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FMCSA approves new camera monitoring system as alternative to conventional rear-vision mirrors

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WASHINGTON — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has approved an exemption application from Stoneridge Inc. that will allow the company’s MirrorEye Camera Monitor System (CMS) to be installed as an alternative to conventional rear-vision mirrors currently required on commercial motor vehicles in the United States.

The decision will apply solely to Stoneridge’s MirrorEye system, making it the only CMS that allows for complete removal of traditional mirrors in the U.S., said a Stoneridge news release.

“This decision will help bring an innovative driver vision technology to market that will greatly improve the safety of everyone who shares the road,” said Jon DeGaynor, Stoneridge president and CEO. “The MirrorEye Camera Monitor System empowers truck drivers to avoid potential collisions by the elimination of certain blind spots, expansion of their field of view and increased awareness of the truck’s surroundings. This exemption allows our customers to fully recognize both the safety and fuel economy benefits of MirrorEye.”

In granting the exemption, FMCSA noted the MirrorEye CMS consists of multiple digital cameras mounted on the exterior of the CMV and enclosed in an aerodynamic package that provides both environmental protection for the cameras and a mounting location for optimal visibility.

FMCSA said each camera has video processing software that presents a clear, high-definition image to the driver by means of a monitor mounted to each A-pillar of the CMV, i.e., the structural member between the windshield and door of the cab.

The agency said Stoneridge explained in its exemption request that attaching the monitors to the A-pillars avoids the creation of incremental blind spots while eliminating the blind spots associated with conventional mirrors.

Stoneridge told FMCSA that its technology meets or exceeds the visibility requirements provided in federal trucking regulations based on several factors:

  • Greater field of view than conventional mirrors. Mirrors are replaced by wide angle, narrow angle and look-down cameras, expanding the field of view by an estimated 25 percent.
  • Fail-safe design. The system has independent video processing of multiple camera images so that in the unlikely event of an individual camera failure, the other camera images continue to be displayed, ensuring that real-time images are displayed without interruption.
  • Augmented and enhanced vision quality. The use of high-definition digital cameras provides for color night vision, low light sensitivity and trailer panning capabilities. This assists with night driving, operating under other low lighting conditions, and provides for glare reduction.
  • Trailer panning. The CMS automatically tracks the end of the trailer to keep it in view while the vehicle is moving forward. Stoneridge believes this feature could eliminate collisions associated with the CMV driver making a right-hand turn, and incidents where the CMV strikes a pedestrian or bicyclist while making right-hand turns.

DeGaynor thanked trucking industry leaders who have tested, provided input and helped validate the effectiveness and reliability of the technology.

“Stoneridge would like to especially acknowledge the American Trucking Associations, Truckload Carriers Association, Trucking Alliance, Spangenberg Partners and numerous individuals of the trucking community who have supported our mission of improved safety,” he said.

Last April, FMCSA said it had asked for public comments on the exemption request.

ATA told the agency that granting this and similar petitions for exemption from federal requirements that currently are barriers to mirrorless technology would provide valuable real-world experience and data to inform future regulatory action to allow CMS technology as an alternative to rear view mirrors for all vehicle types, noting that motor carriers and truck manufacturers recognize the potential of CMS to improve both safe operations and fuel efficiency when compared with traditional exterior mirrors.

Schneider and J.B. Hunt both told FMCSA they had been using the MirrorEye CMS, in addition to the required mirrors, in a select number of vehicles.

“Both motor carriers support granting Stoneridge’s application,” FMCSA said in granting the exemption.

“Schneider states that its drivers using the MirrorEye CMS have (1) had an overwhelmingly positive experience,” and (2) confirmed some of the benefits touted by Stoneridge in its application, including improved visibility in night driving and low-light conditions, improved visibility due to auto tracking of the trailer, and reduced driver distraction due to light and glare reduction.”

J.B. Hunt commented that “we have not been involved in any collisions and have received overwhelming positive feedback from our test drivers,” adding that its drivers noted benefits such as “real time, excellent monitor image clarity with improved field of vision around their tractors and trailing units and elimination of the tractor’s problematic front passenger side blind spot.”

The FMCSA said Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety had opposed the exemption request “on the basis that the application is overly broad,” noting that the regulations governing requests for exemption require applications to include “an estimate of the number of drivers and commercial motor vehicles that would be operated under the terms and conditions of the exemption,” which in this case could encompass every CMV and driver presently on the U.S. roads.

“We must oppose such an overly broad exemption which would apply for at least five years,” Advocates said in its comment.

The organization added that while opposed to the application, it recognized the potential benefits of the technology, and instead urged the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and FMCSA “to establish a pilot program study the benefits of using cameras to enhance commercial vehicle driver visibility as this technology has the potential to reduce or eliminate the large and dangerous blind zones around CMVs.”

“MirrorEye technology was designed and improved based on real input from commercial vehicles drivers during testing,” said Stephen Fox, vice president of business development at Stoneridge. “We have collected a tremendous amount of data and challenged the system in real-life scenarios. We are fully confident MirrorEye CMS will provide exceptional reliability and resolve many of the safety issues commercial vehicle drivers currently face.”

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Decker Truck Line presents 2,500th Peterbilt to 2018 Grand Champion Driver of the Year

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DENTON, Texas — Peterbilt Motors Co., along with Decker Truck Line, celebrated a relationship spanning six decades with the delivery of the transportation company’s 2,500th Peterbilt truck purchased from JX Truck Center.

Decker runs a mix of Peterbilt vehicles, including the Model 579 UltraLoft, for both its refrigerated and flatbed operations. The company also runs Peterbilt’s Model 389 which is awarded to Decker’s most senior drivers.

“Decker purchased its first Peterbilt truck more than 50 years ago starting a relationship that has continued to grow stronger through many decades of doing business together,” said Robert Woodall, Peterbilt’s assistant general manager for sales and marketing. “I am proud of the relationship Peterbilt has with Decker and I congratulate them on a long history of industry leadership.”

“Over the years of purchasing Peterbilt trucks, I have enjoyed working with numerous Peterbilt general managers, sales executives, the JX Truck Center management team and various levels of support staff,” said Don Decker, president and chairman of the Board, Decker Truck Line, Inc. “The partnership has been one of the most meaningful and rewarding relationships I have experienced. I think it speaks for itself how impressed we are with Peterbilt and JX as we take delivery of our 2,500th Peterbilt from JX Truck Center.”

The 2,500th truck, a custom 2019 Peterbilt Model 389, will be awarded to Decker’s 2018 Grand Champion Driver of the Year Steve Alliger. Since joining Decker in 1997, Alliger has accumulated more than 3 million miles of safe driving, and in 2018 alone he made more than 160 deliveries covering more than 150,000 miles.

“Out of all our professional drivers, Steve was chosen to receive our 2,500th Peterbilt because he is dedicated to getting the job done right the first time and every time. Steve was chosen as our Grand Champion Professional Driver of the Year in 2018 because of his impeccable driving record,” Decker said. “He has driven more than 3.3 million safe miles, has nearly a perfect Driver Scorecard, no CSA violations or service failures and has been recognized for the dedication and pride he puts into his profession every day. Steve is just one of  those Drivers who is a shining example of a true “professional driver and we are very proud to have him represent Decker Truck Line and the trucking industry.”

 

 

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New Alliance Parts products, retail locations creates one-stop solution

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Alliance Parts has also recently opened 13 new stand-alone retail stores in North America, in locations including Hartford, Conn., and St. Cloud, Minn., and has also expanded retail areas at 22 different dealerships. (Courtesy: DAIMLER TRUCKS NORTH AMERICA)

PORTLAND, Ore. — With the recent addition of new retail locations and more value-based parts to its portfolio, Alliance Parts is fulfilling Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA)’s vision of a one-stop solution, providing exceptional customer experiences and parts to customers when and where they need them.

The growing parts portfolio, increasing retail footprint, and ability to deliver parts in 24 hours or less will benefit customer uptime.

Alliance Parts has added more than 11 new value product lines to its portfolio. The addition of the new parts – which includes items ranging from diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) filters and air brake compressors to slack adjustors – broadens an already expansive portfolio of products available at dealerships, as well as stand-alone Alliance Parts retail locations.

Alliance Parts has also recently opened 13 new stand-alone retail stores in North America, in locations including Hartford, Conn., and St. Cloud, Minn., and has also expanded retail areas at 22 different dealerships.

“We set aggressive goals to expand our retail footprint and value-based product offerings to meet our long-term objective of creating superior experiences that will help our customers get back on the road,” said Brad Williamson, director, Alliance Parts and Detroit Reman Marketing & Sales. “We’re proud of the strides we’ve already made with our new products and retail locations, and we’re continuing our push to be the customers’ first choice for value parts.”

Go to www.AllianceParts.com for a complete list of Alliance Parts locations and available products.

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Papé Kenworth Northwest opens 6,600 square-foot parts and service facility

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The new Papé Kenworth Northwest location features a 3,200 square-foot service department with three service bays, well-stocked parts department, and comfortable driver’s lounge. (Courtesy: KENWORTH TRUCK CO.)

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — Papé Kenworth Northwest has opened a new 6,600 square-foot parts and service facility in Bellingham, Washington.

Located 90 miles north of Seattle and 25 miles south of the Canadian border, the new Papé Kenworth Northwest-Bellingham dealership provides service and parts to customers traveling along the busy north-south Interstate 5 corridor.

The new location features a 3,200 square-foot service department with three service bays, well-stocked parts department, and comfortable driver’s lounge that drivers can enjoy while their trucks are serviced. The facility sits on more than 1.5 acres for convenient parking.

Papé Kenworth Northwest-Bellingham is at 1400 Iowa Street in Bellingham and offers easy I-5 access at Exit 254. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The phone number is 360-526-2850.

Papé Kenworth Northwest operates six dealerships in Washington (Aberdeen, Bellingham, Lakewood, Marysville, SeaTac and Yakima). Papé Kenworth Alaska operates two dealerships in Anchorage and Fairbanks.

Papé Kenworth operates eight dealerships in Oregon – Donald, Eugene, Klamath Falls, Medford, Portland, Redmond, Roseburg and Tangent; five in central California  –  Bakersfield, Fresno, Santa Maria, Stockton and Turlock; and one in Washington – Kelso.

Papé Kenworth Northwest, Papé Kenworth Alaska and Papé Kenworth are part of The Papé family of Companies. For more information, visit www.papekenworth.com

 

 

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