Recent comments

  • Truck vs. Rail   46 weeks 4 days ago    

    Good Insight, the Future looks bright for both industries.

  • Cold Weather Fuel Issues: The Safe Answer is Gelling   46 weeks 4 days ago    

    Some of the comments made by Mr. Stuart need to be corrected based on my more than 41 years of experience in the fuel additive business (specializing in diesel fuel additives).

    First, diesel fuel does not have to be "... below -15 degrees before fuel even begins to gel." While it is true that most pipelines require a -15F Pour Point (the actual solidification temperature - completely solid fuel), not all diesel fuel is pipelined. And, the Pour Point of a diesel fuel can easily be considerably above -15F.
    The true fact is the paraffin content of a diesel fuel begins to solidify at of slightly below the fuel Cloud Point Temperature. Typical Cloud Points in the USA in the winter time can range from +20F to 0F degrees depending on the region of the country, the refiner who made the fuel and the supplier who may or may not have added any kerosene or an additive.
    As the temperature continues to drop below the fuel Cloud Point, more and more paraffin will turn into wax. As this happens the fuel IS beginning to gel - it is not completely solid, but the fuel wax crystals WILL plug up fuel filters. The paraffin wax crystals can "float" in the diesel fuel, but because they are heavier than the fuel, they typically drop to the lowest part of the fuel delivery system which is also where the fuel is usually drawn into the engine.

    Second, Mr. Stuart is correct that any moisture (water) in the diesel fuel (absent any de-icing additive) will freeze into ice crystals at fuel temperatures well above when the paraffin content changes to wax crystals. Absent a de-icer in the fuel, the moisture content can freeze at +32F.

    Third, there is NEVER "... a point you need kerosene." Kerosene has less BTU (heat energy) Content so it will result in significantly less fuel economy/MPG mileage, it is very dry so it does not lubricate the fuel system adequately and it is much more expensive than diesel fuel.
    PLUS, kerosene blending in today's diesel fuels is not like it use to be. In fact, our lab testing of four typical diesel fuels indicates the fuel CFPP (Cold Filter Plugging Point - the temperature at which a fuel filter is likely to plug up because of paraffin wax) will only be lowered by 0 to 3 degrees F with 10% kerosene, 5 to 6 degrees F with 20% kerosene and 7 to 11 degrees F with 30% kerosene blends. These CFPP reductions will NOT materially improve the engine operability in cold weather (and the cost to blend those percentages of kerosene will be large).

    Fourth, Mr. Stuart's inference that everyone in Canada blends kerosene instead of using fuel additive is totally incorrect. The fact is, most diesel fuel users in Canada DO use fuel additives and the ones that purchase the 'right winterization additives' DO NOT use any kerosene.
    Again, we have a great deal of laboratory testing (verified by actual field applications) that Canadian winter diesel fuels can be treated with additives that allow the fuel users to operate their equipment to temperatures down to -40F (or more) without the addition of kerosene.

    Fifth, I disagree with Mr. Stuart that it "... is rare that that happens" (i.e. fuel gelling). I have seen many instances of gelled diesel fuels and again, our laboratory testing of untreated 'base' diesel fuels indicates Pour Point (solidification) temperatures can be as high as 0F to -5F even in the dead of winter. Without a good Pour Point Depressant additive, this fuel will be solid at those temperatures.

    However, do not confuse Pour Point Depressant additives with CFPP operability additives. Pour Point Depressant additives are typically added at the refinery level in order to insure the fuel flow through pipelines - that is all.

    CFPP operability additives are generally added at the fuel distribution point OR by the fuel users to guarantee the fuel will not plug up.

    Additionally, CFPP operability additives are often combined with Wax Dispersant chemistries that fully suspend the paraffin wax crystals up into the diesel fuels. This prevents the wax crystals from falling to the low parts of the fuel delivery system where they would normally collect and be the first things pulled into the fuel filter when the engine is started. If the paraffin wax crystals are fully suspended and a 'buffering agent' chemistry is also included in the winterizing diesel fuel additive, the wax crystals will remain small enough to pass through the fuel filter. The engine will start and operate properly even in the coldest temperatures.

    Finally, I DO agree with Mr. Stuart that "... a deeper understanding of the problem and clearer explanation to solve it" is critical. Diesel fuel users MUST understand their diesel fuel better and they MUST TEST their diesel fuel and samples of the winterization additive BEFORE they purchase what they intend to use on a year-round basis.
    Gary Pipenger

  • Cold Weather Fuel Issues: The Safe Answer is Gelling   46 weeks 5 days ago    

    A GOOD additive will treat fuel down to -30F or lower when used at the proper dosage rates. That will eliminate the need for expensive kerosene blending in all but the most extreme circumstances.

    A GOOD additive, just like kerosene, will reduce the CP, PP, and CFPP consistently. However, many people do not take into consideration that the starting point for these cold weather operability measurements may START very high. Using a good quality #2 diesel fuel is crucial to any winterization program. The lower the base temps stats, the more likely you are to get good protection in general.

    The biggest drawbacks to kerosene is the dryness and lack of BTU/MPG. True it will beat many poorly made additives on the market where cold temperature responsiveness is concerned, but a GOOD additive pays for itself many times over. Especially when the added treat cost per gallon for kerosene is 3 or 4 times the cost of a GOOD additive.

  • Truck vs. Rail   46 weeks 6 days ago    

    Thanks for the article. To be fair, this is really a Shipper vs Rail fight, rather than Truck vs. Rail.

  • Amp charges into electric trucks, delivery drones   46 weeks 6 days ago    

    I'm betting they don't fly the drones too much in November. They look too much like ducks.

  • Military standards   46 weeks 6 days ago    

    Thank you Sean for running this article! It is much appreciated. Any venue to discuss how good our military drivers are to the public is important in helping get our Veterans hired into the trucking industry. If you would like more info on how you can help or how Veterans can help your company, please email me at

  • Cold-Chain Management for Safety, Profitability, or Both?   47 weeks 3 days ago    

    What a fantastic idea!!! I truly can't wait to hear more about My Food Chain!

  • Distracted driving: One thing at a time   47 weeks 4 days ago    

    Jim, fyi. Frank

  • Will natural gas stall out as heavy-duty alternative?   47 weeks 4 days ago    

    With diesel still selling for $3.50 per gallon or more (which is certainly not a bargain!), and the ability to buy your own CNG for as low as $1.50 per diesel gallon equivalent, there are still substantial savings to be had. NG projects still make a lot of sense; the key is to make sure they are properly designed and executed. Those that understand the economics and savings are still moving full speed ahead.

  • Transportation may be the biggest election winner   48 weeks 4 days ago    

    Mr Kilcarr is looking through rose colored glasses. While the public may have shown interest and/or approval for road and transportation projects, the Republicans in congress have historically and continually refused to adequately fund the highway bills and other funding for infrastructure needs. Ken Simonson, chief economist for AGC, said yesterday at the AEMP Management Symposium in Nashville that he expects transportation projects to drop off due to the habitual lack of funding from the Republican majority in the federal government. In the complicated dance the states must do with the Feds to get matching funds, the new Republican congress will do their best to continue to be wallflowers. Wave at your roadcrews now because they won't be around next year.

  • Mid-Terms: How trucking may score on Capitol Hill   48 weeks 5 days ago    

    This piece just drips with sadness that Rahall lost and DeFazio will be forced to keep the pork flowing.
    We in the industry all seem to scream for low taxes except when it benefits our interests.

  • Get the TMS you want   48 weeks 6 days ago    

    The CMS and its diversification as TMS and FMS and so on in future is definitely a welcome one. Thanks a lof for sharing for this. It will be definitely nice when such ides will be developed as apps enabling all management systems as it is said so in

  • SmartDrive rolls out have-it-your-way onboard video monitoring choices   49 weeks 5 hours ago    

    It is great knowing that they are offering packages for fleet industries. There are other auto businesses that cannot dedicate and provide excessive expenses for security cameras, so them being laid up with options is great. They can choose smaller packages that only fits their budget. And also at the same time, they get to be secured in their travel. Well, as an advice, I recommend this security home alarm business named the for affordable but high quality video monitoring products.

  • Get ready for a wave of trucking regulations   49 weeks 14 hours ago    

    Interesting. Osiecki, thinks that even if Republicans gain control of Senate in tomorrow’s vote – giving them a majority in both houses of Congress – the pace of that regulatory oversight will only slow down; it won’t stop completely. Thus motor carriers need to figure out ways to cope with it all.
    He adds: “Instead the 800 pound regulatory gorilla tends to press ahead, at a slow pace, with no one in Congress or in the trucking industry having the power to slow it much or dramatically modify its contents,”
    For all the trucking/fleet executives here, doesn't that bother you? Doubtful; you'll just keep voting Republican thinking they'll help you.
    It's a good thing you're not this naïve in your daily business dealings.
    If Democrats are a speed boat to statism, Republicans are a barge...they'll get there; it'll just take 'em longer.

  • Putting the drive in driver training   50 weeks 3 days ago    

    part of the problem to get new drivers into the industry is that no one will take a chance with new drivers, and they have to commit themselves of going on the road for 3 years before they can come home. If the industry wanted to grow and get new drivers, then they need to develope incentives for local companies to take on new drivers and train them to be truck drivers. I think that a new driver can be trainned properly if they do not feel the pressure of having to be on the road for 3 years and spending some 6 months sleeping with an instructor in the truck and wondering when they will get home. if they knew that every night they would be home, I feel that a lot of the stress of being a driver would go away and it may intise more people to look at the trucking industry. But with that being said companies have to have some kind of incentive to hire and train new drivers. Sure you gain another driver if they work out but that is a big exspense to take on for a big if.

  • Big blind spots detected in teenage driver knowledge   50 weeks 5 days ago    

    ....and there are those that want to put these same teens on the road with 18 wheels hauling 80k. That's the way to aleviate the driver shortage....or clear the roads.

  • DEF in the Radiator?   51 weeks 3 days ago    

    Interesting Article Darry
    This has been a common problem in the industry for over 15 years I have seen this clear ammonia coolant many times.
    The dye additive that you mentioned in your article is more than just a dye it is also a ph indicator called phenolphthalein (the same stuff used to test ph in pools) so when it goes clear it is letting you know that the coolant ph has become acidic. The reasons that we have seen that cause this are
    1. stray current in the coolant system usually caused from poor chassis to engine grounding. Another good reason to maintain good grounds on a vehicle.
    2. lack of maintenance of the additive package if it is a fully formulated coolant.
    3. newer egr engines are running hotter temps in the egr cooler and this increased heat causes the additive package to break down quickly. Keeping the coolant system performing at 100% is critical.

  • Rethinking LNG as price of diesel plummets   51 weeks 4 days ago    

    I saw the headline (diesel plummets) and I thought, well this must be in Europe, South Amerca or anywhere but the US. Then I began reading the article saying "a long slow decline". I thought that's more to the point. Fuel cost never has and never will go down as fast as it goes up and it never goes back to the previous level. If it did, we'd be paying 30¢ a gallon today.

  • “Free yet faster” becoming key e-commerce shipping demand   51 weeks 4 days ago    

    Sustainability in shipping and supply chain is ciritical especially in apparel retail, where 3rd party suppliers play a major role. I work for McGladrey and there's a very informative whitepaper on our website that readers of this article will be interested in "Count, manage and move: Warehouse inventory control strategies"@

  • Cruisin' Along   1 year 1 week ago    

    I certainly see it as a way of reducing the impact of driver variation on fuel economy. All these "assistance" systems are making it so that the vehicle optimally controls itself to achieve better fuel economy. Fleets have wanted drivers to use curie control more often for decades now. The combination of these GPS based systems and automated transmissions makes it more likely that cruise will be used.

  • Cruisin' Along   1 year 1 week ago    

    Paul, I don't think anyone has ever compiled such a list--thank you! Do you see all the innovation in the area of cruise control as a lead-up to self-driving vehicles?

  • OOIDA says safety data lacking from cross-border trucking pilot   1 year 1 week ago    

    Let's tell it like it is Sean. There is no issue with statistically valid data as Spencer claims. It is just another way for them to derail this from going forward.

    OOIDA and their allies tried to convince the public and their members that there would be 10's of 1,000's of unsafe US salvage trucks running roughshod across the entire USA, operated by unqualified and drug using drivers who would take American jobs and bringing trucks and illegals to the country. Ludicrous yes, but people believed and it never happened.

    The one that successfully passed the obstacles thrown in their path came her with a business plan and a work ethic where personal responsibility assures compliance with rules, because in Mexico, non-compliance can mean loss of license and prison.

    But that is not enough for OOIDA. There could have been 500 Mexican companies participating in the Pilot Program and have a 100% compliance rate and still Spencer and Johnston would find something to whine about.

    And all the while they ignore the enterprise carriers, Mexican-owned carrier that is domiciled in the United States; operates in the United States, conducting cross-border transportation of international cargo that originates in or is destined for a foreign country; and is subject to all U.S., state, and local laws pertaining to motor carrier operations and their vehicles. the Certificate carriers, Mexico-domiciled carriers that have authority to operate its trucks throughout the United States by virtue of having been granted this authority prior to the 1982 moratorium on long-haul Mexican trucking.....

    If OOIDA and Spencer want statistically valid data, this is where to look, not treat these groups as if they don't exist, because to acknowledge them would through their bogus claims out the window.

    In FYI 2013....
    Enterprise carriers were inspected 27,393 times with a driver OOS rate of 1.34% and a vehicle OOS rate of 18.28%, far below the national OOS rates for US carriers and drivers.

    Certificate carriers were inspected 5,597 returning with a driver OOS rate of 1.66% and a vehicle OOS rate of 19.06% still below the national average for US carriers.

    Oh, and for the commercial zone carriers, the drayage trucks, the "junk" that opponents like to refer to when they talk about Mexican trucks?

    FYI 2013 OP-2 carriers were subjected to 465,231 inspections, the majority full inspections.. These "junk" made a pathetic showing... The driver OOS rate for drayage drivers was 2.03% and the vehicle OOS rate was an astounding 16.34% The national OOS average for the US fleet is 5.0% for drivers and just below 22% OOS rate for vehicles.

  • Physical challenges for female drivers   1 year 1 week ago    

    Great question, as it is all about adaptability in allowing greater ranges for reach differences in arms and legs.

  • Physical challenges for female drivers   1 year 1 week ago    

    Ellen, Interesting! Do you see an approach to addressing this problem? Is it a matter of further expanding ergonomic templates in truck design?

  • Don’t Ride Out the Storms: Measure and Manage Them   1 year 1 week ago    

    Anyone factor winter weather into rates?

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