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November 20
Meritor Smoothes the Rough Road for Truckers in Brazil

By Luis Marques, Sales and Marketing Manager, Meritor Brazil

Luis Marques, Sales and Marketing Manager, Meritor Brazil

If you had a chance to travel with a truck driver across Brazil’s vast landscape, you’d quickly realize you’re far removed from the ride on an American-style interstate highway or Germany’s Autobahn. Truckers here face difficulties that drivers in the United States or Europe likely would never encounter. But Meritor Brazil is smoothing the road ahead for them.

Only 12 percent of highways in Brazil are paved, which impacts suspension systems, axles and other parts. Not only are the roads tough to navigate, but also many of the trucks themselves are ancient by normal standards. In Brazil, 55 percent of all commercial trucks are operated by individual owners, rather than fleets. The average age of all trucks in the country is 16 years, but autonomously owned vehicles average 21 years old. Fleet vehicles average 9 years old, compared with 7 years in the United States.

All this makes the trucker’s job challenging, and it means Brazil offers a huge potential for fleet renewal. Economic conditions in the country have deteriorated, however, and autonomous drivers simply can’t afford to buy new trucks. Over time, their trucks guzzle ever more fuel and emit more pollutants.

But Meritor, working with other suppliers in the Brazilian Association of Automotive Components Manufacturers (Sindipeças), has proposed to the government a national program to renew the fleets. Most autonomous drivers don’t have enough credit to purchase a new vehicle, but the proposed program would help them buy used trucks from fleets and grant a credit for the sale to fleet owners. We at Meritor are convinced that this type of program is essential to keeping Brazil’s truck transport system up-to-date and competitive.

Today we’re helping truckers manage Brazil’s rugged road conditions by providing a range of systems across the country. Meritor has been an important presence here for 58 years, and now we supply axles for half the trucks and buses produced in Brazil.

Recently, Meritor introduced its 17X and 18X axles in Brazil. These latest rear-drive, laser-welded axles are 30 percent more durable than earlier systems, and they can carry heavier loads with greater efficiency. Meritor products will go a long way toward helping the Brazilian trucking industry manage the challenges down the road.

For more information about Meritor Brazil, please visit our website.

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November 04
Meritor Makes Its Mark on Europe’s IAA Show

By Tony Williams, deputy chief of sales, Brakes Europe, for Meritor

Meritor Booth at IAA 2014

When I meet with European trucking industry executives and mention “The Show,” they immediately understand what I’m talking about. Nothing compares with the IAA Commercial Vehicles show, the major biennial event in Hannover, Germany, where commercial truck and bus manufacturers display their latest models and systems.

For Meritor, IAA is an occasion to exhibit our latest offerings in brakes, axles and drivelines. But it’s also an opportunity to meet with senior executives from OEMs to share our product plans, learn about their needs and even finalize contracts.

IAA is a very significant event for us. And for the industry as a whole, it’s the largest, most important show in the commercial vehicle arena. Europe is the technology leader for commercial vehicles, and virtually all new technologies for these vehicles are presented in Europe. IAA often has been the venue for the introduction of many of the most noteworthy product developments in commercial transportation, including the latest air disc brakes from Meritor.

IAA existed even before commercial vehicle production was an industry. The first IAA show was held in Berlin in 1897. Today, it’s huge by any measure. IAA 2014, which took place Sept. 25-Oct. 2, featured well over 2,000 exhibitors from 45 countries, filling 13 halls and outdoor display areas. In addition, some 2,000 journalists from more than 50 countries covered the 2014 show.

More than a quarter million people attended, and they had a chance to see some tremendous innovations from Meritor. We showed a new series of brakes that Meritor will begin supplying to the Swedish truck and bus manufacturer Scania before the end of this year. The ELSA225H range of air disc brakes is 4 kilograms lighter than the current brakes provided to Scania by another supplier. We also exhibited our EX 225 air disc brakes and other lighter-weight, performance-enhancing Meritor products.

Additionally, we displayed our global drivetrain capabilities for the lightest to the heaviest range of carriers. We highlighted the new 10X, with its compact and light design that allows light-duty trucks to handle higher payloads, along with the 17X EVO for light weight and improved fuel efficiency in the heavy-duty segment.

IAA 2014 served as an excellent opportunity to discuss the future with customers.  And when we mention the value of our products to them, they immediately understand what we’re talking about, thanks in large part to IAA.

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October 16
Scientific Savings Expo Offers Hands-On Demo of Meritor Technologies

By Amanda Phillips, Director, OEM Sales and Product Marketing

Amanda Philips

Often the best way to judge the value of new technology is a test drive—a hands-on experience that makes clear the savings in time and dollars that the technology can offer. Last month, 42 executives from 33 major North American truck fleets had such a first-hand opportunity, exploring and driving a range of Meritor systems to learn about the science behind the savings that they provide.

These fleet leaders came to southeast Michigan for the Scientific Savings Expo Presented by Meritor DriveForceTM, spending three days at Meritor labs in Troy and the Romeo Proving Ground for up-close demonstrations of axles, brakes, drivelines and trailer suspension systems from Meritor and Meritor WABCO that help prevent injuries and vehicle damage while reducing maintenance and operating expenses.

  • Expo participants learned why Meritor’s lighter-weight, higher-efficiency axles, including the FUELiteTM 6x2 system, can save fleets $1,100 annually on fuel costs.
  • They donned lab coats and work gloves to examine Meritor Q+™ drum brakes and EX+™ air disc brakes and participate in a timed competition with experienced technicians in changing brake shoes and swapping out disc brake pads.
  • Technicians tore down a Meritor Permalube™ (RPL) driveline with 1 million-plus miles on it to show that the grease was still as good as new, an indication of the maintenance savings fleets can expect from Meritor.
  • On the proving grounds, the executives participated in ride-and-drives that demonstrated roll stability, braking and active cruise control, along with Meritor WABCO’s OnGuardTM collision mitigation system and Meritor’s RideSentry™  trailer air suspension.

The August Expo was our third since we initiated the event in 2013, and Expo attendees have appreciated the scientific savings provided by Meritor and Meritor WABCO technology. James Burg, president of James Burg Truck Company, said he felt the Meritor WABCO OnGuard system “can have a dramatic impact on safety by reducing crashes and the cost of crashes.” After a RideSentry demo, Andy Lott, president of Arlo G. Lott Trucking, observed, “If we could use that suspension on our multi-axle trailers, it would cure a lot of our problems.”

If you’d like to be part of our next Scientific Savings Event, contact your DriveForce representative.

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September 12
Meritor Continues to Advance 6x2 Axle Technology

By Karl Mayer, Director of Product Line Management North American Truck Axles

Karl Mayer

As a result of technology advancements from Meritor, 6x2 axle systems are becoming increasingly popular with OEMs and fleet owners in North America. The 6x2 uses only one drive axle, with a Meritor FUELite reducing vehicle weight by as much as 400 pounds compared with similar 6x4 systems, producing a 2-to-4.6 percent boost in fuel efficiency. The increase in fuel efficiency is simply a result of having one less drive axle, which contributes to fewer gearset meshes and fewer lubricant churning losses.

Still, many American fleet owners have questioned how well a 6x2 performs when additional traction is needed. Meritor technology addresses this important factor by integrating FUELite 6x2 axles with Meritor WABCO Electronically Controlled Air Suspension (ECAS). The ECAS technology, introduced in the United States by Meritor WABCO, detects low-traction situations and automatically transfers the tag axle load to the drive axle for the short duration required to regain traction.

We highly recommend that fleets spec an automated load-shifting system like Meritor WABCO’s ECAS when considering 6x2 axles. With fuel savings enabled by FUELite axles and ECAS, operational costs are reduced, and traction is greatly improved. Don’t try to save money by eliminating a load-shifting system, because you will not be happy when trucks become stuck during low-traction events.

In the spirit of continuous improvement, Meritor already has implemented several design ideas to make 6x2 axles even more efficient and cost-effective.

  • First, a square tube housing with integrated upper torque rod bracket replaces conventional round housings for the tag axle, helping to make the mounting of suspension to the axle much easier. OEMs therefore save time and cost in assembly.
  • Secondly, Meritor is offering FUELite with a dual-track housing as standard equipment, giving fleets flexibility to convert from fuel-saving wide-base single tires to dual tires and vice versa. The housing allows trucks to remain within width limits even when converted from WBS to duals during resale.
  • Finally, Meritor will continue to advance 6x2 and ECAS technologies. Ratios faster than 2.50 will allow trucks to travel at the speed limit with lower RPMs, conserving even more fuel. We are also looking at further automation to reduce driver interaction during low-traction events.

For more information on today’s 6x2s and their benefits, go to www.6x2facts.com.

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August 11
Welcome to the Meritor Blog

Krista Sohm, Vice President of Communications

Krista Sohm

Welcome to Meritor. Thanks for your interest in our company, our people and our products. Since launching Facebook, Twitter and YouTube less than a year ago, we've had a steady increase of Likes, Followers and Views. Today, we're launching this blog so we can tell you more about what we're working on and you can tell us what you think.

As you know, we design, test and manufacture drivetrain products for commercial and industrial vehicles. From linehaul to mining and rock drilling to defense, our products are sold in close to 90 countries. For more than 100 years, we've built a brand recognized by the world's largest truck manufacturers, defense contractors, fleets and owner operators. We love what we do - and we're constantly looking for ways to do it better.

Our engineering team works daily with supply chain and manufacturing to produce a strong lineup of axles, brakes, drivelines and suspensions for a wide variety of demanding applications. Reliability and durability are critical characteristics for the products we build. We also offer support and service throughout our products' lifecycles with DriveForce and OnTrac, teams of experts who can help you with all your product needs.

On this blog, you'll hear directly from our engineers, product specialists, supply chain and manufacturing leaders about industry trends, product design, lean manufacturing and other topics you'll want to learn more about. We have a talented, experienced team known for their passion. Meet them here soon.

Also stay connected with us every day at meritor.com and on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+. We work hard to tell you what we're doing and always appreciate your comments.

More to come,
Krista

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