New looks Bandag Inc., Muscatine, Iowa, has entered into a memorandum of understanding whereby it will purchase a minority interest in Southern Tire Mart Inc., which operates 18 of the retreader's franchises....Chicago-based Bell Fuels will sell Chevron Global Lubricants products exclusively....Detroit Diesel Corp. signed an agreement to purchase Outboard Marine Corp....Exxon Company USA and 76 Lubricants Co. have reached an agreement whereby Exxon will become the primary supplier of base stocks for the 76 line of commercial, industrial, and automotive oils....Avis Industrial Corp., Upland, Ind., has acquired Sellick Equipment Ltd., Harrow, Ontario. Howard Sellick will remain as president and David Sellick as vice president and chief financial officer.... A year-round premium diesel fuel package -- an L-10 Superior, Cetane-enhanced Performance Plus Super Diesel product -- from Starreon Corp. will now be available at Conoco's Billings, Mont., and Sheridan, Wyo. terminals....The National Tire Dealers & Retreaders Assn. (NTDRA) will become the Tire Association of North America, and new membership criteria will include "all engaged in manufacturing, retreading, wholesaling, and retail and commercial sales of replacement tires, including suppliers to such businesses.".... Trucking customers nationwide will now have a chance to obtain John Deere transportation insurance through the recently formed American Management Corporation Transportation Insurance (AMCTI), which will offer the product to agents on a wholesale basis. The new company, formed by American Management Corp. and Dill Brothers Insurance, will target companies or individuals with 150 or fewer tractors. Long-, interim-, or shorthaul transportation insurance will be provided for trucks of any class or size.

Maintenance mavens Freightliner Corp.'s 1996 Master Technician of the Year is Peter S. Smith, Cooper Truck Center, Monroe, La. Smith received the highest composite score on re-certification tests given by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). Freightliner technicians certifying or re-certifying as Master Truck Technicians in 1997 are eligible for this year's award.... Dryden Oil Co. is sponsoring "Maintenance Masters," a program to recognize maintenance operators in the fleet, construction, quarry, and mining services. Entry forms can be obtained by calling 1-800-777-1466, ext. 1453. Deadline is August 31, 1997; winners will be announced in the fall.

School days By increasing the number of courses offered at its transport refrigeration service training center, Thermo King has more than doubled the number of dealer technicians enrolled in the past two years. And through a "Partnership In Education" program, the reefer maker is providing vocational/technical schools with Thermo King equipment and curriculum materials....Cadec contributed to the equipment upgrade of the Oxford Hills Technical School by supplying it with Cadec 4000Plus Information Systems. Through the system's onboard computer, the driving school can electronically link the engine, driver, and vehicle to a home office and/or remote locations, as well as monitor driver performance and establish driving habit profiles....San Diego, Calif.-based Eaton Vorad Technologies will take part in the National Automated Highway System Consortium (NAHSC) Demo '97 at Miramar College August 7-10. A Class 8 tractor-trailer equipped with the Eaton Vorad Collision Warning System and SmartCruise be part of an HOV (high occupancy vehicle) lane demonstration. Rollins Leasing's "Compliance Assurance Program" assists fleets in meeting DOT alcohol and drug-testing rules. A free brochure provides information on requirements and procedures, as well as a listing of training aids. For more information, call 1-800-RLC-CORP, ext. 3851.

New digs Mack Trucks Inc. is moving its West Coast parts distribution center to Reno, Nev., later this year. Assessing Reno as a more effective distribution hub than the current Hayward, Calif., location, both the size and inventory of the new facility will be expanded. The company's West Coast distribution center serves 34 Mack distributors in 11 states....Last month Bridgestone/Firestone announced plans to build a new $400-million light-truck and passenger-car tire manufacturing plant in the United States. Site selection will be determined shortly and construction is expected to begin immediately thereafter. The facility, which is slated to reach production of 25,000 tires per day and employ 800 people by the year 2000, is scheduled to be up and running in the spring of 1999....Carrier Transicold's Las Vegas dealer, CT Power Inc. & Iceberg Rentals, has moved to a new location that will enable it to provide in-house transport air conditioning and refrigeration repairs, as well as mobile service. Carrier Transicold factory-trained technicians operate four drive-through service bays; two mobile service trucks offer 24-hr., on-the-road emergency repairs....Trailmobile Trailer Corp. announced plans to build a 200,000-sq. ft. state-of-the-art refrigerated fleet trailer plant in Liberal, Kan....Columbus, Ind.-based Toyota Industrial Equipment (TIE) will move to a new $1.3-million facility closer to Toyota Industrial Equipment Mfg. At home in the new facility will be TIE's field parts and service managers, as well as technical services, warranty administration, and distribution order processing functions.

Quality kudos Bridgestone has been named the most durable casing in a survey conducted by the International Tire and Rubber Assn. Retreaders around the country placed Bridgestone at the top of the list in both "over-the-road/longhaul" and "other" categories. This honor follows on the heels of 11 consecutive years of being named the most retreadable tire in the same survey.