On the Road

The Little Engine That Did

This 95-year-old Hvid engine still produces 6 horsepower at 550 rpm. It weighs 1,100 pounds, and the two flywheels weigh 375 pounds each. Photo by Jim Park

September 8, 2014

Fans of old engines and machinery would have been thrilled to find this working, 95-year-old engine on display at the the 40th anniversary celebrations of Cummins Jamestown, N.Y.. assembly plant. It's believed to have been among the first engines ever produced by the Cummins Engine Co., hand-built by Clessie Cummins himself. Jim Park has more in his "On the Road" blog.

Tags: Cummins, History, Engines

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Monday, September 8, 2014 9:45 AM | » Comments(1)

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 sides 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)

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)

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)

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)

FMCSA's Ferro Ponders Distraction Potential of On-board Displays

Drivers automatically sort details from distractions. Alerts just add to the workload. Photo: Jim Park

April 4, 2014

Ann Ferro's curiosity over in-cab distraction is well-founded, but who will decide how much is too much? Equipment Editor Jim Park muses on the topic in his latest "On the Road" blog post.

Tags: Distracted Driving, Drivers, Safety, Anne Ferro

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Friday, April 4, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

Trusting Technology

March 18, 2014

HDT Equipment Editor Jim Park had a few breakdowns during his driving career, but never with a brand new truck. A lesson learned with a brand new computer shows how vulnerable we can be to technology, as he shares in his "On the Road" blog.

Tags: breakdowns, Information Technology

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Tuesday, March 18, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Are High Fuel Prices Killing Drivers?

Low prices entice carriers into the pumper outlets that often don't offer full-service, sit-down restaurants.

February 26, 2014

If it's not bad enough that drivers seldom have the time to eat properly and exercise, escalating fuel costs are driving fleets to buy fuel where it's cheapest, says Jim Park in his On the Road blog. Those places specialize in fast turn-over take-out food, not necessarily the food drivers need for a healthy, balanced diet.

Tags: Diet & Nutrition, Driver Health, Drivers, Truckstops

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Wednesday, February 26, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(3)

Death in the Tire Shop

Better communication and a little more awareness might have prevented a deadly shop accident. Photo by Jim Park

February 4, 2014

A tire service technician was killed when he was run over by the truck he was working on. Could more regulations have prevented the tragedy? Possibly, but so could better communication and a little more awareness of what goes on in a repair shop, says Equipment Editor Jim Park in his On the Road blog.

Tags: Tires, Safety, Technicians, maintenance, In the Shop

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Tuesday, February 4, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

Snow Happens

January 30, 2014

With 55 winters under his belt, Equipment Editor, Jim Park is amused by the expectation that life should continue like normal in places where they hardly ever see snow.

Tags: Snow Removal, City of Atlanta

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Thursday, January 30, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(6)

New HOS Rules for Pilots Humanize the Job and Make Flying Safer Too

(Flight Simulator X screen grab by Jim Park)

January 10, 2014

Nobody likes being told when to go to sleep and when to wake up, especially when you're not naturally inclined to do one or the other. HDT Equipment Editor Jim Park lived with trucking's hours of service rules for 20 years, and in this On the Road blog post, he compares trucking HOS with a new set of hours of service rules for pilots.

Tags: FMCSA, Hours of Service, FAA

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Friday, January 10, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

There's more to trucking than black smoke and taillights

Photo by Jim Park

December 31, 2013

Equipment Editor, Jim Park, shares his thoughts and experiences about the fund raising truck convoys that happen in the fall. He says these events show a side of drivers the public and some in the industry rarely see.

Tags: Special Olympics, World's Largest Truck Convoy, Convoy for a cure

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Tuesday, December 31, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(2)

A Different Sort of Christmas Carol

"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." --William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 5.

December 20, 2013

As a writer, our Equipment Editor, Jim Park, has a good imagination. He swears, though, that on two particular occasions, he wasn't imagining anything, when he suddenly got the urge to do something totally out of the blue. It was good that he did, too.

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Friday, December 20, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

The perils of winter driving, or, self-inflicted wounds

December 12, 2013

Equipment Editor Jim Park, has seen his share of calamity on snow-covered highways. He got through his 20 years of driving unscathed, but the point of view from the driver's seat is a little different that that of a traffic camera mounted dozens of feet in the air. Park says this ringside-seat video provides a new perspective on winter driving.

Tags: Winter Driving, Safety, Winter

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Thursday, December 12, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(3)

Thirty-five years' experience or one year's experience 35 times?

The case for basic driving skills should be clear because truck drivers have milliseconds to react to problems. Pilots sometimes have several minutes. Photo: Jim Park

November 27, 2013

Equipment Editor Jim Park has had a CDL for 35 years. But does he know how to really drive a truck? We may never know until the day comes when he has to put his skills to the test.

Tags: Driver Training

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Wednesday, November 27, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

Why We Need Good Driver Training

October 29, 2013

VIDEO -- Equipment Editor Jim Park recently found a truck route that reminded him of the importance of good driver training. Suspend your disbelief for a few minutes, pretend the sound of Jim's motorcycle engine is a Jake Brake, and join him for a trip down a truly hair-raising hill.

Tags: Driver Training, Mountain Driving, Engine Brake, Rookie Driver, Safety, Drivers

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Tuesday, October 29, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Twin-Sticks to No-Sticks (Trucks have sure come a long way, Baby)

Back before they invented automated manuals with dash displays, driver had to remember which gear they were in.

October 21, 2013

It's easy to look back nostalgically at trucks that our grandfathers drove. Spend a day in one like Equipment Editor Jim Park did recently and say you wouldn't kill for an an automated transmission and an air-ride seat. Read more in Park's "On the Road" blog.

Tags: Mack, ADT, B61, Mack Customer Center

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Monday, October 21, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(3)

A Tale of Two Fuel Tests

SmartTruck says testing has shown the fuel economy of its undertray aero system is higher than recent results we reported from PIT.

October 8, 2013

What conclusion is the reader supposed to come to when two sets of properly conducted and documented fuel economy tests yield significantly different results? It would be easy to dismiss one of the tests as inaccurate, but that would still not answer the question, which one is wrong? What if both of them are right? A recent news article published such test results and yielded a significant discrepancy. A week-long deep-dive into fuel economy testing and real-world fleet results reveals that we s

Tags: Trailers, Aerodynamics, PIT, PIT Undertray

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Tuesday, October 8, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Why drivers do not believe there's a driver shortage

September 5, 2013

Drivers are repeatedly reminded that they are in short supply, but Jim Park asks why the industry is not responding as it should to tight supply conditions.

Tags: Driver Shortage

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Thursday, September 5, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(4)

In Praise of Higher Achievement

August 27, 2013

The National Truck Driving Championships and the North American Inspectors Championship are great showcases for industry skill and expertise. Equipment Editor Jim Park explains in his "On the Road" blog why it's too bad these competitions don't appeal to a broader audience.

Tags: NAIC, North American Inspectors Championship, Drivers, Image, In the Media

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Tuesday, August 27, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

More Killer Truckers for your viewing pleasure

August 12, 2013

Television and trucking have always had a tenuous relationship. This week, a Discovery Channel expose all but guarantees the industry another black eye. In this week's blog, Jim Park questions the value to anyone of dredging up four old kidnap and murder cases involving longhaul truck drivers.

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Monday, August 12, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(8)

What happens when the facts show FMCSA goofed?

The new hours of service rules will cause more crashes than they prevent.

August 7, 2013

Equipment Editor and former over-the-road driver, Jim Park, ponders how FMCSA will cover its tracks when the crash rate actually goes up because of the new HOS rules.

Tags: EOBR, HOS, FMCSA

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Wednesday, August 7, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(8)

That Darned Old Trucker Pride

July 23, 2013

"My first shot at going backwards resulted in something resembling a sheet-bend knot. My second attempt was better. More like a half-hitch knot, but still nowhere near the target." In his latest "On the Road" blog post, Equipment Editor Jim Park gets his hat handed to him by a seasoned British driver after boasting that backing an articulated truck can't be that difficult.

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Tuesday, July 23, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

The Magnificent Stopping Power of Air Disc Brakes

July 15, 2013

" Since a 13-liter diesel engine with 40 tons in tow will never match the get-up-and-go of a Porsche 911 GT3, we G-force junkies have to get our fix with air disc brakes." Equipment Editor Jim Park got the chance to test the stopping power of several European trucks with air disc brakes on a trip to Europe last week, and he shares the experience in his latest "On the Road" blog post.

Tags: Disc Brakes, Brakes, Meritor, Global

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Monday, July 15, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(6)

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Author Bio

Jim Park

Equipment Editor

Truck journalist 13 years, commercial driver 20 years. Joined us in 2007. Specializes in technical/equipment material (including Tire Report), brings real-world perspective to test drives.

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