Who's really 'best in class,' and do customers really care?
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. READ MORE
Posted @ Thursday, July 31, 2014 12:00 AM | »
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.
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.
Posted @ Tuesday, July 22, 2014 12:00 AM | »
The idea came from truck bodies, but Darry Stuart put it to use on trailers.
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. READ MORE
Posted @ Tuesday, July 8, 2014 12:00 AM | »
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. READ MORE
Posted @ Wednesday, July 2, 2014 12:00 AM | »
There are various remedies for weak batteries, but Darry Stuart, a contract fleet manager, looked to the sun for a solution.
A single 100-watt solar panel keeps the trailer's four Group 31 batteries charged and the liftgate operating reliably. READ MORE
Posted @ Monday, June 23, 2014 12:00 AM | »
In heavy street traffic, a flashing light cues motorists to react early by slowing down or moving over to avoid being delayed -- but they also can cause confusion.
The Transportation Safety Equipment Institute reports that its member companies are seeing an increase in requests to add innovative lighting devices, and questions arise about their legality. Senior Editor Tom Berg takes a closer look in his Trailer Talk blog. READ MORE
Posted @ Monday, June 16, 2014 12:00 AM | »
Several manufacturers use it to assemble van trailers and truck bodies, and it claims strength and vibration resistance.
The compact Hucktainer has a head, sleeve and pintail, and is installed quickly with a special tool, clamping together the wall and sill materials and crimping off the excess length of the sleeve in a spiral-locking process. READ MORE
Posted @ Friday, June 6, 2014 12:00 AM | »
Switch to 33-foot pups could cause new business, ACT's Frank Maly thinks.
Freight growth gives fleets confidence to buy, while low cancellations push backlogs to six months. Tankers are also up strongly, but lack of a highway bill could upset dump-trailer business. READ MORE
Posted @ Tuesday, May 27, 2014 12:00 AM | »
Redesign of an engineless Vector system saves more energy and money than one from 2010, Carrier Transicold says.
We think of trailers as cargo conveyances, carrying their payloads from shipper to receiver. But some never move because they’re meant to store products on-site.
Posted @ Friday, May 16, 2014 12:00 AM | »
Here's an atta-boy to the driver who slapped this lock in place.
This intelligently locked reefer trailer was parked in a small truckstop in western North Carolina. Three slots away was a loaded flatbed with its kingpin bare, just waiting to be swiped. READ MORE
Posted @ Tuesday, May 6, 2014 12:00 AM | »
A 33-foot trailer's 5-foot-longer wheelbase would make it more stable when part of a doubles combination.
Double-trailer rigs with a pair of 33-foot trailers would be “inherently more stable” and therefore safer than the twin 28s now running throughout the United States, according to John Woodrooffe, director of commercial vehicle research at the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute. READ MORE
Posted @ Wednesday, April 23, 2014 12:00 AM | »
Proper methods of testing for voltage drop on the circuits that power trailer liftgates were discussed at TMC’s recent annual meeting in Nashville, Tenn. Senior Editor Tom Berg has more in his Trailer Talk blog. READ MORE
Posted @ Monday, April 14, 2014 12:00 AM | »
An 18-wheeler and an old RV carry medicine and hope to Appalachia.
Senior Editor Tom Berg was moved by Sunday's "60 Minutes" story on Health Wagon, carrying medicine and hope to Appalachia -- and intrigued by the X-ray trailer and the medical director who went to tractor-trailer school to learn to drive the rig. He has more in his Trailer Talk blog. READ MORE
Posted @ Monday, April 7, 2014 12:00 AM | »
Stretching a 28-foot pup trailer to 33 feet would not be difficult, and Wabash National already has a procedure ready to go.
Congress is supposedly inclined to approve a proposal to allow twin 33-foot doubles. If so, trailers like this would probably become common. Tom Berg has the story from last month's TMC meeting in his Trailer Talk blog.
Posted @ Monday, March 31, 2014 12:00 AM | »
A light flashing yellow means "turn" and one flashing red means "stop." The result is less confusion for drivers behind.
Lights on the rear of most vehicles have all red lights because that's all the regulation requires. Maybe that should change. READ MORE
Posted @ Thursday, March 13, 2014 12:00 AM | »
Plate-thin, these new lights are the latest thing in light-emitting diodes.
Ever hear of Innotec? Neither did senior editor Tom Berg. Now he sees what it does, and so will you. READ MORE
Posted @ Monday, March 10, 2014 12:00 AM | »
You can't compare pickups with big rigs, but one writer did.
Except for highway wrecks, it isn’t often that the general news media get interested in big rigs. But one online outlet, www.fool.com, now has a story about the SuperTruck project, specifically the Peterbilt-Cummins vehicle recently displayed in Washington, D.C., for President Obama’s announcement about fuel economy standards for commercial trucks. READ MORE
Posted @ Monday, February 24, 2014 12:00 AM | »
If you had to use US 62 from Exit 40 to Exit 27 between Eddyville and Calvert City, here's the reason why.
A huge and heavy boiler aboard a wide platform trailer couldn't squeeze by maintenance equipment on the eastbound Tennessee River bridge, so it moved to the westbound span. READ MORE
Posted @ Wednesday, February 19, 2014 12:00 AM | »
Cameras are almost everywhere, so watch what you drive under.
You'll cringe while watching trucks and tractor-trailers too tall to pass beneath various bridges but whose drivers try to do so anyway. READ MORE
Posted @ Tuesday, February 18, 2014 12:00 AM | »
Why are all those old trailers parked there? Been over the "Y-Bridge"? Stay off Linden Avenue or....
Tom Berg see items of trucker interest in old Zanesville, Ohio, along the historic National Road. READ MORE
Posted @ Monday, February 10, 2014 12:00 AM | »
But on ice, controlling anything becomes really difficult.
Recent news photos remind senior editor Tom Berg of some anti-jackknifing training he had a while ago. READ MORE
Posted @ Friday, January 31, 2014 12:00 AM | »
It was really cold when Senior Editor Tom Berg toured the Transportation Museum of Virginia in Roanoke, and found a brighter-than-life Overnite rig.
Piggyback and container trains were running on an O-gauge model railroad, and little big rigs were backed into loading docks, just like in the real world. READ MORE
Posted @ Friday, January 24, 2014 12:00 AM | »
Editor-members of the Truck Writers of North America have nominated, debated and voted for the next recipient of their award for technical innovation. One candidate is a l-o-n-g tractor-trailer.
Walmart Canada is testing its high-capacity 'Super Cube' rig in Ontario. Is it neat enough to win a big award? Senior Editor Tom Berg discusses it. READ MORE
Posted @ Friday, January 10, 2014 12:00 AM | »
The Great Plains and Midwest are one big ice box right now, but the economy's so heated up in North Dakota that unemployment's nil.
Senior Editor Tom Berg looks at a photo of a frigid scene in North Dakota and spots a lone semitrailer, parked perhaps with a load of processed feed, waiting to be offloaded. He wondered, will that trailer even roll? The photo sparked a conversation with a North Dakota trailer dealer for his Trailer Talk blog. READ MORE
Posted @ Tuesday, January 7, 2014 12:00 AM | »
A frustrating part of being a bulk commodities driver is having a jam occur somewhere in the trailer during offloading, interrupting the material flow and setting him to work trying to break it free. That usually means hammering on a trailer’s side walls, but a Midwestern carrier has found a new product that’s effective, portable, lightweight and easy to use. READ MORE
Posted @ Monday, December 30, 2013 12:00 AM | »