Saturday, August 17, 2019

“Managing” can minimize downtime: Why trucks experience unscheduled downtime and addressing remedies

Unexpected out-of-service events, especially when they happen on the road, are always expensive—too expensive to be dismissed as being inevitable. Yet many fleets, in their busy day-to-day operations, too often fail to address how the road breakdowns that they do experience might be avoided in the future.

Dick Hyatt, president of Decisiv Inc., a provider of service relationship management software that can help minimize unscheduled downtime, said, “The traditional costs of commercial vehicle maintenance are measured in hard dollars, but while the trucking industry focuses on cost pressures and other challenges, many completely out of their control, fleets still ignore the fundamental business impacts associated with days out-of-service for service and repair events. This fundamental flaw misses the impact that this has on revenue, customer and driver retention and net profit.”

Ryder System Inc. is one fleet that has not fallen victim to neglecting the financial problems associated with unscheduled downtime. While it’s a call no one ever wants to get, Ryder’s management knows if it happens, getting a disabled truck back on the road as quickly and safely as possible is vital. The company also understands it’s important to determine exactly what caused the problem so procedures can be developed to minimize or eliminate such problems in the future.

According to Ryder, heavy-duty trucks often experience at least one emergency breakdown annually. Not only are such events disruptive, compromising delivery schedules, customer commitments and product safety; they also can be dangerous. Idle vehicles and their drivers waiting for assistance are exposed to the dangers of drivers who are distracted or traveling at high speeds.

Prevention via PMs

Based on experience with its more than 2,000 assets, Ryder found that the most frequent reasons for road breakdowns are tires, electrical system problems, brake issues and running out of fuel. It also found that regularly scheduled, thorough preventive maintenance (PM) routines can help pre-empt many such problems before they cause emergency situations.


Melvin Kirk, vice president of maintenance and quality operations at Ryder, said, “Traditionally, when a vehicle came in, we would execute the activities that were mandated by federal or state regulations or by our customer’s requirements. We now have intensified our focus around what we have started calling the perfect PM. This is essentially taking advantage of the opportunity, during each preventive maintenance routine, to execute all of the maintenance activities that might be required at that time.

“The objective of such activity is to ensure that the vehicle will run from that event to the next scheduled PM without any break in service. That means we execute everything from existing campaigns to any necessary repairs—doing more of a diagnostic evaluation of the vehicle at the time of the scheduled PM in order to prevent any unscheduled event midstream.”

Efficiency is important

Ryder looks upon a PM as an opportunity to improve the overall health of a vehicle. During time studies done in its shops, the company found that a maintenance technician, left only with his experience and a PM sheet, could walk as much as 4 mi. while working on a single vehicle.


“To correct this,” Kirk said, “we establish the most efficient flow around the vehicle to minimize all of that walk time. We now also have the parts readily available that will be needed for the scheduled routine based on historical PM data. For example, any filters that will be needed will be right at hand. As a result, our technicians can more efficiently execute a PM from a quality and a speed standpoint. That is one of the most significant advances we’ve made over the last two or three years in our maintenance routines. We’ve taken time and distance out of the exercise and improved the quality of it.”

As indicated above, Ryder data indicate that tire problems are the most frequent cause of on-the-road breakdowns. This is particularly true during the summer months. Kirk said, “We find tires represent a very important part for maintenance uptime; so in our PM routine we stress an evaluation of the health of tires.”

The fleet’s maintenance technicians will do everything from rotating to changing out tires during preventive maintenance events to minimize the chance of having any issues before the next scheduled PM from the tires or wheels. The entire wheel system is evaluated every time they see a vehicle. They record the wear on each individual tire on the vehicle and have protocols in place requiring the position of the tires be changed if there is an excessive variance between two side-by-side tires. They also look at the wear patterns of the tires all around, which could result in changing a tire or rotating it across the vehicle. Kirk said, “In our preventive maintenance routine, we also do laser measurements to ensure we have correct wheel alignment.”

Ryder Heavy Duty Truck Fleet program
Ryder is good, but no one is perfect, so if a vehicle fails on the road the fleet has established breakdown analysis teams in each one of its shops with specified roles in each one of our shops that are responsible for determining exactly what led to the problem.
Service island activity

Once a truck crosses the threshold of a Ryder facility, the first place it’s going to go is to a service island. At that island there will be a service attendant who will initiate the fueling of the vehicle. He or she will also do a prescribed inspection around the vehicle that will include lights, tires, windshield along with a visual inspection of the undercarriage etc. Kirk said, “We maintain a 12- to 17-point inspection depending on the vehicle type that comes into the service island. Every time you cross the threshold of a Ryder facility, we are going to inspect that vehicle as if we were evaluating it from the DOT standpoint, as well as a maintenance health standpoint.”

Although drivers are required to do pre- and post-trip inspections of their vehicles, Ryder does not make the assumption that either of those has been done as completely as possible nor does the company make the assumption that when a vehicle enters a Ryder facility that there hasn’t been some issue develop since its last inspection. Kirk said, “Such a policy allows us to catch many issues, for example, small fuel leakage or a light that might be out, which could draw attention during a DOT inspection standpoint or, more importantly, from a maintenance standpoint.”

Breakdown analysis and warranty

Ryder is good, but no one is perfect, so if a vehicle fails on the road the fleet has established breakdown analysis teams in each one of its shops with specified roles in each one of our shops that are responsible for determining exactly what led to the problem. Such a program has proved to be an effective method of improving the fleet’s PM and fueling station inspection programs.

Although it was not established to be so, the breakdown analysis program has also been an important contributor to effective warranty management for the fleet. Kirk said, “It forces the team to go back through the information about the event and make a forensic analysis of what happened. Was the failure related to activities we did or should have done during our PM or was it the result of a premature failure of a part? Was it possibly an engineering related issue of the vehicle itself? Once they do that, we have a fairly robust understanding of the cause of the event and if it was related to the failure of a component, which would allow us to make a warranty claim. We also share that analysis with the rest of our team members to help shorten the time required to analyze a future event.

Technology can help

Many of its customers use telematics to provide management data related to hours of service and operational safety. Ryder has taken a further step and is accessing information from the engine’s ECM via telematics on the condition of the engine itself. Kirk said, “Using this information we can alert the customer to any impending problems with the vehicle. We plan on building up, over time, more and more data that will help us better understand the on-road health of our vehicles.”

Another technology that offers fleets the possibility of addressing the causes of vehicle down time is offered by the use of service relationship management (SRM) software to measure and manage the causes, both internal and external, of service and repair events to improve vehicle uptime and availability. Decisiv Inc., a supplier of such software, has found that formal attention of vehicle’s days out of service can significantly influence a fleet’s bottom line.

Some conclusions, based on a recent survey of nine fleets attending the company’s maintenance summit, are of particular interest. These fleets averaged:

• 277 tractors;

• 9,538 revenue miles per truck per month;

• $20,695 in revenue per month ($2.17 per mile);

• 1.51 service events per month; and

• 3.19 days out of service (DOS) per month.

Using average industry financial data, Decisiv calculated that, were these fleets able to reduce days out of service by just 25%, they would achieve a monthly increase of $1,123 in revenue per tractor, a 5.5% increase in asset utilization, an increase of $685 in variable operating expense (due to increased truck utilization) and an increase of $438, or 45%, in net profit per truck. Note these are monthly figures! According to Decisiv, the use of its service relationship management software can achieve these improvements.

Unscheduled downtime can significantly deteriorate a fleet’s profits. Attention to the reasons why trucks experience time out of service and subsequent attention to eliminating those reasons can help increase a fleet’s bottom line.

Source: http://www.fleetequipmentmag.com/verizon-telematics-eld-ready-bundles/


Wednesday, August 14, 2019

FUEL SAVING TIPS FOR TRUCKS: REDUCE IDLING, SAVE ON GAS

STUDY PROVES TURNING YOUR VEHICLE OFF MINIMIZES BOTH FUEL CONSUMPTION AND CO2 EMISSIONS.

You may have heard that it takes more fuel to turn your vehicle off and back on again than it does to stay idling when stopped. One fast food chain even made a claim that it was “Greener” to use the drive-through than parking and walking in for a to-go order. With fuel costs and anti-idling laws being an essential consideration for vehicle owners and fleet managers, it’s important to know the facts.

The fact is that even for short stops, it saves fuel to turn off your vehicle. Idling for even 10 seconds produces more CO2 emissions and burns more fuel than simply turning your engine off, and restarting. This was found by a study done by Argonne National Laboratory, and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Program.

IDLING STUDY RESULTS
Engineers were tasked to study vehicles in the Argonne laboratory’s Advanced Powertrain Research Facility to determine the impacts of idling and restarting. Dynamometer tests were conducted at the facility and revealed that parking a vehicle, turning it off, and then restarting it uses less fuel and produces less CO2 than idling for just 10 seconds. In addition, the study also revealed that the fastest way to warm up a car engine is to drive the vehicle, not by idling it. Argonne found that depending on the vehicle’s size, 0.2 to 0.5 gallons of fuel per hour is used when idling.

EMBRACE ANTI-IDLING LAWS
With these findings, and as states, provinces, and countries continue to introduce climate change action plans and green initiatives focused on greenhouse gas emissions, now is the perfect time to start embracing an anti-idle mindset in day-to-day driving and work operations. And for those that use air compressors, the VMAC UNDERHOOD70 – Green Series Air Compressor integrates perfectly into environmentally-friendly and fuel-conscious operations.

UNDERHOOD70-GREEN SERIES AIR COMPRESSOR
The VMAC UNDERHOOD70 – Green Series Air Compressor produces up to 70 CFM at 100% duty cycle. This powerful rotary screw air compressor is installed under the hood of the work truck and its throttle control automatically adjusts truck engine idle speed just enough to match air demand, which reduces fuel consumption. What’s more, the easy-to-use VMAC intelligent digital controls also cut down on idling, as the control system shuts the truck off when air isn’t being used, and then automatically turns the truck back on when air is needed. This reduces fuel consumption and emissions as the vehicle is not idling when tools are not in use. Learn more about the VMAC UNDERHOOD70 – Green Series Air Compressor.

VEHICLE IDLING STUDY CONCLUSION
Going back to the fast food chain’s claim, no, it is not greener to use the drive-through than it is to park and pick up your order inside the restaurant. Here are the facts:

  • Idling for more than 10 seconds burns more fuel, and produces more C02 emissions than turning the engine on and off
  • Idling for an hour uses 0.2 to 0.5 gallons of fuel, depending on the vehicle, and fuel consumption increases as idling speed increases
  • Warming up a vehicle by driving is more effective than idling

Consider these findings next time you find yourself idling your truck, whether working on a job site, picking up a food order, or warming up your truck this winter. And when planning to purchase a new air compressor, consider the VMAC UNDERHOOD70 – Green Series Air Compressor.

Source and learn more at: https://www.vmacair.com/blog/


Related blogs: Going Green with VMAC: Lightweight & Fuel Saving Air Compressors

Sunday, August 11, 2019

A&T Road Service is More Than a Towing Service!

A & T Road Service and Towing


Not only do we provide 24 Hour Emergency service, we could come out and do light mechanical work on site to our customer's fleet and avoid the truck having to come in the shop. 

We will go just about anywhere for anything, at any time. We have a wide normal service area and have been known to go beyond those boundaries by request.

See our Service Area.



Thursday, August 8, 2019

Why do Cars Get Impounded?

Impounded cars are those placed in tow yards legally before they are returned back to their owners, recycled, auctioned or completely destroyed. Impounding agencies must have a legal right before impounding a vehicle. The agents tow the vehicle once they find it in their list of automobiles for impounding.

Police or private agencies have the right to impound vehicles that are violating the law and store them in their yards. The law allows them to store impounded cars until all the fees charged are paid. They are licensed to have your vehicle impounded. If not, find a lawyer to represent your case in court.
Auctioning of abandoned vehicle is often organized to assist in recovery of cash used during towing and the time the auto was stored in the yard. This is usually done if the owner of the vehicle is not found, the owner doesn’t want the car anymore or if the vehicle has overstayed in the yard.
Before retrieving your impounded vehicle, you first need to understand why it was impounded in the first place. This will allow you plan accordingly.

Reasons cars get impounded

    i. Driving with no license
    ii. Possession of a stolen car
    iii. Car was involved in an accident
    iv. The car isn’t insured
    v. Over speeding
    vi. Your car was found abandoned on the road
    vii. Driving under suspension
    viii. Outstanding fines for parking
    ix. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
    x. If your car got involved in assaulting someone
    xi. If the car is not correctly parked
    xii. Your registration is expired
    xiii. If you are violating traffic rules
    xiv. Driving vehicles that are not roadworthy
    xv. If your car is exposing the public to potential health hazards or any other risks

Impounded Vehicles

Has the vehicle been impounded illegally?

In case your car gets impounded illegally, contact a criminal defense lawyer to help you fight for your lawful rights. Most people with impounded cars often make claims of ownership and get collection letters. Once at the correct impounding station, you’ll be needed to prove your identity and ownership of the car.

Sometimes, you might not be able to retrieve your car by yourself due to unavoidable circumstances. If you’d wish to send someone on your behalf, let them bring with them a letter of authorization signed by you, a copy of your driving license and an insurance certificate to prove your identity.

The cost of retrieving your vehicle

Getting your car back for free is almost impossible; there are fees that must be paid before you get your car. The police or private agencies charge you storage and towing fees. All your outstanding charges and fees must be cleared. Abandoning your vehicle because you don’t want to pay charges is not advisable.
It might result in your car being auctioned or completely destroyed. Afterward, you won’t have any claim for that car. The impounding agencies would benefit from auctioning your car. Even so, the municipal or companies you owe debts for years would still want you to pay them.
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Monday, August 5, 2019

When Your Truck Is Down, You Can Depend On A&T Road Service and Towing

Our Service Area

Call 800-434-1205

This  map indicates our approximate service area. Our goal is to get to you within 1.3 hours and most often, on a clean run, we can be there in just under an hour. Although we have sometimes gone further than this circle--and we will still--this approximate 50-60 mile radius from our home base in Fairfield, CA is what we call our call area.

Of course, most of our calls are probably within 25 miles and we get there even sooner, but rest assured that we will do everything within our power to be there as quickly as possible because when your truck is down, time is very important.



We are centrally located in Fairfield CA which is approximately 45 miles from San Francisco or Sacramento and about 50 miles from Stockton. We regularly service Fairfield, Vallejo, Rio Vista, Napa, Vacaville, Travis AFB, Winters, Dixon, Davis, Benicia, St. Helena, Calistoga, Suisun City, Green Valley, Crockett, Hercules, San Pablo, Richmond, Concord, Walnut Creek, Martinez, Boyes Hot Springs, Sonoma, Allendale, Cordelia, Pleasant Hill, Pittsburg, Antioch, Novato, American Canyon, Truck Scales and much more.

We've even gone as far as San Jose, the South Bay and the Peninsula because we always answer the phone 24/7. Solano County is our home turf, but readily service Napa County, Yolo County, Contra Costa County, Sonoma County, Sacramento County, and San Joaquin County, Alameda County and Marin County. We also have been known to travel to San Francisco County, Santa Clara County and San Mateo County. In fact, if you need immediate service, we will travel where ever we need to in order to take care of your problem. We are at your service and we mean that sincerely

Friday, August 2, 2019

What You Need to Know If Your Car Is Towed After an Accident

A car crash can mean a lot of work for you. As you navigate your medical needs, report the crash to your insurance company, and work to protect your legal rights, you also have to deal with the headache of getting your car back if it’s been towed and paying the towing fees. When your car is towed after an accident

The police will likely order that your car be towed if it cannot be driven from the accident scene. You may have no choice as to where it is towed and may later need to have it towed again from a storage lot to a mechanic. Often, a storage fee is assessed for every day that your car remains in the storage lot. For these reasons, the cost of towing your vehicle can quickly add up to hundreds of dollars or more.

Who Pays for Towing Costs After a Crash?

The answer depends on the actions you take and the terms of the insurance policies that are applicable after your crash. Many insurance policies that include collision coverage will cover reasonable towing and storage fees. The term “reasonable” may be defined in the insurance policy as a number of days. It is important to comply with the terms of the policy, so you don’t end up paying the costs out of your own pocket. If you are physically unable to take action, it is important to have someone do it on your behalf.

Additionally, it is important to have the necessary insurance adjusters come look at your car before it is moved from the storage lot. They will want to assess the damage before the car is moved. You should document every attempt to contact the insurance company, so you have proof of any insurance company delay that costs you money. You may also consult with your lawyer about what actions you can take to protect your rights if this type of delay occurs.
Getting Your Car Back After It’s Towed

The first thing you need to do is determine the towing location. You can ask for this information from the police and the towing company at the scene of the crash. If you are unable to do so, someone acting on your behalf should find out as soon as possible after the accident. You can then contact the storage facility about getting your car yourself or getting it towed to a mechanic of your choosing.

Learn more at: https://www.kffjlaw.com/blog/what-to-do-if-your-car-is-towed-after-a-car-crash.cfm

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

SO CAL ALTCAR Conference, Expo and Ride and Drive - Oct 16th, 2019

2019_socal_riverside_header_website.jpg

California's trailblazing commitment to alternative technology transportation, infrastructure and energy.

Learn more at: https://www.altcarexposocal.com/

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Path to electrification not straight to linehaul: Mack


OAKLAND, CA – Mack Trucks continues to see a healthy future for diesel engines, even as alternatives like electrification begin to emerge.

“Diesel today, it’s performing extremely well. It’s cleaner than it’s ever been, it’s robust, it’s versatile,” said Roy Horton, director – product strategy, during a briefing in Oakland, California. As for talk about electric trucks? “It’s almost a little bit of an uphill battle there.”

Electrification is “on the bubble, and it’s something everyone is looking at,” he said, admitting that the recent unveiling of Elon Musk's Tesla Semi attracted attention. “It’s definitely going to be part of our future.” Just not for longhaul. Not right away.

Mack believes the earliest adopters of electrification will be operations with the chance to charge at a home base and not depend on general infrastructure for fuel. That includes refuse, local delivery, and public transportation fleets.

Next would be applications with fixed routes where infrastructure is established but longer ranges are less of a concern. That opens opportunities for local distribution, regional haulers, and select vocational segments.

Longhaulers would be the last to use the trucks, drawing on power from secured infrastructure.

For its part, Mack has already been working with electrification in its own right. It unveiled a range-extended LR refuse truck in 2016, and a diesel-electric hybrid drayage truck. With Siemens it is also experimenting with the idea of electric highways, with vehicles drawing on the power of wires strung along the routes. The company is producing electric buses, too.

Mack will focus on electrification where it’s “commercially viable”, stressed Jonathan Randall, Mack’s senior vice president – North American sales. As for new players such as Nikola Motors and Tesla? “Competition is good.”

Mack’s work with alternative power sources hardly ends there. It already has experience with biodiesel, ethanol, hydrogen, natural gas, propane, and Dimethyl Ether (DME).

“We have, and continue to investigate, all of the viable alternatives,” Horton said.

“Mack is well-positioned, no matter which way the market goes.”


Source: https://www.todaystrucking.com/path-to-electrification-not-straight-to-linehaul-mack

By John G. Smith, Posted: Dec 4, 2017 10:29 AM | Last Updated: Dec 4, 2017 10:36 AM

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Baldwin Filters | Construction – It’s In Our Blood



A little dirt never hurt anyone. But a little dirt can destroy your engine. When the days are long and the season is short, you don’t have time for a breakdown. We have the filters where and when you need them. CONSTRUCTION – IT’S IN OUR BLOOD

Sunday, July 21, 2019

About Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)


History

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000, pursuant to the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999 (49 U.S.C. 113). Formerly a part of the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries. Activities of the Administration contribute to ensuring safety in motor carrier operations through strong enforcement of safety regulations; targeting high-risk carriers and commercial motor vehicle drivers; improving safety information systems and commercial motor vehicle technologies; strengthening commercial motor vehicle equipment and operating standards; and increasing safety awareness. To accomplish these activities, the Administration works with Federal, State, and local enforcement agencies, the motor carrier industry, labor and safety interest groups, and others.

Activities
Commercial Drivers' Licenses
The Administration develops standards to test and license commercial motor vehicle drivers.

Data and Analysis
The Administration collects and disseminates data on motor carrier safety and directs resources to improve motor carrier safety.

Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
The Administration operates a program to improve safety performance and remove high-risk carriers from the Nation's highways.

Research and Technology
The Administration coordinates research and development to improve the safety of motor carrier operations and commercial motor vehicles and drivers.

Safety Assistance
The Administration provides States with financial assistance for roadside inspections and other commercial motor vehicle safety programs. It promotes motor vehicle and motor carrier safety.

Other Activities
The Administration supports the development of unified motor carrier safety requirements and procedures throughout North America. It participates in international technical organizations and committees to help share the best practices in motor carrier safety throughout North America and the rest of the world. It enforces regulations ensuring safe highway transportation of hazardous materials and has established a task force to identify and investigate those carriers of household goods which have exhibited a substantial pattern of consumer abuse.
Updated: Monday, March 31, 2014

Learn more at: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov

Thursday, July 18, 2019

38 foot Fifth Wheel Rollover Recovery


This one fought us from the start . The RV was totaled the minute it went over . We did not have a lot of options to get this one out of the ditch . Only place we could get under it was on the right rear unfortunately the right side also had two sliders that made that side of the RV very weak . On first pick the rear of RV broke . At this point I decided to just get it out of the ditch and open State Highway up . We had traffic backed up on both sides so we just continued with the winch out .

Monday, July 15, 2019

Tank Truck on Bridge - Heavy Recovery - Sweden


A Scania tank truck fully loaded with diesel came of far to the left of the road. When the driver tried to steer back on the road, the truck went up on three wheels and tipped over. It came to halt lying on the side, in the middle of a bridge. First, the cargo of 16.000 liters of diesel fuel was pumped out of the tank truck. Now the truck has to be pulled backwards for 150 meters, to an area where there is enough space to raise it back on to its wheels again. This may look spectacular, but made no further damage to the vehicle.

Friday, July 12, 2019

FordPass™: Built To Keep You Moving | FordPass | Ford


With FordPass,™ rewards are just a tap away. It’s the only app that puts maintenance, rewards, roadside assistance and connectivity in the palm of your hand.*

*Based on U.S. auto manufacturer owner’s mobile apps only. FordPass Connect is an optional feature on select vehicles and is required for certain remote features. Service includes 1-year trial for remote features, excluding Wi-Fi hotspot, that starts with vehicle sales date (after which, fees apply). Connected service and related feature functionality is subject to compatible AT&T-network availability. Evolving technology/cellular networks may affect functionality and availability, or continued provision of some features, prohibiting them from functioning. Certain restrictions, 3rd-party terms or message/data rates may apply.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Rightsizing Your Vehicle Fleet to Conserve Fuel

Fleet rightsizing is a management practice that can help vehicle fleet managers build and maintain sustainable, fuel-efficient fleets. Fleet inventories often grow over time to include vehicles that are highly specialized, rarely used, or unsuitable for current applications. By evaluating fleet size and composition, managers can optimize vehicle use, conserve fuel, reduce emissions, and save money on fuel and maintenance.

Evaluate Vehicle Needs and Use
Fleet managers should understand their fleet's daily vehicle use and needs. Most fleet managers already have a handle on their number and type of vehicles, average mileage, payloads, and fuel economy. Fleet rightsizing combines this information with a critical look at fleet operations to identify opportunities to reduce energy use. When rightsizing, fleet managers should evaluate how important each vehicle is to the fleet’s performance by asking themselves:

What tasks are accomplished by each vehicle? Or, what is the drive cycle?

What is the daily, weekly, or monthly mileage of each vehicle? Or, what is the duty cycle?

Are fleet vehicles the optimal vehicle type, class, and size for the job?

Are there any vehicles that are no longer cost effective to operate or are no longer fulfilling their purpose?

Are there any vehicles that are no longer being used or have experienced a lot of downtime?

What is the fuel consumption of each vehicle? Can any vehicles be replaced by lighter, more fuel-efficient vehicles?

What is the age of the vehicles? Can any vehicles be replaced by newer, more efficient and reliable vehicles?

Are there any alternatives to owning or leasing a vehicle, such as shuttle bus services, motor pool vehicles, sharing vehicles with other offices/agencies, vehicle stipends, public transportation, or short-term rentals when needed?

Considering the answers to the previous questions, what is the optimal composition of the fleet required to properly support the fleet’s needs?

In addition to reviewing telematics or fleet analysis data, fleet managers should consider soliciting input from drivers when conducting a rightsizing review, as they can be very knowledgeable about how vehicles are being used to support operations. Gathering this input also gives drivers a stake in the development of rightsizing recommendations. Fleet managers can solicit input through driver surveys or face-to-face meetings to establish consensus.

A fleet rightsizing strategy should evaluate the business case of each vehicle to determine whether reassigning, replacing, or eliminating the vehicle would reduce fuel and maintenance costs without compromising fleet activities. Fleet managers often need to define evaluation criteria and rank vehicles to complete this analysis. A fleet dominated by sport utility vehicles, for example, may find that mid-size sedans can suffice with a significant reduction in fuel costs.

Fleet managers may develop their own analysis or use existing evaluation tools. The Vehicle Allocation Methodology developed by the U.S. General Services Administration is an evaluation framework that federal agency fleets use to ensure fleets are cost-effective and contain the appropriate number and type of vehicles. Learn more about this methodology in the Comprehensive Federal Fleet Management Handbook (PDF).

Make Smart Vehicle Purchases

Fleet managers may decide to replace older vehicles with more fuel-efficient or alternative fuel vehicles. These purchasing strategies may help fleet managers make decisions that meet operational needs and conserve fuel:

Transition to Smaller, More Efficient Engines: Using smaller engines can help fleets meet operational needs without downgrading vehicle class. Some fleets choose to switch from 6-cylinder to 4-cylinder engines to help reduce fuel use and emissions. In many cases, the new, smaller engine can have nearly the same horsepower as a larger engine. Fleet managers can also improve fuel efficiency by selecting smaller engines with optional gearing for their application.

Choose Lighter Vehicles: When purchasing new vehicles, look for opportunities to reduce vehicle weight. Lightweight materials, such as aluminum frames, and smaller components can reduce rolling resistance and drag, thereby improving a vehicle’s fuel economy. For example, a 10% reduction in vehicle weight can improve fuel economy by 6% to 8%. Also, try to avoid unnecessarily large body configurations and heavy accessories. For more information, refer to the North American Council for Freight Efficiency's Confidence Report.

Use Alternative Fuels and Vehicles: Alternative fuel and fuel-efficient advanced vehicles can reduce a fleet's fuel use, making them economical options for many fleets. Cost savings from vehicle maintenance, operation, and fuel use and price often offset higher purchase prices.

Source: https://afdc.energy.gov/conserve/rightsizing.html

Saturday, July 6, 2019

U.S. Senators press for speed limiters on trucks

TORONTO, Ont. – Ontario and Quebec introduced a speed-limiter program for trucks 10 years ago, setting the maximum speed for heavy-duty vehicles at 105 km/h, or 65 mph.

Now the United States wants to follow suit amid a sharp rise in fatal accidents involving large trucks. Two U.S. senators have introduced a bill that would require trucks to be equipped with speed limiters, also set at a maximum speed of 105 km/h.

Road-safety advocates such as Road Safe America and the Truck Safety Coalition have been lobbying Congress for months to pass such a legislation.

“The majority of trucks on our roads already have speed-limiting technology built in, and the rest of the technologically advanced world has already put them to use to ensure drivers follow safe speeds,” said Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson, who sponsored the bill with Democratic Sen. Chris Coons.
“This legislation would officially enforce a long-awaited speed limit of 65 mph on large trucks and reduce the number of preventable fatalities on our busy roadways.”

The senators noted that the Department of Transportation delayed action on speed limiters for more than 20 times since it was first proposed in 2011.

The Trucking Alliance, a safety coalition of transportation and logistics companies, said it was hopeful Congress would pass the legislation.

More than 140,000 people were killed or injured in large truck accidents last year alone, the group said.

Safety advocates also point out that the speed limiters won’t cost extra money because most trucks already have the technology in place.

An Ontario Ministry of Transportation study revealed that speed-related, at-fault collisions involving large commercial vehicles fell by 73% after the legislation took effect, according to the Ontario Trucking Association.

The study compared data from 2006-08 to 2010-12, the association said in a report published in 2017.

Source:  http://www.trucknews.com/transportation/u-s-senators-press-for-speed-limiters-on-trucks/1003092258/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=newcom&utm_campaign=TruckNewsDaily&utm_content=2019070380754

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

A&T Road (and Shop) Service

If we need to take it to our shop, we have a full service truck repair facility with the capability to service and repair virtually any truck or trailer.


We repair engines, axles, brakes, electrical, hydraulic, tires and wheels, trailers, air brakes and hoses, transmissions and we even do a little body repair when needed. We carry replacement parts and all the tools we need to get what ever needs fixing done as quickly and efficiently as possible. Most of the time, we can do the repairs at the site of the truck breakdown. 

But if we have to tow, at our facility, we have tens of thousands of parts, fittings, filters (we have one of the largest selections of Baldwin filters in the U.S.), brake linings, belts, hoses, brake drums, electrical parts--you name it and we probably have it and if not, we can get it very, very quickly. We have a large selection of Grote lighting products including LED. We stock a huge selection of Goodyear belts and hoses for all truck uses. Our entire business at North Bay Truck Center and A&T Road Service is fixing your truck right the first time in the minimum amount of time.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Weigh Safe Drop Hitch Product Video


The Weigh Safe Drop Hitch is the one and only trailer hitch with a built-in scale that signals you to adjust your load before you hit the road, resulting in a much safer and enjoyable towing experience. Before this ball mount, gauging your trailer’s tongue weight was a hassle. You had to rely on inefficient bathroom scales, make a trip to the weigh station, or purchase a separate tongue weight scale. But with the Weigh Safe’s built-in scale, measuring your tongue weight is as easy as coupling your trailer to your ball mount. Simply hook-up your trailer to the Weigh Safe ball mount just as you would any other ball mount. The weight of your trailer will push down on the hitch ball, which in turn pushes down on an internal hydraulic piston that sits on a bed of oil. When the piston drops into the oil, the pressure reading is sent out to the scale.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Ford Telematics: The Power of Choice | Ford


Ford Customer Solutions now offers access to unprecedented data and options for fleet managers looking to optimize their business. Ford Telematics™ is a simple, yet powerful tool that delivers manufacturer-grade information, insights and solutions right to your fingertips. The easy-to-use interface enables you to manage your fleet in real-time and quickly assess where you need to take action.

Monday, June 24, 2019

As trucks get more complex, so does fleet maintenance

Technicians are turning to new tools and technologies to overcome these challenges and reaping dividends through predictive maintenance and less vehicle downtime. 


The growing complexity of modern trucks is driving changes at maintenance shops and for the workers who have to navigate this increasingly digital world.

“Electronics allow vehicles to have a better conversation with technicians than ever before,” said Kristy LaPage, business manager of the commercial vehicle group at Mitchell 1. “In the transition from mechanical to electronic control systems, there has also been a shift from technicians to diagnosticians. Vehicle electronics are the source of information that can become actionable, so shop solutions are evolving with this change.”

“The digital shop is not only changing inspection and maintenance practices,” said Jeff Sweet, solutions engineer at Decisiv, a provider of a service relationship management (SRM) platform. “Advancements in sensors and monitoring continue to improve fault condition filtering and help prioritize work based on fault severity.”

Photo: Noregon

A solution that simultaneously diagnoses all components is now essential as an intake tool for technicians.

Also constantly under development are the tools technicians need to service advanced electronic systems.

“A solution that simultaneously diagnoses all components is now essential as an intake tool,” stated Tim Bigwood, CEO at Noregon Systems, a provider of JPRO commercial vehicle diagnostic and monitoring solutions. “And those tools have evolved because while previously there were limited fault trees to consider based on symptoms, today’s vehicles are more complex, so the aid of a diagnostic and repair solution is a necessity.”

The increase in electronics on vehicles is allowing for real-time access to the equipment’s operating conditions and fault data, noted Renaldo Adler, industrial principal, asset maintenance, at Trimble Transportation Enterprise.

“Fleets now have access to a vast amount of diagnostic data needed to repair assets faster,” he said. “Inspections can also be improved with the use of electronic diagnostic tools, which analyze the equipment’s condition and any active faults, so maintenance departments are able to be proactive.”
Remote diagnostics

All of the original equipment manufacturers offer systems on their new trucks that provide diagnostic data. These sensor-based and telematics-driven solutions can improve maintenance efficiency and vehicle uptime.

Kenworth dealers, for example, use diagnostic data from TruckTech+ Remote Diagnostics.

“We have found it can cut the time a unit is in our shop by 30%,” said Josh Hayes, branch manager at NorCal Kenworth – San Leandro. “We’ve also found that among trucks with TruckTech+ Remote Diagnostics, we’re seeing about a 15% reduction in the number of trucks that must be towed because remote diagnostics allow us to monitor fault codes and diagnose issues to determine if a truck can be driven into the shop.”

Photo: Mack Trucks

For OEMs, part of the value of remote diagnostics systems is that the vehicle is effectively reporting its own status.

Sanjiv Khurana, general manager of digital vehicle solutions at Daimler Trucks North America, said with the Detroit “virtual technician” system, maintenance managers get real-time alerts and a plan for critical faults. When the truck arrives at the service location, the diagnostic information and fault history allow the technician to get a jump-start on the repair process.

At Peterbilt, SmartLinq remote diagnostics have been integrated with reasoning engine technology to enable more precise diagnostic information, fault code collection, and enhanced analysis by linking cascading faults.

Volvo, Mack, and Navistar also offer their own systems, aimed at reducing downtime and allowing for over-the-air software updates.

“With the increase in electronics on commercial vehicles, fleets have a better understanding of vehicle health,” said Brian Mulshine, director of customer experience for Navistar’s OnCommand Connection.

In short, the value in all of these remote diagnostics systems is that the vehicle is effectively reporting its own status to a maintenance operation.

“The key for truck fleets is to apply electronics to enable a proactive system that adds value and not cost,” said Wally Stegall, technical fellow, director at Morey Corp.

Robert Braswell, executive director of the Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC), noted that greater vehicle complexity makes preventive maintenance more of a challenge. “Until enough fleet data in the field is gathered, it makes it more difficult to optimize service and inspection schedules for new electronic systems,” he explained. “But increasing complexity can bring with it sensor-based maintenance strategies that can help with self-diagnostics.”

Source: https://www.fleetowner.com/maintenance/trucks-get-more-complex-so-does-fleet-maintenance?NL=FO-02&Issue=FO-02_20190321_FO-02_446&sfvc4enews=42&cl=article_1_b&utm_rid=CPENT000004488230&utm_campaign=23847&utm_medium=email&elq2=5bd8750c9eba4791abe0019c109758f6

Friday, June 21, 2019

Tongue Weight Safety Demonstration


Proper trailer tongue weight improves the vehicle and trailer towing experience by improving performance. Not enough tongue weight or force on the hitch/tow ball causes an increase in trailer sway from side to side, making it difficult to control. Conversely, too much tongue weight or force on the hitch/tow ball could overload the rear tires of the towing vehicle, pushing the rear end of the vehicle around. This could also negatively affect the vehicle handling. Performance is impaired as you might not be able to go around corners and curves properly, and your vehicle may not stop quickly enough when you press the brake pedal. The Weigh Safe Drop Hitch effectively measures the tongue weight of your towing load, improving the vehicle tow load balance and performance.

Learn more at: https://www.weigh-safe.com/

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

How to Properly Load a Trailer - CURT


This short video will teach you how to properly load a trailer. The most important thing to consider is how the weight of your cargo is distributed onto your trailer. The ideal distribution is to have 60% of the weight in front of the trailer axle, and 40% behind. Its also very important to make sure your cargo is secured properly. Always practice safe towing.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Ford Service Advice: Do I Need an Oil Change? | Service Advice | Ford


This helpful video will explain why it’s important to keep up with regular oil changes to help ensure your vehicle lasts a long time.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Fleet Safety and Driver Monitoring

Deploying Fleet Safety: Saving Costs, Saving Lives.

Driver behavior contributes to over 90 percent of the crashes that kill tens of thousands of people and cost billions of dollars annually. Improving fleet safety involves more than simple driver monitoring and reactive policy measures—it requires a proactive solution to verbally coach drivers in real-time to develop safer driving habits.
ORBCOMM technology is squarely focused on the driver, and offers the only real-time fleet safety solution that detects unsafe driver behavior and offers verbal coaching before a crash or fineable offense occurs.
Improve Fleet Safety with Verbal Driver Coaching
  • In-cab Verbal Coaching: Send automated in-cab verbal alerts in real-time when drivers are speeding or driving aggressively.
  • Speed-by-Street™: Send automated verbal alerts when drivers exceed the speed limit on any given road segment.
  • Lane Departure & Collision Avoidance: Alert drivers in real-time if they drift outside their lane or get too close to other vehicles.
Keep Drivers Safe and in View
  • Seat Belt Use Alerts: Ensure drivers are wearing a seat belt by sending alerts to drivers and managers.
  • Crash & Roll Over Detection: Receive instant notification via phone, text or e-mail when a vehicle has been in a crash.
  • Road Hazard Awareness: Allow drivers to communicate with each other regarding hazardous areas including debris, construction and severe weather conditions.
  • Emergency Call/Panic Button: Call for help via hands-free cell network communication with a single push of a button.
  • Signal Jamming Detection: Help prevent hijacking by detecting the use of GPS and GSM jammers. Track stolen vehicles via GPS.
Monitor Drivers for Enhanced Fleet Performance
  • Automated Exception Alerts: Receive instant notifications via text, e-mail or phone call when a driver commits a serious violation.
  • Driver/Vehicle Inspection Reports (DVIR): Create fully customizable vehicle inspection checklists for operators to complete electronically.
  • Driver/Fleet Scoring: Automate driver/fleet scorecards to identify safe drivers and those in need of additional training.
  • Work Alone Timer: Allow drivers to set up timers warning management if they do not return to the vehicle within a given time frame.
  • Vehicle Inspection Alerts: Send timed checklist alerts to remind drivers of pre/post-trip instructions and inspection requirements.


Thursday, June 6, 2019

Ford Service Advice: Do I Need New Tires? | Service Advice | Ford



This video will explain the importance of having proper tread on your tires to ensure safety, performance, and handling, how to check tread depth, as well as key signs that you may need to replace your tires. Learn more about Ford Service Advice here: http://ford.to/FordOwner

Monday, June 3, 2019

How to perform a Class A CDL Pre-Trip inspection.



Jeff from Apex CDL Institute demonstrates how to perform a proper pre-trip inspection on a Class A tractor trailer. Remember, your states examiners might require a slightly different procedure. The process we use is good for both Kansas and Missouri and will pass easily in most states.

Friday, May 31, 2019

5 Tips to Increase Fuel Economy

 Increase Fuel Economy

When budgeting for expenses, there are a lot of things that fall outside of your control. For the most part, fuel can be one of those things that’s generally “just a cost of doing business.” However, there are a lot of things you can consider to reduce, or mitigate as much as possible, fuel costs on the job. Check out these five things to consider.

Idle Time

Idling your work truck on the jobsite has become a fairly common practice, and sometimes it’s necessary. At times, things like inverters, power takeoffs, air compressors, and more require the engine to be cranking in order to work. However, don’t let the necessity to idle for those functions become a common occurrence of convenience when it isn’t needed. You’d be surprised how quickly cutting those idle minutes can add up over the span of months or years.

Vehicle Maintenance

For a glut of reasons, you should be properly maintaining your work trucks. But one added benefit to regular maintenance is increased fuel economy. Regular fluid changes, changing filters, and routine engine tune-ups keep your truck’s powerplant optimally efficient. In addition to maintaining the powertrain, properly worn and inflated tires can make a big difference in fuel efficiency.

Slim down

Do you really need to carry everything and the kitchen sink from jobsite to jobsite? You don’t, and your truck will thank you for not doing so. Loading your truck with only the tools for the job at hand reduces weight, and reduced weight is a major factor in fuel economy.

Lose the Leadfoot

Your driving habits may be the number one factor in fuel efficiency. When you drive with the intention of efficiency, it shows. While it might be a slow and steady ride, your wallet will thank you later for taking it easy on the gas pedal. Planning service calls in an efficient manner can help you save time and miles. Make sure you’re not driving cross-town multiple times when a little planning could have gone a lot further.

Right Truck, Right Job

This isn’t something you can change on the fly, but our last suggestion is the make sure you’ve got a fleet that’s appropriate for your line of work. If you’re over-specing your vehicles, you’re wasting fuel. If you’re under-specing your trucks, you’re also wasting fuel. It’s vital that you put a lot of thought into having the right class of truck, truck body, and work, trailers that allow you to do your job, and do it most efficiently.

Source:  https://www.knapheide.com/news/blog/2019/01/5-tips-to-increase-fuel-economy


Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Introduction - Driver Training for On-Highway Heavy-Duty Truck Engines


Driver Training for On-Highway Heavy-Duty Truck Engines – Part 1 of 13 in a series of chapters from the Cummins On-Highway Heavy-Duty Truck Engine Driver Training Video Series updated in 2015. This segment is the Introduction to the video series.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

75 chrome shop truck show!! 2019


A quick video of us going to the 75 chrome shop truck show, saw some awesome trucks and had a great time!

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

About Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)


History

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000, pursuant to the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999 (49 U.S.C. 113). Formerly a part of the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries. Activities of the Administration contribute to ensuring safety in motor carrier operations through strong enforcement of safety regulations; targeting high-risk carriers and commercial motor vehicle drivers; improving safety information systems and commercial motor vehicle technologies; strengthening commercial motor vehicle equipment and operating standards; and increasing safety awareness. To accomplish these activities, the Administration works with Federal, State, and local enforcement agencies, the motor carrier industry, labor and safety interest groups, and others.

Activities
Commercial Drivers' Licenses
The Administration develops standards to test and license commercial motor vehicle drivers.

Data and Analysis
The Administration collects and disseminates data on motor carrier safety and directs resources to improve motor carrier safety.

Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
The Administration operates a program to improve safety performance and remove high-risk carriers from the Nation's highways.

Research and Technology
The Administration coordinates research and development to improve the safety of motor carrier operations and commercial motor vehicles and drivers.

Safety Assistance
The Administration provides States with financial assistance for roadside inspections and other commercial motor vehicle safety programs. It promotes motor vehicle and motor carrier safety.

Other Activities
The Administration supports the development of unified motor carrier safety requirements and procedures throughout North America. It participates in international technical organizations and committees to help share the best practices in motor carrier safety throughout North America and the rest of the world. It enforces regulations ensuring safe highway transportation of hazardous materials and has established a task force to identify and investigate those carriers of household goods which have exhibited a substantial pattern of consumer abuse.
Updated: Monday, March 31, 2014

Learn more at: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov

Sunday, May 19, 2019

A & T Road Service - The Ambulance Service for Trucks.


A&T "Mobile" Heavy Duty Truck and Trailer Road Service is a 24-hour, 7-days a week roadside mobile truck repair service for light and medium-duty to heavy duty commercial trucks and trailers. At A&T "Mobile" Truck Road Service we like to think of ourselves as the "Ambulance Service for Trucks." If your truck is broken down, we will come to you and perform the necessary triage to get you back on the road. Now includes towing, load adjustments, and more. Not only do we provide 24 Hour Emergency service, we could come out and do light mechanical work on site to our customer's fleet and avoid the truck having to come in the shop.

Learn more at:  https://www.truckmobilerepair.com/


Thursday, May 16, 2019

Autonomy: Partnerships of sky and ground

What is likely to happen on the road to autonomous vehicles is partnerships between truck makers and tech companies.   

autonomous trucks

Sticking with the theme of disruption and transformation, nothing has the potential to be more disruption in the trucking industry than autonomous vehicles.

At a recent NationaLease meeting, guest speaker John Paul MacDuffie, professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, said that autonomy requires new hardware components and lots of AI software. Engineering talent will be one of the keys to its success along with the ability to get the system integration piece of the equation right. MacDuffie does not see technology firms jumping in to manufacture vehicles but rather, working on developing operating systems for autonomous vehicles.

We are already seeing incremental moves toward autonomy with some of the advanced driver assistance features that are available on trucks today. This includes things like collision mitigation and lane departure systems.

The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) has defined six levels of autonomy from zero (no automation) to 5 (full automation). MacDuffie believes there is a big leap in getting from Level 2 autonomy to Level 3.

Level 2, or partial automation, allows steering and acceleration and deceleration to be automated “using information about the driving environment…with the exception that the human driver perform all remaining aspects of the dynamic driving task,” according to the SAE definition. The human driver is tasked with monitoring the driving environment.

In Level 3, or conditional automation, the system monitors the driving environment while the driver will respond appropriately to a request by the system to intervene.

“Level 3 automation is particularly tricky,” MacDuffie said. How to safely transfer control from the computer to the driver, particularly in emergency situations, needs to be worked out. “[There has to be a] balancing act of providing drivers with the benefits of autonomy — like not having to pay attention — while ensuring they are ready to grab the wheel if the [vehicle] encounters something it can’t handle.”

What is likely to happen on the road to autonomous vehicles, according to MacDuffie, is partnerships between truck makers and tech companies — what he calls “partnerships of ‘sky’ and ‘ground.’”
He added, “The winning combination will succeed not just in meeting customer needs/wants, but also societal goals and expectations.”

SOURCE:  https://www.fleetowner.com/ideaxchange/autonomy-partnerships-sky-and-ground?NL=FO-02&Issue=FO-02_20190516_FO-02_185&sfvc4enews=42&cl=article_4&utm_rid=CPENT000004488230&utm_campaign=24750&utm_medium=email&elq2=f9e997d742a94887aa813eec4c80d2e2

Monday, May 13, 2019

Gas vs. Diesel: Which To Spec

Gas vs. Diesel Blog

Today’s comprehensive selection of commercial vehicle engines offers many benefits to customers.

A myriad of choices enable customers to select the engine that best fits their application without sacrificing torque, fuel efficiency, horsepower and more.

While the vast engine choices create additional value, it can also create a dilemma when it comes to properly spec’ing the engine for the intended application of the vehicle. Purchasers may be overwhelmed by the selection and consequently choose an engine that doesn’t best fit the requirements. Over spec’ing and under spec’ing are common mistakes, leading to lost efficiency, productivity or a longer return on investment period.

Within the last few years, commercial vehicle manufacturers have vastly increased engine choices. The most notable additions have been diesel engines within several Class 1 light duty pickups and gasoline engines within Class 6 and Class 7 medium duty trucks. While gasoline engines still dominate Class 1 and diesel engines make up the majority of Class 6 and Class 7, these new engine choices make the decision much more analytical than ever before.

So how do you know which engine is right for the job? There are many factors to consider as it pertains to the engine when in the market for a new commercial vehicle.

Cost
Commercial vehicles would all be perfect if cost didn’t need to be factored into the equation.

Unfortunately, the real world operates on financial constraints so unlimited funding for your next work truck just isn’t feasible. That being said, cost is a major influencer on the selection of the commercial vehicle, especially as it relates to the engine.

Acquisition costs can be substantially higher with diesel engines, stretching from $8,000 more in light duty commercial vehicles up to $12,000* in heavy duty commercial trucks. Gasoline engines offer the advantage with significantly lower acquisition costs.

Horsepower & Torque
Selecting an engine with enough horsepower and torque is vital for success with many commercial vehicles. The most common application considered for ample horsepower and torque is pulling a trailer, regardless of size. The more weight on the trailer, the more important horsepower and torque becomes. Other applications, including hauling bulk material, should also pay close attention to the horsepower and torque ratings of an engine as these vehicles are consistently hauling the maximum available payload.

While gasoline and diesel engines have similar horsepower ratings, they are vastly different with torque. Looking at a class 3 pickup, the diesel has a slight advantage in horsepower rating yet boasts a torque rating two times that of the gas engine**. Point being, if you are towing heavy loads or your application relies upon torque to get you moving a diesel will be the better fit for you.


Fuel Efficiency
Federal regulations have forced commercial vehicle manufacturers to maximize fuel efficiency within new vehicles, regardless if they contain diesel or gasoline engines. This has caused the gap of fuel efficiency between gasoline and diesel engines to shrink. Historically, diesel engines have held the advantage of fuel efficiency over gasoline engines. Today, you can expect a slight difference between most gasoline and diesel engine choices. For instance, with a light duty Class 1 pickup you can expect to see a combined fuel efficiency rating of 20 mpg with the gasoline engine and a combined fuel efficiency rating of 23 mpg with the diesel engine***.

Commercial vehicle customers should compare the price per gallon of diesel and unleaded fuel and factor in projected annual mileage to determine overall fuel costs.

PTO Provisions
Snowplows, dumps, cranes, many different applications require a power-take-off (PTO). To avoid potential compatibility issues, ensure the engine (and transmission) you select will allow for PTO installation. Many truck manufacturers offer a “PTO prep” option, making the installation of the PTO unit more seamless for the upfitter.

At one time, your only choice for PTO compatible engines were diesels. Today, many manufacturers offer gas engines that can easily accommodate a PTO unit for auxiliary equipment.

Idle Frequency
Engine idling is common within many vocations that employ commercial vehicles to get the job done. Today, many local and state regulations are in place to discourage companies from engine idling. This has led to many product developments, including stand-alone, mobile power systems that mount on the commercial vehicle. For companies that are still allowed to idle their engines on the job, there are obvious benefits associated with diesel engines.

Diesel engines idle at a lower speed and are engineered for severe duty cycles, making them the more popular choice within high-idle applications.

Maintenance
The longer the life cycle of the vehicle, the more vital engine maintenance will become. There are many considerations to be made as it pertains to maintenance including cost of replacement parts, preventative maintenance intervals, qualified technicians, warranty coverage and more.

While diesels have longer maintenance intervals and warranty coverage, there are additional components and requirements (DEF fluid) that aren’t found on gasoline engines. Diesel replacement parts tend to be more expensive and finding qualified diesel mechanics can be a challenge in certain geographic areas.

Cost leans heavily towards gasoline while torque, engine life, fuel efficiency and idle frequency favors diesel. PTO provisions and maintenance are heavily reliant upon the application. As always, be sure to have a clear understanding of the intended application of the vehicle to help ensure you make the best selection for the job at hand.

*Comparing 2016 Ford F-250 gas(6.2L) and diesel (6.7L) pickup for light duty and 2017 Ford F-750 gas (6.8L) and diesel (6.7L) cab chassis for heavy duty, prices are MSRP from ford.com.
**Comparing 2016 3500HD pickup with Vortec 6.0L V8 gas engine rated at 360 horsepower and 380 ft-lb. of torque and Duramax 6.6L V8 diesel engine rated at 397 horsepower and 765 ft-lb. of torque
***Comparing 2016 Ram 1500 2wd with a 3.6L gas engine with 2016 Ram 1500 2wd with a 3.0L diesel engine, both models with 8 speed automatic transmission. Data obtained from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (nhtsa.gov).

Friday, May 10, 2019

Alternative Fueling Stations - Locator APP

  Alternative Fueling Stations- screenshot thumbnail

The Alternative Fueling Station Locator app helps you find fueling stations that offer electricity, natural gas, biodiesel, ethanol (E85), propane, and hydrogen.

Use your current location or enter a custom location to find the 20 closest stations within a 30-mile radius. View the stations on a map or see a list of stations ordered by distance from your location. Select your alternative fuel of choice and adjust the custom filters to fit your needs.

Select a station from the map or list to view contact info and other details:

- address, phone number, and hours of operation
- payment types accepted
- public or private access
- special services
- compression (natural gas)
- vehicle size access (natural gas)
- number and types of chargers (electric)
- blends available (biodiesel)
- blender pumps (ethanol)

The app draws information from the U.S. Department of Energy's Alternative Fuels Data Center, which houses the most comprehensive, up-to-date database of alternative fueling stations in the United States. The database contains location information for more than 25,000 alternative fueling stations throughout the country.


Learn more at: https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=National+Renewable+Energy+Laboratory


Saturday, May 4, 2019

Every fleet has a common goal to significantly minimize roadside service call.


It is well documented that the No. 1 cause of roadside service calls is tires. No wonder, there are 18 tires on a typical line-haul service vehicle, more tires than any other vehicle component. You can have the best vehicle maintenance program on the planet, but once that truck leaves the terminal, a number of tire issues can occur that can lead to a roadside service call.

Tread area punctures are the top cause of air loss. A tire failure depends on the size of the puncturing object, in combination with the specific penetration location. If that nail penetrates through one of the tread grooves, chances are higher the nail will break through the tire casing, causing air loss. Tires do not normally have a sudden air loss when a vehicle picks up a puncturing object; they lose air slowly. It may take a few days to lose enough air pressure where the tire sidewalls begin excessive flexing, which generates additional heat build-up.

The tire footprint becomes longer as the tire pressure is reduced, meaning more rubber on the road—which also leads to increased heat. Heat is a tire’s worst nightmare. When a tire continues to generate excessive heat, the rubber actually begins to chemically break down, which will lead to a tire failure. The fact that someone just checked all 18 tires at the morning vehicle walk-around has no bearing on picking a up a nail five minutes down the road.

Sidewall damage/snags are another cause of tire failure. Right side or curb side trailer tires are especially prone to sidewall issues. Vehicles that turn frequently in city driving have the highest incidence of tire sidewall damage. Driver education can play a major role in reducing trailer tire sidewall damage. Drivers who have been on the road for many years will have fewer trailer tire sidewall damage issues than a new driver.

When a vehicle is pulled over for a roadside inspection, tires are high up on the inspector’s checklist. Inspectors are looking for tires with tread depth below the minimum 4/32-in. for steers and 2/32-in. for drives, trailers and dollies. They also are looking for exposed belts and/or fabric along with flat tires. By definition, a tire is flat when the measured air pressure is 50% or less of the maximum tire pressure molded onto the tire sidewall.

If any of these tire conditions are present, the vehicle is flagged as being “out-of-service.” A roadside service call is the only solution for getting the truck up and running again.

There is no excuse for a fleet to have an inspector flag its vehicle as being out-of-service because of a tire-related issue. These types of tire conditions should have been caught during the daily vehicle walk-around. Drivers must be trained to visually inspect tires, take tread depths and even measure tire pressure. It sounds like it is routine, but it’s not. Working with your tire professional on a tires 101 training class will go a long way to reduce roadside service calls.

Visual tire inspections should include running a hand over the tread and sidewall to look for signs of irregular wear and punctures. If a tire is getting close to the legal tread depth, a tread depth gauge measurement is strongly suggested. Make sure to check that the tread depth gauge measures 0 on a flat. Don’t take a measurement at a treadwear indicator location or on top of one of those stone ejectors located at the bottom of many grooves. If you do, you could be off 2/32-in. or 3/32-in.

Measuring tire pressure using a calibrated pressure gauge is very critical. Air carries the load, and tires with low air pressure will lead to excessive heat and premature tire removals. Tire gauges are simple devices, but will quickly lose accuracy. Even a new stick gauge is only accurate to +/-3 PSI brand new, out of the box.

A serious tire program, which includes comprehensive driver training regarding tires, will go a long way in reducing-tire related roadside service calls.

Learn more at: http://www.fleetequipmentmag.com/reducing-tire-related-roadside-service-calls/










Wednesday, May 1, 2019

5 Benefits of Having a Truck Optimized GPS on Your Phone


If you are a trucker working hard day and night, it is essential to choose a truck optimized GPS as your navigation tool while getting behind on wheels. The fastest routes navigated by the standard GPS may cause you ending with more time and money unpredictably.

Here is the list of benefits to get a GPS navigation tool that are specially designed for truckers.

  • · To Avoid Low Clearance Or Truck-Restriction Routes
  • By using the GPS tool that is intended and designed only for truckers, it certainly helps you to avoid the non-friendly truck routes, low clearance or low bridges that could crash your truck trailer.
  • · Save Money On Fuel
  • NO more feeling headaches of searching for the best deal on fuel. There are bundle of GPS navigation tool provides you the up-to-date and accurate diesel price of nearby fuel stations.
  • · Delivery Freights on Time.

The truck specified GPS tool helps you to prevent the traffic congestions. You can plan the route to an unfamiliar destination in advance according to the live weather and traffic conditions provided.

· Save Time
No doubt, you can save your precious time in searching for the nearby Truck POI locations with the truck optimize GPS. Knowing in advance where to pull over your truck, it is definitely beneficial for you.

· Convenience
Within the GPS system, you can easily find the nearby Walmart stores with truck parking, scales, truck washes, hotels and restaurants nearby. It is the most convenience way to find places to fill your stomach and take a nap or relax your mind.

The Truckbubba app is the best companion app for truck drivers in North America. This app is integrated with several different mobile app assistants such as Truck Weigh Station App, Diesel Fuel Locator App, Truck Route Planner, Speedometer, Weather Forecast, etc.

Speedometer feature is a speed limit alert that allows you to adjust the speed limit for highways and cities respectively with no speeding violation.It will automatically warn you with vivid yellow or red value if your truck is over speeding.

Truckbubba app — Truck optimized GPS with speed limit alert is the best matching solution to ensure the safety of the truckers on the road.

Learn more at: www.truckbubba.com


Sunday, April 28, 2019

Why does Rolling Resistance matter in the real world?

Some 13% of the power produced by the engine to move a long haul rig along a smooth road at 65 mph is “lost” due to Rolling Resistance. What is it, what causes it, and how can you help to reduce it.



What is Rolling Resistance?
Rolling Resistance is the term used for the energy required to roll a tire over a particular road surface.

It can be viewed as a Parasitic Power Loss, accounting some 13% of the total energy required to move a long haul tractor-trailer combination over a smooth road at 65 mph.

What causes Rolling Resistance?
Rolling Resistance is caused by the following factors

The deformation of the tire in the contact patch and the sidewalls as it rolls (this accounts for some 80% – 95% of Rolling Resistance – Michelin)
Aerodynamic drag of the rotating tire
Friction (microslippage) between the tread and the road surface
Rolling Resistance is also greatly impacted by condition of the road surface.

Why does it matter?
Because it is energy LOST, it is equivalent to a power loss. Power made by the engine is not fully usable, and inhibits forward movement of the vehicle.

Fuel consumption is therefore increased because of this parasitic loss.

How can you reduce Rolling Resistance?

  • Keep tires properly inflated. Properly inflated tires minimize deformation of the contact patch and side walls, and keeps energy loss to a minimum.
  • Use “green tires”, with rubber compounds and treads designed to minimize this energy loss. As much as 35 HP may be “saved” at 65 mph at 80,000 lb.
  • Use of single wide-base tires in place of dual assembly tires. Two dual tires have four sidewalls as opposed to two for a single tire, thus reducing the side wall flex and energy loss.
  • Larger diameter tires have slightly lower energy loss due to the fact that there is less bending of the tire as it enters and leaves the contact patch.



Thursday, April 25, 2019

Florida Tow Show 2019, Tow Trucks, Big Rigs, Mega Trucks and More!


Welcome to the 2019 Florida Tow Show. The towing industries largest international show held at the beautiful Hilton Hotel in Lake Buena Vista FL, near Disney and Orlando. Everything from huge expensive trucks to smaller versions. See them all right here. Enjoy and thanks for watching.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Tips for Maintaining and Driving on a Spare Tire

how to maintain a spare tire

While most drivers realize the importance of taking care of their tires, there’s one tire that usually gets overlooked – the one in your trunk.
But some people assume that because they haven’t used a spare,that it can operate like new. Accidents resulting from faulty or poorly maintained spares happen more than most drivers think. Learn how to safely drive on a spare tire, and what precautions you can take to help keep your spare in working condition.

How to safely drive on a spare tire

When you resort to driving on your spare, it’s important to know the limitations of your new tire. Remember the answers to these three questions to ensure you’re using your spare correctly:
  • How fast can you drive on a spare tire? Spares were not designed to drive at the same speed as regular tires; never let your speed exceed 50 miles an hour when you’ve got a spare on your car.
  • How far can you drive on a spare tire? As a rule, most spare tire mileage is around 50 miles. They were built only as a substitute to get you safely to a place where you can get your tire repaired.
  • How does driving on a spare affect other tires? As noted, driving on a spare is not a long-term solution. It can wear out your full-sized tires faster and, if driven for too long, can throw your car out of alignment.

Spare tire maintenance

Consumer Reports and other well-regarded sources on tire safety say that although the tire doesn’t have the same road wear as the four active tires on your vehicle, drivers need to inspect the spare regularly and replace it if the tire is over eight years old – that is unless a vehicle’s owner’s manual recommends changing the spare sooner.

Check spare tire pressure regularly

In addition to not letting your spare age in the trunk of your car, you need to make sure it’s getting plenty of air. All tires lose pressure with changes in the temperature, and your spare is no exception. It’s a good idea to check the tire pressure in your spare on a regular basis – and always before heading out on a road trip. It’s not useful to replace a flat tire with a spare when your spare’s tire pressure is also low.
One way to ensure your spare is ready to roll is to have it inspected every time you have your tires rotated. This is usually something that should be done about every 5,000 miles. Just ask your tire technician to inspect the spare and make sure it’s properly inflated and in good condition.
If your spare does have damage, it’s wiser to replace it rather than attempt to repair it. Space-saver or “donut” spare tires aren’t intended for long-term driving and can become worn much more quickly than a standard tire – particularly if they’re driven at too high a speed or for too many miles. A damaged spare isn’t likely to perform well, even after being repaired, so it’s much safer just to replace it.

Make sure your spare hasn’t been recalled

Just like full-size tires, sometimes spare tires can be defective. You can visit the National Highway Traffic Safety website to check for recalls and make sure that your spare is safe for driving.
If you need help replacing a flat with your spare, or need to fix a flat without a backup tire, Nationwide’s 24-hour emergency assistance program can provide a quick tire change. Get back on the road faster with Roadside Assistance.
If you need help replacing a flat with your spare, Nationwide’s 24-hour emergency assistance program can provide a quick tire change. Get back on the road faster with Roadside Assistance.


Source: https://blog.nationwide.com/driving-on-a-spare-tire/