Sean Kilcarr

Executive Editor

Sean reports and comments on trends affecting the many different strata of the trucking industry -- light and medium duty fleets up through over-the-road truckload, less-than-truckload, and private fleet operations Also be sure to visit Sean's blog Trucks at Work where he offers analysis on a variety of different topics inside the trucking industry.

Elaine L. Chao: U.S. Secretary of Transportation

In many ways, Secretary Chao’s family history is not only a quintessentially American story but is one also tied closely to the transportation industry itself.

Her father, Dr. James S. C. Chao, was born in a small farming village outside Shanghai, China, and worked hard to pursue his dream of becoming a sailor. In 1949, in the middle of the Chinese Civil War, he boarded a ship for a seagoing apprenticeship—a short voyage that represented the last requirement for him to become a full-fledged sailor.

But in a way, that voyage never ended.

Driving trucking improvements through data

Mills Carter, director of analytics for YellaWood – a $1 billion lumber company – recently made an extremely straightforward case as to the value proper data analysis can offer trucking companies.

Demographics are changing truck driver management

As the “traditional” make-up of the U.S. truck driver population is rapidly aging and heads for retirement new efforts must be made to attract younger and “non-traditional” candidates to the job of piloting commercial vehicles for a living, according to a panel of trucking executives at the McLeod Software 2017 User Conference in Atlanta this week.

ELDs change load planning, freight sales 2

ATLANTA. When it comes to adopting electronic logging devices (ELDs), a panel of three fleet executives here at McLeod Software’s 2017 User Conference argued that the biggest challenge is not the acceptance and subsequent use of that technology by drivers.

McLeod: Tangle of trends is changing trucking 1

ATLANTA. Tom McLeod, founder, president, and CEO of McLeod Software, is fond of saying that, “one of the more immutable laws of the universe is that we reap what we sow.&rdquo And at least from his perspective, motor carriers will need to do an awful lot of reaping based on the amount of change now rapidly occurring in the trucking industry.

McLeod Software 2017 User Conference

McLeod Software trucking customers and technology partners gathered at the George World Congress Center in Atlanta for McLeod's 2017 user conference, which covered a wide range of critical industry topics, from how truck driver demographics are changing and how that impacts motor carrier recruiting and retention efforts to a discussion of the latest cyber security tactics; a session that features one of the FBI's top cyber security experts. (All photos by Sean Kilcarr/Fleet Owner)

FHWA three-truck platooning test

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) recently sponsored a two-day demonstration of three-truck platooning on public roadways in Northern Virginia; the results of four years’ worth of research and testing. Guided by police escort, the three tractor-trailers took journalists and other industry experts from a staging area in Centreville, VA, along routes established on Rt.

Recovering from Hurricane Irma

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) along with other government agencies and military units continue to send relief supplies and personnel into areas affected by Hurricane Irma. Those efforts including staging such supplies at a variety of locations, including military bases, ahead of the storm’s landfall at Cudjoe Key island off the western coast of Florida just after 9 a.m. on Sunday, September 10.

Navistar makes enhancements to LoneStar tractor

The International Truck division of Navistar is rolling out what it calls “major enhancements” to its LoneStar highway tractor; deliberately dovetailing the announcement with the start of National Truck Driver Appreciation Week to highlight the “driver-focused” upgrades to its LoneStar family of trucks, originally introduced back in 2008.

Diving into VNL design details

The retooled Volvo VNL family of highway tractors built by Volvo Trucks North America, which the OEM originally unveiled back in July, incorporates many subtle design changes indicative of a more driver-focused mentality by the truck manufacturing industry as whole.

Volvo VNL ride and drive

Journalists recently got a chance to pilot or ride shotgun in six pre-production units of the revamped VNL family of tractors built by Volvo Trucks North America (VTNA), which the OEM originally unveiled back in July. They included a high-roof VNL 860 model – considered the “flagship” of the rebooted VNL family – two VNL 760 high-roof sleeper models, two VNL 740 mid-roof units, and a VNL 300 daycab tractor.

Volvo: Timing could not be better for VNL introduction

GREENSBORO, NC. A sustained surge in Class 8 orders this year, alongside projected growth in the long-haul sector of the trucking market, has the executives at Volvo Trucks North America (VTNA) thinking the OEM’s overhaul of its VNL tractor family – especially the addition of a 70-in. sleeper model – could not have come at a better time.

Scenes from Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts

Following massive flooding generated by Hurricane Harvey in the Gulf Coast region of Texas, in part due to the storm dumping over 50 inches of rain in some locations, U.S. military teams fanned out to conduct search and rescue operations while efforts to re-open vital Texas sea ports and truck in relief supplies shifted into high gear.  

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