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Mack produces 100,000th truck equipped with GuardDog Connect

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Mack Trucks reached a significant milestone in its connected truck journey by building the 100,000th truck equipped with Mack GuardDog Connect, a proactive diagnostic and repair planning solution that monitors critical fault codes that could lead to unplanned downtime. (Courtesy: MACK TRUCKS)

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Mack Trucks said it has reached a significant milestone in its connected truck journey by building the 100,000th truck equipped with its Mack GuardDog Connect integrated telematics solution.

Mack GuardDog Connect, which was first launched in 2014, is a proactive diagnostic and repair planning solution that monitors a truck’s critical fault codes that could lead to unplanned downtime and is also the enabling technology for Mack Over The Air remote software and parameter updates.

“From its launch with truck No. 1 to now reaching 100,000 trucks, Mack GuardDog Connect has proven itself to be an incredible tool to protect and maximize our customers’ uptime,” said Jonathan Randall, Mack Trucks senior vice president, North American sales and marketing. “We’re proud to have reached this milestone and look forward to continuing to build on our uptime leadership with GuardDog Connect.”

Unplanned downtime events result in lost productivity, which can be one of the most significant costs heavy-duty trucking customers face, he said, adding that to help reduce unplanned downtime, Mack GuardDog Connect proactively monitors a truck’s critical fault codes that could lead to unplanned de-rate or shut down situations.

If a potential issue is detected, GuardDog Connect sends a notification to Mack OneCall agents at the 24/7 Mack Uptime Center. In many cases, this action takes place before a driver realizes there is a potential problem. OneCall experts quickly diagnose the issue and, based on its severity, determine the best plan of action.

Should a repair be required, proactive repair scheduling and parts confirmation is initiated, all while the truck remains on the road. In addition, all stakeholders, from the driver to the designated customer contact to the dealership, are kept up to date through the ASIST service communications platform, Randall said.

Mack GuardDog Connect also serves as the enabling technology for Mack Over The Air, which provides remote software and parameter updates directly to customers’ trucks. Working with Mack OneCall agents, the updates are scheduled for when it works best for the customer. Should a customer require frequent parameter updates, including changes to road speed limits, idle times, engine performance modes and more, a Mack Parameter Plus package is available that allows customers to make up to 50 parameter updates per truck, per 12-month period.

Mack GuardDog Connect is standard on all Mack models equipped with Mack engines and monitors critical fault codes in Mack engines and aftertreatment systems, and Mack mDRIVE automated manual transmissions. Mack Over The Air is provided at no charge on GuardDog Connect-equipped vehicles during the initial two-year base engine warranty, with customers having the option to extend the service after two years.

 

 

 

 

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Zonar updates transition checklist for switching AOBRDs to ELDs

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Zonar was founded in 2001 to help fleets of all sizes maximize the use of their assets with solutions dedicated to improving compliance, efficiency, maintenance, ridership visibility, safety and tracking. Courtesy: ZONAR)

SEATTLE — With less than six months to go until the final electronic logging device mandate Mandate deadline, many carriers using automatic on-board recording devices have still not transitioned to ELDs, according to Zonar officials.

The mandate grandfathered in fleets using AOBRD giving them until December 16, 2019, to switch to ELDs to avoid faulty products or services and reach full compliance.

As such, Zonar, a provider of fleet management technology, has updated its AOBRD transition checklist to help fleet managers strategically manage the limited time remaining to choose the right vendor and solution for their business. This guide outlines how carriers can find the best solution to fit their needs, by December 16, 2019.

“We understand that businesses are waiting to make the shift from ABOBRDs to ELDs for many reasons but non-compliance or choosing the wrong solution can potentially lead to lost revenue and multiple violations,” said Fred Fakkema, vice president of compliance at Zonar. “Since the mandate passed, we’ve listened to our customers and heard from decision makers across the industry; with this easy to follow checklist, Zonar aims to help those who need guidance regarding the transition within a shorter amount of time.”

Businesses can find the downloadable guide here.

This includes:

  • A workback calendar from August-December in checklist form
  • Questions fleet managers should ask vendors before signing a contract
  • Tips for training operators on new solutions

“With almost 20 years of experience helping fleets intelligently manage their business, Zonar creates technology solutions that collect and analyze data from a wide variety of vehicles including trucks, school buses, transit vehicles and construction equipment,” Fakkema said. “This information empowers drivers and fleet managers with the data and analysis needed to better navigate any route and safely manage passengers and cargo.”

ELDs were mandate by Congress to help the commercial transportation industry increase safety for all drivers on the road through in-vehicle technology to easily log data such as hours of service.

Zonar was founded in 2001 to help fleets of all sizes maximize the use of their assets with solutions dedicated to improving compliance, efficiency, maintenance, ridership visibility, safety and tracking, Fakkema said.

 

 

 

 

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Platooning Peloton’s vision for trucking: drivers lead, technology follows

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Driver Assistive Truck Platooning is providing real safety and fuel efficiency benefits today, according to Peloton Technology CEO Josh Switkes. (Courtesy: PELOTON TECHNOLOGY)

ORLANDO, Fla. — Peloton Technology Inc., a connected and automated vehicle technology company, Wednesday unveiled its vision for doubling the productivity of drivers through the development of its new Level 4 Automated Following solution during the Automated Vehicle Symposium 2019 here.

“We’ve taken a different approach to commercial introduction of automation in Class 8 vehicles.” said Peloton Technology CEO Josh Switkes. “We see the drivers as the world’s best sensors, and we are leveraging this to enable today’s drivers to be more productive through automated following platoons.”

Peloton’s Automated Following is an advanced platooning system using vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) technology to enable a single driver to drive a pair of vehicles and marks the next major milestone in Peloton’s unique approach to deploying automation to increase the safety and productivity of commercial vehicles.

Platooning and automated following systems work by utilizing V2V communications and radar-based active braking systems, combined with vehicle control algorithms. Peloton’s proprietary technologies link pairs of heavy trucks for connected driving that improves aerodynamics, fuel economy, and safety.

Peloton’s Level 1 (driver assistive) system, PlatoonPro, has a driver in both the lead and follow trucks. The driver in the follow truck steers, but the system controls the powertrain and brakes to manage the following distance very precisely and to provide immediate reaction to whatever acceleration or braking the lead truck performs.

PlatoonPro has now operated with six customers and additional customer fleet trials are under way. In each case the customer and Peloton have seen a perfect safety record.

“Customer trucks have shown fuel savings averaging over 7%, and we have seen very high percentages of miles platooned, as high as 90%,” Switkes said. “Platooned miles per day have exceeded 700 miles per truck in some cases, resulting in projected fuel savings per truck up to $7,000-10,000 per year.”

Platooning is the key enabler to making driverless semi-trucks a reality, Switkes said.

“Leveraging experience in deploying a commercial L1 platooning system, PlatoonPro, Peloton’s new Automated Following system is an SAE Level 4 autonomous solution that connects a fully-automated follow truck with a driver-controlled lead truck to platoon. The V2V link allows the human driven lead truck to guide the steering, acceleration and braking of the follow truck and connects the safety systems between the trucks. with minimal latency,” he said.

Peloton’s unique approach of combining the experience of a human driver in the lead truck with state-of-the-art sensors and hardware in the follow truck greatly simplifies many of the technical challenges the vehicle automation industry faces with deploying standalone SAE Level 4 driverless systems.  Peloton will be able to bring this solution to broad applicability for the industry on a rapidly increasing set of routes, weather conditions, and traffic conditions, expanding these operations much more rapidly than standalone (single vehicle) L4 solutions.

The professional driver is at the heart of the new Peloton L4 Automated Following solution much like they are with Peloton’s L1 commercial system, PlatoonPro.

“We continue to leverage drivers for their skills, experience and intuition, and engage with both Peloton test drivers as well as fleet drivers in all aspects of product design, development and testing,” Switkes said. “Our vision with the new L4 Automated Following product is to develop and commercially deploy a solution that will enable drivers to benefit from the ongoing commercial driver shortage by doubling the amount of freight they can haul in a single trip. This will result in improved work for drivers through better routes, schedules, and compensation, as well as better quality of life through expanding hub-to-hub and relay-style operations that allow drivers to be home with their families every night.”

 

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Shell Rotella SuperRigs set for July 25-27 at Minnesota travel center

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Twelve drivers will be selected to have their trucks featured in the annual 2020 Shell Rotella SuperRigs calendar. (Courtesy: SHELL ROTELLA)

HOUSTON — The 37th Annual Shell Rotella SuperRigs will be held at Trail’s Travel Center in Albert Lea, Minnesota, July 25-27.

Contestants and attendees will be able to see the hardest working trucks in the industry and enjoy all the amenities on site throughout the three-day event.

There is no fee to enter a truck in SuperRigs and the weekend is designed to be fun for the whole family. Trail’s Travel Center is located at the intersection of Interstate 35 and I-90.

“Each year, truckers and their families bring some of the best-looking trucks from the U.S. and Canada to Shell Rotella SuperRigs for an exciting three-day event which highlights the trucking industry,” said Megan Pino, global brand manager, Shell Rotella. “The trucks showcase the hard work that drivers do every day and demonstrates their pride in the trucking industry.”

The Shell Rotella SuperRigs competition is considered the premier truck beauty contest for actively working trucks. Owner-operator truckers from across the United States and Canada compete annually for more than $25,000 in cash and prizes. Twelve drivers will be selected to have their trucks featured in the annual 2020 Shell Rotella SuperRigs calendar.

Shell Rotella SuperRigs highlights include::

  • Truck Convoy. SuperRigs drivers will travel in convoy from Trail’s Travel Center to downtown Albert Lea to attend Thursdays on Fountain. The local community is invited attend the concert and to see the trucks and meet the drivers.
  • Casi Joy Concert. – County music artist Casi Joy will perform at Trail’s Travel Center on Friday night at 8:45 p.m.
  • Lights Contest and Fireworks. The annual truck lights contest and fireworks show will also be held on Friday night.
  • 3-Days of Music. There will be a DJ providing music each day throughout the weekend.

Trucks entered in the Shell Rotella SuperRigs truck competition will be judged by experienced industry professionals who work for major trucking publications or broadcast companies. Judges score the rigs on exterior appearance, design, detail/finish, originality and workmanship. In total, 24 working trucks receive awards for categories such as Best of Show, Tractor, Tractor/Trailer Combination and Classic.

Judging will take place between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Thursday, July 25 and Friday, July 26, and between 7:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 27.  Judging takes about 20 minutes and contestants do not need to be present to win.

For updates on the Shell Rotella SuperRigs competition, visit www.rotella.com/superrigs.

Follow Shell Rotella on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for additional updates and photos from the competition. Join the conversation using the hashtag #SuperRigs.

The information contained herein is a summary of the Official Rules for the Shell Rotella SuperRigs truck competition, a full version of which can be found on www.rotella.com/superrigs.

 

 

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