Mid-America Trucking Show Preview
What’s New
This edition of What’s New highlights new products from companies exhibiting at the 2003 Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, KY, March 20-22. All the products reviewed here, except Ositech CellFlex, will be displayed at MATS.

Staying connected without getting wired
The King of Hearts PC Card and the King Of Clubs PC Card feature Ositech’s CellFlex technology, which enables Internet, e-mail and faxing access in digital and analog cellular coverage areas by connecting a laptop or PDA to a cell phone. The company says CellFlex’s ease of use and wide geographic coverage make the technology useful to truckdrivers who need online access while on the road. Sending and receiving e-mail and faxes, paying bills online and finding loads on the Web for return trips are examples of how wireless Internet can help truckdrivers stay connected in business and their personal lives. The King of Hearts Connection Kit provides a cellular plus 56k landline modem PC card with Cell Flex technology. Listing for $199, the kit includes the cellular modem PC Card with CellFlex, cellular cable, landline modem cable and documentation of installation and setup. The King of Clubs Cellular Connection Kit sells for $149 but does not include the landline modem.

Muffles dual-exhaust trucks
Grand Rock’s Quiet Performance mufflers are available for dual-exhaust trucks. This patented, new technology is designed to increase fuel mileage and improve performance with no turbo lag. Because these mufflers are designed to be as quiet as stock mufflers, the company says they are legal in all 50 states. They install inside Grand Rock’s long chrome stacks, eliminating the large 10-inch mufflers. MATS booth No. 255

MATS souvenir truck
DG Productions will produce the official 2003 MATS Truck, a 1/64 scale die-cast replica of a Freightliner Century with a 53-foot dry van. The truck featured detailed interior and chassis, steerable front wheels, springs in all tandems, pivoting fifth wheel, spare tire on the trailer and trailer doors that open. MATS booth No. 598

Trucker-designed winch
Hugg Manufacturing has designed Porta Winch to be a strong, trouble-free portable tie-down device that won’t be jammed by grit and grime. This winch fits all stake pockets, uses standard straps and winch bars and quickly installs on either side or both ends of the trailer without tools. Designed by owner-operator and OOIDA member Dick Hugg, Porta Winch will work over tires, toolboxes and stepdecks. MATS booth No. 6805

Liftable suspension designs from Link
Link Manufacturing is introducing DuraMax and DuraLift at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville. The new DuraMax non-steer liftable suspension incorporates Link’s patented mounting brackets that work with the Link self-steering Model 9000. DuraLift self-steering liftable suspension incorporates a lift mechanism designed to ensure correct and consistent airspring geometry through the full range of travel. Full production release of these units is scheduled for April 2003. MATS booth No. 4215

KW wear at MATS
Cyrk Inc., a corporate merchandise services firm, has designed T-shirts and caps with the Kenworth brand for the Mid-America Trucking Show. The dragster tee is made of 100 percent preshrunk cotton and features bright flames on both sleeves and a Kenworth hood ornament logo on the left side of the chest. Shirts are available in sizes medium to 2X. The flame cap features multicolor asymmetrical embroidered flames, mod-crown styling, stitched eyelets, a Velcro sizing strap and the Kenworth hood ornament embroidered on the front. MATS booth No. 3030

The truckers’ bumper
American Durabilt, a manufacturer of stainless steel truck accessories, has created what it calls “the truckers’ bumper.” These bumpers are built with the trucker in mind, designed to be affordable and durable with a lifetime warranty against rusting, chipping and peeling. The bumper’s reflective, mirrorlike finish is intended to look like a chrome bumper but to last much longer. The bumpers are offered in stock sizes compatible with most models of Peterbilt, Kenworth, Freightliner, Western Star, International and Mack trucks. Custom bumpers can be special ordered. And American Durabilt bumpers are recyclable. The bumpers are sold directly to owner-operators via telephone or the Internet. MATS booth No. 6761

How to find a stolen truck or trailer
iNet Blue Corp. has come up with a tracking device that allows you to locate your equipment anywhere, anytime using satellite technoloty. Only 1 inch high, the Pigeon S Automatic Vehicle Location device is battery operated, but can be connected to vehicle power if necessary. With the unit attached to the top of your truck or trailer, you can track or locate your truck or trailer through TraXall’s Web site. You decide who sees your tracking records and how long they are stored in your account. The Pigeon S comes with data connectors to customize the units by adding features such as door alarm sensors and temperature probes for refrigeration units. MATS booth No. 9115

Tire technology rolls on
Bridgestone Corp., the parent company of Bridgestone/Firestone North America Tire, has developed a system dubbed Aircept for its Greatec line of truck and bus radials. In 2000, Bridgestone introduced its Greatec line of ultrawide, ultralow aspect ratio radials to replace dual truck and bus tires with a single tire. With just one tire instead of two, a sudden loss of air pressure would be critical. Bridgestone addresses that issue with Aircept technology. The Aircept unit fits around the rim inside a Greatec radial. Any sudden loss of pressure causes the Aircept unit to expand and support the load. Initially, the Aircept system has been available only in Europe, but is being introduced into the U.S. market at the Mid-America Trucking Show. Another MATS highlight for Bridgestone is its new deep-tread steer radial for regional and short-haul operations. The R260F has a 22/32-inch tread depth, more than 20 percent deeper than standard steer radials and intended to produce long wear in the very high-scrub environment of urban and regional hauling. MATS booth No. 509