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June 2016, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Fuel Saving Fleets: Cooper Makes An Every Day Effort

Cooper Freight celebrated its 40th anniversary last year. Its 8.5-mpg fleet average would no doubt astound its founders. Photos: Cooper

By Deborah Lockridge

By staying on top of data and its drivers, Cooper Freight makes its quest for better fuel economy an every day effort.

Tags: Driver Training, Fuel Economy, Idle Reduction, TrailerTail

June 2016, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Improve Fuel Efficiency by Maximizing Tire Life

Photo: Jim Park

By Jim Park

Tires contribute approximately 25-35% of a truck’s total rolling resistance. The less rolling resistance, the less energy it takes to move the truck. And a tire with less or thinner tread requires less energy to move than a deep-treaded tire.

Tags: Fuel Economy, Tires, Low-rolling Resistance, Tires and Wheels

June 2016, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Test Drive: Nissan’s Titan XD Gas

XD's maximum payload is 2,091 pounds and max tow rating is 12,314 pounds, Nissan said. This truck had 850 pounds of bagged gravel and about 600 pounds of people aboard, yet accelerated very well. Photos: Tom Berg

By Tom Berg

What does it take for a pickup to be considered “American”? Nissan is a Japanese company, but its Titan XD is American all the way through.

Tags: Pickup Trucks, Nissan, Nissan Titan, Test Drive

June 2016, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Fuel Saving Fleets: Ursa Sees High MPG in the Real World

Long- and short-haul truckload carrier Ursa Logistics reports that its best trucks are running at close to 10 mpg.

By David Cullen

Ursa Logistics reports that the long- and short-haul truckload carrier's best trucks are getting close to 10 mpg in certain real world conditions.

Tags: Fuel Savings, Fuel Economy, Truckload

June 2016, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

9 Ways You Can Use Technology to Cut Fuel Use

LinkeDrive’s Pedal Coach provides instant feedback on driver performance delivered to the driver’s smartphone. Photo: LinkeDrive

By Jim Beach

Whether you’re looking to improve mpg or reduce overall fuel use and cost, automated routing and dispatching systems, telematics, in-cab nav, analytics and other systems improve efficiencies, reduce unproductive miles and monitor drivers and equipment.

Tags: Telematics, Driver Behavior, Fuel Economy, Routing, Payment Cards

June 2016, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

High-MPG Fleets: Halvor Lines On the Cutting Edge

The nationwide carrier regards the mpg potential of its 2016 tractors as “a work in progress.” The fleet says that it enjoys “great relationships” with OEMs, which “know we want to be on the cutting edge and are willing to try different things” to boost fuel efficiency. Photos: Halvor Lines Inc.

By David Cullen

While nearly 20% of its fleet already averages over 8 mpg, Halvor Lines Inc. is hopeful its newest tractors — some 100 model-year 2016 units — will earn the distinction of becoming their first 10-mpg trucks.

Tags: Driver Training, Fuel Economy, Aerodynamics, Fleet Profile, Halvor Lines

June 2016, TruckingInfo.com - Editorial

Independent Aftermarket Getting Poised for the Future

Denise Rondini

By Denise Rondini

Fleets want to have as much choice for parts acquisition as possible, so having a strong independent aftermarket is important.

Tags: Aftermarket Parts, HDA Truck Pride, Distributors, Auto Parts

June 2016, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

The Future of Fuel Economy

This “aerodynamically optimized road train” concept truck from MAN and Krone, both prominent vehicle builders in Europe, was showcased at the 2012 IAA commercial truck show in Hanover, Germany. The builders said it could save 25% in fuel and carbon dioxide emissions. Photo: Jim Park

By Jack Roberts

A fundamental shift in thinking has transformed the trucking industry and ushered in a new era of highly advanced vehicles delivering unprecedented fuel savings. But it’s only the beginning.

Tags: Fuel Economy, Aerodynamics, SuperTruck, Future Trucks

June 2016, TruckingInfo.com - Editorial

Commentary: Electric on the Cheap?

Rolf Lockwood

By Rolf Lockwood

With a new twist engineered by giant United Parcel Service and the tiny Cincinnati-based Workhorse Group, once a Navistar property, the electric hybrid is looking better than it has in quite some time.

Tags: UPS, Workhorse, Hybrid Trucks

June 2016, TruckingInfo.com - Department

8 Steps to Better MPG Through Maintenance

Proper alignment is an often-overlooked maintenance task that can have a significant effect on fuel economy. Photo: Paul Hartley

By Deborah Lockridge

We asked leading fleet maintenance managers and the North American Council for Freight Efficiency for tips on how preventive maintenance can help improve fuel economy.

Tags: Preventive Maintenance, Fuel Economy, Technicians, Repair Shops

June 2016, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Finding and Keeping Drivers in A. Duie Pyle's Dedicated Fleet Business

 Photo courtesy A. Duie Pyle.

By Deborah Lockridge

A. Duie Pyle's Customized Solutions Group aims to take the headaches of running a private fleet off of customers' hands. We talked to the head of CSG to learn more about how it deals with the driver shortage.

Tags: Driver Shortage, Private Fleets, Driver Retention, A. Duie Pyle, Dedicated Fleets

June 2016, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Fleets Answer the Question, 'How's Business?'

The percentage of fleets' parked trucks in the first quarter of 2016 is the highest in a year, but is only one of several signs of a slowing trucking business and overall economy.

By Evan Lockridge

After enduring a bruising first quarter that saw falling profits at many fleets, it comes as no surprise that in a second quarter survey of business conditions fleet executives are feeling a bit down.

Tags: Economy, Utilization, CK Commercial Vehicle Research, Freight

June 2016, TruckingInfo.com - Editorial

Commentary: Taking the First Step to Wellness

Deborah Lockridge

By Deborah Lockridge

Fleets report they are losing drivers who can no longer re-certify to drive after health issues were uncovered under newer more stringent DOT physical procedures.

Tags: Driver Health, Driver Wellness, Driver Retention

June 2016, TruckingInfo.com - Cover Story

Breaking the 10 MPG Barrier

10 mpg is more of a line in the sand than the barrier it was once thought to be. Can 11 mpg be far off?

By Jim Park

10 miles per gallon is more of a line in the sand than the barrier it was once thought to be. Can 11 mpg be far off?

Tags: Fuel Efficiency, Fuel Economy, SuperTruck

June 2016, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Q&A: J.B. Hunt's Shelley Simpson on Logistics Trends, Diversity and More

Shelley Simpson. Photo courtesy Women in Trucking.

By Deborah Lockridge

Shelley Simpson is executive vice president, chief marketing officer and president of integrated capacity solutions and truckload for J.B. Hunt. Earlier this year, she received the Women In Trucking Association’s Distinguished Woman in Logistics Award for 2016. She talks to HDT about logistics trends, the importance of diversity and more.

Tags: 3PL, J.B. Hunt, Women in Trucking Association, Logistics, Q&A

June 2016, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Volvo Concept Truck Boasts 30% Lower Fuel Use

By Rolf Lockwood

With almost one-third lower fuel consumption. Volvo Trucks’ new concept vehicle shows how it is possible to drastically boost productivity in long-haul operations.

Tags: Fuel Economy, Global, Volvo Group, Concept Vehicles

June 2016, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Volvo Talks About Piston Technology in Latest Engines

By Deborah Lockridge

The Volvo Group’s new truck engines in the U.S. are more fuel efficient thanks in part to a new piston design, which has "waves" on the piston crown that improve oxygen utilization.

Tags: Diesel Engines, Fuel Economy, Engines, Volvo Group

June 2016, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

RoadCheck Begins: Don't Be Sidelined by Your Tires

Tread wear is the most obvious defect-- and one that immediately catches an inspector's eye. Photo: Jim Park

By Jim Park

Vehicle inspections take on a little more significance during RoadCheck, which begins Tuesday. Tires are the special focus this year. Have a close look at your tires before the inspectors do; it's may keep you out of the hooskow.

Tags: Tires, CVSA, Roadcheck, Inspections

June 2016, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Q&A: Isuzu’s Shaun Skinner

Isuzu's Shaun Skinner Photo: Chris Wolski

By Mike Antich, Editor, Automotive Fleet

Shaun Skinner was recently appointed president of Isuzu Commercial Truck of America. He succeeds Hisao Sasaki, who has returned to Japan. Mike Antich, Editor of HDT sister publication Work Truck, interviewed Skinner at the company’s U.S. headquarters.

Tags: Isuzu, Medium-Duty Trucks

June 2016, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Knight Keeps Drivers Covered With SmartDrive’s Video-Safety Program

SmartDrive representatives at Knight's service center answered any questions that drivers had about the video monitoring system.

By Steven Martinez

After a successful pilot program, Knight Transportation has decided to install the SmartDrive event recorder system in its entire fleet to protect its drivers and coach them on improved driving habits.

Tags: Driver Safety, Video Event Recorders, SmartDrive, Knight Transportation

May 2016, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Refinishing Wheels the Right Way

Juan Klinehoffer, the “wheel man” at Bob Sumerel Tire in Zanesville, Ohio, air-sprays positively charged powder at the negatively charged wheel. There it clings until curing.

By Tom Berg

Road salts damage steel and aluminum wheels, and there are proper ways to maintain and repair them.

Tags: Preventive Maintenance, Corrosion, Wheels, Tires and Wheels

May 2016, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Heavy-Haul Trailers Get Lighter

Low deck heights, as on XL Specialized’s XL 80, allow carrying of extra-high loads. The hydraulic mechanism on this trailer’s removable gooseneck is powered by 13-hp Honda engine. In other systems, a tractor’s PTO runs a pump to supply hydraulic pressure. Photo:  XL Specialized

By Tom Berg

You don’t think about “lightweight” when talking about lowboys, which are often long and multi-axled. Nevertheless, today’s heavy-haul trailers are not as heavy as their predecessors – but it’s a careful balance.

Tags: Trailers, Heavy Haul, Lightweighting, Dropdeck Trailers

May 2016, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Hybrid Electric-Drive Trailer Tandem Promises Quick Payback

Hyliion founder Tom Healy poses with the first prototype of the hybrid system. The company is currently driving and testing a newer and more improved, third prototype. Photos: Hyliion

By Tom Berg

A hybrid electric-drive trailer tandem being developed by a group of engineers at Hyliion Inc. in Pittsburgh, Pa. The device, which for now has no official name, is undergoing road testing and should be ready for the market in mid-2017,

Tags: Trailers, Tandem Axle, Electric Vehicles, Hybrid Trucks

May 2016, TruckingInfo.com - Editorial

Commentary: Options for Dealing With the Technician Shortage

Denise Rondini

By Denise Rondini

No matter how well-made trucks are, they are going to break down occasionally, and they will always require maintenance on a regular basis. Enter the need for finding qualified technicians and then retaining them.

Tags: Technician Shortage, Technicians, retention

May 2016, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Test Drive: Ford's New F-650 Looks, Feels Familiar

The front-end styling is fresh, but Supe rDuty steel cabs, including this five-man crew type, carry over from previous model. The tight front-wheel cut makes the truck highly maneuverable. Photos: Tom Berg

By Tom Berg

If you found Ford’s previous F-650 and F-750 useful, comfortable and easy to drive, you’ll feel the same way about the new generation.

Tags: Medium-Duty Trucks, Ford, Ford F-650, Test Drive

May 2016, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Tribe Express Takes the Long View on Driver Retention

Photo: Tribe Transportation

By David Cullen

Boasting a turnover rate as low as 33%, Tribe Express’ roster includes veteran truckers between 50 and 60 years old, as well as an increasing number of younger (age 28 to 35) and female drivers.

Tags: Drivers, Driver Shortage, Fleet Profile, Driver Retention

May 2016, TruckingInfo.com - Department

ELDs: What Happens When You Have to Rent a Truck?

Photo: J.J. Keller

By David Cullen

Truck rental and leasing companies say the electronic logs mandate presents problems for them and their customers.

Tags: TRALA, Electronic Logging Devices, ELDs, ELD Mandate

May 2016, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Figuring Out DPF Maintenance

Diesel particulate filters appeared in 2007 model-year trucks. After nearly 10 years we are still grappling with maintenance issues.

By Jim Park

DPF and aftertreatment systems may be a maintenance nightmare, but they aren’t going away. It’s up to you to figure them out.

Tags: Maintenance, Emissions, DPF

May 2016, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Modern Maintenance Manager: Cutting Waste in the Shop

One way to use Lean in the shop is to look for ways to cut wasted time and movement by technicians. Photo: XPO Logistics

By Deborah Lockridge

What can the modern maintenance manager learn from productivity tools designed for manufacturing? Quite a lot.

Tags: Maintenance, Productivity, Repair Shops

May 2016, TruckingInfo.com - Editorial

Commentary: The Dark Side of Electronic Logging Devices

Rolf Lockwood

By Rolf Lockwood

The law is one thing, company policy another, but the relationship between driver and dispatcher is where reality happens.

Tags: FMCSA, Hours of Service, ELDs, ELD Mandate

May 2016, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

4 Trends Driving Vocational Truck Design

New technologies are poised to revolutionize vocational trucking in ways that seemed unthinkable just a few years ago.

By Jack Roberts

An explosion of new technology has added an unprecedented range of choices that are changing the way vocational fleets spec and work their trucks.

Tags: Trends, Automated Manual Transmissions, Vocational Trucks

May 2016, TruckingInfo.com - Editorial

Taking It Slow on the Road to Autonomous Trucks

Deborah Lockridge

By Deborah Lockridge

The circumstances behind the 2009 crash of a passenger jet illustrate why we should take it slow on the road to autonomous driving.

Tags: Drivers, Truck Platooning, Autonomous Vehicles

May 2016, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

VIDEO: Idaho Milk Hauler Saves Fuel with Adaptive Gearing

Photo: Jim Park

By Jim Park

Volvo Trucks has put a new spin on an old powertrain management strategy. By locking out top gear on its I-Shift overdrive transmission, drivers can pull loads efficiently in 11th gear (direct drive) and still get the performance they want.

Tags: Volvo, Transmissions, Liquid Tank Trailers

May 2016, TruckingInfo.com - Cover Story

Protecting Your Data

By Jim Beach

Keeping a company’s most vital information safe requires a company-wide effort.

Tags: Data Security

May 2016, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Q&A: Omnitracs' Brad Taylor Talks About Big Data and the Internet of Things

Brad Taylor

By Deborah Lockridge

Why does Omnitracs need a vice president of Internet of Things Solutions? We talked to Brad Taylor to find out in this Q&A to learn more about the role of connectivity and big data in trucking and in everyday life.

Tags: Information Technology, Omnitracs, Big Data, Internet of Things, Q&A

May 2016, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Ex-Military Trucks Find Duties with Civilian Operators

Workers at The Pumpkin Patch in Oregon load the orange orbs aboard a M923  5-ton truck. All-wheel drive works well in mud. Photos: Bob Eggar

By Tom Berg

Bob Eggar, who runs The Pumpkin Patch, a produce farm on an island in the Columbia River, operates three 6x6s to get through mud.

Tags: Used Trucks, IronPlanet, Military Surplus, Military Vehicles, Military Trucks

May 2016, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

The Inventory Thorn in Trucking's Side

Source: Census Bureau

By Evan Lockridge

For many trucking companies business has slowed, and recent numbers bear this out, both in first-quarter earnings reports as well as in broader statistics.

Tags: Economy, Freight, Cass Freight Index

April 2016, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Reefer Technology's Becoming More Important

Carrier’s next refrigerant will be carbon dioxide, which is very safe as a cooling compound even if environmental authorities blame CO2 for helping cause Climate Change. Photo: Carrier Transicold

By Tom Berg

Maintenance and monitoring of temps, real-time tracking of trailers and loads, and clean-burning diesels are already here. More new refrigerants are next.

Tags: Thermo King, Reefers, Carrier Transicold

May 2016, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Titan XD Gas: Another Choice in Nissan's New Category

XD's maximum payload is 2,091 pounds and max tow rating is 12,314 pounds, Nissan said. This truck had 850 pounds of bagged gravel and about 600 pounds of people aboard, yet accelerated very well. Photos: Tom Berg

By Tom Berg

Like the diesel version shown off last December, the gasoline truck's capabilities lie between traditional half- and three-quarter-tonners. Senior Editor Tom Berg has first driving impressions.

Tags: Pickup Trucks, Nissan, Nissan Titan, Large Pickups, Gasoline Engines, Test Drive

April 2016, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Choosing Tires for 6x2s

Putting all the engine torque through the tires on a single drive axle stresses the tires and can cause rapid tire wear. Photos: Jim Park

By Jim Park

6x2 axle configurations offer undisputable weight and fuel savings, but they take their toll on tires. Does it have to be that way?

Tags: Fuel Savings, Tires, 6x2

April 2016, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Mesilla Valley Streamlined Billing Boosts Working Capital

Mesilla Valley is known for fuel efficiency, but it wanted to improve back-office efficiencies as well. Photo: Mesilla Valley Transportation

By David Cullen

Long known for working diligently to squeeze every mile possible out of a gallon of fuel, Mesilla Valley Transportation also aims to wring costs out of every facet of its operation, including its back office.

Tags: Fleet Profile, Electronic Payments, Billing

April 2016, TruckingInfo.com - Editorial

Commentary: Time to Focus on Parts

Denise Rondini

By Denise Rondini

It doesn’t matter how quickly a technician diagnoses a problem; the repair will be put on hold without the right parts.

Tags: Vehicle Repairs, Aftermarket Parts, Parts and Service

April 2016, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Quick Spin: Sneak Peak of the Cummins 2017 X15

We drove all the trucks except the Volvo. The ProStar had the Fuel Efficient version of the new X15, and the Peterbilt had the Performance version. The Kenworth has a current engine for comparison. Photos: Jim Park

By Jim Park

We get behind the wheel of the newest fuel-efficient version of the Cummins ISX and find there’s much to look forward to.

Tags: Cummins, Diesel Engines, Cummins ISX, Test Drive, Engines

April 2016, TruckingInfo.com - Department

The Time-Crunched Safety Manager

As a time-crunched manager, focus is difficult.

By Laura McMillan

Managing safety and training in a fleet means rushing from one brushfire to another. Everyone feels the time crunch. How do you make a difference when you’re juggling priorities, switching tasks, and trying to extinguish that daily brushfire?

Tags: Fleet Management, Driver Safety, Safety

April 2016, TruckingInfo.com - Department

What You Should Know About Today's CNG Fuel Systems

Suppliers are finding ways to hold more CNG in on-board tanks, making it viable for trucks to accomplish longer highway runs. Photos: Tom Berg

By Tom Berg

Natural-gas-powered truck sales have leveled off since the drop in diesel prices, but fleets already using the fuel continue to buy them, especially CNG. What are some of the basics involved in the latest CNG tanks and fuel systems?

Tags: Agility Fuel Systems, CNG Fueling Stations, CNG

April 2016, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

The Trend to Self Shifting Continues

Elvin Knollman began buying Mack mDrives for his tanker fleet in 2011. Fuel economy improved by 0.25-0.5 mpg, and he noticed that his drivers weren’t as tired at the end of a long day. Photo: Trans Mark Logistics

By Tom Berg

Fuel economy and ease of driving push customers into buying automatic or automated products.

Tags: Eaton, Transmissions, Automated Manual Transmissions

April 2016, TruckingInfo.com - Editorial

Commentary: Take a Load Off

Rolf Lockwood

By Rolf Lockwood

These days most of the innovations we see have to do with saving a buck, and we don’t often see one aimed at making drivers more comfortable. How about a custom-fitted truck seat that can be adjusted remotely by a medical professional?

Tags: Driver Health, Driver Comfort, Seats

April 2016, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

The Modern Maintenance Manager: Safety Matters

More than ever, maintenance is as much about safety as anything else.

By David Cullen

The twin forces of increasing safety regulation and a burgeoning driver shortage are compelling the modern maintenance manager to do nothing less than think, live, and breathe truck safety.

Tags: Maintenance, Safety

April 2016, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

The Modern Maintenance Manager

By HDT Staff

What does it take to be a successful modern maintenance manager — and to be ready for what the future brings? Heavy Duty Trucking is exploring the topic with a series of articles that examines the different aspects of being a shop manager in today’s trucking industry.

Tags: Maintenance, Technician Shortage

April 2016, TruckingInfo.com - Editorial

Commentary: Today’s Kids, Tomorrow’s Technicians and Drivers

Deborah Lockridge

By Deborah Lockridge

Do we have a technician shortage, or are we not taking care of the resources we are provided? Editor in Chief Deborah Lockridge looks at this question in this editorial.

Tags: Technician Shortage, Recruiting, Employee Retention, Technicians, TMC

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