Dean Smallwood

Changing Gear: Updates from Yokohama, Truck-Lite, Amsoil, Fontaine Modification, Rotary Lift

Drivers looking for Yokohama Tire Corp.’s ultra-wide base tires have a new source: Love’s Travel Stop network. YTC announced that Love’s – which has 191 Truck Tire Care locations nationwide – will carry two UWB tires: the TY517 (drive) and RY407 (trailer). Both tires are available in size 445/50R22.5. Truck-Lite Co. has implemented an online series of technical courses as part of its new Truck-Lite Training Institute program, a series of Web-based lessons designed to educate ...

Read More

Changing Gear: ACT Expo highlights from Freightliner, Kenworth, Eaton, Chart, dHybrid, Penske

The annual Alternative Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo normally tends to be a fleet-centric affair, with discussions and product rollouts that pertain mostly to more sizable trucking companies. But for owner-operators interested in exploring alternative fuels such as natural gas and willing to take the financial plunge, there were a few interesting announcements made at last week’s event in Long Beach, Calif. Freightliner Trucks soon will offer factory-installed liquefied natural gas fuel tanks for the Cascadia 113. ...

Read More

Changing Gear: MATS product review

This year’s Mid-America Trucking Show has long since come and gone, with the usual avalanche of new product announcements. With all of the great stuff that was rolled out at this year’s show, it’d be a near-miracle is anyone was able to keep track of it all. Naturally, a few noteworthy items might have gotten lost in the shuffle, but here for your convenience is a summary of this year’s highlighted products. Click on the headline ...

Read More

Changing Gear grab bag: Facebook likes, Bluetooth weights, truck giveaways

Kenworth Truck Co. announced that its official Facebook site surpassed 100,000 likes. The social media site is designed as a forum for information from Kenworth and thoughts from Kenworth owners and enthusiasts about their trucks. The site also covers the company’s history from its founding in 1923 to the present, and offers an Owner’s Gallery of photographs submitted by Kenworth truck owners throughout the United States and Canada. To visit, go to www.kenworth.com and click ...

Read More

Surfing For Gear: Updates from Gates, Fontaine, Rotary Lift, SKF, Bridgestone

The Gates Corp., a manufacturer of industrial and automotive products, unveiled its updated corporate website the company says was designed with OEM, MRO and distributor audiences in mind. The new Gates.com is built for easier access to hose and belt products, tips and resources for an improved user experience. To tour the website, click here. Fontaine Modification also has redesigned its website to be more visually appealing, easier to use and better optimized for mobile devices. ...

Read More

Equipment Spotlight: For today’s tech-heavy trucks, AGM batteries may be best

Vehicular batteries are technological marvels. But for all our dependence on them in both commercial and consumer applications, they largely are forgotten or ignored – until they fail, of course. For most of the past century, automotive battery development has been slow and steady, with most of the resulting improvements focusing on longer maintenance-free life. Now, all that is changing: Rising fuel prices, anti-idling laws, alternative-drive vehicles and an exponential boom in the power requirements on commercial ...

Read More

Changing Gear: MATS tidbits from Mobile Awareness, Meritor-P.S.I., Toyo, Continental, AIMS Power

Sometimes in the midst of the array of announcements made at the Mid-America Trucking Show, a few tidbits unrelated to MATS might seep through the cracks. So let’s set the record straight with a few recent headlines that might have escaped your notice while checking out the news from Louisville, Ky. Mobile Awareness, a provider of transportation safety products, announced its first MobileTraq Vue feature upgrade by integrating the SenseStat Obstacle Detection Backing Sensor System. The ...

Read More

Changing Gear: MATS previews from Dometic, Mack, Volvo, Utility, Yokohama, Reyco Granning, Kinedyne

At this week’s Mid-America Trucking Shown at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Ky., Dometic Group is unveiling its Split-System Blizzard 134a, a battery-operated air conditioning unit that provides 10 no-idle hours of cooling. Available in 7,000-and 10,000 Btu models, the split system is designed for easy installation, allowing the noise of the condenser unit to remain outside while the quieter evaporator unit blows cool air to the cab’s interior; easily accessible external ports help ...

Read More

Changing Gear: TMC updates from Cummins, Eaton, Dana, Webb Wheel, Phillips, Idle Smart

The Technology and Maintenance Council’s annual meeting usually is the time that fleet maintenance managers gather to discuss the latest technical and shop trends, so naturally the vendors that attend the event and hold press conferences to introduce new products and make lofty announcements normally reach out to that audience. However, I found that this year’s event earlier this month in Nashville also made a few headlines of interest to owner-operators and small fleets looking to ...

Read More

Changing Gear: Updates from Circle R, Air-Weigh, Road Choice, Meritor, ATDynamics

Sounds like these two companies could make hay at making weight. Circle R Side Dump has made Air-Weigh’s digital QuickLoad Trailer Scale standard on its 37-foot SuperCube high-capacity side dump trailer. The QuickLoad Trailer Scale includes molded electrical and air connections, and when displaying weight, the bright backlit transflective display features large numbers which are easily readable from a distance. QuickLoad features an icon-based touchscreen set-up and programmable warning weight and alarm weight LEDs that ...

Read More