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This year’s on- and on/off-highway equipment showcase combines offerings unveiled at World of Concrete and ConExpo-Con/Agg. Volvo Trucks’ new mixer- and dump-grade VHD and International’s HV50 package (page 37), assembled with body builder Beck Industrial, top the list of 2020 breakthroughs for mixer, dump, cement tanker and tractor-flatbed trailer fleets. Daimler Trucks North America hints at its own show stopper: A new Western Star Trucks vocational model rolling out later this year.



Volvo Trucks presents the newly designed VHD Series as more versatile and reliable than the predecessor edition. The VHD 300 is available in axle forward and axle back configurations.

The automated manual I-Shift transmission equips the new VHD to start on steep grades. A thorough cab interior upgrade underscores Volvo Trucks engineers’ emphasis on boosting driver safety, comfort and productivity in their vocational workhorse model.

ConExpo-Con/Agg 2020 ushered the latest generation VHD model, whose combination of structural upgrades plus safety and technological advances spell the most significant evolution of the Volvo Trucks vocational offering in decades.

“Everything we’ve done to improve the model to make it more versatile and reliable also extends the life of the vehicle and increases driver productivity, safety and comfort,” says Product Marketing Manager John Felder. “Drivers will love this truck because it makes hard work easy. It’s the perfect example of tougher made smarter. This smarter and more innovative VHD for the vocational market raises the bar on what it takes to be an all-around great work truck.” Among the most notable upgrades from the prior generation, he cites:

  • Updated exterior gives a modern look that reflects other Volvo Trucks family models and includes new grille design, as well as LED high/low beam headlights. The fully sealed headlamp component offers a brighter, more focused beam for increased visibility. An available de-icing feature burns through ice and snow accumulating on headlamps in colder weather.
  • Safety and productivity features such as Dynamic Steering and the next generation Active Driver Assist. The former delivers a safer, more comfortable driver experience by adding torque to reduce steering strain at low speeds and remove vibrations caused by rough terrain. The new Driver Assist provides integrated radar/camera capabilities, automatic emergency braking, and highway departure warnings control.
  • Robust bumper features a heavy-duty 45-mm tow pin rated for a full 80,000 lbs., affording quick pull out of sticky situations and thereby increasing uptime and drivers’ peace of mind.
  • Advanced interior offers improved driver comfort and productivity. The ignition has been moved to the lower left-hand side of the dash, for example, while steering wheel buttons are more touch-friendly and clustered intuitively to help drivers feel more confident.
  • Crawler gears add one or two settings to the 12-speed Volvo I-Shift transmission, enabling the VHD to start on steep grades, provide low-speed control, and reach maximum highway speeds with faster rear axle ratios. The I-Shift pairs with Volvo D11 or D13 engines to keep fuel costs down, slow driveline wear, reduce noise, and extend powertrain life. With 325-425 hp and 1,250-1,550-ft. torque ratings, the D11 is standard on the VHD. It weighs 345 lbs. less than the D13, which is rated at 405-500 hp and 1,450-1,850-ft. torque and suits applications requiring more power.
  • Volvo T-Ride suspension delivers ride quality under the most demanding conditions by
  • applying constant pressure on the wheels to create sure-footed traction. A new ride stiffness option is available for mixer trucks.
  • Connectivity solutions such as Remote Programming and Remote Diagnostics allow customers to use real data insights to make the right decisions for increased safety and productivity. — Volvo Trucks North America, Greensboro, N.C.;,




Zello has begun piloting Dispatch Hub on iOS and Windows devices. Developers underscore the utility of the Zello Work application for construction materials delivery. Among early adopters in aggregates and ready mixed are Cemex, Knife River Corp., Lafarge ACM, Martin Marietta and Silvi Group.


Company’s feature-rich mobile application turns Android, iOS and Windows devices into Internet walkie talkies while also supporting text message communication, image exchange, location tracking and emergency alerts. Zello Work applies the functionality of desk worker-geared Slack and other communication applications to construction, transportation and manufacturing. The program is offered in contract or pay-as-you-go plans.

“Outdated and expensive radios are being replaced by more modern, reliable, and affordable push-to-talk solutions like Zello, which has unlimited range and no interference,” the company notes. “Since Zello requires minimal bandwidth, users can communicate in situations where phone calls and text messages would fail. Ultimately, mobile workforces equipped with Zello communicate and collaborate more easily, reducing operational friction and cutting IT costs.”

Most deployments of the push-to-talk app require less than a day, and typical users need less than a minute to learn how to use it. The technology supports channels with up to 7,000 users; assures more than 99 percent uptime and end-to-end encryption; and, enables centralized management whereby administrators configure user groups, channels, access rights and settings from their web browsers. Other features or capabilities include scaling of dispatch operations to dozens of users; GPS location; unlimited range and global coverage; integration with industry solutions; and, broad spectrum of supported hardware allowing users to deploy existing phones or tablets, or choose Zello-certified rugged devices plus headset, button and microphone accessories.

Zello has entered beta testing of an extended dispatcher and driver platform. Dispatch Hub immediately connects drivers to the first available dispatcher or scheduler. Dispatchers automatically share the call load as driver requests enter a queue, netting faster response times, fewer missed calls, and more on-time deliveries. In dispatch channels, drivers only speak to dispatchers, who reply back to each driver individually. — Zello Inc., Austin, Texas; 512/270-2039





Company has leveraged its experience in precision, opencast manufacturing processes to develop a full range of mixer truck or plant component liners fabricated from polymers formulated for high wear conditions. Installed by welding or bolting, or with high-strength magnets, the urethane liners combat impact, abrasion, noise, and material sticking or build up. In addition to standard offerings, the company designs and builds custom liner solutions.

Charge hopper liners are designed to fit most mixer truck brands. The company also casts urethane discharge bibs and drum wipers that outperform typical rubber alternatives. For concrete plants, liners and parts are tailored to common wear areas: central mixed drum and blades, turn-heads, hoppers and bins, scales, and dump chutes. The urethane products are long-lasting and much lighter than steel, easing installation and handling. Any trimming required can be handled in place with a sharp knife or reciprocating saw. — Durex Products Inc., Luck, Wis., 715/472-2111;





The 85K Air Link Tandem Drive Chassis Suspension, originally engineered for military vehicle, has been optimized for heavy vocational commercial applications. As North America’s highest-capacity suspension of its kind, the 85K bears large, high-volume, low-frequency air springs that enable occupants to experience a consistently smooth and comfortable ride whether their vehicle is under load or empty. Dual height-control valves ensure that proper ride height and vehicle leveling are maintained, thus maximizing roll stability regardless of the weight and balance of a vehicle’s cargo.

“Not only is our 85K the highest-capacity tandem air spring suspension around, but because of its air-over-walking-beam design, it’s also one of the most resilient, able to continue functioning even if a loss of an air spring were to occur,” says Link Manager–Heavy Vocational Products Neil Mardell. “With three times more roll stability than any other vocational air-ride suspension, the Air Link rides four times smoother than a conventional spring pack and 10 times smoother than a rubber block suspension. The Air Link also offers users all the advantages of a combined air spring and walking beam suspension.”

The system’s ability to equally distribute weight, its high roll stability and its tractive superiority make operating on challenging terrain safer, more comfortable and ultimately more controlled, he adds. Like all Air Link suspensions, the 85K is 100 percent off-highway rated; maintains wheel alignment without the need for future adjustment; and, is finished with Link-KOAT migratory self-healing metal treatment, providing corrosion resistance and rust protection. — Link Manufacturing Ltd., Sioux Center, Iowa,




A new Kenworth T880 option, Bendix Wingman Fusion integrates next-generation safety technologies—brakes, camera, radar and SafetyDirect processor—into a comprehensive driver assistance system.

A new diesel exhaust fluid tank with integrated steps has been added as a T880 or T680 option. The access steps to the deck plate are mounted directly over a 21-gal. aerodynamic DEF tank without requiring additional frame space. Instead, step placement can free up as much as 16 inches, which is ideal for truck operators with constrained frame space layouts. The integrated step option is not available with full or partial chassis fairings.

Upfitted with a Custom Truck telescoping crane, the T880 Twin Steer premiered in Las Vegas with 505-hp engine and Allison 4700RDS 7-speed automatic transmission.

Manufacturer has added the latest Bendix driver assistance system as a T880 model option and standard feature for the T680 on-highway flagship. Highway Departure Braking and Multi-Lane Autonomous Emergency Braking top Wingman Fusion upgrades. Building on the technology’s existing lane-departure warning capability, the former provides auditory and visual alerts and, when necessary, applies foundation brakes to reduce speed if sensor devices determine the truck has left the roadway unintentionally. 

 Multi-Lane Autonomous Emergency Braking can help drivers mitigate both a first—and potentially second—collision when more than one roadway lane is blocked. Once a collision-mitigation braking event begins and the driver steers into an adjacent lane to avoid the forward vehicle, Wingman Fusion’s new feature continues to apply the brakes, if needed, when it detects another vehicle obstructing the new traffic lane.

Wingman Fusion is built on proven Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems technologies: the Electronic Stability Program full-stability system, Wingman Advanced Collision Mitigation, and AutoVue Lane Departure Warning System. It gathers input from radar, video, and brake system to create a highly detailed and accurate data picture. Data points are fused to each other—constantly gathering, sharing, and confirming information.


Kenworth arrived at ConExpo-Con/Agg 2020 with the T880 Twin Steer, whose factory-installed, set-back axles are configured for mixer, crane and other vocational applications that require 86-in. spacing to meet local bridge laws and enhance overall load carrying capacity. This year’s rollout follows a T880S Twin Steer, with set-forward front axles and 61-in. axle spread, from 2018. 

 The new version bears 40,000-lb. rated front axles, springs and steering gears. Its forward suspension is equalized between the front and rear steer axles for greater driver comfort and payload distribution. The standard package has a short hood with 116.7-in. bumper to back-of-cab dimension plus Paccar MX-11 engine, rated up to 430 hp and 1,650-lb.-ft. torque, or optional MX-13, rated up to 510 hp and 1,850-lb.-ft. torque. A 122.6-in. bbc version with longer hood suits optional MX-13 or Cummins X15 engine specs. Paccar MX power requires a vertical, back-of-cab mounting of the diesel particulate filter and selective catalytic reduction exhaust treatment system.

The T880 Twin Steer has aluminum fenders over the second axle and step-between axles for cab access. Battery box choices include parallel alignment between right-hand steer axles with up to three batteries, in-cab, or back-of-cab placement. — Kenworth Truck Co., Kirkland, Wash.,; Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC, Elyria, Ohio; 800/AIR-BRAKE;






With a 6-gal. tank mounted at the pedestal base, the Admix Add system led new FLEX Controls Mix Quality Package features on the McNeilus Bridgemaster anchoring the ConExpo-Con/Agg 2020 booth. The system extends FLEX architecture to the rapidly emerging practice of in transit slump adjustment.

ConExpo-Con/Agg 2020 was the first major showing of the next generation Oshkosh S-Series, unveiled in mid-2019 with an eye to initial deliveries early this year. Compared to its predecessor, the truck is engineered for .25- to 1-yd. higher payload potential; lower maintenance requirements; standardized front and rear axles suited to 210-, 220- or 230-ft. wheelbase specs; 67.4-ft. versus 90.2-ft. turning radius; and, a new cab long on driver comfort, convenience and visibility features. Oshkosh engineers are cross fertilizing components and technologies between the namesake front discharge models and sister McNeilus and London brands. Most notably, they have applied to the S-Series design the FLEX Controls package that McNeilus has evolved since a 2017 Las Vegas premier.

In a follow-up to the ConExpo-Con/Agg 2017 unveiling of the FLEX Controls Package for critical mixer functions, McNeilus Truck and Manufacturing returned to Las Vegas this year with a host of new telematics-enhanced features, topped by an on-board admixture dosing system. The two-piece Admix Add was upfitted on the company’s most prominent 2020 show vehicle, a Mack Granite-mounted Bridgemaster parked front and center at the Las Vegas Convention Center South Hall entry.

The patent-pending system debuted with a 6-gal. tank—primarily intended for conventional or high range water reducing agents—plumbed to the drum. McNeilus engineers have integrated Admix Add with FLEX Controls, which is equipped with a hydraulic gauge to indicate slump and can now adjust mix properties with automated water and admixture dosing. The system has a patent-pending feature in which the FLEX technology takes control of the drum after adding water and admixture to completely re-mix the adjusted concrete.

Admix Add is part of the new FLEX Controls Enabled Mix Quality Package that allows the operator to easily modify the concrete order to help reduce costly rejected loads and tear-outs. Ladder-free water delivery for slump adjustment or multi-zone washout were among the charter features of FLEX Controls. The whole system links to an exterior telematics module, relaying data such as hydraulic oil temperature, drum speed and direction, drum revolution count, and quantity of liquid added to the load.

The truck bearing the FLEX Controls Enabled Mix Quality Package joined a next generation Oshkosh S-Series front discharge mixer, which recently entered production, and a London Mixer in the Oshkosh Corp. booth. ConExpo-Con/Agg 2020 served as a venue for marking a McNeilus milestone plus a five-decade stretch during which the Oshkosh concrete mixer brands have shipped 143,000-plus trucks and secured more than 850 global patents across multiple technologies.

“We are commemorating our 50th anniversary and have been honored with awards for our innovations and business. We can think of no better place than ConExpo-Con/Agg to celebrate this with our loyal customers,” said McNeilus President and Oshkosh Commercial Segment Executive Vice President Brad Nelson. “We want participants talking about our mixer trucks, specifically how technological innovations have not only helped their businesses grow for the past 50 years but are positioning them well for the next 50 and beyond.”





The Hardox 450 steel-built Titan rolled into the Las Vegas Convention Center for a World of Concrete debut.

A Titan Volumetric Mixer model bearing Hardox 450 steel premiered at World of Concrete 2020. The material’s hardness and abrasion resistance enable optimized aggregate and cement bin plate thickness, allowing for 1,350 lbs. of additional payload versus models of conventional steel plate construction, while extending service life up to 200 percent.

Hardox wear plate, Bay-Lynx notes, a) exhibits consistent precision in hardness, thickness plus internal and workshop properties, with no soft or crack spots; b) is built up with a martensitic matrix and features high purity along with small size, random orientation of constituents; and, c) has a clean steel concept resulting in very high crack and impact resistance, along with energy absorption characteristics.

In addition to robust body and bin construction, the Titan Volumetric features a 1,900-liter water tank with auto-dosage controls; automated admix systems; hydraulic cement drive for output speed flexibility; lightweight auger frame with 12-in. auger and internal bearing system; operator panel with easy-to-use controls; automated hydraulic gate that communicates with operator’s panel; and, moisture meter to automatically adjust water content based on aggregate readings. The three-tiered BatchPro Connect software powers customer order portal, dispatch platform and operator’s mobile application. — Bay-Lynx, Ancaster, Ontario, 888/337-3331, 905/304-3900;





Command Steer’s automatic return of the steering wheel to the zero or center position in forward and reverse helps simplify tight maneuvers, such as positioning a mixer or dump truck to unload or backing a trailer.

Command Steer driver-assist technology is the newest Mack Anthem and Granite model option, available for respective second and third quarter ordering. The system adds an electric motor to the existing hydraulic steering to help reduce driver effort up to 85 percent. Variable steering assist level is based on the driving situation: Multiple sensors throughout the truck monitor road conditions, driver inputs and environmental elements, relaying observations more than 2,000 times per second. The electric motor then applies additional torque as needed to the steering, making it easier to keep the vehicle on the desired path.

“Driving a fully loaded, heavy-duty construction truck is a physically demanding task, especially when you add the uneven terrain common to most jobsites,” says Mack Director of Product Strategy Roy Horton. In addition to significantly reduced steering effort at slow speeds, he notes, Command Steer also helps filter out holes, dips and ruts in uneven terrain. When such irregularity is detected, the system reacts to counter the steering force, smoothing feedback and reducing the possibility of wheel “kicks.” A return to zero feature automatically guides the steering wheel to the center or zero position, helping simplify maneuvers in tight spaces, whether going forward or in reverse.

“Command Steer brings many benefits to on-road driving as well,” Horton observes. “The system compensates for situations like strong winds and crowned roads, helping drivers maintain greater control.”

“The additional torque or steering force means drivers no longer have to ‘fight the wheel’ on poor roads or in difficult weather conditions,” adds Mack Highway Product Manager Stu Russoli. “We’re helping reduce driver fatigue and muscle strain by up to 30 percent, improving safety and productivity.” Mack Trucks, Greensboro, N.C.,





Lubecore Progressive Modular automated greasing system.

The Lubecore AGS has a reservoir sized to hold grease sufficient for a few weeks of mixer truck operation, plus a specialized pump, lining and distribution blocks. Tailored to an individual mixer truck, the system ensures every target point receives the exact amount of grease needed at a specified time or interval. It affords optimal protection for moving parts, saving mixer truck operators time and extending equipment service life. Product developers cite a typical return on investment within the first year of system use.

Shown here is the Lubecore Modular Progressive, providing powerful yet precise delivery of all ranges of grease while compact distributor blocks ensure the system feeds each designated equipment point. Among key model features: fully submergible potted timer, fully protected from dust, corrosion, salt, brine and extreme vibration; timer LED communication, allowing for a clear indication of power and ground connection; automatic low-level shutoff, preventing grease pump operation on an empty reservoir; and, optional Korilla Line, an extreme duty lining that uses a simple connection system and does not require a hydraulic crimper or reusable fittings.

Lubecore produces its signature AGS in a high precision manufacturing facility. From design to testing to system fabrication and assembly, it handles everything in house. The company has a network of skilled and trained dealers to serve as local points of contact for consultation, installation and service. — Lubecore International Inc., Campbellville, Ontario; 905/864-3110;






A special manufacturing process adheres titanium to the surface of mirror-finished, stainless steel fenders, yielding a scratch-resistant, long-life coating. The Dark Knight finish is available in half tandem (72-in. overall length, 24-in. wide, 64 lbs./pair) or single axle (80 in. overall length, 24-in. wide, 68 lbs./pair) fenders, plus a mudflap mount (30 in. wide, 2.5-in. bolt centers). — Nu-Line Products Inc., Stoney Creek, Ontario, 866/837-2082;




International Truck and Beck Industrial engineers cut more than 2,800 lbs. from standard offerings to produce the HV50B bridge mixer package shown at the Las Vegas Convention Center. With a 106.9-in. bumper to back of cab dimension, the HV50B SBA Bridge model is equal to legal 9.75-yd. loads—thanks in part to Beck Industrial’s use of Hardox 450 steel for the drum and charge hopper.

International Truck arrived at ConExpo-Con/Agg with a lightweight version of the HV Series. The HV50B mixer package removes over 1,000 lbs. of vehicle and component weight from the standard model and body upfitting, allowing drivers to haul up to 9.75 yd. of concrete while staying under 66,000 lbs. GVW. Operators currently limited to legal 9-yd. loads have the potential to increase revenue by 7.6 percent per truck. 

 “A major concrete producer was excited about our HV Series but had some constructive feedback regarding the chassis weight and line of sight for their application,” says Navistar Vice President, Vocational Truck Business Mark Stasell. “We took that challenge to heart, put together a small, passionate team, and got creative from a design standpoint.”  

 Market and site conditions allow the producer to run a mixer-bearing HV on the lighter side of the Class 8 truck power spectrum: A Cummins L9 engine rated at 370 hp and 1,250 lb.-ft. torque, paired with an Allison 4500 RDS automatic transmission. International Truck engineers looked beyond the powertrain to save pounds without affecting vehicle integrity. They adapted the all-aluminum HX Series bumper and made way for lower hood height by optimizing front suspension components. The fuel water separator and air dryer were mounted on a common bracket, versus multiple ones, freeing room for mixer hydraulics. The engineering team further reduced chassis weight by optimizing crossmember placement.

 International Truck continued tailoring the HV50B package to the producer’s guidelines by conferring with Beck Industrial on mixer weight reduction measures. The Texas-based body builder proposed one of its newer offerings, a Hardox 450 steel option for mixer drum and charge hopper, plus 100-gal. aluminum water tank; aluminum top plate fenders; and, ZF-CML12 gearbox with Bosch Rexroth pump. These are among the features that can trim an additional 1,800 lbs. from the typical mixer body. 

 “International engineered meaningful weight savings in the HV50B mixer package without sacrificing durability and longevity of the truck,” says Frank Beck. “That makes a compelling value proposition for concrete producers that need a really tough, light weight package.”

“We were able to reduce weight without compromising any job site performance,” Stasell affirms. “Reduced vehicle weight means heavier loads per trip and per truck, which directly improves our customers’ bottom lines.” — Navistar International Corp., Lisle, Ill., 331/332-5000;; Beck Industrial, Converse, Texas, 210/246-7510, 877/777-BECK;

Liquid Stone, Hatch Concrete price T880, BridgeKing packages right

Auctioned at ConExpo-Con/Agg, the Hatch Concrete-bound T880S is equipped with a Paccar MX-11 engine rated at 430 hp and 1,650 lb.-ft. of torque, plus mixer package featuring 11-yd. Con-Tech High Performance Drum. Joining the body builder, Kenworth Truck and Orlando’s Kenworth of Central Florida as contributing suppliers were Allison Transmission (7-speed automatic), Hendrickson Intl. (46K rear suspension), Meritor (20K front, 46K rear axles), Watson & Chalin (13.5K steerable lift axle), Alcoa (tires) and Bridgestone (wheels).


The 2019 CIM Auction mixer—a Kenworth T880S-mounted Con-Tech BridgeKing—is right at home with similarly spec’d Liquid Stone rolling stock. Joining Kenworth Truck, Kenworth of Central Florida and Con-Tech as partners in the donation were Alcoa Wheels, Allison Transmission, Meritor and Watson & Chalin.

Under founder Paul Karmy and family, Liquid Stone Concrete has made a name for itself providing ready mixed to the south Dallas–Fort Worth Metroplex area for nearly 25 years. It serves residential and commercial accounts within a 25-mile radius of plants in Burleson and Midlothian.

In recent years, Liquid Stone has turned to the Kenworth T880 platform to upgrade and expand its fleet. “My father always made it a priority to provide our drivers with trucks that they would be comfortable in and enjoy driving,” says Vice President David Karmy. “At the same time, it’s important to have dependable trucks with the maneuverability needed to deliver to job sites.”

Liquid Stone mixers, along with a cement tanker T880 tractor, run lightweight Paccar MX-11 engines, rated at 430 hp and 1,650 lb.-ft. of torque. To improve weight savings in mixer trucks even more, the producer opts for a seven-axle configuration to help maximize its gross combination weight of 80,000 lbs.

“I think it’s safe to say we have the nicest trucks on the road in the Dallas-Fort Worth area,” notes Karmy. “The T880 is incredibly versatile and the maneuverability is hard to match. Our drivers tell me how nice it is to be behind the wheel of these trucks, and they especially appreciate the quiet and comfortable cabs. I’m willing to bet we have a better driver retention rate compared to some of our competitors that are running other makes.”

Among newer Liquid Stone fleet additions is a Kenworth T880S with a set-forward front axle with BridgeKing mixer. One of two mixer packages in the 2019 Concrete Industry Management Auction at World of Concrete, it was donated by Kenworth Truck, Kenworth of Central Florida and body builder Con-Tech Manufacturing. The producer prevailed with a $190,000 bid, proceeds from which were distributed by the CIM National Steering Committee to degree programs at Texas State University, San Marcos; Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro; New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark; and, California State University, Chico.

“The auction provided a unique opportunity to add a T880S to our fleet,” Karmy observes. “Even though the rest of our T880 models feature the set-back axle, we were in a position where we needed to add another truck. By doing so through the auction, we were able to generate a substantial donation to CIM’s program. We expect this truck to give us many high-performing years.”


The manufacturer, dealer and body builder team behind the 2019 CIM Auction truck regrouped earlier this year, delivering a T880S-mounted BridgeKing to the Las Vegas Convention Center for an auction at ConExpo-Con/Agg. As with the CIM Auction, Ritchie Bros. donated its services to drive bidding on the concrete mixer.

Hatch Concrete of Taylor, Ariz., carried the day with a $187,500 bid. “This special fundraising project was a great opportunity for Hatch Concrete. We went into the auction with a strong commitment to submit the winning bid,” affirms Vice President Jared Hatch. “It isn’t often that you can buy a truck and directly help children and veterans in a significant way through Ronald McDonald House, Make-a-Wish, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Wounded Warrior Project.”

“This fundraising project produced a tremendous donation, promoted the work of these outstanding organizations, and energized the concrete industry,” adds Con-Tech President Dan Welsh. — Kenworth Truck Co., Kirkland, Wash.,; Con-Tech Manufacturing, Dodge Center, Minn.,





The new app lists and maps inspection points. Driver observations on tires, components and overall vehicle condition are recorded in the cloud-based Ground Vehicle Control and indicated on cab-mounted tablets.

The next generation of the company’s electronic verified inspection reporting (EVIR) solution bears all charter version features, but in a mobile-friendly app with additional functionality. The release of the app represents the mobile evolution of a signature technology that improves and verifies Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration-mandated pre- and post-trip heavy-duty truck inspections. The program debuted in the first quarter as a Google Play Store offering, with Apple Store availability later this year.

EVIR continues the legacy of helping to reduce processing time for inspections by more than 50 percent when shifting from traditional paper-based inspection reports, Zonar programmers note. With EVIR, drivers and operators throughout vocational and commercial trucking have the freedom to conduct inspections with or without tags. While using RFID or NFC tags enables inspections to be verified, not all fleets can leverage such tools. By enabling tagless electronic inspections, anyone can easily and quickly ensure inspections are completed accurately and results are digitally stored without the need for extra hardware. EVIR also provides users with the intuitive Asset Map View, showing aerial takes of customers’ vehicles and equipment with guides for tag placement, as well as training videos and links within the application.

Compliant with all Department of Transportation and Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspection requirements, EVIR eliminates the need for paper-based reporting, helping drivers perform accurate inspections that are automatically collected, stored and easily integrated into maintenance software. This enables organizations to conduct more efficient inspection audits leading to fewer penalties due to lost records. Accurate inspections also help increase uptime by ensuring vehicle and asset issues are identified and addressed before they become critical.

“Nearly 20 years ago, Zonar introduced the first and only patented electronic verified inspection system, helping make our roads safer and our customer operations safer and more easily compliant with industry regulations,” says Vice President of Safety and Compliance Fred Fakkema. “Today, drivers, managers and operators need more options to protect and maintain vehicles and equipment.”

Inspection history and data collected by EVIR can be easily accessed through the web-based Ground Track Control. It affords customers a real-time look at fleet operations along with reports and alerts, plus the ability to manage a single asset or entire fleet. With customized dashboards for a broad range of trucking conditions, GTC users can make informed, data-based decisions to help improve operations. — Zonar Systems, Seattle;





A partnership with the Natural Gas Vehicle Institute (NGVi) has produced a customer care resource that ensures fleet managers, supervisors and technicians receive optimal training and support for a successful natural gas vehicle launch, plus ongoing maintenance and operation. TouchPoint is an extension of Clean Energy’s Zero Now, a program geared to making the cost of purchasing a new natural gas-fueled, heavy-duty truck equal to or even lower than that of the same vehicle running diesel power. Vehicles financed or purchased through Zero Now are eligible to secure Redeem renewable fuel with a fixed discount to diesel at a significant spread for contract duration.

“Zero Now has made it affordable to switch from a diesel to a natural gas truck. With the introduction of TouchPoint, we’re furthering our commitment by providing a complete toolbox for a smooth and efficient transition to clean, low-carbon natural gas fuel,” says Clean Energy Vice President Chad Lindholm.

TouchPoint spans six elements: Maintenance Management Orientation, where appropriate fleet and dealer team members are introduced to the characteristics of natural gas engines, including maintenance requirements; Heavy-Duty NGV Technician Training, with customized versions of NGVi’s Essentials and Safety Practices and Heavy-Duty NGV Maintenance and Diagnostics; New Vehicle Launch, bringing participants and channel partners together to initiate vehicle deployment; Monthly Check-Ins for answering technician questions and keeping the lines of communication open about vehicle performance and best maintenance practices; Initial Maintenance Interval and Support, a meeting prior to the first oil change and valve adjustment; and, Six-Month Performance Assessment to collect feedback and generate an overall vehicle or fleet evaluation; and, one-year into ownership, Annual Maintenance Review meeting to discuss truck satisfaction and performance concerns.


Concurrent with TouchPoint, Clean Energy has programmed a tool with which heavy-duty truck operators can estimate the cost of transitioning an individual vehicle or entire fleet from diesel fuel to natural gas. “There’s a false assumption that natural gas vehicles are more costly because they meet such high environmental standards, but that’s simply not the case,” Lindholm contends. “Our Cost Calculator demonstrates the economic value of running a fleet on natural gas, and we believe users want to learn how sustainable and cost effective it can be to run a clean fleet.”

The calculator can be customized for specific types of natural gas-powered rolling stock. It compares the annual cost of running a diesel versus a natural gas vehicle and, for the latter, shows the estimated annual fuel cost plus savings per year, over five years and per mile of operation. Rounding out a trio of Clean Energy productivity tools, Cost Calculator needs minimal user input such as annual miles, base vehicle price and desired range to provide a comprehensive comparison with diesel vehicles. It joins an Emissions Calculator, demonstrating the environmental advantages of switching from diesel to natural gas, and Grant Finder, identifying supplemental funding sources for clean vehicles according to state. — Clean Energy Fuels Corp., Newport Beach, Calif.,



New program streamlines driveshaft and differential assembly ordering process and sets 24-hour shipping window for U.S. and Canadian customers. The Drivetrain on Demand portfolio has more than 10,000 driveshaft assembly part numbers. Program users can order driveshaft assemblies by part number on or provide VIN to order through OEM dealer portals. Customers without a part number can order have a form (MISC 1783) to ensure proper manufacturing of replacement driveshafts.

Drivetrain on Demand spans Meritor 1610 –1810 series, RPL 20/25 series and Dana SPL 170/250 driveshaft assemblies, all with a two-year nationwide warranty, and joins the manufacturer’s North America Authorized Rebuilder Program. Since 2018, customers have been ordering Meritor 14X, 145 and 160 reman differentials built by authorized rebuilders that meet OEM performance requirements. Upon receipt of a replacement assembly order, Meritor works with an authorized rebuilder closest to the end user; custom-built units ship within 24 hours. — Meritor Inc., Troy, Mich.,






Embedded in the cab-mounted DriveCam device, MV+AI technology senses and logs instances of drivers using handheld devices, operating without seat belt, or engaging in activities typically prohibited while vehicles are running or in gear.

The developer of the DriveCam video telematics solution for recording heavy-duty truck cab and road events has added machine vision and artificial intelligence-powered (MV+AI) technology to provide near real-time insight into risky behaviors associated with handheld device use, failure to wear seat belts, and consuming food, drink or tobacco with vehicle in gear.

Lytx presents its MV+AI offering as risk detection technology that acts like a co-pilot to constantly monitor road and driver, triggering short video clips to show what is occurring behind the wheel. Risk detection is part of the Lytx Driver Safety Suite and can be coupled with the Fleet Tracking Service as a complete and integrated solution for fleets looking to optimize their vehicle technology with a single vendor. — Lytx Inc., San Diego, Calif.,




The Donaldson Filter Minder app, recently integrated with Geotab Internet of Things and connected transportation technology, is supporting current air filtration monitoring plus recently commenced field testing of on- or off-road equipment fuel, lube, and hydraulics monitoring.

Following 18 months of field performance and connectivity testing, the company has released the Filter Minder to optimize fleet maintenance practices in on- and off-road trucks or equipment. To address loss of efficiency, unplanned downtime and added costs associated with the changing of filters too soon or too late, the wireless monitoring system’s sensors and receivers send filter performance data to the cloud, from which predictive analytics inform users when filters are approaching the end of their optimal life. System components can be installed on equipment in minutes, without hardwiring or an additional cellular device.

“Managers can now make informed air filtration decisions about when to conduct maintenance and maximize the life of a filter, instead of changing filters based upon time or distance intervals,” says Donaldson Director of Filter Minder Nate Zambon.

In a major expansion of Filter Minder’s potential to serve multiple equipment platforms, the manufacturer is field-testing its wireless fuel, hydraulic filter restriction and engine oil condition device monitoring. It will be the first time wireless Internet of Things technology is tested across major air and fluid filtration applications on heavy-duty equipment—with the benefit of optimizing fluid and filtration maintenance, driving down total cost of ownership, and increasing equipment uptime.

“We invite fleet managers to participate in these important tests of fuel, hydraulic and lubrication monitoring,” notes Zambon. “We are building Filter Minder into a comprehensive suite of off-road and on-road filtration monitoring that integrates into the existing telematics and fleet management infrastructure.” — Donaldson Filtration Systems, Minneapolis, 319/234-0231 (Filter Minder test participation);

Electric mixer on track for Holcim flagship fleet deployment

A Liebherr ETM 1205 on a Futuricum SEMI 40E chassis equals environmentally friendly ready mixed concrete transport, truck engineers contend. Futuricum is Designwerk Products’ electric commercial vehicle nameplate and an homage to vehicle construction pioneers from Turicum, Roman for Zurich. The brand arose from a Swiss Office of Energy, Volvo Truck and Contena Ochsner AG collaboration.

Germany’s Liebherr and Designwerk have developed the first fully electric concrete mixer trucks with 10- or 12-m³ drums on a five-axle chassis. The models are scheduled to premier later this year in Holcim and KIBAG fleets in Switzerland, where five-axle mixers with 40-tonne GVW are legal.

The new ETM 1005 and 1205 truck mixers bear on a Designworks Futuricum chassis and can transport large quantities of concrete quietly and reliably without diesel exhaust emissions. Since distances from the concrete plant to the construction site are relatively short compared to freight traffic, Liebherr officials note, an all-electric solution is particularly well suited for truck mixers. Moreover, they add, the vehicles return again and again to battery-charging infrastructure at the ready mixed concrete plant.

Thanks to large accumulator capacities, charging the batteries is normally an overnight process. With the equivalent of 680 hp, the powerful Futuricum engine and chassis can easily cope with a concrete load. Energy recovery during braking or downhill driving further increases the truck’s range and reduces operating and maintenance costs. A drum drive developed by Liebherr and ZF consists of an efficient, low-maintenance electric motor and mixer gearbox package. For the first time, both the truck and mixer body are powered jointly by the traction battery, eliminating the need for costly power electronics components.

The new Liebherr Generation 05 electrified body offers further advantages: The compact electric drive for the mixing drum is flanged directly to the drum and its high efficiency ensures that power consumption for relieving the traction battery of the Futuricum truck remains low. It also eliminates the need for any hydraulic equipment—no hose connections nor pump, therefore no risk of leakage. Liebherr’s truck mixer body boasts a low net weight combined with optimal transport volume; long service life thanks to special wear-resistant steel construction; and, ergonomic design around the operation system and access points. A platform system on both sides allows flexible positioning and attachment of accessories to suit customer requirements.

Designwerk engineers characterize the electric motors as “real power houses. The torque combined with high horsepower provide excellent performance and a high degree of comfort.” All subassemblies, chassis and mixer bodies are optimally matched to each other by Liebherr and Futuricum, while weight distribution across the axles is ideal for driving characteristics. A temperature management system ensures that the components are cooled or heated as required. — Liebherr-Mischtechnik GmbH, Germany;; Designwerk Products AG,