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Volvo’s ’07 engines
Volvo Trucks North America has lifted the veil on its 2007 D11, D13 and D16 heavy-duty diesel engines. Like other manufacturers, Volvo will continue to rely on exhaust gas recirculation and employ a diesel particulate filter to meet new stringent emissions standards. The company will offer the diesel particulate filter – which features a catalyst and a particulate filter – in two configurations, including a Compact DPF that will mount under the cab on the right side of the truck. Exhaust will move through the DPF’s catalyst, which is made of ceramic and coated with precious metals, transforming into harmless gas. Other pollutants will be trapped in the particulate filter.

In normal over-the-road operations, the DPF will do its job in a passive regeneration mode, relying on hot exhaust gases to help the catalyzing process. In some applications, the engine will squirt a small amount of diesel into the DPF to improve the process. The emission systems will add between 120 to 150 pounds over a traditional muffler, which the DPF replaces. Ash will have to be cleaned from the filter at a scheduled PM, but Volvo says that PM event will take place well beyond the 150,000-mile government-required interval.

Volvo also made other announcements particular to each engine:

  • The D11 will be available in the Volvo VM and VNL models, with 325 to 405 hp.
  • The D13, which is replacing Volvo’s D12 model, will be available in the VNM and VNL tractors, as well as the Volvo VHD vocational truck and tractor. It will feature hp ranges from 335 to 485.
  • The D16 will be available with 450 to 600 hp, a drop of 25 horsepower from earlier models. The company says the engine still will be the most powerful torque and hp combination in its class.

Volvo Trucks North America

Reformulated extended life coolant
Chevron has reformulated its Extended Life Coolant under its Delo and Texaco coolant brands for heavy-duty diesel engines. The reformulated coolant – which will replace the old formula, with which it is compatible – offers a longer drain interval of 750,000 miles, versus 400,000 with prior versions; and with an additive package at 500,000 miles, the change interval can be extended to 1 million miles, the company says. The old formula could be extended to 600,000 miles from 400,000 with a similar additive package.

The new formula also features better corrosion protection for solder and cast aluminum, according to Chevron, and it also has lower electrical conductivity, a feature that also reduces corrosion. The ELC also performs well in both EGR and non-EGR applications, the company says, and maintenance is easy: Owners visually check coolant at every preventive maintenance interval, check freeze points at least twice a year and top off the cooling system with more coolant.

Heavy-duty starter
Denso’s new five-kilowatt starter, the R5.0, is lighter and smaller than other starters on the market but still offers enough torque to do the job, the company says. The new model maximizes starting power and improves cold starting, while the slow rotating engagement improves the durability of pinion and ring gear, according to Denso. The starter, which the company says is easier to install, weighs about 23 pounds and features either a 10-tooth or 12-tooth configuration.

Cummins ready for ’07
Cummins said its heavy-duty and mid-range diesel engines are ready to meet stricter 2007 emissions standards and that its ISX and ISM Class 8 engines with ’07 emissions configuration will be in limited production by the fourth quarter of 2006. The engines will continue to rely on the company’s core exhaust gas recirculation technology introduced in its 2002 engine models. But to meet the emissions standard, which requires greater reductions of carbon and NOx, the company unveiled a diesel particulate filter and a new system that will help catch and filter crankcase emissions.

Manufactured by the company’s Fleetguard division, the Cummins Particulate Filter works with the engine to reduce emissions. As exhaust enters the particulate filter, it passes through a ceramic wall-flow filter coated in palladium and platinum, which traps exiting particulates. Those particulates are oxidized during a regeneration process and exit the tailpipe as less-harmful carbon dioxide and oxygen. The filter uses exhaust heat to create the regeneration step; typically this occurs as a truck is running down the highway in a passive mode and will not affect a vehicle’s operation, Cummins engineers said. In some cases, the engine will automatically pump small amounts of diesel fuel to assist oxidation. The company says drivers won’t notice when the trap is oxidizing particulates. The particulate filter will last the life of the engine, although some maintenance will be required to remove ash every 200,000 to 400,000 miles. Cummins will deploy a filter cleaning machine starting in 2007.

The company also is using the Fleetguard Enviroguard coalescing filter to capture and filter crankcase emissions. The filter will need to be replaced every third or fourth oil change. The company also said fuel consumption would be comparable to current levels. The company has added an electric actuator to its Variable Geometry Turbocharger, the only other significant change to the ISX and ISM designs. Cummins said the actuator will provide faster response and improved precision in adjusting the airflow to the engine.

Composite trailer spring
ArvinMeritor’s Commercial Vehicle Systems business has announced the availability of its Meritor SimilAir Composite Trailer Spring for linehaul and general service applications. The Meritor SimilAir is a composite mechanical spring designed to deliver ride quality close to that of an air suspension, with much lower initial and life cycle costs. The composite spring assembly is more durable and provides a significant weight and cost savings, the company says: Suspensions equipped with the composite spring weigh as much as 240 pounds less than the lightest air suspensions, and more than 100 pounds less than other mechanical suspensions. According to Meritor, it also offers less maintenance than air suspensions, and is more corrosion-resistant than steel springs.

The company says that compared to air suspensions or steel mechanical suspensions, a Meritor SimilAir composite spring-equipped suspension offers other advantages, including:

  • No air springs, shock absorbers or leveling valves (vs. air);
  • Drive-home capability, which greatly reduces potential for costly roadside maintenance;
  • Mechanical suspension performance at the dock (i.e. no dock walk); and
  • Significantly reduced unwanted vibration and noise compared to steel springs.


Multi-temperature hybrid reefer unit
Carrier Transicold says its multi-temperature reefer engine unit will run on either diesel power or electric standby power. The hybrid Vector 1800MT offers other advantages, too, including lower maintenance costs, a thinner profile and reduced fuel consumption, the company says. When parked at a shipper or receiver location, the unit can be plugged into standby power, which reduces noise and emissions.

The reefer unit’s componentry is simpler than traditional mechanical reefer units, according to Carrier. The unit consists of:

  • A 2.2-liter direct injection diesel engine, which is Environmental Protection Agency-compliant;
  • An aircraft-quality 23-kilowatt power generator designed by Carrier’s sister company, Hamilton Sundstrand;
  • A sealed electric compressor designed to remove the need for shaft seal maintenance; and
  • Electric-resistance strips for heating and defrosting inside evaporators to provide tight temperature control.

The Vector 1800MT uses 19 pounds of refrigerant, down from 32 with Carrier’s other multi-temperature offerings; and it has only one belt, instead of four. Fewer components also help reduce noise, the company says, and because it heats electrically, compressor life also is extended since it is used only during cooling. The Vector 1800MT comes with built-in 460-volt plug-in capability, which is important in urban distribution, and in California where emissions regulations are strictest.

The unit can be specified with Carrier’s Advance microprocessor control, which allows for precision temperature control. Matched with Carrier single- and dual-discharge evaporators, the Vector 1800MT serves 11 different trailer configurations, the company says.
Carrier Transicold

Tire pressure monitoring system
Dana Corp. Commercial Vehicle Systems has launched a tire pressure monitoring system called the SmartWave TPMS designed for real-time monitoring. Using sensors mounted on the rims inside tires, SmartWave TPMS measures pressure and heat, and relays that data back to a frame-mounted wireless receiver that is connected to the truck’s electronic system via an industry-standard J1939 interface. Inside the cab, drivers are alerted to problems via either a simple warning lamp or a graphic interface.

The company says the system – designed to help improve fuel efficiency as well as tire life – compensates for temperature fluctuations that can directly impact pressure readings: This feature will be especially important as new 2007 exhaust treatment systems hit the road and increase the ambient temperature underneath trucks, according to Dana. The system also integrates with offboard systems: Maintenance personnel can download data from the system with either a handheld device or computer. The system keeps track of the last 256 events, but if a truck is at rest, the sensors must be activated by an electronics tool. The system is designed to integrate with other Dana tire inflation products, and its wireless module will allow integration with future products such as wheel end monitors, axle lube sensors and brake systems.

The SmartWave TPMS is being released as part of a new partnership with Canadian company SmarTire.
Dana Corp. Commercial Vehicle Systems

Single-axle slider
Hendrickson’s single-axle Vantraax slider is a tapered-beam, 23,000-pound capacity system designed for flexibility in axle spacing and enhanced load distribution, especially on single-axle trailers. Users can combine Vantraax single-axle systems for double the adjustability in tandem-axle trailers, allowing axle sets from widespread to closed spaced; or use it as a third axle with a tandem suspension system for increased carrying capacity. However, the HKANT 23K currently is not approved for multi-trailer applications. The single-axle model trims more than 200 pounds from comparable single-axle sliders on the market, Hendrickson says. Standard with the company’s Advanced Axle/Beam Technology (AXT), the single-axle slider teams tapered beams and a large-diameter axle (LDA) to increase the diameter of traditional axles to 53/4 inches, which the company says reduces weight while maintaining component and system strength.

According to Hendrickson, the single-axle Vantraax builds on its K-2 slider box technology and comes standard with high-strength, low-alloy main rails and K-braces for added durability. The tapered-beam design uses the company’s Tri-Functional III Bushing engineered with phosphate-coated inner metal for corrosion protection and a rubber compound for added durability and ride. Vantraax comes standard with Quik-Draw, Hendrickson’s pneumatic, pin-pull mechanism designed for simplified slider repositioning. For applications not requiring a sliding subframe, a “fixed-pin” option allows permanent setting of the rigid structure in a specific location under the trailer, eliminating the need for welding or bolting the box to the trailer frame. Standard components include the company’s Cam Tube System, which reduces S-cam maintenance; Quik-Align for added axle alignment; and an axle-spindle assembly that can help stretch fuel mileage and tire life.

Hazmat made easy
J.J. Keller & Associates Inc. has introduced “Hazmat Training Made Easier For All Employees,” a program designed to help companies conduct required general-awareness hazmat training, as well as address function-specific and safety training needs. A 25-minute closed-captioned video (DVD or VHS) anchors the program, introducing employees to basic hazmat concepts and procedures they need to know, including how to use the Hazmat Table, how to prepare shipping papers, package selection, loading/unloading requirements and proper marking, labeling and placarding. The program also includes a training packet that includes an employee workbook with topic information, exercises and quizzes; a “Hazmat Made Easier” handbook that provides a basic overview of key hazmat requirements; and reference charts for load and segregation, marking, labeling and placarding. The program also includes an instructor’s manual, CD-ROM with training tools, and other support materials to help trainers organize and conduct effective training; an awareness poster to reinforce key concepts; and wallet cards to document training participation and completion.
J.J. Keller & Associates Inc.

First-class fifth-wheel cylinder
Velvac says its line of direct-replacement OEM fifth-wheel cylinders feature a gold anodized cylinder tube for corrosion protection, plus a corrosion-resistant stainless-steel shaft. According to the company, the front and rear covers are made of cast aluminum for precision fit and durability, while a bushing and wiper seal in the front cover provide protection against contaminants, longer shaft life and smoother operation. Another plus, Velvac says, is the molded single-piece piston cup designed for smooth, long-lasting operation, even in extreme conditions. Technical specifications include 1/4-inch FPT ports, 5/8-inch diameter shaft, 17/32-inch diameter clevis hole and 100-psi recommended operating pressure.

Snappy precision switch
Cherry has updated its GP Series precision snap-action switch with UL current ratings of 20 amps at 125VAC and mechanical endurance of more than 1 million cycles. According to Cherry, the GP Series switch – suited for heavy-duty commercial and industrial applications – employs a beryllium copper spring and heavy-duty silver contacts to provide long-life switching at a wide variety of loads. Horsepower ratings are 1 hp at 125VAC and 2 hp at 250VAC; previous versions of the GP Series switch were UL-rated to 15 amps. The switch is housed in a phenolic case measuring about 1.9 inches long, 0.9 inch high and 0.7 inch wide. Cherry offers 13 different standard actuator styles, including nickel-plated steel levers, rollers and buttons. Brass screw terminals and copper alloy solder terminals are standard. According to the company, temperature rating is -20 Celsius to + 85, and initial contact resistance is .015 ohms max.
Cherry Corp.

Bulked-up reefer panels
U.S. Liner Co. has added Versitex Reefer to its product line of reinforced thermoplastic panels. Versitex has greater strength than traditional reinforced thermoplastic panels and features a newly designed multilayered glass matrix that is thin and lightweight, according to the company. Available in .065-inch and .085-inch thicknesses, the bidirectional panels also are designed to provide consistent mechanical adhesion to the foam insulation, creating a stronger bond than traditional products.

See behind roll-off hoists
Audiovox Specialized Applications, a manufacturer of products and technologies for mobile video applications, designed its Voyager Roll-Off Camera System for the waste industry to provide increased visibility and eliminate blind spots for trucks equipped with roll-off hoists. The system includes a Voyager AOM703 7-inch heavy-duty LCD color monitor that is sealed in a weather-resistant housing. Additional features of the monitor, according to ASA, include a 16:9 widescreen format display, three camera inputs with 12V triggers, NTSC/PAL compatibility, backlit color/contrast brightness controls for nighttime use, a built-in speaker and flexible mounting options for headliner or dash. The camera – packaged in a powder-coated steel, low-profile housing – is engineered for heavy-duty applications whenever extreme durability is required and limited space is an issue. The housing can be mounted from the top, bottom or side, and is designed to blend into the body or chassis design. The camera, available in color or black and white, is designed to provide a wide 130-degree panoramic view.
Audiovox Specialized Applications

Smarter tire balancer
Bee Line, a manufacturer of truck wheel alignment and frame correction systems, has introduced the Smart Balancer, which the company describes as a user-friendly replacement for the 3088 Strobe Balancer Unit. Features of the new device include a vibration sensor and touchscreen designed to walk users through step-by-step instructions shown on the interactive display. The Smart Balancer is used in conjunction with a 2600 Bee Line Wheel Spinner or any existing heavy-duty wheel spinner designed for heavy-duty, light-duty and cement trucks.
Bee Line Co.

User-friendly oil/fuel filter
Fleetguard, a business unit of Cummins, has introduced a spin-on, fiber-reinforced-polymer oil/fuel filter for on-highway, off-highway and marine diesel-engine applications ranging up to 10 liters. The corrosion-proof, dent-resistant housing has a ribbed surface designed for easy installation, and a flat bottom for easy fluid pre-fill. It also includes a built-in, one-way socket engineered for easy removal with a 1/2-inch-drive ratchet, but ensures that the ratchet cannot be used to overtighten the filter during installation. And since the spin-on threads are polymer, there’s no risk of damaging an engine’s filter “spud” due to cross-threading, the company says. Fleetguard says the recyclable filter will combine several previously existing filters into a single part number, and will carry no price premium over those filters.

Big diesel exhaust tip
ANSA Automotive describes its Silverline 6-inch diesel exhaust truck tip as the largest on the market. The slash-cut rolled-edge tip measures 18 inches overall and is designed to complement a 4-inch exhaust system; it also can be customized to fit a 5-inch system.
ANSA Automotive

Borescope brightens things up
Tracer Products’ TP-9350 COBRA is a multi-purpose borescope designed to enable technicians to inspect and leak-check hard-to-see components without expensive disassembly. The device can be used to evaluate A/C systems, fuel systems, radiators, internal engine and transmission parts, and much more. The cordless borescope features a flexible, yet rigid, 24-inch cable that maintains its position in tight areas, the company says. A clip-on inspection mirror can provide added capability to detect flaws normally hidden from view. Four AA alkaline batteries power two integrated solid-state LEDs (UV for fluorescent leak detection and detecting surface flaws, and bright white for component inspection).

Fluorescence-enhancing glasses for use with UV light and fluorescent leak detection dyes (dyes sold separately) also are included.
Tracer Products

Updated driver training
Thomson Learning Career and Professional Group has published the third edition of its Trucking: Tractor-Trailer Driver Handbook/Workbook, which it describes as a comprehensive, turnkey curriculum for tractor-trailer driver training. Thomson says the updated edition – written in cooperation with the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI) – delivers the technical content a driver needs to know and teaches the procedures that, with practice, will enable a student to become a skilled driver. Coverage focuses on attaining and preserving safe standards throughout all aspects of a professional driving career, from securing one’s loads to hazardous materials handling, with helpful guidelines for maintaining a healthy lifestyle on the road. Updated coverage includes hours-of-service information, rail crossing safety guidelines and current transportation security requirements. Driver tips are included in each chapter, along with “cautions” and “warnings” that help drivers anticipate and avoid common problems on the road. Thomson says the easy-to-read writing style keeps the learning environment light and balanced, while full-color photos and illustrations help demonstrate important concepts.
Thomson Delmar Learning

Miniature relay switches
Cole Hersee’s compact 25A MicroRelay Switches are designed to act as a remote switching device and accept a load of up to 25A at 12V DC. According to the company, the relays – which allow for smaller wiring (small currents) from switches to turn on or off a heavy-current circuit from a remote location – are suited for a variety of trucking applications, such as lamp control, horns, power windows, fuel pumps, fans and liftgates. Cole Hersee says the switches – offered in Form A (SPST) and Form C changeover (SPDT) – are weather-resistant and have contacts made from silver alloy that allow for a longer life.
Cole Hersee

Time, delay your idling
Idle Tech says its electronic idle timer/delay can be preset to engine manufacturers’ idler downtime. A turbocharger spins at 50-90k RPM and runs off of hot exhaust gases that can reach temperatures of 1,300-plus degrees Fahrenheit. According to the company, idling your vehicle for 3-5 minutes after use can prevent serious heat damage to your turbo’s heat-sensitive bearings and seals, and also can prevent “cooking” of engine oil, which can cause catastrophic turbo failure. Idle Tech’s remote timer module can be hidden from sight, while the set/cancel switch is designed to complement the dash. The device’s integral anti-theft circuitry is engineered to prevent the timer from being reset. Idle Tech says other benefits include proper engine shutdown and reductions in fuel consumption and paid time for drivers.
Idle Tech

Brighten up your trailer interior
R-O-M Corp. says its DuroLumen LED Interior Trailer Lighting System can be specified on new trailers and retrofits to existing light-fixture cutouts. The product, which was field-tested in food distribution installations, has several advantages over other interior lighting solutions, according to the company:

  • LEDs draw less amps, preventing drawn-down batteries;
  • LEDs last longer, up to 100,000 hours, reducing replacement-bulb cost and virtually eliminating maintenance;
  • LEDs illuminate immediately, requiring no heat strips or warm-up time.

R-O-M Corp.

Inflate tires anywhere
Parker’s latest addition to its line of Mobile TireSaver nitrogen inflation systems, model MTS12, is a portable unit designed for service truck applications and to offer fast inflation rates with no operator attention required. Generating 12 cfm, the model provides double the output flow of Parker’s MTS06 system; and utilizing the company’s membrane technology, the system is designed to hold up to harsh outdoor environments and constant vibration on the road. The system is suited for commercial tire dealers that have service trucks servicing fleets, as well as fleet operators with their own service trucks.

RFID labels can stand the heat
Schreiner Label Tech has developed radio frequency identification labels designed to withstand high temperatures. The base film, with copper antenna and embedded RFID chip – including electrical and mechanical contact wiring between the chip and antenna – is engineered to withstand temperatures of up to 390 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius). Additionally, the inlay shows no discoloration or change in size, assuring effective reading performance of the label, Schreiner says.
Schreiner Label Tech