February 2018, - Department

Are Your Trucks Ready for Last-Mile Logistics?

As companies such as XPO Logistics go after the booming final-mile business triggered by e-commerce, they’re finding that liftgates are an important part of a truck or trailer spec for this application. Photo: XPO Logistics

By Ronnie Garrett

A liftgate is key for deliveries. Consider construction, power supply, and safety when readying a fleet for the last mile.

Tags: Spec'ing, Trailers, Liftgates, Last Mile Delivery

February 2018, - How-To

4 Keys to Spec'ing the Right Liftgate for your Truck or Trailer

You need to understand your application and how it affects liftgate specs for your truck or trailer. Photo: Anthony Liftgates

By Ronnie Garrett, Contributing Editor

While the right liftgate can reduce operator fatigue and injuries, shorten delivery times and improve productivity, the wrong liftgate can open the door to a host of new problems.

Tags: Spec'ing, Trailers, Maxon Lift Corp., Liftgates, Last Mile Delivery

September 2017, - Feature

Fleets Talk ELDs, Specs, Self-Driving Trucks on FTR Equipment Panel

From left, Greg Eddy, president and CEO of Venture Logistics; Don Hinkle, vice president of equipment services at YRC Worldwide; and  Maverick Vice President of Maintenance Mike Jeffress. Photo by Evan Lockridge

By Evan Lockridge

How fleets think about equipment, electronic logging devices and even the future of autonomous vehicles were in the spotlight Wednesday afternoon at the annual FTR Transportation Conference in Indianapolis, as three trucking fleet people spoke on a panel about the challenges they face in today’s uncertain trucking environment.

Tags: Spec'ing, Safety & Compliance, FTR, Maverick, YRC Worldwide, ELDs, Autonomous Vehicles

April 2017, - Department

To Outset, or Not to Outset

The greater axle track width used with dual wheels would make that same axle too wide when equipped with wide-single tires. Photos: Jim Park

By Jim Park

Fleets spec’ing wide single tires need to decide upfront whether to trade the vehicle as is or to spec axles and wheels for a later conversion to duals.

Tags: Spec'ing, Tires, Wide-Base Tires

March 2017, - Department

Trends in Trailer Suspensions

Trailer suspensions are oft neglected, so a robust and durable spec is mandatory. Photos: Jim Park

By Jim Park

While suspension producers are constantly upgrading and improving their products and adding new models, overall trends in suspension uptake by fleets remain fairly constant.

Tags: Spec'ing, Trailers, Suspensions

October 2016, - Department

What Smart Tanker Fleets Are Spec'ing

Bulkmatic Transport is retrofitting all 1,300 trailers with LED GloLight tail lamps for better visibility and reliability. Photo: Optronics

By Deborah Lockridge

Owners of tank trailers keep them a long time. All the more reason to make sure when you buy a new one, you’re getting the best possible trailer for your operations for the price.

Tags: Spec'ing, Trailers, Tankers

October 2016, - Department

Maximizing Truck Tire Tread Life

Proper spec’ing will keep tires in service longer. Highway tires are no match for the mean city streets. Photos: Jim Park

By Jim Park

Excessive friction or uneven contact between the pavement and the tire will cause tread to wear away faster than you should. It’s important that you do all you can to keep your tires running straight and true.

Tags: Preventive Maintenance, Spec'ing, Tires, Rubber

November 2015, - Feature

Spec’ing Charging, Starting and Battery Systems

No matter what type of batteries you use, they need to be securely mounted to the truck to prevent damage from vibration.

By Jim Park

If you haven’t spec’d a truck in the past few years, you might be surprised by how much the truck’s electrical needs have changed.

Tags: Spec'ing, Starters, Alternators, Battery

February 2015, - WebXclusive

Q&A: Fleet Advantage's John Flynn on Truck Leasing Past, Present and Future

John Flynn. Photo courtesy Fleet Advantage.

By Deborah Lockridge

What does Big Data have to do with the future of truck leasing? Everything, says John Flynn, CEO of Fleet Advantage, a truck leasing company that believes in using data analytics to determine "economic obsolescence" in making equipment life cycle decisions.

Tags: Spec'ing, Fuel Economy, Truck Leasing, Fleet Advantage, Private Fleets

August 2014, - WebXclusive

Direct Drive or Overdrive?

By Eaton

The long-running debate over which type of transmission — direct drive or overdrive — provides the greatest efficiency is one that’s not easily settled and not likely to go away.

Tags: Eaton, Spec'ing, Fuel Economy, Transmissions

March 2014, - Cover Story

2014 Truck Fleet Innovators: Transforming Trucking

By Deborah Lockridge

Each year, Heavy Duty Trucking honors a handful of the country’s most forward-thinking fleet executives with the title of “HDT Truck Fleet Innovator.” Read how this year's winners are using the power of collaboration to spec the best trucks and operate more efficiently -- and profitably.

Tags: Truck Fleet Innovators, HDT Truck Fleet Innovators, Frito-Lay, PepsiCo, Meijer, NFI, Fuel Economy, Spec'ing, Alternative Fuels & Hybrids, Natural Gas

September 2013, - WebXclusive

Don’t Let These Three Common Mistakes Kill Your Next Work Truck Spec

Photo: Evan Lockridge

By Robert Johnson, NTEA director of fleet relations

At its most basic level, a work truck is a piece of equipment that helps your employees do their jobs. Since well-designed equipment enhances productivity, your objective when designing a work truck is to optimize the vehicle to achieve the best overall return for dollar spent.

Tags: NTEA, Work Trucks, Spec'ing

August 2013, - WebXclusive

Achieve Maximum Productivity by Spec’ing the Right Truck

Photo: Evan Lockridge

By Jim Sweeney

When looking to maximize the productivity of their fleets, executives should take advantage of the variety of resources available to them, both before and during the truck specification process. Industry experts can help them weigh and evaluate the hundreds of decisions awaiting them.

Tags: Spec'ing, Equipment

May 2013, - WebXclusive

Is a Fuel- and Weight-Saving 6x2 for You?

6x2s like this one in Sweden are popular in Europe, where fuel prices are much higher.

By Tom Berg

It’s still an oddball spec in road tractors and you’re not likely to consider it, but the 6x2 – a single drive axle with two powered wheels among six total wheel positions – will someday become more common as truck operators look for ways to save fuel and cut tare weight, suppliers think. Today, progressive fleets are testing or embracing it, and it might even be a good choice for some owner-operators.

Tags: Spec'ing, MPG

November 2008, - Feature

Maintenance Report: Trailers

By Deborah Lockridge, Senior Managing Editor

Attention to detail in spec'ing and maintaining trailers pays off in longer life and lower maintenance costs.

Tags: Maintenance, Spec'ing, Trailers, Inspections, Corrosion, Electrical System

June 2008, - Feature

Spec Economy

By Steve Sturgess, Executive Editor

Spec a truck right, and you'll get top fuel economy. Do it wrong, and you could be doomed.

Tags: Emissions, Spec'ing, Cascadia, Fuel Economy, Aerodynamics

March 2008, - Feature

Preventing Trailer Corrosion: Spec'ing To Cope

By Tom Berg

Tips to consider about road-deicidng chemicals when ordering new trucks

Tags: Spec'ing, Vehicle Repairs, Corrosion

February 2006, - Feature

Spec'ing For Low Maintenance

By Tom Berg, Senior Equipment Editor

Certain equipment allows trucks to run longer without scheduled or unscheduled work. Here are some examples.

Tags: Maintenance, Spec'ing


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