Integrated Mixer Trucks, More Dealers Follow Navistar's Purchase of Continental

Tom Berg | September 28, 2010
Continental mixer bodies on International trucks

Integrated mixer trucks will combine Continental bodies with International PayStar 5000 (shown) and WorkStar 7000 chassis. Navistar plans 30 additional outlets to sell and service for Continental products, up from the current five.

Integrated mixer trucks and an expanded dealer body were announced by Navistar International Corp. following its December acquisition of Continental Manufacturing Co. International WorkStar and PayStar chassis equipped with Continental rear-discharge drums will come ready to work, while Navistar plans new outlets for the bodies themselves and has given the company a new name — Continental Mixers LLC. Products will continue to be sold under the Continental/CBMW names.

At the World of Concrete show in Las Vegas, Navistar executives also announced improvements to their International vocational trucks; said their new 14.9-liter MaxxForce 15 diesel would be released in October; and claimed increased shares of several medium- and heavy-truck segments in 2009.

The integrated mixers will save customers about three months versus ordering a truck chassis and mixer separately, even if they would probably cost about the same, says Jim Hebe, senior vice president for North American sales operations. They will join integrated dump trucks already offered in the vehicle lineup.

WorkStar's Diamond Logic multiplexed wiring system will be tied into electronic controls on Continental bodies, allowing several automatic functions that will prevent damage and possibly injuries to operators, says Steve Guillaume, a Navistar executive who now acts as Continental's general manager. Systems will warn drivers of unstowed equipment, and automatically lower the mixer's loading funnel and turn off work lights when vehicle speed reaches 10 mph. PayStar trucks don't have the multiplexed wiring, but the automatic functions could be added through other electronic means, Hebe says.

To expand sales of Continental's mixer bodies, Navistar plans to qualify 30 of its American and Canadian dealers familiar with the construction market so they can also stock parts and service Continental bodies as well as the trucks they're on, Guillaume says. They'll join five Continental distributors now in the Southeast. Navistar will retain Continental's managers and workers and will keep the company's headquarters in Houston, Texas.

Executives also listed changes and improvements to International vocational truck series. For the WorkStar, these include:

  • Heavy-duty 7600 and 7700 models are combined into one model with two variations, 7600SBA (46-inch set-back axle) and 7600 SFA (30-inch set-forward axle). Both models will feature a new 113-inch bumper to the back-of-cab length that includes higher-capacity cooling modules.
  • A crew cab configuration is available in WorkStars with front axle ratings up to 18,000 pounds.
  • All-wheel drive capability is now available with front-driving axles of up to 18,000 pounds capacity on models with mid-range diesels.
  • Steerable 20,000-pound lift axles are available direct from the factory.
  • Corrosion-resistant, lightweight aluminum fuel tanks are now standard.
  • The HVAC system has been redesigned to improve in-cab comfort and system reliability.

For International PayStar models:

  • Electronic stability control is now optional.
  • 8,000-, 13,200- and 20,000-pound lift axles are now available direct from the factory.
  • New 10.25-x3/8-inch frame rails are now standard on the PayStar 5900 SBA.
  • MaxxForce 11 and 13 diesels will be used in PayStars in the months ahead,while the new MaxxForce 15 will be available in October of this year.

MaxxForce diesels with Advanced Exhaust-Gas Recirculation need no urea-injection exhaust-aftertreatment equipment, which saves considerable bulk and makes an International truck about 400 pounds lighter than competitors with engines with selective catalytic reduction, Hebe says.

He and other executives think truck buyers signaled their approval of Navistar's engine strategy by purchasing more Internationals in the last six months of 2009. In that period, Navistar's share of the severe-service market rose from 34 to 44 percent. Its medium-duty share went from 35 to 54 percent, while its share of highway tractors went from 24 to 28 percent.