Several companies Thursday (March 26) announced product changes and enhancements at the Mid-America Trucking Show at the Kentucky Expo Center in Louisville.
Volvo launched several new initiatives at MATS, including a specialized I-Shift automated transmission for severe duty applications and a new Adaptive Loading System based around an automatically-controlled 6×2 liftable forward axle.
Wade Long, Volvo’s director of product marketing for North America, said Volvo Remote Diagnostics service will be expanded in April to monitor critical fault codes on the Volvo I-Shift automated manual transmission.
Beginning in April, the service will expand to monitor internal I-Shift transmission components on model year 2016 trucks. Remote Diagnostics will monitor both the standard I-Shift transmission and the I-Shift for severe-duty applications.
Mack Trucks introduced Load Logic and a 6×2 liftable pusher axle option for its Pinnacle highway model.
Designed for applications that routinely haul out heavy and return empty, Mack Load Logic and the 6×2 with liftable pusher axle are designed to monitor trailer weight and adjust the truck’s driveline configuration to boost fuel efficiency without impacting performance.
Load Logic integrates an advanced sensor in the rear suspension with the Mack mDRIVE automated manual transmission.
Roy Horton, Mack director of product marketing, says when a fully loaded trailer is detected, mDRIVE operates as a direct drive transmission, locking out twelfth gear for increased performance and pulling power. Horton adds when an empty trailer is detected, the transmission switches to overdrive, enabling twelfth gear to lower cruise RPMs and maximize fuel efficiency.
During normal operation, control of the lift axle is automatic based on payload. The system offers a manual control feature that enables a driver to raise or lower the suspension for easier landing gear retraction or trailer hook-up. To deliver optimal traction, the system’s suspension pressure and ride height are continuously monitored and adjusted to maintain a load bias toward the drive axle.
Navistar’s OnCommand Connection remote diagnostics system will now be free and standard on all 2007 and newer model International trucks, the company announced at MATS.
It no longer will be charging a monthly fee for the service, the company announced, and it will be giving new OnCommand subscribers what they call a “telematics credit” — a stipend of sorts that truck buyers can use to buy hardware and data service for telematics systems.
The credit can be used on base model telematics hardware and two years of data service on International vehicles upon activiation of OnCommand, starting this July. Navistar does not yet have a firm dollar amount on how much it will provide, but will have more details in the coming months, it said.
Internet Truckstop has a new look. The brand and online freight-matching service, operational for two decades, has become Truckstop.com. CEO and founder Scott Moscrip announced the change at MATS.
Internet Truckstop Group will become the umbrella brand, which includes Truckstop.com, uDrove, Real Time Freight, ITS Financial Services, D&S Factors and Roady’s Truck Stops.
“We have reinvented the way we express our brand and brand values,” Truckstop.com Chief Marketing Officer Brent Hutto said. “The current brand is not reflective of our growth and of our technology focus.”
Hutto said while it is true that the company started out as “just a load board,” it has grown into something much larger over the last 20 years.