Industry Focus

Updated Jul 9, 2010
Mitchell 1 Signs Partnership Agreement with National Roadside Service


Mitchell 1 announced it has signed a partnership agreement with National Roadside Service to provide Mitchell 1 repair information and shop management systems to NRS service providers to use in their businesses. The agreement includes Mitchell 1’s and Web-based repair information programs for commercial vehicles of all classifications.

“This partnership will mutually benefit both companies as it is intended to help NRS improve the quality of service that we can provide via our association repair shops, and to help Mitchell 1 sell more product and expand more quicklyinto the heavy truck and commercial vehicle market,” says Cindy Thoms, national marketing director for National Roadside Service.

NRS and Mitchell 1 say their relationship allows parties at all levels to gain from their combined organizational expertise:

• Mitchell 1 will have the opportunity to align itself with some of the best repair facilities in the business and will be able to further serve the commercial vehicle segment of the industry in terms of software sales and services;

• NRS will be able to develop national warranties and vehicle inspection routines, and will know its associated shops will have the necessary software tools to repair vehicles quickly and at a high level of quality;

• The truck driver/member will be able to move about the country at will with no concerns about what to do in the event of a breakdown or where to get preventive maintenance; and

• The fleet owner/member will know that his vehicles will be kept on the road and producing revenue as much as possible, and when they do break down will be fixed quickly and within a prenegotiated pricing model.

NRS is a national association of service providers that repair, service and maintain heavy trucks, commercial vehicles and RVs that are owned and operated by members of the NRS network. NRS facilitates towing, repair, maintenance, parts, glass, locksmiths and discounts with national name-brand suppliers for all of its member vehicles and fleets anywhere in North America.

People In The News

Following are personnel changes and announcements in the trucking industry:

* Ancra International promoted Ralph Abato to its vice president of sales and marketing. Additionally, the company hired Jim Calico as its vice president of business development and Tony White for sales support and management in the Southeast region.

* Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake appointed Gary Ganaway as its director of Marketing and Global Development and appointed Charlie Miller to its plant manager of the company’s Bowling Green, Ky., manufacturing facility.


* Karmak Inc. added John Jasperson as its regional manager responsible for Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

* Wade & Partners, a marketing and consulting firm specializing in the heavy-duty truck market, hired Lew Flowers as its fleet specialist.

MACS Honors Red Dot’s Hansen

The Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) presented the Mobile A/C Industry Pioneer Award to Red Dot Corporation’s Vice President Gary Hansen in recognition of his leadership and technical achievements in A/C system and component design.

HansenHansen accepted the award during the MACS’ 30th Anniversary Convention and Trade Show in Las Vegas.

During his career, Hansen has been a champion of the specific needs of heavy-duty vehicles with respect to A/C system performance, design and refrigerant standards, according to the announcement. As Red Dot’s chief engineer since 1979, Hansen has led or participated in the design of the majority of the products Red Dot offers today. He has several patents and in 2007 his work in the area of alternate refrigerants was recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency when Red Dot received an EPA Climate Protection Award.

Hansen is active in several professional associations including the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) and the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). He is also an emeritus member of the Association of Climate Change Officers, a group formed to help companies establish environmental policies at the senior-management level.

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Accuride Corporation Emerges from Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Accuride Corporation announced that it successfully completed all conditions of its Plan of Reorganization and emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy with a new capital structure after only five months.

“Entering Chapter 11 with a pre-arranged agreement and the continued support of our lenders, allowed Accuride to emerge in an expeditious manner,” said Bill Lasky Accuride’s president, CEO and chairman of the board. “Accuride has always been a solid leader in product innovation and operational efficiency. Our improved financial structure, coupled with the respect of our industry brands, will allow us to pursue initiatives to further expand our product offering and geographic penetration, while in turn providing increased solutions for our customers and greater value for our shareholders.”

According to the announcement, Accuride exits bankruptcy with a more flexible capital structure that includes a $308 million term loan and $140 million of convertible notes. All unsecured trade creditors will be paid in full for valid claims.

Additionally, the company said it filed the necessary paperwork for Accuride’s common stock to begin trading on the Over-the-Counter Bulletin Boards (OTCBB) and will announce the symbol for trading in Accuride’s common stock when it becomes available.

“Upon filing our voluntary petition for Chapter 11 protection, we embarked upon the very aggressive path we had chartered to ensure the company emerged from the process as expeditiously as possible,” said Lasky. “I would like to extend my extreme gratitude for all who worked so diligently, allowing us to remain on track and emerge today a healthier company. I would also like to reiterate my sincere appreciation for our team members whose dedication ensured that we maintained quality production and on-time delivery, as well as our customers and suppliers who remained loyal to Accuride throughout the restructuring process.

“We look forward to continuing these partnerships through which we will together bring innovation to the industry.”

On October 8, 2009, Accuride’s U.S. entities filed a voluntary petition for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the District of Delaware. Additional information surrounding the company’s restructuring is available at

VIPAR’s VHD Equipment Network Adds Distributors

VhdVIPAR Heavy Duty announced it added three distributor members to its VHD Equipment Network: Nelson Truck Equipment Co. (Kent, Wash.), Custom Truck & Equipment (Kansas City, Mo.) and Truck Equipment, Inc. (Green Bay, Wis.).

With the expansion, the network, now in its third year, has 17 distributor members representing 46 locations throughout the U.S. and Canada.

“We have seen our network expand as distributors understand how we can help them become more profitable in their local market by becoming part of our larger network,” said Chris Baer, vice president, VIPAR Heavy Duty. “We have demonstrated that we have the tools for distributors to build more profitable relationships with suppliers, enhance their cash flow and improve their bottom line.”

The VHD Equipment Network offers membership to commercial vehicle truck equipment distributors in a national marketing group. According to the announcement, it takes advantage of the experience and expertise of VIPAR Heavy Duty in the heavy-duty aftermarket to focus on the North American commercial vehicle truck-mounted equipment market.

ASE Discontinues Certain Certification Tests

The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) announced that at the end of the year it will discontinue its Truck Aftermarket Brake Parts (P3), Truck Aftermarket Suspension & Steering (P9) and the Engine Machinist (M-Series) certification tests.

AseThe organization said the last opportunity to take a regular or recertification P3, P9 or Engine Machinist test will be the 2010 Fall testing administration in November, which will extend ASE certification credentials in the affected areas to 2015.

“The decision to end the Engine Machinist, P3 and P9 tests was not made lightly,” said Tim Zilke, ASE president and CEO. “Our board of directors carefully examined trends in the industry, as well as the number of candidates required to provide enough data to ensure a quality testing product beyond 2010. Since producing anything less is not an option, based on the results of the study, our board decided to discontinue these tests.” No other ASE certification tests are affected and the remaining Truck Dealership Parts (P1), Automobile Parts (P2) and General Motors Parts Consultant (P4) will continue to be offered.

“The real strength of the ASE program has been and continues to be our certified professionals,” said Zilke. “We want those affected by this decision to know that ASE will continue to provide information and support to all of our Machinist, P3 and P9-certified professionals through 2015.”

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