Open house at Bosch

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Freightliner announced the availability of stand-up, right-hand drive as a factory-warranted option for Business Class M2 106 and 106V truck models.

Dometic Environmental has been selected to supply HVAC components for the Hitchhiker auxiliary power unit from Idle-Kleen.

The OEM Business Unit of Webb Wheel Products announced that its medium-duty hub and drum assemblies will be standard equipment for Kenworth T300 Class 6 trucks with air brakes, and for limited T300 Class 7 applications.

Cummins announced the availability of its Dodge Ram Turbo Diesel engine for the 2007 Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500. Also, the company recently celebrated the shipment of its 1.5-millionth Turbo Diesel.

Sloan Transportation Products recently surpassed the 11 million mark in gladhands manufactured.

Phillips Industries recently has acquired ISO 9001:2000 certification.

SuperFlow Technologies Group announced that it has acquired the assets of Schaffer Test Products.

Benson International Trailers celebrated the transition of its headquarters from Mineral Wells, W.Va., to Cadiz, Ky.

Roadranger.com now features faster page loading and simplified site searches with the recent migration to a new host platform.

Anthony Liftgates now includes a lifetime warranty on all bushings used in its Tuckunder series liftgates.

Carrier Transicold says it has introduced a new-generation ComfortPro APU by Teleflex, featuring a new refrigerant, a more powerful alternator and a service interval double that of the original.

The Webasto BlueHeat light-duty coolant heater is designed to provide in-cab heating and engine pre-heating without idling a vehicle’s engine.

Link It Software Corp.’s Web-based maintenance tracking software, EZ Maintenance Web (www.ezm-web.com), offers six account types designed to provide access to maintenance software for companies of any size or with any requirements.

This year, Robert Bosch Corp. is celebrating its first 100 years in the United States. The company entered the U.S. market in 1906 with its high-voltage spark plug and magneto ignition system.

To celebrate, Bosch recently hosted the automotive press at its Farmington Hills, Mich., research and development facility and nearby proving grounds, where we got to drive a variety of vehicles equipped with the company’s clean-diesel and electronic stability control systems. Here are some more highlights:

· The company introduced its Platinum Ir Fusion spark plug, which combines an iridium and platinum center electrode with the company’s surface air gap technology and yttrium-enhanced ground electrodes to deliver what it claims to be better-than-OE performance, a more durable and long-lasting center electrode, better heat dissipation and lower, more stable ignition voltage requirements.

· Bosch launched a new line of advanced gasoline fuel injectors for current and older domestic and import vehicles. The second-generation injectors, in widespread OE use since 1992, cover millions of current vehicles operating in the United States and can be installed in millions of older vehicles originally equipped with older-technology fuel injectors.

· The company announced that it has expanded its program of premium, replacement OE fuel pumps and modules. The program includes OE electric turbine pumps for both current and older vehicles equipped with either turbine or positive-displacement-type fuel pumps.

· Bosch has combined its resources with its Vetronix subsidiary, a provider
of automotive diagnostics, to develop a new program, Bosch Diagnostics, that it says meets the evolving diagnostic and service needs of independent automotive service professionals.

· Finally, the company is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its invention of the oxygen sensor.

In North America, the German-based Bosch Group manufactures and markets automotive OE and aftermarket products, industrial automation and mobile products, power tools and accessories, security technology, thermo-technology, packaging equipment and household appliances. Bosch employs 22,700 associates in more than 80 primary and 20 associated facilities throughout the region, with reported sales of $8.4 billion in 2005.


Super tech tops at TMC
Tyson W. Sontag of Gentry, Ark., earned his spot as the nation’s best professional truck technician after being named Grand Champion of TMCSuperTech2006 during the Technology & Maintenance Council’s 2006 Fall Meeting. Sontag, a technician with McKee Foods Transportation, earned the top overall score from 10 skill stations to become trucking’s top gun, as well as winning the top score in the steering/suspension and drivetrains competition. TMCSuperTech is the trucking industry’s leading national technician skills competition.

Sontag said preparation for competition included reading many TMC Recommended Practices and OEM manuals. But the third-generation truck mechanic said much of what he knows also came from his dad.

In addition to the trophy, Sontag received an all-expense-paid trip for two to the Daytona 500 in 2007, a tool chest from Snap-On valued at $10,000, a $3,000 gift certificate for tools from Mitchell-1, and a Nexiq Technologies USB-Link vehicle interface adapter.

Other Top 10 finishers:
· Second place: Bailey Johnson, McKee Foods Transportation
· Third place: John Amdor III, FedEx Express
· Fourth place: Dave Flanagan, Wal-Mart Transportation
· Fifth place: David Bryan Lewis, Wal-Mart Transportation
· Sixth place: Michael Bogard, Ryder System
· Seventh place: Richard Chaffin, FedEx Freight
· Eighth place: Christopher P. Tate, Mohawk Truck
· Ninth place: Troy Scott, Transco Lines
· Tenth place: Chad Fetta, FedEx Freight

In related news, TMC now is accepting nominations for its 2007 Maintenance Supervision Award. The award, presented annually, recognizes top front-line truck equipment maintenance supervisors or foremen of TMC/ATA member companies.

Nominees or those submitting for a nominee must write a short letter – 500 words or less – explaining why the nominee is an excellent truck maintenance supervisor and should be selected. Submissions may include optional supporting material, such as certification by the National Committee for Motor Fleet Supervisor Training or ASE, or other affiliations, awards, commendation letters and/or record of supervisory training courses.

The complete entry should be turned in to TMC by Jan. 5, 2007. Nominations and supporting materials should be sent to: Maintenance Supervision Excellence/TMC, 2200 Mill Road, Alexandria, VA 22314.


Stay safe when hammering away
A basic knowledge of a striking or struck tool’s design is helpful for using it properly and safely, according to the Hand Tools Institute (HTI), a trade association of North American manufacturers of hand tools.

The faces of striking and struck tools are designed to direct the force of a blow to the center or body of the tool, where it can be absorbed. Off-center blows send the shock along the sides of a tool, where there is insufficient backup material. Rather than cushioning the blow, the effect is shearing, which can be dangerous.

Struck tools for cutting have edges designed for maximum cut and durability by means of the angle and thickness of the cutting edge. Many failures and possible injury are caused by a dull cutting edge, because the tool no longer can function as it was intended.

Next to the common nail hammer, perhaps the most widely used type is the ball peen hammer, which has a rounded, slightly crowned striking face with beveled edges and a round, ball-shaped peen on the opposite end of the head. When used for striking, the hammer’s face should have a diameter at least 3/8 inches larger than the face of the target. Using it safely means always striking squarely with the hammer’s striking face parallel to the target.

According to HTI, the most important safety rule for all striking and struck tools is the use of safety goggles.


Equipment Puzzler
In September, we asked: Early fleet testers of 2007 diesels have report unusual levels of exhaust-system rust. Why is that?

While no one submitted the correct answer, the explanation is that, since ’07 engines emit no soot, there’s no protective coating inside exhaust plumbing to prevent rust.

But don’t let your puzzling skills get rusty. You can receive an elegant CCJ pen and Air Brake Book 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: You probably know that antilock systems and other brake components are supplied through a joint venture between ArvinMeritor and WABCO. But what does the acronym WABCO stand for?