Truck Topics

A new expediter debuts at the Expo

By Jeff Jensen, Editor
Posted Jun 26th 2006 4:28PM

churneys-photo.jpgSince the first edition of the Expedite Expo in 2001, the event has become the premier venue for expedited truck dealers and manufacturers to debut new equipment.  This year is no exception and Expedite Expo 2006 will witness the unveiling of a brand new expediter truck and sleeper combination from two of the most respected names in the business - Churney's Truck Center and Indiana Custom Trucks.

Churney's Truck Center of Cleveland, Ohio will exhibit a Hino 338, a truck that has garnered a great deal of interest in the expedited trucking world.

The Hino nameplate has been the leading producer of medium and heavy-duty diesel trucks in Japan for the last 30+ years.  In the U.S., it is best-known for its medium-duty cabover trucks sold here since 1984.  In 2004, the COE's were replaced by six new models in Classes 4 through 7, all with conventional cabs.  Toyota holds a controlling interest in Hino.

North American parts content
The Hino's engine and cab are constructed and crated in Japan and then shipped to the U.S. where they are assembled at a Hino facility in Long Beach, CA.  The chassis and other essentials are manufactured in America, with steering columns from TRW, transmissions from Allison and Eaton, drivetrains from Dana and suspension by Hendrickson. Even the hoods are manufactured in Indiana.

Bob Rizzo, Expedited Truck Specialist at Churney's notes, "Except for the Toyota-built engine, everything elseon the truck is American-made.  That means it's very easy to find parts and there are over 22,000 service centers nationwide."

Some spec's
This 33,000 GVW model sits on a 271" wheelbase and is powered by a Hino 8 liter, 6-cylinder, 4-valve diesel that makes 260 hp @ 2500 rpm, and 585 lb-ft of torque @ 1500 rpm.  The 338 features Allison 3000RDS 5-speed automatic  transmission.

The 338 comes equipped with Air Conditioning, Cruise Control, Tilt and Telescopic Steering Wheel, Electric Windows, AM/FM CD player, Air Suspension Seat, Oil Lubricated Front Wheel Bearings, a 3-Piece Front Bumper, Dual 52-Gallon Fuel Tanks and a Chrome Grille.  The interior is finished in blue, with standard vinyl or optional cloth seats.

"The 338 has the tighest turning radius in the industry,"says Bob Rizzo.  "It's just shy of the wheel cut of a cabover.  The cab, in addition to being very well insulated from road and traffic noise, is very roomy.  In fact, a 6'8" driver can sit behind the wheel and still have headroom."

The Hino that will be displayed at the Expo will feature an American Body Company 22-foot cargo box, but Rizzo says that a 24-foot box can be mounted with a smaller sleeper installed.

'07 standards
churneys-cover-photo.jpgTo comply with the '07 EPA standards, the truck will require the installation of a football-sized Diesel Particulate Filter and minimal changes. Hino is informing its dealers that the company envisions no effect on horsepower, torque or fuel mileage because of these changes.

In Europe and the U.S., these emissions standards are new territory for the truck manufacturers.  In Japan, the OEM's have been dealing with more stringent standards than those in the U.S. for some time.  They have already complied with standards more stringent than the upcoming ones and they're close to being ready for  the new set of changes in 2010. 

Bob Rizzo: "Besides being a Toyota product (and Toyota is a real stickler about anything they put their name on), the Hino carries the best warranty in the business.  It's a 3-year bumper-to-bumper unlimited mileage warranty and you don't get that out of any other manufacturer." 

Another Hino feature that sets this brand apart from the competition is the 3-year roadside assistance program.  If service is required, the owner can call a toll-free number and be directed to one of 22,000 authorized service locations in the U.S.  If a tow is required and the repair falls under warranty, the tow is free.

"This truck surpasses any comparable Business Class competitor,"says Rizzo.

To develop this new expediter, Churney's Truck Center colloborated with a sleeper manufacturer with over fifteen years in the business - Indiana Custom Trucks (ICT) of LaGrange, Indiana.

The majority of ICT's sleepers are designed and built for the Class 8 tractor applications in the 120" - 144" range.  The company has even custom-built a 230" sleeper for one Class 8 customer, "although we did put a 156" unit on an expediter truck a while back,"says Elwin D. Eash, President of ICT.

"Much of the business we've done in the expedite market has been with the second or third-time buyer.  They have experience in the business and they come to us looking for custom work.  Sleeper sizes are growing just like the expedite industry."

He continues, "Customers are now asking for amenities such as in-motion satellite systems, surround sound, indirect lighting etc.  They're looking for motor coach type oluxury and appointments."

The sleeper
This 96" unit is one of ICT's American Roads Series and it features 2" insulated walls, 3" insulated floor, a 1-piece, foam-insulated fiberglass roof and gel-coat sides.  The aerodynamic "Aerostream" roof mounts a Coleman "Roughneck" air conditioning unit and ceiling vent.

The sleeper is equipped with double bunks, with the lower bunk converting into a dinette.  The unit also features a sink with counter top space, a mid-size refrigerator/freezer, microwave and 15" flat panel, LCD TV. 

Fairly typical appointments, right?  Well, what's atypical for a 96"sleeper is the toilet/shower unit that ICT has equipped this sleeper with.  The 22"x24" bathroom enclosure is fed by a 33-gallon fresh water tank with a 6-gallon water heater.  The water heater operates either from the generator or a heat exchanger
connected to the truck cooling system.  This translates into hot water at anytime!  

The generator mentioned is a Power Tech 3KW unit.  This manufacturer has a long history in providing generators to the marine and RV industries and has been a supplier to ICT for over ten years.

With an inside height of over 80", the sleeper also offers three double-pne slider windows for improved insulation.  The earth tone color scheme is highlighted by the oak-finish cabinetry and blue-grey upholstery.

Elwin Eash says that the larger sleepers are not necessarily a luxury item anymore.
"With the hours of service changes, efficient use of time in the truck is even more important.  If you don't have to wait for a shower in a truckstop, and if you can eat more healthy by cooking in the truck, then a well-equipped, larger sleeper is well worth the investment."

The Hino and ICT - a colloboration by two of the industry's best.

This brand new expediter can be seen at the Churney's Truck Center exhibit at the Expedite Expo 2006, July 28 and 29.  For registration and details, visit Expedite Expo 2006. 

About Churney's  Truck Center
Churney's is a long-established dealer of the Hino product line and Bob Rizzo says,  "We're a full-service truck center.  We can take care of the expediter's needs, from mechanical service to body work, graphics and lettering and we also lease trucks.  We're a one-stop shop and we've been in business since the Churney brothers opened in 1983."

Churney's Truck Center