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November 23, 2011 Vol. 7, No. 27

First off, before I forget, a clarification about the coming availability of Hino’s two new trucks that I told you about last week. I wrote that the class 4 model 155h and class 5 195h diesel-electric hybrids first introduced in March at the Work Truck Show could now be ordered for delivery this year.

True enough, but only if you’re in the U.S. According to Hino Canada vice president Eric Smith, they’ve decided that only the larger 195h will be available north of the border, "due to payload considerations." Still, the company’s first hybrid is causing excitement, he says, as well it should.

You’d be surprised how often this kind of issue crops up, in which market — and marketing — differences dictate different product offerings in the two countries. It’s caught me out more than a few times over the years.

WHEEL-OFF PREVENTION HAS BEEN on my mind a lot in recent weeks, and you’ve seen the results of that here in this newsletter with my telling you about a few bits of cheap and simple gizmology. They can make a difference, for sure, but they don’t pretend to be THE solution. Nor did I present them that way. In part I just wanted to get folks thinking about the issue of wheel integrity.

Well, I managed to engender a fair bit of correspondence on the matter, including a note from tire guru Peggy Fisher. She reminded me that the Canadian company she joined in 2006, Tire Stamp, offers a somewhat more ambitious product that also addresses the problem of truck wheel-offs. She’s president of the firm, incidentally, out of its U.S. headquarters in Michigan.

That product, of course, is the TireVigil tire-pressure monitoring system. It’s really TPMS 2.0, integrating electronic monitoring with telematics to provide a 24/7 watchdog in addition to vehicle location. With GPS built in, it can record vehicle and tire mileage.

Besides providing the usual alerts for under- and over-inflation, differences in dual tire pressures, and overheating, Peggy explains, it can also provide retorque reminders when a vehicle has travelled a specific number of miles after a tire/wheel assembly change. The mileage interval is set by the fleet.

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Rolf Lockwood is editor emeritus of Today's Trucking and a regular contributor to

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