It's hip to be an acronym in these days of texting and 140-character Twitter updates: Short and to the point as we juggle the flows of information surrounding us. In a world where technology and trucking itself are rapidly changing, the venerable Heavy Duty Trucking is becoming HDT, as you'll see by the logo debuting on the cover this month.
We've actually used the term "HDT" internally and intermittently for years. In fact, this is a bit of a "back to the future" moment, as we used "HDT" in our logo back in the 1960s through the '80s.
Of course, trucking has changed a lot since then! First we had the major change of deregulation in 1980. Equipment-wise, we've seen changes driven by ever-stricter emissions regulations and computer technology.
Last month, our cover story talked about how the whole supply chain is changing. Regional and global, highway and warehouse; today "trucking" is as much about "logistics" as it is about putting a load on a truck and driving it across the country. A similar series last year looked at "The Changing Face of Trucking."
Those changes are affecting the trucks we buy, as well. You can see this in the 2011 Profile of the U.S. Commercial Vehicle Market, which HDT parent company Newport Business Media publishes every several years with the help of industry analysts MacKay and Co.
That report shows a drop in Class 6-7 trucks, driven by movement both upward into Class 8 and downward into Class 2C through 5. In fact, the Class 3-5 population is up almost 25% since 2007. We've seen that trend reflected in new product introductions - just take a look at the Class 5 Hino in this month's "QuickSpin."
What's driving that? Big-box stores and the Internet. As big-box stores displace smaller retail stores, you see more Class 8 tractor-trailer deliveries. On the other end, increased use of smaller trucks is being driven by direct-to-home delivery of goods bought on Amazon.com and other online retailers.
The fact is, here at HDT, we cover much more than heavy-duty trucking. In fact, we always have. But with all the changes going on, in the past few years we've broadened our coverage to do an even better job of encompassing the wide world of trucking.
Not just Class 8 heavy-duty, but also Class 1 through Class 7 light- and medium-duty trucks. Not just for-hire fleets of all sizes, but also private fleets large and small. Not only the spec'ing and maintenance of those trucks, but also even more in-depth information on the tsunami of regulations, the business management and technology trends you need to stay on top of in order to be successful in today's transportation business.
That's why our tagline is "The Fleet Business Authority."