatures

Thermo King is offering an enhanced performance package on its SBIII Smart Reefer Whisper Edition units that was designed for customers who haul a variety of cargo with different temperature requirements.

The package contains an upgraded MP-VI microprocessor and an electronic throttling valve (ETV), which work together to provide up to 20% more capacity at fresh temperatures and reach box temperature setpoints up to 40% faster than standard refrigeration units.

The MP-VI controller helps achieve precise temperature control, reduced fuel consumption, and shorter run time, according to Thermo King. The controller's OptiSet temperature management system enables users to set up to 10 predetermined temperature requirements.

"With OptiSet, a customer now has the flexibility to program different setpoints and temperature control requirements for different products," says Doug Lenz, trailer product manager.

Thermo King has also introduced F-Series cold plate units for delivery trucks. With a variety of horsepower options for varying body lengths, the F-Series eutectic condensers can be adjusted to fit any truck body design and eutectic plate or beam system.

The cold plates are available with environmentally friendly R404A refrigerant. And according to Thermo King, the units feature efficient, large condenser fans that operate practically noise-free.

Tenneco Automotive has introduced a new line of Walker heavy-duty Mega-Flow mufflers designed for Class 7 and 8 tractors.

According to Tenneco, the Mega-Flow units reduce engine backpressure by as much as 30% over previous designs to improve engine peak efficiency. The mufflers also feature a special sound-dampening continuous-strand material supplied by Owens-Corning to maintain low noise levels despite the increased exhaust flow.

"These heavy-duty mufflers have been designed to improve efficiency and increase power by reducing engine backpressure, yet enhance driver comfort by keeping exhaust sound levels low," notes Bill Laughlin, general manager of heavy-duty and industrial products for Tenneco's aftermarket business.

Borg-Warner Automotive has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase the Fluid Power Div. of Eaton Corp.

In-cab mounting systems for all sorts of communications, electronics, and computer equipment are described in Gamber-Johnson's 92-pg. 1999 Solutions Manual. All products are listed with a line drawing, picture, description, and weight.

Cummins Engine Co. unveiled two new heavy-duty automotive coverage plans for owners of Signature, ISX, N14 Plus, ISM, and ISL diesel engines. Both 5-yr./ 500,000-mi. plans, one of which has a $250 deductible, offer 100% coverage on parts and labor with reimbursement for any progressive damage that is directly traceable to the failure of a covered Cummins component.

Designed for carriers hauling cargo with different temperatures

Thermo King is offering an enhanced performance package on its SBIII Smart Reefer Whisper Edition units that was designed for customers who haul a variety of cargo with different temperature requirements.

The package contains an upgraded MP-VI microprocessor and an electronic throttling valve (ETV), which work together to provide up to 20% more capacity at fresh temperatures and reach box temperature setpoints up to 40% faster than standard refrigeration units.

The MP-VI controller helps achieve precise temperature control, reduced fuel consumption, and shorter run time, according to Thermo King. The controller's OptiSet temperature management system enables users to set up to 10 predetermined temperature requirements.

"With OptiSet, a customer now has the flexibility to program different setpoints and temperature control requirements for different products," says Doug Lenz, trailer product manager.

Thermo King has also introduced F-Series cold plate units for delivery trucks. With a variety of horsepower options for varying body lengths, the F-Series eutectic condensers can be adjusted to fit any truck body design and eutectic plate or beam system.

The cold plates are available with environmentally friendly R404A refrigerant. And according to Thermo King, the units feature efficient, large condenser fans that operate practically noise-free.

Tenneco Automotive has introduced a new line of Walker heavy-duty Mega-Flow mufflers designed for Class 7 and 8 tractors.

According to Tenneco, the Mega-Flow units reduce engine backpressure by as much as 30% over previous designs to improve engine peak efficiency. The mufflers also feature a special sound-dampening continuous-strand material supplied by Owens-Corning to maintain low noise levels despite the increased exhaust flow.

"These heavy-duty mufflers have been designed to improve efficiency and increase power by reducing engine backpressure, yet enhance driver comfort by keeping exhaust sound levels low," notes Bill Laughlin, general manager of heavy-duty and industrial products for Tenneco's aftermarket business.

Borg-Warner Automotive has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase the Fluid Power Div. of Eaton Corp.

In-cab mounting systems for all sorts of communications, electronics, and computer equipment are described in Gamber-Johnson's 92-pg. 1999 Solutions Manual. All products are listed with a line drawing, picture, description, and weight.

Cummins Engine Co. unveiled two new heavy-duty automotive coverage plans for owners of Signature, ISX, N14 Plus, ISM, and ISL diesel engines. Both 5-yr./ 500,000-mi. plans, one of which has a $250 deductible, offer 100% coverage on parts and labor with reimbursement for any progressive damage that is directly traceable to the failure of a covered Cummins component.

Freightliner's Argosy Safety Concept Vehicle was featured this summer at Demo '99, East Liberty, Ohio. The Class 8 cabover tractor-trailer combination incorporates a number of advanced safety systems, including electronic braking, disc brakes, collision and lane-departure warning, and adaptive cruise control. Sponsored by the Intelligent Transportation Society of America, ITS Ohio, and the Transportation Research Center, Demo '99 is a showcase of technologies developed to improve the safety and efficiency of the nation's highways.

A smoother ride is in store for drivers of heavy-duty vehicles, thanks to Tenneco Automotive.

The company recently introduced Monroe Gas Magnum Cab Shocks, developed especially for Class 7-8 cab suspensions.

These tractor shock absorbers are designed with a position-sensitive damping (PSD) system that adjusts to road conditions automatically, leading to enhanced driver comfort and vehicle control.

The units, which are are nitrogen-charged, feature groove tube technology with velocity-sensitive valving and a Fluon-banded piston.

"The shocks are designed specifically for today's heavy-duty truck cab suspension," says Bill Laughlin, general manager of heavy-duty and industrial products for Tenneco's aftermarket business. "They isolate the truck cab from the frame, providing a much smoother ride, while reducing driver fatigue."

The shocks offer a 2-yr./200,000-mi. warranty and are backed by the company's 60-day Safe and Sound Guarantee.

New 2001/2011 Slider Series suspensions incorporate Hutchens Industries' HutchRide 2000 enhanced spring suspension into the existing 9801/9811 Slider Series with EZ-Pull pin release system. Designed for 49-in. tandem axle applications only, the new series offers capacities up to 24,000 lb. per axle.

The Swingarm trailer safety light, which projects like a deployed stop sign on a school bus, indicates the trailer is carrying a heavy, wide, or irregular load and should be approached with caution. When not in use, this combination brake, signal/hazard, and marker light from Handee Accessories can be flipped to the side of the trailer to serve as extra marker lights. 326

Brake drums for medium- and heavy-duty trucks and trailers - some 400 drums of various sizes and configurations - are listed in Webb Wheel Products' new catalog TB1199BD. 341

Self-contained inductive heating system is designed for shop applications such as loosening frozen fasteners, annealing welds, metal straightening, or anywhere heat treatment is needed. Josam Products offers its "flameless torch" as a complement to its line of frame- and wheel-alignment equipment.

Lord Corp., Cary, N.C., introduced The Motion Master Ride Management System, a seat suspension system that combines magnetic fluid with electronic controls for improved ride comfort. The system, which replaces standard shock absorbers used on most air-ride suspensions, "uses controllable magnetic fluid to provide varying levels of softness or firmness that match changing levels of shock and motion," according to Gerry Estes, vp of the company's Materials Div.

Measuring just 3/4-in. wide, Truck-Lite's Model 35 LED clearance/marker lamp meets NHTSA's requirement that lights be mounted over the rear doors of trailers, even if the available space is only an inch high. Model 35 is designed with standard mounting holes on 3-in. centers and is available with optional mounting gasket, I.D. bar assembly, and armored mounting bracket.

Volvo Corp. last month agreed to buy Scania, making it the largest heavy truck and bus company in Europe and the second largest in the world. As a separate unit of Volvo, the Scania brand and distribution network will remain distinct from Volvo Trucks. Leif Ostling, Scania's president, will report to Volvo CEO Leif Johansson.

Braking system brochures from Meritor Automotive cover DaytonLite hubs (item SP9933), SteelLite X30 brake drums (SP9934), and four-piston hydraulic disc brakes (SP9936).

Wheel lift system, WL-30, from Gray offers 15-ton capacity, sufficient for lifting heavy buses, 45-ft. motor coaches, refuse trucks, fire trucks, and specialty vehicles that do not provide easily accessible lifting points.

Fifth-wheel trailer grease from LubriMatic is formulated with a high percentage of graphite to ensure high film strength and provide anti-wear properties, and is fortified with MoS2 for protection against seizure under heavy loads and severe shock conditions.

Remote reefer control allows an operator to control a Thermo King SB-III or Super II single-temperature trailer refrigeration unit while it is still at the dock. User can start, stop, and completely control the unit at dockside from inside the trailer. Controller mounts flush to an inside wall.

Snowplow control introduced by Boss Snowplow is a hand-held solid-state device with illuminated buttons. It allows operator using a V-plow, including the company's new Poly Power-V, to operate both blades simultaneously without complicated mode-button combinations.

Now available on Kenworth curved-glass cab models is the OEM's W900B hood. With this hood, the120-in. W900B can be ordered as an AeroCab unit. Previously, the AeroCab design was available only on W900L 130-in. BBC, T800B, and T600B trucks. The hood allows customers to get a 120-in. BBC or 1,430-sq.-in. radiator with a curved-glass cab or an AeroCab.

Meteor Industries has joined with Commercial Fuel Network, a move that will bring an additional 18 sites and more than 18,000 new card-carrying customers into the network. CFN is a network of more than 300 member companies with 2,000 automated cardlock fueling sites.

Water-resistant wood flooring for Stoughton trailers does away with maintenance problems caused by road spray, salt, and other contaminants. Underside of flooring is covered with Tyvek Supra, a bi-laminate fabric-like material that blocks water in liquid form from entering but allows moisture to breathe its way out.

A reinforced spring-brake housing is now optional on 21/2- and 3-in.-stroke brakes from Carlisle Motion Control Industries. An extra 10-ga. steel plate helps prevent pullout of mounting studs and doubles the strength of the housing for severe-duty applications.

AirLite 2 trailer air suspension from Holland Binkley uses an air-spring beam system to dissipate vertical-force stresses at contact points, while torque arms absorb longitudinal forces and track rods absorb lateral forces and transfer them to the subframe.

Trailer suspension parts are easy to find and identify in Hendrickson Trailer Suspension Systems' new 224-pg. Aftermarket Catalog. Exploded-view illustrations add detailed visual reference