Truck and Equipment Stand-Outs
David Kolman  
More models – Engineered and produced in North America, the 2006 Ford LCF has been designed for truck users who appreciate the low-cab-forward design advantages over conventional cabs – visibility, maneuverability, operating ease, overall efficiency and basic economics, especially in highly populated urban areas.
The new Class 4-5 LCF models come in gross vehicle weight ratings of 16,000, 17,999 and 19,500 pounds, with wheelbases from 113 to 185 inches. Power is supplied by a Power Stroke 4.5-liter V-6 diesel that delivers 200 hp at 3,000 rpm, with 440 pounds per foot of torque at 1,850 rpm, backed by a TorqShift five-speed automatic transmission with overdrive.
Sterling Truck
Product line updated – Sterling announced several updates to its A-Line, L-Line and Acterra trucks and tractors, including a full lineup of front and rear proprietary axles.
The front axle design has been made more robust and can provide up to 28-pound weight savings over similarly spec’d competitive axles. Service and downtime is reduced because of kingpin changes.
Rear axle offerings include single and tandem models featuring a new design that offers up to 128-pound weight savings over similarly spec’d competitive axles. Precision-cut gears have been designed to ensure more torque is transferred to the wheels, as opposed to being lost to friction.
The Cummins ISC engine, already available on the Acterra, is now available on Sterling’s L-Line trucks. Among the advantages offered by the ISC are improved performance with lower emissions and reduced noise, enhanced reliability, reduced downtime and a long life-to-overhaul.
Now available for all Sterling Class 7 and 8 models is an enhanced, low-maintenance 12,000-pound taper leaf front suspension that provides improved ride quality.
Peterbilt Motors
New conventional truck lineup – In one of the most significant new product introductions in its history, Peterbilt unveiled its 2006 lineup of Class 8 conventional trucks and tractors – the Models 379, 386, 385, 378 and 357.
The vehicles feature new technologies that improve performance, reliability and serviceability, and redesigned operating environments that optimize driver productivity, ergonomics and comfort.
Gauge and instrumentation reliability was significantly improved with the introduction of multiplexed electronic technology that improves communication between instrumentation and components and systems, while greatly reducing the amount of wiring needed.
Peterbilt’s new Electronic Service Analyst (ESA) tool allows service technicians to quickly and accurately monitor, troubleshoot and repair the electrical system by isolating sensors and gauges.  
New interior options, featuring precision fit and finish, offer improved ergonomics, enhanced serviceability features and new materials that blend functional durability with a luxurious look and feel.
The interiors feature improved lighting, five grab handles for safe entry and egress, ergonomic pedal package with “dead pedal” footrest, new gauge and instrumentation lighting, enhanced HVAC system and standard passenger-side power window, with an optional driver-side power window.
Peterbilt also re-styled the driver- and passenger-side doors to enhance visibility. The window beltline (where the top of the door meets the bottom of the window) was lowered and angled, approximately 2 inches in the front and 1 inch in the rear to create about a 17 percent improvement in ground strike visibility for the operator looking through the passenger window. Officials noted that this brings their field of vision closer to the vehicle and reduces the blind area.  
New aerodynamic tractor – Peterbilt has added another aerodynamic unit to its lineup. Model 386, which can be configured either as a day cab or with the full range of Unibilt sleepers, features a contoured sunvisor, side chassis fairings, dramatically sloped hood, integrated headlamps, swept-back fender design and form-fitted bumper.
Compared with its predecessor, Model 385-120, aerodynamic efficiency was improved by 10 percent, or about a 0.3-mile-per-gallon increase in fuel economy, officials said.
The chassis design of the 386 made for a lower radiator mounting, which allowed Peterbilt to lower the hood crown and integrate a dramatically sloped hood that, in addition to improving aerodynamics, increases forward visibility ground-strike by about 2 feet.
The repositioned front axle contributes to improved weight loading capabilities and allows for a shorter wheelbase that, when combined with the 50-degree wheel cut, reduces the wall-to-wall turning radius by approximately 12 inches.
The new integrated headlamps provide better lighting and longer life. The lighting design creates a higher intensity beam with a broad, even distribution that increases forward lighting by 43 percent.
Improvements to the 386’s electrical systems include multiplexed electronic technology for a significant reduction in the amount of behind-dash wiring for improved diagnostics and serviceability.
There have also been many other improvements for improved serviceability. New interiors improve operator ergonomics, comfort and productivity.
Heavier duty batteries standard – Peterbilt has made the new PACCAR Heavy Duty Commercial Batteries standard equipment on all its vehicles.
The Dual Purpose Battery has 700 cold cranking amps (CCA) and offers starting and reserve power to run accessory loads. It is available in two-, three- and four-battery configurations.
The Starting Battery offers 1,000 CCA and is available in a two-battery 2,000 CCA configuration for weight-sensitive applications. This configuration is for Kenworth day cabs and 38-inch Kenworth AeroCab sleepers only.
Both batteries are designed to feature sturdy construction, advanced technology and dependable power. The design eliminates the need to add water, while forged terminal bushings help prevent acid seepage and corrosion. Stainless steel terminal studs and a leak-resistant cover help resist corrosion.
Electronic stability control for Model 387 – The Bendix ABS-6, a high- performance anti-lock braking system, will be an option for Peterbilt Models 379, 385, 378, 357 and 386. The system will come in standard, premium and advanced configurations. (See the “Brakes” section for details on Bendix braking systems.)
Freightliner Trucks
Disc brakes – The latest Bendix/Spicer air disc brakes are available as an option for all medium- and heavy-duty Freightliner Trucks, provided they are equipped with proprietary front axles. The brakes offer several advantages, including improved brake pedal feel, reduced brake fade (a phenomenon of decreasing performance from heat build-up in drum brakes) and a simpler design allowing for fast and easy servicing.
Noise abatement packages – There are new noise abatement packages, designed to create a more pleasant work environment for the driver, for Freightliner’s medium-duty and vocational Business Class M2 106, 106V, 112 and 112V models, and Columbia tractor models.
These latest packages combine existing noise reduction options and features into convenient packages, expediting the ordering process and providing complete noise abatement systems in one specification.
Improvements have been made to help silence noise traveling from the engine compartment to the cab interior and to reduce engine sound traveling from the engine compartment to the outside environment.  
New Instrument Cluster – The new instrument cluster for the Freightliner Century Class S/T and Coronado vehicles has been designed to enhance reliability and provide better gauge readability, while offering easier maintenance and increased serviceability.  
The cluster features eight gauges, including tachometer and speedometer, and has the capacity to expand to 12 gauges. Each gauge is individually removable, allowing for easier service and decreased maintenance costs. Gauges can be added to the cluster without reprogramming. All gauges, except for air pressure, are digitally controlled for better reliability and accuracy.
It also features long-life LED backlighting, intended to last the life of the vehicle. Warning indicators for low oil pressure, high coolant temperature, low fuel level and high transmission temperature are included in the gauges for faster evaluation of system issues.  
New lease program for business class M2 – Freightliner Trucks  has launched its BizLease Program for its medium-duty Business Class M2 106 trucks.  This new financing package offers flexible payment options and low capital investment, allowing qualified buyers to lease as many as five M2 106 vehicles with minimum advance cash requirements on 48- or 60-month terms.
Because the BizLease financing plan is a “walkaway” lease program, customers have the option to purchase the vehicle at the current fair market value or return the truck to the dealer at lease maturity.
The BizLease program is available on qualifying 2006 model year Business Class M2 106 trucks with gross vehicle weights of 25,500 or 33,000 pounds.
Truck lessees are required to acknowledge specific return conditions and a limit of 30,000 miles per year. However, customers may purchase up to 20,000 additional miles, allowing for a 50,000-mile per year maximum.
International Truck & Engine
Big bore engine – International offered the first look at its new line of International brand big bore diesel engines for Class 8 vehicles. The fully emissions compliant engine, in the 11- to 13-liter range, is projected to debut in International vehicles in the fall of 2007.
Development of the new engines has encompassed the company’s Green Diesel Technology. This technology utilizes the benefits of application-specific solutions using advanced air management, selected fuel system application, proprietary combustion strategies, electronic controls and optimized after-treatment solutions for lower emissions and odor of diesel-powered buses and trucks.
The new International big bore engines will be offered exclusively in International brand severe service trucks, regional-haul tractors and long-haul tractors. Cummins and Caterpillar big bore engines will continue to be offered.
The big bore engine launch is part of a strategic agreement between International and MAN of Germany to collaborate on design, development, sourcing and manufacturing of components and systems for commercial trucks and diesel engines.
New engine-Allison automatic package – Now available is a new 350 hp Cummins ISM engine rating for International 8600 vehicles with Allison 3000 HS (Highway Series) transmissions.
This transmission-engine combination is designed to be a more lightweight package with easy shifting, improved acceleration and more continuous wheel horsepower, while reducing operating and driver recruitment costs.
Automatic transmissions reduce driver fatigue by allowing drivers to concentrate on operating the vehicle safely, particularly in urban areas or heavy traffic conditions, officials pointed out.  
The low-cost Allison 3000 HS vocational model transmission, designed for regional-haul and local pickup and delivery applications, is available in both five- and six-speeds and has 80,000-pound gross vehicle or gross combination weights. It features increased horsepower and torque capacity and includes a standard oil level sensor.
Technology upgrades for 9000 and 8600 Series – These 2006 model tractors will come with a host of technology improvements for better control and enhanced ride.
Available on the 9000 Series will be the Bendix ABS-6 Advanced with RSP (Roll Stability Program) from Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems. It is an ABS-based (anti-lock braking system) traction control and roll stability system that helps reduce the tendency for rollovers through advanced sensing, automatic application of the vehicle’s brakes and automatic engine dethrottling.
The system can detect a vehicle’s impending rollover, often before a driver senses it, through a system of sensors, including steer angle, yaw rate, wheel speed and lateral acceleration. The sensors continually analyze inputs and make comparative calculations to enable electronic intervention.
Ride improvements include a new front air suspension and new Hendrickson HTB rear suspension. The combination of the two new suspensions reduce weight of the 9000 Series by up to 350 pounds while at the same time increasing driver comfort.
International 8600 Series upgrades include electronic systems and technologies that can perform routine pre-trip inspections and address “on-road” driver and truck security issues.
International’s telematic International Aware Vehicle Intelligence system and DiamondLogic multiplexing application offer two new features: a theft-deterrent system and a semi-automated pre-trip inspection process. With the theft- deterrent feature, if someone releases the parking brake without entering a predetermined code into the dash-mounted system within a predetermined time limit, the truck will shut down.
The semi-automated pre-trip inspection process helps the driver with the execution and documentation of the pre-trip inspection. The driver enters the inspection data into the dash-mounted system where it reaches the fleet owner in real time.
Other available features include a Park Brake Alarm, which reminds the driver to engage the parking brake if he or she stop; Driver Alert Switch, which allows a driver to contact his home base if there is a need for assistance; and In-Cab Load Monitoring System, which indicates the load on the rear suspension of the tractor so that loads can be adjusted to weights compatible with the design specifications of the vehicle.
Upgraded cabs, sleepers for 2006 8000 and 9000 Series – New amenities added to these trucks improve the driver experience. Trucks include premium interior trim packages and entertainment features, such as a DVD player and satellite radio.
Kenworth Truck
New 2006 Models  – Kenworth announced a major product introduction with the launch of its new 2006 Model T600, T800, W900 and C500 Class 8 trucks.
New instrumentation systems use a new multiplexed design to provide enhanced reliability, serviceability and functionality. Wiring behind the dash has been simplified and is color coded and numbered for easier servicing. Robust, positive locking connectors help ensure the durability of critical connections.
The new speedometer and tachometer cluster is accompanied by large, 2-inch diameter gauges, standard with chrome bezels. Also standard are an outside temperature gauge, engine hour meter, odometer and trip odometer.
LED back lighting in the face plate and pointers makes it easier to read gauges and see warning lights. Larger dash rocker switches feature state-of-the-art LED indicator lights. Up to five pre-wired, spare switches are optional.
DayLite Doors and power door locks are now standard with electric window lifts standard on the passenger side and optional on the driver side. Window, door lock and mirror controls are located on the door for easy access.
Standard lighting is now better than any prior combination of optional lighting and provides more and brighter lights in key areas. The driver and passenger seats have both a dome light and task light mounted over the door; a dome lamp is positioned on the rear headliner; and under-dash, red lens lighting reduces glare from the floor. Advancements have also been made in cab noise reduction, with improvements of 20 percent.
Kenworth has incorporated other comfort and convenience elements into the new trucks. The steering wheel’s improved turn stalk adds intermittent wiper controls. The new pedal package design uses a hanging throttle pedal and complementary brake pedal placement for easier ergonomic operation. The center console has two 12-volt outlets, and a place to store a cell phone – all within easy reach of both driver and passenger. Curved windshields are now available for Kenworth’s 2006 Model sloped-hood W900, high-and-wide hood T800 and C500 vocational trucks. A flat windshield remains available for those configurations. For day cab applications, a large 17-inch by 36-inch rear cab window with sliding or tinted versions is now available.
Bendix ABS-6 Advanced with electronic stability program an option – Kenworth is offering the Bendix ABS-6 Advanced with ESP (Electronic Stability Program) system as an option on selected Kenworth Class 8 models. (See the “Brakes” section for details on Bendix braking systems.)
Kenworth plans to offer the system starting with specific short wheelbase tractors, such as fuel haulers, followed by other tractor applications and on straight trucks, including concrete mixers.It will also offer the full range of Bendix ABS-6 systems as an option. This includes the Bendix ABS-6 Standard system and the Premium system, which is available with automatic traction control.
PACCAR batteries standard – Like Peterbilt, Kenworth has made PACCAR’s new Heavy Duty Commercial Batteries standard equipment. (For details, see Peterbilt information.)
Volvo Trucks North America
16-liter Volvo D16 diesel – The new Volvo D16 diesel is the most powerful engine available in North America, with up to 625 hp and 2,250 pounds per foot of torque. Higher torque means more power at cruise rpm: for every additional 200 pounds per foot of torque, the D16 will produce more than 50 hp more at 1,400 rpm.
The engine, designed with the very stringent 2007 and 2010 EPA emissions standards in mind, has a standard oil change interval of 25,000 miles, while an optional cast aluminum oil pan with a 55-quart capacity permits an extended oil change interval of 35,000 miles.  
Features include the Volvo Engine Brake – an integrated engine compression brake; Volvo Exhaust Pressure Governor, which allows the engine to warm up quickly and maintain engine temperature at very low idle speeds, thus saving fuel and money and reducing emissions; the Volvo Pre-Heater, which heats the intake air for fast and reliable engine startup in cold weather, minimizing white smoke; which Volvo’s Vectro electronic engine management system, with additional engine protection features.
A standard electronic oil-level indicator allows the driver to check engine oil levels from inside the cab.
Intelligent torque – Volvo Trucks’ Intelligent Torque (I-Torque) – a feature of the new Volvo D16 diesel engine – protects components from excessive torque at low speeds by limiting engine torque output in startup gears. Too much power at low speeds can cause wheel spin and excessive tire wear or even damage drivetrain components.
I-Torque technology controls the amount of engine torque delivered to the driveline in any gear.  This also allows Volvo Trucks to specify an optimized rear axle and suspension combination. So it is possible to specify a lighter rear axle and suspension than would otherwise be required.
I-Torque works by matching torque levels to transmission gear ratios (the ratio of engine rpm to transmission output rpm), to reduce tire wear and ensure the drive axle’s torque limit is not exceeded.  Torque is multiplied by a truck’s gearing, with low gears multiplying torque more than high gears. I-Torque works on manual or automated transmissions with any number of gears.
In operation, I-Torque senses which gear is engaged through sensors on the transmission input shaft and output shaft to calculate the current gear ratio.  Depending on which range the gear ratio falls into, the electronic engine controller will use its programming to control the fuel supply to the engine, and thus its torque output.
Enhanced stability control standard on Volvo VN, VT – Volvo Enhanced Stability Control (ESC), an advanced vehicle stability system that provides protection from truck rollovers and jackknifes will become standard on Volvo Trucks North America’s VN and VT trucks.
The system utilizes Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems’ Bendix ABS-6 with ESP (Electronic Stability Program). (See the “Brakes” section for details on Bendix braking systems.)
Alternative-Power Medium Duty Truck Program – ArvinMeritor has entered into a new alternative-power vehicle development program featuring an electric drivetrain with Unicell, a medium-duty body builder.
The new electric drive vehicle, with a 16,000-pound gross vehicle weight rating, will be equipped with a fully electric drivetrain. It is expected to be ready for public demonstration next year. The vehicle’s initial application is for pickup and delivery.
Company officials anticipate this type of zero-emissions vehicle will become dominant over the next five to 15 years, primarily due to reduced emissions in urban environments, but also because of its lower energy costs and operations efficiency.
Caterpillar said it will meet the new, more stringent emissions standards for on-highway engines with its ACERT technology. The technology includes series turbochargers, variable-valve control, a high-pressure multiple injection fuel system, Cat electronics control systems and an oxidation catalyst.
To meet the 2007 regulations, all ACERT Cat engines feature an enhanced combustion process called Clean Gas Induction (CGI), closed crankcase ventilation system, and diesel particulate filter system with active regeneration.
Mid-range engines also build on ACERT technology and feature a high-pressure injection system and the closed crankcase ventilation, with the addition of a variable turbine geometry turbocharger.  
Engines with 500 hp or less will require one diesel particulate filter; engines with 550 hp or more will require dual filters.
Cummins announced it will achieve the EPA’s 2007 on-highway diesel emissions requirements using its current cooled-exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) engine technology and integrating the Cummins Particulate Filter.
This filter, developed and manufactured by Cummins’ subsidiary Fleetguard Emissions Solutions, will reduce particulate matter emissions by 90 percent from current levels. It is designed to replace the existing vehicle muffler, adding minimal weight to the vehicle.
Service requirements for the Cummins Particulate Filter can be extended as far out as 400,000 miles for line-haul operations, minimizing the operating cost impact to trucking companies.
Cummins’ 2007 engines will also feature a crankcase ventilation system from Fleetguard that virtually eliminates any oil carryover from the engine.
Detroit Diesel
Engines upgraded – Detroit Diesel has modified its 14-liter Series 60 engine to increase fuel economy by up to 1.9 percent in some applications, without impacting performance or emissions.
Its Mercedes-Benz MBE 900 engine now offers unrestricted ratings for the 7.2-liter version, covering 250-330 hp. Previously, the 300 and 330 hp ratings were limited to fire and emergency applications.
Ready for 2007 emission standards – Detroit Diesel said its Series 60, MBE 900 and MBE 4000 engines are poised to meet the stringent EPA 2007 diesel exhaust emissions standards.
These standards require that commercial heavy-duty diesel engines comply with a nitrous oxide (NOx) level that is nearly 55 percent lower than today’s NOx emissions standard and 90 percent lower than today’s particulate matter standard.
ArvinMeritor, Meritor WABCO
ArvinMeritor and Meritor WABCO Vehicle Control Systems announced their new Premium Hydraulic Braking System for medium-duty (Classes 4-7) truck applications. The package includes Meritor WABCO’s Hydraulic Power Brake (HPB) – the next-generation of its hydraulic actuation and anti-lock braking system (ABS), and the Meritor Quadraulic hydraulic disc brake. Combined, these two brake technologies offer unparalleled stopping and performance capabilities, reported officials.
The new HPB and Quadraulic disc brake offer numerous benefits over current systems. Along with shorter stopping distances, longer lining life, fewer aftermarket parts and single-source shopping, drivers will have a pedal “feel” similar to that of a passenger car.
With the HPB’s parking brake Auto-Apply function, when a vehicle’s automatic transmission is placed in “park” position, the park brake will automatically apply. The Auto-Apply will also function when the ignition key is switched off.  
EBD (electronic brake force distribution) is a key development of the HPB system. This function provides constant review of the vehicle’s load status and monitoring of each wheel end.  Based on wheel slip observed by the HPB system during braking, braking forces at the axles are automatically adjusted to achieve a balanced, efficient use of the brakes. This results in improved stopping performance and allows the vehicle to adjust for consistent brake feel independent of the load.
With a fixed caliper opposed four piston brake, the Quadraulic Hydraulic Disc Brake is designed to package within 19.5 x 6.75 inch and 22.5 inch wheel sizes.  It is available in two piston sizes – 4 x 64 mm. and 4 x 70 mm. – and provides performance and maintenance benefits as a result of its particular design.
Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems
Bendix ABS-6 Advanced with Electronic Stability Program (ESP) is the only available anti-lock braking system (ABS)-based, full-stability system with jackknife and rollover protection for trucks and tractor-trailer combinations, according to officials. This is the third version of the scalable Bendix ABS-6 platform, which was launched in September 2004.
Key benefits of the Bendix ABS-6 Advanced with ESP include superior traction systems, leading-edge diagnostic and prognostic capabilities and ease of maintenance.
The system is capable of recognizing and mitigating potential vehicle rollovers, jackknifes and loss of control in a wide range of driving situations. It is designed to detect a vehicle’s impending loss of stability before the driver senses it and automatically intervenes by selectively applying tractor and trailer brakes, as well as by dethrottling the engine.
The ABS-6 Advanced system features several additional sensors not found in competitive systems. Sensors monitoring brake pressure, steering angle, load and yaw rate improve detection and speed of response.
In addition, performance enhancements like multilevel sensing, tuning by OE configuration (wheelbase, suspension, wheel-end, etc.), all-axle braking and individual corner braking improve the system’s robustness and ability to properly match the intervention to the situation.
The ABS-6 Advanced with Roll Stability Program (RSP) is an all-axle solution that helps reduce the tendency for rollovers. A subset of the ESP system, the RSP can detect a vehicle’s impending rollover, often before a driver senses, through a system of advance sensors, including steer angle, yaw rate, wheel speed and lateral acceleration. Like the ESP, the RSP also applies the vehicle’s brakes and dethrottles the engine automatically.
ABS-6 is also available in standard and premium configurations. ABS-6 Standard provides ABS control and robust diagnostic capabilities, ABS-6 Premium adds Bendix Smart ATC traction control, enhanced diagnostic and prognostic capabilities, and customization options to the package.
Meritor WABCO
Meritor WABCO Vehicle Control Systems’ new Electronic Stability Control (ESC) for truck and tractor applications is founded on the company’s existing E-version anti-lock braking system. The ESC system builds on the already-established Roll Stability Control (RSC) system and provides another level of vehicle control by sensing the vehicle’s tendency to rotate and automatically applying the brakes to reduce that risk.
While ESC is an added instrument in vehicle stability, drivers are still the critical element in the driving equation, officials pointed out.  
ESC combines the features of the WABCO’s RSC system with added yaw (rotational) sensing. This improves vehicle handling and performance if there is an impending loss of control due to rotational forces.  These rotational forces may occur as a result of rapid lane change, or cornering maneuvers on slippery surfaces.  
Caterpillar is developing a complete line of fully automatic, planetary, on-highway transmissions designed specifically for vocational applications. They are based on existing transmissions that have proved themselves in Caterpillar- articulated trucks.
When matched with a Cat engine, these new vocational transmissions will deliver improved performance, fuel economy and reliability while giving North American vocational truck owners another choice in the marketplace, officials said.
The six-speed CX31 transmission will be compatible with Caterpillar C11, C13 and C15 engines.  The eight-speed super-heavy-duty CX35 transmission will match with higher horsepower C15 ratings for on-highway vocational trucks.
Airgo System
The Airgo System is a constant tire inflation system that features stationary hub components and a venting process that does not jeopardize vital wheel end components.
Because it is a stationary system with no moving components in the hub area, there is nothing to wear out, officials said. This greatly reduces the risk of pressurizing and/or damaging the hub area while significantly extending the life of the system.
The Airgo System’s removable expansion plug for sealing the axle installs in less than two hours, does not require specialized tools and is easily removed for periodic cleaning of the axle. It is compatible with all hubcap configurations (oil and grease) and axle specifications (pressurized and non-pressurized) so it can be quickly serviced without special tools or equipment.
Doran PressurePro
The Doran PressurePro Tire Pressure Monitoring System continually monitors the air pressure in each truck tire. The traditional tire valve stem cap is replaced with a sensor and pressure transmitter. An in-cab display with a digital readout shows the air pressure of each truck tire.  
When tire pressure drops 12 percent or more, the transmitter automatically sends a wireless signal to the display to notify the driver – with both a visual and audible alert – of low tire pressure.  
Installation is easy. The valve caps are replaced with sensors and the monitor, which uses a standard two-wire electrical supply, is mounted on the vehicle dash.
Stemco BAT RF
Stemco’s new BAT RF product line uses advanced sensor technologies and radio frequency identification (RFID) to collect and communicate critical data on vehicle mileage and tire pressure.
The AirBAT RF continually monitors tire pressure and provides a quick “visual read” with lights indicating under- or over-inflation. The AirBAT also signals precise readings to the HandBAT RF, a handheld reader that collects and displays wireless data.
The TracBAT RF is a wheel-end-mounted electronic vehicle mileage counter. This information is communicated wirelessly through radio frequency to the HandBAT.
The DataBAT RF is personal computer software that accepts downloaded data from the HandBAT for tracking and reporting.
The AirBAT is easily installed on any dual-tire wheel end.
Eaton has introduced its Eaton VORAD BackSpotter, a new rear object-detection system designed to warn drivers they are approaching an object behind the vehicle while in reverse.  
The system features radar-based technology that is effective in detecting objects under poor visibility conditions such as rain, snow, sun glare and during the night when mirrors and camera systems fall short in delivering the safety that customers demand.
The BackSpotter engages when the vehicle is in reverse gear. It detects stationary and moving objects in an area up to 15-feet wide by 15-feet long behind a vehicle.  
When an object is detected in the coverage area, the in-cab display unit illuminates the proper range indicator and sounds an audible alert to warn the driver that an object has been detected. As the object closes in, the next range indicator is illuminated.
Audible tones also coincide with one of the five range indicators. The buzzer tone rate increases as the vehicle continues to approach the object.  The system also has an external back-up audible alarm feature. BI
David Kolman is a veteran truck communicator, keynote speaker and long-haul trucker. Commissioned as an Honorary Colonel on the Kentucky governor’s staff for his work promoting traffic safety, he actively participates in trade associations and reports news and information about the trucking industry for broadcasting and print media.