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Bendix opens new Technical Center in Monterrey, Mexico

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Juan Carlos Mellado, director of product engineering at Bendix – Mexico, introduces attendees to a lab during the grand opening of Bendix’s new Technical Center in Monterrey, Mexico.
(Courtesy: BENDIX COMMERCIAL VEHICLE SYSTEMS)

MONTERREY, NL, Mexico —  Expanding its global engineering capabilities, Bendix (Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC and Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake LLC) Wednesday held a grand opening celebration of its new Technical Center in Monterrey, Mexico.

Members of the Bendix Executive Board, key Bendix business and engineering leaders, as well as guests from various Bendix partner universities, business partners, and collaborators of the Technical Center attended the celebration.

Located within an existing building at the Research and Technological Innovation Park (PIIT), the 7,800-square-foot center reflects Bendix as an evolving global company and a technology innovator. The site helps further expand its North American presence by driving research and development across the expansive Bendix portfolio of integrated products and solutions. The Monterrey-based team – working in tandem with Bendix and Knorr-Bremse engineering colleagues across North America and worldwide, respectively – will help advance new and emerging technologies to deliver more value to the company’s global customers and further strengthen its global presence. The Knorr-Bremse Group is Bendix’s Munich, Germany-based parent company.

The projects undertaken at the center will support the entire Bendix product portfolio. The efforts of the Monterrey-based engineering team will help reinforce the company’s ongoing initiatives as well as to address the unprecedented introduction of emerging commercial vehicle technologies, including vehicle electrification, automated and autonomous vehicles, and the ongoing search for greater fuel efficiency.

“Our legacy and future are built on the innovation and expertise of our engineering teams that work around the world to maintain a strong and hands-on relationship aimed at bolstering our existing expertise and long-term strategic impact,” said Richard Beyer, vice president – engineering and R&D at Bendix. “Mexico, where our industry manufactures more than a third of its commercial vehicle tractors and trailers, has been a vital part of Bendix’s business for 30 years, dating to the establishment of manufacturing operations in Acuña in May 1988. Today, through this center located in Monterrey, we can further enhance our presence in North America and expand our engineering footprint.”

Bendix’s headquarters in Elyria will remain the company’s engineering and R&D leadership hub. The company also maintains vibrant engineering operations in Acuña, Mexico; Irvine, California; Kalamazoo, Michigan; and Vancouver, British Columbia.

“One of the fundamental goals of this Technical Center is to help develop and validate new applied safety technologies for commercial vehicles, increase overall value for our customers, and drive the competitiveness of our engineering,” said Juan Carlos Mellado, director of product engineering at Bendix – Mexico. “We can achieve this by incorporating a solid group of highly skilled engineers from numerous universities into our team, leveraging their wide-ranging experience in developing and shaping transportation technologies for today and tomorrow.”

Mellado continued, “We will also develop and maintain a close working relationship with prestigious local universities renowned for their technical experience, such as ITESM, UANL, and UdeM, in addition to the CONACYT’s research centers. Our location in the Research and Technological Innovation Park is of fundamental importance in ensuring the success of our new Technical Center.”

Employees at the new center will also continue the long-standing Bendix corporate culture of giving back to the communities in which company team members live and work.

Bendix delivers on areas critical to the success of fleets and owner-operators – including safety, reliability, vehicle performance and efficiency, and lower total cost of ownership (TCO) – through an ever-growing portfolio of wheel-end and advanced safety technologies. By complementing its products with unparalleled post-sales support, Bendix aims to strengthen return on investment in equipment that improves highway and vehicle safety for everyone sharing the road.

 

 

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Great Dane manufacturing facility produces 125,000th trailer

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The 125,000th trailer to come off the line at the Wayne plant was a new Everest Single-Temp reefer designed exclusively for Schuster Company of Le Mars, Iowa, a customer of Great Dane’s since 1988.
(Courtesy: GREAT DANE)

WAYNE, Neb. — Great Dane’s Wayne, Nebraska, manufacturing facility revealed the production of its 125,000th refrigerated trailer during a commemorative celebration held at the plant.

Attendees of the celebration included Wayne’s Mayor Cale Geise, Schuster Company President Steve Schuster and Jim Hawk Truck Trailers President Jim Hawk III.

Great Dane’s President Dean Engelage, along with representatives from the Wayne facility and the company’s corporate offices in Chicago, Illinois, and Savannah, Georgia, were also in attendance.

The 125,000th trailer to come off the line at the Wayne plant was a new Everest Single-Temp reefer designed exclusively for Schuster Company of Le Mars, Iowa, a customer of Great Dane’s since 1988.

“We’re extremely proud to reach this historic milestone here in Wayne,” said Lee Byers, plant manager. “It’s a clear testament to the high quality of the product we produce and to the spirit of the hundreds of hard-working craftsmen who build these best-in-class trailers for our valued customers.”

The Wayne manufacturing facility produces Great Dane’s premier Everest Single-Temp refrigerated trailers, which are primarily used for long-haul truckload operations.

This 257,000-square-foot, 83-acre facility began operations in 1986 with two production lines and has since undergone five building additions.

Today, the Wayne plant employs nearly 700 people and builds 5,000 trailers per year for some of the nation’s largest fleets, including Schuster, Walmart, IWX, JFI, Marten Transport, Decker, Freymiller, Van Wyk, Interide, California Overland, Associated Wholesale Grocers, Sargento and more.

For more information. Visit Great Dane online at .

 

 

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Coalition again pushing for 33-foot twin trailers, sends letter to infrastructure panel members

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FedEx is a member of the Americans for Modern Transportation Coalition and has long been a proponent of twin 33-foot trailers. (Associated Press: JUSTIN KASE CONDER)

WASHINGTON — The Americans for Modern Transportation Coalition is continuing its effort to allow twin 33-foot trailers on the nation’s highways.

The standard for tandems currently is twin 28-foot trailers.

In a letter to House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., and ranking member Sam Graves, D-Mo., the coalition identified longer trailers as a way policymakers can leverage technologies and efficiencies developed by the private sector to create “the infrastructure system of the future.”

In the letter, coalition Executive Director Randy Mullett said years of underinvestment and a lack of attention to the nation’s infrastructure has left American families in harm’s way, spurred economic inefficiencies, and put undue stress on the environment.

“At no cost to taxpayers, Congress can act to modernize trucking equipment and increase the national twin trailer standard from 28 feet to 33 feet,” Mullett said.

He listed what he called “immediate and meaningful improvements,” such as:

  • Reduced congestion because gains from twin 33-foot trailers would mean fewer trucks on the road and 53.2 million hours saved due to less congestion
  • Improved safety because twin 33s “perform better than many other truck configurations on four critical safety measures, including stability and rollover.” Research shows that the adoption of twin 33-foot trailers would result in 4,500 fewer truck accidents annually, Mullett maintains.
  • Economic benefits because 33-foot trailers can move the same amount of freight with 18 percent fewer truck trips, allowing consumers and businesses to realize $2.6 billion annually in lower shipping costs and quicker delivery times
  • Longer life cycles for roads and bridges because use of the longer trailers would result in 3.1 billion fewer truck miles traveled each year, and
  • Environmental gains because these trailers would equate to 255 million fewer gallons of fuel and 2.9 million fewer tons of CO2 emissions.

“The private sector continues to make investments in our workforce, new technologies, and existing equipment to ensure that our fleets are as efficient, sustainable, and safe as possible,” Mullett wrote.

“We need the same forward-looking effort from our partners in federal, state and local governments so that all Americans have access to the full promise enabled by a modern transportation system. We look forward to working with the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to seize this opportunity to usher the country into a new era of safety and infrastructure investment.”

Among the members of the coalition are FedEx and UPS, two companies that have vigorously fought to get Congressional approval of the longer trailers.

However, twin 33s continue to have their detractors, among the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) being among them.

“Advocating for a vehicle configuration that only benefits a small segment of the trucking industry would only exacerbate current industry problems such as truck parking, the driver shortage and overall vehicle safety,” said TCA vice president of government affairs David Heller in response to the coalition’s letter.

“Distracting from the much larger congressional conversation of infrastructure reform, which would correct the shortfall of funding to the Highway Trust Fund and repair our deteriorating roads and bridges, would be irresponsible of an industry that is clamoring for a fix.  Constructive conversations regarding productivity should center around the growing issue of detention time, that in a new world of ELDs, has proven itself to be a data-proven problem with a solution that may actually make a difference on many issues that impede the productive delivery of this nation’s freight.

“TCA will continue to support a position of no changes to truck size or weight,” Heller said.

 

 

 

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ACT Research says preliminary January trailer orders show 7% drop from December

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An ACT Research executive said with backlogs extending through the year for dry vans and reefers, OEMs would likely need to quickly open 2020 orderbooks to allow for further backlog growth in the near-term. (Courtesy: GREAT DANE)

COLUMBUS, Ind. — ACT’s preliminary estimate for January 2019 net trailer orders is 25,800 units.

Final volume will be available later this month.

ACT said its methodology allows it to generate a preliminary estimate of the market that should be within +/- 3 percent of the final order tally.

“While the industry had the weakest January order volume since 2016, it was still sufficient enough to generate very minor orderboard growth,” said Frank Maly, ACT’s Director of CV transportation analysis and research. “January net orders were off 7 percent versus December and 35 percent down year-over-year. Slower dry van and reefer trailer volume contributed to the declines. Indications are lower orders were not the result of weak fleet demand, as some OEMs report unwillingness to accept additional orders that would extend orderboards that, according to some reports, already fill available 2019 build slots.”

Maly also noted that the slight gain in the orderboard means that January was the third consecutive month that the industry posted an all-time record backlog, although the pace of improvement is beginning to wane.

“With backlogs extending through the year for dry vans and reefers, OEMs would likely need to quickly open 2020 orderbooks to allow for further backlog growth in the near-term,” he said. “Also, although the industry reported the highest monthly cancellations since August 2016, the rate of cancellations versus the orderboard remains well within acceptable limits.”

ACT Research is a leading publisher of commercial vehicle truck, trailer, and bus industry data, market analysis and forecasting services for the North American and China markets. ACT’s analytical services are used by all major North American truck and trailer manufacturers and their suppliers, as well as banking and investment companies.

More information can be found at .

 

 

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