Fontaine’s ‘revolutionary’ flatbeds

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Using new designs, materials and welding techniques, Fontaine Trailer introduced its new Revolution all-aluminum and Revolution Hybrid composite aluminum-steel flatbed trailers that offer greater strength at a lighter weight and improved aerodynamics. Both trailers are the first products to be designed at Fontaine’s new research and development center in Jasper, Ala.

The all-aluminum Revolution weighs only 8,000 pounds, but can handle payloads of up to 60,000 pounds concentrated in only four feet, says Buck Buchanan, vice president of marketing for Fontaine. Conventional flatbed trailers typically are constructed using about 3,700 individual parts, Buchanan says; in comparison, the Revolution consists of only 1,500 parts, including a trailer floor that is made up entirely of friction stir-welded aluminum crossmembers. Because the floor itself serves the function that crossmembers do on a typical flatbed, the design both saves weight and improves aerodynamics, Fontaine says.

Buchanan says the Revolution’s design features a single-piece routed aluminum extrusion side rail that is both lighter and stronger than steel and helps give the trailer a significantly stiffer unitized design while minimizing load shifts. The new design reduces wracking, which improves tire wear, while a low drag coefficient as well as a lower overall weight for a given load boost fuel economy, he says.

The Revolution Hybrid composite flatbed includes all the design elements and benefits of the Revolution but at a somewhat heavier weight and lower price. The 9,000-pound Revolution Hybrid can handle a 54,000-pound load concentrated in only four feet, Buchanan says. Its base design elements consist of steel main beams combined with an extruded aluminum floor for added strength and support at a lower overall weight. Other features of the Revolution and Revolution Hybrid include:
· Load securement that allows chain tiedowns and chocks anywhere on the trailer deck;
· Moveable strap retention/rope hook devices that ease strap securement and tarping; and
· A lighting system by Grote that has more than 60 percent fewer connections than previous-generation systems and features a comprehensive 10-year warranty.

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While the lighter weight of the Revolution and Revolution Hybrid allow for greater payloads, Fontaine believes that the trailers will be valuable to fleet owners in the coming years even if they can’t take advantage of those higher payloads. Tractors are getting heavier with additional emissions-related hardware and the growing popularity of auxiliary power units, the company says. So a lighter trailer will help fleets remain within regulated weight limits without having to reduce payload.
Fontaine Trailer
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Pliers wrench
Snap-on says its PWZ3 pliers wrench is designed to work in hard-to-reach spots that require a powerful tool that works quickly and efficiently, such as tie rods and front-end work. Features, according to the company, include specially hardened jaws; inwardly angled teeth (fine teeth at back of jaws, larger teeth at front) for a stronger, more secure grip on an object; quick adjustment of grip width; a built-in guard against unthreading; an inner handle with built-in protection against pinching; easy locking into desired position with the adjusting screw; a jaw grip that increases when pressure is put on the handle; and narrow jaws that provide added accessibility, including cramped corners.
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GM hood-assist device
Monroe Truck Equipment says its MTE Hood Assist for GM model trucks reduces the overall opening force of a hood from 66 pounds to 22 pounds, and turns a difficult two-handed operation into an easy one-handed operation. According to the company, the device – which can be used on the C4500, C5500, C6500, C7500 and C8500 – helps encourage timely maintenance while preventing pinched or broken fingers and sprained shoulders or backs, which might occur when opening the truck’s hood normally. The MTE Hood Assist is designed to be compatible with both stationary and tilting grilles, and boasts a no-drill installation; kits are available that can be customer-installed or installed where the truck is purchased.
Monroe Truck Equipment
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CARB-approved aftermarket DPF
Paccar Parts says the Engine Control Systems Purifilter aftermarket passively regenerating diesel particulate filter has been approved by the California Air Resources Board for a wide variety of Class 8 truck models. Paccar Parts distributes the device exclusively through Kenworth and Peterbilt dealers in the United States and Canada. Engine Control Systems says the Purifilter – which features a silicon carbide filter to facilitate exceptional regeneration, performance and durability – is approved for use with a wide variety of model year 1993-2006 heavy-duty trucks in a number of on-highway applications, regardless of manufacturer. The Purifilter also has received conditional verification from CARB for use with certain 1996-2008 off-road diesel engines that are rated at least 50 hp, but no more than 750 hp; the verification covers engines certified for offroad use on equipment such as trucks, loaders, dozers and skidders.

Each Purifilter model is available in five different inlet/outlet configurations with either standard stamped flanges or optional machined flanges. The 100 percent stainless-steel modular design is designed to allow for 360-degree rotation of the muffler inlet and outlet sections to provide the greatest range of fit. The dimensions of a Purifilter vary depending on application; Engine Control Systems says it also manufactures and supplies Kenworth and Peterbilt dealers a wide range of mounting and installation hardware and customized parts for both horizontal and vertical mounting options. A backpressure monitor and logger system, included with the Purifilter, is designed to record vehicle duty cycle information for up to two years while also allowing truck operators to continually monitor the condition of the filter, which requires ash removal at periodic intervals based on the truck’s duty cycle.
Engine Control Systems
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Retrofit solution for California regulations
Volvo Trucks North America and Mack Trucks both now offer dealer-installed retrofit diesel particulate filters (DPF) to meet strict new California emissions requirements for in-use vehicles. The DPFs are designed to work with non-exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) engines sold from 1996 to 2002. The companies say the retrofit DPF is integrated into existing exhaust systems and offered in several sizes based upon engine displacement and horsepower. Each retrofit DPF comes with an installation kit, complete with brackets, engineered for the customer’s specific truck model; dealer installation is required. The DPFs come with a five-year/150,000-mile warranty and can be ordered through any Mack or Volvo dealer in the United States and Canada.

The companies say the DPF uses active regeneration to clear accumulated particulate matter (PM) from the unit’s filter element; this involves raising the heat of the DPF by injecting a small amount of diesel fuel, typically after eight to 10 hours of truck operation. The DPF system includes an electronic control unit designed to constantly monitor the filter element to precisely control PM accumulation and regeneration.
Volvo Trucks North America
Mack Trucks (
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,b>OE height control valves
Haldex Commercial Vehicle Systems says its Precision Response and Precision Response Plus Height Control valves for the original equipment market provide faster installation, eliminate leak points and are reliable in the toughest conditions. According to the company, the precision response design acts immediately, reduces total air consumption and controls dynamic shift. Haldex says its PR Height Control Valve uses ceramic seal technology for added durability and reliability by eliminating dynamic rubber seals used in other valves. The PR Valve has a tight dead band, eliminates ride height variation and reduces equipment damage, according to the company; it is available with an adjustable control arm and optional dump valve to help make installation and plumbing more efficient.
Haldex Commercial Vehicle Systems
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Heavy-duty engine oil
Petro-Canada says its latest addition to its API CJ-4 heavy-duty engine oil line, Duron-E 10W-30, is specially formulated for both on- and off-road fleets and provides excellent soot dispersancy, extended drain capabilities, low engine wear and good top-up and cold-start performance. Duron-E 10W-30 is suitable for 4-stroke diesel, gasoline and natural gas automotive applications where SAE 10W-30 is recommended; applications include engines equipped with exhaust aftertreatment devices such as diesel particulate filters and catalytic reactors. Petro-Canada says Duron-E 10W-30 also is completely back-serviceable and not only fits into the CJ-4 category but also CI-4 Plus, CI-4, CH-4 and CG-4/SM. OEM credentials, according to the company, include Caterpillar ECF-3, ECF-2 and ECF-1-a; Cummins CES 20081; Volvo VDS-4; and Renault VI RLD 3.
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Commercial-grade tire pressure system
Mobile Awareness says its TireStat tire pressure monitoring and maintenance system is geared toward commercial trucks, trailers, buses and off-road, construction, utility and recreational vehicles. The system is designed to provide increased fuel economy, enhanced safety, maximized tire casing life and extended tire wear. According to the company, the lightweight TireStat sensors are mounted externally on the valve stem, allowing air input without sensor removal and virtually eliminating costly tire maintenance, time-consuming installations, lost cap-mounted sensors and difficulty in roadside service. Mobile Awareness says TireStat is preprogrammed by wheel position to simplify installation, yet can be altered easily by users to program their own warning alert levels by axle position, offering improved management of fuel and tire expense.

TireStat not only is designed to detect underinflated, overinflated and rapidly leaking tires, it also monitors tire temperature; in addition, a rechargeable handheld monitor can function as a portable tire gauge, allowing the user to monitor actual tire pressure while adjusting each tire’s inflation level. All TireStat systems include an easily mounted transceiver that facilitates continuous transmission of the wireless signals without the inconvenience of installing multiple antennas; other features include an integrated anti-theft locking mechanism for the sensors, which are housed in a rugged nylon encasement with a 5- to 7-year battery life. The sensors are designed for harsh environments and operate in all weather conditions within a pressure range of 15 to 150 psi.
Mobile Awareness
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Air disc brake pads, shoes
Tenneco says its Monroe Dynamics disc brake pads and shoes now cover air disc brake systems from Workhorse, Knorr Bremse, Meritor Wabco and other manufacturers. The Monroe Brakes product line covers a broad range of trucks, vans and utility fleet vehicles, including trucks equipped with pneumatic disc brake systems. Tenneco says Monroe Dynamics pads and shoes provide all of the parts needed, in most cases; all hardware and related components needed for the job are included in a single box, enabling faster and easier brake jobs.

Tenneco says each Monroe Dynamics semi-metallic brake pad features an application-specific friction material developed and tested to meet the vehicle’s specific operating requirements. According to the company, these friction materials are secured to their backing plate with an OE constant-pressure manufacturing process called positive molding, which is designed to provide a better bond and denser friction material, resulting in less resin versus conventional flash-molded products; this, in turn, reduces pedal fade and helps ensure outstanding stopping performance.
Tenneco Inc.
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DIN rails
Waytek says its DIN rails are designed for mounting various electrical components, including terminal blocks, relays and circuit breakers. Offered in aluminum or steel, the DIN rails are corrosion-resistant and one meter in length, according to the company. The aluminum DIN rail is intended for humid environments and rated to resist corrosion and salt spray, while the steel DIN rail is treated with a white passivation process designed to provide more than double the corrosion resistance of traditional treatments.
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Xantrex Technology Inc. says its Xantrex Freedom HW 1000 inverter/charger is designed specifically for OEMs of commercial vehicles, including heavy-duty trucks, emergency vehicles and work fleet vehicles. The device is designed to provide clean, quiet useable alternating current (AC) power without having to run a gas-powered generator or idle an engine to operate various electronic devices, power tools, small appliances and other onboard devices. The compact inverter/charger, which meets UL458 standards, weighs 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) and provides 1,000 watts of AC power, according to the company; it includes a microprocessor-controlled 55-amp charger and a detachable remote that can be mounted anywhere on the vehicle for easy operation. Xantrex says the three-stage charger provides a fast, complete battery charge, and the transfer relay allows for easy switching between inverter power and shore/utility power.
Xantrex Technology
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Extended-service coolant filter
Penray designed its NF-2096 Need-Release Extended Service Coolant Filter for Mack MP7 and MP8, and Volvo D11, D13 and D16 engines. The filter, which senses the coolant condition and releases the exact amount of additive necessary to protect the system properly, helps eliminate downtime and is designed to last 150,000 miles, 15 months or 3,000 hours, the company says. The NF-2096 fixes coolant problems, diminishes concerns about top-off fluids, and repairs organic acid and extended-life flaws, according to Penray; it also eliminates the need to drain, flush and refill the system. It is formulated to be compatible with all conventional, extended-life, long-life, OAT, NOAT, HOAT, GO-5 and automotive coolants, as well as with all colors of coolant, including pink, fuchsia, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, brown and water.
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Plug assemblies
Phillips Industries has expanded its line of Quick-Connect Plug (QCP) assemblies by offering them as an option on all electrical cables. QCP, initially offered with Phillips’ ABS Lectracoil jacketing, now is available on ABS Permacoil and Permacoil cables. With QCP electrical assemblies, changing a plug is cut from 20 minutes down to less than two minutes, allowing a fleet to save the cost of an additional electrical assembly, the company says; the plug is removed easily and replaced with a new corrosion-resistant QCP cartridge, and for quick on-road repairs, extra QCP cartridges can be stored onboard. The QCP cartridge can be field-repaired in seconds and sealed for corrosion protection to last longer than standard assemblies, Phillips says; the electrical assemblies are chemical- and abrasion-resistant and have excellent recoil memory.
Phillips Industries
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Rugged computers
Panasonic Computer Solutions says it has upgraded its Toughbook 30 clamshell rugged laptop and Toughbook 19 rugged convertible tablet computer. The company says both Toughbook notebooks now incorporate 1,000-nit LCDs, circular polarization technology and anti-glare (AG) plus anti-reflective (AR) screen treatments to enhance screen viewability, further improving in-field usability for mobile workers. Additional upgrades, according to Panasonic, include improved security and remote management with Intel Centrino 2 with vPro technology, expanded memory capabilities, 40 percent longer battery lives, larger-capacity hard drives and optional SSDs.
Panasonic Computer Solutions
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Lowboy trailers
Pitts Trailers says its LB52-18D is designed to haul tall loads. The detachable-neck lowboy, with a 52-ton capacity at an 18-inch deck height, features a four I-beam design and a five-position adjustable ride height. The trailer’s low deck height also is available in 35-ton and 55-ton capacities. Pitts says all detachable-neck lowboys can be outfitted to accept flip axles, East Coast spreader bars and nitrogen accumulation systems.

The company says its LB65-20DDS is designed to haul large loads. The 65-ton-capacity drop-side detachable-neck lowboy is equipped with a two-axle jeep, 14-foot 1-inch spreader bar and two modular booster axles; modular decks and beam applications are available upon request.
Pitts Trailers
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Truck-trailer connection box
Truck-Lite says its truck body Quick Connect Box mounts on the bumper of a truck and provides a secure connection between the truck and consumer trailer. The box is available with two connection options: The first has the ability to provide power to the trailer via a stripped wire connection, while the second has a standard 4-pin flat molded connector, in addition to the stripped wire option. The box features several benefits that promote durability and help prohibit corrosion, according to the company: UV stabilizers in the molded housing and lid help avoid deterioration and weakening of the lid; the lid hinge pin fits tightly in the housing, increasing durability in all environmental conditions and reducing the chance of corrosion from exposed terminals; and the robust main harness connection to the truck combines solder-dipped wires with adhesive-lined heat shrink to help keep out moisture and prevent corrosion. Truck-Lite says the box is adaptable for use on many different vehicles, including stake bed, van body and light-duty truck applications. The mounting holes are designed to make it easy for new installation or to replace an existing product.
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Spot weld driller
The HTP Spot Mill is designed to drill out spot welds quickly without drilling through both panels. The high-torque low-rpm tool, which has a hardened cobalt-steel bullet-point drill bit, has a depth of cut that can be set easily by turning the adjusting ring, allowing the user to set the tool to cut through the upper panel only, the company says. The Spot Mill comes in a rugged molded case and has four replacement cutting bits, regulator and oiler; additional bits are available.
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Battery isolators
Del City says its battery isolators allow users to charge two batteries simultaneously and keep the starting battery isolated during times when power is being used, but the engine isn’t running. Battery isolators are useful in a vehicle with two or more batteries to help ensure that accessories don’t drain the starting battery. The battery isolators are designed to work on negative ground alternators and are rated from 12 to 48 volts; they only can be used with batteries that have the same voltage level. The battery isolators feature a heat sink design that helps cool the multiple high-current diodes that manage the isolation process.
Del City
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