World of Concrete's products and services provided a wealth of material for this truck writer. From truck components and accessories to complete vehicles, I was like a kid in a candy store, learning your industry so I can share mine with you. Here are some highlights.

Sterling Trucks, the vocational specialists in the DaimlerChrysler Freight-liner Group, introduced their Set-Forward truck. Referring to the steer axle location, the Set-Forward has increased visibility, improved functionality, and easier serviceability.

It's available with 101- and 111-inch BBC (bumper to back of cab) lengths. The truck's new hoods improve all-important worksite visibility by 12%. The Set-Forward has Metton substrate composite hoods, more durable and lighter than fiberglass by 20 and 25 pounds, respectively. The hoods are designed for easier engine access, and headlights can be removed and replaced from the front without removing bezels.

Fuel capacity for mixers or pumpers is up to 120 gallons with the 111-inch BBC model. The set-forward configuration helps to meet bridge formula requirements.

International Truck and Engine accepted a J.D. Power award for vocational truck customer satisfaction. Then they introduced the WorkStar. Its high hood design is configured for 2007-and-beyond EPA-certified low-emission engines. They reject more heat than previous engines, and more space for more cooling is needed. The WorkStar has a larger radiator and more room for air circulation.

These new International trucks offer Hendrickson's Primaax heavy-duty air suspension, designed for the kind of severe duty that ready-mix trucks and concrete pumpers experience. The air suspension can stand up to all applications up to 100% off-highway. The Primaax allows 12.5 inches of diagonal articulation and 8-inch vertical travel while providing 10.5-inch ground clearance. Air suspensions offer greater driver comfort, adapting to road conditions and offering the same stable yet smooth ride, whether a mixer is loaded or empty.

Mack Trucks' TerraPro Cabover is optimized for severe applications like concrete pumping. While building on the popularity of the MR model, Terra-Pro offers a completely revised and improved interior, improved ergonomics, and V-MAC IV, the latest version of Mack's electronic Vehicle Management and Control system. Version IV adds road speed tamper detection, integrated starter protection, and DataMax software that captures vehicle trip histories, duty cycle information, and scheduled maintenance intervals.

The TerraPro comes with Mack's proven camelback suspension or with the optional M-Ride 6-road suspension allowing up to 17-inch articulation. The Bendix ABS-6 Advanced stability system is standard on the new TerraPro.

Standard power is the new, EPA '07-certified MP7 11-liter engine with up to 405 hp and torque to 1560 lb per ft. This summer, the 13-liter MP8 will offer up to 485 hp and 1700 lb per ft.

Roadranger, the marketing and service venture of Eaton and Dana, introduced traction-ready drive axles as standard equipment. Dana Spicer D170 tandem axles will be made ready for dealer-installed differential locks, if not ordered with the vehicle. This upgrade is planned for the third quarter this year. It applies to axles rated to 50,000 lbs.