Equipment Watch (June 01, 2003)

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New Michelin drive tire includes siping innovation

Michelin has introduced a new tire that incorporates precision design elements it claims break through the compromises associated with normal truck tires.

The tire maker says that drive tires often had to compromise long tread life for good traction, or vice versa. But it claims that its new Michelin Matrix siping technology breaks that model to create a tire that delivers the best of both worlds.

This latest innovation, the XDN 2 drive tire with Matrix multi-dimensional siping, includes individual tread blocks that work together as a solid rib to deliver long, even wear. The Matrix siping also allows the tread blocks to function independently when needed, incorporating 1,300 biting edges for increased wet traction and strong performance on hard packed snow and icy surfaces, according to the tire maker.

“In the new XDN 2 tire, Michelin successfully combines the traction of individual sipes with the wear rate of solid tread blocks,” said Michael Burroughes, market segment manager for regional, on/off road and urban tires, Michelin Americas Truck Tires. “The full-depth 25/32-inch sipes offer superb traction throughout the life of the tire not only on dry but on wet, snow and ice-covered surfaces. The sipes run across the tread, from edge-to-edge, and are coupled with multi-dimensional Matrix designed groove walls for optimum biting edges and water and snow evacuation.”

The 27/32-inch-tread-depth tire is being offered in 11R22.5, 11R24.5, 275/80R22.5, 275/80R24.5 and 12R22.5 sizes. Additional information about the location of the nearest Michelin dealer is available through the company’s website at

Shell ROTELLA meets new Cat Engine Spec

Shell Lubricants has announced that its top-selling heavy-duty motor oil – Shell ROTELLA T 15W-40 multigrade engine oil – meets Caterpillar’s ECF-1 (engine crankcase fluid) specification criteria, and is approved for use in all Caterpillar engines requiring the additional protection.

Created to help Cat engines meet 2002 emissions regulations, the ECF-1 specification went into effect June 1, 2003.

“These new requirements need a motor oil with excellent soot dispersion, wear control and piston deposit control,” said Dan Arcy, product marketing manager for Shell Lubricants, noting ROTELLA T has surpassed all of the necessary performance requirements.

Arcy added that the approval was especially significant for Shell because a large number of its ROTELLA T customers are also dedicated Caterpillar customers.

Arcy also said ROTELLA T meets the warranty requirements of all major diesel engine manufacturers, including Mack, Volvo, Detroit Diesel, Cummins, International, Mercedes-Benz and others.

BFGoodrich unveils open-shoulder drive tire for regional markets

BFGoodrich Commercial Truck Tires has introduced the DR424 regional drive tire, which it says is designed to deliver improved traction as well as smooth, even and long tread life.

The DR424 features an aggressive, open-shoulder tread design with tread compounds tailored for regional service. It is available in 10R22.5, 11R22.5, 11R24.5, 275/ 80R22.5 and 275/80R24.5 sizes, all in Load Range G.

“Our customers needed an open-shoulder drive tire that delivers the level of traction demanded by Regional and P&D service,” said Michael Burroughes, BFGoodrich Commercial Truck Tires. “The DR424 not only delivers smooth even wear and long tread life but is also a great value for pick-up and delivery trucks. School buses and regional commercial fleets will find the DR424 a solid drive tire choice as well.”

MGM Brakes receives Freightliner 2003 Masters of Quality Award

MGM Brakes, a division of Indian Head Industries, Inc., recently was awarded a 2003 Masters of Quality award by Freightliner LLC.

The annual recognition goes to companies who meet the highest standards of quality in providing parts and components for Freightliner, Sterling, Western Star, American LaFrance and Thomas Built Buses vehicles.

A total of 40 suppliers and 62 individual facilities were recognized as Freightliner LLC Masters of Quality for 2003. Recipients of the award must demonstrate exceptional results in delivering quality parts and components, and display an ongoing commitment to quality improvement.

Dorsey Trailer makes ArvinMeritor wheel-end component standard spec

Dorsey Trailer has chosen ArvinMeritor’s TRIAD trailer wheel system as standard equipment for its dry van and refrigerated trailers, which are already equipped with ArvinMeritor’s RideStar Highway Parallelogram (RHP) air-ride suspensions.

Effective immediately, ArvinMeritor will supply Dorsey, on a multi-year basis, with this wheel-end system that features new-generation, seals and a patented spindle nut system designed to achieve extended life.

“The addition of the TRIAD system to the Dorsey product line is an important reflection of the growing partnership between our two companies,” said Bob Zirlin, director, Worldwide Marketing, Suspension Systems and Trailer Products. “The TRIAD system…is virtually maintenance-free for three years, 300,000 miles – subject to annual inspections.”

The TRIAD system is available on TN, TQ and TP trailer axle models with both ferrous and aluminum hubs with various lubricants, including standard grease and semi-fluid grease.

Dorsey Trailer Company designs, manufactures and markets a broad line of customized semi-trailers, including dry freight, furniture and refrigerated vans, plus specialized flatbed and dump trailers.

Shell launches Spirax lineup of gear lubricants

Shell Lubricants has expanded its family of heavy-duty lubricants with the introduction of SPIRAX EW Extended Warranty SAE 75W-90 and 80W-140 gear oils.

The new mineral-based gear oils meet the extended warranty requirements of heavy-duty axles manufactured by Dana, Arvin- Meritor and Mack.

To gain the approvals, Shell says it subjected its lubricants to more than 50 million miles of field-testing under a variety of conditions and temperatures. Shell also conducted laboratory testing to qualify the SPIRAX EW lubricants under U.S. military specification MIL-PRF-2105E.

As a result, SPIRAX EW gear oils are now approved for 500,000-mile extended drain intervals for both Dana axles and ArvinMeritor axles equipped with pump and filter systems. The lubricants also are approved for use in Mack axles at 250,000-mile drains. The approvals allow fleets and independent truck operators to use SPIRAX EW gear oils for both service-fill and factory-fill at the same change interval specified for approved synthetic fluids, and still qualify for Dana and ArvinMeritor 750,000-mile extended warranty coverage.

“In addition to meeting the warranty requirements of all major axle suppliers, our SPIRAX EW gear oils feature a significant cost-savings over synthetic lubes while possessing equal low-temperature properties and outstanding wear protection. The EW fluids are also totally compatible with current fluids being used today,” said Monica Wysocki, product manager for gear lubricants for Shell.

Wysocki added that SPIRAX EW gear oils are formulated using a combination of Group II base oils and additive technology to provide lubricants with thermal and oxidative stability, excellent extreme temperature operation, and reduced component wear.

“These features help prevent degradation and premature wear of seals thereby prolonging axle life. The SPIRAX EW gear oils offer a synthetic like performance to meet today’s challenges of heavier trucks, higher speeds, higher temperatures and extended drain intervals – but at significant cost savings,” she claimed. The gear oils will be available in bulk, drums, kegs, pails and quarts. Additional information is available at

Manac temporarily ceases operations at Orangeville plant

Manac, a division of The Canam Manac Group Inc. will temporarily cease its activities at its Orangeville, Ontario van plant, as of July 10, 2003.

The layoff will affect 235 employees for approximately
25 weeks.

“Continued stringent economic circumstances prevailing in the North American semitrailer industry and the major fluctuations in the Canadian/ American currency exchange rate motivated Manac’s decision to centralize its van production. This decision will minimize the losses suffered by the Saint-Georges production plant,” stated a company release.

The Saint-Georges plant will take on the entire van production during this period; however, no increase in personnel is planned.

Trailmobile selects Truck-Lite as a primary lighting supplier

Trailmobile has named Truck-Lite as its primary harness and lighting supplier.

“The new custom designed harness and LED lighting system with a lifetime warranty will be offered as part of Trailmobile’s Platinum harness system,” says Tim Walker, Truck-Lite’s senior vice president of worldwide sales.

Truck-Lite’s objective is to provide Trailmobile with a standardized heavy-duty plug-together harness and lighting system package that fits within its quality standards and longer terms expectations, says Walker.

For more information about Trailmobile, visit

Esso’s engine oils meet Cat’s new specification

Imperial Oil reports that three of its diesel engine oils – Esso XD-3 Extra 15W-40, Mobil Delvac 1300 Super, and Delvac 1 – meet Caterpillar’s ECF-1 (engine crankcase fluid) specification, a new standard developed to ensure optimum life and performance of Caterpillar engines. Created for Caterpillar engines that meet stringent 2002 emission regulations and earlier models, lubricants meeting ECF-1 specifications provide improved soot dispersion, wear control and piston deposit control.

“These products are very effective at dealing with soot, wear, and corrosion in both on and off-road Caterpillar engines,” said Clint Smith, Imperial Oil’s national marketing technical services automotive advisor.

Additional information about Esso and Mobil lubricants can be found on the Internet at

Petro-Canada launches new gear oil line

Petro-Canada has launched Traxon, a new line of premium multi-grade gear oils. The lubes are specially formulated with a protection formula to provide longer-lasting equipment protection, the company claims.

TRAXON gear oils start with a patented HT purity process to produce 99.9% crystal-clear base oils says company literature. By removing the impurities that hinder performance in conventional oils and blending in special additives, TRAXON provides longer oil life and better equipment protection, the company claims.

Oxidation stability tests show TRAXON 80W-90 resists deterioration and sludging three times better than the leading North American competitor, according to the company.

TRAXON’s performance in shear stability tests also ensures equipment is protected better under tough operating conditions, the company claims. For example, TRAXON Synthetic Blend 75W-90 and TRAXON Synthetic 75W-90 stay in grade to ensure a constant film of lubrication for better protection of components while others tested shear out of grade, claims the company.

TRAXON is designed to meet the proposed SAE J2360 Global Standard.

The gear oils are recommended for use in most manual transmissions, differentials, power take off units and final drives found on trucks and off-highway vehicles used in construction, forestry and mining operations. They can be used in most universal joints, wheel bearings, planetary gear sets, steering gears and certain industrial gear reducers requiring GL-3, GL-4 or GL-5 oils.

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