August 2011 Industry Focus

Betts Spring Receives DTNA Masters Of Quality Award

Betts Spring has been selected to receive the Daimler Trucks North America Masters of Quality Award. Betts Spring was recognized for its efforts during 2010 in meeting the rigid requirements and expectations for suppliers to Daimler Trucks North America.

This is the third time Betts has received this honor, having been recognized previously in 2002 and 2007.

Mike Betts, president of Betts Spring, says, “At Betts, everyone is committed to meeting or exceeding the expectations of our customers for quality products delivered on schedule. We appreciate that DTNA has recognized our efforts. Our long-standing service to DTNA has been critical to our success. Today, just like every day, we diligently pursue excellence for Daimler and every other customer we serve.”

Betts Spring supplies Betts and Life-Time Fenders branded spray suppression products and other proprietary components manufactured to DTNA specifications.

DTNA presents the Masters Of Quality Award annually to an elite group of suppliers who meet its rigorous standards and also show a commitment for continual improvement.

People In The News

Following are personnel changes and announcements in the trucking industry:

* Grote Industries announced that Ken Hoskins will be stepping into the role of plant manager the Madison operation.

* Fras-Le announced that Randy Mordue is now director of sales and marketing for the company’s North *merican commercial- and light-vehicle aftermarket. Kevin Judge will serve as the company’s East Coast sales manager for the light-vehicle aftermarket, and Cory Cheever Cheever will be responsible for Fras-le’s West Coast aftermarket sales efforts in light vehicles.

* Aero Industries announced Jeff Boyd as the new flatbed products manager, a new position at the company

* Fort Garry Industries announced the hiring of Dave Cannon as senior manager of business development.

* Fontaine Trailer Company, a Marmon Highway Technologies company, has named Randy McGuire president of the Fontaine heavy-haul business unit based in Springville, Ala.

* Hutchens Industries announced the promotion of Taylor Hutchens to its sales team as regional manager for Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana,   New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

* Michael Reardon was named vice president of sales for Mack Trucks, Inc.

* Meritor, Inc. has appointed Christy Daehnert director of investor relations.

* Eaton Corp. announced that Harold Jones has been named senior vice president for environment, health and safety.

For the latest aftermarket news, announcements and trends, visit truckpartsandservice.com

Remy Launches New Order Management System

Remy Inc., provider of Delco Remy brand heavy-duty starters and alternators, launched a new order management system effective July 15. The new system is a Web application that the company says will streamline the ordering process for its customers.

Updated technology employed by the new system will speed the ordering process with improved performance, increased system up-time, user-friendly Web interfaces and simplified navigation functions, the company says. In addition to being able to place orders faster, Remy says its customers will have enhanced part number availability, order status and history look up capabilities and more robust order management tools.

The Trucking Industry Adds 4,400 Jobs In June

The surge in trucking employment didn’t just resume in June; apparently it never stopped. While last month’s job report from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that for-hire trucking companies had added only 100 jobs in May, the latest BLS report released Friday, July 8, revised those numbers to a 3,000-job increase in May and pegged the growth in June over May at 4,400.

Since the end of December, payroll employment in trucking is up nearly 27,000, according to the preliminary BLS figures. Since trucking employment bottomed out in March 2010, the industry has added 55,500 jobs.

Job growth in the rest of the economy isn’t as healthy. Non-farm payroll employment edged up by just 18,000 jobs in June, and the unemployment rate actually ticked higher by one-tenth of a percentage point, according to initial BLS estimates. Modest gains in private employment were offset by 39,000 jobs lost in federal and state governments.

Compared to June 2010, payroll employment in trucking is up 3.9 percent. Total employment in trucking in June was nearly 1.283 million — down 170,500, or 11.7 percent, from peak trucking employment in January 2007.

The BLS numbers reflect all payroll employment in for-hire trucking, but they don’t include trucking-related jobs in other industries, such as a truck driver for a private fleet. Nor do the numbers reflect the total amount of hiring since they only include new jobs, not replacements for existing positions.

Vipar’s Global Parts Network Opens CoMan Center

Global Parts Network, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Vipar Heavy Duty, opened a new manufacturing center dedicated to the remanufacturing and distribution of truck brake shoes and related components on July 11 in South Bend, Ind.

The new 76,000-sq.-ft. facility is the second CoMan Center (Cooperative Manufacturing Center) for GPN and more than doubles GPN’s overall production capacity.

GPN’s CoMan Centers are dedicated production facilities that are said to provide seamless service and support exclusively to the Vipar Heavy Duty network of distributors and suppliers. The South Bend location will initially provide new and remanufactured brake shoes, brake shoe kits, friction material and related parts.

The brake product offerings support brands including Federal-Mogul’s Abex, Meritor, and TMD Friction’s Textar and Don, in addition to GPN’s proprietary brand of Ferodo OptiPro and TuffLine private label program.

“The central location of our new CoMan Center allows us to offer service to Vipar Heavy Duty distributors in Canada and improved service to stockholders in the central and eastern U.S.,” says Gene Damron, GPN’s general manager.

“In addition, we are pleased to introduce improved equipment and processes at the new facility. This includes higher capacity washers, blaster and packaging cells. A new coating process also has been developed and deployed to insure the best possible products for our customers,” he adds.

PartSmart To Be Sold Via Amazon.com

Navistar Parts now offers its customers the option to order PartSmart parts through Amazon.com.

With Amazon.com’s e-commerce platform, shoppers can customize their shipping preferences (next day, two-day and ground), see product reviews and use a variety of payment options including Paypal and Amazon.com gift cards. The search capabilities of Amazon.com allows customers to search by item, price, make and model, and see suggested products that complement their selection.

“(The website) www.Amazon.com/PARTSMART will make it simple to identify the parts you want and the related products you need,” says Patti Corso, Navistar’s e-commerce manager. “The customer-friendly aspects of the site are wonderful additions to Navistar Parts’ e-commerce options.”

Navistar Parts’ existing e-commerce site, www.partsmartparts.com, will also continue to offer parts and promotions.

Shippers’ Condition Index Improves For Second Consecutive Month

FTR Associates’ Shippers’ Condition Index (SCI) has moved upward again this month, signifying improving conditions for shippers. The current SCI as reported in the firm’s July Shippers Update rose to a reading of -3.6 from the -5.4 reported last month.

While the negative SCI reading indicates that overall conditions still are viewed as unfavorable from the standpoint of the shipper, the situation is considerably less acute than it was earlier this year.

However, assuming the rate of growth in the economy improves as expected in the second half of the year, the SCI is projected to deteriorate once again as growing freight demand strains carrier capacity.

The SCI sums up all market influences that affect shippers; a reading above zero suggests a favorable shipping environment, while a reading below zero is unfavorable.

“The improvement in the SCI must be regarded as a mixed bag in that it is the result of tepid demand from shippers and therefore is a product of the current softness in the economy,” says Larry Gross, senior consultant for FTR. “While most shippers are currently seeing sufficient capacity to haul their goods, this will soon begin to change.

“Truckload rates will begin to move upward again during the fall shipping season, and are expected to rise dramatically in 2012 as new regulations are implemented putting a drag on the entire trucking segment. Of course, all of these projections would be thrown into question in the event of a failure in the federal debt ceiling negotiations or some other external shock to the economy.”

Dana Launches SVL Aftermarket Drivetrain Product Line

Dana Holding Corporation has launched a new line of SVL drivetrain components for the automotive, commercial-vehicle and off-highway aftermarkets. Designed specifically for older (post-warranty) vehicles, SVL products are said to offer quality replacement parts for vehicles with lower usage cycles.

The new SVL product line initially will launch in North America and feature universal joints for the light- and commercial-vehicle markets, and ring and pinion gear sets for heavy-duty applications. Shortly after the launch, Dana will begin offering SVL-branded light-duty axle components.

Additional components and regional availability will be determined based on market demand.

“Operators of older, less frequently used vehicles are seeking value pricing from a trusted source with consistent quality and reliability,” says Bill Gryzenia, vice president and general manager of Dana’s Aftermarket Group.

“As an extension of Dana’s current product offerings, SVL offers valuable driveline solutions that are affordable and delivered with the service and reliability our customers have come to expect.”

Horton Achieves ISO 14001 Certification

Horton has attained ISO 14001 Environmental Management System Certification. The certification applies to Horton facilities in Roseville, Minn., Britton, S.D. and Carmel, Ind.

ISO 14001:2004 is a global specification covering processes and practices necessary to limit environmental impact through significantly reduced energy and raw materials consumption and lower production of waste materials.

The standard was created to help all types of organizations to protect the environment, prevent pollution and improve their environmental performance.

Horton’s environmental commitment includes recycling paper, cardboard, metals and electrical components. Water generated from washers is recycled, and water from equipment is recirculated to preserve natural resources.

At its facilities, Horton tracks energy use and has installed smart switches. The company says has a substantial remanufacturing program, refurbishes and reuses existing components, and uses ozone-friendly refrigerants.

FleetPride Opens Distribution Center In Georgia

FleetPride announced the opening of its new 150,000-sq.-ft. regional distribution center in Lawrenceville, Ga.

Located at 2406 Tech Center Parkway, this regional distribution center will service the heavy-duty transportation market in the southeastern U.S.

Lawrenceville’s inventory includes more than 40,000 SKUs and reflects the demand of FleetPride’s regional customer base. In addition to the parts inventory, the new regional distribution center also will offer kitting and light packaging.

“FleetPride chose this location because it allows for overnight delivery service to over 50 branch locations in the southeast region. Lawrenceville is FleetPride’s fourth distribution center in the U.S., and it is another significant move to expand and streamline FleetPride’s national heavy-duty truck and trailer parts logistics network,” says Robert Lindley, FleetPride’s vice president of supply chain.

“FleetPride’s four regional distribution centers are strategically located in high-volume areas for the heavy-duty transportation industry, which allow us to improve customer service and support our continued growth,” says Brian Chupp, director of FleetPride’s supply chain operations.

The Lawrenceville regional distribution center will be led by industry veteran Rudy Molina. As warehouse manager, Molina will oversee a team of 25 employees.

Correction

The article titled Fully Operational in the June 2011 issue of Truck Parts & Service incorrectly stated the gaskets for PTO mating gears as 6,000 to 12,000 units. That should have been .006 in. to .012 in. The article also indicated the installation time for an external PTO to be 30 minutes. The time should be approximately two hours.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

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