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