Dana Enhances Its Tire Maintenance System

Nov 11, 2004

Lugoff, S.C. -- Nov 11, 2004 -- The Commercial Vehicle Systems group of Dana Corporation (NYSE: DCN) has announced the addition of three new features to its popular Dana® Spicer® Tire Maintenance System (TMSTM) for trailers. While TMS has always provided customer benefits in safety, fuel economy, and reduced downtime, these new features improve overall product reliability and integrity, and provide flexibility to incorporate future enhancements.

“Fleet surveys indicate that approximately half of tire-related service calls could be eliminated with use of a tire pressure maintenance system,” said Jim Beverly, chief engineer for advanced chassis control systems at Dana. “We accomplish this by actually measuring tire pressure, maintaining tire pressure automatically, and signaling a warning only when necessary. This combination results in longer tread life, improved retread-ability, and an increase in overall productivity. It produces significant savings by reducing downtime, eliminating the labor cost of manual inflation, and reducing the likelihood of catastrophic damage.”

“In addition, fleets with TMS also experience better fuel economy due to the prevention of under-inflation. A 10-psi drop in a trailer's tire pressure will increase rolling resistance by 2 percent. Tires under-inflated by 15 percent will cause fuel penalties of around 2.5 percent. The combination of these customer benefits allows for a payback on the TMS system in as little as six months,” added Beverly.  

For trailers equipped with wide-based single tires, Spicer TMS provides additional piece of mind by ensuring that proper tire pressure is maintained. The use of wide-based single tires provides up to another 4 percent in fuel efficiency.

New TMS features provide additional reliability and flexibility. The updated electronic control unit (ECU) allows customers the convenience to completely reprogram, or re-flash, the ECU through the serial data-link connector in order to incorporate new features that may be available in the future.

Pat Brandt, sales manager – trailer OEM sales for Dana, envisions Spicer TMS eventually serving as the foundation to bring about better, overall vehicle well-being. “We see future opportunities where our system interfaces with other vehicle sensors, such as those associated with brake wear and wheel end temperature,” adds Brandt. “This promises to significantly improve the performance, reliability, and dependability of any commercial truck application.”

Dana has also improved the durability of the ECU’s wire harness with new over-molds that better protect all connection points. Additional protection of the tire hose connection to the hubcap may be specified with an optional guard, which helps prevent damage that might result from operators stepping on the wheel end to secure cargo and/or during tie-downs. “These enhancements and others planned for the future once again demonstrate our commitment to new and emerging technologies to meet the demands of all customers,” added Beverly.

Dana Spicer Tire Maintenance Systems are manufactured and assembled at Dana’s plant in Henderson, Ky., and are available for factory and off-line installation on all makes and models of trailers manufactured in North America. The systems are backed by a 3-year, unlimited mile warranty.

For more information on Dana Spicer Tire Maintenance Systems and other Roadranger products and services, visit the Internet at www.roadranger.com, or write to Roadranger Marketing, P.O. Box 4013, Kalamazoo, MI 49003. To reach a Roadranger right now, dial 1-800-826-HELP (4357) in the U.S. and Canada.  In Mexico, dial 01-800-826-4357.

The Roadranger®Solution is an unbeatable combination of the best drivetrain, chassis, and safety components from Dana Corporation and Eaton Corporation, all backed by the Roadrangers – the most experienced, most expert, and most accessible drivetrain consultants in the business. 

Dana’s Commercial Vehicle Systems group, part of the Heavy Vehicle Technologies and Systems Group, designs, manufactures, and markets front-steer, rear-drive, trailer, and auxiliary axles; driveshafts; steering shafts; brakes; suspensions; and related systems, modules, and services for the commercial vehicle market. Major components and modules are marketed under the Spicer®brand name.

Dana Corporation is a global leader in the design, engineering, and manufacture of value-added products and systems for automotive, commercial, and off-highway vehicles. Delivering on a century of innovation, the company's continuing operations employ approximately 45,000 people worldwide dedicated to advancing the science of mobility. Founded in 1904 and based in Toledo, Ohio, Dana operates technology, manufacturing, and customer-service facilities in 30 countries. Sales from continuing operations totaled $7.9 billion in 2003.

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