On the Road

Electric Semi: More Sizzle than Steak?

Blog commentary by Jim Park, Equipment Editor

Tesla founder Elon Musk tweeted this image of his upcoming all-electric tractor during a TED talk in Vancouver on April 29. Source: Twitter

The first image of Tesla's Electric Semi seem to show exactly the wrong type of electric truck. Is this for the benefit of investors or the trucking industry? Equipment Editor Jim Park explores the question in his On the Road blog. READ MORE

Tags: Electric Vehicles, Elon Musk, Tesla, Alternative Fuels & Hybrids

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Tuesday, May 2, 2017 11:00 AM | » Comments(3)

Terror by Truck: It's Happened Again

Blog commentary by Jim Park, Equipment Editor

Unattended trucks could become instruments of destruction. Photo by Jim Park

Someone in Stockholm, Sweden, crashed a delivery truck into a crowded department store, killing at least three. It's been described as an act of terror, but it may also have been a crime of opportunity. In his On the Road blog, Equipment Editor Jim Park asks: Are we ready to prevent or defend against such an attack? READ MORE

Tags: Cybersecurity, Terrorism

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Friday, April 7, 2017 1:04 PM | » Comments(2)

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

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. READ MORE

Tags: Truck Drivers, Driver Health

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Thursday, February 9, 2017 8:14 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

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. READ MORE

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

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. READ MORE

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

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." READ MORE

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.

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. READ MORE

Tags: FMCSA, ELDs, Hours of Service

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

Ladies, Gentlemen; Please Meet THE Dumbest Truck Driver in the World

YouTube screen capture

You simply won't believe your eyes when you see what some dumb-*ss truck driver is doing in this YouTube video. Equipment editor Jim Park is just glad he was kind enough to leave behind this bit of evidence. Does anybody have any idea who this guy is? READ MORE

Tags: Driver Safety, Driver Behavior

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Monday, August 24, 2015 10:45 PM | » Comments(13)

Daredevil Shatters Record with 166-foot Truck Jump

Photo courtesy of Mike Ryan Motor Sports.

Equipment Editor Jim Park, can think of a lot of things he'd like to do in a big truck, but jumping over a 160-foot abyss isn't one of them. In his 'On the Road' blog he explains he'll gladly leave that to the professionals. READ MORE

Tags: Freightliner, In the Media

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Tuesday, July 28, 2015 12:19 PM | » Comments(1)

Were Those Old Trucks Really as Good as We Remember?

Still one of my favorites, this example, a 1980 International Transtar Eagle, belongs to Steve Constantin of Hamilton, Ontario. Photo by Jim Park

A weekend at an antique and classic truck show opens up the floodgates and the memories of 20 years on the road come flooding back. Equipment Editor Jim Park makes a few seat-of-the-pants comparisons of the truck he used to drive to the trucks we're driving today. READ MORE

Tags: Driver Comfort, Classic Truck, History, Cabovers

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Thursday, July 9, 2015 11:10 AM | » Comments(6)

Sometimes it's Driver Error; Sometimes it's an Optical Illusion

Illustration via WSBTV

We all know some freeway off-ramp bends are too tight, but we sort of expect that. When the mainline of the highway has too tight a turn it can be shocking. All the more so when your eyes tell you the road is straight ... READ MORE

Tags: Truck Drivers, Interstate, Rollovers

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Monday, May 4, 2015 9:03 AM | » Comments(1)

Too Fast for Your Tires?

Truck speeds above 75 mpg can compromise tires, but that's less likely to happen if they are properly maintained. Photo by Jim Park

Are higher highway speed limits a real threat to tire safety? A recent Associated Press story suggests that trucks running north of 75 mph could be at elevated risk of tire failure because they are going too fast. Equipment Editor Jim Park offers insight into the truth of the matter. READ MORE

Tags: Tire Inflation, NHTSA, Tires

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Wednesday, April 8, 2015 12:00 AM | » Comments(11)

What's the Best Thing Ever to Happen to Cargo Securement?

Of all the rules truckers must abide by, the cargo securement rules are likely the most often misinterpreted. In many cases, citations result not from willful neglect or negligence, but from simple ignorance or misunderstanding. And it's not always only the driver who's to blame. READ MORE

Tags: Cargo Securement, CVSA, Canada

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Thursday, February 26, 2015 6:51 AM | » Comments(0)

Square Pegs, Round Holes: Trucking & Demographics

The study of demographics is the key to solving the driver shortage. That means more than counting down to the day when the last driver is hired.

Demographics gives us clues about why younger people do not want to become truck drivers. We can learn from those clues. Photo by Jim Park

As far back as 1996, it was abundantly clear that the driver shortage as we knew it then was nothing compared to what we face today. The driver shortage then was just a puff of smoke on the horizon. Today, we could say the torpedoes are in the water. It didn't have to be that way. READ MORE

Tags: Driver Shortage, Image, Demographics

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Wednesday, February 4, 2015 9:21 AM | » Comments(4)

Busted! How I Got Caught Littering -- Or So it Appeared

Sometimes things aren't exactly as they appear. Was Equipment Editor Jim Park really caught throwing something out the window on an Ultimate Test Drive video? Read the On the Road blog to find out. READ MORE

Tags: Image

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Thursday, January 15, 2015 9:20 PM | » Comments(0)

The Driver Shortage: Make it Someone Else's Problem

Don't hold your breath waiting for someone or some group to come along with a way of solving trucking's labor crisis. It won't happen that way. The only real way to solve this problem is one fleet at a time. READ MORE

Tags: Driver Shortage, Driver Turnover, National Private Truck Council, ATA

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Tuesday, November 11, 2014 10:55 PM | » Comments(2)

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

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. READ MORE

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.

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. READ MORE

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

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. READ MORE

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

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.

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. READ MORE

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

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

Skilled Driver Saves Semi from Being Blown Over

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

Tags: Drivers, Weather, Rollovers

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

Are Drivers Sitting Ducks?

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. READ MORE

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

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. READ MORE

Tags: Distracted Driving, Drivers, Anne Ferro

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

Trusting Technology

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. READ MORE

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.

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. READ MORE

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

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

Previous||12345||

Author Bio

sponsored by

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.

Newsletter

We offer e-newsletters that deliver targeted news and information for the entire fleet industry.

GotQuestions?

sponsored by

ELDs and Telematics

Scott Sutarik from Geotab will answer your questions and challenges

View All

GotQuestions?

Sleeper Cab Power

Steve Carlson from Xantrex will answer your questions and challenges

View All