HeavyDuty Trucking – Issue

June 2013

Cover Story
The Quest For Fuel Savings
By Deborah Lockridge

In 2011, commercial trucks burned 37.2 billion gallons of diesel and 14.8 billion gallons of gasoline, according to the American Trucking Associations.

Features

Being Healthy Behind the Wheel Gaston Töpfer, a long-haul driver with Erb Transport, participated in TCA's second Trucking's Weight Loss Showdown. Here are photos of him before and after his weight loss journey.

By Kate Harlow

Gaston Töpfer, a long-haul driver with Erb Transport, has plans to run a half marathon. On its own, that may not sound terribly impressive. It’s pretty amazing if you know that not so many months ago, Töpfer was having trouble playing with his kids for more than a few minutes due to his weight.

Avoiding Common Parking Lot Crashes

By J. Scott Roberts, Contributor

Did you hear about the driver who backed into the transformer for a huge regional mall, shutting it down for a Saturday during the Christmas shopping season?

MPG for Mediums

By Sean Lyden

When we’re talking about on-highway trucks, there are opportunities in aerodynamics, low-rolling-resistance tires, “downspeeding” and other strategies to save fuel. But when you’re talking delivery trucks, work trucks, vans and the like, the strategies are different. Below are four approaches to improving mpg for mediums.

How Technology Can Make You Greener Dennis Dellinger, president of Cargo Transporters, with some of the company’s drivers. The company makes use of its mobile communications and telematics technologies to improve mpg and reduce paper.

By Jim Beach

Trucking operations generally don’t invest in technology with the sole purpose of becoming “greener.” For most fleets, the decision is prompted by a desire to improve operational efficiencies, customer service and the bottom line.

Transmissions: Automating for Fuel Savings Drivers still have some control over automated manual transmissions, but the equipment will usually do a better job of improving fuel economy if it’s simply left alone.

By Jim Park

Traditional thinking on automated manual transmissions has it that AMTs are the great equalizers – bridgers of skill gaps between the best and the worst drivers in the fleet. While that’s still true, AMTs now bring even more to the fuel-economy table, offering fuel savings in their own right beyond what even the most professionally driven manual transmission could accomplish.

7 Ways to Cut Idling Costs Volvo was the first truck maker to offer built-in shore power systems. Shore power can be used on its own or in conjunction with other idle reduction systems on the market.

By Deborah Lockridge

Royal Jones, president and CEO of Mesilla Valley Transportation, is known for his near-obsessive attention to saving fuel. Yet eight or nine years ago, the fleet was averaging nearly 50% idle time.

Trailers: The Next Generation This is what a tractor-trailer could look like following the work being done through the SuperTruck program.

By Kate Harlow

There aren’t many things less aerodynamic than a box. And a dry van trailer is basically a 53-foot box on wheels. The drag caused by that box and its effect on fuel economy is a challenge that has been taken up by the SuperTruck program.

DEF: Here to Stay TravelCenters of America’s DEF dispensers, which it calls the “DEF+1,” pump both diesel fuel and DEF and are available at nearly all locations. Drivers can authorize diesel and DEF transactions at the same time at the same dispenser, pump both products in any order, and pay for both fills at the same time.

By Deborah Lockridge

In 2007, as many truck and engine makers started announcing they would use selective catalytic reduction to meet 2010 federal emissions regulations a new term entered our trucking dictionary: diesel exhaust fluid. As we soon learned, SCR is an aftertreatment technology that injects small amounts of DEF, a water-based solution containing urea, into an engine’s hot exhaust stream to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx).

Are You On Top of Your Fuel Buying Program?

By Oliver Patton

Pilot, the largest truckstop chain in the country with more than 650 outlets and $29 billion in annual revenues, is being investigated for allegedly defrauding customers by withholding fuel rebates and discounts.

Making the Case for Fuel-Efficient Tires The more rubber you have on the road, the sooner the improvements become obvious.

By Jim Park

You get 30% less tread on some fuel-efficient tires, they cost 15% less up front and they run fewer miles to take-off, but does the money saved on fuel because of the lower rolling resistance make up for the shorter overall life? Many fleets are struggling with that question today. The answer is often anything but clear.

Test Drives

Ram 1500 Focuses on Fuel Economy The Ram 1500 2-door Regular cab has SLT trim, standard with chrome grille and bumpers. This one’s a 4x4 and not budget-priced at $38,405 list. But it’s very pleasing to drive.

By Tom Berg

How does 18 mpg in city driving and 25 on the highway sound for a full-size pickup? That’s what Chrysler’s Ram brand is claiming for some of its 1500 series trucks with a gutsy V-6 gasoline engine mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission.

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