Industry Focus – September 2007

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

  • FleetCor hired Charles Freund as managing director for its newly acquired subsidiary, The Fuelcard Company.
  • Heil Environmental appointed Bill Shaw as customer support manager.
  • Wolfgang Winzer joined Webb Wheel Products as president of the company’s aftermarket business unit.
  • Doug Sanford was named vice president and general manager of the Hendrickson Truck Systems Group. Scott Fulton assumed duties as director of product development for Hendrickson Trailer Suspension Systems while Matt Van Meter became director of product validation.
  • Dana Corporation’s Heavy Vehicle Technologies and Systems Service division announced the appointment of Jimmy Winslett as regional manager for warehouse distributor customers in the eastern half of the U.S.
  • Peter Karlsten, head of Volvo Trucks North America, was appointed president of Volvo Powertrain.
  • Thermadyne Industries, Inc., named Terry A. Moody as executive vice president of global operations.
  • Phillips Industries hired Doug Noyes as general manager, commercial vehicle products.

Heavy Duty Dialogue Speakers Announced
Heavy Duty Dialogue’s 2008 annual conference speakers have been announced. Speakers will be: Dr. Thomas Barnett, author and expert on international security and globalization; Derek Kaufman, president and CEO, C3 Network; and Peter Nesvold, transportation industry analyst, Bear Stearns.

Heavy Duty Dialogue’s 2008 conference for heavy-duty trucking executives will be held January 21, at The Mirage, Las Vegas, preceding Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week.

International Acquisition
Rotary Lift Consolidated purchased Hanmecson International, a wholly-owned U.S. company headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. The company manufactures vehicle lifts at its plant in China.

With this acquisition, Rotary Lift Consolidated has business operation centers and ISO 9001-certified manufacturing facilities in North America, Europe and Asia.

CVSN Joins Forces With Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week
The Commercial Vehicle Solutions Network (CVSN) announced its annual spring meetings will be held in conjunction with Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week (HDAW), scheduled for January 21 through January 28, 2008, at The Mirage Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas.

“The committee assigned to consider the various options for the CVSN spring conference did a great job,” says Robyn Spitzke-Kent, executive vice president, Fort Garry Industries and current president of CVSN.

Ken Duval, president, Canadian Wheel and incoming president of CVSN, headed the committee. “While our Fall Annual Business Forum will remain focused on industry initiatives, our spring meeting fits very well into the format of HDAW,” he says. “Everyone involved worked tirelessly toward a solution that both strengthens CVSN and helps HDAW achieve its goal of an all-industry, all-organization, independent heavy-duty aftermarket conference.”

The HDAW leadership team persistently pursued a CVSN partnership in the annual event. By bringing the group into the fold, HDAW leadership hopes to bring distributors, suppliers, media, education and solution providers together in one venue, creating a consolidated, comprehensive annual industry meeting.

“We have held strong HDAW conferences the past two years,” says Jerry Weis, president, Ott’s Friction and HDAW 2008 chairman. “But it’s time to beef-up our lineup by adding many of the real power-players in the heavy-duty aftermarket.”

CVSN members will join the conference in prominent leadership roles. The association will be a sponsor of HDAW 2008, and then will become an organizer in 2009, along with the Heavy Duty Distributors Association and the Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association. HDAW organizers own the event and are responsible for the overall conference and production.

CVSN was formed in 2006 by the merging of the Council of Fleet Specialists and the National Wheel and Rim Association. It is North America’s largest distributor-governed association.

Company Acquisition Announced
Michelin North America, Inc., signed a definitive agreement to acquire Oliver Rubber Company, a subsidiary of Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, which produces tread rubber and retreading equipment.

According to Michelin, following the acquisition, Oliver will operate as a subsidiary of the company.

ArvinMeritor To Manufacture Air Link Suspension In Monterrey, Mexico
ArvinMeritor’s Commercial Vehicle Systems business group announced it will manufacture the Meritor Air Link suspension in its Sistemas Automotirices de Mexico, S.A. de C.V. joint venture facility in Monterrey, Mexico. Manufacturing will begin effective immediately in the QS9000-certified facility.

The company added the Air Link suspension to its product line up through a licensing agreement with Raydan Manufacturing, Inc. of Alberta, Canada in 2004. The agreement covers suspension applications up to and including 52,000 lb. GAWR for commercial truck, and specialty and military vehicles.

Company Rewards Technicians With Prizes
Technicians purchasing certain brake parts from Raybestos can qualify for the chance to win various prizes, including a custom Chip Foose-designed Stallion, says the company.

The One-Two-Three Foose Promotion runs through October 31. Participants receive separate tally cards for each promotion to track their purchases. For more information, interested technicians can visit

Hendrickson Trailer Literature On CD
Hendrickson’s Trailer Sales, Parts and Service Literature Library is now on a CD (called L996) that was mailed to all registered holders of the company’s red binder literature set. The company will issue periodic mailings of new and revised air-ride trailer information to keep the library current.

Phillips Industries Opens Eastern Distribution Center
Phillips Industries has opened a new distribution center in Cincinnati that the company says will allow it to more effectively serve customers in eastern regions of the U.S. This is the company’s fifth facility in the U.S. and Canada.

Test Preparation Guide Published
Delmar Learning released the Medium/Heavy-Duty Truck Technician Certification Test Preparation Manual, 2E.

According to the company, this revised edition contains updated content, practice tests and demonstrative graphics to prepare technicians to pass each of the T1-T8 certification exams. The chapters are said to include coverage of all the ASE tasks associated with each test, ASE-style questions to familiarize users with the testing format, as well as hints to encourage users along the problem-solving process.

Female Technicians Calendar
Artist Sarah Lyon created a 14-month 2007 wall calendar depicting female technicians at work, available for purchase. The calendar includes images of each technician, along with bios telling their stories and how they came into the field.

According to Lyon, the calendar challenges tool-girl, pin-up stereotypes by showing the women working in their shop environments.

The 2007 calendar is still available for order and the 2008 calendar will be available for order later this year. For more information, visit

Company Assists Technicians With Section 609 Compliance
This year, the Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide helped 15,207 mobile air conditioning (A/C) technicians to comply with Section 609 of the U.S. Clean Air Act.

“Even though Section 609 has been law since 1990, there still are a large number of technicians completing certification,” says Elvis Hoffpauir, president and chief operating officer, MACS Worldwide.

So many technicians still are completing certification because a new generation is entering the work force, more vehicles now are equipped with A/C units and there is a greater awareness of the law and the danger of accruing large fines, according to Hoffpauir.

For more information on certification, visit the MACS web site at

New Member
The Power Heavy Duty division of Elite Automotive Marketing announced the addition of Oil Filter Service Inc., Rochester, N.Y.

Heavy-Duty Distributors Continue To Purchase Chinese Parts, Study Says
Concerns voiced about the quality of Chinese manufacturing in the wake of many consumer product recalls does not deter heavy-duty distributors and fleet customers from purchasing China-made products, concludes a recent survey conducted by Wade&Partners.

According to the telephone survey, 42 percent of distributors are concerned about Chinese imports, as are 64 percent of their customers. The respondents replied that they primarily are concerned about the quality of materials used, the level of workmanship and the product’s ability to meet U.S. government specs, particularly those addressing safety.

A well-known domestic brand name, however, can trump concerns about overseas manufacturing, according to the survey.

“If people recognize the name, then it seems to fall into the ‘safe buy’ category, meaning it will work the way it is supposed to and it will be dependable,” says Bill Wade, managing partner, Wade & Partners.

Wade notes that certain brands “scream American” even if they now are imported. “If a product previously was known as American made, it seems to stay that way in a counter person’s mind, even after it is off-shored,” says Wade. “I was not expecting distributors to say that brand familiarity would so overwhelmingly take precedence over what is actually in the box.”

Another question the study asked was if “Made in America” still has selling power and the response was “yes” with 75 percent of those surveyed saying that a product still can create a market simply by being American made. Respondents defined the meaning of “Made in America” to heavy-duty distributors as superior engineering and quality, better production machinery, good workmanship, finish and dependability.

However, an American-made product might not sell for more money. The survey finds that 38 percent of respondents believe that an American-made part cannot automatically command a premium price. Sixty-two percent of respondents say that a domestic product can or might sell for a premium. If a product is for a perceived important, high-priority or safety use, those surveyed are more inclined to believe that it can be sold at a premium.

According to the survey, some people have ceased selling products they feel may not be up to par, no matter what the brand name. Others are taking an in-depth look at products and manufacturing processes to make sure they are up to standards.

The Wade & Partners survey randomly selected a significant sample of heavy-duty distributor branch managers who were questioned through a blind telephone survey. Additional responses came from interviews conducted with owners and executives of independent heavy-duty distributors, says the company.

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