Hot off the presses for this third edition of Product Watch is Kenworth’s announcement about its expanded T800 wide-hood lineup. The new extended daycab and 38-inch AeroCab sleeper options make this venerable workhorse even more versatile than it was. For vocational applications – in the oil patch, on heavy hauls, you name it – drivers have new comfort choices. This ‘little’ AeroCab is a lot smaller than the its very big brother, the 86-in. Studio model available on T600 and W900 machines, but the theme is the same.
Not quite so hot off the presses but a good read anyway is an interesting management book by industry veteran and ISO 9000 specialist Ward Warkentin and two American colleagues. It’s not a step-by-step workbook aimed at achieving that quality standard for registration purposes, but a simpler guide to using eight key ISO management principles in everyday situations like managing driver turnover. Written in very straightforward language, and only 133 pages long, it’s usefulness is not at all restricted to upper-level managers at megafleets. In fact, I’ll venture a guess that the owner of a 30-truck fleet could profit from this book even more because its real purpose seems to be just getting the owner/manager to act deliberately, to analyze, to organize his operation so that fewer decisions are made on the fly – with no more than a prayer to back them up. Not cheap at US$64.95, it’s probably good value nonetheless.
Something else that could save you a buck or three is the new version of TruckWeight’s Smart Scale. An onboard device, this wireless scale produces a new measurement once per minute by sensing air-suspension pressure. Most truck operators can equip a typical tractor-trailer unit in the field in about 30 minutes, TruckWeight says, and it runs on AA batteries! The company is located in Halifax, by the way.
And finally the drum- brake lining-wear sensor from Haldex. With a sensor on every wheel, wear can be monitored to an accuracy of within +/- 3% and that should mean optimizing lining replacement and easy scheduling of preventive maintenance. Manual measurement or visual indicators are eliminated, which is no small bonus. The Haldex sensor integrates with the braking system and most on-board diagnostic systems, the company says.
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