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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, 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 Trucks, 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, 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

Biodiesel: A Drop-in Solution for Going Green

Florida Power & Light was the first utility to deploy a plug-in hybrid biodiesel electric bucket truck like the one on the left in 2008.

By Kate Harlow

While natural gas has pushed its way to center stage in the alternative fuels discussion, the investment in equipment and infrastructure make it less than appealing to many fleets. However, anyone who is currently running on diesel fuel can easily switch to a greener alternative without that type of up-front investment. They simply have to fill up their fuel tank with biodiesel.

Tags: FPL, Biodiesel, National Biodiesel Board, Alternative Fuels & Hybrids, Gasoline-Electric Hybrids

September 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

DME: An Alternative Fuel that is Coming Soon

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 Tom Berg

Volvo Trucks North America believes dimethyl ether, or DME, is the real fuel of the future, and the company intends to get it to market as a motor fuel by 2015 in Volvo VN models as well as Mack Pinnacle trucks from its sister company.

Tags: Volvo, Mack Trucks, Alternative Fuels & Hybrids, DME, Oberon Fuels

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

September 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Diesel/Natural Gas Conversions Offers Owners a Choice

By Deborah Lockridge

A dual-fuel conversion system can offer some of the fuel- and emissions-saving benefits of a natural gas engine without going out and buying a brand-new truck. Read more in this story from the September issue of HDT.

Tags: EcoDual, APG, Omnitek, Dual Fuel, EPA, Natural Gas, Alternative Fuels & Hybrids

September 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Test Drive: KW T800, ISX12 G Paired

By Tom Berg

My drive of the Cummins Wesport ISX12 G was at a mid-July “natural gas summit” hosted by Kenworth at its plant in Chillicothe, Ohio. A half-dozen gas-powered KWs built for different applications were offered to dealers, customers and press reporters for inspection and evaluation. A few fellows with CDLs, like me, took them for drives, and I had – how shall I say? – a learning experience while in a T800 short-haul daycab tractor pulling a 53-foot van trailer.

Tags: Kenworth, Cummins, Natural Gas, Test Drive

September 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Test Drive: Natural Gas Freightliner Cascadia 113

By Jim Park

Freightliner’s Cascadia 113 and the ISX12 G from Cummins Westport aren’t exactly strangers. About 100 of the trucks have been in customer hands for some months now. Equipment Editor Jim Park takes one for a spin.

Tags: Cummins, Natural Gas, Freightliner, Cascadia, Natural Gas Vehicles, Test Drive

September 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Making Driver Scorecards Work

Easy-to-understand graphs and charts like this one from Vigillo helps both drivers and their managers see at a glance where they stand.

By Deborah Lockridge

A trucking company decided to give out an award for the best driver, so they asked employees to nominate and vote on the honor. The winner, however, turned out to have one of the worst safety records in the fleet.

Tags: Information Technology, CSA, Driver Scorecard, Vigillo

September 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Don’t Let These Three Common Mistakes Kill Your Next Work Truck Spec

Photo: Evan Lockridge

By Robert Johnson, NTEA director of fleet relations

At its most basic level, a work truck is a piece of equipment that helps your employees do their jobs. Since well-designed equipment enhances productivity, your objective when designing a work truck is to optimize the vehicle to achieve the best overall return for dollar spent.

Tags: NTEA, Work Trucks, Vehicle Spec'ing

September 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Prime Inc. Uses APUs, Innovative Tanker System to Cut Idle Costs

By Deborah Lockridge

Prime Inc., Springfield, Mo., has its entire fleet equipped with auxiliary power units to limit idling, with an automatic 5-minute idle shutdown timer. But its tanker fleet was experiencing significantly higher idling, because product had to be kept heated to the right temperature.

Tags: Idle Reduction, Prime Inc., APU

September 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Options for the New $75,000 Freight Broker Security Requirement

By Sandy Miller, J.W. Surety Bonds

The transportation law, MAP-21, upped the financial security requirements for freight brokers and forwarders to $75,000. The law offers options for the new financial security requirement, but specifics are not always clear. With the FMCSA deadline approaching in just a week, here is some information on an option for small- to mid-size brokers and for carriers who also act as brokers.

Tags: MAP-21, Brokers

September 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

LNG: Kwik-Trip Inc. runs both LNG and CNG

Kwik-Trip’s LNG and CNG trucks use its public filling stations, including this one in La Crosse, Wis. Managers are trying out both gas types so they can give realistic advice to customers.

By Tom Berg

Says the butcher: “We eat what we sell.” Says Kwik-Trip: “We burn what we sell.” That’s natural gas, sold in liquefied and compressed form at 15 of the 430 retail filling stations the company operates in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa.

Tags: Cummins, Liquefied Natural Gas, Alternative Fuels & Hybrids

September 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

CNG: Monarch Beverage Spends $16.5 Million to Convert Fleet

Monarch’s highway tractors like this Kenworth T660 run enough miles to pay off the investment in CNG equipment within three years, according to the fleet’s calculations.

By Tom Berg

Monarch Beverage Co. of Indianapolis is spending $16.5 million to convert its truck fleet to natural gas.

Tags: Kenworth, Cummins, Freightliner, Natural Gas Vehicles, Monarch Beverage Company, Alternative Fuels & Hybrids

September 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Cover Story

Alternative Fuels: Many Options

By Deborah Lockridge & Jim Park

Natural gas. Biodiesel. Dimethyl ether. Hybrid. Electric. Algae-based diesel. Hydrogen fuel cells. There’s a virtual smorgasbord of available and potential fuel sources to power medium- and heavy-duty trucks. The critical question becomes which one, or which combination of fuel sources, represent the best path for fleets, manufacturers and the industry.

Tags: Alternative Fuels & Hybrids

August 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Improving Driver Performance with High-Tech Training

By Jim Beach

Cargo Transporters, Claremont, N.C, wasn’t doing much re-occuring driver training other than a few defensive driving classes, but in 2010 decided to require six hours of either online or classroom training. It was so successful that in 2011 they increased it to eight hours, according to President Dennis Dellinger.

Tags: technology, Information Technology, Driver Training, J.J. Keller, PeopleNet, Instructional Technologies

August 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Steer Axle Weights Have Increased: Are Your Steer Tires up to the Challenge?

Underrated steer tires can be hazardous. Steer axle loads approaching 13,000 pounds are not uncommon today.

By Jim Park

It’s not uncommon to find highway trucks with front axles and suspensions rated for 13,200 pounds. While 12,000-pound axles were the industry norm for many years, the move to 13,200-pound axles came with the addition of all that emissions reduction gear. Are you running a steer tire rated for that weight?

Tags: Goodyear, Michelin, Continental, Bridgestone, Wheels, Steer Tires, Steer Axles, Tires

September 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Studies Indicate TPMS and ATIS Are Money Makers

Soft, underinflated tires increase rolling resistance and shorten tire life. TPMS and ATIS systems solve both problems at once.

By Jim Park

There are lots or reasons not to embrace fuel-saving technology (some better than others), but validation exists for tire-pressure mitigation systems. And the payback is significant.

Tags: MPG, TPMS, Tires, ATIS, Inflation

September 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Beware When Using Remanufactured Common Rail Injectors

By Deborah Lockridge

Diesel fuel injectors these days are incredibly complex, and that means remanufactured fuel injectors need extra scrutiny. Bosch, which supplies new and remanufactured diesel fuel injectors, recently tested remanufactured and rebuilt common rail injectors and found 70% failed the test.

Tags: Fuel Injection, Bosch, Remanufacturing, Engines

August 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

The Current State of the Dry Bulk Business

Although the fracking boom has retreated, an upsurge in home building is giving dry bulk a boost.

By Kate Harlow

During the early years of the Great Recession, almost all trailer manufacturers experienced a sharp drop in demand for their wares. Dry bulk pneumatic trailers, however, were about to get a boon. Read more about the state of the dry bulk pneumatic trailer segment, how fracking has affected the industry, plus trailer-spec’ing tips.

Tags: Trailers, Fracking

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