This year’s Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS) featured 1,070 exhibitors in 1.2 million square feet of exhibit space. Presented annually in March in Louisville, Ky., this year’s event set an all-time record with nearly 81,000 attendees, according to MATS organizers. The following is a round-up of some of the news announced at the show.



Aerofficient, Lincolnshire, Ill., introduced its Slider side fairing for on-highway trailers. The fairing automatically expands or contracts when the trailer’s axles are moved, filling the gap between the trailing edge of a standard fixed trailer side fairing and the trailer’s tires. The Aerofficient Slider was verified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) SmartWay program as an advanced trailer skirt, according to the company. The Aerofficient Slider is made with an engineered, automotive-grade injection molded plastic panel material, making it extremely durable, Aeroefficient noted.


Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems

Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems (CVS) LLC, Elyria, Ohio, introduced its Bendix eTrac, an automated air pressure transfer system for Bendix ABS-6 braking systems with automatic traction control. Designed for 6x2 tractors and trucks, the eTrac transfer system fully automates air pressure transfer. When added to Bendix Smart automatic traction control (ATC) and Bendix ABS-6 Advanced with Electronic Stability Program (ESP), eTrac automatically engages and disengages the vehicle’s airbag pressure transfer system during low-traction events.

The company also introduced the SmarTire Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) for trailers. This technology continuously monitors the pressure and temperature of each tire on a commercial vehicle and warns the driver of tire-related problems before they pose a safety hazard, the company said. SmarTire’s in-vehicle dash display provides information, including actual tire pressure and temperature for each wheel location. SmarTire for trailers can be installed as a stand-alone system or in conjunction with SmarTire tractor systems, it added.

Bendix also noted that its SafetyDirect Web portal, which provides fleet operators with a comprehensive view of their fleet and each driver, now connects to three of Bendix’s on-board safety technologies, which are as follows: Bendix Wingman Advanced, Bendix  ESP, and SmarTire TPMS. SafetyDirect reports that safety information is wirelessly transmitted from a fleet’s vehicles through the telematics devices that are already on the trucks and can provide immediate warnings and critical safety information, according to the company.


Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake

A joint venture between Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems and Dana Commercial Vehicle Products LLC, Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake LLC, Elyria, Ohio, reported that its new braking solutions have been meeting expectations since the implementation of the new stopping distance requirements mandated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in August 2011. In addition to giving heavy trucks the capability to stop within the required distance, its Extended Service drum brakes (Bendix ES brakes) have been smoothly integrated into fleet operations and provide significantly more braking power for emergency situations, Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake noted. 

The company also produces the Bendix ADB22X air disc brake, a lightweight design proven to significantly reduce stopping distance and extend brake system life for commercial vehicles, the company said. In addition to significantly reducing stopping distance for commercial vehicles, Bendix air disc brakes are proven to virtually eliminate brake fade with no degradation of stopping power, provide a passenger car-like feel and permit straight, stable stops, it noted.


Carrier Transicold

Carrier Transicold, a division of Carrier, Farmington, Conn., introduced its next-generation trailer refrigeration technology: an ultra-efficient system designed to consume less fuel, operate quieter and deliver improved cooling performance, all while running cleaner than any prior Carrier Transicold trailer refrigerated unit, the company said. This next-generation technology also provides solutions for the upcoming U.S. EPA and California Air Resources Board (CARB) emissions requirements for transportation refrigeration equipment.

The technology reduces engine power by 18 to 20 percent and enables 5 to 20 percent less fuel consumption, compared to previous models over a full range of operating conditions, according to the company. It will be applied to both of Carrier Transicold’s trailer refrigeration platforms: the Vector hybrid diesel-electric and the X2 series of belt-driven units. Common to both platforms will be implementation of the APX control system with new power management algorithms and intelligent refrigeration system control; improvements to the condenser, heat exchanger and fan designs for greater efficiency and sound reduction; and a new custom-designed Engine Emissions System (EES) for unprecedented emissions reduction, Carrier Transicold noted.



Cummins, Columbus, Ind., reported that all of its new 2013 engines for North American trucks will continue to offer customers better reliability and fuel economy. The engines will deliver up to 2 percent fuel economy improvement compared to previous models and will use the same proven high-pressure common rail fuel systems, VGT Turbocharger and fully integrated electronics for improved combustion efficiency, performance and reliability, according to the company.

Cummins engines will meet the 2014 fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas (GHG) standards beginning in January 2013, it noted. All of its vehicle diesel engines feature the Cummins Emission Solutions EcoFit Ultra-Low Emissions exhaust after-treatment system that integrates a diesel particulate filter (DPF) and selective catalytic reduction (SCR).

The company also announced the development of a 15-liter heavy-duty, spark-ignited natural gas engine for on-highway applications: the ISX15-G. A simple, maintenance-free, three-way catalyst (TWC) after-treatment system, packaged as a muffler, will be the only required exhaust after-treatment, Cummins said. The engine, expected to be in limited production by 2014, will run on compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas or biomethane, according to the company.

Natural gas engines offered by Cummins range in size from 5.9 liters to the recently announced 12-liter ISX12 G, which is a heavy-duty, factory-built dedicated natural gas engine that will begin production in 2013. A range of five ratings, from 330 to 400 horsepower and 1,150 to 1,450 pound-foot of torque, will be offered at launch, the company explained.

A subsidiary of the Columbus, Ind.-based company, Cummins Emission Solutions announced its new EcoFit after-treatment Ultra-Low Emissions solutions for the North American market. The EcoFit Urea Dosing System (UDS) was developed for use in light-, medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles to deliver improved oxides of nitrogen-conversion efficiency, to offer the opportunity to tune engines for improved fuel economy, or to reduce the size of a typical SCR system. The air-assisted system also is designed to minimize the risk of urea deposits, increasing the durability and reliability of the after-treatment system.

The division also offers the EcoFit Hydrocarbon Dosing System that enables thermal management for active diesel particulate filter (DPF) regeneration. The system now has improved reliability, the company said, with a new design that improves robustness by decreasing the chances of clogs and leaks.

The company’s filtration division also announced its “revolutionary” Fleetguard FF5782 fuel filter with nanotechnology-based filtration media, according to the company. The first of its kind for fuel filtration, the filter was developed specifically to meet the high-performance demands of Cummins QSK high-horsepower engines, it noted. Because the Fleetguard nanotechnology media filter effectively captures and holds particles, engines fitted with this technology will have fewer injector failures and are expected to offer a 25 percent reduction in the total cost of ownership, the company said.


Daimler Trucks North America

Portland, Ore.-based Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) launched Elite Support, a collaborative program between DTNA and its truck dealers focused on improving the customer experience at Freightliner and Western Star dealerships. The new program provides quality assurance, rapid diagnostics, “exceptional” turnaround times and consistent communication, all provided by a highly trained staff, according to the company. To become Elite Support certified, dealers are required to demonstrate proficiency on an annual basis in 19 different areas and 129 specific customer service standards. Currently, 79 dealers have been Elite Support certified with 76 more dealers in the process of becoming certified. 


Dana Holding Corp.

Dana Holding Corp., Maumee, Ohio, introduced its new Spicer SelecTTrac housing option on its new Spicer Pro-40 tandem axle. The housing design optimizes its use of wide-based tires for customers wanting the flexibility to convert between wide-base single tires with low off-set wheels and standard dual wheels with a single housing, the company noted. The Pro-40 tandem axle family offers nearly a 100-pound weight improvement compared to competitive products and features improved power density that enables customers to increase payload and improve fuel economy, according to Dana Holding Corp.  


Detroit Diesel Corp.

An affiliate of Daimler Trucks North America LLC, Detroit-based Detroit Diesel Corp. introduced the Detroit Transmission, the next component in the complete Detroit powertrain, according to the company. The new 12-speed direct- or over-drive automated transmission combines a traditional clutch-actuated manual gearbox with high-speed, computer-controlled shift and clutch actuators that automatically and seamlessly select the right shift pattern for fuel economy and engine power, the company said. The transmission’s lightweight aluminum design results in as much as 300 pounds in weight savings that benefit fuel economy or increase bulk payload, it added.

The company also announced the re-naming of the Detroit Diesel Genuine Parts brand to Detroit Genuine Parts, which will continue to offer a full range of maintenance, repair and overhaul options for its engines that will now expand to cover transmissions and axles, the company said. Detroit Genuine Parts supports the Detroit integrated powertrain platform for all DTNA brands, including Freightliner, Western Star, Thomas Built Buses and Freightliner Custom Chassis, the company added.

In addition, Detroit Diesel Corp. announced the new StepUp overhaul options for EPA ‘07 Series 60 and MBE 4000 engines starting in spring 2012. Detroit’s four-level StepUp program options offer appropriate service levels for any engine in need of a performance upgrade, the company said. To simplify the many overhaul choices available, Detroit also will add an easy-to-use online tool to help customers choose which level of StepUP overhaul is right for their engine.


Freightliner trucks

A division of Daimler Trucks North America, Freightliner revealed a forward-looking concept vehicle, the Revolution Innovation Truck, which features the latest advancements in technology while offering day cab functionality and the flexibility of a sleeper, according to the company. A focus on aerodynamics led to a striking, all-new look for Revolution’s day cabs that feature a tightly packaged sloping hood, a low-mounted grille and integrated raised roof, Freightliner explained.

Revolution’s sleek, integrated raised roof provides a more expansive interior, but the seamless integration removes air gaps and improves airflow management between the tractor and trailer to reduce overall drag and improve fuel economy, the company noted. The crossover cab concept is a flexible new idea that serves as a workspace during the day, with a convertible jumpseat that transforms into a sleeper for rest.

The Revolution is equipped with a conceptual Truck Operating System (TruckOS) that combines the intelligent on-board truck network with the portability, Internet connectivity and entertainment options of a tablet device, the company added. Further adding to driver comfort and uptime, a sliding rear door opens to a large rear deck, and side steps give drivers a new way to easily access their trailer connections. The center plate on the deck lifts up to simplify access to the DEF and in-rail fuel tanks, Freightliner explained.

Freightliner also named Jost International, a leading global supplier of fifth wheels, as a strategic supplier. The two companies will work to provide customers with safe, reliable and innovative technologies, it noted.


Great Dane Trailers Inc.

Great Dane Trailers Inc., Savannah, Ga., unveiled its completely redesigned line of dry freight and refrigerated trailers that incorporate state-of-the-art technology, materials and features into its base models, the company said.

The new Champion dry freight vans have standard features that stand up to everyday abuse and result in reduced maintenance costs and long service life, according to the company. Standard on all models, Great Dane’s dry van rear frame EnduroGuard combines strength with corrosion resistance to better withstand the elements, the company noted. Champions are available in aluminum and stainless steel exteriors, composite panel designs, FRP and insulated models, and shallow or deep drop configurations, according to the company.

Great Dane’s entire series of Everest refrigerated trailers now include reinforced features such as a stainless steel rear frame for superior strength and corrosion resistance, a corrugated aluminum roof that adds stiffness to the structure, and PunctureGuard interior lining, an exclusive  lightweight, puncture-resistant, glass-reinforced thermoplastic material. Also standard are aluminum doors with a dual-sealed gasket that eliminates moisture intrusion and locks in refrigerated air, the company said.

All Great Dane trailers now come with Stemco’s Platinum Performance Plus wheel end system backed by an extended six-year warranty; Grote Micro Nova DOT LED lamps for improved visibility; and Great Dane’s Long Life Light System that combines the flexibility of a custom wiring system with the durability of a fully sealed modular harness that prevents moisture intrusion, the company said.


Hendrickson Trailer Commercial Vehicle Systems

Hendrickson Trailer Commercial Vehicle Systems, Canton, Ohio, announced the incorporation of its Precision240 two-piece spindle nut system into its line of Ready-To-Roll (RTR) proprietary wheel-end packages. The new nut, designed for tapered spindles, will be an available option with Hendrickson’s HVS and HLS wheel-end packages, the company said. The two-piece spindle nut systems provide nearly five times the adjustment resolution of other popular two-piece systems to achieve more precise end-play settings and help maximize seal and bearing life, Hendrickson explained. 


Kenworth Truck Co.

A division of Bellevue, Wash.-based Paccar Inc., Kenworth Truck Co., Kirkland, Wash., introduced its all-new T680 tractor that offers superior fuel efficiency, performance and comfort and is described as Kenworth’s most aerodynamic truck ever, the company said. Kenworth T680 also was designed to maximize performance of in-line haul, pickup and delivery, and regional hauling operations.

Available with a new 76-inch sleeper or as a day cab, the T680 comes standard with the fuel-efficient, 12.9-liter Paccar MX engine and optional with the Cummins ISX15 engine. Standard is a new panoramic one-piece bonded-in windshield with superior visibility, according to the company. All standard exterior lights use LED technology that provide 20,000 hours of light, which equates to about 15 years, according to Kenworth. LED lights also are used extensively in the cab and sleeper.

The model’s all-new Driver Performance Center (DPC) has a full-color, high-resolution, 5-inch Thin Film Transistor (TFT) display screen, which includes current truck information, diagnostic data and pop-up alerts, the company said. Additionally, the DPC will display situational-specific recommendations to the driver to help improve vehicle performance, the company explained.

In addition, Kenworth announced that the SmarTire TPMS from Bendix CVS will be available as a factory-installed option on the Kenworth T660 and T700 later this year with plans to offer it on other Kenworth Class 8 trucks soon after. It also will offer the Bendix Wingman Advanced collision mitigation technology as an option for its T660, T680, T700 and T800 models.

Kenworth also is offering the Cummins Westport ISX12 G heavy-duty natural gas engine for use in regional haul applications. Available with the Kenworth T660, T800, T800 short hood and the W900S, the new engine will come with a range of ratings up to 400 horsepower and 1,450 pound-foot  torque, optional engine brake, and manual and automatic transmission capability. Kenworth’s line of factory-installed natural gas engines also includes the 15-liter Westport HD and the 8.9-liter Cummins Westport ISL G, it added.


Mack Trucks Inc.

Part of Volvo Group, Mack Trucks Inc., Greensboro, N.C., introduced two new offerings: the Mack Super Econodyne powertrain and Mack Pedigree Uptime Protection service and support package.

The Super Econodyne powertrain system is designed with all-Mack proprietary components for a complete Mack Pedigree powertrain. The Mack MP8-445SE engine, Mack mDRIVE automated manual transmission, Mack C125 proprietary drive axles and Mack’s custom software all combine to provide up to 3.5 percent better fuel efficiency compared to other similarly specified vehicles, the company said. The Super Econodyne is available on all Mack Class 8 Pinnacle models.

Mack Pedigree Uptime Protection is an integrated package of aftermarket solutions with three components: Bulldog Service Management, Bulldog Parts Purchasing and Bulldog Asset Protection, according to the company. Bulldog Service Management is powered by online portal MVASIST and includes Mack OneCall, a full-service support center that manages breakdown assistance, towing services, technical support and real-time online case tracking, it said.


Meritor Inc.

Troy, Mich.-based Meritor Inc. introduced Meritor DriveForce, the company’s newly branded field sales and service organization that represents an expansive drivetrain product portfolio for tractors and trailers. The company also launched two advanced technologies now available to the public: an enhanced second-generation Meritor Mobile iPad application and a new Web portal, the Meritor BullPen, to easily access Meritor product and training information in one central location.

In addition, Meritor unveiled the Meritor FUELite tandem axle, the first member of its SoloDrive Series axles, which features 6x2 tandem rear axles. Based on the Meritor 160 series drive axle, the FUELite tandem axle is designed for line-haul applications to maximize weight savings and increase fuel efficiency. It delivers nearly 400 pounds in weight savings and approximately a 2 percent increase in fuel efficiency when compared to a traditional 6x4 configuration, according to the company.


Michelin Americas Truck Tires

Michelin Americas Truck Tires, Greenville, S.C., introduced the new Michelin-X Multi-Energy-D drive tire to address the mileage, fuel, traction and scrub concerns of regional trucking applications and the emerging super-regional applications. The U.S. EPA SmartWay-verified tire delivers enhanced fuel efficiency, optimized traction and long tread life by using Michelin’s Dual Energy Compound Tread Matrix Siping Technology.



Navistar, Lisle, Ill., unveiled its OnCommand Connection, a vehicle support program that provides truck operators with visibility to important vehicle information while the vehicle is on the road.  Integrated with Navistar’s MaxxForce engines and leveraging the OnCommand suite of after-sales support services, the new technology uses truck performance data to proactively interpret and anticipate needed maintenance, the company said.

OnCommand Connection works through a device installed in the vehicle that detects engine events and vehicle service requirements through engine performance data on the engine control module. When an alert is detected, a message is sent to the Navistar OnCommand Customer Support Center where a repair advocate identifies the closest International dealer, confirms that the needed parts and tools are available and contacts the customer to schedule the needed maintenance appointment, thereby helping customers manage and expedite maintenance and repairs, the company explained. OnCommand Connection currently is in pilot tests and will come standard on model year 2013 International ProStar+ trucks, the company said.


Peterbilt Motors Co.

Peterbilt Motors Co., Denton, Texas, introduced its all-new Model 579, which has been optimized for superior fuel efficiency and best-in-class aerodynamic efficiency, the company said. The cab structure is a new lightweight design that features greater strength and enhanced safety and a 2.1-meter-wide cab. The aerodynamic hood has a three-piece design that is lightweight, durable and easy to service, it added.

The Model 759’s operating environment is designed around the driver, and the sleeper area includes ample storage and an integrated entertainment center, according to Peterbilt Motors. The main instrument panel has easy-to-read gauges that are visible through the steering wheel, as is the 5-inch color Driver Information Display, which provides a new engine-RPM sweet-spot indicator to help drivers maximize fuel economy and the capability to display virtual gauges, the company says. The secondary gauge display area can accommodate six optional gauges or Peterbilt’s SmartNav driver “infotainment” center, it added.

Peterbilt also announced the availability of its Extended Day Cab feature for its complete lineup of medium-duty vehicles. The option expands the length of a day cab by 10 inches and adds nearly 6 inches of head room, 4 inches of space between the steering wheel and the seat, and 4 cubic feet of built-in rear wall storage compartments.

In addition, the company introduced its SmartAir anti-idle cooling system, a factory-installed, battery-based, advanced green technology system that helps reduce fuel costs, minimize maintenance requirements and increase payload capacity through its lightweight, compact design.

Peterbilt also said the Bendix ESP full-stability system with Automatic Traction Control (ATC) now is standard on all of Peterbilt’s Class 8 trucks and tractors with the exception of the Models 320 and 382. The Bendix ESP full-stability system works in conjunction with antilock braking systems to maintain vehicle stability and help mitigate rollovers, jackknifing and loss-of-control situations by selectively applying brakes when excessive wheel slip or a critical stability threshold is compromised, the company said.


Truck-Lite Corp.

Truck-Lite Corp., Falconer, N.Y., unveiled a newly designed 7-inch round LED headlamp that uses a new light delivery method that adopts parabolic reflector technology to create a smooth, even, optimum lighting pattern that increases visibility to the driver while minimizing glare to oncoming traffic, the company said. The new LED headlamp produces light superior to that of conventional halogen lamps while extending product life and adding greater dependability, according to Truck-Lite.

The maintenance-free lamp uses a solid-state, bulb-free system that’s impervious to damage caused by shock and vibration with a military-grade, die-cast aluminum housing, non-yellowing polycarbonate lens and a scratch-resistant hard coating to protect against damage from impact, roadside debris and other hazards, the company said.

The company also introduced its Dual-Function Pigtail, an easy-to-install wiring adapter that makes use of existing Truck-Lite LED marker lamps to provide advanced signal indication to following traffic. It does this by managing the amount of light the lamps deliver, adding a second, brighter function to the lamps. During normal driving, the pigtail operates the lamps at standard marker light output levels until a brake function or turn signal indication is made. Upon doing so, the pigtail increases the light output, providing an increased level of identification to those tailing the vehicle, according to Truck-Lite.


Utility Trailer Manufacturing

City of Industry, Calif.-based Utility Trailer Manufacturing announced a new optional double deck loading system for its dry van trailers designed to maximize trailer cube space and increase overall freight capacity. The system is able to support up to 500 pounds per square foot with a 26,000-pound load rating, according to the company. By using Kinedyne Corp.’s K2 Kaptive Beam System of tracks and beams, a second deck is created for increasing freight capacity without surpassing the allowable weight limit.


Volvo Trucks North America

Volvo Trucks North America, Greensboro, N.C., added a natural gas-powered Volvo VNL day cab to its product offerings. This model will be equipped with a 12-liter, 400 horsepower, 1,450 pound-foot torque Cummins ISX12-G engine that uses compressed or liquefied natural gas, according to the company.


Wabco Holdings Inc.

Piscataway, N.J.-based Wabco Holdings Inc. announced the availability of its new and improved Integrated Vehicle Tire Pressure Monitoring (IVTM) technology that provides drivers with real-time tire pressure information. By using IVTM, customers can maintain tire inflation at an optimum level that can reduce fuel consumption up to 2 percent and help increase the lifetime of their tires.

The system uses external wheel-mounted sensors to constantly measure tire pressure and wirelessly transmit this information to an electronic control unit (ECU). The ECU alerts the driver to tire pressure changes either through the factory-installed dashboard display or through a dedicated display, the company noted. The IVTM fits all wheel sizes and all types of light-, medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles with up to 20 wheels, it added.


Western Star Trucks

A division of Daimler Trucks North America, Western Star Trucks, Cleveland, introduced lightweight spec options that increase payload capacity and improve fuel efficiency, including various sizes of fuel and DEF tanks to optimize fuel tank size; aluminum clutch housings, air tanks, fifth wheel and front drop casting; and air-ride front suspension with tubular axle, the company said. Meritor Steelite brake components and proprietary Airliner suspension with aluminum brackets also can be specified, as well as a wide range of single frame rail options to meet strength requirements without the added weight, the company said.

Western Star Trucks also noted that its new Western Star 4900 set-back (SB) with Fuel Efficiency (FE) package, combined with the Detroit DD15 featuring BlueTec-SCR technology, is showing the most improved fuel economy results of any Western Star model, the company explained. The 4900SB FE package includes an aerodynamic, high-visibility hood; chrome wrap-around bumper; under-hood air cleaner; and horizontal or back-of-sleeper exhaust, it noted. The 4900SB FE package also is available with the Detroit DD13 engine and the Cummins ISX series of engines, the DTMA division explained.

 The company also said its new custom graphics package now is available for its complete product line. Each vinyl graphics package offers customers aesthetic customization options, and customers also can add their company logo and colors to the graphics designs. Five different design themes are available including torch, smoke, flare, razor and ripped. BI