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Bendix launches retrofit upgrade program for advanced driver assistance technologies

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Bendix launches retrofit upgrade program for advanced driver assistance technologies
Systems currently available in the robust Bendix Retrofit Upgrade Program include the Bendix Wingman Fusion driver assistance system. Wingman Fusion combines and cross-checks information from sensors that are working together – not just in parallel – along with powerful computing. The combined technologies – radar, camera, and brakes – create a highly detailed and accurate data picture, delivering multiple benefits, including braking on stationary vehicles. Note: There is no image projected onto the vehicle windshield. This image is a simulated display for demonstration purposes only. (Courtesy: BENDIX COMMERCIAL VEHICLE SYSTEMS)

ELYRIA, Ohio — Driver-tested and fleet-proven, Bendix’s leading-edge commercial vehicle safety technologies are for the first time available through a retrofit upgrade program.

At present, Bendix offers retrofits of six safety technologies. In some cases, retrofitting requires the vehicle to come factory equipped with Bendix® ESP® full-stability technology:

  • Bendix Wingman Fusion
  • Bendix Wingman Advanced – A Collision Mitigation Technology
  • AutoVue 4G Lane Departure Warning (LDW) System by Bendix CVS
  • Bendix BlindSpotter Side Object Detection System
  • Bendix VORAD (Vehicle On-Board Radar) VS-500
  • SafetyDirect by Bendix CVS

A slate of additional technologies, including the Bendix Intellipark Electronic Parking Brake, will continue to expand the scope of the program throughout 2019.

A unique, first-of-its-kind program that enables professional installation of Bendix advanced safety technologies to upgrade vehicles that did not come factory-equipped, the Bendix Retrofit Upgrade Program features two key elements: a comprehensive website that enables vehicle operators to determine retrofit opportunities per vehicle, and an escalating network of Bendix Authorized Retrofit Dealers and Distributors (ARDs) to facilitate the professional installation.

“Keeping a fleet equipped with the latest safety technology can be a never-ending challenge,” said TJ Thomas, Bendix director of marketing and customer solutions – controls. “It’s just not practical to scrap all your trucks and replace them overnight. The Bendix Retrofit Upgrade Program makes it possible to bring vehicles not originally built with selected safety systems up to speed with the latest increasingly essential systems. It helps enhance a fleet’s safety, while also contributing to an improved driver experience vehicle to vehicle.”

With a phased-in introduction that began in 2017, the program has already been eagerly adopted by a growing list of major fleets across North America, with upgrade installations taking place daily.

Offering 24/7/365 access with information and more, Bendix will launch a website in mid-May to serve as the hub of the Retrofit Upgrade Program: www.bendixcvsupgrade.com. The site allows fleets and vehicle operators to identify which retrofit upgrade options are available for specific vehicle make, model, and year configurations. It allows Bendix to connect registered customers with a network of Authorized Retrofit Dealers and Distributors that can assist fleets in securing Bendix retrofit installation and support.

According to Thomas, “The website is the essential first step in the equation. When it comes to the complexity of safety system retrofit upgrades, there’s no margin for maybe. That’s why the ability to retrofit any Bendix safety system depends on each vehicle’s specifications; given the build variability for each OE, and the vast array of aftermarket products that can be added, additional vehicle information is required to confirm retrofit compatibility on a specific vehicle.”

“Retrofitting safety systems is very technical work and care must be taken – with the help of a knowledgeable supplier – to do it properly,” Thomas said. “It’s critical that the configuration of the vehicle and the equipment already on it will integrate with the new capabilities to be added. That could mean some vehicles may be retrofit-capable, and some vehicles may not. In all cases, specialized retrofit expertise for evaluation and installation is crucial.”

Bendix has established a demanding training program specifically designed to certify technicians who already meet the company’s rigorous criteria. The training involves classroom and hands-on learning – as well as mandatory ongoing continuing education instruction – to prepare technicians for the unique technical challenges associated with these systems. Only these Bendix Certified Installers – trained and assessed by Bendix – have access to all the tools and information necessary for retrofitting Bendix technologies, and only Bendix Authorized Retrofit Dealers and Distributors have access to the Certified Installers.

With retrofits expected to be handled in hours – not days or weeks – the proper certification of installers is key to getting trucks on the road quickly with minimal disruption to fleet operations.

Like the Certified Installers, the ever-growing network of specially authorized outlets – the ARDs – have been vetted and trained to help vehicle operators understand system availability, what vehicles are compatible, scheduling, and more.

“This program is a massive step forward in terms of driver, vehicle, and highway safety, and we are already partnering with a number of major fleets across a range of vocations on retrofitting these technologies,” Thomas said. “That work helped pave the way for the full launch of the program. Additionally, with full stability a requirement on new Class 7 and 8 trucks, more vehicles will have the foundational components in place to add these advanced safety systems in the future – and that carries the potential for greater highway safety for everyone.”

The Bendix Retrofit Upgrade Program also provides the building blocks for more complex, integrated safety products yet to come.

“There’s a lot of enthusiasm and excitement about this program from fleets and vehicle owners alike,” said Thomas. “It offers a whole new opportunity for our customers to bolster their operations, support their driver retention programs, and enhance their bottom line. We’re proud of this effort as one more way that we’re working hand-in-hand with teams across the industry to shape tomorrow’s transportation together.”

Thomas said Bendix safety technologies – including all those within the Bendix Retrofit Upgrade Program – complement safe driving practices and are not intended to enable or encourage aggressive driving. No commercial vehicle safety technology replaces a skilled, alert driver exercising safe driving techniques and proactive, comprehensive driver training. Responsibility for the safe operation of the vehicle remains with the driver at all times.

 

 

 

 

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Kenworth to collaborate with Meritor on T680E Electric powertrain development

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concept photo of Kenworth electric model
The electric Kenworth T680E will be a short-hood day cab in tractor configurations of 4x2 and 6x4 axles and as a 6x4 axle straight truck. The T680E will offer an operating range between 100 to 150 miles, depending on application. (Courtesy: Kenworth)

KIRKLAND, Wash. — Kenworth has announced it will collaborate with Meritor on electric powertrain development for Class 8 Kenworth T680E battery-electric vehicles.

The electric Kenworth T680E will be a short-hood day cab in tractor configurations of 4×2 and 6×4 axles and as a 6×4 axle straight truck. The T680E will offer an operating range between 100 to 150 miles, depending on application.

“The Kenworth T680E development in collaboration with Meritor is a major advanced technology step in Kenworth’s evolution of zero-emission electric powertrain solutions for our customers,” said Kevin Baney, Kenworth general manager and PACCAR vice president. “Initial production of the Kenworth T680E is expected to begin in the fourth quarter 2020 and ramp through 2021.”

Meritor, Inc. is a global supplier of drivetrain, mobility, braking and aftermarket solutions for commercial vehicle and industrial markets. Meritor is based in Troy, Michigan.

“We look forward to working closely with Kenworth to help develop the Kenworth T680E as an important, viable battery-electric answer for the day cab market,” said T.J. Reed, vice president of Global Electrification for Meritor.

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New Kenworth parts, service locations now open in Maryland and Nebraska

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Kenworth service location in Maryland
West Point Kenworth is approximately one hour south of Sioux City, Iowa, and located along Highway 275, a major trucking route in the area. (Courtesy: Kenworth)

WESTMINSTER, Md. And West Point, Neb. — Kenworth now offers additional locations for parts and services. Mid Atlantic Kenworth has added a full-service location in Westminster, Maryland, while Sioux Falls Kenworth has opened a new parts and services dealership in West Point, Nebraska.

Maryland

In Westminster, Maryland, the 17,400-square-foot facility features a full parts and service department, with 10 service bays to maximize customer uptime for truck operators passing through the area. A drivers’ lounge is available to customers while their trucks are serviced.

The facility, Kenworth Mid Atlantic Westminster is located on three acres, which offers customers ample room to park their trucks.

The Westminster, Maryland facility is located at 821 Baltimore Blvd. and its hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.

Nebraska

With its new parts and service dealership in West Point, Nebraska, Sioux Falls Kenworth can now offer expanded support to fleets and operators in the greater Sioux City, Iowa area.

West Point Kenworth is approximately one hour south of Sioux City and located along Highway 275. The 12,800-square-foot building is situated on 3.5 acres. The facility features an 8,600-square-foot service department with eight service bays. Also included is a 1,200-square-foot parts retail display area and a 1,900-square-foot space for bulk storage.

The West Point facility is located at 1805 Sycamore St. in West Point. Hours of operation are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday.

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Agility partners with XStream Trucking to distribute aerodynamic TruckWings

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a patented design allows truckwings to swing out and retract
The patented TruckWings design incorporates folding panels made of impact-resistant, glass-reinforced composites attached to the rear sides and roof of the cab that automatically swing out to close the cab-to-trailer gap at highway speeds and retract at lower speeds. (Courtesy: Agility Fuel Solutions)

COSTA MESA, Cali. — Agility Fuel Solutions and XStream Trucking have announced that Agility will be the exclusive distributor of Xstream’s TruckWings aerodynamic systems for compressed natural gas (CNG) trucks in North America. Agility will also distribute TruckWings on a non-exclusive basis to the diesel truck market.

The patented TruckWings design incorporates folding panels made of impact-resistant, glass-reinforced composites attached to the rear sides and roof of the cab that automatically swing out to close the cab-to-trailer gap at highway speeds and retract against the rear of the cab at lower speeds to leave room for turning maneuvers.

“TruckWings is the first device which completely solves the turbulence problem created by the open area between the tractor and trailer that contributes significantly to a truck’s overall aerodynamic drag,” said Daniel Burrows, XStream Trucking’s founder and CEO. “We are pleased to now partner with Agility to offer TruckWings as a factory option for CNG trucks in North America.”

Agility, a business area of Hexagon Composites ASA, and XStream Trucking have previously partnered to provide TruckWings systems for over 750 CNG trucks used by major fleet operators. Agility’s leadership in providing clean fuel solutions for commercial vehicles coupled with its extensive customer base and value-added aftermarket services will expand XStream’s TruckWings solution to reach the growing CNG truck market throughout North America.

“Agility’s trucking fleet customers are focused on fuel cost savings and on increasing the fuel economy of their CNG trucks. TruckWings are a great answer to this problem, as we’ve demonstrated in real-world use with some of our major fleet customers,” said Eric Bippus, Agility’s senior vice president of global sales and marketing. “We are very pleased to enter into this distribution agreement and to continue to work with XStream Trucking to deliver clean and efficient transportation solutions for the North American trucking market.”

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