Team FinditParts is proud to announce our sponsorship of 88-Mike and the Powershift Performance team in the Meritor Champ Truck Series! Truck #88, the “Mackvader” is driven by “88-Mike” Mike Morgan, who has placed first and second in two of the three Meritor Champ Truck Races that have taken place earlier this year.
The decision to sponsor Mike in the Meritor Champ Truck Series was a no brainer for us here at FinditParts – the dedication to his craft, hard work commitment to success make him the perfect brand ambassador for FIP. He’s a Mack Master Tech by day, a race enthusiast by night and has had a lifelong dream of one day racing big rigs. That dream came true this year when Meritor announced they’d be bringing back big rig racing via the Meritor Champ Truck Series which would consist of ten races across the United States. Upon hearing the announcement, Mike knew he wanted in.
Mike’s passion for the sport is apparent in the dedication and hard work he has poured into building his Class 8 truck, the Mackvader, from the ground up. The truck cab and front end are from a 1999 Mack CH and features a Mack MP7 electronically controlled engine; he’s also a variety of ECMs piggybacked on each other for optimum performance and will be sporting Meritor brake components for the remainder of the racing season.
Mike’s love of racing was stoked at an early age – growing up, he drag raced and worked on his Uncle’s pit crew. He met his wife during his days drag racing, and continues the family tradition by having his son Mikey help him build his rig. His pit crew is comprised of his wife, son and longtime friend Matt Kuhn, also a Mack Master Tech, who serves as Crew Chief. Mike cites his family’s support as the top contributor to the team’s success.
Race enthusiasts will be glad to know that you can root on 88-Mike and the Powershift Performance team in the next Meritor Champ Truck Series race, which takes place July 2 – July 4th at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. It promises to bring some seriously fast paced, wheel to wheel, gear-jammin’ action that you don’t want to miss.
For instant updates and to keep up with 88-Mike and the Mackvader, be sure to follow them on Facebook. You can also follow FIP for exclusive coupon codes, promotions and a bit of truck talk.
For complete Meritor Champ Truck Series race dates, locations and ticket information visit the Champ Truck website.
Autonomous cars have been at the forefront of transportation topics for quite a while now, however it looks like Freightliner will be the first to have autonomous trucks on the road first in the self-driven auto race.
To much fanfare and attention, Freightliner showed off the first Smart Truck on the road atop Hoover Dam in early May. Since then, other manufacturers such as Kenworth and Peterbilt have also unveiled similar technology; however, the Freightliner technology remains the most advanced entry into this automated race.
The features of the Freightliner Inspiration Truck that set it apart from the growing crowd include Highway Pilot mode. This feature allows the truck to cruise the highway while the driver does the other things. Despite previous misconceptions that this would eliminate the need for the driver, the driver is still necessary to navigate surface streets, exits, interchanges, and everything else that’s not highway cruising. Additionally, the driver retains full control over the truck at all times – a simple grab of the wheel or tap of the brake pedal overrides the computer and returns control of the truck to the driver.
Not only will this new technology from Freightliner be an improvement for the comfort of the driver, it will also allow the manufacturer to gather more data from the road. Every mile the Freightliner Inspiration Truck spends auto-driving the road is another point of data they can analyze to help improve the safety and logistics of long haul trucking.
While the technology isn’t quite perfect just yet, we are closer than ever to seeing the Freightliner autonomous truck on the road. For now only four states, including Nevada and the District of Columbia, are allowing testing of these autonomous vehicles on public roads provided that a human driver is behind the wheel; few others are keen on allowing testing. But as improvements in the way this technology works continues to evolve and improve, the closer we will get to seeing these magnificent high-tech trucks on public highways and byways.
In early 2015, Meritor, the industry leading after-market heavy duty truck parts supplier, launched the Meritor Service Point Program. Initially tested with positive results in Europe, this innovative educational and support program is new to the US and Canadian markets and promises to augment the relationship between Meritor and independent service garages (ISG’s) nationwide.
According to Marty Hetherington, manager, brand and marketing, aftermarket, the program aims to “…foster a better relationship with these independent service garages so that they understand our brand and our products and exactly what different levels of product offerings we have for them. That way when they need to fix someone’s vehicle, they can ask for a Meritor part instead of just going to the distributor or the dealer and letting them make the choice. “
The program is broken down into three major components:
Meritor’s goal is to provide these ISG’s with the competitive advantage of diagnosing and repairing commercial vehicles with the right Meritor parts; this requires knowledge of proper installation techniques and extensive product knowledge. Through the Meritor Service Point Program, ISG’s will receive online product and technician training to ensure they can service their customer’s vehicles in the most efficient, effective means possible.
Part Assistance & Accessibility
According to Hetherington, one of the biggest hurdles faced by ISG’s is the ability to find the proper part quickly and efficiently. That is why the second major benefit to the Meritor Service Point program is crucial – part assistance and accessibility. ISG’s approved in this program will have access to Meritor’s online parts catalogue, making it easier and more efficient to locate the parts they need. They’ll also be privy to Meritor’s technical support, which also augments their ability to properly service their customer’s vehicles.
Brand & Marketing Support
The third major component to the Meritor Service Point Program is marketing support. ISG’s that earn the Service Point seal of approval will be given branding and marketing tools to help identify themselves as being program participants. It is Meritor’s hope that this will strengthen the ISG’s visibility to fleets and drivers who know and respect the Meritor brand.
According to Hetherington, the hope is that this program will not only increase their brand awareness, but also “generate the sort of environment for ISG’s where they feel like they are apart of the Meritor family.” To find out more about becoming a Meritor Service Point approved independent service garage or to find a Meritor Service Point garage to service your vehicle, visit MeritorServicePoint.com.