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May 2014, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Upgrading Refuse Fleets to CNG: Three Considerations Beyond Economics

Photo courtesy of McNeilus.

By Annalloyd Thomason, Natural Gas Vehicle Institute

Refuse fleets are one of the fastest growing markets for compressed natural gas, primarily because of the significant fuel cost savings that can be realized. The Natural Gas Vehicle Institute offers these key factors refuse fleets need to examine when considering upgrading to CNG.

Tags: Driver Training, Natural Gas Vehicles, Alternative Fuels, Technician Training, CNG, Refuse Fleets, NGVi

May 2014, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

California Company Installs Electric Drive in Heavy-Duty Drayage Trucks

By Deborah Lockridge

California-based TransPower has installed its ElecTruck battery-electric drive system into the second of eight trucks of this design that it plans to convert this year and place into drayage service near the L.A./Long Beach ports.

Tags: Ports, Battery-Electric Vehicles

May 2014, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Four Key Takeaways from HNI's Driver Recruiting Summit

Reaching out to women and other underrepresented groups is one way to improve recruiting. Photo courtesy Con-way.

By Jim Daly, President, HNI Minnesota

HNI's Driver Recruiting Summit covered some of the pitfalls and best practices in the world of recruiting -- and retaining -- truck drivers.

Tags: Recruiting, HNI, Retention

May 2014, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

ATA asks FMCSA to Eliminate Tire Underinflation Violation

Inspectors wrote more than 30,000 violations for under-inflated tires over a two-year period. Photo by Jim Park

By Jim Park

There is no official definition of underinflated against which to write citations, so the cops have historically been sort of making it up as they go along -- more than 30,000 tickets written on a regulation that has been proven impossible to determine.

Tags: ATA, TMC, CVSA, Tire Inflation, Tires

May 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Trailer Maintenance Tips

It’s difficult to find a damaged rear impact guard because owners and drivers know they must be fixed before going on the road. Surface rust and dirt shouldn’t result in a citation, but deeper corrosion and bends might. Every trailer builder’s guard is different, so parts from individual manufacturers must be used in repairs.

By Tom Berg and Jim Park

It’s been 14 years since repairing any trailer’s “ICC bumper” was a simple matter of cutting off the damaged section and welding on a straight piece of angle iron. Most trailers built since Jan. 26, 1998, have been equipped with more complex required rear impact guards that are not only stronger but are designed to absorb shock from a collision.

Tags: Trailers, TMC, Fifth Wheels, Stoughton Trailers

May 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

How to Find a Service Provider

Select a service provider who has certified technicians and who has invested in the latest tools and diagnostic equipment.

By Denise Rondini

Finding and training technicians, purchasing tools and equipment, maintaining a parts inventory, dealing with OSHA and the EPA. These are just a few of the headaches fleets that maintain their own trucks face.

Tags: OSHA, EPA, Aftermarket, Dealers

May 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Editorial

Commentary: Texting Caught on Tape

By Deborah Lockridge

The consequences of texting and driving can go far beyond your CSA score, a ticket or even the maximum $11,000 fine from the feds.

Tags: Texting, NTSB

May 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Electric Vehicles Zoom in Indy

By Tom Berg

Is electricity a fuel? Sure, even if we call it “power.” Electricity itself is far cheaper than any petroleum or gaseous fuel, and the motors it powers have many advantages for propulsion – high efficiency, tremendous torque, quietness and cleanliness, at least in the vehicle itself.

Tags: Ram ProMaster, Battery-Electric Vehicles, Zenith

May 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Driver Ergonomics: Round Pegs and Oval Holes

By Jim Park

As well as being in short supply, trucking’s new recruits are also, shorter generally, and thinner, as well as less likely to want a truck to look and feel like a truck. The challenge for truck makers comes in designing truck cabs to fit an expanding body-size profile, while making the driving environment appealing to people who have different expectations about trucks – all without alienating the existing driver population.

Tags: Ergonomics, Volvo Trucks, Women in Trucking

May 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Editorial

Commentary: Shall We Automate?

By Rolf Lockwood, Executive Contributing Editor

Every year for the last two or three centuries (or so it seems), March has meant a trip to Louisville, Ky., and the Mid-America Trucking Show. And every year the show produces a dominant theme, albeit unwritten, in the collection of new products introduced there.

Tags: Kenworth, Cummins, Paccar, Eaton, MATS, Transmissions, Automated Manual Transmissions

May 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Providing ‘Comforts of Home’ for Heartland’s Drivers

Key to Bruce Hudson’s change to Heartland Express’s tractors is a larger alternator and mounting batteries on frame rails so they’ll stay cool.

By Tom Berg

Bruce Hudson, director of corporate maintenance at Heartland Express, has a heart when it comes to the Iowa-based truckload and logistics company’s drivers, who must spend nights on the road. So he’s come up with changes to a tractor’s electrical system that will benefit them during off-duty hours.

Tags: Heartland Express, Once Around the Yard

May 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Benchmarking Tire Programs: How Does Your Company Stack Up?

By Jim Park

Fleets spend tons of money on tires – so much, in fact, that bad tire management can become a competitive handicap. Find out how four well-run fleets run their tire programs to give their operations a competitive advantage.

Tags: Benchmarking, TMC, Tires, ATIS, Tires and Wheels, FedEx Ground

May 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Department

How to avoid 6 common CSA violations

By Daren Hansen, J.J. Keller & Associates

Let’s examine the top three CSA violations for both vehicles and drivers across the industry and discuss practices that can help bring the numbers down.

Tags: J.J. Keller, CSA, Safety & Compliance

May 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Five Ways Private Fleets Keep Drivers Longer

Average pay for drivers in the private fleet community was reported at $60,021 in 2012, up nearly $1,500 from the $58,784 reported in 2011. Starting pay for drivers remained virtually unchanged at just under $50,000, as did pay at the end of year one ($53,417). However, pay after three years dropped 12% to $58,137, while the upper limit for the most experienced drivers maxed out at more than $68,000 annually, a decrease of $14,000 compared to the previous year.

By Deborah Lockridge & Kate Harlow

In 2012, driver turnover at large truckload carriers averaged 98%, according to figures from the American Trucking Associations. At smaller truckload fleets turnover averaged 82%.

Tags: NPTC, Driver Turnover, Private Fleets, Driver Pay, NationaLease

May 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Cover Story

Safety Technologies: The New Frontier

By Jim Beach

From collision avoidance to cameras, from rollover prevention to analytics, technology is rapidly changing the safety landscape.

Tags: Telematics, Driver Safety, Con-way Freight, Information Technology, Driver Training, Lane Departure Warning, Collision Avoidance Technology, Bendix, Meritor, Future Trucks

April 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Test Drive: Clarke-APG Dual-Fuel Glider

This Columbia sleeper-cab tractor looks new, because most of it is. The powertrain components are remanufactured. Daimler Trucks North America offers glider kits for most Freightliner and some Western Star models. The Wilson hopper-bottom trailer carries crushed lime.

By Tom Berg

From the ground and behind the wheel, you’d think this Freightliner Columbia is brand new. This was obvious on a run out on Interstate 70 in eastern Missouri, pulling a hopper-bottom trailer with a heavy load of granulated lime destined for an animal-food plant in Montgomery City, west of St. Louis. It rode, shifted and ran like new, and was just as comfortable.

Tags: Freightliner, American Power Group, WheelTime Network, Test Drive, Dual Fuel, Glider Kits, Clarke Power Services

April 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Tending Liftgate Batteries

By Tom Berg

Bruce Purkey knows where the electrons go. And, as president of Purkey’s Fleet Electric and his many activities in the Technology & Maintenance Council of the American Trucking Associations, he’s well aware that some of them flow to batteries that support the electric-over-hydraulic systems for liftgates on trucks and trailers. Usually there are two and as many as four Group 31 batteries, like the ones on a truck or tractor.

Tags: Trailers, TMC, Waltco, Maxon, Idle Reduction, Batteries, Con-Way, Purkey's Fleet Electric

May 2014, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Q&A: PeopleNet’s Brian McLaughlin

PeopleNet President Brian McLaughlin

By Jim Beach

PeopleNet's Brian McLaughlin talks about the company post-acquisition, telematics trends, the rate of technological change, the 'Internet of Things" and more.

Tags: Telematics, Information Technology, PeopleNet

May 2014, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Inside Meritor’s Parts Distribution Center

Meritor offers a wide variety of undercarriage and drivetrain components. The company says it is seeing an increase in private label requests from both OEMs and heavy-duty marketing groups.

By Denise Rondini

Ever wonder exactly how the parts you order get to you when you need them where you need them? Meritor recently invited Heavy Duty Trucking to its Florence, Ky., Parts Distribution Center.

Tags: Aftermarket Parts, Meritor

April 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Making Safety a Priority

Verst Group Logistics has a strong commitment to safety and has invested in safety technology for its fleet.

By Kate Harlow

In 2012, Verst Group Logistics had zero Department of Transportation recordable accidents. In 2013, to prove the previous year wasn’t just a fluke, Verst only had one DOT-recordable accident. How did this Kentucky-based logistics provider, with a fleet of 90 power units and 250 trailers, attain such a low number of accidents?

Tags: Driver Safety, SmartDrive Systems, Verst Group Logistics

April 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Editorial

Commentary: Remanufacturing Redux

Denise Rondini

By Denise Rondini

Remanufacturing has been in the news quite a bit lately. I recently wrote about the need to include remanufactured parts as an integral part of your fleet’s overall parts strategy.

Tags: Frost & Sullivan, Aftermarket Parts, Remanufacturing

April 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Ounces of Prevention Means Miles of Cure For Your Tires

Alignment and balancing can keep your tires and your truck running straight and true.

By Jim Park

Unlike their human counterparts, dead tires do tell tales. And aside from underinflation and road strikes, the tales most commonly told of tires robbing their owners of full value revolve around alignment. Scrubbing and scuffing and driving tires off in different directions, poor alignment kills tires faster than almost any other mechanical malady.

Tags: TMC, Tires, Alignment, Bee Line Company, Hunter Engineering, IMI, Tires and Wheels, E-Z Line

April 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

A Systems Approach to Start/Charge System Maintenance

All that empty space between the winding is unused space. Square-wire windings make total use of the space and produce higher output.

By Jim Park

We have to stop thinking of our start/charge systems as simply a handful of separate components, and start viewing them as a system. From alternators to batteries and starters, cables and regulators, and even add-on components like low-voltage cut-off switches and DC/AV inverters, each can impact the component next to it.

Tags: Batteries, Electrical System, Purkey's Fleet Electric, Start/charge system, Delco Remy

April 2014, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Driver Safety Tips for Memorial Day Weekend

David Hopper

By Ryder System

With Memorial Day nearly a month away, Ryder decided to interview its 2013 Driver of the Year David Hopper to find out what driving safety tips he could offer to those who will be on the roadways during the holiday weekend.

Tags: Ryder System, Safe Driving

April 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Is Cloud Computing Right For You?

By Jim Beach

Today, fleets have an alternative to on-site rooms full of computer servers – using a hosted environment for your computing needs, known as cloud computing. In the cloud computing environment, the servers are maintained by a third party (or maybe your enterprise software vendor) and fleets access applications and data via a web interface.

Tags: Information Technology, Telogis, NexTraq, Zonar, Sylectus, TMW Systems, Omnitracs

April 2014, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

5 Ways to Prevent Negligent Hiring Claims

By Don Jerrell, Associate VP, HNI

With the ever-growing driver shortage looming, many motor carriers are lowering their hiring standards to fill their empty trucks. No company wants to turn down a job because they don’t have drivers to service the account.

Tags: Recruiting, HNI, Hiring Policy

April 2014, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Frequent Inspections Save Tires

Frequent and thorough yard checks will catch problems your drivers miss.

By Jim Park

It seems the best you can expect from many drivers is a quick visual check that the tire is where it should be. Whether or not it's capable of holding air is another matter.

Tags: Tire Costs, Tires, Tire Inflation

April 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Transmission Trends

Most automated manual transmissions go into highway tractors, but Eaton offers three vocational versions of the UltraShift Plus for on/off-road trucks such as dumps and mixers.

By Tom Berg

The swing continues toward heavy automated products, but manuals still dominate. Light and medium trucks are almost all ‘shiftless.’

Tags: Volvo, Cummins, Eaton, Mack Trucks, Transmissions, Allison Transmission, Daimler Trucks North America, Automated Manual Transmissions

April 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Get Ready to Say Goodbye to Paper Logs

By Oliver Patton

After 28 years of proposals, studies, drafts, revisions, legal battles and technological innovations – not to mention an Act of Congress – federal regulators are close to requiring most interstate commercial drivers to keep track of their work hours with an electronic device.

Tags: GPS, FMCSA, ATA, HOS, OOIDA, ELDs

April 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Editorial

Commentary: Engines to Watch

Rolf Lockwood

By Rolf Lockwood, Executive Contributing Editor

Executive Contributing Editor Rolf Lockwood discusses the potential of the interesting opposed-piston/opposed-cylinder engine.

Tags: Gasoline, Diesel Engines, Engines, Colleges and Universities, EcoMotors International

April 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Cover Story

Finding and Keeping Drivers With The One-Two Punch: Pay & Respect

One thing the experts agree on is if your company has an incentive rewards program, the rewards need to be given in a timely fashion. (Photo courtesy of A. Duie Pyle.)

By Deborah Lockridge & Kate Harlow

Recruiting and retention. It’s akin to bailing water out of a boat that has a hole in it. You really have to plug the hole first, otherwise you’re constantly fighting to stay afloat. In the trucking industry, that hole is driver retention.

Tags: Recruiting, Driver Shortage, Celadon, Dupre Logistics, Landstar, HNI, Con-way Truckload, Driver Pay, Driver Retention, Affordable Care Act, Prosperio Group

March 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Improving Your Trailer Appearance

Fontaine Renew can completely refurbish a standard flatbed trailer in about two and a half days on average.

By Kate Harlow

Tips for vinyl signage and images, plus refurbishing trailers.

Tags: Trailers, East Manufacturing, Mac Trailer, Refurbished trailers, VSP, Fontaine Renew, Conway Manufacturing, Vehicle Graphics

March 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Once Around the Yard: Tracking Helps Close the Doors

A sensor-switch in the door header can be tricked with a magnet, telling a reefer’s electronic controls the doors are closed and allowing the unit to run. So K&J managers use tracking to determine what the rig’s really doing.

By Tom Berg

Common sense suggests that if a trailer’s doors are open, its refrigeration unit ought to be shut down. But many customers disagree, thinking the products will be better protected if cooled air continues to circulate as freight is being unloaded.

Tags: Trailers, Reefers, Carrier Transicold, Blue Tree Systems, Once Around the Yard, K&J Trucking

March 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

LEDs Light the Way

Freightliner’s Cascadia is standard with custom-fit LED lamps.  Truck-Lite is also making LEDs for International’s ProStar and Volvo’s VNL.

By Tom Berg

If you were in trucking about 30 years ago, you might remember the switch from incandescent sealed-beam headlamps to halogens, which were so much better that some truck operators stopped using auxiliary fog and driving lights. A more recent step up was projector-beam lamps, whose optics better aim the lumens from halogen bulbs and even more effectively light the way for drivers.

Tags: Volvo, Navistar, Freightliner, Optronics, LED Lighting, J.W. Speaker

April 2014, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Q&A: Utility's Craig Bennett Talks About 100 Years of Being in Business

Craig Bennett. Photo: Evan Lockridge

By Deborah Lockridge

Craig Bennett, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Utility Trailer Manufacturing Co., recently sat down with HDT Editor in Chief Deborah Lockridge to talk about the company's 100 years in business.

Tags: Trailers, Dry Vans, Reefers, Utility Trailer

April 2014, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Natural Gas Fuel Loses Some of its Luster, But Not Going Away

Ryder's natural gas fleet of more than 500 natural gas vehicles has travelled more than 20 million miles, but not every fleet has been so successful.

By Deborah Lockridge

The enthusiasm for natural gas fueled vehicles seems to be stuttering a bit. Editor in Chief Deborah Lockridge offers insights from the Mid-America Trucking Show into the status of this alternative fuel for trucking.

Tags: Natural Gas, Alternative Fuels, Mid-America Trucking Show

March 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Test Drive: Optimized Lightweight VNL

The Bulk-hauling Optimized series also includes shorter VNM tractors that, like VNL versions, come as a daycab and several sleeper types.

By Tom Berg

Senior Editor Tom Berg takes Volvo's lightweight Optimized VNL430 for a drive near Volvo's New River Valley plant in Virginia.

Tags: Volvo, Test Drive, Lightweighting

March 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Auxiliary Power For Work Trucks

Bill Decker’s Miller welder, stashed against a tool box on the front wall of his Wilcox truck body, doubles as an APU and makes 220-volt power to run heavy tools. The genset at his feet produces 110 volts for work lights and smaller tools.

By Tom Berg

Any work truck with a serious electric welder also has an auxiliary power unit, because the engine-driven device doubles as an APU to run smaller welders, heaters and power tools. And soon, purpose-built APUs will report for duty on work trucks.

Tags: Work Trucks, Maxwell Technologies, APU, Thermo King, Idle Free, Medium-Duty Trucks, Idle Reduction

March 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Upgrading Your Legacy IT System

By Jim Beach

A number of trucking companies – and thousands of other types of businesses for that matter – run their businesses on what would be considered a “legacy” IT system. Those old workhorse servers might still be getting the job done, but they could be holding your business back.

Tags: Information Technology, Southeastern Freight Lines, TMW Systems, Carrier Logistics, Cloud-Based Technology

April 2014, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

MATS Focus: Integrated Drivetrains and Automated Transmissions

The Cummins ISX 15 SmartAdvantage powertrain.

By Rolf Lockwood, Executive Contributing Editor

If there was an unspoken theme to this year's Mid-America Trucking Show, it was probably the focus on integrated drivetrains. And Martin Daum, president and CEO of Daimler Trucks North America, had some interesting things to say about automated transmissions in general.

Tags: Volvo, Cummins, Paccar, Eaton, Fuel Economy, Transmissions, Mid-America Trucking Show, Daimler Trucks North America, Automated Manual Transmissions, Detroit DT12, ZF

April 2014, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Carriers Caught Between Conflicting Agencies on Hiring

By Jim Beach

Carriers are required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to take steps to prevent high-risk individuals from driving their trucks. But an initiative of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission may put a hamper on carriers’ efforts.

Tags: Drivers, Background Checks, Litigation, EEOC, Truckload Carriers Association

March 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Editorial

Commentary: How Much do Your Technicians Know About Wheel Integrity?

By Rolf Lockwood, Executive Contributing Editor

Executive Contributing Editor Rolf Lockwood discusses wheel integrity and the importance of technicians being well-versed in the rules of fastening wheels properly.

Tags: FMCSA, CSA, Wheels, Wheel-offs, Technicians

March 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Status Quo for DOT Medical Exams is Changing

By Rick Malchow, J.J. Keller

The National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners rule was published in April 2012 and effective in May 2012. A compliance date of May 21 of this year is quickly approaching. In its plainest form, it is a database of medical examiners who are certified by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to perform examinations of commercial vehicle drivers.

Tags: FMCSA, J.J. Keller, National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners

April 2014, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Do We Worry Too Much About Inflation Pressure?

Tires exposed to direct sunlight will hear up, causing pressure differentials between shaded tires, like inside duals. Illustration courtesy of Aperia Technologies

By Jim Park

Tire pressure monitoring systems have allowed us a peek into the secret life of tires, and revealed some astonishing details.

Tags: TPMS, TMC, ATIS, Tire Pressure, Tires

April 2014, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Bendix: Strong Friction, Protective Coating Help Combat Rust Jacking in Brakes

Choosing high-quality friction materials can help combat rust jacking, according to Bendix.

By Truckinginfo Staff

As winter winds down across North America, Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake reminds fleets and drivers readying for springtime brake maintenance to fight rust jacking on two fronts.

Tags: Corrosion, Brakes, Winter, Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake

March 2014, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Switching to Wide-Base Singles: Keys to Success

By Jim Park

Everything you need to know about switching from dual wheels to wide-base singles you can learn at a playground. What you need to know about wide-base tires, axles and offsets.

Tags: Tires, Meritor, Wheels, Dana, Axles, Wide-Base Tires

March 2014, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Mobilizing Best Practices in Fleet Maintenance

By Greg Wilson, GE Capital Fleet Services

Maintaining a mobile maintenance program adds another layer of complexity into the traditional maintenance program mix. It's hard for many fleets to scale their internal processes to ensure remote assets are being repaired and maintained via the same best practices that are afforded to their on-site vehicles.

Tags: Maintenance, GE Capital Fleet Services

March 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Avoiding Common Maintenance Mistakes

Drivers need to be trained to distinguish when a fault code means the truck needs to be brought in immediately and when it is okay to wait for the next scheduled maintenance appointment.

By Denise Rondini

Fleets try to do a good job of keeping their trucks in top operating condition, and most recognize that maintenance plays an important role in achieving that goal. Still there are some things that get overlooked by even the most seasoned fleet manager.

Tags: Maintenance, CSA, Ryder System, Aftermarket, Decisiv, Preventative Maintenance, VMRS

March 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

The FMCSA, OSHA, EEOC & You

By Deborah Lockridge

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Safety, Compliance and Accountability enforcement program is one of the major legal and regulatory issues facing trucking companies, but it’s not the only one, as a veritable alphabet soup’s worth of agencies target the industry.

Tags: FMCSA, OSHA, CSA, HOS, EEOC

March 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

With Funding Clock Ticking, Congress Turns to Highway Bill

The Highway Trust Fund may run out of money by this summer as discussions for funding sources continue on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C.

By Oliver Patton

Transportation committees on Capitol Hill are starting to write the policy provisions to reauthorize the highway program that expires this fall, but the finance committees have yet to move on the key issue of funding.

Tags: FMCSA, CSA, HOS, Highway Funding, OOIDA, MCSAC

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