News from TMC: Energy study group to return and more

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In a sign of continued cost and political pressures related to fuel usage and its environmental impact, the Technology and Maintenance Council of the American Trucking Associations has decided to resurrect the S. 11 Study Group on energy conservation. The decision was announced Tuesday, Feb. 5, at TMC’s traditional “town hall” meeting.

Another potential new initiative for TMC is tackling a thorny issue for over-the-road fleets – towing. TMC is considering launching a Towing Advisory Group that would bring together TMC-member fleets with leadership and members of the Towing and Recovery Association of America.

Also at the TMC meeting:

  • Cummins Inc. said that it has submitted all necessary applications to the California Air Resources Board for product testing and verification of two ComfortGuard auxiliary power unit solutions;
  • Michelin Americas Truck Tires says it has taken its best-selling tire – the all-position Michelin XZE – and made it better;
  • Great Dane Trailers displayed a SSL dry freight van meeting specifications under the Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay Program. The SSL also featured Great Dane’s exclusive anti-corrosion product, CorroGuard;
  • With an eye toward the introduction of the 2010 engines – many of which will meet the lowered emissions standards using selective catalytic reduction – a task force of TMC’s S. 3 engine study group plans to develop a recommended practice for the use, handling and storage of diesel exhaust fluids, namely urea;
  • State and federal law enforcement agencies are looking forward to wireless roadside inspections for commercial trucks. Speakers outlined a vision for rolling out a platform that would increase compliance dramatically;
  • The greatest potential for fuel savings utilizing hybrid and all-electrical technology can be achieved in the transportation industry, speaker John Dabels of EV Power Systems told members of a Future Truck Committee session;
  • TMC is developing ways to publicize available student funds for prospective technicians and attract students to the industry;
  • TMC’s Professional Technician Development Committee discussed specific actions employers can take to ease the matriculation process for technicians joining the work force;
  • Thermo King launched three new remote status light displays for reefer-equipped trailers, allowing drivers to easily check the status, temperature and fuel level of reefer units with a glance in their rearview mirrors;
  • Double Coin Truck Tire announced that it now is offering the Double Coin National Account Fleet Program, which allows medium-sized and large trucking fleets to purchase Double Coin TBR products at competitive pricing through its North American dealer network;
  • Chicago Pneumatic is demonstrating the CP7600 one-inch pneumatic wrench, a new addition to its BlueTork product line;
  • The Heavy Duty Brake Manufacturers Council is continuing to work with the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to develop new inspection guidelines and out-of-service criteria that will be common to all brake makes and models, while accounting for air disc brake systems; and
  • TMC’s Counterfeit Parts Task Force soon will begin conducting field research and building a database of counterfeit parts issues reported by TMC members.
  • For more details on those stories and other news from this week’s annual TMC meeting, go to www.onsiteat.com.