Improving aerodynamics from the big box

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Bridgestone Americas will acquire Bandag for $1.05 billion in a cash merger. Tire retread manufacturer Bandag has a network of more than 900 franchised dealers and owns Tire Distribution Systems, which sells and services new tires. Bandag also owns a majority stake in truck service company Speedco.

The Holland Group and Otto Sauer Achsenfabrik of Germany announced that they have signed an agreement that will result in the merger of the two companies.

Meritor WABCO Vehicle Control Systems has entered into an agreement with International Truck and Engine to supply its new hydraulic power brake system as standard equipment on select models.

A new, free, eight-page guide from Cummins provides an overview of truck engine idling regulations on a state-by-state basis, as well as options for compliance. Download “Idle Talk: How the Regulations Affect You” at this site.

ConMet announced the introduction of an interactive PreSet hub training CD designed for service technicians. Visit this site.

Roadranger has published an updated, four-CD set that packages more than 1,000 product and service documents from Dana and Eaton.

SKF has opened a new SKF College in Elgin, Ill.

Eaton Corp. has been awarded several U.S. patents for its hybrid electric power system. The system will be commercially available through several OEMs this year.

Hendrickson Trailer Suspension Systems established a new business unit for pneumatic, mechanical and electronic controls, with products including the TireMaax automatic tire inflation system.

Lubrizol Corp. has set up a dedicated bulk storage and distribution facility in Houston for its cetane improver for diesel fuels, Lubrizol 8090.

Haldex announced the availability of its new Master Cross Reference CD (MCR-CD) with cross reference for more than 128,000 part numbers for OE and competitive air brake and suspension control products. Visit this site.

Shell Lubricants has announced that Speedco, the national quick lube and tire service for heavy-duty trucks, will be converting to Shell Rotella T motor oil.

Kenworth PremierCare Online, a free subscription-based Web service, is a user-friendly site loaded with customizable content. Visit this site.

Dana Corp. has produced its one-millionth E-series steer axle.

WABCO recently celebrated the production of the one-millionth air compressor at its production site in Charleston, S.C.

The Truck Manufacturers Association and truck makers Freightliner, International, Mack and Volvo recently showcased the fruit of two years of research into tractor and trailer aerodynamics, co-funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Freightliner worked on fine-tuning truck mirrors in its wind tunnel, while International worked primarily on tractor-trailer gap, trailer side treatments and rear treatments designed to minimize air wake. Mack also worked on tractor-trailer gap enclosures, side skirts and a boat tail at the trailer rear; and Volvo worked on improving airflow under the vehicle and reducing the interaction between the turbulence generated by the underside and that generated in the tractor-trailer gap.

“Implementation of the results of this research ultimately could save nearly 1 billion gallons of fuel annually,” says Robert Clarke, president of the Truck Manufacturers Association, which organized the project.
– John Baxter

DPFs not simple devices
During a recent visit to Cummins’ Emission Solutions facility near Madison, Wis., members of the press were shown what goes into manufacturing diesel particulate filters (DPFs). From forming coiled steel, adding a filter substrate and catalyst, to final assembly, the process is more complex than I would have guessed.

Cummins’ facility in Mineral Point, Wis., which employs nearly 350 people, began in 1947 as Nelson Muffler, a four-employee operation that worked out of a small space in a former county garage. Today’s facility – now about 72,000 square feet – was constructed in 1974 and expanded in 2006 to enable the production of DPFs.

The plant has manufactured more than 1.5 million medium- and heavy-duty diesel oxidation catalysts, and well over 10,000 medium- and heavy-duty DPFs.

In November, we asked what the acronym WABCO stands for. We had a lot of correct responses – Westinghouse Air Brake Company – but the first came from Ed Miraglia, teaching assistant for the Putnam Northern Westchester Board of Cooperative Education Services, based in Yorktown Heights, N.Y.

Ed gets 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, or if you send in a Puzzler of your own and we use it.

This month’s Puzzler: What is the all-too-common result of overadjusting engine valves?