Zapped!

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Dana Corp. and two affiliates have agreed to sell to Hendrickson USA, a subsidiary of The Boler Co., Dana’s worldwide trailer axle manufacturing business for about $38 million. Meanwhile, Hendrickson has announced the launch of Hendrickson Parts North America, a standalone division for the commercial vehicle parts aftermarket.

Kenworth is expanding its production plant in Chillicothe, Ohio, by nearly 30 percent. The company also announced that its Clean (auxiliary) Power System will be available as a factory option for the T660 72-inch AeroCab sleeper beginning in the second quarter of next year.

Bridgestone brand truck tires are now standard original equipment on Mack and Volvo trucks. Meanwhile, Volvo and Mack have opened a new parts distribution center in Jacksonville, Fla.

The National Biodiesel Board announced the launch of 866-BIODIESEL, a toll-free line to help truckers locate fueling stations where biodiesel is sold.

GM has extended its warranty mileage limit to 100,000 miles for its light-duty commercial vehicles.

Heil Environmental has sold its truck equipment businesses, the Heil Truck Equipment Group and Heil South distributorship, to Truck Bodies and Equipment International, to concentrate on its core refuse business.

SelecTrucks offers a 36-month/300,000-mile OEM-backed warranty for used Class 8 trucks.

ConocoPhillips announced that its new synthetic blend diesel engine oils, Kendall Super-D XA (Exhaust Advantage) and Guardol ECT (Emissions Compatible Technology), meet API CJ-4 specs for use in ’07 diesels. The company also introduced its Kendall SHP and Triton Synthetic Transoil 50 manual transmission lubes, which are formulated to meet the new Eaton Roadranger PS-164 Rev 7 specification.

Freightliner Customer Support recently launched several enhancements to this site. Upgrades include product information, specifications, part numbers and cross-reference guides – and now a dealer locator that provides contact information, services offered, hours of operation and directions to more than 800 dealer locations in the United States and Canada. Visitors also can view parts and service specials at each dealer location.

Meritor Wabco Vehicle Control Systems has released Toolbox Software Version 7.01, offering enhanced diagnostic capabilities for its electronic products.

If you’re into light, city pickup and delivery, it might be worth considering.

ZAP (Zero Air Pollution) Co. is rolling out a new all-electric vehicle designed to address the need for gas-free alternatives to multipurpose city driving, from industrial fleets to commuting.

The Xebra PK shown seats two with a multipurpose platform behind the passenger compartment that can serve as a hauler, dump truck or flatbed.

“This vehicle is the result of more than 30 years of research in the electric-vehicle field,” says Gary Starr, a founder of ZAP. “Based on what we are hearing from consumers and ZAP dealers, we believe the potential for the Xebra PK would be bigger than for a sedan version. It serves a multitude of functions, and we feel it is truly unique in the marketplace.”


25 years, 50,000,000 Haldex slack . . . er, brake adjusters
There was quite a party last month in Blue Springs, Mo., as Haldex celebrated the 25th anniversary of manufacturing and assembly at its facility there. The celebration, which included top company brass and the mayor of Blue Springs, also marked the production of Haldex’s 50 millionth automatic brake adjuster, worldwide.

While most people refer to these products as “automatic slack adjusters,” don’t ever do that around executive vice president Chuck Kleinhagen. “They don’t adjust slacks,” he’ll tell you in no uncertain terms. “That’s what suspenders are for. These adjust brakes.”


Fasten it right – or it won’t stay tight
Choose the wrong fastener for the application, and the best products can fall apart. So the folks at Spiralock offer these four fastener tips:

· Focus on retaining fastener tension, not torque. Bolt tension, which causes the bolt to stretch, is what actually keeps a joint together. Yet 90 percent of the torque applied to a bolted joint goes not into fastener tension, but into overcoming friction. That’s why torque is not a reliable measure of joint integrity.
· Treat fasteners with respect. While fasteners often are viewed as commodities, they’re more – especially in critical applications where failure could be costly or disastrous. The basics of strength, size, material and service requirements must be considered.
· Choose the right type of locking fastener for the job. Among the various types of fasteners and tooling, some offer specific advantages for certain applications. For instance, wire inserts can add strength or aid in repairing stripped threads in soft materials. And clinch nuts are good for adding grip length and thread engagement when used with thin materials.
· Consider lifetime cost, including assembly, warranty and liability. For example, some mechanical locking features, such as brackets, can prove costly and tedious to use on components with multiple bolts. If not fastened properly during maintenance or rebuilds, they can pose a quality assurance risk.


Kohler designs APU for trucking industry
Kohler Power Systems announced it will expand its generator product line to include an auxiliary power unit for the trucking industry. The new 5-kilowatt APU will be available later this year and will offer fleets, OEMs and owner-operators the only air-cooled product in the 5kW, side-rail mounted size, according to the company.


Equipment Puzzler
In August, we asked: Without dismantling an engine, how can you check for a distorted cylinder or liner?

There were no takers on this one, but the answer is to use compressed air to perform a leakdown test on the cylinder in question, measuring the elapsed time until the pressure drops to a given percentage of the initial pressure.

The trick here is to perform the test at several intervals over 180 degrees of crankshaft rotation. If the measurements vary substantially, there is distortion.

Why not take a crack at this month’s Puzzler? You’ll win an elegant CCJ pen and Air Brake Book if you’re the first to e-mail prichards@ccjmagazine.com with the correct answer, or if you send in a Puzzler of your own and we use it.

This month’s Puzzler:
What size fuse should be used to protect a circuit feeding a 240-watt device?


Volvo makes 24/7 wireless support standard for ’07
All Volvo trucks equipped with 2007 engines will be linked wirelessly with the truck maker’s round-the-clock service network, the company announced last month. Volvo is making its Volvo Link Sentry two-way satellite communications system and Volvo Action Service (VAS) 24/7 roadside assistance service standard on Volvo trucks with the new engines. The new trucks will have three years of Sentry and VAS coverage standard. Customers can purchase the services after that period, as can second owners of the vehicles.

“This system combines early warning of potential trouble with technical counsel and a round-the-clock customer support system,” said Scott Kress, Volvo’s senior vice president of sales and marketing. “It has the added benefit of giving us a real-time status report on how our new engines are performing. It also gives drivers the reassurance to know that help is only a phone call – or satellite message – away, regardless of where they are or what time it is.”

Volvo Link Sentry is a special feature of a broader, proprietary fleet management program called Volvo Link, which eventually is expected to offer fleets a full menu of transportation management solutions like vehicle locating and dispatch. Volvo Link Sentry allows remote monitoring of driver and truck efficiency by transmitting information from the truck to Volvo technical personnel while the truck is in operation. The system reads fault codes involving the truck or engine electronic control units and transmits the information to Volvo’s VAS. In most cases, the driver will notice the fault code first and contact VAS, but Sentry also allows VAS to take action first, if the situation requires it.

Volvo Link hardware is integrated into trucks during assembly and uses a network of 30 low-Earth orbit satellites. Drivers send and receive messages using the display in the truck’s gauge cluster. Messages transmitted from trucks are received by ground stations and are sent to Volvo customer support or fleet terminals via the Internet.