This industry is comprised of establishments primarily involved in the manufacture of truck and bus bodies. Some establishments also provide complete vehicles by assembling the bodies they make onto purchased chassis. Establishments engaged in the manufacture of vehicle chassis are classified in SIC 3711: Motor Vehicles and Passenger Car Bodies. Establishments primarily engaged in the manufacture of truck trailers and demountable cargo containers are classified in SIC 3715: Truck Trailers.
Other related motor vehicle classifications include establishments primarily engaged in the assembly of motor homes on purchased chassis (SIC 3716: Motor Homes), stamped body parts for trucks and buses (SIC 3465: Automotive Stampings), cabs for agricultural tractors (SIC 3523: Farm Machinery and Equipment), cabs for industrial tractors (SIC 3537: Industrial Trucks, Tractors, Trailers, and Stackers), and cabs for off-highway construction tractors (SIC 3531: Construction Machinery and Equipment).
336211 (Motor Vehicle Body Manufacturing)
Truck sales tend to be volatile because they are subject to cyclical changes in the overall economy. During the recessive economy of the early 2000s, trucking companies postponed new purchases to waylay costs and shore up demand. As the economy recovers, the heavy truck industry is expected to increase production rates as older fleets are replaced. New emissions standards, with a deadline of full compliance by 2007, will also provide incentive for trucking companies to update their fleets. In 2001 the industry's value of shipments totaled $10.5 billion.
Established guidelines in the United States categorized on-road trucks and buses into one of eight classes according to their gross vehicle weight. As a group, Classes 1 through 3 were referred to as light duty trucks; Classes 4 through 7 were referred to as medium duty trucks; and Class 8 vehicles were referred to as heavy duty trucks. Light duty trucks included personal pickups, minivans, and sport-utility vehicles. Class 1 vehicles were those weighing up to 6,000 pounds; Class 2 vehicles weighed between 6,001 and 10,000 pounds; and Class 3 vehicles weighed between 10,001 and 14,000 pounds.
Medium duty trucks included service or local delivery vehicles, some types of construction vehicles, school buses, and refuse collection vehicles. Class 4 vehicles weighed between 14,001 and 16,000 pounds; Class 5 vehicles weighed between 16,001 and 19,500 pounds; Class 6 vehicles weighed between 19,501 and 26,000 pounds; and Class 7 vehicles weighed between 26,001 and 33,000 pounds. (Purchasers of medium duty trucks tended to be small to medium sized businesses.) Heavy duty trucks, listed as Class 8, were the largest type of on-road vehicle sold in the United States. Class 8 vehicles weighed more than 33,000 pounds and were primarily purchased by large industrial manufacturers and interstate fleet operators.
Trucks and buses were made up of three primary parts—the chassis, the body, and the engine. The chassis contained the wheels, axles, and fuel tank, as well as all the structural elements necessary to provide support to the body and engine. Manufacturers often used one single chassis style with many different body types.
Truck and bus body makers provided a variety of body styles to meet different hauling requirements. Van bodies were used to transport enclosed cargo, and types of vans varied. For example, refrigerated vans were air tight, while livestock vans featured vents to allow for air flow. Tank bodies were used to transport liquids. Hoppers were a special type of tank used to carry chemicals, salt, wheat, and cement. Flat bed truck bodies were designed to carry large, heavy loads such as machinery, steel beams, and telephone poles.
Other factors also distinguished different types of trucks. "Straight" or "rigid" trucks were mounted on a single chassis, with their cab and load areas forming one unit. "Semi" or "tractor trailer" trucks were mounted on two chassis, with their cab and load areas forming two separate units. The units were attached with a device located behind the cab on the tractor called a "fifth wheel."
Straight trucks, semi-trucks, and buses were available in two basic configurations termed "conventional" and "cab-over." In conventional designs, the vehicle's engine was located under a traditional hood in front of the driver cab. In cab-over designs, the driver cab was mounted directly over the engine. The cab-over design permitted manufacturers to make shorter cabs. In areas where total vehicle length was limited by law, cab-over tractors permitted drivers to pull longer cargo trailers.
Another type of truck designation, based on numerical references, was used to describe how many wheels a vehicle possessed and how many of its wheels were powered by the engine. For example, a 4 × 2 truck was one with four wheels, two of which were drive wheels. A 4 × 4 vehicle had four wheels and all four were drive wheels. A 6 × 4 truck had a total of six wheels and four of them were drive wheels.
In the United States, many truck engines differed from automobile engines because they ran on diesel fuel rather than gasoline. Diesel engines, invented by Rudolf Diesel in 1897, were a type of internal combustion engine powered by the controlled explosion of fuel sprayed into a cylinder under pressure. Diesel engine design was simpler than gasoline engine design and required no spark plug. Diesel fuel also cost less than gasoline and did not burn as readily if spilled. Diesel engines, however, were more expensive to construct because they required heavier gears to accommodate a more powerful stroke. Because diesel engines were especially suited for heavy duty hauling and long distance running, they gained popularity in cartage vehicles in the United States.
Trucks developed in response to the need to transport goods. John B. Rae, automotive historian and author of The American Automobile Industry, wrote, "At the beginning of the nineteenth century the cost of moving goods thirty miles inland by road in the United States was as great as the cost of carrying the same goods across the Atlantic." Although steam locomotives helped provide alternatives to animal power during the mid- and late 1800s, railroads could not offer "door-to-door" service.
As the emerging automotive industry began to supply people with self-propelled vehicles for personal transportation, enterprising innovators began to apply the technology toward the development of commercial vehicles. The popular Model T chassis, introduced in 1908, found itself used in a variety of applications. Ford Motor Company offered it as an ice cream truck, an urban delivery truck, and a farm vehicle.
One of the first types of specialty trucks was the twin boom wrecker, designed by Ernest Holmes in 1914. The truck's twin booms featured cables powered by the vehicle's engine. One cable could be deployed to rescue or lift a disabled vehicle; the other cable could be hooked to a tree to provide additional support. Other truck innovations made during the early decades of the twentieth century included four wheel drive, four wheel steering, and an improved clutch system.
With the coming of World War I, unfavorable front line driving conditions compelled truck designers to make other improvements and refinements. One popular truck developed during the war era was the Mack AC. The Mack AC earned itself the nickname "Bulldog" because of its blunt nose and reputation for toughness. To help it perform in mud, the Bulldog's engine was connected to the vehicle's rear wheels with a drive train, and the truck's solid rubber tires were puncture proof. The Mack Truck Company honored the Bulldog by incorporating the image of a bulldog in the organization's official logo.
During the period between World War I and World War II, truck makers increasingly turned to pneumatic tires. Pneumatic tires were filled with air and provided a smoother ride. Truck designers made larger vehicles capable of carrying heavier loads, making additional wheels necessary to distribute their weight more evenly and avoid damaging tires and road surfaces.
During the 1920s, semi-truck designs were introduced. Semi-trucks featured a tractor front end, which was used to pull a trailer section behind. Semi-trucks were better able to turn tight corners, and they replaced large, rigid, single section trucks. In addition to the improved maneuverability, semi construction provided for more efficient tractor use. Because the trailer could be detached for cargo loading and unloading, the tractor was freed for other tasks.
The 1920s also saw the introduction of modern motor buses. In 1923, two brothers, Frank P. and William B. Fageol, organized the Twin Coach Company. Twin Motor Coach buses were the first to offer underneath engines.
By 1930, the number of trucks on American roads had grown to 3.6 million, up from 1.1 million in 1920. An estimated one in four was farm-owned, and the era saw vast improvements in farm to market roadways. Although many pioneering truck manufacturers were also involved in making automobiles, the different economies of scale involved in producing the two types of vehicles resulted in a different mix of major manufacturers. Passenger car makers relied on capital-intensive mass production technology. This led to industry consolidation and the emergence of the Big Three automobile companies—Ford, Chrysler, and General Motors. Truck makers, however, built a variety of vehicles, each type customized to perform a special task. As a result, a greater number of smaller companies were able to compete. During the 1930s the nation's principle truck manufacturers were the White Motor Company, Mack International, Autocar Company, and International Harvester.
During World War II, auto makers and truck makers focused their energies on providing military vehicles. Special task trucks, missile carriers, troop transports, and cargo haulers were all necessary to the war effort. Manufacturers, working under government contract, intensified research and development projects aimed at building better, more reliable trucks. Following the war, the knowledge gained was transferred to civilian undertakings, and the 1950s saw tremendous expansion in the trucking industry.
Improvements in the nation's highway system also played a role. In 1956, Congress passed the Interstate Highway Act, which authorized the construction of 41,000 miles of interstate highways and offered to fund 90 percent of the project with money from the Highway Trust Fund. As the nation's infrastructure improved, long distance trucking became more feasible. Prior to the 1950s, most of the nation's long distance freight shipments were made by rail, and trucks were used primarily to provide local delivery to and from rail stations. Unloading and reloading cargo for rail to truck transfers increased the cost of moving goods and provided an economic incentive for shippers to switch to long distance, over-the-road transport. The percentage of freight deliveries made by truck increased from about 17 percent of all deliveries in 1950 to almost 25 percent by the end of the decade.
Another national phenomenon, suburban growth, increased the importance of trucks to American life. Decentralized, suburban lifestyles required the kind of flexible freight transport trucks provided. Trucks made suburban development possible, and suburban development increased the demand for trucks. Trucks served the construction industry as it built suburbs; trucks carried household possessions as families moved into the suburbs. Trucks also served the businesses that moved from the central city to outlying areas.
During the 1960s and 1970s, the increased presence of large trucks on American roads led to increased concern about their safety. Semi-trucks were notorious for their tendency to jackknife under adverse braking conditions. When the trailer's wheels locked during breaking, it pushed the trailer forward causing the vehicle's two parts to bend into a jackknife position and skid. To help prevent jackknifing, anti-lock brake systems were investigated. The Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 121, enacted in 1975, set performance standards for vehicles with air brakes and mandated the use of anti-lock braking systems through its stipulation of minimum stopping distances. Unfortunately, available technology was not able to meet the standard.
Anti-lock brakes worked by modulating the amount of air applied to the brakes. When a sensor indicated that a wheel was in danger of locking, it applied air pressure in a pulsing manner. The pulsing pressure enabled the wheel to keep rolling and prevented it from skidding. During the 1970s, however, available computer technology was too slow to immediately interpret sensor input. The resulting time lag caused brake failure. In April 1978, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the "no-lock" and minimum stopping distance requirements.
The 1980s brought renewed efforts at making trucks safer. A study done by AAA of Michigan found that in car-truck accidents, motorists sustained a higher percentage of fatalities because trucks were becoming longer, wider, and heavier, while cars were getting smaller and lighter. Researchers investigated ways of preventing small vehicles from underriding trucks during crashes. Congress mandated a study of truck brake systems, and legislators enacted regulations establishing national standards for licensing truck drivers and sharing driver information among the 50 states.
According to figures reported by the U.S. Department of Commerce, the truck and bus bodies industry shipped products valued at $4.6 billion in 1987. Of this total, $4.2 billion represented products considered primary to the industry. Secondary products were valued at $184.7 million, and $222.9 million represented miscellaneous transactions. These figures yielded a specialization ratio of 96 percent, an increase from the 93 percent reported in 1982.
Medium and heavy duty truck makers marked their most productive year in 1988 when the industry sold 334,000 units. Sales tumbled in subsequent years, however. In 1991, heavy duty truck makers recorded their worst year since 1983. An improving national economy helped sales begin to rebound in 1992. During that year, combined heavy duty and medium duty truck sales rose 11 percent over 1991, reaching 246,000 units.
During the late 1980s and early 1990s, truck manufacturers suffered the effects of a nationwide economic slowdown. In 1992, however, sales and orders began to show improvement. According to the 1993 Ward's Automotive Yearbook, overall truck sales in 1992 were 12.8 percent higher than those for 1991. Medium duty trucks in Classes 4 through 7 posted a 6.5 percent gain, and heavy duty Class 8 truck sales increased 20.6 percent.
The recovery extended into 1993. In January 1993, Class 8 sales were 44.7 percent higher than those for January 1992. Production continued to be high during the early months of the year, and industry watchers estimated that Class 8 factory sales would hit 160,000 by the year's end. Although increases in medium duty truck sales lagged behind heavy duty sales in the early months of 1993, the medium duty segment began to catch up during the middle of the year.
According to a report in Automotive News, the truck market was expected to continue improving through 1994. The rebound was attributed to a better economic climate and the effect of an aging national truck fleet. Another factor bolstering expectations among truck makers was a government announcement of plans to spend $15 billion to upgrade the nation's infrastructure. Planners predicted an increased demand for vehicles such as dumpers, haulers, and mixers needed to construct and repair road surfaces.
Within the motor coach segment of the industry, manufacturers placed an ever increasing emphasis on luxury. Motor coaches offered amenities such as VCRs, kitchens, and larger bathroom facilities. Buses were also available in a wide variety of vehicle sizes—ranging from small 20 seat mini buses to vehicles capable of seating 76 passengers.
One segment of the industry unique to Canada and the United States was the manufacture of school buses for student transport. School bus models, however, because they were simpler and less expensive than other types of buses, were a common export item. In developing countries such as Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Columbia, Venezuela, and Bolivia, they were used to provide community transportation.
Safety issues continued to be a primary concern within the industry. The 1990s brought a newly designed anti-lock braking system based on digital computer technology. Advanced computer capabilities helped anti-lock brakes overcome some of the problems associated with earlier systems. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began studying the new antilock brake systems.
Underride regulations were also forthcoming. In an effort to reduce traffic fatalities resulting from cars striking the rear ends of trucks and truck trailers, NHTSA was considering mandating design modifications. One possible future alteration was a change in bumper heights. Some researchers argued that if collisions occurred at the car's frame elevation, occupants would be better protected by the controlled crush design features of the automobile.
In environmental matters, truck makers were preparing to meet newer, more stringent emission standards. Many medium and heavy duty trucks burned diesel fuel. Diesel exhaust contained pollutants such as nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and particulate matter visible as black smoke. Between 1988 and 1991, emissions of nitrogen oxides had been cut by more than one-half. New emission standards were scheduled to begin in 1994 and 1998. The 1994 standards required that levels of particulates be cut by more than 50 percent; the 1998 standards required a further 25 percent cut in emissions of nitrogen oxide.
According to the American Automobile Manufacturers Association in Detroit, all U.S. heavy truck makers set a monthly production record in June 1994—17,247 vehicles. According to the Puget Sound Business Journal, the key factor driving the industry upswing was the growing U.S. economy, which directly affected the need for transportation equipment to move parts and finished products. The other factors for the demand were the age of the truck fleets, which were about eight years old in 1993, relatively low interest rates, and competition for trucking firms among customers.
Another reason for the high demand was the federal government's deregulation of the trucking industry during the 1980s, which heightened competition and forced weaker carriers out of business and caused most of the rest of the carriers to economize and delay truck purchases, says the Oregonian.
Analysts predicted that the Class 8 truck demand was expected to be robust through 1997. This proved to be wrong when 1996 truck sales slumped 25 percent from 1995. According to Forbes, the business was in a serious recession; one of the key reasons was that freight sales were off; hence, there was no rush to buy additional or even replace equipment. The other reason was that the average age of trucks—which was eight years—had been reduced to five because of the increased buying in the last few years, which meant that the truck fleet was fairly modern.
Ford, Freightliner, and Navistar were the leading medium and heavy duty truck manufacturers in the United States at the turn of the century. Ford, having abandoned class 6 through 8 trucks, sold that division to Freightliner in 1997. Sterling Truck Corporation, the name Freightliner gave this new acquisition, began production in 1999.
U.S. demand was expected to remain steady from the late 1990s into 2002. In fact, with the average 3 percent economic growth being experienced in the United States at century's end, heavy truck sales were predicted to increase ten percent every three years. The strong economy being experienced in the United States since 1997 was reflected in the need for more trucks to carry freight.
The truck makers were also under enormous pressure to improve productivity and efficiency and to become suppliers of high quality, low cost service. While trucking firms and carriers were struggling to attract drivers by providing creature comforts offered by new generation trucks, the truck manufacturers were also under pressure to provide amenities for drivers in their newer models to increase sales.
In 2002, Class 8 truck sales of 146,031 units reflected a year on year increase of 4.6 percent, the first growth in the market in the past two years. Hit hard by the economic slowdown, sales of Class 8 trucks fell 19 percent and 34 percent in 2000 and 2001, respectively. Class 6 also posted an increase during 2002, with sales of 45,095, up more than 6 percent from 2001. Medium-duty trucks—particularly Class 4 and Class 7—did not fair as well, with combined medium- and heavy-duty truck sales for 2002 down 6.7 percent from 2001, totaling 326,746 units.
The industry was led in 2002 by DaimlerChrysler's Freightliner, which sold 45,933 Class 8 trucks, up 3.6 percent from 2001. International produced less than half of Freightliner's numbers, putting 23,992 Class 8 trucks on the market, a 9.6 percent increase over 2001. Mack followed International closely with 19,587 units, down 3.8 percent from the previous year.
Truck sales will be driven by economic recovery. In particular, fleet owners will be upgrading fleets to meet new emissions standards that will become effective in 2007. Eli Lustgarten of H C Wainwright & Co. Inc. told Modern Bulk Transporter in April 2003, "No one wants to be caught going into 2007 with five-year-old equipment. Even trucks bought today will age three years between now and 2007. So truck sales will be exacerbated by the fear of 2007 emission changes."
DaimlerChysler's Freightliner is the world's top manufacturer of heavy-duty trucks in the United States. Freightliner offers its trucks under the names of Century Class, Columbia, Classic XL, as well as Western Star and Sterling. It also builds Thomas Built school buses and American LaFrance fire engines.
Both Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks were divisions of PACCAR, Inc. PACCAR recorded sales of $7.2 billion in 2002 and employed 16,500. PACCAR is the world's second largest manufacturer of heavy duty trucks. Through many upgrades at their factories, the company increased production by 30 percent in 1998. Peterbilt's new aerodynamic Model 387 set new standards for luxury, performance, and efficiency in 1999.
Navistar, located in Chicago, Illinois, is the nation's third-leading producer of heavy-hauling trucks. At the end of the century, the company's products encompassed heavy trucks, medium trucks, severe service trucks, school buses, engine and foundry, parts, and Navistar Financial Corporation. The company's diesel powered products were marketed under the "International" brand.
Navistar was also the nation's leading supplier of school bus chassis—a position it had held for more than two decades. Navistar sold bus chassis to body manufacturers who completed the buses and delivered them to end consumers. In addition, the company manufactured chassis for small capacity buses such as those operated to provide service to disabled students. American Transportation Corporation, maker of Ward brand school bus bodies, was partly owned by Navistar.
Navistar's roots can be traced back to the first decade of the twentieth century. The company was built on a foundation laid by International Harvester. International Harvester was founded in 1907 and played a leading role in the development of the industry through the early decades of the 1900s. In fiscal 2002 Navistar reported revenues of $8.6 billion and employed 16,500 people.
Perhaps one of the best known names within the truck-making industry was Mack Trucks, Inc. During the mid-1990s, Mack introduced new features to its customer support program. Their "Vision By Mack" program kept company staff a toll-free phone call away, ready to provide any assistance an operator might need. Their "Mackmart" was a quarterly flyer highlighting special promotions that was sent to the company's parts dealers. By revitalizing its fleet credit program called "Mackcharge," the company saw transactions jump nine-fold for the first half of 1999. By branching out into the "allmakes" market, more than 150 supplied components were available at Mack's six distribution centers in the United States and Canada and would soon include more fleet product supplies. Bar-coding was also implemented to increase accuracy and efficiency at the company's warehouses. Also in 1999, Mack was in the stages of planning a computer network for its parts dealers featuring catalogs, cross-referencing, pricing, and billing.
In the worldwide market, Mack's heavy duty and medium duty diesel products were sold in more than 45 countries with more than 860 sales, parts, and service centers. Although Mack Trucks had a long history of truck making in the United States, the company was not U.S. owned. In 1979, the French Renault Vehicules Industriels SA began purchasing an interest in Mack. Renault's ownership totaled 46 percent in 1985, and in 1990 the French firm purchased the remainder, acquiring complete ownership. Later, Renault sold Mack to Sweden's AB Volvo.
Oshkosh Truck Corporation, located in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, reported 2002 revenues of $1.7 million. Oshkosh showed tremendous growth with the 1998 acquisition of McNeilus, increasing sales in the construction and refuse markets. Their defense sales accounted for 25 percent of the 1999 totals. By century's end, Oshkosh was a leading U.S. manufacturer in the construction, fire and emergency, refuse, defense, and snow removal markets.
Oshkosh Truck traced its beginnings back to two inventors, William R. Besserdich and Bernhard A. Mosling. Besserdich and Mosling held patents for innovations necessary to produce four wheel drive vehicles. One patent was for a method of transferring the engine's power to all four vehicle wheels using an automatic locking differential. A differential enabled the wheels on the axle to go around corners at different speeds. The other patent improved the front axle's steering and drive abilities. In 1915, Besserdich and Mosling approached several major car manufacturers but were turned away. They incorporated their own company, Wisconsin Duplex Auto Company, in 1917. Wisconsin Duplex later moved to Oshkosh and became Oshkosh Truck. The company's first vehicle, nicknamed "Old Betsy," had a three speed transmission, one ton hauling capacity, and weighed 3,280 pounds.
In 2001 the industry employed 41,771 people. Of that total, 30,934 workers held production-related jobs, which paid an average hourly rate of $14.11.
The biggest U.S. trading partner in heavy and medium duty trucks continued to be Canada. Some analysts also expected Mexico to be the fastest growing market for U.S. medium and heavy duty trucks. Other growing overseas markets included South and Central America, eastern Europe, and nations formed following the break up of the former Soviet Union.
U.S. exports to Mexico were expected to grow steadily at the turn of the century. The signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) provided for Mexico's adoption of U.S. safety standards for trucking and elimination of all restrictions on U.S. exports of medium and heavy duty trucks, buses, and special purpose motor vehicles to Mexico by January 1, 1999, among other provisions. In addition, analysts foresaw growing demand for U.S. built medium and heavy duty trucks, buses, and special purpose vehicles during the mid- to late 1990s as Mexico replaced its aging trucking fleet. New production of some of these vehicles in Mexico were also expected to utilize U.S. parts and components—another bonus for exports of U.S. after-market parts.
Unfortunately, with the Mexican recession, production decreased significantly during the mid-1990s, but recovery was expected by 2002. Shipments were expected to equal nearly 30,000, with 12,000 to 15,000 of these units being produced at U.S. plants.
The Kenworth Mexican plant was founded in 1959. By 1995 Paccar owned the factory outright and developed an aggressive export program to help recover the low employment levels felt from the Mexican recession of the mid-1990s. By 1998 the company had its products selling in Chile, Russia, Columbia, Ghana, Canada, the United States, and Puerto Rico. The company achieved employment levels of 1,930 people in 1999, versus the 445 employees of 1995.
Entering 1999, the Mack Truck Company had already increased its share of the export market by 15 percent, totaling 3,269 units in 1998. Mack kept its stronghold as America's number two truck exporter. Both Mack's Canadian and Australian subsidiaries also had increased retail sales for 1998.
Because trucks dominate the cross-border trade between the United States and Canada and the United States and Mexico, the demand for these vehicles was expected to remain stable through the opening of the twenty-first century.
During the early 1990s, truck and bus makers were facing many challenges to improve their environmental and safety records. Research toward improving the industry's environmental impact focused on reducing vehicle emissions, improving fuel economy, and developing alternative fuels.
The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 imposed increasing reductions in vehicle emissions, creating a need for expanded research in clean-burning diesel technology. Efforts were also underway to make vehicles with increased fuel economy. Designers worked toward making lighter trucks with smaller dimensions, better aerodynamic styling, and improved engine performance. In a similar vein, some groups were advocating the development of alternate fuels. One of the most promising alternate fuels was natural gas. Many environmental groups favored natural gas over gasoline and diesel fuels because it emitted 90 percent less carbon monoxide and 50 percent less hydrocarbons.
Safety issues under investigation included searches for innovative designs offering improved driver visibility, better braking systems, and the development of collision avoidance technologies. Greyhound Lines, Inc. planned to provide radar collision avoidance on buses by the middle of the 1990s. The system under development used a light and buzzer to alert drivers when other vehicles got too close.
Other changes were also being studied. Manufacturers investigated possible alterations to improve driving and sleeping accommodations for truck operators. They were also developing advanced drive trains to permit the construction of trailers capable of carrying more cargo.
Roll Stability Control was a new safety feature developed by Freightliner in 1999. This system would alert the driver to potentially hazardous driving behaviors and/or would automatically slow the truck down, thus helping to prevent a rollover accident. The system has a data log unit that should help fleet managers maintain a safe driver base for their company.
The industry was taking significant steps at the turn of the twenty-first century to upgrade its information technology. By use of the Internet, Paccar, for one, was setting a standard for e-commerce in the truck manufacturing industry. By investing in new product development, the company was able to upgrade the quality of its product while lowering operating costs.
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