Although I never saw myself as a truck girl, I never get tired of driving big trucks, small trucks, old trucks, new trucks, you name it—especially now that I get to write about them. However, I sometimes find myself disappointed after getting behind the wheel of a truck that just doesn’t deliver in terms of capability, efficiency, comfort, etc. Thankfully that wasn’t the case when I buckled into the International HX a few months ago, and now I finally get to share my experience with you.
International markets this truck to be “designed to outwork and outlast.” Therefore, the International HX Series is built for a multitude of hard-working applications including construction, crane, heavy haul, and concrete mixers. These heavy-duty applications call for a heavy-duty machine, and that begins with a capable engine and a sturdy transmission.
Owners have the choice between two different engines with the HX Series: the International A26 and the Cummins X15. The International A26 12.4-L gives users 370 to 500 hp and 1,350 to 1,750 lb-ft of torque. The A26 is also 600 to 700 lbs lighter than traditional 15-L engines, contributing to fuel efficiency and more flexibility when upfitting. The A26 also features a crankcase that is isolated from the oil pan using a specially designed rubber gasket that absorbs vibration for a quieter cabin experience.
The Cummins X15 Productivity Series and Efficiency Series offer 400 to 605 hp and 1,650 to 2,050 lb-ft of torque. Cummins recommends the X15 Performance Series for your tough jobs.
Pair one of those engines with an automatic Allison 4000 Series (RDS, EVS, or OFS), an automated manual Eaton UltraShift PLUS (10, 11, 13, or 18 speed) or a 10-speed Eaton Fuller Advantage, or a manual Eaton Fuller (10, 11, 13, 15, or 18 speed).
Driving the HX was no problem. Because I don’t have a CDL, I had to drive the HX on a closed track. There wasn’t any interference from passenger vehicles, pedestrians, or other big trucks, but that doesn’t mean there were no challenges. I drove the HX on the same test track that I drove the International CV reviewed in our December issue—the Navistar Proving Grounds located in New Carlisle, Indiana.
The tracks on the Navistar Proving Grounds are pretty brutal, I’m not going to lie. They’re bumpy, they can be tricky, and they feature a few steep hills to get a good feel of how well the truck’s brakes work. The Cummins X15 features a standard engine brake and the HX has available air disc brakes with an anti-lock braking system; this track is capable of proving them both very well. And yet with all of that going on, I didn’t feel like I was out to prove anything on these grounds in the HX. That’s because it features an optimized cab suspension that prevents a driver from feeling jolted and jarred on those rocky, remote jobsites.
As for the ease of maneuverability and how it actually felt behind the wheel of the HX Series, I was impressed. I was able to back up with no visibility issue, I was comfortable, and I couldn’t envision a scenario in this truck where I saw myself losing control.
Speaking of control, let’s break down the features of this truck that improve productivity. With a design to optimize maneuverability, the HX Series features a sloped hood, large windshield, and pedestal hood mirrors to keep as much as possible in the driver’s sight. To break it down even further, a graphic on International’s HX brochure shows a driver’s side visibility of 144 inches, forward and straight ahead visibility at 348 inches, forward and across the hood visibility at 382 inches, and a passenger side visibility of 381 inches in HX615 configuration. Impressive, no?
Sculpted fenders and standard wide-track front axles improve wheel clearance and wheel cut. The Series can achieve a wheel cut of up to 40 degrees for both left- and right-hand turns. This is in part due to a dual steering gear design and those wide-track front axles and also in part due to an HX configuration with a 232-inch wheelbase. These aspects allow the HX to achieve a 35.8-inch curb-to-curb turning radius.
All of this maneuverability and control is great, but it’s all for naught if you can’t get a driver in the seat due to a truck’s poor ergonomic design. That isn’t the case with the HX Series. The truck features a well-appointed cab that is specifically designed to enhance a driver’s experience in terms of endurance and productivity.
Go for the luxury feel with International’s Diamond level trim that features all the woodgrain, the HX logos, and the padded door panel inserts. But even if you’re not a fully loaded kind of customer, your drivers will still experience standard air conditioning, power locks and windows, overhead console for convenient access and secure storage, and more.
International has also carefully positioned all controls and gauges to more perfectly suit the driver. Trust me from experience driving the truck, your drivers won’t be disappointed.
The HX Series features a lineup of four trucks: HX515, HX520, HX615, and HX620. These trucks are built for specific applications, so be sure you know what you’re looking for before you decide to buy. The HX515 is a 114-inch BBC set-forward axle straight truck best suited for a concrete mixer, construction dump, refuse/roll-off, and crane. The HX520 is a 120-inch BBC set-forward axle truck or tractor best suited for heavy haul, construction dump, logging, and recovery. The HX615 is a 115-inch BBC set-back axle truck or tractor that is best suited for construction dump, concrete mixer, platform stake/crane, and refuse/roll-off. The HX620 is a 119-inch BBC set-back axle truck or tractor best suited for heavy haul, construction dump, and platform stake/crane.
International designed the HX to be your heavy-duty vocational go-to. With four different trucks to choose from with two different engines and several different transmissions, you’re sure to find an HX that suits your heavy-duty needs. These trucks are designed for your hard work to work hard for you, so you and your drivers can spend less time struggling and more time hustling.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jade Brasher is the editor of Modern WorkTruck Solutions magazine. A graduate of The University of Alabama, Jade resides in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and enjoys writing about her town, travel, and of course, work trucks. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find out more about the International HX Series, visit www.internationaltrucks.com.