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contents 44


VOL. 95, NO. 10


44 Class 8 Update: Downturn, But Far From Bad Times

Production cutbacks should reduce heavy truck inventories, but are leets waiting for new, more fuel-eficient models to appear?

56 Medium-Duty Update: Growing Sales, Diesel Developments, Vertical Integration

Gasoline’s getting more popular, conventionals remain so as new models head for dealers.

62 Vans Update: Surging sales, Growing Choices

Sales of commercial vans may set a record this year, and helping drive that trafic is a wider array of offerings in three distinct size categories.

66 The Vanishing Paper Trail A paperless trucking operation is technologically possible, but don’t expect paper to go away any time soon.

70 Does Clean Equal ‘Green’? Can a regular wash program pay for itself, or is it just money down the drain?




contents OCTOBER 2016

more on

VOL. 95, NO. 10

Departments 6





The heady pace of technology


Washington Watch

Proposed diabetes rule moving along



VW buys stake in Navistar, to supply powertrains

32 Locking It In VW: More than you think

34 Safety & Compliance How Carbon Express did a 180 on safety ●


Fuel Smarts Engine stop-start system saves fuel for New York’s trash trucks

38 Test Drive

Volvo’s SuperTruck Exceeds EPA Freight Eficiency Goals USPS Adds Another 3,000 Ram ProMaster Vans FMCSA Issues ELD Rule Guidance FMCSA Final Rule Allows Windshield Mounted Technology Sneak Peek at Newest Freightliner Cascadia CRST Buys Gardner Trucking In Company’s Largest Acquisition DOT Awards Nearly $800 Million for Transportation Infrastructure Projects

Hill climbing’s easy for mDrive and ‘downspeed’ MP8 Diesel

42 Aftermarket Insight Online parts sales growing


Tires & Wheels Where the rubber meets the road


Trailers & Bodies

TRUCKINGINFO WEB-ONLY FEATURES 3 Things to be Ready for in a Coercion Complaint Investigation

What smart tanker leets are spec’ing

Proit Is Hiding In Dark Places

80 Survey Ready, Set, Charge

82 Fleet Talk A. Duie Pyle manages warehouse information for more eficient operations, happier drivers and customers

84 Product Update New equipment and products

90 Getting Social



VIDEO SPOTLIGHT Focus On: Cummins 2017 X15 Eficiency Series Engine WWW.TRUCKINGINFO.COM

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WWW.TRUCKINGINFO.COM ADVERTISING David Moniz, Publisher ● (330) 899-2200 Ext. 21 ● Fax (330) 899-2209 3515 Massillon Road #350, Uniontown, OH 44685-6217 EDITORIAL STAFF Editor in Chief Deborah Lockridge (205) 989-6467 Executive Editor David Cullen (203) 371-0040 Managing Editor Stephane Babcock (310) 533-2414 Senior Editor Tom Berg Equipment Editor Jim Park Technology Editor Jim Beach

Aftermarket Editor Denise L. Rondini Web Editor Steven Martinez Business Editor Evan Lockridge European Editor Sven-Erik Lindstrand Executive Contributing Editor - HDT VP Editorial, Newcom Business Media Rolf Lockwood Senior Art Director Armie Bautista Graphic Artist Jeff Polman

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EXECUTIVE OFFICE Ed Bobit (Chairman 1961-2014) Ty Bobit CEO Cyndy Drummey Vice President/COO









Armand Del Duca CFO Sherb Brown Vice President/Group, Publisher – FleetGroup

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Southeast Regional Manager Ben Bobit 3520 Challenger St., Torrance, CA 90503 (310) 533-2464 Fax (310) 533-2503 West Regional Manager Bill Madden 4035 Douglas Way, Ste. 101 Lake Oswego, OR 97035 (503) 260-9679 Midwest/Northeast Regional Manager Justin Miller 3520 Challenger St., Torrance, CA 90503 (847) 496-5902 Fax (310) 533-2503 Cross Market & Select Account Specialist Dan Thornton 24132 Parke Ln., Ste. A, Grosse Ile, MI 48138 (734) 676-9135 Fax (310) 533-2503 Digital Sales Manager Blake Bobit 3520 Challenger St., Torrance, CA 90503 (310) 533-2463 Fax (310) 533-2503 Classiied Sales Manager Sean Thornton 24132 Parke Ln., Ste. A, Grosse Ile, MI 48138 (269) 449-0257 Fax (310) 533-2503 E-Media & Print Production Manager Brian Peach (310) 533-2548 Fax (310) 533-2503 Production Manager Myla Diaz (310) 533-2536 Fax (310) 533-2503

Subscription Inquiries (888) 239-2455 Published by Bobit Business Media 3520 Challenger Street, Torrance, CA 90503-1640

HEAVY DUTY TRUCKING serves commercial truck leets operating Class 1 through 8 trucks, tractors and trailers in for-hire leets, private leets, leets leasing trucks and lease/rental leets, along with truck/trailer dealer markets. Persons not meeting the above qualiications may subscribe to HDT for $90 USD per year, $160 for two years. Annual rate for Canada and Mexico delivery is $190 USD. All others, $280 USD. SUBSCRIBERS: Change of address notice, subscription inquiries or orders to Heavy Duty Trucking, P.O. Box 1058, Skokie, IL 60076. (866) 632-7108. Prior to photocopying items for internal or personal use, or for the internal or personal use of speciic clients, please contact the Copyright Clearance Center, Customer Service, (978) 750-8400, 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers MA 01923 USA, or check CCC Online ( Copyright © 2015 Bobit Business Media Reproduction in any manner, in whole or in part, without permission is prohibited. HEAVY DUTY TRUCKING (ISSN 0017-9434) is published monthly by Bobit Business Media, 3520 Challenger Street, Torrance, CA 90503-1640. Periodical class postage paid at Torrance, CA and additional mailing ofices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Heavy Duty Trucking, P.O. Box 1058, Skokie, IL 60076




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The heady pace of technology

A Deborah Lockridge

Editor in Chief

Drones, self-driving trucks, so-called “Uber” for freight transportation as well as the Internet of Things and Big Data all have the power to disrupt today’s ways of moving freight.

s I write this at the end of September, it’s been a dizzying month of technology advances. We’re talking a stream of amazing stuf straight out of a science iction story. he IAA Commercial Vehicles Show in Germany, for instance, highlighted what in Europe they call “digitization,” along with electric mobility and urban logistics, under the banner of “New Mobility World Logistics.” here were electric vans and autonomous trucks. Heads-up windshield displays with virtual side-view mirrors. Systems that can back up a truck to the dock without a driver at the wheel. Concept urban vehicles with delivery drones and robots and self-loading systems. (We’ll have more on what we saw at IAA in next month’s issue.) On the plane trip home, I read a column in the International New York Times suggesting that presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton talk in their irst debate about what they’re going to do about self-driving trucks. hen Reuters published an article about Uber’s plans to transform the trucking industry, on the heels of its purchase of autonomous truck tech startup Otto. And UPS staged a test using a drone to deliver medication in a hard-to-reach location. his is all ater the Department of Transportation published its irst set of guidelines for the development and regulation of autonomous vehicles. Navistar and Volvo both unveiled their SuperTruck concept trucks, achieving 12 and 13 mpg. he North American Council on Freight Eiciency released a report on two-truck platooning’s potential for fuel savings. And it’s not just technology on the truck itself. he TMW/PeopleNet In.Sight conference highlighted how information technology, telematics, the Internet of hings and Big Data can transform the way the transportation industry works, keep the driver connected, and help leets make better decisions both in real time and for long term strategies. At FTR’s annual conference, along with a lot of economic analysis, “digital disruptions” were a highlighted topic. A survey of trucking/logistics and supply chain irms shows that drones, self-driving trucks, so-called “Uber” for freight transportation as well as the Internet of hings and Big Data all have the power to disrupt today’s ways of moving freight over the next seven to eight years, according to Steve Sashihara, CEO of the information technology and management irm Princeton Consultants. “We don’t think people in general are going to order a 53-foot dry van trailer by an iPhone, hit a button and an owner-operator they have never met is going to respond and pick up the load, and all their intermediaries are gone,” he said. “But we do think it’s a useful incentive for looking at innovation, and it’s hard not to look at the taxi industry and say man, they were asleep at the switch.” And that’s all just in the past month. Next month, we’ll have a reporter at the unveiling of the Nikola One, an emissions-free truck that it says will be powered by hydrogen fuel cells. (Never mind that it originally said it would be all electric.) Tesla CEO Elon Musk is working on electric autonomous trucks. (Musk, who also is with SpaceX, also outlined some grand visions for building a Mars settlement.) Part of our job here at HDT is to help you stay on top of all these technologies and ofer some insights into what is most likely to afect your company. But if you’re feeling a bit like George Jetson on his runaway treadmill, you’re not alone.

With 25 years covering the trucking industry, Deborah Lockridge is known for her award-winning, in-depth features on diverse issues. She can be reached at (205) 989-6467 or 8



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Proposed diabetes rule moving along

T David Cullen

Executive Editor

FMCSA is aiming to simplify rules for drivers with controlled diabetes.

he federal government is working apace to smooth the way for people with diabetes to work as interstate truck drivers. Another step has been completed in a proposed rulemaking that would allow CDL drivers with controlled insulin-treated diabetes mellitus (ITDM) to operate commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce without having to apply for an individual exemption from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Sixteen months ago, FMCSA proposed the rules be changed to make it simpler for drivers who treat their diabetes with insulin to get exemptions. he proposed rule would let drivers with ITDM obtain a Medical Examiner’s Certiicate at least annually to operate in interstate commerce if the treating clinician (the healthcare professional responsible for prescribing insulin for the driver’s diabetes) provides documentation to the medical examiner that the condition is “stable and well-controlled.”  FMCSA said in its notice of proposed rulemaking that it believes this new procedure would “adequately ensure that drivers with ITDM manage the condition so that it is stable and well-controlled, and that such a regulatory provision creates a clearer, equally efective and more consistent framework than a program based entirely on exemptions.” he agency added that its own evidence reports as well as American Diabetes Association studies and other data “indicate that drivers with ITDM are as safe as other drivers when their condition is well-controlled.”  he public comment period on the NPRM closed in July 2015. hat same month, FMCSA requested that its Medical Review Board analyze the more than 1,250 comments received and make recommendations.  hat report is now available and the agency is seeking public comment on the board’s recommendations. In its notice published in the Federal Register Sept. 9, FMCSA summarized the major recommendations of the Medical Review Board’s report:  ● he MRB recommended that ITDM drivers be medically disqualiied unless they meet the following requirements demonstrating their stable, well-controlled ITDM: 1) he driver must provide an FMCSA Drivers With Insulin Treated Diabetes Mellitus Assessment Form (set out in the recommendations) to a medical examiner that has been completed and signed by the treating clinician. he treating clinician must be a Doctor of Medicine, a Doctor of Osteopathy, a Nurse Practitioner or a Physician’s Assistant who prescribed insulin to the driver and is knowledgeable regarding the treatment of diabetes. 2) he driver must receive a complete ophthalmology or optometry exam, including dilated retinal exam, at least every two years to look for diabetes-related vision conditions. ● he MRB recommended that medical examiners be allowed to certify an ITDM driver as medically qualiied for a time period of no longer than one year only if the driver has not experienced any of eight speciic disqualifying factors, such as an episode of severe hypoglycemia in the past six months, stage 3 or 4 diabetic retinopathy, signs of organ damage, or Hemoglobin A1C levels greater than 10% indicating uncontrolled diabetes. ● In addition, the MRB stated that, if a driver is medically disqualiied due to not meeting the ITDM criteria listed above, the driver should remain disqualiied for at least six months, and for some conditions should be permanently disqualiied. Comments, which are due by Nov. 8, 2016, must be limited to addressing the recommendations in the MRB inal report. he report is available in the docket (No. FMCSA-2005-23151) for this rulemaking as well as on

David covers legislative and regulatory issues for and HDT’s monthly Washington Watch, as well as writing substantive features for the magazine on management issues, equipment trends and more. He can reached at or (203) 371-0040. 10



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DOT issues irst autonomous-driving guidelines


he Department of Transportation released the irst federal guidelines for the testing and deployment of autonomous vehicles, which include proposing new regulatory authority and outlining a 15-point “safety assessment” process to ensure compliance. DOT said the goal is to “bring lifesaving technologies to the roads safely while providing innovators the space they need to develop new solutions.” hough the focus is primarily on selfdriving vehicles, some of the guidelines also apply to lower levels of automation, including advanced driver-assistance systems that are already on the market. Most of the provisions go into efect immediately, but U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx stressed during a press conference that the guidelines pose a framework that “leaves room for more growth and changes in the future.” He characterized the policy as a “living document” that will be updated annually. he 15-point safety assessment provides automated vehicle performance guidance for manufacturers, developers, and other organizations. he assessment process is intended to set

Mercedes-Benz Actros cabover, used to demonstrate Daimler’s Highway Pilot Connect truck-

clear expectations for manufacturers developing and deploying automated vehicle technologies. Manufacturers must document how they’re meeting guidelines in 15 areas: ● operational design domain ● object and event detection and response ● fall back/minimal risk condition (response and robustness of the autonomous vehicle in the case of system failure) ● validation methods ● registration and certiication ● data recording and sharing ● post-crash behavior ● privacy ● system safety ● vehicle cybersecurity ● human-machine interface ● crashworthiness ● consumer education and training ● ethical considerations (how vehicles are programmed to address conlict dilemmas on the road) ● law compliance (federal, state, and local traic laws). he guidelines also delineate federal and state regulatory responsibilities for autonomous vehicles, and ofer a framework for future state regulatory action. In addition, DOT is proposing that the National Highway Traic Safety Administration be given new authority to require pre-market testing, data, and analyses from manufacturers. his marks a departure from NHTSA’s current self-certiication system and represents a more proactive approach, Foxx noted. New regulatory tools proposed include enhanced data recorders and the expansion of vehicle testing methods to make test environments more representative of the real world. Some of the proposals will require Congressional authorization.


Highway death toll no longer declining


raic crashes took the lives of 35,092 people in 2015, according to inal data released by the National Highway Traic Safety Administration. hat 7.2% increase in highway fatalities from 2014 marks the end of a nearly 50-year trend toward declining fatalities. he largest percentage increase previously was the 8.1% rise recorded from 1965 to 1966. “he data tell us that people die when they drive drunk, distracted, or drowsy, or if they are speeding or unbuckled,” said NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind. “While there have been enormous improvements in many of these areas, we need to ind new solutions to end traic fatalities.” he number of deaths attributed speciically to crashes involving large trucks (over 10,000 pounds) jumped 4.1%, marking the 12


highest increase in this statistic since 2008. Of the 4,067 large-truck fatalities, 16.4% were occupants of large trucks, 10.1% were nonoccupants, and 73.5% were occupants of other vehicles. he 2015 data showed that the estimated number of people injured on the roads increased as well, from 2.34 to 2.44 million people, as did the number of police-reported crashes, from 6.0 to 6.3 million. NHTSA said traic deaths increased across nearly every segment of the population, including passenger vehicle occupants, passengers of large trucks, pedestrians and motorcyclists. Also up were alcohol-impaired driving fatalities. Fatalities of drivers of large trucks was one of the few groups that remained unchanged. According to NHTSA, the number of traic deaths was nearly WWW.TRUCKINGINFO.COM



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25% higher 10 years ago, with 42,708 fatalities reported in 2005. “Since then,” the agency stated, “safety programs have helped lower the number of deaths by increasing seat belt use and reducing impaired driving. Vehicle improvements, including air bags and electronic stability control, have also contributed to reducing traic fatalities.” However, NHTSA also pointed out that recently “job growth and low fuel prices… have led to increased driving, including increased leisure driving and driving by young people. More driving can contribute to higher fatality rates. In 2015, vehicle miles traveled (VMT) increased 3.5% over 2014, the largest increase in nearly 25 years.” Given the sharp reversal that 2015 marks in what had been a long-running positive trend, NHTSA, the Department of Transportation and the White House have jointly announced a “call to action” aimed at involving a range of stakeholders to help determine why highway deaths have increased. For its part, NHTSA said it will share its Fatality Analysis Reporting System with safety partners, state and local officials, policy experts and others. The agency also said that “private

sector partners using new data collection technologies will be offering access to unprecedented amounts of data and new visualizations tools.” Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx said that reversing the fatality trend “will take teamwork, so we’re issuing a call to action and asking researchers, safety experts, data scientists, and the public to analyze the fatality data and help ind ways to prevent these tragedies.”

FMCSA issues ELD rule guidance


he Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on Sept. 2 issued these “two important notes” on the inal rule it has issued on electronic logging devices (ELDs) that emphasize the initial compliance date is less than 16 months away: ● Carriers and drivers subject to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) who are using paper logs or logging sotware must transition to ELDs by Dec. 17, 2017. Carriers and drivers using automatic onboard recording devices (AOBRDs) before Dec. 18, 2017, may continue using AOBRDs through December 16, 2019.  ● Prior to purchasing an ELD, carriers and drivers should conirm that the device is certiied and registered with FMCSA and listed at this website: https://3pdp.fmcsa. Devices not vendor-certiied by manufacturers and registered with FMCSA may not be compliant with the FMCSRs.



Go ahead – stick it on the windshield


he Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued a inal rule amending Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations to allow the voluntary mounting of certain devices on the interior of the windshields of commercial motor vehicles. he rule includes technology placed within the area that is swept by the windshield wipers. Section 5301 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act directs the FMCSA to amend the FMCSRs to allow devices to be mounted on the windshield that make use of “vehicle safety technology.” Section 5301 also states that all windshield-mounted devices and technologies that were already given an exemption will already meet or exceed the safety standard required for the initial exemption.


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Kary Schaefer General Manager, Marketing and Strategy, Daimler Trucks North America What are the advantages of having a career engineer like yourself heading up marketing and strategy?


I think engineering is about problem solving, and I have a lot of project management background in my engineering roles, and so I think you can deinitely bring that over to this role. And on the engineering side, I understand the product development process. I’m not a super technical person, but I can talk the talk and understand and walk the walk, which helps me ask the right questions of engineers and our product strategy folks to make sure we’re illing the pipeline with good products in the future.


From a truck builder’s perspective, what are the top trends to stay on top of in the coming year?


Deinitely the connectivity topic. Electric trucks and hybrid vehicles and alternative fuels. I’m watching different shifts in the market in terms of length of haul and the makeup of day cabs vs. sleepers. Safety systems and autonomy I’d put right up there, in fact I should have mentioned that irst. Fuel prices obviously, we have to monitor that. And obviously regulations.


For the full interview, go to www.

VW buys stake in Navistar, to supply powertrains


olkswagen Truck & Bus is taking a 16.6% equity stake in Navistar International Corp. as part of a “wide-ranging strategic alliance” that will initially focus on providing powertrains for Navistar trucks starting as early as 2019. Chief executives of the two companies say the deal enables them to together develop advanced technology that will be needed by global truck markets for years to come, from fuel-eicient powertrains to autonomous vehicle technologies. Andreas Renschler, CEO of Volkswagen Truck & Bus, which also owns Europe-based truck builders Scania and MAN, and Navistar CEO Troy Clarke said discussions with an eye to seeking synergies began a year ago. Actual negotiations began only in March. “We are looking forward to a successful alliance,” said Renschler, who is familiar with the North American trucking industry from when he headed up Daimler Trucks before moving to VW two years ago. “Navistar needs what we can ofer, including engines, transmissions and axles,” he said. He noted that thanks to the alliance, VW will be able to take into account Navistar’s requirements as it develops new global product platforms. “We are excited to have found a partner that looks at the future the way we do and with whom we have a high degree of alignment,” said Clarke. “We have a common vision of the industry and its issues. hat we can do it better together makes it a perfect it.” Alluding to Navistar’s expensive recovery from having opted to not pursue the selective catalytic reduction (SCR) emissions solutions to meet EPA 2010 emissions standards, Clarke said the industry “turned let and we went right.” Nonetheless, he said that Navistar is well-positioned as a partner for VW, as it is a strong “stand-alone” in its own right. For Volkswagen, the move is “a major milestone on our way to crating a global champion,” said Renschler, noting that the alliance “allows us access to the North American market and creates synergies on the technology and on the human side.” here has long been speculation that VW would move to acquire Navistar. When asked about potential plans for a further investment in Navistar, Renschler said the current alliance is “a starting point. Our companies can get to know each other … and in a couple of years we can see…All our options are open.” Unclear is how the alliance will afect Navistar’s deal with Cummins, which is supplying some three-quarters of the engines going into International trucks. Asked about this ater last month’s announcement, Clarke responded, “We anticipate we will continue to ofer Cummins products for a period of time. We’ve got a great partnership with them as well. We’re not speculating or making announcements on that today.” he deal also will include pursuing joint global sourcing opportunities for parts for both companies, and two seats for VW on Navistar’s board of directors. A separate board will be formed to oversee the alliance. – David Cullen and Deborah Lockridge

From left, Navistar CEO Troy Clarke, VW Truck CEO Andreas Renschler, and Navistar CFO Walter Borst ield queries from the press at the IAA Commercial Vehicles show in Hannover, Germany. PHOTO: DAVID CULLEN




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ELD impact: Two different markets

Peak Season Timing Domestic Intermodal Loadings

We are quickly approaching the one-year implementation deadline for electronic logging devices. Estimating the impact of ELDs on truck productivity has been a troubling problem. Now that we have a larger pool of leets who have implemented — or are implementing — these devices and systems, we can begin to get a better handle on the potential impacts to the marketplace. One clear result is the bifurcation of the marketplace between the compliant leets and the non-compliant leets. he early adopters and the late adopters will both take a hit to the productive use of their vehicles and drivers. However, the level of loss is signiicantly diferent. A compliant leet is expected to see an overall hit to productivity of less than 2%. To put that in to perspective: 2% of a 14-hour day is less than 17 minutes. hat seems well within the parameters of someone using paper logs who would round numbers down to the nearest 5- or 15-minute increment. On the other hand, the late adopters (i.e. small leets, owner-operators, and those who do more than skirt around the drive time limits) can expect a hit of between 5 and 10%. A 10% hit would equal nearly an hour and a half of each day’s time! hat is substantial. he other point is that early adopters are taking a small hit before implementation, but their ability to recoup the productivity losses is much faster than for the late adopters. hat could be a signiicant advantage, especially ater a year or two when leets are able to fully take advantage of the ELD data and can turn those productivity losses into productivity gains. — Noël Perry & Jonathan Starks For more information, visit or call Eric Starks at (888) 988-1699.

SPOT FREIGHT INDEX (Information provided by DAT Solutions)

INDEX: YEAR 2000 = 100



August truckload freight availability climbed as the number of loads on the spot market surpassed samemonth levels from the previous year for the irst time since December 2014, according to the DAT North American Freight Index. Van and refrigerated loads both were more than 30% higher than last year, but latbed volume dropped 16%. However, higher van and reefer freight volumes did not translate to higher spot rates. The average line haul rate fell 6.6% year over year for vans, reefer rates dropped 5.1% and latbed rates fell 7.2%, partly due to lower diesel prices.

600 500 400 300 200



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Despite drop in tractor registrations, Class 8 vehicles in operation top 4 million GVW 8 (000's) New Vehicles in Operation(000's) Registrations VIO (000's) Dec 31 2014 3,784 Dec 31 2015 3,958 2015 CY 259 June 30 2016 4,009 Jan-June 2016 112

Change in VIO

Change in VIO/ Change in New

174 51

67.2 45.5

Tractor registration growth slows


Chevrolet Dodge/Ram Ford Freightliner GMC Hino International Isuzu Kenworth Mack Mitsubishi Fuso Peterbilt Volvo Western Star Other Totals








176 2,925

2,030 19,448

5.03% 48.23%

1,473 1,533

14,026 12,934

33.67% 31.05%




167 2,337

1,169 10,797

2.90% 26.77%

463 834

4,448 8,803

10.68% 21.13%

2,516 1,292

19,531 11,640

14.52% 8.65%







4,076 13,669 9,854 82 1,411 188 1 2,011 4

26,206 103,717 81,720 1,801 10,452 1,843 570 12,932 23

10.94% 43.29% 34.11% 0.75% 4.36% 0.77% 0.24% 5.40% 0.01%

2,260 1,696 386 18 16,262

18,128 13,767 3,369 83 134,505

13.48% 10.24% 2.50% 0.06% 100%







30 1

305 7

0.13% 0.00%










CORRECTION: In the September issue of HDT, International’s Class 8 YTD market share was incorrectly listed. The correct igure was 10.93%.




Class 8 registrations and vehicles in operation



The number of Class 8 vehicles in operation in the U.S. topped 4 million for the first time this summer, but the growth of heavy trucks in operation actually slowed compared to last year, according to IHS Automotive. he number of Class 8 vehicles registered with state Departments of Motor Vehicles has gradually increased each quarter since the third quarter of 2012 and hit 4 million at the end of June. hat’s up 51,000 units since the end of 2015, according to Gary Meteer, director of commercial solutions at IHS. During this same six-month period, there were 111,510 new Class 8 vehicles registered, meaning only 45.7% of the new Class 8 vehicles registered added to the Class 8 vehicle population. he rest were replacements for vehicles already in the population. his is actually a slowing of the growth in Class 8 vehicles in operation, Meteer says. Tractor new registrations were down 23% the irst six months of the year compared to a year earlier, Meteer says, causing a 14.7% decline in new registrations of Class 8 vehicles in the irst six months year over year. However, vocational new registrations were up 9.1% over last year.

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Evan Lockridge

Business Editor

Welcome to the new normal Fleets attending the FTR Transportation Conference in Indianapolis last month wanted to know: When are things are going to get back to normal? When are truck freight levels, pricing and even the economy going to be at the level we are accustomed to seeing? he good news is that a recovery for freight and the overall U.S. economy is in the cards for the fourth quarter of the year, Daniel Meckstroth, chief economist with the industry group the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation, told attendees. he bad news is it’s not expected to be a huge boom. Ater a long while, July showed “the irst indication that the manufacturing inventory-to-sales ratios are falling” ater higher levels hurt freight shipments earlier in the year. he July level is also


Daniel Meckstroth, chief economist with the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation, speaking at the FTR Transportation Conference.



the lowest in about two years. And inventory cycles, such as the high one manufacturing has experienced lately, are usually short. When they are over, you typically see a spike in production, he said. High inventories have been a drag on economic activity as well as freight movements, but now they are coming into closer balance. his results not only in better sales of manufactured goods but others as well, resulting in an improvement in the general economy. Helping this along is the ever-resilient U.S. consumer, who accounts for about 70% of all U.S. economic activity. “Consumers are keeping us out of a recession,” Meckstroth said. “We are in a jobs boom, with the percentage of new jobs being adding being much faster than overall economic expansion. “It’s new jobs creating new income…that’s

what’s propelling the U.S. economy right now,” he explained. However, there are still other problems lingering that will keep both trucking and the economy from seeing better times. One of those is a dramatic slowdown in world trade, which has depressed U.S. economic growth. “If you go back 20 years before the last recession, trade was growing two to three times the rate of the global economy. Now it’s growing slower than the growth of the global economy,” he said. “We’re not seeing globalization anymore. We’re seeing deglobalization.” As a result, he said, expect only “modest” growth, or as he called it “the new normal” in both the economy and trucking. Some of those factors could even lead to a mild recession within the next few years. FTR Transportation Economist Noel Perry told attendees it be prudent to prepare for that possibility. As he explained it, the current recovery from recession is one of the longest since 1950, and it has been one of the weakest. he reason he and others see a recession in the next two or three years is simply the growth of the overall economy has slowed. According to Perry, if there is a recession, trucking can expect to see business decline by 5% to 6%, with rates falling about the same amount. For comparison, in the last recession the declines were much larger, around 15% – meaning the next recession, if it happens, will be much milder. While neither Meckstroth nor Perry offered the news of “back to normal” trucking is hoping for, it shouldn’t be surprising. he Great Recession was anything but normal. It let a bigger than usual hole for trucking and the economy to climb out of, making this recovery anything but what we’re used to seeing. Add to that the changes in the global economy, generationally and technologically driven changes in how and what people buy, and more, and it’s no wonder a “new normal” is part of the trucking and economic landscape. WWW.TRUCKINGINFO.COM

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Scania unveils new trucks


WORLD China truck sales improved more than 18% year over year in the second quarter, thanks to the leveling-out of China’s economy and lower base-year comparisons, according to the China Commercial Vehicle Outlook, published by ACT Research and China’s State Information Center. The tractor segment fared even better, with nearly 50% year-over-year growth, while medium duty sales registered a 22% year-over-year increase. Heavy trucks and tractors are expected to see year-over-year growth in the third quarter, before turning lat in Q4, while year-over-year contraction is forecast for medium trucks in the next two quarters. China’s Dongfeng Motor Corp. and Guangxi Yuchai Machinery Co. Ltd. jointly debuted China's irst natural gas-electric hybrid truck. "With this new plug-in gas-electric hybrid propulsion system, we signiicantly enhanced our market position in the hybrid engine market,” said Weng Ming Hoh, president of China Yuchai. “More encouragingly, we



Scania says its new generation of trucks was 10 years in the making.

almost constant momentum. Instead of using synchro rings to synchronize the diferent speeds of the countershat and main shat in the gearbox during gearshits, as in most conventional gearboxes, Scania uses a lay shat brake when upshiting. his means the shats synchronize with each other signiicantly faster and that the next gear can engage almost immediately.

have successfully extended our technology solutions from our current application in the bus market to the much larger addressable truck market in China, the largest truck market in the world.” In Europe, vehicle registration data for July and August showed continued growth,

his not only shortens the actual gearshit time, it also means that turbo pressure can be better maintained. herefore, the vehicle will upshit to the next gear with greater power, despite the gearshit feeling smoother than before. he new trucks also feature new safety systems, including rollover side curtain airbags.

according to the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association. New heavyduty registrations in the European Union totaled 22,394 units in July and 18,307 units in August, up 2% and 18% year over year, respectively. So far in 2016, 189,462 units have been registered in the EU, an increase of 16% YTD.


Swedish truck maker Scania is introducing a new range of trucks it says is the result of the largest investment in the company’s history. New engine designs and aerodynamics led to an average 5% decrease in diesel fuel consumption. Scania’s truck line will be launched in phases with a focus on various customer segments. “he most noticeable features are of course the new cabs, but the real innovation is that we are now introducing new technologies, services and insights that will help our customers gain an overview of both their costs and their revenues,” said Henrik Henriksson, Scania president and CEO. he Euro 6 engines received new engine management systems and the installations were completely overhauled. Improved cooling capacity ofers another 3% fuel savings on average. Scania is also introducing a new version of its 13L engine with 500 hp. A new gearshit function allows Scania Opticruise transmissions to shit faster and deliver

The IAA Commercial Vehicles show took place in Hannover, Germany, in late September. Watch for a complete report in next month's issue.


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MOVE American Trucking Associations promoted Rusty Duckworth to chief inancial oficer. Duckworth has worked for ATA since 1999 in a variety of roles in the accounting and inance department, most recently as senior VP and controller.

of directors. Mason joins TIA from his recent role as executive vice president at ATA and publisher of Transport Topics.


Swift Transportation founder and CEO Jerry Moyes will retire at the end of the year. He will be replaced by Richard Stocking, who has been president and COO since 2010. During the transition period, Moyes and Stocking will serve as co-CEOs, but daily responsibilities will be transitioned to Stocking immediately. Jeff Mason was appointed chief of staff for Transportation Intermediaries Association. He will oversee and coordinate with staff on strategic growth plan initiatives and program management in support of the CEO and board

Vipar Heavy Duty named Beth San Filippo controller. She joined Vipar Heavy Duty in November 2011 and most recently was accounting manager. Previously she was a senior tax accountant SAN FILIPPO for Ameritech Credit Corp. and a senior staff accountant for Kessler Orlean Silver & Co. Boler Company President and CEO Matthew Boler was elected chairman of the board, replacing his father, John, who passed away in March. His election to Chairman ensures that the strategic direction of the BOLER company remains unchanged. Boler will continue to pursuit of the vision he and his father shared in overseeing the future success of Hendrickson.

NOTED Accuride Corp. recently entered into an agreement to be acquired by Crestview Partners, a New York-based private equity irm, for $2.58 per share in cash. Accuride will remain an independent global company with continuity of leadership, business units and worldwide operations. It will also continue to operate under its current brand name, remain headquartered in Evansville, Ind., and be headed by President and CEO Rick Dauch and the members of the current Accuride leadership team. Sales of Ford’s medium-duty F-650 and F-750 trucks have increased 59% year-over-year through August, the best year-to-date sales through August since 1997, according to Ford. To date, Ford has sold 10,160 F-650 and F-750s

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CRST International Inc. has acquired privately held Gardner Trucking Inc., headquartered in Ontario, Calif. Gardner will add roughly $400 million in additional revenues to CRST, with over 2,400 drivers and 500 non-driver personnel. The Gardner acquisition is the single largest acquisition in CRST’s history. Adding the Gardner service portfolio to CRST greatly accelerates CRST’s goal of reaching $2 billion in annualized revenues by 2018.


$157 million According to Transportation Intermediaries Association, the third-party logistics industry has been growing two to three times faster than GDP, totaling about $157 billion per year.

13 MPG Navistar’s SuperTruck vehicle, the CatalIST, has reportedly exceeded the improvement goals set by the Department of Energy for the SuperTruck program.

IN MEMORIAM Duane Acklie, a past HDT Fleet Innovator who founded Crete Carrier and grew it in into one of the nation’s largest privately owned trucking companies, passed away in September. Acklie was 84 at the time of his death. Crete Carrier was founded in 1966 with a leet of six leased trucks that hauled dog food out of Crete, Nebraska. Acklie began as a lawyer, advising the company’s founder, but bought the company in 1973. Crete Carrier generated more than $1 billion revenue last year, an impressive increase from the $6 million it generated when Acklie purchased the company. Acklie stepped down as CEO in 1991 but served as chairman of the board until his death.

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VW: More than you think

N Rolf Lockwood

Executive Contributing Editor

All told, Volkswagen Truck & Bus produces trucks at 25 sites in 17 countries.

ow that the initial brouhaha has died down ater the news broke of the Volkswagen Truck & Bus investment in Navistar last month, there is probably one big question that still needs an answer in a lot of North American minds: Like, who the heck is Volkswagen? Well of course, folks will say, that’s the German outit that makes Beetles and Rabbits and designs a lowerpot into the dash? Sure is, but it’s a lot more than that. In fact its list of shareholdings is 19 pages long. On the car side, Volkswagen AG also owns Audi and Porsche. Lots of people will know that much, but did you know that it also owns England’s Bentley brand? And Italy’s Bugatti and Lamborghini. And the Czech Republic’s Skoda. And Spain’s Seat. All of them are VWs in a way. Even the famous Italian motorcycle brand Ducati is in the stable. Many people will be surprised to know that it also makes VW-branded mediumand heavy-duty trucks, sold outside Europe but in some 35 countries, from a base in Brazil (more on that in a bit). hat company is Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus Ltda. But VW also owns Sweden’s Scania and Germany’s MAN, and the latter will be especially important in helping Navistar move forward on these shores. All told, Volkswagen Truck & Bus (spun of from the mother company last year) produces trucks at 25 sites in 17 countries. Both MAN and Scania produce their own engines. Scania also makes transmissions, its Opticruise automated manual being well regarded. he Swedish outit’s 16.4-liter V-8, making as much as 730 hp, was available two years before the date called for by the Euro 6 emissions mandate. MAN also makes engines, and in fact Navistar’s own 13-liter diesel is the result of technology sharing with the German irm. hat long-established relationship paved the way in some respects for the new alliance, and that long-existing link will likely be at the core of the new partnership with Navistar. Scania’s involvement will be minimal, according to one expert commentator. To confuse matters, Scania has also had its own long-standing cooperation with Cummins, particularly on fuel-injection technology. If you were to look at those 19 pages of VW shareholdings, you’d ind Cummins-Scania XPI Manufacturing LLC based in Columbus, Ind. It’s a 50/50 partnership. hat raises questions about the future that Cummins might have in International trucks. It’s now a major partner with Navistar, supplying both engines and emissions atertreatment systems. But we’ll leave that speculation alone for now. Going back a bit, VW also produces a truck engine, the 9.3-liter NGD 370 for use in its very tall cabover, the Constellation, built in Brazil. he engine is good for up to 367 hp, and the truck can handle gross weights up to 125,000 pounds or so. You can also power that truck with a Cummins ISC. Transmissions by ZF and Eaton. But let me clarify, if that’s the right word to use. VW did indeed design that NGD 370 engine, but it’s actually built by MWM International Motores, which is the Brazilian subsidiary of...wait for it...Navistar International. Now, wait for this one...VW’s Brazilian truck-building operation was sold to MAN in 2008. But VW Truck & Bus in Germany has been busily buying an increasing share of MAN and now owns it all. Is everything clear now?

Rolf Lockwood is vice president, editorial, at Newcom Business Media, which publishes Today’s Trucking. He writes for HDT each month on the making, maintaining and using of trucks. He can be reached at or (416) 315-1829. 32



Instant Expertise: How TMC RPs Guide Maintenance Practices Q&A with Terry Ebert, national fleet manager for J.E.T. Transit Inc. and Jasper Engines & Transmissions When Terry A. Ebert, national fleet manager for J.E.T. Transit Inc. and Jasper Engines & Transmissions, receives a maintenance call about one of the more than 580 pieces of equipment that he oversees, he automatically reaches for one of several Technology & Maintenance Council’s Recommended Maintenance & Engineering Practices. “There is so much knowledge (in TMC),” he says. “Each RP that I (participate) in the development process of, continues to sharpen the saw and keeps me connected to our ever-changing industry. You get what you put into it and I will not miss TMC meetings.” The Jasper, Indiana-based fleet has been a long-time TMC member and is one of the world’s largest diversified remanufacturer of drive train components and fuel systems. Ebert manages equipment acquisition and oversees maintenance across the country as well as fuel purchases, insurance and equipment sales for the company.

Q: A:

Which TMC RP do you use most? I wouldn’t single out just one, since there is a vast knowledge base at TMC members’ finger tips (provided on CD and online). Each day brings a different challenge for me and my company and the RPs provide the necessary resources to make the best decisions.

Q: How does RP 169 assist you during an equipment breakdown?

A: Unfortunately, simple electrical issues on the road

become more difficult due to lack of understanding about how electricity works. Having RP 169 available to give to road call technicians and new technicians in our shop adds immense value. The only problem the RP presents to the user, is when they forget to use it.

“TMC has built a resource of RPs that are sound, practical and built on facts”… When I’m asked by people new to the equipment maintenance industry about how they can get better at what they do, my first answer is: “Join TMC.”


How confident are you in the quality of the information?


I have been around the repair and transportation industry for 30 years and when I attended my first TMC meeting in 1997, I discovered a group of folks with a vast array of knowledge and resources to help build a better transportation industry. This group has built a resource of RPs that are sound, practical and built on facts. TMC continually challenges members and meeting attendees to be alert to changes in our industry and with the cooperation of professionals from fleets, service providers, manufacturers and others, I’m confident I will find what I need each time I reach for a TMC RP.

Q: How do you benefit from TMC meetings? benefit you gain is second to none when I look at A: The other venues I have attended. At TMC meetings you can choose what segment of knowledge you are going to go after, plus there are wonderful opportunities to network with your peers, manufacturers and other industry professionals. Walking the (Transportation Technology Exhibition) allows me time to focus on new technologies and products. When I’m asked by people new to the equipment maintenance industry about how they can get better at what they do, my first answer is: “Join TMC.”

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How Carbon Express did a 180 on safety The award-winning tanker leet was not always so safety-conscious By Deborah Lockridge Editor in Chief

Controller Sean McAllister and Director of Safety John Bowlby hold the National Tank Truck Council Outstanding Safety Performance Trophy at the entrance to Carbon Express headquarters.


hen Steve Rush was an owner-operator, he would have laughed at the notion that one day he would be running a tanker leet that would be recognized as the safest carrier by the National Tank Truck Council in the 15 million miles and under category. A leet with a safety director who was recognized by both New Jersey and NTTC as safety director of the year. A company whose drivers had been honored three years running as state Truck Driver of the Year. Rush, president of Wharton, N.J.-based Carbon Express, was a driver for the better part of 19 years. On one of his irst jobs, he 34


worked some 20 hours a day hauling U.S. mail, and “had more accidents than you could shake a stick at.” He still had his share of accidents as an owner-operator. And even when he started building his own leet in 1983, he says, he didn’t really pay attention to hours of service. hen about 10 years ago, his then-safety director turned down an invitation to be chairman of safety for NTTC — and turned it down because “it would be a lie,” Rush recalls. hat was a wakeup call for Rush, and he and Sean McAllister, today the company controller, set out to build a safety culture

that would be worthy of the declined honor. It wasn’t easy. A company that previously had rubber-stamped driver logs now had to get drivers to adhere to hours of service and ill out logs accurately. Two years later, they transitioned to electronic logs. One of the drivers chosen to be the irst to use e-logs “was a great driver who really struggled,” Rush says. Rush expected this driver to be one of the toughest sells for e-logs, but he was wrong. “He was always getting into trouble for his logbooks. Once we put in electronic logs, that went away. His wife told me that we had made her WWW.TRUCKINGINFO.COM


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SAFETY SHORTS Trafic fatalities up in 2015 Trafic crashes killed more than 35,000 people in 2015, a 7.2% increase from the previous year, making the end of a nearly 50-year trend in declining fatalities, according to inal data from the National Highway Trafic Safety Administration. The number of deaths attributed to crashes involving “large trucks” (gross vehicle weight rating greater than 10,000 pounds) jumped 4.1%, the biggest increase since 2008. Fatalities of drivers of large trucks was one of the few groups that remained unchanged.

Carbon Express buys Volvo day cabs because of Volvo’s emphasis on safety. Without sleepers, the trucks are lighter and drivers get better sleep in hotel rooms or at home.

husband the happiest man on earth.” In addition to the insight and compliance gained with electronic logs, Carbon Express started spec’ing only day cabs to save weight and putting drivers in hotel rooms at night (or changing routes to get them home). As a result, Rush says, the company has learned a great deal about driver fatigue and sleep patterns. “he things we learn now are just incredible,” he says. “We now have such an understanding of sleep patterns that if we can’t push the load to it our sleep patterns, then we turn that load down,” Rush says. Respecting those sleep patterns, using electronic logs, and focusing on low driver turnover helped the company achieve no reportable accidents in its 55-truck leet in 2015. And today, Steve Rush is an ardent supporter of electronic logs. “Without question the electronic logs have made us safer,” he says. A common argument among drivers and owner-operators who oppose electronic logs is that “we want to stop when we’re tired.” But Rush says since they started strictly adhering to HOS rules, his drivers have been able to follow their natural sleep patterns and get enough rest. “My guys ind they don’t have that fatigue factor anymore.” Instead of needing to stop driving because they’re tired or sleepy, he says, “they may take that break, get a cup of cofee, walk WWW.TRUCKINGINFO.COM

around and then inish their trip.” One place Rush thinks the new electronic logging device rules missed the mark is in not requiring them for local drivers who don’t stay out overnight. “he biggest cheaters are those who run less than 100 miles,” he contends. And as a former cheater himself, he says he should know. In that U.S. mail job, he was home every night. But he would make a four-hour run, take a two-hour break, then do it all over again, all day long. Not far from Carbon Express on I-287 in Mahwah, N.J., just south of the New York state line, there’s a big problem with trucks lining up and idling on the shoulder at night. While part of the problem is drivers who say they run out of hours and have nowhere to park, Rush believes at least some of them are just waiting there a few hours so they can head into the city early in the morning for deliveries. He recently was talking to a customer with a small private leet who was transitioning to e-logs. his customer’s drivers are pushing back because of exactly the scenario Rush painted — instead of following the hours of service rules and shutting down for the mandated 10 hours, the drivers want to be able to simply stop and nap for a few hours and get into Manhattan early to make their delivery. “I told him those days are gone,” Rush says.

Don’t e-smoke around trucks, FMCSA cautions The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued a safety advisory warning of the hazards of using batterypowered portable electronic smoking devices (e-cigarettes, e-cigs, e-cigars, e-pipes, e-hookahs, personal vaporizers and other electronic nicotine delivery systems) in and around commercial motor vehicles. The agency said the use of such devices has resulted in incidents that include explosions, serious personal injuries, and ires.


New way to catch runaway trucks The Colorado Motor Carrier Association wants the state DOT to adopt a new type of truck runaway ramp on I-70’s Straight Creek Canyon and on Wolf Creek Pass on U.S. 160. The systems work similarly to how aircraft carriers use nets to slow planes as they return to the ship. The systems have proven very successful, including in Wyoming, and require less space.





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Engine stop-start system saves fuel for New York’s trash trucks By Tom Berg Senior Editor

Starter-generator (left) is linked to a truck’s powertrain by a driveline to a PTO (in red) on the automatic transmission. It quickly cranks up the engine after it’s shut down when the vehicle’s standing still. The starter-generator is actually much smaller than shown here.



ew York City’s Department of Sanitation has been testing an engine stop-start system with impressive fuel savings. DSNY has been testing hybrid-drive powertrains in its trash-collection trucks. But the anticipated fuel savings have not materialized as they have in other locales. Savings are only 10-15% with hydraulic hybrids, probably because speed between the many stops is not great enough to build kinetic energy that can be recaptured during braking. But with the extensive amount of time the leet’s trucks spend idling at stop lights and in traic backups, a new stop-start technology is showing a 30-40% improvement in fuel eiciency, says Rocco DiRicco, DSNY’s deputy commissioner, support services. “It’s simple, with almost no weight. We think it’s close to being the silver bullet for our front-line trucks.” One is now being tested and DiRicco anticipates buying more. he impressive fuel savings accrue from the system’s cutting of engine hours by 40 to 50%. he system’s maker, Efenco, in Montreal, Quebec, calls it Active Stop-Start, and says it can be retroitted to existing trucks or installed on new ones. It’s explained on its website:

DSNY’s dyno-equipped evaluation facility in Queens, N.Y., proved the engine stopstart system’s concept was sound, and it’s saving substantial fuel in real operations.

“Because of the high stopping frequency of vocational trucks, the system is equipped with a powerful electric hybrid starter linked to the engine through a constant mesh PTO connection. he system uses this starter to restart the engine and does not add any load or wear to the existing electric starter and batteries. On releasing the brakes, the PTO-mounted electric hybrid starter takes less than half a second to take the engine from a stop to idle speed making the vehicle as responsive as it would have been if the engine had been running.” A power pack consisting of three 48volt ultracapacitor modules from Maxwell Technologies supplies the juice to spin the starter. he motor can also act as a generator, but that’s not yet being employed on the DSNY truck, a Mack TerraPro LE with a Heil body, says Benoit Lacroix, Effenco’s co-founder and vice president of sales and marketing. Neither is an available electric-driven pump that can keep

hydraulic circuits pressurized to operate the packer function on the body. “he truck’s driver brought up a huge safety feature for the crew,” Lacroix says. “hey’re more aware of what’s happening around the truck” while they’re working and the engine’s of. “he noise abatement is pleasant for the driver and safer for everybody around it.” A system’s cost now is in the low $30,000 range, he says, “but for reducing emissions, we’re one of the most eicient solutions.” hat cost will come down in time as production builds, especially with volume orders. Right now Efenco is supplying systems for trash trucks and terminal tractors, where return on investment will be closer to a year. “We have a project on cement mixers, dump trucks, bucket trucks and delivery trucks, for introduction in 2017,” he says. “Everything that is not long-haul in Class 8, this is our market.”

This department is brought to you with the support of IMI. The editorial content is produced entirely by HDT’s editorial staff, with no sponsor input or control. WWW.TRUCKINGINFO.COM




Hill climbing’s easy for mDrive and ‘downsped’ MP8 diesel


By Tom Berg Senior Editor

Mack’s Pinnacle Axle Forward has traditional styling, and its set-forward steer axle lengthens the distance between a rig’s irst and last axles to maximize legal gross weight in bridge formula states. This tractor’s low-roof sleeper is meant to match latbed and tanker trailers, though it pulled a van on this run.


ack’s mDrive automated manual transmission is a ine piece of work and has gained considerable popularity with buyers of highway trucks since its introduction seven years ago. Now, with low-ratio gears added, it’s even more capable and should become more desirable for people who run vocational trucks. hat was my takeaway ater demonstra38


tions and driving sessions at the builder’s Customer Center and nearby public highways in Allentown, Pa. Also shown of were some of Mack’s 2017 diesels, which are smooth and gutsy, though any performance diferences with current engines are not obvious. he mDrive is Mack’s version of the Volvo I-Shit, but it’s tuned to match the operating characteristics of Mack Power diesels,

whose mechanicals are also shared with the sister company. Electronic calibration sets the engines and transmissions apart and carefully deliver what Mack customers want, executives say. Creeper ratios within a 5-inch-long gearbox added to the front of a basic 12-speed mDrive HD convert it to a 13- or 14-speed unit. hat gives a truck greater startability, WWW.TRUCKINGINFO.COM

SPECIFICATIONS Truck Mack Granite Axle-Back dump, GVWR 69,850 lbs. Engine 2017 Mack MP8-445C, 445 hp/1,860 lb-ft Transmission Mack mDrive HD 14-speed Steer axle 20,000-lb. Mack FXL20, on taperleafs Tandem 44,000-lb. Mack S440 w/ 3.56 ratio, on SS440 Mack Camelback mechanical suspension Wheelbase 240 in.

C1 gear easily started this loaded Granite dump truck on a 15% upgrade. So did the mDrive’s normal 1st gear, but with more effort.

especially on upgrades, and/or the ability to move out with extra heavy loaded rigs, such as with long combination vehicles on turnpikes and elsewhere in the United States and Canada. Startability was graphically demonstrated with a loaded Granite dump truck on a steep grade near the center’s oval track. Tim Wrinkle, vocational segment marketing manager, acted as an instructor as I tried out the vehicle. First, we ran around a short circle shot with potholes, humps and rough stone pavement. here was a whole lot of shakin’ goin’ on, and we were both grateful for our air-suspended seats. he hill was meant to be the real test for the 14-speed mDrive. Wrinkle directed me to stop on the steepest part of the slope, which he estimated at 15%, then start out using the transmission’s normal 1st gear, whose ratio is 15 to 1. he mDrive’s readout said it could do it, and it did, with little hopping or other protesting from the clutch or gearbox. We rolled back down the hill and he had me switch to manual, or M on the selector keypad, and punch down to the crawler ratios, through C2, with a 19 to 1 ratio, to C1, with 32 to 1 – or twice as low as 1st gear. “In C1 the truck will move at only about a WWW.TRUCKINGINFO.COM

half a mile an hour,” he said. he system’s hill-holder function kept the brakes applied for 3 seconds ater I took my foot of the brake pedal; I put a little pressure on the accelerator pedal and we then moved out smoothly. he engine raced as we slowly ascended the hill, staying in C1 until we topped it. At that point it began upshiting through C2 and into 1st and 2nd. Normally, the transmission will quickly begin skip-shiting, going to 4th or 5th and upward through the range of ratios, depending on conditions. However, at Wrinkle’s direction, I stopped, backed up, turned and headed down the hill until we again reached the steepest part. I punched the selector’s R button, putting us into reverse, and let of the brakes. With a bit of fuel the engine, working through the lowlow ratios, easily pushed us back upgrade. At the top, I stayed in reverse and backed toward the circle trail. I gave it some more gas and punched the up button to manually upshit as we picked up speed, using all four reverse ratios. I forgot to look at the speedometer but igure we might have been going 10 mph or so when I eased of the accelerator. Gear jammers know that with a manual

transmission in reverse gear, you can shit from low range to high range while on the move and gain some speed. But it’s far easier with an mDrive HD, and with the creeper gears you’ve got four speeds instead of two. As I said, the mDrive also makes it very easy to start out on a hill, where a guy with a manual transmission must really know what he’s doing with the gearshit lever and the clutch pedal. I told Wrinkle that I never cease to be amazed at the smooth clutch engagement with automated transmissions, no matter the driving circumstances. hat goes for the mDrive as well as other automated products I’ve driven in recent years. I wish I could comprehend the code writing for the electronic controls done by engineers that makes this possible. he only thing better for startability under repeatedly rough conditions is a torque converter automatic, namely an Allison. Mack will sell you one of those if you’d prefer, but it costs more and won’t be as necessary now, with mDrive’s creeper-gear availability. he 13-speed mDrive HD is now standard in Granites and the 14-speed is optional.

On the road he demonstration included several Pinnacle highway tractors, and I drove both axle-back and axle-forward versions around the smoothly paved track (which was a test track when this facility was Mack’s tech center). he axle-back model had mDrive with OCTOBER 2016 HDT


TEST DRIVE SPECIFICATIONS EasyShit, which changes gears more slowly and applies power more gently. his is meant for hauling tanker-borne liquids, where cargo surge can be bothersome, and livestock, which can lose their footing and be injured if shiting is abrupt. his tractor purposely ran bobtail, where shiting can be jerky without a trailer and load to settle things down. But EasyShit kept things smooth.

he track speed limit is 40 mph, but nearby streets and highways were there for those of us with CDLs. I chose the Pinnacle axle-forward, which has high-hooded traditional styling and is my favorite Mack (for looks, anyway.) his one was set up with a “downsped” MP8 455-hp Super Econodyne diesel and a 13-speed mDrive, which made it suitable for

Truck Mack Pinnacle Axle Forward tractor w/ 56-in. lat-top sleeper Engine Mack MP8-445C Super Econodyne, 445 hp/1,860 lb-ft., w/ PowerLeash engine brake Transmission Mack mDrive HD 13-speed w/ overdrive top gear Steer axle 12,000-lb. Mack FXL12 on taperleafs Tandem 38,000-lb. Mack S38R w/ 2.54 ratio, on Mack Twin-Y air-ride suspension Wheelbase 207 in. GCW (on this run) 79,000 lbs. (approximately)

somewhat heavy hauling because the extra low ratio would aid starting out on upgrades. Turns out we never needed it, but as always, the automated transmission removed most of the work from driving the tractor. he macho-looking tractor with a lowheight sleeper was hitched to a spreadtandem latbed for on-site running, but they switched it to a loaded 53-foot van for out on the highway. My guide for this was Scott Barraclough, technology product manager, who knew a lot about mDrive and its applications. He directed me out of the facility to some city streets that led us to Interstate 78. We followed that west for about 40 miles before turning around. He said rolling terrain along the patch of Interstate would be a good test of the powertrain’s lugging ability, and it was. Downspeeding had the engine cruising at 1,300 rpm at both 60 and 65 mph; 60 was in 11th gear, which is 1 to 1 direct, and 65 was in top gear, which is overdrive-12th. (he 13th ratio is a creeper, and is not counted as part of the normal 12 speeds.) Barraclough said the rig weighed close to 80,000 pounds. So how did it pull the hills at such low engine speeds? With 1,860 lb-t of torque. It worked very well, with no more speed loss than one would ind with higher revving engines, my experience told me, and it seemed quieter and smoother, too. As the engine dropped to 1,000 rpm Go to and click on reader service #183 40




grades. he retarder was fairly quiet and you could probably use it even where there are signs saying “No Engine Brake.” hat’s unless you punched a special button on the mDrive’s selector, which Barraclough pointed out. his caused it to downshit more aggressively and the brake to make extra power and somewhat more noise. I got to like that button, especially at lower speeds and where a red light waited at the end of a long of-ramp and the engine brake

Find more Test Drive articles, photos, and our Ultimate Test Drive videos at


or so, the mDrive quickly and smoothly downshited into one or two lower gears to maintain momentum. It does take a bit of getting accustomed to, as you’d expect to need more revs to climb hills with any sense of liveliness. With cruise control set and the PowerLeash engine brake switched on, the MP8 and mDrive worked together to try to keep road speed close to the set number – not exactly, but within 5 mph or so on down-

Tom Berg holds a commercial driver’s license and does Test Drives of all classes of trucks. He also writes about vocational and mediumduty trucks, trailers and bodies, maintenance, and alternative fuels.


Tractor’s engine cruised at 1,300 rpm at 60 and 65 mph in 11th-direct and 12th-overdrive gears, respectively.

slowed us with little need for service brakes. Mack’s 2017 diesels have many mechanical advances designed for greater fuel economy, lower carbon emissions and lighter weight. But except for quietness — especially noticeable when standing next to trucks whose 2016 and 2017 engines were idling — they don’t seem to behave much diferently from previous models. he power and torque are there, and pulling power is as good as ever.

Go to and click on reader service #171 WWW.TRUCKINGINFO.COM




Online parts sales growing

E Denise L. Rondini

Aftermarket Editor

“We have not yet begun to see what the opportunity is. I think explosive growth is ahead for us.”

very industry is transitioning to online sales as the world is becoming more digitized and people are getting more accustomed to online purchases in their personal lives. According to Dave Seewack, CEO and founder of FinditParts, the trucking industry is no diferent. In fact, he says his company, founded in 2010 as an online supplier of heavy-duty truck and trailer parts, has seen double-digit growth in 2016. At the same time, Seewack says when it comes to truck and trailer parts, “We are in the infancy stage. Historically heavy-duty has always been known as being 10 to 15 years behind automotive, and automotive is just starting to become very powerful online.” He adds, “I think the online buying space as it relates to heavy-duty is at the very beginning and we have not yet begun to see what the opportunity is. I think explosive growth is ahead for us.” Seewack says when FinditParts was irst launched it was the third or fourth vendor of choice for some leets. “People turned to the online option when they went to their local distributor and that distributor did not have the part they were looking for. hey then went to a second or third place, and when they still couldn’t ind it, they started Googling it and found it online.” As leet personnel have become more comfortable purchasing items in their personal lives, they are starting to become more comfortable with online purchases for their businesses. And Seewack says buying from an online vendor is not all that diferent from buying from a brick and mortar store. Trust has to be developed whenever a leet enters a relationship with a new vendor. He believes online may have an advantage in this area because “with local distributors, the relationship is oten built with the outside salesperson or the counterperson.” If that person leaves, a new relationship has to be built, he says. With an online vendor the relationship tends to be with the business entity, “since [the customer] does not know the guy who is picking the part in the warehouse this year vs. last year.” FinditParts and other online parts providers have improved the shopping experience for their customers. “If you are looking for a light, you are asked a series of questions to help you identify the light you need,” Seewack says. Keyword searches are another way for leets to ind the part they need. Some online parts vendors, including FinditParts, use a suggestive engine that “tells” a leet “if you bought this part you might also want to buy this part,” much like a counterperson would do at a distributorship. When selecting an online vendor, Seewack advises leets to look for a company that has been selling parts online for a period of time and has good customer ratings. “You also are looking for good content on the site, good information and a vendor that has good credentials, good shipping terms and policies and good return policies. “I also would make sure they had people on the phone to back it up. It is important that you have someone on the other end of the phone in case there is a problem. You need to know there is someone there to take care of your questions.” Will online parts sales replace local distribution? hat’s not likely to happen in the near term. Online is not the solution when parts are needed immediately to get a truck back on the road, “but we are becoming more of a solution for replenishing normal stocking items where they get the order in two days,” Seewack explains. “here is nothing but upward trajectory ahead for [online parts sales] in the next 10 to 15 years.”

Every month, Denise Rondini uses this column to offer information and insight designed to help leet managers make smart parts and service choices. As the former executive editor of Successful Dealer and Truck Parts & Service magazines, she has covered the aftermarket since 1982. She can reached at or (773) 951-8563.




Being successful in business requires hard work, perseverance and smart decisions. Like the decision on who to trust as a partner. For more than 100 years, Meritor has delivered advanced technology, high-quality products and unmatched service to help customers around the world run successfully today and well into the future. Run with the Best. Run With The Bull.

Go to and click on reader service #188

Š2016 Meritor, Inc.

CLASS update



Production cutbacks should reduce heavy truck inventories, but are leets waiting for new, more fuel-eficient models to appear? By Tom Berg, Senior Editor


lass 8 truck orders have fallen and the truck builders have cut back production, but these are far from bad times for the truck-building industry, and manufacturers say 2016 North American sales should inish up at a respectable 220,000 to 240,000. “he truck market relects the good economy and high freight tonnage levels,” says Gary Moore, executive vice president at Paccar, parent of Kenworth and Peterbilt. John Walsh, vice president, global marketing and brand management at Mack, further explains, “Highway business is of, but construction remains strong, and that’s our silver lining, because Mack has always been strong in construction trucks — that and refuse.” All economic indicators look positive, according to the National Association for Business Economics, whose members predict the gross domestic product will grow 1.5% this year and 2.3% next year. hey don’t see a downturn until 2018.



Marketers at the truck manufacturers agree: “We still see positive trends in housing construction, automotive sales and in the economy in general for 2017,” says Anthony Gansle, on-highway product manager for Peterbilt. “Next year should also beneit from getting past the election cycle. We would expect the industry to see around the current replacement rate.” So what’s causing the current downturn? Fleet hunger for roadgoing equipment, to replace worn-out iron run through the Great Recession and beyond, was satiated. But truck builders did not cut back production as soon as they should have. “Truck inventory is high,” says Walsh. “We were slow to adjust. We had some earlier layofs, and we’re taking down weeks now, one week a month when we’re shutting down, through December.” Steve Gilligan, vice president, product marketing at Navistar International, had another read on the falling orders situation. “In summer the market normally dips,” which brings us into last month. “But we’re also really in unprecedented territory regarding WWW.TRUCKINGINFO.COM

emissions levels,” he says. “here was anxiety and strong pre-buys before previous introductions of new emissions technology, in 2002, in 2007 and in 2010. We think what we see here is that people are pretty comfortable with emissions technology, and everybody’s telling customers there’s going to be a fuel economy improvement this time. “So we may see another kind of purchasing habit, where customers will wait until new models come out to get the improved fuel economy,” he continues. “hey are delaying some purchases. Carriers are making money and they can purchase at any point in time they choose to. We are seeing them holding back for now, and we think they will come back to get the new, more fuel-eicient models.” What technologies are important now, and will be in the future? “In the medium to long term we will very likely see increased customer demand for advanced safety features and advanced driver WWW.TRUCKINGINFO.COM

assistance systems,” says Peterbilt’ Gansle, echoing recent comments by other executives at other builders. “Fuel economy and uptime will continue to be areas of focus for professional leet managers, so integrated drivetrains and automated transmissions will likely grow as well. “Finally, driver recruitment and retention will also continue to inluence the technologies and features of trucks ofered by the industry.” In fact, earlier this year International Truck launched a company-wide initiative, DriverFirst, aimed at giving its customers an edge in attracting and retaining qualiied drivers through vehicles designed from the driver’s perspective. It is a new emphasis on designing and building trucks “that drivers want to drive,” thereby combating the driver shortage, says Denny Mooney, senior vice president, global product development. And Freightliner spent more time on the interior of its OCTOBER 2016 HDT


Class 8 Update

newest Class 8 truck than on any previous model. “Professional drivers can spend more than 100 hours in the cab during an average work week,” says Richard Howard, senior vice president, sales and marketing, Daimler Trucks North America, “and the environment needs to be friendly and inviting both on the job and during downtime.” Keeping those drivers safe along with others on the road will continue to be a priority, as well, says Mary Aufdemberg, director of product marketing for Freightliner Trucks. “he adoption of collision mitigation systems continues to be a trend, and 50% of Cascadia trucks are expected to be spec’d with a CMS in 2016. Additional active safety system features will be introduced in the coming years...Telematics and connected vehicles will continue to have an important impact on safety, as well.”

New models this year Most builders this year have concentrated on reining their modern models and expanding available componentry to handle more applications. Daimler Trucks North America and Navistar International introduced substantially redesigned models, both for highway hauling. Daimler’s Freightliner Cascadia is claimed to be 8% more fuel eicient than a current base model and emphasizes an integrated Detroit-made powertrain. Navistar, on the other hand, continues its “open integration” strategy in the irst version of its International LT (for Linehaul Transport). It uses a big-bore Cummins for power. The revised Cascadia will replace the single most popular road tractor in America, helping Daimler continue its dominance of the Class 8 market. Shown in Colorado Springs on Aug. 31 were 12 new Cascadias in fleet colors representing a dozen of Freightliner’s biggest customers.

Each had purchased a truck sight unseen. Navistar’s International LT625, announced on Sept. 30, has a 2017 Cummins X15 under its long hood. It’s the irst model in the Horizon project that concentrates on renewing International’s steel-cab models. he new series will also include a mediumnose LT613 using Navistar’s own N13 diesel, updated for 2017. he LT models will replace the ProStar, an International staple for nine years, according to Steve Gilligan, vice president, product marketing. “he ProStar was an incredibly successful truck,” he says. “It was launched in 2007, and we believe it was time for a refreshing. At one point we were above 25% in market share with the ProStar, and it’s still one of the most aerodynamic trucks in the market. We set ourselves back with our engine strategy, but ProStar remained a constant and a great workhorse, with very good fuel economy. Our market share has been increasing very slowly in the last year, more slowly than we’d like. We look at LT being the next step in [rectifying] that.” Some other truck makers, on the other hand, are happy with their market share growth. In spite of the downturn, “Mack is one of the few OEs to grow market share this year,” says John Walsh. “We’re up about 1 point, to the 9% range.” So has Western Star, according to Ann Demitruk, vice president, marketing. “Western Star has seen a steady increase in market share in our highway business as well as all vocational segments over the last ive years,” she says. “In fact, in 2016 we are the only truck OEM in both the United States and Canada who has sold more trucks this year compared to last.”

NEXT-GENERATION CASCADIA Freightliner has extensively updated its Cascadia highway tractor with advanced aerodynamics and powertrain improvements that make it up to 8% more fuel eficient than the current Cascadia Evolution model. It’ll be a 2018 model when it begins production in January. Optional Aero and AeroX packages provide additional aerodynamic beneits over the base model. Detroit 12.8L DD13, 14.8L DD15 and 15.6L DD16 diesels for 2017 are combined with the Detroit DT12 automated manual transmission, Intelligent Powertrain Management (IPM4) and corresponding Detroit axles. diesels are available with Eaton UltraShift Plus and Advantage AMTs. Detroit Assurance safety technologies are part of the builder’s product offerings. Severeduty models include the 108SD, 114SD and 122SD. Certain Freightliner models are available with natural gas engines from Cummins Westport.




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Class 8 Update

NEW ‘HORIZONS’ Navistar has begun introducing its Horizon series of steel-cab models with the International LT, for Linehaul Transport, with advanced aerodynamics and driver-pleasing interior designs. The justintroduced irst version, called LT625, has a 125inch BBC and uses Cummins X15. In April there’ll be an LT613 with a 113-inch BBC and Navistar’s 2017 N13 diesel. Both have setback steer axles. The LT series will replace the ProStar that originated in 2007 and ceases production in April. Also in April, the RH (Regional Haul) will replace ProStar 113 and TranStar. The retro-styled LoneStar highway tractor, vocational WorkStar and medium-duty DuraStar will get the Horizon treatment later next year. The premium vocational HX series uses an aluminum cab, so is not a Horizon model; that cab is from the PayStar, which will be phased out by year’s end. Navistar’s 9.3L N9/N10 continue, and Cummins’s ISL9 (soon to be L9) will be offered as an alternative. The ISB6.7 is

International standard in DuraStar mediums. However, the just-announced alliance with Volkswagen Truck & Bus will introduce VW diesels as early as 2019.


Kenworth 48


The T680 with its wider cab and other advances (shown) has become Kenworth’s high-selling road tractor, replacing the T660 – the successor to the revolutionary T600 “anteater” of 1985 – which goes out of production at year’s end. The T680 recently added new sleeper options for specialty use, and is available with a lightweight, fuel-eficient spec with or without sleepers. Paccar’s MX-13 diesel is standard and Cummins X15 and ISX12 are optional. The T880 is Kenworth’s vocational lagship truck. It is increasingly popular in dump, mixer, heavy haul, oilield, logging and refuse applications, pushing aside the venerable, narrow-cab T800, which remains in production for some customers who still prefer it. The durable C500 and K500 are used mainly for offroad service in North America and overseas. Kenworth also offers the T440 and T470 that often are equipped as heavy duty trucks using the Cumminsbuilt Paccar PX-9. Various KWs are available with the lighter 10.8L Paccar MX-11, the MX-13, and Cummins’ ISX12 and X15.


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Go to and click on reader service #206

Class 8 Update



The Mack Pinnacle axle back in sleeper-cab (shown) and daycab variants is Mack’s principle highway tractor, serving long-haul and regional users. All Pinnacle models come standard with the Mack mDrive AMT. The Pinnacle is also available in an axle-forward coniguration to satisfy bridge-formula requirements or for customers desiring more traditional styling. Pinnacles use Mack’s MP series diesels in 10.8L MP7 and 12.8L MP8 versions. Vocational models include the Granite, Granite MHD (medium-heavy duty), and LR low-entry cabover models for refuse collection and TerraPro cabover for refuse bodies and concrete pumpers. Granite and TerraPro are available with the MP7 and MP8, while the LR is available with the MP7. The Granite MHD uses only the Cummins 8.9L ISL9. For severe-duty applications, Mack’s Titan uses the 16.1L MP10. Certain models are available with Cummins Westport natural gas engines. Mack’s GuardDog Connect telematics service helps maximize uptime by monitoring for critical fault codes that could potentially shut down a truck or lead to an unplanned visit to the dealer. GuardDog Connect is standard on many models.

MODERN HERITAGE Heritage 567, which comes only with a forwardset steer axle, is based on a vocational model but can be set up as a highway tractor, as here. As a strictly vocational model, the 567 can be had also with a setback steer axle, and MX-11, MX-13, PX-9 and Cummins ISX12 and X15 diesels, and ISX12 G. Closer to over-the-road intents is the 579, which comes in two hood lengths and uses separate sleeper boxes. Power is from Paccar MX-11 or MX-13, or Cummins ISX12 or X15 diesels, as well as the natural gas Cummins Westport ISX12 G. The longhood 587 has a wider cab and integrated sleeper, and MX-13 or ISX15/X15 power. The traditionally styled 389 has a long hood and MX-13 or ISX15/ X15 diesels and can be spec’d for on-highway and vocational applications. The low-cab forward 320 has been complemented with a revised 520, primarily for trash service; they are available with PX-9, MX-11 or Cummins ISX12 diesels, or the ISX12 G.










The Engine Oil That Works As Hard As You™.

*Source EIA –US Energy Information Administration **Based on annual on-highway diesel fuel usage and average price of fuel at $2.33 per gallon.

Go to and click on reader service #102

Class 8 Update

POWERTRAIN, AERO UPDATES In 2015 Volvo’s VNL 780 (shown) and other VNL highway tractors got smoother bumpers and chassis and roof fairings to reduce air turbulence around the vehicle’s exterior and improve airlow under the truck, around tires and the trailer gap. VNL and VNM series have long and medium-length hoods, respectively, and several sleeper options. The I-Shift automated manual transmission has gotten creeper gears for vocational applications, and I-See predictive cruise control for overthe-road duties. The VNX heavy-haul tractor uses the 16.1L D16; the vocational-focused VHD is available as a straight truck or tractor; the low-proile VAH daycab and sleeper, built on a VHD chassis, serves auto haulers. Volvo emphasizes its own D series diesels, particularly the 10.8L D11 and 12.8L


D13, and more than nine out of 10 trucks leave the factory with Volvo power. But it also offers the Cummins X15 diesel and Cummins Westport natural gas engines in certain VN models.


Western Star



The Daimler premium brand’s slope-nose 4800 can be outitted for vocational work, like toting a concrete pumper body here, or over-the-road duties. It comes only with a Detroit DD13, and can be spec’d with allwheel drive options. The more compact 4700, which is gaining market share in municipal and construction applications, uses the DD13 diesel or the smaller Cummins ISL9 (to become the L9). The traditionally styled, long-nose 4900 is both a vocational and highway model. The 5700XE was introduced in 2014 as a distinctively styled aero model aimed at owner-operators and image-conscious leets who also want good fuel economy. Both models are available with Detroit DD13, DD15, and DD16 engines, which can be mated to an array of manual transmissions as well as the increasingly popular Detroit DT12 automated transmission. The extreme-duty off-road 6900XD model can be powered with the Detroit DD15, DD16 or Tier 3 Detroit Series 60, or Cummins ISX15.




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Go to and click on reader service #157

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Gasoline’s getting more popular, conventionals remain so as new models head for dealers. By Tom Berg, Senior Editor


s the economy goes, so goes the medium-duty truck business. Sales numbers show continuing healthy growth of Class 3 through 7 commercial trucks, if you know how to read the data. On their face, sales took a downturn in July and could inish the year 1.8% under 2015’s pace. But they should pick up again in 2017’s second quarter, according to an IHS forecast cited by Steve Latin-Kasper of the National Truck Equipment Association. However, Latin-Kasper, NTEA’s director of market data and re-



GMC is now the upscale consum er-oriented brand, tors has designat as General Moed Chevrolet as both a consumer truck arm. So Che an d commercial vy gets the new (this year) Isuzulow-cab-forward sourced LCF (for ) Class 3, 4 and 5 models, called 35 4500 and 4500H 00 and 3500HD; D; and 5500 and 5500HD. Regula available in most r an d crew cabs are ranges. Isuzu su pplies complete cab-chassis vehi 5. 2L diesel-powered cles; gas models use GM’s Vortec Silverado cab-ch 6000 V-8. A Class assis, essentially 3 a box-delete vers pickup, is the on ion of the 3500H ly conventional-s D tyle medium-dut GM lineup. y model now in th e

Like 2017-model SuperDuty pickups, F-250 to F-550 cab-chassis trucks (an F-450 is shown) are getting aluminum cabs from the highly popular F-150 series, in Regular, Super and Crew Cab sizes. They also have new, stronger box-section main frames using high-strength steel. All come with a 6L gasoline engine. The Class 6 and 7 F-650 and 750 stay with steel cabs, also in three sizes. The 6.7L Power Stroke V-8 turbo diesel in various ratings is available in throughout the range and is standard in the F-750 and optional in the F-650. The 650 is standard with a 6.8L V-10 gasoline engine that’s optional in the F-750 — the only gasoline power available in medium duty. WWW.TRUCKINGINFO.COM

M2-106 is Freightliner’s principal Class 6-7 offering, and it is highly customizable to accommodate many specialty bodies and suit many applications, like the beverage-hauling tractor shown. Those and other attributes, as well as faltering by its main competitor, vaulted Freightliner into the market-share lead several years ago, where it remains. Cummins’ ISB6.7 diesel (soon to be the B6.7) powers this model and the severeduty 108SD version. There’s also the M2-112, which extends into Class 8. A new series of Detroit midrange engines, led by a 4-cylinder DD5, will extend Daimler’s vertical integration strategy to medium duty. Allison automatics go into most Class 6 trucks and many Class 7s, but Eaton manual transmissions are available.

search, notes that the IHS igures are taken from Ward’s Automotive data, which includes Class 3 pickup trucks and vans, and pickup sales are expected to decline in this year’s second half — which would account for the downturn. Take out Class 3, as NTEA does, and the prognosis is more rosy — up 3.6% in 2016 and another 5.4% next year for Class 4-7 sales in the United

Mitsubishi Fus



Freightliner Diesel developments

States. Canada’s projections are similar and Mexico is in a boom, up an estimated 32.1% this year and 21.1% next year. “he medium duty market has been stable and healthy, and we anticipate a consistent growth rate in all segments,” says Mary Aufdemberg, director of product marketing for Freightliner Trucks. Others we talked with agree.

Medium-duty diesels have been updated to deliver more fuel eiciency that will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which must be reduced by direction of Phase 2 emissions regulations. Daimler Trucks North America moved further down the path of vertical integration by introducing a new Detroit DD5, a 4-cylinder midrange diesel available for order now for its M2-106 trucks. It will irst come from Daimler’s plant in Mannheim, Germany, then production will move to Detroit’s Milford, Mich., plant in 2018. At that time, engine ratings and options will be introduced for other applications beyond the pickup and delivery specs initially available. Later, a 6-cylinder version will follow. Most builders prefer to sell their own engines vs. those from suppliers. Kenworth

Canter FE-series low-cab-forward trucks were introduced several years ago, and they will continue with necessary diesel upgrades when U.S. federal certiication is complete. Their model numbers — FE130, FE160, FE160 Crew Cab, and FE180 — approximate their GVW ratings in pounds in Class 3, 4 and Class 5. There’s also the Class 4 FG 4x4, the only four-wheel-drive LCF sold in North America. All use diesel power and Fuso’s Duonic 6-speed automated mechanical transmission. A “soft launch” of the electric eCanter in 2017 will see the truck offered to some customers in key areas.



Medium-Duty Hino’s model 338 (shown), 268, 258 and 238 domestically assembled conventional-cab trucks are assembled with Japanese-produced cabs and engines and North American frames and drivetrain components. They are now standard with a clean back-of-cab area to ease body mounting by upitters. Model 155, 195DC (double cab), 195 and 195DC low-cab-forwards are imported. So are the hybrid electric 195h and 195hDC, which are sold into California, Chicago and New York City, which have incentives for buying hybrids.

Hino and Peterbilt ofer private-branded midrange Paccar PX7 and PX9 diesels that are supplied by Cummins. Navistar International is at the other end of the spectrum with “open integration,” where more and more Cummins diesels are used in various truck models, including its DuraStar mediums. However, the recently announced “strategic alliance” with Volkswagen Truck & Bus could result in MAN or Scania engines appearing here, though no sooner than 2019. Low gasoline prices continue to boost the popularity of gasoline engines. Ram

Truck sales, which go to Class 5, have swung toward gasoline, says Dave Sowers, head of Ram Commercial Trucks. “We were 90% diesel until we introduced the 6.4L commercial-grade Hemi engine, and now we’ve been able to increase the gas engine mix up to about a third. It has

Navistar International’s main midrange truck continues to be the Class 6 and 7 DuraStar, available in three cab styles (and due for Horizon freshening sometime next year). It’s powered only by the Cummins ISB6.7 (soon to be the B6.7 for 2017). That engine also goes into lighter versions of the WorkStar vocational truck. Heavier WorkStars primarily use Navistar’s own 9.2L N9 and N10 diesels, and soon Cummins’ ISL9 (to become the L9). Allison automatics and Eaton Procision automated transmissions are offered, plus Eaton manuals.




cylinder deactivation to four cylinders, called MDS, for multiple displacement system, which increases fuel eiciency under light load and PTO running.” It’s similar at Ford, which also competes in all classes, including 6 and 7. “he gas engine has been a huge success for us from towing companies to landscaping and tree care,” says Kevin Koester, medium-duty truck and Super Duty leet marketing manager. “here is a lot of interest in a powertrain that removes the upfront cost of a diesel and helps keep maintenance down. Let’s face it, diesel emissions equipment needs to be maintained and has an impact on the duty cycle of a vehicle.”

Isuzu’s recently introduced Class 6 FTR (shown) is getting interest from operators who want to mount high-capacity long bodies and maintain a compact size useful in congested cities. It’s standard with a 5.2L diesel and an Aisin 6-speed automatic transmission. There are also four Class 4-5 series models; most are diesels with Aisin automatics, but the NPR Gas uses GM’s 6L gasoline V-8 with a Hydra-Matic 6-speed. Isuzu has dominated the low-cab-forward segment for years, and has resumed its relationship with General Motors, whose Chevy commercial truck dealers have begun selling N series LCFs.

Access to a gasoline engine could be possible with the deal between Navistar and General Motors for assembly of GM medium-duty models. hat might put the now out-of-production International TerraStar back on the line. However, with the MaxxForce 6.7L V-8 diesel dropped, it would also need a new diesel to ill out the options list. GM’s Duramax diesel might ill that bill. “he future trucks will be jointly developed using Navistar’s expertise in rolling chassis conigurations and manufacturing capabilities, and GM’s commercial components and engines,” said a Navistar statement released last year. “he vehicles are slated for production in 2018 and will be manufactured at Navistar’s facility in Springield, Ohio.” No more details have been released, says Jim Cain, a spokesman for Chevrolet and GM Fleet & Commercial. he new commercial trucks will carry only Chevrolet badges.


GM is moving commercial trucks completely to Chevy while GMC will concentrate on upscale light trucks and SUVs. One efort already begun is the selling of Chevroletbadged low-cab-forward Class 3 and 4 cabchassis trucks obtained from Isuzu. As with Isuzu’s NPR models, the Chevy LCFs are available with Isuzu diesels or GM gasoline V-8s. “It’s strategic for us,” Cain explains. “It’s a great truck, and adding it to our portfolio enables a one-stop shop with our Business Elite dealers. Customers who buy low cabforwards also buy other types of trucks. We now ofer 3500, 4500 and 5500 series (LCF) trucks in 400 combinations.” For Navistar, the GM deal in efect replaces the Blue Diamond joint venture that end-

ed in 2014 ater Ford developed its own V-8 diesel, replacing the Navistar engine, and pulled assembly of its F-650 and 750 trucks from Navistar in Mexico and back to the U.S. Ford now uses its own engines, transmissions and frames, along with cabs and other components. “Customers love to hear that this truck is built in the U.S.A.,” Koester says. “hey like the fact that we’re keeping jobs in our backyard.”

Who’s buying? What segments are buying, and what types of trucks? “Lease-rental is still strong, and deinitely construction right now, and food distribution,” says Glenn Ellis, vice president, marketing, dealer operations and

Kenworth’s T370 conventional goes from Class 7 to 8 with addition of tandem rear axles and other hefty components. Like the Class 5 T170 and Class 6 T270, it has an aluminum cab, a Cummins-supplied Paccar diesel and Allison automatic or Eaton manual transmissions. Other KW midrange models are low-cab-forward K270 and K370 that use European DAF cabs and North American powertrain and chassis components. KW has steadily expanded options of both series to expand application capabilities.


9 5



Peterbilt Peterbilt Motors’ Class 6 Model 210 and Class 7 Model 220 (shown) are low-cab-forwards that use European DAF cabs and North American chassis components, including PX-7 diesels and Allison automatics. Four midrange conventional-cab models powered by Cummins-built medium- and mediumheavy diesels with Eaton and Allison transmissions. Model 325 and 330 trucks use the PX-7 Allison 5- or 6-speed automatic transmissions. Model 337 can be a Class 8 with heavier axles and the PX-9 diesel, but is primarily a Class 7 model that uses the PX-7. The 348 is similar but can be ordered with tandem rear axles to make it a Baby 8 (up to 54,000 pounds GVW).

product planning, at Hino Trucks. “We do a trend analysis, which really trends with housing starts and construction. If they’re up, typically Class 4 through 7 follows. he Class 6 market is up this year, up by the most right now, and Class 7 is of a little. Most Class 7 is city tractors. he Class 4 and 5 markets overall are up, but not necessarily cabover. Cabovers are kind of lat, up in 5, down in 4.” Home construction in the Southeast and construction in general in Northeast are up, according to Ram’s Sowers. “It’s a stable market in the Midwest, though there’s a downturn in agriculture with lower grain and beef prices, but there’s strength in trades 60


Ram chassis-cabs from FiatChrysler, available in 3500, 4500 and 5500 series, use 2-door Regular and 4-door Crew cabs from popular Ram pickups, and currently come with several ratings of the Cummins Turbo Diesel mated to an Aisin 6-speed automatic or a Mercedes 6-speed manual (the only manual still offered in these weight classes). In three years since its introduction, a 6.4L Hemi gasoline V-8 has helped the 5.7L Hemi take one-third of Ram’s sales. Chassis-cab models have standard 34-inch-spread frame rails and upitterfriendly features to ease body mounting.

and construction. California is growing, but that’s because they were especially down.” Who’s not buying? he energy sector — oil and natural gas exploration and extraction — which is in contraction since crude oil prices have been down. here is some shiting among the weight classes as operators “right-size” for their hauling requirements, but also for legal reasons. “We continue to see customers moving portions of their leets toward Class 6 trucks, speciically to get under CDL weights” that start at 26,001 pounds, Koester says. “Starting out as a new commercial driver is less imposing when you aren’t required to get an upgraded license. It is diicult enough

to attract a new generation of drivers without adding license restrictions.” North American customers prefer the conventional-cab style, historically by a ratio of 80 to 20 or more. Glenn Ellis at Hino says the sales ratio for its conventional vs. cabover models is 75 to 25. But in big, congested cities, low-cab-forward trucks have advantages in maneuverability and compactness. “We are seeing a number of our customers continuing right-sizing their leets, but with low-cab-forward trucks with longer bodies,” says Brian Tabel, executive director of marketing at Isuzu Truck, which sells only LCFs. “he overall footprint of the LCF gives customers the ability to have a longer body with keeping the overall footprint less to make the truck more maneuverable in city and suburban streets. Customers are upitting their trucks with longer bodies to deliver more products.” WWW.TRUCKINGINFO.COM


Much like your dealership, trucking drives us forward. It’s in our hearts. And like you, it’s what we live and breathe every day. As the technology leader in the heavy truck industry, CDK Global® Heavy Truck partners with you to boost sales, maximize proits and optimize your ixed operations. The result: you can unleash your dealership — now and for the long haul.

Go to and click on reader service #261 © 2016 CDK Global, LLC / CDK Global is a registered trademark of CDK Global, LLC. 16_10738

VANS update:

SURGING SALES, GROWING CHOICES Sales of commercial vans may set a record this year, and helping drive that trafic is a wider array of offerings in three distinct size categories By David Cullen, Executive Editor


t’s a great year for sales of cargo vans. he National Truck Equipment Association recently revised its 2016 forecast for U.S./Mexico Class 1-3 commercial van sales upward from a previously forecast 7% year-to-year gain up to 10% this year — to be followed by an 8% increase next year. Perhaps that’s partly because buyers are inding lots more than tires to kick when they check out the latest models. David Sowers, head of Ram Truck brand marketing, says the Great Recession built pent-up demand, with the average age of vans climbing to 10 years. It now stands at 7 years. “Last year, Class 1-4 vans and chassis sales reached almost 400,000. We expect that to rise by 10 to 15% this year,” Sowers says. “Pent-up demand is being met, and there’s growth in small businesses since 2009 that’s also driving sales. Both leets and small business owners are buying more vans.” He says the two largest groups of buyers are delivery and “mobile worksite” operations. Lots more delivery vans are being sold to UPS and FedEx, and Ram has secured a contract for 12,000 units with the U.S. Postal Service. Ford says total commercial van sales for 2015 were 423,094, including full-size and compact commercial



vans, according to Yaroslav Hetman, Ford’s brand manager for Transit, Transit Connect and E-Series. “Year to date through August, the segment is up 16%, with total van sales of 312,705 vs. 268,625 last year.” He says much of that growth is being driven by sales of the full-size Ford Transit, adding that “Ford sold more vans in August 2016 than it has at any other time in history.” “We are literally selling every van we can build — even with three production shits and capacity utilization above 100%,” says Joe Langhauser, full-size van product manager for General Motors Fleet. “In 2015, we sold 46,000 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana cargo vans. In the irst eight months of 2016, we’ve sold more than 27,000. Demand has been strong across the board, but we’ve seen an inlux of customers who are in the landscaping and catering businesses.” Mathias Geisen, general manager of marketing for Mercedes-Benz Vans USA, says “sales numbers are steadily increasing and we’re in the process of signing important contracts with leet companies.” As for this year’s outlook, Geisen says the full-size Sprinter has “a well-established [customer] segment” and the mid-size Metris “continues


Chevrolet’s comp act City Express off ers 122.7 cubic fee able cargo space, t of customiza turning diameter of only 36.7 feet, an capacity of 1,500 d a payload pounds. Its DOHC 2.0L, I-4 engine wi timing is rated at th variable valve 131 hp and 139 lb. -ft. of torque.

offer a press stablemate na and its Chevy Ex va and Sa g C lon GM the ize on l-s c The ful automati diesel and 8-speed ls. Standard de mo s rie se 2.8L Duramax turbo 00 35 rsions of 2500 and r-vision camera. short wheelbase ve rk Assist and a rea Pa ar Re e lud inc features now


to build momentum. We knew we’d have a pioneering role with the Metris because the mid-size segment was vacated by the Chevy Astro/GMC Safari a while ago.” GM’s Langhauser says more than 10,000 Chevrolet City Express compact vans were sold last year and “we’ll be in the same range this year.” He says the City Express, a derivative of the Nissan NV 200, is “an important vehicle for us because the broader our portfolio, the more we can serve as a ‘one stop shop’ for our customers.” he Nissan NV200, according to Mark Namuth, senior manager, commercial vehicle sales, is “the right size” for owners wanting smaller, more eicient work vans. He notes that the NV200 body was extended 7.9 inches beyond models sold in other global markets to provide more cargo capacity for North American customers. Hetman says Ford “invented the compact commercial van segment with the introduction of Transit Connect in 2009. It continues to outsell all the other models that have entered the space. Customers from a wide range of industries, including home security, shuttle and delivery, have adopted Transit Connect.” Ram’s Sowers points to a lot of downsizing or “right-sizing” vehicles by customers. “We think our ProMaster City ofers a great combination of fuel eiciency and productivity.” He says it’s rated for 28 mpg, ofers a payload higher than most lightduty pickups and that “it drives like a car, with a great turning radius and visibility. We sold over 90,000 of these units in 2015.” Once the right size van is selected, total cost of ownership is the key purchasing consideration, says Ford’s Hetman. “Our full-size Transit ofers up to 46% better fuel economy than the E-Series [it replaced] and provides best-in-class gasoline engine maximum cargo capacity of 487.3 cubic feet when properly equipped – up to 75% more than the largest E-Series van. Transit vans also deliver as much as 4,650 pounds of maximum payload capacity.” “Safety is becoming more and more important, especially when it comes to active safety features supporting the drivers and avoiding accidents and, therefore, also keeping



Vans Update

nz -size” van category, Mercedes-Be The Metris alone its in the “mid nder -cyli four 2.0L a by k is powered says. The rear-wheel drive truc to a and 258 lb.-ft. of torque, mated gasoline engine, rated for 208 hp funcp t/sto star Eco onal opti in, with 7-speed automatic. The powertra s. mile 00 15,0 to up of val tion, boasts a service inter

downtime low,” says Mercedes-Benz’s Geisen. “Our vans ofer a portfolio of safety features, including Collision Prevention Assist, Attention Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, Blind Spot Assist and Crosswind Assist.” Hetman says the latest safety features have been incorporated into Ford vans, from Blind Spot Assist in Transit Connect to Lane Keeping Alert in Transit. hese features are in addition to traction control, electronic stability control, side-wind stabilization, and the use of high-strength boron steel to reinforce key points around the vehicle. “Nissan ofers telematics, backup cameras, and rear sonar as some of our active safety features,” says Namuth. “We are seeing an increase in the ordering of these active safety features.” GM’s Langhauser says connectivity is playing a bigger role in the purchase decision. “hat’s why we leverage the OnStar safety system’s built-in hardware and sotware to power Commercial Link, a telematics platform that gives access to key information such as location, miles driven and fuel consumption. We also ofer the General Motors Fleet Track System, which pairs OnStar with a scalable cloud-based leet monitoring platform developed by Telogis.” 

Upitting critical

Ford’s full-size Transit now comes in 64 conigurations , including new 350 regular-wheelbase van , with single rear wheel and 9,500-pound GVWR. The 3.7L engine is now standard on dual-re ar wheel vans, which lowers the base price and provides for CNG or LPG power.



Smoothing the complex upitting process is now a key diferentiator for marketing vans. “he sooner [customers] can put a inished vehicle on road, the faster they will see inancial returns,” says GM’s Langhauser. “With our ship-through process, upits can be ordered directly through the dealer. And the GM Upitter Integration Group can provide technical assistance to the hundreds of upitters that modify our vehicles.” he Nissan Commercial Upit Program ofers customers a wide selection of cargo management packages, graphics packages, or cash allowance, according to Namuth. “Our ship-through program ofers leets Nissan-approved upits at our factory locations.” Ford ofers 64 diferent conigurations of vans directly from the factory, Hetman


says. “hrough our ship-through upitter network, the possibilities for customization by leading upitters are endless.” Geisen says Mercedes-Benz customers are searching for a complete solution in a simple ship-thru process. “Vans with shelving, refrigeration or other popular upits will be available as a key-ready solution. To assure the highest quality, we work with three major upitters, AutoTruck, Knapheide and SmartLiner.” Ram’s Sowers notes that an upit center is located next to the ProMaster assembly plant “to handle everything from the standard stuf to customized requests.”

Fuels and powertrains

The full-size Nissan NV has standard supplemental fron t seat-mounted side-impact air bags and roof-mounted curtain side -impact air bags for front outboard occupa nt head protection. The rear-wheel-drive van can be powered by a 4L V6 or 5.6L V8; both ma ted to a standard 5-speed automatic transm ission.

k by the 2.4L Tigershar Master City is powered Pro m ecRa t hit arc pac dy com bo e Th . Its steel uni a 9-speed automatic vides I-4 engine, mated to to 1,883 pounds. It pro up d loa pay er off to t igh we b cur s cut e tur go space. 131.7 cubic feet of car


Many leets are committed to reducing their environmental footprint and fuel consumption, notes GM’s Langhauser. “We also see real potential for small-displacement turbo diesel powertrains in the leet arena, because they are powerful, durable and fuel eicient.” Ford’s Hetman says “customers want the power of choice to be able to smoothly lex to the needs of their businesses. his is why we ofer two diferent gasoline powertrains, a diesel engine, as well as propane, CNG and FFV engine options. Also, several upitters, like XL Hybrids, cooperate with us on hybrid powertrains.” However, “relatively cheap fuel has diminished the investment that we previously saw in CNG or LNG products,” notes Nissan’s Namuth, “particularly in the infrastructure to support those alternative fuels.” When it comes to step vans, typically built on Class 4-7 chassis, more than anything electricity is now in the air. Hybridelectric powertrains are being ofered by several step van builders. For example, Freightliner Custom Chassis, which also ofers CNG and hydraulic hybrid power, makes a hybrid-electric vehicle chassis for walk-in vans. Other electric step vans now available include the Workhorse E-Gen, which uses an electric-battery hybrid drive, and the allelectric Motiv Power Systems drive option ofered by Morgan Olson on its Route Star walk-in model.




PAPER TRAIL A paperless trucking operation is technologically possible, but don’t expect paper to go away any time soon. By Jim Beach, Technology Editor


or a number of years now, motor carriers have been among the many companies ridding their operations of paper. hey have done so for a number of reasons: improved eiciencies, streamlined processes and even a desire to “go green.” According to Matt Johnson, senior product manager at Omnitracs, the key ways document capture improves a carrier’s eiciencies include increased driver productivity during downtime, fewer stops (for courier services and LTL carriers), and improved billing payment cycle because delivery documents get to the back oice sooner. Fleets use various technologies to automate driver paperwork, says Pete Allen of MiX Telematics. Worklow apps, for instance, allow leets to turn documents into digital forms drivers can ill out with their incab mobile device or a smartphone or tab66


let. he MiX Go forms app is one such product, providing easy data entry and allowing drivers to capture signatures, scan barcodes or take a picture. he paperwork burden varies by particular segment, application and load type. In truckload, the paperwork involves loads and trips. LTL carriers look at paper “a little diferently,” explains Ben Wiesen, vice president, product at Carrier Logistics Inc. “It’s more about low. he diiculty the LTL industry has is keeping the paper low up with the freight low.” Document management systems help “close the gap between the paper low and the freight low,” he says. While leets use less and less paper, the information — the data — that used to be on

a piece of paper still needs to be captured, stored, and applied to everyday business functions, from the truck to the back oice, shop, HR and management. As paper use has dropped, fewer iling cabinets line oice walls. But fewer pieces of paper do not mean less data. In fact, there is more data than ever being collected and managed, because technology makes it readily available. Of course leets capture a wide array of data from their vehicles such as GPS location, speed, miles travelled, etc. Vehicle sensors can also transmit tire pressure and temperature, reefer temperature, door openings and more. For instance, Best Logistic Group, Kernersville, N.C., collects vehicle information

“The dificulty the LTL industry has is keeping the paper low up with the freight low.” – Ben Weisen, Carrier Logistics Inc. WWW.TRUCKINGINFO.COM

SUSTAINABILITY At REG, we make it easy for you to boost profits while achieving emissions goals. As more fleets strive to reduce their carbon emissions, REG continues to make biodiesel more accessible. Our advanced nationwide logistics system makes it convenient to get REG-9000 Biodiesel, REG Renewable Hydrocarbon Diesel, blended fuels and ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) when and where you need them. Our quality, ratable products are proven to burn cleaner, improve lubricity and deliver more efficient engine performance than conventional ULSD without any infrastructure changes. Your fleet will burn cleaner and run stronger — now and in the future. No matter what your goals are, REG will do what it takes to make your journey with biodiesel a success.

Š 2016 Renewable Energy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Fueled by Performance — The Benefits of Switching to Alternative Fuel. We understand you demand proven performance and will not sacrifice quality for sustainability. With biodiesel and renewable hydrocarbon diesel, that’s not a concern. Not only do they meet stringent ASTM specifications, they also deliver impressive operational benefits.

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For more information, call (844)

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The 2016 Proile of the U.S. Commercial Vehicle Market supplies you with a comprehensive examination of the Class 2c-8 truck and trailer markets both from a historical perspective as well as a current market measurement. You will gain immediate access to the most comprehensive truck and trailer data in the commercial vehicle industry. The Proile is a valuable planning resource with a clear, unbiased picture of Classes 2c-8 commercial truck and trailer ownership and usage.

You’ll get a complete, irst-hand view of how the vehicle universe has changed from a historical perspective. Contact: Justin Miller or (847) 496-5902

feature Paperless Operations

through the PeopleNet onboard computing platform, including engine performance, driver performance and hours of service, along with capturing data from paper documents. Because let’s face it, paper still exists in trucking. Even leets that have made a concentrated efort to become paperless still do business with customers that require hard copy documents. Hazardous materials and other specialized loads require special paperwork. Smith & Berry Trucking, Penticton, British Columbia, collects and scans a wide range of documents. “Everything from freight bills, proof-of-delivery, shipper documents, safety documents, tractor-trailer inspection documents, payables and driver to driver qualiications,” says Dorothy Vankoughnett, controller and IT manager. “he sky is the limit when it comes to data capture.” Her company uses a document management system from Microdea. Paul Davis, manager of process improvement and training at Best Logistic Group, says his company captures data from all load documents such as bills of lading, proof of delivery, lumper receipts, fuel receipts, driver envelopes and others. he documents are turned in by drivers and then imaged and indexed with McLeod’s Document Power. Document capture had an “immediate impact on our receivables,” he says. Before implementing the document capture technology, it averaged 7.8 days to bill. Now it is consistently 3.5 days. According to Vankoughnett, in addition to improving back oice eiciency, it’s the little things that can add up to real savings. hey don’t spend as much on postage, and they have cut printer ink and paper costs. “You don’t have to have real high-level ROIs,” she says. “here are simple ways you can measure your return.”

Capturing data When it comes to capturing data from documents, there are a variety of options. “We see a variety of technologies used to capture documents,” says Jay Duquette, TMW Synergize sales engineer. “Fleets use in-cab mobile communications devices, incab scanners and mobile apps on smartphones — which is a growing area.” Drivers also still use kiosk scanning services at truck 68


Smith & Berry has been using a document management system to capture data for 16 years. The Penticton, British Columbia-based carrier has seen improved eficiencies across the board, says Dorothy Vankoughnett, controller and IT manager.

stops to get shipping information back to the home oice as quickly as possible. Best uses in-cab scanners in about 10% of their trucks. he rest use truck stop scanning or mail or drop of the paperwork. When an image is needed immediately, drivers use their cell phones to photograph a document. Tyler Ashworth, a product development specialist at Apex Capital, notes that customized company mobile apps drivers can use is another avenue. “here are apps to help you manage your fuel card accounts, assist with digital document management and image capture for paperwork solutions, and load searching and booking that help with dayto-day load management,” he says. For instance, Translo Mobile from Pegasus TransTech, Tampa, Fla., is a mobile app that allows drivers to scan and transmit documents using their smartphone. he types of documents leets now manage has multiplied in recent years. Ten or twenty years ago, most documents came back as a scanned image — as a tif or PDF ile, Duquette notes. Now, they are likely to be in a variety of formats including picture iles, video iles and other types.

Managing documents and data “Capturing the data is easy,” says Jerry Robertson with Bolt System, a provider of internet-based leet management sotware based in Nashville, Tenn. “It’s what you do with it that matters.” Fleet management products provide a way to process vehicle-generated information and make it readily available for use in dispatch, billing, management, the safety department and in the shop. For documents that have been scanned or photographed, many enterprise sotware products provide a means to integrate those

documents and data of all types so they can be easily accessed and used by personnel throughout an organization. As TMW’s Duquette notes, the devices used to collect documents in the ield “do a good job of managing it in the ield; we want to integrate these documents. “We partner with a lot of companies to facilitate getting documents from the cab.” hose documents are then stored in a central location and are searchable by authorized personnel. Vankoughnett says integration between various systems was key to the improvements her company has seen. “Everything has improved.” All of the systems they deploy, from their leet management system to mobile communications and shop management system, are integrated with the document management system. If they were standalone systems that didn’t integrate, “it would be harder to get the eiciency out of them,” she says.

Driver impact Many of these technologies have made some aspects of a driver’s day much easier. But the driver still has to collect the data. Carriers want systems that make managing data and documents simple. “hey want a solution that allows drivers to focus,” Duquette says. Whether the driver is using an in-cab mobile comm device, a smartphone or a scanning kiosk, “you want to ultimately take the burden of the driver.” As CLI’s Wiesen explains, “here’s a good reason the industry talks about a ‘professional’ driver,” noting that drivers also have to be customer service reps and technology experts. “It’s not an easy job because of all the proiciencies they need to have, and the trouWWW.TRUCKINGINFO.COM

ble they can get in if they make a misstep,” he says. And while these added responsibilities can add pressure, the technologies they are using can help make non-driving duties easier. “Even though he is collecting more data than ever, he’s doing less work than in the past to gather that data.” Many leets are automating driver paperwork with worklow apps, says Pete Allen, MiX Telematics. hese apps turn driver paperwork into digital forms drivers can ill out on an in-cab mobile device, smartphone or tablet. he MiX Go forms app provides easy data entry and allows drivers to capture signatures, scan barcodes or take a picture. Vankoughnett says her company just implemented automated worklows through their PeopleNet platform. It allows them to develop speciic forms for each location with instructions for that location. “he driver doesn’t have to remember that at this place, I have to do this and at that place I have to do that,” she says.

documents. Even with electronic logging devices, if there is any problem the driver has to revert back to a paper log. And government reporting requirements continue to grow, Robertson says, noting that new rules for transporting food require additional reporting and documenting for food processors, receivers and trucking companies.

Davis says he “only hopes we can become paperless,” adding that the company has gotten further than he thought they would ater six years of using document and data capture technologies. “I’m looking forward to six years from now.” In the end it will all depend on customers, Davis says. Until they go paperless, leets will always have paper.

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he paperless oice concept has been around for many decades. Many think the technology exists now for trucking companies to operate without paper. But government regulations, shipper needs and a company’s comfort level may hold that concept back. “he tools are all available now,” Duquette says, but paper still provides a “comfort level.” Wiesen agrees the capabilities are there. “Clearly it could be done. It’s worked for the couriers; it will eventually expand to the rest of the industry.” Ken Weinberg, vice president of sales and co-founder of Carrier Logistics Inc., says he thought going paperless would be slower in the LTL segment. He says a very high percentage of truckload leets use EDI and other paperless processes, but the percentage for LTL carriers was low. Part of that is due to the fact that there are more customers for an LTL carrier and “they don’t know who their customers will be from day to day.” Government requirements are one stumbling block, Vankoughnett says, noting that when the leet runs loads across the border, they have to submit electronic documents for clearance, but in case something fails, the driver is still required to carry the paper

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Go to and click on reader service #225 WWW.TRUCKINGINFO.COM




‘GREEN’? Can a regular wash program pay for itself, or is it just money down the drain? By Jack Roberts Contributing Editor


truck is a rolling billboard, and companies have taken advantage of that to advertise their wares since heodore Roosevelt was president and goods were as likely to be delivered by horse-drawn wagons as by a clattering, coughing, newfangled motor vehicle. Colorful, clean trucks can ofer a gleaming, positive image of a leet and the services it provides or the products it carries — but the opposite can also be true, with dirty, muddy, scarred-up trucks sending a far less positive message. And it’s not always just the public (or prospective drivers) taking note. “A dirty truck is a rolling bullseye,” says Darry Stuart, CEO of DWS Fleet Services. “here is no question that DOT oicers take note of dirty trucks. Because they know that a truck that hasn’t been washed probably hasn’t been well maintained, either.” Russ Whiting, owner of the Whiting Systems nation truck-washing chain, agrees. “You’ll never get that on record” from the DOT he says. “But it’s true. If a truck looks

Thanks to automation advances, modern drive-through truck washes can clean and wax a vehicle in 10 minutes or even less. PHOTO: WHITING SYSTEMS




If you choose to wash your trucks at your own shops, a host of professional-grade cleaning products can help speed the process and give vehicle surfaces and paint inishes extra protection out on the road.


sloppy, then odds are its maintenance program is sloppy.” According to Todd Mathes, technical expert at 3M Automotive Atermarket Division, there are three considerations when investing in leet maintenance — brand appeal, safety and resale value. And vehicle appearance directly afects all of those goals. “Showing a trucking company’s brand in the best light is a main reason to keep the leet exteriors looking good,” Mathes says. “But there are other positive payofs, too.” Mathes says if a truck’s inish is not properly maintained, the clarity of paint image will fade over time, decreasing the resale value. Additionally, if the truck has damage and is not maintained, it could cause additional issues such as rust or structural integrity. “Keeping truck surfaces clean and waxed simply will keep the truck looking better, longer,” Mathes adds. “Polishing the paint, chrome, and other surfaces regularly will keep the truck from developing a dull, faded appearance over time.” Corrosion, brought about by chemicals on the road, is another serious maintenance consideration that has gained considerable attention in recent years. Stuart says a leet’s irst line of defense against chemicals eating away at various vehicle components and systems is, again, a clean, well-maintained exterior. “Trucks have come a long way over the last 20 years or so in terms of paint jobs,” WWW.TRUCKINGINFO.COM

Stuart says. “And the trailer manufacturers are getting better, too. You used to get a lot of ‘chalking,’ paint that would fade out and lose luster over time. But that’s rare today — provided a leet washes and waxes the vehicle regularly to establish and maintain protection from chemicals and UV radiation.” he consequences for failing to do so can be dire, Stuart adds. Over the course of his career he says he’s seen oil pans drop of engines and radiators rot away from the outside in — not to mention the constant headaches corrosion causes in truck electrical wiring and components. “Obviously, this is more of an issue in the Northeast and colder states where a lot of road salt is used in the winter,” he notes. “If you’re running in those climates, you simply have to wash your trucks whether you want to or not. Otherwise, those salts and chemicals will literally eat a truck up.” Whiting stresses the safety factor, as well. He says it’s simply common sense to keep grease of of cab entry step surfaces and grime of of windshields and headlamps. “It also makes it a lot easier for your maintenance guys to spot or troubleshoot problems if there’s not a lot of gunk and grime on your vehicles,” he adds.

Preventive maintenance Stuart thinks too many leets today skimp on adding regular washes and wax

jobs to their maintenance programs. “And that’s more a question of efort than money,” he says. “It’s not that hard. If you have a wash bay at your facility, then it’s a nobrainer to keep your trucks clean. Most leets today have to use outside companies to get the job done. But luckily, washing trucks is a lot cheaper and quicker than it used to be.” Both Whiting and 3M’s Mathes agree. Mathes says that’s the reasoning behind Meguiars, a 3M brand of products that offer diferent levels of cleaning and maintaining appearance. here are products for everything from washing the vehicle to complete detailing. “here are also step-by-step processes and procedures along with metering systems for dilution to keep product costs low and labor costs to a minimum.” Proactive exterior maintenance is the recommended best practice, Mathes adds. “3M Automotive Atermarket has been working with several maintenance facilities to ofer diferent levels of interior and exterior programs while leet vehicles are in for scheduled maintenance,” he says. “Washing, polishing, waxing, cleaning interior and exterior surfaces should all have some timeline assigned to them. his can prevent additional repairs and costs. If trucks are maintained on a monthly or bi-monthly basis, it will help keep the image comparable to factory condition.” Whiting stresses that automation technology has also transformed the truck wash business today, cutting wait times dramatically while increasing the efectiveness of the cleaning process and the application of protective compounds. “he bottom line today is that we can wash a truck in less than 10 minutes with a high degree of efectiveness and protection. And in some cases we can do so in less than 5 minutes.” Whiting says recommended wash frequency varies depending on application and geography. He recommends weekly washes in harsh conditions such as Alaska, but says leets in milder climates may opt to only wash once a month. “If you’re not washing regularly, we can sit down with you and help put a program together that makes sense for your leet, your climate and your application,” he says. “But somebody needs to be washing your truck — even if it’s not me.” OCTOBER 2016 HDT



Where the rubber meets the road By Jim Park Equipment Editor

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


aximizing tread life is all about the contact patch — literally where the rubber meets the road. Pavement is abrasive by design. hat’s how you get friction between the tire and the road surface — in other words, traction. But excessive friction or uneven contact between the pavement and the tire will cause tread to wear away faster than you should. It’s important that you do all you can to keep your tires running straight and true. Before we get to alignment and pressure management, let’s look at the tires themselves. Rib-type treads will generally wear longer than lug-type treads because 72


there’s less movement of the tread blocks between the body of the tire and the road. Lug treads can squirm and wiggle under load, and that movement translates into scrubbing, which as the word implies, scrubs away tread rubber. Deeper treads squirm more than shallow treads, and thus wear away faster. It may seem like tires with deeper tread last longer, but that’s only because there’s more rubber there to begin with. But if you measure tread loss by miles per 32nd of an inch of rubber, you’ll notice that deeper treads wear faster when the tread is new (deep) and the wear begins

to abate as the tread becomes shallower. Tread rubber compounds can afect wear rates, too. Compounds are oten tuned for speciic applications and wheel positions. “Tread rubber compounding afects tread life in a variety of ways, and signiicantly inluences tire performance attributes such as tread wear, rolling resistance, resistance to cutting and chipping, and traction — all of which play a role in tire tread life,” says Gary Schroeder, director of commercial vehicle and global OEM sales for Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, assigned to the Roadmaster brand. “Ensuring that you have the correct tire for your service type WWW.TRUCKINGINFO.COM


Mis-matched tires in a dual assembly must be the same pressure and diameter to avoid scrubbing wear.

Deep lug tires designed for traction may wear faster than rib tires on clean dry pavement.

can help maximize tire life. A tire designed for long haul truck service will not always do well in a mixed-service application or in an urban environment.”

Right from the start Proper mounting and installation will prevent some types of premature wear. Concentric mounting of the tire on the wheel will prevent radial-runout, or the egg-shaped rotation pattern common when the tire isn’t properly centered in the wheel. You can ensure the tire is properly seated by checking to see that the distance between the rim lange and the tire’s aligning ring is uniform around the complete circumference of the tire. “With the bead seated against the rim, the distance from the seating ring to the rim should be measured at four diferent points that are 90 degrees apart around the rim,” suggests Sherrell Watson of GCR Tires & Service, a division of Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations. “he distance between the ring and the rim should be the same at all four points.” Much irregular wear, and some ride vibration conditions, can be traced back to this installation problem. Another installation-related problem is lateral run-out, deined by the American Trucking Association’s Technology & Maintenance Council as side-to-side movement of the rotating assembly. For a tire or wheel, its efect is to lead a vehicle alternately let and right as it rolls along, creating the perception of a shimmy or wobble. “Once the tire is installed, a run-out gauge WWW.TRUCKINGINFO.COM

should be used to conirm the trueness of the wheel assembly,” says Schroeder. “If it’s not running true, something is amiss. If you ignore this detail when installing wheels you can expect problems down the road.” Another common installation mistake is mismatched dual tires. Even the smallest diference in inlation pressure and tire height and diameter can wreck one or both tires, says Watson. “Paying close attention to tread depths between dual positions and ensuring that they are no greater than 4/32 diferent in tread can ensure that the tires are able to perform together optimally,” she says. According to Schroeder, a diferential of just 5 psi across a pair of identical tires in a dual assembly can result in the tire with the lower inlation pres-sure having a circumference that is 10/32 inches smaller. “During every rotation cycle, the smaller circumference tire will scuf ahead to keep up with the tire with more inlation,” he explains. “Tires rotate approximately 500 times per mile, so simple math suggests 500 times 10/32 inches equals 156.3 inches per mile, or 13 feet per mile. How many feet is that per day or per year?” A similar situation can develop when rotating tires mid-life. Some leets rotate tires routinely, while others do it as the need arises to ofset uneven wear. Changing the direction of rotation has a tendency to even out heel/toe wear on the shoulders of drive tires and erratic wear on the shoulders of trailer tires. Steer tires are normally rotated side-to-side, which changes the direction of rotation and helps even out wear. Michelin

recommends rotating the tires as necessary. “If the tires are wearing evenly, there is no need to rotate,” says Sharon Cowart, director of product marketing, Michelin Americas Truck Tires. “If irregular wear becomes apparent or if the wear rate on the tires is perceptibly diferent (from axle to axle for drive tires and side to side for steer tires), then the tires should be rotated in such a manner as to alleviate the condition.” Note that directional tires are the only tires that should not change the direction of rotation when repositioning tires, and beware of mismatch situations.

Straight and true Many tire problems can be traced to mechanical conditions on the vehicle. For the best tire performance, vehicles must be properly maintained, including alignment. “Alignment refers not only to the various angles of the steer axle geometry, but also to the tracking of all axles on a vehicle, including the trailer,” Cowart notes. “he dual purpose of proper alignment is to minimize tire wear and to maximize predictable vehicle handling and driver control.” Vehicle misalignment oten shows up as an irregular wear condition on steer tires, such as feather wear, rapid wear on one shoulder and one-sided wear. “If the let and right steer tires have the opposite wear pattern (i.e. the out-side shoulders of both tires is worn fast), then a toe-in or toe-out condition is present,” Schroeder says. “If the let and right steer tires have the same wear pattern (i.e. inside shoulder of let steer and outside shoulder OCTOBER 2016 HDT



of right steer worn fast), then you have a misaligned drive axle.” To keep tires wearing evenly, TMC suggests vehicle alignment should be checked every 80,000 to 100,000 miles or every 12-18 months.

TOP 3 WAYS TO KEEP YOUR TIRES RUNNING TRUE Keeping your tires running straight and true and therefore extending their potential service lives isn’t rocket science. Unfortunately, it’s dirty, thankless work that nobody gets really excited about. It does, however, pay huge dividends. Master these tips and you’ll reduce your tire costs by a signiicant margin. Here are three easy ways to prevent premature or irregular tread wear.

Keep up the pressure We saved the most obvious robber of tread life for last: inlation pressure. Simply put, tires are designed to operate at a certain inlation pressure determined by the tire size and the load it carries. Deviations from the deined pressure will have consequences for tread life and possibly casing integrity. Overinlating drive and trailer tires is common practice for two reasons; running 100 psi rather than the required 75-85 psi (as noted in most load and inlation tables for a dual tire loaded to 4,250 lbs) provides a margin for error in between pressure checks, and it is widely believed to improve fuel eiciency by making the tire harder therefore lowering rolling resistance. “Nobody wants to run their tires at the low end of that spread because fuel economy sufers,” says Al Cohn, director of new market development and engineering support at Pressure Systems International. “Fuel economy always trumps tire wear.” Automatic tire inlation systems, such as the Meritor Tire Inlation System by PSI, Hendrickson TireMaax, Stemco Aeris, Dana Spicer Optimized Tire Pressure Management System and the Halo tire inlation device from Aperia Technologies, can help maintain tire pressure to a preset value, alleviating some of the concern of tires losing pressure over time or due to small leaks. Operating at the design inlation pressure will extend tread life if no other harmful inluences are present. Running higher pressures may improve fuel eiciency slightly, but it can be equally detrimental to tread life and tire wear. While tire inlation systems will help maintain tire pressure, tire pressure monitoring systems from companies such as Bendix SmarTire and Truck System Technologies, can provide up-to-the-minute reporting on actual in-lation pressure. In addition, many, such as Tire Stamp’s Tire Vigil and 74


1. Maintain proper inlation. Both over and under inlation have a negative impact on the tire’s footprint and tread wear. When the tire is not contacting the road as the tire design intended, the tread area will wear irregularly, and therefore, more rapidly. “Under inlation causes excessive heat build-up and potentially internal structural damage, whereas over inlation makes it more likely for tires to be cut, punctured or damaged by sudden impact,” says Cooper Tire & Rubber Company’s Gary Schroeder. “Proper inlation pressure should be determined taking into account actual weight by axle and using a load/inlation table.”

2. Proper vehicle maintenance and wheel alignment. Many tire problems can be traced to mechanical conditions in the vehicle, such as imprecise alignment. “Alignment refers not only to the various angles of the steer axle geometry, but also to the tracking of all axles on a vehicle, including the trailer,” says Michelin’s Sharon Cowart. “The dual purpose of proper alignment is to minimize tire wear and to maximize predictable vehicle handling and driver control.” Cowart says toe misalignment is the number one cause of irregular steer tire wear, followed by rear axle skew (lack of parallelism or excessive thrust angle on drive tires).

3. Learn from past mistakes. Tires taken out of service prematurely show the tell-tale signs of what killed them, if you’re vigilant enough to notice. When recording reasons for removal, age and condition, it’s quite easy to see patterns emerge. “Out-of-service tire analysis identiies opportunities to improve a leet’s tire program and achieve maximum life out of its tires,” says Sherrell Watson on behalf of GCR Tires & Service. “Don’t overlook this valuable source of information.”

Advantage PressurePro, provide reports on inlation pressure that can be invaluable in tracking tire wear and mileage. “TPMS solutions are electronic systems that capture tire data and report indings to the drivers and leet managers, so they can best manage tire maintenance,” says Vanessa Hargrave, CMO, Advantage PressurePro. “At their most fundamental level, they alert drivers to under-inlated tires, which prevents irregular tread wear and possibly catastrophic tire failure.” If all that tracking and measuring is a bit much for your operation, Ventech ofers a device called Pneuscan that takes care of all of that and more. It’s a drive-

over installation that measures inlation pressure by comparing the contact patch against an optimal sample, and it measures tread depth, irregular wear and even vehicle alignment. Data is captured by sensors and recorded along with the unit number or license plate of the vehicle. Any out-of-normal conditions are reported immediately. “Drivers do not have to leave the vehicle, they just drive over the plate and all the information for every wheel position is instantly recorded,” says Alex Rodriguez, sales manager at Ventech. “It’s won’t re-inlate your tires, but it will alert you to problems that can cause increased tire wear.” WWW.TRUCKINGINFO.COM

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Go to and click on reader service #203


What smart tanker leets are spec’ing Whether bulk or liquid, light weight, safety, and durability are key considerations By Deborah Lockridge Editor in Chief



wners of tank trailers keep them a long time. All the more reason to make sure when you buy a new one, you’re getting the best possible trailer for your operations for the price — the most “bang for your buck,” says Dan Flanagan, vice president of maintenance for Bulkmatic Transport, the largest dry bulk carrier in North America. “You need to check with your vendors, with trailer makers, every year, because things change,” he says, with advancements in everything from suspensions and landing gear to upper couplers and metal thickness of the vessels. “To think that you can order the same vessel or pneumatic trailer every year – you can’t. You’ve got to ind out what’s out there every year and if it’s worth it.” Fleets want a trailer that’s going to be reliable over a long life, but other key areas to examine in the spec’ing process include safety, lightweight options, and fuel eiciency.

Safety “In general, tanker leets are very interested in safety technology, and especially so within the hazmat sector,” says Polar’s Koll. “Tanker leets in general gravitate to the high end of technology when it comes to spec’ing components on trailers, both for safety and longevity.” Tank trailer buyers are increasingly spec’ing such items as roll stability, antilock brakes, air disc brakes, and better lighting. Rollovers are a concern with tankers because of the high center of gravity, so Koll says Polar continues to work to design trailers with lower centers of gravity. Roll stability control is standard on all of Wabash’s trailer brands — Walker, Beall, Brenner and Bulk, notes Jim Miller, vice president of sales for Wabash National’s tank trailer business, and he says customer requests for disc brakes are on the rise. 76


Bulkmatic Transport is retroitting all 1,300 trailers with LED GloLight tail lamps for better visibility and reliability.

At Carbon Express, new trailers are being spec’ed with air disc brakes. “he drivers love the disc brakes; the mechanics love them,” Rush says. “It’s a little bit of an upcharge, but the return is there pretty quickly.” J&M Tank Lines, however, hasn’t yet adopted them on its approximately 750 trailers, although its 400 tractors feature Bendix disc brakes and other safety tech. Safety for drivers loading and unloading is important, too. Wabash’s Miller says it’s important to enhance the safety of workers on top of tanks, including walkway and ladder combinations Polar’s Koll notes that “extra lighting, extra turn signals, high mounted lights, even strobes are gaining popularity.” Bulkmatic is in the process of converting

its entire leet of trailers to GloLight LED lighting from Optronics, spec’ing them on new trailers from Heil as well as retroitting its 1,300 trailers. “Optronics lights are very unique,” Flanagan says. “hey’re eye catching. he halo design I think when driving, or when parking lights or tail lights are on, [or] when the turn signal comes on, it makes a big diference.” he LEDs are brighter and unlike traditional bulbs there are no ilaments to break, especially important for trailers that get jostled a lot loading and delivering in mills and rail yards.

Tires and wheels Because of weight concerns, aluminum wheels are practically standard on tankers. WWW.TRUCKINGINFO.COM

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TRAILERS & BODIES so it’s using only virgin tires for those trailers. New Jersey-based tanker leet Carbon Express over the past four to ive years has been retroitting its 115 tank trailers with automatic tire inlation systems. “I don’t know how we did without,” says founder and CEO Steve Rush. “It’s helped save tire wear, speeds up pretrip/postrip inspections, and adds to fuel economy.”


Wide base tires ofer weight savings, but they “get mixed reviews,” says John Koll, product manager-stainless sanitary for Polar. hose using wide-base singles tend to use automatic tire inlation systems, he says, because reliability and air leaks are still a concern. Bulkmatic, for instance, only uses them with some very weight-conscious customers. It has had problems with retreads on wide-base tires

Trailer specs in the same leet can differ by application and customer. This J&M tanker hauls slurry and glue in the Southeast.

Both Polar and Wabash National report increased interest in lit axles. Birmingham, Alabama-based J&M Tank Lines has front lit axles on all its pneumatic tanks. Because they don’t have a lot of backhauls, says Billy Lollar, vice president of maintenance, “half the tires don’t roll half the time,” meaning less wear and better fuel economy. Carbon Express is also a fan. “On the tank truck side, anybody that doesn’t go for that lit axle in my opinion is missing the whole thing, especially petroleum haulers,” says Rush.

Long life Bulkmatic’s lighting choice also is prompted by longevity concerns, says Joe Gogolak, senior parts manager. “We keep our trailers at least 20 years, and we’ve got to have a light that’s going to last that long.” Along with the inherent advantages of LEDs, the Optronics lamps use an amp connection instead of a PL3 plug for a weathertight connection. “he light is nothing without the connection,” he explains. “If you get corrosion in there it’s not going to work.” In another bid to beat corrosion, Bulkmatic is working with Hendrickson on suspensions where parts have an anti-corrosion coating. “We have seen an increase in demand for specialty steels to ofset corrosion issues,” notes Wabash’s Miller. Similarly, Koll says Polar has almost eliminated carbon steel components on most trailers in favor of aluminum and stainless steel components. “Where steel is required, galvanizing or powder coating are often used,” he says. “Barrel materials are always being looked at. In the chemical business, various grades of duplex stainless are gaining attention, Go to and click on reader service #214 78



Roll stability control, air disc brakes, lightweight components and corrosion-resistant metals are all common on today’s tank trailers, says Wabash, which offers several tank trailer brands.

speeds where aerodynamics makes a big diference — and adding trailer skirts would just add weight. However, he says, “MAC has a unique design we’re thinking about purchasing — it almost looks like a teardrop.”

Working with suppliers


Carbon Express uses wide-base single tires and Stemco Aeris tire inlation systems on their trailers. Wide-base singles are popular for especially weight-sensitive customers, but some leets have gone back to duals.

for weight and corrosion advantages.” Sometimes simple things can help keep trailers lasting longer and out of the shop. At Carbon Express, the ladder has been moved to the street side so the driver can see it, resulting in fewer damaged ladders.

Aerodynamics he skirts, tails and other aero devices that have become common on van trailers are less common in the tanker world, although


Miller says customers continue to test and evaluate aero skirts. “Aerodynamic devices are more diicult to use efectively on tankers, due to the various shapes and sizes,” says Polar’s Koll. But in addition to reducing height, he says, “we’ve worked to make surfaces smoother, less items sticking out in the wind, and more streamlined wherever possible.” Bulkmatic’s Flanagan points out that most of their miles are not at highway


“Build relationships,” says J&M’s Lollar. “Everybody makes good equipment nowadays,” he notes, but it’s the relationship that will take that spec’ing process to the next level. “Try to stay open minded. If you’re always looking to improve somewhere, you have to change something.” Flanagan recommends getting engineers involved in addition to salespeople – and make sure to ask what’s available. “here’s a lot of variables out there, and unless you sit down every year and talk to your manufacturer and engineering group, you don’t know until you ask.” For more, see our related photo gallery at


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FIND A LOCAL DISTRIBUTOR AT MINIMIZER.COM OR CALL 800.248.3855 Go to and click on reader service #200 WWW.TRUCKINGINFO.COM






Are today’s battery and charging systems generally up to the task of managing the “always on” truck electronics or are you looking for alternatives?



Today’s batteries are adequate

Need to improve the batteries’ ability to sustain prolonged slow discharge 0%









Which of the following do you use in your leet? Common lead-acid batteries Glass-mat batteries Ultra capacitors to assist engine cranking Segregated battery packs for accessory (” house”) loads Inverters wired to the usual battery complement










Has this summer’s hotter weather had an adverse effect on your batteries?

Less than half of this month’s respondents are happy with their batteries’ ability to sustain a prolonged slow discharge, something that drivers with sleepers might agree with. In general, a majority of fleets are using common leadacid batteries, with less then 30% using glass-mat, ultra capacitors, segregated battery packs or inverters, combined. And while temps topped 100 in many states this summer, it did not seem to have much of an effect on battery conditions.

This information was provided by members of the HDT Editorial Advisory Board. For more information and to learn how to become a member, contact Managing Editor Stephane Babcock at

Do you make any attempt to recharge and recondition failed batteries or simply scrap them?

No worse than usual More no-starts than usual More frequent replacement of batteries

Recondition Scrap
















Go to and click on reader service #189


A. Duie Pyle manages warehouse information for more eficient operations, happier drivers and customers By Deborah Lockridge Editor in Chief


. Duie Pyle created its own dock management system that shows every dock, every trailer, and every pallet position within each trailer, leading to fewer misplaced shipments and quicker movements across the dock. Once a truck departs, mobile tracking technology ofers real-time visibility of shipment status. Combined with new routing sotware, this improves distribution eiciency and reduces planning time, overhead, and wasted mileage, and gives the company a vast amount of information it can use. “Most carriers, if not all, look at an eightpallet shipment with one pro number,” explains Randy Swart, chief operating oicer. “However, on a dock, those pallets get handled individually and can get set in diferent locations. Our system allows us to individually label each of those pallets at pickup. If we stage it in the warehouse we know where all eight pieces are. If somebody tries to put a piece in the wrong trailer, when they scan it, it will tell them it’s in the wrong trailer.” With the traditional method of tracking by the shipment, he says, you wouldn’t know it went into the wrong trailer until it

FLEET SNAPSHOT Who: A. Duie Pyle Where: West Chester, Pa. Fleet: 21 transportation service centers, nine warehouses, 880-plus power units Operations: LTL, TL, brokerage, dedicated and warehousing, primarily in the Northeast Fun Fact: Family owned and operated since 1924 Challenge: Tracking freight by the pallet or piece instead of by the load



A. Duie Pyle’s dock management system, or DMS, in use. It works hand in hand with Route Planning Solutions to get freight where it needs to be faster.

was too late — when only seven of the eight pieces were unloaded at the receiving dock. he DMS also tracks which employee moves which piece, creating greater accountability. In addition, each piece is tracked by weight, which helps load the freight evenly. he second piece of the system is Route Planning Solutions, or RPS. Routes are designed so they can be loaded in the exact order that the driver needs to deliver in. It allows the company to assign ETAs to every stop, so customers can plan better. “We used to deliver about 48% of our freight prior to noon,” Swart says. “Now

we’re closing in on 60%. he customers love it, and this puts us into position to make our pickups more timely.” Drivers like it, too. “hey know where they’re going; they don’t have to move their freight around,” Swart says. “Drivers can better plan their workday.” And because it allows drivers to get on the street with their loads earlier, there’s less congestion, and they tend to inish earlier in the day. he result is better work-life balance for drivers and better driver retention. he whole system means it takes less time and fewer people to do the job, with better service to the customer. WWW.TRUCKINGINFO.COM


EMERGING LEADERS AWARD Heavy Duty Trucking is on the lookout for trucking’s next generation of up-and-coming leet leaders. We’re looking for young talent that is making a difference in their company and in the trucking industry to honor in our December issue as HDT Emerging Leaders. HDT’s Emerging Leaders will be under 40 years of age and work for a leet, whether the operation is for-hire, private, government or vocational. The honor is open to all parts of the leet business and all levels, whether it’s management, maintenance, sales, marketing, safety, IT, training, or elsewhere; whether it’s an upper level management position or a shop team foreman or the IT person who led the transition of your company’s data analysis. We’re looking for young people who are inluential in the industry, innovative and successful, who can point to outstanding accomplishments and leadership qualities, who have a passion for the trucking industry.

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If you or someone you know should be on our list of Emerging Leaders, visit or contact Stephane Babcock at or (310) 533-2414.

PRODUCT UPDATE Freightliner’s next-generation Cascadia he next-generation Cascadia, which will be designated a Model Year 2018, combines a new aerodynamic shape with the newest Detroit integrated powertrain. Standard aerodynamic enhancements such as an upper door seal, elliptical-shaped mirrors, sloped hood, bumper with integrated air delector and integrated antennas all minimize drag. he optional Aero and AeroX packages includes longer side extenders, lower chassis fairings, drive wheel covers and proprietary-designed wheel fairings. he new Cascadia is available with the integrated Detroit Powertrain, which combines the fuel-eicient downsped 400 hp/1,750 lb/t. of torque Detroit DD15 or DD13 engines with the Detroit DT12 automated manual transmission, Intelligent Powertrain Management and corresponding Detroit steer and rear tandem axles. Go to and click on reader service #340

Bendix offers air disc brake for trailers he Bendix ADB22X-LT is the irst Bendix air disc brake engineered specifically for trailers and is now available in North America. he ADB22XLT has a 23,000-pound brake rating and is 40 pounds per tandem axle lighter than its companion ADB22X air disc brake making it the lightest air disc brake in Bendix’s lineup. Lighter wheel-ends deliver increased payload capacity and can be a value for trailers that are particularly sensitive to brake weight. Lighter weight can also improve overall fuel eiciency. he ADB22X-LT brake features a new pad with 8% more wearable volume and up to a 40% improvement in wear rate, according to Bendix. he new pad also meets the EPA’s 2021 copper-free brake initiative requirements. Go to and click on reader service #341

Omnitracs ELD Driver Retention Model ‘predicts’ driver retention Omnitracs says its new ELD Driver Retention Model can analyze the data provided by electronic logs to help predict which truck drivers are most likely to quit, helping leets pinpoint retention eforts. he tool uses data that companies are already collecting through electronic hour-of-service applications to detect subtle changes in driver habits, which can be key indicators of the desire to voluntarily leave their

jobs. hese individual driver logs produce over a thousand pieces of data related to hours worked, customer site delays, lack of hours and amount of activity on the clock. Omnitracs ELD Driver Retention Model can also leverage HOS data generated by competitive solutions. Go to and click on reader service #342

er signiicant performance improvements over today’s comparable CJ-4 oils, including 80% improvement in high-temperature viscosity control, 50% improvement in oxidation resistance and 20% improvement in wear protection. Go to and click on reader service #343

NetraDyne adds artiicial intelligence into camera safety system

ExxonMobil reveals PC-11 Mobil Delvac oils ExxonMobil unveiled its lineup of enhanced Mobil Delvac diesel engine oils that are designed to meet or exceed the CK-4 and FA-4 categories of API Proposed Category 11, known as PC-11, speciication. he new lineup includes improved versions of Mobil Delvac 1300 Super and fully synthetic Mobil Delvac 1 ESP 5W-40, as well as new additions to the Mobil Delvac family, such as low viscosity Mobil Delvac Extreme semisynthetic oils. According to the company, ExxonMobil’s new CK-4 and FA-4 formulations can deliv-

NetraDyne has unveiled its irst product, driver-i, which uses artiicial intelligence to analyze the data coming in through its patent-pending four-camera system and provide near-real-time information on what drivers are doing wrong — and what they’re doing right. he platform was developed to capture every moment and aspect of the driving experience, rather than a small sample of time. Driveri’s artiicial intelligence uses deep learning, the approach to AI that most closely mimics the way the human brain processes visual imagery, according to the company. he system uses the most powerful mobile CPU available, a TerraFlop, which can perform a trillion calculations per second. For comparison, a typical laptop is a GigaFlop, or about a billion per second. Go to and click on reader service #344

For more details on these and other new products, see our online Product News section at Sign up for weekly new product e-newsletters at 84




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JOB POSTING DIRECTOR OF MAINTENANCE AND PURCHASING Trans-System, Inc. and its subsidiaries: • System Transport, Inc. • TW Transport, Inc. • James J. Williams Bulk Transport Corporate Ofice Spokane, WA Responsibilities: • Leadership and Oversight of corporate maintenance and equipment purchasing functions • Executive level cost and budgetary responsibility • Develop and implement a corporate maintenance strategy for a nationwide (US & Canada) flatbed, refrigerated, and bulk carrier We offer a competitive salary and complete benefit package. • Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent experience preferred Please send cover letter and resume to:

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Page Number

Action Number

Page Number


ACDelco ....................................................................................81



American Controls Inc.* ............................................................61


Martin Lubricants ......................................................................23 Meritor, Inc. ...............................................................................43


Ancra International ....................................................................28




CDK Global* ..............................................................................61


Navistar ............................................................................... 16-17


DTNA-Detroit ...................................................................... 30-31


Omnitracs ...................................................................................2

258, 270

East Manufacturing ...................................................................25


Optronics ..................................................................................78


Eaton Procision .........................................................................15


Ottawa Truck Corp. ...................................................................40


Eberspächer Heater Systems ...................................................29


Penske Truck Leasing .................................................................5


Eco Flaps ..................................................................................41


PeopleNet .................................................................................53


Ford Motor Company ..................................................................9


Peterbilt Motors ....................................................................... C4


Geotab ......................................................................................49

Renewable Energy Group (Insert)* ...................................... 67a-b


Haldex Brake Systems ..............................................................47


Rotary Lift..................................................................................21

Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week (HDAW ‘17) ...............................77


Ryder System, Inc. ....................................................................19


Hendrickson (Corporate) ..................................................... 54-55


SAF-Holland, Inc. ......................................................................13

Hendrickson (Trailer) (Insert) ................................................ 35a-b


Samba Safety..............................................................................7


Hendrickson (Truck) ................................................................. C3


Shell Lubricants ........................................................................51


IMI .............................................................................................36


Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) ...............................33


Isuzu Commerical Trucks of America ........................................75


VDO Roadlog ...........................................................................69


Kendall Motor Oil ......................................................................11


Volvo Trucks ..........................................................................C2-1

MacKay & Company .................................................................89


Zonar Systems ..........................................................................27

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TWEETS THAT ROARED “You likely won’t see a VW, Scania or MAN nameplate running down the road but under the hood it’s a different story.” “Placard shows some of the 998-cubic inch diesel’s stats. Renault in France built battle tanks using it.” “Volvo’s SuperTruck achieved better than 12 mpg consistently in testing. Did better than 13 at times.”

REALLY “LIKED” Freightliner pulls curtain back on its nextgeneration Cascadia model for 2017; claims it will deliver fuel efficiency “far beyond what we thought was possible.”

“YOU SAID IT” “What are the drones going to do about power lines and trees (or kids with rocks?)” Turnkey Authority on Facebook Commenting on “FTR Conference: Digital Disruptions and the Future of Trucking” “Some drivers are just safer than others. Unsafe drivers in a truck with no limitations can be trouble. The other issue is trying to come up with a solution that works on wide open interstates in the western part of the US and in crowded interstates in urban areas. You can’t legislate responsible behavior.” Joseph G. Knudson on Commenting on story “Driver Turnover Hits 87% at Large Truckload Carriers” “Why do you have a problem with breathing cleaner air. The filthy air we breathe now is due to all the poor engine and fuel designs of the past. The air we breathe is killing us!!!!” “Willie” on Commenting on story “GHG Phase 2: Weighing the Devil in the Details”

TIME-SAVING TIPS Use scheduling tools Scheduling tools help you set up your posts before you actually send them out, which can save you time. Social media tools such as TweetDeck and Hootsuite allow you to schedule posts straight to your page. Have a strategy Posting without a purpose or a strategy will waste a lot of time. Sometimes indecision can lead to unnecessary posts. Creating a strategy starts with defining what to post, when to post it, who will be in charge of actually posting, how to reply to related comments, and how to measure your engagement with your audience. Look for social media share buttons Sometimes it can be as simple as sharing with others. Most online news articles include “share” buttons that let you post the headline and a link to your social media pages. For example, LinkedIn allows you to automatically share an article link with your connections, and even lets you add a comment about why you find it interesting. Source: CP Communications

What we’re blogging about ALL THAT’S TRUCKING

PASSING ZONE By David Cullen

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Uber, Otto Talk About Plans to Transform Trucking

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TMC Looks at Special Trailer Repair Issues

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100 LBS 1-800-660-2829 Go to and click on reader service #156

Optimized for on-highway eficiency, this all-inclusive system design integrates two of Hendrickson’s innovations, the STEERTEK NXT fabricated front steer axle and SOFTRIDE™ monoleaf spring technology. Our ride solutions are validated by 100-plus years in the heavy-duty vehicle industry. Hendrickson never stops driving to bring innovative ride solutions to the market.

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