Eaton extends manual transmission, clutch warranties

20 Jul by Vitaliy Dadalyan Tags:

Eaton extends manual transmission, clutch warranties

Power management company Eaton announced it has increased the warranty coverage for two of the company's heavy-duty manual transmissions. New truck customers who specify either an Eaton RTLO 13-speed or 18-speed transmission, a Solo Advantage clutch and Eaton-approved lubrication will now receive a 7-year/750,000-mile warranty on the transmission and 5-year/500,000-mile warranty on the clutch.

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20 Jul by Vitaliy Dadalyan Tags:

Rodeo du Camion is a Trucking Event Like No Other

<img width="150" src="http://www.automotive-fleet.com/fc_images/blogs/m-dsc-0545-1.jpg" border="0" alt="

Photo: Jim Park

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Photo: Jim Park

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There's a trucking event happening next weekend, July 29-31, that's like no other on the planet. That's a pretty tall description, but it's quite true. Each year at this time a few dozen drivers bring their trucks to northern Quebec, hitch them to 45 tons of lumber, and race them up a steep grade through the center of an otherwise sleepy village called Notre Dame du Nord (Our Lady of the North), Quebec.

The event is called Rodeo du Camion, or Truck Rodeo, in English, but it's really more of a race than a rodeo.

Rodeo du Camion happens about 300 miles north of Toronto, Ontario. Driving time, it's about seven hours from Buffalo, NY, nine hours from Detroit, Mich. and about six and a half hours from Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. The population of the town is about 2,000 people most of the year, but on Rodeo weekend, that number has been known to swell to beyond 20,000. Guests come from as far away as Asia, Europe, Scandinavia, Australia, and of course, the U.S.

The rules of the competition are simple enough: Whoever gets to the top of the hill first wins. There are several trial runs and qualifying heats, and then the competition gets really intense as drivers vie for a position in the semi-final and final events on Sunday afternoon.

They feature bobtail and loaded competitions. Bobtail needs little explanation, but the loaded competition is something else. Competitors pull a 5-axle B-train combination loaded with 45 tons of 2x4 lumber. Gross combination weights are about 138,000 lbs (a legal load in Canada). These races take place on a 700-foot-long hill in the village with a 12% grade lined 10 to 20 deep with spectators.

There's really no way to explain this to someone who doesn't get trucks and engines and raw torque and horsepower. The drivers use these trucks every day to earn their living, and on one weekend during the summer, they place their truck squarely in harm's way by dialing up the fuel pump and making all sorts of little modifications (within the scope of the rules) to ratchet the output up to 800 and 900 horsepower, or whatever they can get out of it.

One can only imagine the strain on the driveline. It's a walking, talking, screaming endorsement of the makers of driveline components, assuming they are off-the-shelf U-joints and clutches and crown gears, etc. Certain safety precautions are required, like caging the driveshaft and protecting the fuel tanks from a potential puncture.

The other aspect to all this is shifting and clutching prowess. You don't have the luxury of starting in 1st gear, and you may only get to 8th or 9th on the way up the hill, but you have to do it fast and do it right. It's pretty embarrassing to miss a shift and have to creep up the hill from a stop. Automatic and automated manual transmissions are not allowed in the competition.

pemPhoto: Jim Park/em/p

There's a Show 'N Shine event as well, along with an endless lineup of local entertainment, a fireworks display on Saturday night and a parade on Sunday morning.

The fishing in the area is second to none and there are even a couple of decent golf courses nearby for those who prefer a tamer pastime. Accommodations in the immediate area are limited, but camping is available. A night in a motel may be a 40-50 mile drive away.

And finally, a word of caution if you plan to attend: Leave your firearms at home. Canada does not permit unlicensed guns in the country, and Customs officers can be pretty aggressive in their efforts to find hidden weapons. Any undeclared weapons will be confiscated permanently, and their owners can face fines and possibly jail time for trying to smuggle weapons across the border.

We have more images in a photo gallery located here.

There are a lot more information about the event and some very cool video on the Rodeo du Camion website. There's a photo and video gallery there as well

Related - Locking it In Commentary: Bridging the Extremes

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19 Jul by Vitaliy Dadalyan Tags:

Shell unveils CK-4 & FA-4 engine oils

Shell Lubricants showed off its new “portfolio” of Shell Rotella CK-4 and FA-4 oils diesel engine oils, designed to meet Proposed Category 11 (PC-11) specifications finalized back in February, at a special media event in Washington D.C. Shell's Rotella T4 Triple Protection 15W-40 and 10W-30, along with T5 Synthetic Blend 10W-30, meet the new CK-4 service category and will become available in August – though they will not be “licensed” as such until Dec. 1 – while Rotella oils meeting the FA-4 spec will arrive later this year.

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19 Jul by Vitaliy Dadalyan Tags:

Shell Debuts Oils Formulated for API CK-4 and FA-4 Categories

<img width="150" src="http://www.automotive-fleet.com/fc_images/news/m-new-shell-rotella-portfolio-lr-1.jpg" border="0" alt="

Image: Shell Lubricants

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Image: Shell Lubricants

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WASHINGTON, DC. Years of work in the lab and millions of miles of road testing has culminated in three new Rotella engine oils formulated to meet the API CK-4 and FA-4 oil-service categories that will start coming on the market later this year, Shell Lubricants announced here at a July 19 media briefing.

“We have been working on the new CK-4 and FA-4 specifications for more than five years, keeping in mind that meeting the new specifications was simply a starting point for Shell Rotella,” said Chris Guerrero, Brand Marketing Manager for global heavy-duty diesel engine oil.”

Once industry product licensing begins in December, CK-4 oils will replace current CJ-4 oils and will be completely backwards-compatible with all current engines, according to Shell. To meet the CK-4 specs, oils will be formulated with improved oxidation resistance, shear stability and aeration control.

To meet FA-4, oils will also be formulated with lower viscosity grades designed for next-generation diesel engines— those of model year 2017 and newer-- to help maximize fuel economy without sacrificing engine protection, the company stated.

Also per Shell, because some older engines were not designed to operate with lower-viscosity oils, the backwards-compatibility of FA-4 products will be limited by individual engine makers.

Rotella T4 Triple Protection, offered in 15W-40 and 10W-30 grades, will meet the CK-4 spec while Rotella T5 Ultra10W-30 Synthetic Blend will comply with FA-4. However, no product will be marked with the API CK-4 or SA-4 donut until December 1, the date of first licensure for both categories.

Rotella T5 Ultra 10W-30 will be introduced in December. It's formulated for improved fuel economy compared to Rotella CK-4 oils yet offers “equivalent wear protection to CK-4 products,” according to Shell.

The company noted that Rotella T5 Synthetic Blend 15W-40 and Rotella T6 Full Synthetic 5W-40 will also be reformulated to meet CK-4 specifications. Also to be rolled out will be Rotella T6 Multi-Vehicle 5W-30, which will meet CK-4 and SN category specs so it can be used in both diesel and gasoline engines.

“Shell Lubricants has been a leader in the development and testing of next generation engine oils that will meet the new API specifications without compromising oil life or wear protection,” said Dan Arcy, Global OEM technical manager. “We've conducted more than 40 million miles of real-world testing to demonstrate the performance of our next-generation engine oils to meet the CK-4 and FA-4 specifications.”

According to Arcy, T4 Triple Protection oil will “effectively sustain emissions control system durability where diesel particulate filters and after-treatment systems are used. It provides enhanced protection against viscosity loss due to shear and improved oil aeration. The exclusive low-ash formulation helps protect the exhaust catalysts and diesel particulate filters found on the latest low-emission vehicles.” He added that a fuel-economy benefit may be realized from running the 10W-30 grade of this oil.

As for the 15W-40 T4, Arcy said it will provide “wear protection beyond CK-4 standards. In API industry wear tests, T4 Triple Protection 15W-40 didn't just meet CK-4 specs, it delivered an average 50% more wear protection than required. It also provided strong wear protection in CK-4 engine tests, including the Cummins ISM and ISB.”

He added that the T4 Triple Protection 15W-40 will “defend against deposits and help keep engines cleaner over the entire oil drain interval. It delivers reduced deposits in engine tests including Caterpillar 1N and OM 501.”

Rotella T5 Ultra 10W-30 has been enhanced with synthetic base oils, plus advanced additive technology to provide “Triple Protection Plus technology that adapts to driving conditions,” Arcy said. “It provides excellent wear protection and deposit control/cleanliness. It also protects against oil breakdown and sustains emission control system durability in particulate filters and aftertreatment systems.

He said that T5 Ultra “delivers excellent wear protection and deposit control/cleanliness. It also provides protection against oil breakdown and sustains emission control system durability in particulate filters and aftertreatment systems. And tests prove that this new oil has better cold cranking properties and low temperature pumpability at -25˚C and -30˚C respectively.

Arcy noted that T5 Ultra has been shown to provide a 1.6% fuel economy improvement compared to 15W-40 oil in an independent third-party test.

Guerrero called the new oils Shell's “most technically advanced, hardest working products to date.”

He said that selecting the proper engine oil will be easy once the new API categories kick in: “If it was built prior to 2016, whether it is on- or off-highway, choose CK-4 oil, which directly replaces CJ-4 oils. For a 2017 on-highway vehicle,; check with the manufacturer before changing the oil for the first time and if they allow an FA-4 oil, choose Rotella T5 Ultra 10W-30.”

The new products will come in new packaging “to protect the recognizable look of our bottles while simplifying the naming and developing a strong label design to help our customers select the proper Rotella product to meet their needs,” Guerrero pointed out.

“The logical naming structure of T4 to T5 to T6 and the Triple Protection identifier makes each engine oil easy to identify,” he explained. “Rotella T4 products will maintain their white bottle, T5 Synthetic Blend products their silver color, and T6 Full Synthetic products will continue in blue bottles.”

He added that the jugs will retain their “much-preferred two-handled design for easy pouring and the thinner dimension fits easily on retail shelves, in a shop or truck.” The products will be offered in one-gallon and quart jugs.

Related: Two Oil Categories Rolling to the Finish Line

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19 Jul by Vitaliy Dadalyan Tags:

HDT Announces the 2016 Safety & Compliance Award Winner

<img width="150" src="http://www.automotive-fleet.com/fc_images/news/m-kelsey-wolfe-1.jpg" border="0" alt="

Kelsey Wolfe (middle), Southern Freight Services' director of safety, human resources and recruiting receives the 2016 Safety & Compliance Award. Photo: Chris Wolski

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Kelsey Wolfe (middle), Southern Freight Services' director of safety, human resources and recruiting receives the 2016 Safety & Compliance Award. Photo: Chris Wolski

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Southern Freight Services director of safety, human resources and recruiting Kelsey Wolfe was awarded Heavy Duty Trucking magazine's 2016 Safety & Compliance Award during a ceremony on July 19 at the Fleet Safety Conference.

The award highlights candidates who have enhanced the safety of their companies and employees through leadership, innovation and measurable results. Nominees were evaluated by a panel of industry leaders to determine the winner of the award, which was presented at the Fleet Safety Conference.

Wolfe personally created each of SFS's safety policies that are enforced at the carrier and was responsible for recruiting hiring and training within the company. Policies that she created included the Required Road Test and Certification policy, Drug and Alcohol Free Workplace Standards, the SFS Driver Agreement with rules on attitude and professionalism as well as a strictly enforced cell phone policy and several others.

The cell phone policy calls for no texting, no talking and hands-free devices are required before a driver is qualified at SFS. Violation of the policy results in an immediate termination. The same strict adherence is called for in SFS's compliance with federal and state regulations as well as the drug and alcohol policy.

Under her supervision, when a driver returns from a trip, the vehicles undergo post-trip inspections, checks and scheduled maintenance as well as tire checks and washings. All write ups are completed and signed off on and then turned into Wolfe for review.

The company has seen its CSA performance improve and has been recognized by customers and brokers for its service and safety. SFS placed first for fleet safety under the Tennessee Trucking Association for 0-3 million miles in 2015 and have been named a preferred carrier by Eastman Chemical for two straight years.

“I never really expected to get into trucking. My sisters have always been my role models, they worked for my dad in trucking for many years and when he retired from trucking in 2011 I never expected him to get back in it and then he started our company in March 2012 with 5 trucks, we now are at 48," said Wolfe. “Having him to look up to has given me a lot of opportunities that many people getting into trucking probably wouldn't have. I appreciate everybody that I've met and I appreciate the whole experience in general, so thank you all.”

The Fleet Safety Conference is currently under way at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel in Schaumburg, Ill. For more information on the Fleet Safety Conference, visit the website here.

Related: 2015 Safety and Compliance Award Winner Announced

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