Hot on the trail

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ChevronTexaco Global Lubricants introduced a new formulation of its Chevron Delo Grease EP. The new grease is said to offer improved mechanical stability and water resistance. The upgrade is part of an effort to increase the extended-service capabilities of all Delo products and follows by a month a reformulation of Chevron Delo 400 multigrade heavy-duty motor oil, to meet the new CI-4 Plus specs.

Castrol Americas, a business unit of BP Lubricants Americas, announced that its Castrol Hypuron S 15W-40 and Castrol Tection Extra 15W-40 have met the new API CI-4 Plus specification since the beginning of 2004.

On-highway truck lube provider Speedco will begin selling Goodyear truck tires at its stores nationwide.

Freightliner Trucks now offers ConMet PreSet aluminum wheel hubs as standard on several heavy-duty vehicles and optional on other medium- and heavy-duty trucks.

Caterpillar donated $250,000 to a joint initiative with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to lower diesel emissions from more than 240 school buses across the country.

Koito Manufacturing, DENSO Corp., Toyota and Royal Philips Electronics have jointly developed a mercury-free high intensity-discharge (HID) headlamp system.

Thermo King has introduced its exchange X214 compressor for all applications for both the X214 and D214 compressors.

This summer, Freightliner invited CCJ to spend two days with the company’s summer testing program in Wyoming and Colorado. A full day’s ride on Interstates 80, 25 and 70 carried us from Little America, Wyo., west of Rock Springs into Frisco, Colo. A second day allowed us to be part of high-altitude testing on Loveland Pass over the Great Divide.

Freightliner’s summer test program does some things that can’t be done at factory facilities or even in typical field tests. Matt Markstaller, project engineer, described the program as the icing on a cake consisting of lab tests, customer input and field tests. The program uses eight to 10 trucks, spec’d with “all the critical things that have to be tested.” It then runs them along a route affording the highest speeds; the steepest, longest grades; and high-altitude operation.

“Nothing substitutes for getting out onto the road,” says Brent McKinney, supervisor for test engineering. “Our goal is to gain real-world experiences in varied operating conditions.”

A list of specific goals for the program included: comparing 2005 engine performance with that of previous engines; monitoring automated transmission performance; monitoring the effects of the engine on other vehicle components; confirming cooling system test results; and conducting HVAC performance tests. Many of those involved in the program are supplier representatives, allowing vendors to learn how their products perform and how to optimize that performance in Freightliner’s products.

Each of the Freightliners, Sterlings and Western Stars had been heavily wired with probes. Temperatures at dozens of strategic points were monitored, along with other parameters such as spring deflection, ambient temperature and grade.

At the end of each day, Freightliner’s engineers download the data from each truck. The information obtained, says Freightliner, provides a detailed perspective on just how to optimize every aspect of a truck’s design.
-John Baxter


Slow the revs, save some fuel
Dana Corp.’s Commercial Vehicle Systems has added a 2.53 ratio to its new S190 series of single drive axles. The company says that’s the fastest axle ratio for a single reduction drive axle produced for the North American market.

The super-tall ratio option, says Dana, was designed for new, low-emissions engines, which operate best at lower rpm, allowing them to maintain highway speed while maximizing fuel efficiency.


Grote knows how
Grote Industries has introduced the second volume in its “Know How” series of training guides. Know How C is a two-book, 104-page illustrated guide to installation and troubleshooting lighting and wiring in trucks, tractors and trailers. It’s geared for both distributor and fleet maintenance personnel, and designed to give participants a hands-on view of the basics of vehicle electrical systems, as well as the maintenance requirements for vehicle lighting and safety systems.

Topics include: the E.A.T. Principle (Environment, Abuse, Time); proper tool and equipment selection; understanding wiring and routing; troubleshooting lighting and circuit problems; battery system maintenance; and understanding the requirements of FMVSS 108.

An Internet course, shop posters and other ancillary products also are available. For more information, see your Grote distributor or visit this site.


Guiding Lite
Truck-Lite has released its 66-page, color Lighting User’s Guide for maintenance professionals. Small enough to fit in a tool chest or glove box, the 41/2-by-8-inch manual covers topics such as: the basics of electricity; why lights fail and how to prevent failures; federal regulations; advancements in lighting technology; Truck-Lite support tools; and a glossary of industry terms.

Also included is a mini CD that contains return on investment and evaluation software, training videos, electronic catalogs, new product information and cross-references.

To request a copy, call Truck-Lite at (800) 562-5012 or e-mail corporate@truck-lite.com.


Equipment Puzzler
Last month, we asked, “To determine a vehicle’s final drive ratio, you need to know how many revolutions per mile a tire of a given size makes. In the absence of a chart, how can you determine revolutions per mile?”

The answer is to divide 5,280 (feet in a mile) by the tire’s rolling circumference (loaded radius in feet times 2 pi or 6.28).

Rick Preston of Sentinel Transportation, Wilmington, Del., was the first to e-mail the correct answer to prichards@ccjmagazine.com. He’ll receive a chrome CCJ pen and Air Brake Book. And so can you, if you’re first to e-mail the right answer to this month’s Puzzler, or if you send in a Puzzler of your own and we print it.

This month’s Puzzler:
How many valve events occur per second in a 6-cylinder engine with a 4-valve head, turning at 1500 rpm? (Count each valve’s opening and closing as separate events.)


Ryan takes Pikes Peak… again
Mike Ryan and his Freightliner Century Class S/T Super Truck claimed victory for the seventh time in the big-rig division of the 82nd annual Pikes Peak International Hill Climb this summer.

Ryan’s race-modified Freightliner features a racing version of the Mercedes-Benz 501 V-6 twin-turbo engine that produces nearly 1,300 hp. In tests, the 8,000-pound truck topped out at speeds nearing 100 mph on the treacherous course.