OEMs feel no push for security

Many truck manufacturers are saying that security is a "non-issue" for their customers, as they report that little demand for vehicle-security systems developed in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. "There has not been a large response from the trucking industry for security options," said Freightliner LLC COO Roger Nieslen in a speech during the recent Mid-America Trucking Show. Michael Von Mayenberg, Freightliner's chief engineer, added that only one customer has requested special security features for their trucks – hardened external wiring connecting the vehicle's satellite receiver to the truck cab, to prevent the wires from being cut. Even Kenworth Truck Co., which has gone so far as to build a prototype vehicle equipped with an onboard fingerprint identification system for truck operators, said that only a narrow section of the trucking industry is interested in beefed-up vehicle security. The company's T-800 high-tech security tractor is initially only being targeted at bulk carrier involved in hazardous-materials transportation, said Jim Bechtold, Kenworth's chief engineer. Other truck OEM executives echoed Nielsen's comments. "In terms of truck security systems, we are not seeing a lot of demand from customers for these kinds of devices," said Steve Keate, president of the truck group of International Truck & Engine Corp. "We really haven't seen demand for security devices from our customers," added Nick Panza, gm for Peterbilt Motors Co.

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