Alabama’s automotive industry puts out some sleek, stylish cars and SUVs at its various assembly plants. One automotive assembly plant that opened its million-square-foot, $120 million plant in Birmingham just over a year ago heads in a little different direction.
Autocar recently announced it would start building the DC-64R, a new severe-duty truck designed specifically for refuse applications, starting later this summer.
The company, founded in 1897, built the first U.S. truck in 1899. Its newest model was developed with insight, data and guidance from waste haulers around the country, according to Autocar President James Johnston.
“We could not have engineered a truck this good without all their feedback that resulted in innumerable improvements,” Johnston says. “We’re grateful for their help and proud to bring to this market a truck that is honestly customer-built.”
Among its features, the 64R offers a completely new cab that maximizes productivity by putting all its controls within easy reach of any size driver. The cab structure is built from a combination of steel, judiciously chosen aluminum components, and corner castings to withstand years of refuse abuse.
It has a completely upgraded electrical system meant to resist the worst conditions the refuse industry can throw at it. Autocar also says it’s also the first truck to feature ultra-high-strength 160,000 PSI steel frame rails, 24 percent stronger and lighter than the rails on other trucks on the market, eliminating the need for frame liners in nearly all refuse applications.
On the tech side, the new model has one-touch diagnostics, telling the operator or technician of any fault that has occurred and showing how to fix it.
The 64R also will be the first of Autocar’s lines to sport the recently announced company bowtie logo, reborn on its 100th birthday. Autocar builds its trucks in Birmingham and Hagerstown, Indiana.