Meritor WABCO launches improved hydraulic ABS

New system designed for medium-duty vehiclesIn preparation for a federal mandate requiring all hydraulically braked vehicles over 10,000 lb. GVWR built after March 1, 1999, to be equipped with antilock brakes, Meritor WABCO Vehicle Control Systems has unveiled its next generation of hydraulic ABS for medium-duty trucks, buses, and motor-home chassis. The fourth-generation hydraulic system features

New system designed for medium-duty vehicles

In preparation for a federal mandate requiring all hydraulically braked vehicles over 10,000 lb. GVWR built after March 1, 1999, to be equipped with antilock brakes, Meritor WABCO Vehicle Control Systems has unveiled its next generation of hydraulic ABS for medium-duty trucks, buses, and motor-home chassis. The fourth-generation hydraulic system features improved reliability, flexibility, and diagnostic capability.

According to Dennis Sandberg, director of electronic products for Meritor WABCO, the company has made improvements in the electronic control unit (ECU), the "brain" of the system. The new ECU uses the most advanced electronics and features improved PC-based diagnostic functions and more simplified wiring harness designs for increased reliability and easy maintenance.

In addition, the new generation ECUs are now available as either compact cab-mounted or frame-mounted units for flexible packaging on any vehicle or chassis.

The use of hydraulic ABS helps increase vehicle control and reduce expenses associated with accidents. Some insurance carriers even offer discounts for vehicles that are equipped with ABS.

Meritor WABCO hydraulic ABS has been available as a regular option on medium-duty vehicles in North America for over two years and is currently standard equipment on vehicles produced by five truck, bus, and motor-home chassis OEMs.

Mack Trucks and Oshkosh Truck Corp. have announced a partnership that will allow each company to offer a new generation of Mack front-discharge concrete mixers. The Mack FCM series mixer, which will be built by Oshkosh, features a Mack E-Tech engine mounted at the rear of an Oshkosh front-discharge concrete carrier equipped with a McNeilus mixer drum.

"The new Mack FCM series will bring together three of the ready-mix industry's biggest names to offer a truly world-class product," says Paul L. Vikner, executive vp-sales and marketing at Mack.

As a result of the agreement, Mack plans to discontinue production of its FDM mixer, which was built in Pleasant Grove, Utah, by its subsidiary, Mack Trucks of Utah. Mack plans to close the Utah facility and dissolve the subsidiary.

The FCM series will be distributed through Mack dealers and directly through the McNeilus sales and service network. McNeilus also sells Oshkosh S-Series front-discharge mixers, McNeilus rear-discharge mixers, and batch plants.

Thermo King Corp. has introduced an addition to its "Whisper Quiet" transport refrigeration line. Developed for retail distribution applications, the Super II SR Whisper Edition is a slimline, lightweight version of the company's SB-III system. Both models reduce sound by 10 decibels.

As a smart-reefer system, the new unit features an MP-V microprocessor that monitors performance, makes automatic adjustments to pre-programmed parameters, and lets the operator know about potential problem situations so that corrective action can be taken.

The Super II SR includes such noise-reducing features as a specially balanced intake resonator, sound-baffled muffler, noise-deadening blower design, sound-proof composite insulation, and a grille design with smaller openings.

In addition, the unit uses the TK486 direct injection engine, which is, according to Thermo King, lighter and more fuel-efficient.

Carlisle innovation designed to double lining and drum life

In a major innovation for brake linings, Carlisle Motion Control Industries has introduced Cohesive Friction, which doubles lining and drum life through the even distribution of heat and elimination of abrasive particles.

This development comes as increased truck speeds and traffic densities, as well as improved vehicle aerodynamics and smaller wheel diameters, have combined to place greater demands on heavy-duty brake systems.

Currently, today's heavy-duty friction materials fall into three basic groups: metallic, semi-metallic, and organic. All are based on abrasive friction technology, whereby abrasive particles grab or dig into the brake drum, creating the friction necessary to stop the vehicle. To hold the abrasive particles in place, these linings are by design hard and rigid.

Carlisle's new Cohesive Friction draws on the design of automotive disc brakes, which have used adhesive friction for many years. The new linings essentially create a transfer layer of non-abrasive particles that smear onto the face of the drum. Cohesive Friction is softer than abrasive friction, which means it better conforms to the drum to ensure the intimate contact of the encapsulated particles. Complete heel and toe contact between the lining and the drum allows the Cohesive Friction linings to boost usable material by 10%.

Even heat distribution and elimination of abrasive particles result in a doubling of lining and drum life. In addition, drum hot-spotting and thermal cracking are reduced. Other benefits include more even tire wear and enhanced wheel-end component life because the lining conforms better and is thus able to compensate for out-of-round drums. Elimination of abrasive particles also means a reduction in brake noise.

Western Star's latest entry for the heavy-duty construction market is its New Constellation Twin Steer 4984SK. The on/off-road vehicle sports an all-steel cab, lightweight construction, and wheelbases up to 370 in. Additional features include dual power steering gears, dual auxiliary steering cylinders, and combination rear axles with 40,000- to 70,000-lb. capacities. Applications include construction dumps, oil-field pick tractors, block trucks, and crane operations.

To reduce maintenance time on vehicles equipped with antilock brake systems (ABS), AlliedSignal Truck Brake Systems, Elyria, Ohio, has enhanced two of its Bendix antilock systems: the AL-7 for heavy-duty power units and the MC-12 for trailer applications.

In the AL-7 system, a new electronic control unit, the EC-17, offers:

* "Self-healing" diagnostics, which automatically clears faults and the corresponding indications from the LED readout when the error cause is eliminated;

* Partial antilock operation, which allows the ABS to continue operating at the maximum performance possible, even with a faulted condition. Once the problem is fixed, the EC-17 recognizes the change and returns the system to full operation; and

* A low-cost, handheld Diagnostic Communications Interface that allows for easy system check right from the vehicle's diagnostic interface connection.

An environmentally friendly alternative for disposing waste oil found in used filters has been introduced by Wix Filtration Products Div. SafeOil neutralizes the used oil in the filters, turning it into an environmentally safe biodegradable residue. A patented blend of freeze-dried microbes, SafeOil is nontoxic. Users need only drop the SafeOil gel capsules into the drainedoil filter and return the filter to its original box. The neutralization process begins as soon as the microbes come into contact with the oil.

According to William Lasky, president of Dana Corp.'s Filtration Div., SafeOil "makes it easy for anyone to dispose of used oil filters responsibly."

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