FlowBelow Aero is adding a trailer-based aerodynamic product for the trailer tandem and is expanding its OEM offerings in the aftermarket with the launch of its Elite Dealer Program.  At the American Trucking Associations’ Management Conference and Exhibition, company officials announced the new Trailer Aero Slider system, unveiled earlier simply as a concept, is now in production and available for fleet and dealer orders.  FlowBelow says the Trailer Aero Slider is the first aerodynamic product of its kind that is mounted directly to the sliding trailer suspension and that travels with the suspension.  The system uses FlowBelow’s quick-release trailer wheel covers in combination with a fairing between the trailer wheels and aerodynamic mud flaps behind them.  Each of the components work together as a system to address the complex airflow around the trailer wheels and the wake behind the trailer.  The system is designed to complement other trailer-mounted  aerodynamic devices such as trailer skirts and tails and offers additional fuel savings depending on the combination of devices implemented.  In addition, the new dealer program will bring the company’s wheel covers and Tractor AeroKit system to an even broader scope of fleet customers in North America.  Dealers in the program will be able to offer all available options and configurations of FlowBelow products on new or used trucks sold as well as trucks already in service.

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COURT BATTLE ERUPTS

Posted: October 26, 2017 in Kenworth

Court filings have begun to pile up that may ultimately determine the fate of the trailer-related provision within the federal Phase 2 Greenhouse Gas and Fuel Efficiency Standards.  On October 12th the Environmental Defense Fund and a coalition of other environmental and public health groups formally requested that the U. S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit reject what they regard as the “eleventh-hour stay” of the trailer provisions filed as a motion with the court by the Truck Trailer Manufacturers Association on the 25th of September.  In its statement of intervenor opposition asking the court to deny TTMA’s  motion for the stay of the Phase 2 trailer provision, EDF argues in part that “TTMA attempts to artificially divide the tractor from the trailer to claim that TTMA’s members cannot be regulated directly because they are not manufactures of motor vehicles.”  In addition, EDF contends in its brief that “TTMA has likewise failed to demonstrate that its members will be irreparably harmed absent a stay of standards that simply require manufacturers to equip more of their trailers with widely used technologies that deliver fuel savings.”  It also argues the TTMA’s motion is “littered with contradictions and belied by its remarkable eleven-month delay in seeking a judicial stay.”  The Phase 2 GHG/MPG rules are set to require compliance starting January, 2018, which explains TTMA”s desire to secure a stay of the trailer provision.  According to EDF, a stay of the trailer rule – if granted – would  “delay these critical health and environmental protections for the duration of the litigation, which could last for years.”  “The trailer provisions of the Clean Truck Standards are based on cost effective and widely available measures that have long been used by industry leaders, and have effectively incorporated into state standards for the past decade,” said EDF attorney Alice Henderson in a statement.

ENGINELESS REFRIGERATION UNIT

Posted: October 25, 2017 in Kenworth

Carrier Transicold’s model 35X direct-drive unit provides refrigeration for perishable and frozen cargo in small-to medium-sized box trucks and delivery vans.  The 35X unit provides refrigeration  capacity of 10,500 BTUs at 35 degrees Fahrenheit.  The 35X includes an exterior-mounted condenser unit, a compressor that mounts to the truck engine and a narrow-profile SlimLine evaporator that fits tightly to the ceiling of the cargo area, helping to maximize cargo space.  As a split system, the 35X unit provides flexible mounting options for the condenser, wither to the nose of a box truck or roof of a van.  The unit’s Cab Command 2 digital controller provides quick and easy setpoint configurations and the ability to program the unit for automatic defrost cycles.  It also offers diagnostic capabilities and hour-meters to track usage for service interval planning.  ‘Direct-drive units in Carrier Transicold’s X-series are engineless, vehicle-powered systems, providing an economical alternative to diesel-powered units,” said Scott Parker, product manager for truck products at Carrier Transicold.  “They also can help fleets reduce their environmental impact since there is no additional fuel consumption or related emissions from a dedicated refrigeration unit engine.”

KENWORTH MEDIUM DUTY

Posted: October 19, 2017 in Kenworth

Kenworth continues to offer both conventional and cabover medium-duty choices for fleets, including its T270 and T370 Series models with sloped hood for improved forward visibility, single rear or tandem drive axle options and GVWR up to 66,000 lbs.  Fleets can also choose 4×4 and 6×6 drive options as well as manual, automated, or automatic transmissions.  Kenworth’s cabover options begin with the class 6 K270 in a 4×2 axle configuration.  The truck features 55-degree front-wheel cuts and a standard automatic transmission for city driving.  Front air disc brakes are optional, as is rear air suspension.  The truck is available with wheelbases in 12-inch increments ranging from 142 to 242 and can accommodate bodies from 16 to 28 feet.  A clear back of cab frame-exhaust aftertreatment package is also available as an option.  Moving up to Class 7, Kenworth offers the K370 cabover truck, which also features 55-inch front wheel cuts and a 4×2 axle configuration.  Standard amenities include an air-suspension driver’s seat and a two-person passenger bench seat.  Wheelbase options are available in 12-inch increments ranging from 142 to 242 inches, and the truck can accommodate body lengths from 16 to 28 feet.  All Kenworth medium-duty trucks are powered by Paccar PX-7 and PX-9 diesel engines, with horsepower options ranging from 200 to 350 hp and up to 1,150 lb-ft of torque.

LoadMaxx spring ride measures real-time, on-the-ground weights thru deflection sensor technology.  The leaf spring scale is currently designed for tandem axle trailers and is available for retrofit installation as well as on new trailers.  LoadMaxx for spring ride features an icon-based touch-screen display;  built-in LED alarm lights; dual-point calibration and high-precision pressure sensor; compensation for temperature and altitude change; PIN-protected calibration; and English, Spanish, and French language options.  Drivers can view steer, drive, trailer, GVW and net payload on any LoadMaxx-equipped tractor via an optional ComLink to the air ride or spring ride trailer scale.  Tractor and trailer weight information can also be sent to the fleet’s management software through the built-in data communication interface.  Weight data can also be viewed on smart devices with the LoadMaxx app.  Trailer scale kits can be purchased with ComLink included, or added as a plug-and-play option after installation.

Grote Industries has announced that it will introduce the Guardian Smart Trailer System, designed to monitor a trailer’s lighting system and alert an operator to any status changes through the telematics system at the North American Commercial Vehicle Show in Atlanta.  The Guardian Smart Trailer System attaches to any type of light, LED or incandescent, and gives drivers real-time alerts about their trailer lighting systems, communicating light outages and electrical shorts, logging information on status changes, and providing data analysis tools.  The system communicates in two ways:  It can be connected through the trailer’s telematics system, or via Bluetooth to the operator’s Apple or Android device through Grote’s Guardian Smart Trailer system app.

The quick-release mounting system allows drivers to remove the fairings in seconds without tools to accomplish tasks such as installing tire chains in quick order.  The new feature is designed for fleets that have been resistant to using drive wheel fairings on trucks for accessibility reasons.  The Tractor AeroKit maximizes the aerodynamic performance of the company’s wheel covers by also controlling the airflow between the wheels and behind the wheels.  Based on SAE fuel economy testing, the fairings have demonstrated a significant fuel savings of 2.23% in combination with wheel covers, which is over 3 times the fuel savings of wheel covers alone.  “With the exception of the Freightliner Cascadia with the Aero package, which comes standard with our wheel covers, over 80% of our customers utilize the complete AeroKit as opposed to wheel covers alone,” said Josh Butler, FlowBelow CEO.  “Most fleets cannot even measure the fuel savings of wheel covers by themselves.  By enhancing our AeroKit with quick-release fairings we are targeting customers that desperately want to achieve the maximum fuel savings possible without creating extra work for their mechanics and drivers.”