HeavyDuty Trucking – Issue

March 2016

Cover Story By Deborah Lockridge and David Cullen
The 2016 Truck Fleet Innovators

This year’s honorees, from fleets both large and small, are leading the way in areas such as driver recruiting and retention, pushing the envelope on fuel efficiency, using data analysis to drive out waste in equipment and maintenance, and more.

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Features

Exploring the World of 6x2 Drive Axles 6x2 drive axles are emerging in different configurations, including forward liftable axles. Photos: Jim Park

By Jim Park

Fleets are slowly adopting 6x2 drive axle configurations as manufacturers continue to improve the technology. Here's an overview of the latest offerings.

The Modern Maintenance Manager: The Connected Shop Computers in the shop have become commonplace. The modern maintenance manager is moving beyond that to data analytics and predictive maintenance. Photo: Evan Lockridge

By Deborah Lockridge and Jim Park

From remote diagnostics to predictive analytics, being on top of maintenance today means using data and connections.

Departments

3 Ways to Save on Tires Which tire is best? Buyers have many price ranges to choose from. Cheaper up front may not be the best value in the long run. Photos: Jim Park

By Jim Park

Everybody knows tires can eat up a big chunk of a fleet’s operating budget. Keeping costs in line isn’t impossible, but you have to work at it. Here are three suggestions that can help you get a handle on tire costs and keep them under control.

Dry Vans: Regulations, What Customers Want, and How It Could Change

By Stephane Babcock

While many equipment mandates cause angst in the industry, a recent government proposal to require stronger rear under-ride guards is apparently not one of them.

Electric Vibration Smoothly Offloads Materials Dirt, gravel and salt commonly stick to dump beds, requiring a driver to climb in and wield a shovel. That can be risky. Photos: Martin Engineering

By Tom Berg

Material sticking to the inside of dump beds during tipping is a nagging problem for drivers in Manlius Township, Ill., but not for a truck equipped with a certain electric vibration device.

Construction Services Fleet Tests Hybrid System in the Field The construction-services company BMC is running a pilot program with XL Hybrids to test two delivery vans equipped with the XL3 Hybrid Electric Drive System. Photos: BMC

By Steven Martinez

By converting two delivery trucks with an XL3 Hybrid Electric Drive System from XL Hybrids, BMC is testing the waters on a greener fleet Colorado.

Backing off Back Pain While back pain is the bane of many whose jobs involve a lot of sitting, the misery is compounded when the sitting is behind the wheel of a truck.

By David Cullen

Back pain is the bane of many whose jobs involve a lot of sitting at a desk or other work station. But that misery is compounded when the sitting is behind the wheel of a truck.

Test Drives

Quick Spin: Strong Underpinnings Turn a Medium Into a Heavy Though a midrange model in Kenworth’s lineup, this T370 has many heavy-duty components but costs less than a comparable T800 or T880. Sloped hood and large windows make for excellent outward visibility. Photos: Kenworth

By Tom Berg

This ‘Baby 8’ Kenworth T370 has serious carrying capacity, with a midrange-size powertrain that performs well but saves money and weight.

Test Drive: Isuzu NPRs Offer High Maneuverability The NPR Gas (left) and NPR diesel share cabs and chassis components. Wheel cuts were tight and turning circles short for both models. The trucks are bigger than they look; the 81-inch-wide steel cabs are solid and roomy enough for three people each. Photos: Tom Berg

By Tom Berg

A 4-cylinder diesel promises to sip fuel while a gutsy gasoline V-8 saves upfront money and really goes.

Editorials

Commentary: Information Is King for Aftermarket Service Providers Denise Rondini

By Denise Rondini

The size of the truck parts and service aftermarket has grown to $107 billion and independent parts and service providers are stepping up their game to ensure they have the necessary skills, tools and technology to meet fleets’ needs.

Commentary: Wheel-Offs Again Rolf Lockwood

By Rolf Lockwood

When it comes to wheel-offs, the mainstream press, and even some of the less well informed enforcement folk, always look to the driver first to find fault.

Commentary: Don't Keep Looking for a Faster Horse Deborah Lockridge

By Deborah Lockridge

Throughout history, people have conceptualized the technological future only as a fancier version of the present.

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