Setting the standard

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Shell Lubricants has introduced Rotella T with Triple Protection technology, a new and improved formulation designed to meet the new API CJ-4 service category for heavy-duty diesel engine oils. Also, the company’s Rimula Super fully meets API CJ-4 requirements.

Freightliner has announced that it is closing its reconfigured day cab manufacturing operation in Tooele, Utah, citing increased demand for used sleeper cab trucks.

Kenworth will install the new Paccar PX-6 and PX-8 medium-duty engines in Kenworth’s conventional Class 6 and 7 vehicles in January 2007.

Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, Dayton Parts, Haldex and SKF are accepting applications for the 2006 Technician of the Year Award program, which recognizes a fleet technician who exemplifies the best qualities of the profession. Until Dec. 1, fleet managers may nominate a technician by visiting www.techoftheyear.com.

The new FleetNet America TMcare Program will provide management of scheduled commercial equipment maintenance, and scheduling and tracking of annual Federal Highway Administration inspections. Visit www.fleetnetamerica.com for more information.

Magna Electronics and Mobileye Vision Technologies have announced that they have partnered to develop a combined automatic high/low beam headlamp control and lane departure warning, integrated into a single-camera system.

Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire is a premier sponsor and the sole tire supplier of the inaugural Hybridfest, the nation’s largest event dedicated to hybrid-electric vehicles.

SKF introduced its online Heavy Duty VIN Decoder, a Web-based parts finder that helps fleets locate replacement belt tensioner parts by using a truck’s VIN or an OEM part number.

Dometic Environmental Corp. and Lombardini S.r.l. Italy have announced an agreement to integrate Dometic’s auxiliary air conditioning systems with Lombardini’s Ecowind Power 702 auxiliary power unit for the North American trucking market.

Chevron has introduced two new transmission fluids designed for the heavy-duty manual transmission market: Chevron Delo Synthetic Transmission Fluid SAE 50 and Texaco Syn-Star TL SAE 50. Also, Chevron’s Lubricants University (www.lubricantsuniversity.com) website offers two new courses, “Fundamentals of Industrial Gear Lubrication” and “Fundamentals of Heavy Duty Coolants.”

Titan Tire Corp. announced that it has acquired the off-road tire facility of Continental Tire North America in Bryan, Ohio.

Mitchell 1 announced that Schneider National has signed a contract to use Mitchell 1’s Tractor-Trailer.net, a Web-based service and repair information source.

ConocoPhillips announced that its Guardol ECT (Emissions Compatible Technology) and Super-D XA (Exhaust Advantage) synthetic blend diesel engine oils meet API CJ-4 requirements.
n Hendrickson announced the extension of the limited warranty on its Steertek truck and tractor steer axle to five years/750,000 miles.

Renewable Energy Group is partnering with leading suppliers and distributors in an agreement that will expand the availability of high-quality biodiesel nationwide.

Auxiliary Power Dynamics, manufacturers of the Willis APU, recently completed its move to a new facility in Sparks, Nev., which is five times bigger than its previous location.

The iQsafe program, a new initiative of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), is poised to offer annual commercial-vehicle inspections to fleet operators nationwide, at a nominal cost. The impetus, according to CVSA Executive Director Stephen Campbell, is the current lack of uniformity in inspection criteria, maintenance and performance standards.

The agency will work with maintenance vendors, manufacturers, dealerships, industry associations and other strategic partners to create a standardized inspection program that can be applied uniformly across the industry, establishing best practices for inspectors and inspection facilities.

To become iQsafe-certified, inspectors must pass a three-step program, involving training and testing, developed in cooperation with the Michigan Center for Truck Safety and the North American Transportation Management Institute.

While vehicle pass/fail criteria will have much in common with CVSA’s Out-of-Service criteria, iQsafe will be more stringent and comprehensive.

The lead program inspection vendor is Environmental Systems Products Holdings, which has performed safety and emissions inspections on more than 250 million vehicles over the last 30 years. ESP inspectors work in teams of three to check and recheck critical systems, such as brakes and wheel ends. After redundant checks, the team can pass or fail a vehicle, or simply advise the owner of work that needs to be done. They also collect data on customers’ vehicles to help them make better maintenance decisions, according to ESP’s Todd Silvestri, vice president of product development.

Due to the stringent nature of the inspections, “Customers may actually experience a higher failure rate initially,” Silvestri says. “But in the long run, they’ll have safer, better maintained vehicles.”


No more shifting for Meritor manuals
ArvinMeritor has decided to place greater emphasis on the sales and marketing of the FreedomLine automated manual transmission by ZF Friedrichshafen of Germany, and will discontinue manufacturing Meritor manual transmissions, effective January 2007. The Troy, Mich.-based company will honor all current manual transmission orders, as well as all orders received prior to September 2006, provided they are to be delivered no later than January 2007. All Meritor manual transmissions in service will continue to be supported in terms of parts and service.

In other news, the company has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with FrasLe to supply customers in Mexico with FrasLe-branded, aftermarket brake lining for heavy-duty trucks, trailers and buses.


Webb Wheel patents part numbers
In what may be an industry first, Webb Wheel Products, a U.S. brake drum manufacturer, has obtained U.S. federal trademark registrations for its part numbers. This step was taken by the company to stop the use of its numbers by other manufacturers that was causing confusion in the marketplace, and to make it easier to spot counterfeits.


Equipment Puzzler
In July, we asked: To preserve clutch life, what percent gradeability, or startability, is recommended for heavy-duty on-highway applications?

Quickest on the draw with his correct answer of 15 percent was John Nowak, fleet specifications administrator for The Davey Tree Expert Co., based in Kent, Ohio. He’ll receive an elegant CCJ pen and Air Brake Book, and you can, too, if you’re the first to send the correct answer to this month’s Puzzler to prichards@ccjmagazine.com, or if you send in a Puzzler of your own and we use it.

This month’s Puzzler: Early fleet testers of ’07 diesels have reported unusual levels of exhaust-system rust. Why is that?