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TRUCKS & COMPONENTS

Our annual look at heavy-duty model introductions, updates and component advances is well timed with solid fleet investment activity across ready mixed and manufactured concrete. In ready mixed delivery, Navistar International (page 38) and Freightliner (page 45) have moved to offer heavy-duty models with weight and wheel base characteristics friendly to city streets and urban jobsites.

All truck manufacturers and their suppliers are increasingly mindful of driver safety and comfort, vehicle uptime and fuel efficiency. Concrete Products examines some of the top innovations from this year’s World of Concrete, Mid-America Trucking Show and Work Truck Show, along with the North American Commercial Vehicle Show, a biennial event that premiered late last year in Atlanta.


 

UNITED SAFETY APPARATUS | Safe T Plus

Safe T Plus steering control can be installed on heavy-duty trucks with simple bolt-on process—no drilling, welding or wiring required. With steering at dead center, the large end of the device is anchored to the axle, the opposite end connected to the tie rod. Installation does not reduce turn radius or make steering harder.

Designed by a 30-year trucking veteran, Saf T Plus is engineered to assist in keeping vehicles centered and reduce a loose steering wheel feel. The latter has the potential to lower driver fatigue by helping make everyday vehicle operation more relaxed, especially in the face of wind, passing trucks or routes where roads are crowned, uneven, bumpy, rutted or bearing pot holes.

Saf T Plus helps drivers maintain control of trucks and payload in the event of front or rear tire blowout, soft shoulder navigation, and load shifting or elevated center of gravity. A hydraulic cylinder inside the device’s spring acts as a damper and considerably reduces the wheel pull drivers feel when trucks are subject to sudden lateral and vertical forces or maneuvers. Saf T Plus likewise limits driver over steering tendencies and lowers maintenance costs. Brand- and chassis-specific installation kits are sold separately from the device. — United Safety Apparatus Inc., Austell, Ga.; 800/872-7233, 770/322-8727; www.safe-t-plus.com


 

INTERNATIONAL TRUCK | HV507, HV607

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International engineers diagram a HV507 bridge formula model’s efficient weight distribution and payload prospects.
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HV507
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HV607

Manufacturer rounded out its WorkStar truck line successor, the HV Series, with a World of Concrete 2018 unveiling of the International HV507 and HV607. They followed the HV513 and HV613 models’ premier at the late-2017 North American Commercial Vehicle Show. Model numbering reflects set-forward (5) or set-back axle (6) and 107- or 113-in. bumper-to-back-of-cab dimension, hence the 507, 607 and 513 and 613 plates.

“The HV Series is a smart solution for our customers in the business of doing serious work, and the new HV507 and HV607 models demonstrate our continued commitment to the vocational segment and broaden our products specific to the concrete industry,” says International Vice President, Vocational Truck Business Mark Stasell.

Redesigned from the inside out, the HV Series interior was crafted with driver and body builder feedback to ensure a comfortable and productive environment, while the exterior maintains powerful styling. The HV507 and HV607 run on Cummins B6.7 or L9 power, or the new International A26, a 12-liter workhorse introduced concurrent with the HV Series.

BRIDGE FORMULA

A new combination of chassis and power features converges in the International HV507 bridge formula model. An aggressive set-forward front axle, Cummins L9 engine, and rear-engine power take-off deliver a powerful yet lightweight chassis for key vocational applications, especially concrete placement.

The entire HV Series bears what International engineers dub intelligent features specified with a goal of best-in-class uptime and packaged into a truck exhibiting brute strength. Each model is engineered to make it easier and faster to clear maintenance and return to the road. With an inside wheel cut of up to 50 degrees, International engineers note, the HV Series can easily navigate tight city streets or construction sites, saving driver time, reducing work-site collisions and boosting productivity.

Every model can be equipped with OnCommand Connection, the company’s remote diagnostics system and Over-the-air (OTA) programming. Available through the nine-pin International LINK device, OTA enables drivers or fleet managers to utilize a mobile interface to initiate authorized engine programming at the customer’s facility over a safe, secure Wi-Fi connection. The service offers an easy, secure means of updating engine control modules to reflect the latest manufacturer-approved calibrations, without the necessity of visiting a dealer or other service facility.

EXPEDITED UP FITTING

The International HV Series provides the ideal foundation for an almost unlimited number of applications. Customers can order the specific chassis configuration needed for any application upfront, which substantially reduces the time and expense involved to up fit the vehicle post production. To further improve driver productivity and safety, the HV Series features Diamond Logic, an advanced electrical system that streamlines chassis and body equipment integration and allows customers to program automated tasks.

“Diamond Logic is best known for its ability to provide control and communication between work trucks and body equipment,” Stasell observes. “We are a pioneer in custom programmable chassis electronics and multiplexing and we continue to partner with end users and body builders to further increase productivity and make it easy to integrate with our system.

“In many ways, we’ve designed the new HV Series from the inside out based on our DriverFirst philosophy. Based on customer feedback during the planning and design process, our engineers succeeded in making the HV Series one of the most comfortable, reliable and safe vehicles to operate in any work environment and in any climate.” DriverFirst enhancements that contribute to productivity, he adds, include:

  • Redesigned cab doors with a lower bottom glass edge and removal of vent window to give drivers a single large piece of glass to look through, greatly improving side visibility and reducing blind spots.
  • By reshaping the doors and side glass, the position of optional pedestal mirrors is optimized so drivers turn their heads 15 percent less on the left side and 5 percent less on the passenger side—making it easier to keep their eyes on the road while reducing neck strain.
  • An all-new dash designed for the driver with more space for additional rocker switches.
  • An available premium gauge cluster designed with driver input that is customizable with virtual gauges.
  • An easy-access, column-mounted stalk shifter integrated with engine braking to help keep hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.
  • “Wing panel dash” tailored for the vocational truck and driver. New stalk shifter placement and the lower instrument panel design greatly improve legroom, especially at the knee. An additional vent has been added to help keep the middle front passenger comfortable.
  • The dash contains space for up to 30 customizable switches ensuring functionality of any type of body that is mounted on the back. Switches offer large, easy to read text and recognizable ISO symbols; are back lit for easy viewing at night; and, offer seven unique indicator light color options.
  • New fuse panel is easy to service with no exposed wires. Spill proof design allows liquids to flow into a gutter around the panel and drain to the outside of the vehicle without damaging any electronics. www.internationaltrucks.com/HVSeries

 

INTERNATIONAL TRUCK | A26 Engine; Barrel Protection Plan

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The new International A26 is engineered with proven components that deliver optimal uptime and fuel efficiency in a lightweight design, and has been subjected to hundreds of thousands of hours of dyno testing and millions of real-world road and site miles. It produces up to 475 horsepower and 1,750 lb.-ft. of torque, yet is 600-700 lbs. lighter than traditional big-bore engines. It features North America’s first Class 7-8 engine Compacted Graphite Iron crankcase design for greater strength, plus an all new cylinder head and other refinements for up to a 5 percent fuel economy improvement over the engine it replaces. Engine braking power is increased by up to 67 percent for confident braking performance, particularly at low- to mid-RPMs and higher altitudes.

With a World of Concrete 2018 backdrop, International Truck announced three plans to deliver on its Uptime pledge to vocational truck customers, each tied to the 12.4L big bore power package.

“The International A26 engine, developed from a new way of thinking and with ‘uptime’ in its DNA, is at the core of our vocational truck strategy,” said Vice President, Vocational Truck Business Mark Stasell. “We are so confident in the engine that we are offering customers additional peace of mind through the A26 Customer Uptime Assurance Program, Vocational Confidence Warranty Package and International A26 Barrel Protection Plan. These are designed to protect our customer’s investment and bottom line.”

A26 Customer Uptime Assurance is straightforward: If a truck owner experiences a warrantable failure on an International A26 within the engine’s two-year standard warranty period—and downtime greater than 48 hours from the time of diagnosis—International Truck will provide a $250 Advantage Card, good for future parts and service purchases at an International dealership. Customers may be eligible for a maximum of eight cards per vehicle over the two-year period, a value of as much as $2,000 per vehicle. The program was introduced last year on the International LT and RH Series and is now extended to A26-powered HX and HV Series trucks enrolled in the OnCommand Link program.

Vocational Confidence offers comprehensive powertrain coverage for HX and HV Series with A26 power. The four-year, 100,000-mile warranty offers complete powertrain and drivetrain coverage, including engine, transmission and axles. Coverage includes select Dana, Eaton, and Meritor components to provide customers added peace of mind. The program applies to orders for HX Series and HV Series trucks placed before June 30.

Barrel Protection Plan: If a ready mixed producer experiences an A26 warrantable failure resulting in barrel damage, International will cover repair for the truck’s first four years in service. Plan applies at no additional cost to provide customer assurance for concrete mixer trucks powered by the International A26 engine and equipped with OnCommand Link remote diagnostics technology. Warranty covers the expense of removing hardened concrete or replacing the concrete barrel if an engine related warrantable failure disables the truck so a loaded barrel cannot turn.

“The International A26 big bore engine is designed to deliver industry-leading uptime, durability and reliability in our vocational trucks, which are engineered to handle the most grueling and intense job sites,” notes Stasell. “we are positive the A26 will perform reliably in our HX Series and HV Series concrete mixer trucks [and] will cover the cost of repair or replacement of your barrel if it is damaged by warrantable failure.”www.internationaltrucks.com


 

American Rock looks forward with Kenworth T880S spec

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Recent arrivals in the fleet based at American Rock Products’ Pasco, Wash., headquarters plant are a Kenworth T880S-mounted McNeilus Bridgemaster mixer and a super dump. The set-forward axle T880S serves the weight distribution and payload specs of bridge formula-bound ready mixed producers.

A premier ready mixed concrete and sand & gravel source in the Pacific Northwest’s Columbia Basin region, American Rock Products has operations in Richland, Pasco, Kennewick, Walla Walla, and Prosser, Wash., plus Hermiston and Boardman, Ore. The producer covers the full range of concrete orders, from small flatwork jobs to 50,000-yd. heavy-civil contracts.

American Rock was an early adopter of the T880S, a set-forward forward axle Kenworth Truck rolled out in early 2017 as successor to the W900S. The producer has thus far deployed four T880S-mounted McNeilus mixers and a T880S super dump. “Drivers love the T880S,” says Fleet Maintenance Manager Wade Blagg. “The driveability, ride, vision and operator comfort are awesome. I’d have a war on my hands if I tried to pull drivers out of those trucks.”

With daily deliveries to a broad customer base, most loads are within 25 miles of an American Rock plant. In more remote northern Oregon market areas, trucks might travel as far as 60 or 70 miles. “We run all Paccar MX-13 engines,” notes Blagg, reflecting on what has been an exclusive, 510 hp-rated power spec for three years. “They save us weight and money on both our mixers and super dumps. With the right horsepower, torque and correct gearing, the truck doesn’t have to work as hard and that means a little better fuel mileage, too.”

“There’s more headroom, visibility is better and the T880S rides great,” affirms American Rock Driver Justin Hardin. “I’m not a small guy, so the extra roominess inside the cab makes a big difference for me. Along with the clutch assist on the 9-speed Eaton transmission, it’s easier to push in, so there’s less fatigue at the end of the day.”

With a quality truck like the T880S, drivers tend to appreciate their equipment more and take better care of it, Blagg affirms, adding: “When employees are happy, they’re successful, and so are we.”www.kenworth.com


 

BF GOODRICH | Cross Control Tires

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The Cross Control Drive (left) and Steer tires match aggressive road and site conditions.

Cross Control D and S tires suit what the manufacturer notes are tough jobs requiring superior traction and durability. The new line is designed to combat damage and downtime with features that include thick sidewalls to resist damage from impacts; heat-release compounds to help reduce internal casing temperatures; full-protector ply to curtail penetrations and resist road hazards past the outer grooves; and, anti-cut and chip resistance to help prevent damage that can take a tire prematurely out of service.

The tires’ serrated shoulder with staggered rib blocks assist with maneuverability in soft soils, while the aggressive ribbed tread design provides traction in challenging conditions without sacrificing handling or ride comfort. The Cross Control S tire is available in sizes 11R22.5 and 11R24.5 (Load Range H), 315/80R22.5 (L), 385/65R22.5 (J) and 425/65R22.5 (L). An all-terrain drive tire, the Cross Control D offers many of the same features as its steer counterpart. Built for traction, it is designed with 25 percent more lugs on the road to mud and dirt than comparable market offerings, and available in 11R22.5 and 11R24.5 sizes (Load Range H).

The Cross Control D and S rollout coincides with the introduction of a BF Goodrich brand technology—an augmented reality (AR) app for newer iOS and Android devices—bringing a 3D version of the new tires to life in the user’s environment. The app allows users to interact with the tire’s features, benefits and key support materials, including technical specs, videos and customer testimonials.www.bfgoodrichtrucktires.com


 

HENDRICKSON | Brake wear indicator

Company bills its new air disc brake wear indicator as a convenient, patent-pending tool that allows maintenance personnel to check pad and rotor thickness without removing the wheel or the brake pads from the caliper.

“Regularly inspecting the thickness of brake pads and rotors is important for maximizing the performance and life of your air disc brake system,” says Hendrickson’s Greg Dvorchak, Wheel-end and Braking Systems applications engineer. “Our new tool makes this crucial maintenance practice convenient, easy and quick.”

Air disc brake maintenance training is available through the company’s online education portal at www.Hendrickson-Academy.com. Additional information on maintenance intervals and recommended inspection cycles can be obtained at www.maxx22t.com or from Hendrickson Trailer Commercial Vehicle Systems, 866/743-3247.


 

Freightliner Trucks | MEDIUM, HD POWER; SD SERIES

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“The DD8 engine provides superior value in key areas such as service intervals, durability, reliability, warranty and fuel economy,” contends Daimler Trucks North America head of Powertrain Engineering Rakesh Aneja. The new engine is shown here, flanking (from left) the DD13, DD15 and DD16. All are manufactured in Redford, Mich., alongside the Detroit DT12 automated manual transmission and Detroit axles.
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ProAll Manufacturing volumetric mixer, mounted on a DD8-powered Freightliner 108SD set-back axle model.
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Alliance Concrete Pump-bearing Freightliner 114SD with twin steer front axle.

Company underscored its depth of models and powertrain packages for mixer, dump, concrete pump and other vocational customers in truck line ups at this year’s World of Concrete and Work Truck Show.

“Whether we’re developing new powertrain technologies or working with bodybuilders to make the upfitting process as efficient as possible, our priority is to provide the right solutions for customers’ applications,” says Freightliner and Detroit Components Director of Product Marketing Kelly Gedert. “Detroit components are designed to work together for optimized efficiency. Regardless of the application, Detroit has powerful solutions that positively impact customers’ bottom lines. We have made significant investments to extend powertrain offerings to provide customers the best solution for their business needs.”

The Detroit DD8 was added earlier this year, increasing Freightliner M2 106, 108SD and 114SD model engine options. “The introduction was the natural next step in expanding our product portfolio,” explains Detroit Component Sales General Manager Scott Kuebler. Among top DD8 features, he notes, are maintenance intervals up to three times longer than the competition; and, variable exhaust cam phasing, used at low engine speeds to increase exhaust temperatures and increase uptime by reducing the need for manual regenerations.

“The DD8 is built for performance with features that meet the needs of specialized segments,” affirms Detroit Powertrain and Component Product Marketing Manager Brian Daniels. “A big differentiator for the Detroit brand is the Connect Virtual Technician remote diagnostics system, available as standard on DD8 engines. Virtual Technician helps fleets make informed service decisions within minutes of an engine or aftertreatment fault event.” www.freightliner.com; www.DemandDetroit.com


 

COOPER TIRE | Severe, Work, Pro Series

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Severe Series 315/80R22.5
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Work 255/70R22.5; Pro Series 295/75SR22.5

Manufacturer launched a line of namesake truck and bus radial tires at the 2018 Technology & Maintenance Council meeting and Transportation Technology Exhibition. It includes the Severe, Work and Pro Series tires, all available this month and becoming companion offerings to the Cooper Roadmaster brand products for primarily highway applications.

Pro Series tires are built with proprietary compounds and tread designs that provide a balance of fuel efficiency and long miles to removal, while Work Series tires balance fuel efficiency and tread life with scrub-resistant properties. The Severe Series is engineered for the most demanding applications, with tires built to withstand heavy scrub and cut/chip environments, impacts and off-road driving conditions. Tire’s tough, full width, four-belt construction ensures casing will provide multiple retreads. Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., Findlay, Ohio; www.coopertire.com


 

CONTINENTAL | ContiConnect Tire Monitoring

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Mounted inside truck tires, ContiConnect sensors collect accurate pressure and temperature data. Readings are transmitted as soon as the sensors come within range of the yard reader station (shown here along transit mixed plant alley), which then relays data in real-time to the Continental backend—where a software program analyzes it and displays it in the ContiConnect web portal. If any of the values are critical, ContiConnect sends designated fleet contact(s) text or e-mail alerts for immediate action.

New ContiConnect digital tire monitoring platform uses Vodafone Internet of Things SIM technology to collect pressure data every time a commercial vehicle returns to its point of dispatch, displaying measurement in a mobile-friendly web portal. The technology eliminates the need for manual pressure checks in the yard and assures widely available tire data. Equipping a fleet or truck maintenance manager to view pressure data remotely is a significant benefit of IoT, ContiConnect developers contend, as is the web portal’s ability to send text message and email alerts if a tire issue is identified.

Notes Continental Commercial Vehicle Tires Vice President Paul Williams, “Fleets no longer have to rely on performing tire pressure checks on tens, hundreds, or even thousands of tires on their vehicles. With ContiConnect, they will know immediately whether any tires have low pressure. Leveraging the Internet of Things saves fleets time and money by protecting their tires, and improves safety for everyone who drives on the roadway.”

“This is a great example of how IoT can make real world differences in so many unexpected places. This ensures that truck drivers experience fewer tire-related breakdowns and accidents—making the roads a safer place to be for every vehicle user,” adds Vodafone IoT Director Stefano Gestaut.

PRESSURE, TEMPERATURE PITFALLS

Identifying pressure or temperature deviations is vital to ensuring tire safety and longevity, Continental officials observe: When a tire is under-inflated, sidewall components flex beyond their design limits, weaken, and open the possibility of eventual failure. Sensors can identify creeping air loss, one of the major causes of tire failure, before it would typically be noticed in a pre- or post-trip inspection.

Even when a tire is re-inflated to the proper specifications, it is possible that internal damage has occurred. “Noticing under-inflation and re-inflating the tire as soon as possible is vital,” affirms Continental Commercial Vehicle Tires’ Helmut Keller, head of Product and Brand Management. “If a tire consistently runs with severely low air pressure, simply adding air later cannot reverse internal damage. Protecting a fleet’s tire assets and preventing roadside tire incidents starts with noticing and resolving low air pressure sooner, which is what ContiConnect is designed to facilitate.” — ContiTech North America Inc., www.contitech-usa.com


 

CONTINENTAL | ENGINE PARTS

Company’s “one-stop, custom solution” for heavy duty trucks spans weight-saving power transmission belts, catalytic converters, vibration control elements and hoses for enhanced safety, reliability and fuel efficiency.

FPM-lined hoses. Fuel lines with an electrically conductive inner lining have been fitted as standard in passenger cars for some time, but are now becoming attractive for truck specs. A conductive inner lining made of FPM (fluorocarbon rubber) prevents static buildup at high flow rates, which under worst-case scenario can result in sparking and spontaneous vehicle ignition. Highly flexible Continental fuel lines are suitable for diesel, biodiesel or gasoline and can withstand continuous operating temperatures from -40 to 320°F.

FRP engine mount bracket. Fabricated from fiberglass-reinforced polyamid, a prototype engine mount bracket is 40 percent lighter than a comparable steel component.

Bushing. Hydro bushing promotes better vibration control than classic bushings thanks to an integrated fluid system. Hydraulic resistance increases the damping effect of vibration control elements; Continental engineers use the effect in bushings and mounts with an integrated fluid system. Hydro bushings withstand loads of 1,230 N to 3,000 N and offer long service life. Unlike classic mounts, the component can be rotated about its center axis, simplifying vehicle maintenance work.

V-belt. Unipower Tough Grip multi V-belt with fabric cover reliably drives ancillary components in engines such as alternators, fans, air-conditioning systems or hydraulic pumps. Belt has a very low coefficient of friction that it owes to an underside coated with a highly abrasion-resistant special fabric exhibiting extreme stability under dynamic conditions. The fabric cover protects the belt against wear in dusty and sandy environments. The fabric-reinforced underside ensures low wear, optimal grip and smooth operation under conditions such as cold start, dampness or misaligned pulleys. — ContiTech North America, Powertain Division, www.continental-corporation.com

Externally reinforced hose. Flexible, kink-resistant and lightweight, the Conti Excelsus suits high-temperature applications and, product engineers note, delivers a significant weight advantage over stainless steel braid-enclosed PTFE pipes. The Excelsus hose also contributes to assembly-friendly processes with tight bending radii. It feeds cooling water and lubricant to turbochargers and is also spec’ed for transporting exhaust system air or fuel return lines. A special braid of highly temperature- and chemical-resistant synthetic fabric makes the hose flexible and enables it to be used in particularly tight, complex package spaces.


 

Volvo Trucks | VHD Upgrades

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The Volvo VHD 300 in set-forward (left, center) and set-back axle versions suits a wide range of construction and heavy building materials conditions. Recognizing the driver comfort–productivity link, Volvo Trucks NA has upgraded its interiors to cater to concrete, aggregate and equipment delivery professionals.
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Volvo Trucks North America presented new interiors for the VHD 300 daycab and other series models during the North American Commercial Vehicle Show and World of Concrete 2018. They feature LED lighting, extensive connectivity points to support a driver’s daily work, new seating choices, optimized ergonomics, and driver convenience features.

“The new interiors for the VHD series make hard work even easier,” says VTNA Director of Product Marketing Wade Long. “Design was guided by feedback from nearly 2,000 professional drivers, and we’ve channeled that information to deliver the comfort and convenience features they want, and fleets seek to help improve driver retention.”

Productivity is directly affected by driver comfort, he adds, citing the all-new VHD dashboard, which puts often-used controls within the driver’s reach. Centered in the gauge cluster is a configurable, 5-in. color driver information display that provides trip and diagnostic data. The display is customizable, ensuring that critical information is always available at a quick glance. A dash-top tray features 12-volt power and USB connectivity to keep devices fully powered.

The VHD is now equipped with Volvo’s smart steering wheel, putting controls for nearly all interface functions at a driver’s fingertips. The wheel is attached to the Perfect Position air-assisted, fully adjustable steering column. The feature enables drivers to tilt and telescope the steering column, and tilt the wheel relative to the column. Drivers of all statures can find the optimal steering wheel position and easily view the information display. All-LED interior lighting reduces power consumption and provides a softer alternative to traditional cab lighting.

“Our new VHD interiors incorporate the best, most sought after features of our renown highway trucks and have been aligned with drivers’ needs for tough, off-road work environments,” observes VTNA Product Marketing Manager – Vocational John Felder. “The results speak for themselves: New VHD interiors provide the most comfortable, driver-friendly environment we’ve ever offered for the vocational market.”

The company has included a wide variety of new seating options for the mixer- and dump-ready VHD. An increase in seat travel fore and aft, as well as up and down, improves driving ergonomics. Premium features like seat heating and ventilation are also available. Drivers can likewise benefit from a refrigerated passenger seat option, providing a cool place to keep food and beverages cold while out on the job. www.volvotrucks.us


 

Volvo Trucks | VNX SERIES

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One of three series cab configurations, the VNX 300 daycab provides muscle and maneuverability for local heavy-haul applications. Approved Gross Combination Weight Ratings span from 125,000 to 160,000 lbs. Ratings of up to 225,000 lbs. are available with application approval and appropriate components. Optional steer or lift axles or tridem drive axles, plus longer fifth-wheel slides help meet a range of weight distribution requirements.
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Built specifically for heavy-haul trucking operations, Volvo Trucks North America’s VNX series packs the power and performance needed for demanding applications such as heavy equipment transport and long combination vehicles. It is the latest step in a revitalization of the Volvo North American product range, complementing the new VNR and VNL series for regional and long haul operations.

“The new VNX is the ultimate blend of Volvo’s modern, aerodynamic design and pure purpose built performance,” says VTNA Product Marketing Manager – Regional Haul Chris Stadler. “From end-to-end, every feature is built to stand up to any heavy haul job you throw at it. Improvements are easy to see throughout the VNX including the bumper, axles, suspensions, braking and powertrain.”

Available in 6x4 of 8x4 tandem and 8x6 tridem configurations, the model offers a wide range of heavy-haul components to ensure it is properly spec’d. Front axle ratings range from 16,000 to 20,000 lbs. with parabolic springs. The VNX is available with up to 445 tires to match front axle load capacity. Available rear axles range from 46,000 to 55,000 lbs.; a premium rear heavy-haul suspension ranges up to 52,000 lbs. Dual steering gears provide maneuverability while under a heavy load. The imposing VNX provides an increased ride height to accommodate more articulation and front ramp angle, while the bumper features a heavy-duty tow pin and center tow frame that equalize forces to the chassis.

Packed Powertrain

The standard VNX powertrain package is a Volvo D13 engine with 500 hp and 1,850 lb.-ft. torque rating, paired with the 13- or 14-speed Volvo I-Shift with Crawler Gears automated manual transmission. The series is also available with up to 605 hp and 2,050 lb.-ft. torque rating, provided by the Cummins X15 Performance Series engine and paired with an Eaton Ultra Shift Plus or manual transmission.

Like all Volvo models, the VNX series cab is built with high-strength steel and exceeds both the Volvo Swedish Cab Safety Test and ECE R-29 rollover requirements. The industry’s only standard driver’s side airbag is now joined by an integrated, seat-mounted rollover airbag on the driver’s side. Volvo Enhanced Stability Technology (VEST), an electronic stability control system, is standard on the VNX. By continually monitoring operating parameters, VEST detects imminent loss of control, jackknife or rollover events. It automatically reduces engine torque and selectively applies braking to help the driver keep the truck on course.

The VNX series is equipped with automotive-quality LED headlights that produce abundant bright light to improve visibility. Automatic lighting and rain-sensing wipers are also available to improve safety.

The dashboard on the VNX has been optimized to reduce distraction by displaying the critical information a professional driver needs at a quick glance and by grouping frequently used controls within easy reach. A configurable, 5-in. color driver information display with improved graphics works with steering wheel-mounted controls providing key operating information, as well as the ability to choose operator or manager’s preferred diagnostic data.

A dash-top tray with multiple USB and 12V connections provides a safe, convenient home for driver gadgets, which can also be linked to the optional in-dash infotainment system. Always in view, the instrument cluster’s clean, symmetrical layout and diffused, light green backlighting makes it easy to read, reducing eyestrain and fatigue.

All VNX models come standard with factory-installed connectivity hardware for access to Remote Diagnostics, which provides proactive diagnostics and monitoring of critical engine, transmission and aftertreatment trouble codes. The same hardware also allows customers to perform software and parameter updates over-the-air with Remote Programming, which helps improve uptime and vehicle efficiency, while reducing downtime costs. — www.volvotrucks.us


 

Link | SELF-STEER Auxiliary Suspensions

Company has redesigned its family of self-steer auxiliary suspensions, available in 8K and 13.5K capacities; added a first-ever 10K option; and, has a 20K model on deck for later this year. Equipped with Swift Mount technology, the suspensions use patented interchangeable ride height brackets and integrated air kits to reduce installation time by three to five hours. Further contributing to ease of installation is a “stepped-edge” design helps center the suspension on the frame, greatly reducing the time to achieve true alignment.

The interchangeable ride height brackets help alleviate inventory concerns by allowing companies to maintain four sets, which can be used to mount any Link auxiliary suspension. Optional fender bracket attachments eliminate the need to remove the hub during installation.

The new 8K and 10K auxiliary suspensions incorporate heavy-duty bearings and are engineered using proprietary, but readily available brakes and drums. The 13.5K suspension is available with optional disc or drum brakes. All auxiliary suspensions bear new rugged cast arms and Link-Koat migratory self-healing metal treatment to provide corrosion resistance and rust protection. A compact mounting envelope, combined with optional integrated air control system, also saves valuable frame rail space.

“Our redesigned family of self-steer auxiliary suspensions provide distinct advantages of convenience and performance for body builders, vocational fleet owners and drivers,” says Link President Jim Huls. “Our new auxiliary suspensions with Swift Mount technology further demonstrate our drive to outperform by collaboratively engineering solutions based on market needs and customer feedback.” — Link Manufacturing Ltd., 800/222-6283, 712/722-4874; www.linkmfg.com


 

CON-TECH MFG. | ELITE CONTROL • POLY-TUFF FENDERS

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The Elite Control information display screen conveys a wealth of information from a cab position respecting drivers’ need to focus on plant, road and site conditions.
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A polyethylene blend yields a mixer truck fender material equal to temperature extremes and resisting concrete residue build up.

The Parker IQAN platform-based Elite Control System for Con-Tech mixer trucks is self-diagnostic and customizable to each ready mixed producer’s specific requirements. Paired with the company’s Armor-Tech wiring harness, the new hybrid system offers a durable, reliable mixer control that a technician can troubleshoot with a standard test light.

A 7-in. color LED driver information display screen indicates immediate status of many mixer functions (drum direction, speed, slump, hydraulic oil temperature) in an easy to read “dial gauge” format. It also shows chute lock/unlock, hopper up/down, chute up/down as well as hydraulic fan cooler status (on-off). The screen doubles as a display for the rear view camera, automatically switching to that perspective when the truck is put into reverse. The driver has the option to toggle rear camera and mixer status views with the touch of a button.

An ergonomic joystick puts the job site functions in the palm of the driver at any position. Drum Start/Stop, Chute Up/Down, Drum Charge/Discharge & Chute Lock/Unlock are all located on the top and color coded to further indicate status. The flexible joystick mount allows infinite positioning of the job site controls. The display and non-job site mixer function controls (bridge axle up/down, pusher, drum counter reset) bear on a RAM mount system, positioned to keep drivers’ eyes up and “on the horizon” to increase situational awareness.

Elite System options include wireless remote controls, customizable constant speed, auto mix and an adjustable “speed dependent interlock” of select mixer functions. Producers using the latter, for example, might set the mixer with no discharge allowed over 20 mph, eliminating potentially hazardous situations and costly clean up. Further speed-dependent interlocks include automatic locking of the chute or hopper in down position, and drum revolutions at a constant, customer-set speed.

“Our mission was to build a system from the ground up with focus on safety, reliability, ease of use, while minimizing the overall driver workload required to operate the mixer,” says Con-Tech Vice President Grant McNeilus. “The final design was a result of thousands of hours of testing along with continual feedback from the operators. The system is really a coordinated effort to give the operator an advantage to control the mixer to its fullest capabilities. The Elite Control System is a direct result of listening to customers.”

LIGHTWEIGHT FENDERS

Joining the Elite Control System among the company’s recent mixer truck innovations is the Poly-Tuff fender, which Con-Tech President Dan Welsh describes as a “proprietary blend of polyethylene material, lighter than aluminum and virtually indestructible. We subjected the fender to sub-zero stress tests and it did not crack, break or deform.”

The profile (shape) of the fender dramatically reduces the build-up of concrete or aggregates that may “ride” on top of a standard flat design fender, he adds. Another benefit: Concrete does not adhere to the poly material; load residue, rocks and stones will easily fall off the fender before the truck is back on the road, to or from the site. Since the polyethylene material is a solid color, there is no paint chipping, flaking, cracking or peeling. Poly-Tuff fenders are available in black or white as standard, or custom colors on larger production runs. Con-Tech Manufacturing, 507/374-2239; www.ctmmixers.com


 

East Manufacturing | Anniversary Trailer Packages

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Genesis dump, flatbed bear Anniversary Trailers’ golden marks.

Ohio-based East Mfg. is marking a milestone year in 2018 with Special 50th Anniversary Trailer Packages, standard on each of its dump, flatbed, drop deck and refuse aluminum trailer lines. The packages include gold East nameplates, 50th Anniversary logoed mud flaps, and—for flatbed and drop deck models—gold anodized flat hook tie downs.

East Mfg. began in 1968, named for the east Ohio area it still calls home. The name was “short and sweet,” says owner Howard Booher. “We had tremendous road construction on the new Interstate system that was centered in the area. It was the ideal location.”

Born and raised on a dairy farm, Booher’s hands-on experience as an aluminum welder led to his dream of building a better trailer with the lightweight alternative to steel. East has reacquired its first dump trailer, which Booher welded and delivered to his first customer, Tom Shields.

After several variations on the aluminum dump trailer, including a dump body in 1970, East proceeded to build out a waste and refuse body line in the 1970s and 1980s, and forged its first flatbed and drop deck trailers in 1982 and 1990. Among dump truck operators and other construction users, the manufacturer has become synonymous with the smooth-sided East Genesis design, developed in 2001. Once the design caught on, many dump orders called for the stronger, smooth sidewalls, which are more aerodynamic, easier to clean and do not show dents from the inside.

Over five decades, East has grown through 20 expansions, from a charter 7,200-sq.-ft. headquarters, built in 1968, to an operation spanning 110-plus acres with 680,000 square feet of manufacturing and building space. Payroll has climbed from 10 employees in 1968 to nearly 550 in 2018. — East Manufacturing, Randolph, Ohio, www.eastmfg.com


 

MOMENTUM | GreenLync CNG ENGINE SUPPORT

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GreenLync 2.0 technology can fully integrate with compatible telematics platforms, allowing drivers and fleet managers to be alerted of any need immediately, so maintenance or service can be completed before it becomes an issue. Using telematics, drivers and fleet managers can also monitor their fuel levels and usage stats and optimize their fuel consumption.

GreenLync 2.0 electronics communication system supports company’s compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel systems for trucks running Cummins Westport L9N and ISX12N engines. It utilizes advanced technologies to provide critical, real-time information enabling drivers, fleet managers and technicians to effectively manage, diagnose and service vehicles.

GreenLync 2.0 affords drivers information they’ve never had before with CNG power, emulating technology for diesel engine vehicles and instilling confidence. Through collaboration with Cummins, the system is designed to reduce false occurrences of engine fault codes, and integrates with telematics platforms so fleet managers can observe vehicle performance and optimize fuel management. A driver message center displays live fuel pressure reading, temperature-compensated fuel level and distance-to-empty. GreenLync 2.0 technology calculates a number of factors to deliver the latter figure, in turn reducing range anxiety and giving drivers more confidence. Real-time CNG tank pressure and temperature-compensated fuel levels give drivers an even more detailed picture of their system’s performance.

“Customers wanted a gauge that was more like they ones in their diesel vehicles,” says Momentum General Manager Mike Zimmerman. “With the distance-to-empty information at their fingertips, drivers can have a diesel-like experience and an easier transition to CNG vehicles.”

All Momentum CNG fuel systems are designed and built in collaboration with Cummins. Through this development work, Cummins’ diagnostic system can now recognize when a CNG fuel system is low on fuel, which helps to reduce false occurrences of engine faults codes. In the past, drivers might have received a false “check engine” light, prompting them to take trucks in for service when all they needed was a fill up, notes Zimmerman. “Now, the systems are more sophisticated, and the engines can recognize when you are low on fuel, helping eliminate those false alerts and preventing unnecessary expense and downtime of the vehicle,” he adds. — Momentum Fuel Technologies, Roanoke, Texas, 844/264-8265; www.momentumfueltechnologies.com

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With U.S. Department of Energy backing, technology underpinning the system has been under development for nearly four years.

 

CLEAN ENERGY | Redeem RNG

RENEWABLE NATURAL GAS ROADMAP
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To make Redeem renewable natural gas, Clean Energy captures and extracts biomethane gas that is released into the atmosphere as organic waste decomposes. Major sources of naturally-occurring methane gas are landfills and livestock farms. The gas is processed and purified, then made available exclusively to Clean Energy customers as Redeem RNG at company fueling stations. Redeem fuels hundreds of vehicle fleets across the country. Any natural gas vehicle, from an automobile to a heavy duty truck, can run on RNG.

Company is extending its reach in compressed natural gas processing, supply and fueling station construction management with Redeem, the first commercially available renewable natural gas (RNG), derived from landfill or farm methane and up to 70 percent cleaner than diesel fuel. In conjunction with the Cummins Westport ISX12N CNG engine launch, Clean Energy announced Zero Now, offering Redeem RNG for $1 per gallon—based on diesel gallon equivalent measure—for a year at its California stations.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board certified the ISX12N in December 2017 at CARB’s optional Low NOx standard of 0.02 g/bhp-hr—equating to emissions 90 percent lower than the current EPA NOx threshold. The new engines tested at 0.01 g/bhp-hr, achieving virtually zero tailpipe emissions.

“By pairing the cleanest fuel available with the cleanest engine technology, Zero Now provides heavy duty truck fleets with a true zero-emissions solution that can be easily and economically adopted today,” says Clean Energy CEO Andrew Littlefair. “At a time when the price of diesel is bumping up to $3.75 a gallon in California, paying only $1 a gallon for a year for clean Redeem can go a long way to recouping the cost of a new truck. Add in the grants available in California for new clean trucks, the Zero Now offer makes it a no-brainer to switch to renewable natural gas.”

The Redeem Dollar Deal program applied on a first come, first served basis to the first 250 qualifying trucks. They are able to fuel with Redeem RNG at Clean Energy’s 23-station network throughout California. Also, Clean Energy has dedicated staff to help customers navigate through the application process for grants supporting CNG-powered fleet upgrades. — Clean Energy Fuels Corp., Newport Beach, Calif., www.CleanEnergyFuels.com


 

Thunder Creek | Service and Lube Trailer

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The redesigned front-end and chassis help make the trailer more maneuverable than the prior model, and afford better access to working areas via hatch-style doors and ergonomically positioned components. Fenders are removable and holes pre-drilled into the frame to move the axle position and ensure proper weight distribution for operators who add features after SLT deployment.

Company’s upgraded Service and Lube Trailer (SLT) features new chassis and front-end design; expanded front and rear utility box storage; plus, a modular design that allows owners to add new features and components. The vehicle’s new modular tank holds 440 gallons of fluid in up to eight 25-, 55- or 110-gallon sections. Operators can designate tanks for diesel fuel, engine or hydraulic oil, used-oil reclamation, grease, antifreeze, diesel exhaust fluid or other fluids based on field maintenance requirements.

“The Thunder Creek SLT provides a lower total cost of ownership compared to full-sized lube trucks with similar capacities and functions,” says Thunder Creek Equipment General Manager Luke Van Wyk. “We give equipment managers the flexibility to customize their trailer with up to eight fluids, plus separate solutions for DEF and grease in newly expanded front and rear compartments. The ability for owners to easily field install options further allows the trailer to grow with their field service needs.”

The SLT’s redesigned front-end allows for an additional 100-gallon DEF storage tank and Thunder Creek’s proprietary 2-in-1 closed DEF distribution system. This can either be included at the time of purchase or field installed at a later date. The new front enclosure is 23 percent larger than the previous model, the rear utility box 56 percent larger. These enlarged spaces give owners the opportunity to add toolboxes, workbenches, grease delivery systems or oil/fluid capacity.

In addition to fluid delivery, the SLT is outfitted with either a combination generator/air compressor or an optional 3-in-1 welder/generator/air compressor. This helps power the pneumatic pumps for fluid delivery and other tools needed for field maintenance. An optional WorkSight Light Tower with LED lights is also available.

The SLT retains many of the previous model’s design and performance features, including 10-gauge steel tanks, interior LED lighting, and pneumatic pumping system with reels up to 75 feet. The trailer can be purchased without the rear utility box and combination generator/air compressor for those who prefer to run the air off of their truck.Thunder Creek Equipment, Pella, Iowa, 866/535-7667; www.ThunderCreek.com


 

COMMAND ALKON | BUILDIT ELECTRONIC TICKETING

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BuildIt order form
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BuildIt ticket report
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BuildIt ticket summary
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BuildIt order management

A new Command Alkon electronic ticket management system allows contractors, haulers and suppliers to interact and work together by streamlining their order-through-goods acceptance processes. BuildIt equips users to order, receive and account for materials being delivered to the job site, all on a centralized platform that integrates with virtually any ticketing software.

 “In North America alone, roughly 250 million tickets are handled each year by the heavy building materials industry. These tickets are often in multi-part forms that are manually key punched into other systems,” says Command Alkon Vice President, Business Development Steve Cox. “The industry is beginning to understand that we are all part of an ecosystem where participants impact and are impacted by each other. We need to modernize and transform to digital formats for better communication, collaboration and information exchange across all community participants. Digitization generates more timely and accurate data, enabling faster, more intelligent business decisions.”

BuildIt can eliminate dependence on paper tickets that are often illegible and easily misplaced, he adds. It was developed from the ground up for the heavy building materials ecosystem to address the challenges that current methods for tracking materials and truck assets create. Each electronic transaction ensures that both parties are viewing the same data, providing one version of the truth for every user. Buyers can more efficiently reconcile accepted goods and services against invoices, permitting quicker payment to suppliers and quicker month-end closings.

BuildIt integrates seamlessly with Command Alkon’s TrackIt GPS and telematics solution. Using TrackIt in conjunction with the new program permits real-time tracking of on-site third-party trucks and supplier deliveries; hence, parties know where their assets are at all times. BuildIt, moreover:

  • Brings ticketing information to life by tracking materials entering a jobsite to streamline the real-time delivery process;
  • Integrates the buying, receiving and accounting for materials to simplify the procure to pay process and speed reconciliation;
  • Offers real-time visibility of material quantities and job expenses; and,
  • Proactively provides customers with shipping status and expected delivery times for improved service.

“We have been told paper tickets can cost purchasers up to $5.00 each to process for payment,” Cox observes. “BuildIt allows users to drastically reduce that cost. When a company processes hundreds to thousands of tickets in a month, savings can be significant, adding to bottom line profits.”www.commandalkon.com


 

Western Global | Fuel Solutions

Company’s newly formed Fuel Solutions Group is a team of engineering, compliance and project management professionals who specialize in the design, assembly and installation of turnkey fuel storage and dispensing facilities. Among its specialties are cube-shaped tanks and modular designs that increase work site efficiency

“Western Global has engineered a variety of customized fueling solutions over the years but not in a formalized manner,” says Group lead Bob Lennox. “As the fueling needs of large or remote jobsites become more complicated, we realized customers need a full-solution provider to avoid headaches and save resources. The launch of the Fuel Solutions Group does that. We are now able to offer customers a simple process, single point of contact and allocated resources to complete their projects on time and within budget.”

The process begins with a consultation, where the group meets with the client to discuss fueling operation scope and requirements. After gathering the necessary information and specifications, the design and engineering team prepares a detailed proposal aligning with project requirements. Specialists in electrical, mechanical and regulatory review are involved to ensure the customer’s package is specified correctly from concept to completion. A finished fueling package might include pumping, metering, filtration and electrical components. Western Global’s assembly team installs all components prior to deployment to minimize site work, resulting in a turnkey, customized fueling solution.

Recent Fuel Solutions Group projects include an auxiliary fuel supply for diesel-fired heating units at a concrete batch plant, plus remote mining installations. — Western Global, Clawson, Mich., 866/814-2470, 204/668-8951; www.western-global.com


 

Eaton | EverTough Clutches

Enhancements to EverTough Self-Adjust and EverTough Manual-Adjust heavy-duty aftermarket clutches help streamline maintenance and improve performance. The release bearing has been upgraded with wider thrust pads to optimize the interface with the release fork, providing more contact area for the fork while resulting in less wear and longer clutch life. A third grease zerk fitting has been added to provide better access for routine lubrication.

New EverTough clutches include genuine Eaton components and undergo rigorous testing prior to engineering approval and market release. The clutches are designed and engineered for older vehicles typically operated by the second or third owners. They are available in 7-, 8-, 9- and 10-spring designs with torque ratings ranging from 1,400 to 2,050 lb.-ft., and include premium dampers to help reduce harmful driveline vibration.

The EverTough line of products provides a balance of price, features and value for older vehicles in the marketplace. A two-year warranty is available with the purchase of a Genuine Eaton Clutch Installation Kit. — Eaton Commercial Vehicle, 800/826-4357 (Roadranger Call Center); www.roadranger.com/clutch


 

MICHELIN | All-Weather X ONE Drive Tire

Manufacturer is evolving its wide-base X One single tire series with the Grip D, replacing the XDN2 and geared to fleets aiming to maximize driver confidence in harsh weather and meet EPA SmartWay requirements for low-rolling resistance tires.

The X One Grip D provides grip that weathers the elements, product engineers note, citing its “three peak mountain snowflake” designation for use in severe conditions. Wide open shoulder grooves help deliver all-weather traction for driver confidence. Available in 445/50R22.5 and 455/55R22.5 sizes, the wide-base single drive tire will meet SmartWay requirements and is greenhouse-gas regulation compliant. It allows weight-sensitive fleets to carry 389 pounds of additional payload versus dual-wheel applications. Replacing the XDN2 with the GRIP D and its enhanced tread compound results in an estimated annual fuel savings of $550 by (based on estimated fuel price of $2.99 per gallon). — Michelin North America, Greenville, S.C., www.michelinman.com


 

Mack Trucks | Connect Technology

The Mack Connect suite of tools integrates intelligent software, predictive analytics and driver assist technologies into three pillars to boost productivity: connected support, business and driving. Technology is standard on Granite and all other Mack models.

“Productivity translates to profitability, and our customers are always seeking the next advantage to gain an edge,” says Mack Trucks Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing Jonathan Randall. “With Mack Connect, we’re providing the tools required for our customers, and their customers, to be successful.”

No aspect of productivity is more important than the driver, he adds, and Mack Connect offers several features to improve safety, efficiency and comfort. Bendix Wingman Fusion, a camera- and radar-based driver assistance solution, is available as part of Mack Connect and standard on Anthem trucks. Fusion provides collision mitigation, adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning, helping drivers stay safe on the road.

New information and entertainment options, including Bluetooth connectivity, satellite radio and Apple Car Play integration, allow drivers to focus on the road ahead. Drivers can also download additional applications, such as navigation, to help ease the demands of the open road.

Mack Predictive Cruise, an intelligent cruise control system, is also part of Connect and available on mDRIVE automated manual transmission-equipped models to help improve fuel efficiency by up to 1 percent. When cruise control is activated, the technology learns the topography of the route, storing up to 4,500 hills in its memory, along with information about engine load, weight, speed and road gradient. The next time the driver travels the route, Predictive Cruise engages the Mack mDRIVE to employ an optimized shift strategy and choose the most fuel-efficient gear.

With unplanned downtime events estimated to cost heavy-duty trucking customers more than $2,000 per day depending on a number of factors, uptime is critical to profitability, Mack officials note. Mack Connect includes the proven telematics-based solution, GuardDog Connect. Using fully integrated, factory-installed hardware, it proactively monitors a truck’s performance. If the system detects an issue, the 24/7 OneCall staff at the Mack Uptime Center is automatically notified. Depending on the severity of the issue, OneCall agents will reach out to the customer’s designated contact with actionable information through Mack ASIST, an online communications and service management portal.

GuardDog Connect is also the key enabler of Mack Over The Air (OTA), another productivity-boosting feature of Mack Connect. It allows remote updates for software and other parameters to take place when it’s convenient for drivers’ schedules. Data from Mack’s GuardDog Connect telematics platform is made available to best-in-class fleet management software providers, allowing customers to choose fleet management software that works for their business, without having to rely on third-party hardware installations. — www.macktrucks.com

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Housby Mack Inc. built a B5 Bridge Formula mixer on a thoroughly detailed Granite model for its World of Concrete 2018 booth. Taking note of the unusual trim and wheel package—completed at Housby headquarters—an existing customer relieved staff from having to dispatch the truck back to the Iowa shop from the Las Vegas Convention Center. The company builds both the B5 Bridge Formula and F5 Standard mixers for Mack and other OEM. — Housby Mixer Systems, 866/218-6266; www.housby.com