Call for back-up!

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Peterbilt’s aerodynamic Models 387 and 386 have been recognized as fuel-efficient and environment-friendly by the Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay program.

Kenworth’s new aerodynamic T660 and T2000 have earned EPA’s SmartWay tag. Meanwhile, the company’s PremierCare Express Air Conditioning Service is available at participating dealers.

Eaton Corp. recently announced that the company’s Fuller UltraShift HV automated transmission has been named the preferred specification for all future North American medium-duty vehicle transactions at Idealease.

Chevron’s Lubricants University, an online training resource, announced
that it will offer its “Fundamentals of Lubrication” course in Spanish. For more information, visit

Volvo announced a highway safety campaign in Europe called “Safe & Sober.” The aim of the campaign is to increase understanding of the link between alcohol and traffic accidents. Volvo also is doing research on impaired driving caused by drowsiness and drinking.

PPG Automotive Refinish has launched the Partners in Education Program, intended to create a partnership with the top post-secondary technical schools and colleges across North America.

Penske Truck Leasing announced the opening of its newest facility in Cambridge, Ontario. The new 18,000-square-foot facility provides services ranging from full-service leasing to contract maintenance.

According to Brigade Electronics, the primary problem posed by conventional back-up alarms is that they emit sound in a narrow frequency band. They can be masked by ambiguous same-frequency emissions, and therefore are hazardous to those in a vehicle’s immediate vicinity.

From a safety perspective, three parts of the frequency spectrum need to be heard simultaneously in order to accurately locate a sound’s source. With low frequencies about 1 kHz and below, the brain can tell the timing difference between a sound’s arrival at one ear and then the other.

The time delay leaves confusion as to the sound’s location. However, says the company, this is eliminated by the presence of medium and high frequencies. Above a medium frequency of about 3 kHz, it is possible for the brain to sense the intensity difference of the sound at each ear. With the higher frequencies of 5 kHz and above, the brain can detect if sound is located to the front or behind the head. With sufficient spectrum, the brain can pinpoint the sound source to within five degrees.

In terms of actual sound emitted, Brigade’s bbs-tek alarms use white noise, which translates as “shhh!” in audible terms. Essentially, by localizing the noise emission, the bbs-tek alarm sound is audible only in the immediate vicinity of danger. Bbs-tek’s multi-frequency range spans from 400 Hz to more than 8 kHz. In addition, the effects of broadband over narrowband sound are much safer aurally, says Brigade.

Visit this site for more information.

Don’t screw-up
Screwdrivers may seem like simple tools, but there are some finer points (no pun intended) to consider. The following tips for your technicians are brought to you by the Hand Tools Institute:
· Always match the size of the screwdriver to the job. Make sure that the tip fits the slot of the screw, and always match the type of screwdriver to the head of the screw.

· Never use a screwdriver as a cold chisel or punch.

· Never use a screwdriver (or any other tool, for that matter) near live electrical wires.

· Always disconnect power before working near or on electrical components.

· Never expose a screwdriver to excessive heat.

· Do not use a screwdriver that has a worn or broken handle.

· Never use a screwdriver as a pry bar.

· When working with any tool, it’s best to use eye protection.

A swinger – yeah, baby!
Phillips Industries has introduced a low-profile compact Swinger gladhand designed for intermodal fleets and those pulling piggyback trailers. The Swinger follows the tractor to prevent accidental disconnects and kinking of air lines. When it’s disconnected, it swings closed to a sealed position to prevent contaminants from entering the air system.

The upper portion of the Swinger rotates 180 degrees on a nylon glide ring, while the lower portion remains still, allowing the air line to remain immobile. This swinging action permits the use of less expensive nylon air tubing. Other features include an additional inner seal and a noncorrodible stainless-steel return spring.

Sprinter plant starts up
The DaimlerChrysler plant in Ladson, S.C., just outside Charleston, kicked off production of the new Sprinter van for the U.S. market, under the Dodge and Freightliner brands. Attending the inauguration was Gov. Mark Sanford. The Sprinter has been assembled and sold in the United States since 2001.

The new plant increases annual capacity from about 22,000 to 32,000 units per year. It employs 180 workers on a 460,000-square-foot site. Investment in the facility totaled $35 million.

In April, we asked: If you have an engine that’s governed at 2,000 rpm, a direct-drive transmission and 11R22 tires, what ratio rear axle would you use to achieve a 69-mph top speed? Ed McCauley, fleet manager for Cambridge Iron And Metal Co., based in Baltimore, was first to get the correct answer of 3.76. For an explanation of how to calculate axle ratios, see CCJ, April 2002, page 36.

For his sharp ciphering and quick fingers, Ed will receive an elegant CCJ pen and Air Brake Book. You can join him if you’re the first to e-mail with the correct answer to this month’s Puzzler, or if you send in a Puzzler of your own and we use it.

As a side note, reader Chris Hoover has suggested that, since not everyone gets our magazine on the same date, those who receive it the earliest have an advantage in responding to Puzzlers. Here’s a tip: Since the magazine is posted on the Web before it’s mailed, everyone can access it at the same time. Just keep checking this site early each month for the latest issue.

This month’s Puzzler:
What’s the difference between halogen and xenon headlights?

Now that’s an oversize load
Troy Tallent, vice president of Omega-Morgan Rigging and Industrial Contracting, and his crew of drivers and spotters took on the huge task of moving the first of two deck expansion joints to the new Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington state. The load exceeded 100 tons, with dimensions of 70 feet in length and 15 feet in width, and took two Kenworth T800s to move it at a maximum of 20 mph.