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Bendix tech tips: Bumper to bumper winter prep

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ELYRIA, Ohio — Technically, no, winter’s not here yet. But in the practical sense, the season’s dropping temperatures, snow and ice are already impacting large parts of North America, so it’s time to make sure trucks and fleets are prepared.

This installment of the Bendix Tech Tips Series offers 12 pieces of air system, electronics and wheel-end advice to help keep your vehicle in good operating condition as things get frosty.

 Air Systems (Tips from Richard Nagel, Bendix director of marketing and customer solutions, Charging)

  1. Keep it dry: Moisture in the air system can condense and freeze, increasing the odds of brake and valve malfunctions. If the air dryer cartridge hasn’t been replaced lately, now is the time to do it. Bendix recommends oil-coalescing cartridges like the PuraGuard, since oil aerosols passed into the system can be particularly harmful.
  2. Check the dryer’s purge valve for corrosion or grit accumulation and replace it if necessary. Corrosive road chemicals can damage the purge valve and putting in a new one as a safeguard is a relatively quick and simple bit of preventive maintenance.
  3. Manually drain the air tanks to start the season: Today’s vehicles use compressed air for more non-braking functions, including automated manual transmissions (AMTs), advanced safety systems, and emissions controls. Draining every three months is generally sufficient for typical line haul trucks, but more often – monthly or even weekly – is recommended for vehicles with high air demand, like vocational trucks.
  4. Unless it’s an emergency, avoid using de-icing solutions on an air system: They can corrode O-rings and valve seals. (If one must be used, limit the exposure to as small an area as possible and keep an eye on the affected parts.)

Electronics and Controls (Tips from Fred Andersky, Bendix director of marketing and customer solutions, Controls)

  1. Remember that driver assistance technologies – like stability and collision mitigation – rely on maintenance of lower level systems like tires and the brakes to ensure performance in the field. Maintaining these systems is especially critical in winter when electronic systems may be called on more often to help mitigate crashes. Check tires for adequate tread depth and proper wear, and wheel-ends for tight bolts and cracks.
  2. Run a diagnostic check to make sure tire pressure monitoring systems are operating properly. Internal and external temperature swings, along with slick road conditions, make running on the right tire pressure exceedingly important in the winter.
  3. Keep external cameras and radar sensors – forward-mounted collision mitigation units, for instance – clear of snow and ice by checking them immediately prior to getting on the road.
  4. Check connections to ensure they are secure and water tight. Salt and other road chemicals can cause corrosion, which can ruin connectors and components.

 Wheel-Ends (Tips from Keith McComsey, Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake director of marketing and customer solutions, Wheel-End)

  1. Check air brake chamber housings for corrosion – or damage that could allow corrosive materials to take hold – and ensure that dust plugs are properly installed.
  2. On drum-braked wheel-ends, lubricate the automatic slack adjusters, clevis pin connections, cam tubes, shafts, and bushings. Lubrication is an effective tool for combatting corrosion, since it keeps moisture at bay.
  3. On wheel-ends with air disc brakes, check the guide pins and inspect the boots for tears or punctures that could permit corrosion of the caliper within. Replace any pins or boots as needed. Verify that the shear adaptor cover is in place and fully seated.
  4. Ensure free movement of air disc brake pads in the carrier – remove them and clean the carrier surface with a wire brush, if necessary – and make sure that the brake moves freely on its guidance system.

Winter hazards can ruin a driver’s or fleet’s day – and they don’t always take the form of things like blizzards or icy roads. But maintenance and upkeep efforts in the shop and on the road can keep vehicles running smoothly and safely.

Information in the Bendix Tech Tips series can be found in the Bendix multimedia center at knowledge-dock.com. Further instructional videos and interactive training on air systems, electronics and controls, and wheel-end technologies are available at the Bendix On-Line Brake School, www.brake-school.com.

For more information on wheel-end and air dryer maintenance, contact the Bendix Tech Team at 1-800-AIR-BRAKE.

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Design Interactive says Augmentor training program now available on Android, iOS

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The new mobile applications for Augmentor include an augmented reality mode that lets technicians visualize procedure steps where they are conducted. (Courtesy: DESIGN INTERACTIVE)

ATLANTA — Design Interactive Inc, providers of augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) training solutions for fleet maintenance personnel, vendors and OEMs, said here at the Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) Annual Meeting & Transportation Technology Exhibition that its Augmentor transportation focused, augmented reality training solution is now available on Android and iOS mobile devices.

“With the new ability to use Augmentor  on mobile devices, fleets can deploy our transportation focused training solutions more quickly and effectively to their technicians,” said Matt Johnston, division head of commercial solutions for Design Interactive. “Now, content like procedures and troubleshooting methods can be accessed from mobile phones across individual shops and multiple maintenance locations. With this mobile application, fleets can use our augmented reality and video- and computer-based technologies to train technicians for a lower cost.”

The new mobile applications for Augmentor include an augmented reality mode that lets technicians visualize procedure steps where they are conducted. For example, if a vehicle requires an inspection of its tires or brakes, the step is placed near or on that component or system. Users can also see 3D virtual representations of parts for reference during inspection or repairs.

The mobile app also includes videos, audio messages and text instruction.

For fleets, Johnston said Augmentor helps lower training, labor and parts costs, and increases vehicle uptime and shop productivity. Especially as new technologies continue increasing the complexity of the repairs, tools and skills needed by technicians, the transportation-focused solution ensures training consistency by enabling access to updated content.

Design Interactive Inc (DII) develops and deploys augmented, virtual and mixed reality training and enterprise solutions for the transportation, medical, aerospace, manufacturing, and energy/oil/gas markets, as well the military. Design Interactive’s extensive research and development expertise in using augmented and virtual reality technologies delivers innovative solutions that keep people safe, improve efficiency, and achieve optimum performance. Founded in 1998 and based in Orlando, Florida, Design Interactive is a woman-owned business.

For more information, visit www.designinteractive.net.

 

 

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Michelin launches aerodynamic trailer solution kit

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Michelin officials said third-party testing of the trailer solutions kit revealed 10 gallons in fuel savings every 1,000 miles, or 8.75 percent fuel savings, and $3,972 in fuel saved annually per vehicle. (Courtesy: MICHELIN)

GREENVILLE, S.C. — Michelin North America recently launched Michelin Energy Guard, a SmartWay-verified aerodynamic trailer solution kit, for use on 53-foot dry-van truckload, refrigerated-truck load and other long-haul and super-regional applications.

Now, after third-party fuel testing by Mesilla Valley Transportation Solutions (MVT Solutions), Michelin officials said the Michelin Energy Guard aerodynamic solution boasts proven results:

  • 10 gallons in fuel savings every 1,000 miles, or 8.75 percent fuel savings
  • $3,972 in fuel saved annually per vehicle

“The Michelin Energy Guard aerodynamic kit has the potential to be a game-changing solution for fleets. Its fuel savings are impressive at 10 gallons per thousand miles, or 8.75 percent. Even more impressive is the solution achieving this with no driver interaction and no moving parts,” said Daryl Bear, lead engineer and chief operating officer of MVT Solutions.

Michelin Energy Guard is an easy-to-use, fuel-efficient, aerodynamic solution. Consisting of a resilient trailer skirt, trailer-end fairings, aerodynamic mud flaps and a wake reducer, the integrated kit eliminates the need for “boat tails” or combining elements from various vendors. With the biggest drag on fuel efficiency occurring at 65 miles per hour, fleets and owner-operators look for aerodynamic solutions that cut fuel costs but do not increase maintenance costs nor require driver attention and costly repairs.

“Michelin looked to MVT Solutions to provide accurate, 21st-century fuel testing of our Michelin Energy Guard aerodynamic kit to prove the fuel savings achieved by this offer,” said Calvin Bradley, technical lead of services and solutions, Michelin North America. “Coupled with the fact that the kit requires no maintenance costs or driver hassles like some other systems, it can still save up to 60 gallons of fuel for fleets running coast to coast and back.”

The patent-pending, fully integrated Energy Guard kit’s components are designed to complement one another, helping fleets reduce fuel consumption without increasing maintenance expenses. The kit consists of a resilient trailer skirt, designed to bend if it strikes an obstacle or debris, while the trailer-end fairings direct airflow around the back of the trailer. The wake reducer minimizes the effect of the recirculation zone behind the trailer. The trailer-end fairings and wake reducer are constantly functioning, requiring no moving parts or driver actions. The aerodynamic mud flaps reduce vehicle drag and road spray.

 

 

 

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Mack displays second generation hybrid-electric drayage truck

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Mack Trucks recently displayed its second-generation zero-emission capable Class 8 drayage truck at the California Air Resources Board Low Carbon Transportation Heavy-Duty Showcase in Sacramento, California. (Courtesy: MACK TRUCKS)

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Mack Trucks displayed its second-generation zero-emission capable Class 8 drayage truck at the California Air Resources Board (CARB) Low Carbon Transportation Heavy-Duty Showcase in Sacramento, California, recently.

The plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) truck, which is based on a Mack Pinnacle axle back daycab, has been operating in revenue service with a customer drayage fleet for more than 12 months.

The CARB showcase features projects funded under the California Climate Investments program. Grant awardees presented key project findings, lessons learned and next steps to advance clean technology in heavy-duty applications on one of three technology panels. The morning began with a legislative press event and also included a poster session to facilitate dialogue and networking.

“Mack Trucks has been a powertrain innovator for more than a century, and we’re proud to showcase our current and developmental technologies to help reduce emissions,” said Jonathan Randall, Mack Trucks senior vice president, North American sales and marketing. “Testing of this truck has allowed us to validate the emission reduction potential of the PHEV technology in combination with self-learning algorithms to control electric operation. We look forward to continuing real-world testing, as well as collaborating with CARB, SCAQMD and others.”

The truck is being tested as part of a $23.6 million project led by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD). The goals of the project include reducing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions at locations with heavy freight volumes, including ports, rail yards and the freight corridors connecting them.

The truck is an evolution of the first Mack PHEV drayage truck, which was built as part of an earlier SCAQMD-sponsored project and displayed during Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo 2016. That truck underwent more than six months of successful testing in a customer drayage fleet at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles.

Similar to the first-generation truck, the second-generation PHEV drayage truck is capable of zero-emission operation as a result of the integration of a Mack MP7 diesel engine with a parallel hybrid system and lithium-ion battery pack. Unlike the first-generation truck, which utilized geo-fencing capabilities similar to those enabled by Mack’s GuardDog Connect telematics platform to switch between zero-emission and hybrid operating modes, the second generation truck relies on an adaptive self-learning algorithm to identify and create zero-emission zones in order to maximize all-electric operation.

During normal operation, the truck records the load, speed, and power and torque demand, analyzes that data and combines it with GPS location information to identify, create and store in its memory zones where the electric driveline is capable of operating in zero-emission mode. The truck learns from its operating patterns and, on subsequent trips through these zones, the truck automatically switches from hybrid operation to zero-emission operation. The driver can also use a button in the dash to manually override the mode selection if needed.

This innovative, self-learning approach has enabled the second-generation truck to operate in zero-emission mode more than twice as much as the first-generation truck, which relied solely on preset geo-fences. The dramatic increase in all-electric range was achieved with no changes to battery pack size or capacity, or truck performance, Randall said.

 

 

 

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