The 38th Mid-America Trucking Show, held in Louisville, Ky., featured 935 exhibiting companies representing 46 states and 10 countries. Here is some of the news, new products and developments unveiled at the event.
Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems introduced the Bendix Pneumatic Booster System (PBS), the first air management system of its kind to simultaneously improve fuel economy and vehicle acceleration, while reducing engine emissions.
Currently undergoing internal validation, as well as field and engine benchmark testing, the PBS system is placed near the air intake manifold on an engine and monitors the Controller Area Network (CAN) for specific signals. Once the conditions for activation are met, the PBS injects compressed air from an auxiliary air tank into the engine manifold, delivering the desired amount of air that the diesel combustion processes require.
Typically, when a driver presses down on the throttle to demand acceleration, there is a delay in engine response because of turbo lag. This lag constitutes the time difference between acceleration demand and the maximum air delivery of the turbocharger. The Bendix PBS system overcomes turbo lag by instantaneously injecting the desired air into the intake manifold, allowing the turbocharger to spin up to its full capacity and taking over the air delivery demands.
The company also introduced the Bendix Wingman ACB (Active Cruise with Braking), an innovative technology that delivers warnings and proactive interventions to help drivers avoid collisions, and provides data to help with fleet operations and driver training.
Using a radar sensor mounted to the front of the vehicle, and building on Bendix ESP full stability technology, the system assists the driver in maintaining a set following distance between the truck and the forward vehicle.
With cruise control on and speed set, Bendix ACB will warn and provide active interventions — reducing throttle, engaging the engine retarder, and if necessary, automatically applying the foundation brakes to help the driver maintain the intended following distance.
When cruise control is not engaged, the driver still gets the benefit of following distance alerts to let them know if they are getting too close to the forward vehicle.
Plus, the inclusion of Bendix ESP full stability technology helps drivers mitigate rollover and loss-of-control situations on dry, wet, snow and ice-covered roadways. Information, warnings and operation of the system are incorporated into the vehicle dash in direct view of the driver.
Bendix also announced a new agreement with Caterpillar to provide SmartWave tire pressure monitoring systems technology. The technology provides real-time tire pressure status and automatically warns the driver of an under-inflated tire, which can help reduce wear and tear caused by under-inflation.
SmartWave technology became part of the Bendix portfolio with the December 2008 select asset acquisition from SmarTire Systems. Bendix incorporated these assets, including SmartWave technology, into its electronics business unit. Web site:
Arvinmeritor extended the availability of the Meritor Inflation System (MTIS by P.S.I.) Stimulus Package – buy-four, get-one-free retrofit program. Available from all Meritor distributors and dealers throughout North America through July 31, the program allows fleets to purchase four retrofit kits, for any axle combination, and get a fifth kit at no charge.
The MTIS by P.S.I. is designed to help fleet operators realize ongoing savings due to better fuel economy, improved tire wear characteristics and tire retreadability, and elimination of costs associated with manually checking tire pressures.
The company expanded training opportunities for truck operators and technicians with a suite of Meritor blended learning programs that incorporate self-guided online learning, virtual classroom webinars, and on-site instruction. These training programs include Literature on Demand (LOD), which offers comprehensive product information, technical bulletins, and maintenance manuals.
It also introduced the Meritor MXL (Meritor Extended Lube), a new series of greaseable drivelines with 100,000-mile lubrication intervals and a three-year/300,000-mile warranty in linehaul service. Available on new trucks or for retrofit, the MXL joins the RPL permanently lubricated driveline in the Meritor family of driveline products for commercial vehicles.
At 100,000 miles, the MXL’s lubrication interval is twice as long as other conventional greaseable drivelines, and aligns with recommended lubrication. Arvinmeritor announced the PlatinumShield coating as a standard feature on the OE Meritor Q Plus LX 500 brake package for truck applications and as an option on Q Plus equipped trailer axles. This is the first application of PlatinumShield to an OE truck and trailer brake shoe.
The coating provides superior protection against corrosion and rust-jacking and comes with a three-year/300,000-mile warranty against rust-jacking. Web site:
Bridgestone Bandag Tire Solutions displayed its commercial truck tires — the R287 steer, R280 steer, M720 drive, R195F trailer and Greatec wide base Drive and Trailer, which is certified by the U.S. EPA’s SmartWay program. Tires that earn SmartWay certification must achieve at least 3 percent better total vehicle (steer, drive and trailer positions) fuel economy than the EPA-defined average, or a 15 percent reduction in rolling resistance per tire by wheel position. Web site:
Carrier Transicold unveiled the Vector 6500, North America’s first single-temperature trailer refrigeration unit to use the company’s exclusive hybrid diesel-electric Deltek technology. A high-performance unit designed for improved reliability and low cost of ownership, this next-generation unit’s refrigeration capacity rivals the performance of its top-of-the-line X2 series trailer unit, the company says.
The Vector 6500 has a streamlined electric architecture that eliminates many of the serviceable mechanical components found in conventional systems, and substitutes expanded use of electronics and maintenance-free electrical components for reduced maintenance costs over its lifetime compared to conventional mechanical technologies.
The company also introduced the X2 Special Edition, a custom-configured model 2100A trailer refrigeration unit with a chrome grille and stainless accents, silver metal-flake paint job and a “Special Edition” emblem. It comes with the company’s Stealth 2 sound-reduction package and a standard five-year extended warranty and preventive maintenance package. Web site:
CIMC (China International Marine Container) and Direct Chassis jointly introduced the CIMC R8000 Series, a new 53-foot refrigerated trailer with a host of premium features and anti-corrosive components. The new trailer has a patented two-piece top rail that does not intrude into the sidewall insulation, creating a barrier to moisture. The corrugated roof design allows for expansion and contraction of the roofing material due to hot and cold temperatures while keeping the roof tight.
The nose area has been created so that refrigeration units can be “slipped” easily on and off the trailer for repairs or replacement. Additional features include a sandwich panel foaming technology, high-gloss stainless steel top face and corner cover, rivetless door panel design, air-ride slider suspension, protected air and electrical wires that are gathered and bundled into separate “channels” for easier servicing, and unique knurled floor surface for safety.
Initially, the trailers will be built in China and shipped to the United States. Beginning in October, floor, sides and roof panels will be shipped in containers from China to the United States for assembly. Web site:;
Continental Tire North America introduced new tire models, all designed to improve fuel efficiency and extend tire mileage. Among them were the HSR2 (heavy steer regional) regional steer tire, HDL2 DL (heavy drive long-haul deep lug) over-the-highway tire, HTL (heavy trailer long-haul) Eco Plus trailer tire and HTL1 (heavy trailer long-haul) wide-base trailer tire.
The company also unveiled a new nationwide emergency road service, ContiFleet, a free membership program to address the needs of owner-operators and small fleet owners. It provides a single-source program for emergency road service, including guaranteed member pricing for tire and road service, plus towing services. Web site:
Detroit Diesel debuted the new DD16, the company’s most powerful engine and the first to be launched with BlueTec emissions technology to meet the upcoming EPA 2010 standards. Displacing 15.6 liters, it features a robust core design, amplified common rail fuel system, turbo compounding technology and superior power curves, the company says.
The new engine will be offered with a variety of output and multi-torque power ratings from 1,750 to 2,050 pound-feet torque and 475 to 600 horsepower. Web site:
Freightliner Trucks launched the RunSmart Predictive Cruise system that evaluates the upcoming road profile more than one mile in advance and determines the most fuel efficient vehicle speed. Unlike standard cruise control, where the truck tries to maintain a set speed regardless of the terrain ahead, RunSmart Predictive Cruise looks ahead of the truck’s location and anticipates road grades by using GPS and 3D digital map technology. The system adjusts the actual speed of the truck for maximum fuel efficiency based on the terrain while staying within 6 percent of the set speed.
The system is available as an option for a Detroit Diesel DD15-equipped Freightliner Cascadia with a 72-inch raised roof. Web site:
Advanced Transit Dynamics (ATDynamics) presented the ATDynamics-Transtex Skirts, flexible thermoplastic side skirt panels for trailers designed to improve fuel efficiency. The devices are compatible with all common trailer specifications. One set weighs 175 pounds.
The company also launched the SuperSpare, a wide-base tire mount to enable either tractors or trailers to carry spare “super single” tires.
ATDynamics is the only company to market side skirts and a rear-mounted aerodynamic device, the TrailerTail, that each achieves EPA SmartWay-validated fuel savings of greater than 5 percent. Web site:
Grote Industries revealed its LightForm technology, an advanced, thin-film, solid-state LED lighting device that can be formed into a variety of shapes and sizes. Because the new technology allows LEDs to be embedded within a flexible clear, opaque or colored film, it will eliminate the installation cost and time associated with drilling holes, affixing mounting brackets and utilizing traditional fasteners, the company says. Web site:
Hendrickson announced that the weight-saving Softek integrated front suspension and steer axle system now comes standard on International LoneStar trucks and is available as an option on the International ProStar series.
The Softek combines Hendrickson’s monoleaf steel springs and the rigid, box-shaped Steertek axle for ride and stability, and provides a weight savings of up to 92 pounds compared to a two-leaf configuration with an I-beam axle.
In capacities up to 12,350 pounds, Softek features integrated steering arm and tie rod attachments to increase strength and reduce weight. In addition, the durable, efficient and functional design helps reduce maintenance costs. Web site:
Thermo King announced a new T-Series of temperature control units for straight trucks, developed to provide improved performance and a lower lifecycle cost. The units are backed by what the company says is the strongest warranty it has ever offered. They have the latest state-of-the-art features, a sleek new design that allows easy access for service, and enhanced Whisper technology for quieter operation.
Stationary or optional over-the-road Hybrid SmartPower electric operation for fuel savings and zero emissions are available.
The company also enhanced its Thermo Gard Platinum guaranteed refrigeration unit maintenance program to include four levels of service and protection tailored to fit customers’ needs. The upgraded protection program joins the Silver centralized billing program and Gold extended warranty program in Thermo King’s Thermo Gard family of cost- and time-saving service and maintenance plans.
In addition, Thermo King announced the availability of the TriPac hybrid auxiliary idle reduction and temperature management system, which provides cab power to keep drivers comfortable without running the tractor engine, as an option for Freightliner Cascadia models with DD15 and Series 60 engines, and for Freightliner Century Class S/T, Columbia, and Coronado models with Series 60 engines. Web site:
Vanguard National Trailer Corp. introduced the new VXP Composite Plate Trailer that features composite sidewalls that have a foamed plastic core between two galvanized steel cover sheets, providing strength and durability against abrasion and damage. Rust preventative primer and polyester finish coats are baked on the cover sheets for longevity. Inside posts on 48-inch centers provide vertical logistic availability the full length of the trailer.
In addition, the company debuted the new VIP MaxCube dry van trailer, featuring a 101-inch interior width capacity that has no snag points and a durable plastic lining. Like the new VXP, the VIP has numerous galvanized components to help minimize maintenance, control corrosion and extend the useful life of the trailer.
Vanguard also released a newly designed version of its VIP 4000 dry van trailer that has a number of higher-quality standard features, including laminated oak flooring, 0.75-inch logistics posts on 16-inch centers, extruded aluminum front corner, and a body framed with galvanized steel for added durability. Web site: vanguardtrailer
Volvo Trucks North America announced the availability of advanced collision avoidance technology with Volvo Enhanced Cruise (VEC), a system that works with a truck’s cruise control to maintain a safe following distance between vehicles.
Developed with its technology partner Bendix, VEC also has the capability to automatically slow the truck with the engine and foundation brakes to maintain a set following distance, while at the same time alerting the driver to potential danger. (See Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems for details.)
Volvo also disclosed that Volvo trucks equipped with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) emissions control systems will not undergo driving or parked active regeneration of diesel particulate filters (DPF) during normal highway operating conditions, and will instead employ only passive regeneration. Web site:
Mack Trucks introduced a new safety system, the Mack Road Stability Advantage by Bendix with Adaptive Cruise Control, that helps prevent accidents by maintaining a safe vehicle following distance on the highway through the use of proactive braking and driver alerts. The system is a new approach to adaptive cruise control that helps avoid collisions by integrating throttle, engine brake and foundation brakes into the cruise control function.
Mack also announced that extensive field testing has demonstrated that its selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology for EPA 2010 is ready and performing well. This testing has confirmed that this aftertreatment strategy results in significantly less active regeneration events of the diesel particulate filters (DPF), which increases fuel economy, as well as productivity for both the truck and driver. In over the road applications, Mack has eliminated active DPF regeneration, it says.
Active regeneration requires injecting diesel fuel into the exhaust stream to raise the DPF temperature to convert particulate matter into ash. In some duty cycles, this may have required the driver to monitor the DPF’s status or even to stop the truck for a parked active regeneration. The use of passive-only regeneration avoids both the increased fuel consumption and the need to park while regenerating. Web site:
Navistar International announced it is adding a 15-liter model to its MaxxForce diesel engine line sometime next year. The engine will combine the basic block and architecture of Caterpillar’s existing C15 engine with Navistar’s fuel and emissions systems. As with other MaxxForce engines, the new 15-liter model will use exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) to meet the new 2010 emissions regulations.
Caterpillar announced late last year that it would not develop a heavy-duty truck engine to meet the 2010 requirements and would exit the truck market. In the meantime, it entered into an agreement with Navistar to produce a severe-service truck engine under the Caterpillar brand, as well as work on other unspecified projects. The MaxxForce 15 is the first of those projects.
The company also introduced the International LoneStar Harley-Davidson Special Edition that features Harley-Davidson paint schemes and logos, headlights that are authentic headlamps from Harley-Davidson motorcycles, extensive use of chrome, a highly customized interior with rosewood cabinetry and a special instrument cluster. The Special Edition is available exclusively in a sleeper configuration, and only 250 units will be produced this year. Web site:
Truck-Lite introduced a 7-inch round LED Headlamp that provides brighter, crisper and whiter light output than incandescent alternatives, while offering longer life and dependability that has become standard for LED signaling and marking products.
Designed to replace any standard 7-inch round headlight within 12 volt applications, the new headlamps feature solid-state circuit board assemblies for superior shock and vibration resistance, and hard-coated polycarbonate lenses that offer 30 times more impact strength than glass.
Made in the United States, each headlamp uses 10 high-output LEDs as its light source, with a light output brighter than traditional glass beam headlights for better visibility. Web site:
Utility Trailer Manufacturing unveiled its new 4000D-X Composite which features the same durability limits of a composite plate trailer with the added performance characteristics of enhanced payload carrying capability, load securement versatility and longer life expectancy, the company says. A polyurethane foam core structurally bonds the interior lining panels to the outside skin panels, providing improved sidewall durability and strength, and a lower tare weight.
Another design highlight is a 27-inch-deep integrated threshold plate. Fully welded to both the buckplate and the 24-inch-deep side gussets, the extra floor support is built in, with two steel channel cross-members welded to the slider subframe and the bottom of the threshold plate.
The interior is fitted with fully recessed vertical logistic posts on 24-inch centers and the lower portion of interior panel includes full-length, one-piece, 12-inch-high 80,000 psi galvanized steel wearband for added impact protection, strength and stiffness. Web site: BI