No end in sight For the past three years, retail sales of new Class 8 trucks in North America have averaged more than 200,000. Yet some industry observers are wondering when the bubble is going to burst, leaving huge overcapacities in the industry.
But according to Freightliner president and CEO James L. Hebe, that is not going to happen. "Today there are over two million heavy trucks in the U.S. alone -- double the number of just ten years ago," Hebe told a meeting of financial analysts. "As the economy grows at 2.5% to 3.5% annually, the number of heavy trucks necessary to move the increased freight will grow 10% every three years. With a 10-yr. replacement cycle and no growth, we could expect a 200,000-unit-per-year U.S. market and probably 20,000 or more in Canada."
Wheels and deals Air-Weigh has signed an agreement giving Forster Instruments, Mississauga, Ontario, exclusive Canadian distribution rights for the company's on-board scales for air-ride trucks and trailers... Euclid Industries, the aftermarket supplier of truck brake, wheel, chassis, and suspension parts, has entered into a distribution agreement with Lake Forest, Ill.-based Tenneco Automotive. The complete line of Monroe heavy-duty ride control products is now available through Euclid... JPE Inc. has signed a letter of intent to sell all outstanding shares of subsidiary Dayton Parts Inc. for cash. Dayton Parts makes and distributes undercarriage parts to the heavy-duty truck and trailer aftermarket... Safety-Kleen has formed a partnership with Church & Dwight, makers of AquaWorks aqueous degreasing products, to provide customers with a single source for aqueous parts cleaning services ... Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. and Treadco Inc. have entered into a marketing agreement in which Bridgestone/Firestone will operate an Oncor retreading plant in Hazelwood, Mo., and Treadco will market the retreads... Holley Performance Products Inc.'s management group has reached an agreement in principle to buy the capital stock of Holley Performance Products from Coltec Industries.
(Correction: A item on the alliance between The Triangle Group's Air Spring Operation and ContiTech in last month's issue should have stated that there will be exclusive use of ContiTech's rubber bellows on the air springs.)
More for your money Eaton Corp. has developed SpecRanger, an interactive CD program that will help parts dealers optimize Eaton Unit Exchange inventories to cover a wide range of fleet specs with just a few base units... A five-year maintenance-free landing gear, dubbed Fleetpak, is now available from Kysor Westran, a division of Schwitzer Group... Hendrickson has upgraded its manufacturing process through the use of new compression forming equipment that is said to cut product variation by as much as two-thirds... Drivers have until March 31, 1999 to step right up and enter "The Great Justin Boot Giveaway," sponsored by Caterpillar in conjunction with International and radio station WBAP. A pair of Justin Original Workboots will be given away every weeknight during Bill Mack's Trucking Show. Entry forms are available at Caterpillar and International dealers; or send a postcard to: Caterpillar Justin Book Giveaway, c/o MRA, 10551 Barkley, Suite 130, Overland Park, KS 66212
Breaking new ground Ryder Transportation Services opened a new facility in Salt Lake City, Utah, last month... A new lab dedicated to the testing and development of lubricant products was opened by 76 Lubricants Co. near the company's Costa Mesa, Calif., headquarters... TravelCenters of America is planning to build a state-of-the-art travel center in Amarillo, Tex., that was designed with input from professional truck drivers.Web sightingsDrivetrain Service Div. of Dana Corp. has set up a Web site dedicated exclusively to Chelsea Auxiliary Power System products -- chelseapower.com -- that will include information on PTOs, wet line systems, dump pumps, and more... The Used Oil Management Assn.'s new Web site -- www.uoma.com - will bring you up to date on the economics of recycling, technological advances in the design of used oil-fired heaters and water boilers, and other information on used oil and the environment... For information on cab air suspension products, go to Link Manufacturing's site: www.linkmfg.com... Advance Lifts' Web site address is www.AdvanceLifts.com... Truck Down! is an Internet-based database linking North American carriers to maintenance and ancillary suppliers, compliments of Truck Down Info International Inc. The online service helps fleets locate maintenance and repair facilities throughout the U.S.
Training takes Meritor Automotive is offering a "Train the Trainer" program to help bring its customers' in-house trainers up to speed on Meritor products and technologies. The courses, which are held at the Troy, Mich.-based technical center, are scheduled for June 15-19; July 13-17; Aug. 10-14; Sept. 21-25; Oct. 12-16; Nov. 9-13; and Dec. 7-11. For more info, call 800-535-5560... Rema Tip Top/North America has expanded its repair technician education program by establishing MTU-2, the company's second mobile training unit. For information on Rema's on-site training, call 201-768-8100.
Quality kudos All Holland Hitch North American facilities have been awarded QS-9000 certification... Consolidated Metco received ISO-9001 certification for its Portland, Ore., facility and ISO-9002 certification for the Clackamas, Ore., facility, as well as three plants in North Carolina... Reyco USA facilities in Springfield and Mt. Vernon, Mo. are now ISO-9001 certified... Dana Corp.'s Perfect Circle Sealed Power Div. was named 1997 supplier of the year by John Deere Engine Works.