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Design Interactive using software to inspire students to consider maintenance tech career

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Students participate at a variety of stations in the Be Pro Be Proud mobile workshop. (Courtesy: DESIGN INTERACTIVE)

ORLANDO, Fla. — Design Interactive, providers of augmented reality fleet maintenance and training solutions for the transportation industry, says it is utilizing its AUGMENTOR software to help inspire middle and high school students to consider careers as maintenance technicians.

“We are proud to support efforts to raise awareness of career choices in transportation to students and to change the perception of parents and educators about these skilled professions,” said Matt Johnston, division head of commercial solutions for Design Interactive. “For example, Be Pro Be Proud, an initiative of the Associated Industries of Arkansas Foundation, is using our AR software in a mobile workshop that travels to high schools and middle schools so students can have a hands-on experience in professions they might consider.”

Design Interactive technology will be on display at the 2019 TMC Annual Meeting & Transportation Technology Exhibition next week in Atlanta in the Be Pro Be Proud mobile workshop. The trailer houses an air disc brake system inspection and assembly game driven by DI’s augmented reality software. The faster and more accurately students complete each task, the more points they earn.

“While augmented reality may seem like a novelty, it is already in use by industrial firms for training and operations, and it is having a significant impact compared to traditional training methods,” Johnston said. “For transportation companies, AUGMENTOR uses virtual reality and video- and computer-based technologies to more effectively train technicians in the environment where service and repair tasks are performed. That helps lower labor and parts costs, increases vehicle uptime and shop productivity, and makes it easier to attract new technicians.”

Design Interactive AR technology will be a part of Be Pro Be Proud in the 2019-2020 school year and a featured visualization when the program upgrades it mobile workshop in a 53-ft double expandable trailer.

“With Design Interactive’s augmented reality software, we can inspire students to consider a future as a technician,” said Andrew M. Parker, director of governmental affairs at the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce and Associated Industries of Arkansas, and the director of Be Pro Be Proud. “By presenting an interactive representation of what they can expect if they join the workforce in that vocation, we can help companies attract the next generation of technicians they need.”

Launched in 2016, Be Pro Be Proud has identified 12 careers that are in high demand by transportation, construction and manufacturing companies and provides a road map for middle and high school students to go from the classroom to the training they need. Be Pro Be Proud is supported by Arkansas-based corporations, the Arkansas governor’s Workforce Cabinet and the Delta Regional Authority as its federal partner.

For more information, visit www.beprobeproud.org.

Design Interactive 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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Bendix set to deliver Safety Direct event video with new app

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In addition to enabling full SafetyDirect access, the forthcoming SafetyDirect Mobile app will also allow drivers to securely identify themselves in the vehicle. (Courtesy: BENDIX COMMERCIAL VEHICLE SYSTEMS)

ELYRIA, Ohio — Video information and other data captured by today’s commercial vehicle systems is both valuable and vital as fleets and drivers aim to improve safety on the roads.

A new mobile device application from Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems will deliver quicker access to that information, pairing with Bendix’s leading-edge hardware and its SafetyDirect system to enhance fleet safety and driver training efforts.

“The app is called SafetyDirect Mobile. It is fully compatible with our powerful new fifth-generation SafetyDirect processor and our AutoVue LDW 5G platform, and it has been developed to enhance the new features provided by our new hardware,” said TJ Thomas, Bendix director of marketing and customer solutions – controls. “It means when you are standing next to the vehicle, you will be able to directly connect to the SafetyDirect processor – using Wi-Fi – and stream SafetyDirect video directly to the app. That’s a very powerful tool – and an industry first.”

Bendix expects to launch the app in the third quarter of this year.

SafetyDirect by Bendix CVS is Bendix’s user-friendly web portal that provides fleet operators with comprehensive feedback on their fleet and drivers, along with videos of severe events, Thomas said.

SafetyDirect, the only fleet camera system available as a factory-installed option at all major truck manufacturers, gives fleets key insights into common driving behaviors and trends across their operation. It wirelessly transmits the driver performance information and event-based data – video, vehicle, and sensor information from a vehicle’s J1939 network – to a secure web portal, providing fleets the necessary tools to help enhance their safety program.

In addition to enabling full SafetyDirect access, the forthcoming SafetyDirect Mobile app will also allow drivers to securely identify themselves in the vehicle, Thomas said. The app is part of a phased introduction of new features and advanced functionality expected to occur throughout 2019.

Because no advanced driver assistance technology can replace the need for safe and alert drivers practicing safe driving habits, Bendix stresses the importance of comprehensive, proactive driver training, and providing fleets with actionable information and tools to support their safety efforts.

“Informed fleets and drivers help enable safer fleets and drivers,” Thomas said. “The easier we can make it to reinforce good driving, sharpen training programs, and support the men and women behind the wheel, the safer our highways become.”

Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, a member of the Knorr-Bremse Group, develops and supplies leading-edge active safety technologies, energy management solutions, and air brake charging and control systems and components under the Bendix brand name.

For more information, visit www.bendix.com.

 

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Trailer orders down 9 percent from January, ACT says

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February net orders slid 9 percent from January volume and were 29 percent below the same month last year. (Courtesy: GREAT DANE)

COLUMBUS, Ind. — ACT Research’s preliminary estimate for February 2019 net trailer orders is 23,800 units.

Final volume will be available later this month.

ACT said its methodology allows the company to generate a preliminary estimate of the market that should be within +/- 3 [ercent of the final order tally.

“February net orders slid 9 percent from January volume and were 29 percent below the same month last year,” said Frank Maly, ACT’s director of CV transportation analysis and research.

“The sequential net order decline matches the industry order pattern of the past two years. With the majority of this year’s build slots already committed, and many OEMs unwilling to open next year’s order board this early, the potential for higher gross orders is somewhat limited at this point. Additionally, cancellations were roughly 1 percent of industry backlog last month. While not excessive, that generates some headwinds for net order volumes as well”

Maly said the order number was still solid, but a softer order count combined with stronger production volumes in February resulted in a 1 percent decline in industry backlog at month-end. “Backlog has remained relatively stable for the past four months, reaching an all-time high in December,” Maly said. “At current production rates, the order board commits the industry into November on average, although dry vans backlogs stretch into mid-December, while reefer commitments actually edge into next year.”

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.

For more information, visit www.actresearch.net.

 

 

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Cummins X12 Wins truck writers’ Technical Achievement Award

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Krista Toenjes, Cummins’ North American manager of on-highway sales and marketing, accepts this year’s Technical Achievement Award from Jim Park, chairman of the truck writers committee which determines the annual honor. (Courtesy: ATATMC)

ATLANTA — Cummins’ lightweight but powerful X12 diesel has won the annual Jim Winsor Memorial Technical Achievement Award.

The honor was presented recently by a group of trucking news writers during the American Trucking Associations Technology & Maintenance Council meeting.

“As in previous years, there were a number of very worthy candidates nominated by members of our awards committee, and debate was lively,” said Jim Park, chairman of the Award Committee who writes for Heavy Duty Trucking and Today’s Trucking magazines. “But in our voting, the X12 emerged as the top product from a final field of four.”

The runners up were the Peterson Pulse electronic system for trailers, Stemco’s automatically deploying Trailer Tail and the Stemco-Webb Trifecta wheel hub.

Weight is always an issue in spec’ing and operating trucks, especially with bulk haulers and in vocational applications, and the X12’s comparatively low weight, along with millions of miles of previous service in Asia and South America, make it a standout among diesel offerings, members of the awards committee agreed.

The 11.8-liter X12’s dry weight is 2,050 pounds, 150 to 400 pounds less than 11- to 13-liter competitors, yet it makes up to 500 horsepower and 1,700 pound-feet of torque, according to Cummins. Innovative engineering trims pounds from the cylinder block but maintains high strength for long life, while advanced combustion design and effective air and fuel handling and promises high efficiency.

The X12 went into North American production and became available to customers in 2018, which made it eligible for the latest Technical Achievement Award, Park said. The engine is now an option from Autocar, Freightliner and Western Star.

Cummins, the industry’s sole independent engine manufacturer, won the award twice before, in 2017 for its X15 Efficiency Series diesel, and in 1998 for its Signature 600 diesel. In 2007, Cummins Filtration earned the award for its Fleetguard User Friendly filters.

The Truck Writers of North America, predecessor to today’s Award Committee, gave the first Technical Achievement Award went to Grote Industries for its red LED marker lamp, a technology that has become standard on trucks and trailers and across the automotive world.

Two years ago, the committee named the award after the late Jim Winsor, a 50-year veteran of the trucking trade press. He served as editor-in-chief at Commercial Carrier Journal and executive editor at Heavy Duty Trucking, and was active in the Technology & Maintenance Council and its forerunner, The Maintenance Committee.

Aside from Park, members of the awards committee included John Baxter, a freelance technical writer; Tom Berg, with Construction Equipment and Land Line magazines; Jason Cannon, Commercial Carrier Journal; Seth Clevenger, Transport Topics; James Menzies, Truck News & Truck West; Jason Morgan, Fleet Equipment; Jack Roberts, Heavy Duty Trucking; John G. Smith, Today’s Trucking; Suzanne Stempinski, Land Line; and Steve Sturgess, freelance writer.  8

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