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June 2015, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

How Targeting Inefficient Fleets Leads to Big Gains

Ian Wright

By Steven Martinez

Q&A with Fleet Technology Expo's opening keynote speaker Ian Wright. He's one of the founders of Tesla Motors but these days he is setting aside luxury electric cars to tackle a much larger problem: How to make medium-duty trucks more efficient.

Tags: Fuel Efficiency, Turbine Truck Engines, Battery-Electric Vehicles, Fleet Technology Expo, Wrightspeed, Medium-Duty Trucks

June 2015, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

When the Road Meets the Rubber

The very pavement you drive upon is chewing away at your tires, mile after mile. Photo by Jim Park

By Jim Park

Irregular or accelerated tire wear is annoying and expensive, but there's something else eating away at your expensive assets: the pavement itself.

Tags: Tires, Highways, Pavement Research

June 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Looking for Durable Trailer Skirts

Fleets buy various brands of skirts based on performance, durability and price. To last a long time, skirts must be physically flexible, which means they’re made of thermoplastic or a thermoplastic-fiberglass composite. Some trailer manufacturers make their own skirts.

By Tom Berg

Skirts have become common on van and refrigerated trailers, with more than half of all such trailers leaving factories with skirts installed. But how durable are they? Testing and experience show that material flexibility is a requirement for resisting damage.

Tags: Trailers, Fiberglass Composites, Trailer Skirts

June 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Keeping Diesel Fuel Clean

The presence of water or other fluid mixed with diesel fuel is clearly apparent from the stratification shown here.

By Deborah Lockridge

If you don’t take steps to keep diesel fuel clean, it can degrade your fuel economy, damage expensive fuel system components and cause downtime. That’s never been more important than today.

Tags: Filtration, Filters, Engine Protection, Diesel

June 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

QuickSpin: Freightliner 122SD 8x8 Extreme Heavy-Haul

This 92,000-lb GVW oil tanker looked a little out of place in Napa, Calif., where we test drove it last summer.

By Jim Park

Freightliner can build its 122SD heavy-haul vocational chassis into any number of extreme configurations, but this oil-field hauler is one to be reckoned with. This truck lives for roads that would break your average highway hauler in half.

Tags: Freightliner, Heavy Haul, Severe Duty, Test Drive

June 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Test Drive: Volvo's VHD Tractor for On- or Off-Road

Metallic black paint sets off bright-metal trim on the chunky-styled on/off-road tractor. In keeping with Volvo’s safety heritage, vehicle has roll-stability control and traction control working off the Bendix electronic ABS.  Photos: Tom Berg

By Tom Berg

Volvo Heavy Duty model has its own styling and extra-strong specs, but retains most of the comfort of better-known VN road tractors.

Tags: Volvo, Test Drive, Off-Road

June 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

High-mpg Model Round-Up

Start with these aero tractors for the best fuel economy.

By Tom Berg

The best fuel economy starts with a truck model specifically designed to squeeze the most possible miles from a gallon of diesel fuel and all major builders offer these for their on-highway customers.

Tags: Kenworth, International, Volvo Trucks, Freightliner, Peterbilt, Fuel Efficiency, Western Star, Mack Trucks, Fuel Economy

June 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Disruption is the Latest Technology Buzzword

The Freightliner Inspiration Truck at it's Hoover Dam introduction. Photo: Stephane Babcock

By Jim Beach

The key disrupter in recent years has been the Internet, which has changed the way a number of industries operate. In trucking, e-commerce has profoundly affected trucking operations, especially those that serve retailers.

Tags: Technology, Information Technology, E-commerce, Autonomous Vehicles

June 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

QuickSpin: Peterbilt 567 SFFA

The Model 567 SFFA’s set-forward steer axle sits 17 inches closer to the bumper than the 567’s setback axle. High-mounted headlight pods should avoid most job-site collision damage. Photos: Tom Berg

By Tom Berg

The Peterbilt 567 SFFA's set-forward front axle adds payload in bridge-formula states, but doesn’t seem to come with the usual penalty in maneuverability.

Tags: Peterbilt, Model 567, Quick Spin

June 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Editorial

Commentary: Tracking Truck Health

Denise Rondini, Aftermarket Editor.

By Denise Rondini

Several truck makers have been promoting uptime through remote diagnostics for a while now. But at this year’s MATS, nearly every OEM talked about their efforts to provide fleets with insight into their vehicle’s health in an effort to increase vehicle uptime.

Tags: Vehicle Safety, Vehicle Diagnostics, Downtime, MATS

June 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Fleets Can Help Drivers Maximize Fuel Economy

The right equipment for the job improves the fleet’s and the driver’s chances for success.

By Jim Park

The right equipment for the job improves the fleet’s and the driver’s chances for success. Part 6 in HDT's Driver Dilemma series on the driver shortage.

Tags: Driver Training, Fuel Economy

June 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Wrightspeed's Tantalizing Turbine-Electric Drivetrain

Wrightspeed’s Fulcrum turbine-powered generator charges batteries that power electric motors at the truck’s rear axles. The motors act as generators during braking, further charging batteries. The turbine will burn a variety of fuels.

By Tom Berg

California trash fleet hopes ‘out of the box’ heavy-duty series hybrid will save big money in fuel.

Tags: California, Fuel Efficiency, Turbine Truck Engines

June 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Department

The Price Tag for Violating Regulations Just Went Up

By Kathy Close, J.J. Keller & Associates

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has a mission statement of reducing the number of commercial motor vehicle crashes, and the injuries and fatalities associated with them.

Tags: Vehicle Safety Regulations, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Fines

June 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Mining Data for Fuel Savings

From routing to gamification to spotting equipment issues, information technology can help save fuel.

By Jim Beach

Fleet use of technologies to reduce costs is nothing new. Along with increased productivity and efficiency, cutting fuel costs was a big reason fleets adopted technologies such as automated routing and dispatch, GPS tracking and mobile communications.

Tags: Fuel Savings, Technology, Fuel

June 2015, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Q&A: Ford's Resident Futurist, Sheryl Connelly

Sheryl Connelly, the in-house futurist at Ford and one of the Fleet Technology Expo's Keynote speakers. Photo courtesy of Ford.

By Steven Martinez

Sheryl Connelly is Ford's in-house futurist tasked with identifying global trends for the manufacturer. She is the closing keynote speaker at this year's Fleet Technology Expo.

Tags: Ford, Fleet Technology Expo, People, Industry Trends

June 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Editorial

Commentary: Moving Toward the Autonomous Truck

Rolf Lockwood, Executive Contributing Editor

By Rolf Lockwood

I wasn’t alone in assuming we'd see an autonomous truck on German or Dutch or maybe Swedish roads long before we saw it here but Nevada and Daimler surprised us all.

Tags: Nevada, Self-Driving Vehicles, Daimler Trucks North America, Autonomous Vehicles

June 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Editorial

Commentary: The Reality of Autonomous Trucks

Deborah Lockridge, Editor in Chief

By Deborah Lockridge

If autonomous Trucks aren't driverless, what, then, are the potential benefits? Think of it as cruise control on steroids.

Tags: Self-Driving Vehicles, Daimler Trucks North America, Autonomous Vehicles

June 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Cover Story

How Low Will Diesel Go?

The real question is how long the price will stay low?

By David Cullen

While it’s hard to say just how low the retail price of diesel will go, what is fairly certain is the trend line in place since last autumn will continue to run its positive course at least through the rest of the year.

Tags: Fuel Prices, Diesel Fuel

June 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Fuel Savings vs. Shorter Tire Life

Can low-rolling-resistance tires reduce tire costs and save fuel? Some say yes; other disagree.

By Jim Park

Are low-rolling-resistance tires a cost-effective proposition? It’s not an easy question to answer. Chances are your low-rolling resistance tires are performing better than you think.

Tags: Fuel Efficiency, Tires, Low Rolling Resistance Tires

June 2015, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Q&A: Kelley Platt on Taking the Reins at Western Star

Kelley Platt speaks to the trucking press at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky., in late March. Photo: Stephane Babcock

By Deborah Lockridge

Western Star's new chief talks about how Western Star and school bus customers are alike, getting her CDL, the reaction to the 5700EX and more.

Tags: Western Star, Daimler Trucks North America, Q&A

May 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Are You Ready for the New Food Safety Rules?

Shippers of perishable foods are supposed to tell carriers what they expect in cleanliness as new FDA rules phase in beginning this summer.

By Tom Berg

Under FDA dictates, shippers must specify in writing the sanitary requirements for vehicles carrying perishable foods.

Tags: Trailers, Food Trucks, FDA, Reefers

May 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Maintenance is Key To Retread Longevity

Retreading gives a second or even third life to a casing, increasing the payback on the initial investment.

By Jim Park

TMC’s latest fleet tire survey shows retreaded tires are going longer and further than some may expect – but maintenance is the key.

Tags: TMC, Survey, Retreads, Tires and Wheels

May 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Quick Spin: TRW's Smart Power Steering

ReAx reduces the steering effort dramatically, making it possible to one-finger the wheel. Try that with regular power steering.

By Jim Park

TRW’s new ReAX electric/hydraulic power steering senses vehicle speed and proportionately assists the steering effort, which is great in tight spots.

Tags: TRW Automotive, Test Drive, Steering

May 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

The Challenge of Standardizing Aerodynamic Testing

One of the new testing methods allowed for EPA SmartWay verification is wind tunnel testing. Here a scale model is prepped carefully before the test; small irregularities can make a big difference in the outcome.

By Jim Park

Aero device manufacturers now have a choice of test methods to prove the effectiveness of their devices. Are consumers any better off?

Tags: SmartWay, Fuel Efficiency, EPA, Test Drive, Aerodynamics

May 2015, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

It's National Tire Safety Week

Photo courtesy of Goodyear.

By Jim Park

Tire maintenance plays a big role in fleet safety and efficiency. Now is a good time to remind drivers and technicians about the importance of proper tire care.

Tags: TPMS, ATIS, Tire Inflation

May 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Supplementing Dump Trucks with 'Slingers'

A slinger places stone and other materials exactly where a customer wants it. The driver operates the conveyor from inside the cab or outside, with a remote control box.

By Tom Berg

Dump trucks can do a lot of hauling and delivery work, but there’s a limit to how precisely certain loads can be placed. One alternative is the “slinger,” which adds a high-capacity conveyor-belt mechanism to a hopper body.

Tags: T800, Trailers, Dump Trucks

May 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

The Automated Revolution is Real

Eaton AMTs come with a choice of a dash-mounted keypad shift control or the more driver-friendly cobra-head shift selector.

By Jim Park

After 20 years on the fringes of the heavy-duty transmission world, the switch from sticks to semiconductors may be reaching the tipping point.

Tags: Fuel Economy, Transmissions, Automated Manual Transmissions

May 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Editorial

Commentary: We Can Do Better on Brakes

Denise Rondini, Aftermarket Editor.

By Denise Rondini

We've long been aware of the inadequacies of air disc brake training, particularly in the United States.

Tags: Brakes, Brake Safety Week, CVSA, Air Disc Brakes

May 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Cameras in the Cab

Fleets can see real improvement with in-cab video systems. Photo courtesy of Lytx

By Jim Beach

Truck fleets are increasingly deploying in-cab video systems as part of their technological arsenal to increase safety and security.

Tags: driver safety, Technology, In-Vehicle Video

May 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Department

The Future of Visibility

While mirrors are here to stay, high-tech supplements are on the horizon.

By Stephane Babcock

While mirrors are here to stay, high-tech supplements are on the horizon.

Tags: Vehicle Safety Technology, Technology, In-Vehicle Video

May 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

9 Best Practices for Recruiting and Retaining Technicians

A well formulated mentor program assigns new technicians to more skilled technicians who can answer their questions and serve as an industry expert. Photo: Ryder

By Denise Rondini

For many fleets the diesel technician shortage is already a reality. Here are nine things that will help you in your technician recruiting and retention efforts.

Tags: Recruiting, Technician Training, Technicians, Retention

May 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Using Technology to Manage Trucks in Stormy Weather

Transport America integrates severe weather alerts from ALK Maps with its internal alerting system to better manage its fleet during weather events. Photo via Transport America

By Jim Beach

Transport America is able to keep trucks moving in stormy weather using the Weather Alerts feature of ALK Maps.

Tags: telematics, ALK Technologies, Weather, Transport America

May 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Training for the Long Haul

Maverick last year completed a $4 million expansion of its training center. Photo: Maverick Transportation

By David Cullen

Start with the basics when training drivers – but it may pay to look back to bring them ahead. Part 5 in HDT's Driver Dilemma series on the driver shortage.

Tags: driver safety, Driver Training, Driver Shortage

May 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Editorial

Commentary: The Powder Keg of Brake Slack Adjustment

Rolf Lockwood, Executive Contributing Editor

By Rolf Lockwood

There’s an epidemic of ignorance out there regarding brake slack adjustment It just won’t go away, might even be getting worse.

Tags: Brakes, Brake Safety Week, CVSA, Automatic Slack Adjusters

May 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Editorial

Commentary: Trucks vs. Trains Déjà Vu

Deborah Lockridge, Editor in Chief

By Deborah Lockridge

Once again, we have the two sides fighting over which mode is safer and which mode is better for the environment. And not necessarily fighting fair.

Tags: Trailers, Intermodal, Reefers

May 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Cover Story

Competing With the Big Guys

We spoke with the top executives of several successful fleets of between 50 and 100 vehicles to learn how they compete.

By Deborah Lockridge

We spoke with the top executives of several successful fleets of between 50 and 100 vehicles to learn how they compete in an era where running a trucking company is becoming more expensive, more complex and more regulated.

Tags: Fleet Managers, Small Fleets

May 2015, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Bob Sliwa’s 3rd Aero Project Has Shell’s Backing

By Tom Berg

The StarShip tractor-trailer will get mpg that's "better than anyone else," but the former owner-operator, whose work with aerodynamics goes back to the 80s, is not announcing a target number.

Tags: Fuel Economy, Shell Lubricants, SmartTruck, Aerodynamics

May 2015, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Is Your Coolant/Antifreeze Ready for Summer?

By Colin Dilley, VP of Technology, Prestone

Truck fleets that traverse the North American continent this summer, spanning regions from the North to the South and both coasts, know that one of the few constants among those thousands of miles of pavement will be stifling heat and oppressive humidity.

Tags: Prestone, Cooling Systems

May 2015, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Tire Maintenance with Ryder's Scott Perry

Check and record tire pressure and tread depth every time you see a tire. Photo courtesy of Goodyear

By Jim Park

Ryder Systems has one of the most diverse fleets in the country, and one of the largest. Management of that fleet's tire assets falls to Scott Perry, vice president of supply management. You may not find him out in the yard gauging tires, but he certainly responsible for getting every last penny in value from his tires.

Tags: Ryder System, Tire Inflation, Tire Alignment, Tires

May 2015, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Driving on Kilowatts

The diesel and original manual transmission are replaced by a Power Control and Accessory Subsystem and a pair of inverter-charger units. They convert 220-volt AC power during charging to 360 volts DC for storage in the batteries, and back to AC to power two electric motors (green in the illustration) that run through an Eaton UltraShift 10-speed automated transmission. Motors use as much as 150 kilowatts to make up to 400 peak hp and 880 lb-ft.

By Tom Berg

From a distance, this green tractor looks pretty much like any other International ProStar daycab. But the powerplant is very different. Senior Editor Tom Berg drives the TransPower battery-electric tractor.

Tags: California, Battery-Electric Vehicles

May 2015, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

4 Ways Technology Can Improve Fleet Operations

Henry Popplewell of SkyBitz and Chris Smallwood of U.S. Xpress shared details on the fleet's experience since implementing SkyBitz’s trailer tracking system. Photo: Jim Beach

By Jim Beach

Information technology permeates all parts of a successful trucking fleet's operations today, and sessions at ALK's Transportation Technology Summit last week showcased technology used in trailer detention management, in-cab navigation, in-cab video and driver hiring.

Tags: ALK Technologies, Information Technology, Navigation, Trailer Tracking, Detention Pay

May 2015, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

How to Prepare for the CVSA Inspection Blitz

Art via HNI Blog

By HNI

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance's annual roadside inspection blitz is on the calendar for June 2-4. Here are some best practices to make sure your drivers' truck inspections go as smoothly as possible.

Tags: Inspections, CVSA, HNI, Roadcheck

May 2015, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Q&A: Kenworth Truck Co. GM Preston Feight

Photo: Kenworth

By David Cullen

On the Floor of MATS, HDT had a few minutes to talk trucking with Preston Feight, who in January was named the General Manager of Kenworth Truck Co. and a Paccar Vice President.

Tags: Kenworth, Truck Sales, GHG

May 2015, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

The Freightliner Inspiration Event

The Inspiration Truck held its first demonstration on the Hoover Dam. Photo: Daimler

By HDT Staff

Daimler unveiled the Freightliner Inspiration Autonomous Truck to much fanfare and HDT was there to cover it all in the Nevada desert.

Tags: Freightliner, Daimler Trucks North America, Autonomous Drive

May 2015, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Hands-off on the Highway

Driver Antonio Edgar, an electrical engineer in the vehicle test group, kept his hands in his lap while operating at highway speeds. Photo by Jim Park

By Jim Park

There are still a few misconceptions about autonomous commercial vehicles. They are not driverless trucks, but trucks that help make drivers' lives a little easier and roadways safer through the use of advanced technology. Jim Park takes a ride in Daimler's Inspiration Truck.

Tags: Cascadia Evolution, Daimler Trucks North America, Autonomous Drive

May 2015, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

How Regulations Inspired Daimler's Autonomous Truck

Regulations can inspire, or they can be a roadblock in the case of requirements for side view mirrors. Photo: Daimler Trucks

By Deborah Lockridge

As it showcased its Freightliner Inspiration Truck automated truck, Daimler Trucks North America talked about sources for its inspiration -- primarily customers, but also other factors, including regulations.

Tags: Regulations, Self-Driving Vehicles, Daimler Trucks North America, Autonomous Drive

May 2015, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Do Sign-On Bonuses Work?

By Deborah Lockridge

"In the second half of 2010, we had zero companies offering sign-on bonuses. We've gone from zero to nearly 50 percent of the companies offering some sort of sign-on bonus or transition pay."

Tags: Driver Pay

April 2015, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Fed Med Card Recordkeeping Relief on Its Way

Photo courtesy of J.J. Keller

By Kathy Close, J.J. Keller

A recent rule on the medical qualifications of commercial drivers has many on both sides of the examination table raising eyebrows.

Tags: CDL, Driver Health, Med Card

April 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Figuring Out Wide-Base Single Tires

OEMs rely heavily on tires to meet their CAFE requirements under GHG reduction rules. Once fuel-efficient tires are installed, you can’t legally take them off.

By Jim Park

Wide-based single tires have proven weight- and fuel-saving properties, but not every fleet can make them work. Yet there may still be options.

Tags: Fuel Efficiency, Tires, Wide-Base Tires, Lightweighting

April 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Freight Factoring Goes Beyond Cash Flow

Freight-factoring providers are going beyond merely easing cash flow for fleets.

By David Cullen

Freight-factoring providers are going beyond merely easing cash flow for fleets.

Tags: Information Technology, Online Tool, Freight

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