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.

X-Grill extreme grilling truck 29

Dr. of Grillology Ken Foster cooks up his specialties inside this customized 1987 Ford LN8000 truck, which is a converted tanker that now serves as the base for his mobile grilling. It is part of his barbeque business, Breakaway, and makes about 50 appearances a season, Foster said.

Intermodal dressing 2

Like most fleets, specialized haulers have the same concerns over rising diesel fuel costs. But for Ellensburg, WA-based Anderson Hay & Grain Co., which utilizes intermodal chassis to transport hay and straw to the ports of Seattle and Tacoma for overseas shipment, the options were limited.

Fleets online: Priority message

Company: Priority Dispatch

Operation: Cincinnati, OH-based regional courier operation delivering 250,000 packages a month in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois and Pennsylvania

Problem: A 24/7/365 courier operation, Priority Dispatch relies on constant, real-time communications with its approximately 700 drivers to ensure timely, accurate delivery of goods.

Nation being driven over fiscal cliff

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid this morning said it’s doubtful the country will avert falling over the fiscal cliff on Jan. 1, 2013, as Republicans and Democrats continue a stare-down that has sent uncertainty through the stock market this holiday season and left businesses and the general public wondering what impact the seemingly inevitable automatic tax increases and spending cuts will have on the economy.

Port workers return to work 8
Deal reached to end 8-day strike that is estimated to have cost local economy $8 billion
Push is on to grow push-to-talk network

What was once a robust marketplace may be past its prime, but that doesn’t mean that the “push-to-talk” networks so many transportation professionals have relied on for years have left the dock.

Green Fleet of the Month: The five C's

Three years ago, ThyssenKrupp Elevator Americas adopted a strategy for evaluating alternative fuels. The elevator provider, with over 13,500 employees and more than 200 branch and service locations, was interested in reducing fuel costs while utilizing more sustainable fuels for the future.

Fleets online: Behavior modification 1

Company: Cintas Corp.

Operation: Designer and supplier of corporate uniforms, promotional products, safety products, protection services and document management services

Problem: Cintas provides services to approximately 900,000 businesses around the world. To do that, though, requires some 10,000 vehicles spread across a large area, creating a logistical challenge when enforcing company vehicle regulations.

Fueling Infrastructure: Mapping out a fueling strategy

What many people fail to realize is that the decision to incorporate natural gas vehicles into a fleet is just a starting point. Before the vehicle acquisition process can even begin, there are important questions that must be asked and answered, questions such as whether to build a facility or rely on public infrastructure and what type of fuel to use: compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied natural gas (LNG). And even these decisions, it turns out, have any number of variables that can, and must, influence the final choice.

Navistar cuts deal with Icahn and Rachesky to replace 3 board members

Under increasing pressure from investors Carl Icahn and Mark Rachesky, Navistar International Corp. has agreed to add three people to its board of directors. The three will replace existing board members, Navistar said.

Rachesky and Vincent J. Intrieri will join the board and the third member will be a mutually-agreed upon director between Navistar, Icahn’s Icahn Partners (Icahn) and Rachesky’s MHR Fund Management (MHR).

Logistics companies weathering economic uncertainty 23

A new survey shows that despite the economy, logistics companies fared well in 2011 as more shippers turned to their customized services. There were trouble spots, though, as the 19th Annual Survey of Third-Party Logistics Providers revealed that 26% of firms failed to meet their financial projections for 2011, up from 14% in 2010.

The path yet chosen 20

Much of the focus in this year’s presidential election has centered on the state of the economy and who is responsible for the unemployment rate, Democrats or Republicans. But there are other critical issues, such as the state of our transportation and infrastructure system.

While nearly everyone was pleased when Congress came together to pass a 27-month transportation bill this summer, the timing of that bill creates a potential threat to a longer-term version.

Joining the crowd 4

If you’ve ever been part of the “crowd,” then what follows is probably not new to you. But if you think the crowd was the cool kids in high school, you need to spend some time talking with Scott Belcher. Belcher, president & CEO of Intelligent Transportation Society of America, spends his days focused on things such as the crowd, the cloud, and vehicle connectivity.

Green Fleet of the Month: Idle time

Are you interested in getting up to 16% better fuel economy for your fleet? If you are, and you run in colder climates and have not installed an auxiliary power unit (APU) yet, then here’s a lesson you.

Navistar puts dealers through Vocational Boot Camp

Navistar just completed its 7th Boot Camp for dealers and dealer representatives. This one, in Tooele, Utah, focused on the company's vocational offerings, including the new LoadStar and the soon-to-enter production TerraStar 4x4.

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