Truck Tech

Disruption thy Name Is Amazon

Industry observers say a rumored Amazon parcel delivery fleet would disrupt today's P&D business climate. Those analysts are missing the bigger picture. Blog commentary by Senior Editor Jack Roberts

A move into the P&D business by Amazon would hurt other delivery fleets. But the real impact on trucking would be much more profound. Photo: Amazon

Industry observers say a rumored Amazon parcel delivery fleet would disrupt today's P&D business climate. Those analysts are missing the bigger picture. Blog commentary by Senior Editor Jack Roberts READ MORE

Tags: UPS, USPS, Amazon.com, Electric Vehicles, Future Trucks, FedEx, Parcel Delivery Service, Autonomous Vehicles, Drones

Author: Jack Roberts | Posted @ Friday, February 16, 2018 7:16 AM | » Comments(0)

Remembering the Red Ball Express

African-American soldiers risked their lives to keep the U.S. Army supplied during World War II and became legends in the process. Blog commentary by Senior Editor Jack Roberts

The Red Ball Express kept Allied troops supplied with food, ammunition and other vital supplies, and helped hasten the fall of Nazi Germany. Photo: U.S. Army

African-American soldiers risked their lives to keep the U.S. Army supplied during World War II and became legends in the process. READ MORE

Tags: U.S. Army, Logistics, World War II, History, Trucking History

Author: Jack Roberts | Posted @ Friday, February 9, 2018 8:01 AM | » Comments(4)

Let the Robot Drive?

It was an up-and-down week for Tesla in the news. Blog commentary by Jack Roberts, Senior Editor

A Tesla Semi truck was spotted taking a test drive on public roads in California earlier this week. Photo: Jack Roberts

Another Tesla Autopilot crash this week is a reminder that autonomous vehicle technology still has a ways to go before it's ready for widespread use on public roads. But that doesn't mean the technology isn't viable. READ MORE

Tags: Technology, NTSB, Tesla, Electric Vehicles, Autonomous Vehicles, Semi-Autonomous, Autonomous Technology

Author: Jack Roberts | Posted @ Thursday, January 25, 2018 1:17 PM | » Comments(0)

Panic or Profit? Truck Fleets Need to be Ready for Technology Changes

Fleets that are already tracking new technology and considering its potential will be the ones riding trucking's coming technology wave.

Technology will soon alter existing jobs and create new ones. And now is the time to be considering how your fleet will navigate those changes. Photo: Daimler Trucks North America

How fast are autonomous and electric trucks coming? That may be up for debate. But Jack Roberts says in his Truck Tech blog, it's the fleets that are already tracking new technology and considering its potential that will be the ones riding trucking's coming technology wave. READ MORE

Tags: Electric Vehicles, Future Trucks, Autonomous Vehicles, Drones, Telematics, Technology

Author: Jack Roberts | Posted @ Friday, January 19, 2018 1:36 PM | » Comments(0)

Trump Talks Infrastructure – But Will He Go Far Enough?

Blog Commentary by Jack Roberts, Senior Editor

Dedicated lanes for electric trucks, with overhead electric cables to supply power, will likely be a common fixture in a modern 21st Century highway network. Photo: Scania

President Trump and Republicans have moved on to talking about infrastructure. But are they talking about the right kind of infrastructure trucking will need to compete in the future? HDT Senior Editor Jack Roberts doesn't think so. READ MORE

Tags: Infrastructure, U.S. Congress, Donald Trump

Author: Jack Roberts | Posted @ Monday, January 8, 2018 8:21 AM | » Comments(0)

What Will 2018 Bring To Trucking?

Blog Commentary by Jack Roberts, Senior Editor

Peloton's planned launch of its platooning technology could be one of the biggest stories of the coming year, says senior editor Jack Roberts. Photo: Peloton

HDT Senior Editor Jack Roberts takes a look at what he's expecting to see in terms of new technology as 2018 picks up steam. READ MORE

Tags: Technology, Tesla, Truck Platooning, Electric Vehicles, Future Trucks, Peloton Technology, Otto

Author: Jack Roberts | Posted @ Wednesday, January 3, 2018 2:50 PM | » Comments(0)

Looking Forward and Backward

Blog Commentary by Jack Roberts, Senior EDitor

If nothing else, it seems likely 2017 will go down as 'The Year of the Electric Truck,' says Senior Editor Jack Roberts. Photo: Mitsubishi Fuso

It turned out 2017 was quite a year in terms of setting the stage for trucking's adoption of emerging technology. Does that mean 2018 will be a snoozer? READ MORE

Tags: Mitsubishi Fuso, International, Volvo Trucks, Mack Trucks, vehicle to vehicle communication, Tesla, Electric Vehicles, Future Trucks, Nikola Motor Company, Donald Trump, Vehicle-to-Infrastructure

Author: Jack Roberts | Posted @ Friday, December 15, 2017 1:13 PM | » Comments(1)

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, Tesla Semi

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, Tesla Semi

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: Future Trucks, Convoy Technologies, Autonomous Vehicles, Uber for Trucking, 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)

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Author Bio

Jack Roberts

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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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