LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Truck Writers of North America (TWNA) has recognized the Meritor FueLite 6x2 axle with Meritor WABCO Electronically Controlled Air Suspension (ECAS) as the top technical achievement for 2012 in the trucker industry. The award presentation took place first at the Technology & Maintenance Council’s Annual Meeting and Transportation Technology Exhibition in Nashville, Tenn., March 13, and again at the annual TWNA awards banquet March 21 at the Mid-America Trucking Show here.
The Technical Achievement Award winner was selected by a panel of TWNA members.
To be eligible for the Technical Achievement Award, a product or service has to clearly exhibit technical innovation, have a wide applicability in the trucking industry, offer significant benefits, and be widely available.
While complete vehicles are not eligible, components and systems are.
The review process begins with candidates nominated by the press members of TWNA.
Using a point system based on each committee member’s ranking of the candidates, the highest-scoring products are selected as finalists.
The six finalists for 2012 were the Aerofficient Slider trailer fairing, the Alutrec Capacity flatbed with monocoque design, Dana’s Spicer Diamond Series Driveshaft, Jacobs Vehicle Systems’ HPD (High Power Density) engine brake, Meritor’s FueLite axle with Meritor WABCO ECAS and Thermo King’s Precedent trailer refrigeration platform.
The winning Meritor FueLite axle delivers nearly 400 pounds in weight savings, potentially providing a 2 percent increase in fuel efficiency compared to traditional 6x4 axle configurations.
Meritor WABCO ECAS features the electronics that seamlessly and automatically shift weight to the powered axle in low-traction situations, addressing concerns about lack of traction in slippery conditions.
“The selection committee was impressed with the Meritor FueLite’s ability to shave significant weight from a Class 8 tractor,” James Menzies, editor of Truck News and Truck West magazines and chair of the award committee. “When coupled with Meritor WABCO ECAS, the 6x2 spec’ becomes viable for many North American truck buyers who could benefit from the weight savings of a 6x2, yet were concerned about the potential loss of traction.”
Tom Berg, senior editor of Heavy Duty Trucking and a member of the award committee, added: “The 6x2 has been common in Europe for many years, and it’s used by freight-hauling rigs on main highways and by loggers on dirt trails. As long as weight can be shifted from the dead axle to the drive axle, traction is good.”
The very first Technical Achievement Award was presented in 1991 to Grote Industries for its red LED marker light. Since receiving the inaugural award, Grote has sponsored the annual trophy. This year marks the 21st anniversary of the Technical Achievement Award.
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