Brian Straight

Managing Editor

Brian joined Fleet Owner in May 2008 after spending nearly 14 years as sports editor and then managing editor of several daily newspapers.  He and his staff  won more than two dozen major writing and editing awards. Responsible for editing, editorial production functions and deadlines.

Your Nov. 24 Pre-Trip: Ram to drive Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade

Here are five things worth knowing today:

1. Ram Trucks will be prominent at this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, according to the New York Daily News. The paper reports that a fleet of Ram pickups will pull the 27 floats along the parade route and Ram vans are helping get the balloons to their destinations.

Your Nov. 18 Pre-trip: Wind blamed for truck crashes as officials warn drivers

Here are five things worth knowing today:

1. Wind is being blamed for the rollover of three tractor-trailers in El Paso last week and Texas officials are warning truck drivers to use commonsense before traveling over overpasses and other roads where high winds could put them at risk, reports KVIA ABC 7.                 

Buying into logs 

Company: Mercer Transportation, Louisville, KY

Operation: A diversified fleet with more than 2,500 owner-operators hauling over 250,000 flatbed and dry van loads nationwide annually 


Getting a lift 

For smaller fleets, the benefits of technology are sometimes lost because of the added costs. In some cases, though, the benefits are simply too great to ignore.

That is the case for Ploger Transportation. The fleet of about 30 trucks was chosen to test Volvo Trucks’ adaptive loading system two years ago.

Nissan, Cummins team for race truck

Nissan’s 2016 Titan XD isn’t just the Texas Auto Writers Assn. “Truck of Texas,” it may be the fastest land speed racer in the world. That is, if development of the special “Project Triple Nickel” model in cooperation with Cummins can break existing speed records.

Fit for a Sultan: Mack builds the world's most expensive truck ever

Mack Trucks has a long history. And now it has made history.

The North American OEM’s Australian branch has built what it says is the world’s most expensive big rig, eclipsing a $481,000 model built in the U.S. While Mack Trucks Australia will not say specifically how much this custom rig cost, it did provide a few details, such as who would order such an expensive, customized ride, and why?

The answer: Malaysia’s Sultan Ibrahim Ismail of Johor.

Weather watch 

Company: Transport America, Eagan, MN

Operation: Truckload operation provides freight services for retail and industrial customers as well as logistics services throughout the U.S. and parts of Canada and Mexico.


Tips to live by 

Recently, the Dept. of Transportation announced an initiative to improve the truck parking situation in the U.S. It’s about time.

I’m sure I don’t need to spend time explaining the need for additional, and safer, parking to the industry. But for some reason, that need must be explained to government leaders. We ask drivers to spend days, weeks, even months out on the road and yet, as a society, we can’t come up with a solution to keep them safe.

Fleet refresh 

Hauling dry vans down the highway offers plenty of opportunity to reduce fuel usage. But if your cargo is something less boxy, say auto­mobiles, your aerodynamic options are more limited.
That’s the predicament in which Toyota Transport, part of Toyota Logistics Services, found itself. The fleet, with about 120 drivers and 91 tractors, moves Toyota, Lexus and Scion automobiles for Toyota Motor Corp. throughout the West Coast (it is on pace to transport 400,000 vehicles this year) from locations in Southern and Northern California; Portland, OR; and Phoenix, AZ.

Inside the building of Yokohama Tire’s Mississippi commercial tire plant

Yokohama Tire has opened its first new U.S. based commercial tire manufacturing facility in West Point, MS. The plant, which cost $300 million to build, will eventually produce 1 million tires annually and employ as many as 2,000. The hope is that the majority of commercial tires sold in North America will eventually be manufacturing in Mississippi.

For more on the plant opening, go to:

Yokohama takes wraps off Mississippi’s star

WEST POINT, MS. Calling it the “star of the automotive universe in Mississippi,” Gov. Phil Bryant praised executives of Yokohama Tire Corp. and its subsidiary, Yokohama Tire Manufacturing Mississippi, last night at a press briefing ahead of the formal grand opening of the tire maker’s first new U.S. plant.

Navistar's Kozek: Deal strengthens International, expands GM portfolio

The announcement of a joint development project between Navistar and General Motors will lead to a new Class 4-5 truck platform that will fill a gap in GM’s commercial vehicle lineup and serve as a replacement for Navistar’s International TerraStar model.

Riding the WAVE to fuel-saving heaven

Back in 2014, a heavy-duty tractor-trailer operated by a microturbine was just one of the many ideas engineers dream of at night. Sure, it was an actual vehicle, shown at the 2014 Mid-America Trucking Show. But like many concept vehicles, it seemed more like a vehicle to drive technological development in other areas.

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