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Bendix launches retrofit upgrade program for advanced driver assistance technologies

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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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Lippert Components introduces somnum Sleeper Series pillows for long-haul drivers

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The machine washable somnum Sleeper Series pillows are made with hypoallergenic down-alternative fill, and the covers are 100% cotton, 350 thread count and double stitched to increase the lifespan of the pillow. (Courtesy: LIPPERT COMPONENTS)

ELKHART, Ind. — Lippert Components (LCI), a supplier of highly engineered components to the mobile and leisure transportation industries, has introduced somnum Sleeper Series pillows for long-haul, heavy truck drivers.

These machine washable pillows are made with hypoallergenic down-alternative fill, and the covers are 100% cotton, 350 thread count and double stitched to increase the lifespan of the pillow.

Designed to endure the ever-fluctuating temperatures and persistent moisture commonly found in sleeper environments, somnum premium pillows provide the perfect balance of support and comfort for a good night’s sleep, helping increase driver alertness while on the road, according to Mike Padrnos, business development manager at LCI.

Featuring both soft and firm options, the pillows come in two sizes, jumbo and king.

In addition to their premium comfort level, the somnum Sleeper Series pillows are 100% machine-washable, making it easier for them to retain their original freshness and shape, Padrnos

“A key purpose of a pillow is to keep your neck comfortably and safely aligned with your spine,” he said. “Having a great pillow contributes to a good night’s sleep when you’re at home. That being said, pillow quality is just as important for truck drivers who travel long hours and sleep in their trucks.”

Padrnos that while alignment is important, LCI had also paid special attention to personal comfort by ensuring that the somnum Sleeper Series features a variety of different pillow options.

“Everyone has their own personal preferences, so we created both soft and firm pillow options,” he said.

Padrnos said that in the fall of 2018, Donna Mooney, vice president of human resources at Titan Transfer, a freight carrier company, sought to find a “different and unique” gift for the company’s 400-plus trucks and corresponding drivers for National Truck Driver Appreciation Week.

“We tried all the typical items: polo shirts, hats, gift cards, etc. I spent quite a bit of time online, shopping to find just the right gift,” Mooney said. “The somnum pillow caught my interest. The pillows ended up being a tremendous hit with our drivers, so much so that we had several drivers order additional pillows for their residential homes.”

“We’ve heard that truck drivers love somnum pillows from direct feedback at truck shows and from fleets like Titan Transfer that have introduced them to their drivers through their company stores or given them out as driver gifts. A new pillow is a small but meaningful upgrade to a Class 8 sleeper berth,” Padrnos said. “Fleets that are using somnum pillows as part of their driver incentive/reward programs are receiving gratitude from drivers for such a thoughtful gesture. Realistically, many people aren’t replacing their pillows nearly enough.”

For more information about somnum Sleeper Series pillows and how they can be purchased for your driver appreciation program, email somnum.info@lci1.com.

For more information, contact mpadrnos@lci1.com

 

 

 

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Navistar to make capital investments at Huntsville engine plant

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The principal engine currently built at Navistar's Huntsville plant is the International A26, a 12.4 liter big-bore engine that is offered in Class 8 on-highway trucks. (Courtesy: NAVISTAR)

LISLE, Ill. — Navistar, a maker of commercial trucks and buses, has decided to make capital investments of approximately $125 million in new and expanded manufacturing facilities in the state of Alabama, the company said Monday.

The investment will bring 145 additional jobs to the company’s Huntsville facility.

The company, which already manufactures International brand diesel engines at the plant, plans to make the new investments over the next three years.

Its intent is to produce next-generation big-bore powertrains developed with its global alliance partner TRATON, formerly known as Volkswagen Truck & Bus AG.

“Over the last two decades, the state of Alabama has been a wonderful partner for Navistar as we have developed and produced big-bore engines and other products in the state,” said Persio Lisboa, Navistar’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. “Today, we are excited to have the opportunity to expand our presence in Alabama, while adding to our array of next-generation products.”

The principal engine currently built at Navistar’s Huntsville plant is the International A26, a 12.4 liter big-bore engine that is offered in Class 8 on-highway trucks such as the International LT Series and RH Series, as well as in vocational trucks such as the International HV Series and HX Series.

“Navistar has been a longstanding corporate partner in our community and we are glad to see the company continues to see Huntsville as a strategic part of their growth strategy,” said Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle. “We welcome the new production component to Navistar’s manufacturing operations and look forward to a successful future.”

Navistar International Corp. is a holding company whose subsidiaries and affiliates produce International brand commercial and military trucks, proprietary diesel engines, and IC Bus brand school and commercial buses. An affiliate also provides truck and diesel engine service parts. Another affiliate offers financing services.

Additional information is available at www.Navistar.com.

 

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Talbert Manufacturing opens 58,000-square-foot expansion

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In 2018, Talbert began expansion of the building and staff as part of its overall growth plan. The opening of the expansion marks the completion of the Liberty Trailer upgrade. (Courtesy: TALBERT MANUFACTURING)

RENSSELAER, Ind. — Talbert Manufacturing, a North American provider of specialized heavy-haul solutions, recently officially opening the 58,000-square-foot expansion of its Liberty, North Carolina, facility.

The 120,000-square-foot Liberty Trailers will manufacture Talbert’s Tag-A-Long Series, Traveling Axle Series and Hydraulic Tail Series trailers.

With the expansion, Talbert looks to increase dealer and customer support throughout North America with increased production capabilities and a support staff of 60 associates, according to President Andrew Tanner.

“In 1938, Austin Talbert set out to change the heavy-haul industry,” Tanner said. “With the expansion of Liberty Trailers, Talbert Manufacturing is closer than ever to realizing his vision of customer-driven design that meets the ever-changing needs of the hauling industry. We’re able to double our current output, allowing us meet the needs of our Tag-A-Long customers and dealers across the U.S. and Canada so we can continue growing together.”

The Liberty facility was originally home to Ferree Trailers, which Talbert purchased in 2014. The 60,000-square-foot building was completed in 1999.

From there, Ferree served a following of customers in industries including transportation, construction, military, government and special OEM companies, producing a wide array of trailers.

With the acquisition, Talbert continued producing select Ferree products and moved production of its Tag-A-Long, Traveling Axle and Hydraulic Tail series trailers from their Indiana facility to Liberty.

As the OEM grew, so did demand for the trailer series being produced at Liberty. In 2018, Talbert began expansion of the building and staff as part of its overall growth plan, Tanner said.

The opening of the expansion marks the completion of the Liberty Trailer upgrade.

In addition to the 58,000-square-foot increase in space, the expansion also houses two state-of-the-art painting booths, overhead cranes and a large finishing area. Equipment and staging areas were designed for optimum flow throughout the manufacturing process, allowing Talbert’s production at Liberty to grow, even past their current goals, while maintaining the high degree of safety, durability and resale value that are the pillars of the Talbert brand.

“When we purchased the facility in 2014, we had 18 employees and a modern facility to allow for the type of growth we needed,” Tanner said. “Today we have 60 employees at Liberty and are looking to staff well over 100 long-term. Talbert has been able to remain on the cutting edge of heavy-haul innovations for more than 80 years because we understand the value of investing in our people as much as our products. The Liberty expansion is an investment not just in Talbert, but in our dealers and customers.”

Talbert has been building heavy-haul and specialized trailers to customer specifications since 1938.

For more information, visit www.talbertmfg.com.

 

 

 

 

 

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