HeavyDuty Trucking – Issue

June 2015

Cover Story By David Cullen
How Low Will Diesel Go?

While it’s hard to say just how low the retail price of diesel will go, what is fairly certain is the trend line in place since last autumn will continue to run its positive course at least through the rest of the year.

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Features

Daimler's SuperTruck Revealed With a 115% freight efficiency improvement and 12.2 mpg, the DTNA team had to pull out all the stops to turn its goals into realities. Photos: Stephane Babcock

By Stephane Babcock

With a 115% freight efficiency improvement and 12.2 mpg, the DTNA team had to pull out all the stops to turn its goals into realities.

Breaking the 11 MPG Barrier For Michael Niss, reaching 11 mpg is not just a dream. It is quickly becoming a reality through his project company, Breaking 11.

By Stephane Babcock

For Michael Niss, reaching 11 mpg is not just a dream. It is quickly becoming a reality through his project company, Breaking 11.

Looking for Durable Trailer Skirts Fleets buy various brands of skirts based on performance, durability and price. To last a long time, skirts must be physically flexible, which means they’re made of thermoplastic or a thermoplastic-fiberglass composite. Some trailer manufacturers make their own skirts.

By Tom Berg

Skirts have become common on van and refrigerated trailers, with more than half of all such trailers leaving factories with skirts installed. But how durable are they? Testing and experience show that material flexibility is a requirement for resisting damage.

Keeping Diesel Fuel Clean The presence of water or other fluid mixed with diesel fuel is clearly apparent from the stratification shown here.

By Deborah Lockridge

If you don’t take steps to keep diesel fuel clean, it can degrade your fuel economy, damage expensive fuel system components and cause downtime. That’s never been more important than today.

High-mpg Model Round-Up Start with these aero tractors for the best fuel economy.

By Tom Berg

The best fuel economy starts with a truck model specifically designed to squeeze the most possible miles from a gallon of diesel fuel and all major builders offer these for their on-highway customers.

Fleets Can Help Drivers Maximize Fuel Economy The right equipment for the job improves the fleet’s and the driver’s chances for success.

By Jim Park

The right equipment for the job improves the fleet’s and the driver’s chances for success. Part 6 in HDT's Driver Dilemma series on the driver shortage.

Mining Data for Fuel Savings From routing to gamification to spotting equipment issues, information technology can help save fuel.

By Jim Beach

Fleet use of technologies to reduce costs is nothing new. Along with increased productivity and efficiency, cutting fuel costs was a big reason fleets adopted technologies such as automated routing and dispatch, GPS tracking and mobile communications.

Fuel Savings vs. Shorter Tire Life Can low-rolling-resistance tires reduce tire costs and save fuel? Some say yes; other disagree.

By Jim Park

Are low-rolling-resistance tires a cost-effective proposition? It’s not an easy question to answer. Chances are your low-rolling resistance tires are performing better than you think.

Departments

Disruption is the Latest Technology Buzzword The Freightliner Inspiration Truck at it's Hoover Dam introduction. Photo: Stephane Babcock

By Jim Beach

The key disrupter in recent years has been the Internet, which has changed the way a number of industries operate. In trucking, e-commerce has profoundly affected trucking operations, especially those that serve retailers.

Wrightspeed's Tantalizing Turbine-Electric Drivetrain Wrightspeed’s Fulcrum turbine-powered generator charges batteries that power electric motors at the truck’s rear axles. The motors act as generators during braking, further charging batteries. The turbine will burn a variety of fuels.

By Tom Berg

California trash fleet hopes ‘out of the box’ heavy-duty series hybrid will save big money in fuel.

The Price Tag for Violating Regulations Just Went Up

By Kathy Close, J.J. Keller & Associates

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has a mission statement of reducing the number of commercial motor vehicle crashes, and the injuries and fatalities associated with them.

Test Drives

QuickSpin: Freightliner 122SD 8x8 Extreme Heavy-Haul This 92,000-lb GVW oil tanker looked a little out of place in Napa, Calif., where we test drove it last summer.

By Jim Park

Freightliner can build its 122SD heavy-haul vocational chassis into any number of extreme configurations, but this oil-field hauler is one to be reckoned with. This truck lives for roads that would break your average highway hauler in half.

Test Drive: Volvo's VHD Tractor for On- or Off-Road Metallic black paint sets off bright-metal trim on the chunky-styled on/off-road tractor. In keeping with Volvo’s safety heritage, vehicle has roll-stability control and traction control working off the Bendix electronic ABS.  Photos: Tom Berg

By Tom Berg

Volvo Heavy Duty model has its own styling and extra-strong specs, but retains most of the comfort of better-known VN road tractors.

QuickSpin: Peterbilt 567 SFFA The Model 567 SFFA’s set-forward steer axle sits 17 inches closer to the bumper than the 567’s setback axle. High-mounted headlight pods should avoid most job-site collision damage. Photos: Tom Berg

By Tom Berg

The Peterbilt 567 SFFA's set-forward front axle adds payload in bridge-formula states, but doesn’t seem to come with the usual penalty in maneuverability.

Editorials

Commentary: Tracking Truck Health Denise Rondini, Aftermarket Editor.

By Denise Rondini

Several truck makers have been promoting uptime through remote diagnostics for a while now. But at this year’s MATS, nearly every OEM talked about their efforts to provide fleets with insight into their vehicle’s health in an effort to increase vehicle uptime.

Commentary: Moving Toward the Autonomous Truck Rolf Lockwood, Executive Contributing Editor

By Rolf Lockwood

I wasn’t alone in assuming we'd see an autonomous truck on German or Dutch or maybe Swedish roads long before we saw it here but Nevada and Daimler surprised us all.

Commentary: The Reality of Autonomous Trucks Deborah Lockridge, Editor in Chief

By Deborah Lockridge

If autonomous Trucks aren't driverless, what, then, are the potential benefits? Think of it as cruise control on steroids.

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