Maintenance

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July 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

HVAC: Environmentally Friendly Refrigerants of the Future

By Deborah Lockridge, Editor in Chief

There may be a new refrigerant in your future. This year, the first stage of a European Union ban goes into effect on mobile refrigerants with a global warming potential greater than 150 in new car and light-truck platforms

Tags: Under The Hood

July 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Wheel Balance From the Inside Out

By Jim Park, Equipment Editor

The next time you're driving alongside a truck at highway speed, have a look at the wheels. They should be running straight and true without any wobble or vibration

Tags: Tires

July 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

2010 Engine Scorecard: Updated

By Rolf Lockwood, Editor at Large

There are several themes that run through almost any conversation about 2010 engines these days. Mostly they represent good news, we found as we talked to a variety of fleets in a follow-up to last October's "EPA 2010 Engine Scorecard.

Tags: Under The Hood

July 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Pushing Out Trade Cycles Can Save Money, But It Isn't for the Ill Informed

By Jim Park, Equipment Editor

Many fleets have discovered in recent months that you can't put 10 pounds of rocks into a 5-pound bag. Pushing trade cycles for highway trucks to squeeze a few more months or a year out of an asset may seem feasible, but the unplanned costs can eat you alive

Tags: More Maintenance

May 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Schneider Tackles Summer Tire Problems

Excessive heat, road construction, impending safety regulations and other factors created a tire shortage within the trucking industry last summer, sidelining a record number of tractors and trailers

Tags: Tires

May 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

The Risks of Hydrocarbon Refrigerant Blends

When the temperatures warm up, it's a good time to remind technicians and drivers about the dangers associated with hydrocarbon refrigerants being sold as cheap substitutes for R-134a and R-12

Tags: Under The Hood

May 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Fewer than Half of Fleets Use Fleet-Specific Software for Maintenance

Fewer than 44 percent of fleets maintain their vehicles using software designed for that specific purpose, and one in three still uses paper and pencil or nothing at all, according to a survey by a maintenance software supplier

Tags: Managing the Shop

May 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

TMC reefer task force: Timely trailer repairs important

It's not enough to write the correct specs for trailer insulation values when you order. Proper maintenance and repairs are vital. The Technology & Maintenance Council of ATA has a task force on preserving reefer insulation values

Tags: Trailers

May 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Ready for Reman

By Jim Park, Equipment Editor

The average age of a truck in the U.S. fleet is now about 6.7 years. That's about 11 months older than the historical average and the oldest it has ever been, according to ACT data going back to 1979

Tags: Managing the Shop

May 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Charged Up: Battery Advances

By Jim Beach, Contributing Editor

Lead acid batteries - the most common type of battery found in trucking and automotive applications - were developed in the mid-1800s. After more than 160 years, the technology still delivers, because lead acid batteries are relatively inexpensive when compared with other types of batteries

Tags: Under The Hood

April 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Trailer Report: Controlling Corrosion

By Tom Berg, Senior Editor

What deteriorates on trailers? Almost everything that's not specially built or treated to resist the ravages of road salts, flying grime and everyday weather elements

Tags: Trailers

April 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

How IT Can Help With Warranty Recovery

By Tom Berg, Senior Editor

Probably at least half of the hundreds of thousands of over-10-unit fleets in the U.S. are managed manually - by "white board," yellow note pad, and by Excel spreadsheet - according to one estimate

Tags: Managing the Shop

April 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Tire Report: Suspensions & Tire Wear

By Jim Park, Equipment Editor

The knee-bone connects to the leg-bone. The leg-bone connects to the ankle-bone. The axle-bone connects to the wheel-bone, and the wheel-bone connects to the tire-bone … so the song goes, sort of.

Tags: Tires

March 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Arsenault: Don't Over-Buy on Parts

Many maintenance shops buy more parts than necessary, in effect storing company cash on parts room shelves

Tags: Managing the Shop

March 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Retreads: Money Saved is Money Earned

Retreading is a cost-effective hedge against increasing tire raw material costs. (Photo by Jim Park)

By Jim Park, Equipment Editor

Still looking for good reasons to embrace retreaded tires? Have you seen the price of oil lately?

Tags: Tires

March 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Making Tires Last

By Jim Park, Equipment Editor

How much are you willing to invest to make your tires last longer? There is no shortage of tools or strategies available to help prolong tire life, and thereby reduce tire costs, but are they worth the effort and expense

Tags: Tires

March 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Have Maintenance Expertise, Will Travel

Some of the most well-known members of ATA's Technology and Maintenance Council have become limited-time executives, spreading their expertise over a number of smaller truck fleets as they spend time with each client to help them get the most out of their maintenance operations

Tags: Managing the Shop

January 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Are You Greasing Right?

By Deborah Lockridge, Editor

The best grease in the world won't do the job if it doesn't get to where it's needed. That's why it's important to train technicians on proper greasing procedures

Tags: Managing the Shop

January 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Don't Take Grease for Granted

By Deborah Lockridge, Editor

Grease has been called the "Rodney Dangerfield of lubricants." The late comedian was often known to lament, "I just don't get no respect." Likewise, grease is often an afterthought when it comes to truck maintenance

Tags: Under The Hood

December 2010, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Eliminating Contaminants from Truck and Trailer Air Systems

By Tom Berg, Senior Editor

A heavy truck's air system is a basic and important set of components that should be spec'd correctly and then maintained properly.

Tags: More Maintenance

December 2010, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Tire Report: Balancing Act - Why Balance Just Tires?

By Jim Park, Equipment Editor

Try starting a discussion about balancing truck wheels

Tags: Tires

December 2010, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Filtering Out The Facts

By Steve Sturgess, Executive Editor

One of the methods all diesel engine manufacturers have adopted to reduce emissions - especially particulate

Tags: Under The Hood

November 2010, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Lead Weights On The Way Out

An estimated 2,000 tons of lead tire weights are lost from vehicles each year

Tags: Tires

November 2010, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Wheel-Ends: Torque your nuts

By Jim Park, Equipment Editor

Attaching wheels to a truck hub is serious business. Yet it's not uncommon to see some big bruiser of a mechanic, one foot against the bottom of the tire, whaling away with a 1-inch-drive impact gun driving the wheel nuts home

Tags: Tires

November 2010, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Tire Report: Wheel-End Problems -- Beyond the Obvious

By Jim Park, Equipment Editor

We focus on tires here, mostly, but wheels and hubs, and the other gear that attaches tires to trucks, deserve attention too. Wheel-ends function as a system:

Tags: Tires

October 2010, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

CSA 2010: Maintenance Musts

By Steve Sturgess, Executive Editor

Vehicle maintenance is one of the top areas where fleets are at risk under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's new CSA 2010 program

Tags: Managing the Shop

October 2010, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

All Pressured Up: Automatic Tire Inflation Systems Offer Protection from Underinflation Woes

Automatic tire inflation systems are now available for 19.5-inch wheels and wide-base single tires. (Photo by Jim Park)

By Jim Park, Equipment Editor

As I write each month on the latest advancements in tire development and improvements in technology to prolong tire life and reduce operating costs, one single theme remains front and center: the need to keep tires properly inflated

Tags: Tires

August 2010, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Suggestions for Meeting CSA 2010 Regulations in the Shop

The FMCSA's new Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010 program identifies 10 different groups of parts and accessories that the government considers critical for safe operation. (Photo by Paccar Parts)

Checking out idled trucks used for spare parts during the economic downturn before they return to service will be particularly important after new federal safety regulations go into effect in the fall of 201

Tags: Managing the Shop

August 2010, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Synthetic Oils & Lubes: Made to Measure

Synthetic engine lubricants are not new, but their cost has made them unattractive. That may be changing.

By Steve Sturgess, Executive Editor

Synthetic oils make up only a small part of the lubricant market, but they are set to take on a more significant role

Tags: Under The Hood

July 2010, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Friction In Focus: Trends in Brake Friction Manufacturing

There's always activity in developing new brake friction material. But new legislation and new players are forcing the pace. (Photo by Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake)

By Steve Sturgess, Executive Editor

Brake manufacturers are continually working with their friction material suppliers on new materials that satisfy the market's demand for noise, cost and wear with no compromise in performance. But there are also external pressures for change

Tags: Chassis & Brakes

June 2010, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

EGR Cooler Maintenance

By Steve Sturgess, Executive Editor

The Technology and Maintenance Council has a Task Force looking in to EGR cooler maintenance

Tags: Under The Hood

June 2010, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Running Cool: Maintaining Your Cooling System

Your coolant/antifreeze is the heart of your cooling system - and there are more choices to keep on top of than there used to be. (Photo by Jim Park)

By Deborah Lockridge, Editor

Twenty years ago, putting coolant in a heavy truck could be a bit like a kid's chemistry experiment. You started out with silicate-based coolant/antifreeze designed for cars and light trucks

Tags: Under The Hood

May 2010, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

The Weight is Over: New Front-End Introductions

Trucks are getting heavier, especially on the front axle. But help is at hand with new weight-saving front-end introductions. (Photo by Jim Park)

By Steve Sturgess, Executive Editor

Fleets spec'ing new trucks are suffering several stages of sticker shock. For one, the price has just jumped another $10,000 for EPA 2010-compliant engines

Tags: Chassis & Brakes

May 2010, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

The Pressure of Events

By Commentary Steve Sturgess, Executive Editor

With limited opportunity to walk the Mid-America Trucking Show due to the number of press conferences and the vast number of exhibitors, it was gratifying indeed to turn up an innovative new technology that could transform a fleet's tire maintenance

Tags: More Maintenance

April 2010, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Tips to Avoid Vehicle Fires

Truck fires have always been with us, but they have taken on a greater significance for their far more comprehensive and catastrophic nature.

By Steve Sturgess, Executive Editor

"I don't know if there are more truck fires today or just that, now, they are catastrophic when they happen," says Bruce Purkey of Purkey's Fleet Electric. He's a major contributor to the efforts of the Technology and Maintenance Counci

Tags: More Maintenance

April 2010, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Ceramic Roof Coating Saves Fuel for Food-Hauling Fleet

Super Therm can be sprayed over large areas or rolled onto smaller surfaces. Coating needn't be cleaned to stay effective and lasts more than 20 years. (Photo by Curt Lundberg)

By Tom Berg, Senior Editor

Sunshine brings warmth and happiness, but to refrigerated trailers it brings only heat, and too much of it

Tags: Trailers

March 2010, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Fifth Wheel Maintenance

No-lube fifth wheels are gaining acceptance, but they still require periodic inspection, and perhaps adjustment. (Photo by Jost International)

By Jim Park, Equipment Editor

While the calendar says we've just about made it through another winter, as these words materialize on my screen, the Northeast is digging out from three days of record snowfall

Tags: More Maintenance

March 2010, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Tracking Tire Performance

So many brands of tires, so many wheel positions, so many options. Data tracking can help evaluate tire performance. (Photo by Jim Park)

By Jim Park, Equipment Editor

If you were serious about getting the best odds on a pro basketball bet, you'd research the heck out of the starting lineups, and know in advance that Kobe Bryant's sprained ankle doesn't seem to be much of a liabilit

Tags: Tires

March 2010, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Vertical Integration: Friend or Foe?

As truck manufacturing gets increasingly global and the costs for new components spiral, chassis like this Freightliner being assembled in Saltillo, Mexico, carry an increasing number of in-house components. (Photo by STF)

By Steve Sturgess, Executive Editor

There is a creeping vertical integration in North American truck manufacturing

Tags: Managing the Shop

March 2010, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Four Ways to Make Onsite Product Training More Effective

When you spec a component, often training is part of the package. Training helps established suppliers set themselves apart from those selling cheap parts without any customer support, and generally there's no out-of-pocket expense to the fleet or dealer

Tags: Managing the Shop

February 2010, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Pursuing a Tank Rust Mystery

Rust forming inside steel saddle tanks might be caused by ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel, some maintenance people believe. This rusty tank was on a Ford truck operating in northern Georgia. (Photo by Chris Sands)

By Tom Berg, Senior Editor

Is ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel causing rust in steel fuel tanks? A shop foreman in Georgia believes that the relatively new fuel, or perhaps biodiesel blends, are to blame for the damaged saddle tanks he's seen in the last yea

Tags: More Maintenance

February 2010, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Make Supplemental Filters Pay

A supplemental filter must be carefully mounted so it works effectively and allows the engine's oil circulation system to continue its job.

By Tom Berg, Senior Editor

Cleanliness is next to godliness, so some truck operators change motor oil religiously according to manufacturers' recommendations. Others extend drain intervals but use supplemental filtration and oil analysis to do it safely and make sure the oil stays clea

Tags: Under The Hood

January 2010, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

The Path to Parts Savings: Five Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Budget

By Deborah Lockridge, Editor

Times are tough. Fleets are scrambling for freight to fill trucks, shippers are beating up carriers on rates, and truckers are keeping their equipment longer because they can't afford to buy new

Tags: Managing the Shop

December 2009, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Where Does Underhood Heat Go? Into the Cab

By Gary Hansen, Vice President, Red Dot Corp.

As engineers, one of our biggest challenges is how to deal with underhood heat. Because of aerodynamics and other styling changes, the engine box on trucks is smaller and more densely packed than it ever has been

Tags: Under The Hood

December 2009, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Rush Technicians Compete For Top Spots in Skills Rodeo

(Photos by Steve Sturgess)

By Steve Sturgess, Executive Editor

In the by-now familiar holidays ritual, Rush Enterprises held its fourth Technician Skills Rodeo, drawing techs from across its far-flung 62-facility truck center empire

Tags: More Maintenance

December 2009, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Suspension Maintenance

Keep everything pointing in the right direction: retorque your fasteners.

By Jim Park, Equipment Editor

The key to keeping suspensions working for you rather than against you is to keep everything tight. When suspension components work themselves loose, tires wear badly, springs break, fuel economy suffers, and drivers complain

Tags: Chassis & Brakes

December 2009, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

What's Killing Your Tires?

Look after your tires; your tires will look after you. Photo by Jim Park

By Jim Park, Equipment Editor

Tires are under constant attack, from the normal dynamic forces acting on the tread rubber, to a barrage of scrubbing and scraping actions caused by misaligned axles, unbalanced rotation, loose wheel bearings, and more

Tags: Tires

December 2009, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

10 Ways Fleet Maintenance Software Can Help Manage Costs and Boost Profitability

A robust maintenance software system can help a shop be more efficient and productive.

Kenworth offers this information to help truck fleet operators with their own maintenance facilities reduce parts inventory, decrease operating costs and increase productivity

Tags: Managing the Shop

November 2009, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Maintaining APUs

APUs have come a long way in the past five years, but you can't ignore the maintenance. (Photo by Jim Park)

By Jim Park, Equipment Editor

The auxiliary power unit has come a long way since the first commercially available units hit the streets in the late 1980s

Tags: More Maintenance

November 2009, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Outside Shops Demand 'Right To Repair,' But That's Not Fair to Dealers, One Says

The "right to repair" one's vehicle wherever one chooses isn't in the U.S. Constitution or Bill of Rights, but many people in the maintenance and parts business believe it almost should be

Tags: More Maintenance

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