Brake system corrosion prompts massive Daimler recall

Trucking news and briefs for Monday, Nov. 7, 2022:

Brakes system issue prompts massive Daimler recall

More than 200,000 trucks are being recalled by Daimler Trucks North America for an issue that could cause uneven braking during an adaptive cruise control (ACC) braking event, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration documents.

The recall affects approximately 218,147 units of various models, including the model year 2017-2023 Freightliner Cascadia, 2020-2022 Freightliner Business Class M2, 2021 Freightliner 108SD, 2022 Freightliner 114SD, 2020-2023 Western Star 49X, 2021-2023 Western Star 47X and 2021-2022 Western Star 57X.

Daimler said “chemical corrosion could affect the functionality of the brake modulator valve, which during an ACC braking event may result in full system pressure applied to one wheel end." In such an event, full brake system pressure on one wheel end could cause a sudden change in direction due to uneven braking on the front axle. Daimler noted that regular service brakes are unaffected. 

Daimler issued a recall in July 2020 of more than 160,000 Cascadia models due to possible corrosion of unpainted brake modulator valves with a remedy of painted valves. In September, DTNA received two reports from one customer of vehicle pull during an ACC event with the painted valves. The dealer was able to isolate the failure to the painted steer single modulator valve after repairing the vehicle, DTNA said.

During an investigation, Daimler analyzed the failed parts and found debris associated with corrosion, and also conducted a warranty search  and was unable to find claims alleging brake pull events caused by valve corrosion. The company also worked with customers in heavy-salt regions of the U.S. and Canada to randomly select parts to inspect. Corrosion tests found varying degrees of corrosion build-up on the valves installed on trucks operating in the aggressive salt belt region of Southeast Canada, as well as the Northeastern U.S.

Affected vehicles will receive an anodized valve. Daimler said repairs will be released in phases based on locations of the vehicle, and repairs will be performed by DTNA-authorized service facilities. Daimler will also be offering a refund for owner-paid repairs covered by this recall if the repair was performed prior to the date indicated in the reimbursement plan, which will be posted with owner notification letters.

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Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed Dec. 30, 2022. Owners can contact DTNA customer service at 800-547-0712 with recall number FL-958. NHTSA’s recall number is 22V-817. NHTSA said this recall expands and replaces the previous recall from 2020, and all vehicles previously repaired under that recall will need to have the new remedy performed.

[Related: 76K Petes, KWs recalled over freezing digital dash displays]

Ascend Trucking boosts owner-op compensation package

Ascend Trucking, a dry van full truckload carrier based in Nashville, recently announced a pay increase for its lease and lease-to-purchase operators.

Effective Oct. 21, lease operators saw a 20% compensation increase, as rates increased from $1.16 to $1.40 per loaded mile and from $1.07 to $1.15 per empty mile.

Lease-to-purchase operators saw a 29% increase, growing to $1.50 per loaded mile and $1.15 per empty mile.

“Ascend Trucking does not compensate with percentage pay to protect our business partners from volatility within the spot market,” the company said. “Offering compensation per mile allows contractors increased financial stability.”

Ascend Trucking’s lease and lease-to-purchase operators will also receive benefits beyond a compensation increase, the company said, including flexible scheduling, access to sustainable weekly lease payments, no forced dispatch, fuel and parts discounts, along with 100% no-touch freight.

Ascend was formed earlier this year by the merger and integration of Milan Supply Chain Solutions and J&B Services.

Chester’s Chicken, Love’s offering Thanksgiving meal to truckers

Chester’s Chicken, in collaboration with Love’s Travel Stops, is bringing back Truckersgiving, the annual holiday season celebration that recognizes and appreciates professional drivers for their service.

One week before Thanksgiving -- on Thursday, Nov. 17 -- Chester’s and Love’s will honor truck drivers with a free Super Snack meal for the first 100 guests at each Chester’s located at Love’s. Additionally, the first 20 drivers who show their commercial driver’s license at each location will also receive a custom Chester’s trucker hat. 

“The role of professional drivers remains critical -- especially during the holiday season -- with the average driver clocking 60 hours of driving in one week,” said William Culpepper, vice president of marketing, Chester’s Chicken. “We launched the first Truckersgiving with Love’s last year, and it was so well received that we had to bring it back in an even bigger way. Truck drivers are some of our best and most loyal customers, so offering this free meal to drivers across the country is our way of saying thank you for their important work.” 

The Super Snack meal includes two pieces of Chester’s fried chicken -- a leg and a thigh -- and a side of potato wedges.

There are 141 Chester’s restaurants found within Love’s, spanning 34 states.  

“Professional drivers can’t be thanked enough for their hours on the road,” said Joe Cotton, vice president of restaurant services, Love’s. “Truckersgiving is a new favorite tradition we’re proud to host with Chester’s Chicken to celebrate our professional truck driver customers and kick off the holiday season.”

Truck drivers can claim the Truckersgiving Super Snack meal by stopping by any Chester’s restaurant within a Love’s during operating hours on Thursday, Nov. 17, and scanning the barcode on their Love’s Connect App or by swiping their My Love Rewards card.