Western Eagle

By: Steve Skinner


A big International Eagle 9900i less than a decade old and with less than a million kilometres on the clock makes a pretty handy farm truck.

 

Graeme Hathway has a 30,000-acre property at Kalannie, north-west of Perth, and 20,000 acres of that is turned over to growing grain.

That means a lot of grain to cart and Graeme has just the vehicle to do it: a 2005 International Eagle prime mover pulling three tipper trailers. The Eagle is rated to 131 tonnes so it does it easy.

Owning his own combination means Graeme has a vehicle on hand whenever he needs it: "You’re in charge of shifting the grain and the truck doesn’t go somewhere else," he says.

"We run trucks in conjunction with farming to cart grain, fertiliser occasionally, limesand, gypsum and stock. We usually run about 5000 merinos.

"There’s reasonably good money in carting sheep, but it’s a very small window."

Good buy

Graeme bought the Eagle mid last year for $120,000 when it had 750,000 kilometres on the clock, and has only added another 12,000 k’s.

"The truck goes quite well," he says with the classic farmer’s economy of words.

They don’t build these Eagles anymore but Graeme hasn’t had a problem with parts and service:  "So far so good," he says.

"It has pretty standard running gear so it’s not too bad."

Solid American driveline

That running gear includes a Caterpillar C-15 engine rated at 550 horsepower (400kW) with 2500Nm of torque, an 18-speed Eaton Roadranger manual box and Meritor rear axles.

These 9900i Eagles were the "hero" truck of the International range in Australia during the heyday of their production at Iveco’s Dandenong plant in Melbourne between 2004 and 2010.

The slogan for them was "Classic American styling - manufactured in Australia."

"The classic looks of the 9900i Eagle will prove popular in the prestigious line-haul and road-train market," says a press release trumpeting their release a decade ago.

The optional Pro-Sleeper cab is huge, at 51 inches, with a 37 inch mattress. There is an Isri seat with integrated seat-belt.

Caterpillar, Cummins and Detroit

The demise of the 9900i roughly coincided with Caterpillar’s withdrawal from supplying on-highway engines to other manufacturer’s trucks.

Nevertheless there had been the choice of a Cummins Signature power plant.

The smaller 9200i shared the same cab but differences included the choice of Cummins ISX or Detroit Series 60 donks.

International Eagle history

The International Eagle 9200i and 9900i were descendants of the legendary International S-Line and Transtar variants from the 1980s.

Prior to the Eagles, about 60 of the 9000i Series of American-built Internationals were sold in Australia.

In what must have been a major commitment at the time, the 9900i Eagle and 9200i Eagle were manufactured on a fully-integrated production line in the Iveco plant at Dandenong.

Compared to the American 9000i version, Australian engineers implemented "major changes", including  strengthening the cabin floor, modifying the steering, fitting new seats and re-designing the dashboard.

IN BRIEF

Truck: 2005 International Eagle 9900i

Kilometres: 762,000

Engine: Caterpillar C-15 (15 litre)

Outputs: Power 550hp (400KW);  Torque 2508 Nm

Transmission: 18-speed Eaton Roadranger

GCM: 131 tonnes; wheelbase 5.7 metres

 

See the May issue of Owner Driver for the full story, and don't forget to subscribe here.

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