Meritor makes headlines at HDAW

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Meritor Inc. on Tuesday, Jan. 24, announced the immediate availability of Reduced Stopping Distance friction materials at the company’s parts distribution centers in Florence, Ky., and Brampton, Ontario, to support North American truck operators who want to standardize their RSD brake friction materials. The announcement was made at the 2012 Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week.

Meritor also announced it will begin the immediate production of PlatinumShield II, a second-generation brake shoe coating that features an advanced formula uniquely suited to the needs of the Aftermarket customer to prevent rust-jacking. The company also announced that its “Real Deal” suite of services has received considerable acceptance by warehouse distributor authorized parts outlets. Meritor also announced the six winners of the “Winning Drive Championship” promotion for its Aftermarket business; the winners will attend the Super Bowl in Indianapolis on Feb. 5.

With a complete suite of friction materials, the Meritor Q Plus drum brake package is available to support FMVSS 121 compliance for new trucks. Meritor brake engineers addressed balancing the torque load between tractor and trailer brakes, as well as maintaining a focus on everyday driving characteristics and the more stringent emergency stop performance requirements.

To meet the new government regulations applicable to new trucks that went into effect last August, Meritor designed more powerful front brakes and highly effective rear-axle brakes with new enhanced friction materials, according to Joe Kay, chief engineer, Brakes, Meritor.

“To comply with the new stopping distance regulations, our customers specified the ‘new’ brakes on new tractors, but many fleets told us they preferred to outfit their current vehicles with the same friction materials for ease of inventory and vehicle maintenance,” said Tim Bauer, director, Undercarriage Products, Meritor Aftermarket. Bauer added that fleet managers wanted to use RSD friction materials on remanufactured brake shoes at normal service intervals.

Meritor says that since PlatinumShield’s introduction at HDAW in February 2009, the company has shipped more than 15 million remanufactured shoes to authorized parts outlets. “At the product’s introduction three years ago, we began developing a second-generation of platinum coating, fully mindful of the harsh liquid chemicals used in winter road solvents to melt snow and ice,” said Bauer. “Our PlatinumShield II is a new formula designed for today’s demanding climate.”

The second-generation coating is distinguished by its lighter platinum gray color. It will be used on new aftermarket brake shoes with new RSD friction materials. PlatinumShield II also will be used on remanufactured brake shoes. The PlatinumShield coating was developed by Meritor’s brake engineering team to resist micro-abrasion caused by the movement of the brake lining against the shoe table during normal use. Rust-jacking occurs when rust forms on bare shoe metal under the lining, causing it to lift and crack.

The shoes and exclusive coating are produced at the company’s 275,000-square-foot remanufacturing facility in Plainfield, Ind. Used shoes are cleaned, shot-blasted and processed through a five-stage wash and pretreatment process before the PlatinumShield coating is applied.

Meritor says more than 75 percent of parts orders are placed electronically and more than 300 parts outlet locations – across the United States and Canada – are now relying on the Real Deal to help lower transaction costs, increase customer fill rates, improve profitability and enhance cash flow. Designed to lower the operating costs of distributors, the services package is built around broad product portfolio, short lead times, flexible packaging capability, Vendor-Managed Inventory (VMI) and high fill rates, all of which are backed by technical service and customer care.

“This is a win-win arrangement to drive the lowest possible transaction costs for our customers while improving fill-rates to the fleets they service,” said Joe Mejaly, president, Aftermarket & Trailer, Meritor. “In fact, participation in our VMI program is up more than 42 percent from last year and expecting a similar increase this year. The Real Deal enables customers to analyze our suite of services, their own business practices, and then provides insights into transactional costs. They can use this information to select the services they prefer to provide their customers, thus elevating a customer’s performance to new heights.”

The Winning Drive, which was a customer sales incentive program for warehouse distributors in the United States and Canada, began on Oct. 3 and gave distributors the chance to win a prize package that includes a ticket to the Super Bowl as well as an opportunity to earn rebates on Meritor, Euclid and Firestone products. In addition to a lower-level ticket to the game, the 2012 prize package includes admission to the NFL Experience as well as hotel, air and ground transportation.

The top three distributors with the largest year-over-year percentage sales increase and the top three distributors with the largest year-over-year dollar sales increase each received a ticket to the 2012 Super Bowl.

The top three for sales percentage growth, and their Meritor district service manager, are S & P Brake Supply Inc. (Andre Capritta), Quinte Truck & Trailer (Rick Boyle) and Lamphere’s Truck Parts (Mike Reed). The winning three distributors for sales dollars growth, and their Meritor district service manager, are Fleetpride Inc. (Jason Lane), Truckpro Corporate Office (Eric Lott) and Wheelco Brake & Supply Inc. (Tim Yant).