Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Semi-Trailers: Types And Maintenance

A semi-trailer is a type of trailer where the front axle is absent. A significant proportion of its weight is carried by a road tractor, a front axle assembly which is detachable and termed a dolly, or even the tail belonging to another trailer.
A semi-trailer usually comes with a landing gear which supports it when uncoupled. Legs of the landing gear can be lowered for support.
A semi-trailer truck is a road tractor attached to a semi-trailer. It is also known as a semi or eighteen wheeler truck in the US. Typically, the fifth wheel of the truck connects to a semi-trailer Kingpin.
GAWR and GVWR
Each semi-trailer carries weight that is within the weight ratings limit displayed on the its identification/certification plate. There are two valid ratings: GAWR and GVWR
GAWR: The Gross Axle Weight Rating is defined as the structural capability of the lowest rated component of all running gear components, hub, wheels and drums, suspension and spring system, tires, axles, brakes, rims and bearings.
GVWR: The Gross Vehicle Weight Rating is defined as the structural capability of the eighteen wheeler when it is supported by the axles and the kingpin and when the load is distributed uniformly across the cargo space.
The semi-trailer will carry a load that is equal to the GVWR, less the eighteen wheeler weight. Any cargo loaded should be properly clamped down, braced and blocked so that shifting of loads does not occur. Further,it is also required to comply with local trucking laws.
Semi-Trailer maintenance
A semi-trailer should be properly maintained in order to obtain the performance it is built for.
Electrical system: All lights and reflectors should be cleaned. It should be ensured that all lights function properly. Broken reflectors and lights that are burned out should be promptly replaced. Wiring should not be frayed and must be correctly protected. Fuses should not be replaced by metal foils. It is advisable to use parts built by the manufacturer.
Brakes: They should be maintained properly. Eighteen wheeler brakes will function as long as they are not abused. Maladjusted brakes are the principal reason for a lengthier stopping distance. The brake life will be shortened if not maintained. It is better to connect with the manufacturer's preventive maintenance service for an optimal load carrying experience.
Tires: They should not be over-inflated. Tires should be verified for correct inflation when they are cold. They should also be inspected for nail, stones and other foreign objects stuck in the rubber or between duals. It is to be ensured that the dual tires situated on any of the axle ends must have the same diameter. The total load on each tire should not exceed the figure specified by the manufacturer of the tire.
Correct usage of hand-holds and steps: Extreme caution must be adopted when using hand-holds and steps. They are subject to environmental as well as user damage. Ensure that components are maintained properly. They should be firmly attached to the body of the truck.
Safety defects
The semi-trailer manufacturer should be contacted immediately if a safety defect is found. You can also contact the relevant local administering authority. Defective trailers can prove to extremely hazardous on the road. Checking for safety defects must be treated as a priority exercise.
Contact the semi-trucks, heavy equipment specialists at ITAG Trucks & Equipment for more information on drop deck trailer or dump trucks
by Chris CH Green

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/8067341

Saturday, January 26, 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/


Wednesday, January 23, 2019

California Move Over Laws

Please Help Protect Law Enforcement and First Responders    -     Move Over, America!

The Law
Vehicle Code 21809.  (a) A person driving a vehicle on a freeway approaching a stationary authorized emergency vehicle that is displaying emergency lights, a stationary tow truck that is displaying flashing amber warning lights, or a stationary marked Department of Transportation vehicle that is displaying flashing amber warning lights, shall approach with due caution and, before passing in a lane immediately adjacent to the authorized emergency vehicle, tow truck, or Department of Transportation vehicle, absent other direction by a peace officer, proceed to do one of the following:

(1) Make a lane change into an available lane not immediately adjacent to the authorized emergency vehicle, tow truck, or Department of Transportation vehicle, with due regard for safety and traffic conditions, if practicable and not prohibited by law.
(2) If the maneuver described in paragraph (1) would be unsafe or impracticable, slow to a reasonable and prudent speed that is safe for existing weather, road, and vehicular or pedestrian traffic conditions.
(b) A violation of subdivision (a) is an infraction, punishable by a fine of not more than fifty dollars ($50).
(c) The requirements of subdivision (a) do not apply if the stationary authorized emergency vehicle that is displaying emergency lights, the stationary tow truck that is displaying flashing amber warning lights, or the stationary marked Department of Transportation vehicle that is displaying flashing amber warning lights is not adjacent to the freeway or is separated from the freeway by a protective physical barrier.

Caltrans to Motorists: When You See Flashing Lights, Move Over to Protect Highway Workers and CHP Officers

Caltrans electronic highway signs throughout California lit up with a new Move Over message to kickoff a statewide campaign to increase safety for motorists, highway workers and law enforcement.

The message -“Slow or Move Over for Workers, It’s the Law”. Caltrans will also begin a new billboard campaign and issue a public service announcement to television stations statewide reinforcing the Move Over message.

In May and June, three Caltrans highway workers died on the job within 48 days - the most in such a short period of time. Since 1924, 178 Caltrans workers have lost their lives in the line of duty.
“Our goal is to do everything we can to keep our highways safe,” said Acting Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “Motorists must slow down, watch out for highway workers, and safely move over a lane when they see flashing amber lights on Caltrans or other emergency vehicles.”

The joint safety effort by Caltrans, the California Highway Patrol (CHP), the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), and the California Office of Traffic Safety will educate the public on the importance of moving over a lane to protect highway workers and CHP officers.

The CHP will provide the Move Over safety message during their morning traffic updates on broadcast stations statewide, and officers will be on the lookout for motorists not following the law.

“This traffic safety campaign isn’t about writing citations, it’s about providing a safer work environment for everyone who does business along the side of a highway,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. “The only way to prevent tragedies from occurring on the side of the road is by giving emergency personnel, highway workers, and the public adequate space.”

The DMV will display the Move Over safety message on electronic signs in 135 field offices, and highlight the law in its handbook and written driver’s test, where it will appear along with Slow for the Cone Zone information.

“Our collective goal is that motorists will become more attentive as they drive,” said DMV Director George Valverde. “With continued cooperative efforts such as the Move Over campaign, we can further improve highway safety."

The departments will update their web sites and social media pages, such as Facebook© and Twitter©, to reinforce the Move Over message.

“When we see Caltrans, law enforcement, emergency medical services, tow trucks, and other emergency or construction vehicles next to the roadway, they are there for one purpose - our safety,” said Christopher J. Murphy, Director for the California Office of Traffic Safety. “Let's keep them and ourselves safe by giving them plenty of room to operate.”

The Move Over law, which took effect in 2007, was amended in 2009 to add Caltrans vehicles displaying flashing amber warning lights to the list of vehicles for which motorists must move over if safe to do so or slow down.

Source: http://www.moveoverlaws.com/


Saturday, January 19, 2019

The specific application needs of vocational truck suspensions

Kenworth_DrainBro_Dump-2-from-SAF-HOLLAND


The first question you need to ask when spec’ing trucking equipment is a simple one: What’s it going to be doing? Understanding the application and what’s necessary for the equipment to perform properly is the most important thing to know before making any purchasing decision.

Take vocational suspensions, for example. They have different needs than over-the-road suspensions because they will be tackling different jobs, and so there are a few application factors unique to vocational suspensions that fleet managers will need to keep in mind.

To start with, there are three different types of suspensions: air ride, leaf spring and walking beam.
Of the three, market share in the vocational space is divided between air ride and walking beam, dependent on the particular target segment. Many fleets tackling severe-duty applications might prefer a walking beam suspension, for instance, while other vocational segments will prioritize driver comfort and spec an air ride suspension.

Peter Schimunek, marketing segment manager for Western Star Trucks, says that many vocational fleets will choose air ride suspensions because of the stability and cushioning that they offer, which reduces freight damage and driver fatigue. However, he notes, “some air suspension models are best suited for highway applications, so we recommend adhering to manufacturer recommendations for your specific application and weight carrying capacity.”

Of course, “vocational” is a wide umbrella that covers quite a few different types of trucks, and suspension needs will be different for each of them.

“Capacity, stability, ride quality and durability are some of the main considerations when spec’ing a suspension system for a vocational truck,” says Kurt Swihart, Kenworth’s marketing director. “Vocations with a high center of gravity, such as mixers and dump trucks, require suspensions that provide maximum roll stability. In these applications, we typically recommend a walking beam style suspension system. Air suspensions are recommended when ride quality is one of the most important considerations. While air suspensions don’t typically have the same stability as beam style suspensions, there are several air suspension offerings that are specifically designed for vocational applications.”

“The needs of the vocational market are very specialized, and each application focuses on a different aspect of the suspension as the primary requirement,” says Sean Whitfield, director of marketing for Hendrickson.
For example, he notes that the key attributes needed for a suspension in concrete mixer and refuse applications are that it has the ability to maximize carrying capacity while still preserving stability and that it provides lower maintenance costs.

“Weight is an important factor when spec’ing a concrete mixer,” Western Star’s Schimunek notes. “The lighter the truck, the more concrete you can haul, which affects productivity. Choosing the right rear suspension for the job may also result in additional weight savings. However, mixers can get into some rough jobsites, so be sure to spec a suspension with good articulation, ride quality and durability.

“Chassis height is also an important factor as the mixer body must be able to fit beneath the hopper,” he adds. “A lower frame height results in a lower center of gravity, which provides increased vehicle stability. Customers should work closely with their dealer to spec the right suspension for their specific job demands.”

As for dump and crane trucks, Hendrickson’s Whitfield says that loaded stability and empty ride performance must be paired together to survive the terrain and loading cycle of these applications.
“When the vehicle is empty and/or traveling on-road, the equipment and driver must be protected from excessive road inputs,” he says. “When the truck is on-site and either being loaded or being used to lift a load, it must be supported by a suspension with high roll stability.”

Lastly, in heavy-haul applications, Whitfield says that equipment protection and ride quality are crucial to help ensure safe transport of cargo and driver. This, he says, must be done without sacrificing durability and roll stability, demanding a true vocational suspension, and he mentions Hendrickson’s Primaax EX as an example.

Additionally, there are some factors that apply across the board for vocational suspensions, regardless of the vocation.

“Vehicle weight, axle capacity, loaded and empty CG height, creep rating, and the operating environment are important application factors to consider,” says Bryan Redeker, powered vehicle systems product manager for SAF-Holland. “These factors are equally important regardless of the type of vehicle.”

Redeker says that it is important to know if outriggers will be present and where they are on the truck, as they may play a role in packaging. It’s also important, he mentions, to know whether there will be lift axles on the truck, how many, and how they will impact loading of the suspension when they are up or down. Additionally, frame rail spacing and package size of the lift axle assembly should be considered, he added.

 Suspension

 SAF-NEWAY-ADZ-Tandem

With specific application considerations for equipment come specific maintenance considerations, and you’ll need to keep them in mind, especially those that are unique to vocational segments.
“Maintenance of vocational suspensions is similar to other suspensions—visual inspection of components and bushings. For those vocational suspensions installed with U-bolts, follow the OEM recommended practices for checking torque,” Kenworth’s Swihart says.

“A key to maintaining a vocational suspension is following proper inspection intervals,” Hendrickson’s Whitfield says. “For these applications, inspections should follow the vehicle OEM and suspension manufacturer’s service instructions, which usually list recommended inspection intervals based on hours and/or miles of operation.”

According to Whitfield, some essential items to check for, especially on vocational suspensions, include potential signs of overloading such as bent or cracked steel components.

“Reviewing the transverse torque rod (TVTR) bushing wear and replacing the TVTR when necessary is particularly important in vocational suspensions,” he adds. “The transverse torque rod keeps the axle aligned laterally on rubber-based suspensions and plays a large factor in supporting the other suspension components. Once that torque rod is fully worn, it is important that it is replaced in order to properly maintain the suspension as a whole.”

SAF-Holland’s Redeker says that it is important to monitor bushings, shock, air springs and fastener torque per the routine maintenance schedule.

“These components are always important to check, regardless of the application,” he notes, while adding, “A fleet operating in severe vocational applications may wish to increase the frequency of checks. Performing the initial 5,000 mile (100 hour) re-torque is critical to suspension longevity—especially the pivot bolt connection.”

Source: Fleet Equipment by

Alex Crissey

Thursday, January 17, 2019

The #1 and #2 Causes of Truck Breakdowns

Our Solutions:

#1 Tires: 



Michelin
Continental
General tire
RoadLux
Bandag
Triangle


#2 Brakes

BRAKE DRUMS & ROTORS
Durabrake
Gunite
Webb
Raybestos
Motorcraft
Centrifuse
KIC
Meritor
Delco
Automann

NORTH BAY
Truck Center
Home of
A&T Road Service
1245 Illinois Street
Fairfield, CA 94533
707-427-1386

Hours:
Monday-Friday
7:30am to 5:30pm
Saturday
8:00am to 5:00pm

Monday, January 14, 2019

1948 Chevrolet 515 Holmes

1948Chevrolet

This is a 1948 COE Chevrolet Truck with a Holmes 515 bed mounted on the back. Peter Aspesi purchased this truck in 1996 from Gannon Chevrolet in Westboro, Massachusetts. It was the first Holmes 515 in the area and Peter did a complete restoration and finished the truck in 2000. Warren Roosevelt purchased the truck from Peter in 2005 after displaying the unit at an ATHS Truck show in Syracuse, New York. Just another great addition to our museum family!

Friday, January 11, 2019

Road Service Details - A & T Road Service

A&T “Mobile” Truck 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. We will go just about anywhere for anything, at any time. 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. A&T now includes towing, load adjustments and more.

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 whatever 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.

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 now offer in-house towing, load adjustments, fuel delivery, crane inspections, glass replacement, vehicle rentals, vehicle storage, welding, new and used tire replacement, liftgate repair and service, and welding services.

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.

We are also available to come to your shop for repairs and routine service of your fleet in order to keep your downtime to a minimum and your business moving and prosperous.
 
A&T “Mobile” Truck Road Service is a part of the BIT Inspection Program and is able to do inspections for you on-site. We are DOT Certified and all BIT inspections are performed utilizing DOT/BIT Inspectors. A&T “Mobile” Truck Road Service meets all requirements under Title 49 of the DOT Inspectors Guide.

You can find more information about the CalBit Program and the requirements at their Website.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Techs see increase in after treatment system, electronics-related repairs



tmc tech


Maintenance on Class 8 tractors is increasing in complexity as the amount of technology and electronic controls increase, and technicians say they have seen a jump in the repairs they are performing on after treatment systems and electronic systems.


Maintenance on Class 8 tractors is increasing in complexity as the amount of technology and electronic controls increase, and technicians say they have seen a jump in the repairs they are performing on after treatment systems and electronic systems.

During the recent Technology & Maintenance Council’s (TMC) 2018 National Technician Skills Competition, which brings together truck service and repair technicians from across the country to test their knowledge and abilities, Michael Kerfoot, a technician for TravelCenters of America (TA); Phillip Pinter, a tech for FedEx; and Kyle Ballard, a technician for Clarke Power Services, each took home awards. All three agree that when it comes to maintaining today's heavy-duty trucks, the job has gotten much more complex than it was in years past for a variety of reasons.

Pinter, the 2018 TMC SuperTech Grand Champion, said after treatment systems and engines are continually increasing in complexity. “With more complexity, there are greater challenges," he said.

Kerfoot said the number of after treatment systems he sees in the shop has increased as systems are coming out of warranty. Most of the time, systems simply need a diesel particulate filter cleaned or replaced. Normal run time for the filters, which is set by EPA regulations, averages between 200,000 and 350,000 miles, but recommended cleaning intervals are different for each engine OEM.

TravelCenters of America utilizes the Enviromotive 9000 series cleaning equipment, which consists of at least a soot scale, a flow tester, a blast cabinet and regeneration oven, said Kevin Lindsey, assistant manager for technical development for TA. The company also has Noregon J-PRO diagnostic software at all locations and some locations have engine OEM-specific software.

Lindsey said upstream engine issues with after treatment systems usually derive from an air/fuel ratio problem. “These become more labor intensive as far as troubleshooting the root cause is concerned,” he said, adding that the time and expense associated with an after treatment system depends on the issue.

A scheduled maintenance interval cleaning could be done in just a few hours and for less than$1,500.00 or so, Lindsey said. “An up-stream failure can lead to significantly more diagnostic time, versus a simple maintenance cleaning, along with more labor time involved for the troubleshooting and the repair as well as parts costs,” he added.

Mark McLean, a technician for FedEx and the 2017 SuperTech Grand Champion, said the increased electronics and communication needed in today’s vehicles means the data busses are heavily loaded, and he has seen more issues arising with them. When talking to students and new techs entering the field, McLean said he emphasizes the growing role of electricity. “Everything is electronic now—smart modules, smart circuits,” he said. “The number one thing you can do is understand electrical systems and you can be a very valuable asset. That is where everything is going.”

It is important for techs to know how to use their electrical meter and to understand what it is telling them. “Once you understand that, the rest of it is pretty easy,” McLean said.

In addition to more electronic controls and sensors, Pinter added, driver comforts and hotel loads are putting extra strain on the alternator and starting charger system. Other challenges with today’s technology often center around the growing number of modules communicating with each other over the data link and getting all the modules to agree that everything is working as it should, he noted.


 Mindy Long | Dec 18, 2018

Source:  https://www.truckfleetmro.com/technology/techs-see-increase-after-treatment-system-electronics-related-repairs











Saturday, January 5, 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

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

FMCSA Grants Petitions to Ensure Uniform Rest Rules in California for Truck Drivers



The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) grants petitions requesting a determination that the State of California’s Meal and Rest Break rules are preempted under 49 U.S.C. § 31141 as applied to property carrying commercial motor vehicle drivers covered by the FMCSA’s Hours of Service (HOS) regulations.

FMCSA is granting this petition to ensure uniform and consistent rules in order to promote safety and economic growth. Drivers, consumers, and job creators are best served by reliable and consistent rules.

This action prioritizes safety, jobs, and uniformity for truck drivers.

Learn more at: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/fmcsa-grants-petitions-ensure-safe-and-uniform-rest-rules-california-truck-drivers