Posted April 29, 2015 by Administrator
Wondering how to economize on your fuel costs? Most trucking fleets would like to reduce their fuel budget – but where to start?
Here are some suggestions that may be helpful:
- Consider purchasing a new vehicle
The fuel efficiency of new trucks has improved with the 2014 commercial truck regulations. Run the numbers to see if buying a new model would be a cost-effective strategy for your company.
- Consider improving the aerodynamics of your truck
Improving the aerodynamics of your rig can make a big difference in fuel savings. There are new designs for mirrors, antennas that integrate into the cab, and elongated side extenders that redirect airflow. Here are a few models to review:
- Cascadia Evolution by Freightliner
- Kenworth T680 Advantage and Peterbilt Epiq package for the Model 579 by Paccar
- Prostar, Mack the Pinnacle Axle-Back by Navistar, and
- VNL and VNM by Volvo.
- Coordinate the most fuel efficient engine and transmission selection
Look for fuel-saving integrated powertrains featuring automated manual transmissions. Volvo, Mack, Daimler, and Cummins and Eaton all offer fuel-efficient benefits from engine and transmission pairings.
- Consider aero fairings
Freightliner, in its RCO Guide, reports that a cab with chassis side fairings can add up to 3% fuel economy and cab side extenders can add up to another 3%.
- Tune up your engine settings
The engine’s electronic control module settings have a measurable effect on fuel economy, says FleetAdvantage. “Most companies order their equipment without requesting specific ECM settings to optimize fuel economy. The equipment is delivered with factory settings with no consideration given to the actual duty cycle of the equipment. This is analogous to not setting your preferences on your computer or smartphone — the phone works fine but it is not tailored to the user or the application.”
There are lots of other ways to improve fuel efficiency results. These equipment-based solutions are a start to helping you significantly reduce your fuel costs.
Posted April 22, 2015 by Administrator
Pig farmers in America are facing a new disease outbreak called porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV), a disease that causes severe diarrhea and dehydration. Instances of this virus were found mostly in Europe and Asia until 2013; it has since spread through the U.S. and Canada.
While PEDV does not pose a threat to humans and the consumption of meat from infected animals is not a danger, it does impact the pig population, causing economic loss for affected farmers. Newborn piglets that are exposed PEDV generally die within a few days; older animals face severe sickness and weight loss.
According to U.S. legislators, since the inception of the epidemic in 2013 more than 4 million pigs have been lost, resulting in major losses to agriculture’s economic landscape, continues to threaten over 550,000 jobs and threatens the $34.5 billion pork industry.
In addition to swine, feed and veterinary groups working to save livestock, truck transport is an important factor in keeping livestock healthy and clean.
Here are a few tips to prevent infections from reaching your farm and your pigs. Even a small infection can cause an outbreak, according to swine specialist Bob Thaler, South Dakota State University.
- When loading and unloading your trucks, use disposable boots.
- Ensure proper truck washing techniques, including using spray disinfectant and drying the truck at 160 degrees for 10 minutes (or one week at room temperature) to be certain the truck is properly cleaned and disinfected.
- Take extra precautions in convenience stores near hog-selling locations. The PEDV can easily be transmitted in public places where the virus can be spread through your boots to your livestock at home.
Posted April 14, 2015 by Administrator
The US Department of Transportation recently issued its final rule regarding chain of custody of urine samples when using electronic forms for drug testing.
“When using an electronic chain of custody and control form, you must establish adequate confidentiality and security measures to ensure that confidential employee records are not available to unauthorized persons,” the department announced this week. “This includes protecting the physical security of records, access controls, and computer security measures to safeguard confidential data in electronic form.”
The DOT further indicated that the electronic form requires the same collection and distribution of information as is required for the paper form. “As a collector or collection site, you must ensure that each specimen you collect is shipped to a laboratory as quickly as possible, but in any case, within 24 hours or during the next business day,” DOT said.
The rule is effective immediately. To learn more about how this and other transportation rules and regulations will affect your fleet operations, contact us.
Posted April 7, 2015 by Administrator
April is National Distracted Driving Month – a crucial issue for drivers of all kinds. In the transportation industry, safety is paramount. While many traditional aspects of safety and compliance are now widely discussed and recognized (collision mitigation, adaptive driving for inclement weather, rollaway avoidance, etc), driving distractions are on the rise. Many operators and executives alike do not fully appreciate the extent of the dangers surrounding issues including texting, eating, talking (even with a hands-free device), navigation input, and more. According to the NHTSA:
- Texting makes the average driver 20 times as likely to be involved in an accident
- Talking on a cellphone (even hands-free) reduces brain activity dedicated to driving by 37%
- Over 3000 people were killed last year in distraction-related accidents
- Nearly half a million people were injured last year in distraction-related accidents
- 45 States & DC have banned texting while driving – and fines and penalties are increasing to match
Distracted driving comes in many forms, and often without realizing that it’s even happening. Transportation businesses should see the month of April as an opportunity to drill down on distracted driving, improving fleet safety and operational excellence in the process. To learn more about Distracted Driving Month, fleet safety, and trucking best practices, contact us.