Fuel Smarts

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April 2018, TruckingInfo.com - Editorial

Commentary: Being Green Goes Beyond Low Emissions

Rolf Lockwood

By Rolf Lockwood

Is being green just a matter of buying the latest trucks with hyper-compliant engines? Of spec’ing the latest in aerodynamics? It’s both, of course – and much more besides says Executive Contributing Editor Rolf Lockwood.

Tags: Emissions, Work Truck Show, Green Fleets, Green Vehicles, Green Truck Summit, Aerodynamics

March 2018, TruckingInfo.com - Editorial

Commentary: More on the Electric Truck Option — From a Century Ago

Rolf Lockwood

By Rolf Lockwood

In 1930, there were more than 100 U.S. companies manufacturing electric and hybrid commercial trucks, something that may not be common knowledge says Executive Contributing Editor Rolf Lockwood in his March column.

Tags: Historical Vehicles, Electric Trucks, Trucking History

March 2018, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

What Do Final Mile Trends Mean for Equipment and Maintenance Managers?

Mercedes Benz vans has developed potential logistics concepts involving electric vans, robots, drones, and smart autonomous loading systems. Photo: Mercedes-Benz

By Deborah Lockridge

As urban centers increasingly battle problems with pollution and congestion while e-commerce grows by leaps and bounds, we’ll see changing technologies in last-mile logistics – and changing maintenance challenges.

Tags: Technician Training, Battery-Electric Vehicles, Electric Trucks, Last Mile Delivery, TMC, UPS, Maintenance Management, Alternative Fuels

February 2018, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

The Case for On-Board Electrification in Class 8 Trucks

This schematic drawing illustrates some of the potential for off-boarding drive components to lessen parasitic loads on engines. Source: Eaton

By Jim Park

On-board electrification can take some of the load off the main diesel engine, allowing for greater operational flexibility and efficiency.

Tags: Class 8, Electrical Systems, Electric Trucks

February 2018, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Can the Electrical Grid Handle Electric Trucks?

Demand for electric energy is rising, fueled by a boom in battery electric vehicle sales. Does the grid have the capacity to handle it? Photo: Trekphiler via Creative Commons

By Jim Park

Very few new power plants have been built in the U.S. in the past 10 years, yet demand for electric energy is rising, fueled by a boom in battery electric vehicle sales. Does the grid have the capacity to handle it?

Tags: Infrastructure, Battery-Electric Vehicles, Electric Trucks

February 2018, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Zero Emissions Vehicles Can Still Impact the Environment

Zero emissions vehicles are only as clean as the electrical grid they draw power from. Photo via Tony Webster on Flickr

By Jim Park

When people speak of zero-emissions vehicles, they are really referring to tailpipe emissions. But what about upstream emissions from power plants, especially those that burn coal?

Tags: Emissions, Zero-Emission Vehicles, Electric Trucks, Battery-Electric Vehicles

February 2018, TruckingInfo.com - Editorial

Commentary: Is There an Electric Truck In Your Near Future?

Rolf Lockwood

By Rolf Lockwood

With all the talk about trucking's electric future, it's important to remember that trucks will be drinking diesel for a long time to come, says Executive Contributing Editor Rolf Lockwood.

Tags: Future Trucks, Electric Trucks, Battery-Electric Vehicles

September 2017, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

How Much Does it Cost to Operate a Battery Electric Truck?

Determining the operating costs for electric trucks can be difficult because electric equivalents to “fuel economy” ratings are not published for commercial vehicles. Photo: TransPower

By Jim Park

Calculating the cost of operating an electric vehicle can be complicated because electricity prices fluctuate far more frequently than diesel fuel.

Tags: Operating Costs, Fuel Economy, Battery-Electric Vehicles, Electric Trucks

February 2018, TruckingInfo.com - Cover Story

What You Should Know About Aftertreatment System Maintenance

Aftertreatment system maintenance is easier when you stay ahead of the demand.

By Jim Park

We appear to be learning from our mistakes in aftertreatment system maintenance, but we still have a way to go before we’re at peace with the things.

Tags: Preventive Maintenance, DPF, Emissions Reduction, Maintenance Management

January 2018, Work Truck - Feature

5 Things Fleets Should Know About Fuel Quality and Filtration

Modern filtration media technologies such as Donaldson’s Synteq XP Media feature thermally bonded fibers for a high level of efficiency and contaminant retention. Image via Donaldson

By Scott Grossbauer

Clean fuel has never been more important for proper fleet equipment operation and diesel fuel filtration has become more complex. Here are five facts that you may not have known about fuel quality and today’s technology.

Tags: Filters, Diesel Fuel, Donaldson, Fuel Filter

January 2018, TruckingInfo.com - Department

The Quest for Lighter Trailers

New composite materials show great promise in lightening trailer designs. But their use must be tempered by cost and maintenance concerns. Photo: East Manufacturing

By Jack Roberts

Semi truck trailers need to be as light, strong, cheap and durable as possible, creating a never-ending race for an always-lighter design.

Tags: Trailers, Fuel Economy, Lightweight Materials, Lightweighting

February 2018, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Electric Axle Offers Fuel Savings for Long-Haul Operations

Mesilla Valley Transportation, PAM Transport, and Ryder conducted initial road testing on Hyliion’s 6X4HE hybrid-electric axle. Photo: Hyliion

By Deborah Lockridge

Hyliion says its 6X4HE hybrid-electric axle system technology can deliver fuel savings, lower emissions, instant telematics and a better driver experience.

Tags: Fuel Economy, Hybrid Trucks, Long Haul, Hyliion, Mesilla Valley Transportation

December 2017, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Mack: Path to Electrification is Not Straight to Linehaul

By John G. Smith

Mack Trucks continues to see a healthy future for diesel engines, even as alternatives like electrification begin to emerge.

Tags: Mack Trucks, Tesla, Battery-Electric Vehicles, Future Trucks

November 2017, TruckingInfo.com - Cover Story

HDT's Top Green Fleets of 2017

By Deborah Lockridge

This is the fifth year we’ve recognized some of the country’s “greenest” fleets with our Top Green Fleets award – and this year, we’ve narrowed the field and made it more competitive, honoring 25 of the most fuel-efficient, environmentally conscientious, alternative-fuel-forward fleets in the U.S.

Tags: Emissions, Green Fleets, Fuel Efficiency, Fuel Economy

November 2017, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

PIT Examines Effects of Optimized Engine Programming

Photo courtesy of Today's Trucking

By Rolf Lockwood

PIT Group have been busy on a project first launched in 2014 that aims to examine the effects of optimized programming on commercial vehicle engines.

Tags: Research, Engines, PIT Group

October 2017, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

The New Oils: An Update on CK-4 and FA-4

Extensive engine testing of the new oils involved engine teardowns. Photo: Chevron

By Deborah Lockridge

Last December, for the first time, the American Petroleum Institute started licensing two different approved heavy-duty diesel engine oils. CK-4 adoption is going largely as expected, but very few fleets are using FA-4 yet – because very few engine makers so far are recommending it.

Tags: Maintenance, Fuel Economy, API, PC-11, Oils, Engine Oils

October 2017, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Uncertainty Surrounds Trailers and GHG Phase 2

For the first time, the GHG Phase 2 rule regulated trailers in its effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But now the government is revisiting those regulations.  Photo: Tom Berg

By Tom Berg

Trailer aerodynamics and glider kits might get a reprieve from the fuel-efficiency rules, but backing away from national rules would turn California loose, some warn.

Tags: Emissions, Regulations, Trailers, Glider Kits, GHG Phase 2

October 2017, Government Fleet - Editors Corner

Can Fleets Subscribe to a Vehicle?

By Chris Brown

For fleets, technology is enabling a more efficient way to use vehicles, increase utilization, and more precisely match the type of vehicle to usage.

Tags: Carsharing, Shared-Use Mobility, Cox Automotive, Fleet Forward Conference

September 2017, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Going Beyond Electric and Natural Gas

Director of Fleet Procurement Mike Casteel says UPS has “a lot of experience with propane autogas,” including running over 2,000 propane-powered package cars in the U.S. and Canada. iStockPhoto

By David Cullen

Electric and natural gas vehicles are the most well-known alternatives to diesel, but here’s a look at other alternative fuels that may be in the running for certain truck applications.

Tags: Biodiesel, Propane Autogas, Alternative Fuels, DME, Renewable Diesel

September 2017, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

TMC Panel Educates Fleets on Real-World Electric Truck Operation

 A policy of “opportunity charging” that has drivers putting trucks on charging devices during lunch, breaks and other downtimes is a key component in keeping the trucks’ state of charge high for longer periods of time. Photo: Orange EV

By Jack Roberts

Calculating recharging times, driver training and overcoming “range anxiety” were just a few of the topics covered at an electric truck panel discussion at TMC’s Fall Meeting.

Tags: TMC, Alternative Fuels, Battery-Electric Vehicles, Technology & Maintenance Council

September 2017, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

How Fleets are Using Solar Power

Canada’s Groupe Robert is using six solar panels and four deep-cycle batteries to keep drivers comfortable and batteries charged. Photo: Groupe Robert

By Deborah Lockridge

Solar panels have moved off building rooftops and onto trucks, tractors, and trailers.

Tags: Solar Power, Batteries, Solar Charging, Solar Panel

September 2017, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Why Some Fleets Still Like Natural Gas

Ryder’s Scott Perry sees an 800-pound gorilla named California at the fuel pump, which could eventually help drive up sales of natural-gas vehicles. Photo: Ryder

By David Cullen

Some fleets opt to run on natural gas instead of diesel, a decision fueled by one or more key influences.

Tags: Natural Gas, Natural Gas Vehicles, Alternative Fuels, CNG, LNG

September 2017, TruckingInfo.com - Cover Story

Electric Trucks: Zap in the Pan?

By Jim Park

Electric trucks are coming to market on the strength of their lack of tailpipe emissions. But can trucking get over the cost, weight, and range hurdles?

Tags: Toyota, Mitsubishi Fuso, Future Trucks, Electric Trucks, Hybrid Trucks, Nikola Motor Company, Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles, Hydrogen

September 2017, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Could Tesla Solve EV Range Issues With Battery Swapping System?

Tesla has filed a patent for a hoist system capable of swapping out electric vehicle battery packs in less than 15 minutes. Image via Tesla

By Jack Roberts

Tesla filed for a patent on a high-speed battery replacement system for electric vehicles that would quickly swap out a spent battery with fully charged one. Could this be the key to solving charging time and EV range issues?

Tags: Elon Musk, Tesla, Batteries, Battery-Electric Vehicles, Future Trucks, Tesla Semi

September 2017, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Study: Cutting Methane Crucial to Future of Natural Gas Vehicles

Fleets and natural-gas engine makers are already taking steps to address methane leakage. Photo: Frito-Lay

By Michaela Kwoka-Coleman

Commercial fleets that converted from diesel to natural gas power could potentially accelerate the rate of climate change, finds one report. What is the industry doing to address the issue?

Tags: NGVAmerica, EDF, EPA, Emissions, Industry Research, Emissions Reduction, Methane, CNG, LNG, Westport, Natural Gas Vehicles, Alternative Fuels, Greenhouse Gases, EIA

September 2017, Green Fleet Magazine - Feature

Piedmont Natural Gas Aims for CNG Truck Conversions

Piedmont Natural Gas utilizes compressed natural gas in its fleet of dump trucks. (Photo: Piedmont Natural Gas)

By Lauren Fletcher

Growing in use in truck fleets, compressed natural gas is a clean alternative to gasoline and diesel. One natural gas utility fleet is working to grow its use of natural gas vehicles and promote the technology.

Tags: Natural Gas Vehicles, Natural Gas Trucks, Piedmont Natural Gas

August 2017, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Test Drive: Paccar's New Automated Transmission

The Paccar Automated Transmission: 12 forward gears and two reverse packed into a 657-pound package that was engineered from the ground up as an automated transmission. It's new to the game, but it performs like a veteran. Photo: Paccar

By Jim Park

Paccar is the latest North American truck manufacturer to bring a proprietary automated transmission to market. HDT's Jim Park got a sneak preview of the new 12-speed Paccar Automated Transmission ahead of its official launch. Here are his driving impressions.

Tags: Kenworth, Paccar, Transmissions, Test Drive, Automated Manual Transmissions

August 2017, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Mesilla Valley Adopts Auxiliary Solar System

Note the eNow solar panel on the roof fairing of this MVT rig. Photo courtesy MVT.

By Deborah Lockridge

Mesilla Valley Transportation recently purchased close to 1,000 eNow solar auxiliary energy systems for its Navistar trucks. The pioneering fleet discovered benefits beyond reduced idling.

Tags: Idle Reduction, eNow, Mesilla Valley Transportation

July 2017, TruckingInfo.com - Editorial

Commentary: What Happens to SmartWay With EPA Under Fire?

Rolf Lockwood

By Rolf Lockwood

Looks like SmartWay’s days are numbered, if not those of the entire Environmental Protection Agency, but we shouldn't be especially sad if EPA budget cuts kill SmartWay. We have options, writes Rolf Lockwood, Executive Contributing Editor.

Tags: SmartWay, EPA, Donald Trump

June 2017, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Drivers Key to Cutting Idle Costs

Fleets must balance the need to reduce idling with the need to attract and retain drivers. Photo:  Randy Heinitz via Flickr/creative commons license

By Deborah Lockridge

No single technology has emerged as a winner in the idle reduction market, but driver satisfaction and comfort are key factors in finding solutions.

Tags: Idling, Idle Reduction, Reducing Fuel Costs

June 2017, TruckingInfo.com - Editorial

Commentary: Will Electric Trucks Charge Ahead?

Jack Roberts

By Jack Roberts

They are already here in small numbers, and several P&D fleets...are aggressively evaluating their performance today. So what does the future hold for electric trucks? Senior Editor Jack Roberts writes in his June column.

Tags: Future Trucks, Electric Trucks, Hybrid Trucks

June 2017, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Aerodynamic Devices Can Translate Into Fast Fuel Savings

This trailer owned by Illinois-based Nussbaum Transportation has both an aerodynamic “boat tail” from Stemco TrailerTails and extra-long trailer side fairings it developed with Wabash. Photo: Nussbaum Transportation

By Jack Roberts

Falling acquisition prices, proven performance and fast ROI times on aerodynamic add-ons can translate into fast fuel savings for even cash-strapped fleets. Learn more in this feature from June's special fuel issue.

Tags: Fuel Efficiency, Aerodynamics, Trailer Skirts, Trailer Aerodynamics

June 2017, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

The Rolling Resistance Paradox

Photo: Jim Park

By Jim Park

Looking for a tire with the lowest possible rolling resistance? If that’s your only consideration, you might not be happy with the tire you get.

Tags: Fuel Efficiency, Tires, Low Rolling Resistance Tires

June 2017, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Saving Fuel by the Dollar and by the Minute

The latest development with fuel-card programs is the option to access them with cardless technology. Likewise, pre-existing cardlock systems that enable drivers to quickly purchase fuel at unattended fuel islands may now be accessed without an actual card. The enabling technology is radio frequency identification (RFID). Photo: Comdata

By David Cullen

There’s more to saving fuel than just not burning it. It’s called buying it for less. One of the surest ways to do that is to leverage high-tech solutions that take the guesswork and the data-crunching out of where to buy fuel at the best price on the road.

Tags: RFID, Fuel, Fuel Cards

June 2017, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

The Latest Fuel-Sipping Engines

Mack will add turbo compounding to is MP8 engine lineup in the spring, as will the Volvo D13. Photo: Mack

By Jim Park

How engine makers have met the EPA GHG Phase 1 2017 emissions requirements head-on, with a lineup promising better fuel efficiency and greater reliability.

Tags: Cummins, Paccar, Diesel Engines, Detroit Diesel, Fuel Efficiency, International Trucks, Engines, Volvo Group

June 2017, TruckingInfo.com - Cover Story

Super Trucks: Pie in the Sky, or Pathway to Super Fuel Savings?

Volvo Truck’s SuperTruck was revealed in September 2016. It achieved more than 12 mpg during the test run, and demonstrated an 88% improvement in freight efficiency and a 70% improvement in fuel efficiency over the baseline truck, a 2009 Volvo VNL 670. Photo: Jim Park

By Jim Park

The DOE SuperTruck projects have demonstrated what’s possible. The next challenge is to turn the possible into the practical.

Tags: Navistar, Volvo Trucks, Peterbilt, Fuel Efficiency, Aerodynamics, Daimler Trucks North America, SuperTruck, Future Trucks, Concept Vehicles

June 2017, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

A Changing Climate: Is There Still a Case for Greener Trucks?

UPS is among the companies that are committed to exploring alternative fuels and drivetrains. Photo: UPS

By John G. Smith

There is no mistaking a change in the underlying business climate when it comes to greener trucks. Diesel is relatively cheap, and a new administration in the White House wants to slash funding for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. But don't prepare to burn coal dust just yet.

Tags: Natural Gas Vehicles, Alternative Fuels, GHG Phase 2

June 2017, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

IdleAir Not Letting Lower Diesel Prices Stop Idle Reduction Growth

A partnership with Duke Energy is allowing a truck stop facility to be installed in Kenly, N.C. Photo courtesy Duke Energy.

By Deborah Lockridge

As temperatures heat up around the country, IdleAir is working to expand the number of fleets using its idle reduction technology to keep trucks cool and provide power for cab comforts. IdleAir CEO Ethan Garber tells HDT's Deborah Lockridge how the company is adapting to lower diesel prices.

Tags: Idle Reduction, IdleAir

May 2017, TruckingInfo.com - Department

What's Ahead for Wide-Base Single Tires?

Wide-base single tires could start showing up on vocational trucks such as refuse haulers under GHG Phase 2. EPA likes the fuel efficiency, while operators like the weight savings. Photos: Jim Park

By Jim Park

Could the next round of greenhouse gas reduction rules push more fleets over to wide-base single tires? It seems likely, given not only their relatively low rolling resistance but weight savings as well.

Tags: Fuel Efficiency, Tires, Wide-Base Tires, GHG Phase 2

May 2017, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Nikola Motor CEO Compares Truck Manufacturers to Kodak

Photo: Tom Berg

By Today's Trucking

Nikola Motor CEO Trevor Milton said that the Nikola One's hydrogen-powered electric motor could change the industry in the same way digital cameras changed photography.

Tags: Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles, Battery-Electric Vehicles, Nikola Motor Company

April 2017, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Downspeeding Comes of Age

The game-changer in the development of downsped drivetrains was the automated manual transmission, which offered new opportunities for fine-tuning and controlling powertrains at cruise speeds. Photo: Cummins

By Jack Roberts

The question of how downspeeding is helping fleets save on fuel – and what's in store for the future – was the topic at a recent session at the American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council annual meeting.

Tags: Fuel Efficiency, Engines, Powertrains, Downspeeding

April 2017, TruckingInfo.com - Editorial

Commentary: Clean Hydrogen-Powered Vehicles: Are We There Yet?

Rolf Lockwood

By Rolf Lockwood

How far away is truly clean hydrogen power? We're getting closer, thinks Contributing Executive Editor Rolf Lockwood.

Tags: Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles, Hydrogen Fuel, Nikola Motor Company, Alternative Fuels

April 2017, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

TMC: Aerodynamic Wheel Covers Work if You Cover Your Bases

Photo: RealWheels

By Robert Braswell, TMC Acting Executive Director

Last year, the Technology & Maintenance Council of the American Trucking Associations set out to identify the potential promise and pitfalls associated with using aerodynamic wheel covers.

Tags: TMC, Aerodynamics, Wheel Ends

April 2017, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Ping! 3 Things You Need to Know About ELDs and Fuel Taxes

Photo: ERoad

By Sandy Johnson, Contributor

A popular selling point for electronic logging devices is that you can use the electronic records for fuel tax reporting. But the record-keeping requirements for hours of service and for IFTA/IRP are vastly different. Here's what you need to know.

Tags: Fuel Tax, ELDS

March 2017, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

The Case for Fuel Filtration

Supplemental fuel processors combine a fuel filter, water separator and heater all in one unit and are designed for severe conditions like extreme cold. Photo: Cummins Filtration

By Jim Park

Fuel filters are your engine’s first and last line of defense against expensive damage from water and particles of debris that are found in diesel fuel.

Tags: Filters, Fuel Filter, Fuel Additive, Filtration, Maintenance, Preventive Maintenance

March 2017, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Prepare Your Fleet Now for Higher Fuel Prices Later

 Cardlock systems help fleet administrators  manage their fuel assets by making it easier to authorize and provide accountability for fuel usage. Photo courtesy OPW

By Bobby Hayes, OPW

While fuel prices may not be as high as they were a few years ago, strict oversight of fuel assets can help maintain a healthy bottom line over the long term. One way to do that is with modern cardlock systems.

Tags: Fuel Management, Fueling Facility, OPW

February 2017, TruckingInfo.com - Test Drives

Quick Spin: Orange EV's All-Electric Terminal Tractor

Orange EV’s T-Series terminal tractor looks and works just like a diesel, but its fully electric drive system produces no emissions and can save up to 90% over existing fuel and maintenance costs. Photos: Jim Park

By Jim Park

It has all the performance attributes of a diesel without the maintenance and fuel costs. And it’s emissions-free, which will keep your neighbors happy.

Tags: Ports, Battery-Electric Vehicles, Orange EV, Terminal Tractors, Electric Trucks, Test Drive

January 2017, TruckingInfo.com - Editorial

Trucking Engineers up to the Challenge

Rolf Lockwood

By Rolf Lockwood

"Trucking engenders passion, and I see it in the engineers you depend on, who seem able to beat just about any challenge that comes along," writes Rolf Lockwood in January's "Locking it In" column.

Tags: Emissions, Diesel Engines, EPA

January 2017, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

What Phase 2 GHG Regs Mean to Fleets

Manufacturers are taking cues from their EPA SuperTruck work to meet the new regs. Navistar’s version (left) thus influenced its International LT625 tractor.  Photos: Tom Berg

By Tom Berg

To meet Phase 2 GHG regulations, fleets will have to pay for advances to get required fuel-economy gains and keep everything working.

Tags: Emissions, EPA, Fuel Economy, GHG Phase 2

January 2017, TruckingInfo.com - Department

Nikola One: Disruptive Technology?

The Nikola One sleeper-cab prototype unveiled in early December in Salt Lake City looks like no other. It&amp;rsquo;s lettered for U.S. Xpress, whose Chairman and CEO Max Fuller believes Nikola One will be &amp;ldquo;a game changer.&amp;rdquo;<br />Photo: Tom Berg

By Jim Park

If its hydrogen fuel cell-electric powertrain proves workable and reliable, it could replace traditional diesel trucks

Tags: Hydrogen, Hybrid Trucks, Nikola Motor Company

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