International has launched its new HX Series vocational truck, giving it a more driver-centric design based on driver and fleet feedback.
The new HX Series represents the first product released under Navistar’s 4.0 strategy and its Project Compass initiative, which focuses on flexible, modular designs. As such, it borrows the LT cab, but with modifications to ruggedize it for severe service work.
A three-piece hood is crack-resistant and stronger than fiberglass, according to Mark Stasell, vice-president, vocational truck with Navistar. He gave trucking editors a virtual walkaround of the new model this week, just prior to an online public launch.
“The cab interior is the driver’s command center, so every inch needs to be attuned to their needs,” said Stasell. “Designed directly from driver feedback, the new HX Series is built to be the most driver-oriented vehicle in your fleet.”
More comfortable seats were chosen based on feedback from fleets and drivers and the cab is now larger, with bigger windows for improved visibility. The truck can be spec’d with International’s highest-end trim package, Diamond Elite, and with a new line of heated and ventilated seats. The cab is structurally reinforced for severe service applications, and is protected with ChemGuard and LineX against corrosion.
The front of the truck boasts a stylish mesh grille with bright surround, and marker lights are now LED, providing better nighttime visibility and longer life. A range of custom spec’s are available, including stainless steel visors, bright finish mirrors and additional stainless styling options. The HX comes with dual external air cleaners, providing better filtration on dusty job sites, Stasell explained. “It’s the only vocational truck to offer functional dual external air cleaners, retaining that classic look,” he said.
There are two models available: the set-forward axle HX520, and the set-back axle HX620, both with a 120-inch BBC and with a full range of sleeper sizes. The shorter BBC offerings have been discontinued.
Dual steering gears and an advanced anti-lock braking system contribute to improved turning, traction and control on job sites, Stasell noted. The standard engine offering is International’s A26 with up to 500 hp, but the Cummins X15 is also available in both models, providing up to 605 hp and 2,050 lb.-ft. of torque. Transmission offerings include a full line of Eaton Fuller manuals, Allison 4000 Series automatics, and the Eaton UltraShift automated manual.
The segment still sees healthy demand for manual transmissions, with about a 40% market penetration, with automatics (40%) and automated (20%) making up the rest.
To handle heavy loads and rough terrain, the HX is built with a 12.5”x0.5” single frame rail option. The frame is huck-bolted and crossmembers on the chassis minimize movement and wear.
In addition to a larger cab, International’s Diamond Logic electrical system was leveraged to allow auxiliary systems to be controlled from the dash, freeing up more interior cab space.
Bendix Wingman Fusion can be spec’d on the HX for the first time, offering collision mitigation, an increasingly important feature for vocational operators, according to Vasbinder. While the uptake of active safety systems still lags the on-highway segment, vocational truck operators are increasingly asking for it, he added.
The HX is also supported by International’s OnCommand Connection suite of real-time remote diagnostics.
International has brought the new truck to market in the midst of the global Covid-19 pandemic, forcing changes to how engineers and designers collaborate.
Despite the challenges, Conley said the program was completed on schedule. “I’m really proud of the team and the effort they put in to get there,” he added.
Navistar executives expect to gain share in the construction segment with the new HX Series and see a healthy vocational truck market in 2021. International is taking orders for the new HX Series now, with production set to begin in early 2021.