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July 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Preventing Irregular Wear on Wide-Base Tires

Wide base tires are thought to suffer premature wear. That’s sometimes the case but it’s not universally true.

By Jim Park

Do wide-base single tires wear differently than standard tires in dual assemblies? We address that question and give tips on how proper care of your wide-base single tires can improve their life and ROI.

Tags: Wide-Base Tires, Tires and Wheels, Tires

July 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Department

4 Ways Hirschbach Saves Fuel

The fleet’s latest aerodynamics retrofit project is the FlowBelow AeroKit, with quick-release wheel covers and tandem fairings that fill the gap between and behind the tractor drive wheels. Photo courtesy Hirschbach Motor Lines

By Deborah Lockridge

At Hirschbach Motor Lines, an 850-truck-and-growing refrigerated fleet based in East Dubuque, Ill., the goal is “to become the most fuel-efficient fleet in the trucking business while providing best-in-class service to our customers."

Tags: Fuel Savings, Driver Training, Fuel Efficiency, Reefers, Aerodynamics

July 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Quick Spin: Kenworth's Icon 900

Kenworth’s bold and unapologetic limited-edition “large car” doesn’t disappoint. Photos: Jim Park

By Jim Park

Kenworth’s bold and unapologetic limited-edition “large car” doesn’t disappoint.

Tags: Kenworth, Test Drive, Icon 900

July 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

How Nice Cabs Can Affect Driver Satisfaction

It’s all about making the best of 50 square feet of living space.

By Jim Park

Whatever the reason for their discontent, the driver turnover rate for 2014 wound up at over 95%. Perhaps a newer, better mattress would help them sleep better at night or an on-board satellite TV system or a more comfortable seat?

Tags: Driver Shortage, Driver Turnover, Driver Comfort

July 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Two Oil Categories Rolling to the Finish Line

Inside an engine test cell at San Antonio’s Southwest Research Institute, which helped develop two new engine tests that define the wear-performance parameters of the new PC11-A and PC-11-B oil-service categories for heavy-duty applications.

By David Cullen

It’s not rocket science to split an API oil-service category. But it takes lots of chemical engineering to develop and bring to market not one, but two, new heavy-duty motor oil specs in a mere five years.

Tags: Emissions, Fuel Efficiency, Fuel and Oil, API

July 2015, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

A Step-by-Step Approach to Brake Maintenance

Photo via Haldex

By Haldex

Taking shortcuts when doing a brake job can lead to problems such as uneven wear and substandard braking performance.

Tags: Preventive Maintenance, Brakes, Haldex

July 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Editorial

Confusion in the Aftermarket

Denise Rondini, Aftermarket Editor.

By Denise Rondini

Counterfeit. White box. Gray market. Genuine. Aftermarket. Will fit. Private label. Knock-off. All those terms are used to describe truck parts. That explains why there is confusion and uncertainty in the market.

Tags: Aftermarket Parts, Parts, Counterfeit Goods

July 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Can Autonomous Trucks Solve the Driver Shortage?

Being able to do other things while in autonomous mode could make the job more productive and attractive to drivers. Photo: Freightliner

By Deborah Lockridge

One thing the developers of autonomous technologies have emphasized is that they are not a “driverless truck.” So how can they help with the driver shortage? Part 7 in HDT's Driver Dilemma series on the driver shortage.

Tags: Driver Shortage, Driver Productivity, Autonomous Vehicles

July 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Editorial

Commentary: The Unmanned Vision

Rolf Lockwood, Executive Contributing Editor

By Rolf Lockwood

While much has been made about autonomous trucks lately, at least one group is looking ahead to unmanned vehicles altogether.

Tags: Volvo, Technology, Future Trucks, Autonomous Vehicles

July 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Cover Story

How Counterfeiting Affects the Aftermarket

Counterfeiting, gray market parts and intellectual property violations can make it hard to know what part is actually in the box you just bought.

By Denise Rondini

Counterfeiting, gray market parts and intellectual property violations can make it hard to know what part is actually in the box you just bought.

Tags: Aftermarket Parts, Counterfeit Goods

July 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Editorial

Commentary: 5 Arguments for Heavier Trucks

Editor in Chief, Deborah Lockridge

By Deborah Lockridge

While states are thinking of ways to fund highway infrastructure, Michigan is considering rolling back truck size and weight regulations.

Tags: Regulations, Michigan, Infrastructure Funding, Oversize Loads

June 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Daimler's SuperTruck Revealed

With a 115% freight efficiency improvement and 12.2 mpg, the DTNA team had to pull out all the stops to turn its goals into realities. Photos: Stephane Babcock

By Stephane Babcock

With a 115% freight efficiency improvement and 12.2 mpg, the DTNA team had to pull out all the stops to turn its goals into realities.

Tags: Aerodynamics, SuperTruck, Freight Efficiency, Powertrain Integration

July 2015, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

How Bendix’s Wingman Fusion Can Stop a Truck [Video]

By Tom Berg

As the government contemplates making collision avoidance systems mandatory, HDT's Tom Berg takes you behind the wheel of one of the systems currently available for heavy trucks, the Bendix Wingman Fusion.

Tags: Navistar, Collision Avoidance Technology, Bendix

June 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Breaking the 11 MPG Barrier

For Michael Niss, reaching 11 mpg is not just a dream. It is quickly becoming a reality through his project company, Breaking 11.

By Stephane Babcock

For Michael Niss, reaching 11 mpg is not just a dream. It is quickly becoming a reality through his project company, Breaking 11.

Tags: Trailers, Fuel Economy, Aerodynamics

July 2015, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Off-roading with Mercedes Trucks

The star of the demonstration run was the ordinary white two-axle tractor (center) with HAD on the front wheels. The silver truck to the left is an 8x8 and the yellow one in the background a 6x4. (Photo: Daimler Trucks)

By Sven-Erik Lindstrand

At a large driving demonstration with some 20 Mercedes Arocs construction trucks in various configurations, Daimler recently showed off its new hydraulically operated front-wheel drive, named HAD, plus a new Turbo Retarder Clutch from Voith.

Tags: Global, Daimler Trucks North America

July 2015, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Q&A: Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems' Fred Andersky

Fred Andersky Photo: Bendix

By David Cullen

We talk about pending stability control and collision avoidance mandates and other regulatory topics with Bendix's Fred Andersky who guides the company's regulatory, legislative and advocacy efforts.

Tags: Electronic Stability Control, GHG, Collision Avoidance Technology

July 2015, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Maintaining S-Cam Foundation Brakes

Photo courtesy of Bendix

By Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems

S-cam drum brakes are a familiar sight to every wheel-end technician in the North American trucking industry. These preventive maintenance guidelines can elevate the effectiveness of regular brake jobs.

Tags: Preventive Maintenance, Brakes, Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems

June 2015, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

How Targeting Inefficient Fleets Leads to Big Gains

Ian Wright

By Steven Martinez

Q&A with Fleet Technology Expo's opening keynote speaker Ian Wright. He's one of the founders of Tesla Motors but these days he is setting aside luxury electric cars to tackle a much larger problem: How to make medium-duty trucks more efficient.

Tags: Fuel Efficiency, Turbine Truck Engines, Battery-Electric Vehicles, Fleet Technology Expo, Wrightspeed, Medium-Duty Trucks

June 2015, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

When the Road Meets the Rubber

The very pavement you drive upon is chewing away at your tires, mile after mile. Photo by Jim Park

By Jim Park

Irregular or accelerated tire wear is annoying and expensive, but there's something else eating away at your expensive assets: the pavement itself.

Tags: Tires, Highways, Pavement Research

June 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Looking for Durable Trailer Skirts

Fleets buy various brands of skirts based on performance, durability and price. To last a long time, skirts must be physically flexible, which means they’re made of thermoplastic or a thermoplastic-fiberglass composite. Some trailer manufacturers make their own skirts.

By Tom Berg

Skirts have become common on van and refrigerated trailers, with more than half of all such trailers leaving factories with skirts installed. But how durable are they? Testing and experience show that material flexibility is a requirement for resisting damage.

Tags: Trailers, Fiberglass Composites, Trailer Skirts

June 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Keeping Diesel Fuel Clean

The presence of water or other fluid mixed with diesel fuel is clearly apparent from the stratification shown here.

By Deborah Lockridge

If you don’t take steps to keep diesel fuel clean, it can degrade your fuel economy, damage expensive fuel system components and cause downtime. That’s never been more important than today.

Tags: Filtration, Filters, Engine Protection, Diesel

June 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

QuickSpin: Freightliner 122SD 8x8 Extreme Heavy-Haul

This 92,000-lb GVW oil tanker looked a little out of place in Napa, Calif., where we test drove it last summer.

By Jim Park

Freightliner can build its 122SD heavy-haul vocational chassis into any number of extreme configurations, but this oil-field hauler is one to be reckoned with. This truck lives for roads that would break your average highway hauler in half.

Tags: Freightliner, Heavy Haul, Severe Duty, Test Drive

June 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Test Drive: Volvo's VHD Tractor for On- or Off-Road

Metallic black paint sets off bright-metal trim on the chunky-styled on/off-road tractor. In keeping with Volvo’s safety heritage, vehicle has roll-stability control and traction control working off the Bendix electronic ABS.  Photos: Tom Berg

By Tom Berg

Volvo Heavy Duty model has its own styling and extra-strong specs, but retains most of the comfort of better-known VN road tractors.

Tags: Volvo, Test Drive, Off-Road

June 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

High-mpg Model Round-Up

Start with these aero tractors for the best fuel economy.

By Tom Berg

The best fuel economy starts with a truck model specifically designed to squeeze the most possible miles from a gallon of diesel fuel and all major builders offer these for their on-highway customers.

Tags: Kenworth, International, Volvo Trucks, Freightliner, Peterbilt, Fuel Efficiency, Western Star, Mack Trucks, Fuel Economy

June 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Disruption is the Latest Technology Buzzword

The Freightliner Inspiration Truck at it's Hoover Dam introduction. Photo: Stephane Babcock

By Jim Beach

The key disrupter in recent years has been the Internet, which has changed the way a number of industries operate. In trucking, e-commerce has profoundly affected trucking operations, especially those that serve retailers.

Tags: Technology, Information Technology, E-commerce, Autonomous Vehicles

June 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

QuickSpin: Peterbilt 567 SFFA

The Model 567 SFFA’s set-forward steer axle sits 17 inches closer to the bumper than the 567’s setback axle. High-mounted headlight pods should avoid most job-site collision damage. Photos: Tom Berg

By Tom Berg

The Peterbilt 567 SFFA's set-forward front axle adds payload in bridge-formula states, but doesn’t seem to come with the usual penalty in maneuverability.

Tags: Peterbilt, Model 567, Quick Spin

June 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Editorial

Commentary: Tracking Truck Health

Denise Rondini, Aftermarket Editor.

By Denise Rondini

Several truck makers have been promoting uptime through remote diagnostics for a while now. But at this year’s MATS, nearly every OEM talked about their efforts to provide fleets with insight into their vehicle’s health in an effort to increase vehicle uptime.

Tags: Vehicle Diagnostics, Downtime, MATS, Safety

June 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Fleets Can Help Drivers Maximize Fuel Economy

The right equipment for the job improves the fleet’s and the driver’s chances for success.

By Jim Park

The right equipment for the job improves the fleet’s and the driver’s chances for success. Part 6 in HDT's Driver Dilemma series on the driver shortage.

Tags: Driver Training, Fuel Economy

June 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Wrightspeed's Tantalizing Turbine-Electric Drivetrain

Wrightspeed’s Fulcrum turbine-powered generator charges batteries that power electric motors at the truck’s rear axles. The motors act as generators during braking, further charging batteries. The turbine will burn a variety of fuels.

By Tom Berg

California trash fleet hopes ‘out of the box’ heavy-duty series hybrid will save big money in fuel.

Tags: California, Fuel Efficiency, Turbine Truck Engines

June 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Department

The Price Tag for Violating Regulations Just Went Up

By Kathy Close, J.J. Keller & Associates

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has a mission statement of reducing the number of commercial motor vehicle crashes, and the injuries and fatalities associated with them.

Tags: Regulations, Fines, FMSCA

June 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Mining Data for Fuel Savings

From routing to gamification to spotting equipment issues, information technology can help save fuel.

By Jim Beach

Fleet use of technologies to reduce costs is nothing new. Along with increased productivity and efficiency, cutting fuel costs was a big reason fleets adopted technologies such as automated routing and dispatch, GPS tracking and mobile communications.

Tags: Fuel Savings, Technology, Fuel

June 2015, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Q&A: Ford's Resident Futurist, Sheryl Connelly

Sheryl Connelly, the in-house futurist at Ford and one of the Fleet Technology Expo's Keynote speakers. Photo courtesy of Ford.

By Steven Martinez

Sheryl Connelly is Ford's in-house futurist tasked with identifying global trends for the manufacturer. She is the closing keynote speaker at this year's Fleet Technology Expo.

Tags: Ford, Fleet Technology Expo, People, Industry Trends

June 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Editorial

Commentary: Moving Toward the Autonomous Truck

Rolf Lockwood, Executive Contributing Editor

By Rolf Lockwood

I wasn’t alone in assuming we'd see an autonomous truck on German or Dutch or maybe Swedish roads long before we saw it here but Nevada and Daimler surprised us all.

Tags: Nevada, Daimler Trucks North America, Autonomous Vehicles

June 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Editorial

Commentary: The Reality of Autonomous Trucks

Deborah Lockridge, Editor in Chief

By Deborah Lockridge

If autonomous Trucks aren't driverless, what, then, are the potential benefits? Think of it as cruise control on steroids.

Tags: Daimler Trucks North America, Autonomous Vehicles

June 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Cover Story

How Low Will Diesel Go?

The real question is how long the price will stay low?

By David Cullen

While it’s hard to say just how low the retail price of diesel will go, what is fairly certain is the trend line in place since last autumn will continue to run its positive course at least through the rest of the year.

Tags: Fuel Prices, Diesel Fuel

June 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Fuel Savings vs. Shorter Tire Life

Can low-rolling-resistance tires reduce tire costs and save fuel? Some say yes; other disagree.

By Jim Park

Are low-rolling-resistance tires a cost-effective proposition? It’s not an easy question to answer. Chances are your low-rolling resistance tires are performing better than you think.

Tags: Fuel Efficiency, Tires, Low Rolling Resistance Tires

June 2015, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Q&A: Kelley Platt on Taking the Reins at Western Star

Kelley Platt speaks to the trucking press at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky., in late March. Photo: Stephane Babcock

By Deborah Lockridge

Western Star's new chief talks about how Western Star and school bus customers are alike, getting her CDL, the reaction to the 5700EX and more.

Tags: Western Star, Daimler Trucks North America, Q&A

May 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Are You Ready for the New Food Safety Rules?

Shippers of perishable foods are supposed to tell carriers what they expect in cleanliness as new FDA rules phase in beginning this summer.

By Tom Berg

Under FDA dictates, shippers must specify in writing the sanitary requirements for vehicles carrying perishable foods.

Tags: Trailers, Food Trucks, FDA, Reefers

May 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Maintenance is Key To Retread Longevity

Retreading gives a second or even third life to a casing, increasing the payback on the initial investment.

By Jim Park

TMC’s latest fleet tire survey shows retreaded tires are going longer and further than some may expect – but maintenance is the key.

Tags: TMC, Survey, Retreads, Tires and Wheels

May 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Quick Spin: TRW's Smart Power Steering

ReAx reduces the steering effort dramatically, making it possible to one-finger the wheel. Try that with regular power steering.

By Jim Park

TRW’s new ReAX electric/hydraulic power steering senses vehicle speed and proportionately assists the steering effort, which is great in tight spots.

Tags: TRW Automotive, Test Drive, Steering

May 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

The Challenge of Standardizing Aerodynamic Testing

One of the new testing methods allowed for EPA SmartWay verification is wind tunnel testing. Here a scale model is prepped carefully before the test; small irregularities can make a big difference in the outcome.

By Jim Park

Aero device manufacturers now have a choice of test methods to prove the effectiveness of their devices. Are consumers any better off?

Tags: SmartWay, Fuel Efficiency, EPA, Test Drive, Aerodynamics

May 2015, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

It's National Tire Safety Week

Photo courtesy of Goodyear.

By Jim Park

Tire maintenance plays a big role in fleet safety and efficiency. Now is a good time to remind drivers and technicians about the importance of proper tire care.

Tags: TPMS, ATIS, Tire Inflation

May 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Supplementing Dump Trucks with 'Slingers'

A slinger places stone and other materials exactly where a customer wants it. The driver operates the conveyor from inside the cab or outside, with a remote control box.

By Tom Berg

Dump trucks can do a lot of hauling and delivery work, but there’s a limit to how precisely certain loads can be placed. One alternative is the “slinger,” which adds a high-capacity conveyor-belt mechanism to a hopper body.

Tags: T800, Trailers, Dump Trucks

May 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

The Automated Revolution is Real

Eaton AMTs come with a choice of a dash-mounted keypad shift control or the more driver-friendly cobra-head shift selector.

By Jim Park

After 20 years on the fringes of the heavy-duty transmission world, the switch from sticks to semiconductors may be reaching the tipping point.

Tags: Fuel Economy, Transmissions, Automated Manual Transmissions

May 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Editorial

Commentary: We Can Do Better on Brakes

Denise Rondini, Aftermarket Editor.

By Denise Rondini

We've long been aware of the inadequacies of air disc brake training, particularly in the United States.

Tags: Brakes, Brake Safety Week, CVSA, Air Brakes

May 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Cameras in the Cab

Fleets can see real improvement with in-cab video systems. Photo courtesy of Lytx

By Jim Beach

Truck fleets are increasingly deploying in-cab video systems as part of their technological arsenal to increase safety and security.

Tags: Driver Safety, Technology, In-Vehicle Video

May 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Department

The Future of Visibility

While mirrors are here to stay, high-tech supplements are on the horizon.

By Stephane Babcock

While mirrors are here to stay, high-tech supplements are on the horizon.

Tags: Technology, Active Safety Systems, In-Vehicle Video

May 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

9 Best Practices for Recruiting and Retaining Technicians

A well formulated mentor program assigns new technicians to more skilled technicians who can answer their questions and serve as an industry expert. Photo: Ryder

By Denise Rondini

For many fleets the diesel technician shortage is already a reality. Here are nine things that will help you in your technician recruiting and retention efforts.

Tags: Recruiting, Technician Training, Technicians, Retention

May 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Using Technology to Manage Trucks in Stormy Weather

Transport America integrates severe weather alerts from ALK Maps with its internal alerting system to better manage its fleet during weather events. Photo via Transport America

By Jim Beach

Transport America is able to keep trucks moving in stormy weather using the Weather Alerts feature of ALK Maps.

Tags: Telematics, ALK Technologies, Weather, Transport America

May 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Training for the Long Haul

Maverick last year completed a $4 million expansion of its training center. Photo: Maverick Transportation

By David Cullen

Start with the basics when training drivers – but it may pay to look back to bring them ahead. Part 5 in HDT's Driver Dilemma series on the driver shortage.

Tags: Driver Safety, Driver Training, Driver Shortage

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