Kevin Jones


Kevin Jones has an odd fascination with the supply chain. As editor of American Trucker, he focuses on the critical role owner-ops and small fleets play in the economy, locally and globally. And he likes big trucks.

Shake, rattle, roll: Tour Daimler's HDPG
MADRAS, OR. The official first day of summer was still a month away, but the Pacific Northwest rainy season gave way to brilliant sunshine and mild temperatures just in time to allow Daimler executives and community leaders to forecast a bright future for a new truck testing facility here.
Real-time load tracking: At what price? 1

AUSTIN. Supply chain pressure runs downhill, but truckload carriers have nothing to fear from e-commerce—so long as they are, for all practical purposes, perfect.

And truckers not only need to be perfect, they’re increasingly expected to reassure shippers and receivers that everything’s fine with each and every load along the way.

So is real-time track and trace technology, or live load visibility, soon to be a standard offering, or is there a simpler way for carriers to keep customers happy?

Welcome to the Amazon jungle, truckers
AUSTIN. Truckload carriers have something to look forward to in the near term but, in looking a little further down the road, a leading industry analyst tosses around terms like “decimate,” “destroy,” “profound impact,” “seismic changes,” and, the kicker, “the whole world is going to turn upside down."
New oils greasing the skids for more to come

The transition to the latest heavy-duty engine oil specifications is well underway, according to the organization that manages the standards.  The American Petroleum Institute (API) has licensed about 400 CK-4 and more than 60 FA-4 oils submitted by large, medium, and small oil marketers.

Passing Inspections  2

While most trucking fleets place due emphasis on the driver’s safety responsibilities behind the wheel, all too often management has been less diligent when it comes to the day-to-day chore—and it is a chore—of equipment inspection. Thus, trucking gets oversight from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), with thousands of pages of U.S. code devoted to equipment and inspection standards, and the Compliance Safety Accountability (CSA)program that formally ties drivers and their companies together in the compliance effort.

Trump “considers” truckers’ call for fuel tax increase
With potentially conflicting campaign promises to lower taxes and to come up with a trillion dollars to upgrade the nation’s infrastructure, President Trump on Monday acknowledged the trucking industry’s concern over the deteriorating condition of highway system—and he opened the door to raising the federal tax on gasoline and diesel for the first time in almost 25 years.
Western Star XD OFFROAD: Working in the dirt
PHOENIX. With trucking editors on their way here for a Western Star 50th Anniversary event, XD and vocational sales manager John Tomlinson decided to look around for a venue more suitable than a parking lot for showing off the XD OFFROAD trucks he’d brought along. He found one.
OOIDA picks up latest Western Star for 'Spirit' tour
The Owner-Operators Independent Drivers Association has once again received a new Western Star 5700XE to power its “Spirit of the American Trucker” tour trailer. The truck was presented to OOIDA at Western Star’s 50th Anniversary event in Phoenix on Thursday.
Western Star's XD-25: 'yellow iron' strong, versatile
PHOENIX. Targeting “the traditional yellow-iron customer,” Western Star Truck Sales Inc. has added a new option to its XD OFFROAD line. Based on the iconic Western Star 4900 platform, but with “considerably more material” to support off-road applications, the Western Star XD-25 is designed to be tough and versatile.
Analyst: California freight recovery key to 2017 rate upswing
Load-to-truck ratios have begun to climb significantly, doubling from this time last year—an “early warning sign” that truckload rates should begin to improve after a dreary 2016. Indeed, shippers can expect “a changed environment” by the second half of the year, suggested analyst Mark Montague in detailing first quarter “winner and losers” in the truckload market.
OOIDA to Supreme Court: ELD mandate violates 4th amendment
OOIDA is taking its opposition to the electronic logging device mandate to the highest court in the land. The small business trucking group this week filed a petition with the Supreme Court of the United States, arguing that a federal appeals court was wrong when it ruled that the e-log requirement does not violate Fourth Amendment protections against illegal search and seizure.
FMCSA to adjust penalty schedule for inflation
The penalties for violating federal trucking regulations are about to go up again, but not by much. The FMCSA on Wednesday will publish the 2017 schedule, with an adjustment multiple of 1.01636, or about 0.16%, as set by the White House Office of Management and Budget.
IC survey: 6 ‘surprising’ slides from latest ATBS data
Leased-on owner-operators can be impressively sophisticated in their understanding of trucking, but distressingly naïve about managing affairs, putting a lot pressure on the group—and the fleets who rely on independent contractors—during a two-year economic slowdown and with the pending mandate for electronic logs. That’s the overview from several dozen slides presented in the latest ATBS Independent Contractor Benchmarking Webinar, "2016: Stuck in Neutral?". Still, ICs fared better than many in trucking during the downturn, and are poised to take advantage of improving market dynamics.
Trucking adds 4,700 jobs, sets record high in March
Big gains in the number of trucking jobs in February and March have more than made up for a surprising loss in January, bringing the for-hire jobs total a record high.
Senators quiz trucking execs on highway funding, truck size, driverless tech
Truckers took advantage of a wide-ranging Senate hearing Tuesday to push for sustainable, user-fee based highway funding, federal support of advanced truck safety systems, free trade, and tax relief—topics that found a sympathetic audience in the Republican-led Commerce subcommittee on surface transportation. Some members, however, did express safety and modal competitiveness concerns regarding a renewed call for twin 33-ft. trailers and the development of autonomous truck technology.
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