Painting, occasionally

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Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake has begun production of air disc brakes for the commercial vehicle market at its Frankfort, Ky., facility.

Mitchell 1 announced the availability of its Web-based, heavy-duty vehicle service and repair information database,

Freightliner will donate a Columbia cab-cutaway to be featured in “Networking a Nation: Star Route Service,” a new exhibit in the Smithsonian National Postal Museum’s transportation gallery.

ArvinMeritor has signed a long-term agreement with Liteflex to be the exclusive distributor of Liteflex composite springs for truck, trailer and specialty vehicle applications. In other news, Meritor axles and brakes are to be specified on new, hybrid transit buses built by Gillig Corp.

Michelin North America will invest $80 million in its Waterville, Nova Scotia plant for production of its X One, wide, single truck tire. The expansion will double X One production capacity.

Caterpillar announced the formation of Cat Environmental Technologies, which will develop and manufacture all aftertreatment products for Cat engines in-house.

Jacobs Vehicle Systems has been selected to supply Jake Brakes for DaimlerChrysler’s next-generation Global Heavy Duty Engine Platform.

Cummins and Volvo Trucks North America have extended their agreement for the availability of Cummins’ ISX engine in Volvo VN and VT trucks.

Mack Road Stability Advantage by Bendix, an electronic stability system, is now available for mixer applications on Mack Granite trucks in the United States.

International Truck and Engine has named its new lightweight mixer package, as well as all of its 5000 Series trucks, “PayStar.”

Continental Tire North America is making a major capital investment – $60 to $70 million – to modernize its Mt. Vernon, Ill. plant.

Freight Wing has received a $250,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, allowing it to offer fleets 50 percent cost-share trials of its aerodynamic attachments for trailers.

RigMaster Power Corp. has opened a second manufacturing facility in Olathe, Kan., which will produce its RigMaster Power auxiliary power unit.

Brembo North America is supplying cast-iron, floating brake calipers as original equipment for Workhorse Custom Chassis’ W16/18 (motor home) and W42 (step van) chassis.

The SKF Group has been certified to health and safety management standard OHSAS 18001 by Det Norske Veritas.

Xantrex Technology announced that its new RM1012 AL Inverter/Charger is available for Volvo VN and Volvo VT 880 trucks.

One look inside my garage would prove that I’ve never given much thought to proper paint storage. I don’t do that much body work, and when I do, I invariably find myself scavenging for the right materials like a squirrel in a flower bed. And God only knows what condition they’re in when I find them.

I guess I should heed PPG Industries’ caution that improper paint storage, especially for prolonged periods, can have pronounced negative effects on a finished job. Fortunately, the company offers the following tips on correct paint stock management:

· First, after a delivery, fresh stock should be moved to the back of the stock shelves, and dated. Although a bit of a nuisance, it saves time in the long run, by ensuring that the stock is relatively fresh and easy to mix. You’ll get better color accuracy as a result of more thorough incorporation of tints.

· Another storage factor is temperature. High-solids, solvent-based products are more sensitive to lower temperatures than normal-solids products. Although they won’t freeze, they can rise dramatically in viscosity, resulting in increased mixing time, inaccurate dosing of tints, slower application and overloading – which can result in a complete job do-over.

· Even standing a can of clear or hardener on a cool workshop floor is enough to remove the heat from the product, since tin is a good conductor of heat (or cold). Maintaining the target temperature for the product will provide better flow and application speed and wetting out, which help achieve a superior final appearance.

A wall-mounted thermometer is ideal for this purpose, but if you don’t have one, at least check products with a probe-type thermometer prior to use. As always, be sure that the proper hardener and solvent are used for the temperature and the size of the repair.

A different kind of ferry ride
When British Columbia Ferries bought a used ferry, Clackamas, Ore.-based Emmert International got the job of hauling it from Lake Powell on the Utah-Arizona border, where the vessel has carried vehicles and passengers for the past 20 years. To facilitate the haul, the ferry was disassembled and the hull cut into four sections by another firm.

During two trips of some 1,900 miles through four states, Emmert transported two 110,000-pound hull sections at a time. Each section was strapped to a transport frame riding on six hydraulic dollies.

Emmert used two Kenworth T800s equipped with Caterpillar C15 475-hp engines with oversized radiators, driven through 18-speed transmissions and 4-speed auxiliary transmissions.

Got an extra $120,189?
Then this is the truck you want to show up in at your next tailgate party. It’s a Chevrolet Kodiak C4500, medium-duty pickup, upfitted by Monroe Truck Equipment (MTE). It features an exterior finish valued at $28,000, liberal use of stainless steel, premium appointments and a high-end entertainment system.

Recently shown at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the truck actually is – or was – for sale, with a portion of the sticker price going to the buyer’s designated charity. Call MTE at 888-878-8777 to see if it’s still available. As they say in the classifieds, “serious inquiries only.”

Top honors for Top Techs
Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, Dayton Parts, Haldex and SKF recently announced Darrell Gravley as the 2005 Technician of the Year award recipient. Gravley is a technician for Southeastern Freight Lines in Greensboro, N.C.

A 15-year employee of Southeastern, Gravley is an Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Master Truck Technician and a member of the Technology and Maintenance Council (TMC). He has participated in several certification and training programs, including Inspector Certification from the Federal Highway Administration. Gravely also finished among nationally recognized winners in TMC’s SuperTech 2005 competition.

Part of his prize package is a trip for two to Daytona for a NASCAR race, and the chance to serve as an honorary pit crew member for a Richard Childress Racing team. For more information, visit this site.

Meanwhile, Richard Childers, a technician with Cornhusker International Trucks of Council Bluffs, Iowa, has received the ASE Medium/Heavy Duty Electrical Technician of the Year award, sponsored by Remy Inc. and the National Institute for ASE. The award is presented annually to the technician with the highest score in ASE certification testing covering medium- and heavy-duty vehicle electrical system diagnosis.

Congrats, guys.

Equipment Puzzler
In January, we asked why it’s possible to use a flame to boil water in a paper cup, without burning the cup. Mike Madsen of American Water in Sioux City, Iowa was quick on the draw with his correct answer. Water, at sea level, can’t exist above 212 degrees F. And paper doesn’t burn until 451 F. So as long as water is in contact with the paper, the water will top out at its boiling point, but won’t allow the cup to reach its ignition point. And that’s the same principle involved in how antifreeze keeps engines from overheating.

Mike will receive a chrome CCJ pen and Air Brake Book. You can, too, if you’re the first to e-mail the correct answer to this month’s Puzzler to, or if you send in a Puzzler of your own and we use it.

This month’s Puzzler:
Name a specific application where reversed-threaded (lefty-tighty/righty-loosey) nuts or bolts are used, and explain why.

Got rusty brake shoes?
RustGard UV brake shoe coating from Carlisle Motion Control Industries and Altec Brake Systems is designed to solve the problem of rust-jacking and premature truck brake lining failure due to rusting brake shoes. Rust-jacking is caused by corrosive materials sprayed on highways to address slippery road conditions, typically magnesium
chloride, calcium chloride and road salt.

RustGard also can withstand temperatures up to 500 degrees F for six hours without affecting performance, according to the company. For more information,
go to this site.

What’s in a name? Ask Bijur Delimon International
The Bijur Lubrication Group has changed its name to Bijur Delimon International, a rebranding that “is intended to more accurately reflect the operations and capabilities of our dynamic, global business,” says Scott Batchelor, North America marketing manager for Morrisville, N.C.-based Bijur. Bijur and Delimon were included in the new name because they are the company’s largest brands on a global basis, Batchelor says.