Sean Kilcarr

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.

Articles
Fleets Online: Software middleman 

Company: MakeSpace, New York

Operation: Privately owned and operated “white glove” self-storage company with 180 truck drivers and seven warehouses across the U.S. in major U.S. cities

Maintenance Bay: ‘Wet wash’ delivered 

Fleet Manager: Mark Collins
Company: United Parcel Service
Operation: Caring for 280,631 pieces of equipment in the U.S., including 80,231 package-car delivery units and vans, plus 20,789 Class 8 units and yard tractors

PROBLEM:

Cleaning diesel particulate filters (DPFs) is a critical maintenance task for any truck fleet. Those devices are designed to capture the soot emanating from diesel engine exhaust that must  be removed to keep the filter from clogging.

Navistar: Legacy EGR issues coming to an end

An industry-wide surplus of used trucks in the U.S. is driving down the “price gap” between domestic and export valuations, which is spurring Navistar to shift sales of its bulging 7,000 unit inventory of trucks equipped with its discontinued MaxxForce 13-liter exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) only engine overseas.

The Unspoken Issue 

Cargo theft remains a big problem for the trucking industry and the freight world as a whole—a problem that leads to losses of some $15 billion to $30 billion a year, according to figures compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

And yet our nation’s top law enforcement agency believes that figure may actually be too low, as cargo crime remains an under-reported and, yes, an often unspoken affliction affecting the freight business.

Training to haul fuel for the Marines

Hauling fuel in a the civilian world is a dangerous enough job, but when you drive a tanker for the U.S. Marine Corps, you’re expected to deliver fuel in some pretty rough locales – ones with roads that, to put it politely, aren’t in the greatest of shape. That’s why the Marines conduct a month-long Semitrailer Refueler Operator Course (SROC) to sharpen not just the driving skills of its motor transport leathernecks but to fine-tune how they load and offload fuel from their rigs as well. (All photos by U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Jason Jimenez)

Volvo VNR Ride & Drive

Volvo Trucks North America (VTNA) recently showed off its new VNR regional truck model during a ride and drive event in Winston-Salem, NC. A total of four VNR models in three configurations were made available to attending journalists: two VNR 640 6x2 highway tractors configured with mid-roof sleepers pulling 53-ft. flatbeds loaded out with concrete blocks for gross vehicle weights of 77,700 lbs.; a VNR 300 4x2 in straight truck configuration, fitted with a dry van box and hydraulic lift gate; and a VNR 300 4x2 tractor pulling a 28-ft. pup trailer.

Rethinking the regional trucking market

WINSTON-SALEM, NC. The main reason driving Volvo Trucks North America (VTNA) to introduce the new VNR family of trucks to replace its VNM model is a fairly simple one, according to Chris Stadler, the OEM’s product marketing manager for regional haul: “The VNM is an aged truck; it was time for a refresh. We needed a more adaptable truck, too: one that can operate in the city and on the highway.”

Volvo: Class 8 outlook remains steady for 2017

WINSTON-SALEM, NC. Roughly five months into 2017, Volvo Trucks North America (VTNA) still thinks the North American Class 8 market will top 215,000 units for the year – truck production volume that is being driven in part by strong construction spending, which the OEM said is at its highest level since 2007.

Getting a fresh look at Volvo's new VNR

Volvo Trucks North America (VTNA) provided journalists with a chance to get up close and personal with its new VNR regional haul tractor during a special ride and drive event in Winston-Salem, NC; a tractor that the OEM only recently unveiled to the industry.

Report: Driverless trucks will eliminate millions of jobs 6

A new joint report issued by four European transport groups estimates that between two million to 4.4 million truck driving jobs in the U.S. and Europe could become “redundant” and thus be eliminated in just 13 years if efforts aimed at widely deploying self-driving commercial vehicles are successful.

How freight is priced and paid for is changing fast

They way pricing and payment for freight shipments around the world is shifting quickly to digital formats designed to ultimately provide more transparency into how cargo costs are compiled.

Yet in the eyes of several firms, this trend won’t necessarily lead to a more price-focused freight market. Rather, it could lead to a greater emphasis on customer service while at the same time lowering freight costs for shippers, transportation providers, logistics companies, and freight brokers alike.

Optimizing trucking through more real-time information

PHILADELPHIA. Helping the trucking industry better manage the “real life experiences” affecting its operations in the here and now is going to be a near-term driving force for technological development, according to Dan Popkin, senior vice president of enterprise solutions for ALK Technologies, which is a subsidiary of Trimble.

Mack predicts Class 8 market will stay strong

CHARLESTON, SC. While Mack Trucks expects total Class 8 production volume will reach 215,000 units for 2017 – mirroring projections by other industry analysts – the OEM also believes that “underlying demand” for heavy trucks is stronger than many think, meaning that the market should exit 2017 stronger than when it entered the year, with manufacturers ramping up to build more equipment as time goes on.

Truck parking and traffic congestion intertwined 1

While a new report issued this week by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) highlighted how rising traffic congestion in the U.S. is becoming a more expensive problem for the trucking industry, it is a problem also being aggravated in part by the ongoing shortage of truck parking across the country as well.

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