HeavyDuty Trucking – Issue

October 2013

Cover Story
Growing a Small Fleet
By Jim Park

To be a fleet of fewer than 100 trucks in America today is to be a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs: every move fraught with risk, perils at every turn. Large fleets can outpace, outperform, outbuy, outhire and outlobby the smaller fleets.

Features

Aero Add-ons Put to the Test Not all aero fitments produce the same results. SAE Type II test results from Performance Innovation Transport Group sheds some light on the differences.

By Jim Park

The Performance Innovation Transport Group recently tested trailer side skirts and undercarriage air deflectors.

New Choices, New Excitement For Cargo Vans Dodge Ram: Just going to market following production start-up in Mexico is the Ram ProMaster, a front-wheel-drive unibody design based on the proven European Fiat Ducato. FWD allows a low floor height with good traction and consistent driving characteristics, Ram says. Cab-chassis models and panel vans are available in 1500, 2500 and 3500 series with varying roof heights and wheelbases.

By Tom Berg

‘May you live in interesting times” is usually taken as a wry Chinese curse. But for cargo vans and the people who run them, an interesting era is here and it should be a blessing. New European-based products are being sent to the marketplace, and they’ll offer new efficiencies and choices in a segment that has languished design-wise since the first of that breed.

What Data Mining Can Teach You About Your Fleet

By Jim Beach

Fleet managers can learn new things about their operations by analyzing everything from accidents to wait times.

Keeping Your Wheels On A calibrated torque wrench is required to set the recommended torque on wheel fasteners. Over-torqueing with an impact wrench can stretch and weaken the studs.

By Jim Park

There’s no mystery to why wheels come off trucks. The National Transportation Safety Board in 1992, and Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation in the late 1990s, both concluded after exhaustive studies that inadequate maintenance was the root cause of a series of fatal wheel separation incidents.

Commentary: Shedding Pounds Gregor Schwarz of Austria’s Engineering Center Steyr stands proudly with the lightweight monocoque truck frame he designed.

By Rolf Lockwood, Executive Contributing Editor

Lightweighting. You’ll hear this word a lot in the next few years. It refers to engineering efforts to slice weight from just about every single component on a truck or tractor in the name of fuel efficiency. And where better to start than with a truck’s backbone, its frame?

Tips for Maintaining Trailer Floors

By Kate Harlow

When it comes to maintaining your dry van hardwood or composite trailer floor, fleet maintenance managers should follow the Boy Scout motto: Be prepared.

Commentary: The Changing World of Choosing Parts and Service

By Denise Rondini

The relatively simple aftermarket of the ‘80s has become a rather complicated one. Fleets now have more choices than ever for their parts and service needs. Aftermarket Editor Denise Rondini explores these changes in her new HDT column.

Test Drive: Single-Rear-Axle Granite MHD The single rear axle allows Class 7 ratings, but this one’s decidedly Class 8, with axles totaling 44,000 pounds in capacity. The steer axle is set forward to better handle weight of the plow mount and, when it snows, a long steel blade.

By Tom Berg

Is this single-rear-axle truck the type of medium-heavy-duty model that Mack should have brought out first? I asked that question two years ago when I saw the initial offering, the tandem-axle Granite MHD. I figured other than the tandem, it was just right for municipal fleets and others who don’t need high carrying capacity.

Beyond the API 'Donut:' Putting a Premium on Oil Oil experts say there  area a number of factors that fleets need to consider in the oil selection process.

By Denise Rondini

Every fleet knows how important oil is to the proper operation of their vehicles, but how can they determine if upgrading to a premium oil makes sense for them?

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