HeavyDuty Trucking – Issue

May 2014

Cover Story
Safety Technologies: The New Frontier
By Jim Beach

From collision avoidance to cameras, from rollover prevention to analytics, technology is rapidly changing the safety landscape.

Features

How to Find a Service Provider Select a service provider who has certified technicians and who has invested in the latest tools and diagnostic equipment.

By Denise Rondini

Finding and training technicians, purchasing tools and equipment, maintaining a parts inventory, dealing with OSHA and the EPA. These are just a few of the headaches fleets that maintain their own trucks face.

Driver Ergonomics: Round Pegs and Oval Holes

By Jim Park

As well as being in short supply, trucking’s new recruits are also, shorter generally, and thinner, as well as less likely to want a truck to look and feel like a truck. The challenge for truck makers comes in designing truck cabs to fit an expanding body-size profile, while making the driving environment appealing to people who have different expectations about trucks – all without alienating the existing driver population.

Five Ways Private Fleets Keep Drivers Longer Average pay for drivers in the private fleet community was reported at $60,021 in 2012, up nearly $1,500 from the $58,784 reported in 2011. Starting pay for drivers remained virtually unchanged at just under $50,000, as did pay at the end of year one ($53,417). However, pay after three years dropped 12% to $58,137, while the upper limit for the most experienced drivers maxed out at more than $68,000 annually, a decrease of $14,000 compared to the previous year.

By Deborah Lockridge & Kate Harlow

In 2012, driver turnover at large truckload carriers averaged 98%, according to figures from the American Trucking Associations. At smaller truckload fleets turnover averaged 82%.

Departments

Trailer Maintenance Tips It’s difficult to find a damaged rear impact guard because owners and drivers know they must be fixed before going on the road. Surface rust and dirt shouldn’t result in a citation, but deeper corrosion and bends might. Every trailer builder’s guard is different, so parts from individual manufacturers must be used in repairs.

By Tom Berg and Jim Park

It’s been 14 years since repairing any trailer’s “ICC bumper” was a simple matter of cutting off the damaged section and welding on a straight piece of angle iron. Most trailers built since Jan. 26, 1998, have been equipped with more complex required rear impact guards that are not only stronger but are designed to absorb shock from a collision.

Electric Vehicles Zoom in Indy

By Tom Berg

Is electricity a fuel? Sure, even if we call it “power.” Electricity itself is far cheaper than any petroleum or gaseous fuel, and the motors it powers have many advantages for propulsion – high efficiency, tremendous torque, quietness and cleanliness, at least in the vehicle itself.

Providing ‘Comforts of Home’ for Heartland’s Drivers Key to Bruce Hudson’s change to Heartland Express’s tractors is a larger alternator and mounting batteries on frame rails so they’ll stay cool.

By Tom Berg

Bruce Hudson, director of corporate maintenance at Heartland Express, has a heart when it comes to the Iowa-based truckload and logistics company’s drivers, who must spend nights on the road. So he’s come up with changes to a tractor’s electrical system that will benefit them during off-duty hours.

Benchmarking Tire Programs: How Does Your Company Stack Up?

By Jim Park

Fleets spend tons of money on tires – so much, in fact, that bad tire management can become a competitive handicap. Find out how four well-run fleets run their tire programs to give their operations a competitive advantage.

How to avoid 6 common CSA violations

By Daren Hansen, J.J. Keller & Associates

Let’s examine the top three CSA violations for both vehicles and drivers across the industry and discuss practices that can help bring the numbers down.

Editorials

Commentary: Texting Caught on Tape

By Deborah Lockridge

The consequences of texting and driving can go far beyond your CSA score, a ticket or even the maximum $11,000 fine from the feds.

Commentary: Shall We Automate?

By Rolf Lockwood, Executive Contributing Editor

Every year for the last two or three centuries (or so it seems), March has meant a trip to Louisville, Ky., and the Mid-America Trucking Show. And every year the show produces a dominant theme, albeit unwritten, in the collection of new products introduced there.

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