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Employee-focused philosophy leads Bendix best-ever safety performance in 2018

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Employee-focused philosophy leads bendix best-ever safety performance in 2018
Bendix’s operation in Acuña, Mexico, helped the company achieve the safest year in its history. (Courtesy: BENDIX COMMERCIAL VEHICLES SYSTEMS)

ELYRIA, Ohio — In its pursuit of safe operations, including a goal of zero injuries, Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems adopts an attitude of no compromise. In 2018, that unified mindset helped Bendix achieve the safest year in its nearly 90-year history. Bendix plants across North America experienced a 30 percent reduction from 2017’s injury rate. Preventive and corrective safety programs are at the heart of the results, which Bendix is working to build upon in 2019. For its best-ever performance, the company also cites processes that empower employees to improve safety.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) defines a recordable accident as a workplace injury that requires medical attention beyond first aid. Workplace safety performance is measured annually by TCIR (Total Case Incident Rate), which is the total number of recordable injuries per 100 workers per year. In 2018, Bendix’s TCIR of 0.48 marked the lowest in company history. The injury rate for similar manufacturing facilities was 3.0 in 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“This is a world-class safety milestone, and it’s a wonderful commentary on the men and women who come to work day in and day out at Bendix absolutely committed to performing their jobs safely,” said Carlos Hungria, Bendix chief operating officer. “Uncompromising safety plays a critical role in the success of our company. Our goal of zero injuries drives us. And our values and safety rituals direct the way we complete each task to ensure the safety of each employee, every day.”

Of Bendix’s 18 North American locations, nearly all achieved significant safety milestones in 2018. Twelve sites surpassed the one-year mark without a recordable injury. Other noteworthy milestones for length of time free of recordable injuries include five years at Plant 2 on the Huntington, Indiana, campus; the remote members of the sales and service team; and the locations in Irvine, California, and Sparks, Nevada. The locations in Mexico City, Mexico, and Vancouver, Canada, surpassed the 10-year injury-free mark; and the Montreal, Canada, site continued to lead the way at over 15 years of safe operations.

Bendix has implemented mature safety processes, which continue to drive noticeable improvement in year-over-year safety results. Part of the long-term strategy of the Health, Safety, and Environmental (HSE) team, these processes range from a 24-hour incident notification and containment policy, to lessons learned from incident sharing across all of Bendix’s plants to identify and eliminate similar risks.

In addition, engagement opportunities through the Safety STARS (Safety Top Achievement Recognition System) program enables employees to take on a key role in identifying unsafe conditions, unsafe behaviors, and safety improvements.

Key to the success of the safety program has been the integration with the Knorr Production System (KPS) quality, productivity, and continuous improvement culture. KPS is practiced worldwide throughout the Munich, Germany-based Knorr-Bremse Group, of which Bendix is a member.

KPS tools and rituals have helped quantify improvement activities, increase visibility to safety losses, escalate safety concerns, and drive team-level ownership of safety.

In 2018, Bendix employees closed 120 read-across actions (elimination of similar risks at other locations), reported and fixed over 2,000 unsafe conditions, and identified and implemented over 2,500 safety Quick Kaizens (improvement ideas).

“It is very impressive and rewarding to be able to quantify the impact the program is having,” said Maria Gutierrez, Bendix director of corporate responsibility and sustainability. “At the same time, Bendix realizes that the safety metrics, including TCIR, are not just numbers – they translate into real people and real lives being impacted. At this point in the Bendix safety journey, zero is the only acceptable number and it represents our vision, starting with the senior leadership and permeating through the workforce.”

With its goal of zero injuries firmly embedded in the company culture, Bendix continually finds innovative ways to showcase safety as a core value, while consistently challenging the organization to recommit to safety, Gutierrez said.

“Company leadership understands that safety is still driven by personal choices on a daily basis. For that reason, employees are encouraged to take the HSE pledge, in which they commit to choose safety — each day, every day, one day at a time.

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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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