HeavyDuty Trucking – Issue

September 2015

Cover Story By David Cullen
No Easy Math to Plot A Green Path

Any fleet thinking of going green should think long and hard about what it expects to gain by switching to alternative power.

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Features

Sausage Fleet Switches to Propane Autogas Photo: Stevens Sausage

By David Cullen

Tim Stevens, president of Stevens Sausage, decided in 2013 to move away from spec’ing more diesel engines for the company’s 13-vehicle delivery fleet. So he decided to covert them to propane autogas.

Customers Make LNG ‘No-Brainer’ for Florida Fleet Photo: Raven Transport

By David Cullen

The Jacksonville-based truckload carrier's transition to LNG was driven by three factors: addressing customers’ sustainability goals, contributing to U.S. energy independence, and lowering fuel costs for the 500-truck fleet.

Why Proper Fifth Wheel Maintenance is Important Proper fifth wheel maintenance is important to ensure the tractor and trailer stay together.

By Denise Rondini

Proper fifth wheel maintenance is important to ensure the tractor and trailer stay together.

PG&E Electrifies Its Sustainability Efforts Photo: PG&E

By Adam Pringle

PG&E has proposed the building of 25,000 public EV chargers throughout California. Along with San Diego Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison, it is waiting for approval from the California Public Utilities Commission.

CNG: From an Idea to a Solution Photo: Ryder

By Stephane Babcock

Before starting down the path of alternative fuels Ryder System had the benefit of a deep understanding of diesel technologies, which led them to research some alternatives.

7 Steps to Getting the Most From Your Software User conferences, such as the Peoplenet User Conference, allow clients to take advantage of new enhancements, network with other users and learn best practices.

By Jim Beach

Trucking companies make significant investments in software systems — to become more efficient, safer and more profitable. But not all have the same level of success.

Mesilla Valley Transportation Swears by Its B20 Biodiesel Blend While biodiesel mandates have probably done more to build resistance to its use than win over its skeptics, some fleets, like Mesilla Valley Transportation, report high levels of success with the fuel.

By Jim Park

While biodiesel mandates have probably done more to build resistance to its use than win over its skeptics, some fleets, like Mesilla Valley Transportation, report high levels of success with the fuel.

The Downspeeding Learning Curve Rolling two-lane roads are no place for a downsped driveline. If you’re considering a downspeeding axle spec, application and terrain must be considered. Photo: Jim Park

By Jim Park

Today's "downsped" drivetrains can improve fuel economy, but high torque and low axle ratios can create all sorts of havoc with drivetrain components.

How To Build An Engaged Driver Workforce Nussbaum Transportation stresses communication with drivers. Photo: Nussbaum

By Deborah Lockridge

Want drivers who not only stay with your company long-term, but also go the extra mile to make sure it succeeds? The key may be “employee engagement.”

Departments

Aerodynamic Designs Help Cut Water Spray

By Tom Berg

Good vehicle aerodynamics not only increase fuel economy, but also can reduce splash and spray, a safety bonus that also mitigates wear and tear on vehicles.

Nussbaum Boosts Safety Driver by Driver Photo: Nussbaum Transportation

By David Cullen

Nussbaum continuously makes investments in onboard safety technology, as well as in programs developed in-house to coach and incentivize drivers to perform safely and efficiently.

QuickSpin: Driving ProStars with Different Engines International ProStar ES with Navistar’s N13-450 (left) and ProStar ES with Cummins ISX15-450. Bigger displacement seemed to perform better, and might offer extra life. Photo: Tom Berg

By Tom Berg

With almost identical engine ratings, does bigger displacement really make a difference?

Carriers Want Support, Customization From Software Vendors Photo: iStockPhoto.com, Arda Guldogan

By Jim Beach

Vendor customization and electronic data integration were the top vendor and software factors fleet managers consider when buying software, according to a survey conducted by Carrier Logistics Inc.

Careful Trailer Spec'ing Yields Higher Payloads A 53-foot trailer allows use of two 9-foot spreads, between axles 1-2 and 2-3, adding another 5,000 pounds of legal gross weight.

By Tom Berg

Lighter-weight equipment is a quest for Jim Burg, president and CEO of James Burg Trucking Co. in Warren, Mich.

Tracking Lifetime Tire Costs Is the lowest tire cost per mile the ultimate fleet objective? Not necessarily. Strive to keep the rubber costs down, but don’t scrimp on the maintenance. Photo: Jim Park

By Jim Park

We offer two opposing views on tracking tire costs. One holds that life-cycle costing is a waste of money and effort, and that close enough is good enough most of the time. The other suggests that nearly all costs associated with tires should be accounted for and built into the cost structure.

Editorials

Commentary: Replacement Brake Friction Can Affect Stopping Distance Denise Rondini

By Denise Rondini

There is no requirement that aftermarket linings meet reduced-stopping-distance requirements.

The Electric Truck Future Rolf Lockwood

By Rolf Lockwood

We’ve been flirting with electric trucks for an awfully long while now but they remain limited in applications. This is not to say the electric truck idea is dead. Far from it.

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