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    By Mark O'Connell - Thursday November 13, 2008
    There are a lot of things I wish I could write about this week, but with more and more headlines every day warning about the crash of the U.S. auto industry, nothing else seems to matter much. A few weeks ago, when I was writing about the demise of...
  • Urea So Vain

    By Mark O'Connell - Thursday November 6, 2008
    Last week I sat in on a webcast hosted by the Automotive Training Managers Council, in which Allen Johnson, Manager - After Sales Support EPA 2010 with Daimler Trucks, and Daryl Blandy, Senior Service Training Developer for Daimler Trucks, talked about...
  • State Technician Championships

    By Mark O'Connell - Thursday October 30, 2008
    All it takes is one person to start a state fleet technician championship, and in the great State of Nebraska, that person is Amanda Schuier (pronouced "shoo-er"), from Omaha Truck Center, a Freightliner dealership. Schuier contacted us last month for...
  • Sterling Trucks: Getting it Wrong

    By Mark O'Connell - Thursday October 23, 2008
    According to a report on the demise of Sterling Trucks in the latest edition of Transport Topics the company was counting on a "pre-buy" of trucks in advance of the restrictive 2010 diesel emission standards to keep sales steady through 2009. When it...
  • Post-Mortem on a Great Vehicle Manufacturer

    By Mark O'Connell - Thursday October 16, 2008
    You might have thought I would be writing about the demise of Sterling Trucks, but I'm actually referring to another great nameplate that has passed into the ether. This week I was in South Bend, Indiana, attending the Hybrid Truck Users Forum (HTUF...
  • Around in Circles

    By Mark O'Connell - Thursday October 9, 2008
    Let me just start out by saying that tires are indisputably round. Are we all in agreement? All right then, moving on... By extension, shouldn't retreads all be round as well? The folks at Marangoni Tread North Amnerica believe the answer to that is...
  • 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...