Equipment

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December 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Test Drive: Caterpillar’s New CT681

The set-forward steer axle and plain front end mark the latest Cat Truck. The headlamps are halogen sealed beams and the bumper is flat to minimize overall length.

By Tom Berg

Business-like in appearance and set up for bridge-formula states, the latest Cat Truck will suit dump, mixer and snowplow applications.

Tags: Caterpillar, Dump Truck, Mixer, Snow Plow, Test Drive

December 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Saving Amps & Money

By Stephane Babcock

Proper maintenance procedures for charging and storage will help extend the service life of heavy-duty batteries.

December 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Class 8 Update: As Economy Builds, Almost Everybody’s Buying

By Tom Berg

Builders report order upswings of 20% and more, along with gains for proprietary diesels and automated transmissions.

Tags: Kenworth, International, Volvo Trucks, Freightliner, Peterbilt, Western Star, Caterpillar, Mack Trucks

December 2014, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Q&A: Caterpillar’s Ron Schultz

By Tom Berg

Ron Schultz is global on-highway truck sales and product support manager at Caterpillar Inc.

Tags: Truck Sales, Caterpillar, Q&A

December 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Are You Putting Enough Air In Your Steer Tires?

Pressures of 105 psi are fine with 12,000-pound steer-axle loads, but may be 10-20 psi underinflated in 13,200-pound steer-axle loads.

By Jim Park

If you are not running at least 105 psi in your steer tires, you’re running underinflated. In some cases, those tires may be in run-flat condition.

Tags: Tires and Wheels, Tire Inflation, Tires

December 2014, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Commentary: Promising Waste-Recovery Tech from Formula One

Photo: Mercedes-Benz

By Rolf Lockwood, Executive Contributing Editor

The pinnacle of automotive engineering, and easily its most expensive pursuit, is to be seen in the sometimes crazy world of Formula One racing. Rolf Lockwood says the most interesting thing about the new engine formula is waste-energy recovery.

Tags: Fuel Efficiency, Engines, Hybrids

November 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

QuickSpin: Using Eaton's Procision Dual-Clutch Transmission

Even on a 20% grade, the Hill Helper held the truck until the clutch engaged and the engine got the truck moving. On the downslope the clutch held the truck in gear until an upshift was necessary. It never coasted downhill.

By Jim Park

Eaton’s Procision dual-clutch medium-duty automated transmission promises automatic-like driver feel with manual performance attributes.

Tags: Dual-Clutch, Eaton, Transmissions, Automated Manual Transmissions, Quick Spin

November 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Test Drive: Western Star 5700XE

Western Star's 5700XE is a Classic-style truck in aerodynamic wrap.

By Jim Park

Western Star’s 5700XE might just be everything to everyone. It’s a big classic-styled truck with second-to-one aerodynamics.

Tags: Western Star, Test Drive, Aerodynamics, Downspeed

November 2014, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Direct/Overdrive Adds Efficiency to Bulk-Hauling Volvos

I-Shift's selector does a lot of things, but it won't prompt an upshift to 12th when its controls know that the rig is heavily loaded. Photo:Tom Berg

By Tom Berg

Bulk hauling rigs that consistently go out loaded and return home empty constitute the best application for the new feature.

Tags: Volvo Trucks, Fuel Economy, Volvo XE-Adaptive Gearing, Transmissions, Automated Manual Transmissions

November 2014, Work Truck - Cover Story

The State of the Market for Class 3-4 Trucks, Vans

File photo

By Mike Antich

The forecast is for Class 3-4 truck sales in CY-2015 to remain strong. Many fleets are increasing order volumes, moving away from past slow replacement schedules. The debut of 2015 products promises to further stimulate growth.

Tags: Medium-Duty Trucks, Class 3, Class 4, Full-Size Vans

October 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Test Drive: Kenworth T880 Heavy-Haul

Smooth styling, roomy cab, projector-beam headlamps and five-piece hood with bolt-on fenders for easy repairs are among the T880’s features. The hood slopes low for good forward and sideward visibility.

By Tom Berg

Heavy haul is one of many tasks that the increasingly popular vocational model has been engineered for.

Tags: Kenworth, Test Drive, Heavy Haul, Kenworth T880, Automated Manual Transmissions

October 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

QuickSpin: LED Headlights vs. Halogen

Truck-Lite's senior vice president and chief technology officer, Brad Van Riper, supervises the headlamp changeover between the test runs at the company's Falconer, N.Y., assembly plant.

By Jim Park

A comparison between a set of standard halogen headlamps and LED headlamps reveals, well, there is no comparison.

Tags: Headlights, Truck-Lite, LED Lighting, Night Driving, Test Drive, Lighting

October 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Electric Trucks Still Generate a Spark of Interest

EVI assembled 100 electric-drive vans for UPS using FCCC glider kits, and 15 cab-chassis trucks for Frito-Lay from Freightliner M2 gliders.

By Tom Berg

Senior Editor Tom Berg looks at the state of the electric truck market as fleets struggle to balance benefits with economics.

Tags: Smith Electric Vehicles, Boulder Electric Vehicle, Battery-Electric Vehicles, Efficiency, Fuel Smarts

October 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Cover Story

2015 Medium-Duty Truck Trends

By Stephane Babcock

We take a look at the latest medium-duty offerings and highlight the 2015 models while manufacturers weigh in on industry trends and issues.

Tags: Isuzu, Kenworth, Mitsubishi Fuso, Navistar, Freightliner, Peterbilt, Medium-Duty Trucks, Ram, Hino Trucks

October 2014, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

‘Lightweighting’ the F-150 Brings More Performance, Economy, Payload

SuperCrew with XL trim looks plain, but it has metallic black paint, power windows and mirrors, and a double-turbo gasoline V-6 that help boost its list price with shipping to $38,985, including $1,195 increase for 2015. Base RegularCab XL shortbed with a naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V-6 begins at $26,615. Headlights are halogens; upscale trim levels get LED headlamps with illuminated amber surrounds, and of course lots of chrome. Photo: Tom Berg

By Tom Berg

Aluminum body and bed, redesigned steel frame, and a small but lively V-6 are the new truck’s highpoints.

Tags: EcoBoost, Aluminum, Test Drive, 2015-MY, Ford F150

October 2014, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Q&A: Navistar's Troy Clarke

Troy A. Clarke. Photo: Navistar

By Deborah Lockridge

Navistar recently reached a near-breakeven point in its efforts to stage a comeback following its rocky road through trying to meet EPA 2010 emissions requirements. We talked to CEO Troy Clarke about the company's progress following its third-quarter earnings conference call.

Tags: Navistar, SCR, Engines, Warranty

October 2014, Government Fleet - Feature

Acing Your Bucket Truck Inspection

Photo courtesy of Clark Public Utilities.

By Shelley Mika

Bucket and crane trucks pose greater safety risks than some other fleet equipment. Because employees’ lives may be at risk, careful inspection and maintenance of these vehicles are essential.

Tags: Crane Truck, Bucket Trucks, Vehicle Inspection, Utility Fleets, Preventive Maintenance, Medium-Duty Trucks, Vocational

September 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Tech Bytes: Decker Uses Two-Way Refrigerated Monitoring from Orbcomm

Decker Truckline will install Orbcomm’s RT6000+ refrigerated two-way monitoring/tracking devices to its fleet of refrigerated trailers.

By Jim Beach

Decker Truckline, Fort Dodge, Iowa, is installing Orbcomm’s RT6000+ trailer telematics devices on 500 of its 800 refrigerated trailers.

Tags: Reefers, Orbcomm, Information Technology, Refrigerated Truck

September 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Fuel Smarts: Opposed-Piston Diesels About Five Years Away

An OP can be configured and packaged to fit the vehicle it’s intended for. For trucks, the cylinders are likely to be vertical or slanted. Photo: Achates Power

By Tom Berg

Truck users can look forward to 30% better fuel economy at 10% lower production cost, says Achates Power

Tags: Diesel, Technology, Fuel Efficiency, Engines

September 2014, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

How to Evaluate Performance of Improved Tire Designs

By Pressure Systems International

Tire companies continue to make improvements to existing products on an ongoing basis. New materials in combination with new and improved design construction may significantly help tire performance.

Tags: Safety, Tires, Retreads, Tire Inflation

September 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Test Drive: Oshkosh S-Series Mixer

The front-facing barrel and chute on this Oshkosh S-Series allow the driver to place the concrete right where the crew wants it, and front-driving axle helps get it through sand and mud. Here the chute is stowed for travel, with its extensions flipped up.

By Tom Berg

Precise concrete placement is a traditional feature for this front-discharge mixer, but relatively new is natural gas power.

Tags: Natural Gas Vehicles, Oshkosh, Test Drive, Concrete Mixer Trucks, Vocational, Medium-Duty Trucks

September 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Quick Spin: Peterbilt Model 220

Peterbilt’s Model 220 features the PX-7 engine, Allison automatic transmission and all the visibility a driver could hope for.

By Jim Park

Peterbilt's new Class 6/7 COE is ideally suited for city P&D as well as landscaping applications.

Tags: Paccar, Peterbilt, COE, Peterbilt Model 220, Quick Spin, Test Drive, Medium-Duty Trucks

September 2014, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Vocational Sales Climb as Construction, Energy Grow

By Tom Berg

Demand for vocational trucks and trailers continues to be pushed by oil and gas producers, road building and municipal business, according to truck manufacturers and researchers. Revivals in housing and commercial construction are also factors as vocational Class 8 retail truck sales are up 9.2% through July compared to last year, and should be up by 16.4% for all of 2014.

Tags: Trailers, Truck Sales, Vocational

September 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Department

What’s Going on with my Brakes?

Front-axle brakes designed to meet reduced stopping distance rules may not run hot enough under normal driving conditions.

By Jim Park

When we started looking at wheel-end issues for this month's Tires & Wheels story, we discovered that reduced stopping distance rules have had some unintended consequences.

Tags: Brakes, Regulations, Maintenance

August 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Explaining the Internet of [Trucking] Things

OEMs are increasingly getting involved in this web of smart devices, sensors and data, such as the recently announced partnership between Volvo and Telogis. Photo courtesy of Telogis.

By Jim Beach

OEMs are increasingly getting involved in the web of smart devices, sensors and data.

Tags: Information Technology, Fleet Management Software, OEMs, Internet, Telematics, Volvo, Telogis, PeopleNet, Omnitracs

August 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Test Drive: Allison’s TC10 Automatic Transmission

By Tom Berg

This 10-speed brings continuous power to a crowded field of smooth self-shifters.

Tags: Allison Transmission, Test Drive, Navistar, Transmissions

August 2014, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

How Tires Affect Fuel Economy Testing

Apples to oranges. Accurate fuel economy test results can only be obtained using idendical trucks, including the tires.

By Jim Park

When setting out to evaluate a fuel-saving product, you don't want your numbers skewed by differences in rolling resistance from the tires. With some fuel-saving devices promising only marginal gains, the tires' contribution to the fuel consumption can adversely affect the apparent performance of the product. Here's what to watch for when setting up an evaluation or testing program.

Tags: Fuel Economy, SAE, Low Rolling Resistance Tires, Tires

August 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Cover Story

Inside the Numbers Driving the Heavy-Duty Trucking Industry

By Staff

There are many ways to tell a story – through words in books and magazines, pictures, videos, song, and more. With the inaugural issue of the HDT Fact Book, we are telling trucking’s story through facts, numbers, statistics, charts, and graphs.

Tags: Emissions, Drivers, Safety, Equipment, Statistics, Parts, industry statistics, Fuel and Oil

August 2014, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

UPS Offers Keys to Fuel Efficiency

Alternative fuels such as propane are part of UPS' green strategy. Photo courtesy UPS.

By Peter Carter, Today's Trucking

You would be hard-pressed to find a company more enthusiastically pursuing efficiency than UPS. After all, this is a company that has determined that its no-left turns policy across North America has saved almost 10 million gallons of fuel over the last 10 years. So we asked UPS to distill its fuel-saving philosophy into three bite-sized ideas.

Tags: UPS, Fuel Efficiency, Lightweighting, Fleets, United Parcel Service

August 2014, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Medium-Duty Tires Go Fuel-Efficient

Downtown streets still pose a threat to delivery fleets' tires. Nobody will give up protection for fuel economy; the tire people say they won't have to.

By Jim Park

The factors driving tire design for medium-duty trucks has changed. Today, tire makers must balance fuel efficiency and bulletproof durability to stand up to a harsh P&D environment.

Tags: Medium-Duty Trucks, Fuel Economy, Tires, Low Rolling Resistance Tires

August 2014, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Direct Drive or Overdrive?

By Eaton

The long-running debate over which type of transmission — direct drive or overdrive — provides the greatest efficiency is one that’s not easily settled and not likely to go away.

Tags: Eaton, Spec'ing, Fuel Economy, Transmissions

July 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Test Drive: Cummins-Eaton Powertrain Smooth as Silk

The brand-new Peterbilt Model 579 loaned to us by TransX Ltd. had less than 40 miles on the clock. The SmartAdvantage powertrain makes it a very nice place to work.  Photo: Jim Park

By Jim Park

Cummins and Eaton may have finally nailed it with their SmartAdvantage Powertrain combo, reports Equipment Editor Jim Park in July's Test Drive. The SmartAdvantage powertrain offers fuel and weight saving, as well as a very, very good driving experience.

Tags: Cummins, Eaton, Test Drive, Transmissions, Automated Manual Transmissions

July 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Editorial

Commentary: Lightweighting the Way

By Rolf Lockwood

Is lightweighting actually new? Well, not really, at least not in our world of big trucks and long trailers, says Rolf Lockwood in July's "Locking It In" column.

Tags: Aluminum, Lightweighting

July 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

2014 Trailer Update

By Denise Rondini

A sampling of the products trailer manufacturers have newly developed and made modifications to, as well as recently announced partnerships and expanded production capabilities.

Tags: Trailers, Refrigerated Truck, Reefers

July 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

The Story Behind Peterbilt’s Anniversary Truck

By Tom Berg

After finding the "old Pete" in an Arizona desert in the mid-1990s, restorer Bob Dean decided to give this classic 1939 Peterbilt a new life just in time for the company's 75th anniversary.

Tags: Peterbilt, Restoration, Anniversary

July 2014, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Has the U.S. SmartWay Program Helped Retreading?

By Jim Park

With regulations affecting how fleets fit their wheels, the retreading industry is still deciding whether or not the inclusion of verified low-rolling-resistance tires on the EPA's SmartWay list has helped the industry.

Tags: Retreads, Tires, EPA SmartWay, California Air Resources Board, California

July 2014, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Q&A: Environmental Defense Fund's Jason Mathers

By Deborah Lockridge

Environmental groups working hand in hand with trucking? "One of the key priorities for our organization over the coming years is to advance strong fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas standards in the heavy-duty truck space," says Jason Mathers with the Environmental Defense Fund. But he says he wants to do it in a way that makes sense for trucking businesses.

Tags: GHG, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Environmental Defense Fund, NACFE, EPA SmartWay, Fuel Efficiency, Environmental Regulations

June 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Delving Into the Cummins/Peterbilt SuperTruck: Part 1

By Jim Park

By the time the Cummins/Peterbilt SuperTruck made its public debut in February boasting 10.7 mpg, some contemporary trucks were achieving better than 8 mpg, and some super-fuel-conscious fleets boast even higher. While that may make the SuperTruck accomplishment seem slightly diminished, that 10.7-mpg milestone is only a small part of the story.

Tags: Cummins, MPG, Peterbilt, Fuel Efficiency, SuperTruck

July 2014, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

The Peterbilt-Cummins SuperTruck, Part 2: More Secrets Revealed

Cummins ISX15 with waste heat recovery from the front-right side

By Jim Park

The Peterbilt-Cummins SuperTruck project achieved almost-unheard-of gains of 68% in freight efficiency over a 24-hour duty-cycle, a 50% improvement in freight efficiency on an 11-hour drive-cycle and a 20% improvement in the thermal efficiency of the engine. How did they do it, and what does that mean?

Tags: Cummins, SmartWay, Peterbilt, EPA, U.S. Department of Energy, SuperTruck, Engines, Fuel Economy

June 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Taking the Volvo VNX Heavy-Haul Tractor Out for a Spin

By Tom Berg

Combine the frame from the vocational VHD with the comfort of the VN highway tractor and you have something strong for long hauls.

Tags: Volvo Trucks, Test Drive, Mid-America Trucking Show, Volvo VNX, Heavy Haul, Class 8

June 2014, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Q&A: Wabash National's Dick Giromini

Dick Giromini, Wabash president and CEO.

By Deborah Lockridge

Richard Giromini was appointed president and CEO of Wabash National Corp. on Jan. 1, 2007, putting him in the position of navigating the trailer maker through the Great Recession. We spoke with him about topics ranging from trailer innovation to the future of manufacturing in the U.S.

Tags: Trailers, Wabash National

June 2014, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Scania: Sleeping Giant in Emerging VW Truck Portfolio?

Recently HDT visited the Scania Demo Center for Western Sweden. Here we test drove the most powerful engine variant, the R730 in 6x4 version. Photo: Sven-Erik Lindstrand

By Sven-Erik Lindstrand

Volkwagen's takeover of Scania may seem like it should only matter to Europeans, but the German automaker's goal is to be able to compete in commercial vehicles alongside global rivals Volvo and Daimler. North America is likely in its game plan.

Tags: Volkswagen, Scania, Global, MAN, Paccar, Navistar, Integration

May 2014, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

California Company Installs Electric Drive in Heavy-Duty Drayage Trucks

By Deborah Lockridge

California-based TransPower has installed its ElecTruck battery-electric drive system into the second of eight trucks of this design that it plans to convert this year and place into drayage service near the L.A./Long Beach ports.

Tags: Ports, Battery-Electric Vehicles

May 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Trailer Maintenance Tips

It’s difficult to find a damaged rear impact guard because owners and drivers know they must be fixed before going on the road. Surface rust and dirt shouldn’t result in a citation, but deeper corrosion and bends might. Every trailer builder’s guard is different, so parts from individual manufacturers must be used in repairs.

By Tom Berg and Jim Park

It’s been 14 years since repairing any trailer’s “ICC bumper” was a simple matter of cutting off the damaged section and welding on a straight piece of angle iron. Most trailers built since Jan. 26, 1998, have been equipped with more complex required rear impact guards that are not only stronger but are designed to absorb shock from a collision.

Tags: Trailers, TMC, Fifth Wheels, Stoughton Trailers, ICC Bumpers, Rear Impact Guards

May 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Editorial

Commentary: Shall We Automate?

By Rolf Lockwood, Executive Contributing Editor

Every year for the last two or three centuries (or so it seems), March has meant a trip to Louisville, Ky., and the Mid-America Trucking Show. And every year the show produces a dominant theme, albeit unwritten, in the collection of new products introduced there.

Tags: Kenworth, Cummins, Paccar, Eaton, MATS, Transmissions, Automated Manual Transmissions

April 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Test Drive: Clarke-APG Dual-Fuel Glider

This Columbia sleeper-cab tractor looks new, because most of it is. The powertrain components are remanufactured. Daimler Trucks North America offers glider kits for most Freightliner and some Western Star models. The Wilson hopper-bottom trailer carries crushed lime.

By Tom Berg

From the ground and behind the wheel, you’d think this Freightliner Columbia is brand new. This was obvious on a run out on Interstate 70 in eastern Missouri, pulling a hopper-bottom trailer with a heavy load of granulated lime destined for an animal-food plant in Montgomery City, west of St. Louis. It rode, shifted and ran like new, and was just as comfortable.

Tags: Freightliner, American Power Group, WheelTime Network, Test Drive, Dual Fuel, Glider Kits, Clarke Power Services, Ervin USA

April 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Tending Liftgate Batteries

By Tom Berg

Bruce Purkey knows where the electrons go. And, as president of Purkey’s Fleet Electric and his many activities in the Technology & Maintenance Council of the American Trucking Associations, he’s well aware that some of them flow to batteries that support the electric-over-hydraulic systems for liftgates on trucks and trailers. Usually there are two and as many as four Group 31 batteries, like the ones on a truck or tractor.

Tags: Trailers, TMC, Waltco, Maxon, Idle Reduction, Batteries, Con-Way, Purkey's Fleet Electric, Trail Charger, Sure Power Industries

April 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Ounces of Prevention Means Miles of Cure For Your Tires

Alignment and balancing can keep your tires and your truck running straight and true.

By Jim Park

Unlike their human counterparts, dead tires do tell tales. And aside from underinflation and road strikes, the tales most commonly told of tires robbing their owners of full value revolve around alignment. Scrubbing and scuffing and driving tires off in different directions, poor alignment kills tires faster than almost any other mechanical malady.

Tags: TMC, Tires, Alignment, Bee Line Company, Hunter Engineering, IMI, Tires and Wheels, E-Z Line, Counteract Balancing Beads

April 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

A Systems Approach to Start/Charge System Maintenance

All that empty space between the winding is unused space. Square-wire windings make total use of the space and produce higher output.

By Jim Park

We have to stop thinking of our start/charge systems as simply a handful of separate components, and start viewing them as a system. From alternators to batteries and starters, cables and regulators, and even add-on components like low-voltage cut-off switches and DC/AV inverters, each can impact the component next to it.

Tags: Batteries, Electrical System, Purkey's Fleet Electric, Start/charge system, Delco Remy

April 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Is Cloud Computing Right For You?

By Jim Beach

Today, fleets have an alternative to on-site rooms full of computer servers – using a hosted environment for your computing needs, known as cloud computing. In the cloud computing environment, the servers are maintained by a third party (or maybe your enterprise software vendor) and fleets access applications and data via a web interface.

Tags: Information Technology, Telogis, NexTraq, Zonar, Sylectus, TMW Systems, Omnitracs, LinkeDrive

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