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News Roads&Bridges September 26, 2003
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Truck manufacturers often produce vehicles that are customized by truck equipment manufacturers (TEMs), or body builders, as pa

Truck manufacturers often produce vehicles that are customized by truck equipment manufacturers (TEMs), or body builders, as part of the integration process that combines a truck cab and chassis with specialized body equipment designed for specific applications. For example, state governments and private contractors often work with truck dealers, end users and third-party equipment manufacturers to design and install plows, spreaders, bucket lifts and other equipment necessary to build and maintain the public highway infrastructure.

Over the past several years, International Truck and Engine Corp. has developed a multiplexed electrical control system that accelerates and streamlines this chassis-and-body customization process.

Called the International Diamond Logic technology platform, this electrical control system is based on multiplexed electrical engineering and has shown the ability to reduce operating costs and enhance uptime performance for highway maintenance vehicles and other vocational fleets. Over the past three years, Diamond Logic has been improved and upgraded, enhancing the system's ability to streamline vehicle integration and customization, connecting the engine, transmission, cab and body on one wavelength of performance.

This integration process may often be as simple as having a TEM feature-specific switch activate an unused output pin on a vehicle electrical system controller (ESC) to activate a specific piece of body equipment, or it may be much more complex, creating software "interlocks" that disable switches or activate signals on pins or in network messages under certain conditions. For the body builder and end user, the advantages could be as simple as eliminating the need to splice into a wire, or as complex as eliminating the need to pull the dashboard out of the vehicles, do some custom wiring and replace the dash. The system also eliminates the need for expensive, add-on third party modules. Because of the variety of body configurations across vehicle vocations, it became apparent that a more customizable and programmable electrical system should be pursued.

For more on the story, read the October issue of ROADS&BRIDGES.

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