Blogs

How Important are Claims About Towing Capacity?

Who's really 'best in class,' and do customers really care?

The latest truck maker to claim towing capacity superiority is Ford, which has upped the horsepower and torque of its Power Stroke V-8 diesel to propel an F-450 pickup and a trailer as heavy as 31,200 pounds.

July 31, 2014

Senior Editor Tom Berg branches out a bit in his Trailer Talk blog this week to talk about how much trailer load heavy pickups can haul. In a demonstration a couple of weeks ago, Ford pitted a pair of Power Stroke-powered F-450 pickups against a Ram 3500 dually pickup with a Cummins Turbo Diesel to demonstrate towing capacity.

Tags: Ford F-Series Super Duty, Ram Heavy Duty, Pickup Trucks, Trailers

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Thursday, July 31, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Trucking Lost Faith in Anne Ferro -- But Replacement Could Be Worse

Almost from the day she took office, FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro became a lightning rod for all the ill will on both side of trucking's fence.

July 29, 2014

Trucker-turned-editor Jim Park gives his perspective of Anne Ferro's tenure as chief of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration -- and some chilling thoughts about her potential replacement -- in his "On the Road" blog.

Tags: FMCSA, CSA, Anne Ferro

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Tuesday, July 29, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Chicago Truck Crash Triggers Scrutiny of Logbooks, Coercion

July 29, 2014

A Chicago-area truck crash that killed four has led to local attention to federal hours-of-service rules, the mandatory electronic logs proposal, and federal efforts to address coercion of drivers to break the law. Deborah Lockridge has more in her On the Road blog.

Tags: Accidents, Safety, Hours of Service, Illinois, In the Media

Author: Deborah Lockridge | Posted @ Tuesday, July 29, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Back a Double-Trailer Rig? There’s an App for That

A demonstration by ZF engineers a couple of weeks ago in Germany was impressive because it wasn’t being done by a driver, but a guy with a tablet computer.

July 22, 2014

The point is productivity: A vehicle longer and more complex than the single semis normally used in most of Europe could be employed to haul more cargo in one trip. And with little training, its driver could back it into position for loading or unloading.

Tags: Productivity, long combination vehicles, Remote Controls, ZF Friedrichshafen AG

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Tuesday, July 22, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Carriers in the Driver's Seat for Shippers Looking for Preferred Status

July 22, 2014

Editor in Chief Deborah Lockridge says her inbox delivered a sure sign that there's a capacity crunch -- advice to help shippers get "preferred" status at motor carriers.

Tags: Transplace, Shippers

Author: Deborah Lockridge | Posted @ Tuesday, July 22, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

NTSB Spreads the Skagit Bridge Blame, Soft-pedals the Real Problem

July 16, 2014

There is no excuse whatsoever for a driver striking a low bridge if the obstruction is accurately marked. That obviously wasn't the case with the Skagit River Bridge and there's only one doorstep on which to lay that blame.

Tags: NTSB, Skagit River Bridge, Mullen Trucking, Oversize Loads, Washington, Safety

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Wednesday, July 16, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

President Touts Smart Highways and Vehicles in Infrastructure Push

July 16, 2014

Tuesday, President Obama took a quick trip across the Potomac to visit the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center, a facility in McLean, Virginia, that focuses on highway technologies that help make driving safer and smarter.

Tags: Infrastructure, Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communications, Vehicle-to-Infrastructure Communications, Highway Funding, Self-Driving Vehicles, President Obama

Author: Deborah Lockridge | Posted @ Wednesday, July 16, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

The Growth of Rail Intermodal

July 9, 2014

An article in DC Velocity says domestic intermodal "appears to have come of age." Deborah Lockridge looks at the issue in her "All That's Trucking" blog.

Tags: Intermodal, Shippers

Author: Deborah Lockridge | Posted @ Wednesday, July 9, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Curved Upper Edge on Trailers Avoids Tree-Branch Damage

The idea came from truck bodies, but Darry Stuart put it to use on trailers.

July 8, 2014

Tree branches batter top nose rails and corner caps of trailers because they snag on the sharp channels. Tom Berg talks to one fleet manager who found curved surfaces up there let the branches slide past harmlessly.

Tags: Vehicle Damage, Hyundai Translead, Trailers, Dry Vans

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Tuesday, July 8, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

A Chat with Chinese Truckers at a Shell Roadshow Near Shanghai

Chinese trucks are larger, more powerful and more comfortable than they used to be. Photo: Deborah Lockridge

July 7, 2014

Chinese truckers talk about how trucks have changed in their country over the past two decades during Editor in Chief Deborah Lockridge's visit to a "truck park" near Shanghai.

Tags: Drivers, China, Truckstops, Global

Author: Deborah Lockridge | Posted @ Monday, July 7, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

Squinty Tail Lights Have a Reliability Benefit

July 2, 2014

Tom Berg spots an unusual trailer lighting system on the road. Grote LED light bars need only three pigtails to connect to the sealed wiring harness, reducing the chances for corrosion and electrical failures, he explains in his Trailer Talk blog.

Tags: Trailers, Fontaine, Grote, Lighting, LEDs, Flatbed Trailers

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Wednesday, July 2, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Driver Tries Citizen's Arrest on a Cop with Interesting Results

If you don't have the moral high ground to successfully challenge a citation, the result could come back to bite you.

July 1, 2014

This amusing video surfaced on YouTube recently. In his On the Road blog, Jim Park compares it to a parable of sorts about glass houses and throwing stones. In this case, the bad guy had the humility to admit he was wrong, but it doesn't always go so smoothly.

Tags: CSA, Citation, DataQ, Drivers, Law Enforcement

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Tuesday, July 1, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Solar Panels Cure Problem of Run-Down Liftgate Batteries

There are various remedies for weak batteries, but Darry Stuart, a contract fleet manager, looked to the sun for a solution.

June 23, 2014

A single 100-watt solar panel keeps the trailer's four Group 31 batteries charged and the liftgate operating reliably.

Tags: Trailers, Idle Reduction, Reefers, eNow, Solar Charging

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Monday, June 23, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Skilled Driver Saves Semi from Being Blown Over

May 14, 2014

A driver was caught on video recently in a hair-raising battle with a prairie wind. And this time the driver won.

Tags: Drivers, Weather, Rollovers

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Wednesday, May 14, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Are Drivers Sitting Ducks?

April 9, 2014

Excessive sitting has been implicated in increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, premature death, disability, depression, weight gain and even some cancers. Just what drivers need to hear.

Tags: Driver Health

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Wednesday, April 9, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

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