This year’s Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS) was the largest thus far, in terms of both size and attendance. Renovations to the Kentucky Exposition Center, the site for the annual event, bolstered the facility to more than 1.2 million square feet of exhibit space. The show featured 1,174 exhibitors representing 47 states and 12 countries, and nearly 76,600 attendees, making it the largest heavy duty trucking event in history. Here are some highlights of the news and developments from MATS.

Medium-duty hybrids

Peterbilt Motors Co. will begin full production of its Model 330 and Model 335 medium-duty hybrid vehicles this summer. The models feature the Eaton Hybrid Power system and provide a 30 percent improvement in fuel economy in an urban driving cycle.

The Model 330 can be configured for non-CDL operation with hydraulic brakes. The vehicles use a parallel hybrid system with an electric motor that assists the diesel engine with supplemental torque for improved fuel economy. The system stores energy during stopping through a process called regenerative braking, and then reuses it to launch and accelerate the vehicle.

Both models, powered by a Paccar PX-6 engine, are eligible to receive federal tax credits: a maximum $12,000 credit for Class 7 hybrids and a maximum $6,000 credit for Class 6 hybrids.

Starting in June, Peterbilt’s ComfortClass system — a battery-powered climate control system — will be available on 63-inch sleeper configurations. The system currently is available on its Class 8 vehicles equipped with a 70-inch Unibilt sleeper. A combination of batteries and a thermal storage cooler, the ComfortClass provides a temperature-controlled environment and 110-volt electrical power without the need for the engine to run for up to 10 hours.

If shore power is available, the system can be plugged in to provide power for all the system functions, as well as hotel loads and battery charging needs.

Starting in July, Peterbilt’s Models 384, 386, 388 and 389 will be available with a new proprietary front air leaf suspension, designed to deliver “significant improvements in ride and overall service maintenance,” said Peterbilt Chief Engineer Landon Sproull.

“The suspension has a lower spring rate for better isolation of road inputs and a 20 percent improvement in ride, while at the same time, maintaining the roll stiffness and handling performance of a taperleaf suspension. Reduction of road inputs to the cab, chassis and powertrain extends component lifecycles.”

Peterbilt’s medium-duty lineup of vehicles is getting a new dash featuring an enhanced ergonomic instrumentation layout, improved visibility for safety and driver comfort, and navigation functionality.

The dash, available this July, will include an enhanced side window defrost system and new dash panel colors. The Peterbilt Navigation System, with its 5-inch touchscreen, simplifies navigation with turn-by-turn directions and visual and audio cues integrated with the vehicle’s stereo system. It comes pre-loaded with Peterbilt dealer locations and lodging, fuel, ATM and restaurant locations across the United States and Canada.

Peterbilt has partnered with Westport Innovations to develop a liquid natural gas (LNG) version of its Model 386. The truck will have a Cummins ISX engine rated at 400 to 450 horsepower, and up to 1,750 pound-feet of torque. Provisions for mounting the system’s LNG tanks, fuel pumps and associated electronics will all be included.

New Cascadia model

Freightliner Trucks released a new model for its Class 8 aerodynamic Cascadia tractor and added several factory-installed options. The Cascadia tractor is now available in a 22-inch XT model, which features a standup sleeper that is 78 inches tall from the base of the bunk to the ceiling. It has an optional upper bunk or storage cabinets against the back wall of the cab that provide additional storage while maximizing space.The company plans to introduce additional sleeper variations, including a 60-inch raised roof, 60-inch XT and 48-inch XT, throughout 2008.

The Cascadia has been designated a SmartWay tractor by the U.S. EPA. The SmartWay Transport Partnership is a voluntary collaboration between EPA and the transportation industry to increase energy efficiency while significantly reducing greenhouse gases and air pollution.

To be SmartWay-certified, tractors must have an engine that is model year 2007 or newer and energy-efficient components, including fuel-tank side fairings on the tractor; integrated cab-high roof fairing; tractor-mounted cab side extenders; aerodynamic mirrors and bumpers; low rolling-resistance; and an auxiliary power units or other idle-reduction technology. Three new factory-installed options — the Meritor WABCO Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Eaton VORAD Collision Warning System, and Bendix air disc brakes — can now be spec’d on Freightliner’s Cascadia, Coronado, Columbia and Century Class S/T heavy-duty vehicles.

Available this spring, the Meritor WABCO ESC provides stability assistance in critical driving situations by automatically sensing dangerous driving events and taking appropriate action. Meritor WABCO’s Roll Stability Control is already available on Freightliner vehicles.

Also available this spring is the Eaton VORAD VS-400 Collision Warning system. It helps drivers identify traffic conditions in advance with in-cab notifications and alerts for slow-moving vehicles, stationary objects and short following distance. An additional system feature is SmartCruise. It collects data from the collision warning system and helps the truck automatically maintain a pre-determined distance from vehicles ahead.

The other new factory-installed option is the Bendix ADB22X-V air disc brake, designed specifically for 22.5-inch steel and aluminum wheels. Compatible with drum brake-equipped trailers, these air disc brakes can be spec’d without the usual suspension and wheel restrictions.

The air disc brake system, available for order this June, can be had on drive axles, but only in combination with steer axles produced by Axle Alliance Corp. The air disc brake design provides better stopping performance and has less brake fade, officials said. Air disc brakes make for easier and faster brake maintenance, allowing for less downtime.

Daimler technology

Detroit Diesel has chosen Daimler’s BlueTec selective catalytic reduction (SCR) clean diesel engine technology to help it meet the 2010 emissions standards for heavy-duty truck engines.

“Detroit Diesel worked with other Daimler companies to develop and build the North American version of the BlueTec system,” said Mike Delaney, senior vice president of marketing for Daimler Trucks North America, of which Detroit Diesel is a division.

“Built upon the experience of its European counterparts, SCR is proven technology that requires DEF refilling only about every 5,000 to 6,000 miles per 20-gallon tank under typical highway duty cycles.” Delaney said the BlueTec system with SCR technology “is projected to increase fuel efficiency by about 3 to 5 percent. Reduced fuel consumption means reduced emissions overall.”

Renewed partnership

Ten years after Eaton Corp. and Dana Holding Corp. created the original Roadranger marketing organization, the two companies have agreed to renew the initiative for an additional five years.

The Roadranger agreement gives truck buyers the option to select Eaton and Dana products as a complete system for single-source specification, service and support with Roadranger’s customer promise of “More Time On The Road.”

“At the time, we announced the unprecedented alliance of former industry rivals, accompanied by an exchange of businesses designed to make each company stronger and more valuable to its customers,” said David Renz, Eaton vice president of sales and marketing. “I’m happy to report that a decade later, the reasons we agreed to work together in the first place are still valid today.”

“We will continue to work together to provide increasing levels of customer value and satisfaction by ‘virtually integrating’ our drivetrain systems and other products into a solution that is clearly more than the sum of its parts,” added Frank Sheehan, Dana senior vice president of global sales, marketing, and planning.

In addition to the primary component offerings of Fuller transmissions and clutches, Spicer axles and driveshafts, and Bendix brakes, the two companies also provide Eaton’s hybrid power systems, Dana Tire Pressure Management Systems, Eaton’s Fleet Resource Manager, VORAD Collision Warning Systems and Roadranger synthetic drivetrain lubricants.

Overall, more than 200 components are available through the Roadranger organization, supported by its network of more than 180 sales and service specialists.

Eaton and Dana have updated the design of their Web site, making it more effective and efficient. The changes include improved, reader-friendly screens, and a new, lighter look to enhance readability. The site’s search functionality also has been upgraded to provide enhanced results.

System upgrades

Kenworth Truck Co. is making upgrades to a number of its products and is manufacturing some new ones.Its Clean Power no-idle system can now be ordered as a factory-installed option on new W900s and T800s equipped with Kenworth’s 72-inch AeroCab sleeper. The system is capable of providing engine-off cooling and heating, plus 120-volt power for hotel loads.

The AG130, AG210L and AG400L suspensions are the latest additions to Kenworth’s suspension family. The AG130 is a “robust” proprietary front axle air spring suspension that features a four-bag air spring configuration to reduce road inputs and vibration to “provide the best riding suspension we’ve ever offered,” Kenworth chief engineer Mike Dozier said. Roll stiffness also is improved to provide better handling and road feel.

The disc-brake compatible AG130 will be available in 12,000- and 13,200-pound ratings for Kenworth’s T660, T800 and T2000 Class 8 models. The AG400L tandem rear suspension, also disc brake-compatible, is a 40,000-pound rated highway rear suspension system for the T660, T800, T2000 and W900 heavy-duty models. The AG210L, a two-bag version of the AG400L, is a 21,000-pound single-axle rear suspension for Kenworth’s Class 6 and Class 7 T370 and T270 conventional models.

The T2000 gets new standard multiplex instrumentation and an option for the Kenworth Driver Information Center, already available on Kenworth’s other Class 8 models. The Center has features that “can help drivers maximize their potential in getting the best fuel economy possible, helping reduce operating costs,” Dozier said.

It provides instant trip access information for miles per gallon, engine and idle hours, idle percentage and optimum rpm range. A “sweet spot indicator” offers visual cues when the optimum rpm is reached. A bar graph displays current miles per gallon against trip average miles per gallon.

The T2000’s new dash offers a more ergonomic, modern and visually appealing instrumentation system designed to make it much easier to check gauges and warning lights.

“The instrumentation system’s multiplex design also provides enhanced serviceability and reliability,” Dozier said. “For easier servicing, the wiring behind the dash was simplified, color-coded and numbered, and the durability of critical connections is maintained with positive locking connectors.”

The new Marathon seat insert material, which has a stain-resistant treatment, is standard on Kenworth’s Air-Cushion Plus, Air-Cushion Premium Plus and Steel Tool Box Plus proprietary seats. The material also comes on sofa beds in Kenworth’s 86-inch AeroCab and 72-inch AeroCab Aerodyne sleepers.

Kenworth also has added new interior wood finish trim accents. Called Trust Walnut, it is used on the instrument panel, header, doors and sleeper cabinets on Kenworth Diamond and Diamond VIT interiors.

In addition to the new cab features, Kenworth has expanded its PremierCare Connect program with the introduction of the new cost-effective Connect Express parts ordering option for small fleets and maintenance shops that electronically links them with their preferred Kenworth dealer. Kenworth PremierCare Connect is a comprehensive fleet and maintenance Windows-based software program.

The program enables these fleets and shops to have an automated parts ordering and replenish inventory system for any make of heavy- and medium-duty truck, trailer or other fleet equipment, without the complexities of a full repair shop management program. It also offers additional features, such as parts usage tracking by vehicle and warranty alerts.

In the hybrid truck arena, Kenworth will begin full production of its new fuel-efficient medium-duty, diesel-electric hybrid T270 Class 6 and T370 Class 7 conventional model trucks this summer. These hybrids, Dozier said, are expected to enhance fuel economy by up to 30 percent in pickup and delivery applications.

The vehicles qualify for a maximum federal tax credit of $6,000 for Class 6 vehicles and $12,000 for Class 7s. The Kenworth T270 and T370 hybrids use a Paccar PX-6 engine rated from 200 to 300 horsepower and 520 to 620 pound feet of torque backed to an Eaton six-speed UltraShift automated transmission and the Eaton hybrid system. Kenworth plans to begin production of its T800 liquefied natural gas (LNG) trucks in 2009.

“A typical LNG truck reduces nitrogen oxide and greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 33 percent and 20 percent, respectively, compared to a diesel-fueled truck,” Dozier said. “Our T800 LNG vehicle also offers outstanding efficiency, horsepower, and torque, with a fuel cost of 10 to 15 percent less.”

New tractors

Navistar International showed off its newest tractor, the International LoneStar, which it claims is “the most aerodynamic, fuel-efficient Class 8 truck on the road today.”

LoneStar offers “sophisticated ride and handling, class-leading quietness, and the luxurious and functional suite interior that rivals many offices and living rooms,” Navistar executives said.

Daycab and sleeper models give the LoneStar the ability to serve in short-haul and long-haul applications. The standard sleeper cab is a 73-inch high-rise.

Among the interior’s features are wood flooring in the sleeper cab, sofa-bed design with back pillows, pull-down bed with 42-inch premium mattress, swivel chairs and closed “airline” cabinets for maximum storage.

LoneStar is projected to be 5 to 15 percent more fuel efficient than traditional style trucks, equating to an annual savings of $3,000 to $8,000, the executive said.

An efficient drivetrain also contributes to fuel economy. Standard equipment for the tractor includes a 435-horsepower Cummins ISX diesel engine, Eaton Fuller 10-speed transmission, and Meritor drive tandem with Bendix antilock braking and International’s Iros air-ride suspension.

Power options include ISX horsepower ratings up to 600, and Caterpillar’s C15 engine rated at 435 to 550 horsepower. Eaton automated transmissions, Dana drive axles, Meritor WABCO antilock braking and Bendix and Meritor WABCO stability control systems can be spec’d as well.

The LoneStar’s bold design offers plenty of opportunity for customization. Exterior features include the stylized grille, long rounded hood, wide and curvy bumper and stacked halogen headlamps.

Navistar introduced at MATS its exclusive new premium line of truck customization parts and accessories called DoubleSix Customs. The line includes several exclusive designs from custom truck and auto manufacturing.

International’s TranStar regional-haul and ProStar long-haul vehicles are now available with the newest diesel engines to the MaxxForce International Diesel Power line: the big bore MaxxForce 11 liter and MaxxForce 13 liter. With electronic programmable features and parameters, the engines have a compacted graphite iron block for strength with less weight. International is the first North American manufacturer to offer this block material, which also features a unique acoustic design to dampen noise.

To meet 2010 diesel engine emissions standards, MaxxForce engines will use exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) technology rather than selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems.

Beginning this fall, International’s proprietary MaxxPower auxiliary power unit will be available as a fully integrated factory-installed and factory-warranted option on International Trucks. The unit saves fuel by automatically turning off the engine after 10 minutes of idling.

Weighing solutions

Air-weigh has expanded its on-board scale product family with the addition of the QuickLoad Scale, an affordably priced, easy-to-install and use, weighing solution designed for dedicated tractor trailer configurations and straight trucks. The QuickLoad provides many of the on-board weighing features currently offered by Air-Weigh, integrated with state-of-the-art hardware and software technology, and packaged in a compact, backlit in-dash display. It monitors steer, drive and trailer axles on the display, and automatically calculates gross vehicle weight (GVW) and net payload. With several air and axle deflection sensor kits available, the new scale can to be tailored to a variety of truck, tractor and dedicated tractor trailer configurations.

The QuickLoad on-board scale converts tractor and trailer suspension loads to an accurate on-the-ground weight. By comparing empty and loaded axle group weights with empty and loaded suspension pressures, the scale can be calibrated to display accurate weights at any suspension load.

The scale’s accuracy is not affected by altitude, temperature or humidity.


ArvinMeritor’s Commercial Vehicle Systems continues to leverage the technology benefits it has developed from supplying axles and brakes for military vehicles and other severe-service applications by applying them to the commercial vehicle marketplace.

“Aside from meeting the government’s detailed performance specs, mileage/speed requirements, fuel consumption and ride and handling characteristics, ArvinMeritor components operate in extremely difficult conditions,” said Joe Plomin, vice president-truck. “Beyond that, military truck components are serviced and maintained by mechanics that come and go on a 14-month rotation.

“All this gives us a unique insight into what features we can incorporate into our commercial products for greater reliability and durability,” he said.

The company is continuing to add to its progressive lineup of braking products and technologies. The foundation for this is what ArvinMeritor calls its pyramid of safety — adding products to an electronic platform to build incremental safety features into a vehicle using the existing component architecture.

“This gives us the opportunity to add safety features without adding additional complexity or other redundant systems,” Plomin said.

The latest platform addition was the introduction of OnGuard, a new forward-looking, radar-based adaptive collision safety system with active braking. The system improves vehicle safety by automatically using the vehicle’s foundation brakes to decelerate the vehicle when a pre-set vehicle following distance is compromised.

The company also discussed advances in tire technology. Vice President-Trailer Systems Larry Burgin observed that many fleets are realizing fuel economies due in part to the Meritor Tire Inflation Systems (MTIS) by PSI, an automatic tire inflation system.

“The system helps to keep tires properly inflated,” he said, which increases fuel efficiency and safety, and increases tire life.”

MTIS is now available with ThermAlert, a wheel-end heat-sensing capability that detects wheel ends’ temperatures and alerts drivers of problems, said Burgin. “This early warning system helps reduce potential risks, costs and downtime associated with wheel loss, and wheel and tire fires and failures.”

'Cleaner and greener'

Carrier Transicold products for 2008 are cleaner and greener. Its 2008 trailer product lineup offers better fuel efficiency and lower sound output than previous models, and features engines that “significantly surpass” U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board (CARB) particulate emissions requirements.

As a result of upgrades and improvements, trailer refrigeration unit engines are 1 to 2 percent more fuel efficient than previous engines. “Better fuel economy, plus improved emissions and lower noise add up to a significant green benefit for customers,” said Carrier Transicold marketing and product management director Ignacio Aguerrevere.

The units comply with the EPA interim Tier 4 standards (Tier 4i), which lower emissions by 50 percent for trailer refrigeration units with 25 to 50 horsepower engines. The Tier 4i engines are used in models 2100, 2100A and 2500A from Carrier Transicold’s X2 Series, and the Ultima, Ultra and Genesis models.

The company’s Supra truck refrigeration units are equipped with engines certified to EPA Tier 4 standards, which took effect for 2008 model-year engines. Tier 4 engines became the standard for the Supra 550, 650, 750, 850 and 950, and the Genesis R-90 units.

Carrier Transicold is the first manufacturer to offer a simple engine-swap solution to comply with CARB requirements for diesel truck refrigeration units, said David Dunn, product manager for truck products.

“It’s completely backward compatible,” he said. “A new Tier 4 engine can fit into any corresponding older model Supra — Tier 2, Tier 1 or older — without any special modifications. It’s a direct swap.”

Carrier Transicold’s hybrid Vector 1800MT multi-temperature trailer refrigeration system features the company’s Deltek diesel-electric technology. When parked, the capability allows the refrigeration unit to be plugged into electrical current without running the diesel engine.

The electric standby mode offers additional benefits, Aguerrevere noted, such as eliminating exhaust emissions and engine noise, and conserving fuel for highway use. Reducing the engine’s runtime provides maintenance benefits as well. When heating is required while operating on standby, the Vector 1800MT system’s energy-efficient electric heating circuit requires significantly less power to achieve setpoint than electromechanical standby options on conventional systems.


Cummins is developing both selective catalytic reduction (SCR) and exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) systems to comply with the 2010 U.S. EPA diesel emissions regulations.

“We have a foot in each camp because we believe there needs to be the right technology for the right markets, and our product line will be ready for 2010,” said Jeff Jones, Cummins’ vice president of sales and marketing.

He said in applications where trucks come home every night, SCR is better suited since re-supplying SCR engines with the required diesel exhaust fluid (urea) is easier. For long-haul operations, urea infrastructure could be a problem, so EGR engines make better sense.

Meantime, the company has expanded its ReCon line of remanufactured products. The latest additions are cooled-EGR ISX and ISM engines and components; High Pressure Common Rail (HPCR) fuel system components for the ISL, ISC and ISB engines; and aftertreatment components for the Cummins’ current production engines.

Cummins also has created an assortment of new training tools, specifically for drivers. Its new driver training audio CD presents the features of its engines, plus information on such key topics as fuel economy, load-based speed control and Cummins’ aftertreatment system.

For more in-depth driver training on improving fuel economy and understanding Cummins’ aftertreatment system, a new DVD designed to allow viewing in segments is available.

The company also has produced an easy-to-read driver tip card that highlights fuel-saving techniques and provides an overview of dash lamps and switches found in vehicles with Cummins’ EPA 2007-compliant engines.

Diesel exhaust fluid

Selective catalytic reduction (SCR) is one of the technologies engine manufacturers are using to comply with the U.S. EPA’s stringent 2010 diesel engine emissions standards. SCR engines require diesel exhaust fluid (DEF), also known as urea, to convert nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions into harmless levels of pure nitrogen and water vapor.

Consequently, an infrastructure needs to be in place to have easy access to DEF. To that end, companies in the refining, packaging and distribution segments of the nation’s fuel market are preparing to provide diesel exhaust fluid. At MATS, Accuride Corp. and Benecor announced they have entered into a joint venture to work together to expedite the manufacturing and installation of urea storage and dispensing units at truck stops, diesel fueling stations and fleets throughout North America.

Accuride is a manufacturer of commercial vehicle components, and Benecor, a company that designs and develops dispensers for urea.

Brenntag, a distributor of automotive grade urea, launched its Urea 2010 initiative. It is a national program to provide urea availability by coordinating the necessary supply, blending capabilities and flexible packaging options.

The company, which has extensive experience with diesel exhaust fluid, already has more than 120 locations throughout the United States and Canada, and currently is distributing some 150,000 gallons of DEF a day.

Heating solutions

Manufacturer of anti-idling technologies Espar Heater Systems has three new heater products, each designed to “reduce idling costs, improve comfort for drivers, minimize complexity for service technicians and provide optimum value for truck owners,” said the company’s Jeff McCord.

The new Hybernator, a complete heating system, is available in two models: on frame and in frame. Both provide engine-off heat to the cab, truck engine and fuel system.

The Hybernator units work as coolant heaters that circulate the existing engine coolant through the heater’s heat exchanger and on through a fuel heat exchanger, preheating the engine, fuel and sleeper bunk. This system uses the truck’s own diesel fuel and an additional battery that comes as part of the system. The heating output is 8,200 to 17,000 BTU per hour, using between 0.08 and 0.16 gallons per hour.

Espar’s new Baire Necessity heating system is a portable window unit that allows drivers to stay warm in any truck, without the permanent installation of a bunk heater. Drivers can take this system with them as they move from truck to truck, McCord said. Facilities can supply them to drivers for temporary no-idle heating while they wait an hour or two to load or unload. The self-contained unit fits into a truck door window and gets its 12-volt power from the cigarette lighter.

The unit measures 12.2 by 4.5 by 4.8 inches and weighs 6 pounds. Its heating output is 2,900 to 7,500 BTU per hour and uses 0.026 to 0.06 gallons per hour.

Efficient insulation

Great Dane Trailers displayed its ThermoGuard exclusive glass-reinforced thermoplastic interior liner for refrigerated trailers and its CorroGuard corrosion protection technology.

ThermoGuard is an innovative composite layer that seals the trailer’s insulation and helps maintain thermal efficiency over the life of the trailer, decreasing unit maintenance downtime and expanding trailer productivity. With its uniform, puncture-resistant surface, it also helps maintain a like new appearance on the interior walls, which increases a trailer’s resale value.

By maintaining insulation performance over the life of the trailer, company officials said the cooling unit will not have to work as hard each year to make up for degrading insulation performance. Lowering cooling unit run-time hours also saves cooling unit fuel.

Great Dane featured corrosion control technology in its CorroGuard, an exclusive spray-in-place thermoplastic elastomeric coating applied to suspensions and support gear to provide long-term protection from road abrasion and corrosion. It provides superior corrosion resistance and durability, said company officials, because it “is air and water tight, and will not peel, crack, warp, flake or split under even the harshest of conditions. It remains pliable over time and withstands prolonged UV exposure.”

The coating is available on all the company’s van trailer models.

Lighting options

Grote Industries has expanded its product offerings with the introduction of a variety of new products, including the first and Per-Lux LED (light emitting diodes) WhiteLight work lamps.

With the addition of clear lens red and yellow products, Grote’s Hi Count LED line now has a full portfolio of lighting options. The new lamps include round and oval stop, tail, turn lamps; LED square corner lamps; LED 2-inch, 2.5-inch and rectangular marker lamps; LED box lamp with side marker in red and yellow for right- or left-mounting configuration; and LED round and square double face lamp in red and yellow.

Hi Count LED lamps are designed for quick “plug-and-go” retrofit by using standard incandescent wire termination, and are interchangeable with either traditional incandescent or newer LED technology.

The SuperNova lamp line is intended as a more cost-effective option for upgrading from incandescent lights to LEDs. New to the line are 4-inch round and 6-inch oval LED stop, tail, turn, lamps and a single diode back-up lamp.

SuperNova LED technology offers increased brightness and efficiency, and longer life. The lamps have impact-resistant polycarbonate lenses.

The introduction of the new Per-Lux LED WhiteLight work lamp is a first for Grote’s Per-Lux brand. Until now, the brand only offered lamps in incandescents.

WhiteLight LED lights use advanced optics and spectral technology to deliver a bright, but pleasant light that reduces stress and provides optimum viewing comfort.

The Per-Lux Work Lamp features a glass lens with a chemical- and corrosion-resistant stainless steel housing. A side screw adjusts the lens tilt for optimal beam pattern evenness. All component parts are completely replaceable. The lamp comes in spot, flood and trapezoid lens configurations.

Doing it the SmartWay

The U.S. EPA’s SmartWay Transport Partnership has launched its new Web-based finance clearinghouse where buyers of clean trucks and other emissions and fuel-saving technologies can submit one application and have easier access to multiple financial institutions offering reduced-interest loans with flexible terms.

The SmartWay program has consolidated more than 300 private lenders into one network where they can view applications from buyers seeking cleaner and more fuel efficient vehicles and equipment. The application is free, simple and fast. Once submitted, interested lenders send their offers. A voluntary partnership between the government and the trucking industry for improving fuel efficiency and reducing environmental impacts from freight transport, the SmartWay Transport Partnership establishes incentives for fuel efficiency improvements and greenhouse gas emissions reductions.

Cold weather kit

Thermo King has launched several new products, and offered a glimpse at other innovations coming soon. Its Extreme Arctic Kit for the TriPac Hybrid Auxiliary Idle Reduction and Temperature Management System has been designed for lower operating costs and longer engine life, especially in cold weather, during which the majority of mechanical engine wear occurs during engine start-up, said Craig Fisher, director of marketing, Thermo King Americas.

To avoid this situation, the kit includes both a coolant and oil heater to ensure that engine wear is no different than during warm weather starts.

Thermo King displayed its new SLX trailer refrigeration unit, built for improved performance, reduced environmental impact and lower cost of ownership.

The unit, launched late last year in Europe, “has significantly upsized refrigeration components that relate to performance such that engine operating speeds have been reduced with no loss in performance,” Fisher said. “Slower engine speeds give a quieter engine, which uses less fuel and prolongs the life of moving parts to increase reliability.” Thermo King is gauging customer interest and gathering feedback on its new SLX technology, as it is considering bringing it to the North American marketplace.

Fisher said the SLX unit provides 20 percent better fuel economy, reduces particulate emissions by 40 percent and carbon dioxide emissions by 20 percent, and is 60 percent quieter. What’s more, the unit has been built to be more than 99 percent recyclable by weight.

Thermo King also discussed the development of the next generation of its OptiSet temperature management system. It helps manage temperature requirements to coincide with particular hauling condition needs in order to reduce engine run time for minimized fuel consumption.

The new user-friendly OptiSet+ system will allow customers to modify profiles, as well as customize them to meet particular cargo requirements for the temperature-controlled environment.

Thermo King is putting the finishing touches on a high-tech air purification type system for refrigerated trailers. Called THE Environment Management System (EMS), it is designed to protect air and surfaces from bacteria, mold, fungi, and viruses, and improve the quality of perishable products.

The EMS product, to be launched later this year, evolved from Thermo King parent company Ingersoll Rand’s Climate Control Technologies. The division developed a clean air and surface sanitation technology to reduce food safety risks, increase shelf life of perishable products, and maintain the quality of perishable products longer in warehouses, distribution centers and food processing facilities.

Standby power

Thermo King’s SmartPower electric standby is available as an option on several trailer and truck refrigeration units, including the multi-temp Spectrum SB and single-temp SB-210 trailer units, and the MD, TS, RD and multi-temp Spectrum TS truck units. During SmartPower operation, power to the unit is supplied by an electric motor connected to a high voltage power source. The unit controls and instruments for electric standby operation are the same as those used for diesel engine operation.

The unit automatically switches to electric operation when a power cord is connected and the standby power is switched on. If the electric power supply is interrupted, the unit will switch back to diesel power.

Drag reduction

TrailerTail is a new rear-drag reduction device proven to increase fuel efficiency of long-haul tractor trailers by more than 5 percent. Developed by Advanced Transit Dynamics (ATDynamics), the collapsible extension apparatus attaches to the rear of a swing-door trailer and reduces low-pressure suction drag that occurs directly behind a trailer.

Along with cutting fuel costs, the TrailerTail also improves vehicle safety by providing additional stability and reducing spray. Because it streamlines the airflow at the rear of the trailer and minimizes turbulent vortexes, hazardous road spray created in wet weather is lessened, and the back of the trailer doesn’t sway as much, said Andrew Smith, Trailer Tail’s chief executive officer. Suction drag at the tail end of a trailer creates as much drag as at the front of the trailer, he said.

The TrailerTail is constructed of lightweight, rugged four-tapered panels “designed to endure daily wear and driver abuse, yet ensure smooth opening and closing,” said Engineering Manager Chuck Horrell. “A unique hinge system allows truckers to operate the doors and access loading bays in the usual way for full cargo access.”

To position the TrailerTail for travel, the panels on each door are pulled open and the device locked into place. The device extends out 4 feet. U.S. Department of Transportation regulations allow aerodynamic devices to extend up to five feet behind a trailer.

To close, the device collapses into place on the trailer doors to 3 inches in length. Each process takes less than 10 seconds. The device can be installed in about two hours with two people. It adds 250 pounds to the weight of the trailer, and very little maintenance is required.

An automatic opening/closing system for the TrailerTail is under development. The system will open the device when the rig reaches 35 miles per hour and will close it when the speed drops below 35 miles per hour. ATDynamics, which offers complete aerodynamic packages for trailers, is developing a rear-drag reduction device for trailers with rollup doors.

Re-engineered trailer

Utility Trailer Manufacturing has introduced its re-engineered 4000D-X Dry Van trailer and is making Bendix brake components standard equipment.

The 4000D-X has been reworked for added strength and productivity. It features the industry’s lightest thin-wall composite design that integrates exceptional strength and the lowest tare weight to reduce fleet operating and maintenance costs, said Jeff Bennett, Utility Trailer vice president of engineering and product development.

The sidewall panel design features a high-density polyurethane foam construction “sandwiched” between the high-strength inner and outer skins, forming a composite that securely bonds them together. “The result,” he said, “is a stronger, stiffer composite panel that absorbs more energy, and when coupled with our heavy-duty wearband options, extends the trailer’s useful life.

“The new composite panel design of the sidewall is an efficient, lightweight and stronger panel that provides a perfect upgrade from conventional plate trailers.”

The 4000D-X has 4,085 cubic feet of capacity, versatile load securement capability, and Utility Trailer’s SnagFree recessed galvanized logistic posts for damage-resistant loading.

The trailer has as a standard stainless steel rear door frame and “the strongest integrated rear threshold plate.” Beginning this July, Utility Trailer will offer as standard position on base model dual-axle trailers the Bendix SR-5 spring brake relay valve, in combination with the Bendix TABS-6 antilock braking system (ABS). Currently, Utility Trailer provides Bendix automatic slack adjusters and spring brakes on all models.

The SR-5 valve provides premium performance under extreme conditions, Bendix officials said. Its design offers the fastest spring brake release.

The Bendix TABS-6 ABS was chosen to allow Utility Trailer an easy upgrade into the next-generation trailer stability system, the Bendix TABS-6 Advanced.

Utility Trailer also will offer the Bendix ADB22X air disc brake as a databook option. The lightweight brake reduces total wheel-end weight while providing fast and easy pad replacement, reduced maintenance and longer brake life.

Less maintenance required

Vanguard National Trailer Corp. has introduced a lighter weight floor, new triple-rated converter dolly and 28-foot trailers. The dolly and trailers have galvanized metal components to reduce corrosion, minimize maintenance and extend life. For superior strength, the converter dolly features a frame made from a single piece I-beam, rather than a C channel, that runs from the drawbar eye to the rear, eliminating frame flex.

The new 28-foot trailers are available in sheet and post or composite sidewalls. They come with 1 3/8-inch laminated oak flooring, have a 100-inch interior width, and are 110 inches tall.

The sidewalls on Vanguard’s trailers are fastened with a superior adhesive instead of rivets. This manufacturing process provides additional sidewall strength while eliminating potential rust and corrosion points, said company officials. Available as an option is a new pultruded composite floor that is lighter and more moisture resistant than wooden floors. “This type of flooring could take up to 700 pounds of weight off of a 53-foot trailer without negatively impacting trailer integrity,” they said.

The company is working to put trailer maintenance and service information within an electronic nosebox on each trailer. The information will be downloadable via a USB port.

Owners and maintenance manuals will be contained in a convenient format, allowing instant access to critical trailer information, said the officials. Additional memory will be available for companies to input additional trailer data.

Online database

Webasto, a developer of engine-off comfort and environmental solutions, has created a new Web site — (LEaP) — to serve as an educational and informational single point-of-reference database of idle reduction information and educational resources. LEaP stands for lowering emissions and particulates.

The Web site combines some of the best information available, particularly on the difficult-to-understand, difficult-to-track status of the many idling laws and regulations from states and local municipalities across the United States.

Webasto uses a green frog for its LEaP mascot. It was chosen as a metaphor for environmental well-being, said company Vice President of Marketing and Environmental and Regulatory Affairs John Thomas, “because in nature, the health of frog populations is a direct reflection of the cleanliness of their environment.”

In addition to details on state and individual municipality idle laws and regulations, the Web site contains information on idle reduction rebate programs, a list of environmentally conscious legislators, where applicable, and a section on idling myths and facts.