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From wheel ends to visibility solutions, here’s a look at some of what was introduced at TMC 2018

Flow Below announced that is Tractor Aerokit is now available in International models. It was one of a flurry of product announcements ahead of the official opening of the TMC show in Atlanta.

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The Technology & Maintenance Council’s 2018 Annual Meeting & Transportation Technology Exhibition at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta this week is an opportunity for maintenance experts to connect with each to share best practices and for suppliers to meet with customers. It is also a time for companies to introduce new products and services, and update attendees on their offerings.

FreightWaves will be covering the meeting this week with product news as well as news from some of the sessions. On Sunday, many companies introduced new products or new collaborations, including Flow Below, TMW Systems, Phillips Connect Technologies, Cooper Tires, Cengage and S/P2, Seeva Technologies, SAF-Holland, and Stemco/Webb Wheel. Here is a look at some of what these companies announced.

Flow Below

Flow Below made two announcements at the show surrounding its aerodynamic devices. First, it said that its Quick-Release Wheel Covers and Trailer AeroSlider system will be offered as factory-installed options on Strick Trailers. The AeroSlider system places a fairing between the trailer wheels and adds aerodynamic mudflaps behind them.  Each of the components work together as a system to address the complex airflow around the trailer wheels and the wake behind the trailer, resulting in 1.2% fuel savings, the company said.

The company also announced that its Tractor AeroKit, including the Quick-Release Wheel Covers option, is now a factory-installed option on International LT and RH Series trucks. The Tractor AeroKit reduces aerodynamic turbulence and drag on the truck by streamlining airflow past the drive wheels.  When optioned, each 6x2 or 6x4 truck is outfitted with wheel covers, center fairings located between the wheels, and rear fairings behind the wheels.  The system is also available on Freightliner, Kenworth and Peterbilt vehicles.

Seeva Technologies

Seeva Technologies recently closed a $2.1M round of funding and with that will build out its production and marketing of its signature product, the SEEVAtherm system. The product caught the eye of Navistar, which had been approached by the New York State Department of Transportation with a problem. Snow buildup on plows at the base of the windshield was causing drivers to have to stop and clear the vehicle.

Seeva and Navistar worked to install the product on about 550 NYDOT vehicles with great success and they also found that the unit could defrost windshields as well. Since then, Seeva has launched its second generation, called Version 2, which cut the weight of the device in half – to about 1 pound – and the windshield defrost time to under 1 minute through its washer fluid heating system.

Diane Lansinger, who founded the company along with her engineering father Jere, said the device has implications beyond windshields and will, through the development of “jet washers,” be able to target the fluid on sensors and radar systems that are becoming more critical on new vehicles.

“What they don’t tell you with these sensors is when you have to wipe them off, you may be doing more damage to them, scratching them,” Lansinger said.

The system looks like a hard tube that is simply spliced into the coolant system and uses waste heat from the engine to heat the washer fluid to about 150 deg. F.

Lansinger said the product will be available for purchase later this year and can be retrofit onto vehicles or ordered new. 

Cooper Tires

About 10 years after it first introduced its Roadmaster tire brand targeted at small fleets and owner-operators, Cooper Tires is now ready to unveil its own brand of tires. The Cooper brand of commercial tires will launch later this year and include three product lines, the Pro Series, the Work Series, and the Severe Series.

All the tires will feature a 7-year, 2-retread warranty.

The Pro Series will launch with the LHD drive tire, available for on-highway, long-haul operations, it features 30/32nds tread depth for long mileage and a fuel-efficient design. It will be available in six sizes.

The Work Series will feature three tires designed for final-mile, regional operations: the RHA for regional haul operation in 22.5/32nds tread depth and seven available sizes; the RHD drive tire in 26/32nds tread depth and six sizes with “aggressive traction;” and the RHT trailer tire, also in six sizes. The RHT was designed specifically for spread axle applications and features Cooper’s “Chip Guard” technology to resist chipping commonly found in these applications.

The Severe Series for mixed service, extreme applications features the MSA with 24/32nds of tread depth for waste haul applications. The all-position tire is available in 315/80R22.5 in Load Range L.

On the Pro and Work Series, Cooper is also offering a free tire replacement for the first 50% of the original factory tread life. On the Severe Series, Cooper is offering free replacement if the tire becomes unusable within the first 2/32nds of tread life.

All tires will be available on May 1.

SAF-Holland

SAF-Holland introduced its Tire Pilot Plus Tire Pressure Management System. Up to 80% of tire failures are due to improper tire inflation management, the company said, and a trailer tire can lose up to 2 PSI per month regardless of its use. Every 10% a tire is underinflated can increase wear between 9% and 16% faster than a properly inflated tire. 

Tire Pilot Plus is based on a European system that has been in production since 2013. The system maintains equal pressure across all wheels and features high pressure relief for over-inflated tires. According to SAF-Holland, the system also reduces maintenance costs through reduced time spent on tire repair and replacement; eliminates the need for routine pressure checks; uses durable components in a non-pressurized axle environment; features knurled brass fittings; stainless steel hoses; a heavy-duty hub cap that protects tire hose connections; and a polished steel/flexible tubing insert shaft and internal double lip seal to ensure a robust seal.

A control box has the ability to not only regulate tire pressure, but also to shut down the system should a problem occur. There is also an indicator light that comes on when a driver needs to take immediate action because a tire has dipped below 20 PSI set point.

The system is designed to be used with SAF-Holland’s CBX and ULX Series suspension systems and is factory installed at the company’s manufacturing systems. It comes with a 5-year warranty. SAF-Holland said a company would recoup its investment in the system within one year. It can be retrofitted as well.

Phillips Connect Technologies

Introduced last year, Phillips Connect Technologies’ Trailer Net product is set for a fourth quarter launch this year. Trailer Net provides a single source to connect smart components on trailers. With a cloud-based architecture and open-sourced code, Bill Ellis, managing director, said the idea has been to eliminate the need for a fleet to have separate technologies, interfaces and data plans as it adds smart components such as door open/close sensors, temperature monitoring, etc.

Gerry Mead, executive director of innovation, said this is becoming more important as autonomous technologies join the fray. “When you think of autonomous vehicles and advanced technologies, there are all these players developing smart components but what they are not doing is developing a way for them all to [connect],” he said.

The goal is for a fleet to have a single data plan, a single database, and a single interface, regardless of what supplier provided the components, Ellis noted. “We’ll do all the analytics, the prognostics, and integrate that all in one system,” he said.

Stemco/Webb Wheel

Stemco and Webb Wheel have joined forces to introduce a single, all-in-one wheel end. The Trifecta features Stemco manufactured bearings, the Defender ESP hub cab, Zip-Torq fastener, a patent-pending spacer and Discover XR wheel seal. Those components are inserted into a Webb Wheel hub for simple installation..

Todd Anderson, president of Stemco, said the pre-adjusted hub assembly requires only 200 lbs.-ft. of torque pressure to install (versus about 500 for competitors), cuts installation time by 50% due to its all-in-one design, and reduces heat. It carries a 5-year/500,000-mile warranty in on-highway applications and a 3-year/300,000 mile warranty for vocational applications. The Trifecta will be available for tractors first in the second quarter with a trailer version later in the year.

TMW Systems

For users of Navistar’s OnCommand connection system, TMW Systems has introduced a new module for its TMT software that makes ordering parts easier. The add-on e-commerce module eliminates the need to send faxes or emails when ordering. Once a part is ordered online, the dealer will automatically fill that request to the fleet and Navistar will be notified that the dealer has shipped that part and an fulfillment order on that end will begin.

“The benefit is the dealers can serve the Navistar customer more effectively and the TMT customer sees more efficiency,” explained Scott Vanselous. executive vice president, marketing & strategy.

The module is now available.

Cengage, S/P2

While there is much talk of the driver shortage and whether it is real and solvable, there is another industry shortage that hampers efficient use of equipment, and that is technicians. To help address that. Cengage and S/P2 have joined forces to offer a digital learning platform for safety, pollution prevention, and soft skills training.

Cengage is an education and technology company and said that this integration with S/P2, an online training provider, will give students both technical and professional skills.

“We know that employers want students who have both technical skills, such as theory, application and diagnostic training, as well safety and soft skills. By partnering with S/P2, we’re giving students the best of both worlds, and ensuring they are prepared to be successful in the workplace,” said Katie McGuire, senior product manager, Cengage.

Cengage’s MindTap program teaches theory and diagnostics to students in thousands of transportation programs across the country for both medium and heavy-duty trucks, the company said. Many of those programs also utilize S/P2 for safety, pollution prevention and soft skills training. Often, S/P2 training is required before students can enter medium/heavy duty truck shops, the company noted.

The new collaboration will integrate S/P2 directly into MindTap to give students and faculty a single point of access for all training.

Students can also access MindTap as part of a Cengage Unlimited subscription, which gives students access to all of the company’s digital higher education materials—more than 22,000 products across 70 disciplines and 675 courses—for $119.99 a semester.

Lippert Components

Lippert introduced a new 10-in. latex foam mattress constructed with a combination core. Part of its somnum line, the Discovery features a thick polymer and spring base core, with a natural latex upper core. The Indura Spring polymer base provides all the support and durability of a steel coil innerspring mattress without the extra weight, the company said. It includes a 3-in. natural latex upper core for cushioning pressure points like hips and shoulders.

The mattress is available in multiple sizes.

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