When Caterpillar announced in 2008 it would enter the on-highway truck market, there was speculation as to just how much of a Caterpillar truck the final product would be. Cat was partnering with Navistar to produce the new truck. The two companies share a long history of collaboration on engine projects and high-pressure fuel system development.
The new Caterpillar CT660 vocational truck, introduced March 20 at the ConExpo construction equipment show, isn’t simply an International Workstar with shade of yellow lipstick. Caterpillar engineers say their new truck is “essentially new from the frame rails up.”
The set-back axle configuration Class 8 truck will be on the order board in April, with production set to start in May and deliveries to begin in July.
Caterpillar CT11, CT13 and forthcoming CT15 engines are Navistar MaxxForce diesel engines. But Cat engineers put their own distinctive stamp on this truck with styling cues from the company’s wheel loader line and placed emphasis on cab ergonomics.
The CT660 has a distinct Caterpillar look, thanks to a brushed aluminum grill surround that gives the truck a bold, distinctive look. The aerodynamic hood features a sloped design for increased visibility and decreased drag for greater fuel economy.
The CT660′s instrument cluster and center stack feature an integrated speedometer/tachometer that can be read through the steering wheel. Cat will offer its Cat Link equipment telematics system as standard, with a complimentary three-year subscription on all CT660 trucks.
The system will give drivers and fleet managers access to truck-specific data, including fuel economy, hours of operation, vehicle location, maintenance and trouble-shooting information. Other in-cab features include a premium sound insulation system to reduce road noise and an all-new HVAC system.
Engine options for the CT660 include the Cat CT11, CT13 and CT15—with displacements of 11.1, 12.5 and 15.2 liters, respectively. Horsepower ratings range from 330 to 550 and peak torque ratings range from 1,450 to 1,850 lb.-ft.
The engines use Navistar’s advanced exhaust-gas-recirculation system with a high-pressure common-rail fuel system, precision intake-air management system and electronic controls. The Compact Graphite engine block reduces weight by as much as 500 pounds compared with conventional all-iron designs.
Cat’s CX31 automatic transmission, built for off-highway trucks, will be offered on CT660 trucks. The transmission features six forward speeds and one reverse, and is built to complement the torque output of Cat CT Series engines. In addition, the CT660 can be specified with other transmission options, including the manual and UltraShift Plus vocational transmissions built by Eaton.
“The CT660 is not a one-trick pony,” Taylor said. “This is the first truck in what will eventually be a complete line of Caterpillar vocational trucks. And all of these trucks will be fully customizable for a wide array of vocational applications and purpose-built for those applications.”