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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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NACV to feature 3 Solutions Theaters to focusing on trucking industry needs

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Leading truck and trailer manufacturers and commercial vehicle parts and components suppliers will demonstrate their latest product offerings during the NACV Show 2019, taking place at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta from October 28-31. The NACV Show 2021 will be held in Atlanta from September 27-30, 2021. (Courtesy: NACV)

ATLANTA — The North American Commercial Vehicle Show (NACV Show), the biennial B2B trucking industry event focusing on the needs of fleet owners, managers and decision makers, said Thursday that it will feature three new Solutions Theaters to showcase topical industry discussions on the show floor.

The show organizers have partnered with leading industry publications to secure thought leaders and industry visionaries who will discuss a range of topics.

All Solutions Theaters’ sessions are free for NACV Show 2019 registered attendees.

“We expect the discussions that take place in our three Solutions Theaters will inform and empower all industry professionals who attend NACV Show 2019,” said Carmen Diaz, show manager for the NACV Show. “We are excited to present top industry leaders and visionaries during our on-floor education sessions to discuss both the challenges and opportunities confronting today’s fleet professionals.”

Following is an overview of some of the NACV Show 2019 on-floor education sessions:

Two panel discussions will take place in the Solutions Theater located in Hall A.

The first panel is entitled “Finding the Data Driven Solutions That Work for You,” which will focus on how fleet owners can identify leading service challenges. Panel participants will provide insight into collecting and organizing the right data to help overcome these challenges. The second panel is entitled “How to Use Data to Improve Service Operations” that will highlight how to best utilize data — from fault code data to VMRS records — to reduce fleet downtime to improve operations.

Also, in the Hall A Solutions Theater, three educational topics will be discussed, including a Class 8 panel discussion, a medium duty panel discussion and “Last Mile – Autonomous Delivery Startups” discussion.

Two panel discussions will take place in the Solutions Theaters located in Hall B, including “Vetting Technology” and “Best use of Smart Technology.” Three educational sessions will also take place in the Solutions Theaters located in Hall B, including “Transitioning from AOBRDs to ELDs,” “Driver Retention” and “Rapid Pace of Technology Trucking.”

The show organizers will announce additional conference and educational programming topics prior to the event, which takes place at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta from October 28-31.

The North American Commercial Vehicle Show is a B2B exhibition focused on fleet decision makers and key influencers in the commercial vehicle industry.

 

 

 

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FTR March Shippers Conditions Index shows positive momentum

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An FTR official said an area to watch is diesel prices, which could move up in the fourth quarter. (The Trucker file photo)

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — FTR’s March Shippers Conditions Index (SCI) rose two full points from February to a reading of 2.8 reflecting a continued easing of truckload and intermodal rates.  The outlook is for improved shipper conditions through 2019.

However, some key areas to watch are fuel price increases and capacity utilization in trucking which can result in added costs for shippers, according to Todd Tranausky, vice president of rail and intermodal at FTR.

“Shippers are benefiting from relatively stable fuel prices and weaker trucking capacity utilization than they experienced in 2018. But both of those metrics are expected to tighten up as the year progresses,” Tranausky said. “Diesel prices could move up in the fourth quarter ahead of the IMO 2020 fuel mandate, which could pressure fuel surcharges higher late in 2019.”

The May issue of FTR’s Shippers Update, published May 8, 2019, details the factors affecting the March Shippers Conditions Index. Also included is data and analysis on load volumes, the capacity environment, rates, costs, and the truck driver situation.

The Shippers Conditions Index tracks the changes representing four major conditions in the U.S. full-load freight market. These conditions include freight demand, freight rates, fleet capacity, and fuel price. The individual metrics are combined into a single index that tracks the market conditions that influence the shippers’ freight transport environment. A positive score represents good, optimistic conditions. A negative score represents bad, pessimistic conditions. The index tells you the industry’s health at a glance. In life, running a fever is an indication of a health problem. It may not tell you exactly what’s wrong, but it alerts you to look deeper. Similarly, a reading well below zero on the FTR Trucking Conditions Index warns you of a problem…and readings high above zero spell opportunity. Readings near zero are consistent with a neutral operating environment. Double digit readings (both up or down) are warning signs for significant operating changes.

 

 

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Heartland Express opens new, remodeled terminals in Colorado, California

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The Heartland Express Driver Appreciation Team performed at the ribbon cutting for the new terminal in Frederick, Colorado. (Courtesy: HEARTLAND EXPRESS)

NORTH LIBERTY, Iowa — Heartland Express has opened a new terminal at Frederick, Colorado, and a remodeled terminal in Rancho Cucamonga, California.

Just north of the Denver metro area, the Colorado facility offers a service shop with a truck wash, fully covered 24-hour fuel island and service lanes.

The terminal features a driver lounge with 24-hour access and amenities that include restrooms with private walk-in showers and laundry room with full size washer/dryer units. Other comforts include sofas and recliner chairs, table seating, ice machine, coffee, and a large screen TV for entertainment.

An RFID software system was installed for driver security and over five acres of parking with industrial Wi-Fi network available site wide.

The opening of the Frederick terminal occurred shortly after the grand re-opening of the newly remodeled Southern California facility in Rancho Cucamonga.

This 20-acre facility includes all of the amenities available in Frederick and utilizes solar power. Rancho Cucamonga is also one of 12 company locations that hosts driver orientation and soon we look forward to driver orientation at the Frederick facility.

“I’m extremely proud of these new terminals and what we can offer to our drivers. We’ve invested significant time, capital, and environmentally conscious resources into these provisions and look forward to seeing growth of our market position in both locations respectively,” said Heartland Express CEO, Mike Gerdin. “These grand openings are just the start of great new things to come from Heartland. Including the completion of these two terminal projects, we are spending an estimated $40-50 million on terminal related capital projects during 2019.  These terminal projects are centered around upgrades, remodels, expansions and terminal amenities for the comfort and support of our drivers, including additions of truck wash facilities at certain locations. Our desire is to offer state of the art amenities to our drivers while they are away from home.

The Frederick terminal is located at 9040 Bruin Blvd. The Rancho Cucamonga terminal is located at8566 Pecan Ave.

Heartland Express is an irregular route truckload carrier based in North Liberty, Iowa, serving customers with shipping lanes throughout the United States. Heartland focuses on medium to short haul regional freight, offering shippers industry leading on-time service so they can achieve their strategic goals for their customers.

For more information, visit www.heartlandexpress.com.

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