GATS 2008 Review

The Great American Truck Show in Dallas helped trucking manufacturers and suppliers introduce new technology to the marketplace.

November 03, 2008 |


GATS attendees were able to participate in a Ritchie Bros. Auction from the show floor.

Ritchie Brothers Auctions

Ritchie Brothers Auctions brought a new approach to their exhibit. Because their quarterly auction in Phoenix, AZ, coincided with the GATS show date, the company set up a live internet link to the auction to demonstrate their online auction service RB Auction Bid Live. Bidders and spectators gathered around the unused model 2007 Peterbilt 335 water truck in the Dallas exhibit, an identical model as the one on the auction block in Phoenix. Ultimately the truck was sold for $79,000 to a buyer from British Columbia, Canada, who also participated via RB Auction Bid Live.

Volvo Trucks

Volvo Trucks North America announced its Fuelwatch initiative to help fleet managers and truck operators achieve maximum fuel economy. With diesel prices skyrocketing, more attention is being paid to the fleet drivers' role in fuel economy.

Volvo is taking an outreach approach to help their customers get the most out of each gallon of fuel with driver training. Beginning in early 2009, Volvo will have driver trainers in each of its five sales regions to work directly with fleets and their drivers, covering topics such as vehicle specification, maintenance, performance monitoring, and driver behavior.

Mack Trucks

Mack Trucks, Inc. announced that they are now offering Bendix ADB22X heavy-duty air disc brakes on the Mack Pinnacle™ Axle Forward and Mack Pinnacle Axle Back models, initially only on 12,000-pound front and 40,000-pound rear supplier axles.

Disc brakes are attractive to customers with especially demanding on-highway braking requirements. Applications for the vocational market recommend use only on lightweight truck models.

Peterbilt features Medium Duty Hybrid Vehicles on their new Green Technologies website.


Peterbilt Motors Company announced that its customers will receive up to an estimated 1-percent fuel economy savings when PACCAR becomes the first company to make a new, full synthetic axle lube standard on its Class 5-8 models in the U.S. and Canada. Peterbilt will introduce Cognis EMGARD® FE 75W-90 into production at its plants in Denton, TX; Nashville, TN; and Ste. Therese, Que. Test results indicate up to a 1-percent fuel economy improvement, equivalent to approximately $900 annually (120,000 miles, 6-mpg baseline, $4.75/gallon).

Peterbilt has also launched a new Green Technologies website to feature Medium Duty Hybrid Vehicles: the Model 330 and Model 335 Hybrid Electric Vehicles, the Model 320 Hydraulic Launch Assist (HLA), as well as the Model 386 Class 8 Longhaul Hybrid Electric development platform.

Western Star

Western Star Truck Sales, Inc. announced the availability of their groundbreaking Detroit Diesel DD15™ engine. Introduced in late 2007, the DD15 will provide outstanding horsepower and improved torque performance for targeted Western Star vocational market segments. Turbo compounding, which turns wasted exhaust gas into useable power that produces up to 50 bonus horsepower without sacrificing fuel economy, is available only in the DD15. Its ACRS fuel delivery system teams up with DDEC® VI electronics to create an optimized combustion event resulting in a quiet, refined operation. The DD15 is the first of three all-new engines Detroit Diesel will be introducing between now and 2010. The DD15's 6-cylinder, in-line design is available in output and torque variants from 455 to 560 horsepower and 1,550 to 1,850 pounds/foot, including dual torque ratings for special applications.

Custom Fiberglass Fenders

Custom Fiberglass Products of Sulphur, LA, showcased their CFP Double Hump Fender designed for working trucks. It works easily with the same brackets as the “Original” fender and is durable enough to hold up without the center bracket.

The Smart Grip

Walter Smart displayed his innovative “Smart Grip,” which he designed to relieve the ache that plagues truck drivers' hands due to frequent gear shifting. See the Smart Grip online at

L&S Pressure Pro

L&S Safety Solutions, manufacturers of Pressure Pro, described the simplicity and advantage of their tire pressure monitor, which alerts fleet maintenance of problems via satellite monitoring. The sensor automatically calculates and establishes three trigger pressures for optimum mileage and wear.

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