Industry Report

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

  • HD America announced Don Reimondo joined the marketing group as its new senior vice president.
  • Karmak added two new regional sales managers: Phillip Hirsch (Ky., Mich., Ohio and W.Va.) and Steven Stockdale (Ariz., Calif., Hawaii and Nev.).
  • The Tire Industry Association elected Tom Formanek board treasurer and Michael Berra, Jr., secretary.
  • Tom Gosnell was appointed to the HDA Parts Network Heavy Duty Marketing Group board of directors as an advisor.
  • Utility Trailer Manufacturing appointed John Harris its director of purchasing and logistics.
  • Horton Inc. promoted Tom Kleich to director of sales for the truck market.
  • WABCO announced several appointments: Kurt Lehmann, vice president, engineering and product development; Christian Wiehen, chief technology officer; and Alfred Farha, chief legal officer and secretary.
  • Thermo King Corporation named John Habermann its telematics product manager.
  • Peterson Manufacturing Company appointed Steve Meagher its vice president of sales.

Red Dot Adds 24 Locations
Red Dot Corp., a provider of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems and replacement parts for commercial trucks and off-highway vehicles, added three distributors representing 24 locations to its aftermarket network.

The new distributors are:

  • Western Branch Diesel, with eight locations in Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky and North Carolina;
  • Florida Detroit Diesel-Allison, with eight branches throughout Florida; and
  • Covington Power Services, with eight locations in North Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia.

These distributors join more than 175 Red Dot distributor locations in North America.

HDeXchange Announces Conference Agenda
HDeXchange released details on its sixth annual HDX Technology Conference, Sept. 9 to 11, at the Wyndham Cleveland at Playhouse Square in downtown Cleveland.

According to HDX, this year’s conference will have presentations from leading companies and service providers, and is adding a pre-conference workshop that will focus specifically on HDX’s Price File Library.

Theme Set for HDAW 2009
The theme for the 2009 Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week, to be held Feb. 16 to 19 in Orlando, Fla., is “Maximizing Opportunities in Challenging Times.”

“This is far more important than just a name for the conference. The independent distributor market is facing very challenging times and as distributors we can identify and maximize these opportunities through the conference program,” says Marc Karon, HDAW 2009 co-chairman and president of Total Truck Parts in Florida. “The volunteer leadership is developing an outstanding program for the independent distributors attending this premier business conference. This program will equip them to hit the ground running when they return home to their businesses. We intend to show that there are numerous opportunities for growth through our conference program.”

According to Joe McAleese, HDAW co-chairman and president and CEO of Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, “The HDAW education committee, made up of industry volunteers, recently met in Chicago and has been actively working on the program. Using several tools, the committee of more than 30 industry leaders, have identified major areas of interest to the independent distributor. Our post-conference survey and a recent topic-poll of all HDAW 08 attendees have given us a clear path to address these challenging times.”

The HDAW joint operating committee developed the program theme for the upcoming fourth annual conference. HDAW is an all-industry, independent distributor-focused, business-to-business conference that features a distributor information and education program, pre-scheduled one-on-one business meetings, networking opportunities, an awards program and a product expo.

STEMCO Opens Facility in China
STEMCO announced the opening of its Suzhou, China manufacturing facility, the company’s first plant outside of North America. The new facility will produce wheel-end seals for the domestic China commercial vehicle market.

“The STEMCO Suzhou plant is an important part of our long-term strategy to better serve customers such as CIMC, Meritor, Hendrickson and FUWA, to name a few,” says Jon Cox, president of STEMCO. “A local presence enables us to both manufacture our seals with the same high quality standards as we do in North America and deliver our products quickly to our customers in China”.

Hunter’s Brake Tester Approved by FMCSA
New enforcement regulations from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) approve Hunter’s B400T Brake Tester to test brake compliance without a follow-up physical inspection to take non-complying vehicles out of service.

According to Hunter, the B400T takes 30 seconds to determine whether a vehicle can continue to its destination or needs to be taken out of service for further inspection and repair. The brake tester uses the company’s proprietary, PC-based WinSI software to measure brake forces and vehicle weight at each wheel on multi-axle vehicles such as tractors and semi-trailers, tandem-axle tractors, buses and two-axle vehicles.

The company says to perform the test, a technician drives the vehicle onto the tester plates and applies the brakes. Load cells within the plates automatically measure a variety of brake performance conditions, which are then digitally transferred to the computer, analyzed and displayed on the monitor in color-coded charts.

VIPAR Sets Conference Date
The 2008 VIPAR Heavy Duty Annual Business Conference is scheduled for Oct. 19-24 at the JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & Spa at Summerlin in Las Vegas. The conference brings together VIPAR member distributors, supplier partners and industry associates.

Republic Diesel Acquires Assets of A-C Brake Co.
Republic Diesel announced it acquired certain assets of A-C Brake Co. which will become a new division of Republic Diesel called A-C Brake and will remain in its current Louisville, Ky. location.

Republic Diesel provides diesel engine machining services and a line of aftermarket parts for automotive, light, medium and heavy truck, 4×4, on and off highway and industrial equipment. A-C Brake provides brake parts and has a service facility specializing in vehicular braking systems and atypical components for off-road and industrial applications.

Michelin Adds 32 Travel Plazas to Network
Michelin Americas Truck Tires expanded its product and service distribution network with the addition of 32 truck stop locations throughout the U.S.

Bay Area Kenworth Expands
Bay Area Kenworth in Oakland, Calif., added three Northern California locations in Gilroy, Eureka and Redding, joining the company’s full-service dealerships in Oakland and Sacramento, and a parts store in Hayward.

Tech Expo at GATS
Professional Technician magazine (published by Randall-Reilly Publishing, which also publishes Truck Parts & Service) announced that it is hosting the Tech Expo at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas on August 22. The Tech Expo is the only dedicated technician event to be held at GATS.

The program will feature industry experts discussing career opportunities, realistic expectations, the importance of continuing education and recognition and appreciation for the profession. After the presentation, there will be time for technicians to walk the exhibit and visit with program exhibitors. Approximately 250 attendees from Lincoln Tech and other regional schools are expected.

Acquisition Expands ArvinMeritor’s Global Remanufacturing
ArvinMeritor, Inc. announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Trucktechnic, a major remanufacturer and distributor of commercial vehicle disc and foundation brakes and components, based in Liege, Belgium. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Trucktechnic’s customer base is in Western and Eastern Europe, Africa and South America. Its line of brake kits, components and testing equipment expands ArvinMeritor’s existing European aftermarket portfolio, including a significant lineup of remanufactured, all-makes, complete caliper and disc brakes.

As part of the acquisition, Trucktechnic’s 46 full-time employees, based out of its headquarters in Liege, will become part of the ArvinMeritor team.

“This acquisition represents a major step forward for our European operation in terms of brand recognition, product offering, geographical footprint and remanufacturing capability and capacity,” says Maurice Haft, ArvinMeritor’s managing director, Europe, Commercial Vehicle Aftermarket. “Trucktechnic’s skilled engineering and technical staff understands the specific needs of the aftermarket and will assist us in achieving our growth objectives in the geographic areas we serve.”

SAF-HOLLAND Launches Technology Road Show
A road tour showcasing SAF-HOLLAND products and training is underway, the company announced. The tour, which will be stopping at industry events and scheduled individual engagements, features a customized tractor-trailer, with the trailer serving as a show room and training center.

Among the products on display: the DH model liftgate, FWAL aluminum fifth wheel, the CB4000 trailer suspension system with SAF disc brake/axle technology, and Holland couplings, landing gear, fifth wheels and suspensions.

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