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.

Ford Ride & Drive: Day 1

Fleet Owner recently got the chance to test drive two F-Series Ford Motor Co. trucks in Dearborn, MI, for an extended period of time: a 2016 gasoline-powered F-650 26,000 lb. crew cab medium-duty dump truck and 2017 diesel-fired F-250 Platinum trim level crew cab 4x4 pickup. (Photos by Sean Kilcarr/Fleet Owner)

Q&A: Insight into truck inverter-chargers

Downtime is bottom-line killer in trucking operations, which can cost anywhere from $480 to $760 a day per vehicle, according to a survey conducted by maintenance software firm Decisiv conducted last year.

A natural gas white paper for waste fleets

The trade groups NGVAmerica and the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) recently released a white paper to provide refuse and recycling fleets with the latest information regarding the safe operation of natural gas-powered vehicles and refueling equipment, and maintenance facilities.

Intermodal: New opportunities for trucking?

A new white paper compiled by J.B. Hunt Transportation Services argues that the “multiple impacts” from the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate, the ongoing driver shortage, rising fuel costs, and the desire for a smaller “environmental footprint” will dovetail with intensive capital investment efforts by Class I railroads to make intermodal a more attractive option for shippers going forward.

Riding the roads with Big Red

Fleet Owner recently got a second crack at one of Ford Motor Co.’s full-size Transit vans – affectionately dubbed “Big Red” – for a week-long test drive, putting the vehicle through its paces (loaded and unloaded) over 602.4 miles of highway and ur

Q&A: The future of telematics in trucking

Trucking is no stranger to the uses of telematics technology. Indeed, many fleets are leading the way in terms of how to increase benefits from such systems.

Scania unveils new truck line 1

Swedish truck maker Scania just took the wraps off a 10-year, $2.39 billion effort to create a new family of cabover trucks – the first truly ground-up “new” truck introduced by the OEM since 1995. These heavy-duty commercial vehicles will be launched first in Europe and then in other global markers in five distinct “phases,” Scania said, with a primary focus on the long-haul transportation market. The OEM added that its new truck line boosts fuel economy by 5% via a range of factors, especially new and improved powertrains and better aerodynamics.

Kenworth retires a former flagship

Back in 2006, Kenworth Truck Co. launched what was then considered to be its “flagship” highway tractor, the T660, largely due to its fuel efficiency footprint. Now, a decade later and after 60,000 units built and sold, Kenworth is officially putting the T660 out to pasture with a limited “last call” allotment of 500 units to be produced by year’s end before production ceases.

Trucking seems cautiously optimistic about Phase 2 rules

Trucking OEMs, suppliers, trade groups, and fleets in the main seem “cautiously optimistic” regarding eventual compliance with the final Phase 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) and fuel efficiency rules issued this week by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), though in some cases the final rules benchmarks are tougher than what the agencies proposed in the draft phase of the rulemaking process.

Breaking down the final Phase 2 rules

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) officially rolled out “Phase 2” greenhouse gas (GHG) and fuel efficiency rules this week aimed at four distinct commercial equipment types: Class 7 and 8 tractors, trailers, heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans, plus vocational vehicles.

EPA finalizes GHG Phase 2
EPA and NHTSA's final Phase 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) rules governing heavy-duty trucks and engines issued today seek to tighten down carbon emissions and boost fuel economy as well as clarify the classification of natural gas engines and other gaseous-fueled heavy-duty engines.
Fuel prices down, but gasoline more mixed for the week

While the national average retail pump price for diesel and gasoline remained on a downward track this week, Energy Information Administration (EIA) data showed price declines for both fuels overall were very small, with a wide swath of modest regional increases and decreases for gasoline.

The national average retail pump price for diesel dropped 6/10ths of a penny to $2.310 per gallon this week, according to EIA, which is 30.5 cents per gallon cheaper compared to the same week in 2015.

A fire truck takes flight

Loadmasters with the 439th Airlift Wing, Air Force Reserve Command, load a 1982 Mack 1250 GPM pumper fire truck into the belly of a C-5B Galaxy cargo plane at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst NJ for a 3,700 mile journey to Managua, Nicaragua. Retired from the Mercer Engine No. 3 firefighting company of Princeton, NJ, this fire truck is being donated to a group of volunteer firefighters in Managua. (All photos courtesy of the U.S. Department of Defense)

A fire truck’s long journey to a second life

When a group of volunteer firefighters in Managua, Nicaragua, needed a new fire truck, Master Sgt. Jorge Narvaez with the New Jersey Air National Guard stepped in to help. Narvaez, a Nicaraguan native who emigrated to the U.S. in 1981, spearheaded a plan to ship a 1982 Mack 1250 GPM pumper truck being retired by the Princeton, NJ, fire department (along with other vitally-needed firefighting gear) some 3,700 miles to Nicaragua – with the timely help of his fellow airmen and a huge U.S. Air Force C-5 Galaxy transport plane. (All photos courtesy of the Department of Defense)

Q&A: Helping fleets manage fuel costs

Fuel tends to be either the second or third biggest cost in any fleet’s budget, switching spots with tires – depending on pump prices – with driver wages and benefits usually securing the top expense slot.

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