Trucks & Components

BMG SELTEC The TrakitGPS vehicle tracking and reporting module now provides new map views and a vehicle stop report. Suitable for multiplant dispatchers,


The TrakitGPS vehicle tracking and reporting module now provides new map views and a vehicle stop report. Suitable for multiplant dispatchers, the system also allows users the ability to view, track and manage multiple plants and vehicle types. New map views allow users to select from road, aerial and hybrid vantage points: the road view includes specific road names; the aerial view based on satellite imaging includes landmarks; and, the hybrid view is an easy-to-read combination of the two. A stop report features stop-sign icons on the map, allowing users to view driver stops over a selected period of time. The report also lists the driver’s status at the time of the stop.

A fully hosted application requiring no IT staff, TrakitGPS provides to-the-minute order tracking, real-time truck mapping, and two-way communication for fleet tracking and management, as well as time-stamped custom reports on all employee activity.


With the launch of Intraax AANL 23K, the manufacturer trims 75 pounds from its AAL 23K, replacing the latter as Hendrickson’s lightest 23,000-lb.-capacity, low-ride/liftable suspension system, to provide a 150-lb. savings on tandem-axle trailers. AANL 23K offers all Intraax benefits, the manufacturer affirms, including the first standard trailer Cam Tube System for reduced S-cam maintenance and a world-class, straight axle to help stretch fuel mileage and extend tire life. Additionally, company representatives add, standard Quik-Align delivers fast, easy, accurate axle alignment.

Offered in 6.5- to 17-in. ride heights, AANL 23K brings road-proven, tapered-beam and large-diameter axle (LDA) technologies to drop-decks, lowboys, platforms, tankers, bottom dumps and specialty trailers. The AANL tapered-beam design incorporates road-proven (over millions of miles), patented Tri-Functional III Bushings, which feature phosphate-coated inner metal for corrosion protection and a rubber compound for improved durability and ride, the company asserts. LDA technology increases the diameter of traditional 5-in. axles by approximately 34 -in., while slightly reducing the wall thickness, for reduced weight and improved component and system strength. Further, it delivers as much as a 22 percent increase in bending and torsional stiffness compared to the 5-in. axle tube, reducing tube deflection under loads to maintain a straighter axle and enhance fuel efficiency and tire wear. Teaming tapered-beam and LDA engineering for Advanced Axle/Beam Technology (AXT) to enhance component system strength, while reducing weight compared to similar-capacity suspensions, the AANL 23K reportedly enables haulers to carry more cargo on each run, as it delivers freight protection, high performance, and rugged durability.


Featuring the look and feel of a conventional rocker switch for construction applications, the newly engineered Sigma Rocker Switch is a low-current input membrane switch compatible with microprocessor-based electrical/electronic systems. It comes complete with reliable LED backlighting; the silicone rubber actuator can be customized by the manufacturer using laser etching technology; and, the actuator shape is variable. Options include custom colors, imprint and graphics, plus LED lens shape and location. The water-resistant Sigma switch is suitable for use in adverse conditions.


The AMS Front Tandem Spring Suspension increases and optimizes load capacity, the manufacturer notes, as it improves stability, safety and comfort. Adapted to all major North American vocational trucks, it suits mixers and concrete pumps, as well as dump trucks and cranes. The tandem suspension requires minimal maintenance due to what product engineers note is rugged construction.


Approval has been announced for use of biodiesel B20 blends in Cummins 2002 and later emissions-compliant on-highway ISX, ISM, ISL, ISC and ISB engines. Included are recently released 2007 products as well as Tier 3 emissions-compliant QSB4.5, QSB6.7, QSC, QSL, QSM and QSX off-highway engines.

Cummins is able to upgrade to B20 its previous position on the use of biodiesel fuel (limiting use to B5 blends only) for three key reasons: First, ASTM D6751 now includes an important stability specification for B100 biodiesel. Second, the availability of quality fuels from BQ-9000 Certified Marketers and Accredited Producers is growing rapidly; and third, Cummins has completed the necessary testing and evaluations to ensure that customers can operate their equipment with confidence using B20 fuel.

The popularity and use of biodiesel fuel continues to climb. Recent studies predict that, by 2008, 1.2 billion gallons of B100 biodiesel will be produced in the U.S.

Separately, Cummins announced the next generation of engine information tools Û QuickCheck 5100, which provides the power of a portable computer and proprietary engine-monitoring software in one handheld device. It is a self-contained device that makes capturing and reading engine data easier and faster, product developers note, helping transportation and industrial professionals better manage vehicles and operations. Moreover, weather-resistant construction comprising a beefy case surrounded by a rubber guard is said to be designed and built for extreme environmental conditions.

Operating commands are minimal, and push-button touch-screen navigation further simplifies use. The QuickCheck 5100 is equipped with a large, 3.8-in. LCD screen backlit for all viewing conditions. Power is supplied by a long-lasting rechargeable lithium-ion battery that operates up to 10 hours at a stretch. QuickCheck 5100 connects to any electronic diesel engine, using standard J1587 or J1939 data links with supplied 6- or 9-pin cables. A supplied USB cable allows users to link the device to a desktop PC. Preloaded with QuickCheck CE and PowerSpec CE applications, the tool runs on the Windows CE operating system.

QuickCheck CE software accepts data from any diesel engine with standard connectivity to an Electronic Control Module (ECM). It reads and captures fault codes, parameter values, lifetime trip data, as well as the data plate. QuickCheck CE allows the user to monitor a range of data from any manufacturer’s engine with electronic controls, transmission, braking and vehicle systems.

PowerSpec CE software is a proprietary application for Cummins engines that allows users to take full advantage of the device’s computing power. A Transfer HotSpec function enables customers to download and customize engine parameter settings on their personal computers. In addition, a convenient trip summary report is compiled from 10 data fields: average miles per gallon, average miles per gallon driving, percent of time spent at idle, percent of PTO time stationary, percent top gear distance, maximum vehicle speed, number of sudden decelerations, distance, total engine hours and trip time. The data can be captured and transferred to a desktop computer for analysis using optional Cummins QuickReports software. (biodiesel), (QuickCheck)


The company’s recently introduced Smart Sensor extends the wireless range of its Smart Scale onboard weigh scale to 500 feet. Designed for trucks, tractors, and trailers with air suspensions, the manufacturer notes, Smart Scale provides precise and accurate axle weight readings, allowing the loader/operator to monitor payload weight and its distribution. The new Smart Sensor and wireless reader allow operators to take a measurement where it’s convenient and safe, whether in the truck cab or on the loading machine.

Smart Sensor measures temperature and pressure changes in a vehicle’s air suspension and wirelessly relays this data to a handheld receiver using a low-powered radio transmitter. A small computer in the handheld receiver interprets the information and provides an axle weight and gross vehicle weight measurement accurate to within 150 pounds. Readings are produced once per minute or, when the sensors detect the truck being loaded, every three seconds. The result is an axle weight and gross vehicle weight measurement accurate within 0.3 percent of the actual gross vehicle weight.

Smart Sensor uses common AA batteries for power, and anodized-aluminum housing facilitates easy mounting anywhere on the vehicle without a bracket. According to company officials, most truck operators can equip a typical tractor-trailer unit in the field in about 30 minutes. With no wires to hook up, Smart Scale eliminates the expense associated with a hardwired installation, as well as maintenance concerns related to cables and electrical connections.


Elliptical spring steel insert locking technology that radially locks onto a mating bolt or shaft exhibits impressive resistance to vibration and fatigue, according to test result data released by the manufacturer. Vibration test results indicated that four locknuts subjected to increasingly heavier vibration stress loads did not loosen or show any signs of locking feature fatigue. Results of a 50 On/Off Fatigue test demonstrated the product’s ability to resist fastening fatigue, allowing it to be reused multiple times with first-time use confidence. All test results are available direct from the company or on its website.

As it requires no special tools for installation or removal, the Security Locknut is reportedly easy to use, and applicable in construction, material processing, and off-road/heavy vehicle and equipment, i.e., where shock, vibration, stress, or environmental conditions cause fastener failure or periodic maintenance requires reusability or extra safety measures. Using the Security Locknut is said by the manufacturer to eliminate the need for traditional fastening systems such as double nuts, serrated fasteners, flex-type or distorted, pin and nylon insert locknuts. Heat-resistant to 750_F, the product is offered in coarse and fine UNC/UNF threads and metric pitch sizes compatible with Grade 5/Class 8.8 or Grade 8/Class 10.9 bolts. American Standard, Heavy and Jam style nut patterns and customs are available.


The Bridgestone R250F tire was recently selected as standard for Mack’s Granite and TerraPro Cabover model series of heavy-duty vocational trucks. Specially designed for precise handling and excellent traction for construction applications, product engineers note, the R250F features five ribs, including tough tread compound and solid shoulder ribs to resist scrub, plus sidewall protector ribs to minimize damage from curbing, cuts and abrasions.

In addition, Bridgestone’s R280 was selected as the standard tire for the Pinnacle highway model series. It reportedly offers improved wet traction, plus features to resist irregular wear and ensure long wear, high traction and retreadability for drive axles. Mack also offers tires from other mainline manufacturers. Û


A new, heavy-duty vocational truck specially developed for the construction and government markets was unveiled by Sterling Truck Corp. at 2007 World of Concrete. Introducing the Set-Forward Sterling truck, the manufacturer emphasizes the model’s updated look; new chrome grille and chromed headlight bezels; improved functionality; and, increased visibility. Available in 101- and 111-in. bumper to back-of-cab (BBC) configurations from dealers throughout North America, the Set-Forward is the latest addition to the Sterling family of work trucks.

The new truck design features a hood shaped for optimum visibility to provide a 12 percent better sight range than comparable products, product engineers note. Constructed from Metton substrate, they contend, the hood also offers higher durability relative to fiberglass, as well as 20- and 25-lb. weight reductions on 101- and 111-in. models, respectively. Further, 1-ft.-plus advanced hood door openings allow easier engine access, and updated hood isolator guides promote better alignment and stability. Also facilitating maintenance ease are quick-change headlamps serviceable from the front of the vehicle without bezel removal.

Set-Forward design, the manufacturer affirms, includes under-cab packaging optimized for body builders. An updated quarter fender allows a 111-in. BBC model with a vertical frame-mounted exhaust to hold up to 120 gallons of fuel with a clean CA. More fuel capacity means more uptime, and this undercarriage packaging makes body builder applications easier and more flexible, observes Sterling Vice President of Sales Richard Saward. All of these features help the Set-Forward Sterling get to work and stay there. Û


The first Strong factory outlet, dedicated to sales and service of Strong Arm trailing axles and Superdump truck beds, has been opened in Mesa, Ariz., about 15 miles east of Phoenix. For a large customer base in the Phoenix area, according to company representatives, the outlet will provide exclusive sales support, scheduled maintenance, mobile service, and replacement parts for Strong Arm axles and Superdump bodies. Says company president Brooks Strong, The Mesa Factory Outlet combines the convenience and focus of a local dealer with the benefits of a direct connection with our engineering and manufacturing expertise.

Strong reports that additional stores are planned for states that enforce the federal bridge formula, where gross weight limits are determined by vehicle length, plus number of axles and their spacing. Coming locations include Utah, California, Oregon, Washington, and the U.S. Midwest.

Company officials emphasize that its factory outlets feature:

  • Experienced sales professionals to help customers maximize payload and productivity in specific applications and locations
  • Factory-certified technicians with the expertise to efficiently maintain Strong Arm axles and Superdump bodies
  • Fully stocked trucks providing on-site service
  • Local parts inventories for same-day availability on most replacement parts

The Superdump reportedly is defined by the Strong Arm trailing axle, a liftable, load-bearing axle rated as high as 13,000 lb. Trailing 11 to 13 feet behind the rear tandem, the axle stretches the outer bridge measurement Û the distance between the first and last axles Û to the maximum overall length allowed. Û


Designed by SAF-Holland and forged by Alcoa, the Holland FW Lightweight Aluminum Fifth Wheel is said by product engineers to be the industry’s lightest-weight fifth wheel. It suits standard-duty applications and is rated for 55,000 lbs. maximum vertical load and 150,000 lbs. maximum drawbar pull. Forged from the same alloy as Alcoa’s aluminum truck wheels, it is lighter than typical fifth wheels by 100 pounds, product engineers contend, affording haulers additional payload. It was field tested with fleets utilizing tankers, bulk haulers, and flatbeds hauling a variety of loads, including steel and cement.

The Aluminum Fifth Wheel incorporates NoLube technology, completely eliminating the use of grease on the top plate, between top plate and bracket, and in the lock mechanism. Maintenance thereby is curtailed; grease in the shop and the environment is decreased, helping owners comply with EPA regulations; and, steer tire wear is reduced for a smoother and safer ride, the manufacturer affirms.

Remote-controlled mixers boost Consumers Builders Supply

Remote control-equipped rear-discharge trucks are providing a new efficiency solution for Consumers Builders Supply and its customers. The Sheffield, Ohio-based company was founded in 2000, and now operates three plants west of Cleveland with a fleet of 47 rear- and front-discharge trucks.

At first, Consumers operators liked the maneuverability of front-discharge vehicles, but those mixers also brought increased maintenance challenges. Kimble Mixer rear-discharge trucks equipped with wireless remote control now are providing the maneuverability of fronts, minus the added upkeep.

According to Consumers President Jeff Riddell, using wireless remote vehicles can save about $3 per yard poured. On the contractor side, customers note benefits that include increased pouring efficiency and reduced labor requirements.

We now have seven remote-equipped Kimble models, Riddell reports. Our goal was to get into more standardized mixer specs, and after two years with the remote units, drivers have been able to realize the benefits. We have fine tuned specs and are now at the point of tweaking gear ratios to ensure optimal operation for speed on even terrain.

Riddell notes that some of his customers feel an all-wheel-drive truck, like a front-discharge mixer, is the answer for concrete delivery. But, when we talk to drivers and our more knowledgeable contractors, especially those in site work, they agree that the remote-controlled rear-discharge vehicles operate equally well, he says. Plus, they have better weight distribution than front-discharge units.

Consumers has seen drivers take 30 to 60 days to show good remote-control proficiency equal to their overall years of experience. That includes drivers who were accustomed to either front- or rear-discharge vehicles, although Riddell asserts that experienced front-discharge drivers adapt faster and are quicker to achieve a high level of customer expectation.

The front-discharge truck drivers understand the increased involvement in a project once they are on site, Riddell observes. They know they are part of the crew. Now, maneuvering the carrier by remote control also makes the driver an integral member of the crew during rear-discharge mix delivery.

Because contractor benefits of the remote control aren’t yet widely recognized, Riddell says his customers haven’t expressed a preference for the type of vehicle that delivers their orders, as long as they believe good pouring efficiency is obtained. But, the operational advantages may soon become better known, thanks in no small part to the exposure Consumers Builders gives its remote control units in 10 or 12 parades and festivals each year. Staff trained for remote-controlled vehicles are quick to volunteer for events where they can demonstrate a driverless mixer in action, especially down a main street. Though some people might think concrete is mundane, these truck demonstrations help heighten the awareness that we are in a business where technology matters, Riddell affirms. Û


Fleets and owner-operators who specialize in mixer, dump, mining and other vocational applications can now purchase extended warranties on Eaton and Dana drivetrain components. The new Roadranger Extended Protection Plan is available for one or two years of additional protection and covers all Fuller medium- and heavy-duty transmissions, Fuller medium- and heavy-duty clutches, and Dana’s Spicer medium- and heavy-duty drive axles. Extended mileage plans will also be available.

The program includes full parts and labor coverage for all warranty work, regardless of the severity of application, notes Rick Muth, manager of lubricants and special programs for the Roadranger service program. Warranty servicing is available at all North American original equipment manufacturer (OEM) dealerships, he adds, which includes 3,500-plus authorized locations. All replacement parts Û genuine components from Dana and Eaton Û will be identical to those used in the original vehicle. Coverage is transferable to a second owner of the vehicle.

To simplify purchasing of the extended protection plans, fleets and truck owners are given the option to (1) include the cost of plans in the financing of new vehicles, or (2) select and purchase online at and pay separately. Roadranger Extended Protection Plan coverage requires the use of Roadranger lubricants or fluids meeting the Eaton Transmission Specification PS 164 Rev. 7 or Dana Axle Specification SHAES 256 Rev. C.

Separately, Dana Commercial Vehicle Systems group has developed a new lubrication specification for high-performance, extended-drain lubrication fluids. The specification (SHAES 429 Rev. A) covers full-and semi-synthetic fluids in numerous viscosities, each designed to suit a broad range of Spicer axle system vocational applications and geographic regions.

Compared to traditional mineral-based gear oils, Dana representatives note, the approved fluids provide greater protection for all torque-carrying components such as gears, bearings, and shafts under a wide range of operating conditions. The fluids also offer superior low-temperature characteristics, product developers contend, which help protect axle components in harsh winter operations. With the new specifications, recommended drain intervals are doubled from one year to two years in most vocational applications.

Also at Dana, the Commercial Vehicle Systems Spicer D170 tandem axle lineup has been upgraded to provide differential lock-ready axles as standard equipment. Availability for vehicle manufacturers is planned for the third quarter of 2007. The upgrade covers tandem axle models D40-170, D46-170, and D50-170 rated at 40,000, 46,000, and 50,000 pounds, respectively.

This product feature enhances the appeal of our axle lineup for construction fleets and other heavy-duty vocational customers, who represent a large segment of the market using differential lock, affirms Dana Senior Product Manager Leo Wenstrup. For North American dealers, it also enhances the value of a stock truck order with the ability to move their trucks into multiple market segments.

Spicer front-axle carriers will come machined for a driver-controlled wheel differential lock, and internal components will be upgraded to allow low-cost conversions at the dealership. A conversion kit, including all necessary mechanical components and installation instructions, will be available through normal OEM service parts channels, also in the third quarter of this year.

Given the burden associated with 2007 emission laws, we understand the concern some dealers have regarding investment in stock trucks, says Wenstrup. Therefore, we see this as an opportunity to make stock trucks more marketable, and one that we hope will help promote more truck sales in 2007. Û


The Electronic Vehicle Inspection Report (EVIR) incorporates handheld computer, radio frequency identification (RFID), wireless communication, GPS and web-based software applications to guide drivers through the inspection process and accurately communicate results. The EVIR system electronically captures and transmits the results of a visual inspection. With no paper forms for drivers to complete, technicians can access the information they need to anticipate work and diagnose problems.

Self-adhesive, half-dollar-sized RFID tags are positioned around the vehicle at critical inspection zones. Each tag contains information about the components and system a driver typically inspects at a particular station. This information can be tailored to a fleet or vehicle. When placed within 4 inches of a tag, the Zonar 2010 handheld unit reads the information on the tag and displays the items to inspect with the zone. Following prompts on the screen, the driver uses push-button responses to complete the inspection, with the green button recording an ÎOKÌ response, the red button noting a problem.

When the driver records a defective condition, the 2010 asks for critical details, including whether the vehicle would be safe to operate. Once the inspection is complete, the driver can make a permanent record of the inspection report, complete with an automated stamp of the date, time, and VIN. This method proves that the driver is physically present in the inspection zone of his assigned vehicle and virtually assures compliance with regulations and company policies.

The device has a rugged, all-weather, high-impact design, large backlit and temperature-compensated display, push-button operation, and high-intensity LED light to help drivers see their work in less than optimal conditions.

Once the inspection is completed, the driver can physically place the handheld reader in a docking station that uses a modem to automatically transmit the inspection results to a secure web server. Data can be managed anytime and anywhere using a web browser to access the company’s password-protected site. In addition, Zonar’s EVIRNET system communicates data wirelessly from the vehicle. Using 900-MHz digital data radio, the EVIRNET vehicle mount transmits inspection results directly to a receiver connected to an office PC. The reader stays with the vehicle to provide access to the inspection history and on-road inspection verification for law enforcement.

A suite of web-based software solutions is offered that help manage, interpret and report the data drivers collect during inspections. Users can access inspection information anytime, provided they have Internet access. Applications can be adapted to existing maintenance and routing software to help achieve greater productivity through more efficient preventive maintenance scheduling; automated collection of odometer, time, and date readings; and a wireless, paperless flow of verified inspection information.

Additional benefits system developers cite include the reduction of chronic repairs and easy identification of chronic wear items; quantifying inspection activities and setting performance benchmarks (e.g. how much time does it take each driver to conduct a pre-trip inspection?); helping maintenance managers anticipate and delegate work; protecting against liability, settlements and damage awards related to claims of negligence during pre- and post-trip inspections; and cutting administrative time spent collecting, interpreting and filing paper-based forms. Û