Stricter EOBR Mandate
Single audit can trigger electronic recorder order
By Avery Vise
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has decided to mandate electronic onboard recorders for motor carriers shown in a single compliance review to be in serious noncompliance with any major hours-of-service regulation.
The final rule takes effect June 4, 2012, giving EOBR suppliers time to adjust to the new performance standards that also were adopted in the final rule.
The rule, published April 5 in the Federal Register, is significantly more stringent than the regulation proposed in January 2007, when the agency planned to mandate EOBRs based on a review of HOS records during each of two compliance reviews conducted within a two-year period.
FMCSA estimates nearly 5,700 interstate carriers will use EOBRs after the final rule’s first year. In January 2007, the agency estimated that approximately 930 motor carriers would be subject to mandatory EOBRs. Carriers that would be subject to mandatory EOBRs if the rule were in place today have 40 percent higher crash rates than the general motor carrier population, FMCSA says.
FMCSA also elaborated somewhat on its plans to conduct another rulemaking to expand the scope of mandatory EOBRs due to “the potential safety risks associated with some motor carrier categories, such as passenger carriers, hazardous materials transporters and new motor carriers seeking authority to conduct interstate operations in the United States.” The agency said it could not adopt a broader mandate in the final rule because the scope of the rulemaking was limited to a compliance-based regulatory approach implemented through a remedial directive.
Under the final rule, published April 5, if an audit finds a motor carrier has a violation rate of 10 percent or greater for any major HOS regulation listed in a new Appendix C to part 385, FMCSA will require the carrier to install EOBRs in all of its commercial motor vehicles — regardless of when they were built — and to use the devices for HOS recordkeeping for two years.
The new EOBR performance standards replace the current standards that have been in place for more than 20 years for what previously have been called automatic onboard recording devices (AOBRDs). The new standards will be required for EOBRs installed in CMVs manufactured on or after June 4, 2012, regardless of whether those EOBRs are installed voluntarily or subject to an FMCSA remedial directive.
Carriers using recorders voluntarily may continue to use already-installed devices meeting the previous AOBRD standards for the remainder of the vehicle life. Carriers that are required to install recording devices as a result of poor HOS compliance will be allowed to use AOBRDs if they already have vehicles equipped with them and can establish that their drivers understand how to use them.
FMCSA also finalized its plans to offer incentives to carriers to install EOBRs voluntarily. The agency revised its compliance review procedures to permit examination of a random sample — as opposed to a focused sample — of drivers’ records of duty status after the initial sampling and provided partial relief from HOS supporting documents requirements under certain conditions.
FMCSA estimates the rule’s cost at $139 million a year and safety-related benefits at $182 million for a net benefit of $43 million annually. In so doing, the agency said it assumed carriers would use the least expensive device that satisfies the requirements of the rule — the RouteTracker sold by Turnpike Global and using the Sprint network.
In addition, FMCSA’s cost estimates take into account carriers that already use AOBRDs that can still be used as long as the truck is in service and fleet management systems that would allow compliance just by activating hardware or software functions on existing devices. The agency also accounted for the savings carriers would realize because they no longer would have to purchase and process paper logs.
The new EOBR performance standards capitalize on great leaps in technology since the AOBRD standards were adopted in 1988 — the same year, coincidentally, that Qualcomm introduced OmniTracs. So satellite positioning was practically unheard of in trucking when FHWA adopted Part 395.15. Unlike the AOBRD standard, therefore, EOBRs must automatically record the CMV’s location at each change of duty status and at intervals while the CMV is in motion. EOBRs also must conform to specific information-processing standards to ensure the data security and integrity. Drivers will be able to add information to the EOBR record, but the recorder will maintain the original information and track annotations.
In 2007, FMCSA proposed to allow carriers to use recorders that were not synchronized to the vehicle’s engine, but in the end the agency opted to maintain that existing requirement in order to ensure the accuracy of electronic records of duty status. Other changes to the proposal in response to comments include:
• Increasing from 1 minute to 60 minutes the time interval for recording the location of a CMV in motion;
• Making the recording of state-line crossings optional;
• Removing the requirement to record a driver’s acknowledgement of advisory messages;
• Reducing the amount of time a CMV is stationary before the EOBR defaults to on-duty not driving status;
• Removing the daily ceiling on EOBR accumulated time inaccuracy or “time drift”;
• Revising the requirements to allow a driver to enter annotations to denote use of a CMV as a personal conveyance and for yard movement;
• Removing the requirement for an EOBR to display HOS data in a graph-grid format;
• Specifying information technology security and integrity requirements; and
• Adding and strengthening provisions concerning driver and motor carrier responsibilities relating to accurate EOBR records and support system performance.
For a copy of the final rule prior to its publication, visit www.regulations.gov and search FMCSA-2004-18940.
FYI News Briefs
Weak 2010 Forecast for Truck Sales
FTR Associates said it continues to forecast Class 8 demand for 2010 and 2011 at the same levels forecast by the firm one year ago. FTR’s March North American Commercial Truck and Trailer Outlook Report predicts 2010 demand for Class 8 vehicles will increase just 3 percent over 2009. The company projects this will be followed by improvement of more than 50 percent in 2011.
NAFTA Trade Increase in January
Trade using surface transportation between the United States and its North American Free Trade Agreement partners Canada and Mexico was 19.5 percent higher in January 2010 than in January 2009, reaching $56.7 billion, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics of the U.S. Department of Transportation. The 19.5 percent increase was the largest year-over-year rise since March 2000.
More Drivers Buckling Up
New data from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration show 74 percent of commercial truck and bus drivers now are using their safety belts. Only 65 percent of drivers were using safety belts in 2007. A total of 20,818 commercial drivers operating medium- to heavy-duty trucks and buses were observed at 827 roadside sites nationwide for the survey.
February Tonnage Index Up
Truck tonnage rose 2.6 percent in February from a year ago, the third consecutive year-over-year gain.
ATA’s seasonally adjusted for-hire truck tonnage index, however, slipped 0.5 percent from January to February. The dip followed a revised 1.9 percent month-to-month gain for January that had originally been reported at 3.1 percent.
Groups Lobby for Jason’s Law
Trucking organizations are encouraging Congress to pass “Jason’s Law” to address shortages in safe parking for commercial motor vehicles on the National Highway System. Named after slain New York truck driver Jason Rivenburg, the legislation would allow the U.S. Department of Transportation — in cooperation with state, regional and local governments — to allocate funds for new safe rest areas and the expansion and improvement of existing safe rest areas that serve the highway system.
ATA Seeks Road Team Nominations
The American Trucking Associations announced it is seeking nominations for professional truck drivers to serve on the 2011-2012 America’s Road Team. Every two years, ATA searches for professional truck drivers, both men and women, who are willing to take time away from the cab to serve as a Road Team Captain. To nominate a professional truck driver, read the eligibility requirements and fill out the nomination form found at www.americasroadteam.com.
Rotella Road Show Tour
The Rotella Road Show started its 2010 tour March 25 and will include stops June 10-12 at the Shell Rotella SuperRigs in Lexington, Va.; July 8-9 at Truckers Jamboree in Walcott, Iowa; and Aug. 19-21 at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas. For more information on the tour, visit www.Rotella.com.
Iowa 80 Launches Sweepstakes
Iowa 80 Group, based in Walcott, Iowa, unveiled its Music and Motor Sweepstakes, awarding one driver with a prize package that includes being road manager for a day during the July 8 Tracy Lawrence concert at this year’s Walcott Truckers Jamboree and two backstage passes for the concert. The winner will also receive two tickets to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race in Chicago, Ill., on July 10. Official rules are available online at http://iowa80truckstop.com/trucker-jamboree/win.
Truckers Win NASCAR Rides
Three truckers and a team bus driver have won individual $500 awards to drive a Richard Petty car on a race course or ride in a NASCAR-style stock car driven by a professional instructor. The contest was part of Alliance Parts’ promotion of its 2009 website redesign. Winners include Pat Collins of Brenham, Texas; Reggie Craven of Toast, N.C.; Jerry Montague of Alton, Ill.; and Dean O’Ferrell Jr. of Theodore, Ala.
Reilly Elected To Trucker Buddy Board
Randall-Reilly Publishing Co. CEO Mike Reilly has been elected to Trucker Buddy’s board of directors. Reilly oversees the Tuscaloosa, Ala.-based media company, which serves the trucking and construction markets. It produces trucking related magazines Truckers News, Overdrive, CCJ, Custom Rigs and the website www.truckersnews.com, among other media products.
Volvo Tour Kicks Off
The 2010 Driving Success Tour will begin at Volvo Truck North America dealerships in the West in this month and spread across the nation. Fleet managers and owner-operators can test drive a Volvo VN780 outfitted with the most advanced production technology, including an EPA 2010-certified Volvo D13 engine with a Volvo I-Shift automated manual transmission as it visits Volvo Truck dealerships across North America. More information will be available at www.volvotour2010.com.
In our April 2010 cover story, “Trucker Network,” the owner of the Truck Drivers News website should have been identified as Jason Cox. He also should have been identified as this in our table of contents. His correct web address is www.truckdriversnews.com. We regret the error and are happy to set the record straight.
Parts of CSA 2010 Rollout Delayed
By Avery Vise
Full implementation of Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010 will be delayed to 2011, the American Trucking Associations said April 1.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s original plan was to begin implementing the program in July 2010 and to have all states fully functional by December. ATA says it now appears that although certain phases of CSA 2010 will begin this fall, full implementation will not be completed until spring or summer 2011.
FMCSA spokesperson Candice Tolliver says that as part of the agency’s commitment to launch an effective CSA 2010 program, FMCSA is in the process of incorporating feedback received from the CSA 2010 pilot states. Tolliver says FMCSA expects to issue a Federal Register notice within weeks that will address the CSA 2010 implementation timeline and data preview for commercial motor carriers.
As announced on ATA’s free CSA 2010 webinar in April, FMCSA began providing motor carriers with a limited preview of their CSA 2010 data April 12. While this preview includes carriers’ safety events (roadside inspections and crashes) and resulting violations, it does not reflect carriers’ scores in each of the Behavioral Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs) that will be part of CSA 2010.
FMCSA also announced that beginning Nov. 30, motor carriers and the general public will be able to view more complete CSA 2010 Carrier Safety Measurement System (CSMS) data, including scores in each of the BASICs, according to ATA. However, as previously indicated, the public will not be able to view the Crash Indicator scores because of concerns about the quality of the underlying crash data.
ATA also says FMCSA on Nov. 30 will begin issuing warning letters to deficient carriers, but will not utilize the full range of CSA 2010 interventions. Instead, FMCSA will use the CSMS instead of Safestat to prioritize carriers for standard onsite compliance reviews.
Peterbilt Launches Smartway-Certified Model 587
Peterbilt Motors Co. March 24 introduced the new on-highway, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency SmartWay-certified Model 587.
The company said as an evolution of its Model 387, the Model 587 is Peterbilt’s new standard for on-highway fuel efficiency, technology and serviceability.
Available with two sleepers or in a day-cab configuration, the Model 587 is designed for long-haul fleets, driving teams and owner-operators.
The Model 587 day cab captures the fuel efficiency and aerodynamic styling of the Model 587 and transforms it into a day-cab configuration for tanker and regional haul applications. The cab interior has swivel seats, dual arm rests and a 30-inch walk-through space.
According to the company, the new Model 587 features:
• Aerodynamics — A 2.5 percent decrease in drag that results in a 1.25 percent fuel efficiency gain.
• Better overall visibility — The Model 587 provides a more-than-2-foot improvement in the driver’s forward line of sight.
• Increased maneuverability — The newly designed steering geometry improves curb-to-curb maneuverability by 12 percent.
• Improved forward lighting — An increase of 35 percent brightness is achieved with the Model 587’s standard halogen lights. A projector module design is utilized for low-beam lighting to provide enhanced road coverage and consistent light distribution. Complex reflector technology is used for high-beam lighting to extend the light pattern for down-road visibility. Optional High Intensity Discharge lights provide a more-than-200-percent increase in brightness.
• Battery/tool box — A new gas spring design facilitates opening and closing and includes a T-handle lock.
• Safety — The Model 587 comes equipped with standard front Bendix air disc brakes.
• Serviceability — The hood features tilt-assist to facilitate hood opening and closing as well as an advanced anti-blow down protection device to help protect technicians.
The Model 587 features the new 2010 Paccar MX engine rated at 380-485 horsepower or the 2010 Cummins ISX15 available with a horsepower range of 400 to 600. Fuller manual and automatic transmissions are available with axle ratings up to 46,000 lbs.
Peterbilt also announced the availability of the new Paccar MX engine for Class 8 vehicles. Beginning in summer 2010, the new engine will be available in Peterbilt Models 587, 388, 386, 384, 367 and 365. The engine is available with torque outputs up to 1,750 lb.-ft. with a displacement of 12.9 liters. The engine uses selective catalytic reduction in combination with exhaust gas recirculation to meet the EPA 2010 diesel engine emissions regulations.
In other news, Peterbilt:
• Unveiled the Model 382 day cab for regional and shorter haul applications. It is powered by a new 2010 Cummins ISL9 with ratings range from 345-380 hp with a maximum 1,300 lb.-ft. of torque.
• Announced the availability of the new Paccar in-dash system, SmartNav, which features the navigation, vehicle diagnostics, communication and entertainment technologies in a touch-screen-operated unit customized for the trucking industry. SmartNav will be standard on all Peterbilt Premium level interiors, and as an available option on other interiors beginning in September.
• Will offer the Bendix Wingman Active Cruise with Braking, a radar-based collision mitigation technology, on the Models 389, 388, 587, 386, 384, 382, 367 and 365.
• Announced the availability of an extended day cab for its complete lineup of Class 8 vehicles. The extended day cab option adds 10 inches to its standard cab length. Additionally, the extended cab offers 2.5 inches of additional seat travel behind the wheel, 92 percent more seat room to recline and 4.5 cubic feet of storage behind the driver’s seat.
• Announced immediate availability of the Fuller UltraShift PLUS Linehaul Active Shifting (Vocational Construction Series and Vocational Multipurpose Series) transmissions for Peterbilt Models 389, 388, 587, 386, 384, 367 and 365.
• Launched its SmartSound package, designed to reduce cab noise and driver fatigue.
• Announced the limited production availability of the Model 320 Hybrid Class 8 refuse truck.
• Announced full production capability of natural gas powered Peterbilt truck Models 384, 365 and 320.
• Announced an All-Wheel Drive option available for Models 337 and 348.
Kenworth Unveils T700
Expanding its lineup of aerodynamic Class 8 trucks, Kenworth Truck Co. March 24 introduced the T700.
In addition to the new over-the-road model, Kenworth also introduced the 2010 Paccar MX engine for its Class 8 models and the Kenworth NavPlus, a navigational and entertainment system for Class 5-8 trucks.
Designed through the extensive use of computational fluid dynamics, the T700 features aerodynamics optimized by Kenworth engineers. “As a result, the T700 has the lowest aerodynamic drag of any Kenworth truck in our history,” said Preston Feight, Kenworth chief engineer. The T700 has received U.S. Environmental Protection Agency SmartWay certification.
Exterior features include a corrosion-resistant aluminum wire mesh grille that provides protection for cooling system components. The aerodynamic hood consists of three pieces to enhance repair, while its ball-and-socket closing system is designed to ensure proper hood placement. To help maximize airflow, the aerodynamic high roof has flush-mounted LED marker lights and no exterior sunvisor.
The aerodynamic bumper and chassis fairings are made of a material that helps minimize fading and has improved impact resistance. Thermal Plastic Olefin is UV-stable in nonpainted form, which allows Kenworth to offer the T700 bumper and fairings with painted and nonpainted options. The light texture on the bumper and fairings also is designed specifically to reduce the visibility of small scrapes and scuffs.
The T700 provides standard Halogen projector headlamps and optional Xenon headlamps that offer a three-fold and 11-fold increase, respectively, in bulb life compared to conventional sealed beams. LED turn signals are used.
On the inside, the T700 sleeper offers an 8-foot cathedral ceiling, with adequate space to sit upright in the upper bunk of the standard 75-inch Aerodyne sleeper. The sleeper includes a 42-inch liftable lower bunk, pull-out desk, full-length door-enclosed hanging closet, 60-plus cubic feet of storage choices and Xenon incandescent lighting bulbs. Among optional amenities are a drawer-style refrigerator and an adjustable flat-panel TV mount to secure and view up to a 16-inch screen.
The major interior feature is the new PC-based in-dash Kenworth NavPlus system, an eight-gigabyte memory system that includes truck-specific navigation, vehicle data, hands-free phoning, audio controls, camera inputs, roadside assistance and optional Internet access. Kenworth NavPlus is standard on T700 premium trim offerings and optional for all other trim levels.
Developed on the Windows Embedded Automotive Software platform, Kenworth NavPlus can be updated and its features and functionality set expanded over time.
Six virtual gauges provide current information on truck operation. Oil temperature, transmission temperature, manifold boost, current and average fuel economy, diesel particulate filter status and fuel pressure come preloaded. NavPlus uses the commercial vehicle J1939 SAE standard for communication, full vehicle monitoring (including hybrid system status) and diagnostics. The system is fully compatible with the Kenworth Electronic Service Analyst, a computer-based diagnostics tool that simplifies troubleshooting.
Kenworth NavPlus offers truck-optimized navigation routes from Garmin customized to a specific truck and its load. The system effectively navigates routes based on truck type, load, height, weight, length and hazardous load restrictions information entered by the fleet or driver. Drivers receive voice-prompted turn-by-turn directions, up-to-the-minute alerts on traffic conditions, plus a comprehensive guide to Kenworth dealerships in the United States and Canada.
Leading Kenworth’s engine lineup is the new 2010 Paccar MX engine on Kenworth Class 8 trucks. The engine is available with a horsepower range of 380 to 485 hp and torque outputs up to 1,750 lb-ft.
Arrow Truck Sales Names Back On The Road Winner
Robert Snyder’s run of tough times ended March 26 when he was announced as winner of Arrow’s Back On The Road 2010 campaign, presented by Volvo Trucks North America.
Snyder, of Dunnellon, Fla., receives a 2007 Volvo VNL 670, courtesy of Volvo, a one-year work agreement with Heartland Express and other products and services.
Snyder’s selflessness and devotion to his family was not wasted on his teenage daughter, Savannah Snyder, who nominated him for Back On The Road.
“My dad isn’t like most fathers, husbands, or even like most guys who are going through hard times,” wrote Savannah in her nomination. “He constantly puts everybody before himself. Money is tight and our family is struggling. I want the weight lifted off of my dad’s shoulders; I want him to smile. Not those fake smiles. The smile we haven’t seen in years.”
Financial problems began for Snyder, an 18-year driving veteran, when fuel became expensive and later with the onset of the recession. He became an owner-operator seven years ago, but was leased to a fleet that failed to pass along an adequate fuel surcharge.
As loads became scarce the last few years, Snyder found his career no longer provided for him, his daughter and his wife, who is unable to work because she is disabled.
The family’s car was repossessed last year, leaving them to get by only with a Chevy Tahoe that belongs to Snyder’s son, Jonathan. One breakdown away from losing his livelihood, Snyder has continued driving his 14-year-old truck with more than 1.5 million miles.
“Driving is my life,” Snyder said. “I know receiving the 2007 Volvo VNL 670 from Volvo Trucks North America and job with Heartland will help me provide my family with the life they deserve.”
He said he looks forward to spending more time at home, allowing him to fish with Savannah and see her play tennis matches for her high school team. “Now he’ll be able to watch more games,” Savannah says of her father, a Florida Gators fan.
Country music star Aaron Tippin and Sirius XM host Dave Nemo joined program sponsors to announce the winner during a trucking industry event in Louisville, Ky.
June 11-13, East Coast Large Cars Annual Truck Show, New Jersey State Fairgrounds, Augusta, N.J. Admission $5, participant fee $30. www. eclcannualtruckshow.com.
June 17-19, Great West Truck Show, Las Vegas Convention Center. (888) 349-4287, www.greatwesttruckshow.com.
August 13-15, Great Salt Lake Kidney Kamp Truck Show at Thanksgiving Point, Take Lehi Exit 284 from I-15 30 minutes South of Salt Lake City. General & vendor info: Jeff England (800) 877-1320. Judging & Classes: Doyle Elison (208) 251-0987.
Aug. 26-28, Great American Trucking Show, Dallas Convention Center. (888) 349-4287, www.gatsonline.com
If you have a trucking event you would like to publicize, send information six weeks in advance to Truckers News Events Calendar, P.O. Box 3187, Tuscaloosa, AL 35403, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Truckers News makes no guarantee that information submitted will be published.
Oregon Driver Tapped As Highway Hero
An Oregon truck driver who helped save the lives of three people involved in a fiery traffic accident, including a driver who was trapped in his burning vehicle, was selected as the 2009 Goodyear North America Highway Hero.
Junichi Shimizu, of Gladstone, Ore., accepted the award and a $10,000 U.S. Savings Bond March 25 in Louisville, Ky. Shimizu was selected along with three other truck drivers as finalists.
On Feb. 20, 2009, Shimizu, a driver for Chipman Relocations, was driving on Highway 12 near Fairfield, Calif., and witnessed a vehicle cross the centerline and strike an automobile in front of his truck. The auto spun into the ditch, and the other vehicle then hit his tractor twice before bursting into flames.
Shimizu called for assistance and headed to the vehicle that was in flames. He, along with another motorist, freed the driver and carried him to safety. Running to the other car, Shimizu saw the driver was deceased, but two injured passengers were inside. After the passengers were removed, Shimizu used his fire extinguisher to keep the blaze under control until the local fire department arrived.
Shimizu also was recognized by the California Highway Patrol with a certificate of commendation for his role in the lifesaving effort associated with the 2009 crash.
The other finalists: George Lantzy, of Turtle Creek, Pa., a driver for Fubar Trucking, maneuvered his tractor-trailer alongside a car driven by a woman who had suffered a heart attack. He allowed the car to contact the rear of his trailer, creating an impromptu roadblock and easing the woman’s car away from a potential accident.
Stephen Page, of Gloucester, Mass., a driver for Pit Bull Trucking, spotted a fire in the woods alongside an interstate. He and another driver found the burning wreckage of a double-unit rig that gone nearly 1,500 feet off the highway. With the help of two more truckers, the injured driver was removed before the tractor and trailer were destroyed by fire.
Jesse Lee Seal, of Alma, Ark., a driver for PDP Unlimited, was driving his 18-wheeler when another truck ahead of him abruptly went off the highway and caught fire. Seal grabbed his fire extinguisher and extinguished a burning fuel tank. At the disabled truck, he put out a fire that was burning the driver’s legs and removed the injured driver.
To nominate a professional truck driver for the 2010 Goodyear Highway Hero Award, go to www.goodyear.com/truck/news/hero.html.
Diesel Price Watch
Prices are the average, self serve, cash at truckstops March 1-31, 2010*
NEW HAMPSHIRE 2.89
NEW JERSEY 2.82
NEW MEXICO 2.90
NEW YORK 3.11
NORTH CAROLINA 2.86
NORTH DAKOTA 2.92
RHODE ISLAND 2.97
SOUTH CAROLINA 2.75
SOUTH DAKOTA 2.81
WEST VIRGINIA 2.97
Navistar Showcases More Efficient ProStar
Navistar Inc. March 24 introduced the new International ProStar+, which has improved aerodynamics and a nearly 1,300-pound weight reduction from the existing ProStar model.
“Along with improving the truck’s aerodynamics and reducing its curb weight, we’ve made a number of driver friendly interior improvements and integrated a no-hassle emissions solution,” said Jim Hebe, Navistar senior vice president, North American sales operations.
The truck is powered by the Advanced EGR MaxxForce 11 and MaxxForce 13. With MaxxForce Advanced EGR, customers won’t have the worry or inconvenience of finding or filling liquid urea.
The ProStar+ has a re-engineered overhead console that allows for easier reach and even includes an in-cab paper towel dispenser. Storage has been improved, with the Hi-Rise model providing a 150 percent increase in captured storage and a 50 percent improvement in total storage.
The ProStar+ cab noise levels have been reduced 9 percent compared to last year’s ProStar. Other driver satisfaction improvements include a 20-pound force reduction in clutch feel, providing easier shifting and less fatigue.
The ProStar+ offers new aerodynamic enhancements, including optional full-length chassis skirts for sleepers as well as a new cab roof air fairing for daycab models. ProStar+ also includes many new powertrain features that improve fuel economy, including a clutched air compressor, variable speed fan, low viscosity engine oil and fuel-efficient rear axle lubricant.
The ProStar+ is 700 pounds lighter than its predecessor. When you include the MaxxForce 13, with its lightweight compacted graphite iron cylinder block and MaxxForce Advanced EGR emissions technology, the ProStar+ has an additional 600-pound advantage versus the leading 15-liter engine, providing an extra 1,300 pounds of added payload capacity and fuel economy benefits.
Rand McNally Announces New GPS Device
Rand McNally has launched the IntelliRoute TND 700, a truck GPS device with a 7-inch state-of-the-art high-definition screen and enhanced software features.
The company says the new device provides greater mapping detail at each zoom level, a larger viewing screen, additional Trucker Business Tools, enhanced features and 363,000 data updates, when compared with the IntelliRoute TND 500.
Rand McNally says the IntelliRoute TND 700, like the IntelliRoute TND 500 unit launched last year, was developed from the ground up for professional truck drivers. Tested extensively by professional drivers on the road, the IntelliRoute TND 700 unit includes louder-than-normal speakers, custom-designed mounting features such as an oversized suction cup and extra-long cable, and a suite of specialized Trucker Business Tools to assist drivers in managing the business aspects of trucking, including:
• Notepad — Drivers can type out a quick note such as “Call Dock with ETA 15 miles out” or “Good parking availability”;
• Calendar — Drivers can reference the day, week and month with a built-in calendar.
These features are used with an oversized stylus provided with the unit to extend reach in the cab. Enhancements to current features include access to points of interest such as truckstops, rest areas and retail locations, with just a few clicks. Advance notification now is available for Norpass and Prepass availability at weigh stations. Border crossings can be preset to prohibit routing across country borders. Multistop routing has been improved to include on-the-fly and additional stopovers.
The IntelliRoute TND 700 has a suggested retail price of $499 and will be available at truckstops nationwide.
Mack Intros mDrive Transmission
Mack Trucks introduced its new Mack mDrive automated manual transmission on March 25.
The company said the mDrive AMT gives customers up to 1.5 percent improved fuel efficiency, better driveability and enhanced driver satisfaction by automating gear shifting, while improving safety.
Mack also introduced Econodyne engine ratings to maximize fuel economy; its new C150/151 family of rear axles, with new gear ratios tailored for the MP engine series; a new cab-mounted exhaust for the Granite model; and the standard fitment of Bendix ES (extended service) foundation brakes.
Designed and engineered to work exclusively with MP engines, mDrive will be available on Pinnacle model highway tractors powered by MP7 and MP8 engines. Customers may order the new mDrive now, with deliveries to begin early in the fourth quarter of this year.
“mDrive boldly expands Mack’s leadership in heavy-duty powertrains,” said Kevin Flaherty, Mack senior vice president of sales and marketing. “To be considered Pedigreed, the engine, transmission and axles must be all Mack, providing performance and fuel economy second to none.”
The mDrive has 12 forward and four reverse speeds, and is available in direct drive or overdrive. It has a torque capacity of 1920 lb.-ft. and a dry weight of 615 pounds. The shifting strategy for mDrive is optimized for North American highway conditions and is based on cruise speeds of 1350 to 1450 rpm for best performance and fuel economy.
The driver interacts with mDrive through a dash-mounted control pad containing manual input and hold shift buttons, with an integral display indicating the current gear. In addition, the Mack Co-Pilot driver display in the center of the instrument panel provides the driver with transmission status, including the number of upshifts or downshifts available, the current gear and the current operating mode (such as Economy or Performance). The transmission’s Economy mode maximizes time spent in top gear, while Performance mode maximizes gradeability.
mDrive is available in two versions: Fleet and Premium. The Fleet package includes basic shifter controls, with Grade Gripper and MackCellerator as options. The Premium package consists of a shifter with more features for greater driver control, including manual shift inputs, performance and economy modes, plus Grade Gripper and MackCellerator. mDrive is available with two optional rear-mounted power takeoffs.