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December 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Commentary: The Ever-Pressing Need for Young Drivers and Technicians

Image Source: 5starcdltraining.com

By Jane Clark

There is one overriding issue that all fleet owners and managers face…recruiting new talent.

Tags: Recruiting, NationaLease

December 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

How Do Your Drivers Measure Up?

Photo by Jim Park

By Joe Gallick, NationaLease

The face of your company that customers (and often, their customers) see most is not that of the CEO, CFO, or even the fleet manager. It’s that of your driver. Who has a major impact on your company’s bottom line when it comes to fuel consumption efficiency, non-scheduled maintenance, and accident avoidance? Again, it’s your driver. So having the right metrics to evaluate driver performance is absolutely essential to the success of your business. But what are those “right metrics?”

Tags: Drivers, CSA

December 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Fleets Find Benefits in Factory-Installed Inverters

By Truckinginfo Staff

In Joe Egan’s office, a framed picture shows a long-haul tractor, or more precisely, its charred remains. “It’s not one of our trucks, but it illustrates what can happen when an electrical fire is caused by a bad inverter installation,” he says. “It gives a visual reminder to any driver who comes into my office what can happen if an inverter isn’t installed correctly.”

Tags: Drivers, Inverter

December 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Who Balances Trailer Wheels?

(Photo by Jim Park)

By Jim Park

Nobody balances trailer wheels, but oddly, they are the wheels on a truck most likely in need of balancing. With a few ounces of balancing material, those tires might easily run tens of thousands more miles before final removal.

Tags: Trailers, Tires

November 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Keeping Tabs With Fuel Cards

Analyzing fuel card andtelematics/GPS data offers fleets increased visibility of fuel purchase transactions.

By Jim Beach

Fleets don’t always have a clear picture of what’s happening with their fuel purchasing plans. That’s become quite clear in the recent Pilot Flying J scandal, where the truckstop chain allegedly bilked customers out of fuel rebates.

Tags: Comdata, fuel cards, Information Technology, People, Sokolis Group

December 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Class 8 Update: Economics Forge Change

Western Star:The flagship from Western Star, a Daimler Trucks brand, is the 4900 with 132-inch cab and hood and long sleeper that’s built for the highway but looks good in town. It and the shorter 4800 are also equipped for vocational work with forward and setback steer axles or twin-steer configurations. Just announced is a 4800SB 8x8 whose setback, driving steer axle is paired with Meritor tri-drive rear axles.

By Tom Berg

Is trucking in for a transformation? Many believe that long-haul trucking will become less important as regional operations grow and intermodal takes over more long-haul freight, and that will change the type of heavy-duty tractor bought by many trucking companies.

Tags: Volvo, Kenworth, Cummins, International, Detroit Diesel, Freightliner, Peterbilt, Class 8, Western Star, Caterpillar, Mack

December 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Smart Roads, Smart Vehicles

By Jim Beach

Intelligent highways, smart vehicles, connected transportation systems – sounds like the stuff of the future. In reality, though, many technologies currently found on our roadways reflect that future. In many cases they will be integral components of an intelligent transportation system. And the most important piece of technology might be the one most everyone now carries in their pocket, purse or backpack.

Tags: DOT, FMCSA, Information Technology, Telogis, vehicle to vehicle communication, ITS, Drivewyze, vehicle to infrastructure communication, Omnitracs

December 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Editorial

Commentary: Is Purchasing Parts Online Right For You?

Not many dealership or parts distributors are selling online. One exception is Allstate Peterbilt Group.

By Denise Rondini

The Internet is opening avenues for parts purchases that never existed before. But does it make sense for you to consider adding online parts purchasing to your parts buying strategy?

Tags: Aftermarket Parts, Aftermarket, Information Technology

December 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Bond Fallout Could Mean One-Third Fewer Brokers in 2014

By Michele Greene, DAT

The FMCSA has revoked the operating authority of 8,180 brokers since Dec. 2, the date the federal agency began revoking authority from brokers without a $75,000 bond.

Tags: FMCSA, Freight, Spot Freight, Brokers, DAT Transcore

December 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Time to Grease, Inspect Fifth Wheels, SAF Holland Advises

Important seasonal PM for a Holland FW35 fifth wheel.

By TruckingInfo staff

Winter temps can freeze all kinds of mechanical apparatus, including tractor fifth wheels. So it’s a good time to clean, inspect and grease these important appliances, but not the only time.

Tags: Maintenance, Fifth Wheels, SAF-Holland

December 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Controlling Business Costs, Part 3: Healthcare

By Kate Harlow and Deborah Lockridge

Healthier employees also can help control the employer portion of healthcare costs. Since hiring only 100% healthy employees isn't a feasible option, many companies are looking at the benefits of an onsite medical care facility to help improve the health of their employees.

Tags: Insurance, Driver Health, Business, Healthcare Costs

December 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Controlling Business Costs, Part 2: Worker's Comp

By Kate Harlow

One of the best ways to lower your worker's comp costs is by reducing the number of incidents. Being proactive about safety is a fleet's best defense against worker's comp claims.

Tags: Workers' Compensation, Business

December 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Cover Story

8 Things to Expect on Tomorrow’s Trucks

Freightliner’s Revolution concept truck took some fairly radical approaches to designing a better truck for a regional or hub-and-spoke trucking operation.

By Deborah Lockridge

In some ways, the truck of the future is here today. What would a truck driver from decades ago think if he were suddenly transported from his own time into one of today’s state-of-the-art rigs?

Tags: Volvo, Isuzu, Kenworth, Ryder, ATA, Mitsubishi, Navistar, Freightliner, Peterbilt, GHG, TMC, EPA, Fuel Economy, Zonar, APU, Drivewyze, Daimler, Idle Reduction, eNow, Maverick Transportation, SuperTruck, Automated Transmissions, Future Trucks

December 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Adopting Tire Inflation Systems

ATIS and TPMS do more than prevent good tires from coming apart. ROI also includes improved fuel economy, longer tread life and higher casing value.

By Jim Park

Why are adoption rates for proven fuel-saving technologies so low? It looks like a classic case of stepping over a dollar to pick up a dime. Maybe “a lack of credible information on payback” means, “we don’t know how much this device will save us so we’re not going to buy it.”

Tags: TPMS, Tires, Meritor, Wheels, PSI, ATIS, NACFE, Advantage PressurePro, Cascade Sierra Solutions

December 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Controlling Business Costs, Part 1: Vehicle Insurance

By Kate Harlow

When it comes to trimming the fat out of a fleet's budget, the largest focus tends to be on the largest costs on the balance sheet: fuel, equipment and drivers. But these are not the only areas where dollars can be saved. This web-only series offers tips for savings in insurance, worker's comp and healthcare costs.

Tags: Insurance

November 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Department

4 Trends in Liquid Tank Trailers

Wabash National’s The Walker Group says that there is a move to make liquid tank trailers lighter and more fuel-efficient.

By Kate Harlow

From federal regulations to spec’ing a new liquid tank trailer, there are many specific concerns for the liquid bulk tank truck industry.

Tags: Trailers, Wabash, NTTC, Liquid Tank Trailers

November 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Hiring Veterans

Soldiers from the Army’s Fort Drum, N.Y., as well as Guard and Reserve troops, learn how to operate manual transmissions and other skills specific to civilian truck driving at the National Tractor Trailer School. Rick Catlin (in the white shirt) is a master instructor at the school.

By Tom Berg

“Veterans make excellent employees,” says Boyd Stephenson, who heads the American Trucking Associations’ driver licensing efforts. “They’re conscientious, they’re focused, they’re responsible; they’re everything you could want in an employee.”

Tags: Ryder, ATA, Veterans, Schneider, Hiring Veterans

November 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Are We Sacrificing Traction for Fuel Economy?

In most cases the traction losses are practically non-existent between traditional and fuel efficient tires.

By Jim Park

As more fleets embrace their fuel savings potential, a large portion of the driver population remains uneasy about low-rolling-resistance, fuel-efficient tires -- especially in winter. Has the quest for fuel efficiency pushed traction and safety into the back seat?

Tags: Winter Driving, Tires

November 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Cool that’s Also Clean: Fuel Cells for Refrigerated Trucks

By David Beaudry, AmeriQuest Transportation Services

The clean way to stay cool will come from the use of fuel cells which will replace the current small diesel engine used to keep refrigerated cargo at the right temperatures.

Tags: Fuel Cell, AmeriQuest, Reefers

November 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Expect Big Impact on Workers Comp from Obesity Classification

Fluffy's only claim has been for more to eat.

By Jodi Mathy, Senior Claims Consultant, HNI

The reclassification this summer by the American Medical Association of obesity as “a disease state” effectively declared that one-third of all Americans has a medical condition requiring treatment. The obesity classification will have a tremendous impact on health insurers and workers compensation insurers alike.

Tags: Drivers, Workers' Compensation, Driver Health

November 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Dec. 1 OSHA Training Deadline Looms

By Truckinginfo Staff

OSHA wants you to train your workers in Hazard Communication, and wants you to do it by Dec. 1 of this year. The trick? It’s a totally new curriculum. Hazard Communication — more commonly known as the “Right to Know” rule about hazardous chemicals in the workplace — is the most frequently cited rule in OSHA.

Tags: Hazmat, Drivers, Instructional Technologies, Driver Training, OSHA

November 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

The $75K Freight Broker Bond Increase in a Nutshell

By Svetlana Guineva, Bryant Surety Bonds

Freight brokers, like trucking companies, have traditionally represented the American spirit of independence and entrepreneurship. Some people, however, fear that the changes brought about by the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), which recently took effect, are about to change this.

Tags: MAP-21, Brokers

November 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Why Balancing is Important

By Jim Park

If you look at balancing from a life-cycle point of view, the value of extending tread life speaks for itself. There’s also casing integrity to consider, retreadability, and to a growing degree, and disposal costs. Yet reliable estimates suggest only about 20% of heavy-duty truck tires are ever balanced.

Tags: Tires, Wheels

November 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Tech Tip: Landing Gear Lubrication Procedures

By SAF-Holland

Periodically adding grease to your landing gear should be part of your preventive maintenance program and should be done every six months or more often, if required.

Tags: Trailers, SAF-Holland, Landing Gear

November 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Cover Story

HDT's Top 50 Green Fleets

By Deborah Lockridge

Green strategies vary greatly depending on the operation. For one company, natural gas might make sense. For another, green might mean solar-powered warehouses. For others, it’s all about fuel-efficient specs and driver training.

Tags: Green Fleets, Alternative-fuel vehicles, Alternative Fuels & Hybrids, Natural Gas, Fuel Economy, MPG, Aerodynamics

November 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

CDL/Med Card Merger: The Deadline is Near

By Jill Schultz, J.J. Keller

An important deadline is just around the corner for CDL drivers and their motor carriers. As of Jan. 30, 2014, all CDL holders must have supplied information about the type of driving they do (self-certify) and the status of their medical certificate/card to their state driver’s licensing agency.

Tags: CDL, J.J. Keller, Med Card, Drivers, Compliance

November 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Getting the Lead Out of Tire Weights

True rotation of a several-hundred-pound mass and high speeds requires balancing, not just of the tire, but the entire rotating mass, including the hub, brake drum, wheel and tire.

By Jim Park

Beware the lead tire weight cops. They are out there and working in six states, with several more states looking at banning lead weights. Here's a look at the alternatives to lead in weights -- and alternatives to weights themselves.

Tags: Tires, Wheels

November 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Commentary: How Smart is SmartWay?

By Rolf Lockwood, Executive Contributing Editor

Can we depend on the fuel-saving numbers provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay program? Executive Contributing Editor Rolf Lockwood says he's not so sure, in the aftermath of a recent test results story.

Tags: CARB, EPA SmartWay, Fuel Economy

October 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Aero Add-ons Put to the Test

Not all aero fitments produce the same results. SAE Type II test results from Performance Innovation Transport Group sheds some light on the differences.

By Jim Park

The Performance Innovation Transport Group recently tested trailer side skirts and undercarriage air deflectors.

Tags: SAE, Aerodynamics, PIT

November 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Tech Tip: Fifth Wheel Coupling and Uncoupling Procedures

By SAF-Holland

SAF-Holland shares some tips for coupling and uncoupling your fifth wheel.

Tags: SAF-Holland, Coupling

November 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

5 Things Drivers Never Should Do at the Scene of an Accident

Photo by Keith via Flickr

By Don Jerrell, Associate VP, HNI

The time to plan how you’re going to respond at the scene of an accident is before you are involved in an accident. How a truck driver responds on the scene has a major impact on the outcome of any claims that may follow.

Tags: Driver Safety, Driver Training, Accidents, Drivers, Safety & Compliance, HNI

October 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

New Choices, New Excitement For Cargo Vans

Dodge Ram: Just going to market following production start-up in Mexico is the Ram ProMaster, a front-wheel-drive unibody design based on the proven European Fiat Ducato. FWD allows a low floor height with good traction and consistent driving characteristics, Ram says. Cab-chassis models and panel vans are available in 1500, 2500 and 3500 series with varying roof heights and wheelbases.

By Tom Berg

‘May you live in interesting times” is usually taken as a wry Chinese curse. But for cargo vans and the people who run them, an interesting era is here and it should be a blessing. New European-based products are being sent to the marketplace, and they’ll offer new efficiencies and choices in a segment that has languished design-wise since the first of that breed.

Tags: Cargo Vans, Isuzu, Nissan, Freightliner, Ram Truck, Ford, General Motors, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, Chevrolet Express, GMC Savana, Ford Transit Connect, Utilimaster, Ram ProMaster, XL Hybrids, Nissan NV200

October 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

What Data Mining Can Teach You About Your Fleet

By Jim Beach

Fleet managers can learn new things about their operations by analyzing everything from accidents to wait times.

Tags: Telematics, GPS, Information Technology, Fleet Management Software, Telogis, PeopleNet, Carrier Logistics, Cadec

October 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Keeping Your Wheels On

A calibrated torque wrench is required to set the recommended torque on wheel fasteners. Over-torqueing with an impact wrench can stretch and weaken the studs.

By Jim Park

There’s no mystery to why wheels come off trucks. The National Transportation Safety Board in 1992, and Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation in the late 1990s, both concluded after exhaustive studies that inadequate maintenance was the root cause of a series of fatal wheel separation incidents.

Tags: TMC, NTSB, Tires, Wheels, Accuride, Timken, Spicer, ConMet, Ontario Ministry of Transportation, Wheel-offs

October 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Commentary: Shedding Pounds

Gregor Schwarz of Austria’s Engineering Center Steyr stands proudly with the lightweight monocoque truck frame he designed.

By Rolf Lockwood, Executive Contributing Editor

Lightweighting. You’ll hear this word a lot in the next few years. It refers to engineering efforts to slice weight from just about every single component on a truck or tractor in the name of fuel efficiency. And where better to start than with a truck’s backbone, its frame?

Tags: Lightweighting

October 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Tips for Maintaining Trailer Floors

By Kate Harlow

When it comes to maintaining your dry van hardwood or composite trailer floor, fleet maintenance managers should follow the Boy Scout motto: Be prepared.

Tags: Maintenance, Hyundai, Trailers, Utility, Havco, Great Dane, Stoughton

October 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Commentary: The Changing World of Choosing Parts and Service

By Denise Rondini

The relatively simple aftermarket of the ‘80s has become a rather complicated one. Fleets now have more choices than ever for their parts and service needs. Aftermarket Editor Denise Rondini explores these changes in her new HDT column.

Tags: Aftermarket, Parts and Service

October 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Test Drive: Single-Rear-Axle Granite MHD

The single rear axle allows Class 7 ratings, but this one’s decidedly Class 8, with axles totaling 44,000 pounds in capacity. The steer axle is set forward to better handle weight of the plow mount and, when it snows, a long steel blade.

By Tom Berg

Is this single-rear-axle truck the type of medium-heavy-duty model that Mack should have brought out first? I asked that question two years ago when I saw the initial offering, the tandem-axle Granite MHD. I figured other than the tandem, it was just right for municipal fleets and others who don’t need high carrying capacity.

Tags: Cummins, Mack, Test Drive

October 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Beyond the API 'Donut:' Putting a Premium on Oil

Oil experts say there  area a number of factors that fleets need to consider in the oil selection process.

By Denise Rondini

Every fleet knows how important oil is to the proper operation of their vehicles, but how can they determine if upgrading to a premium oil makes sense for them?

Tags: Oil, Exxon Mobil, Shell Lubricants, Chevron Lubricants, Grease, API, Maintenance

October 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Brokers: Are You Compliant with the New Broker Bond Requirement?

By Sandy Miller, J.W. Surety Bonds

As of Oct. 1, all FMCSA-registered freight brokers and forwarders must have proof of a $75,000 surety bond or trust fund. While much has been reported about the FMCSA’s 60-day phase in period, the fact remains you need a $75K bond or trust in place now in order to legally operate.

Tags: Regulations, Brokers

October 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Cover Story

Growing a Small Fleet

Unsavory work, like running the Eastern Seaboard, can pay premium dollars. Look for niches that nobody else wants to handle.

By Jim Park

To be a fleet of fewer than 100 trucks in America today is to be a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs: every move fraught with risk, perils at every turn. Large fleets can outpace, outperform, outbuy, outhire and outlobby the smaller fleets.

Tags: CSA, Small Fleets

September 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Powers Distributing Invested in Diesel-Electric Hydrids

This DME engine is based on a Volvo D13 diesel. This prototype has common-rail fuel injection, which the production engine might or might not use.

By Deborah Lockridge

Powers Distributing, Lake Orion, Mich., was the first company to buy a significant number of diesel-electric hybrid trucks using the Eaton Hybrid Power System. That may seem like a big jump for a relatively small fleet, but the 74-year-old company has a deep commitment to social responsibility and that includes sustainability.

Tags: Hino, Odyne, Eaton, Diesel-Electric Hybrids

September 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Life in the Refrigerated Business

Ralph Moyle’s first truck, on the right, was a 1940 Ford. Next to it on the left is the third truck that Ralph purchased, a 1950 Ford.

By Kate Harlow

From a very young age, Ralph Moyle was drawn to trucking. So when given the chance, he didn’t let the lack of a driver’s license – or the fact that he was only 14 years old – stand in his way.

Tags: Trailers, Refrigerated Truck

September 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

The High-Tech Shop

Devices that allow drivers to conduct and record driver vehicle inspection reports electronically, such as those from Zonar, transmit maintenance issues directly to the fleet and maintenance manager for immediate action.

By Jim Beach

In some fleets, shop operations are completely integrated with the computer systems for dispatch, accounting, mobile communications and outside service providers. In other fleets, technology in the shop may be limited to automated systems for tracking work, labor, parts and inventory.

Tags: Technology, Arsenault Associates, Mitchell 1, Zonar, Managing the Shop, TMW, Omnitracs

September 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Staples Runs Electric Trucks in its Fleet

Short routes with many stops, including some in downtown Los Angeles, are ideal for Staples’ Smith Newton electric trucks.

By Tom Berg

Getting office-supply products to Staples’ 2,000-plus stores around the world and directly to business customers takes more than pushing an Easy button, even if Mike Payette, director for fleet equipment, has four of the advertising-theme props, “in four languages,” on his desk.

Tags: Smith Newton, Staples, Battery-Electric Vehicles

September 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Hydraulic Hybrid Drive Systems Can Save You Fuel

Hydraulic hybrid drive systems can cut fuel consumption and dramatically improve brake life for refuse fleets.

By Jim Park

Hybrid drive systems deliver value by reducing engine load, replacing or supplementing engine output through alternate means of powering the vehicle, or recovering energy normally turned into heat during braking and putting it back to work. Heavy-duty hydraulic hybrids accomplish all three.

Tags: Eaton, Hydraulic Hybrid, Parker Hannifin, RunWise

October 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Why Do Wheels Come Off Trucks?

Drivers should be trained to inspect their wheels. Early detection can prevent a loose wheel from becoming a separation statistic.

By Jim Park

We don't hear many reports of wheel separations anymore, but that doesn't mean we have solved the problem. Reliable estimates suggest unplanned separations still occur at a rate of probably several per day. Exact numbers are hard to determine because many incidents go unreported.

Tags: Wheels, Province of Ontario, Ontario Ministry of Transportation, Wheel Fasteners, Wheel Separations

September 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Commentary: Learning to Love Pond Scum

By Rolf Lockwood, Executive Contributing Editor

Not long ago I was at my desk looking to write about some aspect of where we’re heading. Then I flicked on the little TV beside me to watch the news, and what did I see but a piece about algae as a fuel source. Clearly a sign.

Tags: Algae Biodiesel, Alternative Fuels & Hybrids

September 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Retreading Wide-base Tires

Most fleets could get a good trailer tire out of a third-generation retreaded tire.

By Jim Park

Wide-base tires aren’t cheap. Not that duals are cheaper, but in a single wide-base tire you have an investment approaching the cost of a pair of standard tires. Minimizing the life-cycle cost of those big wide tires almost demands that they be retreaded.

Tags: Wheels, Managing the Shop, Retreads, Wide-Base Tires

September 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Schwan's Home Service Runs 3,300 Propane-Powered Units Nationwide

Schwan’s Ford E-450s are among the many that run on propane, which the company has used since the 1970s.

By Tom Berg

After more than 40 years of using propane as a motor fuel, the people at The Schwan Food Co. still believe they’ve got the right stuff. Schwan’s experience with propane goes back to the 1970s, when Arab oil embargoes threatened supplies of gasoline and diesel and drove up their prices.

Tags: CleanFUEL USA, Propane Autogas, ROUSH CleanTech, IMPCO Automotive, Alternative Fuels & Hybrids, Schwan's

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