Bill Schaffer, left, thanks Rick Quinn for serving as chairman of the TTMA associate members for 2011-2012.
SIXTEEN TTMA associate members delivered news about their companies' trailer-related products and services during the TTMA convention.
This year's convention had two such sessions on the program during which each of the participants had four minutes to explain their product and its benefits.
Here are the 16 who offered an update:
Accuride releases Accu-Shield
Accuride is introducing a new aluminum wheel finish — Accu-Armor, which will complement Accuride's existing Accu-Shield finish, both of which offer a low-maintenance solution for aluminum wheels.
Not merely a coating, Accu-Armor's surface treatment penetrates the metal to prevent corrosion.
Chuck Brynes said that unlike existing aluminum wheel finishes, Accu-Armor utilizes a special textured surface that is not only resistant to normal scuffs and scratches but actually helps hide them when they do occur.
“Accu-Armor never needs polishing and can be cleaned with nothing more than just soap and water,” Brynes said. “The surface treatment completely covers the wheel, not just the ‘show’ surface. It comes with Accuride's five-year limited warranty against defects in materials or workmanship.
“Accu-Armor's tough finish goes beyond just corrosion-protection. Its special sealing process provides resistance to both high and low pH chemicals as well as several other chemicals that would discolor an untreated aluminum wheel. Its abrasion-resistant finish is highly resistant to mechanical damage.
“Its appearance is not impacted by: extremes in temperatures seen in commercial service; long-term exposure to daylight/UV light; or even severe misuse of truck wash detergents.”
Designed with harsher environments in mind, Accu-Armor premium wheel treatment is ideal for tough, vocational applications that need the weight savings of an aluminum wheel yet still demand easy cleaning and corrosion-resistant performance. Typical applications might include gravel haulers, dump trailers, construction trailers, and tanker fleets.
Accu-Armor is available now on most Accuride aluminum wheels.
As demand continues to grow in North America, Accuride is expanding its aluminum wheel production capacity by investing $20 million in 2012 toward facility improvements, the installation of new machining lines and equipment, and the transfer of equipment among three aluminum wheel plants in Erie, Pennsylvania, Camden, South Carolina, and Monterrey, Mexico.
Once completed, Accuride's 2012 investments will double the company's aluminum wheel production capacity at the Monterrey and Camden plants and will bring sufficient aluminum capacity online this year to meet the peak industry cycle demand expected in 2013-2014. These 2012 investments build upon Accuride's actions in 2011 to increase aluminum wheel production.
Accuride's products include commercial vehicle wheels, wheel-end components and assemblies, truck body and chassis parts, plus other commercial vehicle components. Accuride's wheel-end products are marketed under two brand names: Accuride Wheels and Gunite.
Accuride has 13 manufacturing facilities in North America, as well as its Evansville corporate headquarters, Indianapolis distribution center, and Detroit sales and engineering center.
Hendrickson's wheel-end lineup
Statistics show that setting and maintaining precise end play — or the amount of axial movement present in the bearing and hub system — is critical for optimal wheel-end performance.
A common complaint with wheel-end installations is the often tedious and unreliable method for setting bearing end play. Improper settings can lead to a variety of issues, including increased downtime, decreased productivity, and costly repairs. Unsafe conditions including “wheel-off” incidents can also result from improper end-play settings.
Fleet managers know that extending wheel-end component life increases equipment reliability and uptime — key elements to delivering payloads on time and making money in the trucking industry. And safety is paramount to fleets, owner-operators, and anyone on the road.
Jon Jefferies said Hendrickson has addressed the demands for longer trailer life cycles with the latest innovations to its wheel-end lineup: Precision 320 and Precision 240 Spindle Nut Systems. These patented two-piece spindle nut systems provide fine-tuned adjustment increments to achieve more precise end-play settings than traditional and more complicated three-piece spindle nut systems.
“Setting end play in a range between one-thousandth and five-thousandths of an inch has been the commonly accepted standard for safe operation and acceptable bearing and seal life,” he said. “Industry research shows that bearings set at slight preload, or zero end play, actually achieve optimal life. However, the inability to check preload on bearings makes most technicians reluctant to set bearings at zero end play.
“With three-piece nut systems, reaching the acceptable one- to five-thousandth end play range requires the use of dial indicators, torque wrenches, and multiple measurements to ensure accuracy. Our patented nut systems guarantee that bearings are set correctly the first time. Hendrickson installs our precision nuts using state-of-the-art equipment, allowing us to achieve precise adjustment in light preload, which maximizes seal and bearing life.
If maintenance is required, the system is designed to operate reliably when reinstalled at the one- to five-thousandths end play specifications technicians are familiar with today.”
The Precision 320 system, used with HP spindles, includes a locking washer with 160 teeth designed to be flipped over for an intermediate adjustment, providing a total of 320 adjustment positions. The P240 nut, similarly designed for HN spindles, includes a total of 240 adjustment positions.
“Once the nut is set to the properly specified torque — essentially hand-tightened — simply slide the tabbed retaining washer into the keyway,” he said. “Depending on the nut's orientation, the mating teeth on the locking washer may not assemble on the first attempt. If the components do not align, flip the locking washer to achieve a different tooth pattern, which allows the washer to assemble to the nut. Button-head cap screws firmly fasten the locking washer to the nut ensuring the spindle nut is securely attached to the wheel end.
“By using a toothed nut and locking washer to set the bearings in preload, Hendrickson's P320 and P240 nut systems ensure maximum bearing and seal life — and the utmost precision for bearing settings.”
Sapa offers ‘Aluminology’
Sapa Extrusions North America offers technology, production, and service solutions to help truck/trailer manufacturers succeed.
“We call it ‘Aluminology’ — applying advanced technical knowledge to develop customer-focused solutions in extruded aluminum,” Jerrod Hoeft said.
“Our North American Technical Center provides engineering and design assistance to reduce weight, lower your costs, and facilitate product assembly.”
Sapa offers extrusions up to 23”wide, along with full fabrication capabilities, from basic cutting, punching, notching, and knurling to complex bending and friction-stir welding. Fabricated components include fully assembled cross members and hinge assemblies, fabricated corner posts or painted/fabricated sections.
“Sapa assists manufacturers with cost-cutting logistics from our network of transportation plants strategically located across North America,” Hoeft said. “Major volume truck trailer dies can be tooled in any of our seven truck/trailer-producing plants across North America.
“Our consistent short lead times are helping trailer manufacturers take advantages of future growth opportunities. Extrusion makes it possible. Sapa makes it easy.
UPS makes TTMA debut
UPS Automotive Industry Solutions, which made its first appearance at TTMA, is a division of UPS that specializes in transportation and logistics solutions for customers in the commercial vehicle and equipment industries.
Program manager Phil Vickers said the company currently manages the transportation of more than three million commercial vehicle and equipment shipments annually, with more than $1.2 billion of annual transportation spent in the industry. The current network leverages all modes of transportation, which include air, ocean, rail, and truck.
Vickers introduced UPS' Trailer Transportation and Logistics product that can support the movement to trailers throughout the world.
“Our services include both load-out and tow-away services,” he said. “Utilizing UPS' own network servicing all major markets, as well as the networks of over 2000 current transportation providers, we offer expanded capacity as well as reliable service. Our service also includes international trade brokerage to 200 countries worldwide.
“The Trailer Transportation and Logistics product allows for our customer to track a trailer as they would track a UPS package, using our web-based transportation system. Our aptitude for network analysis will allow us to design your transportation network to drive down cost while also expanding service capacity.
Reporting capabilities allow customers to understand their network's distribution and performance as well as full visibility of their entire networks transportation costs.
“Our customers no longer have the burden of managing and auditing invoices from potentially hundreds of vendors,” Vickers said. “With UPS, our customers receive one consolidated invoice for their entire network, saving time, frustration, and money. UPS Automotive Industry Solutions can be your single source for all your transportation and logistics needs.”
ATRO provides polyurethane expertise
ATRO Engineered Systems' Bob DiPonio introduced a video outlining the work his company does developing urethane products for trailer applications — particularly for use in suspensions.
The company provides custom production of urethane parts, using CAD modeling, computer-aided design modeling, and finite element analysis to determine loads and stresses on the part. Once produced, the part is tested on a lot basis. Each lot is evaluated for tensile strength, tear strength, and elongation, which is how long the material will stretch before it breaks.
“Up until 1987, no one was able to provide a urethane product because the off-the-shelf urethanes just didn't hold up,” ATRO's George Sturmon said in the video. “That was one of the first things that we changed. We started with one type of polyurethane. We're now up to nine.
“There are five different ingredients to making urethane. If you adjust any of those five, you get different physical properties, and we've learned how to do that. Our real expertise is in applications of those urethanes, and we've been doing that for the past 20 years.”
According to ATRO, there may be 5000 different kinds of urethane that could be produced for specific applications, but no one designs polyurethane specifically for heavy-duty suspensions like ATRO.
The company manufactures nine different types of polyurethane. “We evaluate the application we're building a product for,” the company says. “and if one of the nine doesn't work for that application, we'll develop a new one.”
The urethane products the company develops can last three to five times longer than rubber — and sometimes 10 times longer than rubber, the company says.
Beyond longer life, ATRO's polyurethanes can improve vehicle ride quality and reducing stress on related components.
PRP's alternative to galvanizing
PRP Industries engineer Kellie Taube introduced an alternative to galvanizing.
Corrosion often pays a toll on steel components, primarily due to the ever-increasing use of road de-icing salts in the northern half of the US and throughout Canada.
Taube said a widely accepted solution to this corrosion problem within the truck and trailer industry is hot-dipped galvanizing, a process has been around since the early 1700s and has a proven track record within the trailer industry for decades.
“Although I haven't been around since the 1700s, we do have two very unique anti-corrosive processes with a proven track record of stopping corrosion on steel in the heavy truck and trailer industry for over 13 years: Corsol Metal Treatment System and PRP Metal Polymerization,” Taube said.
Taube said Ford Motor Company tested the technology on a bumper protected by PRP's alternative to galvanizing with three different gloss levels. This test was conducted on an actual vehicle over a two-year period at Ford's Proving Grounds. After five years of simulated exposure compared to a standard powder-coated bumper, the bumper had sustained damage down to the bare steel in several locations directly below the mounting bolts.
After 15 years of simulated exposure, the PRP bumper was not affected by the corrosion but both the powder-coated bumper and the galvanneal body had deteriorated.
Taube said that in addition to simulated corrosion exposure, PRP systems have over one million components and 13 years of real-life proven results.
PRP systems are also providing corrosion protection to dump trailers and bodies. Taube showed a photo of a dump body that has been spreading deicing salts on Michigan roads for over nine years and is still in good condition.
Taube said PRP systems are ideal for protecting underbody vehicle components as well. Showing a photo of a truck frame protected by PRP that has seen over 13 years of service in Canada and has logged over 1.7 million miles, Taube said, “This frame is still in excellent condition and will probably outlast the rest of the vehicle.
“Our customers have used our systems for a wide variety of applications within the transportation market. In one case, a customer replaced hot-dip galvanizing on their kingpin assembly with PRP's process. The implementation of this process within their facility gave them the comfort to continue to produce a corrosion-free trailer at a lower cost with reduced weight.
“So if you are looking for a corrosion solution to either compliment your hot-dip galvanized components or an alternative to hot-dip galvanizing, PRP Industries can help you to implement a proven process within your own facility. During startup, PRP will train all individuals involved in the process, develop training manuals and system audits to assure your process runs smoothly. Once your system is running smoothly, PRP will conduct on-site audits and provide detailed reports to management to help maintain control of their process.”
New suspensions from SAF-Holland
Randy Flanagan said SAF-Holland has introduced the new CBX23u, CBX25u, and CBX25/30u, a complete line of under-mount suspensions that are perfect for specialized low-profile applications and demands.
This follows other developments:
In 2008, SAF-Holland announced integral disc brake technology.
In 2009, it brought its own axle manufacturing capability to the North American marketplace.
In 2010, it integrated the new 5 3/4” X-series axle into the new CBS series suspension.
In 2011, it introduced fusion beam technology with optimized axles, significantly lowered the weight of the series, and made it available to a broader range of trailer applications, as in the CBX40, CBX23, and CBX25, and CBX25/30.
He said the new under-mount suspensions incorporate the lightweight flexibility of fusion-beam technology into a broad range of total suspension solutions.
“It's all the advantages of the CBX suspension, now available for drop-deck van trailers, livestock trailers, chip haulers, and more,” he said. “The new CBX23u, CBX25u, and CBX25/30u bring to the market low-profile suspension systems with lighter weights, SAF axles, and with optional integral disc brake technology.
In 2012, SAF-Holland is introducing a complete self-steering suspension system to the North American market. The new SAF CBX series self-steering axle suspension system significantly improves handling and fuel economy, while greatly reducing tire and trailer wear.
“With wheel cuts of 20 and 25 to 30 degrees (depending on model), the SAF-Holland self-steering axle and system makes turning easier and reduces tire ‘scrubbing’ and drag, which in turn relieves stress and damage to the frame and suspension, while also improving fuel economy and reducing operating expenditures,” Flanagan said.
“The standard self-steering system features lightweight fusion beam technology and drum brakes. Also available are the SAF-Holland integral disc brakes and optional lift axle system.”
Hennecke's process lowers costs
Hennecke is a manufacturer of polyurethane processing equipment that also offers:
Project management. Provided from initiation through successful start-up of the equipment.
Know-how/expertise on local US regulations.
Engineering design. Complete system design (process, mechanical, and electrical) is provided for every project.
Programming in AB or Siemens.
Domestic manufacturing. Projects are fabricated assembled, and tested in its shop.
James Shoup said Hennecke provides complete integrated manufacturing plants or individual machines, retrofits and plant conversions, along with service, training, and spare parts.
A line of horizontal panel presses (multi-level panel line for trailers) is available, as is a vertical panel press line (A-frame style vertical panel press).
The company also offers metering machine types for various applications, with outputs ranging from 4 g/s to 5,000 g/s. Two- to six-component metering, a wide range of high-pressure mix heads are also part of the Hennecke product line.
To lower raw material costs, Hennecke provides bulk storage systems and in-house systems to blend Pentane, 245FA, and other blowing agents. High-pressure foaming produces increased foam yield and better cell size and physical properties.
SmarTire from Bendix for trailers
Bill Gantz said SmarTire TPMS by Bendix for trailers measures tire pressure and temperature at each individual wheel location.
The system communicates wirelessly to an on-board receiver/display in the cab. A lamp at the nose of the trailer transmits information via blink codes. The TPMS will:
Alert the driver of a loss of air pressure or of a dangerously high tire temperature.
Provide pressure information to maintenance personnel to ensure optimum operating conditions.
When connected to a tractor equipped with SmarTire, communicate to off-board telematics units for back-to-base updates (requires telematics supplier to listen to J1939 messaging).
He said SmarTire is self-starting, with no extra driver interaction needed, and warns at 10% below recommended tire pressures. On a trailer equipped with SmarTire and connected to a tractor equipped with SmarTire, an electronic handshake will occur and the trailer data will be automatically displayed on the tractor display.
He said SmarTire TPMS helps address two key operating costs for fleets: fuel and tires.
Gantz said 10% under-inflation results in a 1.5% fuel penalty, which is $1000 a year per truck.
“Under-inflation and excessive heat causes 90% of tire failures,” he said. “Driving on under-inflated tires damages the tire casing, and you can't retread. Twenty percent under-inflation results in a 30% reduction in tire life. A new tire can run $400, and a super single can run $800-1200.
“There's reduced maintenance with SmarTire because of the automated function, increased frequency and accuracy of tire checks, and the elimination of manual tire pressure checks. That can save up to 42 person hours/per vehicle/per year, a savings of $2500 per truck. There is also increased uptime by avoiding unplanned service calls.
The system for trailers uses the following components:
Trailer receiver mounted on the trailer slider or frame just to the front center of the first axle.
Sensor/transmitter located inside each tire/wheel assembly.
Warning lamp mounted near the front of the trailer for viewing in driver's side mirror.
Optional tools used for configuration, service, and maintenance.
The trailer system recognizes when a tractor connects to the trailer and after a electronic handshake, connects the trailer to the SmarTire-equipped tractor, displaying the trailer information (T1, T2, etc) on the display in the truck.
The pressure deviation alert activates at 15% below target tire pressure. The tire is identified by the exact vehicle location and the driver is alerted by a flashing LED warning light and icon.
The critical low pressure alert comes at 20% below target tire pressure. The driver is alerted by a flashing LED warning light and icon.
The high temperature alert occurs when a tire's temperature exceeds 195°F (90°C). The driver is alerted by a flashing LED warning light and icon.
Merger produces Maxion Wheels
Denny Weisend said the union of the Commercial Vehicle Division of Iochpe Maxion with Hayes Lemmerz creates the world's largest company dedicated solely to wheel manufacturing: Maxion Wheels.
“Maxion Wheels leverages nearly two centuries of combined wheel manufacturing experience and excellence,” he said. “With the dedicated resources and financial strength to truly serve the market, Maxion Wheels is positioned to meet your need for quality commercial wheels.
“Maxion Wheels has a manufacturing presence in every major geographic region of the world, putting us where the OEMs need us, when they need us. Proximity to manufacturing centers shortens delivery times and simplifies logistics; it also saves money in transport.
“We maintain a special focus on the evolving North American market, with facilities in Akron, Ohio, and San Louis Potosi, Mexico, to respond to the needs of leading manufacturers in real time. The San Louis Potosi plant is positioned to serve the Southwest US and Mexican-based operations of our leading customers, offering significant savings in delivery times and important logistical advantages for this growing manufacturing sector. This new union broadens our reach and gives manufacturers the greatest flexibility possible.
Weisend introduced Maxion Wheels' latest product offering — the 22.5”x14” wide-base wheel. A steel wheel with improved, sleek-styling characteristics, the 10084 TS saves 14 pounds when compared to existing steel products, without sacrificing strength; it boasts an 11,000-pound load rating.
“It looks great, with its silver premium topcoat finish, but it is also designed for improved performance — 20 ventilation holes provide superior airflow for brake cooling,” he said. “The 10084 TS represents an important step forward in lightweight steel wheel technology.”
Meritor Tire Inflation System by PSI
Steve Robinson, director of OEM sales & dealer programs for Pressure Systems International (PSI), said the Meritor Tire Inflation System by PSI is the “easy, safe, and quick way to adjust tire pressure down during a pre-trip inspection.”
“It takes 60 seconds to adjust all four wide-base single tires. Pressure drops 15 psi, which is about one pound per second.
“There are no electronics. No need for expensive components or complicated controls. It's designed not to deflate while the vehicle is in motion. It's a very simple and effective solution to relieve pressure, works with every MTIS by PSI system, and is completely retrofitable.”
Boardfree technology from Innotec
Innotec's Tom Flokstra introduced the company's Boardfree technology, a patented LED lighting solution that eliminates the need for a traditional printed circuit board.
“In the traditional LED package, you have multiple separate components, a printed circuit board, where the LEDs are mounted on a single plane,” he said. “The Boardfree technology platform has one-half the number of components and processes, 3D LED positioning, and the thinnest package available. In addition, Boardfree integrates optics, connectors, driver circuits, and the mounting all in one product.
“Boardfree offers a 3D design flexibility that you can shape to any contour. Also, a 100% sealed product encapsulates all the electrical components. And finally, it offers the most improved thermal properties of any lighting product.
“Boardfree products are across multiple markets today, including commercial vehicles, automotive, general lighting, residential, and many others. Currently, there are over four million Boardfree products lighting the way every day.”
He said Innotec is a “group of geek engineers that love to develop exciting technical products and processes,” based in the Midwest, but with locations all over the world.
“Technology has changed dramatically, and LEDs are currently leading the way in lighting. Not only are they up to 700% more efficient, they also draw down to 85% less power than incandescent solutions. In addition, LEDs are more rugged and last up to 33 times longer than traditional bulbs.
“Probably the most important advantage is that LEDs turn on 0.2 of a second faster, which equates to 20 feet of more stopping distance at highway speeds, making them the safest option. And finally, LEDs produce more vibrant colors, so there is no need to filter out the unwanted colors, making them the easiest to see and most efficient.”
Lafayette Steel invests in plant
Lafayette Steel and Aluminum has made investments in tooling and machinery to enhance its fabrication and fixture design services.
“Being able to stay competitive and respond quickly in this way without sacrificing quality has fueled still more investment in lean manufacturing,” Roger Sharp said.
The Oscar Winski Company was founded in 1907 and is a fifth-generation, family-owned company. Lafayette Steel and Aluminum, a division of the Oscar Winski Company, has been serving the transportation industry since 1985 and growing to operate two ISO 9001-2008 certified facilities in Indiana (Lafayette, Indianapolis) and one in Illinois (Franklin Park).
“We provide large and mid-size OEMs with a service-center alternative,” he said. “We stand as a knowledge-based resource for customers, offering information updates and conducting seminars on the latest in new materials, new finishes and new ways to more cost effectively meet performance requirements.
“On the floor, we invest in both personnel and capital equipment to increase value and speed of delivery. Today, Lafayette Steel and Aluminum is a fully integrated and yet continuously evolving supplier prepared to meet virtually any size, gage, corrosion resistance, strength and ductility specification.”
AXN launches MARS
AXN has partnered with a leading European suspension provider to announce the launch of its premier line of modular air ride suspensions (MARS).
“The key to the MARS platform is the suspension clamp group that incorporates a 5 3/4” diameter axle with the ideal balance of strength and lightweight,” Jim Sharkey said. “MARS utilizes a patented process which forms retention grooves into the axle, which receive mating protrusions from the clamp group, and eliminate the need for any axle welding. Cold-formed, high-tensile U-bolts are specially designed along with the clamp group to eliminate the need to periodic re-torquing.
“With a high-density rubber bushing and a spring arm that absorbs much of the dynamic forces, bushing life is dramatically longer than traditional fabricated rigid fabricated arms. Center-mounted shock absorbers eliminate the need for offset gussets that add weight. To make it easier for the OEM, MARS is being configured to fit in the most common envelopes used today. Elongated grooves are designed to accept a wide variation of mounting dimensions, alignment is performed with an easy-to-use eccentric mechanism.”
He said MARS delivers lower freight costs to the OEM, since the suspensions can be provided in kit form for inbound freight optimization, as well as reduced demand on skilled welders. Fleets can be provided with an air suspension solution that delivers longevity, reduced weight and a low cost of ownership.
Should a MARS axle need replacement in the field, it is significantly lower in costs to replace the axle, as compared to typical integrated designs. Sharkey said that while this design is new to the North American market, it has been thoroughly tested and proven around the globe.
Starting with the vocational MARS23 in June, the line will be expanded to offer 25K, 30K, and 20K models. It will also be offered in a slider mounted design for van and reefer applications. This model will be available by the fall.
Maxxima releases 27 new products
Jay Davenport said Maxxima expanded its heavy-duty LED lineup last year with 27 new products, including:
MWL work lamps are offered from 400 to 1500 lumens and feature Lumileds LUXEON diodes, dual voltage (12 to 24), flood beam pattern, aluminum powder-coated housing, polycarbonate lens, low amperage draw, stainless steel hardware, and a five-year warranty.
MWL-11HL & MWL-12SP are offered at 750 lumens and feature rubber housing, complete self-contained LED lamp, polycarbonate lens, flood pattern, and stainless steel hardware.
MWL-16 square work light is offered at 1700 lumens and features flood pattern, dual voltage, aluminum powder-coated housing, polycarbonate lens, stainless steel hardware, low-amperage draw, and a five-year warranty.
M42354R and M42355R stop/tail/turn with reflex fits in a standard 4 ½” mounting hole, has a polycarbonate housing and shallow thin profile, is hard-wired with either PL-3 or Dri-Fit connectors, and includes a neoprene sealing gasket and lightning “S” patented lens.
Chemline's GatorHyde fights corrosion
Chemline Inc acquired GatorHyde in December 2010 and has supported GatorHyde's growth within Chemline's lineup of professional-grade, industrial polyurethane, polyurea, and hybrid coating products.
Randy Letsch said the GatorHyde product line and trademark logo has become a favorite with consumers of truck bed liners, and with OEM manufacturers and for a wide variety of corrosion-control applications on over-the-road tractor-trailer, work truck, utility truck, and emergency vehicles.
He said GatorHyde CG (Commercial Grade) is a very tough coating used broadly for truck bed lining and many demanding industrial applications.
“Magnesium Chloride is a bigger problem than ever before because of changes in the way the DOT now deices roads and highways,” he said. “Over the past 15 years, the corrosion cost is estimated at $30 billion. We can no longer kick this down the road.”
Find the TTMA Report archive with articles from 2012 to present