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.

Articles by Brian Straight
Pilot Flying J under federal investigation
FBI, IRS investigating unclaimed customer rebates
Fleets online: Service call 1

Problem:

Businesses and residents depend on heating and cooling systems to maintain comfortable work and home environments. When something goes wrong with a system, though, it doesn’t take long for the comfort level of occupants to reach a boiling point.

Green Fleet of the Year: JBS Carriers

With everything we know about fuel efficiency these days, it’s tough to find a fleet that isn’t doing something to reduce fuel usage and lower greenhouse gas emissions. Be it to boost the bottom line, to create a “greener” perception of the fleet, or just to be a better corporate citizen, most carriers are implementing some device or training technique designed to cut fuel use.

Sudden shift toward electronic log usage 1

With a potential federal mandate coming at some point in the near future, a growing number of carriers have made the switch to electronic logs, according to a survey conducted by Transport Capital Partners (TCP).

The results, released last week and compiled during the firm’s First Quarter 2013 Business Expectations Survey, found that 35% of carriers polled in February now use electronic logs, up from just 25% in May 2012.

Carriers planning capacity increases

As tonnage continues to edge higher, a new survey from Transport Capital Partners (TCP) suggests carriers are increasingly looking to increase capacity over the next year.

Green Fleet of the Month: Gas up and deliver 

When you market and deliver a product, but don’t actually use it yourself, people will ask why. That is no longer a question that executives at Linde North America have to answer. The New Jersey-based division of the Linde Group, a global gas and engineering company, has now deployed 23 liquefied natural gas (LNG) Class 8 tractors in its U.S. fleet of 625 Class 8 power units following a successful test of three vehicles last year.

EOBRs clock in

When the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration was forced by court decision to rescind its electronic onboard recorder (EOBR) rule in 2011, it was considered a win for drivers everywhere. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) had fought the rule on the grounds that the devices, which monitor hours-of-service compliance, could be used by fleets as a tool to harass drivers, violating privacy rights under the Fourth Amendment.

Kenworth turns 90

Kenworth Truck Co. is celebrating 90 years in business in 2013. Kenworth provided this walk through memory lane. You can read more about the company’s 90 years here.

Field general

San Francisco start-up company Motiv Power Systems is looking to fill a “gap” that it says exists in the commercial electric vehicle market. According to Jim Castelaz, CEO of the company, which launched in 2009, there are limited choices in the industry when it comes to electric vehicle options for fleets. “We want to fill this gap that is missing within the industry,” he says. “Fleets are used to being able to customize their vehicles…and I think the electric chassis out there are limited.”

Green Fleet of the Month: Electric challenge

Fleets looking for an all-electric vehicle solution have been left with just a few choices to date. But several recent developments may be changing that, including one from San Francisco-based Motiv Power Systems. Motiv has recently inked a five-year contract with the city of Chicago potentially worth up to $13.4 million for its ePCS electric powertrain system.

Meritor marks milestone axle, talks aftermarket

FRANKFORT, KY. In a formal ceremony before employees, dignitaries, customers and media, officials from Meritor presented the 10 millionth trailer axle produced to Wabash National, which will ultimately deliver the axle on a new trailer to Werner Enterprises.

The event included a tour of the 195,000-sq.-ft. manufacturing plant here.

X-Grill extreme grilling truck 48

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 3

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.

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