HDT Talks Trucking Season 4 Features Sleep, Diesel, Alt Fuels

Photo: Jim Park

HDT Talks Trucking is now into its fourth season. With 35 episodes behinds us, and nearly 9,000 plays, out latest six episodes are now live. Season 4 digs deep into alternative fuels, the future of diesel engines, the need for sleep, how truck crash investigations help improve future truck safety, and more.

HDT Talks Trucking is targeted at fleet executives and managers from the shop to the corner office. Each season features six episodes, released once per quarter. We also produce a series of Special Reports throughout each season where we cover specifics topics with a few perspectives over several episodes.

Here's what you get in HDT Talks Trucking, Season 4:

Season 4 Episode 1 - What Can We Learn from Truck Crashes?

Truck accidents usually bring tragic results, but some good can come from the follow up investigation. The National Transportation Safety Board doesn't investigate every truck crash but digs deep into some for insight that could help prevent future crashes of a similar nature. Robert Molloy, a transportation research analyst and the director of the Office of Highway Safety at NTSB explains why it investigates certain crashes and shares some of the conclusions drawn from two specific truck accidents -- a rear-end collision with stopped traffic in Miami, Oklahoma, and a collision with an autonomous shuttle bus in Las Vegas.

Season 4 Episode 2 - Renewable Natural Gas, the Energy Source Nobody's Talking About

RNG is methane gas produced by decomposing organic matter from sources like landfills, dairy farms, and wastewater treatment plants. It can be economically collected and used to power trucks. It's already a source of fuel for many refuse collection fleets. Hugh Donnell of Cummins Westport, maker of the engines that turn this harmful waste gas into motive power, describes the challenges and benefits of wider RNG adoption as a truck fuel.

Season 4 Episode 3 - Yes Virginia, Diesel Does Have a Future

Rumors surrounding the death of diesel are, as Mark Twain once said, greatly exaggerated. While some people can't wait for the last puff of smoke from an internal combustion engine, Allen Schaeffer isn't among them. He's the head of the Diesel Technology Forum, and one of diesel's greatest proponents. If you think diesel is dead, or even on its last legs, you may come away with a completely different point of view after listing to this episode.

Season 4 Episode 4 - What Penske Has Learned About Electric Trucks, So Far

We know there will be challenges integrating electric trucks into traditional fleets, but until recently we haven't had many real-world examples from which to learn. Penske Truck Leasing has had a trial and evaluation project underway in southern California since 2017. They are trying to understand everything that would go right and everything that could go wrong. From dealing with the utility companies, to planning the layout of the yard and coaxing drivers to get the best battery performance, they are learning more every day. Penske's head of fleet procurement and planning, Paul Rosa, shares his experience with integrating all classes of electric trucks into a traditional fleet environment.

Season 4 Episode 5 - HDT's Alternative Fuel Overview

Despite what you may have read on the internet, no single alternative energy source will dominate the way diesel fuel has for generations. As we move closer to wide-scale adoption of alternative fuels, it's becoming clear that truck fleets will need a little bit of everything to keep all the wheels turning as greenly as possible. Deborah Lockridge and Jim Park explore the pros and cons associated with three of today's most promising alternatives to diesel: battery electric, fuel-cell electric and renewable natural gas.

Season 4 Episode 6 - Why We Need Sleep

Truck drivers' lifestyles and work environments don't always compliment their need for restful and restorative sleep. In an industry where much of the focus on sleep and fatigue is related to compliance, sometimes the need for proper sleep takes a back seat to the rules. This episode is about the importance of sleep. Sleep specialist and best-selling author, Dr. Chris Winter, explains why we need sleep, and what happens when you don't get enough. Dr. Winter offers some tips you can use to ensure you get the sleep you need.

Between now and the new year, when we debut Season 5, watch for our special reports, including a deep dive into hydrogen fuel cells. 

HDT Talks Trucking is hosted primarily by Equipment Editor, Jim Park, and features guest appearances by Editor-in-Chief Deb Lockridge.

If you're a new listener, be sure to check out all 35 episodes while doing your morning workout of driving to or from work — if you still do that.

About the author
Jim Park

Jim Park

Equipment Editor

A truck driver and owner-operator for 20 years before becoming a trucking journalist, Jim Park maintains his commercial driver’s license and brings a real-world perspective to Test Drives, as well as to features about equipment spec’ing and trends, maintenance and drivers. His On the Spot videos bring a new dimension to his trucking reporting. And he's the primary host of the HDT Talks Trucking videocast/podcast.

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