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March 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

High-tech Savings at the Fuel Island

By Jim Beach

Truckstop operators have always used technology to meet customer needs and remain competitive. From relatively low-tech devices such as pay phones and fax machines to high-tech services such as wireless Internet access, shore power connections and smart phone apps, truckstops remain places drivers can connect — with both the office and home.

Tags: Comdata, Technology, Telogis, NexTraq, Truckstops, Diesel, Fuel and Oil

March 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

7 Tips to Create a Driver Wellness Program That Works

Many companies have designed "wingman" programs encouraging employees to work out together or check up on how the other is doing.

By Megan Young, Contributor

We have officially entered the CSA era of regulation from the U.S. Department of Transportation. With this, we will see changes in commercial driver s license standards and driver qualification — and likely an increased emphasis on driver wellness.

Tags: CSA, Driver Health, Driver Wellness

March 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Dumps: Views of the market and trends from dealers and manufacturers

This East Hybrid uses a half-round bottom joined to Genesis-type, double-wall sides for extra stiffness and stability while tipping.

By Tom Berg & Kate Harlow

When the economy took a dive in 2008 and the construction industry's work dried up, so did much of the market for dump trailers. As construction begins coming back, there's a growing demand for new dumps. Demand also is being driven by other emerging trends in the market.

Tags: Trailers, Mac Trailer, NTDA, Vocational

March 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Preventing Flat Tires

Once the tread comes off, a blowout won't be far behind. You're down, with a $1,000 repair bill to show for it.

By Jim Park

A driver picks up a trailer from a drop yard. Before departing, the driver does a walk-around inspection, kicks the tires, checks the lights and then sticks it into the wind. He or she has no idea how much air pressure is in those tires, except to be fairly sure none of them is flat — visibly flat, that is. Any one or several of those tires could be underinflated, or even technically flat.

Tags: Goodyear, Continental Tires, Tires

March 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

California Contentions: The Low Carbon Fuel Standard

California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard and cap-and-trade could increase the price of diesel by $2.22 per gallon.

By Evan Lockridge

If you've been hoping there is an end in sight to California's tidal waves of increasing trucking regulations, unfortunately, the tsunami has yet to strike, unless it crashes in a legal challenge.

Tags: CARB, EPA, Low Carbon Fuel Standard, CTA

March 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Test Drive: Meritor's 6x2 SmarTandem

What better place to traction-test a 6x2 drive axle system than Michigan's Upper Pennisula in February?

By Jim Park

The 6x2 concept isn't new, but it's not popular on our side of the Atlantic Ocean. Meritor aims to change that with its new SmarTandem single-drive-axle tandem configuration. Equipment Editor Jim Park reports on his driving impressions.

Tags: Meritor, SmarTandem, Test Drive, Winter

March 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

The Hard Road to Highway Funding

By Deborah Lockridge

In my January editorial, as part of three resolutions I'd like to see this year, I called on Congress to fix highway funding.

Tags: ATA, Fuel Tax, Highway Funding

March 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Peckham Materials Runs Extra Heavy, Every Day

The Kenworth T800 waits quietly as hot liquid asphalt is pumped from the Etnyre tanker, and driver Jack Mirando climbs the ladder to peer into the manhole to check on offloading progress. Gross combination weight on this run was 102,000 pounds.

By Tom Berg

While debates over the productivity and safety of longer and heavier trucks wax and wane on Capitol Hill, some fleets have been quietly, legally and safely running such operations in various states under grandfathering rights granted years ago.

March 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Going Green With Re-Refined Oil

Universal Lubricants picks up drain oil at automotive dealers, repair shops and truck terminals.

By Tom Berg

What are you doing with the spent oil from your engines? Most fleets are reusing it somehow, perhaps by burning it in special furnaces to heat the shops or selling it to a recycler who'll put it to other uses. Drain oil was once dumped or given away, but since the rise of petroleum prices on world markets, it now brings as much as 95 cents a gallon.

Tags: Re-refined oil, Safety-Kleen, API, Valvoline, Universal Lubricants, Oil

March 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Not Your Father's Air Filter

Aerodynamic truck styling is one factor that has moved the air-intake system and filter under the hood instead of hung alongside it.

By Tom Berg

There was a time when fleet managers and owner-operators specified many components on their new trucks and tractors, but that's been seriously curtailed by vertical integration — the practice of manufacturers controlling the design and spec'ing process using parts they build themselves or get from a few suppliers.

Tags: Air Filter, Maintenance

March 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

What You Need to Know About Operating in Canada

The Peace Bridge over the Niagara River; Drivers with checkered pasts may not be admissible to either Canada or the U.S., but since U.S. drivers rarely cross the Mexican border, immigration issue aren't as much of a factor.

By Jim Park

FMCSA and the U.S. DOT have no influence over what happens in Canada, but Canada has plenty of its own regulatory agencies and ministries whose rules will affect American carriers' privileges and ability to operate there.

Tags: FMCSA, NAFTA, Canada

March 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Transborder Trucking

By Jim Park

Today, borders aren’t so much barriers as they are trade portals. Yes, security concerns and trade issues have thickened our northern and southern borders in recent years, but the volume of NAFTA-region trade increased substantially at the same time.

Tags: NAFTA, Canada, Mexico

March 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Fleet Innovators

HDT Fleet Innovator Robert E. Low Shows Appreciation for his Drivers

Robert Low, President and Founder - Prime Inc., Springfield, Missouri

By Deborah Lockridge

Prime Inc. is headquartered in Springfield, Mo., the “Show-Me State,” and President Robert E. Low says showing drivers genuine appreciation is the key to the company’s relatively low turnover rate and tremendous growth over the years.

Tags: Awards, Prime Inc.

March 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Fleet Innovators

HDT Truck Fleet Innovator Trent Dye has the Personal Touch

Trent Dye, Paramount Freight Systems, Jeffersonville, Ohio.

By Deborah Lockridge

“Drivers don't leave companies, they leave people,” says Trent Dye. It's that philosophy, put into action in various ways, that has helped him lead Paramount Freight Systems to be the owner-operator winner two years in a row in the Truckload Carriers Association's “Best Fleet to Drive For” competition. And at press time, he was hoping for a three-peat. It's also helped drive the success of a company that was founded as the nation was going into the Great Recession in 2008.

Tags: Awards, Paramount Freight Systems, HDT Truck Fleet Innovators

March 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Fleet Innovators

HDT Fleet Innovator Joe Cowan Building a Dream at Cowan Systems

Joe Cowan, President - Cowan Systems LLC, Baltimore, Maryland

By Oliver Patton

Early on, Joe Cowan had his sights set on football. He had a chance to play for the Baltimore Colts, but could not forget another dream he'd had since he was a boy.

Tags: Awards, Cowan Systems LLC

March 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Fleet Innovators

HDT Fleet Innovator Kevin Burch is A Hands-On Leader

Kevin Burch, President - Jet Express, Dayton, Ohio

By Oliver Patton

Three years ago Kevin Burch, 55 at the time, slipped away from his president's office at Ohio-based Jet Express and went to driving school to get his commercial driver’s license.

Tags: Awards, Jet Express

March 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Cover Story

2013 HDT Truck Fleet Innovators Talk Drivers, Equipment, More

By Deborah Lockridge & Oliver Patton

Each year, HDT honors the industry's most innovative truck fleet leaders with its Truck Fleet Innovator Award. Winners are profiled in the magazine, honored during a special event in conjunction with the Mid-America Trucking Show and become a valued resource for HDT's editors.

Tags: Fleet Innovators, Drivers, Prime Inc., Paramount Freight Systems, Cowan Systems LLC, Jet Express

March 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Time’s Up! What To Do If You Need More Time To File Your Taxes

By Truckinginfo Staff

Approximately 7.6 billion hours are spent by businesses and individuals each year on tax compliance -- a workload that could keep 3.8 million full-time workers busy by the IRS’ own estimates. Throw your long hours as a trucker into the mix, and the potential to miss the filing deadline is very real. However, you can file an extension and avoid penalties.

Tags: taxes, Business, Owner-Operators

March 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Add Exhaust-Emissions Gear to a Used-Truck Inspection

When shopping for a used truck today, there are some things you need to look for when it comes to emissions systems.

By Tom Berg

Is it time to replace your old truck or tractor? Is it old enough that its engine has none of the exhaust-emissions equipment that’s been giving people fits in recent years? Have you decided to take the plunge anyway because your vehicle is just plain worn out? Here's what you need to know about emissions equipment when buying a used truck built in the last decade.

Tags: SCR, EGR, DPF, Used Trucks

March 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

How Does CSA Affect Small Carriers?

The scoring in the system is based on roadside inspections, violations listed on roadside inspection reports, and crash reports.

By Thomas Bray, Editor, J.J. Keller & Associates

Despite all of the folklore that has been built around it, at its core, CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability) is simply a program used by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to track and evaluate carriers based on compliance and crash history. Carriers that do not score well in the system are the ones FMCSA will spend time warning or investigating.

Tags: FMCSA, J.J. Keller, CSA, Inspections, Owner-Operators

March 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Managing Cores for Profitability

Returned cores are the starting point for any remanufacturing process. Manufacturers count on getting usable cores back from dealers, distributors and repair garages to use in their remanufacturing operations.

By Denise Rondini

Dealers, distributors and repair garages that take core management seriously do well, and those who don’t take it seriously don’t do as well. It is as simple as that, according to Dave Clark, manager of consulting at Karmak. Don't do it well, and a profit opportunity could turn into a profit drain.

Tags: Remanufacturing, Aftermarket, Meritor, Karmak

March 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Watch for Changing Powertrain Technology to Meet Fuel Economy Regs

Kaufman cited the SuperTruck, a project being done with the Department of Energy by Peterbilt, Cummins, Eaton and other partners, talking about powertrain technologies coming down the road.

By Deborah Lockridge

What type of engine systems and parts will you be dealing with in the future? From electric-drive turbos to waste heat regeneration, Derek Kaufman, president of C3 Network, examined powertrain trends during Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week earlier this year.

Tags: DPF, Aftermarket, HDAW, Engines

March 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Inspector Detector

By Deborah Lockridge

Required driver pre-trip inspections have garnered more attention under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s new Compliance, Safety, Accountability enforcement program. And it’s not only the actual inspections you need to think about – it’s also the paperwork component.

Tags: FMCSA, CSA, Inspections, DVIR

March 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Not Much Clarity With New IRS FET Advice

By Denise Rondini

The trucking industry recently asked the Internal Revenue Service for clarification about how Federal Excise Tax applies to glider kits, seeking what Greg Althardt, partner of the dealership group at accountancy firm CliftonLarsonAllen, called some "bright line" results. It got some clarification, but not enough.

Tags: Dealers, FET, Glider Kits, ATD

February 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

HDT's '13 Top 20

By HDT Staff

Which are the best of the best new products and equipment from last year's introductions? We've gone through an extensive process to determine HDT's 2013 Top 20 Products.

February 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Tires for multiple applications

By Evan Lockridge

The economic recession had profound effects on trucking, but one of the most surprising is a greater need for tires on trucks that need to be used in more than one application. That's the opposite of another trend, which is more single-application-specific tires.

Tags: Goodyear, Michelin, Continental Tires, Bridgestone, Tires, Retreads

March 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Getting By With a Little Help From your Friends

By Jim Park

Single truck owner-operators can get into a pile of trouble quickly if that don't have the resources to overcome all the day-to-day challenges. But help is available if you look for it.

March 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

5 Must-Have Tools for Your Tire Shop

By Jim Park

Changing truck tires isn't rocket science. Since tire service isn't cheap, it's not uncommon to find smaller fleets and even some bigger ones doing their own tire maintenance. But safety needs to be the priority in any shop.

Tags: Tires, Shop Tools

March 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Do You Have a DQ File?

By Thomas Bray, Editor, J.J. Keller & Associates

The driver qualifications regulations, which are found in Part 391 of the FMCSA regulations, apply to all interstate drivers and most intrastate drivers that operate a commercial motor vehicle – no matter whether your company employs one driver or 1,000.

Tags: Drivers, Owner-Operators, FMCSA, Recordkeeping

February 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Electrifying the Windy City

Crane Carrier Corp.'s COE-2 chassis, supplied as rolling glider kits, will be the basis for the Chicago trucks. They'll use Motiv Power electric drive systems and Loadmaster compacting bodies.

By Tom Berg

Chicago has ordered 20 heavy-duty, electric-powered trash trucks that will be the first of their kind in the nation. The electric trucks will run almost silently, produce practically no emissions and, with no traditional pow-ertrains to fuel and maintain, will cut operating costs by at least 50%, says Jim Castelaz, chief executive officer of Motiv Power Systems.

Tags: Alternative Fuels & Hybrids, EVs

March 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Why You Should Consider Wheel Balancing

Tire wear associated with balance problems often appears as cupped channels along the tread face of the tire. (Photo: TMC)

By Jim Park

People will tell you that wheel balancing isn't necessary these days. Going back 10 or 20 years, new tires often needed a small amount of weight to balance out the irregularities in the old production process. With today's more exacting manufacturing standards, irregularities are the exception. But that doesn't mean you can't benefit from wheel balancing.

Tags: Tires, Wheels

March 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Companies Report Success for Algae Biodiesel Pilot Project

By By Truckinginfo Staff

Renewable-fuel retailer Propel Fuels and biofuel maker Solazyme report good results from their 30-day pilot program of an algae-derived biodiesel, called Soladiesel.

Tags: Biodiesel, Alternative Fuels & Hybrids

March 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Aftermarket Suppliers Focus on Value Proposition, Reman as Parts, Components Get More Complex

By Deborah Lockridge

Increased complexity, more focus on remanufacturing, and the importance of selling the value proposition of premium brands were the themes of a recent panel discussion of aftermarket suppliers.

Tags: Marmon Highway Technologies, HDMA, Meritor, Aftermarket, Remanufacturing, HDAD, HDAW, SKF, Cummins Filtration

February 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Fleet acquisitions trending upward

By Kate Harlow

The industry has seen a growing number of fleet acquisitions and mergers in the past few months, and many believe this is part of a growing trend. The trend of fleet acquisitions is cyclical, according to Lana Batts, managing partner with Transport Capital Partners, which helps fleets negotiate such deals. “I believe we are just at the beginning of the cycle,” Batts said.

Tags: Mergers & Acquisitions

February 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Are You Pursuing Best Practices, or 'Next Practices'?

The best way to stay on the leading edge is to look and move toward the fringe of what we know and don't know. This is where the roots of innovation grow. Scientists call this area the "event horizon," like the edge of a black hole.

By Bill Wade, Wade & Partners

A fundamental challenge to our industry is our historical over-reliance on each other for insight. We seem to celebrate regurgitating and repackaging what ‘everyone knows’, rather than challenging ourselves to think different.

Tags: Aftermarket, Distributors, Wade & Partners

February 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

The Art & Science of Routing

The ability to get a truck (or load) from here to there along the safest, shortest and quickest route is probably the most fundamental problem a fleet manager faces.

By Jim Beach

Whether truckload, LTL, local delivery or any other type of operation, all fleets want the same thing: to get their work done as quickly and as safely possible while burning as little fuel as possible.

Tags: Technology, ALK Technologies, Rand McNally, Routing, NexTraq, Carrier Logistics, Cadec, Paragon Software, Navigation

February 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

7 Trends in axles and suspensions

When it come to trends in axles and suspensions, it's all about efficiency.

By Deborah Lockridge

When it come to trends in axles and suspensions, it's all about efficiency. Fleets are constantly looking for ways to become more operationally efficient, whether it's fuel economy, increased payload, lower maintenance costs, longer equipment life, or driver productivity.

Tags: Reyco Granning, Meritor, Suspensions, Hendrickson, Axles, Dana Spicer, Firestone

February 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

The Roadside Dietitian: Love Your Heart

Pam Whitfield, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator with a Master's in Nutrition & Dietetics, and Don Jacobson, a writer and noted outdoor cook, are the authors of“Road-cookin’: A long haul driver's guide to healthy hating.”

By Contributed by Pam Whitfield & Don Jacobson

February is American Heart Month for one really good reason. Heart disease is the number one killer in this country, accounting for about a quarter of all deaths every year. That means the odds are nearly six to one that you will die of a heart problem rather than in an accident.

Tags: Fit to Drive, Health, Diet & Nutrition, Drivers

February 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

The 5 Most Overlooked Tax Deductions for Owner-Operators

By Scott Christensen, Contributor

New year - new taxes. That’s what many drivers are thinking after the latest round of tax increases. While you can’t legally dodge taxes, you can trim them. The options for doing so may have even been under your nose your entire trucking career.

Tags: Owner-Operators, Equinox Owner-Operator Solutions, taxes

February 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Slow Economy, Government Regs Will Help Drive Aftermarket Brake Business

By Deborah Lockridge

The slow economic recovery and the federal government's new Compliance, Safety, Accountability enforcement program will help drive demand for aftermarket pads and shoes for Class 4-8 trucks, according to a new study by Frost & Sullivan, while increasing demand for disk brakes could prove a challenge to independent service providers.

Tags: Frost & Sullivan, DISC BRAKES, Aftermarket, Brakes

February 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

How to Use Outsourcing to Focus on What Makes Your Distributorship Unique

Michael Marks discusses how companies can differentiate themselves with the help of outsourcing.

By Deborah Lockridge

Do you think of outsourcing as something to be done because you simply can't get everything done you need to? If so, you may be missing an opportunity to think strategically and use outsourcing to help you focus on the "magic dust" that makes your business unique.

Tags: Aftermarket, HDAW, Distributors, Outsourcing

February 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Service Survey: Fleets Say They Want to Outsource More

By Truckinginfo Staff

Fleets continue to say they want to outsource more service work, but they've been saying that for a while, and the actual amount of oursourcing has remained pretty stable, according to surveys done by MacKay & Company, a market research and consulting firm specializing in heavy-duty equipment.

Tags: Maintenance, Outsourcing, MacKay and Co.

February 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

And the Envelope Please

Heavy-duty Truck of the Year candidates await judging.

By Jim Park

How do you compare a luxurious Ford F-650 with an Isuzu Reach cargo van? Two completely different trucks with different purposes in life. Such was the challenge of five trucking media judges at the 2012 American Truck Dealers Association's Commercial Truck of the Year competition.

Tags: ATD, Dealers, Commercial Truck of the Year, Medium-Duty Trucks, Class 8

February 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Con-way Communicates Safety

Con-way Freight works to stress safety to its employees in a variety of ways.

By Kate Harlow

With the advent of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s flagship Compliance, Safety, Accountability program, a new premium was put on safety. This required a number of fleets to focus on the issue like never before.

Tags: FMCSA, Con-way Freight, CSA, Safety & Compliance

February 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Calculate True Capacity Before Buying Your Next Trailer: Part Three

By Greg Smith, Talbert Manufacturing

Long before a single load is booked or any wheels turn, someone – usually a fleet manager – needs to determine exactly what is going to separate the road and the load.

Tags: Trailers

February 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

A Passion for Electronics Remanufacturing

Schinzing’s team, which consists of engineers, technicians, quality control people and parts changers, assumes that 100% of the circuit paths and 100% percent of the components on the units it receives are bad. “Our testing tells us whether that is true or not,” he said.

By Denise Rondini

To understand Electronics Remanufacturing Co. (ERC), you need to first understand President Russ Schinzing and his passion for electronics. That passion helped lead to ERC being honored with Mike Hill Heavy Duty Remanufacturer of the Year Award.

Tags: Aftermarket, Remanufacturing, HDRG, Transmissions

February 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Test Drive: Cat CT-660 at Work

The CT-660 comes with a setback steer axle. A CT-680 with a set-forward axle is due out later this year.

By Tom Berg

When reviewing a product like the Caterpillar CT-660, there is no replacement for getting the opinion of the people who have been using it day in and day out. “The drivers love it,” said John “Dick” Jones, president of Jones Fuel Co. in Columbus, Ohio, talking about the fleet’s first in-service dump truck.

Tags: Caterpillar, Test Drive, Vocational

February 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

How to Set up a Maintenance Program that Will Keep FMCSA Happy

By Thomas Bray, Editor, J.J. Keller & Associates

Whether you have one truck or 20,000, the FMCSA's maintenance regulations apply to you. The safety and compliance experts at J.J. Keller have tips for owner-operators and small fleets on how to develop a maintenance program that will meet federal standards.

Tags: Maintenance, FMCSA, Owner-Operators

January 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Dos and Don'ts when Spec'ing Dry Vans

By Kate Harlow

When you are getting ready to put a dry van trailer out to pasture and begin the process of searching for its replacement, there are many things to consider: maintenance costs, fuel-economy regulations, payload and the weight of the trailer, to name a few. One way to navigate through the maze of options is to follow some tips a few trailer manufacturers shared with us.

Tags: Payload, Dry Vans, Capacity, Trailers, MPG, Fuel Economy

January 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Document Management on the Road

By Jim Beach

Although technology has been able to reduce the trucking industry's reliance on paper, it hasn't been able to completely cut it out. Paperwork still has to be signed and submitted before a carrier or driver can get paid.

Tags: Information Technology, Scanning, Mobile Apps

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