Brian Straight

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
Lower viscosity, PC-11 and oil’s role in fuel economy

HAMBURG, GERMANY. As the U.S. begins preparing for the introduction of a new oil-service category in early 2016, work is continuing behind the scenes to see to it that whatever oil emerges meets fleet needs.

Shell strives to fuel fleet choice

HAMBURG, GERMANY. Without a single silver bullet to solve the world’s energy problem, Shell Oil is continuing to address multiple fuel technologies to help customers meet the needs of the vehicles while also providing maximum uptime and customer service.

A day in the life of Hamburg trucking 

Just like in the U.S. and other parts of the world, trucks play a big role in the delivery of goods and services in the city of Hamburg, Germany. Walking around the city on Tuesday afternoon, here is a sampling of the vehicles that keep the city humming on a daily basis.

Doubling up on safety technologies 2

Research conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) indicates that fleets can greatly reduce the risk associated with driver drowsiness and fatigue through the use of multiple technologies within the cab.

Preventing cargo theft starts with who you know

Many tools are utilized to combat cargo and trailer theft, but few tools are as effective as a simple and free service every driver, fleet manager and shipper already has in their arsenal: awareness.

Improving driver health one click at a time 1

WINDSOR, CT. Part of any insurance company’s job is to minimize risk. That includes ensuring driver health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average life expectancy for a commercial truck driver is 61 and high blood pressure is one of the primary health risks facing commercial drivers. Further, few commercial drivers eat the recommended five or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day.

Charging into the future 

Penny-pinching is often associated with those unwilling to part with their money.  But trucking fleets are also penny-pinchers; they break down costs looking for any edge that can positively impact their bottom line to compete in an industry with razor-thin margins. 

Boxed savings 

Family-owned Ozinga Ready Mix has made the commitment to convert its fleet of 500 ready-mix and related support vehicles to natural gas by 2020.  But the initial installation of a CNG station in the Chicago area did not produce the results that the Ozinga family was looking for, so another solution was needed.

Touch-a-Truck

Numerous cities and towns across the country hold Touch-a-Truck events during the summer months. The events are a way for children of all ages to see all types of trucks up close and personal and even learn a little about what roles the trucks play. The South Meriden (CT) Lions Club held one such event this weekend and accepted donations of non-perishable food items for the local soup kitchen.

Job hopping: Truck drivers on the move 1

The competition among fleets for drivers seems to be heating up along with the weather across the country, as turnover is on the rise and the new hours-of-service (HOS) regulations are cutting into productivity.

And one of outgrowths of this increased competition might be more inexperienced drivers entering the workforce and a resulting increase in fleets’ CSA scores.

Environmental, but not green, savings from electric trucks

For fleets expecting improved total cost of ownership (TCO) when purchasing an electric truck, a new study suggests that may not always be the case. Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology found that while electric trucks provide a definitive energy efficiency advantage, TCO for an electric truck vs. a diesel-powered model may not result in the price advantage fleets expect.

Driving savings

As one of the few companies that is participating in the EPA SmartWay Transport Partnership as both a carrier and a shipper, Tyson Foods has been able to garner a unique perspective on the program. And that perspective is helping drive down costs and drive up environmental benefits for the company’s private fleet.

“Working with carrier partners and what they are doing in the industry…[has] helped us a lot in terms of vehicle specs,” says Blue Keene, senior director of transportation for Tyson’s fleet.

Putting a global face on OEM leadership 1

While the change at the top of one truck OEM has garnered most of the headlines in the past few months, it is but one alteration of leadership in the past year that is reshaping the look of the industry’s top manufacturers.

Helping out our heroes

I am now old enough and wise enough to know the effects of war on a soldier, even though I have never been one myself. A decade of war, of seeing friends go to foreign lands, will do that to you. The lessons we, as a nation, learned from 9/11 have changed my perspective on life. Terrorism, be it foreign or domestic, in all its ugly forms is now a very real part of our lives. It is no longer something we see on the news; we now see it in our streets. The Boston Marathon attack reinforced that.

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