Kelley Platt

Daimler Trucks North America has named Kelley Platt as chief diversity officer and Western Star Trucks president, and appointed her to the DTNA Operating Committee. The primary purpose of the former position is to ensure alignment of diversity and inclusion strategies with organizational goals. DTNA reports that employees come from all walks of life, bringing a wealth of skills and experience to their roles; diversity and inclusion have flourished in 2015 through the advocacy and support of Employee Resource Groups, which now include 1,000-plus individuals. The Western Star role has been expanded to include executive oversight of the company’s Portland, Ore., manufacturing plant.

“Great companies are great places to work for all employees and DTNA embodies the concept that diverse ideas are the basis of our future success,” says CEO Martin Daum. “Kelley has served in numerous senior leadership roles since 1989; her commitment to employees and to diversity and inclusion are cornerstones of the company’s future.”

“Further ingraining diversity into our culture will enable DTNA to attract talented individuals who bring a wide range of perspectives.”

Separately, DTNA’s Detroit-Connect is deepening its telematics strategy by re-aligning offerings in collaboration with Zonar Systems, Inc. Detroit Connect will transition the branding of its Visibility Fleet Software and On-Board Tablet to Zonar. With this change, Visibility will take on Zonar’s Ground Traffic Control fleet tracking application product name, and the Tablet will assume the 2020 tablet branding.

Current Visibility and Tablet customers will experience no changes in product capabilities or pricing. The Detroit Virtual Technician on-board diagnostic system will maintain the same branding and continue under the Detroit Connect umbrella. In addition to the shift in product branding for Visibility and On Board Tablet, the new business arrangement calls for Zonar to assume management of all Virtual Technician subscriptions, including the renewal process, later this year.

“There’s a significant opportunity to gain important insights through connectivity to ultimately provide a more dynamic customer experience,” says DTNA Director of Telematics Matthew Pfaffenbach. “Our arrangement with Zonar strengthens our telematics capabilities.”

Virtual Technician is standard with a two-year subscription on all DTNA vehicles with Detroit heavy-duty engines; Ground Traffic Control is available through DTNA dealers on those same models. A factory-installed prep kit for the 2020 tablet is available on Freightliner Cascadia trucks with Detroit power, and will be available on Freightliner vocational models, Western Star trucks, and Cummins-powered Freightliner and Western Star trucks later this year. DTNA recently announced a minority stake in Zonar. The businesses continue to operate as separate entities, but leverage their new relationship to co-develop new products for Detroit, Freightliner and Western Star customers.

Volvo Group North America recently was honored with a 2015 Energy Award from the Industrial Energy Technology Conference (IETC) for its efforts to reduce manufacturing facility energy usage. Since 2009, the company has cut energy consumption by 26.8 percent at eight U.S. manufacturing facilities, exceeding its original goal of 25 percent by 2020.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory nominated Volvo Group for energy management activities resulting in significant reduction in energy use under several programs, including the DOE’s Better Buildings, Better Plants Challenge and the Superior Energy Performance (SEP) program. Mack Trucks’ Macungie (Pa.) Cab and Vehicle Assembly facility, Volvo Trucks’ New River Valley assembly plant in Dublin, Va., and the Volvo Group Powertrain facility in Hagerstown, Md., are among the top six SEP Platinum-certified facilities.

Separately, Mack Trucks has entered into a memorandum of understanding with Omnitracs LLC to develop future service options for Mack Fleet Management Services. The additional options will expand Mack’s robust fleet management offerings, and provide customers with more choices to boost safety and lower costs through improved operational performance.

A leading provider of fleet management, routing and predictive analytics solutions, Omnitracs enables customers to solve common fleet problems and achieve their business objectives through intuitive technologies. “The relationship with Omnitracs will enable us to further expand the options available to our customers through Mack Fleet Management Services,” says Vice President of Aftermarket Business Development David Pardue. “With more options available, customers will be able to choose the fleet management solution that best meets their needs and improves their total cost of ownership.”

SAF-Holland’s manufacturing facility in Holland, Mich., has received the Paccar 2014 50PPM Quality Award and joins the list of premium suppliers displayed at Paccar dealer locations and on the site. The Muskegon, Mich.-based manufacturer earned the recognition by meeting standards over a rolling 12-month period, during which Paccar monitors a supplier’s parts and components to verify that product defects are below 50 parts per million. Product innovation, production parts approval process, number of warranty cases and timely delivery are among criteria. Candidates must also have quality systems in accordance with both ISO/TS 16949 and ISO 9001 and pass Paccar performance testing.

London Machinery Inc. has opened a parts branch in St. Albert, Alberta, just outside of Edmonton, enabling quicker OEM mixer and refuse parts delivery throughout Western Canada. It stocks London and McNeilus parts, plus parts and supplies for most major competitor nameplates.


LignoTech USA, the world’s leading supplier of lignin-based products to concrete admixture producers announced late last month a critical supply imbalance impacting North American accounts. The Rothschild, Wis.-based company expects the condition to continue for the remainder of 2015 and is responding with an allocation plan for lignin.

“Our goals are to ensure a reasonable level of supply to all customers, minimize supply interruptions, reduce lead times and restore supply/demand balance,” says LignoTech USA CEO Attilio Caruso. “To this end, we have accessed our overseas supply base and will have significant additional volume available to supplement our capacity for the North American construction market, plac[ing] us in a positive supply situation before the end of 2015.”

Lignin is a key raw material in conventional and mid-range water reducers, retarders, and other concrete admixtures. The supply imbalance stems from a shortage of seasoned pulp wood, coupled with unexpectedly high demand the first half of the year and a series of unexpected operational interruptions. A subsidiary of Norway’s Borregaard ASA, LignoTech plans to double domestic lignosulfonate capacity with a new Florida facility scheduled for 2017 opening.