DRY VAN TRAILERS
All the latest models, specs page 48
SEEING IS BELIEVING
Shippers seek more visibility page 54
COVID-19 How the pandemic impacted all corners of the industry
A LEAP FORWARD IN LOOKING BACKWARD CCJ tests camera monitor system page 20
BUSINESS SOLUTIONS FOR TRUCKING PROFESSIONALS
CONTACTLESS TRANSACTIONS Fleet cards help social distancing page 34
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– Improves low-speed maneuverability
MAY 2020 | VOL 177 | NO. 5
JOURNAL LEADING NEWS, TRUCKING MARKET CONDITIONS AND INDUSTRY ANALYSIS
Trucking was not immune from COVID-19’s economic toll, as the coronavirus impacted every corner of the industry, from fleets of all types – truckload, reefer, less than truckload, flatbed, final mile, even hotshot – to truck makers, repair shops, dealers, truck stops and all their customers. While some truckers decided to sit COVID-19 out, many risked their own health to do the jobs they knew were vital to keeping the nation’s supply of essentials moving from supplier to consumer.
Cover design by Richard Street
Trailer focus: Dry vans
Today’s dry vans are stronger than those of the past while also weighing less, thanks to improved structural integrity and lighter materials.
The technology expectations of shippers are evolving, forcing third-party logistics providers (3PLs) and motor carriers to meet higher standards. However, meeting customer expectations by using traditional business-to-business (B2B) commerce tools such as electronic data interchange (EDI) is becoming more difficult. Freight transactions increasingly are using direct system-to-system integration through application programming interfaces (APIs).
Coronavirus acts offer financial aid for fleets, require paid sick leave … Licensing, medical card regs relaxed
Innovators: Liquid Trucking
The Plattsmouth, Neb.-based tank carrier leverages its driver pay structure, rewards program, surveys and mobile app as it adjusts to new market opportunities, including those presented by COVID-19.
… FMCSA issues shelterin-place guidance … CLP holders get more flexibility … Real ID deadline delayed
… Cheap diesel predicted through summer, could hurt truck drivers … House bill looks to add truck parking … NTTC seeks additional lighting on tanker trailers … OOIDA suit over Indiana toll hikes dismissed
10 InBrief COMMERCIAL CARRIER JOURNAL
| MAY 2020 1
facebook.com/CCJMagazine @CCJnow linkedin.com/ccjmagazine
16 17 18 18
Editor: Jason Cannon Senior Editor: Aaron Huff Associate Editor: Tom Quimby Managing Editor: Dean Smallwood News Editor: Matt Cole Contributing Editors: Todd Dills, James Jaillet
Fleets can leverage lube supplier expertise in many ways
Mack drive axle gets boost in weight rating for Granites TuSimple, ZF announce selfdriving tech tie-up
Eaton Cummins to debut heavyweight Endurant
18 InBrief 19 Zonar launches Fleet Health
Solution Suite for diagnostics
Real-time meeting tool arrives at critical time for carriers Geotab offers Zone Defense safety camera Driving Dynamics offers safety telematics Carriers respond to greater customer demand
28 InBrief 29 Time-based bid data may
change how carriers price freight
FDA rules may require reefer fleets to share more details MVT moves quickly with mobility tech
20 Test Drive:
Trimble using ‘sentiment analysis’ to predict driver turnover Fuel and fleet cards
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE
Upfront Editor Jason Cannon’s column
64 Preventable or Not? Flatbed driver John Doe was backing his rig down a makeshift ramp after a delivery, but his fuel tank scrubbed against the ramp’s sharp angle and was damaged. Was this a preventable accident?
58 Products Alternator line, grease, portable vacuum, more 2
COMMERCIAL CARRIER JOURNAL
63 Ad Index | MAY 2020
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MEET YOUR SUSTAINABILITY NEEDS TODAY By Steve Klein, Renewable Energy Group
With clean air regulations and private sector sustainability plans continuing to gain traction, fleets are feeling the pressure to lower their emissions.
Perhaps most importantly, this renewable diesel and biodiesel blend significantly reduces key emissions like total hydrocarbons, particulate matter, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides (NOx).
A lot of the conversation of late has turned to electric vehicles, but diesel engines will continue to power the vast majority of medium- and heavy-duty trucks for years to come.
“REG Ultra Clean Diesel is a fully renewable product that advances our own sustainability successes, but more importantly, it helps our customers differentiate themselves by having
That’s left fleets searching for ways to make a difference now. Biodiesel and renewable diesel have proved to be popular options because they reduce emissions and work in existing diesel vehicles and fuel infrastructure.
renewable fuels used in moving their products,” Larsen said.
Fleets have recently begun to take advantage of the benefits of both by blending renewable diesel with biodiesel. This drop-in, 100% renewable fuel offers: Lower emissions Strong performance Ease of use Stretching renewable diesel supply “In select California operations, we have exclusively used a product from Renewable Energy Group that is a blend of renewable diesel and biodiesel,” said Steve Larsen, Director of Procurement and Fuel at Ruan Transportation. “It’s 100% renewable, our fleet has performed consistently, there have been no material changes to vehicle maintenance, and driver
RESULTS TODAY AND TOMORROW Clean air policies are mostly associated with the West Coast, but they are gaining traction across the country, as are private sector sustainability plans. No matter where a fleet does business, it needs to start planning for a low-carbon future. “Using REG Ultra Clean Diesel will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and particulate matter and make our engines run cleaner and, in turn, more efficiently,” said Tom Keyser, CFFA/CAFS, Fleet Manager for Washington County, Oregon. “It’s a step in the right direction to move away from pure fossil-based diesel.”
R E G
U LT R A
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Significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions
acceptance is high. The switch has been seamless.”
LOW CARBON, HIGH PERFORMANCE
High Cetane, added lubricity and other performance benefits
Ruan’s use of the product, called REG Ultra Clean™ Diesel, follows its success with biodiesel. REG Ultra Clean Diesel is one of the lowest-carbon liquid fuels on the market, helping fleets like Ruan reduce their emissions to meet clean air regulations and sustainability goals. Performance-wise, the blend provides higher Cetane, added lubricity and lower aromatics than petroleum diesel, plus a favorable Cloud Point. It’s easy to blend, store and handle, so it’s simple for fleets to adopt.
Simple blending, handling and storage Stretches hard-to-get renewable diesel supply
TO LEARN MORE Call (844) 405-0160 or visit regi.com/ucd.
© 2020 Renewable Energy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Falloff in freight, rates prompt layoffs as more trucks sit idle BY JASON CANNON
oming in to 2020, many carriers were happy to have survived last year and, thanks to federal tax cuts and a business-friendly White House going into a reelection campaign, were optimistic about what lie in store. According to a survey conducted by CCJ in late January, corporate tax cuts enacted in 2017 helped 48% of for-hire carriers and 52% of private carriers invest in new equipment last year, while 44% and 39%, respectively, said they raised driver pay. Only 12% of for-hire carriers and 14% of private fleets claimed to have put that cash infusion in the bank. Many of the comments on the survey pinned a lot of hope to a strong U.S. economy getting even stronger, spurring growth in domestic freight and, by proxy, rates. Barely two months later, the COVID-19 coronavirus has blown apart that optimism. Research firm MacKay & Company’s monthly DataPulse Plus report noted in late March its panel of fleets expect to see a steep drop in revenue miles, with the carriers forecasting a 10.3% slide over the next two to three months. In contrast, the agency’s January report – pre-global pandemic – showed fleet panel members expected a gain of 1.2% revenue miles this year over 2019. Currently, the group of motor carriers expects revenue miles to end the year 10.1% under last year’s levels, a -11.3% net deficit of the expectations with which they rang in the new year. As March turned into April and April inched toward May, the festering coronavirus continued to drag on trucking conditions. As part of our coverage on the virus’ impact on motor carriers, CCJ has been sending weekly surveys to our readership. Our first survey sent the first week of April – reflecting conditions at the end of March – showed 41% of respondents already had seen a drop in freight levels. Just seven days later, it would crest 80%.
“Dedicated contracts canceled five lanes because of closures,” wrote one of our respondents. “Spot market as low as I have ever seen it in my 27 years in this industry.” Spot truckload volumes and rates rose sharply for dry van and refrigerated freight during the first three weeks of March before spending the final week of the month in freefall that ended well below seasonal norms, according to the DAT Truckload Volume Index. Truckload volumes continued to drop during the week ending April 5, with the number of available loads on the spot market falling 39%, according to DAT Solutions. Tim Denoyer, ACT Research vice president and senior analyst, expects that drop to sustain itself through much of the spring. “The cliff event is here and now,” he said. “We expect spot rates to drop more than 20% in April/May from March.” As much as COVID dragged on freight conditions, it also impacted morale. An increased number of carriers dropped their outlook over the following 30 days, and as customers also began to take a hit – numerous carriers noted customers seeking payment extensions – fleets were forced to cut back on staff. At the end of March, only 15% of our respondents said they had been forced to reduce their non-driver workforce, and 13% forced to eliminate drivers. As of the week ending April 18, that had jumped to 19% and 24%, respectively. “Rates are not paying enough to keep the doors open,” wrote a for-hire carrier with fewer than 25 units. Another survey respondent, a fleet in the Pacific Northwest with less than 25 trucks, said the company had “parked all trucks.” There’s no doubt our industry will emerge from this, but when and what our new normal will look like are anyone’s guesses. Regardless, the coronavirus is the event horizon for 2020 expectations, and it hit before the year really got under way.
There’s no doubt our industry will emerge from this, but when and what our new normal will look like are anyone’s guesses.
JASON CANNON is Editor of Commercial Carrier Journal. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
commercial carrier journal
| may 2020
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LEADING NEWS, TRUCKING MARKET CONDITIONS AND INDUSTRY ANALYSIS
Truckers hope for second chance at COVID-19 aid
’m starting to lose hope, to tell you the truth.” Jan Van Liew, who runs the one-truck Van’s Logistics with her husband, Robert, said she tried to apply for a COVID-19 bridge loan through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) three days after Congress passed the law in late March that set up the federal aid program. “The bank we usually work with said they weren’t taking any more applications,” she said. “They were already over capacity. So I went to a local bank in our hometown that I don’t bank with, and they took my application. But what they didn’t tell me was that it was just going to sit in a pile for nonmembers.” Like the Van Liews, many other small fleets and owner-operators reported having applied for the PPP loans, One-truck independent Robert Van Liew runs Van’s Logistics with his part of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Econom- wife, Jan. ic Security (CARES) Act, yet say they were either turned away for a loan or stuck in a long queue of applicants. better positioned to score a PPP loan when the next round of But a small glimmer of hope remained for those who missed the original $350 billion, which ran dry in less than two weeks. funding comes. ATBS, the nation’s largest business services firm for owner-operators, is encouraging truckers to get A $310 billion refill for the PPP appeared to be on deck as started on the process if they already haven’t. CCJ went to press, with Congress and President Trump anThat means working with your bank or another lender and nouncing a deal April 21. The bill passed the Senate by a voice rounding up the required paperwork. Those who’ve already vote and was approved by the House by a 388-5 margin two applied in the first round may not need to resubmit an apdays later, sending it to Trump for his signature. The money plication, but they were advised to double-check with their would be allotted to help small and medium-sized businesses meet payroll and other obligations for 10 weeks. bank. Since they missed the first round of funding, the Van Liews Though banks are acting as the middlemen for the loans, were forced to find alternatives to make ends meet. Robert had the money provided to businesses essentially will transition been working port freight in Washington since 2017, but that to a grant. Banks are required to forgive the loans if they’re used properly, and the Small Business Administration (SBA) is tapered off even before the March stall, given much of it was bound to or from China, where the coronavirus originated. footing the bill. SBA will repay the banks out of the PPP fund, He’d picked up a steady customer hauling paper regionally five which will hit, all told, $660 billion if it’s approved. days a week, but that tapered down to nothing. Those with applications already submitted likely will be In mid-April, Robert leased his 2006 Freightliner on to another carrier and started running long-haul loads. “He was Scan the QR code with your smartphone or visit ccjdigital.com/news/subscribe-tohome every night, and now I may not see him for a month,” newsletters to sign up for the CCJ Daily Report, Jan said. In the meantime, she’s also been trying to find work. a daily e-mail newsletter filled with news, “It’s impossible to find anything,” she said. “It’s just a tough analysis, blogs and market condition articles. time.” – James Jaillet 6
commercial carrier journal
| may 2020
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Licensing, medical card regs relaxed
FMCSA issues shelterin-place guidance
he U.S. Department of Transportation announced it would not enforce certain licensing and medical certification renewal regulations for drivers Some states, in response to a whose credentials expired on or pending logjam of after March 1. expiring medical The Federal Motor Carrier cards and licenses, issued an extension Safety Administration on March to their grace period 24 issued a waiver extending for renewals. commercial driver’s license and commercial learner’s permit validity until June 30 for those that were to expire on or after March 1. That meant CLP holders weren’t required to retake the general and endorsement knowledge tests if using the waiver. The notice also waived the requirement for drivers to have a medical exam or certification as long as they had proof of a valid medical certification that was issued for at least 90 days and expired on or after March 1. – CCJ Staff
CLP holders get more flexibility
he Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued a temporary waiver on March 28 for commercial FMCSA’s waiver in learner’s permit (CLP) holders, response to COVID-19 allows CLP holders allowing them to drive comto drive commercial mercial vehicles without a com- vehicles without a CDL mercial driver’s license (CDL) holder in the front seat. holder in the front seat. A CDL holder still has to be present somewhere in the truck under the waiver. The waiver also only applies to CLP holders who have “possession of evidence from the testing jurisdiction, including an authorized third-party tester, that the CLP holder has passed the CDL driving skills test,” the waiver says. The waiver is effective through June 30 and will “reduce the administrative burden on CLP holders during this national emergency,” FMCSA said in the notice. – CCJ Staff 8
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| may 2020
he Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on April 1 issued new guidance directed at states and other governing bodies issuing shelter-in- CDC’s guidance said truckers place orders and other restricshould wash their hands and practice social distancing when tions in regard to truck drivers who were delivering in areas hit they have to stay in restricted areas to get rest. hardest by COVID-19. FMCSA also outlined the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) regarding truckers that said drivers “should stay in their vehicles as much as possible as supplies are loaded and unloaded, avoid being within six feet of others as much as possible when they exit their vehicles, and move to electronic receipts if possible.” CDC’s guidance for truckers added that drivers should wash their hands and practice social distancing as much as possible when they have to stay in restricted areas to get rest. – CCJ Staff
Real ID deadline delayed he U.S. Department of Homeland Security delayed the Real ID enforcement deadline that requires truck drivers to have an upgraded license to enter military bases The Real ID Act set minimum and other federal facilities. The security standards for stateissued driver’s licenses and deadline has been pushed one ID cards that are required for year from Oct. 1, 2020, to Oct. accessing federal facilities. 1, 2021, due to COVID-19. The Real ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005, set minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and ID cards that are required for accessing federal facilities, entering nuclear power plants and boarding commercial airplanes. Also, the Transportation Security Administration extended the expiration date for Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) cards that expired on or after March 1. TSA said TWIC holders now have 180 extra days to renew the ID. The temporary exemption is in effect until July 31. TSA said if the 180-day period extends beyond the duration of the temporary exemption, the TWIC will be valid for the remainder of the – CCJ Staff 180 days based on the card’s expiration date.
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COVID-19 AND THE COURTS
am writing this article in late March, and I know that by the time this goes to publication circumstances may have changed, though I doubt it. This article is about the impact COVID-19 is having on the courts. For the most part, my job has something of a natural rhythm. I come to work, drink way too much coffee, complain about whatever body part hurts that day and then I talk with clients, prosecutors, officers and judges. Usually I have hearings on various matters and go home. Now, when I come to the office, after I caffeinate and complain, I look at my docket and the courts and try to get a handle on what is going on. Have my hearings been postponed? What can I tell my clients about when they can expect resolution of their case? How do I reach out to prosecutors working from home? Are the court clerks working? If you can’t tell, everything (except the caffeine and complaining) has changed since COVID-19. Quite simply, the new norm is something along the lines of chaos. Everybody, from judges, defendants and prosecutors to enforcement and court personnel, faces a new reality. Courts across the country are suspending jury trials, pushing back court dates, prohibiting in-person hearings — all at a time when the courts already had a substantial backlog. These additional delays will only increase the backlog of cases in the court system. Some courts are pushing court dates out eight weeks, and others are pushing out court dates indefinitely. All the while, law enforcement is still writing tickets and making arrests – though their focus is shifting. Immigration courts, whose backlog is legendary, are basically at a standstill, and it could now take years to get a hearing. Juveniles may time out (turn 18) before their case is processed in the juvenile court system, meaning the matter may never be heard. These delays and disruptions to the court system will add to the backlogs, and it will be difficult for us to dig our way out. However, pushing back court dates and postponing trials is the right thing to do. As a society, we need to do all we can to protect each other during this time. Understanding that when this is all over and life returns to something that vaguely resembles normal, we will have to make some concessions. That right to a speedy trial may not be that speedy in the future. In addition, enforcement officers working the highways now have a new reality. They are working with CDL drivers to make sure essential goods and services are delivered. They may still write citations and make arrests, but their goal is also to help make sure necessary goods get delivered and distributed as needed. And remember they, just like the CDL driver, are doing this while trying to stay healthy. Everyone needs to exhibit a little patience. Patience with the courts. Patience with each other. Patience with drivers. Patience with law enforcement. We are in new territory here and, hopefully, we will all come out the other side with a little more understanding and appreciation for each other.
commercial carrier journal
| may 2020
INBRIEF 5/20 • The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance postponed its annual International Roadcheck inspection blitz, originally scheduled for May 5-7. Roadcheck was the only enforcement blitz postponed so far, CVSA said, with Operation Safe Driver Week still scheduled for July 12-18 and Brake Safety Week still set for Aug. 23-29. • CVSA compiled a list of links from trucking-related organizations, associations and agencies providing COVID-19 information. Go to cvsa.org/inspections/inspections/covid-19. • Yokohama reopened its commercial truck tire plant in West Point, Miss., on April 27. The plant had closed temporarily in late March because of COVID-19. The company said it implemented several new safety procedures at the plant based on the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and from local authorities. Several preventive measures also were in effect at all Yokohama facilities. • The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) issued an exemption that allows states to issue hazardous materials endorsements (HME) to individuals with a valid Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC). The exemption allows TSA to conform with the TSA Modernization Act and allows individuals with valid TWICs to not have to resubmit HME-related information, biometrics and fees to TSA. • The Commercial Vehicle Training Association warned of an email marketing scheme referencing CDL Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse compliance. The email is worded to look like it originated from a government agency, but it actually is a sales pitch to enroll with a consortium/third-party administrator. • The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture added 12 counties to the state’s spotted lanternfly quarantine zone ahead of the invasive insect’s spring hatch. The quarantine began on May 1, 2019, and requires truck drivers who stop in quarantined counties to have a Spotted Lanternfly Permit, which is given after completing a free online course at extension.psu.edu. Counties added to the quarantine for 2020 are Allegheny, Beaver, Blair, Columbia, Cumberland, Huntingdon, Juniata, Luzerne, Mifflin, Northumberland, Perry and York. • XPO Logistics (CCJ Top 250, No. 6) announced it is no longer looking to sell or spin-off a number of its business units, citing “current market conditions” in a notice filed March 20 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The company announced in January it was exploring a sale. • Roadrunner Transportation Systems (No. 31) sold its dry van truckload unit Stagecoach Cartage and Distribution to J.H. Rose Logistics. Stagecoach is based in El Paso, Texas. • Central Freight Lines (No. 84), a Waco, Texas-based less-than-truckload carrier, purchased Volunteer Express, a Dresden, Tenn.-based carrier with 12 terminals across the South. Central Freight said the acquisition would expand its footprint and services and that all operations would be combined and function under its brand. • Bulkmatic (No. 189), a Griffith, Ind.-based dry bulk transporter, acquired Paris Transport Inc. of Paris, Ill. Bulkmatic said the acquisition includes dry bulk tank and dry van equipment, a tank wash and a 50,000-square-foot food-grade warehouse and will create additional capacity and improved service for its customers in the Central Illinois and Indianapolis markets.
Cheap diesel predicted through summer, could hurt truck orders
feud over oil prices between Saudi Arabia and Russia that began in early March, combined with a decrease in demand due to COVID-19, caused crude oil prices around the world to plummet in April. This led to lower diesel prices at the pump for fleets, a trend that analysts say is likely to continue in the coming months. Though cheaper diesel helps fleets relative to operating costs, depressed crude prices could eat into already-sluggish freight in the oil sector, which analysts say accounts for about 3-5% of all truck freight. Also, cheaper fuel could further depress Class 8 truck orders already expected to hit their worst points since the Great Recession over a decade ago. “The drive for fuel efficiency and the advances in technology are some of the crowning achievements of truck OEMs,” said Jim Meil of ACT Research. “It’s great to see trucks get mileage that was unthinkable even 10 years ago, with 8.5 miles per gallon and higher in some cases. But that’s a bigger benefit when diesel is $4 or higher rather than $2.75 and lower. Fuel efficiency is one of the advantages the industry uses to put buyers in trucks, and with lower fuel prices, that advantage goes away.”
IN TIMES OF CRISIS, THERE ARE ALWAYS THOSE WHO STEP UP. In these uncertain times, truck drivers across the nation continue to deliver the essential food, medical and hygiene supplies to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic and to keep America supplied. So thank a truck driver today, because they are on the front lines of a battle we can’t win without them.
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commercial carrier journal
| may 2020
Sean Hill, an economist for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Economists believe diesel prices will remain Information Administration (EIA), low into the summer said the steep drop in demand for oil with projections of around $2 a gallon in coupled with “the inconvenientlythe second quarter. timed price war occurring between the larger global oil producers” – Saudi Arabia and Russia – has driven both oil prices and retail fuel prices down. “Where we are at now, with historically low oil prices, I’m not sure anyone thinks that policy is really sustainable, but we’ll see,” Hill said. “We’re still fairly early on in this environment as it relates to seeing actual data of impacts and having any idea how long this persists.” EIA projects U.S. gasoline prices will reach near-20-year lows in the second quarter of 2020 but that diesel prices likely won’t fall as far, given a higher demand for diesel with truck drivers still on the road making deliveries. EIA projects diesel prices to average around $2 a gallon in the second and third quarters of 2020. – Matt Cole
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House bill looks to add truck parking
bill introduced in the U.S. House calls for additional funds for truck parkOOIDA worked with ing along the federal highway system. The bipartisan Truck Parking Safety Improvement the bill’s co-sponsors to develop the legislation Act, introduced by Rep. Mike Bost (R-Ill.) and for additional funds for co-sponsored by Rep. Angie Craig (D-Minn.), truck parking along the federal highway system. calls for the U.S. Department of Transportation to allocate $755 million for truck parking over the next five years. The funds would come from programs for national highway performance, surface transportation block grants, highway safety improvement and national highway freight. Trucking groups, including the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and the American Trucking Associations, applauded the measure, which has been sent to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. The allocated funds could be used only for projects that add truck parking capacity, including: • Constructing new rest areas with commercial vehicle parking. • Constructing truck parking facilities, including adjacent to private truck stops and travel plazas, within or adjacent to publicly-owned freight facilities and at existing facilities such as inspection and weigh stations. • Converting existing weigh stations and rest areas to facilities for the exclusive use of truck parking. Entities eligible for funding would be states, public agencies with responsibilities related to truck parking, metropolitan planning organizations and local governments. Those that receive funding would be limited to using only up to 25% for planning and development, with the remaining 75% required for construction, property acquisition and other activities directly related to adding truck parking capacity. – CCJ Staff
NTTC seeks additional lighting on tanker trailers
n organization representing tanker haulers is asking FMCSA allowed for permission to install Groendyke Transport to a pulsating red or amber install an amber brakebrake-activated light on activated pulsating light in the upper center on the back of all tanker the back of its tanker trailers to help increase trailers. visibility when braking. Current regulations require all exterior lamps to be steady-burning. The National Tank Truck Carriers announced last October it had filed the request with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The agency published the request April 2 in the Federal Register. FMCSA granted a similar exemption to tanker fleet Groendyke Transport (CCJ Top 250, No. 101) in April 2019, allowing the Enid, Okla.-based carrier to install an amber brake-activated pulsating light in the upper center on the back of its tanker trailers in addition to the required brake lights. NTTC is asking FMCSA for the Groendyke exemption to apply to all tanker trailers, while also allowing the option for a red light. NTTC’s request also asks that FMCSA allow the pulsating light to be installed in either the upper center or an upper dual outboard position. – CCJ Staff
OOIDA suit over Indiana toll hikes dismissed
he Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association plans to appeal an Indiana court’s ruling to dismiss its class action lawsuit over toll increases aimed at Class 3 and larger trucks in the state. The group filed the lawsuit in January 2019 after Indiana instituted a 35% increase in toll prices for trucks operating on I-80 and I-90. The lawsuit called for the toll increases to be overturned and for refunds of tolls paid since the increase took effect in October 2018. OOIDA alleged that the increase in tolls violates the Commerce Clause and the Privileges and Immunities Clauses of 14
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| may 2020
the U.S. Constitution. Judge Richard L. Young with the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Indiana denied OOIDA’s motion to have the class certified based on a magistrate judge’s report and recommendation that stated the “new toll structure was not subject to dormant Commerce Clause scrutiny.” The report added that OOIDA “failed to state a claim for unlawful discrimination under the Privileges and Immunities Clauses because vehicles traveling within Indiana and between states pay the same distance-based tolls.” – CCJ Staff
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More than just buying oil Fleets can leverage lube supplier expertise in many ways
ear oil. Engine oil. Diesel exhaust fluid. Coolant. The list of fluids sitting on the shop floor and shelves is long and expensive. For fleets running a mix of equipment, carrying various fluid grades and types may seem unavoidable, but a fleet’s oil distributor can offer expertise on management and potential consolidation. “There’s a lot of pressure for cost optimization,” said Darryl Purificati, OEM technical liaison for Petro-Canada Lubricants. “How do fleet managers get around that? Ease of operations, simplification of operations and management of fluids can help with that.” In a role that is more consultive than sales, a carrier’s lubricant representative can help evaluate specific fluid needs and aid with “finding the right fluid that is the correct choice across all the platforms,” Purificati said. “It’s a balance of operations wanting one fluid that does everything and the OEM requirements of a specific fluid for specific applications. You may end up with a grouping of different viscosity and performance, and it’s managing the minimum number
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commercial carrier journal
| may 2020
Part of Delo’s traveling lab is an interactive exercise where fleets use model pieces to design their idea of the best shop floor layout. At the end, Delo representatives review their work and offer suggestions on how it could have been better.
of fluids while still meeting all the performance metrics.” Through its Lube Advisor Program, Shell Lubricants will take a deep dive into a carrier’s needs and, hand-inhand with the fleet, determine the best method to address them. “It’s an in-depth analysis of the facility to look at how [fluids] are stored and
dispensed, and also looking at the possibility to reduce the number of fluids,” said Jeff Priborsky, Shell Lubricants’ global marketing manager, on-highway fleet sector. “And also look for misapplication. You need somebody who can look at your place holistically and make sure you are meeting all your OEM specifications.” That holistic approach includes more
In Chevron’s traveling lab, James Booth, commercial sector manager, can walk attendees through the various components of a truck and how proper fluids affect their lifecycles.
than a simple checklist for looking at fluids. “We’re going back in the parts room,” Priborsky said. “We’re making sure the parts are rotated,” adding that advisers commonly find that fleets are using extended-life coolants but still are buying pre-charged coolant filters when they should be purchasing blank coolant filters. “That costs more, and it has a negative effect on the coolant chemistry,” he said. Priborsky and Purificati both agreed that carriers can use any brand of lubrication or coolant they want, adding their roles are to ensure proper application first and foremost, regardless if their company’s fluids are used across the board. “Anybody can deliver oil to you,” Priborsky said. “But who is actually going to bring the value to you?” “Having a single supplier is so much easier than multiple suppliers, but there are so many things that a single supplier doesn’t produce,” Purificati said. “In those cases, we would help source fluids that they don’t manufacture.” Not all consultations and education have to take place on the shop floor. Chevron Lubricants’ Delo SmartChoice HDEO Product Recommendation is an online platform that helps fleets choose the proper fluids by segment and use case. There is also an online chat component built into the platform. For the last 20 years, Chevron’s Delo Truck has been a staple on trucking trade show floors, but last year the company unveiled the Delo Traveling Technology Lab, with 11 exhibits that include immersive and interactive educational experiences. More like a modern-day museum than a rolling demonstration unit, the trailer-based lab combines self-navigated and expert-guided experiences to help visitors gain insight into the latest truck technology trends and the business issues driving them. James Booth, commercial sector manager for Chevron, said the traveling campaign was launched “in recognition of our customers’ need for better education and solutions to drive their business forward.” – Jason Cannon
Mack’s S852 tandem drive axles are engineered with a double-reduction design and deliver up to 1.5% improved fuel efficiency.
Mack drive axle gets boost in weight rating for Granites
ack Trucks introduced its S852 tandem drive axles with an 85,000-lb. gross axle weight rating. Roy Horton, director of product strategy for Mack Trucks, said customers in the truck maker’s export markets had expressed interest in the new rating, where local applications require a heavier-duty axle, but that customers in North America also will be able to spec the 85,000lb. rated axle for specialized severeduty or heavy-haul applications on Granite models. For extreme loads at slow speeds, the S852 tandem drive axles have a creep rating of 105,000 lbs. Mack’s proprietary drive axles are engineered with a double-reduction design and include the use of Durapoid bevel and helical gears, which provide a favorable gear tooth geometry that helps eliminate localized stress and loading on the gear tooth end while also providing enhanced strength and longer gear life. Frictional losses also are reduced, allowing Mack axles to deliver up to 1.5% improved fuel efficiency.
“Low-traction situations can be a challenge for truck drivers, seriously impacting their productivity,” Horton said. “To help address that issue, we offer standard inter-axle and optional inter-wheel power dividers that automatically distribute torque between the slipping and nonslipping axle or wheel, respectively. This elegant engineering solution is proven and reliable and requires no intervention from the driver.” Mack proprietary axles also feature a top-mounted carrier design that not only is less prone to main seal leaks but also provides more than two inches of additional ground clearance to provide customers with improved maneuverability at construction sites and other off-highway applications. An additional benefit of Mack’s top-mounted carrier design is improved driveline angles between the drive axles, which helps maximize universal joint life, allow for greater axle articulation and reduce both vibration for a smoother ride and torque loss for improved efficiency. – Jason Cannon
commercial carrier journal
| may 2020 17
INBRIEF • International Truck launched International Cares, a group of offers on new truck financing and digital tools during COVID-19. One offer delays payments on all International Truck models through Navistar Capital. The program, available through May 31, defers payments for six months. The company also is offering free access to the International 360 fleet management system for new customers until Oct. 1. • Mack Financial Services is offering four finance options through June 30 that extend the first payment date for qualified buyers of model-year 2019 and 2020 Anthem, Pinnacle, Granite, LR and TerraPro trucks. The plans offer engine and exhaust aftertreatment coverage. • Volvo Financial Services is offering U.S. customers the Hammer Down 2.0 enhanced finance program on the purchase or lease of model-year 2019 or 2020 VNL, VNR, VNX or VHD trucks. Plans for VNL, VNR and VNX sleeper models offer engine and exhaust aftertreatment coverage. • Kenworth launched its TruckTech+ Over-TheAir system to provide engine and aftertreatment software updates for Class 8 trucks equipped with a 2017 or newer model-year Paccar MX-13 or MX-11 engine. Customers with active TruckTech+ subscriptions can access updates on the Paccar Solutions online portal at PaccarSolutions.com or through the Paccar Over-The-Air mobile app. • Kenworth introduced an optional diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) tank with integrated steps for its T680 and T880 trucks. The access steps to the deck plate are mounted directly over the DEF tank to free up as much of 16 inches of frame space and add maneuverability in tight urban areas or jobsites. The option is available with Kenworth’s 21-gallon medium-size aerodynamic DEF tanks. • Kenworth’s T880 now is available in a twin-steer configuration for crane, mixer and other vocational applications that require 86-inch axle spacing. The day cab has 40,000-pound-rated set-back front axles, springs and steering gears. It is available with a standard 116.7-inch BBC short hood for the Paccar MX engine and an optional 122.6-inch BBC hood for the MX-13 and Cummins X15.
commercial carrier journal
| may 2020
TuSimple, ZF announce selfdriving tech tie-up
uSimple and ZF announced a partnership between the two companies to develop and TuSimple operates a fleet of commercialize technology for autonomous trucks. more than 40 autonomous trucks, has 18 contracted TuSimple, an autonomous trucking technology customers and makes 20 company, and ZF, a supplier of components and weekly autonomous trips technologies, expect to co-develop productionbetween Arizona and Texas. quality technologies such as cameras, LiDAR, radar, steering and ZF’s automotive-grade central computer, ZF ProAI. As part of the partnership, ZF will contribute engineering support to validate and integrate TuSimple’s autonomous system into the vehicle and also provide support, ultimately serving as the default supplier for the system. Chuck Price, chief product officer for TuSimple, said working side-by-side with ZF to refine and integrate the company’s technology “has allowed us to optimize our hardware stack and focus on scaling these technologies to make it possible for autonomous-ready trucks to be mass-produced.” TuSimple operates a fleet of more than 40 autonomous trucks, has 18 contracted customers and makes 20 weekly autonomous trips between Arizona and Texas for companies such as UPS (CCJ Top 250, No. 1). The company plans to start driverless operations in 2021. The partnership between ZF and TuSimple is set to begin this month and will cover the world’s largest trucking markets, including North America, Europe – Jason Cannon and China.
Eaton Cummins to debut heavyweight Endurant
The Endurant XD series from Eaton Cummins Automated Transmission Technologies has 18 forward speeds and up to six reverse gears.
aton Cummins Automated Transmission Technologies next year will expand its Endurant automated transmission lineup with a new offering for heavyweight operations, the company announced. The Endurant XD series has 18 forward speeds and up to six reverse gears and features provisions for bottom eight-bolt and rear four-bolt high-capacity powertakeoffs. A transmission oil cooler provision is available when required. The company said the software is optimized for “smart” shift decisions. The Endurant XD series is designed for on-highway applications with high gross combined weight ratings, such as double- and triple-trailer trucks, and severe-duty on-/off-highway applications, such as dump and logging trucks. It is engineered with torque and horsepower capacity to cover all Class 8 North American engines, including the Cummins X15. Charles Masters, general manager for Eaton Cummins Automated Transmission Technologies, said the transmission is undergoing testing that includes putting it through extreme conditions. – Jason Cannon
Zonar launches Fleet Health Solution Suite for diagnostics
onar, a provider of smart fleet technology, launched its Fleet Health Solution Suite, including Zonar FaultIQ powered by Noregon. FaultIQ is designed to provide real-time visibility to fault data from an entire vehicle with a Zonar FaultIQ powered by Noregon is designed to recommended action plan provide real-time visibility to fault data from an regardless of the vehicle or entire vehicle with a recommended action plan. asset manufacturer. In addition to FaultIQ, Zonar’s Fleet Health Solution Suite consists of a full range of diagnostics and monitoring offerings, including Cummins Connected Diagnostics with Connected Adviser, Zonar OTAir, Detroit Connect Virtual Technician, Detroit Connect Analytics and Zonar Ground Traffic Control Diagnostic Report, all of which further enable Zonar customers to have deeper, actionable insights into the performance and health of their vehicles and assets. “We aim to make uptime more than a buzzword and deliver real-world actionable solutions to keep our customers’ vehicles and assets operating when and where they need to be,” said Gary Schmidt, senior vice president of OEM connected solutions for Zonar. “ELDs, hours of service changes and other regulations have moved the goal post on how many miles can be driven in a day and how long an asset can be utilized. Getting the most out of every minute and mile per vehicle and asset while extending their lifespan has never been more important.” FaultIQ is designed to provide customers with an overview of issues affecting the health, safety and performance status of fleet vehicles and assets. A dashboard view of the entire fleet shows prioritized vehicles and assets that require immediate attention, enabling easy evaluation of the fleet and quick decision-making. With FaultIQ, anyone – from dispatchers to technicians – can drill down into pertinent information for each vehicle and asset to take specific action and make adjustments in real time. In addition, health and safety scores calculated for each vehicle and asset further provide fleet managers with quick, actionable insights, allowing maintenance to address smaller issues before they become bigger ones. “We’re excited to have our commercial vehicle diagnostics and repair software and data analytics solutions be part of Zonar’s Fleet Health Solution Suite,” said Dave Covington, chief technology officer for Noregon. “We know the industry is rapidly shifting to digital connected solutions, and Zonar shares our vision of using data to improve the way everyone within an organization makes decisions. Through this partnership, we’re not only helping customers become more efficient but also helping everyone stay safer on the road.” – CCJ Staff
INBRIEF • Daimler Trucks North America updated its Express WriteUp mobile app to help service advisers and customers avoid face-to-face interaction and adhere to social distancing guidelines during COVID-19. • Bendix’s Wingman Fusion advanced driver assistance system with an enhanced feature set now is available on select new Kenworth heavy- and medium-duty trucks. The system is standard for the T680 and optional for the T880, T270 and T370. • Daimler Trucks North America announced that its dealer network is building or remodeling more than 40 locations across 30 U.S. states and Canadian provinces to add 700 more service bays in 2020. • Daimler Trucks Financial rolled out an updated finance program for Freightliner and Western Star vocational trucks in the construction segment that offers qualified buyers up to 120 days to make their first payment. • Truck-Lite Co., a provider of LED lighting, telematics, safety and visibility systems, is supplying its LED lighting and harnessing products as standard equipment on Star Leasing Co.’s new trailer builds and integrating its Road Ready telematics system into the fleet’s 20,000-plus existing trailers. • Stanadyne, a supplier of fuel and air management systems, and Liebherr Components, a provider of injector designs and systems, formed a strategic partnership to supply, distribute and service diesel fuel injection systems for on- and off-road engines. • Fontaine Modification opened its 10th modification center and the fourth location operating under the company’s Light Duty Truck & EV Solutions division. The new facility in the greater Detroit area will provide modifications for Ford’s F-59 and F-53 stripped chassis assembled by Detroit Chassis. • Premier Trailer Leasing, a Plano, Texas-based trailer leasing and rental company, acquired certain assets of Fleetsource Leasing, based in Freehold, N.J.; terms were not released. • Vipar Heavy Duty, a network of independent aftermarket truck parts distributors, updated its website with a responsive design, improved navigation and expanded search capabilities. commercial carrier journal
| may 2020 19
TEST DRIVE:STONERIDGE MIRROREYE
No mirrors? No problem for camera-based rearview tech
Using five cameras, the Stoneridge system replaces mirrors by providing views around this Freightliner Cascadia on three highdefinition digital screens.
BY JASON CANNON
irrors, responsible for approximately 2% of a tractor’s aerodynamic drag, finally are getting closer scrutiny as Greenhouse Gas Phase 2 standards loom for model-year 2021 trucks. Those models will have to show a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of 15%-25% over 2017 trucks. Federal regulations long have required “two rear-vision mirrors, one at each side, firmly attached to the outside of the motor vehicle.” However, Novi, 20
commercial carrier journal
Mich.-based Stoneridge – a designer and manufacturer of systems for safety, security, vehicle intelligence and emissions – received an exemption from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to operate trucks without external mirrors. Stoneridge’s MirrorEye Camera Monitor System replaces mirrors with integrated digital cameras mounted above the cab and digital monitors inside. The system includes five cameras, sensors and three high-definition digital screens. The camera housing’s design, using
| may 2020
aerodynamics, helps keep the lens clean by creating a vacuum that removes rain or mud. Heavy soiling can be removed with a towel or a blast of water. The lens is heated to prevent icing. Independent video processing of images from the cameras offers a form of redundancy by ensuring that in the unlikely event an individual camera fails, the other real-time camera images will be displayed continuously. The company’s next-generation “mirrors” are a pair of monitors affixed to the
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A-pillars and a smaller display mounted to the center of the windshield that acts as the look-down blind-spot mirror. The look-down display is located where a rearview mirror would be on a passenger car — a position recommended through field-trial driver feedback so that it doesn’t obstruct windshield views. Stoneridge claims MirrorEye improves the field of view and eliminates common blind spots. The kicker is an estimated improvement in fuel economy of up to 3% due to losing the mirrors’ drag. As I drove a 2019 Freightliner Cascadia outfitted with the system around the Detroit area, it didn’t take long to adjust. The driver’s-side 12.3-inch monitor is closer to your face than a conventional mirror, but you barely notice it after a few seconds. A larger 15-inch monitor acts as the passenger-side mirror. The rear-facing cameras are mounted high above both doors, each providing normal and wide-angle views. The look-down view comes from the passenger-side camera. I rarely use a look-down mirror because they usually vibrate so violently that you can barely see out of them, but it was a pleasant change to see the static clear view the few times I did glance at the screen. There are distance markers in the side monitor that show the end of the
The exterior camera arm can be folded inward by pushing a button inside the cab. In the event of an impact, it automatically closes to protect itself.
commercial carrier journal
Distance markers in the monitor help the driver assess the ability to change lanes safely.
trailer (red), 40 feet behind the trailer’s end (orange) and 80 feet behind the end (green). As part of a pre-trip, a driver uses a stationary object to set the red line, using a dial in the video controller. The system automatically calculates the other two distances. Those colored lines indicate, at a glimpse, if it’s safe to change lanes. There’s a bit of finesse needed here in that you still have to account for the closing speed of vehicles to ensure you have time to complete the maneuver. After a few lane changes, you get the feel of it. The longer I used this setup, the more I embraced what it was telling me. After maybe 30 minutes, the monitors simply had become my mirrors. The baked-in safety improvements, including the distance markers, quickly became intuitive.
| may 2020
Your field of view is wider in the monitor than with a traditional mirror, but that didn’t stop me from rocking back and forth in my seat to try and broaden it like you would with a mirror. Eventually you have to laugh at yourself and wait for your muscle memory to forget. If you actually need a wider view, you can pan the camera with the video display controller. In most cases, the default field of view is more than enough. The camera pans automatically when following the trailer in a turn, which allows the driver to track the trailer tires at all times. This especially was handy navigating unexpected roundabouts where an over- or under-steer could mean the difference in hitting a curb or the trailer leaving its lane. It also makes deep turns at intersections – namely dodging curbs,
road signs and cars that pull too far up into the lane – much easier. The system performs as good as or better than mirrors during the day, and at night it’s exponentially superior. There’s no “military night vision” green tint — the use of infrared makes the display amazingly crisp, and there’s no glare from oncoming headlights. Thanks to infrared, the road immediately behind the truck is lit better than with just a mirror, making monitoring trailer off-tracking and lane dividers that much easier. My opportunity to back the rig was fairly limited. That was probably a good thing, since I turned a normally simple offset-back into a parking spot into quite an embarrassment as I struggled to determine the distance between the trailer’s left side and the curb. I eventually got the rig parked, but it wasn’t pretty. With a little more time behind the screen, I think I would have gotten
Use of infrared enables unusually clear night images and eliminates glare from oncoming headlights.
the hang of it. MirrorEye has been installed with more than a dozen fleets and has logged millions of miles with the likes of Maverick Transportation (CCJ Top 250, No. 75), J.B. Hunt (No. 3) and Schneider
National (No. 7). Tyson Foods is rolling out one of Stoneridge’s largest commercial installation programs for its rearview camera system to test on about 50 trucks. I had no doubt the system would do exactly what it was designed to do. My cynicism was in its practicality. Was this really a better mousetrap, or is this a techie digital solution in search of a problem? Having tested it, I believe that while traditional mirrors do a pretty good job of informing drivers about their surroundings, MirrorEye takes “pretty good” to “excellent.” In FMCSA’s decision to grant the waiver, the agency said the system eliminates blind spots on both sides of the truck and expands field-of-view by an estimated 25%. If the system prevents just one side impact, it more than pays for itself. The fuel economy savings – at 3% over 100,000 miles, about $1,300 per year – are just icing on the cake.
More Bypasses with the MOTION™ App W IT H R OADWAY S AFETY ALERTS
commercial carrier journal
| may 2020 23
in focus: HOSE MAINTENANCE
Don’t get hosed
Rubber checkup a key part of fluid maintenance BY JASON CANNON
mprovements in compounds used to make rubber hoses have improved their lifecycle dramatically, but they haven’t changed the physics involved. Friction, pressure and heat still will cause component wear, even to the ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) hoses in use today. According to the IMR Automotive Research Group, hose failures lead to more than half of all radiator coolant hose replacements. Drew Conkling, global product line management director for Gates, recommends hose replacement at 90,000 miles to avoid an unnecessary breakdown, but he noted that severe-duty cycles such as towing, frequent stop-and-go, high-idle and hot weather can reduce that replacement range. Extended life coolants pose another challenge, as hoses become a maintenance afterthought. Conkling said many engine manufacturers have removed coolant filters from the system, and general maintenance practices nearly have eliminated the filter cartridges once used by fleets. “Couple that with the lack of the latest information on how to handle coolants correctly, and it creates failure modes for both radiators and water pumps that border on unacceptable,” he said. The average annual replacement rate for the upper and lower radiator hose is only 1.33%, said Tom Lee, automotive aftermarket products marketing manager for Continental Contitech, citing 2018 industry data. For coolant and fuel, internal hose degradation can be caused by a variety of things, but it most commonly is due to fluid contamination, Conkling said. A 24
commercial carrier journal
sampling of warranty claims show 40% of radiator failures and 95% of water pump failures are tied directly to the coolant’s condition at the time of the repair. “With the coolant hose, eventually the contamination particles can clog the radiator [or] cause the hose or water pump to fail,” he said. “But you generally would not notice [performance issues] until then,” making visual hose inspection – looking for cracking, swelling, splits and cuts – vital. “Rubber parts – belts and hose – will typically fail internally without any noticeable signs,” Lee said. “For hose, check for extreme softness or hardness. The visual signs of failure will come close to the end of product life and may be too late. A belt or hose that fails on the road can be catastrophic and most likely will always require a tow.” Lee said hoses should be inspected at all service intervals. “The ideal time is at the time of an oil change,” he said. The upper radiator hose moves coolant to the radiator at peak temperature and, as such, is subject to the highest amount of heat — and the highest risk of failure. However, Conkling said the entire cooling system is designed to a similar lifespan and noted the lower hose and heater hoses are likely to fail soon after the upper hose. “You may as well replace the upper and lower hoses at the same time to save money on labor and minimize the chances of the vehicle breaking down in the future,” he said, adding that if the truck is a high-mileage vehicle, consider inspecting and/or replacing the thermostat and radiator cap. Flushing the coolant system at this time also is a good
| may 2020
For coolant and fuel, internal hose degradation can be caused by a variety of things, but it most commonly is due to fluid contamination. Hose failures lead to more than half of all radiator coolant hose replacements.
idea since all the plumbing is removed. The most obvious sign of hose trouble, other than a rupture, could be a leak, but Conkling said coolant system leak-stop additives are “unadvisable because they can obstruct the radiator and heater core, causing potential damage to other components such as water pump seals,” adding that the additives are ineffective on hose leaks. Conkling said air brake hoses with chafing “beyond the outer layer should be replaced” and recommended adding a hose guard or choosing a hose with an abrasion-resistant cover. Since air brake hoses only pass air along the system, there is minimal degradation to the internal hose. Conkling said that when nylon hoses are manufactured, there is moisture in the tube, and the moisture evaporates over time. That causes the tube to dry out and crack, resulting in hydrophobic failure. “Other failure modes are rocks and road debris,” he said. The only time hydraulic hoses are near a chassis is if the application has a wet kit, and the typical failure mode for a hydraulic hose in this setting is cracking due to heat and ozone, Conkling said.
MAKING THE LATEST TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENTS WORK FOR YOUR FLEET BY AARON HUFF
A critical moment
Real-time meeting tool helps carriers train drivers remotely
rior to COVID-19, motor carriers had drivers come through their offices for orientation and other training meetings. Recently, to protect drivers and office employees from contagion, most have suspended inperson training indefinitely. In this emergency situation, what strategies can be used to conduct live training remotely? “The technology is there, the help is there, and the tools are there,” said Dr. Gina Anderson, Ed.D., during an April 7 webinar titled “Conducting Real-time Orientation and Safety Meetings Amidst the COVID-19 Crisis.” Anderson is co-founder and chief executive of Luma Brighter Learning, an instructional design and learning company. The webinar was hosted by DriverReach, which provides driver recruiting and compliance management software. During the webinar, Anderson shared strategies for learning outside a physical classroom. To do this, fleets are able to use online training and video conferencing technology in concert with strategies for synchronous (same time and place) and asynchronous (different time and place) learning, she said. The webinar also covered strategies to “flip the classroom” into a remote environment where instructors can facilitate learning by giving drivers tasks to complete before, during and
INTERESTED IN TRUCKING TECHNOLOGY? Go to ccjdigital.com/news/subscribe-to-newsletters to subscribe to the CCJ Technology Weekly e-mail newsletter. 26
commercial carrier journal
| may 2020
COVID-19 has caused motor carriers to shut down their classrooms for in-person driver training.
after live training events. Before the coronavirus crisis, many fleets already were using online learning management systems (LMS) to assign training content to drivers, Anderson said. Luma has a collection of more than 400 interactive driver training modules called eNuggets that use a mixture of learning media that cater to the unique learning preferences of drivers. On March 19, Luma released a video conferencing tool that carriers now are using to train drivers remotely in a virtual classroom setting. LumaLive is integrated with the company’s LMS to enable fleet administrators to schedule meetings, track driver participation and assign recorded training sessions to those who were not present for a live session. Drivers access the live and recorded training sessions using an authenticated link through a secure login to the LMS. Administrators control user access and permissions. Other features of LumaLive include a whiteboard, shared notes, emoji status, a chat box and a discussion board that some carriers are using for drivers to share resources and
technology ZonePro is designed to use actionable voice commands and tell the driver in real time what behavior needs to be addressed. Also, the driver sees their scorecard at the end of each trip. During the webinar, Dr. Gina Anderson from Luma described strategies for “flipping the classroom” to an online environment for driver training.
updates during the pandemic, such as rest stops that are open, Anderson said. During a LumaLive training session, an instructor can share their screen with participants to review key concepts, share a video or conduct pop-up quizzes and anonymous surveys in real time as they are demonstrating or teaching a concept. Outside of class, drivers can be assigned training to review the key concepts to check for understanding. Free training resource To assist motor carriers with remote training needs, Luma publishes weekly Luma Lessons on its website. The collection now has 33 lessons on different topics. Each has worksheets and other assets that fleets can download and use to facilitate remote live training sessions with drivers. Anderson also shared examples of how motor carriers are using training content, Luma’s LMS and LumaLive during COVID-19. Some are using the LMS as a central communications hub to get relevant content, documents and updates to drivers on-demand. Drivers receive an instant notification on their phone to access the content with a click. One of Luma’s clients also is using the LMS to automate a digital form that it created for drivers to fill out daily to document the sanitation and cleaning of their trucks, she said. During the pandemic, carriers discovered new strategies and technologies to use for online and real-time driver training that could be more effective and efficient than what they previously were doing in a physical classroom, Anderson said. “There may be some ‘a-ha’ moments,” she said. “Together, we can all get through this time period for sure.” AARON HUFF is Senior Editor of Commercial Carrier Journal. E-mail email@example.com or call (385) 225-9472.
Geotab offers Zone Defense safety camera
one Defense, a provider of vision-based fleet safety systems, announced that its latest AI-based camera, ZonePro ADAS, now is available on the Geotab Marketplace. The forward-facing camera is engineered to use artificial intelligence (AI) to watch the road, read road signs and alert drivers of dangerous behaviors. ZonePro ADAS uses AI and cloud computing to provide fleet managers with event-based recording, fleet safety trends and real-time alerts of poor driving behaviors. This data now is integrated with both MyGeotab and the Geotab Drive app, enabling Geotab users to access their fleet’s telematics data, driver/fleet behavior trends and event-based videos. – CCJ Staff
Driving Dynamics offers safety telematics
riving Dynamics Inc., a provider of advanced driver safety training, coaching and risk services, launched DrivActiv iSight, a fleet risk and safety telematics service focused on real-time driving awareness and improvement. The application, developed in conjunction with DriveSmart, uses smartphone technology to track and analyze behaviors behind the wheel and enable fleet operators to identify trends, promote desired habits and skills and monitor progress. To maximize objective self-assessment, drivers have access to personalized trip metrics and feedback. – Aaron Huff commercial carrier journal
DrivActiv iSight features daily performance scorecards, behavioralbased feedback, targeted microlearning videos, an administrative reporting dashboard and safe driving badges.
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Carriers address visibility demands
• Drivewyze added Pennsylvania and Florida rest area open and closed alerts to its Safety Notifications service, which is free to carriers subscribing to the company’s PreClear weigh station bypass service. The alerts automatically pop up and will be displayed for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency as long as rest area parking is limited in both states. The alerts, which will display “rest area open” or “rest area closed,” will show up when a trucker is both 25 and 5 miles from the location. • Verizon Connect updated its Navigation mobile app to provide information on open truck stops and hours of operation to inform longhaul drivers about rest stop closures. The app works with the company’s fleet management technology, with updates added at the state level from Departments of Transportation and truck stop chains to help drivers find places to rest and refuel. • Instructional Technologies Inc., a provider of training offerings for the transportation industry, is offering a free course for drivers on COVID-19 safety. “COVID-19: What Drivers Need To Know” helps drivers understand the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, how it could affect their work and safety and steps to keep themselves and others safe. Go to https://www. instructiontech.net/covid19. • Stay Metrics, a provider of driver retention tools, announced a partnership with Predictive Index to be a reseller of its behavioral assessment tools, which will allow the company to expand its services beyond driver surveys and rewards platforms. Stay Metrics now will offer a service to predict the success of job applicants for positions and to determine where to move employees in an organization to find the best fit, helping fleets recruit and retain office personnel. • Spireon, a provider of cargo sensing products, released an Image Capture and Retrieval feature for its IntelliScan system, providing fleets with high-definition images from inside a trailer and allowing them to resolve claims with time-stamped images and proactively detect load shifts before opening the doors.
commercial carrier journal
reight visibility has and continues to be a highpriority area for investment by supply chain professionals, but challenges in data governance could be causing interest to wane, said Kristi Montgomery, vice president of innovation for Kenco Logistics, the largest privately-held female-owned third-party logistics (3PL) provider in North America with more than 90 warehouses. A 2019 Logistics State of Supply Chain Innovation Survey, commissioned by Kenco with more than 15,000 respondents, found that 43% of supply chain profesChristopher DeMillo, director of systems sionals noted visibility as a high priority, down from a development for Leonard’s high of 64% in 2017. Express, said the company “I think carriers and shippers are concerned with is getting more requests from customers to integrate visibility,” Montgomery said. “There is a decline in with third-party shipment optimism around its achievement.” visibility platforms. Leonard’s Express, a 450-truck carrier with dry van, refrigerated and intermodal operations, is getting more requests from customers to integrate with third-party shipment visibility platforms. The Farmington, N.Y.-based fleet is making its tracking integrations smarter and more “vanilla” to avoid building specific customer solutions. “We obviously have a responsibility to adhere to customer requirements, whether that’s developing something custom or partnering with a third-party platform,” said Christopher DeMillo, director of systems development for Leonard’s Express. “We are building those bridges one at a time versus doing specialty integrations. But we have to do those, too.” The company’s IT team has built integrations with mainstream visibility platforms used by shippers and 3PLs. “They want data, and they want it yesterday,” DeMillo said. “Whether it’s the ‘Amazon Effect’ or another form of consumer expectation, it is a standard that we have no choice but to live up to.” Motor carriers are not the only party challenged by keeping up with new technology in the freight visibility arena. According to the survey, 45% of supply chain professionals expect to co-invest with 3PLs, a steady rise from 38% in 2018 and 32% in 2017. Investing with a 3PL partner reduces a shipper’s risk of wasting money on innovation projects, with 3PLs testing new technologies and establishing business use cases. The survey also found that interest from supply chain professionals is increasing in Internet of Things (IoT) technology to capture more information about freight conditions such as temperature, trailer door status (open/closed), vibration and precise tracking of arrival and departure times at locations. Kenco Logistics will be investing in new IoT systems for its tractors and trailers to better ensure the safety Kenco Logistics will be investing in new IoT systems and quality of product deliveries, Montgomery said. for its tractors and trailers to The company has more than 150 drivers. better ensure the safety and “We recognize not only the availability of different quality of product deliveries, said Kristi Montgomery, vice data, but how we can use that to make better decisions,” president of innovation. Montgomery said. – Aaron Huff
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Time-based bid data may change how carriers price freight
n the consumer world, technology has changed how people approach nearly every task in their daily lives, from how they shop to how they commute. Technology also has changed the business-to-business world, but in transportation, at least one approach seems to be frozen in the past. Omnitracs has identified 6.69 million locations where it is able to capture wait time data at shipping and When motor carrireceiving facilities. ers receive requests for proposals (RFPs) – bid requests – from new or existing customers, the rate calculations traditionally begin with mileage lookups. Mileage is one variable where all parties can agree to a standard, at least if they use the same version of a mileage database such as PC Miler. When pricing shipments, mileage is really the “lowest-common denominator,” said Mic Yariv, vice president and general manager of Strategic Initiatives for Omnitracs, a provider of fleet management technologies. Yariv leads a team of data scientists, data engineers and application developers at Omnitracs’ Innovation Center in Chicago. When carriers bid on the same load, shippers and freight brokers currently have no way to account for the difference in rates. Some carriers will bid higher on lanes if they know that drivers will be detained at the customer’s shipping and receiving facilities, but shippers and freight brokers have no basis for comparing the impact of wait times on rates. At present, the transportation industry lacks a unified source of data for timebased rate calculations, but that soon could change. Over the past year, Omnitracs has identified 6.69 million locations where it is able to capture wait time data. Yariv is leading an effort to develop a database of wait times by day of week and time of day that will assist carriers with their pricing and load-planning decisions. The back-office systems fleets use to plan loads, as well as the in-cab navigation systems for drivers, could pull from the database to calculate more accurate expected time of arrivals and predict hours of service status for trip planning, Yariv said. When motor carriers have a unified database of expected wait times, shippers and freight brokers will have to give carriers the locations of their facilities included in their RFPs, Yariv predicted. Carriers will want this information so they can look up the expected wait times at locations to calculate rates. Omnitracs does not have a timetable for when it will release the initial version of the new database, but it already has built the base systems and now is testing the product with customers to validate the data models, Yariv said. – Aaron Huff
INBRIEF • CarriersEdge, a provider of online driver training, teamed with Responsible Cannabis Use (RCU) to provide RCU’s CannEd e-learning course that the companies say prioritizes safety and responsibility by promoting cannabis education. CannEd is designed to help users understand the onset and duration of effects for various cannabis products, provincial laws and penalties, impaired driving laws and how and when to disclose cannabis use to their manager. • Donaldson Co., a manufacturer of filtration products and systems, launched its Filter Minder wireless monitoring system for air filters on heavy-duty engines following 18 months of field testing. The system’s wireless sensors and receivers send filter performance data to the cloud, and predictive analytics are used to inform users when filters are approaching the end of their optimal life. • RoadSync, a cloud-based paperless digital payment platform designed to reduce payment processing time and maximize revenue collection for the transportation industry, raised $5.7 million in Series A funding that the company will use to accelerate sales growth and broaden its financial products. • TE Connectivity, a provider of connectivity and sensing technologies, completed its public takeover of First Sensor and now holds 71.87% of First Sensor’s shares. TE said the acquisition will allow it to expand its product base. • Transflo, a provider of mobile, telematics and business process automation services, collaborated with the American Trucking Associations to provide fleets and truck drivers with health- and safety-based digital tools related to COVID-19. Transflo’s Driver Assist Task Force mobile app now includes information contributed from ATA to provide drivers up-to-date information about the pandemic. • Amerisure, a property and casualty insurance company, and Insurance & Mobility Solutions (IMS), a telematics provider, announced a collaboration for a commercial fleet usage-based insurance (UBI) telematics program. IMS will provide Amerisure with technology that collects data and delivers a driver behavior-based score for analysis, provides recommendations for participant improvement and enables credits toward insurance premiums based on IMS’ scoring model. commercial carrier journal
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FDA rules may require reefer fleets to share more details
few years ago, Stokes Trucking started getting more requests for temperature data from shippers, freight brokers and receivers. The Tremonton, Utah-based refrigerated hauler uses an electronic logging device and fleet management system from Samsara and is in the process of installing a telematics system in its trailers, also from Samsara. Customers will ask for data in the event a receiver detects a temperature issue when freight is unloaded by using a temperature probe. When this occurs, Stokes can send a data record of the reefer trailer’s temperature from the time it was precooled to when it was loaded and when it arrived at its destination, said Tyler Howell, safety administrator for the 35-truck fleet. Generally, truckload motor carriers are protected from cargo claims when data proves their reefer set points and ambient trailer temperatures are within a specified range from the origin to the moment trailer doors were opened and the shipment changed custody, said Brad Bartlett, vice president of sales for Cooltrax. But if trailer doors open multiple times during the day, such as truckloads with multiple delivery stops and less-than-truckload operations, refrigerated carriers have greater risk when receivers find issues with product temperatures. The reefer data will show a wider variation in ambient temperature whenever doors are opened. “All of that data comes into question,” Bartlett said, which is “so distracting.” Variations in the load’s ambient temperature do not necessarily mean the food’s quality or safety is compromised. 30
commercial carrier journal
The actual temperature of the cargo still may be consistent, he said.
Coming regulation Going forward, regulations may require shippers and carriers to provide more visibility of temperature data down to the product level, particularly for loads that have multiple delivery stops. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been preparing to meet a key requirement set forth by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The status of the new regulation has become less clear with the COVID-19 outbreak, but at some point it is likely to impact motor carriers. Signed into law in January 2011, FSMA gave FDA broad authority to create regulations for the supply chain that, to-date, have focused mostly on policies and documentation for the safe handling and transportation of food. FDA today is focusing on technology to meet Section 204 of the FSMA law. This “New Era of Smarter Food Safety” section requires Cooltrax’s FDA to modernize product line track-and-trace includes a capabilities and Wedge device that inserts into recordkeeping in specific cargo the food supply to determine if chain. its temperature is out of range. The goal is to prevent, mitigate and investigate food safety issues in support of a more digital, traceable and safer food system. Last October, FDA held a public meeting to discuss a blueprint for Section 204 as it continued to gather comments from motor carriers and other industry stakeholders. The docket for those comments closed Dec. 5. Product-level visibility Any forthcoming FDA regulation likely will add a greater burden on foodservice providers since they are both the shipper
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If trailer doors open multiple times during the day, refrigerated carriers have greater risk when receivers find issues with product temperature.
and carrier for products. Increasingly, more companies in this marketspace are using technology to manage temperatures at the product level, Bartlett said. Cooltrax has an industrial Internet of Things (IoT) platform, Fresh InTransit, that combines two-way reefer controls and data with cargo-level data from wireless Wedge temperature sensors on pallets and individual products. Foodservice distributors often use trailers with separate compartments to transport products at different temperatures. With Cooltrax’s Fresh InTransit system, they can establish temperature checkpoints for routes. The checkpoints use geofencing to mark locations for a route’s planned stops and will flag exceptions if products inside a trailer compartment exceed the specified temperature range, Bartlett said. A foodservice company might use six compartment-specific temperature sensors or individual product-level sensors in a trailer. When combined with door sensors, the Fresh InTransit platform detects if products go out of range at any checkpoint. The telematics device sends exception alerts to a management dashboard. Managing exceptions at the pallet and product level is more defensible than relying on ambient temperatures in trailers, Bartlett said. “At the end of the day, that is what you are really after,” he said. “The only temperature you can defend is what is happening at the product level.” – Aaron Huff
MVT moves quickly with mobility tech
esilla Valley Transportation (MVT) has grown from a small Southwest regional trucking company to nearly 1,600 power units. The Las Cruces, N.M.-based company (CCJ Top 250, No. 77) is known for testMike Kelley, CTO for Mesilla ing and validating fuelValley Transportation, said saving products and new Drivewyze PreClear’s weigh technologies. station bypass has made a huge The fleet’s latest techimpact. nology implementation from Platform Science offers electronic logs and fleet mobility applications that include Drivewyze PreClear’s weigh station bypass. “This is a low-hanging fruit when it comes to improving fuel efficiency and delivery time,” said Mike Kelley, chief technology officer. MVT implemented Platform Science in 1,600 trucks and was able to activate Drivewyze PreClear immediately, moving from transponder-based technology to cellular data. “We’ve gone from something that gave us a green light or red light for bypasses, to one that gives us not only bypasses but information and data on our performance and how weigh station bypass benefits our company,” he said. Kelley said when a driver is reassigned, the company no longer has to worry about transponder inventory and moving the devices among trucks. Each truck averages 15 bypasses per month, which saves “a tremendous amount in time and fuel — all documented,” he said. “The time savings alone – with the advent of ELDs and the clock ticking on drivers – makes bypass even more important.” Drivers appreciate Drivewyze PreClear, Kelley said. “Our drivers like the 2-mile notification as they approach a weigh station, then the 1-mile notification,” he said. “And they like not having to change lanes like they did before. With transponders, our drivers had to move to the inside lane in order to be scanned. That’s a subtle but big difference, especially if traffic is heavy.” Kelley said MVT will activate Drivewyze’s Safety Notifications, which provides alerts on high rollover areas and low bridges. The platform and Drivewyze’s connection with states “allows them to leverage information and geofence areas to give our drivers alerts,” he said. “If this can help our drivers prevent accidents, why not?” – Aaron Huff
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Trimble using ‘sentiment analysis’ to predict driver turnover
hile early indicators of driver turnover can be found in data, they are not always on the surface, such as weekly fluctuations in pay or work schedules. The more useful information often is buried in patterns of data that show a change in behavior and attitude. Help finding that hidden data is available from Trimble Transportation, which recently announced a new capability for its Driver Retention model. The algorithms used by the Driver Retention model have, to-date, relied on purely objective data, said Chris Orban, vice president of data science for Trimble Transportation. The data comes from telematics systems and transportation management software (TMS). Hours of service and operational data is used by the model to predict if drivers are getting good sleep, working efficiently and getting home on time. Orban said driver messaging already is used as a predictor for turnover. A driver who sends more messages than normal may be experiencing a concern or disruption. Likewise, a driver who sends too few messages is likely “disconnecting and not really focused on the job or company,” he said. The predictive Driver Retention model now is adding “sentiment analysis” to identify drivers who have an elevated turnover risk based on changes in their moods and feelings. Sentiment analysis combines the words drivers send in messages with operational data to understand the context in which the words are used, Orban said. A driver might send a fleet manager a message to complain about a certain shipper, and the model could determine the message’s context. Operational data may show the driver had been 32
commercial carrier journal
Trimble has added “sentiment analysis” to its Driver Retention model to better identify changes in driver mood that impact decisions to leave their carriers.
dispatched to the same customer three times in a row, so the message would carry more weight for dissatisfaction and turnover intent. Likewise, a driver could be dispatched on three consecutive loads with belowaverage mileage. With sentiment analysis, the model might detect a change in a driver’s message tone, even if the driver didn’t complain specifically about mileage. Orban said the new capability will give fleet managers a better understanding of changes in driver behaviors and present information directly within a TMS to help address those concerns proactively to change the outcome. A retention score is displayed within a TMS to give a fleet manager or load planner information to make decisions. A load planner may decide to not put a certain driver with a low retention score on a load that could exacerbate a problem further. The Driver Retention model also connects with Trimble Transportation’s driver-load matching optimization tool, Dispatch Advisor. “We are looking at
| may 2020
each load for each driver and how that would impact retention,” Orban said. Trimble revises the algorithms of the Driver Retention model on a monthly basis. An example of how the model continues to adapt and learn is the capability to account for differences in how drivers communicate based on where they are from, or what type of operation they do, Orban said. Ultimately, the goal for any revisions is to identify the right thing to do with drivers at the right time, he said. The right time to have a conversation with drivers is when their sentiment begins to shift. When this happens, fleets have a narrow window of opportunity to communicate and influence their decision to stay. Orban admitted that using a software system that analyzes driver messages to determine mood could seem invasive, but he stressed the reason fleets are willing to use technology to this extent is because they truly care about drivers and want to understand how they feel and what is going on in their work life. – Aaron Huff
in focus: FUEL AND FLEET CARDS
COVID-19 pushes digitized payments, shipping docs BY AARON HUFF
s an essential service, transportation companies have remained free to operate normally in light of COVID-19, although for safety precautions, many transitioned their back office to a work-at-home environment. During the pandemic, any process that relied on paper documents – such as billing, payroll and accounts payable – could threaten business continuity if it wasn’t able to move to a virtual setting. The circumstances have given motor carriers more reason to digitize the remaining paper-based holdouts in their businesses to not only work from home but also maintain social distancing between drivers and customers.
were not spending as much due to economic concerns, he said. The daily balances on their OnRoad card accounts were slightly higher than normal. Drivers can use funds loaded to Comdata OnRoad as a debit card at merchants that accept Mastercard. They also can make digital payments using the Comdata OnRoad mobile app, which King describes as “Venmo for truck drivers.” The mobile app has the ability to transfer funds to other drivers, lumpers and other parties at no cost to any party that uses an OnRoad card and mobile app. Fleets have another option to send funds to drivers electronically via a Comchek Mobile card. Drivers also can use the card and Comchek Mobile app to make payments by entering the user ID of the person or vendor.
Electronic payments Looking at the situation through the lens of digital payments, fuel transactions have not changed much. Drivers still insert cards at the pump, but COVID-19 Digital proof-of-delivery caused fleets to change practices for COVID-19 has given motor carriers an payroll and settlements. “We are considering it a new normal,” opportunity to make a harder push to eliminate paper docusaid Justin King, ments to solve business senior vice president challenges and imof product innovaprove work safety. tion for Comdata, Brian Belcher, chief FleetCor’s trucking operating officer for business unit. “The Vector, a technology long-term effects of Vector’s mobile app has a backcompany that specialthis thing are going office system that can read and izes in paperless freight to be sustained.” transcribe information instantly workflows, has been Companies from paper documents and notes. working with shippers wanted to avoid to come up with a different process that having to mail checks or have drivers would not require the exchange of paper come inside their offices, King said. The bill-of-lading (BOL) documents with Comdata OnRoad card serves the dual drivers. purpose of a fuel card and a personal Scanning BOLs through a mobile fund card for drivers to receive payroll app is not enough, Belcher said. “The and settlements. industry has been looking to eliminate Daily transaction data that Comdata monitors showed last month that drivers that paperwork,” he said. 34
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Digital payment systems such as Comchek Mobile help drivers and fleets go paperless by allowing them to send and receive funds.
Vector is working to introduce a digital proof-of-delivery (POD) process between shippers and carriers that uses GPS, photos, texts with dockworkers and other data points as a substitute for a paper POD. A process that is being tested now leverages short-message-service (SMS) “bots” and text that replace the need for drivers to scan documents with an app. Drivers can communicate with dockworkers through a time- and locationstamped text when they arrive for a pickup or delivery. A digital version of a POD, such as a PDF, could be passed digitally from a shipper to a receiver through an email. The SMS process still would allow a dockworker to sign a document and indicate any over, short or damaged freight, Belcher said. Vector can pull a document from the email exchanged between a shipper and a receiver and then extract the text to pass it through the SMS process between the driver and the dockworker. Most shippers and receivers are saying they don’t need a paper document now, Belcher said. “They need to know if it is delivered and if there are any issues,” he said. “There are a lot of other ways to do what a signature is doing.” Whenever COVID-19 ends, the new digital processes motor carriers are using for driver payroll, payments and shipping documents may cause them to never return to their old ways of doing business.
WINNERS Kevin Kocmich and Don Lewis, winners of the Driver of the Year Contest, each receive $25,000, thanks to sponsors Cummins and Love’s. Owner-operator ﬁnalists Jesse Dennis, leased to Prime Inc., and team drivers Robert and Tracy Roth, leased to Erb International, each win $2,500. Likewise, company driver ﬁnalists Robie Jensen, of Fremont Contract Carriers, and Randy Kuryk, of Bison Transport, each win $2,500. The contest is organized by the Truckload Carriers Association, Overdrive and Truckers News.
Diamond Transportation System The 2019 Owner-Operator of the Year
Wilson Logistics The 2019 Company Driver of the Year.
Read about the winners
OverdriveOnline.com or TruckersNews.com
INNOVATORS Roger Schmidt (left) founded Liquid Trucking. His son, Gabe (middle), is director of operations, and Josh Schmidt (right) is general manager.
FREIGHT ‘LIQUIDITY’ Liquid Trucking rewards reconnaissance BY AARON HUFF
very time a trucking company loses a tenured driver, the institutional knowledge the driver gained by working for the company walks out the door. As a tanker and hazardous materials carrier, Liquid Trucking has many safety and customer service procedures to learn to avoid accidents and spills at thousands of locations every year. Getting drivers accurate information in a timely manner – like where to turn at each customer site, what to avoid, who to ask for and what numbers to call – always had been a challenge. After looking at different technology products to address the need, in 2015 the owners and management of Liquid Trucking decided to invest in developing a proprietary mobile application that would allow drivers to share location intelligence and access everything they needed to do their jobs. The DeliveRecon app, released later that year, gives drivers the ability to share their knowledge through editable fields to update addresses, phone numbers and instructions by adding text, photos, videos and audio clips. The uploads are approved by a safety manager and enter DeliveRecon’s database in the cloud. The app also has a two-way integration with TMWSuite, a transportation management system that Liquid Trucking uses from Trimble, to automatically export customer locations to DeliveRecon and update approved edits from drivers to the location fields in TMWSuite. With DeliveRecon, Liquid Trucking is able to capture and redistribute all the information that previously walked out the door. When dispatched on a route, to see location information, drivers simply tap a “Near Me” function to view nearby customers, tank washes and site-specific instructions instantly. “We’re letting the drivers essentially train one another,” said Jason Eisenmann, human resources director for the Plattsmouth, Neb.-based fleet. “Our newer drivers are able to hit the ground running.” DeliveRecon also has workflow tools for drivers to capture and index proof-of-delivery documents and file incident reports.
LIQUID TRUCKING Plattsmouth, Neb. In January 2016, Liquid Trucking spun off a separate company, Epic Ideas, to develop a commercial enterprise version of DeliveRecon by partnering with Volano Solutions, an Omaha, Nebraska-based software development firm. Epic Ideas is offering DeliveRecon to the industry as a mobile platform that combines location-based mobile customer relationship management (CRM), automated workflow and connectivity features to the transportation industry through a Software-as-a-Service. A fluid business model Liquid Trucking was born in 1994 when Roger Schmidt and Mike Beins started a new venture called OFC/Schmidt Liquid Services. Schmidt previously had founded a dry van carrier in 1989 that by 1994 had grown to 10 trucks. A pivotal moment in the business came in the early 2000s during a mad cow disease outbreak in Europe. The disease created a scare in the United States, and shippers required carriers to wash out trailers before loading animal feed. This event caused Schmidt to research trailer wash facilities. He drove to locations nationwide before starting construction on a wash bay south of Omaha near the Missouri River in Plattsmouth. The wash facility has a steam boiler, a high-speed spinner and other tools and equipment. It is Kosher-certified and has washouts for all food-grade and feed-grade commodities, chemicals and
The tank carrier leverages its driver pay structure, rewards program, surveys and mobile app as it adjusts to new market opportunities. commercial carrier journal
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INNOVATORS areas of opportunity to improve the work experience. One area where survey results have proven useful is by scoring dispatchers on behaviors and skills that correlate with driver retention, Eisenmann said. To increase driver engagement, Liquid Trucking also rewards them for their reconnaissance efforts. On average, the DeliveRecon app is getting 116 different location updates from drivers every month. The company is using a custombranded online rewards platform from Stay Metrics and has a reward category for DeliveRecon updates, adding to other reward categories in safety, customer service, training and other measurable areas. Over the last four years, the comRewarding drivers pany has awarded 1.5 million points to In 2009, the Federal Motor Carrier drivers for their DeliveRecon updates. Safety Administration was targeting Each point is worth half-a-cent, and the hazmat carriers for enforcement prior $75,000 spent is worthwhile for having to rolling out the Compliance, Safety, accurate data for all locations, said Josh Administration (CSA) program. Liquid Schmidt. Trucking adopted electronic logs and During COVID-19, management has in 2010 used the technology to improve seen drivers send an influx of changes driver pay and safety by creating an such as posters, banhourly pay system. Jason Eisenmann, ners and handmade The pay program director of human signs at customer is performanceresources, led the development of locations with new based and starts DeliveRecon, a delivery instructions, at $23.75 an hour. mobile app that Eisenmann said. Drivers who have drivers use to From 2015 to 2019, higher performance optimize their work. Liquid Trucking has in the measurement areas of fuel, revenue and safety can earn seen, on average, a 43% drop in accidents and incidents every year, which up to $3 extra after their first 13 weeks. Eisenmann credits to DeliveRecon and “We feel like we are rewarding the ongoing safety training and initiatives. right areas,” said Josh Schmidt, general manager, who credits the pay program All hands on deck for attracting and retaining higherLike most carriers, management of caliber drivers. During the past five years, the compa- Liquid Trucking put in place new procedures to protect employees from ny’s driver retention rate has improved COVID-19. Starting March 14, the by more than 50% as management has focused on increasing driver satisfaction company’s office and shop doors were locked to restrict access to only employand engagement. ees whose jobs cannot be done at home, Liquid Trucking uses an in-depth such as drivers, mechanics, the tank annual Driver Satisfaction Survey from wash team and a handful of dispatchers. Stay Metrics to sharpen its focus on hazardous materials. OFC/Schmidt Liquid Services also built an onsite wastewater treatment plant. With the state-of-the-art wash bays, the company is able to haul any type of bulk liquid at any time, from food and feed-grade products to hazardous materials and chemicals, with its fleet of 180 tractors and 310 trailers. Its fluid business model has adapted quickly to the economic disruption caused by COVID-19. As freight volumes for fuel and ethanol commodities declined, management shifted capacity to food-grade products and chemicals. Alcohol has been in especially high demand to manufacture hand sanitizer.
commercial carrier journal
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By using the DeliveRecon app, Liquid Trucking drivers can update information about customer sites.
Additional steps to prevent contagion include setting up exterior handwashing stations and portable toilets, installing plexiglass around office cubicles and enforcing the 6-foot social distancing rule. So far, disruption from the coronavirus has been minimal compared to another crisis that happened one year ago. In March 2019, heavy rains in Nebraska and other Midwestern states caused flooding of the Missouri River and its tributaries. Liquid Trucking had 12 hours to prepare for the imminent flooding of its headquarters. The property remained under water for several days and reached 10 feet deep in some areas. Roger Schmidt, the company’s president, said everyone at Liquid Trucking pitched in and did whatever was necessary. He describes the company’s management structure as “flat” whenever things need to be done quickly. “We all kind of throw our gear on and do what we’ve got to do,” he said. “Everybody gets involved, and it is really transparent to employees and everyone around us.” Just as employees pitched in to help Liquid Trucking emerge from the flood, they have all “been out there working their tail off ” to keep the business running during COVID-19, Josh Schmidt said. When the economy starts to fire back up, “we believe it is going to have a huge bounce back, and we want to be ready when that happens,” he said. CCJ INNOVATORS profiles carriers and fleets that have found innovative ways to overcome trucking’s challenges. If you know a carrier that has displayed innovation, contact Jason Cannon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
COVID-19 All corners of trucking industry rise to occasion, respond to pandemic’s health, economic challenges BY JASON CANNON, AARON HUFF, TOM QUIMBY, JAMES JAILLET AND DEAN SMALLWOOD
any economic signals indicated that U.S. businesses, and the trucking industry along with them, could see a nice rebound from a ho-hum 2019 and that retail, manufacturing, construction and employment all would enjoy a beneficial environment in 2020. No one could have predicted that a once-in-a-century contagion would bring it all crashing down. COVID-19 sprang from Wuhan, China, in late 2019 and quickly spread around the globe, despite most
nations’ desperate attempts to halt a mysterious virus that didn’t meet a political border it couldn’t circumnavigate, even across oceans. Most countries, in an attempt to corral the deadly coronavirus for which there was no immunization, issued stayat-home orders and shuttered what were deemed nonessential businesses, wrecking economies worldwide and sending panicked shoppers scrambling
to the few stores that were open to snap up what they deemed were life necessities, which included toilet paper. Trucking was not immune from COVID-19’s economic toll, as the coronavirus impacted every corner of Trucking defense attorney Doug Marcello said COVID-19 has positively improved the public’s perception of the trucking industry, which could help win over jurors in future court cases.
MAY TRUCK, TRAILER ORDERS LOOM LARGE What was already a bleak outlook for truck freight activity turned a little bleaker in mid-April. Forecasting firm FTR last month revised its forecast for truck loadings this year, now forecasting a 9% overall decline for 2020 compared to the previous year, down from its previous forecast of a 4% drop that had been issued in late March. “All segments we see as being negative for the year,” said Avery Vise, vice president of trucking for FTR.
commercial carrier journal
Refrigerated freight was forecasted to tick upward slightly, but the forecast for that segment also trended negative. Flatbed freight, meanwhile, was in a collapse. Housing starts had plummeted since the onset of COVID-19, as had other construction segments. Manufacturing activity also had fallen to an “extreme level to fathom,” said Jonathan Starks, chief intelligence officer for FTR. Orders for trailers and Class 8 trucks were depressed in March and were expected to remain at near-record
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lows in April. May’s orders, however, are anticipated to provide a pivotal window into “how deep we’re in and how far we need to dig out,” said Don Ake, vice president of commercial vehicles for FTR. May truck and trailer orders were predicted to be “one of the first signals” as to whether a potential recovery could begin later this year. Starks said FTR did expect economic indicators around truck freight to turn positive later this year, though it still would be a “very weak environment” for
COVER STORY | COPING WITH COVID-19
FLEET CEO GETS BEHIND THE WHEEL In early March, grocery stores began running low on inventory as COVID-19 was spreading in the United States. Randy Timms started to think of people in small towns with limited shopping options and how he could help. Western Flyer Express (WFX) had a new contract with a grocery distributor to deliver to small towns in Oklahoma and Texas. As the company’s chief executive officer, Timms saw an opportunity to join the front-line response to the pandemic and to “show everyone within my company that, at end of the day, the most important people we have are drivers.” Timms founded WFX in 1991 with his father. As a business owner, he always had a commercial driver’s
the industry, from fleets of all types – truckload, reefer, less than truckload, flatbed, final mile, even hotshot – to truck makers, repair shops, dealers, truck stops and all their customers. While some truckers decided to sit COVID-19 out, many risked their own health to do the jobs they knew were vital to keeping the nation’s supply of essentials moving from supplier to consumer. As a result, the industry has seen a noteworthy boost in positive opinion among an American public who normally sees it as not much more than big dangerous vehicles speeding down the interstate driven by unshaven washouts.
trucking activity. A potential bright spot? Though the economic trough could be as harsh as the 2008-09 recession, it could play out in a much shorter time span, Starks said. A recession more than a decade ago that unfolded over four to five quarters could play out in just one to two quarters this time. “Moving forward, we see positive numbers,” Starks said. “We just had such a rapid destruction. … We won’t make up all those lost results for at least a year and a half.”
license but never drove for an extended period of time as the Oklahoma City-based fleet grew to operate more than 1,000 trucks with company drivers and contractors. On Saturday, March 21, Timms stepped out of the office and into the driver’s seat to make urgent grocery deliveries to out-of-stock stores for the customer. “It’s important, in this time of crisis, for our drivers and contractors to know the entire WFX team is behind them as we execute,” he said. “We couldn’t be more appreciative of them and their incredibly important role in supporting America.” With few exceptions, drivers at WFX did not express concerns about working during COVID-19.
Randy Timms, CEO for Western Flyer Express, made timely deliveries to small grocery stores in Oklahoma and Texas.
“They are out there doing their job,” he said. “It’s been pretty great to see. I anticipated it was going to be challenging.” Timms didn’t go alone. He returned home for three nights, and each time he picked up a different family member to come along. His wife joined him for an extended trip, and his son and daughter joined him on shorter trips. “I wanted them to be involved,” he said.
Drivers reporting symptoms
n the days and weeks following the outbreak, fleets were faced with an unsettling and mostly unprecedented task: Navigating the humanitarian and logistical questions surrounding drivers reporting symptoms of or testing positive for COVID-19 while on the job. Drivers’ inability to self-isolate, the job’s mobile nature and the need to go into public places such as truck stops put them at a higher risk of infection If a driver did exhibit COVID-19 symptoms or than those who quarantined inside their home. test positive, fleets faced a If a driver did exhibit symptoms or test positive, myriad of immediate and fleets faced a myriad of immediate and disconcertdisconcerting challenges. ing challenges, including, most importantly, helping the driver find medical care or finding a place for them to quarantine. “They can’t be stuck out there by themselves,” said Brian Fielkow, chief executive officer for Jetco Delivery, a Houston-based 130-truck fleet and part of the larger Montreal-based GTI Group. “It’s our job to support them if that would happen.” Secondary to helping care for or quarantine drivers was considering retrieving equipment and loads that might be stranded and, in accordance with Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines, notifying employees at shippers and receivers with whom the driver may have come into contact. Fleets needed to get drivers “home and out of the truck as soon as possible,” said Travis Vance, an attorney for the firm Fisher Phillips, and have them “avoid interaction with customers and cargo, because [the virus] can live on surfaces for three to four days.” If a driver reported they were feeling too sick to drive, “you don’t want him operating anymore,” said Jack Finklea, a partner and attorney for Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hansen & Feary. If a driver did feel OK to operate, fleets could send a replacement truck to retrieve the driver’s trailer and load and have the driver either return to a terminal to get home or find a safe place to park. commercial carrier journal
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COVER STORY | COPING WITH COVID-19
New tech helps LTL giant Saia work from home
ast year, less-than-truckload carrier Saia (CCJ Top 250, No. 24) began implementing a technology across its terminal network to pre-plan routes for pickups and deliveries. That decision to use Optym’s RouteMax paid extra dividends with COVID-19 causing disruption. “The network is changing,” said Rohit Lal, vice president and chief information officer for Saia. Among those changes were shippers and receivers shortening their business hours and moving appointments, as well as greater fluctuations in Saia is using Optym’s RouteMax software to optimize pickup-and-delivery load volumes. routes for its nationwide terminal network. To complicate matters, Saia’s load planners and other front-office employees were working from home. Lal said that without the software, it would have been gathered feedback from dockworkers. difficult for the Johns Creek, Georgia-based company to manSaia’s legacy application was short on graphical tools, and age the rapid changes to its network during the pandemic. users relied on tribal knowledge to finalize plans for routes Saia’s load planners were able to update appointment times that were organized by ZIP codes. RouteMax’s optimizafor shipments, plan routes further in advance and respond tion engine and visualization tools have made it possible for more quickly when pickups and deliveries need to be rerouted planners to be more productive, make real-time adjustments on the fly. and perform “what-if ” simulations as Saia’s business changes RouteMax is replacing Saia’s legacy route planning applicathroughout the day, Lal said. tion that the fleet developed internally. During the rollout’s iniAfter plans are finalized, RouteMax sends proactive notificatial stages, Optym worked “very closely” with Saia’s engineertions to Saia’s planners about pending issues based on realing, operations and IT departments to “look at our processes,” time data changes from linehaul and dock operations, such as Lal said. Optym employees went on rides with drivers and heavy traffic, new bills, reweighs and more.
TRUCKS SPEED UP Mass quarantines and mandatory remote work policies designed to limit the spread of COVID-19, while inconvenient for legions of homebound motorists, meant the lack of vehicles on U.S. highways skyrocketed the productivity of many truckers in areas historically plagued with the worst traffic congestion. “Huge metro areas still have traffic, but nothing like the normal,” said Jamie Hagen, owner/driver for Aberdeen, S.D.-based bulk hauler Hellbent Xpress. “Literally cruising right through without slowing down.” Data from transportation analytics firm INRIX showed that in the span of one week, from March 13 to March 20, traffic went from “reduced congestion” to “free-flow” in America’s 25 largest metropolitan areas. Chicago and Los Angeles saw afternoon travel speed increases of 35% and 38% above average to 74% and 75% above average in one week as the scale of containment expanded.
commercial carrier journal
Trucks sped up due to a dramatic reduction in commuter traffic and their continuous 24/7 operations that generated higher average truck speeds across nearly all hours of the day.
Driver Jack DeRubeis said traffic through Dallas was “flowing smoothly compared to stop-and-go traffic.” The I-45/I-30 interchange in Dallas is No. 18 on the American Transportation Research Institute’s (ATRI) bottleneck list. U.S. 75 at I-635 is No. 43. ATRI pulled real-time GPS data from more than a million trucks to analyze freight flows. According to ATRI’s data, at the northeast intersection of I-85 and I-285 in Atlanta, known locally as “Spaghetti Junction,” afternoon rush hour truck speeds typically are under 15 mph due to congestion. INRIX data pegs Atlanta as the 10th most-congested
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urban area in the United States with 82 hours lost sitting in traffic last year. The week after the outbreak went big time, ATRI showed truck speeds averaged 53 mph. The states hit hardest by COVID-19 – New York, California and Illinois – also saw some of the largest gains in overall truck speed. “As other traffic dissipates, trucks continue to move, delivering much-needed relief supplies to markets, hospitals, gas stations and other essential businesses,” said Rebecca Brewster, ATRI president and chief operating officer.
COVER STORY | COPING WITH COVID-19
P&D PONIES UP At a time when the nation’s unemployment rate was soaring, Amazon was hiring. Major players in the pickup-and-delivery segment such as Amazon faced several changes amid COVID-19, including shifts in delivery volume as millions of people across the United States sheltered in place and avoided going out in public to work or shop. Instead, they worked and shopped from home, which kept P&D companies on the move. The company temporarily prioritized household staples, medical supplies and other high-demand products coming into its fulfillment centers so it could receive, restock and ship those products more quickly. To help meet the surge in demand, Amazon opened 100,000 new full- and part-time positions within its delivery network and at fulfillment centers nationwide. The company also offered pay raises and switched to
Amazon handles deliveries for roughly half of its online orders and leans heavily on the U.S. Postal Service and UPS to handle the rest.
video-based interviews for most of its applicants. Amazon handles deliveries for roughly half of its online orders and leans heavily on the U.S. Postal Service and UPS (CCJ Top 250, No. 1) to handle the rest. Although deliveries for UPS had grown in some areas, they didn’t look to bulk up their workforce, citing a mixed bag for business depending on the region. The company leaned on the Coyote Logistics freight brokerage to help with deliveries when needed, said Dan McMackin, public relations manager for UPS. Some deliveries proved exceptionally vital during
the pandemic. FedEx (No. 2) transported COVID-19 test specimens from drive-through testing centers at major retailers. FedEx dedicated dozens of flight legs and specialized pickup-and-delivery operations that were aided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “We have a great responsibility in these unprecedented times to do what we do best — mobilize our network quickly to help the communities where we live and work,” said Raj Subramaniam, president and chief operating officer for FedEx Corp.
Specialized carriers turn to SBA for help
llen Farms in Norman,Oklahoma, became a lot more popular during the pandemic, since retail sales of sod were soaring. “Before the weather even broke a little bit, the phone was ringing off the hook,” said Allen Farms owner Kevin Andrews, who also owns an automobile-hauling business that saw roughly half its revenue wither during shelter-in-place directives brought on by COVID-19. While commercial sales also were underway at Allen Farms, the record retail sales stood out. Plenty of grass spread out over 90 acres was a sight for sore eyes for homebound yardwork warriors itching to get outside. “We’re seeing people with masks and gloves on that are completely stir-crazy,” Andrews said. For Andrews’ car hauling business, Dave Meeker Auto, business was the polar opposite. “What we’re finding is that we’re running about 50%,” Andrews said in mid-April. “Last Monday morning, we billed out about maybe 60% to 65% of
our norm. This week we billed out about To help make ends meet, Andrews 45%.” turned to the U.S. Small Business AdminCar dealerships weren’t selling as istration’s Paycheck Protection Program much, which idled trucks. Based in Pur- for help and was approved for a loan. cell, Oklahoma, Dave Meeker Auto has Chris Olson, owner of SOS Transa dispatcher in Branson, portation in Carlton, Missouri, and a brokerOregon, has been age office in Pensacola, hauling for special Florida. events such as concerts, Most of Andrews’ drivplays and trade shows ers are owner-operators since the 1970s. For the based in Branson, where first time, he saw all his the business originated. trucks and those of his Normally, 20 to 25 trucks competitors come to an Kevin Andrews, owner would have been hauling abrupt stop. of Allen Farms and Dave Meeker Auto, with his for Andrews. Some were “It’s weird parking all waiting out the pandemic daughter, Emma, picking up the trucks,” Olson said. a truck he bought in Kansas at home, while others “They’re just parked.” about a year ago. still hit the road, where Unlike during the Andrews said the used auto market had Great Depression in the 1930s when enjoyed more business over new sales. people flocked to the movies to escape “We haul primarily used cars,” he said. their woes for pennies a show, movies “We’re not hit as hard as the new car theaters had rolled up their red carpets, carriers are. We’re also limited to a lot of as had concerts, plays, trade shows and our auctions that we haul out of, because other special events. A niche market they’ve either shortened hours or are for carriers was completely dead with closed on the weekends.” nationwide shelter-in-place directives. commercial carrier journal
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COVER STORY | COPING WITH COVID-19
Olson’s dry vans, like others in his line of work, are specialized. Still, he considered hauling freight to help pick up the slack until he was offered a paltry rate of a dollar a mile to haul from California to Iowa and New York. For the first time since hitting the road as a truck driver in the early ’70s, Olson turned to the government for help. Like Andrews, Olson’s company also was approved for an SBA loan. As it turns out, Andrews and Olson applied for and received their business loans just before they dried up in mid-April. SBA’s first-come first-serve $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program ran out of cash in less than two weeks. Olson, who favors Kenworth trucks, had hoped to put his 10 rigs back to work in July for a major concert. So far, the event hadn’t been canceled. “We’ll see,” Olson said. “I’m old. I would go to work if I get the chance. If I get the stuff (COVID-19) and it kills me, then it kills me. We need to start the country back up.”
The 2021 Ram ProMaster with additional safety features was unveiled recently at the Work Truck Show in Indianapolis.
E-commerce, P&D spur demand for light vans
hile COVID-19 brought production freezes and huge sales losses for major auto manufacturers, two industry giants reported increased demand for vehicles that don’t exactly play starring roles at local dealers. Both Ford and Ram saw higher
demand for vans that support pickupand-delivery operations, which got a nice boost from increased e-commerce sales through growing shelter-in-place directives. “We have seen some additional requests for additional Transit production
HOTSHOT TRUCKING: FREIGHT DYNAMICS SHIFT Prior to COVID-19, hotshot haulers in Oklahoma and Texas already had been hit with a drop-off in work owed to sinking oil prices. Then came the pandemic, which cut prices even further, along with load demand among oil companies and supporting businesses. “As soon as oil gets below $40 or $50 a barrel, everybody quits pumping, which means that everyone working in the oilfield is out of work, and everybody who delivers to them is out of work, and anyone who works in the area is out of work, because there’s no other freight really,” said Aaron Hammer, owner of Eagle Hot Shot, based in Jenks, Oklahoma. With oilfield work all but dried up, dispatchers were calling with loads related to pandemic relief. “Almost all of the stuff we’re hauling right now is COVID disaster relief stuff,” Hammer said last month. “We hauled sanitation tanks for companies to make hand sanitizer.
commercial carrier journal
We hauled a bunch of masks the other day. We hauled some tractor equipment for farms that are growing produce as they try to keep everything stocked.” Ben Thompson, founder and chief executive officer of HotShot 107, said his company saw an uptick in work that’s wasn’t directly related to COVID-19 relief efforts. The Ohio-based company offers startup assistance and dispatch services to small and mid-sized trucking companies. “We’ve seen an increase in available loads and an increase in some of the rates on the things we’re hauling,” Thompson said last month. “A lot of what we haul is steel, light loads of lumber, agricultural equipment, light mechanical industrial components.” Indiana-based Wave Express, specializing in hotshot RV hauling, was among some actively recruiting drivers to work a new freight source: Transporting RVs to be
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Hotshot companies asked interested pickup owners to turn to them for work hauling RVs for healthcare responses to COVID-19.
used for mobile medical offices, testing facilities and sleeping quarters. As for Hotshot 107, Thompson said, “Maybe for us so far, it’s just been the availability of trucks where some guys may be taking off or getting home or being nervous about the coronavirus.”
COVER STORY | COPING WITH COVID-19
in the package delivery vocation,” said Elizabeth Kraft, Ford’s commercial vehicle communications manager. Ram also reported more sales for vehicles that support online shopping. “As for P&D, we have seen an uptick in vans and chassis applications for support,” said Trevor Dorchies, Ram spokesperson. Some bargains were to be had during the pandemic. For qualifying buyers, dealers stepped up zero-down interest-free loans for 72 and 84 months. “Nearly 20% of all loans in March were 84-month compared to 8% last month, so its acceptance as a mainstream option has exploded on the scene,” said Tyson Jominy, a J.D. Power vice president who leads the company’s data and analytics consulting division. “Not only are there great deals in the market and will be in the future, we are also seeing a shift to online sales from this event, making buying a vehicle easier than ever,” Jominy said. “Dealers are willing to do all the negotiating over email or phone, and the vehicle can be delivered to your home or place of business. You need not ever step in a dealership if you don’t want to or can’t.” While encouraging, it’ll take a lot more than a promising P&D market to get auto sales back on target. Stay-athome directives may lead to about an 80% drop from initial forecasts and could result in 2 to 3.5 million lost vehicle sales this year, Jominy said.
Positive test, attitude for fleet executive
t could have been a much different story for Bob Reese and Packer Transportation if he and others he was traveling with had not followed instructions to self-quarantine after returning from Europe in March. Reese, general manager for Packer – a Reno, Nevada-based flatbed and brokerage company – said he, his girlfriend and two friends who traveled with them to Ireland were told by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to stay home for at least two weeks and note any symptoms that might be related to COVID-19, including an increase in body temperature. Good thing, too. Reese, his girlfriend – a registered nurse – and their two friends began showing symptoms not long after touching down in the States. “It was just a couple of days later that the fever and the cough started developing,” said Reese, who was the first in his group to get tested for the virus. “They jab that swab up there (in your nose) pretty far. It makes you shudder a little bit.” He was tested March 23, and the test results came back positive that night. His girlfriend also tested positive for the virus, along with their two friends. Quarantine continued through late April, which was fine with Reese, who no longer was exhibiting symptoms and credited the CDC for keeping him and his friends away from others, particularly those with health issues at work. Though some COVID-19 patients have reported severe symptoms requiring hospitalization, Reese said that wasn’t the case for him and his friends. He and his girlfriend stuck to an over-the-counter regimen that included vitamin C, echinacea, turmeric and ibuprofen. “The symptoms were very manageable,” Reese said. “There was a little congestion — some nasal and chest congestion. There were a couple days of mild fever. We were
Bob Reese has been GM for Packer Transportation since 2004.
monitoring our temperatures, and it never got over 100 degrees. Took some Advil and got lots of sleep, drank lots of water and actually worked from home the whole time.” Remaining symptom-free, however, is only part of the battle. COVID-19 testing through the Washoe County Health District was another. “The tests have kept coming back positive even though we were symptom-free,” Reese said. “When we asked the health department why that would be, the senior immunologist said particles of the virus can still reside in your airways or sinuses for up to six weeks.” Like so many other companies, Packer implemented new procedures, including social distancing, to help lower the risk for exposure to the virus. They’ve also been handling paperwork electronically to reduce foot traffic in the office and person-toperson contact. “Anybody that has to (manually) process paperwork is using gloves and masks, and we have eliminated drivers from coming into the office,” Reese said. “We have a person who goes out to collect paperwork.” Though Packer was feeling the pinch from the shutdown of construction sites in neighboring California, Packer had not laid off any employees as of late April and was hiring drivers. commercial carrier journal
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COVER STORY | COPING WITH COVID-19
Dealers under pressure to maintain service
ontgomery, Alabama-based truck dealership Four Star Freightliner followed Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations for the cleaning of hard surfaces and installed sanitizer dispensers in all its shops at its seven locations. “All incoming trucks are wiped down to protect our technicians in order to maintain a healthy workforce,” said Scott Dixon, operations manager. “After maintenance or repairs are completed, the trucks are again wiped down before being released back to the customer. We want to make sure the drivers are healthy and able to keep the vital freight moving.” Dixon said truck volume initially increased nationwide by 18% in response to COVID-19. Four Star Freightliner also extended its hours at many of its locations. “We feel we are a small cog in the vital wheel that is keeping our nation together by doing everything at our disposal to keep transportation flowing but being mindful and responsible to always keep our employees and customers safe and healthy,” said Jerry Kocan, dealer principal. Bob Acker, general manager for Bruckner Truck Sales – Oklahoma City, said his dealership was delivering parts throughout the state at no charge and that the dealership group’s network increased the utilization of drop boxes to limit personal contact. The company also expanded its mobile fleet service coverage area for customers impacted by employee absences and offered labor discounts through the end of the month.
Montgomery, Ala.-based truck dealership Four Star Freightliner was following CDC recommendations for the cleaning of hard surfaces and installed sanitizer dispensers in all its shops.
“We consider trucking and transportation vital to overcoming this historic event, and we are here to help truckers do what they do,” Acker said. TTN Fleet Solutions, which operates a 24/7/365 technical contact center in Argyle, Texas, said that its breakdown coordinators remained busy assisting fleets during the pandemic’s onset. Jeff Pierre, president and chief executive officer, said TTN’s backup contact center services could operate 100% remotely if the need arose. Several of TTN’s fleet partners that provide maintenance consulted with the company to replicate its best practices in redundancies and disaster recovery (DR) planning, Pierre said.
FOR TECHS, THE SHOP MUST GO ON Truck drivers were scrambled like fighter jet pilots nationwide under loosened hours of service restrictions to get consumer goods back on store shelves, but as trucker appreciation campaigns spread across social media, life back at the shop tolled on. “The freight must move on, so we are keeping our shops open,” said Brent Hilton, director of maintenance for Little Rock, Arkansas-based Maverick Transportation (CCJ Top 250, No. 75). One thing that’s wasn’t quite as usual was the company’s concerted effort to keep technicians out of the truck as much as possible by having drivers perform their own minor and routine inspections. “We are making an effort to keep our technicians out of our truck cabs and having the drivers perform all light checks and in-cab inspections, brakes … with the technician standing outside the vehicle,” Hilton said.
commercial carrier journal
“We are simply trying to distance everyone from each other as much as possible.” Glen McDonald, director of maintenance for Memphis, Tennessee-based Ozark Motor Lines (No. 137), said company management monitored daily guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and encouraged all employees to be vigilant in practicing good hygiene and social distancing. “We are making every effort to supply all employees with necessary supplies and keeping them as informed as possible,” he said. “As far as shop operations, we still have to touch the trucks.” Ozark incorporated new cleaning and sanitizing procedures for its equipment and asked technicians to stay in their bay and keep their work area clean. “I’ve never walked into a shop and smelled bleach before,” added Nick Forte, vice president of
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The National Security Council listed vehicle maintenance and mechanic workshops as “essential services,” and they were not subject to the sweeping coronavirus closures being mandated coast-to-coast.
maintenance for Dubuque, Iowa-based Hirschbach Motor Lines (No. 65). “Normally, it smells like diesel fuel.” The 1,900-truck fleet took steps to keep its technicians from being exposed to the virus. “By nature” of their work, Forte said, “technicians are generally socially distanced. One person is working on one truck. They don’t gather in groups.”
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CHAMPION CL Length: 53 ft. Width: 102.36 in. Height: 13 ft. 6 in. Sides: 0.83-in. or 1.25-in. logistics posts on 24-in. centers; 1.1-in. steel hats optional; 0.05-in. pre-painted white flat aluminum side sheets; side doors optional; 1.13-in. double logistics posts optional Roof: 0.04-in. aluminum sheet with bows on 24-in. centers; 12-in. center optional Rear doors: 0.5-in. composite swing; dual-seal gaskets; white galvanized steel cover sheet; rear rollup doors optional Floor: 1.38-in. nom. laminated hardwood Crossmember: Front – steel hat type for tire protection between support gear and coupler; bay and upper running gear areas – 4-in.deep steel I-beams on 12-in. centers Suspension: Hendrickson Ultraa-K sliding air ride with 49-in. axle spacing Anti-lock brakes: Wabco 2S/1M Easy Stop Brakes: 16.5-by-7-in. drums with S-cam brakes Scuff band: 12-in. galvanized 18-gauge steel, full length Interior options: Overlaid or recessed track; various scuff
CHAMPION CP Length: 53 ft. Width: 102.36 in. Height: 13 ft. 6 in. Sides: Flat composite plate with PPW galvanized steel skins; uprights on 50-in. centers Roof: 0.04-in. aluminum sheet with bows on 24-in. centers; 12-in. center optional Rear doors: 0.5-in. composite swing; dual-seal gaskets; white galvanized steel cover sheet; RUD optional Floor: 1.38-in. nom. laminated hardwood Crossmember: Front – steel hat type for tire protection between support gear and coupler; bay and upper running gear areas – 4-in.deep steel I-beams on 12-in. centers Suspension: Hendrickson Ultraa-K sliding air ride with 49-in. axle spacing Anti-lock brakes: Wabco 2S/1M Easy Stop Brakes: 16.5-by-7-in. drums with S-cam brakes Scuff band: Two rows – first row, 5-in. extruded aluminum integrated with bottom rail; second row, 6-in. galvanized 18-gauge steel Interior options: Overlaid track; various scuff bands; aluminum floors; front interior and ceiling linings
commercial carrier journal
| may 2020
CHAMPION SE Length: 53 ft. Width: 102.36 in. Height: 13 ft. 6 in. Sides: 0.83-in. or 1.25-in. logistics posts on 24-in. centers; 1.1-in. steel hats optional; 0.05-in. pre-painted white flat aluminum side sheets; 0.505-in. logistics posts optional Roof: 0.04-in. aluminum sheet with bows on 24-in. centers; 12-in. center optional Rear doors: 0.5-in. composite swing; dual-seal gaskets; white galvanized steel cover sheet; RUD optional Floor: 1.38-in. nom. laminated hardwood Crossmember: Front – steel hat type for tire protection between support gear and coupler; bay and upper running gear areas – 4-in.deep steel I-beams on 12-in. centers Suspension: Hendrickson Ultraa-K sliding air ride with 49-in. axle spacing Anti-lock brakes: Wabco 2S/1M Easy Stop Brakes: 16.5-by-7-in. drums with S-cam brakes Scuff band: 10.25-in. galvanized 18-gauge steel, full length Interior options: Overlaid track; various scuff bands; aluminum
HT ORIGINAL Length: 53 ft. Width: 102.36 in. Height: 13 ft. 6 in. Sides: 0.05-in. pre-painted white aluminum Roof: One-piece 0.04-in. full-width aluminum sheet, tension-leveled prior to installation Rear frame: Hot-dipped 0.375-in. galvanized steel construction with low-profile header, tube-shaped posts; forged steel angle iron in top corners for added rack resistance; lights recessed in rear sill with heavy-duty protection bars Crossmember: 4-in.-deep hotrolled steel I-beam; 80,000-psi yield strength, located on 12-in. centers; hat-shaped crossmembers ahead of landing gear; rear 3.4 ft. of trailer has crossmembers located on 8-in. centers Suspension: Hendrickson Vantraax HKANT 40K Air Ride Anti-lock brakes: Twosensor/one-modulator valve 2S/1M system, PLC4Truckscompatible system Brakes: Non-asbestos lining, 16.5-by-7-in. quick-change type; S cam-operated
TRAILER FOCUS DRY VANS automatic slack adjuster Interior lining: Exterior-grade 0.25-in. plywood installed horizontally over side posts; exterior-grade 0.5-in. plywood installed on bottom, 0.25-in. on top over front wall
HT HY-CUBE Length: 53 ft. Width: 102.36 in. Height: 13 ft. 6 in. Sides: 0.05-in. pre-painted white aluminum Roof: One-piece 0.04-in. full-width aluminum sheet, tension-leveled prior to installation Rear frame: Hot-dipped 0.375-in. galvanized steel construction with low-profile header, tube-shaped posts; forged steel angle iron in top corners for added rack resistance; lights recessed in rear sill with heavy-duty protection bars Crossmember: 4-in.-deep hotrolled steel I-beam; 80,000-psi yield strength, located on 12-in. centers; hat-shaped crossmembers ahead of landing gear; rear 3.4 ft. of trailer has crossmembers located on 8-in. centers Suspension: Hendrickson Vantraax HKANT 40K Air Ride Anti-lock brakes: Twosensor/one-modulator valve 2S/1M system, PLC4Truckscompatible system Brakes: Non-asbestos lining, 16.5-by-7-in. quick-change type; S cam-operated automatic slack adjuster Interior lining: White 0.235in. HDPE lining installed full height between uprights with no fasteners; side lining
hooks into place for easy replacement; exterior-grade 0.5-in. plywood installed on bottom, 0.25-in. on top over front wall
HT COMPOSITE/XT Length: 53 ft. Width: 102.36 in. Height: 13 ft. 6 in. Sides: 0.25-in. composite panel with pre-painted white hightensile galvanized steel inner and outer sheets Roof: One-piece 0.04-in. full-width aluminum sheet, tension-leveled prior to installation Rear frame: Hot-dipped 0.375-in. galvanized steel construction with low-profile header, tube-shaped posts; forged steel angle iron in top corners for added rack resistance; lights recessed in rear sill with heavy-duty protection bars Crossmember: 4-in.-deep hotrolled steel I-beam; 80,000-psi yield strength, located on 12-in. centers; hat-shaped crossmembers ahead of landing gear; rear 3.4 ft. of trailer has crossmembers located on 8-in. centers Suspension: Hendrickson air ride Anti-lock brakes: Twosensor/one-modulator valve 2S/1M system, PLC4Truckscompatible system Brakes: Non-asbestos lining, 16.5-by-7-in. quick-change type; S cam-operated automatic slack adjuster Interior lining: Exterior-grade 0.5-in. plywood installed on bottom, 0.25-in. plywood
installed on top over front wall, none on side walls
Z-PLATE COMPOSITE Length: 53 ft. Width: 102 in. overall, 101 in. inside Height: 13 ft. 6 in. overall Axle: Tapered spindles and bearings with Pro-Torq nuts Brakes: Extended service, quick change, 16.5-by-7-in. air with Haldex automatic slack adjusters, 3030 chambers, Meritor Wabco 2S/1M ABS, filtered air couplers Crossmember: Pre-coated 4-in. Super-Sill I-beams, 12 in. on centers throughout, 80,000-lb. minimum yield; shallow area ahead of landing gear uses three hat-shaped heavy-duty members Lower and upper rail: Extruded aluminum, 6061-T6 Floor: Havco 1.375-in. laminated oak from rear sill forward, butted to kingpin subframe; fastened with three staggered screws per board per crossmember; 12-in. rear threshold plate; forward edge beveled into floor Side walls: Pre-painted white composite panels above a 10-in. base rail; pre-painted white outer splice plates riveted to panel; 0.25-in.diameter aluminum rivets on 1.5-in. centers and 14-gauge galvanized steel inner splice plates; 6 in. on center vertical A slots Roof: 0.04-in. one-piece
aluminum sheet pre-tensioned against galvanized steel bows, 24 in. on center, crowned and fastened to top rail with galvanized bolts, stainless-steel washers and lock nuts Rear frame: 98-by-109.875-in. high with shallow header; tubular steel corner posts welded rigid to lower sill flush to top of floor Rear doors: 0.5-in. composite panels with dual durometer gaskets; four 2.75-in.-wide extruded aluminum hinges; one lock bar per door; loopstyle holdbacks Lining: Front, Â˝-in. OSB full height; sides, 6.5-in. corrugated steel scuff
TOUGH PLATE Length: 53 ft. Width: 102 in. overall, 101 in. inside Height: 13 ft. 6 in. overall Axle: Tapered spindles and bearings with Pro-Torq nuts Brakes: Extended service, quick change, 16.5-by-7-in. air with Haldex automatic slack adjusters, 3030 chambers, Meritor Wabco 2S/1M ABS, filtered air couplers Crossmember: Pre-coated 4-in. Super-Sill I-beams, 12 in. on centers throughout, 80,000-lb. minimum yield; shallow area ahead of landing gear uses three hat-shaped heavy-duty members Lower and upper rail: Extruded aluminum, 6061-T6 Floor: Havco 1.375-in. laminated oak from rear sill forward, butted to kingpin subframe; smooth steel 49 in. of forward area; fastened with three staggered screws per board per crossmember; 12-in. rear threshold plate; forward
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TRAILER FOCUS DRY VANS edge beveled into floor Side walls: Pre-painted white composite panels above a 20.5-in.-high base rail; prepainted white outer splice plates riveted to panel; 0.25-in.-diameter aluminum rivets on 1.5-in. centers and 14-gauge galvanized steel inner splice plates; 6 in. on center vertical A slots Roof: 0.04-in. one-piece aluminum sheet pre-tensioned against galvanized steel bows, 24 in. on center, crowned and fastened to top rail with galvanized bolts, stainless-steel washers and lock nuts Rear frame: 98-by-109.875-in. high with shallow header; tubular steel corner posts welded rigid to lower sill flush to top of floor Rear doors: 0.5-in. composite panels with dual durometer gaskets; four 2.75-in.-wide extruded aluminum hinges; one lock bar per door; loopstyle holdbacks Lining: Front, ½-in. OSB full height
ALUMINUM SHEET & POST Length: 53 ft. Width: 102 in. overall, 98.5 in. inside Height: 13 ft. 6 in. overall Axle: Tapered spindles and bearings with Pro-Torq nuts Brakes: Extended service, quick change, 16.5-by-7-in. air with Haldex automatic slack adjusters, 3030 chambers, Meritor Wabco 2S/1M ABS, filtered air couplers Crossmember: Pre-coated 4-in. Super-Sill I-beams, 12 in. on 50
centers throughout, 80,000-lb. minimum yield; shallow area ahead of landing gear uses three hat-shaped heavy-duty members Lower and upper rail: Extruded aluminum, 6061-T6 Floor: Havco 1.375-in. laminated oak from rear sill forward, butted to kingpin subframe; smooth steel 49 in. of forward area; fastened with three staggered screws per board per crossmember; 12-in. rear threshold plate; forward edge beveled into floor Side walls: Galvanized steel posts, 24 in. on center, 16 in. on center landing gear forward; 14-gauge single-slot logistics posts with doublerivet row vertically through 0.05-in. aluminum pre-painted panels Roof: 0.04-in. one-piece aluminum sheet pre-tensioned against galvanized steel bows, 24 in. on center, crowned and fastened to top rail with galvanized bolts, stainless-steel washers and lock nuts Rear frame: 98-by-109.875-in. high with shallow header; tubular steel corner posts welded rigid to lower sill flush to top of floor Rear doors: 0.5-in. composite panels with dual durometer gaskets; four 2.75-in.-wide extruded aluminum hinges; one lock bar per door; loopstyle holdbacks Lining: Front, ½-in. OSB full height; sides, 12-in. corrugated steel scuff with recessed Dymond Ply above
EXTRA WIDE Length: 53 ft. Width: 102 in. overall, 100.75 in. inside
commercial carrier journal
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Height: 13 ft. 6 in. overall Axle: Tapered spindles and bearings with Pro-Torq nuts Brakes: Extended service, quick change, 16.5-by-7-in. air with Haldex automatic slack adjusters, 3030 chambers, Meritor Wabco 2S/1M ABS, filtered air couplers Crossmember: Pre-coated 4-in. Super-Sill I-beams, 12 in. on centers throughout, 80,000-lb. minimum yield; shallow area ahead of landing gear uses three hat-shaped heavy-duty members Lower and upper rail: Extruded aluminum, 6061-T6 Floor: Havco 1.375-in. laminated oak from rear sill forward, butted to kingpin subframe; smooth steel 49 in. of forward area; fastened with three staggered screws per board per crossmember; 12-in. rear threshold plate; forward edge beveled into floor Side walls: Galvanized steel posts, 24 in. on center, 16 in. on center landing gear forward; 14-gauge single-slot logistics posts with doublerivet row vertically through 0.05-in. aluminum pre-painted panels Roof: 0.04-in. one-piece aluminum sheet pre-tensioned against galvanized steel bows, 24 in. on center, crowned and fastened to top rail with galvanized bolts, stainless-steel washers and lock nuts Rear frame: 98-by-109.875-in. high with shallow header; tubular steel corner posts welded rigid to lower sill flush to top of floor Rear doors: 0.5-in. composite door with dual durometer gaskets; four 2.75-in.-wide extruded aluminum hinges; one lock bar per door; loopstyle holdbacks Lining: Nose, ½-in. OSB full
height; sides, 12-in. corrugated steel scuff with recessed Dymond Ply above
UTILITY TRAILER www.utilitytrailer.com
4000D-X COMPOSITE Length: 53 ft. Width: 102.375 in. Height: 13 ft. 6 in. Inside width: 101 in. at wearband, 101.25 in. lining to lining Rear doors: 0.5-in. composite rear swing doors, satin-finish stainless-steel rear door case Floor: 1.375-in. laminated hardwood Crossmember: 4-in. steel I-beam on 12-in. center line Suspension: Hendrickson HKANT 40,000-lb. Vantraax airride sliding tandem with QuikDraw pin release Anti-lock brakes: Bendix TABS6 2S-1M ABS System Brakes: Outboard-mounted cast-iron drums Axle: Hendrickson LDA; N-spindle; UTM Premium fiveyear wheel-end system Exterior/interior: Pre-painted white aluminum exterior side skins; pre-painted white 80,000-psi galvanized steel snag-free lining with injected polyurethane foam core bonding interior lining panels to outside skin panels Logistics posts: A-slot side posts at a maximum 24-in. center line; extra posts over kingpin and landing gear Roof skin: One-piece aluminum coil roof skin with galvanized steel anti-snag roof bows on
TRAILER FOCUS DRY VANS 24-in. center lines; 16-in. center lines in bay area
4000D-X COMPOSITE 100 Length: 53 ft. Width: 102.375 in. Height: 13 ft. 6 in. Inside width: 100 in. wearband to wearband, 100.25 in. lining to lining Rear doors: 0.5-in. composite rear swing doors, satin-finish stainless-steel rear door case Floor: 1.375-in. laminated hardwood Crossmember: 4-in. steel I-beam on 12-in. center line Suspension: Hendrickson HKANT 40,000-lb. Vantraax airride sliding tandem with QuikDraw pin release Anti-lock brakes: Bendix TABS6 2S-1M ABS System Brakes: Outboard-mounted cast-iron drums Axle: Hendrickson LDA; N-spindle; UTM Premium fiveyear wheel-end system Exterior/interior: Pre-painted white aluminum exterior side skins; pre-painted white 80,000-psi galvanized steel snag-free lining with injected polyurethane foam core bonding interior lining panels to outside skin panels Logistics posts: 0.75-in. A-slot side posts at a maximum 24-in. center line; extra posts over kingpin and landing gear Roof skin: One-piece aluminum coil roof skin with galvanized steel anti-snag roof bows on 24-in. center lines; 16-in. center lines in bay area
4000D Length: 53 ft. Width: 102.375 in. Height: 13 ft. 6 in. Inside width: Minimum 98.5 in. wearband to wearband Rear doors: 0.5-in. composite rear swing doors, satin-finish stainless-steel rear door case Floor: 1.375-in. laminated hardwood Crossmember: 4-in. steel I-beam on 12-in. center line Suspension: Hendrickson HKANT 40,000-lb. Vantraax airride sliding tandem with QuikDraw pin release Anti-lock brakes: Bendix TABS6 2S-1M ABS System Brakes: Outboard-mounted cast-iron drums Axle: Hendrickson LDA; N-spindle; UTM Premium fiveyear wheel-end system Exterior/interior: Pre-painted white aluminum exterior side skins; 0.25-in. AC grade plywood interior lining Roof skin: One-piece aluminum coil roof skin with galvanized steel anti-snag roof bows on 24-in. center lines; 16-in. center lines in bay area
rail to bottom rail; 101.25 in. lining to lining; 101 in. wearband to wearband Rear doors: 0.5-in. composite rear swing doors, satin-finish stainless-steel rear door case Floor: 1.375-in. laminated hardwood Crossmember: 4-in. steel I-beam on 12-in. center line Suspension: Hendrickson HKANT 40,000-lb. Vantraax airride sliding tandem with QuikDraw pin release Anti-lock brakes: Bendix TABS6 2S/1M ABS System Brakes: Outboard-mounted cast-iron drums Axle: Hendrickson LDA; N-spindle; UTM Premium fiveyear wheel-end system Exterior/interior: Pre-painted white aluminum exterior side skins; pre-painted white 80,000-psi galvanized steel snag-free lining with injected polyurethane foam core bonding interior lining panels to outside skin panels Logistics posts: A-slot side posts at a maximum 24-in. center line; extra posts over kingpin and landing gear Roof skin: One-piece aluminum coil roof skin with galvanized steel anti-snag roof bows on 24-in. center lines; 16-in. center lines in bay area
VANGUARD NATIONAL www.vanguardtrailer.com
4000D-X COMPOSITE TBR Length: 53 ft. Width: 102.375 in. Height: 13 ft. 6 in. Inside width: 101.75 in. bottom
VXP Length: 53 ft. Inside width: 101.25 in. panel to panel Height: 13 ft. 6 in.
Sides: 0.313-in. composite laminate Connection posts:14-gauge 50-ksi Series A logistics posts, 48-in. centers throughout Roof bows: Anti-snag, 1-in. deep on 24-in. centers prebonded to roof skin; added bracing between top rail and rear frame Roof sheet: 0.04-in. aluminum Rear doors: Composite swing with structural anti-theft pin and collar fasteners, five hinges and one lock rod per door Floor: 1.375-in. laminated oak; pre-undercoated, three screws per board; fully galvanized steel threshold section Crossmember: 4-in. I-beams on 12-in. centers; wax-coated 80-ksi high-strength steel Suspension and subframe: Air-ride slide, 216-in. rails; fully galvanized bolt-together landing leg bracing spanning seven crossmembers; fully galvanized floor protection plate between coupler and landing leg section; fully galvanized rear frame and bolt-together bumper; 30% underride bracing Anti-lock brakes: Meritor Wabco 2S-1M Front lining: 0.5-in. plywood full height, close out at bottom Scuff lining: Extruded aluminum base rail with 18-gauge galvanized corrugated steel attached to side wall for a total of 12-in. side protection; standard base rail with 6-in. galvanized scuff or 19.3-in. high base rail Side lining: Snag-free composite plate panels with galvanized logistics posts Lights: Dual-function clearance/ turn-signal and clearance/ brake LED Glo-Lights
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TRAILER FOCUS DRY VANS turn-signal and clearance/ brake LED Glo-Lights
VIP 4000 Length: 53 ft. Inside width: 100 in. post to post Height: 13 ft. 6 in. Sides: 0.05-in. aluminum prepainted white Connection posts:14-gauge 80-ksi Series A logistics posts, 16-in. centers throughout Roof bows: Anti-snag, 1-in. deep on 24-in. centers prebonded to roof skin; added bracing between top rail and rear frame Roof sheet: 0.04-in. aluminum Rear doors: Plymetal swing with structural anti-theft pin and collar fasteners, five hinges and one lock rod per door Floor: 1.375-in. laminated oak; pre-undercoated, three screws per board; fully galvanized steel threshold section Crossmember: 4-in. I-beams on 12-in. centers; wax-coated 80-ksi high-strength steel Suspension and subframe: Air-ride slide, 216-in. rails; fully galvanized bolt-together landing leg bracing spanning seven crossmembers; fully galvanized floor protection plate between coupler and landing leg section; fully galvanized rear frame and bolt-together bumper; 30% underride bracing Anti-lock brakes: Meritor Wabco 2S-1M Front lining: 0.5-in. plywood or sheet and post full height, close out at bottom Scuff lining: 12-in. corrugated steel directly attached to posts Side lining: 0.25-in. plywood or sheet and post recessed between posts Lights: Dual-function clearance/ 52
fasteners Side lining: Snap-in highstrength polypropylene Lights: Dual-function clearance/ turn-signal and clearance/ brake LED Glo-Lights
WABASH NATIONAL MAXCUBE Length: 53 ft. Inside width: 101-in. anti-snag snap-in interior liner Height: 13 ft. 6 in. Sides: 0.05-in. aluminum prepainted white Connection posts: 14-gauge MaxCube Series A logistics posts, 16-in. centers throughout Roof bows: Anti-snag, 1-in. deep on 24-in. centers prebonded to roof skin; added bracing between top rail and rear frame Roof sheet: 0.04-in. aluminum Rear doors: Plymetal swing with structural anti-theft pin and collar fasteners, five hinges and one lock rod per door Floor: 1.375-in. laminated oak; pre-undercoated, three screws per board; fully galvanized steel threshold section Crossmember: 4-in. I-beams on 12-in. centers; wax-coated 80-ksi high-strength steel Suspension and subframe: Air-ride slide, 216-in. rails; fully galvanized bolt-together landing leg bracing spanning seven crossmembers; fully galvanized floor protection plate between coupler and landing leg section; fully galvanized rear frame and bolt-together bumper; 30% underride bracing Anti-lock brakes: Meritor Wabco 2S-1M Front lining: 0.5-in. plywood full height, close out at bottom Scuff lining: Impact-resistant plastic interior recessed between posts with no
commercial carrier journal
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DURAPLATE Dimensions: 53 ft. by 102.375 in. by 13 ft. 6 in. Sides: DuraPlate composite panels; flat seam design allows top rail connection to outside panel; extruded aluminum base rail Nose: Heavy-duty stainlesssteel lower nose rail with approach angle; optional DuraPlate nose Roof: Aluminum roof sheet, anti-snag roof bows; optional DuraPlate roof Rear frame: Galvanized rear frame standard with stainlesssteel option Door: DuraPlate composite swing door with TrustLock Plus system Floor: Full 1.375-in. laminated oak; up to 24,000-lb. rating available Crossmember: 4-in. steel or aluminum crossmembers on 12-in. centers in bay, steel crossmembers over subframe and landing gear, 8-in. centers in rear 2 feet, steel-bolted crossmember attachment Suspension: Mechanical or air suspension; parallel P-spindle wheel ends Lights: All LED lights
DURAPLATE HD Dimensions: 53 ft. by 102.375 in. by 13 ft. 6 in. Sides: DuraPlate Cell Core composite panels; flat seam design allows top rail connection to outside panel; 22-in.-high extruded aluminum base rail in lower side wall Nose: Heavy-duty stainlesssteel lower nose rail with approach angle; optional DuraPlate nose Roof: Aluminum roof sheet, anti-snag roof bows; optional DuraPlate roof Rear frame: Galvanized rear frame and stainless-steel option Door: DuraPlate composite swing door with TrustLock Plus system Floor: Full 1.375-in. laminated oak; up to 28,000-lb. rating available Crossmember: 4-in. steel or aluminum crossmembers on 12-in. centers in bay, steel crossmembers over subframe and landing gear, 8-in. centers in rear 2 feet, steel-bolted crossmember attachment Suspension: Mechanical or air suspension; parallel P-spindle wheel ends Lights: All LED lights â€“ Dean Smallwood
FROM OUR FAMILY TO YOURS,
CONGRATULATIONS To TCA’s 2019 Driver of the Year winners. We salute you for your dedication to enhancing the image of the trucking industry and are proud to be your partner.
Diamond Transport System Owner – Operator Driver of the Year
Wilson Logistics Company Driver of the Year
TECHNOLOGY: POWERING LOGISTICS
FULL VISIBILITY Carriers, 3PLs addressing rising shipper expectations BY AARON HUFF
upply chain professionals are carrying their experiences with business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce sites such as Amazon over to their work lives. “Everybody is expecting shipments to be like Amazon with complete visibility,” said Ryan Rogers, chief transformation officer for Covenant Transportation Group (CCJ Top 250, No. 35), a Chattanooga, Tenn.-based carrier and thirdparty logistics (3PL) provider. The technology expectations of shippers are evolving, forcing 3PLs and motor carriers to meet higher standards. However, meeting customer expectations by using traditional business-tobusiness (B2B) commerce tools such as electronic data interchange (EDI) is becoming more difficult. Freight transactions increasingly are using direct system-to-system integration through application programming interfaces (APIs).
Complying with freight visibility Over the past few years, shippers, 3PLs and carriers have implemented various freight visibility platforms to solve a persistent industry challenge. The platforms converge tracking data from electronic logging devices (ELDs), 54
commercial carrier journal
Meeting new visibility requirements from shippers by using traditional tools such as electronic data interchange (EDI) is becoming more difficult.
back-office systems and mobile applications used by carriers to provide a central dashboard for monitoring shipments in transit. When shippers, particularly large companies, use these platforms, 3PLs and carriers are expected to comply. Cargill Transportation Logistics (CTL) uses a predictive supply chain visibility platform from FourKites. CTL manages about 15,000 shipments a week across North America for Cargill, a Wayzata, Minn.-based global agriculture and food manufacturer. CTL expects its transportation providers to comply with visibility requirements by sending shipment tracking updates to FourKites every 15 minutes. Smaller and less able carriers in its network are expected to send updates every two hours at a minimum, said Jackie Bailey, regional lead for CTL-North America. As an asset and nonasset transportation provider, Covenant also has been asked by shipper customers to meet
| may 2020
visibility requirements. Covenant’s fleet of 3,000-plus power units is equipped with Omnitracs devices that update locations every 15 minutes. Most of the tracking data currently is sent to customers as an EDI 214 transaction set. The requests from shippers to provide data for their visibility platforms requires Covenant to use APIs, Rogers said. Freight visibility platforms are not being used widely by small and mediumsized shippers, said Andy Damkroger, associate vice president of logistics strategy for Omaha, Neb.-based Werner Enterprises (No. 11). However, they expect transportation providers to have a self-service web portal for tracking shipments and other routine transactions, he said. Werner uses EDI to communicate with a number of customers electronically, but Damkroger said the trend is moving quickly toward APIs that provide richer, more accurate data and added functionality.
TECHNOLOGY: POWERING LOGISTICS “I believe that EDI has a place, but we are making active investments in alternatives,” he said.
Closing the gap Meeting customer requirements for freight visibility has not been seamless for carriers and 3PLs. Some use cellphone apps to comply, while others send tracking data through ELD systems. Because ELD systems are mandated by law, shippers may expect that every truck that a 3PL uses is trackable, but “that is not reality,” said Brandon Arnold, vice president of Intelligent Logistics, an Austin, Texas-based 3PL. Most carriers that work with Intelligent Logistics have good tracking capabilities and are “open and willing to work with you on it,” Arnold said. However, some are unwilling to share tracking data, which requires Intelligent Logistics to update tracking information manually for customers. Some 3PLs may have “overpromised to their customers something that technically they don’t have any ability to control,” Arnold said. “Carriers have never agreed to this. It has been forced onto them.” Complying with visibility requirements has become easier for Tremonton, Utah-based Stokes Trucking since it began using Samsara’s ELD system for its 35 trucks. The refrigerated carrier no longer gets manual “check calls” from 3PLs or requests for drivers to download apps on their personal devices. “The big problem with that was a lot
Supply chain professionals are carrying their experiences with business-toconsumer (B2C) e-commerce sites such as Amazon over to their work lives.
Complying with new visibility requirements has become easier for Tremonton, Utahbased Stokes Trucking since the 35-truck refrigerated carrier began using Samsara’s electronic logging device (ELD) system.
of drivers did not want to download the app or know how,” said Tyler Howell, safety administrator for Stokes. “Even if they could do that, they didn’t care to have their phone tracked. They thought it was an invasion of privacy.” Some 3PLs withhold a portion of freight payments if carriers do not have drivers download an app to provide shipment tracking information, Howell said. To share tracking information, Stokes dispatchers provide 3PL customers with the tractor or trailer number the fleet assigns to their loads. The 3PLs enter the numbers into their freight visibility platforms, and tracking data is exchanged automatically through an API for the duration of each load. Samsara, like other ELD providers, has an API integration with the major freight visibility platforms to exchange tracking information automatically. Even so, lack of common data standards can hamper the ability of supply chain partners to exchange visibility data. A 3PL may request permission from Covenant to get tracking data, Rogers said. The dispatcher might say “truck 38” is assigned to the load. This identifier has to be the exact same format as what the ELD provider uses. If it is different, such as “a38” or “trk38,” the API will not work, he said. Motor carriers could do a better job of providing 3PLs and shippers with the correct information for freight visibility,
Rogers said. As it stands, the technology is “not an easy plug-and-play,” he said.
Business connectivity Beyond meeting shippers’ expectations for freight visibility, 3PLs and carriers also may be required to use various connectivity tools to conduct no-touch freight transactions. Cargill’s preferred methods for connecting with 3PLs and carriers are with APIs and EDI. The less sophisticated transportation providers in its network have the option to use web portals that interface directly with its transportation management software (TMS) systems to accept load tenders and upload invoices. Cargill scores transportation providers on invoice accuracy and how well they use its connectivity tools and comply with its tracking requirements. During the past 12 months, “we’ve added a lot more importance” to how providers perform in these areas, Bailey said. Heatcraft Worldwide, a manufacturer of commercial refrigeration units, expects its motor carriers and 3PLs to have a suite of web-based connectivity tools, said Alicia Whiteside, transportation analyst for the Stone Mountain, Ga.-based company. For Whiteside to respond quickly to customer questions about shipments, she uses the web portals of transportation providers to track shipments and retrieve proof-of-delivery and other load documents. commercial carrier journal
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TECHNOLOGY: POWERING LOGISTICS Whiteside expects to know a shipment’s location at any given moment and to be able to obtain historical details such as when it was loaded and when it arrived at a carrier’s terminal. If a carrier or 3PL cannot provide shipment tracking details, they should be able to provide the estimated time of arrival (ETA) for loads, she said.
on what is happening in the market,” she said. “This helps us develop our point of view and outlook on the trends in the marketplace. We are much more strategic about contracting for a certain type of freight and actively procuring some of our capacity through the spot market. To share tracking information, We can make much more deliberate dispatchers at Stokes Trucking provide 3PL customers with the tractor or trailer choices. We continue to look for different number its assigns to their loads. tools to automate that.” Pricing transparency More transportation companies are In addition to meeting expectations for shipment visibility, 3PLs investing in robotic process automation (RPA) tools to allow and motor carriers face increased competition to provide imme- all their systems to communicate and share pricing and other diate pricing and “book it now” options to their customers. data with their customers in real time, said Trey Griggs, global The transportation industry is known for being fragmented, director of sales for Hubtek, which provides an RPA platform but new sources of data and connectivity tools make it posand staffing augmentation services for logistics companies. sible for shippers to access real-time and future pricing data. Hubtek’s RPA technology bypasses traditional forms of busiAs a shipper, CTL uses data services to track rate movements ness connections to help make back-office workflows more in the spot and contract freight markets. efficient and allow systems to communicate, Griggs said. “We are seeing significant changes in the marketplace,” “The ability to quote has changed dramatically,” said Mike Bailey said. “What is really driving it is greater access to Regan, co-founder for TranzAct Technologies, a logistics information.” information technology company. TranzAct provides shipThe additional pricing sources give “real-time information pers with a variety of managed services, including 3PL, freight audit and payment, TMS applications and carrier rate negotiations. In addition to having transparent pricing data, 3PLs are using new connectivity tools that make capacity procurement faster and more efficient. “Right now, I think the main thing you are having to do to be successful is to take cost out,” Regan said.
The value of relationships
Download the Imperial App today.
Fleet Maintenance Solutions for the Road Ahead 888-838-6718 imperialsupplies.com
commercial carrier journal
| may 2020
Even though new technologies continue to enter the supply chain, the value of personal relationships has not diminished. 3PLs are not always successful in getting small carriers and drivers to share tracking information, at least not without putting in some of the work. To overcome the hurdles of rolling out new technology, “you have to build relationships,” Arnold said. Many shipments that RLS Logistics transports are difficult to track because of using independent contractors, said Russell Leo, chief executive officer for the Even small and mid-size shippers Newfield, N.J.-based expect transportation providers company. RLS uses to have a self-service web portal smartphone apps from they can use to track shipments and conduct other routine transactions. Descartes Macropoint
Thank You! A sales manager for ShipEx Logistics in Salt Lake City reviews lane pricing data from DAT and Truckstop.com.
and Trucker Tools, but Leo estimates that 40% of independent owner-operators still do not want to be tracked. RLS, which specializes in warehousing and transporting frozen and refrigerated food products, uses a soft approach. Its dispatchers explain to carriers that without load tracking technology, they cannot capture and compensate for detention. “We are seeing a greater acceptance rate because of that,” Leo said. Another benefit for carriers that use tracking apps from RLS is they can capture and send electronic PODs to get paid quicker. “It helps everyone, though unfortunately with some small carriers, you have got to explain the benefits they will receive if they start embracing different technology apps,” he said. 3PLs also need relationships with carriers to facilitate proactive communications about their drivers’ hours of service availability and other essential information, Leo said. “The more complex the freight, the more interaction will still be required from person to person to get the job done,” he said. “At the end of the day, being able to talk to the driver through the phone, text or email will never go away.” Damkroger agrees. “Relationships still matter,” he said, and the technology that 3PLs use should enhance relationships with Werner and other carriers by giving them different options – depending on their size, scale and sophistication – to stay connected. “It all comes down to preference and capability,” he said.
To the drivers, to the ﬂeet managers, to the safety professionals, to the owner/operators, and to everyone in the trucking industry we say, “Thank You!” Fleetworthy Solutions is grateful to serve the industry that is keeping our shelves stocked, our families fed, and our communities safe. Your eﬀorts provide the nation with the necessities it needs to survive. Fleetworthy Solutions remains your steadfast industry partner through these uncertain times. Our team is ready to provide the services and technology solutions ﬂeets have come to expect from an industry leader in safety, compliance, and risk management. Your success is everyone’s success. When you ﬁnd yourself in need, we’ll be here for you.
www.ﬂeetworthy.com | 608-230-8200
Visit our site for helpful resources on the industry and COVID-19. commercial carrier journal
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Heavy-duty alternator lineup
WAI’s heavy-duty alternator lineup provides coverage for all classes of trucks and construction equipment and is engineered for premiumgrade field quality. The units feature Transpo electronics manufactured by WAI and WBD bearings and have been tested for high performance of current output at idle and full-load rpms. Validation testing also includes endurance, humidity, power thermal cycling, vibration, salt spray and thermal shock. WAI, www.waiglobal.com, 800-877-3340
Solar charge controllers
Xantrex has added two solar charge controllers designed to work with battery chemistries such as lithium-ion phosphate. The entry-level 30A PWM has a flush-mount industrial design for a clean aesthetic finish, and it features a built-in LCD display set up to provide easy programmability and real-time data. The 30A MPPT (maximum power point tracking) features dual-bank output designed to allow for solar to charge and maintain both the house and starter batteries that can be of different chemistries as long as they have the same nominal voltage, either 12 or 24 volts. The unit’s advanced MPPT feature offers a multistage charging algorithm that helps maximize energy conversion efficiency. Xantrex, www.xantrex.com, 800-670-0707
Worx’s 20V Power Share Portable Vacuum is designed to provide powerful suction in a compact size for onthe-go cleaning. The 3-pound vacuum has high and low speeds for various cleaning applications and comes with crevice-nozzle and brush attachments for its 4-foot flexible hose to get into tight spaces. The washable filter is built for easy removal. Worx, www.worx.com, 855-279-0505
commercial carrier journal
| may 2020
Hot Shot’s Secret Spray & Stay is an aerosolized synthetic grease that can be sprayed on a variety of surfaces such as metal, paint, rubber and plastic. It is formulated to not drip or run, making it suitable for commercial use to lubricate engine assemblies, gears, winches and axles and protect them from sticking or binding. Its thick formula helps make it easy to spray on vertical surfaces, and since it resists water washout, it will not dry out, gum on equipment, separate or bleed. The grease has an operating temperature range of -80 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Hot Shot’s Secret, www.hotshotsecret.com, 800-341-6516
Snap-on’s JetWasher combines both water and compressed air with an adjustable flow and separate air and water controls for safe, effective vehicle washing and drying. The tool has an integrated ¾-inch threaded hose connection, a separate adaptor for quick-connect water hoses and a wide nozzle designed to prevent backsplash. The body is made of lightweight, durable Acetal plastic, and an optional JetWashNozl flusher nozzle can be used for flushing coolant systems and heater cores. Snap-on, www.snapon.com, 877-762-7664
TRUCKING IS POWERING A WORLD THATâ€™S ALWAYS N.
10.8 BILLION TONS
7.4 MILLION EMPLOYEES
Congratulations to Don Lewis and Kevin Kocmich - 2019 Company Driver of the Year and Owner-Operator of the Year. With a combined 9,000,000 accident free miles, you set the standard when it comes to what a truck driver should be. Cummins is honored to recognize Mr. Lewis and Mr. Kocmich, as well as their fellow nominees. #ThankATrucker
Aluminum wheel cleaning system
ASA Electronics’ VOM718 7-inch LCD Observation Monitor is a direct replacement for its AOM713 monitor and is compatible with all the company’s Voyager cameras. The VOM718 has three camera inputs to support a rear camera and two side body cameras for blind-spot coverage. It offers drivers the option of automatic triggered source selection to determine which camera is in view, with turn signal triggering that helps ensure the correct camera is being displayed for turns, lane changes and other maneuvers. The anti-glare scratch-resistant LCD display uses energy-efficient LED backlights with automatic day and night brightness modes, while the increased contrast ratio improves the overall image clarity. The monitor also incorporates tactile backlit menu buttons designed to be easier to use and see in lowlight situations.
IMI’s Aluminator System is designed to clean aluminum wheels and extend their life by removing grease, concrete, asphalt, brake dust and corrosion while cleaning the entire surface rather than just one side, helping users identify hidden damage that can lead to on-road safety hazards. The system is engineered to clean without cutting or removing the wheel’s profile, keeping the DOT stamp intact and the wheel compliant with industry standards. The three-part process washes, cleans and finishes aluminum wheels, leaving a clean matte-like finish. An additional finish option can be chosen for shining. IMI, www.imiproducts.com, 800-233-7086
ASA Electronics, www.asaelectronics.com, 877-305-0445
Expanded PTO portfolio
Eaton has expanded its mobile power-takeoff (PTO) portfolio to include two additional Bezares PTO units: the Bezares 95X series four-bolt rear-mounted PTO for the Eaton-Cummins Endurant 12-speed automated transmission, and the Bezares 120X for the Detroit DT12 automated transmission. The 95X features pneumatic shifting and is available with three different internal ratios and output types, with an offset design that improves the position of an attached pump to avoid interference with other parts. The two-gear 120X is built from an aluminum housing that pairs heavy-duty strength with light weight, and it offers four different output options for the DT12’s auxiliary systems. Eaton, www.eaton.com, 269-342-3000
commercial carrier journal
| may 2020
Engine air cleaner
Donaldson’s PowerCore Edge is a compact high-efficiency engine air cleaner suited for heavy-dust environments and engineered to fit into tight underhood spaces. The air cleaner uses the company’s compact PowerCore G3 media pack and offers front-service access for easier filter changes, a seal design with heat tolerance up to 212 degrees Fahrenheit and vertical or horizontal installation. Donaldson Co., www.donaldson.com, 952-887-3131
Tire valve stem holder
Dill’s 673 Valve Stem Holder is designed to hold truck tire valves in place with minimal effort by allowing extended access for technicians to tighten the valves at the correct angle, preventing air leaks. The durable plastic tool has a precision-drilled inside diameter to facilitate smooth installation and removal. Dill Air Controls, www.dillvalves.com, 800-815-3455
Radar-compliant moose bumpers
Magnum’s latest Four Post Moose Bumpers for the Freightliner Cascadia, Kenworth T680, Peterbilt Model 579 and Volvo VNL are built to be radar-compliant with the OEMs’ collision avoidance systems. The bumpers are made of 6061-T6 aluminum for increased strength and improved protection around the headlight and fender area in the event of an off-center impact. They are designed specifically for each model to complement the trucks’ unique design features for a stylish front-end look. Magnum Trailer & Equipment Inc., www.magnumtrailer.com, 800-661-3406
LED stop/tail light with backup camera J.W. Speaker’s Model 272 CHMSL LED Stop/Tail Light with a built-in backup camera is available as a combined warning light and a center high-mount stop light (CHMSL). The 7-by-2-inch light is positioned higher than side brake lights and directly in the driver’s line of sight. The camera is adjustable to allow for various mounting heights and can be connected to reverse lights to help simplify backing up. J.W. Speaker, www.jwspeaker.com, 800-558-7288 commercial carrier journal
| may 2020 61
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commercial carrier journal
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IBC Peterbilt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . peterbilt .com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .BC Phillips 66 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . phillips66lubricants .com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Prepass . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . prepass .com/CCJ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 ProMiles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . promiles .com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 Renewable Energy Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . regi .com/ucd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 RigDig . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . rigdigbi .com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 St . 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commercial carrier journal
| may 2020 63
GET AHEAD OF YOUR TRAINING PLAN PREVENTABLE or NOT? Ramp ruins Doe’s flatbed run
n a crisp sunny morning, flatbed trucker John Doe was about to deliver a load of lumber to the sleepy-looking construction crew at Muddy Meadows, a housing development nestled in the woods near Skunk Hollow, Tennessee. Problem was, Doe was required to travel up a ramp leading to a makeshift dock before he could be unloaded. Concerned about getting hung up, Doe fortified his courage with the last of his chocolate-covered breakfast doughnuts. Next, he asked the eagle-eyed supervisor, Bruce “Tex” Smithnwesson, to eyeball clearances as the big rig proceeded onto the dock, traveling at the speed of a crippled turtle. “Lookin’ good there, partner,” Smithnwesson yelled, dutifully bending over to monitor clearances and energetically waving his right arm to hasten Doe’s approach. Happily, Doe managed to reach his goal without incident, was relieved of his freight and then prepared to back down the fearsome ramp. Again, Smithnwesson was asked to keep watch. This time, however, Doe’s luck was destined to change. As he began backing down the dock, Smithnwesson was distracted momentarily by a worker asking for help with Flatbed driver John Doe a thingamabob and was backing his rig down a didn’t notice that makeshift ramp after a delivery, the truck’s fuel tank started scraping but his fuel tank scrubbed against the ramp’s against the ramp’s sharp angle sharp angle. Doe’s and was damaged. Was this a tank was damaged, preventable accident? spilling his fuel. Cited for negligently puncturing his fuel tank against the angled ramp, Doe contested the preventable-accident warning letter from his safety director. The case was turned over to the National Safety Council’s Accident Review Board, which ruled in Doe’s favor since he had made the trip up the dock safely and had taken every reasonable precaution while exiting.
Tailor Your Fleet’s Training Schedule Plan out and schedule your online training year ahead of time. You can tailor it to new hires, old timers, job titles, locations or any other group you plan. You can even have post-infraction assignments ready to go. See how easy Sentix® Pro makes training.
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commercial carrier journal
| may 2020
WHEREVER THE ROAD TAKES YOU. We’ll be there. Visit NAPATruckService.com to find one of 1,300 locations near you and drive away confidently with a 12-month unlimited mileage warranty. Quality Parts. Helpful People. That’s NAPA KNOW HOW.
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TRUCK DRIVERS DELIVER
Thank you to all truck drivers who are working tirelessly to deliver critical supplies during this challenging time. Peterbiltâ€™s 400 dealers remain open and committed to delivering uptime support to keep every truck on the road. In addition, PACCAR Parts Distribution Centers are operating as normal to keep our dealers stocked with all the parts they need. Peterbilt is proud to support the people that keep North America moving. #ThankATrucker