Engines, brake, wheel, cruise control among TWNA Award finalists

Feb. 22, 2017

The top five finalists for the Truck Writers of North America 2016 Technical Achievement Award include engines, a disc brake, a steel wheel, and electronic cruise control products.

For the first time, the annual award is named after Jim Winsor, a 50-year truck journalist and TWNA member who was active in TMC and a predecessor organization. Long known, respected, and loved in the trucking industry, Winsor died in 2015.

TWNA will announce the winner March 1 during an industry awards luncheon at the Technology & Maintenance Council’s Annual Meeting & Transportation Technology Exhibition in Nashville TN.

Each year since 1991, the group’s award committee, a panel of editors representing the industry’s major publications, rank items nominated by TWNA members, and chooses five award finalists, then the winner. To be eligible, a product or service from the named year must show technical innovation, have a wide applicability and availability in trucking, and offer significant operating benefits.

The award committee chairman, Jim Park, of Heavy Duty Trucking and Today’s Trucking, listed the 2016 TWNA Technical Achievement Award’s five finalists as:

• Accuride EverSteel wheel with a special anti-corrosion treatment;

• Cummins X15 Efficiency series diesel, whose advances to meet federal Phase 2 greenhouse gas emissions rules include an Atkinson Cycle combustion mode;

• Mack and Volvo “wave” piston, part of engine upgrades to comply with new GHG regulations;

• SAF-Holland P89 disc brake, a high-performance, lightweight, and moderate-cost braking product; and

• Volvo iSee and Mack Predictive cruise control, which “learns” routes and operates a truck’s powertrain to gain maximum efficiency.

“It took a while for us to sort through the nominees and narrow the field to just five products,” Park said. “There were some spirited discussions, but we used a scoring method in our voting that put numbers to opinions, and that got us to this point. It was all done by email.”

Other members of the award committee and their publications are Paul Abelson, of Land Line; John Baxter, freelance technical writer; Tom Berg, Heavy Duty Trucking and Construction Equipment; Jason Cannon, CCJ; David Kolman, Fleet Maintenance; James Menzies, Truck News; Jason Morgan, Fleet Equipment; Jack Roberts, Heavy Duty Trucking; and John G Smith, Today’s Trucking.

The Truck Writers of North America’s Technical Achievement Award was first presented in 1991 to Grote Industries for its red LED marker lamp, and has since gone to companies large and small for their products and services. Winner of the 2015 award was Eaton's Procision medium-duty, 7-speed, dual-clutch automated transmission.