ENGINE NEWS… AND JIM HEBE

Rolf Lockwood

March11, 2009 Vol. 5, No. 5

Wow, lots of engine news to report here, but also a plain old good news story to start off with. I’m talking about the revival of one of the oldest and best known makers of auxiliary power units. We thought it was dead.

About a month ago, Rigmaster announced it was ceasing operations, yet another victim of this nasty recession. A separately run subsidiary of the Toronto-based Harper Group (of Detroit Diesel and Freightliner fame), it did close, but now two of its major Canadian suppliers have come to the rescue. Their own rescue included.

Mobile Thermo Systems and Premm Metal Products — both headquartered in the Toronto area – have bought exclusive rights to manufacture RigMaster’s anti-idling products. Some 200 dealers in Canada and the United States are pleased, no doubt, to have a continuing parts supply. For the last eight years, the two companies were the largest single-source suppliers for RigMaster Power, and both were left with a “significant” inventory of finished products manufactured specifically for the downed APU-maker, not to mention raw materials. They plan to manufacture and sell RigMaster’s APUs directly to customers at “much more competitive prices.”

Mobile Thermo Systems makes air-conditioning systems for trucks and off-highway vehicles, while Premm Metal Products manufactures customized sheet metal products.

I wish them the best of luck.

DETROIT DIESEL HAS WON THE 2008 TWNA TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD, a story I neglected to fit in here last time out. So what’s TWNA? It’s a long-established group that includes most of the motor noters on this continent, the Truck Writers of North America, and every year since 1991 it has recognized a sterling technical effort of some sort. I actually launched this competition, and gave the inaugural award to Grote Industries for the first LED marker lamp almost 20 years ago. Grote was so pleased that they’ve sponsored the winner’s trophy ever since.

Rolf Lockwood

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

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