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.

Locking assistance system developed for fifth wheels

Trailer “drops” that happen when a trailer is not properly secured to a tractor’s fifth wheel is a costly and dangerous problem in trucking that’s largely underreported, according to Mark Molitor, vice president of engineering for the Americas for SAF-Holland.

He noted that one TL fleet operating 10,000 trailers SAF-Holland worked with – “a fleet with a great safety record,” Molitor stressed – suffered 200 trailer drops a year.

SAF-Holland unveils CBX40 AeroBeam trailer suspension

In an effort to reduce overall trailer weight due to in part to the addition of aerodynamic devices designed to improve fuel economy for tractor-trailers as a whole, SAF-Holland is introducing the new CBX40 AeroBeam air ride tandem trailer suspension.

SAF-Holland offers new trailer suspension, fifth wheel lighting device

SAF-Holland recently introduced two new trailer-focused products: the new CBX40 AeroBeam Sliding Tandem Axle air suspension, which goes into production in the first quarter of 2017, and the new “ELI-te” fifth wheel coupling assistant; an automatic lighting array to help drivers ensure the fifth wheel is properly coupled to the trailer kingpin.

Visiting Missouri’s Transportation Museum

Located off a quiet suburban street just outside of St. Louis, the Missouri Museum of Transportation is chock full of planes, trains, cars and trucks from throughout America’s history. A bevy of classic cars, trucks, and horse carriages are housed in the Earl C. Lindburg Automobile Center, including a 1901 automobile built by the St. Louis Motor Carriage Co. – the oldest of only nine such cars known to still be in existence – as well as the only operational Chrysler turbine car on public display.

Self-driving Otto truck hauls beer by itself 1

With its first “live” load of freight now hauled and delivered – a trailer full of Budweiser beer transported 120 miles in Colorado for Anheuser-Busch – autonomous vehicle technology developer Otto believes that that the days of self-driving long-haul trucks are “no longer a matter of imagination; they are here now, presenting viable, real-world opportunities that can be fully unlocked in the next few years.” (All photos courtesy

Trucking safety: It’s getting harder to make improvements

Rob Abbott will tell you that if you look at long-term motor carrier safety trends over the last 30 years, you’ll note that there’s been a steep decline in the crash rate for large trucks. But if you narrow that focus to the last decade or so, you’ll note that the decline hasn’t been as steep.

He told Fleet Owner the reason for this “leveling off” is simple: much of the “low hanging fruit” in terms of safety improvements, especially when it comes to vehicle technology, has already been picked.

Breaking down CVSA’s 2016 Roadcheck results

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) conducted its 29th annual Roadcheck campaign back in June of this year: a 72-hour North America-wide safety enforcement blitz focused on heavy trucks and buses.

Trucking telematics: It’s not just about Big Data anymore

Skip Kinford, president and CEO of MiX Americas, a division of MiX Telematics, believes that in order for the trucking industry to avoid being overwhelmed by the “Big Data” flows being delivered by their

ATA: Truck tonnage dipped in September

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) for-hire truck tonnage index contracted 5.8% in September, following a revised 5% rise during August. 

Compared with September of last year, the trade group’s tonnage index is down 0.7%, the first year-over-year decline since October 2015. Year-to-date, however, compared to the same stretch in 2015 ATA noted that tonnage is up 3%.

Digging into the new diesel engine oils: Part two

Dan Arcy, the global OEM technical manager for the Americas for Shell Lubricants, that out of the three “phases” within the Proposed Category 11 or “PC-11” five-year development process that will result in the new CK-4 and FA-4 diesel engine motor oils on Dec. 1, the second phase proved to be the hardest and longest.

GM's redesigned Duramax diesel

The new redesigned 6.6-liter Duramax V-8 turbocharged diesel engine from General Motors offers 19% more torque than its predecessor along with 38% less noise at idle as well. The engine is also lighter and quieter due to the wider use of aluminum in its construction. (All photos courtesy of GM)

Digging into the new diesel engine oils: Part one

Dan Arcy, global OEM technical manager for the Americas for Shell Lubricants, will tell you that the new CK-4 and FA-4 diesel engine oil blends due for release December 1 – the end result of five years’ worth of work – weren’t just designed to help 2017-model engines comply with stringent Ph

Rolling for hurricane relief

Active duty military personnel along with National Guard units are continuing to use a variety of motorized vehicles across much of the southeastern U.S. to aid in recovery efforts following Hurricane Matthew: using trucks to evacuate residents, reach flooded-out neighborhoods, and deliver a wide assortment of relief supplies. (All photos courtesy of the Department of Defense)

Diesel technicians: Is the shortage real? 3

The diesel technician shortage currently being experienced in trucking may be more of a management issue rather than strictly a lack-of-personnel problem, according to a panel discussion held during the annual American Trucking Associations (ATA) conference in Las Vegas last week.

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