Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Distracted Driving


In life you don’t get do-overs and even if you did, things may not turn out the way you expect. When you drive and use your cellphone, not only can you get a ticket, you can also cause a crash where you could die or kill someone else. U Drive. U Text. U Pay.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

What to Know About Towing | Consumer Reports


There are so many vessels and vehicles to satisfy your inner adventurer. Consumer Reports’ expert explains what you need to know about getting these beauties from point A to point B.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

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.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Cummins On Highway Electronic Engine Features - Load Based Speed Control


Load Based Speed Control or LBSC is an electronic feature that is programmable on the Cummins ISX15 and ISX12, and ISX12 G engines. LBSC encourages the driver to shift into the next gear as soon as possible and is active in all gears except the top two. LBSC turns off when applications are above 100,000 lbs GCVW, during tire scrub events, and when grades exceed 2%. To set up or adjust LBSC trim settings, download PowerSpec, a free computer application, and talk to your local Cummins representative to receive free licensing rights. For more information, visit the feature description section of http://cumminsengines.com/powerspec.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Winter Treads



When much of the country is getting pounded by winter storms and deep snow, our thoughts turn to tires. Some pickup truck owners have separate wardrobes for summer and winter. Nome, Alaska, and Miami residents maybe not so much.

Pickup winter wear can include anything from a fresh wax to do-it-yourself undercoating to lighter lubricating fluids to a block heater to winter diesel fuel. But does your truck's cold-weather wardrobe include winter tires?

Winter tires are designed for cold weather and associated precipitation. Tires rated for mud and snow (M+S) may not qualify as winter tires and often don't excel in either mud or snow. A winter tire's specific compound, tread design — and studs if you want them — is far more suitable and safer on cold roads and the various forms of water you might find on them.

In every road-based comparison in which I've participated, dedicated winter tires were more valuable than the number of driven wheels. However, while winter tires can improve performance, they are no substitute for common sense and can be pushed beyond their limits. They also add expense and create the issue of storage logistics.

The U.S., unlike some countries, does not mandate winter tire use, although some states and cities have laws about the use of studded tires or chains. It's worth noting that some insurance companies offer discounts for using winter tires.

Do you think winter tires should be required for new drivers or general safety, and if so, under what parameters? And if you don't believe in running dedicated winter tires, studs or chains, how do you deal with marginal winter traction? Let us know in the comments section below.

Source: http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2017/01/talking-trucks-tuesday-winter-treads.html#more

By G.R. Whale

Cars.com graphic by Paul Dolan; cars.com image by Bruce Smith

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Health and Safety Tips for Commercial Van Drivers



Health and safety. It is a number one priority while at work. And for tradesmen and commercial van drivers especially, now is the time to be extra careful while on the job. Follow our health and safety guidelines to ensure your commercial van stays clean and sanitary.

Keep the Air Fresh
Ensure that the air in your cab and cargo space is constantly moving, and not staying stagnant in your vehicle for long periods of time. One product that helps with this, is a Flettner vent. Installed on the roof of the commercial van, it sucks in fresh air as you drive while forcing the stale air out. This lowers the chance of germs settling on surfaces, reducing the risk of sickness.

Put Up a Barrier for Yourself
For commercial vans designed to carry passengers or materials that may be contagious, it is a good idea to put up a barrier to protect you. Composite safety partitions for cargo vans are a great option. Their tight fit to the van walls prevent germs from seeping into the cab while you drive. For smaller passenger vans, a clear plexiglass shield offers just as much protection and also allows the driver and passengers to see and hear each other clearly.

Clean Your Work Space Regularly
Giving your commercial van a quick clean, as often as required by company guidelines or government regulations, is a good way to rid yourself of germs and bacteria. However sometimes it can be difficult to wash the things you touch the most; your seat for example. That’s why we suggest Seat Covers. Sturdy and fitted, they are also removable which means you can throw them in the washing machine as needed.

Keep Protective Equipment Close
Hand sanitizers, gloves, masks… these are essential items to be carrying around in this current time. However, these are relatively small items which means they can be easily lost in the equipment of a commercial van. The solution to this is the 3-in-1 Sanitizer Caddy. This aluminum holder mounts anywhere in your van and stores all the essential items you need when coming into contact with other people.

Here at Ranger Design, your health and safety is top priority. We have designed these products to provide you with a way to keep your commercial van sanitary while on the job. Learn more on how to better protect yourself with partitions.


Learn about all Ranger Design products at: https://rangerdesign.com/




Saturday, October 10, 2020

Big or Small- We Tow Them All

If its a Truck, we can tow it. 


 Hydrovac vacuum truck



Front Loader

Truck, Bus, Heavy Duty, Light Duty, we can tow it!



Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Take a close look at a heavy Wrecker Truck


Before continuing work on my class 8 wrecker model project I thought I would get some good pictures of a real wrecker, especially the business end.

Sunday, October 4, 2020

How to Set Up Weight Distribution | BetterWeigh™ Mobile Towing Scale


This video describes how to use the Weight Distribution feature of the CURT BetterWeigh™ mobile towing scale. With this feature, you can easily set up your weight distribution hitch without the need for a measuring tape, pen and paper. The CURT BetterWeigh™ #51701 is a Bluetooth-enabled OBD2 device that wirelessly syncs with your smartphone to provide a variety of vehicle and trailer weights. This includes vehicle weight, GCW, payload, tongue weight and pin weight, as well as weight distribution setup and trailer brake gain. To begin setting up your weight distribution hitch with the CURT BetterWeigh™, choose the weight range that best suits your vehicle-trailer setup. To set the range, tap the gear icon and select Weight Distribution. Then, select a weight range. Next, select the Weight Distribution feature on the BetterWeigh™ app homescreen. Before pressing Ready, make sure your vehicle and trailer are aligned and ready to be coupled. Turn off the engine. Then, step back from the vehicle and tap Ready. BetterWeigh™ will take an initial reading of your vehicle’s pitch. Once the vehicle pitch is analyzed, lower the trailer tongue until the coupler is resting on the ball. BetterWeigh™ will then display the trailer tongue weight. Tap Ready again to see the weight distribution relative scale. Weights will be shown across the front, rear and trailer axle. The goal is to redistribute the weight toward the front vehicle axle. Next, attach the weight distribution spring bars to the trailer. Then, raise the trailer jack off the ground to see the initial weight distribution reading. Adjust the weight distribution hitch until the front end axle is in the green zone on the app. Finish connecting your trailer, and you’re ready to tow! BetterWeigh™ is compatible with Apple and Android phones. Download the BetterWeigh™ app from Google Play or the App Store. Learn more at www.curtmfg.com/betterweigh

Thursday, October 1, 2020

EVIR® Electronic Verified Inspection Reporting

Tag, inspect and transmit - it’s that simple

Tractor / Trailer Inspection configuation

TAG – Data-encoded RFID tags are placed in each inspection zone of a vehicle or asset. In a commercial trucking environment, for example, tags are placed in inspection zones that adhere to DOT compliance requirements for pre- and post-trip inspections. Many school districts place tags at the back of a bus to ensure that drivers perform their end-of-shift check for students.

INSPECT – The individual performing the inspection must physically scan each tag on the vehicle. The tablet device must be within two inches of the point of inspection, which helps to verify that a check was performed and the vehicle is up to operating standards. EVIR acts as an electronic, verifiable log to prove that inspections are being performed accurately and consistently.




TRANSMIT – Defects or vehicle damage can be captured with Zonar's tablet device. Equipped with a 5 mega-pixel camera, drivers can easily transmit photos to give maintenance a heads-up as to what they are seeing. After the tablet is docked inside the vehicle, the inspection data is seamlessly transferred back to Zonar's web-based application, Ground Traffic Control®. Fleet managers and maintenance personnel have immediate access to the inspection data from the field, helping them to prioritize and schedule repairs.

Not just for vehicles

The EVIR system is as flexible as our customers' unique needs. While most commonly used to verify the pre- and post-trip inspection process for fleets across all industries, EVIR use spans to wherever there's a need to verify a process is being followed.

A complete solution provider

Zonar offers a full suite of smart fleet technology solutions that improve safety, decrease downtime of vehicles, reduce fuel costs, coach driver performance, and streamline back-office reporting.

Unparalleled customer service

From onboarding to installation, our U.S.-based Customer Care team makes sure that you’re set up for success. There’s a reason more than 99 percent of our customers that choose to do business with us, stay with us. More than 30 percent of our company is devoted to after-sale support, which means you can always reach a live Zonar employee—24/7/365.

Learn more at: http://zonarsystems.com/solutions/evir-electronic-verified-inspection-reporting/


Thursday, September 24, 2020

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.

Monday, September 21, 2020

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

Friday, September 18, 2020

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

10 ways to improve diesel efficiency

Ten lessons learned during NACFE’s 2017 Run on Less event 
prove what fleets can do to improve its miles per gallon.

Diesel Fuel Station Vitpho Dreamstime

In all of the excitement about developments in electric trucks, I want to make sure we don’t lose sight of the necessary work of improving the efficiency of diesel-powered vehicles. They will make up the majority of the new truck production for a while.

As many of you may recall, in 2017 during NACFE’s first Run on Less, seven drivers achieved an average 10 MPG over a three-week period. Remember that was the average of all seven trucks over the 17 days (99 truck-days) with four truck-days reaching between 12.5 and 13.0 MPG.

Since that event, we are hearing more fleets and drivers talk about striving to reach 10 MPG consistently. As we analyzed the data from the Run we came up with what we called 10 Actions to Achieve 10+ MPG.

Whenever I am asked about what one thing can make a difference in improving MPG, I always refer to our 10 Actions graphic. The truth is there is no one thing that will get a fleet to 10 MPG. Each fleet has different operating conditions, duty cycles and challenges. And each fleet is at a different point on its path to better MPG.

It’s been awhile since I talked about the 10 Actions, so I hope you won't mind if I do so now. I figure a little refresher is always a good thing.

In no particular order, here are the 10 lessons we learned about improving MPG from Run on Less 2017.

  • Use downsped powertrains and AMTs: AMTs enable downspeeding but be aware that the most aggressive downspeeding is best suited for applications with high average speeds and a low amount of starts and stops. 
  • Educate and incent drivers: The driver is one of the key elements to success in achieving high MPG. Hire drivers that are already committed to driving in a fuel-efficient manner or train existing drivers about how to save fuel. Enlist the aid of drivers who are getting excellent MPG to share their tips and secrets with other drivers and to talk about why good MPG matters. 
  • Buy all available tractor aerodynamics: Manufacturers have worked hard to improve the aerodynamic efficiency of their base models but adding all available sleeper tractor aerodynamic devices has proven to have a high ROI in line-haul applications. 
  • Adopt appropriate trailer aerodynamics: Look at trailer aerodynamics in three key areas — side, rear and front. Invest in those that are most appropriate depending on the characteristics of your duty cycles. 
  • Optimize cruise control and vehicle speed: Engine parameter settings are your friends. Use them wisely to optimize for fuel efficiency. And remember to review them periodically or as your operation changes. Tweak as needed. 
  • Keep equipment well maintained: Solid maintenance practices ensure vehicles run as intended and play a role in improving fuel efficiency. 
  • Implement the right axle configuration: Use the correct axle specification for the job depending on payload, speed, maneuverability and fleet practices related to tire management. 
  • Embrace low rolling resistance tires: Low rolling resistance tires are one key element to achieving high MPG but be sure to make tire selection based on application and region. 
  • Provide tools to reduce idle time: The truck should be shut off whenever possible, but drivers need to be comfortable and have access to creature comforts as well. Technology and engine parameters can help you achieve both goals. 
  • Build a culture of methodically choosing technologies: Make sure you have a process in place to vet technologies that can increase fuel economy. It is imperative that you understand the performance they can achieve and their payback or ROI. 
These 10 actions taken together or separately can help you boost the MPG of your existing diesel-powered vehicles — and all of these, except for number 1, will be just as important on electric trucks. Together, they will help increase the range of electric trucks by 30% or 40%.


Saturday, September 12, 2020

National Truck Driver Appreciation Week 2020

NTDAW

This year's National Truck Driver Appreciation Week is September 13-19, 2020, and takes on a special significance considering the crucial role truck drivers have played during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This week is a way to show appreciation to the 3.5 million professional men and women who not only deliver our goods safely, securely, and on time, but also keep our highways safe.

Next year, NTDAW will be held from September 12-18, 2021.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

RV Towing at A & T BIG RIG TOWING SERVICES


North Bay Truck Center and A&T Road Service heavy duty towing.We think this is the most flexible and useful rig to tow the biggest trucks on the road, along with big buses, and large RV units.




Our normal service area covers the best part of the bay area and Sacramento region; however, we now have capability to tow across the country if needed. Our A&T Road Service has expanded so much that we had to add towing to make it even more effective and timely.

When you need a tow, Call 1-800-434-1205

Sunday, September 6, 2020

A &T Road Service NRC Quickswap & Tag Axle - We Can Tow HD Trucks, Motor Homes and Buses



A&T Road Service added Truck 32 in 2014. It was a brand new 2014 Kenworth with a 500 hp Cummins and 18-speed gearbox is outfitted with an NRC Quickswap detachable tow unit with a tag axle for extra capacity. This allows the truck to be a wrecker and also a transfer vehicle, so with the unit disconnected, it will tow mobile home units, trailers of all kinds and with the wrecker unit attached is capable of lifting up to 20,000 lb steer axles for heavy duty truck towing. This unit can easily to HD trucks, buses, mobile homes.

It is outfitted with tools and parts to make minor mechanical repairs, air line repair, fuel line repairs, add fuel, and can take care of any DEF needs. It is also equipped with extra high intensity lights for more effective and efficient night work, since A&T Road Service is available 24 hours a day.

North Bay Truck Center is centrally located in Fairfield CA to service all of Solano County along with much of the San Francisco/Oakland bay area and Sacramento. A&T Road Service is available by calling 800-434-1205, You can also visit our website at http://www.NorthBayTruckCenter.com

Thursday, September 3, 2020

1/2 ton, 3/4 ton, and 1 Ton Trucks! Know the Towing and Payload Differences!


Know the Towing and Payload Differences! with 1/2 ton, 3/4 ton, and 1 Ton Trucks! 


Credit: Big Truck Big RV

Monday, August 31, 2020

Cascadia w/ an AA Custom Sleeper Truck Tour


I give a truck tour of our 2016 Freightliner Cascadia with an AA custom Sleeper that we just got back in July of 2018.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Kenworth Driver's Studio


The Driver’s Studio package is a set of premium options that help create a luxurious home-away-from-home living experience for the driver while out on the road for extended periods of time.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

RPM & Fuel Economy - Driver Training for On-Highway Heavy-Duty Truck Engines


Driver Training for On-Highway Heavy-Duty Truck Engines – Part 5 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 discusses the effect RPM has on fuel economy.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

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

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Need a Lift? Big or Small - A&T Road Service Gets You There!

Ever wonder how a Big Truck Breakdown gets to the Garage?


This is How!


When Trailer Tractors Break Down and Need a Tow, A & T Road Service has the equipment to get you there! A & T Road Service, the "Ambulance Service for Trucks."

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

Sunday, August 16, 2020

DRIVING SAFELY NEAR TRACKS

a train going past lowered crossing gates

Quick Tips

  • Trains and cars don't mix.
  • The train you see is closer and faster-moving than you think. 
  • Be aware that trains cannot stop quickly.
  • Never drive around lowered gates — it's illegal and deadly. 
  • Do not get trapped on the tracks; proceed through a highway-rail grade crossing only if you are sure you can completely clear the crossing without stopping. 
  • If your vehicle ever stalls on the tracks, get out and get away from the tracks, even if you do not see a train. Locate the Emergency Notification System sign and call the number provided, telling them about the stalled vehicle. 
  • At a multiple track crossing waiting for a train to pass, watch out for a second train on the other tracks, approaching from either direction.
  • When you need to cross train tracks, go to a designated crossing, look both ways, and cross the tracks quickly, without stopping. Remember it isn't safe to stop closer than 15 feet from a rail.
  • ALWAYS EXPECT A TRAIN! Freight trains do not follow set schedules.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

How to use Ford’s new Pro Trailer Backup Assist



Pro Trailer Backup Assist is new to Ford 2020 Super Duty trucks. We turned to Ford’s trailer technology supervisor Don Mattern who showed us how to backup a trailer using a dash-mounted knob in conjunction with the truck’s trailer reverse guidance system.




Check out our website for more https://www.hardworkingtrucks.com

Monday, August 10, 2020

CLP & CDL TESTING DELAYS CONTINUE

Company Logo


Thank you to all who participated in our August 4-5 survey on problems schools are currently facing. I wanted to provide some feedback for everyone and offer a snapshot of where state driver’s license agencies stand in terms of service offerings.
For reference, at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, CVTA members saw the state driver’s license agencies (SDLAs) close like dominos. At its peak, there were 27 SDLAs completely shutdown. Moreover, all states, even those that remained “open” were operating at limited capacity. As our nation began understanding more about the virus, treating those infected, and preventing the spread, we began to see SDLAs reopen, albeit on a limited basis. As more SDLAs came back on line, CVTA understood that our problems were far from over and that state DMVs would struggle to clear their backlog.
We are nearly six months into the pandemic, and though many Americans continue to face economic uncertainty, trucking is a bright spot. Freight volumes continue to increase and trucking as an industry remains an economic beacon. Trucking is often seen as a leading economic indicator of our nation’s economy. If so, this is good news for America.
Back in March, the driver shortage temporarily vanished as freight volumes plummeted. Simply put, with less freight, fewer commercial drivers were needed in the short term. It will return, however, and when it does, we will need more drivers than before. The inability for SDLAs to license new students and trainees, could severely impact the supply of drivers.

CVTA SURVEY & OUTLOOK

CVTA conducted a CDL school survey from August 4-5th to determine whether commercial driver training schools were still experiencing problems with securing CLP knowledge tests, CDL skills tests, or issuance the physical resulting from reduced state driver’s license agency service offerings due to COVID-19. The survey found over 1/3 of state driver’s license agencies (SDLAs) faced moderate to significant delays in conducting CLP knowledge tests, CDL skills tests, or issuance of the physical CDL. Delays in obtaining CLP appointments ranged from 2 weeks to 90 days in at least 15 states, with most averaging between 30 to 60-day delays. Other states delays have similar extensive wait times, but these delays are more regional or even local in scope.
Based on the survey response, CVTA believes the significant delays center around those states using online appointment systems (as opposed to a walk-in policy), those states who prohibit schools from third party skills testing, or those states that use third party testing but have not adopted the FMCSA’s CLP waiver, which allows third-party testers to administer the CLP knowledge test.
Another challenge is the delay between a student passing their skills test and obtaining their physical CDL, which requires the student to again make an appointment through the online appointment system.
Earlier this year CVTA estimated that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States would produce 60% of the drivers it has in previous years. Given the continued delays in CDL licensing, we are reviewing our estimate of that goal to determine if this needs to be revised downward.

Friday, August 7, 2020

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

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

IN THE DRIVER’S SEAT: TOP 10: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

So, you want to be a truck driver? Have you thought about what it takes to be a truck driver, but most importantly, a professional one who is in it for the long haul?
I know a few things about preparing for and having a successful career in the trucking industry. I’m not just a school owner, I am a driver. I have had my Class A CDL for over 40 years and during that time, I’ve been an owner-operator, pulled a refrigerated trailer, done local delivery, and worked as a dispatcher for a fleet of over 20 trucks. While I’m no longer a full-time driver, I occasionally get behind the wheel of my 73’ rig and drive across the country. These occasional road trips allow me to understand the demands of today’s truck drivers, and in turn, pass along that valuable information to my students who will be the future drivers of tomorrow.
After logging many miles on the road, here are a few things to think about when making your decision to be a truck driver or instructing your students.
Top 10: What You Need to Know
  1. Be on time. Dispatchers value a driver who shows up to work on time. Once you start your day, don’t worry about delays that are beyond your control. If you start your day with enough time to get on the road, good carriers will not push you or give you a hard time.
  2. Do your inspections. A lot of your co-workers will not do their inspections, and some of them will give you a hard time when you’re doing your job and they aren’t. While tempting, do not engage with them in these instances. Go about your pre-trip as you were taught at the truck driving school. Besides, the pre-trip routine is a federal regulation so there’s no way of getting around it.
  3. There’s no whining in the trucking industry. Every day you will be confronted with problems or issues at every turn – trucks break down, there’s traffic congestion, unpredictable and volatile weather, and shippers will delay you. Don’t complain to your dispatcher Deal with it, professionally of course. It’s good practice to communicate with your dispatcher effectively and without any emotion. This professionalism will go a long way in how you will be treated.
  4. Plan your trips. Parking is tight out there, so don’t expect to find a spot readily available when you need one. Parking is at such a premium that there are apps available for truckers to find and reserve a parking space, even at some truck stops. Learn from your trainers on how they figure out where to park. While their experience will provide insight, you need to come up with a system that works best for you.
  5. GOAL! (Get Out And Look). Backing accidents are the number one problem for new drivers. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about. It happens to everyone. Being safety minded is a good quality. So, get out and look before backing that truck up.
  6. Maintain your following distance. Discipline yourself and commit to a proper distance. In heavy traffic that means you must run 3 or 4 mph slower than traffic flow to keep your following distance. Embrace new technology applications that automatically keeps the distance for you.
  7. Slippery when wet. Bad weather. It happens. Being mindful of safety regulations before being faced with hazardous road conditions, will better prepare you when they do occur. Take your time, and even stop when conditions warrant.
  8. Safety “Seal of Approval”. Work for an established carrier with a good safety record. Employment with a well-established, safety-minded carrier will ensure you have access to properly maintained equipment. One other thing, your paycheck will not bounce.
  9. Expect to be recruited. With the driver shortage these days, chances are you will be approached at truck stops by a carrier or by other drivers convincing you to go to work for another company. Do not believe their claims as they are probably receiving a commission for recruiting you. Some companies pay up to $2,000 for the referral. Consequently, there will be false claims being made.
  10. Stay healthy. Stay fitSave money. Invest in a small refrigerator and buy your own food versus eating at restaurants. You will realize the return-on-investment with more money in your wallet and feel physically better through a healthy diet. If you are a local driver, pack your lunch in a cooler. Also, remember to stretch and do your exercises every day.
This guest post originally appeared in CVTA’s Get-in-Gear Summer/Fall 2017 edition.
Bill Collins is the Owner of Interstate Truck Driving School.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

How 4WD (4x4 - Four Wheel Drive) Works - 2H, 4H, 4L, LSD, Centre Diff, Diff Locks, Traction Control.


A complete and thorough video on how four wheel drive (4WD) 4x4 systems work. This video will look into depth on how part time and full time four wheel drive systems work, operate, what to expect and when to use it. It will cover in depth the following: - Drivetrain Fundamentals - Part Time 4x4 - Full Time 4x4 - Open Differentials - Locked Differentials - Torque Distribution - Torque Multiplication - High Range - Low Range - Transfer Case - Crawl Ratio - Limited Slip Differentials - Brake Traction Control - Wind-Up Phenomenon - Diagonal Wheels Phenomenon - Free Wheeling Hubs

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

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

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Choosing the Right Tow & Stow


How to measure to get the correct amount of adjustment we recommend from your Tow & Stow.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Women in Trucking Sponsor Health Competition

Points are accumulated by participating in weekly Rolling Strong coaching and HIGI health assessments as well as logging hydration, sleep, nutrition, and fitness activities -

Rolling Strong, a provider of health and wellness programs for owner-operators, transportation companies, and their drivers and employees, announced the Accelerate Your Health Wellness Competition, which is sponsored by Women In Trucking Association. The wellness competition is open to anyone and is based on points earned in the Rolling Strong app
Fitbit, Drivewyze Inc., and AllTrails, along with Rolling Strong, will be providing prizes for the event that kicks off July 15th and runs through September 1.
Points are accumulated by participating in weekly Rolling Strong coaching and HIGI health assessments as well as logging hydration, sleep, nutrition, and fitness activities – all on the Rolling Strong fitness app. The highest points earners during the competition win the awards.

Learn more at: https://www.worktruckonline.com/10121319/women-in-trucking-sponsor-health-competition

Friday, July 17, 2020

Value of Effectively Maintaining Upfits

While mistakes may not often happen when maintaining upfits, they can occur. Having the right "tools" for the job is essential.  - Photo: GETTYIMAGES.COM/KARANDAEV

 - Photo: GETTYIMAGES.COM/KARANDAEV

While mistakes may not often happen when maintaining upfits, they can occur. Having the right "tools" for the job is essential.

Your upfit is spec’ed, purchased, and installed, and you are now utilizing it in your operations. The next step in the upfit process is ensuring proper maintenance.

Top Upfit Maintenance Challenges:


A huge challenge many fleet managers face in maintaining upfits is simply communicating the value and importance of proper upfit maintenance to field personnel and drivers.


“Most drivers understand the importance of oil changes, brake services, etc., and will typically make sure their vehicle is serviced in a timely manner. But prioritizing upfit maintenance in a similar fashion typically isn’t something that comes naturally. The fleet manager must educate their frontline personnel on the critical aspect of properly maintaining the vehicle’s equipment; not only to maximize its effective lifecycle and control costs but also to ensure the safety of their fleet personnel in the field,” said Jeff Klinghoffer, regional engineering manager for Holman Enterprises.


At the end of the day, it comes down to education and awareness.


“As a fleet manager, you’ll need to communicate the importance of proper upfit and equipment maintenance to your drivers. Beyond that, you can certainly implement processes and procedures to assess the condition of the vehicle and its upfit regularly. You can also explore potential gamification or incentive programs to help secure buy-in from your drivers,” Klinghoffer added.


Let’s face it; fleet managers have a lot on their plate.


“Fleet managers face daily challenges mixed in with bigger picture issues that include building a safe, reliable, and appropriate truck for the job while making executives and stakeholders happy. Finding the time to answer all of the challenges can be difficult,” said Mathew Marcussen, director of customer relations for BrandFX. “Taking the time to do research and learn more, in the beginning, will reap great savings, benefits, and efficiency in the end. Also, purchase a body that maintains its good condition over a long period will reduce the cost of repairs and service.”


When it comes to the different types of materials used in upfitting, you need to select the right material for the job.


“Ladder racks on top of cargo vans are impacted by either the snow and ice removal chemicals in the Midwest or the salty air near coastal regions. Using aluminum and stainless steel in those products is a must to provide the customer a quality product that gets them a good return on their investment,” said Katie Groves, national fleet sales manager for Adrian Steel.


Don’t forget to depend on those who know upfitting best.


“Partner with an upfitter that has a national presence and a team that can support these instances,” Groves recommended.


6 Mistakes Maintaining Upfits


While mistakes may not often happen when maintaining upfits, they can occur. Here are a few top ones to avoid:


Mistake 1: Lack of Inspection


Just as drivers need to inspect your vehicle for leaks, tire wear, etc., they should examine their upfits, too.


“Constantly check routing and clipping for rub points, just because a battery cable was tied up nicely last time you inspected it doesn’t mean a clip didn’t break loose since then,” said Brad Howard, director of Operations for Fontaine Modification.


Mistake 2: Ignoring Preventive Maintenance


When it comes to the vehicles themselves, preventive maintenance (PM) second nature, but that may not be true for upfits.


“Fleet managers realize that adhering to a recommended PM schedule is vital to optimizing the vehicle’s lifecycle and controlling the total cost of ownership. However, the same methodology also applies to a vehicle’s upfitting and equipment, but preventive maintenance for these items is often overlooked,” said Kelly Klemisch, regional engineering manager, Holman Enterprises.


To avoid this mistake, work upfits into your PM strategy for your vehicles.


“Regular service for equipment such as air compressors, material handling units, and aerial devices should be included in the unit’s PM schedule. Additionally, you can also include inspections in the schedule as well, so drivers receive reminders for those items as well. Or, at the very least, take measures to keep these PM items top-of-mind for drivers and operators. For example, you can track crane or compressors hours on an interior door decal,” Klemisch added.


Mistake 3: Not Adjusting Upfits Correctly 


Make sure that ladder racks are correctly adjusted to your ladders. 


“A properly adjusted ladder rack will keep the ladder secured on the van during transportation, reduce noise that could cause driver distraction, and extend the life of both the ladder and ladder rack,” said Katie Groves, national fleet sales manager for Adrian Steel.


Mistake 4: Misusing Upfit Equipment


You should also ensure your drivers and frontline workers fully understand how to use the vehicle’s equipment properly.


“Many vocational vehicles feature sophisticated and complex attachments, so training your employees on the best practices for using these units will help to minimize premature wear and tear and maximize the equipment’s effective lifecycle. This also applies to something as simple as a vehicle’s storage units. We often see fleet personnel overloading a service body or interior shelving with more than it is intended to hold, and this really impacts the longevity of these items,” said Klemisch of Holman Enterprises.


Mistake 5: Wrong Service Timing


When you service certain upfit items is also essential.


“When you service trucks, and related upfits is a big item. One example is a snowplow: make sure to service at the end of the snow season AND beginning of the season,” said Patrick Clark, director of fleet sales for Dejana Truck and Utility Equipment.


Mistake 6: Improper Equipment Storage

Where you store your equipment has a considerable impact on its useful service life.

“Also storing equipment inside helps preserve the life. Work with the local upfitters to make sure you are servicing cranes, liftgates, plows etc correctly,” said Clark of Dejana Truck and Utility Equipment.


Source: https://www.worktruckonline.com/10120069/value-of-effectively-maintaining-upfits