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leading news, trucking market conditions and industry analysis

Congressmen ask GAO to study FMCSA’s hours rule research, methodology


wo leaders on the U.S. House transportation committee asked the Government Accountability Office to evaluate studies done by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on the most recent hours-of-service rule to check the agency’s research and methods used to create and support it. U.S. Reps. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) and Thomas Petri (R-Wis.) wrote U.S. Comptroller General Gene Dodaro to request that GAO evaluate the agency’s recently released field study on the hours rule – specifically, the 34-hour restart provision – and FMCSA’s Regulatory Impact Analysis used during the rulemaking process. Shuster, chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said that because of the restrictive nature of the hours rule on drivers and carriers, particularly its potential impact on pay and productivity, “we have to be certain … changes to regulations … are well founded. “Concerns have been raised that these regulatory changes may have been enacted without proper data or analysis, and if the administration is going to change the rules on truck drivers, we need to know that the changes were thoroughly vetted and will improve safety,” Shuster said. FMCSA in January released the results of its congressionally required field study that concluded that the hours rule boosts safety and makes drivers less fatigued. The agency’s findings, though, ran counter to those of trucking trade groups that

Senator calls for audit of FMCSA’s investigations


.S. Sen. Dick Durbin has asked the U.S. Department of

Transportation’s Inspector General to audit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s investigative practices. The Illinois Democrat said his

FMCSA’s field study concluded that the hours rule boosts safety and makes drivers less fatigued.

performed their own studies. The American Transportation Research Institute, part of the American Trucking Associations, reported in a November survey that 80 percent of carriers saw their productivity shrink because of the rule. The report said nearly 70 percent of drivers surveyed had seen their pay drop since the new rule took effect. Similarly, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association in a survey of its members found that 65 percent of the 4,000 driver respondents saw a pay drop and that 46 percent said they felt more fatigued under the new rule. “I continue to hear concerns from drivers and companies in Wisconsin and around the country about the impact of this 34-hour restart,” said Petri, chairman of the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit. “We need to make sure the requirements are based on sound facts and actually improve safety rather than just overwhelm the industry with another onerous regulation.” In both the House and Senate, bills are in committee that would, if passed, overturn the current hours rule at least temporarily and allow drivScan the QR code with your smartphone or visit to operate under the prior letters to sign up for the CCJ Daily Report, a rule until GAO has studied daily e-mail newsletter filled with news, analyFMCSA’s methodology. sis, blogs and market condition articles. – James Jaillet

request was prompted by a Jan. 27 truck crash that left a tollway worker dead and a state trooper seriously injured. The two were assisting a driver of a disabled truck on Interstate 88 in Aurora when a DND International truck hit them. Last August, FMCSA ordered an investigation of DND but did not begin it until after the accident, the Chicago Tribune reported. The Naperville-based carrier had “a long history of violating safety rules,” said Durbin, who is Senate majority whip. His April 9 letter asks Inspector General Calvin L. Scovel III to review FMCSA’s practices “to ensure carriers flagged for investigation are being investigated in a timely manner.” The DND driver involved in the crash, Renato Velasquez, was ordered in February by FMCSA to shut down after it was found he had been on duty for nearly 30 hours straight. FMCSA issued an imminent-hazard shutdown order to DND after investigators discovered “widespread violations” of the hours-of-service rules. FMCSA said that during its investigation of DND following Velasquez’s accident, it randomly selected seven other DND drivers and found that all also had falsified their logs.

commercial carrier journal

– Jill Dunn

| may 2014 7


INBRIEF 5/14 • FTR’s monthly Trucking Conditions Index fell in February to a reading of 7.54, a slight drop from January’. FTR said when adjusted to account for winter weather in February, the index would be above 10, which would indicate the tightest truck market on record. FTR predicts a positive freight environment for the rest of the year due to rising shipper demand and capacity constraints caused by regulatory drag. • Preliminary Class 8 truck net orders for March totaled 27,139 units, concluding the best four-month period since 2006, and firstquarter 2014 orders were 35 percent above the same 2013 period, research firm FTR reported. ACT Research reported March’s Class 8 orders totaled 27,400 units, the lowest total since November but still the sixth-best month since 2006. • The American Transportation Research Institute is seeking input for two separate studies on the impacts of the hours-of-service rule and detention time. ATRI will use the HOS feedback for its third study on the hours rule implemented last July, while the detention time survey will evaluate the impact shippers and receivers may have on drivers’ safety, productivity and hours compliance. Go to • The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating an



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April 10 accident near Orland, Calif., involving a FedEx Freight tractortrailer that crossed the Interstate 5 median and crashed into a charter bus of high school students, killing 10 – including the drivers of both vehicles – and injuring at least 30. FedEx said the company is cooperating fully with the investigation. • The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration shut down Forest Hill, Texas-based FTW Transport for violations related to hoursof-service compliance and drug and alcohol regulations. The agency said the company in the past 12 months had been involved in five crashes that could have been prevented, and in two of them, FTW drivers were cited for careless driving. • The Truckload Carriers Association recognized MacKinnon Transport Inc., of Guelph, Ontario, and Bison Transport of Winnipeg, Manitoba, as the grand prize winners of its 38th annual National Fleet Safety Awards, sponsored by Great West Casualty Co. MacKinnon won in the small carrier division (total annual mileage of less than 25 million miles), while Bison Transport won in the large carrier division (total annual mileage of 25 million or more miles). • The TCA board elected Shepard Dunn, president and chief executive officer of Bestway Express Inc. of Vincennes, Ind., as its 2014-15 chairman.

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journal news

Groups argue against size-weight increase Remaining lawsuits against Pilot Flying J consolidated


he seven outstanding lawsuits against Pilot Flying J in the wake of the company’s alleged fuel rebate withholding scheme have been consolidated and transferred to a federal district court in Kentucky, according to court documents. Pilot filed a motion with a judicial panel on multidistrict litigation in December to centralize the seven remaining suits against it and transfer them to Pilot’s hometown of Knoxville, Tenn. The truck stop chain and fuel provider argued that consolidating the cases would help avoid “duplicate proceedings, a waste of judicial resources and the risk of inconsistent adjudications.” The four-judge panel that heard arguments from Pilot Flying J and plaintiffs – who argued against consolidation – agreed with Pilot, consolidating cases brought by Shoreline Transportation, Osborn Transportation, Wright Transportation, National Retail Transportation, Mario’s Express Service, Triple D Supply and FST Express. Tennessee Federal Court Judge Amul R. Thapar is presiding over the criminal investigation into Pilot’s alleged fraud and also will oversee the civil proceedings in the district court in Kentucky where the cases have been transferred. The judicial panel also writes in its transfer order that 50 plaintiffs opted out of the class action settlement struck between Pilot and the roughly 5,500 trucking companies, pointing to the possibility that more civil cases could be brought against Pilot, which would reinforce the need for consolidation. Pilot’s $85 million settlement was finalized in November, and the company announced in January that by Dec. 31 it had paid 95 percent of all trucking companies owed money. The settlement terms awarded all members of the class money owed along with 6 percent interest and court fees. – James Jaillet


commercial carrier journal

| may 2014


everal trucking and safety groups took to Washington, D.C., last month to note their opposition to any increases to truck size and weight limits. Groups involved included the Teamsters, Truck Safety Coalition, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety and the Coalition Against Bigger Trucks. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association opposes measures to increase truck size and weight limits, citing higher acrossthe-board costs – equipment, fuel, maintenance, insurance and permits – that owner-operators would have trouble absorbing. The American Trucking Associations, however, backs legislation to increase them, citing increased productivity. A congressionally required U.S. Department of Transportation study shows the fatal crash rate is eight times higher when trucks with six or more axles are involved, compared to five axles. Marshall University’s Multimodal Transportation and Infrastructure Consortium concluded that fatal crash rates were 15.5 percent higher when double trailer trucks are involved. – CCJ staff

Key senators promise long-term highway bill


.S. Senate transportation leaders from both sides of the aisle stood together last month to announce they’ve reached an agreement “in principle” on a highway bill, though figuring out how to pay for their plan will be left to others. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, was joined by ranking member Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), along with Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee, and ranking member Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) to outline their plan to reauthorize MAP-21, set to expire at the end of September. The key priorities on which the senators agreed are: • Passing a long-term bill as opposed to “a short-term patch”; • Maintaining the formulas for existing core programs; • Keeping current funding levels; • Continuing efforts to leverage local resources to create jobs and spur economic growth; and • Requiring better information sharing regarding federal grants. – Kevin Jones

FMCSA reinstates informal hearings for violations


he Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has reinstated informal hearings to contest enforcement, and the option is available nationwide. In May 2005, FMCSA amended its rules to include informal hearings as a speedier option to contest the Notice of Claim the agency issues after an audit, compliance review or roadside inspection. Still, recipients of Notice of Claims could request a formal hearing before an administrative law judge or seek binding arbitration under the agency’s arbitration program. FMCSA tested the informal hearings by allowing parties to present testimony and evidence to hearing officers in the Midwestern and Eastern FMCSA service centers. At the time, the number of requests for informal hearings did not justify the agency making the hearing officers full-time employees. In June 2010, the agency suspended the effort and sought public comment. For more information, go to and search Docket No. FMCSA-2010-0149. – James Jaillet

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journal news

NTSB urges blind spot mitigation, underride guards, trailer data collection


he National Transportation Safety Board recommended requiring new trucks to be equipped with blind spot awareness systems and side and rear underride guards, and to require better data be collected on trailers involved in crashes. NTSB made its three recommendations last month to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and requested NHTSA respond within 90 days. To prevent accidents caused by blind spots, NTSB recommended that tractortrailers with a GVWR of more than 26,000 pounds “be equipped with visibility enhancement systems” such as crossover convex mirrors, systems that alert drivers of vehicles in adjacent lanes, and camera/monitor systems that display to drivers rear blind spots when backing. To protect passenger car drivers in the

event of side impact – which NTSB says made up 15 percent of fatal two-vehicle crashes between a truck and a passenger car in 2011 – NTSB recommended that NHTSA require new trailers to be equipped with “side underride protecHowesCCJUSL_HalfPageIsland.pdf tion systems” such as guards to prevent

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U.S., Canada evaluating pre-inspection programs for border crossings C



“intrusion” into passenger vehicles from trailers. NTSB also recommended similar guards be required for trailer rears. Lastly, NTSB recommended that NHTSA add trailer VIN and model year data to the Fatality 12/11/13 2:40 PM Analysis Reporting System database. – James Jaillet


he United States and Canada are evaluating the effectiveness of a truck cargo pre-inspection program as the pilot program enters its second phase at the Peace Bridge. The two nations began measuring the program’s effectiveness in reducing wait time and congestion Feb. 24. U.S. Custom and Border Protection will continue radiation screening and basic primary processing of U.S.-bound truck cargo in Fort Erie, Ontario, for at least six months. Secondary inspections, when required, will continue being done on the Buffalo, N.Y. side. The program’s initial phase began last June at the Pacific Highway crossing adjacent to Surrey, British Columbia. This first phase tested the feasibility of placing CBP officers on Canadian soil to pre-inspect selected southbound trucks. – Jill Dunn Y






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| may 2014 13 12/12/13 8:32 AM

journal news

FMCSA redefines ‘gross combination weight rating’


ross combination weight rating” has been redefined to clarify when commercial driver’s license and other federal safety regulations apply to certain single-unit trucks towing trailers. The amended definition is to provide a uniform means of determining if

a combination vehicle driver is subject to federal safety requirements when GCWR information is not on the vehicle manufacturer’s certification label. The new definition became effective April 18 following a direct final rulemaking initiated by the Federal Motor

Carrier Safety Administration after the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance petitioned for the change in 2008. The definition was “proving problematic for inspectors and industry when determining what is considered to be a commercial motor vehicle and when a CDL is required,” CVSA stated. The new definition will classify GCWR as whichever of the following is greater: • A value specified by the manufacturer of the power unit if displayed on the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard certification label required by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; or • The sum of the GVWRs or the gross vehicle weights of the power unit and the towed unit(s), or any combination thereof, that produces the highest value. – James Jaillet

Weight, measures council wants LNG sold as DGE


committee for the National Council on Weights and Measures recommended that liquefied natural gas be sold in terms of a diesel gallon equivalent rather than in units of mass, as it is now. NCWM will hear comment on the proposal and vote in July at its annual meeting in Detroit on whether to adopt it. NCWM said fuel buyers are used to buying fuel in gallons, but LNG is dispensed according to its weight rather than its volume. By selling the alternative fuel as a DGE, buyers can compare alternative fuels to conventional fuels more easily, the group said. Moreover, a standard unit is necessary for states to implement taxation plans for LNG and compare Btu content relative to taxation, NCWM said. The group also pointed to compressed natural gas as a precedent, saying roughly 20 years ago the industry decided to make gallonequivalent sales of CNG standard. – James Jaillet

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commercial carrier journal

| may 2014

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product reviews, oeM & supplier news, and equipMent ManageMent trends by Jack roberts

Cummins, China and the future of trucking Engine rollout indicates country’s economic power


Cummins Engine and Foton, one of China’s leading heavy truck producers, last month introduced a new truck model powered by Cummins’ new ISG diesel engine.

EmErging giant: china’s population and its developing economy both are too huge to ignore.

growth opportunity: global companies view china as a massive, untapped customer base. EnginE tEamwork: cummins’ collab-

hate math. And math hates me. But I’m going to put aside my loathing of this paroration with chinese truck maker Foton is ticular discipline for a moment to illustrate why it seems like every company on the just the beginning. planet today is obsessed with China. Let’s say you own a business that manufactures valve stem caps, and your valve stem cap features a universal design (not a stretch, I know): You can use them on bicycle But what is unusual about this approach tires, automobile tires, truck tires – anything with a tire. And let’s say you make a 10-cent is that Cummins is not content to merely profit on every valve stem cap you sell. And you just sold one valve stem cap to 10 percent pawn off older technologically obsolete of the Chinese population. How much money do you have? engines and technology to the Chinese There are 1.35 billion people living in China; 10 percent of that figure works out to 135 market. Instead, the company considers million people. And if you could have gotten each of those people to have given you a mere China a rapidly emerging market worthy of dime, you’d have had $13.5 million in your pocket. its own diesel engine platforms. Moreover, There you have it. The reality of China is that the numbers involved are so astronomthese platforms will provide the basic buildically huge that if you have a viable product for that market, the potential rewards are ing blocks for the next generation of global stupendous. diesels from Cummins – including engines That’s assuming, of course, that the Chinese actually pull off this ongoing economic we’ll be running here in North America. miracle, the whole thing doesn’t collapse in political chaos, or the Chinese decide they don’t According to numbers Cummins shared, want to play by Western business rules. the current size of the Chinese heavy-duty I’ve been to China twice – both times during my tenure with Randall-Reilly’s contruck market is about 350,000 units, comstruction magazine, Equipment World – and I’ve always remembered what one American parable in size with today’s North Ameriexecutive working in Shanghai told me. The danger, he said, with investing in and trying can market. But China is still developing. to sell in China was pretty fundamental. “They want our money,” he said. “They want our Bringing the country into the modern age – knowledge. They want our technology. And they want us to leave.” and then providing the food, products and That was back in the 1990s, so it’s reasonable to assume that stance has modresources its 1.35-billion people erated somewhat because the Chinese economic powerhouse – and Western will need to maintain that new investment in it – obviously is still going strong today. standard of living – will by any reasonable estimate eventually Cummins Engine has been a national player in China since the late 1970s and reaffirmed its commitment to that market during a press conference last month create an annual demand for in Columbus, Ind., where the company showcased its new ISG engine, an inline modern, clean, reliable trucks 6-cylinder design available in 11- and 12-liter displacements. The event was even and engines that is staggering to more significant in that it was held jointly with Chinese truck manufacturer contemplate. Foton. It was clear that Cummins has forged significant partnerships with key strategic players in the Chinese market with an eye toward increasing its on-high- JACK ROBERTS is Executive Editor of Commercial Carrier Journal. E-mail or call (205) 248-1358. way market share there. commercial carrier journal


may 2014



Navistar is recalling 124 2014 International ProStars built between September 2013 and December 2013. The affected tractors could have axle shafts that are too short, which could cause splines on the axle shafts to not engage fully with the side gears of the rear axle differential, causing a loss of power to the drive wheels

and the trucks to stall. Dealers will replace necessary parts free. Truck owners can call 800-448-7825. •

Great Dane is recalling more than 1,000 2013-15 flatbed trailers for potentially faulty brackets used to store J-hook cargo restraint plates that can break and cause the plates to fall off of the trailer. Dealers will replace defective brackets free. Trailer owners can call 800-633-4176.

Eaton will provide Paccar an optimized version of its Fuller Advantage Series Automated 10-speed transmission, which will be available on select trucks with the Paccar MX-13 engine. Also, Volvo Trucks will offer Eaton’s SmartAdvantage Powertrain in its VNL Series models.

Bendix announced that 300,000 trucks now are on the road using the company’s Electronic Stability Program collision and stability system.

IdleAir, a provider of truck stop electrification services, touted its return to operational profitability due to partnering with carriers to develop onsite dedicated fleet facilities, being more selective with expansion at truck stops and closing unprofitable legacy locations.

Great Dane will offer its CorroGuard corrosion control coating on the main beam of its Freedom Series flatbed trailers.

East Manufacturing announced that Jost International’s AX150 Alumilight Series of landing gear will be standard on all BST, BST II, MMXTM and Narrow Neck flatbed trailers and all BST, BST II and XLD dropdeck trailers.

ATDynamics announced a partnership with Kentucky Trailer to make its TrailerTail Drop Frame rear drag aerodynamic device a standard option on all of Kentucky’s 2014 trailer orders.

Con-way Freight is outfitting its line-haul trailers with Wabash Composites’ DuraPlate AeroSkirts to increase overall fuel efficiency for its less-thantruckload fleet and reduce carbon emissions.

Hallco Industries introduced its Accelerator Technology live floor designed to allow operators to switch between two and three moving slats to move loads inside a trailer.

Kenworth Truck Co.’s assembly plant in Chillicothe, Ohio, celebrated its 40th anniversary.

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commercial carrier journal

| may 2014

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Western Star’s movie lead gives hint of new tractor


ne of the crowd favorites at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky., was Western Star’s Optimus Prime, the heroic lead in the upcoming “Transformers: Age of Extinction” movie. Western Star officials hinted that if you imagine Optimus Prime without some of the movie makeup, you’ll catch a sneak peek of their new highway tractor – one meant to carry the marquee’s cachet and still hold its own against the industry’s most fuel-efficient tractors. To be unveiled in the fall, the new aero-styled Western Star will be badged as a 5700. At Western Star’s sister company under Daimler, Freightliner Trucks, new Cascadia options aimed at driver performance and safety were introduced: • ParkSmart HVAC system combined with Optimized Idle: An integration of two systems, this new feature automatically starts the engine if both the main and auxiliary battery packs are depleted. • Yellow B-pillar grab handle: This brightly colored handle option is more visible for cab entry in darkness. • Leaf spring suspension rating: The new 12.5K-rated suspension complements the Detroit front axle offering and provides a smoother ride and weighs less

Daimler’s Western Star 5700 will look similar to this model, customized for the next “Transformers” movie.

than a 13.3K-rated suspension. • Genuine Bendix AD-9SI Air Dryer: More than 40 percent lighter with an additional 25 percent increase in capacity over the current AD-IP dryer, the AD-9SI has a spin-on cartridge for faster replacement. • Bright finish aero mirror (for the Cascadia Evolution): This new offering gives customers more options to customize their trucks. • LED flush-mounted lights: Providing bright and clean light, the new back-ofcab flush-mounted LED lights also draw less amperage and have a longer life than incandescent lamps. • New daycab roof fairings: For non-Evolution models, the new deflector improves aerodynamics, resulting in up to

a 3.7 percent increase in fuel economy. • Bulb-out detection: This system automatically notifies drivers via an in-dash light if an exterior lamp fails to turn on. Freightliner also is adding features for its natural gas-powered Cascadia, including a 48-inch sleeper cab and factory-installed compressed natural gas tanks. Also, Meritor Wabco’s OnGuard Collision Safety System is available with a manual transmission. Equipped with the Cummins Westport ISX12 G heavy-duty NG engine, the Cascadia NG tractor features a variety of CNG tank configurations up to 190 diesel-gallon-equivalent (DGE) capacity with a fill range of about 800 miles.

Peterbilt introduces fuel economy improvements


eterbilt unveiled enhanced fuel economy features for its trucks at MATS, including a new Apexoptimized drivetrain package for the Model 579. The Apex option pairs the Paccar MX-13 with the Fuller Advantage automated transmission. The combination features optimized shift calibration, weight savings and proprietary control logic between the two components. 20

commercial carrier journal

| may 2014

The 12.9-liter Paccar MX-13 and the 13-speed Fuller Advantage share critical data, including torque, operating gear and other vehicle performance metrics. Chief Engineer Landon Sproull said Apex can result in up to a 4 percent improvement in fuel efficiency versus previous drivetrains. “Apex results in exceptional performance and fuel economy by pairing two already fuel-efficient components

together and optimizing the way they communicate,” Sproull said. Sproull said Apex is more than 80 pounds lighter than previous combinations and features a small step-ratio in 9th and 10th gears for a more fuel-efficient operating range while downshifting. Peterbilt also introduced its Driver Information Center, a real-time visual Continued on page 22





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Continued from page 20 messaging system that reinforces and coaches positive driving habits. It is available as an option on select models equipped with the MX-13. “The new functionality promotes good driving habits through an in-dash display that provides intuitive messaging and anticipated scoring to help operators shift, accelerate, brake and perform other functions at optimized levels,” Sproull said. If the system detects driving habits that are detrimental to fuel economy or reduce component life, it will provide coaching tips with suggested corrective actions. Peterbilt also introduced its 75th Anniversary commemorative Model 579, which will be the star of a nationwide tour that started last month. Sproull said exterior features of the special-edition model include:

Peterbilt’s 75th Anniversary commemorative Model 579 tractor features a striking red and white paint job similar to that found on the original 1939 Peterbilt. The model also has a premium interior with exclusive logos and a unique numbered nameplate.

• A complete bright package, reminiscent of Peterbilt’s show truck heritage, that includes a bright outside sunvisor, rearview mirror housing and three-piece steel bumper with a chrome finish; • A highly polished hood crown that surrounds a new oval grille design; • Exclusive 75th anniversary emblems

on the sleeper, a sidehood bright air intake bezel and new bright rocker panels; and • Rear stainless-steel mudflap hangers with the anniversary emblem. Interior features include: • Premium Platinum Titanium interior accentuated with a new charcoal dash top and Blackwood finish trim accents; • A sequentially numbered 75th anniversary emblem added to the dash accent trim; • A multi-function steering wheel lined with custom red stitching; • Evolution LX seats in black leather that complement the interior and have the 75th anniversary emblem stitched into the headrest; and • Bright gauge bezels, a chrome interior handle, a bright logo’d shifter plate and a bright shift lever that features a Blackwood finish shifter knob (available only with manual transmissions).

Kenworth improves T680, upgrades cabovers


enworth officials at MATS said the company has updated its Advantage package to further improve fuel economy for its T680. Enhancements extend from the powertrain to aerodynamic add-ons and a greater focus on how the truck and trailer interact with the air as a unit, said Chief Engineer Kevin Baney. Kenworth also has enhanced the exterior and interior of its K270 and K370 cabovers. “A new dash and gauge cluster, front air disc brakes, electronic braking module and a fresh exterior are among some of the key additions,” said Doug Powell, Kenworth’s medium-duty marketing manager. “More cities are starting to restrict the overall length of trucks in city limits or are allowing broader operating hours for short overall-length trucks,” said Powell. “We expect that trend to continue, which will drive the movement toward cabovers.” Both truck models feature a standard air ride driver’s seat and two-person bench seating with storage underneath. Baney called the K270 a “global truck” and “ready for the streets of New York.” Available in 142- to 242-inch wheelbases in 12-inch increments, the K270 and K370 can accommodate bodies from 16 to 28 feet. The models have a larger curb-to-curb turning radius, a 63.4inch BBC dimension that provides an extra 45 inches of payload room over a conventional, and a 35-foot overall length. The cabovers are powered by a 6.7-liter Paccar PX-7 with power ratings from 200 to 250 horsepower and up to 660 lb.-ft. 22

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| may 2014

of torque. Kenworth cabovers also are available with a six-speed Allison transmission, joining a five-speed transmission already available. Dana axles, as well as front air disc brakes, are new this year on Kenworth cabovers. Kenworth has added an electronic braking module that will allow for the addition of stability control later this year.

Updates to Kenworth’s T680 Advantage package include aerodynamic add-ons and a greater focus on tractor-trailer aerodynamics.

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The lifeblood of your fleet

Volvo touts improved fuel economy, I-Shift

Volvo expects U.S. Class 8 orders in 2014 to be about 250,000 trucks, and the company will ramp up capacity at its plant in Dublin, Va.


olvo President Goran Nyberg said the company’s 2014 engines are getting higher fuel economy than the company originally expected, besting their 2013 counterparts by 3 percent, rather than the 2 percent Volvo predicted. At MATS, Nyberg also gave updates on the company’s I-Shift automated manual transmission, Volvo’s remote diagnostics platform and alternative fuel-powered trucks. Volvo expects U.S. Class 8 orders in the year to be about 250,000 trucks, and the company will ramp up capacity at its plant in Dublin, Va., in anticipation of stronger sales, Nyberg said. The better-than-expected fuel economy of its engines should save about $650 a year per truck over comparable engines, Nyberg said. “Fuel efficiency remains top-of-mind across the industry, but there’s no one-size-fits-all solution that will deliver massive improvements,” Nyberg said. “Every drop counts. Carriers ignoring opportunities for incremental fuel efficiency gains are leaving money on the table.” When integrated with its I-Shift transmission, even better fuel efficiency can be recognized, Nyberg said. I-Shift, he said, has “become the brains of the truck,” using information about

load, road conditions and more to decide how to gear itself and directing the engine on the right rpm and torque level. Nyberg said 87 percent of the trucks the company sold in 2013 were equipped with a Volvo engine, and 69 percent of its 2013 sales included the I-Shift. The company also has sold 25,000 trucks equipped with its Remote Diagnostics telematics system that so far has led to a 70 percent reduction in diagnostic time and a 22 percent reduction in repair time, Nyberg said. Volvo last year unveiled a new alt-fuel option for the North American market – dimethyl ether. Volvo’s Frank Bio said the company has four test trucks operating on DME and expects to have two more in operation by the end of the year. It also has several DME-powered trucks it’s testing internally.

Navistar fine-tuning its uptime technologies


avistar is concentrating on technologies to maximize vehicle uptime while offering customers more options and control, executives said at MATS. The offerings – OnCommand Connection, Diamond Logic and fully automatic and automated manual transmissions – are designed to make vehicles more fuel-efficient, safer, capable and productive. “The future is about converting unplanned downtime into scheduled maintenance and getting trucks back on the road where they are earning revenue,” said Bill Kozek, president of North America Truck and Parts for Navistar. By supporting quicker repairs and controlling maintenance and repair costs, the OnCommand Connection remote diagnostics system is designed to increase uptime and other efficiencies. The company is using OnCommand Connection with Omnitracs, PeopleNet, Teletrac, Vnomics, Geotab, XRS Corp., CyntrX and Pedigree Technologies, which provide telematics services to a majority of truck fleet customers. A dashboard of capabilities for customers includes the ability to view action steps as well as the location of vehicles requiring attention on a map in proximity to service locations. Navistar 24

commercial carrier journal

| may 2014

Navistar is using OnCommand Connection, its remote diagnostics system, with several technology vendors to provide telematics services to a majority of its fleet customers.

also has the ability to monitor all vehicle makes at varying levels of detail to support fleets with a blend of makes and models. The company also is testing a mobile website and app to make diagnostics accessible to fleet managers anywhere. The OnCommand Connection currently supports more than 30,000 vehicles and provides access to real-time fault codes, vehicle locations and nearby dealer locations within an online portal.

Mack Trucks adding focus on highway market


uel efficiency and uptime remain top priorities for Mack Trucks and will help the company increase its market share in the highway market, officials said at MATS. The company has hired more sales staff and begun special training to help dealerships sell long-haul trucks, said Stephen Roy, president of Mack Trucks North American sales and marketing. However, the company will continue building for and marketing to its core segments of refuse, regional and construction, he said. Mack’s ongoing focus to reduce customer operating costs, along with recent investments in products, support solutions, facilities and its brand, all have Mack well-positioned for success in the highway market, Roy said. Mack engines are greenhouse-gas 2014-certified and offer up to a 2.4 percent increase in fuel efficiency, the company says. The mDrive automated manual transmission improves drivability and boosts fuel efficiency by up to 5 percent over a manual transmission. A recently introduced version of the Pedigree Powertrain, the Mack Super Econodyne, seamlessly integrates a Mack MP8- 445SE engine, mDrive and proprietary axles to increase

Mack engines, the mDrive automated manual transmission and optimized aerodynamics have helped establish the Mack Pinnacle as a leader in on-highway fuel efficiency.

fuel efficiency by up to 3 percent compared to similarly spec’d vehicles. Offered in both axle-forward and axle-back configurations, the Pinnacle also has an optional 6x2 version, as well as drag-reducing roof, chassis and side fairings. For its uptime emphasis, Mack’s GuardDog Connect telematics-based system quickly diagnoses potential issues, schedules repairs and confirms that required parts are in stock and ready to install, all while the truck is still on the job. GuardDog Connect is part of Mack Pedigree Uptime Protection, an integrated suite of service and support solutions including Bulldog Service Management, Bulldog Parts Purchasing, Bulldog Financing and Bulldog Asset Protection.

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technology Making the latest technology developMents work for your fleet by AAron Huff

A spot market on steroids Post.Bid.Ship takes old-fashioned load boards to the next level


n the late 1990s, Jarret Hamstreet was working at his father’s trucking company as a teenager when he took note of an office novelty: Internet-based load boards, which allowed small companies like his father’s fleet to access a nationwide freight network. In 2008, as part of his master’s of business administration program at the University of Arizona, Hamstreet had to create a business plan and decided to research online load boards. He said the basic structure of online load boards had stayed the same over the years, with most sites still using static postings of loads and trucks, and rate negotiations taking place offline with phone calls. He devised a business plan for a load board similar to an eBay or Priceline service that would have a dynamic auction environment to return real-time bids from carriers to brokers and shippers. The business plan received top honors Online bidding: The idea is in the MBA prosimilar to an ebay or Priceline service gram. Just days after for selling available capacity. graduating in 2010, grOwing pOpularity: About Hamstreet and class500 shippers, 1,500 brokers and mate Micky Thomp2,100 fleets are son decided to launch members. the new venture MObile app plans: The company called Post.Bid.Ship. wants to be more accessible to smallThe two funded the er carriers and owner-operators. business themselves as they developed a prototype; later that year, they acquired more funding from friends, family and investors. One early investor was the dean of UA’s business college, who also introduced Hamstreet to Herb Schmidt, who at the time was president of Joplin, Mo.-based Con-way Truckload; before that, he was chief executive officer of Contract Freighters Inc. before Con-way bought it in 2007. Schmidt said when he learned about Post.Bid.Ship in 2010, he wished the business had been around when CFI was operating between 400 and 500 trucks, with its biggest hurdle being asset utilization. With Post.Bid.Ship, CFI could have bid on more freight from its major customers and then auctioned off excess freight to its customers’ core carriers in a real-time environment. “What intrigued me is that it is a dynamic tool,” said Schmidt,

Post.Bid.Ship has a simple process for carriers to submit bids on loads. Once bids are accepted, the website facilitates exchange of contact information.

who retired from Con-way in 2012 and joined the Post.Bid.Ship board of directors in March 2013. “It’s like a spot market on steroids. It would allow me to maximize utilization and to overbook. It would be a win for the shipper, CFI and Post.Bid.Ship.” Last year, Point B Capital invested more than $2 million in the company, and the State of Arizona added $400,000 in economic development grants for hiring state residents. About 500 shippers, 1,500 brokers and 2,100 trucking companies currently have a monthly subscription with Post.Bid.Ship. About 60 percent of its shipper customers post loads weekly to the community as a whole, as well as their own private network of carriers within the site. Shippers and brokers can establish a maximum rate as well as list instant rates for booking freight. Once both parties agree on a rate, Post.Bid.Ship facilitates the exchange of contact information. The average time that loads are available for bidding on the site is three to four days. Rather than enter the site to search for loads, a Freight Alarm service allows carriers to receive emails for load postings that match load preferences such as freight type, equipment type and geography. The company is planning a mobile app to make its marketplace more accessible to smaller carriers and owner-operators. aaron huff is senior editor of Commercial Carrier Journal. e-mail or call (801) 754-4296. commercial carrier journal | may 2014




PreClear weigh station bypass service – now available in 21 states after Florida’s recent adoption – on Rand McNally’s suite of mobile fleet management devices. Rand McNally also announced that Acme Truck Line, a Louisiana-based oilfield and energy carrier with more than 2,800 owner-operators and 120 locations, has installed its TND 760 in-cab fleet management devices.

Leod Software’s Load Master dispatch software for asset-based trucking companies and PowerBroker, a fully integrated end-toend brokerage operations management system that now features a new PowerBroker LTL module designed to allow shipper customers access to LTL ratings and quotes through a private Internet portal.

GE Capital Fleet Services launched MyFleetOffice2, an online fleet management platform designed to provide customers with analytics and the ability to complete a wide range of administrative tasks online.

HowesCCJS14_HalfPageIsland.pdf 4:25 PM Rand McNally signed an agreement ALK Technologies’ ALK Maps and PC Miler 1 • 2/12/14 with Drivewyze to provide the Drivewyze Web Services will be integrated with Mc-

Verizon Networkfleet now offers Networkfleet Satellite Coverage, an expanded communications capability that provides continuous connectivity for uninterrupted fleet management to improve driver safety and ensure vehicle tracking in remote areas.

Accellos integrated its Prophesy Dispatch transportation management software with MacroPoint, a service that provides location tracking for brokered loads.

Carrier Logistics Inc. integrated its FACTS freight management system with Apacheta’s mobile proof-of-delivery application, TransportACE.

ScanIQ announced One-Touch, a cloud computer-based scanning application designed for sending and receiving documents while on the road.

Webtech Wireless, a provider of vehicle fleet location-based services and telematics technology, announced the availability of Webtech Driver Center on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7-inch device and the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0.

Carrier Performance Check (CPCheck) announced it changed its name to Transportation Data Source (TDS) to allow it to expand its monitoring and search features within the transportation industry.

ITS Compliance, an outsourced provider of compliance, safety and asset management services, received an aggregate investment of $5.75 million from private equity firms Argentum and First Analysis.

PeopleNet extended its 12-year partnership with Mesilla Valley Transportation for its 1,100-vehicle fleet and announced a new partnership with Zimmerman Truck Lines for its dry van and flatbed fleets.

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Vusion launches MPG Analytics Dashboard


usion, a division of PeopleNet, launched its MPG Analytics Dashboard that connects, interprets and depicts data from multiple relevant sources: the engine control module (overspeed, over-rpm, idle time and excess speed), GPS (temperature and topography), dispatch (load weight), vehicle (engine size, make, model and year) and fuel purchases. The system is designed to provide quick access to data that otherwise would take hours or days to compile. Vusion’s dashboard is designed to allow fleets to customize configurations for its heat map (red and yellow alerts), asset groups and timeframes (day ranges). The dashboard also displays behaviors specific to each driver and peer referencing as a context for coaching. – Jeff Crissey

The Vusion MPG Analytics Dashboard’s Heat Map emphasizes actionable issues that need addressing with red alerts.

Xerox updates TripPak Mobile


erox announced the latest version of TripPak Mobile, 7.0, with new features aimed at helping drivers and fleets reduce the number of needed steps for document capture and submission while ensuring quality. TripPak Mobile 7.0 is designed to allow drivers to update trip status, confirm pickup and delivery with signature capture and capture trip documents for submission from their tablet or smartphone. The app has an auto-crop feature that optimizes image quality, along with a document scoring feature that prompts the driver to retake an image if necessary. With TripPak Mobile, companies and drivers can add functionality and applications that go beyond document capture and submission to include location tracking, fuel network directories, settlement history, driver intranet/portal viewing and any current Web applications that can be linked directly through a mobile device. – Aaron Huff

TripPak Mobile 7.0 allows drivers to use personal devices to update trip status, confirm pickup and delivery with signature capture and capture trip documents.

LinkeDrive offers new fuel visibility tool


LinkeDrive’s DATA is designed to provide fleet managers with real-time access to detailed information and driver performance metrics.


commercial carrier journal | may 2014

inkeDrive – provider of PedalCoach, a driver-focused application that instantaneously measures, coaches and rewards drivers for safe and fuel-efficient driving – released its Driver and Truck Analytics (DATA) cloud-based solution that pairs with PedalCoach for added levels of insight for performance in fuel efficiency and safe driving. DATA is designed to allow real-time access to detailed information and driver performance metrics. PedalCoach information is captured and transmitted

from fleet vehicles via the cloud to DATA, which instantly analyzes and presents information to fleet managers via a dashboard. DATA’s mapping support will allow fleet managers to see how each vehicle and driver is performing and track performance across the entire fleet and by fleet segment. PedalCoach allows drivers in the cab to see their fuel score at the end of each trip, and DATA now will allow managers to see the same information as it happens. – Jeff Crissey

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in focus: Customer relationship management

Driving transportation sales CRM systems can help fleets seal the deal


f all the daily activities in the transportation business, perhaps nothing is as fluid as sales and marketing. Plans must change constantly to keep trailers full and fleets profitable. Managing a dynamic sales process becomes even more complex for companies with multiple divisions. “You have to go with the flow,” says Theresa Campbell, vice president of sales for Meadow Lark Companies, based in Billings, Mont. “We come up with new things every day.” Meadow Lark operates a third-party logistics and brokerage division with agent offices, a trucking division with 150 leased contractors, and a specialized transportation and logistics division that moves oil rigs and other equipment for the energy sector. It also sells a line of clothing and work apparel for over-the-road truck drivers. Until last year, Meadow Lark was using a software system to track its sales and marketing activities by customer. The software did little else and no longer was capable of meeting the growing company’s needs. “As a manager overseeing things, it was a daunting task to go into each customer profile to see what was going on,” Campbell says. Last year, Meadow Lark switched to a new transportation management software platform. During this process, it started using a new customer relationship management system. CRM systems are used by companies of all types in all industries. While off-the-shelf products like and Microsoft Dynamics come with many useful tools, Meadow Lark executives wanted a CRM system designed for the transportation industry and, specifically, its TMS platform. Integral CRM Soon after Meadow Lark implemented McLeod Software’s LoadMaster and Pow32

commercial carrier journal | may 2014

by aaron huff

erBroker TMS systems, the company added McLeod’s CRM Module to its management platform to streamline sales, customer service and other critical processes. When Meadow Lark salespeople call customers today, “they all use the same terminology and take the same steps,” Campbell says. “If the customer has an objection, we have the tools to act quickly.” The company also uses the CRM tool across all divisions to plan and execute sales and marketing campaigns for different types of customers. The software is helping Meadow Lark stay organized and complete sales more successfully, Campbell says. Gleaning insights One advantage of CRM software developed specifically for TMS systems is having immediate access to customer information from a single shared database; no integration is necessary. “Instead of having to move data back and forth, we try to provide access to the kind of data you are using day in and day out,” says James Teubner, director of development for TMW Systems. TMW CRM Right is a module for the TMW Suite platform that transportation and logistics companies can use to view customer profiles and see shipment history to identify sales opportunities quickly – even while the customer is on the phone. “You can pull these tools together about historical shipments and talk with the customer about current rate or tariff schedules,” Teubner says. “You can give spot buys or short-term rates because you have excess equipment in a market and the ability to provide resources at a cheaper rate.” Customer service representatives and salespeople also can record activities for each customer along with follow-up items. Customers assigned to them are visible on a map with color-coding that identifies

missed or pending activities. The same customer data in McLeod’s LoadMaster and PowerBroker systems – loads, claims, quotes, payment, credit history, etc. – is available and searchable instantly within its CRM Module, which is used mainly by transportation companies to set up a marketing plan, record results and see dates for when salespeople expect to close deals. The CRM Module also has reports that show managers who is doing what, their effectiveness and which marketing efforts are successful. All of this and more data helps companies continuously fine-tune their sales and marketing plans, says Mark Cubine, McLeod’s vice president of marketing. A new ballgame Many shippers and their logistics providers are using software systems that automate communications with carriers from start to finish. Transplace, a 3PL used by more than 60 shippers, uses an electronic bid procurement process followed by an electronic workflow that sends loads to carriers and automates all communications. Its carrier merit program tracks carrier performance in areas such as timeliness of status messages, on-time service and load acceptance rate. Carriers that score well can get additional benefits such as accelerated payment terms and more bid opportunities, says Matthew Menner, senior vice president of strategic account management. Being able to adapt quickly to individual customer requirements, streamline the sales process and manage ongoing customer relationships are some of the many challenges that CRM systems are designed to solve.




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Omnitracs enhances MCP line


mnitracs made several announcements at the 76th annual Truckload Carriers Association’s annual conference in Grapevine, Texas: Tire pressure and fuel monitoring alerts. Omnitracs now offers Tire Pressure Monitoring, Trailer Tire Inflation Alerts and Exact Fuel applications on its Mobile Computing Platform 50. TPM displays a graphical tire health indicator that codes the severity of events, while TTIA notifies back-office personnel of tire inflation events and configurable alert notifications based on frequency, duration and type of event. Omnitracs’ new Exact Fuel application, also available on the MCP50, monitors and transmits real-time fuel level details directly to fleet managers. NaviGo 5.1 in-cab navigation. Beginning this summer, Telogis’ NaviGo 5.1 in-cab navigation will be available on the MCP110 and MCP200. NaviGo 5.1 offers near real-time navigation information and will include alerts when drivers exceed posted speed limits or enter an area identified by the fleet to require special attention, and lane guidance with better visual representation of complex highway exits and intersections. New ALK route guidance apps. ALK Technologies’ RouteSync and CoPilot FleetPortal applications will be available this

Omnitracs’ new Tire Pressure Monitoring application alerts both the driver and the back office to critical tire issues.

summer for ALK’s CoPilot Truck onboard in-cab navigation software for the MCP50, MCP110 and MCP200 platforms to improve route compliance and reduce operational costs. RouteSync integrates with the fleet’s back office and onboard systems to ensure consistency between the planned and actual route. The CoPilot FleetPortal application allows fleets to visualize routes and generate fleetwide reports on vehicles’ compliance to planned routes. – Jeff Crissey

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Ready. Set. Learn. CCJ and its CCJ Innovators partners are proud to highlight the achievements of the industry’s most innovative fleets. The CCJ Innovators program profiles fleets that have shown initiative in addressing critical areas in their businesses: • • • • • •

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J&R Schugel’s driver coaching effort gets loads delivered quicker, safer BY JEFF CRISSEY


s the trucking industry began to climb out of the recession in 2010, carriers were scrambling to find a competitive advantage over their peers. With the dawn of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Compliance Safety Accountability program, carriers searching for efficiency gains also were tasked with improving their safety performance. In 2009, Minnesota became a pilot state for the CSA program, and J&R Schugel Trucking – a 600-truck refrigerated and dry van carrier based in New Ulm, Minn. – began to take a closer look at new procedures it could implement to improve its safety scores.

The 3-mph rule By mid-2011, not only were accidents a concern; J&R Schugel also was facing challenges with driver satisfaction at a time when the industrywide driver shortage was rearing its head. Company executives knew that being seen as a driverfriendly fleet was crucial to its growth and future success. J&R Schugel operates its trucks with speed governors set to 65 mph. When the company instituted a new guideline in 2011 that asked drivers to go no faster than 62 mph, naturally it was met with skepticism. From a safety standpoint, the difference between driving 65 mph and 62 mph can be huge, says Clay Merches, J&R Schugel’s vice president of safety and human resources. A truck traveling at 65 mph equates to 95.33 feet per second; at 62 mph, the truck is traveling almost 5 feet per second slower. “That doesn’t sound like a lot, but it could be the difference in stopping short of a rear-end collision,” says Merches. During the rollout, Merches laid out how slower speeds affect drivers. Over the

J&R SCHUGEL TRUCKING New Ulm, Minn. course of 11 drivable hours per day, the maximum time loss is roughly 33 minutes. But, as Merches points out, J&R Schugel’s drivers average less than 7.5 hours of driving per day, and on average only three hours per day are spent in 65-mph zones, equating to a maximum potential time loss of only nine minutes. “I ask them, ‘Can you give me nine minutes?’ ” Merches says. “They see that it’s not that big a difference, and that’s how we create the buy-in.” While the impact on drivers is minimal, the effect on J&R Schugel’s safety performance has proven dramatic. Rear-end collisions dropped 53 percent from 2011 to 2013, with only one in 2012. And because drivers were changing lanes about 30 percent less at 62 mph rather than 65 mph, lanechange collisions dropped from 25 to only seven in the same time period. J&R Schugel’s CSA scores reflect the results of its 3-mph slower initiative. In 2010, the company had a Crash Indicator Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC) score of 97 percent; in December 2013, it was only 7.1 percent. Also, unsafe driving violations dropped from 286 to 180. For its safety improvement, J&R Schugel was recognized by the Truckload Carriers Association as a division

The carrier creates ‘Slower is Faster’ driver coaching to improve safety performance and increase productivity and fuel economy. COMMERCIAL CARRIER JOURNAL | MAY 2014


winner in the organization’s 2013 National Fleet Safety Awards program. Getting there faster Company executives quickly realized that even though the speed reduction program initially was created to improve safety performance, it also could help improve productivity. To help drivers understand the importance of going 3 mph slower in 65mph zones and its effect on productivity and fuel economy, J&R Schugel developed its “Slower is Faster” class, which it teaches to new drivers at orientation and as part of its continuous driver coaching courses. According to Merches, drivers who follow the 3-mph speed reduction rule actually deliver loads faster than those who don’t follow the guideline. Merches says vehicle dynamics play a big role in this counterintuitive concept. “We have our speed governors set at 65 mph, but when we drive at 62 mph, it allows the engine to continually get power and stay in top gear because the governor isn’t kicking in,” he says. “The driver isn’t losing momentum as he drives up an incline. A truck that weighs 80,000 pounds traveling at the 65-mph max speed slows down as it ascends a hill and has the governor kick out the fuel at the worst time – at the bottom of a hill.” Initially, drivers naturally were hesitant to believe that driving slower could lead to greater overall road speeds. To prove the point, J&R Schugel performed a case study where one driver traveled at 65 mph as much as he could while another driver maintained a 60-mph maximum speed. The slower driver drove 28 miles further in 25 fewer minutes over the course of the daylong test. “Suddenly, the potential nine-minute loss is right out the window, and drivers buy into the concept,” says Merches. “With the performance-monitoring capabilities we have now, we can 38


With its “slower is faster” approach, J&R Schugel’s trucks stay in top gear an average of 21 percent more often, resulting in a faster overall road speed.

break it down and show them,” says Merches, who challenges drivers who don’t believe the results to test it for themselves and come back to him with data to substantiate their beliefs. In three years, he hasn’t had a driver come back and say the program is wrong. With its “slower is faster” approach, J&R Schugel’s trucks stay in top gear an average of 21 percent more often, resulting in a faster overall road speed. Before the company instituted the program, the fleet’s average road speed was 53 mph; today, the average is up to 57 mph. “Our operations staff is blown away that loads are actually being delivered quicker,” says Merches. Beyond productivity gains, J&R Schugel also has been able to improve fuel economy dramatically as a result of the “slower is faster” approach. It now coaches drivers on the importance of cruise control, progressive shifting patterns and starting from stop in first gear. J&R Schugel also monitors driver fuel performance regularly. Last summer, the fleet averaged 7.68 mpg – including local, regional and long-haul routes – up from 6.52 mpg before it rolled out the “slower is faster” program. “I actually get drivers who pull up their fuel performance in the cab and send me a text message with a picture of their trip,” says Merches. “It’s fun to see the driver reaction and how

they get involved and buy into the concept.” Every month, J&R Schugel pulls the fuel mileage data for every truck and driver in its fleet. Those drivers in the bottom 10 percent of fuel economy performance undergo one-on-one coaching sessions on how they can work to improve fuel efficiency. “This year, we would like our overall average fuel economy to be nearing 8 mpg,” says Merches. “Trying to get a driver who’s only getting 6.3 mpg up to 7 mpg or more is going to have a huge impact on raising the fleet average.” The next step Continuing its march toward even better safety performance and driver productivity, J&R Schugel is joining a growing list of carriers employing in-cab video. Last month, it announced it would begin installing driver- and road-facing cameras in all of its trucks for driver coaching and to lower accident frequency. “We anticipate that we will have fewer hard-braking incidents, that drivers will look farther out in front of the vehicle, and that they will progressively downshift more frequently,” says Merches. “They don’t want to trigger the camera, so they’ll drive smarter and smoother.” The company expects some initial blowback from its drivers but expects it to be short-lived. “When you put new technology in trucks, you have to teach the driver the reasons for it and how it will benefit them,” says Merches. CCJ INNOVATORS profiles carriers and fleets that have found innovative ways to overcome trucking’s challenges. If you know a carrier that has displayed innovation, contact Jeff Crissey at or 800-633-5953.











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Meet one-on-one with key trucking suppliers In addition to great speakers and valuable networking opportunities, the CCJ Summer Symposium gives you the chance to speak directly to major industry suppliers about their products and services. KEYNOTE SPEAKER


Ben Stein

Phil Byrd

The actor, author, economist, and pop culture icon will provide insights into our economy, politics and our nation’s future.

Cummins Inc. You can depend on Cummins to deliver leading diesel and natural gas engine technology. In fact, Cummins is the only engine manufacturer that designs, develops and supports a totally integrated package from the air handling to the exhaust aftertreatment. This allows us to optimize performance to a degree that no other engine manufacturer can match. Cummins full line-up of engines delivers better fuel economy, reliability and customer support through the largest and most

ATA Chairman, president and CEO of Bulldog Hiway Express will discuss the outlook for trucking.

capable service and support network in North America. Learn how Cummins can help your fleet perform better where it counts – your bottom line.

Freightliner Trucks Freightliner Trucks is one of the most recognized and respected names in the trucking industry. The largest division of Daimler Trucks North America, Freightliner Trucks manufactures Class 5-8 truck models that serve a wide range of commercial vehicle applications. Freightliner trucks are engineered for profit while offering the lowest cost of ownership for customers.

CCJ Summer Symposium |


The company’s commitment to innovation, technology and responsive customer relationships makes it easy to understand why Freightliner Trucks is the bestselling brand of heavy-duty trucks in North America.

Meritor, Inc. Meritor, Inc. is a global supplier of a broad portfolio of axle, brake and suspension solutions to original equipment manufacturers and the aftermarket for the commercial vehicle industry. We invite you to spend a few minutes with us to discuss how our trailer products and aftermarket product and service solutions can help you maximize the profitability and operational efficiency of your fleet. Our trailer suspension, axle, and brake products are designed to improve vehicle handling and increase tire life. The Meritor Tire Inflation System by P.S.I. helps improve tire life and has been shown to improve fuel economy by an average of 1.4%. Brake performance and safety is a critical component of the CSA regulations. Meritor’s aftermarket team has the expertise and products to service all vehicles equipped with Reduced Stopping Distance (RSD) brake systems, and keep your vehicles performing to these new high standards.

Omnitracs, LLC The Upcoming Regulatory Agenda: How Will This Affect My Business? – Join Omnitracs for a discussion on the new Hours of Service rules, changes to the Safety Measurement System, CSA program updates, the EOBR/ELD mandate, and how/


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“I enjoyed interacting with professionals within the trucking industry that are motivated to make a difference and a profit.” Dana Dudley, McKenzie Tank Lines Past Spring Symposium Attendee

why fleets are incorporating technology to help them prepare. We will highlight data shared between Omnitracs MCP systems and enterprise solutions, and provide examples of the positive results fleets have experienced from implementing mobile computing solutions, as well as the growing harmful impact of remaining status quo. Lastly, we will review frequently asked questions and tools that are available to assist fleets.

Shell Lubricants We are passionate about cuttingedge technology and innovation. Our in-house research and development professionals combine knowledge, capability

and innovation to deliver solutions that add real value to our customers’ businesses, and our investment in technology means we are often first to market with products and services that provide superior protection and efficiency. We work with some of the world’s biggest brands and original equipment manufacturers who trust us to deliver technically superior products. Please join Shell Lubricants to discuss lowering the cost of lubricants ownership by utilizing industry best practices.

WEX Fleet One WEX Fleet One is proud to be represented by Bill Cooper, Vice President of OTR Sales, during

the CCJ Symposium business meeting presentations. Bill will spotlight WEX Fleet One’s newest product offering, the All Roads fuel card. The All Roads fuel card, a single card solution for blended fleets fueling at both convenience stores and truck stops, includes OTR cash price on diesel fuel, extended terms, consistent level III data, tight card controls, and much more. WEX Fleet One’s other fullservice solutions like the OverThe-Road fuel card, WEX Fuel Management Bulk & Retail, WEX Fleet One Factoring, and Permits help fleets manage operations, lower fuel costs, enhance revenue and keep vehicles on the road.

June 23-25, 2014 | Hyatt Regency La Jolla Aventine | La Jolla, California $395 Registration fee includes access to all sessions, hotel accommodations, meals and social activities. Partial registration includes all of the above (excluding hotel accommodations) and spouse rates are also available. To register or for more information, call 888-349-4287 or visit

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Operate more safely and efficiently with PrePass solutions made just for the needs of qualified, professional drivers. The PrePass transponder helps you save time, fuel and money bypassing weigh stations at hundreds of inspection facilities across the U.S. With PrePass Plus, that transponder enables you to electronically pay tolls at more than 80 tolling facilities, with more being added to our system every month. Text INFO to 205-289-3554 or visit

Can teChnology make drivers perform like pro athletes? By aaron huff


hile the pay and prestige for truck drivers and professional athletes may be worlds apart, both professions share some things in common. Bad performance and split-second decisions can cost thousands, even millions, in damages in the form of lost revenue, accidents and injuries. Like athletes, drivers need the right blend of knowledge, skills and awareness to perform at a high level day in and day out. Athletes have more time and resources to analyze film, practice and prepare, but for a trucker, every day is game day. Advancements in technology now make it possible to build and sustain driver training and awareness. When behind the wheel, drivers can receive instant alerts for risks in their environment. Safety systems also can take control of braking and throttle systems to prevent crashes or at least mitigate their severity. A growing number of fleets also use video-based event recorders and risk management systems for a more holistic

view of driver performance, improving their ability to coach and train drivers and achieve better results. Some technology, especially video-based recorders or “dashcams,” can be difficult to sell to independent-minded drivers. It may take time, fleets say, to counter driver perception of a loss of privacy with tangible benefits. One strategy to speed acceptance is to take advantage of another trait drivers share with athletes: the will to win and do their best. Meritor Wabco Meritor Wabco offers several types of integrated vehicle and driver safety products. Over time, the company’s anti-lock braking system has been installed on nearly 8 million tractors and trailers. Its Roll Stability Control system has been installed in 250,000 vehicles since 2004, and today about 50 percent of vehicles on the road have it. In 2008, the company released a new collision mitigation

We went from nonacceptance to 360-degree acceptance. – Tom Halpin, transportation safety manager, Buzzuto’s commercial carrier journal


may 2014


technology: Driver Training

Meritor Wabco is working with SmartDrive Systems to develop ProView, a comprehensive performance management system.

and adaptive cruise control system called OnGuard that today is in about 60,000 tractors. Overall, about 8 percent of tractors on the road have collision mitigation technology, says Jon Morrison, president and general manager. OnGuard detects forward objects and measures the vehicle’s position in relation to others on the road to warn the driver of a possible rear-end collision. When appropriate, the system will apply the brakes to help avoid a collision or mitigate an unavoidable one. Meritor Wabco also has a forward-looking vision-based lane departure warning system called OnLane. The system monitors road markings and the vehicle’s position in the lane and delivers audible warnings to the driver if the vehicle leaves its lane unintentionally. Soon after releasing OnGuard in 2008, Meritor Wabco management began thinking about how to round out its integrated safety systems with data and analytics to monitor for risky driving behaviors. Historically, fleets using similar products had to download data manually. In some cases, fleets started to transmit it wirelessly from trucks through onboard communication systems such as Omnitracs and PeopleNet. Until this year, Meritor Wabco was focused primarily on vehicle electronics and mechanics, but that changed with the announcement of ProView. Its newest offering captures and transmits video-based event data to focus on the driver side, Morrison says. “In order to really get stronger acceptance and to round out the value offering of our integrated safety package, we thought this is a great direction for us to take,” he says. Meritor Wabco is working with SmartDrive Systems to develop ProView, a comprehensive performance management system that integrates information from braking and stability control technologies with a video-based event recording device and Web-based driver risk management service. By leveraging this information, fleet operators can gain insights into driving events to determine what happened, when and why vehicle safety systems engaged and the potential driver-related root causes. In addition to providing a gateway to driver analytics through SmartDrive, ProView will have online content and resources and will serve as a repository for social media and other forms of active dialogue between Meritor Wabco, fleets and drivers to help the end user – the driver – understand 54

commercial carrier journal

| may 2014

how these technologies work together. “We want to be able to have a dialogue and be able to help in the training, education and acceptance of safety systems,” Morrison says. SmartDrive SyStemS SmartDrive Systems also supplies a windshield-mounted device that records inward and outward video of critical safety events. The device also connects to the vehicle’s communication channels to capture a detailed play-by-play account of throttle, brake position, rpms and other event data from active safety systems for lane departure warning, collision avoidance and roll stability. All event data is transmitted wirelessly to an operations center and reviewed by SmartDrive staff. After review, video-based event data is available to fleet management through a Web-based portal. The service delivers insights, recommendations and workflow tools to help fleet managers coach drivers on how to improve their skills. The risky driving behaviors identified by SmartDrive’s staff are scored and categorized so that fleets can track improvements over time to see how both drivers and the company are improving in areas such as speeding, distraction, fatigue and maintaining proper following distance. The system also consolidates event data into driver skills profiles and a SmartDriver Score for management to prioritize site locations, business groups and other company divisions based on who is most at risk and to recognize drivers and managers for good performance. One way to increase driver acceptance of the technology is to emphasize that it will be used in a constructive fashion as a training tool, not for disciplinary actions to catch drivers doing something wrong, says Jason Palmer, president of SmartDrive. Drivers also benefit from having the system exonerate them from wrongdoing by having an accurate representation of what happened during the event. Bozutto’s, a wholesale distributor of food and household products to retailers in 13 New England and Mid-Atlantic states, is in its third year of using SmartDrive. To say the

SmartDrive Systems delivers insights, recommendations and workflow tools to help fleet managers coach drivers on how to improve their skills.

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technology: Driver Training

company’s 280 drivers initially were reluctant toward having a camera in the cab would be an understatement. “The initial rollout was a hostile environment – drivers didn’t like it at all,” says Tom Halpin, transportation safety manager for the Cheshire, Conn.-based fleet. A town hall-style meeting was held during the rollout to assuage their concerns. Representatives from SmartDrive answered questions and explained the system’s benefits. Six months later, Halpin remembers a different meeting where drivers applauded the system for exonerating their peers from wrongdoing and the difference it had made to the company’s safety record. Compliance Safety Accountability scores for Buzzuto’s had improved, and accidents were down dramatically. Seatbelt and cellphone violations disappeared from an average 30 events per year to zero. For the first time in recent history, the company’s insurance provider did not raise its rates. “We went from nonacceptance to 360-degree acceptance,” Halpin says. “Now, our drivers would be hesitant to take it out.” Bendix Safetydirect Bendix’s SafetyDirect Web Portal provides fleet operators with videos of severe events along with feedback on fleet and driver performance. The system wirelessly transmits real-time video data and event-based information for analysis by fleet safety personnel. When a severe event is captured by safety systems integrated with SafetyDirect, a video notification is delivered to designated fleet personnel via smartphone, tablet or email. SafetyDirect captures and reports event-based occurrences in numerous preset categories, including excessive curve speed, excessive braking and activation of onboard safety systems such as collision mitigation and vehicle stability. Events are captured and stored with time and date indication, driver and vehicle ID, odometer reading, vehicle speed and GPS location. The system also provides real-time driver performance information such as following distance histograms and event history. Saia is using SafetyDirect as part of its driver training program. All drivers at the Johns Creek, Ga.-based less-than-truckload company are trained on the Smith System for defensive driving and are recertified each year regardless of experience. The training continues in the cab. Drivers receive immediate feedback and alerts from Bendix systems that monitor their following distances, lane departures, fuel 56

commercial carrier journal

| may 2014

Bendix SafetyDirect captures and reports event-based occurrences in numerous preset categories and provides realtime driver performance information.

efficiency and other safety and performance metrics. Saia also uses active safety systems such as adaptive cruise, collision mitigation and electronic stability control. Last year, Saia conducted an experiment with 20 drivers to evaluate SafetyDirect’s benefits. As videos started arriving, management found that in nearly all cases, the incidents were caused by unsafe motorists, says Rick O’Dell, company president. Saia did not need to counsel a driver until after about five months of monitoring. “[The video] demonstrates the professionalism of drivers,” O’Dell says. “It also helps to increase our awareness of what they are looking at.” One detail that Saia chose not to capture as part of its investigation was video footage of the driver. “From a privacy and professionalism standpoint, we have decided Saia, a Johns Creek, Ga.-based less-than-truckto not do that,” load company, is using Bendix SafetyDirect as O’Dell says. “Peo- part of its driver training program. ple are sensitive to that.” SafetyDirect allows fleets to set thresholds for high and low performance, displaying each driver’s status on a color-coded chart. Fleet managers can determine trouble spots at a glance – such as which drivers are taking curves at excessive speeds – and take steps to resolve them. Fleet managers also can compare the performance of drivers and groups over time, or they can monitor a particular driver’s performance in different trucks. Saia has built monthly scorecards that show drivers how their performance compares with their peers for defensive driving. The scorecards are used to reward top performers and to identify drivers who need additional training or counseling. Lytx drivecam Lytx’s in-vehicle DriveCam device captures irregular events that are reviewed and scored before being sent

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technology: Driver Training

to the fleet for use in coaching drivers. Most of the data comes not from video recordings but from the ECM, GPS and other sources, though the video is critical in interpreting and scoring the other data. Lytx has designed its online portal to weave a complex stream of data into simple and straightforward visual workflow tools to assess and manage driver risk. The latest portal, version 3.0, has new role-based user dashboards with customized key indicators, including a stack ranking of drivers according to their accident probability. Individual events also are ranked and displayed by severity in a to-do list tied to a workflow designed to improve coaching moments with drivers. Customers now have the option of rewarding high-performing drivers by turning off the in-cab camera while leaving the forward-view camera operational. Even though the safest drivers rarely trigger the in-cab camera by exhibiting unsafe behavior such as hard braking, most drivers prefer driving without the possibility of it coming on, says Chris Silver, marketing director of Lytx. The company has about 950 fleet clients, many of them private fleets and running Class 6-8 trucks, and some in other sectors outside of trucking, Silver says. Con-way Freight is the largest trucking fleet. Every workday at about 5 a.m. at the less-than-truckload company’s Salt Lake City service center, Jack Malloy enters an office to the side of the main dispatch area. Malloy’s work helps reduce accidents and injuries and improve fuel efficiency. Malloy has been driving for Con-way Freight for 20 years. Three years ago he became a driver trainer, a job he performs in addition to making daily pickups and deliveries. Con-way Freight uses its safest and most experienced drivers to coach other drivers using the data the company receives from Lytx. When an incident such as rapid deceleration or hard braking occurs, Malloy sees the event through an online management portal. He then notifies the driver’s manager to schedule a face-to-face coaching session. Malloy usually talks to drivers within two days of an incident. Data is shared with drivers in the context of the Smith System. Once the incident is discussed and training given, the driver commits to improvement, and “we move on,” Clark says. The coaching sessions don’t always go smoothly. Sometimes drivers get defensive in these situations, Malloy says, but having a peer-to-peer discussion with a trainer helps. “Sometimes drivers are against new policies,” Malloy 58

commercial carrier journal

| may 2014

says. “They think corporations are after ‘poor little me.’ We disengage that tension Lytx’s in-vehicle DriveCam device capso drivers are able to tures irregular events that are reviewed be coached and unand scored before being sent to the fleet derstand the situation. for use in coaching drivers. We’re all peers.” On another occasion, a driver rolled through a stop sign – an event that gets a 5 on a severity scale of 10. The event recorder, known as DriveCam powered by Lytx, likeJack Malloy, a driver trainer at Conly was triggered by an way Freight, monitors risky driving uneven road surface behaviors captured by Lytx’s in-vehicle DriveCam device. and the vehicle’s lateral movement. When a Lytx behavior analyst reviewed the incident, the severity rating was assigned to the event and made available for Malloy to review. The driver has been with Con-way Freight for three years, and during the coaching session, he was eager to be the best he could to one day be counted among company drivers with three million safe miles. “He wants to be one of those and is willing to change anything he needs to change to become one of them,” Malloy says. The event recorder also gives opportunities to recognize drivers for defensive driving skills. Before having the technology, management never saw what drivers had done to avoid an accident, Malloy says. A few months ago, Malloy was meeting with drivers about 12 times per day to review incidents. The number of incidents has dropped to about one to three per week. Professional athletes and coaches use video and real-time data to identify performance techniques that can be improved, says Tom Clark, senior vice president of operations for Con-way Freight. “We’re doing the same thing with our professional drivers and how they operate our trucks,” Clark says. “It’s a fundamental shift in our approach. Before, we reacted after the fact, analyzing accidents and why they occurred. Now, we’ve flipped the process, focusing instead on using technology and real-time information as a positive proactive coaching experience to adjust behaviors, remove risk, prevent incidents and improve safety.”

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Spring product roundup

Vendors debut latest wares at Mid-America Trucking Show

heil’s stAinless-steel tAnker lineup After a nearly 15-year absence, trailer manufacturer Heil is again manufacturing and selling stainless-steel tanker trailers for general chemical hauling applications. Heil’s new tanker line consists of four different application-based models, including a round/double conical model, a dry bulk model, a stainless-steel round/double conical design and a carbon-steel round cryogenic trailer. The new trailers are designed to be highly adaptable for a variety of applications. Features include low tare weights, a driver-friendly configuration for efficiency and safety and a standard roll stability system.

heil’s new stainless-steel tanker line consists of four different application-based models.

continentAl’s expAnded truck tire lineup

michelin’s trAiler tire

Continental rolled out its new Conti TerraPlus HD3 designed for construction applications. The off-road drive tire – designed for the high-traction needs of construction vehicles, work trucks and heavy commercial pickups – will be available in size 225/70R19.5 with an open shoulder and a 19/32-inch tread depth. The company also introduced its Conti EcoPlus HS3 long-haul steer tire designed to offer a 10 percent reduction in rolling resistance as well as a 12 percent increase in mileage over the previous generation. It will be available in early summer in size 295/75R22.5, load range H, with a 19/32continental’s conti inch tread depth. ecoplus hs3 longAlso introduced was the Conti Hybrid haul steer tire is HS3 steer and all-position tire for the designed to offer combined regional and long-haul segreduced rolling ment, available in size 295/75R22.5, load resistance and range H. increased mileage.

Michelin launched its wide-base X One Line Energy T line-haul trailer tire that features its Advanced Casing Technology designed to reduce irregular wear while adding removal mileage. Available in size 445/50R22.5, the SmartWay-verified tire is engineered with solid shoulders and microsipes that help resist irregular wear. Michelin also introduced the X One Line Energy T Pre-Mold Retread designed with a 13/32-inch tread depth and up to a 15 percent improvement in removal mileage when retreaded on an X One Line Energy T casing. A winged tread helps provide maximum shoulder adhesion, while waved groove bottoms help prevent stone drilling for added durability.

toyo’s medium-duty tires

Alcoa Wheel and Transportation Products introduced a lighter Ultra One aluminum wheel that is 5 pounds lighter than previous-generation lightweight Alcoa wheels due to the company’s new MagnaForce alloy. MagnaForce also is 17 percent stronger than Alcoa’s 6061 alloy in similar applications. The 40-pound wheel is available in all of Alcoa’s finish options in a 22.5-by-8.25-inch size for heavy-duty commercial transportation.

michelin’s x one line energy t pre-mold retread is designed to provide added removal mileage when retreaded on an x one line energy t casing.

AlcoA’s lighter Aluminum wheel Toyo announced its latest tires for medium-duty applications, including the SmartWay-verified M177 regional and long-haul steer tire, the M170 regional steer tire and the M920 drive traction tire for regional and long-haul use. All feature the company’s proprietary e-balance technology designed for improved tire life, endurance and retreadability, plus reduced rolling resistance and irregular wear. The M177 also is suitable for trailer use and is available in both G and H load ratings in sizes 295/75R22.5, 285/75R24.5, 11R22.5 and 11R24.5. The M170 is available in sizes 11R22.5 and 12R22.5, both with an H load range, and the M920 is available in sizes 245/70R19.5 and 11R22.5. toyo’s m920 drive traction tire for regional and long-haul use features the company’s proprietary e-balance technology.


commercial carrier journal | may 2014

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MATS Roundup SAF-HollAnd’S Air diSc brAke Axle SyStem, integrAted yoke mount SAF-Holland introduced its SAF Integral Air Disc Brake Axle System with P89 Wheel End Package suited for SAF air suspension systems. The P89 accommodates up to 2-inch offset wheels for application and maintenance flexibility and can accommodate both single wide-base wheels with up to 2-inch offsets and dual-wheel configurations. The hub design incorporates the company’s Integral bi-metallic rotor and uses premium matched-set bearings that can be replaced with standard bearings for field service. It uses a premium spindle nut with right-hand threads. The company also announced the release of its CBXy Series, its first integrated Yoke Mount Air Suspension Axle System, designed to work in conjunction with the low-profile CBXu underslung model to allow for load equalization in lowboy and dropdeck trailer applications. The cast-steel yokemount beam’s lightweight 5.75-inch-diameter axle comes with the Integral air disc brake P89 or a drum brake wheel-end package with standard spindles or optional parallel spindles.

the SAF integral Air disc brake Axle System with P89 Wheel end Package is suited for SAF air suspension systems.

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Hendrickson Trailer Commercial Vehicle Systems rolled out its lightweight Vantraax Ultraa-K slider system. The company also announced its Softek NXT, a lightweight front steer axle with a monoleaf spring suspension. The Ultraa-K is designed to be stronger than Hendrickson’s Vantraax-HD models and features a high-tech hot-dip coating process. Instead of shock absorbers, Ultraa-K uses Zero Maintenance Damping (ZMD) air springs designed for uniform and consistent suspension damping. Pivoting mudflap brackets are standard. Softek NXT combines the company’s Steertek NXT axle with its Softride Monoleaf Spring Technology and is designed for heavy-duty truck applications rated from 12,000- to 12,500-pound capacities. Softek NXT, designed with a lightweight clamp group, is compatible with drum or disc brakes and incorporates a two-piece knuckle assembly.

Trail King introduced a prototype All-Aluminum Center Frame Step Deck trailer, the TK80AACS, with standard corrosion-resistant materials, all-aluminum framing, armor-coated landing gear and zinc-plated steel components. The TK80AACS is lightweight yet durable, with a low deck height designed to accommodate taller payloads with multiple cargo load configurations.

Mitsubishi Electric unveiled its 200-amp heavy-duty alternator for heavy-duty trucks, the Diamond Power A200 (DP A200), a brushless pad-mount 12-volt alternator engineered for high efficiency. The unit weighs 21.8 pounds and is designed for improved fuel economy because it requires minimal engine horsepower to operate. It provides 137 amps of output at engine idle speed and features “remote sense” and “5-wire” technology to fit all major North American OE trucks.

Hendrickson’s ultraa-k is stronger than its Vantraax-Hd models and features a hightech hot-dip coating process.


commercial carrier journal | may 2014

trail king’s tk80AAcS All-Aluminum center Frame Step deck trailer has a low deck height to accommodate taller payloads with multiple cargo load configurations.

mitsubishi electric’s diamond Power A200 alternator weighs 21.8 pounds and is designed for improved fuel economy.

dometic’S bAttery-PoWered A/c Dometic debuted its Split-System Blizzard 134a, a battery-operated air conditioning unit that provides 10 no-idle hours of cooling. Available in 7,000- and 10,000Btu models, the split system is engineered for easy installation, allowing the noise of the condenser unit to remain outside while the quieter evaporator unit blows cool air to the cab’s interior. External ports are designed for easy access to help simplify service access. dometic’s Split-System blizzard 134a The system also is available with battery-operated air conditioning unit is optional electric heat. available in 7,000- and 10,000-btu models.

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The following is an excerpt from How to Use Financial Statements, a manual produced by Commercial Carrier University and sponsored by Chevron Delo. CCU is an educational program produced by Commercial Carrier Journal that includes business management manuals, seminars aimed at improving management skills and a Website. For more information, visit Business owners often ask, “If I pay off my bank debts, I can count that off on my taxes, right?” The question exposes a fundamental misunderstanding of the “basis of accounting” upon which financial statements are built. Learn the difference between the three main bases of accounting: accrual, cash and tax. As a result, your understanding of financial statements will grow dramatically. A basis of accounting is nothing more than a set of rules that the accountant follows in preparing the reports. It tells him when to count certain transactions in the records, and how to do it. The “when” is the biggest difference between the accrual method and the cash method of accounting. The “how” is the biggest difference between the accrual method and the tax method. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants has developed accounting rules over time. Between generally accepted accounting principles, known as GAAP, and the actual rules established by various professional and regulatory boards, there’s a set of



| MAY 2014

practices to help all companies report profit and loss in basically the same manner. This allows for apples-to-apples comparisons between companies. For companies with publicly traded stock, the financial statements are the only real measuring sticks for investors. Inaccuracies or inconsistent practices lead investors to make the wrong decisions, and then lead them to the courthouse. To keep companies and their managers honest, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the AICPA require all companies to report profit and loss in the same manner. These rules frequently are referred to as GAAP. Accountants must comply with these rules and disclose in their reports when they are violated — or risk losing their licenses. Even privately held companies must follow most of these rules. Thus, your accountant gets mighty nervous if you suggest — knowingly or unknowingly — a treatment or practice of accounting that breaks the rules. Accrual basis means that a transaction is recorded when it happens, regardless of when cash actually changes hands. Consider

how you might treat the revenue from a single haul. The accrual basis records the event when the haul is completed. The accountant enters the revenue on the P&L and logs an accounts receivable on the balance sheet. When the cash finally arrives, there is no further effect on the P&L. But the balance sheet changes, as accounts receivable is reduced and cash is increased. Thus, the accrual basis “matches” revenues and expenses in the same period. You record your revenue when your hauls are completed, whether or not the money is received during that period. Likewise, you record your expenses when you incur them. Some you pay in cash, some you might owe as accounts payable. Most companies use accrual basis, especially as they grow. That’s because banks and other lenders typically require you to report under the accrual basis in the loan agreements you sign. The bigger the loan, the more lenders have to lose, so the more they insist that you tighten your accounting practices. For loans of $1 million to $3 million or larger,

COMMERCIAL CARRIER UNIVERSITY lenders often require a review statement by an accounting firm. Since reviews (and audits, too) require the accountant to list any departure from GAAP or accrual, you must move to full accrual-basis accounting at that point. Cash basis means that you don’t record a revenue or expense item until you receive or write the check. Continuing our example, if you use cash-basis accounting, you don’t record anything when you complete the haul unless, of course, the shipper or receiver pays on the spot. When the check arrives, you record it on the P&L as revenue and on the balance sheet as cash. Few companies use the cash basis to keep their books, and there are lots of reasons not to do it. First, it doesn’t give a clear picture of real profit or earnings in a given month or year. Because it doesn’t match expenses with revenues, using the cash basis can lead to poor

business decisions. What looks like a profit can really be a loss. And what’s deposited into your checking account does not equal your profits. Second, your bank may not allow you to use the cash basis; it wants to know what you’re earning or losing, and the cash method isn’t a good indicator of that. Third, the Internal Revenue Service may not allow you to use it. They want you to report on the accrual basis, which doesn’t let you manipulate income as easily as the cash basis. Tax basis means that the rules of the IRS are used in deciding how to record transactions. Essentially, your business’s P&L mirrors that of your tax returns. For most companies, this is a modified version of the accrual basis. Rarely, a company might use a tax basis based on the cash basis. Businesses that do generally are very small; many leased owner-operators use it.

If your company’s annual financial statements are presented on the tax basis, it’s probably because your bank has consented to the practice as a way to save you money on accounting fees. Your accountant saves time and effort if he uses the same basis of accounting for your published financial reports as he does for your tax return. The main difference between the accrual and tax bases is how you calculate depreciation. In addition, sometimes tax rules won’t let you deduct an expense in the same period that you record it under accrual-basis reporting. This means your accountant may have to maintain two sets of numbers, but that’s really not as hard as it sounds, given the capabilities of modern software packages. But it still takes time, and to save on accounting fees, you might elect to have your reports prepared on the income tax basis of accounting.

Commercial Carrier University is an educational initiative for owners and managers of trucking companies that are held at select Truckload Carriers Association events. We’re certain you will find this program a valuable resource in managing your business more easily and more profitably. CCU’s goal is to provide you with an in-depth road map for success through clear advice on basic and advanced business practices. CCU Titles Available: • How to Evaluate Life Cycle Costs • How to Manage Cashflow • How To Plan For Succession • How to Use Financial Statements • How To Write A Business Plan Produced by:

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| MAY 2014 65

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Integrated LED Grote’s LED 6-inch oval and 4-inch round Stop/Tail/Turn lamps both are equipped with an integral LED built-in backup lamp designed to combine dual functions with longer-life LED technology. The lamps are built to fit existing grommets and flanges and are sealed to help protect against water and chemical ingress, severe environments, shock and vibration, while their thin profile helps minimize damage from external impact by fitting in shallow-depth pillar locations. Grote Industries,, 800-628-0809, Text INFO to 205-289-3554 or visit

Combo lamp Optronics’ STL68 Combo Lamp is a 9-inch oval combination LED stop, tail, turn and backup lamp that employs a solid-state surface-mount device design to help protect the enclosed electronics against moisture, shock and vibration. The low-profile lamp is ½-inch thick and mounts with a ½-inch egress hole for wiring and four small mounting holes for rivet or screw fasteners. Lenses and housings are made of sonically welded polycarbonate material. Optronics International,, 800-364-5483, Text INFO to 205-2893554 or visit

Trailer skirts Transtex Composite’s Edge trailer skirts are available in four SmartWay-verified and CARB-compliant designs that offer easy and fast installation, minimal maintenance and lightweight, strong glass-reinforced thermoplastic composite material. The skirts are available for 53-foot trailers, pups and intermodal applications and may be custom-ordered in various colors and material compositions. Transtex Composite,, 877-332-3519, Text INFO to 205289-3554 or visit

Ultrawide-base drive tires Yokohama’s 902L long-haul/regional ultrawide-base drive tire, available in size 445/50R22.5, is designed for added traction and high mileage – with a 27/32-inch tread depth built for extreme driving conditions such as snow and ice – and features an advanced rubber compound that helps lower rolling resistance and reduce heat buildup, as well as seven circumferential grooves engineered to enhance lateral stability and create long wear with an even footprint. The company’s 709L on-highway ultrawide-base drive tire, available in size 445/50R22.5, features a 24/32-inch tread depth and seven serpentine grooves that help decrease tread block movement for added stability, lower rolling resistance and increased fuel efficiency; and double Z blocks that help increase rigidity to prevent heel-toe wear for a long- and even-lasting tire life while increasing wet and snow traction. Yokohama Tire Corp., www.yokohamatire. com, 800-722-9888, Text INFO to 205-2893554 or visit commercial carrier journal | may 2014



Still Using 2013 Criteria? The 2014 North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria is effective on April 1, 2014. Shouldn’t you and your team have the most up-to-date resource?

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Circuit tester Snap-on’s Digital Display Circuit Tester (EECT400) is designed to detect voltage, ground and circuit integrity. An LCD display provides the circuit’s voltage value, while a backlit LED indicates red for power or green for ground. A solid copper clip helps provide added electrical signal transfer. Snap-on,, 877-7627664, Text INFO to 205-289-3554 or visit

Cylinder-head gaskets Dana’s Victocor 500 cylinder-head gaskets are designed with multilayer steel inserts to help engines achieve extreme durability, high stress and pressure requirements. The gaskets use high-grade rubber-coated stainless steel for added sealing performance at oil and coolant passages, as well as pushrod openings. The MLS layers are built to maintain stability over an operating temperature range of -40 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. The gaskets are available in thicknesses ranging from .049 to .083 inches. Dana Holding Corp.,, 419-887-3000, Text INFO to 205-289-3554 or visit

Universal knuckle Meritor has designed a universal knuckle for its nondrive front steer axles to outfit drum or air disc brakes. The component has one service part instead of the previous two knuckles on each axle so that service parts no longer are dependent on brake types. The component also is built to offer customers higher payload capacity by eliminating the need for a heavier 13,200-pound axle. Meritor,, 866-6687221, Text INFO to 205-289-3554 or visit text INFo to 205-289-3554 or visit

commercial carrier journal | may 2014

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LED light bar Peterson’s 359 Series light for cargo vehicle interiors features a slim 1-by-18-inch bar of Great White LEDs outputting 600 lumens per unit and offers no-splice harness connections and surface screw-mount versatility whether mounted horizontally and/ or vertically. Designed for use in any environment from -55 degrees Fahrenheit to higher temperatures, the 359 Series is

suited for a wide range of applications from heavy-duty dry van and reefer trailers to smaller box trucks. An optional interior control module/timer switch is available. Peterson Manufacturing Co.,, 816-765-2000, Text INFO to 205-289-3554 or visit

Spring rewind reel Hannay’s SCR700 industrial-duty spring rewind reel is suited for live electric cable for devices such as power tools, lights and machinery and can be mounted on trucks and trailers with an adjustable four-way roller assembly for attachment in a variety of locations. The SCR700 houses a 45-amp 3-conductor 600-volt collector assembly with No. 8 gauge wiring from the collector ring to the junction box. The series accommodates 50 to 120 feet of 14/3- to 8/3-inch live electrical cable and is equipped with a four-way roller assembly. A cable stop also is available to help prevent roller and connector damage while permitting the adjustment of free cable length. Hannay Reels,, 877467-3357, Text INFO to 205-289-3554 or visit


text INFo to 205-289-3554 or visit

commercial carrier journal | may 2014


Fan retrofit package Horton’s Modulator Fully Variable Retrofit Packages are designed to deliver optimized engine cooling and replace on/off fan drives for select heavy-duty line-haul and severe-duty vocational trucks where pneumatically actuated fan clutches over-cycle. Two Modulator retrofit packages are available: The package for specific Cummins engine applications contains the fan drive assembly, the retrofit in-

stallation kit with Horton’s Di controller and the fan; while retrofit packages that do not require the controller use the vehicle’s ECM.

Horton,, 800-621-1320, Text INFO to 205-289-3554 or visit

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Preventable or not?

Deer delivers dilemma to Doe


hould he swap some vintage Winchesters for Billy Bob’s rusty but wonderfully loud ol’ Harley? “Yes, I surely will,” trucker John Doe decided, smiling at the prospect of a second childhood. As a fresh, crunchy celery stick disappeared into his mouth to celebrate the decision, Doe saw that it was 10 p.m. with fair weather, light traffic and his favorite country-western station on satellite radio. But Doe’s luck was about to change. A minute later, as his tractortrailer began to descend a steep grade on North Carolina’s dark heavilywooded Pookatella Pike … Holy groundhogs! A six-point buck suddenly decided to race across the highway from the opposing side! Almost choking on his celery stick, Doe hit the brakes hard. Then, in a desperate attempt to avoid hitting the deer, Doe steered John Doe avoided hitting his tractor hard right, partially off a deer that raced in front the roadway. As a result, he missed of him on the highway, only to sideswipe a guard- the deer but heavily sideswiped the rail and destroy his right guardrail – the only thing between front fender. Was this a his rig and a deadly dropoff – and preventable accident? destroyed his right front fender. Later, he contested the warning letter from his safety director that charged him with a preventable accident. Asked to resolve the controversy, the National Safety Council’s Accident Review Committee upheld the preventable ruling. By reacting as he did, Doe easily could have driven his big rig through the guardrail and off the side of the mountain, probably resulting in his own death. In sum, it would have been far safer to have kept his rig on the road and, if fate decreed, flattened the deer. Had he struck the animal, the accident probably would have been ruled nonpreventable.


commercial carrier journal | may 2014

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3/21/13 9:56 AM

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