Not-so-light haulin’

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Kenworth’s aerodynamically designed T660 and T2000 recently were acknowledged as SmartWay-
eligible trucks by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for environmental friendliness.

LifeGuard Technologies is announcing the availability of its RollTek side roll protection on Freightliner’s new Cascadia Class 8 truck.

Allison automatic transmissions are now the exclusive automatics installed in Peterbilt trucks.

Citgo’s Citgard 700 is now sold under the name Citgard 700 Plus. This premium synthetic blend, offered in a 15W-40 viscosity grade, is designed for on-road and off-road power units operating under severe conditions. Added to the line is a new Citgard 700, which meets the needs of most fleet owners. Both meet API CJ-4 specs.

Michelin North America is increasing prices by up to 4 percent on Michelin and BF Goodrich brand tires sold in the United States, effective immediately.

Cummins is offering a free, interactive return-on-investment calculator for computing auxiliary power unit payback. Visit or see your distributor for details.

Red Dot Corp. has received the 2007 Climate Protection Award from the EPA for leadership, innovation, dedication and technical achievement in reducing greenhouse gases.

Hendrickson Auxiliary Axle Systems recently earned ISO/TS 16949: 2002 Quality Management System Certification by the Vehicle Certification Agency, an independent, accredited management systems registrar.

Heil Environmental has switched to DuPont Imron 5000 paint for its refuse bodies.

EPA bestowed its Performance Track Environmental Award to Denso Manufacturing Michigan.

While DaimlerChrysler has made something of a splash with its freshened Sprinter van, Chevy/GMC and Ford have not been merely idling their engines.

The Chevy Express and GMC Savana are available with the Vortec 5.3-liter V-8, delivering 295 hp and 335 lb-ft of torque. It’s standard in G1500 and H1500 Passenger models, and in H1500 Cargo and Conversion models, and is available with FlexFuel E85 capability.

There’s also a 195-hp Vortec 4.3-liter V-6 and a Vortec 4.8-liter V-8 rated at 285 hp available in 2500 Series cargo vans, and a 300-hp Vortec 6.0-liter with 360 lb-ft of torque.

Finally, there’s the Duramax 6.6L turbodiesel V-8 rated at 250 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. With the Duramax, GVWR is 12,300 pounds, with a towing capacity of 10,000 pounds.

Over at Ford, the E-150 and E-250 vans get a 4.6-liter Triton V-8, while the E-450 is standard with a 5.4-liter V-8. The E-350 also is available with a 6.8-liter Triton V-10 rated at 305 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque.

The big news, though, is that the E-450 has a GVWR of 14,500 pounds. It, like its lighter stablemates, boasts revised steering and suspension systems, while E-350 vans with the 5.4-liter V-8 come standard with Advance Trac and roll-stability control.

Cutaway versions of the E-250, 350 and 450 are available for upfitting a variety of bodies, with wheelbases of 138, 158 and 176 inches. Customers and upfitters will be glad to note that, though restyled, the vans retain their traditional layout and bolt-hole locations.
Sweetness and light

Grote Industries has introduced its LED WhiteLight series for interior and forward lighting applications.

To demonstrate the brightness of the technology, the company recently crafted three 2,000-lumen white LEDs and strapped them to the front of a Baja 1000 race vehicle. The lights were said to cut through the course dust and silt more effectively than the vehicle’s overhead incandescent lights, and they outlasted the vehicle.

Originally, Grote developed cooler white light technology to eliminate the need for fans. Now, the company is showcasing its new, warm white LEDs for interior cab use. The lights curtail the harsh, stark lighting found in trailer and reefer applications, and instead release a softer light that reportedly reduces eye stress.

The new products should be available by the end of the year, says Grote.

Transportation museum closer to reality
As you may remember, we reported a couple of years ago on the proposed America on Wheels museum, to be built in Allentown, Pa. (CCJ, June 2005, page 10). Now, two years later, steel erection has begun, and a grand opening is planned for April 2008.

Displays in the 43,000-square-foot facility will include everything from race cars to motorcycles to educational exhibits focusing on service education, as well as alternative fuels and propulsion systems, including hybrid and fuel-cell-powered vehicle development. There also will be a theater, classrooms, a research library, an outdoor safety education area and space for changing exhibits.

The facility also will be home to a permanent display of Mack trucks, parts and service information going back to the early 1900s. In addition, the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) will provide a number of exhibits showing how cars and trucks have changed the American way of life over the past 100 years.

If you think the museum is a good idea, and would like to make a contribution or become a member, call 610-432-4200 or visit this site.

A Smart Wave for tires
Dana Corp.’s Commercial Vehicle Systems group announced that its SmartWave TPMS tire pressure monitoring system is now available for retrofit on a variety of commercial truck models through OE dealerships.

SmartWave TPMS is a real-time electronic system that actively measures the air pressure and temperature for each tire on a vehicle. The system transmits data wirelessly to a receiver mounted on the vehicle, and displays the information in the cab.

Whether it’s alerting the driver to a specific underinflated tire, or providing the fleet maintenance staff with the capability to quickly and accurately measure tire pressure, SmartWave is suitable for all wheel and tire types, and can be installed at any point in the vehicle’s life.

TMC recommended practices enter appeal period
The Technology & Maintenance Council of the American Trucking Associations is proposing adoption of five recommended practices (RPs) and is giving interested parties 90 days from July 1 to submit a written appeal of any of the proposed RPs. TMC will formally adopt RPs for which no appeal is submitted within that timeframe.

Submit written appeals to Robert Braswell, TMC Technical Director, 950 N. Glebe Road, Arlington, VA 22203. For more information and to obtain copies of the proposed RPs, call 703-838-1776.

The five proposed RPs, identified as proposed by the suffix “T”, are:

· Proposed RP 220C(T), Tire Tread Design Selection. The RP would help equipment users of heavy truck tires select the proper tread design for an intended application in order to maximize tire service life and minimize tire cost per mile.

· Proposed RP 242(T), Guidelines for Evaluating Tire and Wheel Related Products and Systems. The RP would provide fleets with generic guidelines for evaluating the performance of various tire- and wheel-related products or systems. It applies to ancillary products that may be used in conjunction with tires and wheels, such as balancers, sealants, rim/wheel coatings, tire dressings, nitrogen inflation, valve hardware, repair materials, fastener locking devices/indicators, lug nuts, wheel separators, tire pressure monitors, pressure equalizers, central tire inflation systems, etc.

· Proposed RP 301C(T), Maintaining Air Intake Systems. The RP focuses on the cost-effective management of air intake system maintenance and establishes guidelines to help fleet managers optimize maintenance programs. It applies to Class 7-8 heavy-duty vehicles in on-highway service.

· Proposed RP 1505(T), Torque Rod Selection and OEM Installation Guidelines for Vocational Vehicles. The RP offers selection and OEM installation guidelines for torque rods used on Class 8 tractors and straight trucks employed in on/off-highway vocational applications.

· Proposed RP 1506(T), Torque Rod Maintenance Guidelines for Vocational Vehicles. The RP offers maintenance guidelines for torque rods used on Class 8 tractors and straight trucks used in on/off-highway vocational applications.

Fall TMC meeting to explore future trucks
With the theme “Exploring Advanced Technology,” the Technology & Maintenance Council’s 2007 Fall Meeting in September will lead off with a technical session on what truck technology might look like in five to 15 years, and how those changes will impact fleet users, safety and emissions regulations and infrastructure. Other minitechnical sessions will follow the advanced technology theme and will deal with specific truck components.

The meeting in Nashville, Tenn., also will include an advanced technology display, including an initial public viewing of Detroit Diesel’s 2010 emissions technology based on selective catalytic conversion.

The TMC Fall Meeting will be held in conjunction with the third annual TMCSuperTech national technician competition, sponsored by TMC and its Professional Technician Development Committee.

For more information, go to this site.

Back in May, we asked: What’s the difference between propane and LP gas? Neil L. Blitz, superintendent of public works for the Township of Plainsboro, N.Y., was the first to make plain sense of this trick question: LP gas is any liquefied petroleum gas. Propane is one, but there are others, such as butane. So propane is an LP gas, but not all LP gases are propane.

If you didn’t beat the Blitz, don’t despair; 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, or if you send in a Puzzler of your own and we use it.

This month’s Puzzler:
After replacing front and rear U-joints on a vehicle, a technician notices a vibration coming from under the floor when the vehicle is in motion. What is the likely cause?