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HDT Truck Fleet Innovators

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Truck Fleet Innovators: NFI's Bill Bliem

Founded in 1932 as National Hauling, NFI has evolved from a trucking company in a regulated environment into one of the largest privately held supply chain companies in North America.

When Bill Bliem became vice president of maintenance at NFI five years ago, his first priority was to get maintenance costs under control. Then he moved on to fuel efficiency and has made great strides. Read more here.

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Tags: NFI, HDT Truck Fleet Innovators

Truck Fleet Innovators: PepsiCo's Shelby Green

PepsiCo is moving to specially spec’d dry van trailers, liftgates and pallets that are preloaded at the warehouse.

PepsiCo North America Beverages is revamping the way it delivers its products, moving to specially spec’d dry van trailers, liftgates and pallets that were pre-loaded at the warehouse. It saves work for drivers, saves fuel, and speeds deliveries to customers. One of the leaders of this effort and others is Shelby Green, senior fleet director. Read more here.

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Tags: PepsiCo, HDT Truck Fleet Innovators, Private Fleets

Truck Fleet Innovators: Meijer's David Hoover

Meijer finished converting its 170-truck fleet of regional daycabs to the 2010 engines last fall, realizing a 47% reduction in particulate matter and a 5% increase in fuel economy.

David Hoover, director, outbound Logistics for Meijer, is constantly looking for ways to be more efficient, whether it's more fuel-efficient engines or eliminating empty backhauls. Meijer finished converting its 170-truck fleet of regional daycabs to the 2010 engines last fall, enjoying a 5% increase in fuel economy. Last year the fleet started trading some of those in for the latest EPA/NHTSA 2014 engines in the Freightliner Cascadia Evolution. The new trucks are showing a 12% improvement in fuel economy over the ones they replaced. Read more here.

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Tags: HDT Truck Fleet Innovators, Private Fleets, Meijer

Truck Fleet Innovators: Frito-Lay's Mike O'Connell

Frito-Lay found electric delivery trucks work well in some urban areas.

During his first years at Frito-Lay more than 20 years ago, Mike O’Connell was focused on the warehousing end of the distribution business. About eight years ago, with the help of a talented team of engineers and others (who O’Connell is adamant about giving part of the credit for his success), he has turned the Frito-Lay fleet into a model of efficiency and sustainability and today is senior director, supply chain. Read more here.

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Tags: Frito-Lay, HDT Truck Fleet Innovators, Private Fleets

Photos: Mid-America Trucking Show 2014 - Pre-Show

Photo: Evan Lockridge

The annual Mid-America Trucking Show is being held this week in Louisville, Kentucky. Trucking journalists and trucking enthusiasts are excited to see what's new in trucking. The day before the show kicked off, press conferences and the Fleet Forum provided plenty of pre-show information.

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Tags: Kenworth, Bendix, Mid-America Trucking Show, HDT Truck Fleet Innovators

HDT 2013 Truck Fleet Innovator Trent Dye

Paramount Freight Systems, headquartered in Jeffersonville, Ohio, was founded as the owner-operator arm of R+L Carriers. Dye, who is director, was there from day one.

Under Trent Dye's leadership, Paramount Freight Systems was named the Truckload Carriers Association's "Best Fleet to Drive For" for owner-operators two years in a row.

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Tags: HDT Truck Fleet Innovators, Paramount Freight System

HDT 2013 Truck Fleet Innovator Kevin Burch

Kevin Burch, president of Ohio-based Jet Express, Burch was born into the business. His dad was a regional manager with Blue Arrow, an LTL carrier between Michigan and Chicago.

Kevin Burch, president of Jet Express, was named an HDT Truck Fleet Innovator for his work in industry image and driver recruiting and retention.

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Tags: Jet Express, HDT Truck Fleet Innovators

HDT 2013 Truck Fleet Innovator Joe Cowan

Cowan was running his father's company's public warehouse operation, and within that entity started a small irregular route truckload business — the kernel from which his current company, Cowan Systems, was grown.

Early on, Joe Cowan had his sights set on football. He had a chance to play for the Baltimore Colts, but could not forget another dream he'd had since he was a boy.

“When you're a kid, you're so proud of what your father created,” he says. His father, W.T. Cowan, had founded and built a less-than-truckload business that served the Mid-Atlantic out of Baltimore.

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Tags: HDT Truck Fleet Innovators, Cowan LLC

HDT 2013 Truck Fleet Innovator Robert E. Low

Robert Low bought his first truck while in college. Prime grew so fast that he had to declare bankruptcy in the early '80s when skyrocketing interest rates caught up with him.

Prime Inc. is headquartered in Springfield, Mo., the “Show-Me State,” and President Robert E. Low says showing drivers genuine appreciation is the key to the company’s relatively low turnover rate and tremendous growth over the years.

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Tags: Prime Inc., HDT Truck Fleet Innovators

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