PPG was the paint supplier Navistar recently chose to give “CatalIST”—its entry in the Department of Energy (DOE) SuperTruck program—its dazzling and colorful finish, complementing the cutting-edge technological features of the truck. The SuperTruck program, a federal initiative for developing cost-effective technologies to dramatically increase the freight efficiency of tomorrow’s Class 8 trucks, has produced a model that has already had an impact on the future of the trucking industry. CatalIST—named for serving as the catalyst for significant improvements in future commercial trucks, with -IST standing for International SuperTruck, the truck’s brand—exceeded DOE expectations on multiple fronts. The truck also impressed DOE personnel with its bold, advanced PPG paint job.



Navistar, Inc., parent company of International® Truck, turned to PPG and Gerber Collision and Glass of Grand Rapids, Mich., for the SuperTruck’s high-tech, forward-looking appearance. PPG training center manager Jamie Redd, Gerber fleet manager Fred Honoré II, painters Chris Mayernick and Chris “Storm Trooper” Moore, and body lead Jim Berens worked under a tight deadline to bring it all together. The truck’s topcoat scheme features DELFLEET® Evolution paint system orange tri-coat in FBC with F3921 clearcoat. The gray on the trailer—FBC with a flattened F3921 clear—was painted to match the flattened gray film on the skirts.

“This was a fantastic accomplishment with a quick, demanding turnaround,” said J.J. Wirth, commercial coatings brand manager for PPG. “There was a lot riding on CatalIST, and its finish had to be as exceptional and innovative as the technology driving it.”

CatalIST technological innovations included intelligent controls such as:
  • predictive cruise control;
  • high-efficiency engine combustion;
  • an aerodynamic wedge-shape cab design featuring carbon fiber panels;
  • a smaller LED headlamp system and sloped windshield for reduced drag;
  • a lighweight alloy and composite suspension;
  • 13 mpg and a freight efficiency improvement of 104% compared to a 2009 production vehicle

Navistar reports that a number of these innovations are now being implemented in production vehicles.

PPG offers a full range of advanced coating technologies products formulated for the commercial transportation and light industrial markets, including polyurethanes, alkyds, epoxies, polyurea, waterborne, pretreatment chemicals and powder coatings. PPG products are marketed under several brand names including Delfleet Evolution, DELFLEET ESSENTIAL®, Commercial Performance Coatings and AMERCOAT®.

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