HeavyDuty Trucking – Issue

September 2016

Cover Story By David Cullen
Alternative Fuels in the Age of Cheap Oil

The slide in the price of diesel fuel over the past two years has complicated the decision to switch to alternative fuels for many fleets. But is cheap oil even the real issue?

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Features

What's Available in Hybrid and Electric Drive Systems Many of Odyne’s hybrid systems go into utility service trucks, where they work cleanly and  silently on job sites. Public utilities, municipalities and other high-profile fleets are still interested in cutting emissions and fuel use, the manufacturer says. Photo: Odyne Systems

By Tom Berg

Interest has waned in the face of low fuel prices, but ‘price points’ are lower and the business remains active.

Bringing Maintenance to the Truck Lights, tires and the air system can all be inspected from a mobile maintenance truck at a customer’s location. Photo: Transervice Lease Corp.

By Denise Rondini

Fleets are always looking for ways to increase roll time of trucks and trailers and cut down on CSA violations. Properly equipped mobile maintenance trucks are one way that fleets are achieving it.

California's Zero Emissions Vehicle Dreams California’s Air Resources Board says zero-emissions technology is already available for delivery vehicles such as package vans and medium-duty trucks. Photo: First Priority GreenFleet/EVI

By Jack Roberts

Diesel engines are cleaner than ever. So why is the California Air Resources Board calling for more zero emissions vehicles?

GHG Phase 2: Weighing the Devil in the Details

By Jack Roberts

Agencies contend the program will provide $230 billion in net benefits to society, including benefits to our climate and the public health of Americans but the trucking industry must still deal with those costs, as well as ones the agencies might not have taken into account.

Departments

Spec'ing Trailers for Safe and Quick Entry and Exit Bumper’s skid-resistant top surface allows firm planting of a driver’s foot, and end cap would stop a sideways slip as he climbs up. Handle next to door gives him a positive grip. Photo:Tom Berg

By Tom Berg

Slips and falls constitute a major cause of injuries and worker’s compensation claims for drivers, and while that usually applies to trucks and tractors, it also includes trailers. Many trailers are bought with no clear way to climb aboard, so drivers do the best they can.

SmartValve's a Back-Saver at Meijer Logistics Meijer Logistics driver Ron Diamond points to the button that can save him considerable work and time — and prevent an injury — during a hookup.

By Tom Berg

The Hadley device adds suspension adjustment capability and reduces cranking work for drivers.

Wide-Single Tires Need a Little More Care Getting driver buy-in on regular tire inspections and pressure checks will prolong tire life and reduce costs. Photo: Michelin

By Jim Park

Wide-base single tires have saved truck fleets millions of gallons of fuel over the 20-plus years they have been in service and facilitated the transport of thousands of additional tons of payload. Good maintenance improves the value proposition with wide-base singles.

Ploger Transportation Pushes 10 Mpg With a Far-From-Typical Powertrain Spec Ploger Transportation’s diverse customer base provides a mix of light and heavy loads, many multi-stop routes and high exposure to urban environments. Photos: Ploger Transportation

By Jim Park

Ploger is a diverse carrier hauling mostly high-cube multi-drop loads to customer retail locations in urban areas predominantly east of the Mississippi.

Q&A: How Driver Relationships Drive Safety at Southern Freight Services Kelsey Wolfe Photo: Jim Park

By Steven Martinez

Kelsey Wolfe is Southern Freight Services’ director of safety, human resources and recruiting and Heavy Duty Trucking’s pick for its 2016 Safety & Compliance Award. While safety is her primary concern, it's her relationships with the drivers that make it happen.

Test Drives

Quick Spin: Cummins Brings X12 to North America The new X12 from Cummins is based on the global ISG platform. It’s not a rebranded ISX12. Photos: Jim Park

By Jim Park

A little while back, Equipment Editor Jim Park tested out Cummins' latest diesel engine, the X12. Are smaller displacements the engine trend of the future? Cummins seems to think so and is hedging its bets on the question.

Editorials

Commentary: Technician Training Alliance Aims to Improve Repair Process Denise Rondini

By Denise Rondini

A memorandum of understanding required manufacturers to make service info available on model year 2010 trucks and newer but it did not mean that the truck makers had to provide training.

Climbing the Data Mountain Rolf Lockwood

By Rolf Lockwood

Managing data is utterly essential to the successful maintenance of a truck fleet in 2016. That’s a given. But knowing it is one thing – doing it is quite another.

Commentary: Need for Speed? Deborah Lockridge

By Deborah Lockridge

Trucks using speed limiters had a ratio of 1.6 crashes per 100 trucks per year, while those without had a ratio of 2.9.

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