Hino confirms assembly plans

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ArvinMeritor said it imposed a commodity surcharge in response to surges in the price of steel, energy and other commodities used to manufacture its products.

GM said it is ceasing production at four plants that build pickups, SUVs and medium-duty trucks, attributing the action to long-term changes in consumer demand for trucks and SUVs.

Doonan Specialized Trailer – a manufacturer of highly specialized steel platform trailers – acquired the assets of Chaparral Manufacturing, a producer of all-aluminum platform trailers. Terms were not announced.

RigMaster Power Corp.’s facility in Olathe, Kan., resumed full production of auxiliary power units after being hit by a tornado May 2.

BP Lubricants USA and Continental Tire are among the latest suppliers to join the SmartWay Transport Partnership, a joint effort of the Environmental Protection Agency and the freight transportation industry to reduce fuel usage and cut emissions.

Dodge announced a $1,000 allowance toward the purchase of an upfit body for installation on Dodge Sprinter chassis cab models used in commercial nonpassenger applications. For terms and restrictions on the program, which runs through Jan. 2, 2009, go to www.dodge.com/en/business.

Gates Corp. introduced a VIN decoder that provides the make, model year, engine type and all of the parts Gates sells that are associated with the vehicle. The VIN decoder is available at www.vindecipher.com/gates.

Utility Trailer’s manufacturing plant in Paragould, Ark., received the Plant Safety Award from the Truck Trailer Manufacturers Association as having the best overall safety record of all manufacturing facilities identified in the association’s Category A ranking. The plant has earned the award in four of the last five years.

International Specialized Trailers Manufacturing chose the Haldex PLC Select Full Function Anti-lock Braking System (FFABS 2S/1M) and Gold Seal Actuator.

Mitchell 1 says its Tractor-Trailer.net service and repair information system played a role in state technician skills competitions for Arkansas, Tennessee and South Carolina during 2008.

Fontaine International made online training for its fifth-wheel products available at www.fifthwheel.com/trainintro.html.

Mitchell 1 says its Tractor-Trailer.net service and repair information system played a role in state technician skills competitions for Arkansas, Tennessee and South Carolina during 2008.

Fontaine International made online training for its fifth-wheel products available at www.fifthwheel.com/trainintro.html. The training consists of four modules.

Everco Heavy Duty added a video to its website, www.evercohd.com, about low-quality temperature control products that have been sourced from some low-cost countries.

BorgWarner Turbo and Emissions Systems updated its Turbocharger Troubleshooting Matrix for turbo diesel engines, which can be downloaded at www.turbodriven.com/en/service/default.aspx.

Oil Purification Systems, developer and manufacturer of the OPS-1 onboard oil refining system, said it is participating in the Environmental Protection Agency’s WasteWise program, which encourages environmentally friendly reduction of waste oil.

Hino Motors Sales USA announced that it will build commercial trucks at an existing Hino plant in Williamstown, W.Va., reinforcing its promise of a long-term commitment to the U.S. market. Hino, part of the Toyota Group, will end a contractual manufacturing arrangement with TABC Inc., located in Long Beach, Calif., and transfer production of the company’s Class 4-7 commercial trucks to Hino’s facility in Williamstown.

“We are achieving our original plan to grow our sales, dealer network, manufacturing capabilities and overall presence here in the U.S.,” says Sumio Fukaya, president and chief executive officer of Hino Motors Sales USA Inc., based in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “We are tracking towards our goals of selling 10,000 trucks a year within the next two to three years, and 20,000 units within the next five years. Additionally, we have recently signed our 175th dealer, populating us in the top 150 U.S. commercial truck markets.”

Yasuo Tanigawa, president of Hino Motors Manufacturing, said the West Virginia plant is flexible and can respond seamlessly to increased product demand and product option content. “Indeed, this flexibility is a result of our team members training in and commitment to the Toyota Production System and Kaizen (continuous improvement).”


Thermo King DPF gets CARB nod
Thermo King announced that the diesel particulate filter for its TriPac Hybrid Auxiliary Idle Reduction and Temperature Management System has been approved for use by the California Air Resources Board. Thermo King’s DPF is designed to meet CARB requirements for auxiliary power units running in California that are attached to Class 8 tractors with 2007 or newer engines.

In addition to being designed to meet CARB regulations, Thermo King says the TriPac DPF offers several other features important to drivers and owners. Regeneration, the process of burning off particulate matter trapped in the filter element, takes place during normal driving hours with no disruption to the driver during rest periods; plus, extended APU runtime between regenerations assures minimal driver involvement.

Thermo King says TriPac APU customers can be assured that the TriPac DPF does not reduce fuel economy and will place no extra strain on the APU, nor will it alter scheduled maintenance intervals; as another environmental benefit, the filter also reduces engine noise, making the already-quiet TriPac system even quieter. The DPF, which has nine different mounting options based on vehicle considerations, is available as an aftermarket or original equipment option to support both current and new customers.

As of June, CARB has approved only two diesel-fueled APUs for use in trucks equipped with 2007 and newer engines: The Thermo King TriPac system with Level 3 DPF and the Cummins APU, the latter of which is compatible only with 2008 model ISX engines. CARB isn’t regulating APUs at all on trucks with older engines, nor does it regulate battery-powered solutions. CARB also has approved three Espar and three Webasto fuel-fired heaters for use on trucks equipped with 2007 and newer engines. For more information on CARB regulations and CARB-verified solutions, go to www.arb.ca.gov/noidle.


Cummins sees a record year
Linebarger to replace retiring Loughrey

Cummins Inc. is on pace to report a fifth consecutive year of record sales and profits in 2008, and is poised for significant further growth over the next several years, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Tim Solso told shareholders at the company’s annual meeting in late May.

Solso discussed the company’s growth targets for 2008: 12 percent sales growth and an earnings-before-interest-and-taxes goal of 10 percent of sales. The company also is targeting a 20 percent return on equity and a 25 percent return on average net assets.
Solso spoke of three broad global trends – increasingly strict emissions standards, the globalization of the world economy and rising demand for energy around the world – that will benefit Cummins over the next several years. “I am more excited about the future of the company than at any time during my 37 years with Cummins,” Solso said.

Cummins also announced that Joe Loughrey, president and chief operating officer, will retire in March 2009, and that Tom Linebarger will replace him. Loughrey, 58, will become vice chairman effective Aug. 1 and remain a member of the board of directors until his retirement. Linebarger, 45, served as president of Cummins Power Generation and has been an executive vice president since 2005. Tony Satterthwaite was promoted to succeed Linebarger as president of Cummins Power Generation. Satterthwaite, 48, has been vice president of the generator set business since 2003.


Volvo, Mack debut service estimating tool
Volvo Trucks North America and Mack Trucks introduced a process called MVASIST designed to provide customers with faster, more accurate service estimates and write-ups. MVASIST is an Internet application designed to simplify the critical first step of the service process by providing the service writer with integrated fleet and manufacturer information. Customers benefit with greater uptime, improved cost management and a better overall service experience, the companies say.

Volvo and Mack say MVASIST is fully integrated into their respective systems to give service writers at dealerships instant access to parts information, service bulletins and MVPreferred customer-specific parts pricing. This information is based on the individual vehicle’s serial number and a customized fleet profile.

An important benefit of MVASIST is that fleets are assured of uniform service procedures and information, regardless of where the truck is serviced in the dealer network, the truck makers say; in addition, the estimate and service information is available online for fleet managers to review and approve.

MVASIST was developed by Decisiv and is available in two configurations for use by Volvo and Mack dealers: MVASIST/Fleet is designed for customer fleets and incorporates fleet-specific operations, inspections and contact information; MVASIST/Pro expands on MVASIST/Fleet capabilities to provide estimating capabilities for any truck. Volvo and Mack say they are in the process of rolling out MVASIST/Fleet to its dealer network; dealers also may sign up for MVASIST/Pro.


Sterling delivers 250,000th truck
Sterling Truck Corp. said that its 250,000th truck – a Sterling Set-Back 113-inch BBC A-Line – recently rolled off the production line. To mark the occasion, the Redford, Mich.-based truck maker presented executives from Con-way Freight with the keys and a plaque during a special ceremony held June 10 at Sterling Trucks’ manufacturing plant in St. Thomas, Ontario.


Kenworth T800 goes automatic
Kenworth has added automatic transmission offerings for customers in construction and short-haul applications with high horsepower requirements. Customers can order the Kenworth T800 with Allison 4000 and 4500 series transmissions when spec’d with Cummins ISX engines, not to exceed 1,650 lb-ft.

“The new Kenworth T800 configuration offers the benefits of automatic transmissions while also meeting high horsepower requirements,” says Gary Moore, assistant general manager of marketing and sales for the Kirkland, Wash.-based truck maker. “This new offering will strengthen its position with customers to help get the job done in their specific applications.”