Kenworth’s plant in Chillicothe, Ohio, is undergoing a $17M construction project to enhance assembly efficiencies, the company has announced. The 25,000 square-foot addition, which is being built on top of the current plant, will feature a climate-controlled environment to provide quality improvements for painted parts and a new system will increase the plant’s efficiency by using technology to achieve rapid storage of painted parts, and faster delivery of those parts when needed on the assembly line. The Chillicothe facility recently produced its 500,000th truck.
To help address a shortage of truck parking in many areas of the country, the recently formed Truck Parking Leadership Initiative is developing a free app call PARK MY TRUCK to locate truck parking information and find available spaces. The app is expected to be available this summer. The PARK MY TRUCK app will allow any public or private parking provider to report their parking availability for free. Drivers can access the information on any mobile device with internet access. ” Through this technology, we will dramatically expand the scope of truck parking information available to drivers in an efficient, easily accessible format,” said Dan Murray ATRI vice president. “It is gratifying to be part of a collaborative team that is generating real-world parking solutions for truck drivers and motor carriers alike.”
XL SPECIALIZED TRAILERS has launched the XL 90 Hydraulic Detachable Extendable loboy trailer designed with extendable technology to stretch the main deck. The extendable main deck can increase in length from 28 feet 4 inches to 50 feet 3 inches with extension stops every 24 inches. The Extend-A-Trac uses 6-inch greasable rollers with oil-impregnated bronze bushings for smoother extension and retraction. The 53-foor 5-inch long trailer has a flip axle to help scale loads and a 44-inch flip neck with kingpin settings of 16 inches and 24 inches, which together makes the trailer 84 feet long when extended. A detachable wheel area allows drivers to insert more decking. The XL 90 HDE features an 18-inch loaded deck height on the main deck, while the rear deck transitions to just a 24-inch height. The low rear deck height is achieved by cutting the axles through the web of the trailer. The unit comes with a pin-on axle, yet is prepped for a single-axle booster as well. The gooseneck features variable ride with five ride height positions, a 13-horsepower unit with cover, and 74-inch swing clearance. Other features include a PSI system, a 20,000-pound brake rating, a second leveling valve, and a shut-off valve on all axles.
PACCAR PARTS has opened its new $32 million distribution center in Renton, Washington. The 160,000-square-foot facility is nearly three times the size of its predecessor, which was built in 1973. With a 15,000-square-foot small-parts mezzanine and state-of-the-art equipment with built-in scales and a customer parcel conveyor, the facility has improved operational efficiency. Energy-efficient systems, including LED lighting and daylight harvesting, help Paccar Parts meet its environmental goals of business sustainability. The facility also includes a 50-person training room and the interactive Paccar Parts Experience, which demonstrates Paccar Parts distribution network, products, and services to visitors. Featuring a 3-D model of the distribution center, the Paccar Parts Experience shows off the facility’s efficiencies and innovative technologies.
CATERPILLAR is discontinuing production of on-highway trucks. In 2011, CAT, in conjunction with NAVISTAR, started manufacturing vocational trucks for the on-highway market. While CAT has discontinued production, they will continue to support the trucks currently on the road. CAT was intending to produce trucks at a plant in Victoria, Texas. CAT officials say the timing of the decision was right as starting production and stopping later would have been more difficult.
East Manufacturing has opened a new, highly automated manufacturing facility at the company’s headquarters in Randolph, Ohio as part of its growth strategy. The 73,000-square-foot building, the largest single building in the company’s history, will accelerate trailer production capability for it’s customers. The facility will have the capacity to produce 2,000 trailers annually and will require 75 more employees per shift when fully operational. ” After 18 months of dedicated work by many individuals, we are excited to open the doors of this new production facility in Randolph,” said Dave de Poincy, president of East. “With record levels of production, it will enable us to maximize our efficiency and reduce our backlog.”
The facility was designed for production efficiency and quality, streamlining the manufacturing process and incorporating technologies such as robotic equipment, automated production processes and a material handling system. The robotic equipment will serve as parts placers, while robotic welders in beam and side rail construction areas will ensure output and consistent results for weld quality. Each trailer will be secured to a rotator and move through a series of work stations, allowing it to be rotated into any position. This method will give better access to difficult-to-weld areas and be more ergonomically correct for workers.
In addition to manufacturing, the new facility will house parts inventory, allowing more accessibility to frequently needed trailer parts. It will also provide 10,000 square feet of space for material storage of oversized flat steel and aluminum material that is typically housed outside where it is exposed to the elements.
The facility also includes an eight-bay mounting center, with two bays dedicated to truck body installation and six bays for trailer body mounting. The opening of the new mounting bays allows East to reduce congestion within other East dump trailer departments, increasing efficiency and accommodating more trailer output.
Please contact any of our salespeople for more information on these outstanding trailers and truck bodies.
Kenworth has a new design for the partial chassis fairing on a T680. This fairing extends from the under-cab fairing back toward the rear axle, but does not completely fill that area. The new design is more aerodynamic, providing fuel savings. This fairing leaves room for a customer installed APU. Additionally, an under-sleeper fuel fill is available, possibly allowing for a shorter wheelbase on the tractor. The new fairing is lighter weight and lower cost than the earlier design.