FEATURED VIDEO: MILLER
STERTIL-KONI’S DIAMONDLIFTS SELECTED FOR NEW FACILITY AT O’HARE AIRPORT
Heavy-duty vehicle lift leader Stertil-Koni announces that the company’s innovative inground telescopic piston lift model, the DIAMONDLIFT, was selected for use at the new American Airlines, Inc. maintenance facility, under construction at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois. For more, visit www.stertil-koni.com.
VIPAR HEAVY DUTY AND MERITOR ENTER AGREEMENT
VIPAR Heavy Duty and Meritor announce a long-term agreement providing for VIPAR to offer a robust and growing portfolio of Meritor steering and suspension products through the VIPAR Heavy Duty network and its family of companies. For more, visit www.vipar.com.
PETERBILT OFFERING BENDIX SLACK ADJUSTERS AND SPRING BRAKES AS FACTORY OPTIONS
Peterbilt is offering the Bendix® Versajust® LS slack adjuster and the Bendix® Eversure® spring brake as factory options on a variety of its models. The Bendix Versajust LS is a link-style automatic slack adjuster that can extend lining life by up to 16 percent and drum life by up to 30 percent. It is designed to significantly reduce brake maintenance and minimize the risk of dragging brakes. The slack adjuster is covered by a standard 6-year/1.0M mile warranty. The Bendix® Eversure spring brake offers potential increased payload, better fuel economy and lower cost of operation. The Eversure is equipped with one of the lightest chambers on the North American market, saving up to eight lbs per tandem axle.
The Versajust slack adjusters and Eversure spring brakes are available for both steer and drive axles on Peterbilt Models 579, 567, 520, 389, 367 and 365, as well as in 579 and 389 glider kits. For more, visit www.peterbilt.com.
MARANGONI TREAD NORTH AMERICA HOSTS US CONGRESSMAN TO PROMOTE RETREAD CAMPAIGN
Marangoni Tread North America hosted US Congressman Jim Cooper at its Madison, Tennessee, headquarters to promote Retread Instead.
Bill Sweatman, president of Marangoni Tread N.A., welcomed Congressman Cooper and gave a presentation on behalf of the entire retread industry and the important role it plays economically and environmentally.
Sweatman also expressed concern for the more-than 60,000 US jobs in the retreading and related industries that are being threatened as a result of the February 22, 2017, ruling by the US International Trade Commission to not impose tariffs on truck and bus tires produced in China.
Marangoni has taken a “no wait” approach and launched an aggressive Retread Instead education campaign. The goal is to promote the practice of buying quality premium new tires with the intent toward Total Life Cycle tire maintenance including retreading.
DAIMLER SUPPORTS VICTIMS OF HURRICANE HARVEY DISASTER IN TEXAS
Daimler AG’s US-based subsidiaries Mercedes-Benz USA, Mercedes-Benz US International, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, and Daimler Trucks North America donated $1 million to the distressed population coping with Hurricane Harvey’s catastrophic impact. The donation was to be sent to American Red Cross and used for immediate disaster relief. For more, visit www.daimler-trucksnorthamerica.com.
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UPFITTING AIMS FOR PERFECTION
No template truck or van body exists for any given business category. In fact, success for the manufacturer and the customer is found when the design is guided by market research, and a thorough needs analysis. The Utilimaster® process assumes the customer is not looking for a new fleet for the sake of change; rather, he or she is searching for a purpose-built solution to an ongoing business challenge. Tom Ninneman, fleet vehicles and services president, Spartan Motors, discusses how the Utilimaster process creates vehicles tailored to customers’ every need.
MWS: HOW DOES SPARTAN MOTORS ENSURE ITS VEHICLES MEET THEIR CUSTOMERS’ EVERY NEED?
NINNEMAN: Fleet Vehicles and Services, a business unit of Spartan Motors, Inc., encompasses the Utilimaster and Spartan Upfit Services go-to-market brands, which provide a variety of base models and target vehicles serving the utility, telecom, health-care, construction, food and beverage, and parcel delivery markets. We offer a combination of base packages and customized upfit services that are unique to our customers’ needs. We first focus on a discovery process considering every customer perspective—from driver to C-suite—and then a post-delivery analysis to ensure our engineered solutions are meeting the needs and challenges identified in the initial discovery.
MWS: HOW DOES YOUR UPFIT PROCESS WORK TO ENSURE VEHICLES WILL HAVE ALL THE FEATURES A CUSTOMER NEEDS—EVEN IF THEY DON’T KNOW THEY NEED THEM OR THAT SUCH AN OPTION EXISTS?
NINNEMAN: The goal of our upfit process, and what we call the Utilimaster difference, is not to arrive with a proposed upfit solution in hand, but instead to observe, learn, and educate ourselves on each customer’s unique business challenges. This allows us to design solutions with potential to drive business outcomes, and to execute duties more efficiently versus just selling a new truck. This process requires an investment of time upfront for conducting route ride-alongs, customer interviews, and driver-behavior research to find out key information, ranging from what door they most frequently use, to how they organize, store, access, and transport their tools. We also know the need for purpose-built vehicles often requires heavy-duty components that can handle anything the driver and team may encounter.
MWS: WHAT DOES SPARTAN OFFER THAT BUSINESS OWNERS OR FLEET MANAGERS CAN’T ACCOMPLISH ON THEIR OWN?
NINNEMAN: Utility fleet managers have a lot on their plates, and the industry as a whole provides a ton of options from which to choose. Often, these managers have to purchase from multiple suppliers to get their vehicle on the road. They might have to go to one supplier for the truck body, another for the shelves, etc. This creates a long list of items for a customer to think about, and more importantly, it encourages an unnecessarily long process. We eliminate this burden by streamlining the process with our one-stop shop.
MWS: CAN YOU PROVIDE A REAL-LIFE UPFITTING EXAMPLE?
NINNEMAN: Sure. Take, for instance, our work with San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E). They needed an advanced mobile workshop for failure-testing sophisticated electrical components. The solution required a vehicle to include accessibility to testing equipment, and open windows for visibility while testing. Our utility services team worked closely with SDG&E to design the upfit. A key component was having continuing conversations throughout the process, and even a video walk-through as verification that the vehicle was meeting their expectations.
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