More pressure, less splash

user-gravatar Headshot

Allison Transmission announced it has reached a long-term agreement with International Truck & Engine to make Allison the only fully automatic transmission offering in International medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.

Cummins announced that it is remanufacturing ISX engines on a new production line at its plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico.

Kenworth has introduced a Customer Loyalty Program offering a $2,000 rebate on qualifying truck purchases at Kenworth dealers in the United States and Canada. See dealer for details.

Alcoa Wheel Products announced that it is the standard supplier of forged aluminum truck wheels for Volvo Trucks North America, and that it has extended its contract as Mack’s primary supplier of those wheels.

Peterbilt’s new Preferred Card rewards customers with numerous discounts on parts and services. See your dealer or visit this site for details.

Utility Trailer has added the Bendix ASA-5 automatic slack adjuster as standard equipment on all its new trailer models.

Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems launched a new, improved version of its online product and technical literature center. Visit this site.

Sears Seating’s Atlas seats are a published option on Freightliner and Sterling trucks. is a 24-hour guide to tractor-trailer repair and parts facilities, with nationwide maps, for road service.

Denso Corp. and Robert Bosch GmbH have agreed to set up a 50-50 joint venture in eastern Europe to develop and manufacture diesel particulate filters.

Horton has introduced a new brochure for its line of VMaster Viscous products. Download it at this site, or order by calling 888-813-9926.

East is making LED lighting standard – at no extra cost – on all its aluminum trailers.

Aurora Trailer Holdings recently announced the move into its new St. Louis headquarters.

Timken announced the release of its Tech Series Automotive and Heavy-Duty Aftermarket Training and Resource CD (version 1.4). Concurrently, the company launched an online version of this resource; visit this site.

TruckWeight announced that its Smart Scale wireless scale for commercial vehicles is available as an installed option on trailers produced by MAC Trailers.

Together with Supreme Corp. and John Deere, Isuzu is offering a John Deere package with one of three Supreme landscape bodies to landscape professionals who purchase a new Isuzu N-Series gas or diesel truck. Visit this site.

PPG has announced its MVP program of process improvement training seminars and consulting services for collision centers. Call 800-970-2283 for more information.

In separate ventures with Honeywell and WABCO, Michelin North America is pursuing a second generation of its eTire tire pressure and asset monitoring system and is marketing a fully developed tire pressure monitoring system that has been available in Europe since 2003.

Michelin Americas Research and Development Corp. and Honeywell Sensing and Control jointly developed and are test-marketing the eTire II, which is based on a new sensor patch applied to the interior of the tire’s sidewall. The new patch is small, lightweight and doesn’t require a battery. The sensor in the current eTire system, known as eTireHD, uses a larger battery-powered sensor that has a tendency to shear from its housing when the truck is driven at high speed for extended periods.

Other elements of the eTire II system are a redesigned handheld reader that can interrogate the patch via radio frequency; a more robust drive-by reader that retrieves the sensor information automatically; and the BibTrack Internet-based tracking software that allows the fleet to monitor its tire assets from multiple terminals.

The new sensor patch contains two main components: an RFID module and a battery-free pressure/temperature sensor. It’s based on a new technology known as Surface Acoustic Wave.

Because the eTire II system depends on a local interrogation by either a drive-by or handheld reader, Michelin is aiming the system principally at urban and regional fleets where vehicles return to a central location every day or at least every couple of days.

For a long-haul tire pressure solution, Michelin teamed up with WABCO to introduce an existing system, the Integrated Vehicle Tire Pressure Monitoring System, or IVTM, to the North American trucking industry. It continuously monitors tire pressure and can warn of improper pressure and slow leaks.

Warnings are audible, and visual on in-cab display, which drivers can query as they wish to check tire pressure. The IVTM also can be integrated into onboard telematics so that the fleet operation can learn of problems on a real-time basis.

The system consists of external wheel-mounted modules that are connected to the tire valves with pneumatic hoses. The modules regularly measure and transmit tire inflation pressure data via radio frequency to an electronic control unit, which in turn transmits them to the dash display.

Trailers are individually equipped with their own IVTM ECU that transmits tire inflation data by RF to any IVTM-equipped tractor to which they are coupled. IVTM also can be connected directly to the vehicle’s Controller Area Network (CAN) data link and can integrate tire inflation and early warning information into a vehicle’s multifunctional dash display.

Michelin is marketing and handling the billing for IVTM for its customers; WABCO will ship the system, which can be installed by the fleet or a third-party installer.

Making a splash
On another front, Michelin introduced a new tire that significantly cuts the amount of splash that often coats the windshield of a passing or oncoming motorist.

The Michelin XZA2 Antisplash tire is intended to improve visibility and safety for motorists by reducing the trajectory height of a splash by more than 50 percent, compared to standard truck tires. This capability, achieved by a shoulder rib, also provides better rearview mirror visibility for truck drivers. Due to the additional rubber, the antisplash version of the XZA2 costs 3 percent more than the standard version.

The all-position radial tire is optimized for splash reduction in steer axle service. While it won’t reduce the spray, or mist, generated by all vehicles driving on wet surfaces, it will affect the concentrated splash that comes from the steer tires going through a puddle.
Avery Vise & Max Heine

May the MaxxForce be with you
International Truck and Engine Corp. has announced its lineup of MaxxForce International Diesel Power engines for 2008 model year trucks.

The engines include:
· MaxxForce 5, a V-6 that features an upgraded intake throttle, a larger EGR cooler and enhanced electronics. It will power Class 4-5 International CityStar commercial trucks with 200 horsepower and 440 lb.-ft. of torque;
· MaxxForce 7, International’s all-new V-8 turbo, which was designed for increased performance and responsiveness, fuel economy and quietness. The engine will power Class 5-7 International DuraStar series medium-duty trucks, IC brand buses, International brand commercial buses and two vehicles in the International XT Family. MaxxForce 7 offers ratings of 200-230 horsepower and 560-620 lb.-ft. of torque. A 300-plus horsepower rating of the MaxxForce 7 will be offered in fall 2007;
· MaxxForce DT, which is built on the DT 466 Inline 6-cylinder platform and reportedly will provide reliability, durability, optimal fuel economy, improved serviceability and lower cost of operation. The engine will power Class 6-8 DuraStar and WorkStar trucks with 210-300 horsepower and 520-860 lb.-ft. of torque;
· The inline-6 MaxxForce 9, which features a bigger EGR system, foam-molded wiring harnesses and closed-crankcase ventilation system. It will power Class 7-8 DuraStar and WorkStar trucks with 300-330 horsepower and 800-950 lb.-ft. of torque;
· MaxxForce 10, also an inline 6 that includes the same enhancements, and which will power Class 8 WorkStar and TranStar trucks with 310-350 horsepower and 1,050-1,150 lb.-ft. of torque;
· MaxxForce 11 and MaxxForce 13, which are International’s new big-bore diesel engines for the Class 8 market. These engines, to be built in cooperation with MAN of Germany, have a compacted-graphite iron cylinder block and reportedly will provide superior fuel economy and excellent power characteristics with low noise, vibration and harshness. The MaxxForce 11 will be offered in the TranStar, while the MaxxForce 13 will be available in the ProStar.

Production is slated for fall 2007. International engineers say their goals with these new engines were to provide clean air with improved performance, without sacrificing reliability or durability, while preserving fuel economy.

Lights on, but no one home?
Permalogic, a new way to manage power to interior trailer dome lamps, is available from Phillips Industries. The controller is claimed to eliminate any chance of accidentally leaving interior trailer dome lamps on by cutting power when the brake pedal is depressed, when there is a battery under-voltage situation, or at a pre-determined elapsed time.

Equipment Puzzler
In October, we asked what size fuse should be used to protect a circuit feeding a 240-watt device? Vince Gagliardi, shop foreman for Perdue Farms, was the first to correctly explain that watts divided by volts gives amps. Assuming a normal 12-volt vehicle system, a 20-amp fuse would be used to protect the circuit, nominally – maybe a 25-amp if the device has a higher startup draw, such as an electric motor.

Vince gets an elegant CCJ pen and Air Brake Book, and you can, too, if you’re the first to e-mail with the correct answer, or if you send in a Puzzler of your own and we use it.

This month’s Puzzler: What is the approximate unloaded radius of a 295/75R22.5 tire in inches?