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Imagine me, standing in front of some 600 fleet maintenance managers, presenting an award to Walmart and Innovative Trailer Design for the top technical achievement of the past year. It could happen. It’s ironic, of course, because I’ve been critical of the so-called Supercube 60.5-ft. trailer. Not because of the design of the trailer, which is indeed a technical achievement. And not because it uses a cabover Freightliner Argosy for power and not even because that Freightliner Argosy has an EPA02 engine under the err…cab. My criticism was more directed at how Walmart has marketed this configuration as being beneficial for the environment when clearly it is not. All that said, the Truck Writers of North America Technical Achievement Award Committee, which I chair, has come up with a list of six finalists for this prestigious award, which will be presented at TMC in March, and the Supercube is among them.

In addition to the Supercube, the following products were also selected as finalists by a committee of trucking magazine editors: Allison’s TC10 automatic transmission; Detroit’s DT12 automated mechanical transmission; Eaton’s Fuller Advantage Series manual transmission, with precision lubrication system and no oil cooler; Mack’s lightweight Twin Y suspension; and Truck-Lite’s modular LED headlamps. This year’s selection process involved a spirited debate among editors over the span of several weeks, demonstrating that there was no shortage of technical innovation on display in 2013. We’ll be announcing the winner in March, so stay tuned.

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