HeavyDuty Trucking – Issue

December 2013

Cover Story
8 Things to Expect on Tomorrow’s Trucks
By Deborah Lockridge

In some ways, the truck of the future is here today. What would a truck driver from decades ago think if he were suddenly transported from his own time into one of today’s state-of-the-art rigs?

Features

Class 8 Update: Economics Forge Change Western Star:The flagship from Western Star, a Daimler Trucks brand, is the 4900 with 132-inch cab and hood and long sleeper that’s built for the highway but looks good in town. It and the shorter 4800 are also equipped for vocational work with forward and setback steer axles or twin-steer configurations. Just announced is a 4800SB 8x8 whose setback, driving steer axle is paired with Meritor tri-drive rear axles.

By Tom Berg

Is trucking in for a transformation? Many believe that long-haul trucking will become less important as regional operations grow and intermodal takes over more long-haul freight, and that will change the type of heavy-duty tractor bought by many trucking companies.

Smart Roads, Smart Vehicles

By Jim Beach

Intelligent highways, smart vehicles, connected transportation systems – sounds like the stuff of the future. In reality, though, many technologies currently found on our roadways reflect that future. In many cases they will be integral components of an intelligent transportation system. And the most important piece of technology might be the one most everyone now carries in their pocket, purse or backpack.

Departments

A Tale of Two Natural Gas Fleets Dillon Transport uses natural gas as a strategy to go after new customers for whom sustainability is a key requirement.

By Deborah Lockridge

At a time when many shippers have chief sustainability officers and government contracts are requiring low-emissions or alternative-fuel equipment, some fleets are finding it pays to have natural gas trucks in their arsenal.

Two Things You Should Know About Trailer Lighting and Wiring This LED lamp’s lens spreads light across 180 degrees of view, and its four diodes ensure sufficient candlepower throughout that wide angle to meet or exceed the federal regulations. The lamp is therefore “PC rated,” with the C meaning Combination clearance and sidemarker, and it can be mounted on the trailer’s side, though within 6 inches of its nose. (P, for Parking, is from an old industry classification that has been retained.)

By Tom Berg

Over the years, electrical failures have been the number one problem with trailers. Lighting problems have been reduced by the wider adoption of LED lighting. However, even LEDs, along with the rest of the electrical system, are subject to corrosion, which remains a major headache.

Adopting Tire Inflation Systems ATIS and TPMS do more than prevent good tires from coming apart. ROI also includes improved fuel economy, longer tread life and higher casing value.

By Jim Park

Why are adoption rates for proven fuel-saving technologies so low? It looks like a classic case of stepping over a dollar to pick up a dime. Maybe “a lack of credible information on payback” means, “we don’t know how much this device will save us so we’re not going to buy it.”

Editorials

Commentary: Looking Back, Looking Forward

By Deborah Lockridge

As the year drew to a close, we looked back on the last 12 months, identifying the high points and low points, our challenges and triumphs, and hopefully, what we learned.

Commentary: Why I Changed My Mind About Cell Phone Bans

By Rolf Lockwood, Executive Contributing

I hate rules, but there’s one I like, namely the ban on cell-phone use while driving. It’s a long way from universal state to state, but New York has just gotten very tough indeed on truck-driver use of cellular tools, and that’s fine by me.

Commentary: Is Purchasing Parts Online Right For You? Not many dealership or parts distributors are selling online. One exception is Allstate Peterbilt Group.

By Denise Rondini

The Internet is opening avenues for parts purchases that never existed before. But does it make sense for you to consider adding online parts purchasing to your parts buying strategy?

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