Truck Writers of North America named five finalists for its 2014 Technical Achievement Award. The winner will be announced during the Technology & Maintenance Council's annual meeting in Nashville, Tenn., on Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015.
The five finalists are (alphabetically):
Aperia Technologies' Halo Tire Inflator
Aperia's Halo Tire Inflator is a bolt-on device that uses the wheel's own rotational motion to drive an internal pump that operates on a principle similar to a self-winding watch. Aperia says Halo can be used on drive and trailer axles.
Dana's Spicer AdvanTek 40 tandem drive axles
The Spicer AdvanTek 40 tandem axle is the first linehaul axle to feature Dana’s AdvanTek gearing, which is said to withstand 30% higher input torque and enable more than 2% improved vehicle efficiency. Dana says the axles are up to 21 pounds lighter than competitive standard tandem axles.
Fontaine Fifth Wheel camera system
Fontaine Fifth Wheel's patent-pending camera system uses two video cameras mounted back-to-back behind the truck’s fifth wheel to give the driver a clear picture of both the fifth wheel and approaching trailer when hooking up a trailer.
Peterson LumenX Series 7 LED
Peterson claims its LumenX Series 7 safety lights use the latest white-diode LEDs and optics engineered for efficient light dispersal. Peterson says the entire lens illuminates fully, with no hot spots or dead zones regardless of viewing angle.
Webb Wheel's Vortex Unlimited vented brake drum
Webb claims the patent-pending vents increase air flow through the drum reducing operating temperatures by 15% which can improve brake performance and add 25% to the life of the drum.
The award finalists were chosen by the association's Technical Achievement Award committee, including Paul Abelson of Road King and Land Line magazines, John Baxter of Baxter TechWrite and technical director of Advance Diesel Concepts, Tom Berg of Heavy Duty Trucking and Construction Equipment magazines, Peter Carter of Today's Trucking, David Kolman of Fleet Maintenance Magazine and Road King, James Menzies of Truck News and Truck West, and Jim Park of Heavy Duty Trucking (chair).
The review process began with judges nominating candidate products, which then were ranked according to certain criteria. The five highest scoring products became the finalists.
"We had more than a dozen innovative new products to consider for this year's award, and there was some healthy debate before we got that number narrowed down to just five," Park says. "This year's winner will be joining a pretty exclusive group of products that has contributed much to the efficiency and prosperity of the trucking industry."
To be eligible, a product or service has to show technical innovation, have a wide applicability and availability in trucking, and offer significant benefits. While complete vehicles are not eligible, components and systems are.
This year marks the 24th anniversary of the Technical Achievement Award. It was first presented in 1991 to Grote Industries for its red LED marker lamp. Grote since has provided trophies for subsequent winners.
Founded in 1988, TWNA is a professional organization composed of writers, editors, public relations specialists, marketing personnel and others involved in the business of creating or producing information related to the world of trucking.
Past TWNA Technical Achievement Award winners
2013 - Mack Twin-Y suspension
2012 - Meritor FuelLite 6x2
2011 - Volvo XE Powertrain
2010 - Bose Ride System
2009 - ArvinMeritor's PlatinumShield Brake Shoes
2008 - Detroit Diesel DD15 engine with Turbo Compounding
2007 - Michelin's Durable Technologies tire
2006 - Cummins Filtration's Fleetguard User Friendly filters
2005 - Carrier Transicold's Deltek Hybrid Reefer
2004 - ConMet's TruTurn brake drum
2003 - Meritor-Wabco's anti-rollover system
2002 - Bendix XVision night vision system
2001 - XM Satellite Radio
2000 - ZF Meritor's Freedom Line two-pedal AMT
1999 - Donaldson's Silent Partner muffler
1998 - Cummins' Signature 600 engine
1997 - Eaton Fuller's AutoShift transmission
1996 - Rockwell Automotive's ESS (Engine Synchro Shift) transmission
1995 - Navistar International's flat-floor International 9800 cabover
1994 - Caterpillar and Navistar International (joint award) Hydraulically actuated, Electronically controlled Unit Injectors
1993 - Goodyear's G300 tire
1992 - Cummins' ESP variable torque engine line
1991 - Grote Industries' LED marker lamp