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More power and increased safety and comfort seem to be the marching orders for OEMs and suppliers developing the next generation of heavy-duty AMTs. The Innovation Truck, unveiled last year, is a concept vehicle proving out these features for ZF. Photo: ZF

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More power and increased safety and comfort seem to be the marching orders for OEMs and suppliers developing the next generation of heavy-duty AMTs. The Innovation Truck, unveiled last year, is a concept vehicle proving out these features for ZF. Photo: ZF

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When the first semi-automated manual transmissions began appearing on the market more than 20 years ago from Eaton and Rockwell (which later became Meritor), few would have imagined the popularity automated manuals enjoy today.

At the time, automatic transmissions were popular in vocational and medium-duty applications but were almost unheard of in linehaul, mostly because of the premium price and the limited range of gears.

It’s been a bit over a decade since true AMTs really came into the market, when in 2006 Eaton introduced the UltraShift and Volvo Trucks announced it was bringing its I-Shift to North America. Since then, Eaton and Volvo have both improved their offerings, Mack adapted a version of the I-Shift tuned to its trucks, and Daimler entered the market with the Detroit DT12 AMT.

Fast-forward to today, and the success rate of these transmissions has been unprecedented, thanks in part to their fuel-saving abilities.

A decade ago, reports that AMTs enjoyed take-rates of around 75% on new truck builds in Europe raised a lot of eyebrows in North America. Drivers here were different, everyone said; North American drivers were devoted to manual gearboxes as a point of pride, while North American fleets would be unwilling to shell out the higher price for AMTs. Even the most optimistic analysts predicted a very slow climb to 50% of the market in a decade or so. Maybe.

Those experts were wrong.

Today, commercial vehicle OEMs consistently report take-rates for new long-haul/over-the-road builds solidly around the 75% mark, with Daimler Trucks North America and Volvo Trucks North America eyeballing sales north of the …Read the rest of this story

Source:: http://www.truckinginfo.com/channel/equipment/article/story/2017/06/automated-transmissions-yesterday-today-and-tomorrow.aspx

The Golden State Warriors may go to the White House after all if the players listen to their head…

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Source:: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/steve-kerr-wants-warriors-consider-210103962.html

If you haven’t bought an Xbox One or PlayStation 4 yet, you’re in luck: They’re both cheaper than…

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Source:: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/buying-xbox-one-makes-more-203741173.html

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Photo: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

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Photo: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

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Bipartisan legislation introduced in the House on June 22 would create a Freight Transportation Infrastructure Trust Fund, funded through a national 1% “waybill fee” on the transportation cost of goods, according to the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA).

Lowenthal said his National Multimodal and Sustainable Freight Infrastructure Act (H.R. 3001) “builds on the success of the FAST Act [highway bill that became law in 2015] and ensures continued investment in the goods movement network.”

If enacted, the bill would raise roughly $8 billion a year dedicated to freight-related infrastructure projects throughout the nation, he explained, with a focus on “multimodal projects and projects that rebuild aging infrastructure while relieving bottlenecks” in the freight transportation system.

“Goods movement is the backbone of our economy,” said Lowenthal. “In order to maintain the standing of the United States as a global economic leader, we must invest in expanding the capacity, reliability, and efficiency of our nation’s goods movement system and freight infrastructure.

“And yet,” he continued, “that infrastructure is crumbling around us. We must take action to rebuild it and strengthen it, all in a way that also addresses the negative impacts of goods movement on our communities.”

Lowenthal noted that the FAST Act was the first legislation to outline a national freight policy and that his H.R. 3001 incorporates ideas from his earlier proposals on freight infrastructure financing that called for setting up both formula and competitive programs to invest in these systems.

To invest the funds, the new bill would launch two freight-specific grant programs: A formula grant in which each state would receive funds each year based on the amount of existing infrastructure within the state, and a competitive grant program what would be open to all local, regional, and state governments.

Lowenthal stated that “to address …Read the rest of this story

Source:: http://www.truckinginfo.com/channel/fleet-management/news/story/2017/06/house-bill-aims-for-dedicated-revenue-source-for-freight-infrastructure.aspx

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Denise Rondini

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Denise Rondini

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Wouldn’t it be great if there were a consistent way for everyone across the supply chain to have the same information about heavy-duty truck parts? According to Sheila Andrews, director, government affairs, for the Auto Care Association, this would create a more efficient movement of parts through the supply chain and is something that has been done by other industries with great success.

While the light-duty industry has been using the PIES (Product Information Exchange Service) standard since 2002, work on standards for heavy-duty parts is just beginning. Andrews says setting standards in light-duty was easier because they could be based on make/model/year information. That won’t always work for heavy-duty parts. The team working on setting heavy-duty parts standards is using vehicle vocation as the starting point.

Columns would be set for the agreed-upon traits, and manufacturers would then provide as much of the data as they desired. This will be a voluntary standard, so manufacturers can withhold any information they think is proprietary.

Information could include things such as product dimensions, dimensions of the packaging, materials used in manufacturing, width of threading, etc. The standard also likely will include some best practices, Andrews explains. “If a photo is going to be included, there will be details about the background the product should be on, what type of views to include (top, side, bottom), and the resolution of the photo. The goal again is consistency.”

If it sounds like a daunting task to standardize information on all heavy-duty truck parts, Andrews says, “We understand that this is going to be like eating an elephant, so we will have to do it one bite at a time.” So the team working on this project is starting with setting standards for the top 20 categories of parts used on heavy-duty trucks.

The assembled group …Read the rest of this story

Source:: http://www.truckinginfo.com/channel/aftermarket/article/story/2017/06/commentary-product-standards-coming-to-heavy-duty-market.aspx