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january 2011

    AEMP PRESIDENT OFFERS PREDICTIONS FOR 2011

    january 2011


    The Association of Equipment Management Professionals (AEMP) represents on- and off-road equipment professionals who work in construction, government, utilities, and other industries. We recently spoke with the organization’s president, Daryl Crear, about the benefits of membership and what fleets can expect in 2011.

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    The Association of Equipment Management Professionals (AEMP) represents on- and off-road equipment professionals who work in construction, government, utilities, and other industries. We recently spoke with the organization's president, Daryl Crear, about the benefits of membership and what fleets can expect in 2011.

    The equipment supervisor for Rumpke Consolidated Companies, Inc. (www.rumpke.com), Crear oversees the company's 600-plus machines. His "yellow iron" responsibilities include articulated trucks, as well as bulldozers, excavators, and rubber tire loaders. The following is an edited version of our conversation.

    Question: What is the mission of AEMP?

    Answer: We bring equipment manufacturers, end-users and dealers together to the same table to reach common goals. For example, a lot of construction, utility, and other types of companies have mixed fleets. They deal with multiple OEMs. And, at the end of the day, if you wanted to track things like hours run, fuel burned, idle hours, and other data, the format and language were different for each OEM. We wanted to try and get all of the dealers from the various OEMs to use the same technology and terminology. And that's what we've done with our new telematics program. Now, end-users are able to get the same information, the same way, with one system.

    That's one of the things we like to think we're here for: To share the needs of end-users with the manufacturers, and help them work with us.

    Q: A major focus is professional development, correct?

    A: Absolutely. As technologies are getting more advanced, we're getting shorter and shorter on technicians. One of the things the Association does is provide scholarships to encourage younger kids coming out of school to pursue equipment management as a career. If we're going to address this shortage, we need to hit it from bottom up.

    And, at the same time, we have to continually train existing technicians so they don't get left behind. We started AEMP University to provide education for professionals who want to become CEMs (Certified Equipment Managers). And we also came up with an entry-level program where younger or junior shop personnel can learn how to become managers. A lot of the training is available online, so technicians can do it on their own time.

    Q: Is it more important than ever for equipment managers to develop and hone skills that separate them from the pack?

    A: It used to be there were a number of people who could walk in and work on machines for you. It didn't require any certain skill knowledge. But we've reached a point where you need people to be educated on things like hybrid technology, advanced engines.

    As the economy continues to improve, you'll eventually have to update your fleet. And there's more emphasis on getting greener. The reality is: if you don't [train your people] now, you're going to find yourself in a handicapped position versus your competitors. It's going to be a difference maker.

    Q: What are some of the headlines our customers should be looking for in 2011?

    A: I've talked with other supervisors here in the Midwest, and we're seeing trends starting to change. Many smaller companies that weren't able to tread water during the downturn, those jobs are lost. But many mid-sized companies are holding their own. For us, a lot of our success revolved around seeing the slowdown coming and making adjustments. We weren't afraid to [take business] that wasn't traditionally our core business.

    For 2011, a lot of mid-sized companies have already booked bigger state- and federally-funded construction and highway jobs. It looks like it might be the beginning of an upswing. I think we've found the bottom, and now we're going to work our way back.

    Q: "Doing more with less" seems to be a necessity now.

    A: I don't see that going away. You have to be able to do more with less, whether on the maintenance end or in terms of replacing equipment. A couple of years ago, it would have been nothing to go out and replace things. Now, I ask, do I really need to replace that or do I want to? And I scrutinize who is getting new equipment and make sure they are making a profit. That's how I know if we can actually afford it.

    Q: Are there any management tips you can offer?

    A: Open communication with your employees is really important. When the downturn started, we made employees aware of our hurdles, and made them a part of the decision-making process. You would be surprised, how much getting them into buying in does for your bottom line and your morale.

    For more information on education opportunities with AEMP, visit: www.aemp.org.

    INTERNATIONAL TRUCK TO SUPPORT RACING’S BEST IN 2011

    january 2011


    With the 2011 racing season set to begin, Navistar is continuing to pull for the best.

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    With the 2011 racing season set to begin, Navistar is continuing to pull for the best. Partnerships range from the International® Truck logo on the hood of the #5 truck in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series to the dozens of International vehicles that support race teams across multiple series.

    In the Camping World Truck Series, veteran NASCAR driver Mike Skinner hopes to return to his 2009 form (three wins and a third-place point finish) in the #5 truck from Randy Moss Motorsports. International will continue in 2011 as a primary sponsor for that race team, which is co-owned by NFL wide receiver Randy Moss, after kicking off its relationship last season.

    Other sponsorships include JR Motorsports, the Nationwide Series team owned by Dale Earnhardt, Jr. that features Danica Patrick as one of its top drivers, and Earnhardt Ganassi Racing. Additionally, International recently inked an agreement with Roush Fenway Racing, which will have three cars in both the NASCAR Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series.

    International serves as a valuable partner for some of racing’s premier names for by providing the trucks that deliver high-precision racecars to tracks across the country. This year, International LoneStar® and ProStar® trucks will crisscross the nation’s highways throughout the season. And medium-duty products like the International DuraStar® will support in-house race shop operations for the teams, as well as help tow racecars out to the track for testing.

    With NASCAR racecars costing hundreds of thousands of dollars each—and many team budgets exceeding millions of dollars—International brand vehicles are responsible for some seriously expensive cargo.

    According to David Droll, Experiential Marketing Director, Navistar, Inc., these legendary race teams rely on International trucks to get the job done each and every day, much like any other business.

    "I had the opportunity to chat with Jack Roush (the iconic NASCAR race team owner), and he said, 'The biggest risk I have as an owner is that the car doesn’t make it to the track,’" Droll recalls. "For race teams, their livelihood in that sport is dependent on us."

    And if something does go wrong while out on the road, race teams can rely on the depth and breadth of the largest truck dealer network in North America.

    As the season kicks into high gear, International customers will have plenty of racing action to cheer about. A big question will be whether Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, a new International partner in 2010, can repeat last year’s unbelievable season: Jamie Murray and the #1 car won both the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series; Dario Franchitti won the Izod Indy Racing Series; and Scott Pruitt came in first in point total for the Rolex Grand Am Series.

    "That organization had an incredible year. It was an honor to be associated with them," says Droll.

    "Whether we’re heading across the country, or bringing a car out to the race track for validation, we provide trucks that help these racing superstars every step of the way," he continues. "These are critically important aspects of our partnerships."

    The NASCAR Camping World Cup Truck Series, Nationwide Series, and Sprint Cup Series kick-off in Daytona, Florida February 18-20, 2011. For a full schedule, go to: www.nascar.com.

    All marks are trademarks of their respective owners.

    AVOID TRUCK DAMAGE FROM SNOW REMOVAL CHEMICALS

    january 2011


    According to the American Public Work Association, 70 percent of North American municipalities use liquid de-icers on highways. Many of these substances include chemicals that can greatly damage metals. Luckily, there are steps you can take to mitigate the effects of corrosion on your vehicles.

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    According to the American Public Work Association, 70 percent of North American municipalities use liquid de-icers on highways. Many of these substances include chemicals that can greatly damage metals. Luckily, there are steps you can take to mitigate the effects of corrosion on your vehicles.

    When it comes to melting snow and ice, solid materials such as simple rock salt are by far the most cost-effective and, therefore, the most common. However, more and more snow removal fleets are now using more modern methods, including salt treated with various chemicals. And because salt alone is not effective once the temperature drops below 15-degrees Fahrenheit, many geographic areas utilize a combination of solid and liquid substances.

    Among liquid options, salt brine—a liquefied form of salt—has been used since the 1980s. But starting in the 1990s and continuing today, liquid chemicals such as calcium chloride and magnesium chloride have been growing in popularity. There are many reasons for the increase: These substances melt ice faster than salt. Plus, liquid chemicals can be more easily spread over a large area, meaning they can get the job done with less material than a salt-based approach.

    However, chemical de-icers can also be highly corrosive, says Bob Neitzel, marketing manager, Navistar.

    "The problem is, the ability of chemical ice-melters to migrate up small crevices in vehicles—and etch paint and metal—is many times that of brine," he says. "Salt brine, because of its higher freezing point, doesn't flow as well at lower temperatures. But the other [chemical] liquids can seep into a plug, or move up through wires in a wiring harness. They can get into places that brine typically would not invade."

    There are some high-performance liquid de-icing chemicals on the market that are corrosion-resistant. However, the higher cost of these materials makes them cost-prohibitive for many municipalities and private companies. According to Neitzel, corrosion-resistant forms of liquid chemical de-icers are most frequently used on bridges or airport runways, areas where the dangers of corrosion outweigh the more expensive price.

    Some niche alternatives, including organic materials such as beet juice, are also being used to melt ice on roads. The upside is these materials are totally non-corrosive to metal; the downside is they are high in phosphorous (a fertilizer compound), which could pollute nearby lakes and streams.

    "There's always a trade-off with ice-melters," says Neitzel. "Some of them do extremely well at melting ice and snow, but have various side effects—whether that means running off into water sources or attacking metal."

    To mitigate the damage caused by various de-icing materials, Neitzel suggests taking these steps:

    Avoid making electrical connections in areas where they could be exposed to liquid ice-melters. "If the liquid gets into a wiring harness, it could destroy a tail light or other electrical component. Their ability to ruin equipment is legendary," he says. "Don't break the wires from the cab to the back of the tail light. Leave that as one wire and you're less likely to experience problems."

    Also, work with your body builders to move remote power modules and transmission computers - things that would normally be exposed to road conditions—inside the cab.

    Consider corrosion protection options. "It could be as simple as asking for corrosive protection coats such as powders when you spec your trucks," Neitzel notes.

    And remember, International customers also enjoy the confidence of the company's best-in-class cab-corrosion warranty. "The reality is, we can't stop corrosion," says Neitzel. "But the measure of a warranty is the measure of how well a manufacturer has retarded the corrosion process. We're the leaders in the government snowplow business. Our trucks are routinely exposed to the most abusive conditions possible. By applying rust-preventative coatings before we paint our frames, we've done the best possible job in delaying corrosion."

    INTERNATIONAL® WORKSTAR® 7600 GOES ALL-WHEEL-DRIVE

    january 2011


    When a major California energy company needed trucks to cover a territory that ranges from snow-capped Mount Whitney to the deserts of Death Valley, they chose the new International® WorkStar® 7600 6x6.

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    When a major California energy company needed trucks to cover a territory that ranges from snow-capped Mount Whitney to the deserts of Death Valley, they chose the new International® WorkStar® 7600 6x6. Tough enough to tame any conditions, the new version also offers every advantage of the Diamond Logic® Electrical System.

    The new International WorkStar trucks replaced the International PayStar® vehicles in his customer's fleet, says Bill Tollefson, fleet sales manager at Dion International Trucks in San Diego. Previously, the PayStar was the only truck from International that fit the company's all-terrain needs. "The all-wheel-drive version of the WorkStar was specifically created to accommodate those who could benefit from the multiplex wiring capabilities of Diamond Logic in a heavier-duty package," he notes.

    "We brought many of the heavy-duty features from our PayStar models into the WorkStar," explains Melissa Gauger, marketing manager, Navistar. "The goal was to provide a wider variety of models for the customer to choose from."

    Tolefson says the new versions of the WorkStar truck bring more capability to fleets that regularly negotiate off-road challenges. "I have customers whose trucks service towers across hills and deserts throughout an incredibly diverse geographic region. They have to deal with snow, mud, and sand. With the all-wheel-drive [WorkStar trucks], they can eliminate a lot of towing problems.

    "Pulling a truck out of such a place could easily cost $1,000," Tolefson continues. "Just one towing bill could equal the difference in cost between the all-wheel-drive vehicle and a standard rear-wheel-drive model. For many applications, the extra driving axle is a smart investment."

    And with the International WorkStar 6x6 trucks now available, customers can fully utilize Diamond Logic, the proprietary multiplex technology from Navistar, to greatly increase efficiencies while out on the job site. The electrical system provides control and communication between major functional areas of the vehicle. It can be pre-programmed with features such as safety interlocks to protect equipment and parking brake alarms. For example, vehicles with a PTO (power take-off) can add an attribute that won't let the PTO operate unless the parking brake is set, the transmission is in neutral, or the engine is moving at a specific rate.

    In addition to the 6x6 and 4x4, 8x6 Tridem axle versions of the International WorkStar are also available. The latter is ideal for vocations that require more tractive effort than a conventional tandem axle, such as crane trucks, concrete mixers, dump trucks, waste, and oil field trucks.

    The Tridem also features Bendix 6 channel ABS air brakes and Hendrickson PRIMAXX rear air suspension, a heavy-duty suspension designed for the rigorous demands of vocational and heavy-haul applications. "The Tridem spreads the weight across more axles," says Gauger. "Anyone who needs to haul maximum payload can benefit from this configuration."

    All the new all-wheel-drive WorkStar models are available with MaxxForce® 11 and 13 engines.

    "When we design new products, we listen to the needs of our customers," says Gauger. "That's how new features and models are born."

    For more information on the International WorkStar 6x6, 4x4, and 8x6 Tridem models, go to: International WorkStar

    All marks are trademarks of their respective owners.