Our annual look at heavy-duty model introductions, updates and component advances coincides with strong fleet investment activity across ready mixed and manufactured concrete. Truck manufacturers and their suppliers remain 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 and Mid-America Trucking Show.


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Through work with heavy-duty OEM and mixer body builders, Wheel Pros demonstrates a range of American Racing ATX Series aluminum alloy wheels for vocational trucks. Offerings equal to ready mixed or aggregate truck specs include those shown at World of Concrete on Mack Granite-mounted mixers: A Lafarge Canada-bound London bearing AO400HD Trex Stylized High Gloss Black wheels with AR Green tint plus ATX Bolt-on caps; and, a McNeilus with AO402 Indy wheels in Satin Black and AO400HD Baja in High Luster Polish. The AO400HD Trex are also shown here in Satin Black on a Western Star 4900-mounted dump.

The AO400HD and AO402 are among six ATX Series styles for Class 8 trucks. Each is available in 22.5- or 24.5-in. diameter; 8.25-, 9.0- and 12.25-in. widths; Drive Outer, Drive Inner and Steer position versions; and, the Satin and High Gloss Black or High Luster polished aluminum finishes. American Racing also features multiple bolt-on or snap-on cap and cover styles in black or chrome. In addition to the Green tinting, the AR Custom Shop offers Blue, Brown, Orange, Pink, Purple, Red or Yellow options. Colors can be obtained in two configurations: Tinted clearcoat applied across the wheel surfaces but most evident on bare aluminum machined areas, or full wheel coating with customer-specified paint code. High Luster polished wheels feature AR Guard, an alloy treatment performing at the molecular level to create a strong, impenetrable bond of protection. Wheel Pros LLC, Denver, 844/427-6879;



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With an eye to weight reduction, improved safety, and body builder upfitting ease, the manufacturer announced upgraded cab and new powertrain options for its most popular truck model at World of Concrete 2019.

“Since introducing the 4700 in 2011, customer acceptance has continued to exceed expectations,” said Western Star Vice President of Marketing and Product Strategy Samantha Parlier. “We know customers already appreciate the truck’s versatility and dependability, and our newest features will deliver at an even higher level. The 4700 has always been about providing customers with the choices that are best matched for their exact business needs. New powertrain options expand the adaptability of the already versatile 4700.”

Western Star 4700 trucks and tractors can now be spec’d with the Cummins X12, an ultra-lightweight engine that increases payload capacity: At 2,050 lbs., it is up to 600 lbs. lighter than other medium-bore engines in the 10 to 13-liter category. The X12 delivers up to 1,700 lb.-ft. torque and 500 hp, and has a low-friction design conducive to fuel efficiency. It is compatible with a broad range of fully automatic, automated manual and manual transmissions, and has oil drain, filter and fuel filter replacement intervals that rival comparable engines. Front- and rear-engine PTO offerings enable more upfitting possibilities.

Additional upfit-friendly 4700 model upgrades include a third Power Distribution Module for the electrical system; improved interface connections on the back floor of the cab; and, four new trailer connection options. Another new option is the Detroit DT12 automated manual transmission, which can be spec’d for 4700s running Detroit DD series power. With features such as creep mode, hill start aid and a precise pneumatic shift and clutch control, the DT12 gives a smoother ride and reduces driver fatigue.


4700 upgrades extending to the interior help drivers stay focused on the road and more productive throughout the day. Larger instrument panel gauges provide improved visibility, and a new LCD dash display delivers more information in an intuitive format. Four customizable LED indicators are available for body builders to keep the operator informed of various truck functions, data and alerts. The multi-function steering wheel offers the driver easy-to-reach access to radio functions, phone controls and dash display menus.

“We worked directly with customers to create an environment that drivers can customize to best meet the needs of their specific job and lifestyle,” notes Parlier. “From dash-mounted USB ports for personal mobile devices, to a variety of mounting and pre-wire options for telematics systems, the 4700 is easier than ever to operate.”

Several new features will keep drivers and others on the road safer, she adds. Wabco OnGuard uses a bumper-mounted radar unit to track vehicles and objects in the truck’s path, and then automatically applies the brake if the driver doesn’t slow down in time. A Bendix lane departure camera tracks the truck’s lane position and provides audible warnings when nearing or crossing dividers. Western Star Truck Sales, Portland, Ore.,; Cummins Inc., Columbus, Ind.,



Simard AMS40T2 front twin steer suspension
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Western Star 4700 SB


Alcoa Dura-Black Wheels recently hit the heavy-duty truck and trailer market in Menacing Matte finish. The series offers the same advantages as the manufacturer’s lightweight forged aluminum wheels, product engineers note, as they are lighter and stronger than steel alternatives; improve payload and fuel efficiency; and, increase resale value over the life of the vehicle.

Manufactured using proprietary technology and production processes specifically required for appearance and durability, Alcoa Dura-Black Wheels feature premium detailing in all design and production aspects. Beyond the Menacing Matte Black surface, each wheel rim flange and mounting surface appears bright, and in contrast to the matte black face of the wheel. A bright rim flange provides increased protection during tire mounting and road operation. The bright disc face mounting surface provides protection when mounting and while in use.

Each Dura-Black is treated on both sides for ease and flexibility of mounting in steer or drive position. Wheels are also supplied with color-matched components including a black valve stem, and a precision, laser-etched logo. Color-matched One-Piece Hub Cover Systems, specifically designed for the Dura-Black series, complete the look.

Alcoa Dura-Black Wheels are available in popular sizes for heavy-duty tractor and trailer applications, each utilizing Ultra ONE technology with MagnaForce alloy: 22.5 in. x 8.25 in. ULTRABLK, 40 lbs.; 22.5 in. x 9.00 in. 89U64BLK, 48 lbs.; and, 24.5 in. x 8.25 in. 98U63BLK, 51 lbs. Also available is the wider 22.5 in. x 12.25 in. 82462BLK, which at 66 lbs. is the lightest wheel in its fitment class.Arconic Wheel and Transportation Products, Cleveland;


Metalgalante | Carmix 45FX
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Against the backdrop of the 2019 bauma trade fair in Munich, the manufacturer extended the range of its Carmix self-loading mixer series with a 4.5-cubic meter model. Great agility coupled with high productivity, product engineers note, equip Carmix 45 FX for conditions that require power, versatility and precision. The model’s user-friendly driving system, compact size (4.5- x 7.75-meter) and 4x4x4 steering allow the mixer to move in limited spaces and travel easily on bumpy, rough roads.

Internally, a system composed of a double mixing screw and drum with hydraulic motor rotation and planetary gearbox produces a homogeneous and compact concrete mix. An automatic hydraulic loading system contributes to this result: With a large 600-litre effective capacity bucket, it transfers aggregates in the proper quantity into the drum without wasting material. Eight buckets add up to a full load.

The Carmix 45 FX has a large cab featuring a ROPS FOPS structure, plus control and block valves to ensure maximum operator safety and security. The driver’s seat is reversible with automatic inversion of the flow circuit to allow the operator perfect visibility when moving around the site. The Carmix 45FX is equipped with a load cell weighing system that allows operators to measure, weigh and program any material to execute a mix design on site. Four sensors, controlled by an on-board programmable computer, are placed at the bottom of the drum in order to perform precisely where the mixing takes place. Compared to alternatives using pressure sensors on the shovel, this system ensures: direct control of elements where the mix is made, including the actual weight of water for W/C ratio optimization; higher accuracy and 3-5 percent weight deviation, on par with performance batch plants; and, finished product verification. Metalgalante S.p.A.,



The latest expansion of the Digital Advantage Program is presented as the first online Vehicle Identification Number search tool in the heavy-duty filtration market Users begin the Vindetech filter search by entering all 17 digits of a vehicle’s VIN in the field at the bottom of the left column on the Luber-finer homepage. The tool confirms the VIN, model year, manufacturer and other vehicle details, then produces a list of the specific filters that are required for servicing. Additional features include VIN search capability for light and medium duty vehicles as well as the ability to upload multiple VINs at once from an Excel spreadsheet. The tool also generates a PDF packet of all search results so users can download for future reference.

“This project is the culmination of years of catalog system software development,” says Champion Laboratories Director of Heavy Duty Marketing Layne Gobrogge. “We knew that once we got the concept to work, it could be a game-changing tool for installers, parts managers and our own sales force. We will be leveraging this new tool as another example of how Luber-finer is indeed Built to Do More.”

With the Vindetech release, he adds, Luber-finer continues its effort to develop digital resources that make filter purchasing and resource planning easier for heavy-duty truck stakeholders. The tool is accessible on and will be included in a forthcoming version of the company’s mobile app. Champion Laboratories/Luber-finer, Toledo, Ohio, 800/851-3641;



Tanks FPOWith an eye to weight reduction and corrosion prevention, the company has added an aluminum air tank as standard on all aluminum flatbed, drop deck, and dump trailers, plus steel dump models. Made with less corrosive and lighter material, the 13.8-lb. aluminum air tank weighs 10.7 lbs. less than the steel version.

Trailer air tanks provide air pressure volume to operate the pneumatic system, including brake actuation and suspension performance (i.e., lift or steer axles), tire inflation and tailgate operation. Each East trailer has a minimum of two tanks so a tandem-axle trailer has 21.4 lbs. less weight than one equipped with steel tanks. The more axles added to a trailer, the more tanks required. Multi-axle trailers with a variety of lifts and/or steer axles could translate up to 150 lbs. in weight reduction, product engineers note.

Efforts to reduce trailer tare weight continue at East, led by adoption of new technology from suppliers, plus developments in new alloys and extrusion design. the manufacturer stresses materials’ strength-to-weight ratio to provide maximum return on the fleet investment dollar. The aluminum air tanks join another standard feature on East trailers: the Alcoa Ultra ONE aluminum 22.5 x 8.25 wheel. East Manufacturing Corp., Randolph, Ohio;


Donaldson | Filter Minder
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Using a vehicle’s own telematics system, Filter Minder wireless sensors and receivers send performance data to the cloud, and predictive analytics inform the fleet manager when individual truck filters are approaching the end of their optimal service life. With no upfront hardware costs, easy installation and a low monthly subscription fee, Donaldson engineers note, Filter Minder connected technology can produce more cost-effective use of equipment by prompting changes based on filter condition versus scheduled maintenance intervals. The system also helps ensure that fleet managers have the right filters in inventory when maintenance is due.

“Filter service performed too early is inefficient and service performed too late can damage equipment, cause unplanned downtime and raise operating costs,” says Filter Minder Product Line Director Nate Zambon. “Maintaining the filtration system at the optimal time best protects the engine and drives down total cost of ownership.”

The Filter Minder monitoring system integrates with existing fleet management technology, making it simple to install and use. The technology encompasses a) wireless, simple installation in just minutes per truck; b) patented low-energy sensors that help conserve power and extend battery life; c) filtration insights for an entire fleet of trucks with customizable alerts by text, phone, email or dashboard; and, d) a scalable platform that can expand to monitor fuel, lube and hydraulics filters, with additional applications forthcoming. Donaldson Co., Minneapolis;




Company’s updated Truck Suspension Systems Parts Catalog references full product line, including front and rear suspension kits and service parts. It features 25 new exploded views and an additional 84 pages to help simplify identification, specification and selection of truck suspension system parts.

“Equipment uptime is our top priority. Providing a comprehensive Truck Systems Parts Catalog with accessible selection guides, schematic diagrams, and service kit options is key to ensuring that customers can easily find the right part the first time,” says Hendrickson Director of Aftermarket David McCleave.

The manufacturer has also announced availability of lift axle parts information through the PLUS+ Parts Look Up System. Among key benefits it allows users to a) place a competitor, or OEM part number, in the system to obtain the matching Hendrickson part number; b) look up a part number to ensure it is valid, or receive an updated part number; and, c) view the bill of materials for an assembly, ensuring they receive all the correct parts for the job. Hendrickson Truck Commercial Vehicle Systems, Woodridge, Ill., 866/755-5968;




To maximize uptime and significantly extend electrical charging system component life, the manufacturer is making a battery refresher standard on Granite and companion series models. The device helps reduce and reverse the effects of sulfation, giving lead-acid batteries longer life and superior performance. Sulfation occurs when sulfate crystals, a byproduct of normal battery operation, build up on lead plates. As more sulfate crystals emerge, the battery loses its ability to accept energy and reach a full charge—shortening service life. The refresher emits high-frequency pulses of energy to remove the sulfate crystals and allow batteries to once again accept a full charge.

“Sulfation is one of the top causes of lead-acid battery failure,” affirms Mack Trucks Director of Product Strategy Roy Horton. “With the addition of the refresher, we can increase the life of a battery by up to two times and help prevent unplanned no-starts.” Beyond service life and vehicle uptime factors, he adds, fully charged batteries reduce wear and tear of other electrical system components such as the alternator and starter. Mack Trucks, Greensboro, N.C.,


PRECO electronics
SIDE DEFENDER II blind spot monitor

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The latest addition to a family of radar-enabled safety devices suits heavy-duty vehicle operators navigating low speed urban settings. Side Defender II actively monitors the driver’s blind spot, detecting moving vulnerable road users (VRU); ignoring stationary objects; eliminating nuisance alerts; and, reducing lane change accidents. The new companion PreView v2 in-cab display equips operators with more intuitive audible and visual alerts while offering installers flexibility and time savings.

Side Defender II represents an evolution in technology, product developers contend, imparting VRU awareness to the platform’s premier blind spot lane change assist feature. “Global governments, cities, and fleets are demanding side collision avoidance solutions capable of reducing collisions with VRU,” says Preco Vice President of Business Development Tom Loutzenheiser. “As the European Union moves towards legislation mandating this technology for heavy-duty vehicles, and Vision Zero cities in North America ask commercial truck fleets to take action, Preco has once again delivered on its legacy of creating effective side collision solutions for heavy-duty vehicles and equipment.”

Side Defender II brings intelligent technology to an already successful lane change assist feature, he adds, meeting the demand for collision mitigation systems capable of ignoring stationary objects while alerting truck drivers of VRU in crowded urban environments. — Preco Electronics, Boise, Idaho;


Rush Enterprises | PARTS CONNECT

RushCare Parts Connect has been launched as an easy-to-use online parts ordering system for all heavy-duty truck makes and models. When a customer logs in, the system automatically finds the Rush Truck Center connected with his or her account to search for local inventory. Customers can search and filter results by full or partial part numbers, and access features and benefits, price and availability. If a needed part isn’t in stock, customers can check the $250 million inventory embodied in Rush Truck Center locations across the country. When the part is located, customers can pick it up at their nearest center or have it delivered or shipped to their business.

With RushCare Parts Connect, customers have access to hundreds of thousands of in-stock part numbers, along with the ability to search millions of genuine OEM and all-makes replacement parts in what is presented as the most comprehensive database of its kind for heavy-duty truck operators. The system provides personalized results based on each customer’s parts and service history with Rush Truck Centers, plus related and alternate parts options with each search.

“RushCare Parts Connect is an extension of the program [we] use to identify parts and availability each time a customer calls,” says Rush Enterprises Managing Vice President Mike Eppes. “We’ve worked with suppliers to provide full-color imagery, VMRS data and specifications, making it easy to navigate and search so our customers can use it to shop for parts wherever and whenever is most convenient.”

“Because this system has the ability to link to our customers’ full parts and service history, it helps ensure they find the parts they need to complete the job the first time,” adds Chairman W.M. “Rusty” Rush. Rush Enterprises Inc., Atlanta;,




Company now offers all makes of compressed natural gas truck fueling system parts online. Site users can shop by category or manufacturer, and take advantage of robust functionality allowing search by product name, number or description. Customers who set up an account can see their full order history and parts recently viewed.

“The comprehensive selection of all-makes parts is unrivaled in the alternative fuel space and directly addresses the needs of our customers to find and purchase parts quickly and easily,” says Momentum Fuel General Manager Mike Zimmerman. “[Our] grant subject matter experts can assist with the grant application process as well.”

In addition to the offering the ability to purchase parts online, the Momentum site has been updated with enhanced content, including details on customers’ tank- of system-mounting needs or industry-specific applications. Visitors can also find information on the nationwide network of dealerships that can service Momentum vehicles. Momentum Fuel Technologies, Dallas,



The company unveiled a new cab concept at World of Concrete, shown on a Charger model but geared for its entire front discharge mixer series. The cab is designed as a mobile workspace to enhance the total driver experience; its interior has strategic placement of controls in logical groupings and within easy reach of the operator. Engineers have also added storage space and more charging ports for electronic accessories. Product engineers also note the new cab’s wider windshield, affording increased visibility for the driver, along with improved ergonomics and HVAC coverage; rear ventilation windows; and, superior windshield wiper sweep.

“Last year we had the official unveiling of the Terex Advance Charger Series mixer and this year we are debuting our completely redesigned cab, which will be an enormous benefit to operators,” said Terex Advance General Manager John Leech, ahead of the cab’s Las Vegas Convention Center debut. Terex Advance, Ft. Wayne, Ind.,



The robust PH-405 pintle hook’s austenitic manganese steel construction provides enhanced wear characteristics and hardening at contact surfaces with the drawbar. It is used with 2-3/8-in. drawbars on heavy-duty ‘A’ train (converter dolly) double and triple applications for dry bulk and aggregates. The long life, rigid-mount design with eight-bolt pattern is compatible with the manufacturer’s PH-400 pintel hook plus Premier 2400, 100-4, and 470 models. Backed by a two-year warranty, the PH-405 can be used with or without air chamber. SAF-Holland, Muskegon, Mich.,