The Canyonero has finally arrived!
Just when you thought they couldn't get any bigger or guzzle any more gas!
Can you name the truck with four wheel drive,
smells like a steak and seats thirty-five..
Well, it goes real slow with the hammer down,
It's the country-fried truck endorsed by a clown!
Canyonero! (Yah!) Canyonero!
[Krusty:] Hey Hey
The Federal Highway comission has ruled the
Canyonero unsafe for highway or city driving.
12 yards long, 2 lanes wide,
65 tons of American Pride!
Top of the line in utility sports,
Unexplained fires are a matter for the courts!
Canyonero! Canyonero! (Yah!)
She blinds everybody with her super high beams,
She's a squirrel crushing, deer smacking, driving machine!
Canyonero!-oh woah, Canyonero! (Yah!)
Drive Canyonero! Woah Canyonero! Woah!
International, the heavy-truck company, thinks buyers are pining for even bigger trucks than today's hefty sport-utility vehicles and full-size pickups, and this week it begins marketing the world's largest production pickup.
Called CXT, for commercial extreme truck, it dwarfs the beefy Hummer H2 sport-utility pickup and even could call the hulking H1 military version "junior."
The CXT is 2 feet taller, 4½ feet longer, twice as heavy and totes more than five times the cargo weight of H2. "You can put the Hummer in back and take it with you," quips Nick Matich, vice president at International Truck and Engine.
It's also about twice the price of H2, about the same as H1. It starts at $93,000, runs $105,000 typically equipped and tops out at $115,000 with DVD player, leather upholstery, tilting dump box and rear-view camera.
Matich is planning only a few dozen — perhaps 60 — this year, but could gear up International's factory at Garland, Texas, to build thousands if CXT becomes the next "in" ride among those who think a Hummer's just not enough.
"People who got all excited about Hummer could be ready to move on to the next big thing," says Dan Gorrell at auto consultant Strategic Vision. "If it's got some style, panache, then there's probably a small market out there for it. It never ceases to amaze me what people want in the 'big' department."
The truck began as a "what-if" concept last year. International dealers quickly asked for production and have bought the first couple of dozen as rolling ads for their truck dealerships. Now International plans to pitch the rigs to consumers, mainly people with businesses who want their vehicles to make a statement. And to folks who just want more.
"You think about the people who haul big horse trailers, big boats, all that sort of thing. They have big egos, and you can see where that goes," Matich says. "I'll have a camouflage version next year. Hunting and fishing lodges should snap that up."
Matich says two CXTs will be at the Emmy awards pre-party next weekend. He figures the outrageous truck is as much image-enhancer for International as for-profit product.
Development was relatively cheap because the expensive hardware already is in production, used for International dump trucks, snow plows, concrete mixers and the like. The pickup box is a modified Ford unit. CXT has a commercial-duty diesel engine good for six to 10 miles per gallon of fuel; air brakes like you'd find on a semitractor; an Allison automatic transmission for severe duty; and all-wheel drive is standard.
It even has air brakes like a semi.
Yet anyone with a regular driver's license will be allowed to get behind the wheel. That concerns some safety experts.
If the CXT weighed a couple of pounds more, drivers would need a commercial license - and the extra training and testing that go with it.
Safety experts say the truck is an example of why government should review the license requirements for large vehicles, which are growing in popularity.
National studies show that the accident risk increases when a driver changes from a smaller vehicle to a large truck or sport utility vehicle, particularly in the first few months of driving, said Fred Zwonechek, administrator of the Nebraska Office of Highway Safety.
Large SUVs, he said, are trickier to turn, back up and maneuver on the highway than a sedan.
Sara O'Rourke, driver's license administrator for the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles, agreed that licensing regulations need a review.
But to be effective, the changes would have to come at the federal level, she said. Licensing requirements are based on federal regulations.
O'Rourke said the review should include other large vehicles, such as certain large passenger vans, that are exempt from commercial licenses.
Officials with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which regulates commercial vehicles, could not be reached for comment.
Roy Wiley, spokesman for the Illinois company that makes the CXT, said potential buyers probably will have had previous experience driving big vehicles or will seek training.
He said, for example, that the truck is aimed at buyers who might own a construction company or a similar business where a big vehicle would be useful. Those drivers probably would know how to handle the truck's size, he said.
People who buy it for personal use will be smart enough to make sure they know how to maneuver the truck before they drive it, Wiley said.
"Buyers will be smart and savvy," he said. "They were certainly smart enough to make the money to afford (it)."
International Truck and Engine Corp., which manufactures school buses, dump trucks and other large commercial vehicles, plans initially to produce 50 to 100 CXTs, Wiley said.
Production could grow significantly if there is demand, he said.
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