NTDA allied members provided product updates during one session of the NTDA convention in La Jolla, California.

Here's what they had to say:

Air Weigh watching weight for 25 years

Air Weigh may be a relatively new NTDA member, by the company has been producing on-board truck scales for 25 years, according to Bob Zirlin.

The Eugene, Oregon, company, believes knowing the total weight and the distribution of that weight is essential for the safe operation of heavy vehicles. The scales that the company manufactures are accurate within 300 pounds, Zirlin said.

The company introduced the audience to its new QuickLoad trailer scale, marketed as an economical scale that does not skimp on premium features — including a touch-screen display that are common on such consumer products as smart phones and tablet computers. The entire system, Zirlin said, can be installed in about 20 minutes. It is available for installation on new trailers and also can be retrofit onto older trailers. www.air-weighscales.com

Bendix touts tire pressure system

Tire protection is a top safety priority, and Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems has a new product for monitoring the pressure of trailer tires, Bill Gantz announced.

The system uses wireless communication to deliver the data. When connected to a tractor equipped with SmarTire, the system can communicate with telematics to notify the base via J1939 protocol, firing off a warning whenever tire pressure falls 10% below recommended tire pressures.

The SmarTire tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) from Bendix CVS reveals tire pressure and temperature status on a dash display. Back at the yard, the system enables mechanics to see the same information with a hand-held reader.

“It's a real-time system for monitoring tire pressure and tire temperature,” he said. “We feel these are two very important factors affecting the longevity of the tire.”

Gantz listed a variety of advantages for monitoring tire pressure, including reduce maintenance costs, increased uptime, and extended tire life. www.bendix.com

Corporate Billing tackles receivables

Corporate Billing has been in business for 17 years, but the company is making its first appearance at an NTDA convention, Leif Founds said. The company is based in Decatur, Alabama.

The company specializes in parts and service issues, Founds said. As its name implies, Corporate Billing is a billing service. The company sends out statements at the end of the month and handles collections. Car and truck dealers, heavy-duty parts distributors, and repair shops are among the company's customers.

Corporate Billing pays these customers, Founds said, freeing up working capital that otherwise would be tied up in accounts receivable. www.corpbill.com.

Fontaine broadens its trailer lineup

Alan Briley brought his trailer dealer audience up to date about who Fontaine is and what types of trailers the company manufactures.

Fontaine Trailer Company is part of Marmon Highway Technologies. The trailer manufacturer has made a number of product improvement this year, Briley said. Among them:

The outer rails of the Infinity platform have been improved. The RASR siderail is a one-piece aluminum extrusion that is significantly lighter than steel, is impact resistant, and offers more convenient load securement.

Fontaine also launched its Revolution Hybrid TX dropdeck trailer in August. Available only as a 53-ft trailer, the Revolution Hybrid is a dropdeck trailer that also can be used to transport containers. One of the big changes in recent years, Briley said, has been the tremendous growth in the intermodal segment. The Revolution Hybrid has been designed to take advantage of that growth. The trailer comes standard with container twist locks to accommodate either two 20-ft containers or a single 40-ft box.

On the heavy-haul side of the business, Fontaine introduced its Magnitude 60 class trailers. It is rated ata 60 tons in 12 feet. The trailer includes modular bogie and hydraulic removable gooseneck. Multiple deck options are available. www.fontainetrailer.com

MAC highlights tank capabilities

MAC Trailer builds a wide range of aluminum and steel bodies and trailers, both frameless and frame style. They include specialty dump, platform, and transfer trailers.

Most recently, the company has gotten into the tank trailer business, which was the focal point of Ed Mansell's presentation.

MAC Trailer has opened a 160,000-sq-ft facility specifically for its new cargo tank trailer product line. The new plant houses engineering as well as manufacturing operations for cargo tank trailers. With it, MAC manufactures a variety of specialty trailers, including transfer, dump, platform, B-trains, dropdecks.

MAC LTT liquid tank division introduced its DOT 407 aluminum double conical trailer designed for off-road and on-highway service in standard tandem and multi-axle configurations. Multi-compartment models are available with capacities from 8400 gallon to 12,000 gallons.

The trailers come standard with 77.5" track axles. MAC designs the trailers to have lower centers of gravity for better stability and rollover resistance.

“Our engineers focused on safety and ease of operation,” Mansell said. “We have a state of the art facility with state of the art equipment. For example, suction cups are used to move sheet goods in order to prevent scratched. We use high-definition plasma cutting and a state of the art seam welder for each longitudinal seam. We have a precision rolling process.”

Mansell said each welder is trained and tested in accordance with ASME standards before they strike an arc. The company also uses three-dimensional engineering software that allows the customer to review and make changes before production starts. MAC uses finite element analysis to evaluate each critical component of its trailers. www.mactrailer.com

Meritor unveils new suspensions

Meritor Inc has introduced two new trailing arm suspensions, according to Curt Wormington, director of sales for North American trailer products.

The company introduced the MTA 25 and 30 top-mount suspensions to the NTDA audience last year. This year the company introduced the MTA low-mount suspensions — suspensions that adapt the company's top mount suspensions for low-mount applications.

These units are designed as part of a fully-integrated system to optimize performance and weight, Wormington said. They are targeted for use in vocational applications such as single-drop flatbeds, double-drop flatbeds, loggers, and chip hauler trailers.

The MTA lineup now includes the MTA23 (23,000-pound capacity), the top-mount MTA25 (25,000-pound capacity), the top mount MTA30 (30,000-pound capacity) and the two newest low-mount products. All MTA models are available with the optional lift kit - a reliable quick-response system that efficiently raises select axles, improving maneuverability and extending tire life. Available in painted or galvanized finishes, the lift kit attaches easily and can be installed as original equipment or field retrofitted.

A patented pivot bushing absorbs road inputs, resulting in a softer ride, more cargo protection and reduced stress on the trailer's structure. Patented steel interleaf shims in the bushing provide superior fore-aft stiffness aiding in improved axle alignment, better tire wear and reduced roll steer.

The MTA trailer suspension system is integrated with Meritor trailer axles and Q Plus Cam Brakes. All are covered by the company's five-year, 500,000-mile warranty on structural components. www.meritor.com

Yes, trailer dealers are shippers

Lyn Simon, president of onewaytrailers.com reported that his company has introduced a new service called Carrier Performance Check.

Trailer dealers who hire their own motor carriers can be considered shippers under federal regulations, including CSA requirements. The new service helps trailer dealers meet those requirements.

Carrier Performance Check has a database of 3,200 motor carriers that can provide information such as safety ratings, authority information and history, insurance information and history, roadside inspection details, CSA basic scores, address history, carrier phone numbers and email address, and DOT census information.

Carrier Performance Check offers a choice of four levels of service, each of which are available on a monthly subscription basis. Even the basic subscription provides unlimited lookup of motor carrier safety scores. The company's most comprehensive provides access to insurance certificates for up to 100 motor carriers with customer named as certificate holder on all carrier certificates, proof of the carrier's non-owned trailer physical damage coverage, daily notification of any changes on safety information, CSA scores and insurance on the motor carriers the subscriber uses, and non-owned trailer physical damage. www.cpcheck.com

Optronics: 40 years of shining lights

Randy Varner of Optronics Inc told his NTDA audience that Optronics is based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and is in its 40th year of business.

“Even so, you may not have heard of us,” he said. “There are a lot of lighting companies out there, but please know that we are a very solid and stable company.”

Varner said that Optronics provides its customers with what he called the best of both worlds — the stability of a 40-year-old U S-based company with the price-point advantages of an import-based company.

“We are not just an importer,” Varner said. “We own our own equipment, and we control our raw materials, production and quality.”

About 70% of Optronics' business is at the OEM level. The company does business with commercial trailer manufacturers, RV manufacturers, and boat trailer manufacturers.

“Our relationship with OEMs should give you confidence in us when you deal with us on the aftermarket side of the business,” Varner said. He mentioned some of the aftermarket support the company provides dealers, including catalogs and point-of-purchase displays.

The company offers a wide range of LED lighting products, Varner said, including interior lighting and LED work lights. www.optronicsinc.com

New tarp system from Roll-Rite

Kenyon, Roll-Rite LLC, reported on a new technology that automates the operation and tensioning of side to side operating tarps.

Rite-Touch is a tarp system control module that features one-touch technology. Instead of requiring the operator to hold the button down until the tarp is moved and locked down, this system stops when the tarp is locked down —

regardless of whether the operator is holding the button. It includes engineered motor protection that no longer requires a circuit breaker to prevent the motor from overheating. That protection is built into the control module.

The system also prevents over-torquing.

“Bad stuff happens after the operator should have stopped pushing the button,” Kenyon said. “This system prevents that. One touch of the button produces the appropriate tarp tension every time.”

With the one-touch operation, there is no need to us the circuit breaker as an on-off switch.

“Too often, people hold the button until the circuit breaker shuts the system down,” Kenyon said. The problem with that is that the more the circuit breaker trips, the less likely it will trip in the future.”

The system comes with blink-code diagnostics that indicate short circuits or a loose wire. www.rollrite.com

StrategicSource helps cut expenses

Doug Austin said Strategic Source is a spend management company that helps companies reduce indirect expenses. StrategicSource works with car and truck dealerships, schools, restaurants, manufacturing companies. They extract data from the customer's financial system and then builds a spend plan based on that data.

“We can take as much as 22% out of the cost of an expense item by how we source, analyzing and implement solutions,” Austin said. “And reducing expenses improves profitability far more quickly and easily than reducing sales.”

Savings can come from recommendations regarding a wide range of expenses, including insurance, office supplies, shop supplies — up to 185 different sources that contribute to a dealership's monthly expenses.

“We show you where those expenses are coming from so that you know where to focus your attention,” Austin said. “We find better, more efficient, and less expensive ways to do the things you need to do.” www.strategicsource.com

Transglobal builds doors

Transglobal Door, Carey, Ohio, is just shy of being in business for a decade, but the founders of the company have more than 42 years of experience in the door business, said Mike Hauer, vice-president.

Transglobal makes dry-freight plywood doors, quarter-inch and half-inch composite doors, and insulated doors. The company also makes replacement parts for all major door manufacturers.

“What are the advantages of buying Transglobal products?” Hauer asked. He said the company is the inventor of the composite door and has produced more than any other company during the past four years. Products are manufactured on an automated production line. They include patented hinges that are galvanized and e-coated. The composite tongue and groove inserts are sealed to keep out water. Products are fleet tested, and the company offers customized packaging, and specializes in quick delivery of custom doors. www.transglobaldoor.com

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