NASHVILLE -- Like many "legacy" companies with ancient roots in the trucking industry, Dana Corp. says it is today undergoing a rapid and mandatory transformation to a more digitally oriented company in order to better meet the needs of its customers.

Dana's new Rhombus TireAnalytics platform, introduced Sunday at the ATA's Technology & Maintenance Council meeting in Nashville, is a first-step toward seeing that new focus bear fruit.

Rhombus is a cloud-based platform that helps fleets in identifying and analyzing tire wear trends, predict and avert maintenance issues, and establish optimal timeframes to balance tire use with replacement demands. The system integrates portable communications and computing platforms, advanced data collections and analysis systems with a cloud-based system that allows fleets to use existing mobile computing hardware such as tablets, smartphones or PCs to examine information and act quickly on it.

According to Tim Farney, vice president of global sales for Dana, Rhombus is a "first-to-market," easy-to-use solution that will enable truck owners to throughly assess the success of tire management strategies using Big Data.

"Over the lifetime of a truck, tire maintenance is a top spend item and leading cause of over-the-road truck-down incidents that drive roadside assistance costs and late delivery penalties," Farney said. "Rhombus is a powerful tool that will help fleets control those costs while fine-tuning maintenance practices and zeroing in on ones that are successful."

Dana also took advantage of TMC to introduce its new SPL 350 Lite driveshaft, specifically engineered for downspeeding applications. The new driveshaft is 35 pounds lighter than existing models in its class. Dana says the new axle will offer improved performance for powertrains that enable engine downspeeding by supporting axle ratios lower than 2:26:1, which is the fastest ratio on the market today for 6x4 tandem configurations.