Ridewell suspensions has approved the Bendix ADB22X-LT air disc brake for use with its 5-inch and 5.75-inch trailer axles, the company announced.  The ADB22X-LT was engineered specifically for trailers.  It is based on the design of the Bendix ADB22X and weighs 40 pounds less per tandem axle.  The reduction in weight delivers increased payload capacity and value for trailers the are particularly sensitive to brake weight.  Lighter-weight wheel ends can also benefit fleets through improved overall fuel efficiency.  The brake offers quicker pad replacement than foundation drum brakes, taking about a quarter of the time once the wheel is removed.  The brake is also designed with an adjustment mechanism that supports longer service life, which it achieves by extending friction life through reducing the risk of brake drag.  The ADB22X-LT features a new brake pad, the Bendix BX276, that Bendix says has 8% more wearable volume and up to 40% improvement in wear rate.  In fleets that pair the ADB22X-LT with trucks using the ADB22X, upkeep and technician training can be streamlined since the two brakes share replacement wear items and use the same installation and maintenance skill sets.

Kenworth has made Bendix ESP standard on T680 and T880 trucks.  The system fully meets the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s stability mandate, which will require full-stability technology on most new Class 7 and Class 8 tractors starting in August this year.  First introduced in 2005, Bendix was the first full-stability solution widely available for the commercial vehicle market.  “The bottom line is that this technology is making the difference out on the roads” says Scott Burkhart, Bendix vice-president-sales, marketing, and business development.  Burkhart says fleets have reported to his company a 50 to 70 per cent reduction in rollovers and loss-of-control crashes when ESP equipped.  Compared to other roll-over stability or antilock braking systems, full-stability systems utilize more sensors, enabling the technology to more quickly recognize factors that could lead to vehicle rollovers or loss of control.  When it comes to interventions, in addition to engine dethrottling, full-stability systems can selectively brake on the steer, drive, and trailer axles.  Slowing the vehicle quickly helps mitigate rollovers, and can help the driver maneuver in loss-of-control situations.

Kenworth has updated its Predictive Cruise Control functionality for T680 and T880 trucks equipped with the 2017 Paccar MX-11, MX-13, and Cummins X15 engines to improve fuel economy.  The update was made with the launch of the 2017 emission engines and provides up to a 1% improvement in fuel economy over the current versions with Predictive Cruise Control, according to Patrick Dean, Kenworth chief engineer.  Kenworth’s Predictive Cruise Control combines GPS with cruise control to deliver the best fuel economy for the situation.  The system optimizes cruising speed based on topographical GPS data inputs.   As the truck encounters certain types of terrain, such as rolling hills, the system modulates cruising speed to improve performance.  If, for example, a truck ascends and crests a hill, Predictive Cruise Control will allow the truck speed to drop slightly below the set cruise speed.  This can improve fuel economy since the truck is using momentum instead of fuel to maintain the set cruise speed.  “While the drive interface remains  unchanged, drivers who have driven Kenworth trucks with Predictive Cruise Control will notice an improvement in drivability, as well as fuel economy,” said Dean.  “Improved drivability and fuel economy were made possible by fine-tuning how the engine modulates speed and torque over a wide variety of actual driving conditions.”


Kenworth class 8 trucks now come standard with the Meritor MFS + front steer axle series for linehaul applications.  The lightweight axle is now available in standard and wide track configurations with a gross axle weight rating of 12,000 and 13,200 pounds.  The axle’s gooseneck beam design offers a stronger, lightweight package while its low-profile element simplifies integration into the chassis to reduce maintenance costs.  The axle also offers high-angle turning capacity up to 55 degrees and is compatible with air disc brakes and all drum brakes.  An offset knuckle, with integrated torque plate and tie rod arms, is available with air disc brake applications.  It eliminates the need for separate torque plate and fasteners, saving an additional 15 pounds compared to the current disc brake installation.  The new design also reduces space constraints for easier access by technicians.  The MFS + is designed for mounting each brake at “12-o”clock” for easy removal.  Overall the MFS + with integrated torque plates and tie rod ends may reduce weight by up to 85 pounds depending on brake and axle configuration which can result in increased payloads.

Ford is launching the Commercial Vehicle Center dealer program that will replace the Business Preferred Network and offer improved service, better parts availability and a new loyalty program, Ford announced.  The Program is rolling out at 650 of Ford’s more than 3,000 dealers in the U. S. and replaces a program that was heavily used by smaller  fleets to set up work trucks and vans.  Much like a BPN dealer, a Commercial Vehicle Center will offer sales, service and financing support for commercial buyers.  “Nearly 30 years ago, Ford established its first program to improve the purchase experience for our commercial vehicle customers,” said John Ruppert, Ford general manager, commercial vehicle sales and marketing.  “Now we are introducing the next chapter in our commercial vehicle story, not only by rebranding the program, but by further expanding the number of program elements to improve the overall customer experience.”  A Commercial Vehicle Center will off a service counter that’s open at least 55 hours per week and new stocking programs that will improve parts availability, according to Ford.

Kenworth is offering wide base steer tires for applications requiring up to 20,000-pound front axle weight ratings for the company’s T370 truck model.  Available in 385/65R22.5 size, from Bridgestone, Good Year, and Michelin, the tires were previously available only on all-wheel drive T370 steer axles with ratings up to 16,000 pounds.  The Kenworth T370 is also now available with 4.9 inch fender extensions to reduce road spray from the wide tires.  “These tires can now be ordered for the new T370s with our heaviest non-drive front axles-rated at 16,000, 18,000 and 20,000 pounds” said Kurt Swihart, Kenworth marketing director.  “This provides a large “footprint” in vocational applications where off-road conditions, such as mud, can make driving difficult.  The tires also comply with standards in certain states and Canada, which require larger tires to carry heavier weights.”

The Bendix Wingman Advanced system is now available for order as an option on Kenworth T270 and T370 medium-duty trucks.  The radar-based collision mitigation system delivers adaptive cruise control with braking, along with autonomous emergency braking technology to help drivers avoid rear-end collisions.  Using a radar sensor mounted to the front of a vehicle, Bendix Wingman Advanced warns drivers with alerts and with active interventions.  The system provides following distance, impact and stationary object alerts that are on whether or not cruise control is active.  When cruise control is engaged, the system will actively intervene to help maintain a safe following distance by reducing throttle, engaging the engine retarder, or, if necessary, applying the foundation brakes.  Bendix Wingman Advanced builds upon the full-stability technology of Bendix Electronic Stability Program to provide fleets and truck owners with a system that can help drivers avoid potential collisions, rollovers, and loss-of-control situations.