Heavy Duty Trucking

SEP 2014

The Fleet Business Authority

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www.truckinginfo.com SEPTEMBER 2014 • HDT 53 For Schneider National, Rotary lifts mean less downtime, increased productivity and fewer injuries. Learn why one of the top names in commercial trucking trusts Rotary with the safety of its employees: rotarylift.com/MoreGain Circle 256 on Reader Action Card Getting in and out of the truck is a snap, once you get used to starting the climb with the left foot rather than the right. The door swings open a full 90 degrees. getting used to for drivers accus- tomed to conventional-style trucks. Driving impressions I love COE trucks so I might be biased, but this truck handles as well as a car. The steering is very positive, although in a tight turn it does feel a little odd at first to swing out ahead of the wheels. I'm not sure which rating of the PX-7 I drove, but the box was empty, so I can't truly evaluate the performance. As it was, it was pretty peppy. The 6-speed Allison tends to shift at fairly high rpm, but I could modulate that by not applying the throttle quite so aggressively. The driver display reminded me a couple of times that I was operating a little outside of the peak-efficiency range of the engine. Backing the truck was easy thanks to the big windows and the large mirrors, but I found the mirrors vi- brated a little at idle. But I'll trade a little vibration for visibility any day. Because you sit closer to the road compared to some conven- tional trucks, it's more like driving a pickup truck than a Class 7 truck — but that's part of the appeal. If you keep the registered gross weight down, drivers won't need a CDL, and that will broaden hiring options considerably. There's very little I'd change on Peterbilt's Model 220. The mirror mounts could be beefed up a little, but if they make them too strong, they might not "breakaway" the way they are supposed to if they hit something. And chances are they'll be hit several times over their lives working in close quarters. That's a trade-off I can live with. n

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