ArvinMeritor has big reman plans

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Volvo Trucks North America has partnered with the Environmental Protection Agency to develop a package of vehicle components for the Volvo VN to deliver high fuel efficiency and low emissions, as part of EPA’s new SmartWay tractor program. Trucks ordered with this set of components are eligible to receive EPA’s SmartWay designation.

Freightliner announced that two of its 2008 models, the Columbia and Century Class S/T, have been selected by EPA as fuel-saving vehicles, worthy of its SmartWay designation.

Kenworth received the 2007 Industry Innovation Award for alternative-fuel trucks at the Alternative Fuels & Vehicle National Conference.

The new Holland aluminum fifth wheel, the company says, is designed for standard duty applications and forged from the same aluminum alloy as Alcoa’s aluminum truck wheels. It’s rated for 55,000 lbs. maximum vertical load and 150,000 lbs. maximum drawbar pull, and is backed by Holland’s five-year/500,000-mile warranty.

ConocoPhillips announced that its API CJ-4 diesel engine oils are compliant with the new Caterpillar Engine Crankcase Fluid (ECF) -2 and ECF-1-a specifications.

NHTSA has advised Panor Corp. that its design for a backup lamp – which incorporates 18 white LEDs on the outer perimeter of its combination stop-tail-turn lamp – is not prohibited by FMVSS 108.

Denso International America was presented the General Motors 2006 Supplier of the Year Award.

Gates is offering a course covering fundamental hydraulic applications, including thread identification, hose routing and installation, and cleanliness standards. Primary truck hose applications include power steering, transmission oil cooler, turbocharger, and fuel, oil and air brake lines.

ArvinMeritor announced at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky., a plan to enlarge its portfolio of OEM-specification remanufactured components for North American customers. The components – brake shoes, axle carriers, manual transmissions, wedge brake actuators, hydraulic brake cylinders, transfer cases and trailer axles – are remanufactured at the company’s Plainfield, Ind., plant.

ArvinMeritor also introduced its RideSentry trailer suspension with a new PinLoc slider locking mechanism that the company said reduces the potential for incidents by using an angled pin design and an air assist with a parking brake interlock to securely engage the slider pins before the trailer moves. Sergio Carvalho, vice president and general manager of North American Trailer Systems for ArvinMeritor, said the company’s new suspension is optimized to provide reliable performance for dry and refrigerated van trailers in capacities of 38,000 and 40,000 pounds.

The company also introduced a global hub reduction axle family of single and tandem rear axles for the on-/off-highway heavy haul and construction, refuse, logging, concrete and mining markets.


Kenworth launches battery-driven APU
Kenworth announced at MATS that the company’s Clean Power idling solution will be available as a factory-installed option on the T660 72-inch Aerocab tractor this June.

Anticipating the 2008 end of the California idling law’s sleeper-berth exemption and the notion that engine-driven auxiliary power units must be outfitted with diesel particulate filters, Kenworth engineers designed Clean Power as a deep-cycle battery-powered system with recharging capability. Chief Engineer Mike Dozier said that with only four hours of driving, the batteries would be fully charged and capable of powering auxiliary climate-control systems for 10 hours.

A fuel-fired heater provides heat in the fully integrated system, which also is capable of “hotel loads” of electricity, Dozier said. Kenworth has made strides in efficiency by using LEDs in place of typical lights and developing a special insulation package, he said.

“Customers with high idling time may receive as much as an 8 percent boost in fuel economy by not idling, thanks to Kenworth Clean Power,” said Dozier. “LED lighting has a very low power draw and uses an estimated 35 percent less energy than traditional lighting. The insulation package provides nearly a 40 percent improvement in thermal performance compared to standard insulation packages.”

Kenworth General Manager Bob Christensen also outlined new medium-duty offerings for 2007, including new Class 6 and Class 7 models T270 and T370, and the cabover service model K260, which joins the K360 for inner-city applications. A diesel-electric hybrid version of the T270 would begin large-scale production in 2008, Christensen said.


Peterbilt details strategy for hybrids
Peterbilt Motors Co. announced at MATS its progress in developing a full range of vehicles equipped with advanced hybrid technologies that increase fuel efficiency, reduce emissions and improve service requirements. The company also introduced its proprietary anti-idling system and a new Driver Information Display, and said that its 2008 heavy-duty and medium-duty models, introduced a year ago at MATS, are in full production.

“Peterbilt is actively developing and testing four distinct hybrid technology vehicle applications,” said Peterbilt Chief Engineer Landon Sproull. The four vehicle platforms are a hybrid electric heavy-duty vehicle for long-haul; a hybrid electric medium-duty vehicle for pickup and delivery; a hybrid electric medium-duty vehicle for stationary PTO applications; and a hydraulic hybrid heavy-duty vehicle for vocational and stop-and-go applications. The heavy-duty hybrid electric Model 386, being developed with Eaton and Wal-Mart Stores, is expected to be commercially available in 2010.

Peterbilt’s idling alternative, the ComfortClass system, will be available as a factory-installed option by midyear. The new battery-based system provides heating, cooling and 110-volt electrical power for up to 10 hours without the need for the engine to run.

ComfortClass will be available for Class 8 vehicles equipped with a 70-inch Unibilt sleeper.
The improved Driver Information Display presents more operational information and is easier to use, the company said.


Michelin provides an Advantage
The Michelin Advantage Program introduced at MATS is billed as a way to help small fleets and owner-operators get greater tire value, better roadside service and helpful information.
The three advantages of the program include:

* The Michelin Cash Back Advantage, which is offered via the Michelin Advantage Visa Card through a Michelin alliance with Chase Bank USA, N.A. The Michelin Advantage Visa Card supplies 3 percent back on Michelin tire purchases, 1 percent on all other purchases including fuel, a low introductory average prime rate for up to six months, and a $20 statement credit after the first purchase. Other convenience items include itemized monthly statements to help track expenses, and an online account management feature that enables a participant to pay bills, check balances and download transactions into Quicken, QuickBooks and Microsoft Money. Free Visa benefits include travel accident insurance, collision damage waiver and emergency card replacement.

* The Michelin ONCall emergency roadside service program, which guarantees that a Michelin roadside service provider will arrive on site within two hours or Michelin pays the dispatch fee.

* Michelin Direct Information Advantage, which supplies access to the Michelin business-to-business portal (website), an online resource that provides information on tire maintenance software, fuel modeling, new Michelin products and services, and training videos.


EquipmentPuzzler
Back in March, we asked: On many fuel-injected gasoline engines, to what does the (slang) term “whoop tube” refer? Hint: If it gets clogged, driveability issues arise.

No one got it this time. The “whoop tube” refers to the vacuum hose from the intake manifold to the manifold absolute pressure (MAP) sensor. Its purpose is to let the sensor know when there’s a drop in manifold pressure due to throttle position, so the sensor can signal the ECM to fuel up the fire (hence, “whoop”). When the hose is clogged, the sensor doesn’t get the message, and the fuel mixture leans out, which can cause the engine to stumble or stall.

Hey, there’s always another chance to 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: With new attention to alternate fuels, here’s a question: What’s the difference between LP gas and propane?