Industry Focus

Bridgestone Bandag Tire Solutions To Relocate To Nashville

Bridgestone Americas, Inc. (BSAM) announced plans to begin the process of relocating members of its senior management team and other specific functions of its Muscatine, Iowa-based Bridgestone Bandag Tire Solutions (BBTS) operations to locations in the Nashville, Tenn., area, including BSAM’s headquarters facility in Nashville.

This decision is part of an overall effort to restructure the way BSAM does business across its North American operations. The goals are to become a more profitable and customer-focused business; to lower costs by eliminating duplication and inefficiencies; and to harness talent and expertise in a way that best serves the business. The company is installing new management operating systems to improve efficiencies and business processes, and enhancing the ability to measure business and individual performance.

The BBTS functions that will remain in Muscatine are: Equipment Manufacturing, Emergency Road Service, Human Resources, Retread Manufacturing Management, Manufacturing Finance, Information Technology Developers and Support, Retread Engineering, Retread Technical Services and Retread Research and Development. Approximately 220 BBTS teammates will remain in Muscatine.

The following BBTS functions will be relocating to locations in the Nashville area, including the company’s headquarters facility: Purchasing, Marketing, Finance, Accounts Payable, Credit, Business Strategy & Solutions Group, Customer Service, Legal, Safety and members of the company-owned operations senior management team. Thirty-two BBTS teammates will be relocating to Nashville as a result of this decision.


Following are personnel changes and announcements in the trucking industry:


* Pressure Systems International has hired Charles Lafuente to fill the new position of engineer/quality control manager for the company’s Meritor Tire Inflation System line. Lafuente will work under vice president of technical services Kevin Hennig.

* Champion Laboratories, Inc. has announced the appointment of Wolfgang Winzer as company president.


* Software solutions provider Noregon Systems has named Henry Prentice new director of business development.

* HDA Truck Pride has announced its new business development team. The new team includes Ron Fleischhacker, Tom Hillegas, Bo Ward and Mark Willis. The team’s focus will be to enhance communications to its members and assist with the organic growth of the business. The business development managers will report to Tina Alread, director of sales and marketing.

* Webb Wheel Products, Inc. has hired Marshall Boheler as vice president OES sales and marketing. In his new position, Boheler will report to business unit president Duane Ricketts, and will be responsible for Webb’s sales in the original equipment service distribution channel.


* Dave Durand has been promoted to vice president of Great Dane Trailer’s aftermarket parts division. Durand worked as aftermarket parts director in his previous position for the company, and will continue to oversee the PDC and parts activities associated with Great Dane’s branch operations.

* Great Dane Trailers has also reorganized its management structure. Jim Pines, Rick Mullininx and Dean Engelage have moved into roles as executive vice presidents, while Jim Petrarca has been hired to take over as chief financial officer. This group will work with Senior Vice President Sam Gupta and Bill Crown, president and CEO, to comprise Great Dane’s executive committee.


* Rob Phillips has been promoted to vice president of Global Operations for Phillips Industries. Phillips has been with the company for 15 years.

For the latest aftermarket news, announcements and trends, visit

FTR Reports Heavy Truck Orders Reach Highest Level In Over Four Years

FTR Associates has released preliminary data showing November Class 8 truck net orders for all major North American OEMs totaled 26,005 units, a 38 percent increase over October and the highest monthly order level since May 2006, over four years ago. November marked the fourth consecutive month-over-month increase in orders. Net order activity for the six-month period including November equates to an annual rate of 198,510 units. The figure includes U.S., Canada, Mexico and Exports.

FTR President Eric Starks says, “We were expecting a normal seasonal increase in orders to a level between 22,000 and 25,000 units. The November number came in slightly above those expectations. This can be chalked up as a win for the industry. The fact that truckers are willing to start ordering equipment is certainly a good sign.”

Starks continues, “It is clear that we are in a recovery period for the new truck equipment market. However, we still harbor concerns regarding the durability of the current surge. We do know that leasing companies and large fleets were instrumental in pushing the orders higher. What we are not seeing are the smaller and medium size fleets participating at the levels we would normally expect during a recovery. Until we see this group jumping back into the market we will continue to be optimistic, but with a degree of caution. The recent numbers have not changed our view on the direction of the new equipment market for 2011.”

ACOFAS Announces Spring Technician Training Clinic

The American Council of Frame and Alignment Specialists (ACOFAS) will be conducting courses in CSA inspection procedures, healthy work safety practices and engine and chassis computer diagnostics at a technician clinic later this year. The clinic will be held on April 19-20, 2011, and will be hosted by Mike Ross at Ross Body & Frame Works.

Clinic classes will include both classroom and hands-on instruction.

Presenters at the clinic will include:

* John Cheruka of Commercial Vehicle Safety and Accident will discuss how CSA will affect the independent service providers. Cheruka will discuss inspection procedures, and his hands-on session will include vehicles and demonstrations.

* John Marino of Marino Chiropractics will present a “Taking Care of Your Body” session on proper lifting, bending and warm-up procedures for distributor employees to avoid muscle strains.

*Matt McKegney of Noregon Industries will give a presentation on his company’s new product for engine and chassis diagnostics. The new product is called the J-Pro. This session will include hands-on and class instruction.

Potter Webster Company To Expand

The Potter Webster Company is expanding its Albany, Ore. service and repair facility to Portland, across the street from its corporate headquarters.

Hda LogoThe new facility will operate as a McKay Truck, Trailer and RV service center and will have three full-time mechanics and will be managed by Bill Stout. Stout has more than 25 years experience working in the diesel repair business. Once the Portland garage is open, Potter Webster Company also plans to move its Hitch Mart Division into the shop. The company’s Hitch Mart Division will focus on light trailer repairs. The company’s Hitch Mart Division will also be featured under the McKay name plate after the move.

“Potter Webster Company is a very aggressive company that always looks at any opportunity to grow in this market place,” says a company spokesperson.  “Being the only family owned and operated company left in the Portland Metro area selling aftermarket parts to the heavy-duty industry, we are proud to offer our customers our diversification.  We look forward to expanding this service to our current customer base and hopefully gain some new ones in the process.”

HDA Truck Pride Elects Executive Committee For Strategic Planning

The newly combined marketing group, HDA Truck Pride, recently held its first Board of Managers meeting in St. Petersburg, Fla. During the meeting, an executive committee was elected: chairman David Settles, Weldon Truck Parts, Oklahoma City, Okla.; secretary John Minor, Midwest Wheel, Des Moines, Iowa; and treasurer Keith McLemore, Stone Truck Parts, Garner, N.C.

The committee will take the strategic lead in guiding the combined organization to compete with an expanded footprint, more uniform product offerings, enhanced service network, as well as valued-added programs and services.

Other members of the Board of Managers include Lyle Bass, Power Train Service, Indianapolis; Jay Boggeman, Plaza Fleet Parts, St. Louis; John Bzeta, Fleet Brake Parts & Service, Calgary; Bruce Greer, Kroeger Equipment & Supply Co., Porterville, Calif.; Bill Ryan, Point Spring and Driveshaft Co., Pittsburgh; and Tom Gosnell, Flint Ridge LLC, Walton, Ky.

Lanair Holdings, LLC Acquires Clean Burn, Inc.

Lanair Holdings, LLC, manufacturers of air comfort solutions, has announced the acquisition of Clean Burn, Inc. Based in Lancaster, Pa., Clean Burn is a niche manufacturer of waste oil furnaces and boilers.

“I am excited about the addition of Clean Burn to our line-up of top quality used-oil products,” says Barry Brandt, president and CEO of Lanair Holdings. “Clean Burn’s leading market position and strong distribution network will complement our existing products and significantly strengthen our market positioning. The quality and reputation of Clean Burn products are second to none and we’re pleased to unite our two companies.”

The business will be operated as Clean Burn, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lanair Holdings LLC. Lanair Holdings LLC is a holding company that also owns Lanair Products, LLC. For more information on Lanair, visit or call 1-800-753-1601.

Fleetpro Extends Contract With Bowie, Md. Through 2015

The City of Bowie, Md., has extended its contract with Fleetpro to provide on-site maintenance and inspection of city-owned vehicles through 2015. The extension ensures Fleetpro will continue to service approximately 113 public works, sanitation, transportation, and recreation and parks vehicles to Prince George’s County’s largest municipality, as it has since 1996.

“Bowie’s vehicles are located throughout the city and unable to be worked on during regular business hours because they are in operation,” says Jackie Tayman, Fleetpro contact manager. “The comprehensive off-hours service offered by Fleetpro is cost-effective and allows for more productivity by city employees because their vehicles remain available to them when they most need them.”

The partnership between Bowie, which has grown into the third-largest and fifth most-populated city in Maryland, and Fleetpro has lessened Bowie’s need for big-ticket capital expenditures while freeing up city-employed maintenance personnel for other assignments.

Fleetpro has worked closely with Bowie since 1996 and, in 2005, was awarded a five-year contract with a five-year option to handle maintenance and inspection of city-owned vehicles. In May, the town’s government voted to exercise the option, which runs through 2015.

Baltimore-based Fleetpro is under contract to perform similar maintenance with other jurisdictions, including Berwyn Heights, Hyattsville and College Park in Prince George’s County; Chevy Chase in Montgomery County; the City of Baltimore; and the District of Columbia.

HDA Truck Pride Officially Opens At HDAW 2011

HDA Truck Pride, a new group of independent parts and service specialists, was officially launched during Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week 2011 at The Mirage in Las Vegas. The new marketing group plans to focus on assisting customer with their challenges and needs, the company said.

The new company is the result of a merger between HD America and Truck Pride. The merger was announced in late 2010, and the new company held a series of one-on-one marketing meetings with distributors and vendors prior to debuting at HDAW.

“We’re quite excited about this new year — an overall recovery of business conditions and a new unified group with the power of 700 locations, all able to service independent repair shops, national fleets, regional fleets and vocational types of all sizes with the right parts and with a network of over 400 service facilities,” said CEO Don Reimondo.

According to the company, HDA Truck Pride hopes to serve customers and distributors throughout the United States and Canada. Reimondo said HDA Truck Pride will focus on supplying parts, providing service locations and expert technicians along with top-flight scheduling and workload plans. n

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