Industry Focus – August 20071

People In The News
Following are personnel changes that recently occurred in the trucking industry.

  • Jacobs Vehicle Systems appointed Robert Tykal president.
  • Chuck Marrale and Terry Smith have joined Wade&Partners.
  • Lynne Bosh was promoted to marketing manager at TODCO.
  • Peterson Manufacturing named Jim Rowden vice president of engineering.
  • Pedro Ferro was named president of Webb Wheel Products, Inc.
  • Mike Keeler assumed duties as vice president of international operations for Hendrickson and Mike Gottschalk succeeded Keeler as general manager of Hendrickson Auxiliary Axle System.
  • Horton named Jeff Wood manager of sales/application engineering for PACCAR and General Motors and Doug Bassinger was hired as director of corporate quality assurance.
  • David Donelson joined Truck Web Services as regional account manager for Illinois, Indiana and Missouri.
  • Ken Hurst recently accepted the position of vice president of operations for Holland USA.
  • ArvinMeritor Inc. appointed Doug Wolma general manager of its aftermarket remanufacturing business.

Heavy-Duty Aftermarket Scholarship Awarded
At a ceremony held on the Northwood University campus in Midland, MI, Chris Terryn, product manager, Sloan Transportation Products, awarded the Sloan Heavy-Duty Aftermarket Scholarship to Clifford Miller, East Tawas, MI and Jeffrey Olson, Elburn, IL.

Miller and Olson each will receive a $2000 scholarship for the 2007 academic year. Applicants for the scholarship must be enrolled in Northwood’s Automotive Aftermarket Management program with an emphasis in either the heavy-duty management or heavy-duty vehicle technology curriculum.

Certification Received
ASC Industries recently achieved ISO 14001 Environmental Management System certification at its world headquarters and manufacturing facility in North Canton, OH.

As a result of the certification implementation, ASC documents and monitors its environmental policies and objectives, documents continuous improvement projects as they relate to companywide environmental management and monitors/manages all sub-sequential legal and Environmental Protection Agency requirements.

Engine Receives Award
For the sixth time, a heavy-duty truck engine from Caterpillar Inc. has received an award for customer satisfaction in the J.D. Power and Associates 2006 Heavy Duty Truck Engine And Transmission Customer Satisfaction Survey.

Caterpillar’s C-12 clean power engine has received the firm’s highest level of customer satisfaction for meeting the new emissions standards through the development of its own ACERT technology, based on interviews with 2529 customers who own two-year-old Class 8 trucks. The interviews measure customer satisfaction in four areas: Engine quality, engine performance, engine cost of ownership and engine warranty.

The Caterpillar engine won the award in the vocational category, which includes trucks used in construction, refuse hauling and utility services.

New Corporate Headquarters
Aurora Trailer Holdings LLC has moved into its new St. Louis headquarters, which was designed to accommodate the Aurora companies’ continued expansion and growth.

In addition to headquartering the Aurora companies, the new location houses operations for both Aurora Trailer Leasing & Rental and Aurora Trailer Sales.

Acquisitions Announced
TruckPro, Inc. has acquired Tyler Truck & Trailer, Inc., Tyler, TX, and is opening a new store in Orlando.

TruckPro has grown to 62 stores in 16 states. The company also operates a 218,000 sq.-ft. distribution center and a brake shoe reline facility.

Customer Satisfaction Ranking High
Peterbilt Motors Co. ranked highest in customer satisfaction among conventional medium-duty trucks in the annual J.D. Power and Associates study. This recent award is the fifth time the company has ranked highest in this category.

It received the highest scores in two of the four factors that comprise overall conventional product satisfaction-performance and cost of ownership.

In the five areas comprising the performance factor, Peterbilt led in three-interior, exterior and engine.

The study was based on interviews with almost 1500 principal maintainers, such as fleet managers or owner/operators of two-year-old conventional cab medium-duty trucks.

Highway Safety Promoted
Mack Trucks, Inc. again will serve as the primary sponsor of the American Trucking Association’s Share The Road program, which is designed to enhance roadway safety by teaching car drivers how to safely drive around large trucks.

The program uses a group of truck drivers with stellar safety records to act as spokespeople, conducting safety demonstrations for the media about potential blind spots, safe following distances, truck stopping distances and other life-saving messages.

This will be Mack’s seventh consecutive year as a Share The Road sponsor.

One-Millionth Axle Is Produced
Dana Corp. has produced its one-millionth E-series steer axle at its Humboldt, TN, manufacturing facility.

The axle was built as a complete assembly with a PACCAR-proprietary front suspension, along with Bendix air disc brakes and Spicer LMSTM aluminum hubs. The assembly was sequenced to Kenworth’s facility in Renton, WA, for use with a Kenworth T660 aerodynamic long-haul conventional chassis, according to the company.

Lighting Manufacturer Recently Acquired
Truck-Lite Co., Inc. purchased Flexible Lamps Ltd. of Harlow, England.

Flexible Lamps, marketed under the Rubbolite and FL brand names, is a manufacturer of incandescent and LED lighting for the commercial vehicle market. The company was founded in 1924 and currently employs approximately 600 people in three manufacturing and distribution facilities in England and France. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Trailer Axle Business Sale
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York authorized Dana Corp. to sell its trailer axle business to Hendrickson.

Hendrickson assumed control of the company’s Lugoff, SC, trailer products manufacturing facility. Products will be manufactured in Barrie, Ontario, Canada, during the first quarter under the terms of a production supply agreement with Dana Corp.

International Merger Announced
The Holland Group, Inc. and Otto Sauer Achsenfabrik GmbH (SAF) have signed an agreement that will result in the merger of the two companies.

SAF is a supplier of integrated axle and suspension systems for trailers with headquarters in Germany. Terms of the arrangement were not disclosed.

After the merger, the companies will be subsidiaries of SAF-Holland Group GmbH headquartered in Bessenbach, Germany, with a combined annual turnover of approximately $975 million. The company will employ 3000 people worldwide.

Software Company Celebrates 25th Year
Karmak, Inc., celebrated its 25th year of providing business management software systems to heavy-duty truck parts distributors, dealers, manufacturers, service shops, lease/rental facilities and fleets.

The company said it continues to enhance its current business systems, while introducing new Windows- and web-based products to the market.

Marketing Program Announced
Truck Pride introduced the Fleet Service Expert Program for its members to offer their regional and national fleets.

The marketing program provides Truck Pride’s customers a safety net across the U.S. and Canada by using its pre-existing network of parts distributors and service experts to lessen the burden of sourcing emergency repairs while offering alternatives to the OE dealers’ parts and service, said the group.

Benefits of the program include consolidated purchasing, fleet surveys, parts warranty, technical and fleet management training and a truck service expert network.

Tool Company Is Celebrating Its Centennial Year
Stanley Proto celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Proto brand this year.

The company has planned a number of initiatives throughout the year to celebrate its milestone. The plans address internal associates, distributors and end-user customers.

Celebratory initiatives include the introduction of a commemorative logo, new product launches, a company history, a new product catalog and an anniversary section on its web site. Planned product initiatives include an expansion of the company’s tool line.

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