Three for the road from Bridgestone

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Yellow Roadway Corp. has expanded its relationship with Michelin, which will supply more than half the tires and retreads for the carrier’s 450,000 wheel positions.

International Truck and Engine Corp. has partnered with the Environmental Protection Agency to evaluate EPA’s clean diesel combustion in-cylinder, emissions-reduction technology.

National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) established National Automotive Service Professional’s Day, June 12, to honor automotive, truck and collision technicians and support professionals.

ArvinMeritor’s Commercial Vehicle Systems announced plans to collaborate with Gillig Corporation, a North American transit bus manufacturer, on new emission-control technologies for transit buses.

Hendrickson Auxiliary Axle Systems has extended its warranty coverage on major structural components to five years. Visit www.hendrickson-intl.com for more information.

The Goodyear Steer Tire Challenge guarantees the verifiable average removal miles of its G395 LHS on International 8000 and 9000i Series tractors will exceed the competition’s average removal miles, or Goodyear will retread the G395 LHS casing at no charge.

EQUIPMENT PUZZLER
Last month, we asked why you shouldn’t indiscriminately switch your vehicles to a grease that’s different from what you’ve been using. At press time, we had not received a correct response, so we’ll let this one ride until the July issue. Keep those e-mails coming!

In the meantime, check out this month’s Puzzler. Send the first e-mail to prichards@ccjmagazine.com with the correct answer and collect a chrome CCJ pen and an Air Brake Book. The same offer goes if we use a Puzzler you suggest to us.

This month’s Puzzler:
What is an Ackerman angle? Extra points if you know when Ackerman lived and what line of work he was in.

THREE FOR THE ROAD FROM BRIDGESTONE
Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire is on a roll with three new Bridgestone-brand truck tires – one for each axle position. The new tires were just rolled out at this year’s “Bizcon” meeting in Chicago. According to the company, the new R287 steer radial, M726 EL drive radial and R195F free-rolling trailer radial were engineered for longer original tread life and lower cost per mile.

The R287 steer radial offers a combination of irregular wear-fighting innovations, such as the Bridgestone Side Groove and Equalizer Rib, which combat edge and wavy wear in the shoulder and main ribs, while the 16/32-in. tread depth makes for less “squirm.” With advances that include a stiffer tread compound and a molded-in, footprint-shaped tread for even road contact, the R287 should prove popular with fleets who typically remove steers because of irregular wear, long before they are worn out. It’s available now in size 225/75R22, and other sizes will hit the streets during the last quarter of this year.

The M726 EL drive tire is an enhancement of Bridgestone’s well-established M726. With a 32/32-in. deep tread, this extra-life version incorporates irregular wear-fighting technology and a tougher tread compound. Availability is the same as that of the R287.

The 11/32-in. tread-depth R195F trailer tire uses sidewall protector ribs to fight curb and scrub damage, thus enhancing retreadability, while the Equalizer Rib and Defense Groove promote even wear and long original tread life. All sizes are available now, and the R195F will replace the 195 trailer tire this summer.


MAKING SMART SENSE OF IT ALL
When remote-sensing alternators came along, they were recognized as a great improvement because they charged a vehicle’s batteries based on the actual need at the battery pack rather than on voltage at the alternator. But higher alternator output voltage is required to charge batteries as ambient temperatures drop and, until now, cozy, warm, engine-mounted alternators had no way of “knowing” the temperature of a heavy-duty vehicle’s outboard-mounted batteries.

Enter Smart Sense, a solid-state device that installs in the alternator and the remote-sensing lead, and adjusts alternator output based, not just on battery voltage, but battery temperature as well. The result is more efficient and complete battery charging under virtually all conditions, and fewer no-start conditions.

Smart Sense was developed by Purkey Fleet Electric and Vehicle Enhancement Systems, and is marketed through International Marketing Inc. (www.imiproducts.com).


GREEN LIGHT FOR GREEN STRIPE
FleetRunner – a new Gates Green Stripe engine belt – is designed with proprietary rubber compounds that greatly increase service life and resist belt failures due to the effects of prolonged engine heat.

A proprietary blend of EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer, if you must know) rubber allows the new belt to retain its flexibility on drives where extended high operating temperatures cause other belts to harden, crack and ultimately fail, says Gates. Fibers built into the belt improve stability and reduce belt turnover, while also lessening premature failures due to drive misalignment. The compounding also resists deterioration from ozone and water-based coolants.

To further increase service life, the new belt incorporates an underside notch pattern that provides flexibility and reduces bending stresses on drives with small diameter pulleys and short spans.

In field tests that included stop-and-go and highway running, Green Stripe belts lasted a minimum of twice as long as other belts on the most severe applications – 250,000 miles and more with only minimal signs of wear.


ROTELLA ON THE WEB
Shell has redesigned its Rotella website, www.rotella.com, to provide a more user-friendly format and several new features, including:

  • A new forum that allows visitors to discuss industry trends and topics;
  • A new polls and survey section;
  • Links to popular truck stops and travel centers, oil change facilities, and other popular industry-related websites and publications;
  • A new Truck of the Month contest, where visitors can submit photos of their vehicles for a chance to win prizes;
  • Question-and-answer feature.

Rotella.com also will provide customers with updates on Shell products, promotions, giveaways, and special events, including the 2004 Rotella SuperRigs contest, June 24-26 in Grand Island, Neb.


NEW VERSION OF MRO SOFTWARE
MRO Software, a provider of strategic asset management solutions, introduced Maximo Transportation 5.2, an enhanced asset management solution for the transportation industry.

This version includes modules for automated alerts, fleet asset information, campaigns, fuel management, industry codes, inventory enhancements, labor certification, meter history and adjustments, and warranty. Additionally, Maximo Transportation can be implemented with partner solutions for advanced planning and scheduling.

Maximo is a Web-based platform that provides a significant cost savings over older, capital-intensive, client-server systems. Its flexible architecture allows it to interface with other enterprise applications providing a comprehensive view of asset management, the company says.

MRO Software currently provides asset management solutions for 300 transportation customers, including more than 125 fleet customers, and 50 rail and transit customers.