Truck Tech

Is Mexico the Steppingstone to U.S. for Truck OEMs?

Blog commentary by Jack Roberts, Senior Editor

Hyundai cabovers are hauling freight in Mexico today. WIll they come to the U.S. next? Photo: Sven-Erik Lindstrand

Can the presence of German, Chinese, and South Korean OEMs in Mexico tell us anything about the near future of the U.S. truck market? Jack Roberts has more in his Truck Tech blog. READ MORE

Tags: Hyundai, Volkswagen, Mexico, Scania, Foton Motor, FAW, Global

Author: Jack Roberts | Posted @ Friday, December 8, 2017 10:08 AM | » Comments(2)

10 Tesla Takeaways: Part II

Blog Commentary by Senior Editor Jack Roberts

Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks to a racous crowd at the launch of the new Semi Class 8 truck in California on Nov. 16, 2017. Photo: Jack Roberts

We learned a lot during the Tesla Truck launch last week. But there are still things we don't know about the splashy new electric truck. HDT Senior Editor Jack Roberts takes a look at what we need to know from Tesla going forward. READ MORE

Tags: Technician Training, Tesla, Electric Vehicles, Future Trucks, Truck Dealers, Autonomous Vehicles

Author: Jack Roberts | Posted @ Wednesday, November 22, 2017 8:07 AM | » Comments(0)

10 Tesla Takeaways: Part I

Blog Commentary by Senior Editor Jack Roberts

In many ways, the Tesla truck launch in California last week pointed the way toward trucking's future. Photo: Jack Roberts

The Tesla Semi launch in California last week answered many questions while leaving others hanging in the air. Jack Roberts' Truck Tech Blog highlights five things we learned after the truck's debut – and in Part 2, five lingering questions Tesla needs to answer. READ MORE

Tags: Tesla, Truck Platooning, Electric Vehicles, Future Trucks, Autonomous Vehicles, Safety, Tesla Semi

Author: Jack Roberts | Posted @ Tuesday, November 21, 2017 12:42 PM | » Comments(3)

Why Tesla Matters – Beyond the Electric Powertrain

Blog commentary by Jack Roberts, Senior Editor

What does the Tesla Model S display tell us about truck interiors of the future? Photo: Jack Roberts

Powertrain aside, the Tesla truck is a glimpse of the future of trucking and will be a game-changer for trucks very soon, says Jack Roberts in his Truck Tech blog. READ MORE

Tags: Tesla, Drivers

Author: Jack Roberts | Posted @ Friday, November 17, 2017 9:24 AM | » Comments(0)

Blockchain Explained, Part 2: What Can it Do?

Blog commentary by Jack Roberts, Senior Editor

Blockchain could become the platform that brings all aspects of fleet operations together in one, online place.

Blockchain will start out as a platform to enable real-time transparency in logistics. But its future potential could transform trucking operations completely, explains Senior Editor Jack Roberts in his Truck Tech blog. READ MORE

Tags: Information Technology, TMW Systems, Logistics, Future Trucks, Blockchain

Author: Jack Roberts | Posted @ Friday, November 3, 2017 8:58 AM | » Comments(0)

Blockchain Explained, Part I

Blockchain can be used to manage and monitor every aspecft of a logistics chain in real time. Photo: TMW Systems

In Part I of this two-part blog series, HDT senior editor Jack Roberts explains how the widely misunderstood blockchain concept works and how it will soon superpower logistics operations around the globe. READ MORE

Tags: Technology, Information Technology, Freight, Logistics, Future Trucks, Blockchain

Author: Jack Roberts | Posted @ Wednesday, October 25, 2017 9:17 AM | » Comments(0)

The Human Element, First and Foremost

Blog commentary by Jack Roberts, Senior Editor

Properly deployed, technolgy should make our lives easier and more productive. Photo: Mercedes-Benz

The rate of change and complexity of new technology can be daunting. But technology is simply a tool to make our jobs -- and our lives -- easier. READ MORE

Tags: Technology, Future Trucks, Autonomous Vehicles, Self-Drive

Author: Jack Roberts | Posted @ Friday, October 20, 2017 12:06 PM | » Comments(0)

Truckers Aren't Terrorists

Blog commentary by Jack Roberts, Senior Editor

Truck drivers -- and many other workers -- have good cause to be worried about the rise of autonomous technology. Photo: Truckinginfo.com

A science writer in MIT's Technology Review is worried angry truckers will one day hack or "bedazzle" autonomous vehicle systems to deliberately cause accidents, Jack Roberts pumps the brakes on that idea in his Truck Tech blog. READ MORE

Tags: Technology, Truck Drivers, Taxi of Tomorrow, Teamsters, Robots, Terrorism

Author: Jack Roberts | Posted @ Thursday, August 24, 2017 1:05 PM | » Comments(0)

Time to Face The Future Head-On

Blog commentary by Jack Roberts

Newcomers to trucking are looking at established business models and probing for weaknesses with fresh eyes -- and ideas. Photo: Daimler Trucks

Tech gurus are flocking to trucking with new ideas and new technology. The time to prepare for the changes that are coming is now, says Jack Roberts in his Truck Tech blog. READ MORE

Tags: Information Technology, Elon Musk, Amazon.com, Connected Vehicle Technology, Tesla, Uber, Cloud-Based Technology, Future Trucks, Nikola Motor Company

Author: Jack Roberts | Posted @ Tuesday, August 15, 2017 7:24 AM | » Comments(2)

What Do Bans of Diesel and Gasoline Cars in Europe Mean for Trucking?

Blog Commentary by Jack Roberts, Senior Editor

In the short term, new all-electric vehicle mandates from around the globe won't affect North America much. But the long-term trendlines favoring electric vehicles seem clear. Photo: Scania

Great Britain has joined France and India in phasing out gasoline- and diesel-powered passenger cars over the next 20 years. Will those mandates affect the North American trucking industry? Senior Editor Jack Roberts has more in his Truck Tech blog. READ MORE

Tags: Diesel Engines, Diesel Emissions, Climate Change, Electric Vehicles, Gasoline Engines, Global, Alternative Fuels & Hybrids

Author: Jack Roberts | Posted @ Monday, July 31, 2017 2:08 PM | » Comments(4)

All Arrows Point to Trucking

Blog commentary by Jack Roberts, Senior Editor

Truck platoons may well be the way average Americans first see autonomous vehicle technology in the real world. Photo: Peloton

Bill Gates just jumped into trucking in a big way. That's not good news if you're hoping all this new tech stuff will just go away. Blog commentary by Jack Roberts, Senior Editor READ MORE

Tags: Convoy Technologies, Autonomous Vehicles, Uber for Trucking, Future Trucks, Trucking in the 21st Century

Author: Jack Roberts | Posted @ Friday, July 28, 2017 10:23 AM | » Comments(2)

What My First Job Out of College Taught Me About Driving Trucks

Blog commentary by Jack Roberts, Senior Editor

Take it from the author &amp;ndash; the interior of his trucks back in the &amp;lsquo;90s were nowhere near as nice as this one. File photo<br />

Driving a truck for a living is hard -- but rewarding -- work. Senior Editor Jack Roberts found that out for himself 20-odd years ago. READ MORE

Tags: Ergonomics, Drivers, Driver Safety, Regulations, Driver Comfort

Author: Jack Roberts | Posted @ Wednesday, July 19, 2017 2:10 PM | » Comments(0)

The Power of Consumer Perception and How Fleets Can Benefit

Blog commentary by Senior Editor Jack Roberts

USA Today says major retailers &amp;ldquo;benefited from California port trucking companies that forced their drivers into debt, made them work up to 20 hours a day and sometimes paid them pennies per hour.&amp;rdquo; Photo: U.S. Dept. of Transportation

If your company makes infant car seats, you'd be insane to ship those products in any truck today that isn't equipped with the latest and greatest vehicle safety systems available. Jack Roberts talks about the public-image implications of the relationship between shippers and fleets in his Truck Tech blog. READ MORE

Tags: Sustainability, Green Fleets, Retail Sales, Social Media, Fleet Sustainability, Public Relations, Safety

Author: Jack Roberts | Posted @ Wednesday, July 5, 2017 8:17 AM | » Comments(0)

A Logistical Close Shave

Is an uptick in freight likely as more companies begin direct-to-consumer shipping? A recent move by the Gillette company suggests that will happen. Photo: UPS

Gillette now offers razor blade sales direct to its customers. But why is that an important development for truck fleets nationwide? Blog commentary by Senior Editor Jack Roberts. READ MORE

Tags: Amazon.com, Logistics, Last Mile Delivery, Freight, Technology

Author: Jack Roberts | Posted @ Thursday, June 29, 2017 8:02 AM | » Comments(3)

Tesla-Truck Crash: Cruise Control on Steroids

Blog commentary by Senior Editor Jack Roberts

Tesla&#39;s autonomous vehicle control system warned Joshua Brown 7 times to take over control of the car before his fatal crash last year. Photo: NTSB/Florida Highway Patrol

New details around the infamous Tesla autonomous driving crash last year bring up an important point about new technology. Jack Roberts has the story in his Truck Tech blog. READ MORE

Tags: Tesla, Autonomous Vehicles, Safety, Driver Safety, Technology

Author: Jack Roberts | Posted @ Wednesday, June 21, 2017 1:32 PM | » Comments(3)

Meet the Pro-Marijuana, Pro-LGBT Rights Truck Driver Running for Governor of Alabama

Blog commentary by Senior Editor Jack Roberts

Childs answered &quot;Roll Tide&quot; when asked the first question that Alabama politicans usually get on the campaign trail. Photo: Jason Childs

Jason Childs says his job as a long-haul trucker has challenged his views about working- and middle- class Americans and how neither political party today is addressing their needs. Blog commentary by Senior Editor Jack Roberts. READ MORE

Tags: Truck Drivers, Alabama, Politics, Marijuana

Author: Jack Roberts | Posted @ Wednesday, June 14, 2017 12:38 PM | » Comments(3)

Robots in the Jungle

Blog commentary by Jack Roberts, Senior Editor

A new self-steering system developed by Volvo is being tested in South American sugarcane fields to see if it can reduce crop spoilage and increase yields. Photo: Volvo

An autonomous steering test in the cane fields of Brazil shows why autonomous technology won't be limited to city centers and freeways. READ MORE

Tags: Volvo Trucks, Future Trucks, Autonomous Vehicles, Vehicle Control, Farming

Author: Jack Roberts | Posted @ Thursday, June 8, 2017 6:55 AM | » Comments(0)

The Gig Economy Comes to Trucking

Blog commentary by Jack Roberts, Senior Editor

Uber Freight is a new service and app that allows owner-operators to bypass traditional freight brokers and locate and contract loads for themselves. Photo: Uber Freight

Owner-operators and small fleets have been pronounced DOA many times over the past several years. But if new technology like Uber Freight can breathe much-needed life into the owner-operator market, that can only be a good thing for trucking, says Jack Roberts in his Truck Tech blog. READ MORE

Tags: Owner-Operators, Logistics, Small Fleets, Future Trucks, Autonomous Vehicles, Uber for Trucking

Author: Jack Roberts | Posted @ Wednesday, May 24, 2017 1:15 PM | » Comments(3)

Eisenhower and the Interstate

Blog commentary by Jack Roberts, Senior Editor

German POWs march to the rear while U.S. Army forces advance in both lanes on the German Autobahn in this iconic 1945 photograph. Photo: U.S. Army

Because of his personal experiences as both a lowly Army officer and Supreme Commander of Allied Forces Europe, Dwight Eisenhower understood the importance of a modern highway system better than any other leader of his time. Part 2 in a series. READ MORE

Tags: Infrastructure, Interstate, World War II

Author: Jack Roberts | Posted @ Thursday, May 18, 2017 7:35 AM | » Comments(0)

Motor Trucks in the Wild West

Blog commentary by Jack Roberts, Senior Editor

Mack Trucks in action during the U.S. Army&#39;s 1919 cross-country motor convoy experiment. Photo: U.S. Army Signal Corps

In 1919, a young Army officer learned firsthand how important modern roads were for his rapidly transforming young nation. And trucking benefits from the lessons he learned to this very day. READ MORE

Tags: Cadillac, Mack Trucks, GMC, Highways, Interstate, White Motor Co., Interstate Highway System

Author: Jack Roberts | Posted @ Thursday, May 11, 2017 2:02 PM | » Comments(1)

Preventing Truck Terror Attacks Starts With You – And Me.

Blog commentary by Jack Roberts, Senior Editor

It&#39;s up to you &amp;ndash;and me &amp;ndash; to be alert and start looking at ways to thwart terror attacks by trucks.

Terrorists are, by necessity, opportunists. They can't always obtain the weapon of their dreams and are often forced to choose an alternative method for attacking. And lately, their weapon of choice has been trucks, notes Jack Roberts in his Truck Tech blog. READ MORE

Tags: Security, Department of Homeland Security, Terrorism, TSA

Author: Jack Roberts | Posted @ Friday, May 5, 2017 9:22 AM | » Comments(3)

Electric Trucks Charge Ahead

Ann-Christin Landman drives a Scania P320 in Karlstad, Sweden, powered by a hydrotreated vegetable oil-electric drivetrain. Photo: V&amp;auml;rmlands Folkblad

If you're an American fleet professional, it’s starting to look like your first, hands-on exposure to all the new transportation technology emerging today is going to with an electric truck. READ MORE

Tags: Hino, Mercedes-Benz, Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles, Mitsubishi Fuso, Alternative-fuel vehicles, Tesla, Alternative Fuels & Hybrids, Scania, Battery-Electric Vehicles, Nikola Motor Company, Global

Author: Jack Roberts | Posted @ Tuesday, May 2, 2017 1:01 PM | » Comments(0)

Autonomous Trucks: A Disruptive Positive Force Coming but Fast

Blog commentary by Jack Roberts, Senior Editor

The Olli is a fully autonmous, fast-transit, 12-passenger bus under development by Local Motors and an example of the new types of transportation cited in a new report from the U.S. Energy Information Association. Photo: Autoblog

It appears autonomous technology will be a winner from the mpg standpoint, according to a new report, with fuel economy increases of up to 18% for most commercial vehicles by 2050. READ MORE

Tags: U.S. Department of Energy, Autonomous Vehicles, Future Trucks, Freight Efficiency, Insurance, Traffic Congestion

Author: Jack Roberts | Posted @ Wednesday, April 19, 2017 3:13 PM | » Comments(0)

The Knight-Swift Merger: Lessons from the History of Ocean Shipping

Blog commentary by Jack Roberts, Senior Editor

Are massive truck fleets the answer to the many issues pressuring trucking today? History says yes. Photo: Evan Lockridge

After World War II, the maritime shipping industry was dealing with pressure for larger loads, faster deliveries, new technology and rising equipment costs. How fleets responded to those challenges is instructive. READ MORE

Tags: Mergers & Acquisitions, Swift Transportation, Knight Transportation, History

Author: Jack Roberts | Posted @ Tuesday, April 11, 2017 12:57 PM | » Comments(0)

'Made by Human Workers:' Will There be a Backlash Against Automation?

Blog Commentary by Jack Roberts, Senior Editor

Will &quot;Proudly Made By Human Workers&quot; become the &quot;Made In America&quot; tag of this century? Photo: Siemans

More and more people are starting to question how beneficial the large-scale automation of jobs will be for society as a whole. But all the robots in the world can't overcome the will of the people and the power of the almighty dollar. Jack Roberts has more in the Truck Tech Blog. READ MORE

Tags: Technology, Automation, Autonomous Vehicles, Future Trucks

Author: Jack Roberts | Posted @ Tuesday, April 11, 2017 11:15 AM | » Comments(0)

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Author Bio

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Jack Roberts

Senior Editor

As a licensed commercial driver, HDT senior editor Jack Roberts often reports on ground-breaking technical developments and trends in an industry being transformed by technology. With more than two decades covering trucking, in Truck Tech he offers his insights on everything from the latest equipment, systems and components, to telematics and autonomous vehicle technologies.

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