Technology, training, and teamwork: Bendix partners with PITT OHIO on vehicle and highway safety

At PITT OHIO, safety isn’t something you get from a new part, a more advanced technology, or a training class: It’s an ongoing pursuit and a driving philosophy that requires participation at all levels and partners who share your commitment

At PITT OHIO, safety isn’t something you get from a new part, a more advanced technology, or a training class: It’s an ongoing pursuit and a driving philosophy that requires participation at all levels and partners who share your commitment.

“Our goal is to do the right thing every day on and off the road, putting the most qualified, safest drivers in our trucks and supporting them with not just the equipment and training they need, but with technicians and systems to keep their vehicles on the road and in good operating condition,” said Jeff Mercadante, vice president of safety at PITT OHIO. “We’ve worked with Bendix a long time, and what they’ve brought to PITT OHIO is a true safety partnership in line with all of that.”

PITT OHIO equips Bendix® ADB22X® air disc brakes and the family of Bendix®

Wingman® Fusion advanced driver assistance systems from Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC – the North American leader in the development and manufacture of active safety, air management, and braking system technologies for commercial vehicles. The fleet also utilizes SafetyDirect® by Bendix CVS and works closely with Bendix on driver and technician training.

“You can drive alongside one of our trucks and know you’re next to a well-trained, qualified, safe driver,” Mercadante said. “And we want to give those drivers all the resources we can to keep them and everyone around them safe on the highways. Bendix is invaluable in strengthening our efforts with its parts, training, knowledge, and expertise.”

Family-Owned, Safety-Oriented

Founded in 1979, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based PITT OHIO provides Less-ThanTruckload (LTL) service in the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions, as well as supply chain, small package, and truckload services across North America. The fleet employs approximately 1,850 drivers and operates approximately 1,400 tractors and 2,200 trailers.

PITT OHIO’s safety focus is well recognized: The company has been named an

American Trucking Associations’ Safe Fleet Award Winner 18 times, and they’re a seven-time recipient of the ATA President’s Trophy. PITT OHIO has also earned more than three dozen honors from trucking associations in six states.

“That’s who we are: We’re a family-owned and safety-oriented company, and that all comes from the top,” Mercadante said. “Many of the folks driving for us and working for us have actually grown up within PITT OHIO, and it’s all about making sure they get home safely at the end of the day. If we can’t do something safely, we won’t do it, period.”

Equipping for Safety

PITT OHIO specs Bendix® Wingman® Fusion – Bendix’s flagship driver assistance system – on its vehicles, as well as Bendix® ADB22X® air disc brakes with the Bendix® Splined Disc® rotor. The company uses SafetyDirect® by Bendix CVS to make the most of driving and vehicle data in shaping its safety and driver training programs.

Bendix Wingman Fusion gathers input through radar, video, and a vehicle’s braking system, combining and cross-checking the data from sensors that are working together and not just in parallel. By creating a detailed and accurate picture from this information, Fusion delivers enhanced rear-end collision mitigation and adaptive cruise control, along with following distance alerts, stationary object alerts, lane departure warning, alerts when speeding, and braking on stationary vehicles – all while prioritizing alerts to help reduce driver distraction. Event-based data – including video – can be wirelessly transmitted for driver coaching and analysis by fleet safety personnel.

Fusion is built on the foundational technology of the Bendix® ESP® Electronic Stability Program full-stability system. This enables it to help drivers avoid some additional crash situations, including rollovers, loss-of-control, and sideswipe crashes.

The forward-facing camera of Bendix Wingman Fusion is powered by the Mobileye® System-on-Chip EyeQ® processor with state-of-the-art vision algorithms.

SafetyDirect® is a video-based driver safety platform featuring a user-friendly web portal that provides fleet operators with comprehensive feedback on their fleet and drivers, along with videos of severe events. The system wirelessly transmits real-time data and event-based information from a vehicle’s J1939 network to the fleet’s back office for analysis.

Unlike drum brakes, which can fade during heavy stop-and-go traffic situations or during mountain descents – extending stopping distances as they heat up – Bendix® ADB22X® air disc brakes virtually eliminate brake fade. They provide shorter stopping distances, and deliver greater reliability with more consistent stops, while also delivering ROI in the shop through longer friction life and quicker pad changes than drum brakes.

Making a Difference

“We’ve seen that Bendix® Wingman® Fusion has given our drivers more time to react in crucial situations – because even the best driver can’t control things that happen on the road around them,” Mercadante said. “And by pairing it with SafetyDirect, we can sharpen our training programs to assist drivers in specific and targeted ways, which benefits both safety and efficiency.”

Regarding the move to air disc brakes in 2019, Mercadante said PITT OHIO drivers have given positive feedback on the smoother, more car-like feel of the brakes, as well as the shorter stopping distances. He also noted less brake-related maintenance over the life of ADBequipped trucks.

“The right in-depth training is really important when any new technology arrives on-site, so that it’s not a surprise when our team members begin working with it,” Mercadante said. “From the driver training programs with Fusion to the air disc brake technical sessions at all our shops, we’ve always felt good about the support we get from the Bendix team. One of the differentiators between suppliers is how you work through problems together, and everyone at

Bendix has been outstanding in that respect.”

Partners on and off the Road

“Our partnership with PITT OHIO is strong and special for many reasons, but most important is our shared commitment to the safety of North America’s drivers, passengers, roads, and vehicles,” said Lance Hansen, Bendix vice president – aftermarket sales, fleet, service, and field operations. “When you are fortunate to be able to create the best solutions with a team like the one at PITT OHIO – through not just technology but the teamwork and communication and support needed to make the most of today’s safety systems – it makes for an inspiring and promising journey that we’re proud to share.”

PITT OHIO and Bendix both emphasize that no technology can replace a safe, alert, professional driver practicing safe driving habits, supported by proactive, ongoing driver training. Active safety systems are not intended to enable or encourage aggressive driving, and responsibility for safe vehicle operation remains with the driver at all times.

Through its ever-growing portfolio of commercial vehicle technologies, Bendix delivers on safety, vehicle performance and efficiency, and unparalleled post-sales support – all areas critical to fleets’ success. Strengthening return on investment in the equipment and technologies that keep trucks and drivers safe and lower their total costs of vehicle ownership helps enhance the safety of everyone sharing North America’s roadways – Bendix’s constant goal.

SOURCE: Bendix