March 2013

Cover Story

2013 HDT Truck Fleet Innovators Talk Drivers, Equipment, More

Each year, HDT honors the industry's most innovative truck fleet leaders with its Truck Fleet Innovator Award. Winners are profiled in the magazine, honored during a special event in conjunction with the Mid-America Trucking Show and become a valued resource for HDT's editors.

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Inspector Detector

Inspector Detector

Required driver pre-trip inspections have garnered more attention under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s new Compliance, Safety, Accountability enforcement program. And it’s not only the actual inspections you need to think about – it’s also the paperwork component.

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Transborder Trucking

Transborder Trucking

Today, borders aren’t so much barriers as they are trade portals. Yes, security concerns and trade issues have thickened our northern and southern borders in recent years, but the volume of NAFTA-region trade increased substantially at the same time.

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What You Need to Know About Operating in Canada

The Peace Bridge over the Niagara River; Drivers with checkered pasts may not be admissible to...

FMCSA and the U.S. DOT have no influence over what happens in Canada, but Canada has plenty of its own regulatory agencies and ministries whose rules will affect American carriers' privileges and ability to operate there.

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Not Your Father's Air Filter

Aerodynamic truck styling is one factor that has moved the air-intake system and filter under...

There was a time when fleet managers and owner-operators specified many components on their new trucks and tractors, but that's been seriously curtailed by vertical integration — the practice of manufacturers controlling the design and spec'ing process using parts they build themselves or get from a few suppliers.

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Going Green With Re-Refined Oil

Universal Lubricants picks up drain oil at automotive dealers, repair shops and truck terminals.

What are you doing with the spent oil from your engines? Most fleets are reusing it somehow, perhaps by burning it in special furnaces to heat the shops or selling it to a recycler who'll put it to other uses. Drain oil was once dumped or given away, but since the rise of petroleum prices on world markets, it now brings as much as 95 cents a gallon.

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HDT Truck Fleet Innovator Trent Dye has the Personal Touch

Trent Dye, Paramount Freight Systems, Jeffersonville, Ohio.

“Drivers don't leave companies, they leave people,” says Trent Dye. It's that philosophy, put into action in various ways, that has helped him lead Paramount Freight Systems to be the owner-operator winner two years in a row in the Truckload Carriers Association's “Best Fleet to Drive For” competition. And at press time, he was hoping for a three-peat. It's also helped drive the success of a company that was founded as the nation was going into the Great Recession in 2008.

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Peckham Materials Runs Extra Heavy, Every Day

The Kenworth T800 waits quietly as hot liquid asphalt is pumped from the Etnyre tanker, and...

While debates over the productivity and safety of longer and heavier trucks wax and wane on Capitol Hill, some fleets have been quietly, legally and safely running such operations in various states under grandfathering rights granted years ago.

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Test Drive: Meritor's 6x2 SmarTandem

What better place to traction-test a 6x2 drive axle system than Michigan's Upper Pennisula in...

The 6x2 concept isn't new, but it's not popular on our side of the Atlantic Ocean. Meritor aims to change that with its new SmarTandem single-drive-axle tandem configuration. Equipment Editor Jim Park reports on his driving impressions.

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Preventing Flat Tires

Once the tread comes off, a blowout won't be far behind. You're down, with a $1,000 repair bill...

A driver picks up a trailer from a drop yard. Before departing, the driver does a walk-around inspection, kicks the tires, checks the lights and then sticks it into the wind. He or she has no idea how much air pressure is in those tires, except to be fairly sure none of them is flat — visibly flat, that is. Any one or several of those tires could be underinflated, or even technically flat.

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High-tech Savings at the Fuel Island

Truckstop operators have always used technology to meet customer needs and remain competitive. From relatively low-tech devices such as pay phones and fax machines to high-tech services such as wireless Internet access, shore power connections and smart phone apps, truckstops remain places drivers can connect — with both the office and home.

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7 Tips to Create a Driver Wellness Program That Works

Many companies have designed "wingman" programs encouraging employees to work out together or...

We have officially entered the CSA era of regulation from the U.S. Department of Transportation. With this, we will see changes in commercial driver s license standards and driver qualification — and likely an increased emphasis on driver wellness.