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October 26, 2005 Vol. 1, No. 5

We continue this time out with more product news from the recent American
Trucking Associations convention in Boston. We simply didn’t have room in the last version of Product Watch to deal with the broad variety of telematics
introductions there. We still don’t, in fact, but I’ll mention a couple of the more
interesting ones.

First, though, the announcement that RigMaster’s popular auxiliary power unit for 2006 sports several significant improvements and the new option of a 13-horse
Caterpillar engine. Other useful changes include a bigger oil pan for longer
maintenance intervals and a new universal mounting system that should cut installation time by 15%.

RigMaster is offering its 2006 model with a two-year, 4,000-hour comprehensive
warranty, up from the previous one-year, unlimited-hours coverage.

When diesel prices soar, the payback time for an APU comes down, so this winter may see healthy sales as the main downside of idling – heavy fuel consumption – becomes an even bigger issue than ever. But beware of the hordes, if you’ll pardon the gross exaggeration, of ‘ma and pa’ outfits assembling APUs without any serious engineering on the development end. This is a product area that demands some research before you buy.

Other notables this time include a pre-set hub and bearing package for trailers
coming from an alliance between ArvinMeritor and ConMet. Being pre-assembled, the risk of misaligned or damaged components is reduced. ArvinMeritor is responsible for sales and marketing, while ConMet handles machining and assembly.

And the Air-Weigh 5800 Series onboard tractor scale, with its simple-to-use dash
display, is now available through Paccar Parts at Kenworth and Peterbilt dealers. A single button press displays GVW and net payload weights axle by axle.

On the burgeoning telematics front – which has to be the busiest product sector in
the industry by a very long shot — GE Equipment Services announced at the ATA
get-together that its trailer tracking system, GE VeriWise Asset Intelligence, is now available for use with refrigerated trailers. It’s been configured to work with
Thermo King-equipped refrigerated trailers, and will be expanded to other makes soon. The new option includes geofencing around specific addresses.

And finally there’s ObjectFX Corporation’s software solution called FleetFX, for
visual monitoring of transportation operations. It provides a dynamic and
customizable map display showing the location and up-to-the-minute status of
trucks and trailers. It’s a browser-based application that can be accessed from
any computer with an Internet connection.

This newsletter is published every two weeks. It’s a heads-up notice about what you can see at where you’ll find in-detail coverage of everything that’s new. Plus interesting products that may not have had the ‘air play’ they deserved within the last few months. There’s far more here than we could possibly fit into the magazine. Subscribe today!

If you have comments of whatever sort, please contact me at

Rolf Lockwood, Editorial Director

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

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