Hitting the brakes

Full-day program planned for next TMC meetingWhat promises to be the biggest demonstration yet of electronically controlled braking systems (ECBS) for heavy-duty vehicles will take place on October 18 as part of the Fall Meeting of The Maintenance Council (TMC) of the American Trucking Assns. in Columbus, Ohio.This special, full-day, ECBS presentation, as now envisioned by David Hammes, director-international

Full-day program planned for next TMC meeting

What promises to be the biggest demonstration yet of electronically controlled braking systems (ECBS) for heavy-duty vehicles will take place on October 18 as part of the Fall Meeting of The Maintenance Council (TMC) of the American Trucking Assns. in Columbus, Ohio.

This special, full-day, ECBS presentation, as now envisioned by David Hammes, director-international for Honeywell Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, and his co-workers on TMC's (S.6-Chassis) ECBS Task Force, begins with breakfast (at 6:00 a.m.!) and then moves into a 90-minute technical session, "What is ECBS?"

From that tech session, attendees - which could number 500 to 600, including interested military personnel - will travel by bus to the Transportation Research Center facility in East Liberty, Ohio. There they will participate in a four-part production including:

* ECBS test-track demonstrations by the four brake suppliers, using a variety of tractors, trailers, a military tank trailer, and a school bus;

* A tour of the National Highway Safety Transportation Administration crash-test and vehicle-dynamics facility;

* Static air disc brake (ADB) displays and dynamometer demonstrations at Radlinski & Assocs.;

* Tents housing "air-board" mock-ups of each ECBS system.

Present plans have Meritor WABCO demonstrating its ECBS on a Freightliner conventional with roll cage, stability control, and, possibly, ADB; on a Freightliner with "roll-stability controller/advisor" system; and on a Mack with ADB.

Haldex will present its ECBS on an ADB-equipped trailer, and will also demonstrate a triple-trailer combination with ECBS and drum brakes.

Eaton/Dana (Bosch) will run Kenworth and Volvo tractors with ECBS and ADB, and a trailer.

Honeywell Bendix will demonstrate ECBS and ADB on International and Kenworth tractors, along with ECBS on a van trailer, school bus, and a military tank trailer.

These plans are subject to change. And, as one Task Force attendee said, alluding to the recent rash of industry mergers and acquisitions, "so are the names of the companies involved."

Designated the Power Fleet 973, this new all-position rib tire is designed for mixed service applications. Developed by Kumho Tire, the 973 features a sturdy four-rib tread pattern and can be run both on- and off-road. It has a 23/32 tread and beveled shoulder design, which features extra deep notches for enhanced traction.

Special tread and sidewall compounds provide heavy-duty construction for cut and chip resistance; an extra-heavy undertread is said to resist cutting and stone damage.

Casing stability and life are further improved by the tire's four full-belt crown construction and high strength flex/fatigue-resistant ply wire. The tire is available in 315/80R22.5, 12R22.5, 11R22.5 and 11R24.5 sizes.

Kumho has also introduced the Power Fleet 939 extra-deep-tread tire, designed for mining, logging, construction, and other off-road applications. The 12.00R24 size tire is said to be ideal for heavy-duty dumps with tandem axle drive. The 40/32-in.-deep tread has an aggressive, all-position-capable, high-traction lug design. Circle 364 on reply card

TIP Intermodal Services will absorb the costs of installing high-intensity conspicuity tape on all its rolling stock manufactured before December 1, 1993. This will bring previously exempt trailers and chassis into compliance with the 1999 federal rule requiring all trailers and chassis to have a standard pattern of reflective tape.

Pennzoil has entered into an agreement with Western Star Trucks to supply the Canadian truck maker with motor oil, gear lubricants and grease.

Ford Super Duty F-Series chassis are now available with a Royal Truck Body utility body that offers up to 34 cu. ft. of lockable storage space plus a bed big enough to carry 4x8-ft. sheets. The Royal Sport body can be ordered through Ford dealers.

Truck operators can now locate Sterling truck dealers in the U.S. and Canada using the OEM's enhanced web-based dealer locator at www.sterlingtrucks.com. The site lists product lines, contact information for each facility, and driving directions from the nearest main highway, along with interactive maps.

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