The Top 10 New Products from 2010

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All right, the votes are in, the selections made. I’m the only voter, mind you, so here’s what you get: a distinctly personal view of what was significant amongst the products introduced to the trucking market last year.

I’m not going to include trucks, though we certainly saw innovation there. Peterbilt’s Model 587 and Kenworth’s T700 spring readily to mind, both of them advancing the art. On the light-duty side, Nissan made its first North American foray into the commercial truck world with the all new 2011 NV van.

Engines really should take the prize, I suppose, but then everybody had a new one because emissions standards demanded it. We did see one entirely new engine, of course, the 12.9-litre MX from PACCAR. New on these shores anyway.

Derived from a very successful motor first offered by the company’s DAF subsidiary in The Netherlands three years back — meeting much international acclaim — and then much massaged by engineers on both sides of the pond, it’s now produced in Mississippi.

I’m going to give honorable mention to Mack’s new mDrive automated manual transmission. Available on Pinnacle highway tractors, it gets just an honorable mention because it’s a Mack’ized variation on Volvo’s established iShift.

Elsewhere, a plethora of tires from just about every manufacturer under the sun, most of them crafted or re-crafted to get SmartWay approval. But there was a milestone last year that merits a word, as Michelin’s X One wide-single tire hit the one-million-tires-produced mark since its launch in 2000.

You’ll note that I didn’t include anything from the vast array of fleet-management systems available. There are simply too many.

OK, here are my top 10 of 2010 in alphabetical order, unranked. Remember that: they’re unranked.


An all-new series of trailing-arm, air-ride trailer suspensions aimed at vocational markets, this new MTA group of top-mount and low-mount models completes the company’s air lineup. ArvinMeritor describes three key advancements.
First is the patented pivot bushing, said to bring a softer ride, more cargo protection, reduced torsional stress, and better tire wear.

Larger, more robust shock absorbers are claimed to have three times the damping power of competing products.
The patent-pending axle wrap design is unique, offering a secure and durable axle connection while contributing to superior suspension durability.


From Bay-Lynx Manufacturing comes the Wingliner side-
loading/unloading truck or trailer body, new to Canada but proven in Europe. A curtain-side in terms of access but a van body when it comes to security and protection. In just 10 to 12 seconds, says the distributor, the hydraulic side walls fold themselves flat on the roof, allowing immediate all-around access to goods down the full length of the truck or trailer. With both sides exposed, goods can be unloaded quickly.

Bay Lynx side loader Wingliner

Features include automatically locking sides to prevent unauthorized entry; easy operation to make drivers happy; a fixed roof; seals that prevent “virtually all dust and moisture” from penetrating; and user-specified side length and loading height.

Bose Corporation: RIDE SYSTEM

Bose, the Massachusetts maker of home and vehicle audio equipment, gets the nod for its very interesting truck seat. Its “Ride System” replaces a conventional air-ride truck seat with a sophisticated suspension base and an integrated, custom-designed seat top. The company claims it provides over-the-road truckers with “an unprecedented level of protection from road-induced shocks and vibration.”

I’ve tried it, not in a truck but a simulator that delivered a washboard road on which I could try both the Bose and an ordinary air-ride seat. The verdict? You likely wouldn’t spill a drop of Tim’s while sitting in the Bose.

It’s an offshoot of 30 years of Bose research into car suspensions, is said to install easily in about two hours in most trucks using existing bolts and air line, plus a 12-volt power line ­connected to the battery. At US$5995 list, it ain’t cheap.


For Ontario aggregate haulers facing new size-and-weight regulations, Larry’s Custom Trailer Manufacturing offers the Phoenix Conversion System. It’s a self-steering axle that’s compatible with “practically all makes of semi-dump trailers,” allowing you to convert a non-SPIF trailer without having to modify the chassis or relocate crossmembers. You can also avoid the cost of a new SPIF-ready semi-trailer but get the same payload advantages — and the same five-year warranty on suspension and axles — while spending 75-percent less money.

The Phoenix conversion will see you gain 1500 kg payload over non-SPIF semi-trailers newer than 1996, and 4500 kg over non-SPIF trailers older than that. Your axle gross weight will be the equal of new, SPIF-compliant trailers.

It comes equipped with a Ridewell air-ride suspension.


A new concept, Dana Spicer offers two convertible tag axles that make it easy to convert a 6×2 into a 6×4 configuration.

There are also new conversion kits, providing the option of converting existing 6×4 vehicles to 6×2, bringing fuel economy improvements up to 3 percent, through decreased mechanical drivetrain losses and a total weight reduction of roughly 400 lb compared to a traditional 40,000-lb tandem.

When spec’d with either a Spicer S170 or Spicer S190 single drive axle in the forward drive position, the new tag axles also maintain the same 40,000-lb GAWR of a traditional tandem axle, while maintaining up to 100,000-lb GCWR.

Eaton Corporation: NEW H-D CLUTCH

Eaton says its new Advantage Series clutches sport numerous improvements that allow for new 50,000-mile service intervals — up from 25,000 — and a new 2-year/ unlimited mileage aftermarket warranty, up from one year.

There are two 15.5-in. options, with the new manually adjusted Easy Pedal Advantage clutch replacing the Easy Pedal model, and the new self-adjusting Solo Advantage clutch replacing the Eaton Solo.

Mack’s C150/151 axles carriers

The enhanced release bearing design has a more robust bushing material and the new bearing housing has three grease fittings. Additional features include new composite slingers that better retain grease and keep out contamination.


Quebec’s ElcarGo Fabrication has developed an electrically powered dump-body tarp system. The Multi Flip operates — and quickly — from front to back with aluminum arms on each side of the body, thus opening up the entire dump box and allowing conventional loading from either side or from behind.

The canvas, overlapping at least 30 cm on each side, also creates optimal protection against the elements. There’s a claimed fuel-economy benefit up to 14.93 percent, the company says, over a tarpless dump.


Mack’s new generation of rear axle carriers, the C150/151, offer improved ratios for highway and vocational applications — running from 3.11:1 to 5.66:1 — and they’re said to be lighter, stronger, and stiffer than previous designs. They retain Mack’s traditional top-load, dual-reduction design and are compatible with all suspensions offered.

The top-loaded carrier — where the driveshaft connects to the carrier above the axle — results in near-zero driveline angles, says Mack, which minimizes noise, vibration and harmonics. Potential oil-leak paths are reduced since the carrier joint is on the horizontal plane, above the level of the oil reservoir. Dual reduction minimizes gear-face friction and related parasitic losses, component stress and excess heat.


Maxon Lift introduced what it calls the first North American-made cantilever-style liftgate. The GPC 22/33/44 is said to provide precision, stability, and control thanks to four separate cylinders for lift and tilt operations. You can easily level the load in any position, the company says, thus achieving simpler loading and unloading on uneven surfaces.

The GPC comes in a variety of platform sizes (both steel and aluminum) and can accommodate a wide range of bed-height requirements. It features stainless-steel pins, low-maintenance bushings and grease fittings on all pivot points, a heavy-duty motor with thermal protection, lock valves on all cylinders, optional dual cart stops, and simple bolt-on installation plates. The GPC uses standard Maxon parts.


Michelin Americas Truck Tires rolled out a North American dealer-locator application for Blackberry smart phones early in the year, then added iPhone and Android versions just before year-end. Claimed to be the first truly mobile tire-related application in the trucking industry, it joins the existing Michelin ONCall emergency road service (ERS) and online dealer and service locator in the company’s ‘Wherever You Go’ offering.

The new app provides the location of the nearest Michelin truck tire or service provider, as well as basic information about that location. Users can call Michelin’s ERS directly from the app or search for a provider by category, including emergency road service, travel plazas, onsite tire service, or MRT retread providers.

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

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