Fleet access to the Bendix Upgrade Program continues to increase as Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems expands its network of Authorized Upgrade Centers (AUC). The network consists of dealers and distributors that facilitate the installation of the company’s advanced safety systems on existing vehicles. The growing AUC network now includes locations in over a dozen states in the U.S.
The Bendix Upgrade Program – launched in 2017 – is a unique, first-of-its-kind program that enables professional installation of select Bendix advanced safety technologies to upgrade select vehicles that did not come factory-equipped. Upgrades are specific to individual trucks and tractors, and include post-installation support and tracking. Only Bendix-certified AUC technicians have the required knowledge, training, and specialized tools and techniques to perform these advanced safety system upgrades.
“We are committed to providing fleets with our driver-tested, leading-edge commercial vehicle safety technologies through an upgrade program. We’re now engaged in a selective, phased process of building our network of partners, which will result in Authorized Upgrade Centers strategically placed throughout North America,” said David Schultz, Bendix director of aftermarket business development.
Through the Bendix Upgrade Program, fleets can consider a select range of upgrades – including Bendix’s proven collision mitigation and warning systems. Fleets interested in finding out if their specific vehicles are eligible for an upgrade and which systems can be considered can find out through Bendix. The technology meets high quality standards, similar to when that system is installed at the factory.
“Fleets face the constant challenge of keeping their vehicles equipped with the most advanced – and rapidly evolving – driver assistance technologies available,” said TJ Thomas, Bendix director of marketing and customer solutions – Controls. “Replacing all your trucks overnight is not a practical option. The Bendix Upgrade Program, on the other hand, enhances a fleet’s safety by enabling the latest systems to be installed on vehicles not originally built with them. The safety systems help mitigate accidents and support driver coaching through video and data, while contributing to an improved, more consistent driver experience, vehicle to vehicle.”
Thomas emphasized two key advantages of the Bendix Upgrade Program.
First, each upgrade is engineered for a fleet’s specific vehicle – make, model, and year, across a broad swatch of commercial vehicles – to ensure proper fit and function. This means Bendix upgrades will fit properly, operate correctly, and avoid vehicle conflicts, such as with the CAN network.
“It’s critical that the configuration of the vehicle and the equipment already on it will integrate with the new capabilities to be added,” Thomas said. That could mean some vehicles may be upgrade-capable, and some vehicles may not be. In all cases, he pointed out, Bendix – along with the AUCs – will provide specialized upgrade expertise for evaluation and installation.
The second key advantage of the Bendix Upgrade Program, according to Thomas, is the support provided by the AUC and Bendix post-installation network of driver and technician training materials, VIN tracking, and access to the company’s full complement of technical support resources and tools. Upgrades are also covered by Bendix’s warranty programs.
“Don’t overlook the necessity of post-installation quality checks and tracking, because they are vitally important,” Thomas said. “Take VIN tracking. The Bendix Authorized Upgrade Center can verify, by VIN, which trucks have been upgraded and provide that information to the fleet. Especially if you’re upgrading a larger number of vehicles – say, 30 or 50 trucks over three different locations – there’s no substitute for this tracking. Sometimes a fleet may incorrectly document that upgrades on all their trucks were completed, when in fact they were not. VIN tracking verifies which vehicles were upgraded to help keep fleet records accurate.”