Pilot to sell DEF at the pump

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Bendix Commercial Vehicles Systems will assemble cabs for Class 8 truck manufacturer Autocar’s Xpeditor refuse trucks. Bendix recently completed the first fully dressed cab module in a newly renovated 75,000-square-foot facility in Huntington, Ind., which will be dedicated to the Autocar business.

Navistar Engine Group celebrated the 75th anniversary of its first production diesel engine, the D-40, with the dedication of a new facility in Huntsville, Ala., that will build its newest diesel engine family, MaxxForce Big Bore. The 300,000-square-foot Big Bore Assembly facility produces the MaxxForce 11 and MaxxForce 13.

Hino Motors Manufacturing celebrated the official grand opening of its commercial truck assembly facility in Williamstown, W.Va., Hino’s first wholly-owned truck operation in the United States.

The commercial vehicle market for Class 3-8 vehicles is expected to grow to 723,000 by 2012, according to R.L. Polk & Co.’s Forecast of Commercial Vehicle Activity for North America.

Cummins was selected as the engine of choice for Wegmans Food Markets. The order for 101 Cummins 15L ISX 500-horsepower engines will be delivered to Wegmans by the fall of this year and will comprise nearly 60 percent of its fleet.

RigMaster has rolled back the price of all T2 model units, offering customers a net savings of up to 10 percent if purchased and installed between now and Dec. 31. A list of RigMaster dealers can be found at www.rigmasterpower.com.

Freightliner Trucks’ Go for the Green promotion offers a $5,000 net incentive on orders for the Business Class M2e Hybrid through Dec. 15. The program is available for both the utility and city delivery configurations.

Kenworth Truck Co.’s 124-page Medium Duty Body Builders Manual for its T170, T270 and T370 models is available as a PDF file in the Products section of Kenworth’s homepage, www.kenworth.com.

Hendrickson says its new tagline, “The World Rides On Us,” will be phased in throughout its worldwide operations, with the introduction in North America culminating at the 2009 Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky.

Pilot Travel Centers, with more than 325 owned or licensed retail travel center locations in 40 states, announced plans to supply diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) at fueling islands. The company’s initial rollout plans call for the fluid to be economically available in bulk at more than 100 Pilot Travel Center locations nationwide beginning in mid-to-late 2009.

Pilot says it decision to offer DEF at the pump will maximize affordability and convenience for truckers and is one of the final infrastructure elements to be put into place for truck fleets and owner-operator customers planning to use selective catalytic reduction (SCR) emissions control technology to meet 2010 emissions standards. In addition, all Pilot Travel Centers will carry pre-packaged top-off quantities of the fluid.

“By working with Detroit Diesel Corporation and Daimler Trucks North America, as well as other OEMs, we’ve begun to learn a lot more about SCR and the infrastructure needed to support this beneficial new technology,” says Mark Hazelwood, executive vice president of Knoxville, Tenn.-based Pilot. “We believe this product will create efficiencies for trucking companies which will, in essence, increase their MPGs and save them money. This product offering also helps Pilot to continue its ‘green’ initiatives.”

Eaton continues to explore DEF-free SCR
As part of its continuing focus on technology and new product development, Eaton Corp. is working on a selective catalytic reduction aftertreatment system that eliminates the need for urea distribution infrastructure and onboard tanks, Jim Sweetnam, Eaton’s chief executive officer – truck group, told CCJ editors during the American Trucking Associations annual meeting last month in New Orleans.

The system combines a fuel dosing unit, fuel reformer catalyst, NOx trap and an SCR catalyst in series to scrub NOx from the system, Sweetnam says. While most planned SCR systems need to convert urea into ammonia in order to catalyze NOx, Eaton’s system generates its own ammonia onboard, he says.

We’ve seen lots of interest in off-highway applications where it’s difficult to get urea,” Sweetnam said. The system will not be ready in time to be used in conjunction with on-highway SCR engines being developed to meet the 2010 emissions regulations, he said. All engine makers except Navistar currently plan to use SCR to meet the new regulations.

Eaton also has a new generation of automated transmissions in the works featuring electronically controlled actuation, which increases engage-disengage speed. Targeting the vocational market, the transmissions will be released in limited quantities later this year. An on-highway version will follow next year.

The company also continues to focus on hybrid technology, Sweetnam said. Eaton hybrid systems are engineered into trucks built by all North American truck manufacturers except Volvo, which doesn’t compete in the medium-duty market that is leading hybrid development and which plans to develop its own system for Class 8 applications.

While hybrid-powered vehicles cost more than traditional models, depending on the current price of diesel, the payback can be substantial: up to a 30 percent improvement in fuel economy and up to a 60 percent reduction in emissions. For fleets to adopt this technology, “the economics have to be there,” Sweetnam said. “I haven’t met a customer yet that would do it strictly for the environment.”
– Linda Longton

Wal-Mart technician defends TMC title
David Bryan Lewis of Wal-Mart Transportation in Sutherland, Va., successfully defended his 2007 title as the nation’s top heavy-truck technician as he again was named grand champion of TMCSuperTech2008 during the Technology & Maintenance Council’s 2008 Fall Meeting, held Sept. 15-18 in Nashville, Tenn. Scott Bennett, Tacoma, Wash., and Michael Bogard, Neenah, Wis. – both with Ryder System – placed second and third in the competition conducted by TMC’s Professional Technician Development Committee. Bogard had received the top score on the written portion of the competition the three previous years.

Lewis’ grand champion award included a Nexiq Technologies’ Snap-On Elite Series tool chest valued at about $10,000, an all-expense trip for two to the Daytona 500, a Panasonic Toughbook 19 laptop loaded with Noregon Systems’ JPRO Fleet Service Kit, and a custom-made championship leather jacket, along with other items.

The remainder of the top 10 scoring contestants included: (4) Daniel Myers, Roberts Truck Center, Albuquerque, N.M.; (5) Randy Qualls, Wal-Mart Transportation, Waterloo, S.C.; (6) Timothy Peters, Ryder System, Newton, N.C.; (7) Christopher Barnett, Ryder System, Alpharetta, Ga.; (8) Bailey Johnson, McKee Foods, Stuarts Draft, Va.; (9) Thomas Pianalto, Diamond International Trucks, Lowell, Ark.; and (10) Christopher Tate, Mohawk Truck, West Seneca, N.Y.

Gary Fassett, International Truck & Engine Corp., Murtaugh, Idaho, earned the top score on the written test. Skills station winners this year included the following:

  • Steering/suspension – Christopher Barnett, Ryder System, Alpharetta, Ga.;
  • Fastener/fastener repair – Norbert Estrada, TravelCenters of America, Gary, Ind.;
  • Starting/charging – Dave Thrower, FedEx National LTL, Middletown, Pa.;
  • Drivetrain – Michael Bogard, Ryder System, Neenah, Wis.;
  • PMI – Richard Fasoli, Con-Way Freight, Southampton, Mass;
  • Brakes – Norbert Estrada, TravelCenters of America, Gary, Ind.;
  • Electrical – Ken Myers – New York State Motor Truck Association, Victor, N.Y.;
  • HVAC – Thomas Pianalto – Diamond International Trucks, Lowell, Ark.;
  • Safety/environmental – Doug Skelly, First Vehicle Services, Pittsburgh;
  • Service information – Kevin Schwarzbauer, Carolina International Trucks, Columbia, S.C.;
  • Repair order generation – David Lewis, Wal-Mart Transportation, Amelia Court House, Va.;
  • Wheel end – Christopher Tate, Mohawk Truck, West Seneca, N.Y.;
  • Tire/wheel – Eric Vos, FedEx Freight, Boise, Idaho; and
  • Engine – Phillip Mellor, Swift Transportation, Albuquerque, N.M.

TMC, a technical council of American Trucking Associations, developed the national TMCSuperTech competition as a way to recognize truck technicians and promote the career opportunities for heavy-truck technicians. “Given the pace of technological change, being a heavy-truck technician is truly one of the most challenging and skilled jobs in our economy,” says Carl Kirk, TMC executive director. “The knowledge base that these folks have to master is truly amazing.”

This year, organizers within PTDC agreed to increase the number of hands-on skills stations from 12 to 14 – adding fasteners and safety/environmental stations – and the number of competitors in the all-day Hands-On Skill Challenge from 84 to 96. This year, 121 technicians representing 40 companies took the written test to qualify for the 96 hands-on slots.

Next year’s competition, TMCSuperTech2009, will be held during TMC’s 2009 Fall Meeting set for Sept. 14-17 in Raleigh, N.C. Information about TMCSuperTech, along with TMC’s guide, “How to Conduct a Technician Skills Competition,” are available at http://tmc.truckline.com. For more information, call TMC at 703-838-1763.