Vocational trucks bow at World of Concrete

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Satellite radio companies Sirius and XM have entered into an agreement, under which they will be combined in a “merger of equals” with a combined value of about $13 billion.

The U.S. military has awarded Michelin Americas Truck Tires a 10-year, $1.7 billion contract to provide ground tires for every type of wheeled vehicle for all military branches worldwide. This contract is in addition to the recently awarded $700 million-plus contract for military aircraft tires.

Swedish truck maker AB Volvo has made a $1.07 billion offer to take over Japan’s Nissan Diesel, makers of UD Trucks in the United States.

International Truck’s new aerodynamic, Class 8 ProStar tractor is rolling off the assembly line as scheduled at the company’s Chatham, Ont., plant. Also, the company announced that it is estimating the cost of its CityStar Series (formerly known as the CF Series) to be $4,000 to 4,500 higher due to 2007 emissions requirements.

Kenworth Truck Co. will offer the Caterpillar C9 engine for its W900S and T800 vocational models. Also, the company introduced its Extended Day Cab option for the W900S.

Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake will launch a revamped all-makes line of replacement commercial medium-duty and select light-duty hydraulic brake parts under the Formula Blue brand next month. In other news, the company announced its 2007 schedule for foundation brake training schools. Visit this site.

ArvinMeritor has signed a definitive agreement to sell its Emissions Technologies business group to One Equity Partners of N.Y. Also, Meritor axles, brakes and air suspensions have become standard on all Trailmobile trailers.

Hendrickson has broken ground for a $24.3 million trailer suspension plant in Pulaski County, Ky. Expected to open this summer and bring 120 new jobs, the plant will be a 160,000-square-foot facility situated on 19 acres.

Cummins’ Heavy-Duty on-highway truck engines for 2007 will be covered by its Uptime Guarantee, which stipulates that, if a customer’s ISX or ISM engine or aftertreatment system fails and can’t be repaired within 24 hours, Cummins will pay for repairs and will provide up to three days of reimbursement for a rental vehicle.

Shell says its Rotella T with Triple Protection may be used by operators of 2007 and pre-2007 Caterpillar on- and off-highway vehicles, equipment and machinery that require ECF-1-a, ECF-2 or ECF-3 motor oils.

BorgWarner Turbo and Emissions Systems, North American Aftermarket, has introduced an S410G turbo for Cat 3406E 600 hp applications.

Carrier Transicold customers now have access to three Sensitech temperature data-logging devices that monitor the condition of perishable products in refrigerated transport. Carrier acquired Sensitech last year.

PacLease is offering a free guide to improving fuel economy, including tips on vehicle spec’ing, engine settings and gear ratios, maintenance, driver training, telematics, fuel programs and more. Visit this site.

Yokohama Tire Corp. has launched the 703ZL tire, which is part of the company’s Z.environment line, claimed to be more environmentally friendly by providing longer life and better fuel economy.

Penray has become a “Friend of the Technician” by sponsoring TMC’s Professional Technician Development Committee.

Sears Atlas Seats now are available as published options on International trucks.

SKF has received its third consecutive NAPA Supplier of the Year award.

PRP Industries has begun opening a national network of Certified Corsol Refurbishing Centers. Trudell Trailers, based in Green Bay, Wis., is the first, specializing in refurbishing used trailers, which includes the use of Corsol anti-corrosion protectant. Call 231-767-9799.

Mack’s new TerraPro cabover, introduced at the World of Concrete in Las Vegas, is an evolution of the company’s MR model and is designed for demanding refuse and construction applications, including concrete pumping, and enhanced driver comfort.

Features include a steering column positioned for ample belly room, ergonomic seats with integrated armrests, easy-to-read gauges and easy-to-reach switches, accelerator and brake pedals suspended above the cab floor and mounted in-line to reduce effort, cab lighting controls reachable from the ground, a map light and plenty of storage.

In addition, says Mack, the TerraPro offers a smooth, quiet ride thanks to the design of its engine mounts, cab bushings and rubber isolators, as well as its electronically controlled fan – all of which minimize noise and vibration.

Meanwhile, Sterling unveiled a new heavy-duty vocational truck suited for the construction and government markets. The Set-Forward Sterling features an updated look, improved functionality and increased visibility due to a new hood shape, plus it’s easier to maintain, says the company. It’s available in 101- and 111-inch BBCs. Notable features include ease of body fitting, and headlamps that can be serviced from the front of the vehicle without bezel removal.

’10 before its time
Cummins says its new 6.7L Turbo Diesel engine already is compliant with 2010 emissions standards. Intended for use in the Dodge Ram, it’s available in ratings of 350 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque when mated to a manual transmission, and 350 hp and 610 lb-ft of torque when coupled to an automatic.

Optimize, wirelessly
Networkcar has announced the availability of a free white paper, “Optimizing Fleet Maintenance with Wireless Vehicle Management.” Intended for managers of commercial fleets, the white paper explains how remotely monitoring engine diagnostics can facilitate preventive maintenance and reduce vehicle repair costs.

The white paper includes topics such as:
· Ways to reduce vehicle maintenance costs;
· Lowering vehicle downtime by reducing unauthorized use, monitoring trouble codes and scheduling maintenance;
· Improving maintenance accuracy with automatic odometer readings, automatic recall notices and online maintenance history; and
· Monitoring engine performance with the Networkfleet wireless vehicle management system.
The Networkfleet system collects and transmits data wirelessly from a vehicle’s ECM and from GPS. The location and diagnostic details of the vehicle are made available to fleet managers
through the Internet in the form of immediate e-mail alerts, summary e-mail reports and a Web-based software application.

A free copy of the white paper can be downloaded at this site.

Better KLAS
ConocoPhillips has announced several changes to its Kendall Lubricants Analysis System (KLAS) oil analysis program. Effective immediately, ConocoPhillips has aligned its software service provider, Polaris Laboratories, with its oil analysis testing laboratory; consolidated contact phone numbers into one comprehensive support line; and expanded training opportunities.

The new system is similar to the previous service, but it provides easier Web access for remote and multiple users, as well as additional management reporting options for distributors and their customers. Visit this site.

In January, we asked: What is the all-too-common result of overadjusting engine valves? Klaus Tymowczak – shop office manager for Wharton Contractors Equipment Corp., based in Pennsauken, N.J. – answered, simply, “Burnt valves.”

He’s absolutely right. When a valve is overadjusted and an engine heats up, valve and rocker metal expand, and can hold the valve slightly open, allowing a small amount of burning fuel to pass into either the intake or exhaust. This eventually abrades the valve in a pattern that usually starts as a furrow on the edge of the valve head, and progresses toward the center of the valve until it fails. It can happen quite quickly, especially if the valve guides are not true, and the valve is trying to close at an angle. The tip-off is backfiring, either through the intake or exhaust.

Klaus, our second two-time winner, will receive another 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: On many fuel-injected gasoline engines, to what does the (slang) term “whoop tube” refer? Hint: If it gets clogged, driveability issues arise.