Trio of reefer units: New models are designed for straight trucks

March 1, 2000
Thermo King has rolled out a new line of self-powered refrigeration units for straight trucks. The TS-Series consists of: TS-200 for 16- to 20-ft. trucks; TS-300 for 20- to 24-ft. trucks; TS-500 for 24- to 28-ft. trucksThe manufacturer says the units boast several "value-added features," including faster pull-down and recovery times; higher capacity; better airflow and "air throw;" lower fuel consumption;

Thermo King has rolled out a new line of self-powered refrigeration units for straight trucks. The TS-Series consists of: TS-200 for 16- to 20-ft. trucks; TS-300 for 20- to 24-ft. trucks; TS-500 for 24- to 28-ft. trucks

The manufacturer says the units boast several "value-added features," including faster pull-down and recovery times; higher capacity; better airflow and "air throw;" lower fuel consumption; and sleek new packaging.

The TS-Series employs Thermo King's scroll-compressor technology to generate greater capacity and faster pull-down than previous models, a key advantage for multi-drop operations. The scroll-type compressor also uses 87% fewer moving parts.

According to the company, the efficiency of the scroll compressor combined with Thermo King's efficient Clean and Silent diesel engine enhances overall performance and results in a 10-25% fuel savings over competitive models. In addition, the electric motors used are as much as 50% larger than previous models to improve standby operation.

The TS-Series units feature a new two-belt drive system that Thermo King says adds efficiency, eliminates slippage, and increases belt life to 6,000-8,000 hours - five times the average of belts on previous units.

TS reefer units also use a unique "cyclonic" dry air filter, which uses centrifugal force to collect debris, improve air filtration, increase filter life, and contribute to the overall reduction in noise levels.

Thermo King says TS-Series units will be available at dealers by the second quarter.

At its annual convention last month in Nashville, NATSO (formerly the National Assn. of Truckstop Operators) installed as its new leader James A. Cardwell Jr., senior vp of El Paso-based Petro Stopping Centers. Cardwell will serve as chairman of the NATSO Executive Committee for a one-year term. He previously served the group in other capacities, including as chairman of the NATSO Foundation board of directors.

One of the biggest efforts Cardwell will lead is NATSO's fight to ward off "commercialization" of interstate rest areas by individual states. The association believes such strategies place thousands of existing businesses and over a quarter million jobs in the highway-service sector at risk.

In other news, the NATSO Foundation announced it has become a partner in Connect America, an initiative of the Points of Light Foundation that seeks to bring organizations and individuals together through community service.

"Our partnership in Connect America will enable truckstops and travel plazas to enhance outreach projects they're already undertaking while providing them with access to different volunteering options," noted NATSO Foundation president W. Dewey Clower.

Connect America provides local volunteer centers in 500 communities nationwide that can assist program partners in launching community outreach programs, such as the "Drive to Save Lives" blood-drive campaign and the disaster-relief program already sponsored by NATSO.

Coolant test strips from Industrial Test Systems check for proper ratios of coolant and additives in diesel-engine cooling systems. In one minute, strips provide measurements for molybdate and nitrite corrosion protection and glycol/freeze-point protection. Test works with both EG and PG coolants; a test for EHA-based extended-life coolants is also available.

To create a separate identity for its retread program, Goodyear is changing the name of Goodyear Retread Systems to Next-Tred Innovative Retreading Solutions. The company has 167 truck-tire retreading centers in the U.S. and Canada.

A platform-style, surface-mounted lift rounds out the heavy-duty lift line of Rotary Lift. Called the Rotary Advantage, the lift is of parallelogram design, and is available in platform lengths of 18 to 42 ft. and capacities up to 130,000 lb.

EPA has approved Clean Diesel Technologies' Platinum Plus bimetallic diesel fuel combustion catalyst for use in on-highway diesel fuel.

SuperFlow is hosting a series of engine performance seminars in Livonia, Mich. For more information, call 734-464-4333.

Onboard scale manufacturer Air-Weigh, Eugene, Ore., recently added a new entry-level electronic air gauge to its product line. AW5736 ComLink is designed to give truck operators a reliable and accurate estimate of their trailers' on-the-ground weight to within 1/10th of a psi. According to Air-Weigh, the unit is also a functional replacement for the company's AW5600-compatible ComLink, and as such is weight-ready to interface with the company's in-cab scale system.

"Dial-type air gauges have been used since the early 1970s, but very few operators have been able to consistently rely on their accuracy to eliminate expensive check-weighing," said Peter Powell, vp-marketing for Air-Weigh. "ComLink can now display air pressure to 1/10th of a psi. For instance, if 34,000 lb. equals 58.3 lb. per square inch (psi) on a trailer suspension, then the driver can confidently load that suspension until ComLink registers 58.3 psi. This is ten times more accurate than an air gauge."

The dual-mode electronic gauge is intended for trailer mounting so that the driver can read the LED display while loading. When a ComLink-equipped trailer is connected to an Air-Weigh AW5600 scale-equipped tractor, ComLink can also be calibrated to provide weight data (to the nearest 100 lb./kg) to the in-cab scale display. In this mode, the data is expressed in actual pounds rather than psi. For example, a reading of 33.9 equals 33,900 lb.

Installation of the gauge is a simple plug-and-go process that takes less than 30 min., according to Powell, because there are no air lines to install.

On ABS-equipped trailers, the company specifies the Air-Weigh Trailer ABS T-Break-out connector to connect to power, ground, and ABS fault lamp circuit. Junction-box installation is a matter of connecting three wires - the red wire to a 12-volt DC power source, the black wire to a ground, and the green wire to the trailer's side-mounted ABS fault lamp circuit.

For fleets and owner-operators, the best news of all may be ComLink's price. An add-on kit lists at $495. The payback on the new AW5736 ComLink is better news still, according to Powell, because the gauge could save an average operator thousands of dollars per year by eliminating fees and out of route miles.

Volvo Trucks North America, along with Lockheed Martin and Radian Inc., is building a Class 8 tractor powered by a hybrid diesel-electric system for a U.S. Army program intended to promote joint military-commercial developments. The demo truck will be driven at low speeds by 250-hp. battery-powered electric motors and at high speeds by a 460-hp. diesel engine.

According to president and COO Randall Nord, Horton Inc.'s newest product release will mark the company's entry into the truck fan market.

Nord told FLEET OWNER that the new fan will feature nine nylon blades and an innovative "honeycomb" center-disc design that boosts airflow by up to 10% while reducing the amount of horsepower used.

The fan will be formally rolled out at trade shows this month and is slated to enter production in April. It will be initially offered in 30- and 32-in. versions.

"Besides adding to our product line," Nord stated, "the introduction of our fan is a statement that Horton is now in the cooling system business."

Peterbilt Motors is spec'ing its Model 387 trucks with Spicer Life XL universal joint kits from Dana Corp.'s Spicer Driveshaft Div. The joint kits, which use a premium, lithium-based grease, feature a standard initial re-lubrication cycle of 350,000 mi.

The AeroMount Top-Style satellite antenna mount from Flight Star Devices is designed to provide the best possible antenna performance for applications using cab roof fairings and full-height semi-trailers

A schedule of the International Tire & Rubber Assn.'s (ITRA) retread/repair programs and commercial tire service training and certification classes can be obtained via the group's fax-on-demand service. Fax 502-964-7859 or visit the Web site at

Kustom Fit Hi-Tech Seating Products is introducing its "Big Daddy" seating products, which can be retrofitted to most major seat air suspension systems.

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