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A record 9000 people attended the National Truck Equipment Association's Work Truck Show in Indianapolis.
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DaimlerChrysler launched the Dodge Ram 4500 chassis cab featuring Cummins diesel engines.

The VIBCO Sandbuster DC-60 (www.vibco.com) is a spreader-hopper vibrator in a new plastic housing. When used on concrete chutes, pours are faster, safer, and more efficient. The easy-to-clean vibrator keeps concrete moving regardless of slump. According to the manufacturer, it eliminates the need to manually rake concrete down the chute.

The Retriever from UP-N-ATOM Inc. (www.upnatominc.com) allows transport of up to 30,000 pounds of drive-on equipment without the need for a rollback bed. That saves weight and complexity and lowers ride height for greater stability. The Retriever's deck is curved and hinged, which allows loading angles from 10.8 to 13.5 degrees, depending on the chassis. It comes 20, 22, 24, 26, or 28 feet long, with 7.5-, 10-, and 15-ton payload capacities. Its low height eliminates many clearance problems.

Low pressure can ruin a tire and the dual next to it, too. TireStamp (www.tirestamp.com) makes the Tire Vigil, a system that collects pressure and temperature data, then downloads data and maintains records. When problems arise, the sensors in each wheel send alerts to the fleet before conditions become safety issues. Other features help manage a fleet's maintenance costs.

Work lights can dim when engines are off or batteries are weak. That could be when maximum light is needed most. Truck-Lite (www.truck-lite.com) introduced the 81 Series LED Worklamp. Its six diodes produce maximum brightness from 8.5 volts through 16 volts. The powder-coat finish and stainless hardware make the 81 Series Work-lamp highly resistant to rust.

Most operations mount equipment like cranes, pumps, dump bodies, and similar devices permanently onto truck chassis, making those trucks dedicated to one vocational use. The On-Trux (www.ontrux.com) Roll-off Systems allow equipment to be interchanged.

It's similar to a roll-on, roll-off container system, with platform and decks built on a common frame. With the system weighing 1350 to 1880 pounds, each truck can perform multiple tasks according to the platforms it carries.

Tool boxes are found on most working pickup trucks. The main shortcoming of many boxes is that you have to climb into the bed for access. The Pro-Side tool box line from Taylor Wings (www.taylorwings.com) utilizes a top tray that unlocks and slides on tracks with self-lubricating Nylatron Rollers. Extension is 48 inches from either the driver or passenger side.

Warn Industries (www.warn.com) combined a winch for light- and medium-duty trucks with an air compressor. The winch has 12,000 pounds maximum rated pull on a single line. The compressor is rated at 5 cfm at 90 psi.

The combination provides added versatility in the field without the need to carry a bulky separate compressor. Warn's Powerplant Dual Force has a three-stage planetary gear train and 80 feet of 3/8-inch wire rope. The compressor comes with 12 feet of coiled nylon air hose with a quick disconnect and many other features.

—Paul Abelson is a former director of the Technology and Maintenance Council of the American Trucking Associations. You can e-mail him at truck writer@anet.com.