My grand plan was to ride back to Florida and catch the last half of Daytona Bike Week, stop by the trailer for a few days to keep the landlord on his best behavior, then catch the Mid-America Truck Show in Louisville on the way back. Well, a meeting popped up and killed Bike Week, and after the meeting was over wensday night it rained all day thursday. Nice weather today, but I don’t care to ride 750 miles to jostle with kids climbing all over trucks whilst trying to cover an exhibition measured in acres during the 7 short hours they’re open on saturday. So I surfed the PR, and looks like I didn’t miss much… With one major exception.

Daimler Trucks AKA Freighliner/Western Star/Detroit Diesel littered the web with press releases, but what little they had was pretty much vaporware in the form of an automated mechanical tranny. No specs, and a picture so grainy I can’t even tell if it’s got one or two countershafts. It’s a twelve speed, which sounds suspiciously Euro. But with no specs, I’ve got no way to compare with Daimler’s Euro offerings and guess the new tranny’s parentage.

Navistar was cranking out the vaporware too, showing what looks to be photoshopping of a new low cabover, branded the “Loadstar”… Brings back bad memories. Again, no specs, other than that you’re stuck with an outlaw Navistar engine. And where will the stainless steel cab come from?

At least Volvo and their Mack sub had the good taste not to litter the world with PRs when the didn’t have much new. Then again, their products didn’t really need a whole lot of updating.

So it was left to Paccar (KW, Pete, and DAF to truly introduce something new- like a whole new conventional cab, only the 6th in the company’s near century long history. It’s an all new aluminum cab in both KW and Pete versions, and the fact that it’s width is given in meters and it looks pretty aero suggests that DAF won the transatlantic tussle for control of Paccar. The long hood KW and Pete fetishists will hate it, but Paccar is going to sell a whole lot of these… Unless they overprice it and have a bunch of quality control problems like they did with the T2000.

Oh well, maybe next year… And maybe next year they’ll be enough new in trucks to justify a ride to Louisville.