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Bendix to acquire ProSteering, N.A. remanufacturer of all-makes steering components

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ELYRIA, Ohio — Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems Tuesday said it had signed a definitive agreement to acquire the ProSteering business of JM Engineered Products, a Lebanon, Tennessee-based remanufacturer of all-makes power steering systems for the North American commercial vehicle market.

Upon closing, the transaction will incorporate the ProSteering brand’s products, manufacturing operations, plus its sales and service operations into Bendix’s steering business and remanufacturing unit.

Complete integration is expected to take six to 12 months.

“With the addition of these top-line products to our lineup, the aftermarket channel will be able to turn to Bendix as a one-stop destination for an even wider range of high-quality products,” said Scott Burkhart, Bendix vice president of sales, marketing and business development. “And customers choosing the steering components – as with our existing products – can count on the backing of Bendix’s long-established post-sales distribution, service, and support network.”

Bendix is working to ensure a seamless integration process for its customers.

“As we navigate through the transition, our goal is to have uninterrupted product and service,” Dustin Carpenter, Bendix product line director for Steering, said. “Customers should continue to use their existing order and day-to-day support contacts until they’ve been further notified.”

With the addition of the team behind ProSteering, Bendix is adding a combined 85 years of deep knowledge of North American-based steering gears to further evolve its already deep  manufacturing and steering gear expertise – built over six decades by Bendix and Knorr-Bremse Steering Systems, a division of the Munich, Germany-based Knorr-Bremse Group. That know-how will allow Bendix to even more quickly adapt its global steering prowess to better meet the needs of the North American market, the company said in a news release.

The acquisition complements the existing Bendix lineup of all-makes remanufactured products with a complete aftermarket portfolio of steering gears. It demonstrates how the company continues to grow its remanufacturing business, and further develop its operations and offerings.

The action also reinforces Bendix’s total approach to the commercial vehicle market – from technologies available through OE manufacturers to a full range of products available in the aftermarket for vehicle operators in every application.

“Strategic actions like this help to further enhance the depth and scope of our overall market and product positions,” Carpenter said.

With an aim at shaping tomorrow’s transportation, steering technologies are a key part of the technology pathway to highly automated and autonomous vehicles. The integration, or fusion, of steering control with other systems, such as braking, advances driver assistance technologies (DAS) to the next level, Bendix officials said.

“Today, we can help drivers mitigate rear-end collisions, rollovers, and loss of control crashes via the braking system,” Carpenter said. “In the future, we will be able to provide more advanced features, such as lane keeping, sideswipe crash mitigation, autonomous yard maneuvering, and active cruise with braking and steering control as we move forward to even more automated applications. Brakes, steering, and engine control are the keystones of future system fusion to drive further safety on the roads.”

Bendix emphasized that no technology on the road today – or for the foreseeable future – is more important to vehicle and road safety than the presence of safe, alert men and women behind the wheel, practicing safe driving habits and receiving the support of proactive, ongoing training. Bendix said advanced driver assistance technologies are not intended to enable or encourage aggressive driving, and responsibility for safe vehicle operation remains with the driver at all times.

Through an ever-growing portfolio of integrated technology developments and unparalleled post-sales support, Bendix delivers on areas critical to fleets, including safety, vehicle performance, and efficiency, Carpenter said, noting that for nearly 90 years, the company has worked toward safer roads for everyone, helping to lower the total cost of commercial vehicle ownership and strengthen return on investment in safety technologies.

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DAT: Spot rates weaken as weather clouds a sunny forecast

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This chart shows that both van and reefer rates were down based on a seven-day average compiled on March 16. (Courtesy: DAT)

PORTLAND, Ore. — Just when spot truckload rates and demand seemed ready for an upward swing, they took another hit last week.

With weather disruptions on vital truck routes in the Midwest and Rockies, van and refrigerated load-to-truck ratios slipped during the week ending March 16, said DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards:

  • Van: 1.6 loads per truck
  • Reefer: 2.9 loads per truck
  • Flatbed: 22 loads per truck

The DAT load-to-truck ratio measures the number of loads moved on the spot market relative to the number of available trucks. National average rates declined as well compared to the previous week:

  • Van: $1.86/mile, down 2 cents
  • Reefer: $2.19/mile, down 2 cents
  • Flatbed: $2.34/mile, unchanged

Van trends

Spot van volumes remain ahead of March 2018 levels but so far this month demand for trucks is no better than it was in February 2019. Capacity is abundant and spot van rates are drifting: On DAT’s top 100 van lanes last week, pricing fell on 53 and rose on 36. Eleven lanes were neutral.

Where Rates Were Up: With freight markets in the Midwest struggling with unusual weather, there was a ripple effect for supply chains. For instance, the challenge of getting freight into Denver last week led to an 18-cent increase in the average rate from Seattle to Salt Lake City ($1.90/mile). On the other hand, the extra West Coast trucks in Salt Lake City caused rates on the lane from there to Stockton, California, to decline.

What to Watch: Expect a boost in flatbed pricing as the demand to move heavy machinery and construction materials into the region picks up. High demand for flatbeds in the coming weeks may cause van availability to tighten on some lanes.

Reefer trends

The national average spot reefer rate has declined in seven of the last eight weeks. On the top 72 reefer lanes, 26 lanes moved up while 43 lanes fell and three were neutral. We’re waiting on California and Florida produce to pull rates higher.

Where Rates Were Up: Sacramento, California, to Salt Lake City jumped 40 cents to $2.35/mile, possibly due to trouble getting into Denver. In the Midwest, two lanes from Grand Rapids, Michigan, rebounded from last week:

  • Grand Rapids to Madison, Wisconsin, increased 22 cents to $2.58/mile
  • Grand Rapids to Atlanta added 21 cents to $2.71/mile

Where Rates Fell: Many of the prior week’s gainers came back to earth, including Elizabeth, New Jersey, to Boston (down 38 cents to $3.81/mile) and Philadelphia to Miami (off 22 cents to $1.96/mile).

DAT Trendlines are generated using DAT RateView, which provides real-time reports on spot market and contract rates, as well as historical rate and capacity trends. The RateView database is comprised of more than $60 billion in freight payments.

DAT load boards average 1.2 million load posts searched per business day.

For the latest spot market load availability and rate information, visit dat.com/trendlines and follow @LoadBoards on Twitter.

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ACT: Current Class 8 story is big backlogs, slowing orders

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ACT says heavy commercial vehicle markets continue to benefit from key triggers and new technologies, (Courtesy: VOLVO TRUCKS)

COLUMBUS, Ind. — In the release of its Commercial Vehicle Dealer Digest, ACT Research said that recently softer Class 8 orders are attributed to backlogs that are still out about 10 months.

Many of the orders normally booked in the year’s first quarter were actually placed in the rush to get into the queue in the second half of 2018.

The report provides monthly analysis on transportation trends, equipment markets, and the economy.

“The rolling-over of ACT’s dashboard guidance suggests today’s order weakness will transition from ‘too much backlog’ to an equipment supply-freight demand imbalance in the near future,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst. “That said, heavy commercial vehicle markets continue to benefit from key triggers, including still-strong freight rates (being marked-down from record levels) and new technologies, like better fuel efficiency and safety technologies, as well as increased demand generated in the trailer segment for drop-and-hook to keep drivers moving.”

ACT Research is a publisher of commercial vehicle truck, trailer, and bus industry data, market analysis and forecasting services for the North American and China markets. ACT’s analytical services are used by all major North American truck and trailer manufacturers and their suppliers, as well as banking and investment companies.

More information can be found at www.actresearch.net.

 

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ATA truck tonnage index down 0.2 percent in February

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Despite the February decline, the index was 5.4 percent higher than February 2018. (The Trucker file photo)

ARLINGTON, Va. — The American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index was down 0.2 percent in February after increasing 2.5 percent in January. In February, the index equaled 117.4 (2015=100) compared with 117.6 in January.

“After a strong January, I’m pleasantly surprised that the index didn’t fall much last month,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “I continue to expect tonnage to moderate like other indicators, including retail sales, manufacturing activity and housing starts. Additionally, the level of inventories throughout the supply chain have increased, which is a drag on truck freight.”

January’s reading was revised up slightly compared with our February press release.

Compared with February 2018, the SA index increased 5.4 percent, down from January’s 5.8 percent gain. In 2018, the index increased 6.7 percent over 2017, which was the largest annual gain since 1998.

The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 106.9 in February, 5.7 percent below January’s level (113.3). In calculating the index, 100 represents 2015.

Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing 70.2 percent of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled 10.77 billion tons of freight in 2017. Motor carriers collected $700.1 billion, or 79.3 percent of total revenue earned by all transport modes.

ATA calculates the tonnage index based on surveys from its membership and has been doing so since the 1970s. This is a preliminary figure and subject to change in the final report issued around the 5th day of each month. The report includes month-to-month and year-over-year results, relevant economic comparisons, and key financial indicators.

 

 

 

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