Things are gooonnnnaaa channnggee around hera! Big news from the Caterpillar line of vocational trucks as it has been announced that their partnership with Navistar is drawing to an amicable end. Caterpillar has decided to bring manufacturing of the CT line of trucks in house. Production will move from an Navistar factory in Mexico to a Cat hydraulic excavator factory in Victoria, Texas. One of the original knocks against the Cat truck was that it was nothing more than a restyled International Paystar. It was a hard notion to shake with the original CT660 line of trucks rolling out of the same International facility as the Paystar while using the same style cabs and Maxxforce 13 liter engines. With production now returning to the US and complete Caterpillar design control a whole new round of questions have sprung up, namely will cab or styling changes originate to reflect a uniquely Caterpillar design. Short time span answer no. Long time span answer yes. In case you were wondering Cat officials have adamantly denied any return to on highway engine production for the United States. I assume that means Navistar will stay in the mix while leaving the door open for a Cummins engines perhaps? Related reading here at Commercial Carrier Journal. Check out DriveCat.com for complete details and video. Congratulations to the 200 soon to be new hires at the Victoria plant!
Speaking of the Cat CT680, I finally saw one in the wild yesterday morning at Good Year tire dealership in downtown Syracuse of all places. Not specializing in commercial tires I guess the delivery driver’s get home vehicle, a minivan, had some sort of tire problem. In person, this is a very big truck with dual stacks and breathers. I hope to see more of them on the road soon.
Remember when the CT660 was the new kid on the block? Well, they still are in this part of the world. Here is one pulling at the Broome County Fair this past weekend. This pull was one of the more tame of the day but that’s okay. Don’t break on Saturday what you run on Monday. Stay tuned for more intense action in the coming days.