International A26 engine-related recall: Potential connecting-rod issues in 7,000 trucks

Trucking news and briefs for Monday, Sept. 26, 2022:

Engine issue prompts recall of nearly 7,000 International trucks

A problem with International A26 engines has led Navistar to  recall approximately 6,883 model year 2018-2021 International HV, 2018-2020 International HX, 2018-2019 International LT and International RH trucks, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration documents.

In the affected trucks, the connecting rod wrist pin can crack, resulting in a connecting rod failure, which could cause an engine shutdown.

Dealers will install new knock detection software to warn the driver prior to engine connecting rod failure, and replace connecting rods as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed Nov. 14. Owners can contact Navistar customer service at 800-448-7825 with recall number 22518. NHTSA’s recall number is 22V-691.

[Related: Which truck models hold their value best? Answers in Classes 3-8]

Nikola recalls battery-electric trucks for seat belt issue

Nikola Corporation, a manufacturer of battery-electric and hydrogen fuel-cell trucks, is recalling 93 of its model year 2022 Nikola Tre battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) because the seat belt shoulder anchorage assembly may have been improperly installed, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration documents.

In July, a Nikola employee doing a pre-delivery inspection at a dealer found that the shoulder anchorage on the passenger side seat belt disconnected from the B pillar. The issue was reported to Iveco, which manufactures the Nikola Tre cabs.

Iveco informed Nikola in August and September that the final torque on the seat belt anchorage was not installed to spec, is susceptible to cross-threading and that the condition could exist in other trucks.

After further investigation, Nikola decided the original design of the seat belt shoulder anchorage could be improved and issued the recall.

Dealers will replace the seat belt anchor assembly and adjuster, free of charge. Owners may contact Nikola customer service at 888-429-9216 with recall number 22VDC07007R. NHTSA’s recall number is 22V-689.

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[Related: Nikola founder charged with fraud]

Trucker Path partnership offers reduced-rate health, life insurance for truckers

Trucker Path SASid insuranceTrucker Path has partnered with SASid to offer health and life insurance to Trucker Path app users.Trucker Path and Smart and Simple Insurance Development (SASid), a nationally licensed insurance agency, last week announced a partnership that will bring reduced-rate health and life insurance options to Trucker Path’s app.  

“Our partnership with SASid is another way that Trucker Path is focusing on making the lives of the nation’s truck drivers easier,” said Chris Oliver, CMO at Trucker Path. “These new insurance and health service offerings for Trucker Path app users continue our commitment to looking at things from a driver’s perspective and finding new ways to help enhance their quality of life.”

Through its partnership with SASid, Trucker Path is offering app users access to a range of insurance options at reduced rates. The programs from major insurance carriers include Short Term Health, Major Medical, Accident, Dental, Vision, Telehealth, Prescription Drugs and Life Insurance. Support is available through a call center dedicated to Trucker Path users. Those participating in any of the health plans receive a free drug discount card.

Users receive the first two months of Telehealth service free of charge. Using a smartphone, tablet or computer, participants can attend appointments with a health care practitioner, a significant benefit for truck drivers who are often on the road and away from home for long periods of time.

“As truck drivers continue to support our economy, having the ideal health, life and other types of insurance at an affordable price is essential,” said Greg Hellmich, vice president of insurance at SASid. “In addition to offering Trucker Path users a complete line of products and services, we will provide access to efficient, user-friendly tools so they can build insurance plans that are specific to their needs.”

[Related: Health-insurance savings possible for many more owner-ops after legislation]

Bridgestone expanding Bandag retread facility

Bridgestone Americas is investing $60 million to expand its Bridgestone Bandag manufacturing plant in Abilene, Texas.

The 50,000-square-foot expansion of the Abilene plant is aimed at the growing demand for the company’s tread-rubber products, driven by the rapid growth of its retread business, the company said.

The expansion includes an immediate increase in operational activity by running on six- and seven-day production schedules, as well as the construction of new mixing operations at the facility. The mixing operations are expected to be completed and in operation by January 2025. 

The investment in the facility and the additional days of operations will increase the plant’s output by 16%, the company added.

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