Arvinmeritor's Commercial Vehicle Systems executives reviewed market developments and provided some insight to future plans.
The company continues to leverage technology benefits it has developed from supplying axles and brakes for military vehicles and other severe-service applications by applying it to the commercial vehicle marketplace, said Joe Plomin, vice president-truck. “Just consider that military vehicle components are designed and manufactured for a 20-year life cycle, not four or six years.
“Aside from meeting the government's detailed performance specs, mileage/speed requirements, fuel consumption, and ride and handling characteristics, ArvinMeritor components operate in extremely difficult conditions. Beyond that, military truck components are serviced and maintained by mechanics that come and go on a 14-month rotation,” he said.
“This gives us a unique insight into what features we can incorporate into our commercial products for greater reliability and durability.”
The company also continues to add a “progressive lineup of products and technologies to meet truck operators' stopping system needs.”
ArvinMeritor calls this its pyramid of safety — adding products to an electronic platform to build incremental safety features into a vehicle utilizing the existing component architecture. “This gives us the opportunity to add safety features without adding additional complexity or other redundant systems,” said Plomin.
The latest platform addition was the recent introduction of OnGuard, a new collision safety system with active braking.
As for proposed stopping distance regulations, ArvinMeritor continues to monitor regularly the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and plans to release the final rulemaking regarding shorter stopping distances for air braked tractors.
Based on the company's understanding of the matter, “the rule changes can be achieved in some cases by current cam brake products, but the majority of vehicles will require either a higher performance cam brake, or a disc brake to meet the anticipated reductions in stopping distances,” Plomin said.
“ArvinMeritor and MeritorWABCO are able to meet the new stopping distances with offerings of either disc or cam brakes.”
Plomin suggested that three major factors will drive hybrid vehicle adoption: “the need to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the fuel economy benefits and, perhaps most of all, the improved performance and functionality hybrids can offer.”
Vice president-trailer systems Larry Burgin observed that many fleets are realizing fuel economies due in part to the Meritor Tire Inflation Systems by PSI, an automatic tire inflation system.
“The system helps to keep tires properly inflated,” he said, which increases fuel efficiency and safety and increases tire life.”
MTIS is available with Therm-Alert — a wheel-end heat-sensing capability that detects wheel ends temperatures and alerts drivers of problems, he said. “This early warning systems helps reduce potential risks, costs, and downtime associated with wheel loss, and wheel and tire fires and failures.”
To demonstrate its commitment to the company's remanufacturing expansion, ArvinMeritor purchased Mascot Truck Parts in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada late last year, said Joe Mejaly, vice president-Aftermarket. Mascot is a major remanufacturer of transmissions, drive axle carriers, steering gears, and drivelines.
Trailer axles have been added to the company's portfolio, specifically for the intermodal chassis markets, and most recently for linehaul trailer axles.
Meanwhile, ArvinMeritor has received a new, long-term, multi-million-dollar, supply agreement to provide remanufactured transmissions and axle carriers to Navistar Parts under the ReNEWed brand.
Mascot has produced remanufactured components since 2000 for the ReNEWed program as the exclusive supplier.
ArvinMeritor launched its first remanufactured product in 1983.