100 candles

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Bosch spark plug. Patented in 1902 by German automotive pioneer Robert Bosch, the original plug was engineered to work with the high-voltage magneto ignition system also developed by Bosch. That first year the firm made about 300 spark plugs.

“The 10/02 emission standards are now reality. So it is time for the industry to move on and get with reality.”
— Mark Lampert, vp sales & marketing, Freightliner LLC, speaking at an August news conference.


From all reports, your editorial about the upcoming new diesel engine standards (Editor's Page, pg. 6, 7/02) is right on the mark that “it's going to be a bumpy ride” for most truck fleets.

One group that will not be negatively affected, however, is the growing number of medium- and heavy-duty fleets that are using natural gas-powered trucks. On-road engines that run on natural gas made by Caterpillar, Cummins, Deere, Detroit Diesel and Mack — among others — are available in a wide range of sizes, and a growing list of truck models are being offered with those engines.

The new EPA diesel engine standard doesn't apply to natural gas engines. But it doesn't matter, since most of these engines already meet or beat the standard. Natural gas trucks may not be appropriate for every application, but, for situations where they do make sense, they provide a cleaner, reliable and increasingly cost-competitive option.
Richard R. Kolodziej
Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition


Helping hand

When United Airlines Flight 93 crashed under terrorist assault into rural Pennsylvania on Sept. 11, 2001, the Shanksville Volunteer Fire Co. responded to the site and spent the next three weeks helping with the grim task of recovery.

That dedication to duty inspired Kenworth of Pennsylvania, Kenworth Truck Co. and body builder New Lexington Fire Equipment Co. to work closely with the fire company to cut the overall cost of a new KW T800B. Others helped so the campaign ended up covering part of the cost of the new fire tanker with a low-interest loan taking care of the rest.

Red hot rod

This ‘37 Ford pickup owned by Ken Sarbu of Middleburg, FL, drove away with the PPG “Dream Car” award at this summer's Goodguys Rod and Custom Assn. national show in Columbus, OH. The classic beauty was cited for outstanding use of color, design, gloss and paint job execution. The truck was built and custom-finished at Blewetts Rod Shop in Venice, FL. It took just 10 months to paint.

Appetizer on wheels

Anyone who sees the mouth-watering graphics on this ConAgra Foods trailer is going to wish their stomach were as big as the tasty view.

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