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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

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: CVSA, Enforcement, Vigillo, CSA

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 - Feature

Running an Alternative-fueled Fleet

By Tom Berg

Want to get a handle on alternative fuels? Talk with someone who uses them. One person is Melvin Rose, fleet manager for Monroe County in western New York, which surrounds Rochester. The county has 700 vehicles, from compact cars to Class 8 trucks. All run on ethanol-gasoline blends, biodiesel, compressed natural gas or propane, and Rose loves to talk about them.

Tags: Biodiesel, Clean Cities, Natural Gas Vehicles, Propane Autogas, Alternative Fuels

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

May 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Test Drive: Kenworth's T880 Day-cab Tractor

The new steering gear set up provides up to 9 degrees of additional wheelcut, making this 189-inch wheelbase extremely maneuverable.

By Jim Park

Equipment Editor Jim Park still recalls his first meeting with a T800. It was in the fall of'86, the year the truck was introduced and a little more than a year after the T600 had made its game-changing debut.

Tags: Kenworth, Test Drive

May 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Kenworth T880 Dump Truck

The T880's cab is 8 inches wider and the hood's sculpted lines are smoother than what have been seen for 27 years on T800.

By Tom Berg

Only a couple of days after announcing its new T880 at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky., in March, Kenworth had a couple of trucks for us press people to drive. Equipment Editor Jim Park and I were pleased to be among the scribes who got their hands on the just-minted vocational and regional-haul vehicles.

Tags: Kenworth, Test Drive

May 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

7 Tips for Teaching New Log Rules

By HDT partner, Today's Trucking

New hours of service rules go into effect July 1. Are you ready? The American Trucking Associations has published an easy-to-use, free tipsheet to help you help your drivers understand the new HOS rules.

Tags: Drivers, ATA, Training, Driver Training, Hours of Service

May 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Driving impressions: Electronic Assist Systems Help New Sprinter’s Handling

The Sprinter chassis features independent wheel suspension at the front with transverse leaf springs, something that contributed to a comfortable ride and an absence of feeling tracks and bumps in the more worn parts in the pavement.

By Sven-Erik Lindstrand

The day after its introduction in Dusseldorf, in northern Germany, we reporters had a chance to drive Mercedes-Benz’s new Sprinter van for a few hours on various surfaces, from a test track to a dirt road and on a nearby Autobahn.

Tags: Cargo Vans, Mercedes-Benz, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, Test Drive

May 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Dealers Intensify Focus On Service

Southland International Trucks, based in the Birmingham, Ala., area, is just one of many dealers who are adding service bays. (Photo by Evan Lockridge)

By Denise Rondini

It is an old trucking industry adage that while the sales department sells the first truck, the service department sells the second, third and fourth trucks. According to David Gerrard, senior vice president of distribution at Navistar, “Without an effective relationship on the service side of the house, it is very difficult to maintain the customer relationship.”

Tags: Dealers

May 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Why Should You Retread Your Tires?

You can choose from a wide range of OE and aftermarket tread patters and compounds to optimize tire life or fuel efficiency. EPA now recognizes retreads as fuel efficient tires, so fleets can reuse the same casing for different applications at different wheel positions.

By Jim Park

Retreading tires provides the absolute lowest cost per mile of any tire management strategy. When coupled with other enhanced preventive maintenance measures, a retreaded tire can easily go half a million miles or more, all things being equal.

Tags: Tires, Retreads

May 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

What You Need to Know About Wide-base Singles & Offset Axles

Wide-base single tires are popular for weight and fuel saving, but not everybody likes them. Spec'ing to revert back to dual tires at resale needs special consideration.

By Jim Park

Everything you need to know about switching from dual wheels to wide-base singles you can learn at a playground. Picture a teeter-totter with a big kid on one end and a little kid on the other. The big kid is on the ground, while the little guy's legs are dangling in the air. The load is unevenly distributed. If you moved the fulcrum closer to the big kid, the beam would eventually balance.

Tags: Tires, Wheels, Wide-Base Tires

May 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Rise of the 6x2

At a Meritor demonstration last December in North Carolina, soapy water and slipper plastic couldn't keep this tractor's SmarTandem from getting a grip and starting up the incline at a loading dock.

By Tom Berg

It's still an oddball spec in road tractors, but some believe the 6x2 — a single drive axle with two powered wheels among six total wheel positions — will someday become more common as truck operators look for ways to save fuel and cut tare weight.

Tags: Meritor, SmarTandem, Dana Spicer, Meritor Wabco

May 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Veterans in the Driver's Seat

The Army National Guard's "Drive the Guard" program is putting soldiers behind the wheel while they are in uniform and helping them to qualify for fulltime civilian employment as a truck driver.

By Oliver Patton

In the past two years, 34 states have adopted laws that allow motor vehicle departments to waive the CDL skills test for qualified military veterans, the Obama administration says in a new report. Nine more states plus the District of Columbia are considering legislation to do the same thing.

Tags: FMCSA, ATA, Driver Shortage, Veterans, Drivers, Recruiting

May 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Driver Pay: A New Look at an Old Problem

By Evan Lockridge

Truck driver pay is often summed up in just two words: Not enough. But one analyst sums up the situation lately with the words “productivity bonuses” and “sign-on bonuses.” Gordon Klemp, publisher of the National Survey of Driver Wages, talks about whether those are good or bad in this story from the May issue of HDT.

Tags: Driver Shortage, Driver Pay, Drivers

May 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Cover Story

9 Ideas to Find & Keep Drivers

By Deborah Lockridge

Whenever there's a panel discussion about driver turnover and the coming driver shortage, low pay is always pointed to as a culprit. Yet when it comes to making drivers happy, pay often takes a backseat to the bigger picture.

Tags: Driver Training, Recruiting, Driver Pay, Driver Retention

May 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Millions Available for Hybrid/Electric Vehicles Through California’s HVIP Program

By Truckinginfo Staff

Greening a fleet can be a daunting prospect, but as fuel prices continue to rise, the opportunity to save money has increased. Significant and easily accessible funding is now available in California through the Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP)

Tags: California, Alternative Fuels & Hybrids, EVs, HEVs

May 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Seattle Mayor Challenges City Fleets to Cut Use of Petroleum-Based Fuels

CNG truck operated by CleanScapes in Seattle.

By Truckinginfo Staff

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn has directed city departments to build on earlier "green fleet" efforts to cut the city's annual use of petroleum-based fuels by 1 million gallons by 2020, using electric and alternative fueled vehicles, biodiesel and more efficient use of vehicles.

Tags: Government Fleets, Natural Gas, Washington, Natural Gas Vehicles, Seattle, Alternative Fuels & Hybrids

May 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Five Trends Affecting Today's Owner-Operators

OOIDA's Todd Spencer says the last round of hours-of-service changes cut the number of husband-and-wife owner-operator teams.

By Deborah Lockridge

Owner-operators are far from dead, but the population is experiencing some changes, according to Todd Spencer, vice president of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, with many of those changes caused by government regulations.

Tags: Sleep Apnea, Driver Shortage, OOIDA, Owner-Operators

May 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Owner-Operator Seeks Out Truckstop Electrification

Owner-operator Matt Purtee likes it when he can find plug-in shore power at truckstops, but he'll search it out elsewhere, too.

By Truckinginfo Staff

How bad does owner-operator Matt Purtee want truckstop electrification? “Bad enough where I know a few truckstops that have light poles with plug-ins at the base,” he says with a chuckle. “I get to those sites early so I can tap into the power before someone else does."

Tags: Idle Reduction, Truckstops, Owner-Operators, Shorepower

May 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Is a Fuel- and Weight-Saving 6x2 for You?

6x2s like this one in Sweden are popular in Europe, where fuel prices are much higher.

By Tom Berg

It’s still an oddball spec in road tractors and you’re not likely to consider it, but the 6x2 – a single drive axle with two powered wheels among six total wheel positions – will someday become more common as truck operators look for ways to save fuel and cut tare weight, suppliers think. Today, progressive fleets are testing or embracing it, and it might even be a good choice for some owner-operators.

Tags: MPG, Truck Specs

May 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

What To Do If The IRS Comes Knocking

By Colton Lawrence, Equinox Business Solutions

April 15 has come and gone, so you can breathe easy for another year -- that is, unless the IRS decides to audit you and become a major pain in your life. Here's how to handle it if they do.

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

April 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Management Software: No Longer Islands of Automation

PeopleNet recently unveiled a mobile app that sends alert notices to fleet managers when a critical event occurs. The app displays a map of the location, vehicle and driver information.

By Jim Beach

Whether you call it a trucking management system, fleet management software, trucking enterprise software or a freight management system, in a nutshell, these systems manage vehicles (and the things on them), people and money.

Tags: Qualcomm, Bendix, XRS, TMW, TMS, Carrier Logistics, McLeod Software

April 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

The High Cost of Tires

By Jim Park

Ten years ago, you could buy a decent steer tire for $300. Not anymore. But, then again, you're not buying the same tire anymore either. Long-term pricing trends show that the cost of raw materials used in tire manufacturing has gone up over the past decade, along with the shelf prices for tires, but consumers haven't seen the price swings for tires that manufacturers have seen for materials over the same period of time.

Tags: Goodyear, Continental Tires, Yokohama Tire Corp., Stemco, Guayule

April 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Going Green Without Saying Goodbye to Diesel

Verizon has tested alternative-fueled vehicles like this one but says there are many other ways to go gree, including using telematics.

By Kate Harlow

Green shouldn't be the only color a fleet is considering when making a move toward “going green.” "The most important colors in business are still red and black," said Joe Fiorelli, fleet and safety director for Gulfeagle Supply, during a session for the National Truck Equipment Association's recent Green Truck Summit entitled, "Compounding the Green: Incremental Measures for Going Green and Sustainable."

Tags: Telematics, Alternative Fuels, Green Truck Summit, Verizon Networkfleet

April 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Safety&Compliance: Beware these background screening pitfalls

By Deborah Lockridge

If you haven't taken a look at your driver hiring and screening procedures in a while, it's time for a thorough review to avoid running afoul of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Tags: Safety & Compliance

April 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Co-op-owned container chassis coming

By Tom Berg

Drayage operators will soon obtain more container chassis from trucker-owned pools than from ship lines and railroads, which signals part of a transition under way in the intermodal industry. A recently formed North American Chassis Pool Cooperative has won government approval and has begun purchasing chassis.

Tags: Intermodal, Chassis

May 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

How Much Do You Know About Heavy-Duty Coolants?

The antifreeze/cooling system for a heavy duty engine must be maintained for the entire system to operate at optimum efficiency. Each component within the system relies on the other components for peak operation and performance.

By Colin Dilley, Prestone

n the emerging days of the heavy-duty industry, as liquid-cooled engines were being developed and heaters were added to allow winter driving, finding the right coolant could be as easy as taking a trip to your pantry. Coolant is a lot more complex today, and the more you know about it, the better you can help your customers.

Tags: Maintenance, Aftermarket, Prestone, COOLANT, Cooling Systems

May 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

CSA: Aftermarket Profit Opportunity

Fleets don't have to be long-haul operations that go through weigh stations to be affected by the federal government's Compliance, Safety, Accountability program, but your customers may not realize that.

By Denise Rondini

It is not too often in the trucking industry that regulation is seen as a good thing. Yet the recent Compliance, Safety, Accountability regulations may prove the exception to the rule, at least when it comes to the heavy-duty aftermarket.

Tags: Aftermarket, CSA, FMCSA

April 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Cummins and Navistar Reunite

The cockpit is familiar territory, except for the DEF tank level gauge.

By Jim Park

Red engines have been fixtures under Navistar hoods since the late ‘90s. Except for the recent hiatus, you have to go back some 75 years to the days when Cummins and International trucks weren't almost synonymous in North America.

Tags: Cummins, Navistar, Test Drive

April 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

The Return of the Glider

Brothers Robert Fitzgerald (standing) and Tommy Fitzgerald Jr. run the enterprise begun by their father, Tommy Sr. In addition to Freightliners and Western Stars, the specialty manufacturer also assembles Peterbilt gliders, like this Model 389, and will soon start on Kenworths.

By Tom Berg

Glider kits — new trucks and tractors that get rebuilt or remanufactured powertrain components — make up a small percentage of total new-truck purchases, partly because most truck operators know little about them.

Tags: WheelTime Network, Glider Kits

April 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

What's New in Used Trucks?

By Tom Berg

Every day, thousands of used trucks change hands. Last year, 190,000 were sold, and though this year's tally might be lower, it's still a healthy business that sometimes mirrors new-truck sales. That this market is intrinsically tied to new trucks becomes more apparent at times like now, when supplies of late-model power units are growing scarce.

Tags: Schneider, Used Trucks

April 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Cover Story

5 Trends in Private Fleets

John Lamonica is president and CEO of Lamonica's Pizza Dough Co., and is the proud owners of three Kenworth trucks that deliver his pizza dough.

By Deborah Lockridge

John Lamonica knows pizza. He can tell you why Brooklyn water makes great pizza dough, and how he has worked to get the same level of great flavor in his California operations using high-quality ingredients and filtered water. The president and CEO of Lamonica's Pizza Dough Co. is also proud of his three bright-red Kenworth trucks that deliver pizza dough to Costco and other customers in southern California.

Tags: Technology, NPTC, Safety & Compliance, Private Fleets

April 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Hours of Service: Back to Basics

By Tom Bray

Hours-of-service compliance is centered on two areas, limits and logs. Both drivers and carriers are held responsible for compliance with these regulations. If you're an independent owner-operator, that means you're both the driver and the carrier.

Tags: Hours of Service

April 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Fleet Innovators

HDT Truck Fleet Innovators Featured in Online Photo Galleries

By Deborah Lockridge

New photo galleries featuring HDT's 2013 Truck Fleet Innovators have been posted online at Truckinginfo.com. Enjoy a more casual side of some of this year's Innovators, from Kevin Burch making eggs for his drivers to Robert Low shooting some hoops in the company gym, as well as some more images and details about equipment.

Tags: HDT Truck Fleet Innovators

April 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Selling and Servicing Modern Air Filters

Most air intake systems are underhood, and manufacturers design them for efficiency and to help meet exhaust emissions requirements.

By Tom Berg

As truck and engine makers continue to move toward vertical integration, fleet managers and owner-operators are less likely to be able to spec what air filter they want on their trucks, and that has implications for aftermarket parts sellers and shops.

Tags: Maintenance, Filters

April 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Keep Them Turning Wrenches

Before a shop can improve its efficiency, it needs to determine where the problems are. The best way to do that is to map the current process.

By Denise Rondini

Every shop wants its technicians to be as proficient and productive as they can. Yet most shops fail to see the things that are getting in the way of achieving this goal.

Tags: Aftermarket, Managing the Shop, Technicians

April 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Five Key Facts About Selling A Transportation Company

By Mark Dyer, Allegiance Capital Corp.

Today, succession planning is not just about having a plan in place for your eventual retirement, or in case you unexpectedly kick the bucket. You may end up selling your company. Here are five key things to keep in mind.

Tags: Mergers & Acquisitions, Business

April 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Are Your Driving Habits Feeding Your Fuel Bill?

By Jim Park

Poor fuel mileage can be a make-or-break proposition for owner-operators, and a lot of whether you get 6 mpg or 8 mpg depends on your skills and habits as a driver. Two drivers on two identical trucks can see a difference of up to 30% in fuel economy. Much of that chasm stems from good or bad pedal and stick management, and the driver's willingness to use available technology to his best advantage.

Tags: Drivers, MPG, Fuel Economy, Owner-Operators

April 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

5 Reasons to Outsource your Tire Maintenance

Service providers come to your yard or to remote yards, and do tire checks, pressure audits.

By Jim Park

Tire maintenance is like preparing a fine meal. Unless you really like cooking and are very good at it, it's far easier – and safer sometimes – to visit a nice restaurant. Here are five reasons you might want to consider outsourcing your tire work.

Tags: Maintenance, Goodyear, Michelin, Outsourcing, Tires

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

April 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Don't Let Poor Brake Adjustment Catch You Unawares

By Jim Park

While equipment defects are a cause in only a small percentage of truck crashes, brake defects account for a large percentage of the trucks taken out of service. Many of those defects are adjustment issues.

Tags: Brakes, Owner-Operators

April 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Why You Need to Pay Attention to Your Air Dryer

By Deborah Lockridge

It's more important than ever to protect a truck's air system from contamination, because there are more and more on-vehicle technologies making use of that air. That's why having and taking proper care of an air dryer is vital.

Tags: Maintenance, Bendix, Brakes

April 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Tire Makers Look for Alternatives to Natural Rubber

Guayule is a rubber-producing plant that could offer a domestic, and thus more stable, supply.

By Jim Park

Although we're in no danger of running short of our primary source of natural rubber, prices have risen dramatically over the past 10 years, contributing to rising prices for tires. Several tire makers are researching other sources of rubber.

Tags: Tires, Rubber, Guayule

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