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kscarbel

The Preston Aero – How to make a Brigadier slice through the wind

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way ahead of it's time

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way ahead of it's time

Dead on. Think of all the trucks you see on the road today with super singles and those hub caps.

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And I thought a T600 was ugly.

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Can't believe they've been gone that long already...They had some 2 strokes up to the end I used to enjoy hearing!

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I saw that thing crossing the Delaware Memorial Bridge once years ago,always wondered what it was! only thing I recognized was the 9500 series/Brigadier cab so I assumed it was GMC based as Preston was using a lot of Brigadiers at the time.....................................Mark

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I'm still trying to wrap my head around shoe horning a 3406 CAT into that dang thing. (even with the longer hood) I always thought a 3208 CAT looked tight enough. Neat story. Thanks.

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Great Coastal ran 250 horsepower Caterpillar 3406B-powered Freightliner FLTs governed at 1600 rpm that delivered superior fuel economy.

Absolutely super people across the board at Great Coastal. It was troubling to see the company purchased by Heartland Express in 2002.

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Ive been a fan of the GMC Brigadier since I was a kid . , my family has owned them ... & I've owned my share w/ Cummins & Detroit in them & made a decent living w/ them also .

always liked the looks of the Jimmy Brig till I seen these pics .

I Seen these pics somewhere before & I thought it was ugly then . then again I thought the same of the CH Mack & T600 KW Anteater . & they slow grew on me

im guessing this was a concept truck for Preston ? as these are the only pics of a Brigadier in an Aerodynamic style I've ever seen . & never seen 1 like it in person .

it was definitely way ahead of its time .

:mack1:

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I'm still trying to wrap my head around shoe horning a 3406 CAT into that dang thing. (even with the longer hood) I always thought a 3208 CAT looked tight enough. Neat story. Thanks.

I drove an 84 Brigadier with a NTC Cummins 290 under the dash, we had to re seal the valve covers and you did the back one from in the cab thru the hole the doghouse covered up, it was overfull of engine and I'm sure a 3406 was the same way.
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At the GM Heritage center lies proof that GMC pondered the production of an "Aero Brigadier".

GM Design proposed the first truly all-new GMC Brigadier, which would have debuted in 1988.

GM planned to use the then-new GMT 400 (C/K) light and medium truck cab.

However, once the decision was made to sell GM’s heavy truck unit to Volvo, GM focused on its GMT 530 medium duty program (Topkick/Kodiak) then under development by GM’s UK truck unit Bedford for introduction in late 1989.

Clearly, the Aero Brigadier influenced the GMC TopKick/Chevrolet Kodiak.

Note: 1987 was the last year of the GMC-badged Brigadier (the Series 60 was an option that year). Volvo GM Heavy Truck Corporation, the successor to Volvo White Truck Corporation. began operations in January 1988. For year 1988, the Brigadier was manufactured by GM but marketed by Volvo GM, and carried the WHITEGMC nameplate. In 1989, the Brigadier was replaced by the WG model.

Brigadiers were manufactured in Orrville, Ohio; Ogden, Utah (the former Autocar plant); and New River Valley, Virginia (the former White plant). Volvo GM developed and assembled several Brigadier engineering prototypes at their Greensboro, North Carolina headquarters, but nothing came of it.

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Preston truck wins national honors

The Star-Democrat (Easton, Maryland)  /  October 6, 1981

A specially-modified tractor from Preston Trucking, a company with local facilities, took top honors at the National Fuel Conservation Challenge competition in Peoria, Illinois, on September 22.

The contest, sponsored by Caterpillar’s Engine Division, capped a nationwide series of events in which the U.S.'s leading trucking companies participated.

The Preston tractor, aerodynamically modified exclusively by Preston employees at the company's headquarters in Preston, Maryland, easily won the challenge with a mileage per gallon figure of 7.63.

The closest challengers posted a reading of 6.91 miles per gallon.

The Preston fleet averages 5.7 miles per gallon.

While Preston officials give much credit to their maintenance people for the victory, they also said that road driver Norman Bennett's effort was of championship caliber.. ."our engineering expertise could have been squandered by an inefficient driving performance."

Company officials also pointed out that since the inception of a fuel conservation program, Preston' drivers have improved the company's over-all miles-per-gallon statistics by some 15 percent, resulting in a fuel savings of over 2.1 million gallons since May, 1979.

"Winning the Fuel Conservation Challenge," said company President Will Potter, "is a good example of what we're trying to do to improve productivity, fight inflation and keep our rates at a reasonable level for the public."

A company spokesman said the tractor's 3406 Caterpillar, 290-horsepower engine was equipped with a 200-degree thermostat specifically for the contest

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As I mentioned above, Great Coastal ran 250hp Caterpillar engines in their Freightliner COEs that were governed at 1600rpm. They were engineered to lug and deliver great MPG, which they did. So it's no surprise to me that Preston did well with their eco-spec 290hp engine.

Preston did not run Macks, but the company had the most wonderful group of people I've ever met.

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I know a few former Preston drivers, and none have anything bad to say about the company. Yellow Freight, however, illicits a different response. Preston employees never forgave Yellow Freight for what they did to that company.

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That orange dump is another set back axle prototype.  I don't think any Brig's were sold so equipped, even under the WhiteGMC name.  The Brigadier was replaced in 1990 by the White WG, probably not a move in the right direction......  

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47 minutes ago, RoadwayR said:

That orange dump is another set back axle prototype.  I don't think any Brig's were sold so equipped, even under the WhiteGMC name.  The Brigadier was replaced in 1990 by the White WG, probably not a move in the right direction......  

I despised the utterly cheap WG. I knew Overnite was on the way out when they began buying WGs.

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The Brigadier was an inexpensive truck, mainly because it had been in production a long time and many units had been sold.  Started off as the H/J series in 1966.  The WG was a cheap truck because Volvo cut a lot of corners on it.  Big difference.

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GMC Generals sold many dumps in the east.

 

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