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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

April 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Revisiting the North American Fatigue Management Program

People get tired but when they’re driving a truck loaded with thousands of pounds of freight, the risks associated with fatigue increase exponentially.

By Stephane Babcock

There’s no getting around it — people get tired. But when they’re driving a truck loaded with thousands of pounds of freight, the risks associated with fatigue increase exponentially.

Tags: Driver Safety, Fatigue

April 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Retractable Tarping Mechanisms Quick, Safe

Joe Bryant, a flatbedder from Ohio, checks the strapping on his tarped load of steel coils while fueling near Wilmington along I-71. He prefers manual tarps because it’s hands-on.

By Tom Berg

Throwing a tarpaulin over a big load on a flatbed trailer, especially on a cold, snowy windy day might be the most difficult job in trucking but there are easier alternatives.

Tags: Trailers, Tarping

April 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Attracting and Retaining Drivers with Satellite TV

A golf tournament is displayed on the EpicVue flat-screen TV inside a truck’s sleeper. The company offers its service based on three-year and five-year contracts. Photo via EpicVue

By Jim Beach

Cargo Transporters recently started installing in-cab satellite TV systems in some of its trucks and the driver feedback has been encouraging.

Tags: Technology, Driver Shortage, Driver Retention

April 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Editorial

Commentary: It Comes Down to Quality

Denise Rondini, Aftermarket Editor.

By Denise Rondini

While it seems like price dominates conversations about both parts purchasing and service provider selection, the reality is that it often is not the most important factor.

Tags: Vehicle Quality, Aftermarket Parts, Minimizer

April 2015, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Emissions Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow: Waste Heat Recovery

Photo courtesy of Today's Trucking

By Rolf Lockwood

Waste heat recovery systems are being developed by engine makers but are they the worth the compromises they bring in the name of more efficiency?

Tags: Emissions, Regulations, Fuel Efficiency, GHG

April 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

How Corrosion Causes Electrical Problems

Corrosion wreaks havoc on big robust connectors like this. What do you think happens in systems that need to detect changes of mere millivolts?

By Jim Park

Almost every electrical or electronic problem with trucks today can be traced back to one single source: corrosion-induced voltage irregularities.

Tags: Corrosion, Electrical System, Wiring

April 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Trading Diesel for Kilowatts

The third generation of TransPower’s ElecTruck powertrain includes four large battery boxes hung from frame rails and another mounted behind the cab.

By Tom Berg

In California, electric vehicles’ zero tailpipe emissions are golden, that’s why Transportation Power Inc. has been designing and testing battery-electric heavy drayage and yard tractors.

Tags: Green Fleets, Ports, Battery-Electric Vehicles, Electric Trucks

April 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Test Drive: CNG F-650 Dump Truck

The F-650 offers the same cab choices as other Super Duty trucks. This one’s long crew cab required a lengthy wheelbase, but the steering gear’s tight wheel cut allowed great maneuverability.

By Tom Berg

Ford’s big V-10 is strong and fairly quiet as it revs to make horses that feed on natural gas.

Tags: Ford F-650, CNG, Dump Trucks, Ford

April 2015, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Emissions Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow: One Test or Two?

Testing the engine as a component rather than separate from a vehicle could be a better solution for meeting strict emissions standards. Photo courtesy of Today's Trucking

By Rolf Lockwood

Allowing a manufacturer to focus on improving an entire vehicle - instead of just the engine - could reduce operating costs while still meeting efficiency standards.

Tags: Emissions, Regulations, GHG, EPA, Daimler Trucks North America

April 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Editorial

Commentary: Self-Driving Trucks Sooner Than You Think

Rolf Lockwood, Executive Contributing Editor

By Rolf Lockwood

Dutch transport officials have a plan that would see self-driving trucks hauling freight from Rotterdam, Europe’s largest port, to other cities in the next five years.

Tags: Mercedes-Benz, Self-Driving Vehicles, Future Trucks, Autonomous Drive

April 2015, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Emissions Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow: Apples and Oranges

Adjusting to Phase 1 of the fuel economy and greenhouse gas regulations may have eased the coming transition into Phase 2. Photo via Freightliner

By Rolf Lockwood

Adjusting to Phase 1 of the fuel economy and greenhouse gas regulations may have eased the coming transition into Phase 2. Part 3 of a webXclusive series.

Tags: Emissions, Regulations, GHG, EPA

April 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Editorial

Commentary: Glimpses of the Future in Louisville

Deborah Lockridge, Editor in Chief

By Deborah Lockridge

With economists and truck makers predicting what truck sales will look like this year, hints of what products we might see announced next year, concept trucks and prototypes on display, the Mid-America Trucking Show is a glimpse of the future.

Tags: Alternative Fuels, Mid-America Trucking Show, SuperTruck, Autonomous Drive

April 2015, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

How Will the Next Highway Bill Get Funded?

By David Cullen

More attention is being paid this week to legislating infrastructure funding as the expiration date on the current MAP-21 highway bill looms ever closer - not that deadlines mean much on Capitol Hill.

Tags: Fuel Tax, Highway Bill, Repatriation, User Fees

April 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Cover Story

Where the Connected Fleet is Headed

While the connected fleet is already here, it has yet to fully arrive.

By Jim Beach

While self-driving trucks plying smart streets in smart cities may be decades away, for most carriers, the connected fleet is a reality and that connectivity will only increase down the road.

Tags: Telematics, Information Technology, Connected Vehicle Technology

April 2015, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Emissions Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow: Changing the Focus

Photo: Evan Lockridge

By Rolf Lockwood

A great deal of controversy already surrounds this next phase of the fuel economy and GHG reduction effort, as President Obama demanded in February of last year.

Tags: Emissions, Regulations, GHG, EPA

April 2015, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Emissions Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow: Where We've Been

EPA 2010 emissions standards created exhaust gases so clean they no longer blacken the stacks. Photo: Jim Park

By Rolf Lockwood

An in-depth look at the emissions regimes that we have now and will see in the future. Part one of a WebXclusive series.

Tags: Emissions, Regulations, GHG, EPA

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