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July 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Top Mobile Computing Trends

By Adam Kahn, Omnitracs director of product marketing

The new hours of service regulations have gone into effect, but they are only part of the challenges and opportunities faced by fleets. Adam Kahn, director of product marketing at Omnitracs, took a deeper look at emerging fleet management and mobile computing trends, and provided insight on how fleets can best use technology to stay on top of the changing industry.

July 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Study Finds Total Cost of Ownership Similar for Electric and Diesel Delivery Trucks

By Truckinginfo Staff

A research team from Georgia Tech compared medium-duty electric and diesel urban delivery trucks for a range of scenarios and discovered the total costs of ownership were very similar – but the cost-competitiveness of the electric truck drops in drive cycles with higher average speed.

Tags: Smith Electric Vehicles, EVs, Alternative Fuels & Hybrids

July 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

4 Ways to Manage Risk in the Age of CSA

By Deborah Lockridge

CSA may be an enforcement tool for the FMCA, but you also can use CSA as a catalyst to create transparency and accountability in your organization.

Tags: Drivers, CSA, HNI

July 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Top 5 Questions to Ask Your Breakdown Service Provider

By Byron Lay, AmeriQuest Road Rescue

Every fleet experiences breakdowns at some point. These incredibly frustrating events eat up time, money, and good will with clients. So having a reliable service you can call on when the need arises is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. But make sure you ask questions.

Tags: AmeriQuest, Downtime, breakdowns

June 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

MPG for Mediums

By Sean Lyden

When we’re talking about on-highway trucks, there are opportunities in aerodynamics, low-rolling-resistance tires, “downspeeding” and other strategies to save fuel. But when you’re talking delivery trucks, work trucks, vans and the like, the strategies are different. Below are four approaches to improving mpg for mediums.

Tags: Fuel Savings, Medium-Duty Trucks

June 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

How Technology Can Make You Greener

Dennis Dellinger, president of Cargo Transporters, with some of the company’s drivers. The company makes use of its mobile communications and telematics technologies to improve mpg and reduce paper.

By Jim Beach

Trucking operations generally don’t invest in technology with the sole purpose of becoming “greener.” For most fleets, the decision is prompted by a desire to improve operational efficiencies, customer service and the bottom line.

Tags: Fuel Savings, Technology, McLeod, TMW, Blue Tree Systems

June 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Transmissions: Automating for Fuel Savings

Drivers still have some control over automated manual transmissions, but the equipment will usually do a better job of improving fuel economy if it’s simply left alone.

By Jim Park

Traditional thinking on automated manual transmissions has it that AMTs are the great equalizers – bridgers of skill gaps between the best and the worst drivers in the fleet. While that’s still true, AMTs now bring even more to the fuel-economy table, offering fuel savings in their own right beyond what even the most professionally driven manual transmission could accomplish.

Tags: Fuel Savings, Cummins, DTNA, Eaton, Volvo Trucks, Mack Trucks, Transmissions, Allison Transmission

July 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Which Drivers Make Good Lease-Purchase Candidates?

By Jim Park

While capacity is important, the DOT's new CSA enforcement regime and ever-nosier agencies like the IRS make it clear that you simply can't take people that need to be led by the hand into a lease-purchase program.

Tags: Drivers, Owner-Operators

June 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

7 Ways to Cut Idling Costs

Volvo was the first truck maker to offer built-in shore power systems. Shore power can be used on its own or in conjunction with other idle reduction systems on the market.

By Deborah Lockridge

Royal Jones, president and CEO of Mesilla Valley Transportation, is known for his near-obsessive attention to saving fuel. Yet eight or nine years ago, the fleet was averaging nearly 50% idle time.

Tags: Fuel Savings, Idle Reduction

June 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Trailers: The Next Generation

This is what a tractor-trailer could look like following the work being done through the SuperTruck program.

By Kate Harlow

There aren’t many things less aerodynamic than a box. And a dry van trailer is basically a 53-foot box on wheels. The drag caused by that box and its effect on fuel economy is a challenge that has been taken up by the SuperTruck program.

Tags: Volvo, Fuel Savings, DTNA, Trailers, DOE, SuperTruck

July 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Buy Used, Build Equity

By Jim Park

Here are two things you need to know about buying a truck: it takes big bucks to play with big trucks, and there no such thing as a free lunch. Keep those two things in mind while planning your business strategy and you'll double your chance of success.

Tags: Used Trucks, Owner-Operators

July 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

4 Ways to Get More Miles from your Tires

By Jim Park

Irregular tire wear is usually a symptom of some other malfunction such as poor alignment, improper inflation or even poor driving habits. The peril with mechanically induced irregular wear is that it begins the day you install the tire, though it won't produce any visible signs until weeks or perhaps months later. By then, its progress is almost irreversible.

Tags: Maintenance, Tires, Wheel Alignment

July 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Taking the Driver Physical to a New Level

By Deborah Lockridge

Trucking companies, drivers and the general public who shares the road with trucks would all benefit from an approach that treats truck driver health as an ongoing project rather than every-other-year paperwork – and the new National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners could be a step in that direction.

Tags: Drivers, Sleep Apnea, Driver Health, Fleet Safety Conference, Fit to Drive

July 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Right To Repair Update

By Denise Rondini

The Massachusetts state legislature passed the nation's first "Right to Repair" law last summer, but it excluded vehicles over 10,000 pounds. However, in November, state voters overwhelmingly approved a different version of the law, which includes all motor vehicles sold in the state.

Tags: Diagnostics, Distributors, Right to Repair, Aftermarket, Aftermarket Parts

July 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

What Exactly Constitutes an Underinflated Truck Tire?

"Underinflated" isn't always this obvious. Enforcement officials are looking for a usable definition. (Photo by Evan Lockridge)

By Jim Park

Why should we worry about defining underinflation? Because of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability) enforcement program.

Tags: CSA, TMC, Tires, CVSA, Enforcement

July 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Wheel-End Problems: Beyond the Obvious

Customers complaining that bad tires are suffering irregular wear? The problem may lie somewhere in the wheel-end. Photo by Jim Park.

By Jim Park

Wheel-ends function as a system: the spindle, hub, and rim (or wheel), as well as the bearings and the fasteners, all work in concert to keep the wheels in place and the tires running straight and true. If one part of the system is out of whack, the results will be seen and felt elsewhere in the system - usually at the tires themselves.

Tags: Managing the Shop, Tires, Wheels

June 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Ram 1500 Focuses on Fuel Economy

The Ram 1500 2-door Regular cab has SLT trim, standard with chrome grille and bumpers. This one’s a 4x4 and not budget-priced at $38,405 list. But it’s very pleasing to drive.

By Tom Berg

How does 18 mpg in city driving and 25 on the highway sound for a full-size pickup? That’s what Chrysler’s Ram brand is claiming for some of its 1500 series trucks with a gutsy V-6 gasoline engine mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission.

Tags: Ram Truck, Test Drive

July 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Four Ways to Squash Maintenance Expense and Avoid Costly Breakdowns

By Louis McAnally, CTP, VP Operations, PeopleNet

A dilemna, dispatchers and drivers…maddening to customers…a thorn in fleet management’s side. That pretty much describes the impact of an unexpected vehicle breakdown (and aren’t they all unexpected?).

June 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Hours of Service: Resetting the Clock

Credit: Continental Commercial Vehicles.

By Jim Park

With just days to go before the scheduled implementation of the new and more restrictive hours of service rules, fleets and drivers need to be asking if their electronic onboard recording devices are ready for the change.

Tags: FMCSA, HOS, EOBR, Hours of Service

June 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Cover Story

The Quest For Fuel Savings

By Deborah Lockridge

In 2011, commercial trucks burned 37.2 billion gallons of diesel and 14.8 billion gallons of gasoline, according to the American Trucking Associations.

Tags: Fuel Savings, MPG, Fuel and Oil

June 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

DEF: Here to Stay

TravelCenters of America’s DEF dispensers, which it calls the “DEF+1,” pump both diesel fuel and DEF and are available at nearly all locations. Drivers can authorize diesel and DEF transactions at the same time at the same dispenser, pump both products in any order, and pay for both fills at the same time.

By Deborah Lockridge

In 2007, as many truck and engine makers started announcing they would use selective catalytic reduction to meet 2010 federal emissions regulations a new term entered our trucking dictionary: diesel exhaust fluid. As we soon learned, SCR is an aftertreatment technology that injects small amounts of DEF, a water-based solution containing urea, into an engine’s hot exhaust stream to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx).

Tags: DEF

June 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Are You On Top of Your Fuel Buying Program?

By Oliver Patton

Pilot, the largest truckstop chain in the country with more than 650 outlets and $29 billion in annual revenues, is being investigated for allegedly defrauding customers by withholding fuel rebates and discounts.

Tags: Pilot Flying J, Fuel and Oil, Information Technology, Truckstops

June 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

How Safety Audits Apply to New Owner-Operators

The key to a new entrant safety audit is documentation. You may do all the required steps to comply with the regulations, but if it is not documented, it will appear that you are not.

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

If you decide to get your own DOT number and strike out on your own, one regulatory requirement you will need to be aware of is the “new-entrant safety audit.” What do you need to know to get over this hurdle?

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

June 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

New Hours-of-Service FAQs

By J.J.Keller & Associates

Unless the courts step in and rein in new hours of service rules, they are set to take effect on July 1. J.J.Keller & Associates has put together some frequently asked questions and answers about them.

Tags: J.J. Keller, Hours of Service

June 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

How to Navigate the Great Credit Search

Credit: AmeriQuest

By Neal Weeks, AmeriQuest

You know that it’s time to upgrade a certain portion of your fleet. But you assume that, in the current economic environment, getting credit can be difficult. So how do you get the equipment you need, when you need it?

Tags: AmeriQuest, Lease Agreement, Equipment

June 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

5 Ways Software Can Improve Your Bottom Line

By Jim Beach

It's a rare heavy-duty service shop or parts warehouse/distributor that doesn't use some kind of computer software in its operation. It might be as simple as an accounting package such as QuickBooks, or as complex as a full-featured industry-specific enterprise management package.

Tags: Information Technology, Managing the Shop, Distributors

June 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Flatbed Trucker Delivers Not Only Oversized Loads, But Also Pets to New Homes

Izzy gets attention from his owner, David Binz, at the wheel of his Kenworth T660. Binz has hauled 12 dogs and two cats since becoming a volunteer pet transporter.

By TruckingInfo Staff

Bear, a 4-1/2–year-old Pekinese, traveled 4,500 miles for nine days across the western United States, British Columbia and the rugged wilderness of the Yukon Territories to be with his new family at their home in North Pole, Alaska.

Tags: Kenworth, Cummins

June 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Idle Reduction Stories

By Deborah Lockridge

In June's special fuel-savings issue, we promised you more stories about how fleets are cutting their idle time.

Tags: EVs, Idle Reduction, Truckstops, Prime Inc., Alternative Fuels & Hybrids, Shorepower

June 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

IdleAir Looks to Set Up Locations at Fleet Terminals

IdleAir's traditional drop-down units provide HVAC, electricity, Internet and other functions.

By Evan Lockridge

After working to revitalize the network of the truckstop electrification service provider IdleAir since purchasing it three years year ago, Convoy Solutions is turning its attention toward truck fleets as customers -- but in a new way, with what it calls dedicated terminal solutions.

Tags: MPG, Idle Reduction, Fuel and Oil, Truckstops, IdleAir

June 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

5 Deadly Tire Sins

How many tires in your scrap pile arrived there before their time?

By Jim Park

Negligence and apathy consign more tires to early graves than road hazards ever will. Here are the Top 5 reasons you might be straining your tire budget to the breaking point, and how you can stem the financial hemorrhage.

Tags: Maintenance, Tires

June 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Making the Case for Fuel-Efficient Tires

The more rubber you have on the road, the sooner the improvements become obvious.

By Jim Park

You get 30% less tread on some fuel-efficient tires, they cost 15% less up front and they run fewer miles to take-off, but does the money saved on fuel because of the lower rolling resistance make up for the shorter overall life? Many fleets are struggling with that question today. The answer is often anything but clear.

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

June 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

5 Ways to Succeed or Fail as an Owner-Operator

Take off the rose-colored glasses. Life as an owner-operator is an uphill climb with plenty of curves to keep you on your toes.

By Jim Park

Sometimes owner-operators are their own worst enemy. They too often do things to undermine their business – like budgeting based on the best of times, not year-long averages. Or they switch carriers to one promising more home time, only to discover they can't make payment with the truck parked in the driveway every night.

Tags: Business, Owner-Operators

June 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Don't Blow a Gasket When Installing Oil and Fuel Filters

All oil filters feature a gasket at the open end of the filter, which acts like a seal and a lock-washer after installation.

By John Gaither, PE, Luber-finer & Fram Filtration

At first glance, it appears to be pretty simple to install a new oil or fuel filter on your heavy-duty vehicle: Just line up the threads and give it a spin. This mindset, however, can be dangerous to the vehicle’s operation and overall health.

Tags: Maintenance, Fuel and Oil, Filters, Luber-finer

June 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

4 Ways Technology Can Reduce Your Cost-per-Mile

On-board computing systems can help cut cost per mile through helping improve fuel mileage, reducing out of route miles and more.

By Louis McAnally, VP Operations, PeopleNet

Fleet managers understand that reducing cost-per-mile (CPM) by a single penny means huge savings, considering the number of miles a fleet drives each year. Here's how technology can help.

Tags: Drivers, MPG, Information Technology, PeopleNet, HOS, Fuel and Oil, EOBRs

June 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Volvo Thinks the Fuel of the Future is DME – and It’s Almost Here

DME engine is based on Volvo D13 diesel. This prototype has common-rail fuel injection, which production engine might or might not use. In the background you can see the back of a cab set up for CNG, with the cabinet behind the cab housing four high-pressure tanks. Volvo remains committed to natural gas for customers who want to use it. (Photos by Tom Berg)

By Tom Berg

Think “alternative fuel” and what comes to mind – natural gas, or maybe propane? Volvo Trucks North America believes it has one better: dimethyl ether, or DME, which it thinks is the real fuel of the future. Volvo, with the help of a small chemical company, financial investors and officials in the state of California, intends to get it to market as a motor fuel by 2015.

Tags: Volvo, California, Alternative Fuels & Hybrids, DME, Natural Gas

June 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Say Goodbye to Booster Cables

By Jim Park

Next to the clang of your cell door slamming shut, there are few sounds more disheartening than the "click, click, click" of a starter that's not getting enough juice. Maxwell Technologies' Engine Start Module is an ultracapacitor starting system that can prevent that.

Tags: Idle Reduction, Batteries

June 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Inland Truck Parts Dedicated to Training Technicians

Inland’s new 15,000-square-foot training facility houses traditional classrooms and two drive-in service bays.

By Deborah Lockridge

Inland Truck Parts is an independent parts and service operation, but it says the quality of its technicians rival that of OE dealers. Its latest commitment to that is a new 15,000-square-foot training facility in Olathe, Kan., a Kansas City suburb.

Tags: Aftermarket, Technician Training, Technicians, Distributors, Inland Truck Parts

June 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

How to Improve Fuel Efficiency on the Road

By Travis Tuft - VP of Client Services, Equinox

According to AAA, the national average price of diesel is $3.888 - call it $3.89 - per gallon at the time of this writing. Given that your truck likely has a fuel capacity of 150 to 300 gallons, it would cost $583 to over $1,167 per fill-up at the current rate. In other words, as you may have already noticed, fueling up for a long-haul is quite expensive.

Tags: Fuel Efficiency, Idle Reduction

June 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

7 Steps to Safely Lifting Heavy-Duty Work Vehicles

Make certain that all lifts are subject to a regular program of scheduled maintenance.

By Truckinginfo Staff

Stertil-Koni recently announced what its research has shown to be seven key steps that fleets and transit authorities should observe prior to lifting heavy-duty work vehicles in commercial maintenance facilities.

Tags: Maintenance, Managing the Shop, Shop Tools, Stertil-Koni

June 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Inverter Installation: Troubleshooting 101

By Don Wilson, Schneider Electric

So you want to install an inverter, but with all the features and complexity of today’s more sophisticated units, you’re hesitant to take the plunge? Or, perhaps you’ve had some problems with your inverter, and you’re not sure if it’s a faulty unit … or a simple installation problem?

Tags: Maintenance, Xantrex, Inverter, Idle Reduction

June 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Independents Look to Service for Growth

As margins are squeezed on parts sales, independents may find adding service to the equation helps boost profits.

By Denise Rondini

Consolidation, more proprietary parts and increased competition are squeezing margins for those who sell heavy-duty truck parts. Industry experts are on the record saying that in the future, aftermarket parts distributors need to have service as part of their business if they want to remain profitable.

Tags: Maintenance, Aftermarket Parts, Aftermarket, Distributors

June 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Tires are Key Component of CSA Inspections

By Truckinginfo Staff

As one of the two biggest non-labor expenses that trucking fleets have, tires require careful maintenance. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability program further underscores the importance of good tire maintenance practices.

Tags: Maintenance, Goodyear, CSA, Tires

May 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

5 Things to do Now to Increase Your Company's Value

Chris Parisi is managing director of Dallas-based Allegiance Capital.

By Chris Parisi, Allegiance Capital

Whether you want to sell your company in a year, five years, even 10 years and beyond, there are five steps you need to take right now that will maximize your company’s value. Proper preparation will enhance the value of your company, make the transaction flow more smoothly, and avoid pitfalls that often terminate transactions midstream.

Tags: Business, Mergers & Acquisitions

May 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Learn to Read DataQs

Data gathered by Vigillo shows a wide discrepancy in how states respond to DataQs challenges.

By Oliver Patton

DataQs, the online system for correcting CSA scoring, has the reputation of being cumbersome and unpredictable, but there’s a way for safety managers to get what they need from it. Call it the ABCs of DataQs.

Tags: CSA, CVSA, Enforcement, Vigillo

May 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Healthcare Reform: Pay or Play

By Kirsti Correa

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), which requires individuals to have health insurance, could change the way trucking companies handle their healthcare coverage policies for employees. The Truckload Carriers Association held a webinar on May 23 to discuss its analysis of the ACA and the impact it will have on the trucking industry.

Tags: Drivers, Business, Health

May 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Telematics Unchained

By Jim Beach

You probably have a pretty good idea what a telematics system is, even if you don't know it by that name. You may know it as a fleet management system or GPS fleet management system or GPS vehicle tracking system.

Tags: Telematics, GPS, Technology

May 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Leasing Regulations: What to Watch Out For

By Tom Bray

Leasing owner-operators is one of the quickest ways a company can increase the fleet’s capacity. However, there are several pitfalls with using leased owner-operators, for both the company (carrier or “lessee”) and the owner-operator (the “lessor”).

May 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

What Drivers Should Know About Brake Problems

On roads like this, there's no room for doubt that your brakes are working perfectly.

By Jim Park

If you know what to look for, and are sensitive to the symptoms, you can spot many potential brake problems before they become real liabilities. And having concluded there's a problem, you can report it to the shop in a way that might prompt more than a readjustment of the slack adjusters.

Tags: Brakes

May 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Getting Around Tarping

Rolling tarp systems, like TarpStop’s FasTrack, protect loads but can be opened or closed in a couple of minutes.

By Tom Berg

It takes special people to be flatbedders. Tarping, however, is usually not on their list of favorite activities. A single tarpaulin can weigh 65 to 100 pounds or more. It must be half thrown and half dragged over the load, spread evenly with corners properly folded and tucked in, and the whole piece of slippery fabric secured with straps and bungies.

Tags: Trailers, Tarping

May 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Regulations, Drivers, Truck Capacity Focus of Shipper Meeting

Transplace CEO Tom Sanderson, right, shares the stage with trucking analyst Thom Albrecht, managing director at BB&T Capital Markets, during the 11th Annual Transplace Shipper Symposium held in Dallas earlier this month. Sanderson and Albrecht encouraged shippers to treat drivers with respect — or risk not having reliable truck service as capacity tightens. (Photo courtesy Transplace)

By J.K. Jones, Contributor

Shippers must work smarter and cooperate closely with their carrier partners to offset expected losses in truck capacity caused by government regulation, according to presentations at the 11th Annual Transplace Shipper Symposium held earlier this month in Dallas.

Tags: Drivers, Transplace, Shippers

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