HeavyDuty Trucking – Issue

September 2014

Cover Story By HDT Staff
Alternative Fuels: There’s More Than One Path to Sustainability and Savings

Whether you’re looking to improve the environment, tap into demand for “greener” transportation options, or save money on fuel, there are many possible routes to take when it comes to alternative fuels.

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Features

Gas-to-Liquids Technology Makes Fuel, Oil From Natural Gas Shell’s gas-to-liquids plant in Qatar is the largest in the world. Photo: Shell

By Deborah Lockridge

A a giant facility in Qatar, Shell is turning natural gas into products normally produced from crude oil — fuel, base oils, paraffin, kerosene, etc.

DME: Companies Testing 'Alternate’ Alternative Fuel Photo: Volvo Trucks

By Stephane Babcock

Volvo Trucks is testing dimethyl ether in a pair of Volvo VNL 300 trucks with D13 DME engines with partners Oberon Fuels and Martin Energy Services.

Emerging Technologies Enlarging Playing Field for Biofuel A team of researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has developed a way to transform a mixture of algae and water into a form of crude oil in less than an hour. Photo: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

By Stephane Babcock

The face of biofuels is changing, and more than one company is responsible.

Propane Remains Popular Alternative Fuel in the U.S. UPS made headlines earlier this year when it announced a $70 million investment in propane-powered delivery trucks. Photo: UPS

By Tom Berg

The country’s third most popular vehicle fuel powers everything from gas grills to medium-duty trucks.

Companies Moving Forward with Hybrid Truck Technologies Coca-Cola purchased 100 gasoline-electric hybrid Chevrolet Express delivery vans that were converted using the XL Hybrids powertrain. Photo:XL Hybrids

By Deborah Lockridge and Jim Park

A pioneering supplier has exited the market, but up-and-coming companies aim to fill the gap for light-, medium- and even heavy-duty trucks.

Natural Gas Technology Improvements Changing Attitudes CNG distributors often rely on a large "anchor" fleet to build start-up volumes in an area. Other business soon follows, once fuel availability is established.

By Jim Park

While adoption is slower than expected, technology improvements are changing some traditional assumptions of compressed and liquified natural gas.

Departments

Trailer Tracking and Food Safety

By Jim Beach

It's time to start asking questions about tracking trucks and trailers as new regulations will soon make it more prevalent.

Tech Bytes: Decker Uses Two-Way Refrigerated Monitoring from Orbcomm Decker Truckline will install Orbcomm’s RT6000+ refrigerated two-way monitoring/tracking devices to its fleet of refrigerated trailers.

By Jim Beach

Decker Truckline, Fort Dodge, Iowa, is installing Orbcomm’s RT6000+ trailer telematics devices on 500 of its 800 refrigerated trailers.

Fuel Smarts: Opposed-Piston Diesels About Five Years Away An OP can be configured and packaged to fit the vehicle it’s intended for. For trucks, the cylinders are likely to be vertical or slanted. Photo: Achates Power

By Tom Berg

Truck users can look forward to 30% better fuel economy at 10% lower production cost, says Achates Power

Safety & Compliance: Using a Simulator in Your Safety Program Photo: DriveWise

By Deborah Lockridge

Although driving simulators have been around for a long time, the current technology is more sophisticated, takes up less space and more affordable.

What’s Going on with my Brakes? Front-axle brakes designed to meet reduced stopping distance rules may not run hot enough under normal driving conditions.

By Jim Park

When we started looking at wheel-end issues for this month's Tires & Wheels story, we discovered that reduced stopping distance rules have had some unintended consequences.

Test Drives

Test Drive: Oshkosh S-Series Mixer The front-facing barrel and chute on this Oshkosh S-Series allow the driver to place the concrete right where the crew wants it, and front-driving axle helps get it through sand and mud. Here the chute is stowed for travel, with its extensions flipped up.

By Tom Berg

Precise concrete placement is a traditional feature for this front-discharge mixer, but relatively new is natural gas power.

Quick Spin: Peterbilt Model 220 Peterbilt’s Model 220 features the PX-7 engine, Allison automatic transmission and all the visibility a driver could hope for.

By Jim Park

Peterbilt's new Class 6/7 COE is ideally suited for city P&D as well as landscaping applications.

Editorials

Got A Knowledge Gap? Rolf Lockwood, Executive Contributing Editor

By Rolf Lockwood

What new technology that you’ve used in the last 10 years has made a real difference to your operation? Do you know?

Commentary: Don't Count Diesel Out Deborah Lockridge, Editor in Chief

By Deborah Lockridge

Alternative fuels may be more popular but diesel will still be the fuel of choice for most of trucking for a long, long time to come.

Commentary: Managing the Shop Aftermarket Editor, Denise L. Rondini

By Denise Rondini

Does the system come before the leadership? Or do you need the leadership and then the system?

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