Blogs

Second Connector Needed for Tractor-Trailer Communications?

Stopping distances could be even shorter and stability better with more precise signaling between tractors and trailers, which an extra cord or LAN would allow.

Second electrical cable (lower right) on this beverage trailer carries power to charge its liftgate batteries. It coud also carry signals to a high-performance braking system.

March 22, 2017

Increasing need for electronic communications between tractors and trailers could require use of a second electrical line, say brake-performance specialists.

Tags: Brakes, Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake, Safety, Bendix, Air Brakes

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Wednesday, March 22, 2017 3:21 PM | » Comments(0)

Jackknifes Happen Often on Dry Roads, Too

This all occurred in just a second or two, though it took several seconds for the rig to stop, the trailer jammed against a corner of the tractor’s sleeper.

The rig lurches to a stop with probable damage to the tractor's sleeper and who knows what else. No word of any injuries.

March 13, 2017

Anti-lock braking systems are supposed to keep brakes from locking, but this time didn’t. Why might that be?

Tags: Trailers, ABS, Safety

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Monday, March 13, 2017 8:47 AM | » Comments(2)

5 Myths About ELDs

Photo courtesy J.J. Keller

March 10, 2017

In her All That's Trucking blog, HDT's Deborah Lockridge asks compliance expert Tom Bray about the most common myths and misconceptions fleets have about electronic logging devices.

Tags: ELDs, ELD Mandate, J.J. Keller, Safety & Compliance

Author: Deborah Lockridge | Posted @ Friday, March 10, 2017 12:00 PM | » Comments(7)

Thinking About Female Drivers on International Women's Day

Photo courtesy UPS

March 7, 2017

Wednesday, March 8, is International Women’s Day. And while historically, trucking is a heavily male profession, Omnitracs and the Women in Trucking Association have crunched some data indicating that women may actually make better truck drivers than men.

Tags: Truck Drivers, Women in Trucking Association, Omnitracs, Women Drivers

Author: Deborah Lockridge | Posted @ Tuesday, March 7, 2017 2:55 PM | » Comments(1)

Regulations Will Widen Use of Aero Devices, Wabco Says

Operators will realize solid fuel savings that will pay for the devices in under two years, unless the devices are damaged or need other repairs.

Trailer skirts are common on vans and reefers, and soon will become standard equipment. Other devices will be necessary to meet federal requirements by 2021. Photo: Tom Berg

March 5, 2017

Starting Jan. 1 of next year – fewer than nine months from now – all new 53-foot box-type trailers will come with trailer skirts, like ‘em or not. Tom Berg has more in his Trailer Talk blog.

Tags: Trailers, Fuel Economy, Aerodynamics, GHG, EPA

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Sunday, March 5, 2017 10:30 PM | » Comments(1)

FlowBelow Shows Aero Device for Trailer Wheels

The Trailer AeroKit uses wheel covers plus fairings in front, between and behind the wheels, similar to a tractor AeroKit.

Trailer AeroKit includes fairings ahead, between and behind the wheels on a trailer's tandem. Photos: FlowBelow Aero

February 27, 2017

Wheel covers and fairings smooth the complex air flow around trailer wheels and suspension. They complement other trailer aerodynamic devices. Tom Berg highlights one of the newest entrants in his Trailer Talk blog.

Tags: Fuel Economy, Aerodynamics, Trailers, FlowBelow

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Monday, February 27, 2017 12:20 AM | » Comments(0)

On Slick Pavement, ‘The Sliding Wheel Wants to Lead’

Whichever wheels are skidding on a tractor-trailer will want to get in front and take the rest of the rig with it.

ABS is supposed to prevent jackknifes, but somestimes can't when pavement's icy, as on this freeway in the Northeast a few weeks ago.

February 24, 2017

When encountering a slick road, it’s a real good idea to test the brakes to see how the rig behaves. Then you'll know what to expect in a real application.

Tags: Driver Safety, Safety, ABS

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Friday, February 24, 2017 9:03 AM | » Comments(1)

Do You Have a Will?

It's far easier to get your will in order than it will be for your family to figure out your wishes after your gone without a will. Photo by Jim Park

February 9, 2017

Without a clear statement of your intentions in the form of a will, the state might make these decisions for you, or decide how to divvy up your assets – possibly including your truck if you're an owner-operator. Jim Park blogs about why drivers (and others) need to give this some thought.

Tags: Truck Drivers, Driver Health

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Thursday, February 9, 2017 8:14 PM | » Comments(0)

Will Driver Misclassification Issues Ease Under Trump Administration?

Independent contractors operating at ports, like the Port of Long Beach, are challenging their status. Photo: Jim Park

February 7, 2017

What will happen to the battle over the alleged "misclassification" of owner-operator truck drivers under our new Republican administration? Deborah Lockridge has some insight in her "All That's Trucking" blog.

Tags: Drivers, Legal, Independent Contractors

Author: Deborah Lockridge | Posted @ Tuesday, February 7, 2017 12:39 PM | » Comments(0)

House Transpo Committee Boldly Goes Online

Photo: U.S. Department of Transportation

February 6, 2017

Despite its ultra-wonky clunkiness, “infrastructure” is a word that keeps right on trending hard inside the Beltway.

Tags: Infrastructure, U.S. House of Representatives, Infrastructure Funding

Author: David Cullen | Posted @ Monday, February 6, 2017 2:24 PM | » Comments(0)

The Not-So-New Capitol Hill Players…

Photo: Architect of the Capitol

January 13, 2017

How the Trump Presidency ultimately pans out, of course, remains to be seen. But a key influence on how well the 45th President might succeed as an agent of change is as clear as the electoral-college vote— the GOP establishment still holds sway on Capitol Hill.

Tags: U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, Donald Trump

Author: David Cullen | Posted @ Friday, January 13, 2017 2:10 PM | » Comments(0)

The Steel Box That Changed Global Logistics

Did you know a trucking entrepreneur invented the modern shipping container?

Container ship at the Port of Long Beach. Photo: Jim Park

January 9, 2017

A dockworker from the 1950s would not recognize a modern cargo port, where huge gantries move steel boxes full of cargo from all over the world between ships, trains, and trucks. Deborah Lockridge has more in the All That's Trucking blog.

Tags: Intermodal, In the Media, Ports, Trucking History

Author: Deborah Lockridge | Posted @ Monday, January 9, 2017 5:14 AM | » Comments(0)

Chao Seen as Shoo-in for DOT Chief

Image via Elainelchao.com

January 6, 2017

Of all those nominated to hold high government positions so far by President-elect Trump, Elaine Chao is the most likely to breeze through confirmation by the Senate.

Tags: U.S. DOT, Donald Trump

Author: David Cullen | Posted @ Friday, January 6, 2017 2:18 PM | » Comments(0)

7 Rules to Watch in ‘17

President-elect Trump speaking during the election campaign. Image: DonaldJTrump.com<br />

December 29, 2016

Donald Trump has yet to be sworn into office as the 45th President of the United States, so it's still far too soon to confidently predict how his stated goal of reducing the federal regulation of American business will be met in 2017.

Tags: FMCSA, Regulations, U.S. Congress, Donald Trump

Author: David Cullen | Posted @ Thursday, December 29, 2016 12:12 PM | » Comments(0)

FMCSA Administrator Gets Glimpse of Life on the Road

Administrator Scott Darling and professional driver, Stephanie Klang. Photo courtesy Women in Trucking

December 12, 2016

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator Scott Darling last week got a taste of life on the road when he went for a ride with Women In Trucking Association’s Stephanie Klang, a professional driver for truckload carrier CFI based in Joplin, Missouri.

Tags: FMCSA, Women in Trucking

Author: Deborah Lockridge | Posted @ Monday, December 12, 2016 5:34 PM | » Comments(0)

Lessons of Water Win Could Pave Way for Highway Victory

Leadership, willingness to negotiate, and dealing in hard facts helped steer a major water infrastructure bill through Congress. Photo: U.S. Department of Transportation

December 12, 2016

When trucking advocates push for an extensive highway bill on Capitol Hill next year, they will at least have a proven roadmap to consult.

Tags: Highway Funding, AASHTO, Infrastructure Funding, Donald Trump

Author: David Cullen | Posted @ Monday, December 12, 2016 2:29 PM | » Comments(0)

When Cummins Went to Indy

The #28 Cummins Special diesel race car is much more than a colorful relic from the past.

Bruce Watson, driver and caretaker of the Cummins #28 Special. Photo by Jim Park

August 10, 2016

Cummins Engine Co. founder Clessie Cummins knew a thing or two about making engines. As it turns out he had a twisted genius for marketing too.

Tags: Diesel Engines, Cummins, Racing, History

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Wednesday, August 10, 2016 1:38 PM | » Comments(0)

Rodeo du Camion is a Trucking Event Like No Other

Photo: Jim Park

July 20, 2016

Anyone who says all the fun has gone from trucking has never been to Rodeo du Camion. It's a trucking event like no other, where drivers pull 45-ton loads of 2x4 lumber up a 12% grade in pursuit of a few thousands dollars in prize money. Jim Park has more in his On the Road blog.

Tags: Canada, Rodeo du Camion

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Wednesday, July 20, 2016 6:30 AM | » Comments(1)

Leaky Roofs, Plugged DPFs and a Rainbow of Coolants: TMC Tackles them All

Photo by Jim Park

March 3, 2016

What we learn from sessions like TMC's Fleet Forum is that you probably aren't the only truck owner having a particular problem. It puts the boots to the oft-heard comment from dealers, "Gee, I've never heard that one before."

Tags: TMC, DPF, Heavy Duty Coolants, Antifreeze, Maintenance

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Thursday, March 3, 2016 10:37 PM | » Comments(0)

For Whom the ELD Bell Tolls

Life with ELDs will be an easy transition for some, not so easy for others. Photo by Jim Park.

December 10, 2015

It's official, finally; hours of service is going electronic. In his On the Road blog, Equipment Editor and former driver Jim Park tells fleets and owner-operators to prepare now for a cut in productivity and make the necessary adjustment to your operation while you still can.

Tags: FMCSA, ELDs, Hours of Service

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Thursday, December 10, 2015 11:28 AM | » Comments(1)

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