Truck component makers add training for fleets

Truck component makers add training for fleets

Hendrickson, Bendix and Timken recently announced training updates that offer helpful information to fleet equipment asset managers.

Major component suppliers continue to offer training and technical assistance to fleet customers to demonstrate a true value-add in the purchasing process and to reward customer loyalty. Recently, three of those suppliers announced training updates—helpful information to equipment asset managers.

“Uptime is critical and we must pay more attention to our customers,” emphasized Dave McCleave, director of aftermarket and tech services, truck commercial vehicle systems, Hendrickson. “We must be more efficient; there’s no room for error in supporting them [customers] for the component’s life.” He noted a change in the training media, shifting from powerpoint to hands-on (“most powerful”) to more online methods.

Hendrickson offers service-technical training by regional service managers at the fleet’s location, product sales training at dealers and WDs, and for five years, the Hendrickson Vehicle System Institution, a hands-on training class that focuses on independent service outlets, as well as OE and fleet service personnel.

According to John Reid, manager of service warranty training, Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, training demands increase as vehicles become more complex (ie, electronics).

A major industry achievement is the Bendix Brake School (in its 56th year) with well over 250,000 people trained in its brake components/systems. The company also actively trains OEMs, dealers, distributors and fleet personnel—plus Bendix is exploring an interactive training tool in CD form, migrating to an online delivery in 2012.

The Timken Co. also trains its customers via an array of training sessions for fleet customers conducted by reps and regional managers. “In addition to our Tech Tips, we help coach and counsel, especially in the last two to three years, in which 200 sessions have been conducted for 4,000 fleet technicians, countermen and OE dealer personnel,” said Dan Humphrey, regional sales manager, Timken Co.

The most recent Tech Tip addresses Set-Right hub rebuild kits with two Timken MileMate sets—the original matched wheel bearing sets and a precision OE spacer. Using special tolerance bearings in conjunction with a spacer allows technicians to achieve the proper wheel bearing end-play, eliminating the need for manual bearing adjustment. The repeatability of the bearing setting range provides for optimum seal and bearing life. When asked for specific recurring bearing maintenance issues, Timken’s Humphrey offered:

• Technicians cannot pull a pre-adjusted wheel-end bearing. Installing the wrong wheel bearing type will result in a truck’s failed performance.

• A specific bearing is offered for the use of wide-based single tires, and fleets should understand the components and the maintenance cycles. Actually, the load dynamics on a wheel-end are shifted, and the wheel-end system must account for the load shift.

• Check the wheel-end clearance only with a dial indicator, not by feel or anything else. It is recommended to achieve a verifiable wheel bearing end play of 0.001- to 0.005-in., which applies to steer-drive-trailer axle assemblies using conventional double nut or single nut systems. This refers only to torque specifications and bearing adjustment.

• Identify what you are working on; many technicians simply don’t understand all that is comprised in a wheel-end. One example would be the expert counsel not to use a standard tapered roller bearing on a ConMet pre-set hub (no tolerance).

• Know the importance of overall bearing maintenance procedures. Timken recommends that the mating of components, the cup and cone, be from the same manufacturer. It’s also recommended to change both components at the same time, because the old component has a distinct pattern worn into its raceway, and mixing it with a new mating component may set up edge stresses along the races.

• Parts from various bearing makers should not be mixed. Change out bearing and race or cup and cone—
at least from a like OE-quality manufacturer, or it won’t match up properly.

To receive Timken’s Tech Tips, go to

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