HeavyDuty Trucking – Issue

May 2013

Cover Story
9 Ideas to Find & Keep Drivers
By Deborah Lockridge

Whenever there's a panel discussion about driver turnover and the coming driver shortage, low pay is always pointed to as a culprit. Yet when it comes to making drivers happy, pay often takes a backseat to the bigger picture.

Features

Telematics Unchained

By Jim Beach

You probably have a pretty good idea what a telematics system is, even if you don't know it by that name. You may know it as a fleet management system or GPS fleet management system or GPS vehicle tracking system.

Getting Around Tarping Rolling tarp systems, like TarpStop’s FasTrack, protect loads but can be opened or closed in a couple of minutes.

By Tom Berg

It takes special people to be flatbedders. Tarping, however, is usually not on their list of favorite activities. A single tarpaulin can weigh 65 to 100 pounds or more. It must be half thrown and half dragged over the load, spread evenly with corners properly folded and tucked in, and the whole piece of slippery fabric secured with straps and bungies.

Running an Alternative-fueled Fleet

By Tom Berg

Want to get a handle on alternative fuels? Talk with someone who uses them. One person is Melvin Rose, fleet manager for Monroe County in western New York, which surrounds Rochester. The county has 700 vehicles, from compact cars to Class 8 trucks. All run on ethanol-gasoline blends, biodiesel, compressed natural gas or propane, and Rose loves to talk about them.

What You Need to Know About Wide-base Singles & Offset Axles Wide-base single tires are popular for weight and fuel saving, but not everybody likes them. Spec'ing to revert back to dual tires at resale needs special consideration.

By Jim Park

Everything you need to know about switching from dual wheels to wide-base singles you can learn at a playground. Picture a teeter-totter with a big kid on one end and a little kid on the other. The big kid is on the ground, while the little guy's legs are dangling in the air. The load is unevenly distributed. If you moved the fulcrum closer to the big kid, the beam would eventually balance.

Rise of the 6x2 At a Meritor demonstration last December in North Carolina, soapy water and slipper plastic couldn't keep this tractor's SmarTandem from getting a grip and starting up the incline at a loading dock.

By Tom Berg

It's still an oddball spec in road tractors, but some believe the 6x2 — a single drive axle with two powered wheels among six total wheel positions — will someday become more common as truck operators look for ways to save fuel and cut tare weight.

Veterans in the Driver's Seat The Army National Guard's "Drive the Guard" program is putting soldiers behind the wheel while they are in uniform and helping them to qualify for fulltime civilian employment as a truck driver.

By Oliver Patton

In the past two years, 34 states have adopted laws that allow motor vehicle departments to waive the CDL skills test for qualified military veterans, the Obama administration says in a new report. Nine more states plus the District of Columbia are considering legislation to do the same thing.

Driver Pay: A New Look at an Old Problem

By Evan Lockridge

Truck driver pay is often summed up in just two words: Not enough. But one analyst sums up the situation lately with the words “productivity bonuses” and “sign-on bonuses.” Gordon Klemp, publisher of the National Survey of Driver Wages, talks about whether those are good or bad in this story from the May issue of HDT.

Test Drives

Test Drive: Kenworth's T880 Day-cab Tractor The new steering gear set up provides up to 9 degrees of additional wheelcut, making this 189-inch wheelbase extremely maneuverable.

By Jim Park

Equipment Editor Jim Park still recalls his first meeting with a T800. It was in the fall of'86, the year the truck was introduced and a little more than a year after the T600 had made its game-changing debut.

Kenworth T880 Dump Truck The T880's cab is 8 inches wider and the hood's sculpted lines are smoother than what have been seen for 27 years on T800.

By Tom Berg

Only a couple of days after announcing its new T880 at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky., in March, Kenworth had a couple of trucks for us press people to drive. Equipment Editor Jim Park and I were pleased to be among the scribes who got their hands on the just-minted vocational and regional-haul vehicles.

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