Trailer Talk

Like Late-Blooming Perennials, Trucks and Tractor-Trailers Appear for the Harvest

Harvest-service rigs with hopper-bottom trailers pause at sunset along U.S. 23 in northwestern Ohio. Tomorrow they’ll resume working, hauling grain that eventually will arrive at far-away markets. (Photo by Tom Berg)

'Tis the most glorious time of year, when the air turns cool and crisp, tree leaves turn red, gold and yellow, and trucks and tractor-trailers begin working with cutters and threshers to bring in the harvest READ MORE

Tags: Specialty

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Sunday, October 10, 2010 2:57 PM | » Comments(0)

Hello, Dolly! New TMC Recommendations on Dolly Details

Large handles on a dolly’s tongue help a driver raise it without undue strain. Tongue jacks eliminate most lifting, but jacks need safeguards to avoid damage.  (Photo courtesy TMC)

Converter dollies have been around so long that you'd think every one on the road is built about as correctly as can be. But some lack handles that drivers can grasp to lift dollies' front ends, and those might also be the ones that don't have enough counterbalancing weight READ MORE

Tags: Specialty

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Tuesday, September 28, 2010 8:24 PM | » Comments(0)

Vanguard's Mudd Sees Extra Strong Trailer Sales

Vanguard Trailer's president, Charlie Mudd, agrees with industry economists in repeating sales forecasts of 90,000 dry vans for 2011 and 120,000 for 2012. READ MORE

Tags: Trends

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Sunday, September 19, 2010 11:57 AM | » Comments(0)

Innovative Fleet Installing 3,500 Sets of Trailer Aero Improvers

Mesilla Valley Transportation, known for its efforts at saving fuel, is equipping its entire fleet of 3,500 long-haul trailers with side skirts and a folding boat tail that together claim an economy betterment of almost 12 percent at highway speeds READ MORE

Tags: Fuel Economy

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Wednesday, September 15, 2010 8:31 AM | » Comments(0)

Dealers Offer Maintenance Tips for Neglected Trailer Brakes

Dealers caution trailers owners to use good-quality brake chambers; this is one from TRP Aftermarket Parts, made with 10-gauge reinforced stud-mounted housing.

With more freight moving as the economy revives, fleets are pulling dormant trailers away from fences and putting them into service. But those trailers probably sat through at least one harsh winter and summer, and maintenance on them may have been neglected. READ MORE

Tags: Maintenance

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Thursday, September 9, 2010 7:17 AM | » Comments(0)

Trailer Side Skirts Save This Trucker 8.94% in Fuel

Greg Decker says his Windyne skirts save him about $4,400 a year in fuel. They fold up for access to the trailer's undercarriage. (Photo by Jim Park)

Some truck owners have begun buying trailer side skirts because they need them to legally run in California READ MORE

Tags: Fuel Economy

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Tuesday, August 31, 2010 2:49 PM | » Comments(1)

Federal Program Helps Interstate Install Aerodynamic Skirts on 2,058 Trailers

Interstate Distributor Co. will install Freight Wing AeroFlex skirts on 2,058 reefer and dry van trailers as part of a grant program. More trailers will follow, the fleet says.

After several years of testing showed trailer side skirts save considerable fuel and therefore cut exhaust emissions from tractors that pull them, Interstate Distributor Co. has begun installing them on 2,058 reefers and dry vans at its maintenance facilities in the Pacific Northwest READ MORE

Tags: Fuel Economy

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Friday, August 20, 2010 8:20 AM | » Comments(0)

Champion Drivers, Equipment Don't Always Match

It takes people and equipment to put together ATA's National Truck Driving Championships each year, and on both sides there are some unusual linkups. Some drivers compete in vehicle classes they don't normally work in, and some tractors pull trailers they don't normally touch READ MORE

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Tuesday, August 10, 2010 12:20 PM | » Comments(0)

Oh-Oh! Over She Goes!

A short video now making the rounds of truck folks' e-mail boxes shows a huge and heavy steel I-beam girder, and the trailer dollies it's on, falling over in a freeway curve READ MORE

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Thursday, August 5, 2010 7:57 AM | » Comments(2)

53-Footers Usually Too Long, But Customers Demand 'Em

Fifty-three feet became the predominant length for vans and temperature-controlled trailers by the end of the 1990s, when they replaced 48-footers in most fleets. But while shippers demand 53s, their full volume is seldom used READ MORE

Tags: Trends

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Tuesday, July 27, 2010 9:24 AM | » Comments(0)

Tanker Trucks and Trailers Helping in Oil Cleanup in Gulf

Tanker trucks are shown on a barge in this TV ad from BP about their cleanup efforts.

Vacuum tankers are playing a big part in the cleanup of oil in the Gulf of Mexico, as shown in TV news footage and a BP commercial now seen on the airwaves READ MORE

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Wednesday, July 21, 2010 1:44 PM | » Comments(0)

Tips for Inspecting and Maintaining Air Suspensions

Air suspensions are in wide use on trailers and getting more popular. To some fleets, air-ride equipment is new, and maintenance people might not be aware of proper inspection and repair procedures READ MORE

Tags: Maintenance

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Wednesday, July 7, 2010 3:03 PM | » Comments(1)

Man Holds Onto Trailer 'For Dear Life' as He Calls 911

(Photo by Highway Trailer Sales)

The semitrailer had a ladder, which proved a lucky thing for a man who jokingly climbed aboard in the wee hours of Friday, June 18 READ MORE

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Monday, June 28, 2010 3:06 PM | » Comments(0)

Author Bio

Tom Berg

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Senior Contributing Editor

Journalist since 1965, truck writer and editor since 1978. CDL-qualified; conducts road tests on new heavy-, medium- and light-duty tractors and trucks. Specializes in vocational and hybrid vehicles.

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