Product Profiles

June 1, 2008
Unidex enhances Model ECL Series Unidex Inc introduces its enhanced new Model ECL Series Electric Column Lift Manipulator, a fine-height lifting system

Unidex enhances Model ECL Series

Unidex Inc introduces its enhanced new Model ECL Series Electric Column Lift Manipulator, a fine-height lifting system with 270° articulating arms plus end effectors for handling close tolerance work positioning requirements. The new ECL Series manipulators now feature lever action controls for three-speed vertical height adjustment, adjustable upper and lower limits, and a two-year warranty. Dual arm capability is also offered as a new option.

ECL manipulators have an electric-powered chain/sprocket drive that provides lifting and lowering. The design allows smooth, continuous movement throughout the work area. Horizontal movement is not restricted by vertical supports, cables, or vacuum hoses. This permits the arm to maintain the attitude of the load for reach-in or reach-under applications.

The new ECL Series manipulator has a standard lift stroke of 54" and load capacity of 250 pounds 96" from the centerline. An Aut-O-Loc braking system provides firm support and protects the operator from downward movement in case of chain or drive failure. Tubular and bridge-style arms are provided in standard lengths of 72" and 92" from the carriage to the end of the arm pivot. Manually guided articulating arms are available with radial reaches up to 96", the company says.

For more information, e-mail [email protected].

Fix-A-Thred offers range of repair systems

Alcoa Fastening Systems' line of Fix-A-Thred products provides both the professional mechanic and the do-it-yourselfer with easy repairs for stripped or damaged threads. Fix-A-Thred stainless steel helical wire inserts are available in sizes ranging from #8 to 1-1/2 in inch-coarse and inch-fine sizes, and from M3 to M24 in metric-coarse and metric-fine sizes. The Fix-A-Thred line also includes all necessary STI (screw thread insert) taps, installation tools, and a number of kits that include a selection of inserts and related tools.

Besides a selection of inserts, tools, and general use kits, there are also specialty Fix-A-Thred kits for spark plug port repair, spark plug port repair in Ford Triton engines, oxygen sensor port repair, and motorcycle repair applications.

E-mail Jim Doran at [email protected] for more details.

Tiremaax CP tire inflation system debuts

Hendrickson Trailer Suspension Systems introduces Tiremaax CP (Constant Pressure), a new configuration of its automatic tire inflation system for trailers.

With the launch of Tiremaax CP, the original Tiremaax name becomes Tiremaax EC (Electronic Control). Tiremaax CP features a simple mechanical design, while Tiremaax EC provides full system programming and monitoring. These patented systems draw from the trailer air supply to help keep trailer tires properly inflated and rolling smoothly.

Tiremaax CP continually checks tire pressure without pressurizing the axle or wheel ends and employs a pneumatic controller to direct air to tires that fall below a preset pressure level. A signal light illuminates only when attention is required to alert the operator of tire or system leaks.

With no electronics, transducers, or pressure switches, Tiremaax CP is easy to maintain. It requires no special tools to adjust tire pressure settings and operates on either 12- or 24-volt electrical systems.

All Tiremaax units feature bolt-in, ball-bearing rotary unions; braided stainless steel axle hoses; axle ventilation systems with patented axle filters, and seals designed to handle extreme temperature ranges.

For more information visit

Fifteen years later, Fabick still pouring it on

Fabick Protective Coatings, now entering its 15th year in industrial coatings, offers its exclusive, patented “poured-on” technology to protect new truck beds and trailer floors as well as giving renewed life to old ones. Developed specifically for dump and service truck beds and trailer floors, the poured-on coating protects and provides cleaner load release, can handle up to 350° F, and wears better than steel.

The firm will come to facilities to set up and train. Systems for a fleet are cost-effective, and this application requires minimal prepping and masking. Phone 608-242-1100 or visit the website,, to find out more.

Fontaine says to beware of bogus parts

Fontaine International has issued an advisory to warn customers about potential hazards from using non-genuine components, specifically the movable locking jaw and wedge, on its Fontaine No-Slack line of fifthwheels.

Multiple fleets have reported failures of non-genuine replacement parts installed in Fontaine No-Slack fifthwheels, resulting in dropped trailers. All of the failures were caused by the non-genuine part's locking wedge stud falling out.

While the Genuine Fontaine locking wedge and stud are forged as a single piece, studs on the failed non-genuine parts were just glued in. (See photos.) Tests performed by an independent laboratory found that the aftermarket parts were also 25 percent softer than genuine Fontaine parts, resulting in premature wear.

The cost difference between the genuine Fontaine kit (part number KIT-RPR-6000L) and the non-genuine version is about $20.

Fontaine advises that in addition to creating a potentially dangerous situation, using non-genuine components on its fifthwheels voids the manufacturer's warranty, transferring all liability to the component seller and end-user. The non-genuine locking jaw and wedge kits that caused the dropped trailers were imported from China and sold by a number of companies.

Genuine Fontaine No-Slack parts are easily identified. They have “Fontaine” and the model number forged into the jaw and wedge. They are sold in small brown boxes imprinted “Genuine Fontaine Parts.”

The “Fontaine No-Slack Non-Genuine Parts Advisory” is posted on, or call (800) 874-9780.

Reinhardt Group orders 287 Volvo trucks

The Reinhardt Group, one of South Africa's biggest Volvo truck operators, has placed an order for 287 Volvo FM 400-horsepower truck tractors to go into operation in the company's bulk material transportation business. Deliveries have commenced and will be completed in 2008.

Reinhardt Transport is based in Nigel, Johannesburg. The owner, Derick Reinhardt, has been operating in the bulk materials transportation business for more than 25 years.

All trucks now ordered are specified with the D13A diesel engine complete with the automatic I-shift gear changing system, and the Volvo Engine Brake (VEB). The order, including 75 trucks already in operation, doubles Reinhardt Transport's fleet size. The balance of the 287 ordered units will be delivered in the months to come.

Utility, ATDynamics release TrailerTail

Utility Trailer and ATDynamics Inc. announced the commercial launch of the aerodynamic TrailerTail, a rear-drag reduction device proven to increase fuel efficiency of long-haul tractor-trailers by more than 5%.

ATDynamics developed the collapsible TrailerTail extension to meet the durability and usability requirements of long-haul trucking operations, while dramatically cutting emissions and fuel costs. The TrailerTail also improves vehicle safety by providing additional stability and reduced spray at the rear of the trailer.

Third-party SAE J1321 testing conducted by Robert Transportation at Energotest 2007 in Montreal, Canada showed that the TrailerTail boosts fuel efficiency by 5.1% at 62 mph. At 68 mph the TrailerTail yields potential efficiency gains of greater than 6%. Based on average long-haul trailer mileage, the TrailerTail can deliver more than a billion dollars in fuel savings annually to the North American trucking industry.

The TrailerTail is constructed of lightweight, rugged panels designed to endure daily wear and driver abuse, yet ensure smooth opening and closing. A patented TrailerTail hinge system allows truckers to operate doors and access loading bays normally. The TrailerTail collapses from four feet to three inches long in less than eight seconds.

Load, unload payloads with the engine off

Heavy-equipment transporters can help meet government no-idle regulations and save money with Up-N-Atom Inc's Retriever, a new truck bed that can load and unload 30,000-lb payloads with the truck's engine off.

Retriever's No Idle System can reduce idling time by as much as 95% and produce substantially lower emissions, extend engine life and maintenance intervals on the truck's 2008 emissions system, and generate significant fuel savings.

The No Idle System works in conjunction with the truck air system. Once the compressor has filled the truck's tanks, it continues pumping until the 60-gallon No Idle System tank is filled to 120 psi. Under normal driving operation, it takes between four and six minutes to bring the No Idle System up to full pressure.

When making pickups and deliveries, the truck's engine can be shut off while the No Idle System tank powers the deck and ramp. The tank's capacity can handle both the loading and unloading of a 30,000-lb payload. Given a normal driving schedule, there should never be a time when the tank can't power a full load/unload cycle.

To learn more, e-mail [email protected]

Detroit Diesel provides free upgrades

Detroit Diesel Corporation announced that a new software release will soon be available to customers, free of charge, which will enhance the fuel economy of EPA ‘07 Series 60 engines. These improvements, according to Detroit Diesel engineers, will increase fuel economy by up to 2.5 percent.

The company also announced no-charge features that can enhance a vehicle's shifting and cruise control operations.

“Progressive shifting, which limits engine speed during upshifting, can add additional savings in fuel consumption,” said David Siler, director of marketing. “Optimizing engine speed while in cruise control can further enhance savings. Both of these features will be made available to customers at no charge at the same time they come in for the regeneration programming.”

Fleet owners and owner-operators can take advantage of the modifications and associated fuel economy benefits by scheduling a visit to any Detroit Diesel dealer or distributor to have their EPA ‘07 Series 60 engine reflashed at no cost beginning July 1, 2008. Reflashing is the reprogramming of certain portions of the engine's management software. Any EPA ‘07 Series 60 produced after July 1, 2008, will automatically be programmed for the modified regeneration cycle.

To find out more, visit

These drive tires regenerate themselves

Michelin is unveiling the latest innovation from its Michelin Durable Technologies research: the new XDA5 drive tire for Class 8 rigs.

The firm uses patented design and manufacturing techniques to mold the tread of the XDA5 in three dimensions. As the tire wears, the tread reveals new grooves and tread blocks, effectively giving the tire a second life — self-regenerating to improve wet, worn traction. This regenerating tread design keeps the tire in service longer before retreading, a 30 percent improvement in tread life over other drive tires that are commercially available.

In addition to outlasting other tires, the Michelin XDA5 tire also has a footprint that is more than 10 percent wider than its predecessor, delivering a larger contact patch and superior stability and handling throughout the life of the tire.

The Michelin XDA5 tire will soon be available in four sizes, 275/80R22.5, 11R22.5, 275/80R24.5, and 11R24.5. In 2008, it will be offered in a 305/75R24.5 LRJ version, created expressly to accommodate Mexico's higher load-carrying demands.

Access for further details.

VMAC VR70 Underhood air compressor unveiled

VMAC announced the release of the VR70 Underhood air compressor for the new 2007 GM 6.6L Duramax Diesel 4500-5500 Series truck.

The belt-driven, underhood-mounted air compressor system — designed to combine high performance with a compact installation — delivers up to 70 cfm or 175 psi air output at a weight of less than 150 pounds (dry). By mounting the air compressor underneath the hood of the truck, contractors and fleet operators maximize deck space and payload capacity available on the work truck.

Engineers ensured the newest VMAC Underhood system would have one of the easiest and least complex installations to date. By simplifying the bracket design, mounting the system driver-side, and keeping the air compressor accessible, the 2007 Duramax Medium-Duty VR70 reduces significant fitting and maintenance time.

Access for complete details.

Keith walks into the dry freight industry

Keith Mfg Co has entered the dry freight industry with the new Pallet Walker? system. Characterized by the same dependability and durability as a Walking Floor unloader, the Pallet Walker system can load a 53-foot trailer in less than five minutes, and unload just as easily.

The Pallet Walker system, which replaces a typical trailer floor, offers a new way to convey freight automatically. The floor is composed of a series of aluminum floor slats that advance the load into or out of a trailer.

Pallet Walker systems are bi-directional, and no dock is required for loading or unloading freight. Another advantage is that forklifts never have to enter the trailer, reducing the potential for cargo and trailer damage. The system can be walked and/or driven on even while in operation.

The Pallet Walker can be installed or retrofitted into any manufacturer's trailer. Visit for more information.

A brighter idea for interior trailer lighting

Truck-Lite has released the Super 80 LED interior trailer lamps, a new line of brighter, white LED lamps designed to be direct replacements for most popular sizes and shapes. This lamp is more than twice as bright as the incandescent lights it is designed to replace.

The aluminum housing weighs 2 pounds and has a recommended cut-out of 16" × 4". They are 1.1" thick, compared with 1-5/8" fluorescents. That leaves 1/2" more clearance for loads or loading equipment. The lamp protrudes only 0.1" above the mounting surface. A new potting material completely encapsulates the LEDs' circuit board to ensure resistance to shock, vibration, and fluids from cleaning activities.

Super 80 will function from 7 to 16 volts. The lamp's 10 LEDs will reach full brightness at 9.5 volts;thus the Super 80 eliminates problems of low voltage.

These lamps are eligible for Truck-Lite's Limited Lifetime Warranty. E-mail Sherry White at [email protected] for further details.

Peterson expands Piranha LED light line

Peterson Manufacturing has expanded its line of single-diode Piranha LED clearance/sidemarker lights with a PC-rated model: the 177 Series DOT light. All lights in the DOT line approximate the size of those little DOTS gumdrops — about 3/4" in diameter — from which comes their nickname.

What is unique about the new 177 Series is its PC rating, the SAE designation for a lamp whose specialized optics can produce a light-spread spanning 180 degrees. Properly mounted at a 45-degree angle, the 177 model is actually two lights in one, providing both clearance and sidemarker functions.

Available in both red and amber versions, the 177 Series offers a low-profile design, an operating range of just 8-16 volts, hard-wired toughness against corrosion and lamp failure, and Piranha LED quality throughout. Accessory black rubber grommets that fit any 3/4" hole are purchased separately.

For complete information, e-mail Mark Assenmacher at [email protected].

AIRman offers in-cab lift axle control panel

AIRman Inc introduces its new compact lift axle control panel for in-cab use. Small and lightweight, it's easy to install and doesn't require much room in a console tower or dashboard. Despite the panel's small size, it features a large gauge face and a push-pull knob designed for use with work gloves. A precision, high-flow regulator is fully integrated directly to the push-pull valve. This AIRman arrangement provides better performance, consolidates space, and eliminates a number of fittings.

The valve and regulator interface provides for internal supply for an optional lift-on-reverse solenoid operator; no external tubing and additional fittings are required. Installation is fast and simple. Just connect supply, exhaust, ride bags, and lift bags via the DOT-approved push-to-connect tube fittings supplied and already installed. The gauge is silicone-filled for vibration dampening. The valve and regulator feature AIRman's heavy-duty construction including bar stock aluminum, stainless steel fasteners, and low-temperature seals.

For more information and a technical data sheet, e-mail Chad Dusseau at [email protected].

Bridgestone L320 radial enhances traction

Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire (BFNT) is introducing the new Bridgestone L320 on/off-highway drive radial tire.

An aggressive block tread and open shoulders dig into soft surfaces, such as mud and snow, for superior traction. To fight irregular wear, stabilizing tie bars link adjoining tread blocks. As the tire wears and becomes shallower, the tie bars become part of the tread pattern. This creates additional edges to “bite” into soft surfaces, enhancing soft-surface traction.

The L320 uses a 31/32" tread depth and tough tread compound that resists cuts, chips, and tearing. This compound also fights heat build-up so the tire can be used at sustained speeds to 65 mph. The L320 drive incorporates four steel belts and an all-steel casing for retreadability.

The new L320 is available in 11R22.5 and 11R24.5 sizes, both in “G” and “H” load ratings, and 12R22.5 in “H” load rating. For more information, visit

Automatic tire chain kit for GM ambulance

Onspot Automatic Tire Chains announces an automatic tire chain kit for the GM 4500 medium-duty ambulance with the Monroe lowering kit. The system mounts behind the rear axle and allows the user to order a front-mounted anti-sway bar. Onspots allow the operator to engage tire chains at the flip of a switch to provide increased traction in forward or reverse.

E-mail [email protected] for complete information.

Change tailgate's swing from the ground

Need to change the direction of the tailgate's swing? East Mfg's engineers decided that there had to be a simpler, safer way to accomplish this — without climbing up the trailer.

With input from its dealers, East developed an optional mechanism for converting the tailgate from side swing to top swing and vice versa — all without leaving the ground. This feature is available for any style Genesis dump trailer.

The device allows the operator to convert the swing direction by actuating a handle at the bottom of the driver's side rear post. Conversion can be fully accomplished at ground level, eliminating the need for the driver to climb a ladder or otherwise get to the top of the rear post in order to pull or insert pins. The apparatus that engages and releases the top pin is hidden and protected inside the rear post itself.

E-mail [email protected] for more details.

G&T offers CheckMate FX truck bed cover

G&T Truck Products is a new company in Texas that purchased Checker Products of Kentucky. It offers the CheckMate FX truck bed cover, a flush-mount, low-profile tonneau cover available in a black or white finish. It also can be painted for a more custom look. The CheckMate FX is lockable and watertight to keep cargo safe and dry. G&T provides several accessories to customize covers.

Visit or for complete details.

Detroit Diesel adopts BlueTec for engines

Detroit Diesel Corporation plans to introduce Daimler's BlueTec System as its chosen technology to meet the upcoming stringent EPA 2010 standards for heavy-duty trucks.

BlueTec represents the world's latest in clean diesel engine technology and will incorporate enhanced performance of Detroit Diesel's recently introduced DD15 engine and its future family of engines, including the DD13 and DD16, the already proven ACRS common rail fuel system and diesel particulate filter, as well as a new Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) exhaust emissions aftertreatment system.

BlueTec System utilizes DEF, (also known as urea) a common nitrogen-containing compound. It works with the heat of the exhaust and a catalyst to convert NOx emissions into harmless levels of pure nitrogen and water vapor.

Detroit Diesel worked with other Daimler companies to develop and build the North American version of the proven technology to meet EPA 2010 standards. Built upon the experience of its European counterparts, SCR is technology that requires DEF refilling only about every 5,000 to 6,000 miles per 20-gallon tank under typical highway duty cycles.

BlueTec is modular and may be adapted for use on buses and RVs, as well as hybrids and trucks.