The day before the official opening of the American Trucking Associations’ Technology and Maintenance Council annual conference is always dedicated to new product and service announcements. In a series of press conferences on Sunday in Atlanta, companies introduced themselves and their latest offerings to the press.
FreightWaves will break out several of these new products over the coming days, but here is a brief roundup of some of the other offerings introducing, including products from Alcoa Wheels, Mitchell 1, FlowBelow and Snap-on.
Mitchell 1 has added interactive wiring diagrams to its TruckSeries truck repair software. The new feature is designed to improve efficiency for technicians, said Ben Johnson, director of product management for Mitchell 1.
“We exist to make those guys jobs easier. We exist to make them relevant,” he said, noting the increasing number of electrical components on vehicles, a trend that is only expected to grow.
Interactive wiring diagrams allow technicians to access component repair information directly from inside the wiring diagrams without having to initiate a secondary search.
While viewing a wiring diagram, technicians can click on any component within the diagram to see a pop-up menu with selections to learn more about specifications, component location, connector views, guided component tests, and more. There is no need to exit the wiring diagram to find related information needed to diagnose the issue, the company said.
“We think with the complexity these systems are facing, technicians are going to challenged,” Johnson said. “As this complexity comes to our vehicles, we believe these interactive diagrams are going to become [important].”
Johnson said that no tests on a time savings have been conducted, but it would “not surprise me to see a 20- to 30-minute savings.”
Cojali USA improves test offerings
Cojali USA unveiled new innovations to its Jaltest Diagnostics, an all-makes diagnostics tool, and new solutions within its Jaltest Telematics offerings.
The first product is the Jaltest V9 diagnostic hardware. Lighter than previous versions with faster connection rates, the V9 comes with OBD/9-pin connectors. It has four CAN channels with integrated bluetooth antenna and double the RAM capacity of older devices.
The company has updated its Jaltest software with version 20.1. The all-makes diagnostics tool has a new design with improved, customizable user interface and includes coverage across 260 brands, 6,866 models, 53,910 systems, 50,182 functionalities and over 480,000 fault codes.
Also introduced was the Jaltest T-Vod. A plug-and-play installation product, the T-Vod controls vehicle measurements in real time and allows users to adjust the dashboard to maximize data reading. Through it, users can launch diesel particular filter (DPF) regenerations and DPF resets remotely. Future features include possible upgrades to enable ELDs and other telematics-based solutions.
Finally, Cojali announced a new OEM Solutions business line. This new line will work and develop products specifically for original equipment manufacturers, including diagnostics and telematics, cooling systems, electronics and big data solutions.
Snap-On enhances diagnostic tool
Snap-On’s Nexiq brand announced enhancements to its eTechnician tool. The PC-based application, first launched in 2015, has been used primarily by large fleets to manage warranty repair. It is now ideal for fleets of all sizes, the company said.
Version 2.0 of eTechnician includes a clouded vehicle history that lets a technician to retrieve test results, component details, technician’s notes, recordings and life/trip data from anywhere.
The new version also adds proprietary original equipment manufacturer data and features engine data for Cummins, Detroit Diesel, Caterpillar, International, Navistar MaxxForce, Hino, Volvo/Mack, Paccar and light and medium trucks. It also includes transmission data.
New bi-directional support allows Nexiq to perform 90% of OEM tests remotely. Color-coded identification helps technicians diagnose DPF regeneration status.
Snap-On also reviewed its recently released Pro-Link Edge diagnostic tool. The handheld tool includes a 10-inch display, simplified navigation, expanded protocols for enhanced vehicle coverage, full proprietary diagnostic code descriptions and improved vehicle connectivity speed and vehicle history. There is no subscription required. It integrates with Mitchell 1’s RepairConnect.
FlowBelow Aero now a factory option on Volvo trucks
FlowBelow’s Tractor AeroKit aerodynamic system is now a factory option for Volvo Trucks North America vehicles. The AeroKit, which includes wheel covers and drive wheel fairings, has been shown to deliver up to 2.23% in fuel saving based on third-party SAE J1321 fuel economy testing using EPA SmartWay guidelines, the company said.
The factory-installed option means that FlowBelow products can be installed on Volvo trucks at the factory or in the aftermarket, where they have been available since 2017 as part of Volvo’s Direct Ship program.
FlowBelow worked with Volvo’s engineers to develop a custom mounting system for the drive wheel fairings. The fairings are part of Volvo’s Xceed fuel efficiency package.
The company also said its products have been added to the Alliance Parts catalog. These include first-fit drive wheel fairings, and wheel covers for Daimler’s Freightliner and Western Star models, as well as all-makes FlowBelow replacement and retrofit parts.
“We want to make sure our products are available [for new vehicles], but also available for existing products so customers can bring them up to new-truck specs,” Gordon Virginski, vice president of OEM and dealer programs for FlowBelow, said.
In December, Richard Ruebusch took over as CEO. Ruebusch has spent 15 years in automotive businesses and 10 years in private equity. He has 15 years of CEO experience prior to joining FlowBelow.
“Rick’s unique mix of experience in finance, sales, marketing and international operations adds great value to FlowBelow and aligns perfectly with our future objectives,” Josh Butler, president and founder, said in a statement.
Alcoa Wheels introduced a new 39-pound wheel in its Ultra One line. The ULT39 is a 22.5-inch by 8.25-inch aluminum wheel and is the company’s lightest heavy-duty truck wheel.
“This is quite possibility the strongest wheel we’ve ever made, and it’s the lightest wheel we’ve ever made,” Mike Baird, director of engineering, said.
The wheel features a “classic look” with 34% larger handholes for easier valve stem access compared to competitive products, and Alcoa’s patent-pending Hub Bore technology.
The Hub Bore technology reduces the hub-to-wheel contact area by up to 64% versus other aluminum wheels on the market, leaving less surface area for corrosion to form, Alcoa said. Corrosion leads to wheels, especially inside wheels, sticking to the vehicle, making it difficult to remove the wheel. The introduction of Hub Bore technology leads to faster, easier and safer wheel removal; increased productivity and overall job efficiency for the technician; and lower total cost of ownership, the company said.
It is available for all major truck OEMs and available in three finishes: high polish with reflective finish and high-gloss levels, and mirror polish with the highest level of gloss and reflectivity. It is also available with Alcoa’s Dura-Bright and Dura-Black surface treatments.
“Aesthetically, it is identical to the wheel it is replacing,” Baird said, noting that this allows the wheel to be mixed and matched with existing wheels already on fleet trucks.
The wheel is now in production. Baird said anyone that has a truck in production that is spec’d with the previous version of the Ultra One wheel will be upgraded to the new ULT39. The phase-in process will occur over the next two months.
Alcoa also announced the launch of the Behind the Wheels podcast. Hosted by Alcoa Wheels’ Doug Mason, Dave Walters, and Mike Yagley, the 30-minute show talks about heavy truck and medium duty axle ends.
The first episode highlights the topic of wheel-offs. Titled Behind The Wheels: Industry’s Darkest Secret, the episode features conversation on why wheel-offs occur and how they can be prevented.
Behind The Wheels is available to listen at alcoawheels.com/podcast, iTunes, Spotify and Google.
Tech-Celerate Now announced
ATA announced the Tech-Celerate Now program, which will provide education and research into advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and a return-on-investment calculator.
The program, a collaboration between the American Trucking Associations, ATA’s Technology and Maintenance Council, the American Transportation Research Institute, and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, is a two-year effort aimed at trucks over 10,000 pounds. The group is working with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration which is funding the program.
The program initially is focused on four technologies: driver facing cameras, air disc brakes, lane departure warning, and automatic emergency braking. These four technologies were chosen because they are the most widely used technologies on trucks that are not regulated, Ross Froat, director of engineering and information technology for ATA, said. Additional technologies, though, will be part of the program.
Tech-Celerate Now will include industry outreach, ATA marketing, regulatory and legislative roles, ADAS adoption committee assisting from vendor side, ATA/TMC educational sessions and reports among other efforts. There will also be a road show at industry events this year. Virginia Tech Transportation Institute will be producing research reports on ADAS.
“We are going to educate fleets on these technologies as best as possible,”