Saturday, August 05, 2006
FORD / E450 1996-2002
FORD / ECONOLINE 1994-1996
FORD / EXCURSION 2000-2002
FORD / EXPLORER 1998
FORD / F250 1994-2002
FORD / F350 1994-2002
FORD / F450 1994-2002
FORD / F550 1994-2002
FORD / MOUNTAINEER 1998
Manufacturer : FORD MOTOR COMPANY
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number : 06V286000 Mfg's Report Date : JUL 27, 2006
Component: VEHICLE SPEED CONTROL
Potential Number Of Units Affected : 1200000
ON CERTAIN TRUCKS EQUIPPED WITH SPEED CONTROL, GASOLINE OR NATURAL GAS ENGINES, THE SPEED CONTROL DEACTIVATION SWITCH MAY OVERHEAT.
OVERHEATING COULD RESULT IN SMOKE OR BURN AND AN UNDERHOOD FIRE.
DEALERS WILL INSTALL A FUSED WIRING HARNESS INTO THE SPEED CONTROL SYSTEM FREE OF CHARGE. THE RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN ON AUGUST 7, 2006. OWNERS MAY CONTACT FORD AT 1-866-436-7332.
FORD RECALL NO. 05S28. CUSTOMERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION’S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV.
Friday, August 04, 2006
AFFINITY GROUP ACQUIRES AMERICAN GUIDE SERVICES
Friday, August 4, 2006
Affinity Group Inc. (AGI) has acquired American Guide Services Inc. (AGS), which offers a complete range of products and services to the campground, RV park and camping resort industry.
"AGS is an excellent addition to our portfolio," said Joe Daquino, Multimedia Division vice president for Ventura, Calif.-based AGI. "This acquisition enhances our product line that supports the RV park and campground industry and consumers."
The AGI Multimedia Division publishes annual directories, including Woodall's North American Campground Directory and Trailer Life RV Parks, Campgrounds & Services Directory, along with regional monthly publications, a variety of specific interest books and online publications, each designed to reach different segments of the RV/camping consumer marketplace.
The roster of AGS products and services includes:
• Guest Services Guides: Available in various sizes, the guides offer helpful information for campers, including local attractions and businesses, area maps and maps of specific parks.
• AGS Promotional Products: Products include rack cards, multi-fold brochures, mailers and post cards, designed to attract guests to campgrounds and keep them for longer stays.
• AGS Internet Services: Internet-based services include web design, website hosting, e-commerce, reservation forms and search engine submissions.
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
FROM WASTE TO DIESEL
Issaquah, WA - Green Power, Inc., a Washington based company, thrilled spectators at their demonstration on Wednesday, July 26. Green Power, Inc. demonstrated their new technology of turning everyday landfill waste into diesel fuel, in a process called Catalytic Depolymerization.
“We really can convert regular household waste, medical waste, anything that is not radioactive, metal, glass or porcelain, into diesel fuel,” said Michael Spitzauer, CEO of Green Power, Inc.
The demonstration took place in Fife, Washington and was witnessed by approximately 200 onlookers, including various government officials, oil refinery, corporate representatives and media. Visitors from as far as India and Japan came to witness the demonstration.
Ramesh Kumar Jalan, an advisor for Delhi Waste Management in India, flew in for the demonstration. “I’ve been evaluating waste management for 15 years and have never seen anything like this,” said Jalan, who has a doctorate degree in waste management. He also said he was optimistic about this technology and its potential in India. Before his return to India, a tentative agreement was reached to build plants in his country.
“I went in skeptical and came out optimistic that they have something viable,” said Peter Moulton, who manages the Harvesting Clean Energy program for Climate Solutions, an Olympia based nonprofit group.
Green Power’s mobile demonstration unit, mounted on a tractor-trailer rig, is intended to visit cities across the country this summer and fall. The mobile demonstration unit is a miniature version of a much larger, permanent plant that will consume, depending on size, from 500-2000 tons of landfill waste per day.
A typical 500 ton-per-day plant is actually 5, 100-ton plants stacked together. This provides an element of redundancy, standardization and reliability. The entire plant does not have to be shut down for maintenance or repair. Additionally, manufacturing costs will be reduced. As a site’s capacity needs to increase, additional units can be added without a major redesign.
The plant will yield approximately 75,000 gallons of very high grade diesel fuel in the same period, with zero pollution, thanks to Green Power’s patented, low-temperature process. The cost to produce the fuel will be extremely competitive, estimated at .52 to .58 USD per gallon.
The first plant is to open next year on tribal land in the Tacoma suburb. A second plant will be located in Montana on land already purchased. Green Power, Inc. hopes to have 1,500 operational plants across the country. This will help solve not only landfill issues but also imported oil issues.
Arrangements are presently underway to receive technical verification and standardization, through Combustion Resources of Provo, Utah, as well as Idaho National Laboratories, two independent and nationally recognized research firms, which specialize in study and verification of similar technologies. Their initial analysis should be complete within a few weeks.
Contact information: Jeff Hershkowitz, Green Power Media Relations or e-mail.
Direct Phone: 206-300-7663
NEW FIBERGLASS CAP MFG'ER PROCESS
APOLLO BEACH, Fla. - Officials of TM Design Research announced recently that licensing of the patented Molded Lightweight Vehicle Manufacturing Process (MLV Process) will be ahead of schedule due to development of a specialized injected composite structural foam that accelerates vehicle body production output, while significantly reducing manufacturing costs.
With the MLV Process, a large one-piece fiberglass vehicle body is quickly made to automotive quality precise dimensions, with a perfect exterior fit and finish. In the MLV Process, the fiberglass body skin is remarkably light in weight, but has more strength and rigidity than conventional vehicle body structures. This is made possible by specially developed automotive composite rigid structural foam, which is injected in a mold containing the fiberglass body skin and metal parts. The result is a low cost one-piece ultra lightweight large vehicle body of extremely high quality.
Additionally, the process uses no composite wood such as chipboard or plywood flooring, making StreamLiner trailers "formaldehyde-free," an attribute of increasing importance.
TM Design Research received US Patent 7,000,978 for The Molded Lightweight Large-body Vehicle Manufacturing Process, which will be licensed to selected recreational vehicle, bus, and truck companies internationally.
While agreements with three of the leading automotive and the RV industry majors preclude disclosures, we have been overwhelmed with the high level of interest in our new patent, remarked Jim Teeter, president of TM Design Research.
Five years ago, TM Design Research developed the patented SkyDeck RVs licensed under SkyDeck Industries LLC to Airstream and to Thor America. Airstream, under the leadership of then president Dicky Riegel, made the SkyDeck Airstream Motorhome the purchase choice of leading corporations and racing teams throughout the country and was recently featured as a centerfold in the December Robb Report.
Major benefits for RV's
The greatest benefits of the Molded Lightweight Large-body Vehicle Manufacturing Process will be achieved by the RV Industry where trailer bodies and chassis are too heavy, in an emerging fuel conscious marketplace, Teeter added.
According to an official of Porsche, the manufacturing technology and styling of contemporary RV trailers and motorhomes is where the automobile industry was in the 1930's.
There has not been a quantum step in RV travel trailer design and technology since the aluminum Airstream was introduced in 1937. At that time, Airstream adopted the latest in aircraft technology to lighten and streamline trailers. Today, 70 years later, molded fiberglass composite construction is common in the aircraft and the boat building industries where light weight, strength, high performance and streamlining is a standard requirement. The molded fiberglass composite RV body is long overdue and we are pleased to have received the basic patent for manufacturing process, commented Frank Messano, partner and inventor of the MLV Manufacturing Process and previously an aerospace consultant.
The StreamLiner reduced weight and design capabilities have particular appeal to international markets, said Teeter. "Foreign markets in Europe and Australia have challenges that our StreamLiner process can easily meet. International consumers want high design and lighter weight towables since the vast majority of tow vehicles are powered by four and six-cylinder engines." he said "In addition, many international markets have narrow highways and challenging terrain, where our StreamLiner™ trailers will perform exceptionally well. even off-road."
Since receipt of the patent, Messano and Teeter have been very quiet about the new system, providing limited response to inquiries. The emails, calls and personal contacts from consumers, potential investors, manufacturers and dealer groups has been overwhelming, said Teeter. The innovative duo has determined that licensing its patented technology to key manufacturers within the RV industry will ultimately be their path of choice. “We followed that path with our SkyDeck product and believe that is the best way to proceed with our StreamLiner technology." said Teeter, who noted, annual industry unit volume and dollar sales, as well as growth history support their choice.
The RV industry is robust with annual sales exceeding $12 billion and 400,000 units manufactured. The towables segment, where the StreamLiner technology fits, represents 85 per cent of unit sales. Key industry members include Thor (NYSE: THO), Fleetwood (NYSE: FLE), Monaco (NYSE: MNC), Winnebago (NYSE: WGO) and Coachman (NYSE: COA).
For additional information about The StreamLiner™ UltraLight Recreational Vehicle Body System and line of trailers, visit: www.StreamLinerRV.com.
FEATHERLITE MERGES WITH UNIVERSAL TRAILER
Friday, July 28, 2006
The merger of Featherlite Inc. with a subsidiary of Universal Trailer Holdings Corp. will form “the nation’s premier trailer company” which will be “more than twice as big as the nearest competitor,” according to executives.
Conrad Clement, CEO of Featherlite, and Tom Frey, CEO of Cincinnati, Ohio-based Universal Trailer, speaking during a brief press conference Thursday (July 27), expanded upon their planned merger announced earlier in the day.
Featherlite said shareholders will receive $6.50 in cash per share, which represents a 52.9% premium over Wednesday’s closing price. The purchase price is approximately $108.6 million with Universal Trailer assuming $29.1 million in debt. The news boosted shares of Featherlite Thursday, up $2.08 to $6.33 at the close of trading.
“Universal has a larger pool of financial resources which will help take Featherlite to the next level and beyond,” said Clement, who took over the Cresco, Iowa, company in 1988 and helped it become the leading manufacturer of aluminum specialty trailers. “We are opening the door to further advance the Featherlite company and its employees.”
The company also makes luxury motorcoaches under the brand names Featherlite Vantare and Featherlite Luxury Coaches at a plant in Sanford, Fla. Upon completion of the merger, Clement and his son along with Bulk Resources Inc., a 10% owner of Featherlite Inc., will buy all the assets of Featherlite’s motorcoach division. The purchase price was not disclosed. The new company, Featherlite Coaches Inc., will continue to manufacture luxury motorcoaches at the 73,000-square-foot facility in Florida.
Frey said the merger “creates an outstanding platform for growth, which this merger is all about – people, brand and growth.”
The specialty trailer industry is diverse with as many as 500 different manufacturers. Approximately 30 firms manufacture aluminum trailers.
Featherlite’s primary trailer types are horse, livestock, utility recreational, commercial and car trailers as well as race car and specialty transporters, including mobile marketing, mobile office, mobile classroom, vending and command centers.
Units are built in Iowa and sold through a network of 220 dealers in North America. Retail prices for the company’s aluminum model trailers range from approximately $1,200 for the least expensive utility trailer to over $300,000 for a custom built race car transporter and hospitality trailer. Specialty custom transporters with slideouts may sell for $1 million or more.
Universal Trailer is a very decentralized company with some 1,300 employees nationwide but just seven in its corporate headquarters in Cincinnati, Frey said. It is the leading specialty trailer manufacturer and sells under several brands including Haulmark, Exiss, Sooner and Miley.
Frey said Featherlite operations in Cresco and Shenandoah, Iowa, will be retained. Featherlite employs approximately 1,300 workers, including 1,200 in production in Iowa and Florida. Only three members of the management team will not remain with the newly merged company, Clement said: himself, his son, Tracy, who is the executive vice president, and Jeff Mason, chief operating office, who earlier announced his retirement.
Clement, who already splits his year between Iowa and Florida, and his son will run the newly formed motorcoach business in Florida. Conrad Clement’s other son, Eric, who is vice president and general manager, will remain with the newly merged company in Iowa.
Featherlite is a closely held pubic company with Clement, his two sons and brother owning more than 55% of the outstanding shares. Featherlite derives more than 75% of its revenue from end users in motorsports and leisure and entertainment categories, which also includes equestrian events, and has a strong position in the livestock trailer market.
Net sales for the quarter ending March 31 were $50.4 million, with $20.6 million in motorcoaches. Featherlite reported net income of $2.25 million. The trailer segment reported net income of $3.1 million, while the motorcoach segment reported a loss of $114,000. Featherlite anticipates announcing its second quarter results next Monday.
Earlier this month, Featherlite introduced the $2.5 million Vantare Platinum Plus, calling it “the most expensive coach” on the RV market today. Featherlite sells its motorcoaches directly to the public at sales and service centers in Cresco, Pryor, Okla., Sanford and Mocksville, N.C.
BLUE BIRD / LTC 2000-2003
BLUE BIRD / WANDERLODGE LXI 2000-2003
Manufacturer : BLUE BIRD BODY COMPANY
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number : 06V278000 Mfg's Report Date : JUL 14, 2006
Component: ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING:ENGINE:DIESEL
Potential Number Of Units Affected : 150
ON CERTAIN TRANSIT BUSES EQUIPPED WITH DETROIT DIESEL SERIES C-60 ENGINES, THE ELECTRONIC CONTROL MODULE (ECM) WILL REQUIRE TO BE REPROGRAMMED TO CURRENT MAINFRAME CALIBRATIONS.
REPROGRAMMING THE ECM WILL PREVENT THE POTENTIAL OF A TURBOCHARGER FAILURE FROM PROGRESSING TO AN ENGINE COMPARTMENT FIRE.
DETROIT DIESEL IS CONDUCTING THIS RECALL (PLEASE SEE 06E019000) AND WILL REPROGRAM THE ECM TO CURRENT MAINFRAME CALIBRATIONS FREE OF CHARGE. OWNERS MAY CONTACT DETROIT DIESEL AT 313-592-3708 OR BLUE BIRD AT 478-822-2242.
BLUE BIRD RECALL NO. R06KX. CUSTOMERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION’S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV.
AIRSTREAM / CLASSIC 2006-2007
Manufacturer : AIRSTREAM, INC.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number : 06V276000 Mfg's Report Date : JUL 05, 2006
Component: SERVICE BRAKES, HYDRAULIC
Potential Number Of Units Affected : 22
ON CERTAIN TRAVEL TRAILERS EQUIPPED WITH DEXTER AXLES, THE DISC BRAKE CALIPER MOUNTING BOLTS ARE STRIPPED. INSUFFICIENT CLAMP LOAD BETWEEN CALIPER AND YOKE CAN CAUSE THE CALIPER TO DISASSEMBLE AND ADVERSELY AFFECT THE TRAILERS BRAKING SYSTEM.
LOSS OF BRAKING CAN INCREASE THE RISK OF A CRASH.
DEXTER HAS MODIFIED THE REMEDY FOR THESE VEHICLES (PLEASE SEE 06E029). A NEW LARGER CALIPER MOUNTING NUT WILL BE INSTALLED. FOR MORE INFORMATION YOU MAY CONTACT DEXTER AXLE AT 1-800-400-2164 OR AIRSTREAM AT 1-937-596-6111, EXT. 7418 OR 7400.
CUSTOMERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION’S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV.
CUMMINS / ICON 9999
Manufacturer : CUMMINS, INC.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number : 06E063000 Mfg's Report Date : JUL 06, 2006
Potential Number Of Units Affected : 100
CERTAIN CUMMINS ICON SERVICE TOOL 2.2 USED TO FACILITATE TROUBLE SHOOTING OF ICON SYSTEMS ON CUMMINS ISX AND ISM ENGINES. THE ICON SERVICE TOOL 2.2 CAN CAUSE UNINTENDED ENGINE START-UP WHEN USED WITH AN INLINE 11 ADAPTOR AND CERTAIN LAPTOP COMPUTERS.
UNINTENDED ENGINE START-UP COULD POSSIBLY CAUSE PERSONAL INJURY.
CUMMINS WILL NOTIFY OWNERS AND REPLACE THE ICON SERVICE TOOL 2.2 WITH THE NEW ICON SERVICE TOOL 2.3 FREE OF CHARGE. THE RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN DURING JULY 2006. OWNERS MAY CONTACT CUMMINS CUSTOMER SERVICE AT 1-800-DIESELS.
CUSTOMERS MAY CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY: 1-800-424-9153); OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV.
GEORGIE BOY / CRUISE MASTER 2006-2007
GEORGIE BOY / LANDAU 2006-2007
GEORGIE BOY / PURSUIT 2006-2007
Manufacturer : COACHMEN RV COMPANY, LLC
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number : 06V267000 Mfg's Report Date : JUL 13, 2006
Component: EQUIPMENT:RECREATIONAL VEHICLE
Potential Number Of Units Affected : 222
ON CERTAIN MOTOR HOMES, THE CABINET CONTAINING THE TELEVISION SET THAT IS INSTALLED IN THE OVERHEAD COCKPIT MAY BE INADEQUATELY SECURED.
SHOULD THE CABINET FASTENERS FAIL, THE OVERHEAD TELEVISION CABINET AND TELEVISION SET MAY FALL AND COULD CONTACT THE WINDSHIELD, DRIVER, OR PASSENGER INCREASING THE RISK OF A CRASH OR PERSONAL INJURY.
DEALERS WILL INSPECT THE CABINETS AND MAKE THE NECESSARY REPAIRS. THE RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN DURING JULY 2006. OWNERS MAY CONTACT COACHMEN AT 1-574-825-5821.
CUSTOMERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION’S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV.