Saturday, November 16, 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, November 13, 2019

Tips for Winter Truck Driving

person holding steering wheel


Driving a truck in the winter can be a challenge even for the most experienced drivers. There are many precautions that drivers should take while driving in winter weather conditions.

Truck drivers should always listen to their CB while driving in winter conditions. Many other drivers will be able to tip off other drivers when the weather conditions worsen ahead. Also many companies offer weather updates at least once per day. It is very important to pay attention to the weather advisory while driving in winter conditions.

Another useful tip that experienced drivers offer is to take all ramps at least 5 miles per hour less than the posted signs. The posted limits on ramps are designed for standard conditions in automobiles. Anytime trucks are traveling in bad weather it is better be safe than sorry.

A good indicator of icy roads it to keep an eye on the back of the side view mirrors. When ice starts to build up on the back of the side view mirror it will most likely also be on the road ahead.
Always pay attention to oncoming traffic. If traffic heading in the direction that the driver is going has slowed down, or there is a minimal amount of trucks in oncoming traffic, it is a good indicator that weather conditions ahead have worsened.

Most importantly, drivers should always drive only in their comfort zone. The safety of a driver and the other drivers on the road is always more important than any load that needs to meet its destination. Anytime conditions worsen to a point that the driver is out of their comfort zone or skill level it is advised to shut down and resume driving only after conditions have improved.

Paul R Woodward
President
Bains & Woodward Insurance Services, Inc.
Tow Truck Insurance
Towing Insurance
Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Paul_R_Woodward/674337

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/5747329

Photo by adrian on Unsplash



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Sunday, November 10, 2019

Commercial Driver License Handbook - California

State of California Department of Motor Vehicles logo

The California Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Program was enacted in the interest of improving traffic safety on our roadways. As a result, California has developed licensing and testing requirements for drivers of commercial vehicles which equals or exceeds federal standards.


It takes special skills and a professional attitude to safely operate large trucks and buses. Only professional drivers will receive and keep a Commercial Driver License (CDL). A CDL is proof of your professional skills and aptitude.

Download the CDL Handbook or any other of DMV’s publications that may be helpful here:

https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/pubs/pubs


Thursday, November 7, 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

Monday, November 4, 2019

Onsite Roadside Repair By North Bay Truck Center


Northbay Truck Center, centrally located in Fairfield CA can come to your site on the road or in your yard to take care of many repairs. Our vans are equipped with a knowledgeable mechanic, a full complement of tools, and many common parts for quick roadside repairs. North Bay Truck Center also has a vast inventory of truck parts and can even make custom hoses, and many exhaust parts. See more at https://northbaytruckcenter.com

Call us at:  (707) 427-1386

Friday, November 1, 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.