With an eye to changing commerce patterns, Volvo Trucks North America and Navistar’s International division both unveiled regional semi-truck models for the North American Market at ExpoCam, Canada’s largest truck trade show.
Volvo debuted its new VNR regional semi-truck, its first full redesign of a mid-range tractor since 1996, Wednesday night.
Not to be outdone, Navistar on Thursday also introduced its new generation International RH Series regional haul truck line at the Montreal trade show.
The truck manufacturers are reacting to structural changes in the U.S. economy.
The rise of online shopping – which requires more regionalized delivery and distribution – as well as increased urban congestion are creating demand for trucks such as the VNR, said Steve Tam, vice president of trucking industry consulting firm ACT Research in Columbus, Ind.
The new Volvo truck has both a shorter wheel base and front bumper to the back of the cab length, making it better for regional hauling of fuel and food as well as urban pickup and delivery operations. And it’s much more effective when compared with a big rig designed to ship goods across country. Volvo also is targeting the truck for use in drayage – moving cargo containers around port complexes and distribution centers.
“It’s a tighter package for more maneuverability,” Göran Nyberg, president of Volvo Trucks North America, told Trucks.com.
“The whole industry believes in the shorter regional segment,” Nyberg said. “We want to be part of that growth and make sure we meet those expectations.”
Short haul operations make up 27.5 percent of global heavy-duty truck sales, according to IBISWorld, an industry research firm.
Navistar echoed those sentiments in its introduction of the International RH line.
Navistar’s designers paid extra attention to how drivers navigate through urban settings and worked to build in safety features. The RH has redesigned side windows and mirrors that provide better side visibility than previous models. Other features such as the large swept-back windshield, mirror placement and an aerodynamic sloped hood offer drivers a better view.
Mack Also unveiled its new Pinnacle Truck and 16,000 lbs axle at ExpoCam today, get your tickets here.