Mid-America Trucking Show

By Tom Hale | September 28, 2010

Revolutionary business solutions, cutting-edge technologies and groundbreaking innovations were presented at the 36th annual Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS), held March 22–24 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville. More than 1,000 companies from the continental United States and 11 foreign countries showcased the latest and greatest the trucking industry has to offer.

In total, the show encompassed more than 800,000 feet of indoor exhibit space and an additional 200,000 square feet of outdoor space.

Along with the exhibits, attendees had access to educational seminars addressing industry issues, product and service demonstrations, and vehicle test drives. They could visit specialized areas, including the Expediter Experience to learn more about this segment of the industry; Mid-America's Recruitment Center to see what trucking companies around the nation have to offer; and check out the latest technologies at Mid-America's Internet and Technology Center.

The seventh annual Paul K. Young Memorial Truck Beauty Championship showcased more than 100 of the most breath-taking show trucks ever assembled, and for the third consecutive year Mid-America presented to Big-Rig Build Off.

Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC, Benson International, Caterpillar Inc., Volvo Trucks North America, Cummins Inc., Aurora Parts & Accessories, Kenworth Truck Co., Peterbilt Motors Co., Ancra International, Grote Industries, ArvinMeritor Inc., International Truck & Engine Corp., Ford Commercial Truck, R.L. Polk & Co., Thermo King, Hendrickson, and Truck-Lite Co. Inc. were among the many companies offering products and providing company updates at the MATS.

Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake LLC announced that preparation work is currently under way to establish a state-of-the-art foundation drum and air disc brake manufacturing facility in Bowling Green, Ky. The facility is the first dedicated foundation brake manufacturing facility for the wheel-end joint venture of Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC and Dana Corp.

Benson International, with locations in Cadiz, Ky., Mineral Wells, W. Va., and Meyersdale, Pa., introduced the 524 Aluminum Drop Deck Trailer. It features a steel neck transition that allows a concentrated load capacity of 52,000 pounds in a 4-foot span.

Caterpillar showcased its ACERT Technology program. The company says more than 53,000 individual customers are using more than 487,000 vehicles equipped with Cat engines with ACERT Technology.

Cummins Inc. announced the approval of biodiesel B20 blends for use in its 2002 and later emissions-compliant ISX, ISM, ISL, ISC, and ISB engines. This includes the recently released 2007 products. Cummins also announced the next generation of QuickCheck engine information tools — the QuickCheck 5100, and announced the release of its most powerful ISX in years, with 600 horsepower and 2,050 pound-feet of torque.

Kenworth introduced its T270 Class 6 hybrid-electric truck and its T370 Class 7 model, and unveiled a new 1,780-square-inch radiator for the Kenworth T800 wide hood model. In addition, the company announced that it has added the Cummins ISM 425-horsepower engine for its W900s and T800 vocational models.

Ancra International LLC, headquartered in Hawthorne, Calif., introduced its new EZ Torque Winch. This gear-drive winch replaces the standard 34-inch winch bar with a 6-inch handle. Ancra also announced that it has teamed up with Traction Technologies Inc., based in British Columbia, Canada, to manufacture, market and distribute Cinch, an air-powered winch. This winch, unveiled in November 2006, uses air pressure to tighten and maintain tension on load straps.

Grote Industries, based in Madison, Ind., spotlighted its lighting and vehicle safety systems; Ford Commercial Truck highlighted its 2008 E-Series vans and the new F-450 pickup; R.L. Polk & Co. unveiled its Commercial Vehicle Loyalty Analysis solution; and International Truck & Engine Corp. showcased a complete line of its trucks along with its new MaxxForce engines.