Recent comments

  • UPDATED: CARB may relax compliance for certain fleet types   13 weeks 18 hours ago    

    Allen Schaeffer has no concept of his statement. Regarding his data on the registration of newer, or compliant option vehicles, the owners do not have a choice in complying or not. The rise in compliance registrations are directly connected to this fact!

  • Breaking down Project Portal   13 weeks 4 days ago    

    So, what is the source of the H2 and O2 to fuel my vehicle? And what emissions are generated in the production thereof? True, the vehicle is "0" emissions, but your production probably is not - at least at this point.

  • Report highlights medical certification problems   13 weeks 5 days ago    

    Please note that the article said: "Of drivers surveyed, 26.6% of drivers reported spending 20 minutes or less with their CME, with 6.5% of those drivers spending 10 minutes or less..."
    My understanding is that 6.5% of those that reported spending 20 minutes or less (or 6.5% of the 26.6%) spent less than 10 minutes with the CME. In other words, of the 900 truck drivers surveyed in this study 26.6% or 243 spent 20 minutes or less with the examiner, and out of the 243 6.5% or about 16 spent 10 minutes or less. Its not 6.5% of 900 drivers or about 58 that spent 10 minutes or less. Either way it's not good but still the total number that spent 10 minutes or less is 16 and not 58 if my math is correct.

  • Manufacturing groups ask Trump to raise truck weights   13 weeks 5 days ago    

    I wonder if there been any indications on what impact the higher limits would have for tax and other government mandated fees? That includes fuel tax - seems there could easily be pressure to push up the cents per gallon to help with infrastructure repair and upgrade initiatives.

  • Atlanta I-85 update: Costs and countdown to reopening   13 weeks 6 days ago    

    Well, if government would get out of the way they should have it done in a coupla months. That won't happen, though. It'll probably be three or four months before they start clearing it out. We had a bridge burn up on IH40 here and they're saying it'll be 40-50 days to replace it. Lotta difference though. This one is 4lane divided, where IH85 is 8lane? The heavy traffic will slow the progress. Quite a challenge for the contractors

  • Chicken and egg, Tesla and trucks   14 weeks 6 hours ago    

    While I agree with the author that an "electric" truck is not realistic in the near future, hybrid trucks are more likely.
    Diesel/electric technology has been in use for decades(trains), the hurdle is to tweak, tune and design the concept to work with a class 8 truck.
    I doubt Musk seriously believes he can bring an all electric class 8 to the market so he must be thinking hybrid.

  • Volvo Trucks tests on-highway three-truck platooning   14 weeks 1 day ago    

    Absolutely insane. You can tell that the people that engineered/ marketed this have not driven a CMV. The lives of drivers are not even in this equation. There are so many variables...trailing a TT this close is almost a death sentence..I would not allow myself to be part of this just so the company can save .20 cents a mile....not worth your life. I have been in transportation for almost 20 years, I have seen drunk, crazy drivers / animals do things that you would not think possible. Always a bad combination when you let theoretical engineers market a system that he has no real experience in. It sounds great on a chalkboard....until people start dying. And for what? The almighty dollar. Wow...humanity is so far from smart.

  • Another detention study   14 weeks 2 days ago    

    Cargo is always more important than drivers...so let em wait for 3-4 hours a day at various shipper & receivers warehouses. And if the driver has an accident from being behind schedule? Blame them - then fire them. Simple.

  • And just like that, platooning is here   14 weeks 3 days ago    

    Sounds an awful lot like a Convoy, good buddy! And they are illegal for a reason. With all the stupid drivers we have to dodge each and every day, this is a wet dream of Omnitracs. Safety has nothing to do with this. And drafting doesn't help the front truck at all. Put your florist on speed dial. So you can order flowers quickly for all the 'accidental' victims of this "safety" system. Qualcomm/Omnitracs ELDs are already hackable by remote parties who can control brakes, steering and acceleration. Just think what they will do with TWO trucks. Ya gotta love it. Oh, and Qualcomm/Omnitracs is looking on raking in a couple more billion dollar contracts. I hope they don't do automatic system upgrades with these like they did my friends ELD in OH. This remote upgrade shut his truck down in 70mph traffic. But, oh pooh, that is a REMOTE possibility ain't it?

  • And just like that, platooning is here   14 weeks 3 days ago    

    Put your florist on speed dial. So you can order flowers quickly for all the 'accidental' victims of this "safety" system. Qualcomm/Omnitracs ELDs are already hackable by remote parties who can control brakes, steering and acceleration. Just think what they will do with TWO trucks. Ya gotta love it. Oh, and Qualcomm/Omnitracs is looking on raking in a couple more billion dollar contracts. I hope they don't do automatic system upgrades with these like they did my friends ELD in OH. This remote upgrade shut his truck down in 70mph traffic. But, oh pooh, that is a REMOTE possibility ain't it?

  • Another detention study   14 weeks 3 days ago    

    Detention time needs to be separate from the 11 hour driver time and the 14 hour max. Simple fix.

  • St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund takes unique approach to helping drivers   14 weeks 3 days ago    

    God Bless this organization for their valuable help to our most needy. Please keep us aware of their efforts. This way, many of us can post them on our Facebook pages. Thank you, keep on trucking
    .

  • And just like that, platooning is here   14 weeks 3 days ago    

    Yes, and it only takes a cheap radio to do it! But let's quote the article to back up your second point:

    "We're assisting the driver, and it is a first step of truck automation."

    And now let's show how this, and every regulation is "sold" by also quoting the article:

    " we're not making a driverless truck. This is a system to make the driver and the truck and the motoring public safer"

    We already know, after seeing Otto, that indeed, driverless trucks ARE the end goal here. This is just a progressive way to the continuous implementation of technology. Safety is real, but the term is used as a weapon to shut down critics.

    After all, who could possibly be against "safety"? It wins every argument, everytime.

  • Near-zero emission vehicles   14 weeks 4 days ago    

    The higher Nox emissions at low duty cycle is not a surprise, the current system needs to maintain high exhaust temps across the catalyst face to interact with the DEF and convert the Nox. Your not going to achieve this normally on low cycle cycle.
    Second point, NG engines are great but mandating the engines isn't the issue, fleets need the fueling infrastructure to support them otherwise it's a moot point.

  • And just like that, platooning is here   15 weeks 3 days ago    

    This is called drafting and drivers can do it often without a computer engaging brakes or accelerator for them.

    Drivers, you must get it together - and fast. The white collars of this industry are pushing quickly to remove you from the picture completely.

  • Complying with FSMA: Is your fleet ready?   15 weeks 3 days ago    

    Hi, Sandy. Thank you for your comment. I'd be happy to discuss these waivers with you if you'd like to email me: cristina.commendatore@penton.com.

  • Your move: The second step to propane autogas   15 weeks 3 days ago    

    Hi Joe,
    Nice article. I have a question though. How does cooled EGR hold up in these gas applications? What happens when it eventually fails?
    Thanks
    Mike

  • An early look at variable engine-driven accessories   15 weeks 3 days ago    

    Hi Dave Jr, Very insightful commentary. I would like to compare notes?
    I can be reached at drfuelinstein@yahoo dot com or mcolburn@engineangel dot com.

    Thanks
    Mike

  • ELD exemption for short-term rentals a good idea   15 weeks 4 days ago    

    This is an EXCELLENT suggestion and has great merit for the trucking industry.

  • Complying with FSMA: Is your fleet ready?   15 weeks 4 days ago    

    I received an FSMA Update yesterday, 4-5-17, announcing three waivers to the rule. Do you have any comment on those waivers? I don't understand "subject to separate State-Federal controls". We haul groceries to our supermarkets.

    Here's what it said.....
    "Today, the FDA announced the publication of three waivers to the now final Sanitary Transportation rule mandated by the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
    The waivers are for businesses whose transportation operations are subject to separate State-Federal controls. They include:
    • Businesses holding valid permits that are inspected under the National Conference on Interstate Milk Shipments’ Grade “A” Milk Safety Program, only when transporting Grade “A” milk and milk products.
    • Food establishments authorized by the regulatory authority to operate when engaged as receivers, or as shippers and carriers in operations in which food is delivered directly to consumers, or to other locations the establishments or affiliates operate that serve or sell food directly to consumers. (Examples include restaurants, supermarkets and home grocery delivery services.)
    • Businesses transporting molluscan shellfish (such as oysters, clams, mussels or scallops) that are certified and inspected under the requirements established by the Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference’s (ISSC) National Shellfish Sanitation Program (NSSP) and that transport the shellfish in vehicles permitted under ISSC authority......"

  • An early look at variable engine-driven accessories   15 weeks 4 days ago    

    Hi Michael,

    Interesting article. The problem with regulations is that they typically focus on one outcome (saving fuel in this case) and not the entire life cycle to see if energy has been saved or not. It is proving time and again that the market knows best, especially in terms of efficiency.

    The belt driven cooling fan should have been ditched long ago in favor of electric fans that can fit tighter to the radiator shroud. I envision four variable speed fans, each activated at incremental coolant temperatures. The largest benefit may go to the body designers, who no longer have to work aerodynamics around the radiator that has to stand tall in front of the engine. I'd rather not see any belts, pulleys or any external moving parts on an engine. I'd say no to a clutched air compressor. However, maybe there are efficiency gains with a scroll type compressor with fancy valving. Ditto with the air conditioner compressor, although this should be electrically driven so that it can pull double duty with an APU or battery pack. No idling! One technology that you didn't mention is engine start/stop. I'm not in favor of it, but I fear manufactures will have to look at it to appease government regs. It may not be too crazy so long as the accessories could be kept live, in light of automated transmissions. Think of all those long downgrades and coasting up to stop signs/lights. Oh! And get rid of those damned engine (jake) brakes.

    Thanks for the thought provoking article.

  • COMMERCIAL PICKUPS: Built to work   15 weeks 5 days ago    

    By the way, I noticed that majority of commercial pick are powered by Cummins and some companies install Fass fuel system and parts to improve the performance mpg.

  • Your truck just got placed out of service. Now what?   15 weeks 6 days ago    

    A great article but I wanted to add a few extras. I was a Police/ DOT Officer from 1986-2011. I put many trucks OOS for many different reasons.

    1. You cannot cause or create a violation to fix another. So you can't remove a front turn signal bulb ( not OOS) to fix a rear turn signal bulb ( OOS).

    2. You do not have to be a certified mechanic to fix anything except making brake adjustments. And then, you can get trained by a mechanic to do that part.

    3. You do not have to show or prove that you fixed something unless the officer is going to wait and watch. If the officer leaves and you have fixed the violation...just go.

    4. If the violation is not an OOS , than it doesn't have to be fixed immediately. You could get it fixed but you don't have to.

    5. Combination brake OOS. Based on the 20% rule, if you have a truck and a trailer brake out of adjustment / not working etc. You cant fix just ONE brake ( which takes you below the 20% thresh hold) and than drive off with one illegal brake. Any condition/ violation that causes or contributes to an OOS violation much be fixed before you leave.

    6. Daytime or lack of rain is not a repair. If you have non-working lights or wipers , the rising of the sun or the skies drying up doesn't change a thing. OOS means OOS until the violations are fixed.

    7. OOS means you are shut down where you are placed OOS. You can ask the officer if he/she can actually put you OOS down the road a couple of miles at a shopping center etc. Think ahead of the repair truck that comes out and how safe is it to try to perform a fix along the road. You aren't OOS until the officer marks and declares you to be OOS. I have allowed trucks to move to a better location for this exact reason.

    8. If possible always take several digital pics of the violation in case you disagree and want to file a DataQ challenge or go to court over a citation.

    9. Thanking for the officer for finding something you didn't ( or did) know about can go a LONG way to getting through an inspection. I didn't always write a citation for an OOS , especially if it was a really easy fix ( loose pigtail).

    Be safe out there !

    Andy Blair dotinspector@gmail.com

  • FCA pokes holes in vehicle frames to cut weight   15 weeks 6 days ago    

    Instead of cutting (poking) holes (which creates stress risers), how about stamping/rolling parts of the frame so that there are thin sections surrounded by thicker sections. Production cost (versus "poking" holes) might be about the same or possibly less. Not as much weight saved, but the strength factor of the web section is retained.

  • COMMERCIAL PICKUPS: Built to work   15 weeks 6 days ago    

    1 of the best commercial pick is Ford F150 and in Asian country Hilux.

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