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  • Working With the Army

    By Mark O'Connell - Thursday October 2, 2008
    The big news at the recent Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) Fall Meeting in Nashville (besides the crowning of this year's SuperTech winner) was the announcement that TMC is partnering with the U.S. Army on a four-year, $12 million project to...
  • Tribology 101

    By Mark O'Connell - Thursday September 11, 2008
    You may not know what "Tribology" is, but it affects your business every day. In fact, it plays a huge role in your fleet maintenance costs. Tribology, for those of you who don't know, is the study of friction. The word comes from the Greek word "tribos...
  • SuperTech2008 is Almost Here

    By Mark O'Connell - Thursday September 4, 2008
    Now that the entry deadline has passed for SuperTech2008, the national technician skills competition put on by the Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC), the excitement surrounding the event is starting to build. In 12 days, about a hundred technicians...
  • The Urea Blues

    By Mark O'Connell - Thursday August 28, 2008
    My blog about Cummins' flip-flop on using selective catalytic reduction (SCR) and urea in its 2010 heavy-duty diesels has spurred some interesting comments about urea, the mysterious blue liquid that will soon become as much a part of the heavy trucking...
  • Reversing Course

    By Mark O'Connell - Thursday August 14, 2008
    Do you buy Cummins' engines in your heavy-duty vehicles? Were you counting on avoiding the whole SCR/urea issue in 2010 buy spec'ing Cummins ISX engines with enhanced EGR? Hate to break it to you, but you're going to have to rethink your plans. Yesterday...
  • The Best Thing Since Seat Belts

    By Mark O'Connell - Thursday July 31, 2008
    Okay, quick quiz: What's the difference between "Roll Stability Control" and "Electronic Stability Control?" Do you know the answer? Here's a hint: Roll Stability Control (RSC) is sometimes referred to as "roll-only stability," while Electronic...
  • How to Change the World

    By Mark O'Connell - Thursday July 24, 2008
    The other day I visited Madison, our state capitol, to meet with Maria Redmond, the Biofuels Sector Specialist for the state's Office of Energy Independence, because I wanted to learn what my state is doing to address the fuel crisis. Our Governor, Jim...
  • Don't Judge a Book by its Cover

    By Mark O'Connell - Thursday July 17, 2008
    When you visit a dozen or more fleet maintenance shops in the course of the year as I do, you see all kinds of facilities. Some are bright, shiny and new, and some are dark, dingy and old. The same goes for the offices where the fleet maintenance managers...
  • Don't Blame Biofuels

    By Mark O'Connell - Wednesday July 9, 2008
    Timing is everything. Last week I was reading about a new report released by the World Bank that claimed that biofuel production has caused world food prices to increase by 75 percent. This week I read about a new report released by the US Departments...
  • Cutting Off Their Noses to Spite Their Faces

    By Mark O'Connell - Wednesday July 2, 2008
    The irony is so think you'd need the "jaws of life" to cut through it. On the same day that automakers reported their catastrophic sales slide for the month of June, the result of skyrocketing gasoline prices and inefficient product offerings, they also...