Gears Guts ECONOMY: &

Gears Guts ECONOMY: &
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THE
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ECONOMY: What a possible double-dip means to you, PG. 22
FTR Analyst Noel Perry
The Business Magazine of Canada’s Trucking Industry
Canadian Mail Sales Product Agreement #40063170. Return postage guaranteed. NEWCOM Business Media Inc., 451 Attwell Dr., Toronto, ON M9W 5C4 Registration No. 10788
Guts &
Gears
SPECIAL TECH ISSUE
Axles & Suspensions
Automated Manual Transmissions
October 2011
PAGE
36
PAGE
39
www.todaystrucking.com
RETAIL and
RECRUITMENT
Advertising Insert
PAGE
44
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VOLUME 25, NO. 10
October 2011
45
HARD-SLOGGING PETE: The new 382 comes
prepped for down-and-dirty vocational chores.
22
HERE’S THE SCOOP:
Downturn’s a-comin’
52 Recognize this place? Score a hat!
NEWS & NOTES
8 DISPATCHES
U.S.A. COURT SHORTCIRCUITS EOBRS
FEATURES
OPINIONS
22 ECONOMY
5 LETTERS
7 ROLF LOCKWOOD
19 BEGHETTO GETS RE-ROUTED
54 PETER CARTER
TWO SCOOPS OF SLOWDOWN
The drumbeat of a double-dip recession is
intensifying. But trucking appears somewhat
insulated—for now.
— BY MARCO BEGHETTO
27 ECONOMY
MORE THAN TRUCKS
Truckload, LTL, intermodal, warehousing—trucking
companies are doing whatever it takes to deliver
freight. The key to your survival in the new jungle?
Innovation.
9 B.C. TRUCKING: When men
were men
11 Fuel-efficiency edicts need edit
11 Trucking events to pencil in
12 Compliance news
12 CSA = Can’t Someone Answer?
13 Trucking people on the move
13 The benefits of sleeping in class
14 Sited on todaystrucking.com
15 Truck sales statistics
— BY DEBORAH LOCKRIDGE AND JASON RHYNO
32 IN MY OWN WORDS
LARGER THAN EVER
A role model for the independent truckers of the
world, this owner-operator thinks that the trucking
industry as a whole could learn something from the
oil patch: In his own words.
— BY STEPHEN LARGE
36 COVER
THE POINT OF NO RETURN
Wide-single tires are gaining market acceptance. Are
you ready to go whole-hog into wide-base by spec’ing
wide-track axles?
— BY JIM PARK
SERVICE DEPT
17 BUILDING A BETTER MOUTH TRAP
21 MAKING SAFETY PROGRAMS PAY
39 ARE AMT’S WORTH A TRIP
TO YOUR ATM?
A progress report on automated
manual transmissions; a.k.a.,
is now the time to invest?
— By Jim Park
45 LOCKWOOD’S PRODUCT WATCH
EXTRA!!
PAGE
New Free-and-Easy Contest
52
We’re betting our hat you can’t
guess where this place is.
OCTOBER 2011
3
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Page 4
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Page 5
Letters
A truck is a truck right?
The Business Magazine of Canada’s Trucking Industry
Everyone involved in the trucking industry should have to come into line with
hours of service and if we’re
going to use EOBRs, then let’s
all do it.
Let’s have shippers and
BACK
receivers governed by EOBRs
CLASS
too, so hours are used properly, all in a row. If the truck
shows up at 1:00 a.m., it
should get unloaded. That
way, a driver doesn’t have to
start up four or five hours
later, just to accommodate the shipper/receiver, as the driver may only have
a couple of hours left in his day.
Also, why don’t town drivers have to
follow the same rules? A truck is a truck
right? Can you just see the
violations taking place
when a town driver is on
the clock and suddenly
finds he can’t go home
because he is out of hours?
The next step would be to
fine the companies that put
their drivers in this situation. Mmmmm…I’m begin60
ning to like this idea.
Dave Patraschuk,
Creston, B.C.
COMPROMISE: The Timmy’s-inspired secret for successful trucking, PG. 29
VICE PRESIDENT, EDITORIAL
Rolf Lockwood, MCILT
rolf@newcom.ca • 416/614-5825
EDITOR
Peter Carter
peter@newcom.ca • 416/614-5828
SENIOR EDITOR
Marco Beghetto
marco@newcom.ca • 416/614-5821
ASSOCIATE EDITOR
Jason Rhyno
jason@newcom.ca • 416/614-5827
CONTRIBUTORS: Jim Park, Allan Janssen,
Steve Bouchard, Deborah Lockridge
ART DIRECTOR
Tim Norton
production@todaystrucking.com • 416/614-5810
PUBLISHER
Joe Glionna
joe@newcom.ca • 416/614-5805
NATIONAL ACCOUNTS MANAGER
Heather Donnelly
heather@newcom.ca • 416/614-5804
QUÉBEC SALES MANAGER
Denis Arsenault
denis@newcom.ca • 514/938-0639
PRESIDENT
Jim Glionna
CONTROLLER
Anthony Evangelista
TO
CIRCULATION INFORMATION
P.O. Box 370, Station B, Toronto, ON M9W 5L3
416/614-2200 • 416/614-8861 (fax)
Today’s Trucking is published monthly by NEWCOM BUSINESS MEDIA INC.,
451 Attwell Dr., Toronto, ON M9W 5C4. It is produced expressly for owners
and/or operators of one or more straight trucks or tractor-trailers with gross
weights of at least 19,500 pounds, and for truck/trailer dealers and heavy-duty
parts distributors. Subscriptions are free to those who meet the criteria. For
others: single-copy price: $5 plus applicable taxes; one-year subscription: $40
plus applicable taxes; one-year subscription in U.S.: $60 US; one-year subscription
foreign: $90 US. Copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Contents may not be
reproduced by any means, in whole or in part, without prior written consent
of the publisher. The advertiser agrees to protect the publisher against legal
action based upon libelous or inaccurate statements, unauthorized use
of photographs, or other material in connection with advertisements placed
in Today’s Trucking. The publisher reserves the right to refuse advertising
which in his opinion is misleading, scatological, or in poor taste. Postmaster:
Address changes to Today’s Trucking, 451 Attwell Dr., Toronto, ON M9W 5C4.
Postage paid Canadian Publications Mail Sales Agreement No.40063170.
ISSN No. 0837-1512. Printed in Canada.
We acknowledge the financial support of the Government
of Canada through the Canada Periodical Fund (CPF) for
our publishing activities.
Kenneth R. Wilson
Award Winner
Member
Canadian Business Press
An A-to-Z look at issues
in your mirror and
down-the-road, PG.30
Q Rolf Lockwood on a
quest for civility; PG. 38
Q And meet Interline’s amazing
Harmon Bal, PG. 22
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE:
Tangled tie-downs
Volvo’s natural-gaspowered daycab
CLASSIFIED and
RECRUITMENT
PAGE
51
PAGE
61
PAGE
Advertising Insert
TODAY’S TRUCKING
APPOINTMENTS
Today’s Trucking Publisher Joe Glionna is happy to welcome
Heather Donnelly to the Today’s Trucking sales team. Most
recently, Heather was a senior sales executive on HighwayStar
magazine and before that, she worked as the sole Canadian
National Sales Rep for Zee Medical.
“I’m sincerely looking forward to getting to know the suppliers who have been
serving Canadian fleets and owner-operators over the years. I’ve certainly heard a lot
about them from their customers, all across Canada,” Heather says.
Heather can be reached at:
Phone: 416-614-5804 • Cell: 416-459-2350 • Email: heather@newcom.ca
PRODUCTION MANAGER
Lilianna Kantor
lily@newcom.ca • 416/614-5815
DIRECTOR OF CIRCULATION
Pat Glionna
Whitecourt’s
David MacNevin
September 2011
www.todaystrucking.com
The Business Magazine of Canada’s Trucking Industry
Canadian Mail Sales Product Agreement #40063170. Return postage guaranteed. NEWCOM Business Media Inc., 451 Attwell Dr., Toronto, ON M9W 5C4 Registration No. 10788
NEWCOM BUSINESS MEDIA INC.
451 Attwell Dr., Toronto, ON M9W 5C4
416/614-2200 • 416/614-8861 (fax)
▼▼▼
Today’s Trucking Publisher Joe Glionna is happy to welcome
Jason Rhyno to the Today’s Trucking editorial team.
As Associate Editor, Jason will be also working on
todaystrucking.com and related social media outlets. Jason
replaces Marco Beghetto, who, after 11 years with Today’s
Trucking, is assuming the new role of Vice-President,
Communications and New Media with the Ontario Trucking
Association (OTA) and Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA).
Jason studied at York University and Centennial College’s
School of Book and Magazine Publishing, was most recently
Editor of JobPostings Magazine. Prior to that, he worked on a variety of magazines in the
Toronto area and as a student Jason interned at Today’s Trucking.
A native of Longlac, Ont., Jason grew up around trucks and boasts that he was
taught to drive by not one but two truck-driving uncles. He fondly recalls bouncing
around in his uncle’s Mack between Geraldton and Thunder Bay.
Jason can be reached at:
Phone : 416-614-5827 • Email: jason@newcom.ca
Online Resources
For industry news, weekly features, daily management tips, truck sales stats,
product reviews, and more, go to todaystrucking.com.
OCTOBER 2011
5
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Editorial
By Rolf Lockwood
Help stamp out sloshed driving
Here’s something you don’t read about every day:
A new rule worth implementing
Y
ou know how little I like rules. They multiply like rabbits
as the under-employed do-gooders run roughshod over
our personal and working lives, protecting us from all
manner of evil, freedoms disappearing in their wake. Even
though we don’t need protecting. My frustration and disgust
can’t be overstated.
Yeah, well, here’s one that I like. A lot.
The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has formally recommended that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety
Administration (FMCSA) should mandate the retrofitting of roll
stability control (RSC) systems on all in-use tank trailers with a
GVW over 10,000 lb. Pretty dramatic stuff.
The recommendations went further, urging a requirement
for stability control systems on all commercial vehicles over
10,000 lb. All of ‘em, whether the vehicle has hydraulic or pneumatic brakes.
The NTSB announced its intentions in July and the formal recommendations were made last month, little having changed in
the interim. We don’t yet have a full-blown mandate but we will,
changing the trucks and trailers you buy in future substantially.
And making them better.
Necessarily, the NTSB makes a distinction between roll stability control (RSC) and electronic stability control (ESC), the latter
adding understeer/oversteer sensing. They’re both proven to be
huge difference makers, ESC somewhat more so. Their performance was detailed in a definitive study published last fall by the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). It’s
called ‘Safety Benefits of Stability Control Systems For TractorSemitrailers’. Look for it at www.trb.org.
RSC is the right choice for tanker retrofitting, as opposed to
ESC, because it can be done at relatively small cost. It would be
wildly expensive to retrofit tractors and trailers with ESC, given
all the electronic complications. The NTSB notes that the long
life of tank trailers means it could take 25-50 years for all of
them to get stability-control systems if the rule only applied to
new ones.
Much as I agree with the NTSB about the need for this, I have
to take exception with the Board’s description of stability control
as “an emerging technology that holds promise.” The fact is, it
emerged a long time ago, and study after study has proven its
worth. It’s more advanced in Europe than here, predictably, with
far more systems in everyday use over there. I first saw it demonstrated back in the 1990s and I’ve played with it at more test
tracks than I can count. Believe me, it works.
What’s actually emerging is not the technology but the realization that it’s required. What hasn’t been emerging, on the other
hand, is a willingness on the part of most truck operators to buy
in. Some will argue that it isn’t needed but that, I think, is plain
old hogwash. Even the best, most careful driver can easily find
himself in a situation demanding an abrupt evasive maneuver,
and in many cases—we can all think of examples—the result is
tragedy. Because physics easily overcomes skill at the extremes.
Even the most expensive ESC system is cheap insurance. Much
more so when we’re not talking about the most skilled driver.
Sadly, and I take exception here too, all of this was prompted
by NTSB’s investigation of a single accident in Indiana two years
ago. A tanker driver
hauling 9001 gal of liquid natural gas blew it
after veering onto an
off-camber shoulder on
a connection ramp
between Interstate 69
south and southbound
I-465. I know that curve
well, and it can be dicey.
He lost control, rolled it,
and a mighty explosion ensued. The NTSB figures a roll stability
control system would likely have prevented it.
I take exception because accidents like this have been happening for decades. Why should it take so long to notice that they
could be prevented?
A key contributor in this particular crash was the ‘slosh’ factor,
it appears. The trailer was only 78% full, meaning the rig’s centre
of gravity was changing rapidly as the liquid rolled up and down
the sides of the trailer while the driver tried to steer his way out of
trouble. The NTSB admits it doesn’t know a thing about the
dynamics of this situation, saying it’s simply beyond the capabilities of commercially available simulation software. Now, that’s a
bit scary.
The surging of partial liquid loads is a huge challenge, clearly,
so one of the very best of the NTSB recommendations is that
NHTSA—finally—should evaluate the effect of emergency
maneuvers on the slosh factor. Every driver who pulls such loads
should be grateful. ▲
I have to take
exception with the
Board’s description of
stability control as “an
emerging technology
that holds promise.”
Rolf Lockwood is vice-president, editorial, at Newcom Business Media.
You can reach him at 416-614-5825 or rolf@todaystrucking.com.
OCTOBER 2011
7
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BY MARCO BEGHETTO
Court Not On Board
With EOBRs
U.S. judges unplug the EOBR rule, but considering how messy
the alternative could be, maybe that’s a good thing for now.
H
ere we go again.
Like the never ending hours-of-service
rules saga, implementation
of an electronic onboard
recorder (EOBR) policy in
the U.S. will have to clear
some legal roadblocks first.
The U.S. Court of Appeals
for the Seventh Circuit has
unplugged the Federal Motor
Carrier Safety Administration’s upcoming EOBR
regulation, concluding that
it fails to protect drivers
from harassment.
Ruling on a petition
brought forth by the
Owner-Operator
Independent Drivers
Association, the court effectively rejected the rule and
ordered that it be sent back
to the FMCSA for a rewrite
that’s consistent with the
court’s opinion.
8
TODAY’S TRUCKING
The three-judge panel
agreed with OOIDA’s suit that
the rule was “arbitrary and
capricious” because it does
not ensure that electronic
logbooks won’t be “used to
harass vehicle operators.”
The court said the FMCSA
did not provide enough
detail on how it intends to
protect drivers from
overzealous employers. It
also dismissed the agency’s
contention that driver
harassment was considered
during the rulemaking.
The judges highlighted
other shortcomings as
well—such as the costbenefit analysis—but they
said the driver issue was
enough reason to put the
brakes on the rule.
“It’s a fantastic decision,”
said OOIDA President Jim
Johnston. “(It) dealt with the
PAPER WEIGHT: Giving an officer power
to demand hand-written copies of EOBR
data is a step in the wrong direction.
TT October 2011.qxp:Todays Tr masters.qxd
issue of harassment of
drivers, but the court left
room to come back and
challenge other aspects if
the agency gets overly enthusiastic about how they want
to monitor truckers.”
The rule, scheduled to take
effect next summer, will
require truckers with a
10-percent or greater HOS
violation rate during a
compliance review to install
EOBRs on all their vehicles,
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regardless of the model year,
for a two-year period.
Beyond that, the agency has
a much broader rule in the
works. That version, slated for
around 2015, will mandate the
devices for almost all other
carriers operating in the U.S.
(Canada too is close to finalizing its own proposal that’s
said to closely resemble the
FMCSA’s broader mandate).
Circuit Judge Diane Wood
outlined how the agency
should proceed, urging the
FMCSA to make a distinction between productivity
and harassment and
“describe what precisely it is
that will prevent harassment
from occurring.”
The court also wants a
comprehensive study of
motor carriers both using and
not using EOBRs. The study
should consider what types of
harassment already exist, how
frequently it happens, and
“how an electronic device
capable of contemporaneous
transmission of information
to a motor carrier will guard
against (or fail to guard
against) harassment.”
Observers suggest the
agency could do one of two
things: It could retool the
regulation to accommodate
the court or it could jump
straight to the full-mandate,
provided the expanded
Page 9
GRIPPING TALES OF B.C.
ROADS LESS TRAVELED
O
ne hundred years ago, truckers in British Columbia navigated
a road network not much changed since the days of the gold
rush and the mule train. Reluctant to challenge the mountain
ranges and river canyons of the Interior, road builders kept their
activities to the southwestern corner of the province.
It was not even possible for a venturesome trucker—and there
were a few early on—to drive his Model A Ford one-ton from the
Lower Mainland to the Interior without detouring through the U.S.
Long-haul trucking really got underway in the province on May 24,
1927, when the Fraser Canyon Highway re-opened.
Half a century had passed since railway builders destroyed the original wagon road in the 1880s. Not that the new Canyon Highway was
much by today’s standards—a narrow ribbon of gravel cut into the
side of the winding gorge, its unguarded edge fell hundreds of meters
to the roaring river below. Snow removal being non-existent, it was
only open from May to mid-November. Even then it was often blocked
by washouts, slides and freak snowstorms. But it was a beginning.
Truck drivers who traveled this daunting road had nerves of steel.
Andy Craig, a trucker who later wrote a history of the early industry,
explained that most truckers used the road at night to avoid car traffic.
He kept a spotlight aimed at the edge of the road “because it had a
nasty habit of falling into the Fraser River without warning.”
Even when paved, the road was so narrow that when two vehicles
met, one had to back up to the nearest pullout to let the other by.
Once past the Okanagan, early truckers still faced the barrier of the
Selkirk Mountains. Then in 1940 the government pushed through the
Big Bend Highway, a looping 300-km gravel road joining Revelstoke to
Golden. For the first time a vehicle could drive from Alberta to the
coast without swinging south through the States. But the Big Bend
was a winding obstacle course, blocked by snow for much of the year.
One travel writer called it “the loneliest road in America”.
The pioneer period in B.C. trucking finally came to a close in 1962
with the Trans Canada.
As we travel in comfort along B.C.’s many modern highways, we
might want to consider how much we owe those early truckers who
risked their loads, and sometimes their lives, to navigate the primitive
goat trails that passed for roads in early B.C. — by Daniel Francis
Historian Daniel Francis is working on an illustrated history of the trucking
industry in BC. It will be published by Harbour Publishing in 2013 to
celebrate the 100th anniversary of the BCTA.
OCTOBER 2011
9
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Page 10
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Page 11
Dispatches
version considers the
court’s opinion.
Reportedly, some stakeholders don’t mind the extra
time they’ll now have to
refashion the rule. That’s
because it’s becoming clear
that implementation and
enforcement of EOBRs will
be no easy thing and as of
now, the details remain
complex and messy.
During a recent meeting
among members of the
Motor Carrier Safety
Advisory Committee—made
up of carriers, drivers, suppliers, and police who tasked
with advising the FMCSA on
how to resolve difficult
EOBR issues—enforcement
representatives outlined the
difficulties with reading
EOBRs. They say they don’t
want to enter the cab to read
a log screen on a computer
or electronic device and with
municipal budgets being
tight, they don’t have the
money to equip officers with
compatible printers that can
plug into the EOBR. (Not to
mention the risk of transmitting viruses from one
mobile device to another.)
So, naturally they want
carriers to be able to print
out a certified copy of the
EOBR data. This is less of a
problem for larger carriers’
whose EOBRs are part of a
larger information management system, but could be a
huge expense incurred by
smaller fleets and owner-ops.
There are relatively simple options like allowing
drivers to download their
logs onto a USB device or
flash drive, but the security
concerns surrounding this
approach are said to be
insurmountable. And
requiring a driver to copy an
EOBR readout by hand (as
Quebec apparently has been
known to do) runs counter
to using EOBRs to improve
accuracy and efficiency.
Rob Abbott, the American
Trucking Associations’ safety policy VP, said that giving
an officer the power to
demand hand-written copies
is a step in the wrong direction of a paperless business
environment.
And that’s just one of over
a dozen other issues the
panel is wading through,
such as guidelines for transferring EOBR systems from
trucks rotated out of the
fleet to new trucks; properly
identifying drivers for each
truck; and how to define
when a truck is used for
personal conveyance or
commercial operation.
— with files from
Oliver B. Patton
Emissions
Fuel Efficiency
Fallout
Large carriers, truck
manufacturers and suppliers
all but tripped over each
other to publicly applaud
President Obama’s stated
fuel efficiency regulations
for heavy- and medium-duty
trucks. But not all truckers
are equally impressed.
The industry rush to bless
the rules was likely preemptive. (By working with
the feds to craft standards
which for now are largely
founded on widely available
EPA SmartWay spec’ing
options, fleets and OEMs
must have felt they kept a lid
on how burdensome and
costly things could have
been if Washington drew up
the rules in isolation.)
The Owner-Operator
Independent Drivers
Association (OOIDA) is one
of the few groups that
refused to board the bandwagon, calling the administration’s first-ever truck fuel
standards a “flawed, onesize-fits-all rule” which
“ignores input from smallbusiness trucking.”
The rule requires heavy
and medium-duty trucks to
achieve between 10 and
20-percent reduction in
fuel-consumption and
greenhouse-gas emissions
by model year 2018.
The standards will have to
be achieved by the whole
LOG BOOK
Go online for more events, visit www.todaystrucking.com
October 24-26
November 17-18
December 1
Canadian Transport Equipment
Association 48th Manufacturers’
Technical Conference
Delta Beausejour,
Moncton, N.B.
Contact: 519-631-0414
Website: www.ctea.ca
Ontario Trucking Association 85th
Annual Conference
Doubletree Hilton, Toronto
Speakers include hockey legend Lanny
McDonald business journalist Amanda
Lang and musical guest Lawrence
Gowan (yes, that Gowan!)
Contact: 416-249-7401
Website: www.ontruck.org
Toronto Transportation
Club Dinner & AGM
Fairmount Royal York Hotel
Contact: 416-886-5450
Website:
www.torontotransportationclub.com
November 7-11
2012 Heavy Duty Dialogue
& Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week
The Mirage, Las Vegas
Contact: 919-406-8847
Website: www.hdma.org &
www.hdaw.org
October 25-27
2011 APTA General Meeting
& Atlantic Transportation Summit
Sheraton Hotel,
St. John’s, Nfld.
Contact: 506-855-2782
Website: www.apta.ca
9th Truck IT Forum
InterContinental Buckhead, Atlanta
For-hire and private fleet technology event
Contact: 615-369-5900
Website: events.eft.com/truckit
2012
January 23-26
OCTOBER 2011
11
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Page 12
Dispatches
on the
Docket
FASTER THAN F.A.S.T:
A proposed national cross-border program that
could expedite commercial traffic quicker than
FAST, could get a trial run at the Blue Water
Bridge in Sarnia, Ont.-Port Huron, Mich.
Under the FAST program, both FASTapproved drivers and the shipment have to be
pre-screened in order to use the dedicated lane
and customs booth at border crossings.
However, “Fast Lite,” as the new program has
been dubbed, would reportedly require only
one of those requirements to gain access to the
FAST infrastructure. It’s something that the
trucking industry has been lobbying for years.
Blue Water Bridge authorities volunteered
their crossing as the proving ground for the
proposed pilot project.
truck, not just its engine.
That means things like tires
and aerodynamic devices
will be factored in, as will,
eventually, trailers.
OOIDA insists the rule
“overlooks less expensive
options to achieve reduced
emissions,” and will ultimately increase new truck costs.
“By totally ignoring the
impact on small-business
trucking, the EPA has demonstrated yet another example
of our wretchedly broken regulatory process,” said Joe
Rajkovacz, director of
Regulatory Affairs for OOIDA.
The Association contends
the EPA made an “irresponsible mistake” in its regulatory analysis by “excluding
the impact on those who
actually buy and drive large
trucks and by focusing only
12
TODAY’S TRUCKING
ABSTRACT START:
A new commercial driver abstract that provides
a more comprehensive driving record for
commercial operators is now available.
While the current abstract only contains
moving violations and information about
licence qualification (such as cancelled,
suspended), the new format also includes
non-moving National Safety Code (NSC)
violations (e.g., hours of service, load
securement, dangerous goods, mechanical
issues, etc.) along with Commercial Vehicle
Safety Alliance (CVSA) inspection results.
The initial abstracts will contain this
information for the previous three years from
the date requested. Alberta plans to offer five
and 10-year abstracts in the future.
The government says this version provides
a more complete driving record and more
insight into a commercial driver’s habits,
attitudes and compliance history.
For $15 drivers can go to any Alberta
Registry Agent and request their own
abstract or their employers or prospective
employers can ask them to sign a waiver
that allows the company to request one on
their driver’s behalf.
on truck manufacturers.
This approach will only
serve to drive up the costs for
the small businesses who
operate an overwhelming
majority of the nation’s truck-
GREENHOUSE CLASS (8):
It’s fair to question whether
the Obama’s CO2 rules for
trucks can be applied fairly
across the board.
ing businesses,” says OOIDA,
pointing out that nearly 96
percent of registered motor
carriers in the U.S. operate
20 or fewer trucks.
As well, the government
overlooked the most effective fuel-savings method of
all,” added Rajkovacz:
“Driver training, which is
responsible for 35 percent of
fuel economy and which
costs far less than any new
technology, should have
been the priority.”
At least a few of OOIDA’s
objections have merit. The
whopping 1,000-page rule
isn’t very convincing on
whether the benchmarks
can actually be met or the
promised fuel savings and
GHG reductions achieved.
Nor are the costs fully
explained, especially those
incurred by small operators
who haul the majority of
the freight.
The North American fleet
is made up of so many widely
divergent shapes and sizes
and does such a huge variety
of work in different environments that it’s reasonable to
question whether the rules
can be applied fairly across
the board.
As some observers have
already noted, it’s likely that
in order to meet the standards, OEMs will have to
work with a limited databook of approved specs,
which could squeeze the
buyer’s choices. In other
words, it’s SmartWay or
not-the-highway.
Meanwhile, Canada
is keeping step with
Washington by releasing
a consultation paper on
regulations similar to
the Americans’.
For now, the Canadian
Trucking Alliance appears
a bit more wary than its
American counterparts.
While it doesn’t oppose fuel
economy standards “in
principle,” the CTA wants
to see proof the savings
will offset the higher cost
of equipment.
CSA
We’re in the
Dark Here
Almost a year into CSA
and truckers are obviously
still confused about the
Federal Motor Carrier
Safety Administration’s
(FMCSA) new safety
monitoring program.
According to a new
survey from the American
Transportation Research
Institute (ATRI) a large
majority of drivers misunderstand several parts
of the new safety scoring/
crash reporting regime and
many say the rules could
end their careers.
TT October 2011.qxp:Todays Tr masters.qxd
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Dispatches
It’s staggering, in fact, how
deeply in the dark the drivers
are. According to the survey,
99 percent of drivers and
owner-ops (out of over 4,500
interviewed), could not correctly identify which five carrier BASIC scores are publicly
available. (They’re Unsafe
Driving, Fatigued Driving,
Driver Fitness, Controlled
Substances/ Alcohol, and
Vehicle Maintenance. The
Cargo and Crash Indicator
categories make up the
balance of the list, but those
scores aren’t public.)
The survey also says that
78 percent of drivers incorrectly believe that a carrier
inherits past violations from
new hires. (Only inspections
that a driver receives while
driving under a carrier’s
authority are part of a
carrier’s record.)
A whopping 87 percent
believe that traffic tickets/
convictions are part of
FMCSA’s calculations (which
isn’t true) and 72 percent
falsely believe that FMCSA
can revoke a commercial driver’s licence as a result of CSA.
And about 59 percent
think the overall safety
regulations have changed.
(However, FMCSA does
plan to alter the carrier
safety rating process for
determining whether or
not a carrier is unfit.)
Plus, nearly two-thirds of
drivers are “somewhat or
extremely concerned” that
they will lose their jobs as a
result of CSA. Nearly 25 percent say they expect they’ll
make less money—although
most weren’t concerned and
21 percent said their pay
could increase.
ATRI currently has a
similar motor carrier survey
under way.
heard on the
Street
■ Western energy services transporter, the
MULLEN GROUP bought POLARIS
PETROLEUM, a privately owned oil services
and fluid hauler based in Drayton Valley, Alta.
Polaris, a medium-size outfit which cleverly
dubs itself the “liquid luggers,” also provides
drilling and production fluid services to oil
and gas companies operating in the Cardium
resource play.
Polaris will be operated as a stand-alone
business unit under the Mullen umbrella. Its
former owners Monte and Cindy Waronek
have agreed to stay on and run the day-today operations.
■ PORTAGE TRANSPORT, based in
Portage La Prairie, Man. has acquired LARK
TRANSPORT of the same hometown.
Health
Harvard in
Bed With Sleep
Apnea Experts
Judging by the sound of
courses like “Linguistics:
Syntactic Theory I” and
“Gender in Developing
Nations,” there’s probably
no shortage of passed-out
college students to test for
excessive daytime sleepiness.
Nonetheless, Harvard
researchers are focusing on
the trucking industry’s reputed challenges with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
In advance of a sleep
apnea testing requirement
for truckers, sleep experts
are investigating a new
type of screening tool to
identify drivers at a higher
The Lark acquisition will reportedly add
about 25 power units to Portage’s LTL, temp
controlled and hazmat hauler fleet. The deal
will also expand Portage’s customer base.
■ Mayne Root is the main man to head the
TRANSPORTATION TRAINING AND
DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION in Alberta.
Root, who recently retired as the director of
the Alberta Motor Transport Association, has
been a member of the TT&DA board for
many years and, says the group, brings “a
wealth of knowledge of the industry and
government involvement to the position.”
Root replaces Cliff Soper who is moving to
focus more on community involvement.
■ The MANITOBA TRUCKING
ASSOCIATION handed out nine scholarships to member employees and their
dependents. The academic and apprenticeship awards went to: Devin Edwards
(Gardewine North), Tyson Bednar (Custom
Truck Sales Inc.) and Scott Kehler (Penner
International.) The recipient of the Winnipeg
Transportation Club Scholarship is Rob
Poapst Jr. (GroupHealth Global). Scott
Greenhalgh of Bison Transport won the
Edward Ewanochko Scholarship.
risk of the disorder. The
psychomotor vigilance
test is a 10-minute test of
attention, alertness, and
reaction time (RT). It can
be accomplished within a
short office visit, requires
only brief instruction, is
performed on portable,
hand-held computers, and
its output can be easily and
quickly read and interpreted.
“Our goal is to develop
objective screening methods
beyond obesity for obstructive sleep apnea to be used
in occupational health
settings,” said the study’s
senior author, Stefanos N.
Kales, MD, MPH, Division
Chief & Medical Director of
Employee and Industrial
Medicine at Cambridge
Health Alliance. “Subjective
reports of excessive daytime
sleepiness are notoriously
unreliable, especially
during fitness-for-work
examinations, and obesity
in isolation as a screen has
generated resistance from
many drivers.”
OSA is the most common
medical cause of excessive
daytime sleepiness (EDS)
and is associated with a twoto seven-fold increase in the
risk of motor vehicle crashes,
according to the authors.
“This novel use of the
PVT is extremely promising
as a frontline check for
sleepiness accomplished at
professional drivers’ federally
mandated licensing exams,
similar to vision and hearing
screens common in current
use,” added Dr. Kales. ▲
OCTOBER 2011
13
TT October 2011.qxp:Todays Tr masters.qxd
S I T ED
ON T HE
9/15/11
W EB
Truckers Get a Lump of Toll
The New York Port Authority is aiming to climb out of debt on the backs of
truckers. Crossing the bridges and tunnels between New York City and
New Jersey will cost certain drivers as much as $65 per trip and could rise
to over $100 by 2015.
Tolls for trucks using E-Z Pass
payment tags will rise by $2 per
$
65
axle, while cash-paying trucks will
pay $5 per.
The American Trucking
Associations appealed to Govs. Chris
Christie and Andrew Cuomo to scrap
the “ill-conceived and unprecedented” toll hike, but so far with little luck.
Meanwhile, Gotham also wants more gotcha cameras on city streets.
NY Mayor Bloomberg was quoted as saying that if it was up to him, every
intersection in Manhattan would have a red light camera.
In the city that never sleeps, neither would traffic enforcement.
N.J. Tollhike
MORE @ http://tinyurl.com/big-toll-hike &
http://tinyurl.com/ny-cameras
Report exposes high
Mexican truck defects.
Or does it?
8:32 AM
Page 14
The Big Engines That Couldn’t
Changes to emissions technology caused a spike in enginerelated problems in recent years, but now more fleets are
reporting improvements in the quality of their big bore power.
According to J.D. Power and Associates’ 2011 HeavyDuty Truck Engine and Transmission Study, 42 percent of
owners of one-year-old heavy-duty trucks report experiencing
some type of engine-related problem, down from 46 percent
last year. That’s good, but still not great as this is well above the
historically low average of 26 percent in 2004.
The study also finds that the number of engine problems increases by 55 percent, on average, after
50,000 miles of usage, up to 80.5 problems per 100 vehicles from 51.9 per 100 vehicles.
“Clearly, the emissions requirements have put a burden on engine manufacturers, and the result is
that today’s engines—although environmentally improved—are more problematic,” said Todd
Markusic, senior director of the commercial vehicle practice at J.D. Power and Associates.
“Given the quality issues that arose from the last emission-standards redesign in 2007, the new
emissions standards in 2010 will no doubt create another challenge for engine manufacturers, but
those that best handle the integration of these new standards will have a competitive advantage.”
MORE @ http://tinyurl.com/enginesurvey
From
@todaystrucking
Twitter Feed
Just weeks before the U.S. is set to reopen its border to Mexican long-haul
truckers, a report surfaced that indicates a large majority of trucks heading
northbound into El Paso from Mexico have reportable defects.
Texas Department of Public Safety inspectors found over 1 million
violations on about 1.2 million trucks inspected between 2007 and 2011,
a stat protectionists made much hay with.
But wait. Only 31,519 of those trucks and 625 drivers were placed out
of service (OOS)—a rate that bests domestic U.S. and Canadian averages.
MORE @ http://tinyurl.com/mextruck-numbers
“We’re not talking about
wide-open cabotage, but …
this is an area that is crying
out for reform.”
— CTA president David Bradley on the need for relaxed rules on
point-to-point transport of Canadian trucks in the U.S.
MORE @ http://tinyurl.com/can-cabotage
TODAY’S TRUCKING on
twitter
twitter.com/todaystrucking
Join the Conversation!
14
TODAY’S TRUCKING
MORE @ twitter.com/todaystrucking
TT October 2011.qxp:Todays Tr masters.qxd
9/15/11
8:32 AM
Page 15
Dispatches
Canada: Truck Sales Index
3555
2019
26.6%
3,500
International
379
2627
2786
19.7%
3,000
Kenworth
452
2603
2092
19.5%
2,500
Peterbilt
214
1441
1191
10.8%
2,000
Volvo
196
1309
919
9.8%
Mack
143
937
603
7.0%
Western Star
119
883
694
6.6%
1956
13,355
10,435
100.0%
This Month
YTD ’11
YTD ’10
Share
105
669
513
41.3%
Kenworth
43
287
207
17.7%
Freightliner
45
257
184
15.9%
Hino Canada
17
220
139
13.6%
Peterbilt
24
186
191
11.5%
20
246
116
46.2%
International
31
204
196
38.3%
Freightliner
21
76
41
14.3%
3
7
29
1.3%
75
533
394
100.0%
This Month
YTD ’11
YTD ’10
Share
Hino Canada
40
358
263
59.7%
International
43
203
105
33.8%
Freightliner
1
23
4
3.8%
Kenworth
2
14
31
2.3%
Peterbilt
0
2
7
0.3%
86
600
422
100.0%
Peterbilt
TOTAL
CLASS 5
TOTAL
June ’11
July 2011
Mar. ’11
Apr. 2011
May 2011
Feb. 2011
Dec. 2010
Jan. 2011
Oct. 2010
200
100
26,407
2685
17,710
Peterbilt
2291
12,624
Kenworth
1652
11,020
Volvo
1374
9823
Mack
1103
6903
196
1002
Other
5
13
TOTAL
12,609
85,502
Western Star
15,000
0
14,000
12-month Class-6 Sales
13,000
12,000
200
100
11,000
10,000
9,000
July 2011
Hino Canada
3303
International
May 2011
June 2011
Share
Freightliner
Mar. ’11
YTD ’10
YTD ’11
Apr. 2011
YTD ’11
12-month Class-7 Sales
This Month
Oct. 2010
Nov. 2010
Dec. 2010
Jan. 2011
Feb. 2011
This Month
CLASS 8
Aug. 2010
Sept. 2010
100.0%
U.S.: Retail Truck Sales
0
July 2011
1251
150
April 2011
May 2011
June 2011
1619
300
Dec. 2010
Jan. 2011
Feb. 2011
Mar. 2011
April 2011
May 2011
June 2011
July 2011
CLASS 6
234
12-month Class-8 Sales
Jan. 2011
Feb. 2011
March 2011
TOTAL
www.simardsuspensions.com
1 800 423-5347
0
Nov. 2010
International
500
Aug. 2010
Sept. 2010
CLASS 7
1,000
Aug. 2010
Sept. 2010
Oct. 2010
Nov. 2010
TOTAL
1,500
June ’11
July 2011
453
May ’11
Freightliner
Mar. 2011
Share
Apr. 2011
YTD ’10
Jan. 2011
Feb. 2011
YTD ’11
Aug. 2010
Sept. 2010
Oct. 2010
Nov. 2010
Dec. 2010
This Month
Aug. 2010
Sept. 2010
Oct. 2010
Nov. 2010
Dec. 2010
CLASS 8
July 2011
0
0
12-month Class-8 Sales, United States
12-month Class-5 Sales
Canada: Provincial Sales (Class 8)
CLASS 8
Freightliner
International
Kenworth
Peterbilt
Volvo
Mack
Western Star
TOTAL
YTD 2011
BC
AB
SK
MB
ON
QC
NB
NS
PE
NL
CDA
29
17
40
39
17
11
9
162
1095
67
41
198
70
6
20
45
447
2680
11
9
26
18
6
9
2
81
556
13
22
1
21
15
0
4
76
783
194
157
66
27
117
67
16
644
4710
93
93
102
30
23
28
33
402
2565
18
15
19
8
8
5
10
83
609
9
19
0
1
4
3
0
36
251
6
1
0
0
0
0
0
7
21
13
5
0
0
0
0
0
18
85
453
379
452
214
196
143
119
1956
13,355
Sources: Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers Association and Ward’s Communication.
Sterling ceased production in 2009 and has been removed from the truck sales listing.
OCTOBER 2011
15
TT October 2011.qxp:Todays Tr masters.qxd
Quality
9/15/11
8:32 AM
Page 16
Service
Value
)NåTOUGHåECONOMICåTIMESåITSåIMPORTANTåTOåCHOOSEåYOURåBUSINESSåPARTNERSåWISELYå!Tå(ANKOOKå
WEåUNDERSTANDåYOURåNEEDåFORåPROVENåQUALITYåOFFERINGåOURåLINEUPåOFå%0!å3MART7AYšåVERIlEDå
TECHNOLOGYåTRUCKåTIRESå#OMBINEåTHATåWITHåOURåPROACTIVEåSERVICEåANDåYOUåNOWåHAVEåAåFORMULAå
FORåUNBEATABLEåVALUEå(ANKOOKåBETTERåTIRESåFROMåAåBETTERåTIREåCOMPANYå4OålNDåOUTåMOREåABOUTå
OURåh3MARTå0ARTNERSHIPSvåGIVEåUSåAåCALLåORåSENDåYOURåINQUIRYåTOåMARKETING HANKOOKTIRECA
AL11
0REMIUMå,ONGå(AULå4IREåFORå
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(ANKOOKå4IREå#ANADAå#ORPååå2ESOLUTIONå$RIVEå"RAMPTONå/NTARIOå,7å!å#!.!$!å
4ELååå4OLLå&REEåINå#ANADAåååå&AXåå
TT October 2011.qxp:Todays Tr masters.qxd
9/15/11
8:32 AM
Page 17
Street Smarts
INSIDE:
19 Beghetto moves on
21 When safety means savings
MANAGING PEOPLE, TECHNOLOGY, BUSINESS, AND SAFETY
ARE YOU AT
?
Depending on how you score on this
Sleep-apnea Risk Test, you might need
to consult a sleep specialist asap.
SAY MOLD SAY MOLD:
Priemer’s solution starts with
the dentist taking a cast
of your mouth.
Building a better mouth trap
apnea Dentist eyes apnea solution that’s a bit easier to swallow.
By Peter Carter
F
or truckers (or anyone else) diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea
(OSA), the familiar contraption
known as the Continuous Positive Airway
Pressure (CPAP) device has become the
“gold standard” treatment.
It works by delivering a continuous
stream of air to prevent possibly fatal but
definitely fatiguing lapses in breathing
In most cases, the CPAP machine is
100-percent effective. That is, says Dr. Les
Priemer, 100-percent effective 50 percent
of the time because so many people don’t
use it the way they’re supposed to.
The problem is, the CPAP device is
bulky, ugly, uncomfortable and requires
electrical power and water.
“You couldn’t,” Priemer told Today’s
Trucking, “pay me a thousand dollars to
wear one of those things.”
Non-compliance is a huge issue; so
huge that a company in Nova Scotia has
introduced a product called U-Sleep to
help fleets monitor their OSA-diagnosed
drivers, just to make sure they’re using the
CPAP machines.
Priemer, the Toronto-based dentist, is
offering an alternative: Oral Appliance
Therapy (OAT).
The heart of OAT is the small appliance—it’s self-contained and requires no
hoses or electricity—that you wear to bed
and it sort of thrusts your lower jaw forward. In doing so, it draws the tongue
away from the airway so there’s no blockage of the air passage.
“What we’re doing is moving the jaw
forward by, usually, about eight millimeters,” he says.
It’s of course more complicated than
sticking a device into your mouth before
bedtime.
After an initial consultation, the dentist
takes a mold of your mouth. Two weeks
later, the appliance is fitted and a few
weeks later, you return for a follow-up
____ Sitting and Reading
____ Watching TV
____ Sitting inactive in a public place
(theater, meeting, etc.)
____ Riding as a passenger in a vehicle
for an hour without a break
____ Lying down to rest in the afternoon
____ Sitting and talking to someone
____ Sitting quietly after lunch
without alcohol
____ Driving, stopped for a few minutes
in traffic
Score:
■ If your total score is nine or above,
tell your doctor.
■ But less than nine does not mean you
do not have a problem. If you’re overweight, snore or have been told that you
gasp for breath in your sleep, it’s worth
looking into. It could save your life.
consultation to ensure the appliance is
comfortable and effective.
After that, it’s yours for life.
“I try like crazy not to replace them,”
Priemer says “In 16 years of doing this, I’ve
replaced only one and it was chewed up by
a dog in Buffalo.”
The treatment ranges in cost from
$1,500 to $3,000.
For more information on how you can
locate a dentist who can help, visit
aadsm.org; a.k.a., American Academy of
Dental Sleep Medicine for more. ▲
OCTOBER 2011
17
Test Courtesy of the American Academy of Dental Sleep
Rate each of the following situations on
a zero-to-three scale for how likely you
are to accidently fall asleep doing them,
with zero meaning never; and three
meaning very likely.
TT October 2011.qxp:Todays Tr masters.qxd
9/19/11
2:36 PM
Page 18
Rugged meets
profitable.
Western Star and the new Detroit Diesel® DD13, DD15 and DD16 engines featuring
BlueTec® Emissions Technology. Amazing power, proven durability and up to
5% better fuel economy*. It’s the premium truck with the profitability to match.
GET THE PROOF. LEARN MORE AT RUGGEDMEETSPROFITABLE.COM
* Comparing a DD15 EPA 2010 engine to a DD15 EPA 2007 engine with comparable engine ratings and load weight.
:60&$6SHFLÀFDWLRQVDUHVXEMHFWWRFKDQJHZLWKRXWQRWLFH:HVWHUQ6WDU7UXFN6DOHV,QFLVUHJLVWHUHGWR,62DQG,62
&RS\ULJKW‹'DLPOHU7UXFNV1RUWK$PHULFD//&$OOULJKWVUHVHUYHG:HVWHUQ6WDU7UXFN6DOHV,QFLVDVXEVLGLDU\RI'DLPOHU7UXFNV1RUWK$PHULFD//&D'DLPOHUFRPSDQ\
TT October 2011.qxp:Todays Tr masters.qxd
9/15/11
9:47 AM
Page 19
Column
Goodbye, But Not Gone
farewell I’m moving on. Thanks for one heck of a ride.
By Marco Beghetto
I
owe my livelihood to some
dude with an eyebrow ring.
Really.
As much of an ego-crusher
as it is to admit, I wasn’t the
first choice to be the associate
editor of Today’s Trucking 11
years ago. Apparently, I lost
out to some Queen Street hipster who charmed his way in.
There was a catch, though.
Anyone who’s ever spent five
minutes with our boss Jim
Glionna would probably
agree that he and things like
forehead bling don’t really
jibe. And so this young man
was kindly told he would
need to remove the face
jewelry, at least when
representing the magazine
outside of the office. “No way
daddy-o. You can take this
job back to Squaresville,”
responded Mr. Too Cool For
School. (Or he might have if
this were an episode of
“Leave it to Beaver.”)
Needless to say, my phone
rang shortly thereafter. And
that’s how life happens.
I’ve had a lot of fun ever
since. Though, truthfully,
back then I couldn’t imagine
I’d stick in this industry. This
gig was supposed to be a pit
stop on my destined path to
becoming the next Quentin
Tarantino.
Obviously, things didn’t
quite unfold that way. That’s
because I suck as a screenwriter. Besides that, the more I
hung out with you guys—fleet
owners and drivers alike—the
less I stopped imagining doing
anything else.
You’re infectious. And your
stories are inspiring. To this
day I remain fascinated with
how a guy turns one truck
into 31 trucks and does it by
sidestepping through a
minefield of burdensome
regulations, soaring costs
and cutthroat competition.
Thanks for letting me ride
shotgun. Hopefully, I won the
respect of a few of you along
the way.
As you may have deciphered from that not-so cryptic headline, I’m saying all this
because after 11 years at this
magazine, I’ve decided to
move on. I was asked by the
Ontario Trucking Association/
Canadian Trucking Alliance
to join their team as VP of
communications & new
media and I accepted.
It’s certainly a big change,
but it’s the right challenge for
me and I’m excited about
what I can offer the group.
I really can’t say I know
what trucking was like before I
started here, but I’ve witnessed
monumental changes during
my stint, specifically since
9/11. Though, I sense at the
end of my run as a truck writer
that despite it all the industry
is generally more solid than
ever. At least there’s less inner
turmoil than there once was.
The other day I was
Googling for news and spent
some time poking around the
news archive. Most of the
headlines from decades past
read something like this:
Truckers’ Resistance Broken,
Drivers Say (Hartford Courant,
Oct 19, 1954); Violence
Continues In Trucker Strike
(NY Times, Oct. 5,1967);
Administration Surrenders to
Irate Truckers’ Demands
(Calgary Herald, Dec. 6, 1973).
And, if Google’s news archives
are any indication, it seems
that’s pretty much how it
went until about the turn of
the century.
Unlike the streets of
Athens or Sydney, truckers
are pretty quiet around here.
Despite our own record high
diesel prices and other operating costs, there hasn’t been
much unrest. Sure, there were
some significant stoppages in
what are arguably less sophisticated sectors (like, say, west
coast drayage), but generally
most of you put your head
just reiterate what I’ve always
said: Obviously, they can’t be
everything to everyone, but
nobody has done more to
improve this industry’s public
image. Plus, they’re all that
stand between truckers of all
stripes and Big Government’s
bureaus of compliance. Like it
or not, sometimes you have to
feed the leviathan if you want
to tame it and avoid death by
a thousand paper(work) cuts.
Deep down, I think most
truckers would admit that
business life would be a heck
of a lot worse without the
associations’ efforts in an age
where the state attempts to
control virtually every aspect
of cross-border commerce,
among countless
Thanks for letting me ride other things like
you spec your
shotgun. Hopefully, I won how
truck; whether
the respect of a few of you you can smoke in
your cab or talk
along the way.
on your CB; the
kind of fuel you fill up with;
down and, perhaps a little
and the body mass index of
begrudgingly, rolled along.
the drivers you hire.
My own feeling is the
But regardless of what you
battle-worn operators who
may think of all that, I will say
survived the last couple of
that I honestly loved recordrecessions are reflexively
ing your stories.
savvier in adapting to
You remain in good hands.
conditions on the ground
Rolf, King of the Motor Noter
than truckers of yesteryear.
Bracing for technocratic
Jungle, is still here. Peter
meteor showers is another
Carter is one of the best and
matter, however. Unlike cycliwittiest magazine editors on
cal, somewhat predictive marthe planet and my replaceket conditions, arbitrary and
ment Jason Rhyno is more
intrusive rules often come out
wide-eyed and enthusiastic
of nowhere and, at times, with
about this industry than any
suspect justification.
newcomer I’ve seen. Treat
I’m under no illusion that
him well.
you’re all fans of the associaSo long. Stay safe. And
tions. Fair enough. But I’ll
make money. ▲
OCTOBER 2011
19
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Download FREE at
http://tinyurl.com/truckingpodcast
Subscribe FREE at
http://tinyurl.com/itunesdispatches
THE
P
DISPATCHES
DCAST
Where eavesdropping is not only welcomed…it’s encouraged!
Whether driving to work, driving for work, taking a break from
work, or working out, Dispatches Podcasts are a perfect audio
companion to those of you in trucking. Enjoy your weekend.
News. Opinions. Information. Mobile.
TT October 2011.qxp:Todays Tr masters.qxd
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Guest Column
How safety can drive savings
money At least one worker safety program contributes to the bottom line.
By Guy H. Broderick
T
he Workplace Safety
and Insurance Board
(WSIB) has been
attracting a lot of attention
lately telling us all about how
its new programs will benefit
your workplace. Specifically,
the WSIB is promoting something called a Safety Group
Program (SGP), geared for
the transportation industry.
WSIB claims that if you
have a Joint Health and
Safety Committee (JHSC) on
board and implement the
Safety Group Program
you’ll have a safer, happier
workplace and you’ll save
money. In fact, companies
implementing the SGP can
be eligible for a six-percent
WSIB premium rebate.
(Ontario’s not the only
province, either. Other
provinces have similar programs. Check with your own
Ministries of Labour.)
SGPs are managed by
leading industry-trained
professionals from the
Infrastructure Health and
Safety Association (IHSA)
andWSIB.
Canpar, an LTL division
of TransForce Inc., and JD
Smith, a family-run trucking
fleet that has grown into a
logistics provider 150-plusemployees strong, have both
bought into SGPs. And in
both cases, the move has
paid handsomely.
Canpar’s Lynn Pothier said
her company became part of
the program back in 2001,
one year after its inception.
They saw it as an opportunity
to build on an in-house pro-
gram that they already had
in place. The rebate part
of the program was a big
selling point, so there was
an immediate buy-in from
senior management.
It took a little longer to
convince shop-floor
JD Smith’s Loss Prevention
Manager Joseph Libralesso
said their biggest hurdle was
time. The program was
entered using existing
resources with no additional
staff. For one thing, he said,
it’s difficult to schedule any
SAFETY FIRST: The
program also helps
prove due diligence.
managers and supervisors.
“It did create more work for
managers,” Pothier notes,
adding that in the end “this is
a good thing, companies are
forced to examine their
health and safety practices.”
“We implemented the
requirement of having three
‘mandatory’ safety topics each
month that I would select
based on our current policies,”
she says. “Another hurdle was
trying to find innovative ways
to measure success and evaluate the programs we were
implementing, but that too
worked itself out.”
group of drivers to be in one
place at one time.
Support at JD Smith for
this program was the same as
it was at Canpar—right from
the top down. Smith had
recently achieved ISO9002
certification and the program
was viewed as a means to
develop the best safety
practices in health and safety
in the company.
The IHSA and WSIB
provided training seminars
for personnel and are well
positioned as sponsors to
the programs.
Both Pothier and Libralesso
would recommend SGPs to
other fleets. Pothier says
such a program also gives
the company a way to prove
due diligence in case of a
serious accident and it offers
monetary rewards for raising
safety program to a higher
level. Both companies saw a
reduction in reported
injuries and collisions. Also,
they improved their returnto-work programs and cut
their WSIB claims.
According to Rumina
DiValentin, a Safety Group
Consultant at the WSIB, if
you want to take advantage of
the program, your company
must meet certain criteria.
You must:
■ Be a schedule 1 firm;
■ Be in good standing with
WSIB;
■ Have the owner or senior
management team commit
to the program;
■ Complete the necessary
forms;
■ Create and nurture a
safety culture in the
workplace;
■ Submit year-end
reports verifying your
action plan;
■ Participate in a validation
audit;
■ Document all activities
related to their program.
All of this information is
available on both the WSIB
and the IHSA websites.
wsib.on.ca and ihsa.ca. ▲
Writer Guy Broderick is a member
of the Ontario Road Knights and a
driver-trainer with Apps Transport
Group, Brampton.
OCTOBER 2011
21
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TwoofScoops
Slowdown
The drumbeat of a
double-dip recession is
intensifying. But trucking
appears somewhat
insulated—for now.
BY MARCO BEGHETTO
T
hat sure didn’t last very long. According to some
economic observers there are signals that the U.S.
economy is quickly losing the little bit of momentum it had
earlier this year or, worst case, heading for a double-dip.
And with Canada experiencing economic contraction for the
first time since the recession hit rock bottom two years ago, there
are fears the tremors could disrupt trucking’s precarious rebound.
Dwindling confidence that the U.S. will get its finances and
debt-payment strategy in order anytime soon has played havoc
with freight forecasts and the blowback is now being felt on this
side of the border.
Even before the S&P downgrade of America’s debt rating last
month, a blizzard of bad news began to fall from analysts who
22
TODAY’S TRUCKING
MAKE IT A DOUBLE: Could we be facing
the first double-dip in three decades?
indicated that another mini recession—the first double-dip in
three decades, in fact— is not only inevitable, but unavoidable.
(Google search “double-dip now” for a collection of examples).
At the same time, Stats Canada announced that our own streak
of avoiding significant shrinkage had run out. Reflecting the high
dollar’s impact on exports and general weakness in the U.S. and
Europe, Canada’s GDP between April and June retreated for the
first time since 2009 and there are strong indications that growth
will be anemic at best into 2012, save for a short bump in preChristmas activity.
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty told reporters that the economy
certainly “paused” and the most recent data shows that it’s “still
very fragile.”
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Page 23
Two Scoops of Slowdown
However, few trucking-specific economists appear ready to
bang the drum for doldrums in the hauling sector.
While the uptick in negative economic reports is concerning for
truckers on both sides of the border, freight demand and capacity
are in balance and pricing is actually holding up pretty decently.
Noel Perry, senior consultant with FTR Associates, says general truckload and dry van rates remained buoyed during the
summer slowdown. And now that YRC’s main rivals have given up
trying to undercut the beleaguered giant out of business, rates are
up as high as 6 percent across the board in LTL.
“After some very slow growth in volumes in the spring, the last
few months have been better—not great or anywhere near what
you’d expect in a normal recovery—but capacity is quite tight and
while carriers aren’t growing, they’ve been able to increase their
margins,” he tells Today’s Trucking.
Brian Taylor, president of Liberty Linehaul in Ayr, Ont., doesn’t
necessarily see southbound freight diminishing yet even though
“those numbers are down a lot from where they need to be.”
“I think even if we see slow growth that means that basically
we’re going to see the volumes maintained where they are now or
slightly increase,” he says. “But we haven’t really seen any evidence
that it’s gotten worse.”
Rates in cross-border general truckload are still hit and miss,
though, with loads in the spot market continually driven down by
3PLs and brokers.
“[Rates] are holding up, I
guess. There are some places
where there aren’t trucks
available and we have customers that will pay us extra
to run more distance empty
to pick up more loads for
them. But generally on
southbound traffic some of
those rates have gotten beat
down over time and there’s
not enough competitiveness on the lanes to pull rates up,” he says.
As a result, many larger carriers who depend on stateside traffic have spent the recessionary years retrenching domestically,
which has saturated certain east-west lanes in Canada.
“There’s been a migration over the last few years of carriers
looking more to the domestic marketplace,” Taylor continues. “At
one point it was as competitive as north-south traffic was. We’ve
seen some pretty big carriers start to run into western Canada
and eastern Canada over the last four-five years.”
While he’s generally more sanguine about trucking’s near-term
prospects than some other economists, FTR’s Perry is under no
illusion that the eras of long gaps between peak cycles will be the
norm once again.
“In the ’80s and ’90s it was roughly 10 years between peaks.
Before that they were only about five years apart,” he says. “It’s
quite probable that the lengths of recoveries will be shorter in the
teen [years] than they were certainly in the ’80s and ’90s.”
In fact, he advises carriers to take full advantage of this modest
boost because “structural imbalances” in the economy mean a
return to a time when recoveries were tenuous and short-lived.
“It’s quite probable
that the lengths of
recoveries will be
shorter in the teen
years than they
were certainly in
the ’80s and ’90s.”
BY THE
Numbers
Ontario truckers are slightly less optimistic about the industry’s
overall prospects over the next three months. According to the
latest Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) quarterly e-pulse survey:
% of carriers ate still feeling good about trucking, but
that’s an eight-percent drop from the 2Q11 survey.
% reported an uptick in freight volumes compared to
last year, but not as much as three months ago.
said
southbound U.S. volumes dropped, up 14 points
%
from last quarter.
% is the measly ratio of carriers that feel U.S.-bound
volumes are improving.
% of carriers suggested that intra-Ontario freight rates
were improving modestly, while 61 percent feel rates
are about the same. Meanwhile, 46 percent say rates are better
interprovincially, while, not surprisingly, only 14 percent reported stronger U.S. rates.
% reflects, more cheerily, those who said loaded miles
are increasing—the largest rate since OTA started
the survey in ‘08.
The split on whether carriers plan to hire
more drivers or owner-ops.
64
67
31
19
25
45
50-50:
THREE-WAY: The split between carriers on whether
capacity will continue to rise, fall or stay flat. (BTW, 30 percent
say capacity decreased from 2Q).
NEARLY UNANIMOUS: Carriers who said all major
operating costs increased. (38 percent said they’re paying
between 15 and 20-percent more and another 23 percent
reporting expenses higher than that.)
Perry’s long-term pessimism is rooted in the continually weak
housing outlook and the meteoric levels of U.S. federal debt. The
ongoing impact of both factors on the U.S. dollar, he adds, will
negatively affect Canadian carriers as well.
“Even if we have pretty good recovery, carriers should be
thinking they could get a recession in 2014,” he explains. “So the
relationships they establish with their customers now, while they
have some market power, have to be able to survive until a time
when they have less [leverage], which could be relatively soon
compared to past recoveries.”
Though, once again, the backdrop of a large-scale driver shortage somewhat tempers the idea that trucking would be dealt the
sort of meltdown that might affect other industries, which at least
bodes well for a stable rate environment.
“We’ll still see patches of capacity surpluses, but the general
conditions are clearly towards limited capacity going forward,”
says Perry. “Regulations, driver demographics, and much more
conservative decision-making during a volatile economy makes
proper capacitizing all the more difficult.
“Maybe,” he adds, “that simply means there won’t be a lag
between increased costs and price like there used to be. But I
think there’s a point in the margins based simply from the realization among carriers that they have more market power than
they thought they did.” — with files from Jason Rhyno ▲
OCTOBER 2011
23
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Page 24
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TT October 2011.qxp:Todays Tr masters.qxd
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ADVERTISING FEATURE
CHARTING THE COURSE TO PROFIT
I
n today’s tough economy, transport companies
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More
than
Page 27
Trucks
BY DEBORAH
LOCKRIDGE AND
JASON RHYNO
Truckload, LTL, intermodal, warehousing, trucking companies are
doing whatever it takes to deliver freight. The key to your survival
in the new jungle? Innovation.
“
M
ost company leaders will tell you,” says
Joe Roeder, president of NFI Logistics,
“it’s grow or die—just having a couple trucks out there no
longer keeps the competitive edge in play.”
NFI, a New Jersey-based company that started out in
1932 with one truck, is a prime example of how the trucking industry is reinventing itself to take advantage of
changes in the supply chain.
Supply chains, compared with 50 years ago, are longer
and more complex, involving worldwide networks of
sourcing, manufacturing and consumption.
Rising fuel prices, the growth of third-party logistics,
and various other factors have prompted many trucking
companies to expand their services.
Easier said than done, though.
“It takes capital and resources and a great deal of entrepreneurship,” Roeder says.
Chad England, president of C.R. England, agrees with
Roeder. “There’s a lot of entrepreneurial spirit that’s part of our
makeup.” C.R. England has roughly 30 different business units
related to transportation. They offer longhaul and regional truckload freight, dedicated fleets, logistics, intermodal, LTL, international freight forwarding, and more. “The more diverse you are,
the safer you are in the long term,” advises England.
An entrepreneurial attitude is one thing, finances another, but
what it really comes down to is strategy.
Old Dominion Freight Line had been offering container
drayage since the mid-’60s in addition to its main less-thantruckload business. But in the late ’90s, the senior management
team put together a strategic plan to build the company.
“The vision of the plan was to be the premier transportation
company in domestic and global markets served,” explains Chip
Overbey, senior vice president of marketing and strategic development. To do that, he said, they realized the company needed to
build its brand and also its product offerings. From there they
developed OD-Domestic, OD-Global, OD-Expedited and ODTechnology. Over time, offerings have been added to respond to
the requests of the marketplace.
Most recently, the company has been expanding its global
offerings in the Pacific container arena. Its new “Pacific Promise”
program gives businesses standard guaranteed transit times and
simplified rates from 13 Chinese or Taiwanese ports to any U.S.
OCTOBER 2011
27
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Page 28
NEW SHELL DIESEL EXTRA™
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produces approximately 92.05 tonnes of CO2/year. A fuel consumption saving of 3% will result in 2.76 tonnes less CO2 produced. Improving the fuel economy of
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Page 29
More Than Trucks
destination. The offering also includes
port-to-door tracking of all shipments—a
service many providers do not offer.
“We realize that as a supply chain
provider we are operating in a global
economy,” Overbey says. “In order to be
fully participant in the global supply
chain you must have offerings that provide value and speed.”
What’s right for you?
Carriers say they look at what their
customers want as well as what will serve
the company. It’s a process that requires
keeping up with supply chain trends and
customer needs and in-depth research
to determine the suitability of a particular endeavor.
“You really have to keep your ears to the
drumbeat,” Roeder says. NFI’s management
team challenge themselves to keep up with
what’s new and exciting in the world of
logistics, and spend a lot of time communicating with customers about their needs.
The company has added a customer advisory board to meet with NFI execs a couple
of times a year to look into the future.
“If some new trend that might be exciting comes along, we have a tendency to do
a real deep dive on it, and if we don’t have
the expertise on staff, we go find it,”
Roeder says.
At C.R. England, they also keep an eye
out for new ideas, then look deeply into
each one before making a decision to
move forward. Two major criteria are considered: Will the diversification help C.R.
England be a stronger company overall,
and is it going to be profitable? Many of its
new offerings started off slowly and grew
over time. Today, he says, “I don’t know if
there’s anyone on the refrigerated side that
comes close to providing the number of
options that we do,” England says, “and
that’s a big advantage for us.”
At Old Dominion, Overbey lists three
basic criteria for new initiatives:
■ It has to be a response to customer
demand and provide a value to their
supply chain.
■ It has to provide opportunities for
growth to what the company calls the
“mother ship”—the domestic LTL portion
of its business.
■ It has to add value to the company’s
financial position.
Think Outside the Container
O
ne of the hallmarks of great
entrepreneurs is the ability to
innovate. Just ask the folks at
CareGo, who made a few headlines
when they developed a modified pallet
to transport heavy steel coils.
Moving those 20,000-lb coils used
to be extremely restricting with their
transportation options.
Boxcars were an option, but came
with limited schedules and long travel
times. Flatbed trucks were a bit too
pricey, and intermodel carriers could
never be loaded to capacity because the
coils couldn’t be completely restrained.
Instead of looking outside their ranks
for help, or throwing money at the more
expensive options, CareGo engineers
solved the problem themselves.
“Our challenge was to try to overcome the physical obstacles of material
handling and satisfy the requirements of
the railway for distributing a concentrated load over a surface area,” said Bob
Edwards, general manager of CareGo’s
GreenAge Design engineering division.
They merged their experience with
steel handling with the intermodal
aspect of their business, and ended up
creating a new service.
The weight-distribution pallet was
designed specifically for intermodal
containers. It distributes the weight
more evenly in the container and
restrains the products in such a way that
rail companies no longer have to worry
about an entire rail car tipping over.
“Now we’re packing heavier coils
and better meeting the container
capacity,” said Edwards. “Intermodal
trains leave every day and travel faster.
Finding the expertise
Of course, if you’re going to expand into
areas outside of your normal area of
expertise, you’re going to have to figure
out where to find the knowledge needed.
“An expanded menu of services requires a more comprehensive set of management and operational skills—which
can be a challenge for some companies,”
says Langley.
A four-day service is a huge improvement over a boxcar that dramatically
aids in inventory management.”
Moving to rail also helped the
company become more environmentally
responsible and helps them save money
in life cycle costs as the pallets are
returned to CareGo to be used again.
— ALLAN JANSSEN
If your roots are in trucking and you’ve
never done warehousing or supply chain
engineering, chances are you’re not going
to have those resources on staff.
There are two trains of thought on how
to go about getting those resources—go
looking for people who have that expertise, or grow it from inside.
At NFI, the philosophy is to go out into
the market and find people who can
OCTOBER 2011
29
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Page 30
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TT October 2011.qxp:Todays Tr masters.qxd
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More Than Trucks
bring that expertise to the company. In the
case of its customer packaging business,
they went out and acquired a company
that could provide the design capability
they needed.
At C.R. England, they’re more likely to
try to build the expertise from within the
company. “You want a person that has a
capability of doing a good job and leading,”
England says, noting that it is easier for
someone with the right leadership skills to
learn about a different facet of transportation than for someone with transportation expertise to learn to be a great leader.
“Those attributes are more important
than anything. If you can add experience
in that area, that’s all the better. Sometimes
we’ll go out and find somebody that has
more experience, and sometimes we’ll
teach ourselves.”
The first challenge is making sure you
have the expertise. The second is proving
you can do it. It’s one thing to hang out a
shingle; it’s another thing to convince the
customer you can deliver.
“If you’re new into the arena, you have
to come to the table with something to
entice the customer,” Roeder explains. If
you have a long-term relationship with a
customer and you’ve done a good job in
one area, he says, they will be more likely
to give you an opportunity in another
aspect of the supply chain.
diversifying, and we can assist that carrier
by finding that niche where they can fit in.”
Another alternative is to find that niche
yourself.
“It is imperative that those smaller
companies are able to provide customers
with attributes that may not be available
from larger providers,” says John Langley,
clinical professor of supply chain management at Penn State University.
Fleet Sense 101
Today’s Lesson: Cab Heating
Whether your drivers are sleeping, loading, unloading or eating,
once the cold weather hits, they’ll idle to keep the cab warm.
Diesel
Consumed
Diesel
Consumed
IDLING
3.8 Liters p/h
ESPAR
.15 Liters p/h
What about the little guy?
Obviously these types of tactics are difficult if not impossible for a small fleet to
implement. Customers are more and more
demanding. Many are shrinking the number of companies they do business with,
looking for more one-stop shopping. In
some areas, more long-haul freight is
being moved to the rails. So what’s a little
guy to do?
One possibility is to sign on with a big
3PL, such as Transplace. Transplace,
through its network of transportation
providers, has the ability to offer shippers
one-stop logistics shopping.
“Technology has made it today to where
it’s easy for us to do business with a small
carrier, specialized carrier, as it is with a
large, complex carrier,” says Transplace’s
Dearing. “So it gives those small carriers
an opportunity to still have access to
some of those large customers who are
“This may come in the form of unique
or differentiated service offerings, or
perhaps a more highly-customized and
customer-focused way of doing business.
While the presence of larger competitors
makes the stakes much higher for smaller
competitors, the smart ones can figure
out how to successfully differentiate
themselves, and thus attract and retain
desirable customers.” ▲
$5.05*
$0.20*
($7,575† per year)
($300† per year)
That’s $4.85 saved every hour, every truck.
How many trucks do you have?
Espar Heaters:
They Just Make Sense.
Canada and U.S. (800) 387-4800
www.espar.com
* Based on $1.33 p/l; the average price of diesel in Canada on Sept. 08, 2011.
†Based on DOE/Argonne National Laboratory estimates: 1,500 hours overnight idling.
OCTOBER 2011
31
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Larger
Ever
than
I
have been getting busier as time goes on. About two
months ago, I was offered a deal where a guy that I used to
work for would send me a couple of brand new Cat bulldozers and I would get someone to operate them. I would look
after the jobs and move the machines from job to job with my
truck and lowbed.
I have almost no expenses—only the fuel, license and insurance for my truck (which I already have to look after anyway). I
have been operating one of the Cats myself, getting $40 per hour
and $120 per day to use my Ford F350 4X4 to get to the job and
bring fuel for the Cat.
I am working 12 to 13
hours a day and have to
haul the machines about
once every four to five days.
Last night for instance, I
hauled two machines. First
I had to get to the site: It was
40 miles away. I loaded the
dozer and hauled about five
miles. Then I had to back
and haul the second dozer.
Then it was 40 miles
empty back home. My day? Five hours at $200 per hour and
because I did this little run in the evening, I made $1,000 after
supper and only drove about 100 miles total. Just right!
This is what I enjoy: Movin’ dirt and hauling equipment.
There is not much policy or procedure B.S.—I just haul a couple of bulldozers to a site where there is nothing but some farm
land or pasture or sometimes bush; we doze off the bush, topsoil,
32
TODAY’S TRUCKING
A role model for the independent
truckers of the world, this owneroperator thinks that the trucking
industry as a whole could learn
something from the oil patch:
In his own words.
BY STEPHEN LARGE
subsoil, etc., and move a bunch of dirt to make a perfectly level
site for a drilling rig to set up and drill an oil well.
There is no one to check my logbook, I don’t have to match my
fuel receipts to anything, and I don’t even have to wear a hard hat!
(There is nobody to check anyway.)
I run the bulldozer for 10 hours, fuel it up and grease it and
then go home.
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STEPHEN’S LARGE BABY: Because the author
loves trucks, this 1980 KW long-nose W900
remains essentially in showroom condition.
OCTOBER 2011
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Larger Than Ever
Twelve and a half hours per day at $40
per hour equals $500, plus $120 for the
pickup truck equals $620 for a day’s work.
When the site is ready, I use my red 1990
two-million-mile Kenworth or my orange
31-year-old Kenworth with my 31-yearold 16-wheel lowboy to haul the machines
to the next site.
I have to keep track of the hours for
everything, including the other machine
and operator and organize getting some
gravel hauled for the access road into each
site (which I haul myself and then use my
Cat grader to smooth the road when we
are finished) and then meet with the consultant from the oil company and get the
time tickets signed to be sent in and billed.
Every two weeks, I submit my bill to the
company who owns the machines for my
contracted wages, truck and grader hours,
and in five or six days, I have a check in
my hands.
I think that the trucking industry as a
whole must pay attention to the way the
Alberta, Saskatchewan and B.C. oilfield
companies look after their people.
It’s mostly a matter of simply paying
34
TODAY’S TRUCKING
BouncingBack
A
few years back, Shell wanted to let the world know they were rebranding their
product line. The company invited special guests and media to a fancy reception upstairs at Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum. Their industry ambassador of
choice: Stephen Large of Czar, Alberta. He travelled to Toronto with his wife Angela, and
it was her first trip to the Ontario capitol.
Forty four days after that visit, Large suffered a stroke. It was mild by stroke
standards but the Ministry pulled his truck licence and the Larges feared for their
livelihood.
Seven months later, after bouts of intense physio and other therapies, the two-millionmiler was back behind the wheel. “I got my class-1 licence back this afternoon, and I
hauled four loads by bed time,” he told Today’s Trucking at the time.
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Larger Than Ever
people for their time and trouble.
If all truck drivers were to get paid the
way I do, even if the wage was only half
this amount, there would be no shortage
of good drivers willing to work.
The trucking industry already forces
drivers to keep all sorts of records of their
time (which is required by law). So why not
pay the drivers for all the hours they work?
What’s more, trucks should also charge
by the hour for all the time they spend
moving a customer’s freight. Of course this
includes the time they spend waiting.
This is the only way that shippers will stop
wasting the driver’s time.
I honestly think that paying drivers and
charging shippers for all of the time spent
getting freight moved is the only way that
this industry will get any better.
I have found that, in the last few years,
with all the policies, procedures, regulations and rules that are pushed on to truck
drivers, it’s more important than ever to
start paying for services delivered; in
effect, giving people what they’re worth.
Also, it seems that industry believes in
strange ideas like “treat everyone the
same” and “don’t point fingers but deal
with the situation, not the person.”
Anybody in the trucking industry knows
what I’m talking about.
All of this has driven many of the of best
drivers away from the industry and they are
now running loaders or backhoes on construction sites or doing some other job
where they are paid for all their time, which
leaves a whole different class of people to
“steer” the trucks down the highways.
After 28 years of driving all over North
America, I quite often find myself leaving
after supper and doing my trucking when
a bunch of these new people are asleep
and parked.
Common sense is not very common
at all.
How can the industry stay safe when
you drive all your one-, two-, three- or
four-million-mile drivers away and replace
them with people who have no experience?
The best way to improve safety in the
industry would be to retain the multi-million-mile drivers who can successfully
haul whatever, whenever, wherever and
then let them to do what they have been
doing for years.
Then, pay them accordingly. They will
rest when they are tired and work when
they are not. It’s pretty simple when you
think about it.
I have always found that if I have a bit of
money in the bank, and I get tired while I
am driving, I just pull over and crawl in the
sleeper and have a nap.
When I am not tired, I drive.
When I don’t have enough money, or
when some rules or regulations force me
to use my time so that it works out for my
logbook, I have found myself having to
drive when I am tired.
This is not safe!
I am pretty sure that, unless prevented
by something, most humans would
choose to sleep when they are tired, not
work when they are tired. It is the arbitrary
rules, the attitude of most shippers, and
the shortage of pay that makes most truck
drivers drive when they are tired.
I could go on, but supper’s done and I
have to go trucking. While everybody else
is asleep. ▲
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OCTOBER 2011
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In Gear
INSIDE:
45 Lockwood’s Products
52 NEW! You Can’t Get
There From Here
EQUIPMENT NEWS, REVIEWS, AND MAINTENANCE TIPS
The Point of No Return
axles & suspensions Wide-single tires are gaining market
acceptance. Are you ready to go whole-hog into wide-base by
spec’ing wide-track axles? By Jim Park
I
f you’re like a lot of others in the
trucking game these days, you’ve
taken a good long look at the market
conditions and you’ve decided it’s time to
retire a few older trucks and trailers. Get
some new iron into the fleet. Maybe its
time to embrace wide-base single tires as
well. Save a little weight, save a little fuel.
Still, even now, it’s best to spec trucks for
resale with standard track axles. Not
everybody likes those tires.
Reality Check: It’s October, 2011. Widesingle tires have been around for more
than a decade, and their market penetration continues to increase year after year.
Who’s to say in five or 10 years time
acceptance won’t have improved to the
point where they’d be considered assets at
trade-in time?
The standard 77.5-in. axle width allows
for the use of both dual tires and wide-single tires, and facilitates a conversion from
single to dual if required, but are you giving up some performance benefit by hedging on a full commitment to wide-singles
sticking with the standard axle?
According to Craig Bennett, senior vice
president of sales and marketing at Utility
Trailer Manufacturing, the difference in
dynamic performance of trailers equipped
with wide-track axles and wide-single
tires is dramatic.
“The axle is six inches longer and the
spring centers are six inches wider, so handling is improved remarkably,” Bennett says.
“Roll stability is improved dramatically,
especially in a panic maneuver where a driver has to swerve to avoid something. The
trailer tracks much better and has much,
much less inclination to roll. Those trailers
have remarkably better sway control.”
36
TODAY’S TRUCKING
Old Habits Die Hard
The benefits and drawbacks to wide-base
singles are each well documented. Weight
savings of about 100 lb per wheel end is
the easiest to quantify. The fuel savings
benefits are not in dispute, but reported
savings vary.
Perceptions of reduced traction linger,
despite testing that shows tread pattern
for tread pattern, there’s little difference
between wide-singles and duals.
Concerns of irregular wear and poor
tread life continue to plague the tires. Like
standard tires, some wide-singles are performing very well, others not so well. Some
tractor or trailer configurations and some
applications seem to favor wide-singles,
while others just chew them up.
And then there’s the issue of a roadside
failure. If a tire goes down, the truck is
down; and there’s a distinct possibility of
rim damage from running flat. Tire manufacturers have increased the availability of
replacement tires, and are continuing to
improve service call turn around time, but
perceptions linger.
All that to say, reluctance to go wholehog into a full wide-single spec is understandable. When you step over to 83.5-in.
axles with a 102-in. track width, there’s no
turning back. Duals will not fit on a widetrack axle.
Brian Buckham, senior marketing manager at Hendrickson, trailer division, says
the wide-track axle eliminates the compromise associated with 77.5-in. axles
used with two-in. outset wheels.
WANTING IT
BOTH WAYS:
Increasing axle track
width and using
wide-single tires can
improve stability, but
industry still wants
the flexibility to
convert to duals at
resale time.
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In Gear
Axle Loads and Bearing Life
M
ost of the truck and trailer
wheel-ends in service today were
developed several decades ago,
and were designed for the load distribution
created by dual tires. And for all those years,
the wheel-ends and wheel bearings carried
the loads they were expected to carry with
few issues provided they were properly
installed and maintained. Wide-base single
tires changed all that.
When mounting wide-single tires on a
standard-width, 77.5-in. axle, you need a
two-in. offset (or outset) wheel to make
up for the narrower track width of the
wide-singles versus dual wheels. This has
shifted the middle of the tread footprint on
the wide-singe tire approximately two inches
further out on the axle spindle than was the
case with duals. This increases the load on
the spindle’s outer bearing.
To compensate, truck and trailer makers
usually won’t allow the use of tapered
spindles with wide-single tires. Instead,
they recommend parallel spindles with
larger outer bearings for better load
distribution. Still, the extra load on the outer
bearing will over time expose any weakness
in the bearing and/or the installation and
maintenance procedures.
According to Mark Stangl, global product
manager for automotive & heavy-duty
aftermarket at Timken, the challenges
presented by tire outset make proper
maintenance a priority.
“Anytime you change a system, there
will be trade-offs. Over the last few years,
we’ve been learning how outset wheels
affected the wheel-ends, and now we’re
“Anytime you change a system,
there will be trade offs.”
“With the wide axles, the center of the
tire load is centered between the bearings
for optimum bearing loading,” he says.
“That gives best bearing life, tapered spindles are acceptable without the need to
derate them for the outset, and because
the spring centers can be wider and the
sidewall of the wide-single is stiffer than a
dual, you’ll improve stability.”
On the cost and weight side, Buckham
learning how to adjust to those changes,”
he says. “Proper installation, lubrication,
and adjustment of these heavily loaded
bearings are vital to safety and performance, as are precision manufactured, high
quality components.”
There are many advantages to using
wide-single tires, but don’t shortchange
yourself by skimping on the hardware.
Overloading the bearing will not only shorten bearing life, worn and/or loose bearings
can affect tire life too.
notes that the wider axle will cost slightly
more, and weigh a little more because the
extra metal involved, and the slider box
would be wider too, which again adds
weight and cost.
“The weight gain is marginal, and more
than offset by the weight savings offered
by the tires,” he says. “Costs are a little
harder to quantify, but they would be minimal. The reduced bearing wear associated with a centered tire load and the
increased choice of hubs and spindles has
to be considered.”
About 75 percent of the fleets that run
wide-single tires still opt for the standardwidth axles for the flexibility of convert to
dual tires at trade-in/resale.
Flexibility & Complexity
“What we hear from our customers is that
they really want to reduce complexity in
their fleets,” says Steve Slesinski, director
product planning, Dana Holding Co. commercial vehicle division. “The two-in. out-
set wheel has become the intermediary
between standard axle widths and the
track width requirements for wide singles.
If fleets have lots of these types of wheel,
they will want to use them at trailer and
drive positions. They do not want to limit
the application of the wheels by restricting certain wheels to certain positions.”
Dana’s DS 405 axles support both dual
and wide-base configurations and different track widths, but Slesinski cautions
that changing wheel-end geometry and
application criteria could spawn maintenance issues on the rest of the vehicle.
Last year, Meritor introduced the 14X
DualTrac axle that will accommodate
both wide-base and dual wheels with minimal compromise.
“The DualTrac configuration allows
both dual tires and wide base single tires
(zero to a maximum 0.56-in. outset) with
optimized performance of the wheel-end
system allowing conversion between duals
and singles.” says Bob Ostrander, chief
engineer, drivelines and customer support
at Meritor. “Its track keep dual tires within the maximum 102-in. overall track
width for federal highways.”
The 14X DualTrac keeps the track line
similar to a standard-width axle housing
without the negative issues associated
with outset wheels. At trade-in/resale time
the DualTrac axle can be fitted with standard dual wheels and still be within the
outside to outside dimensional limitation.
Early Adoptors
So, in July 2011, do you spec wide-single
tires for weight savings, fuel economy and
stability improvements, or settle for two
out of the three while risking potential
maintenance consequences arising from
inappropriate bearing loads using offset
wheels?
Bill Hicks, director of product planning
and market development at SAF Holland
believes acceptance of wide-single tires is
going to be greater, but he doesn’t see
them taking over the market.
“This is a business where old habits die
hard,” he says. “I think there will be a
strong inclination to spec for conversion
in the near future, but that will become
less of a concern as the tires gain acceptance, and they gain favor in the used
equipment markets.” ▲
OCTOBER 2011
37
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In Gear
Are AMTs worth the
trip to your ATM?
transmissions A progress report on automated manual
transmissions; a.k.a., is now the time to invest? By Jim Park
Y
ou’re on the sidelines, kicking the
proverbial tires of an automated
manual transmission (ATM).
You’ve heard they improve fuel economy,
reduce drivetrain maintenance costs, and
drivers love ‘em. But they cost a pretty
penny more than a conventional manual
transmission. Can I justify the extra cost?
Today, after more than a decade in service, AMTs used in the right application are
probably worth the extra money.
In researching this story, we found
users of current-generation product satisfied and even happy with their purchase
decisions, and those who have not
embraced the technology but have considered AMTs, reluctant for many of the
same reasons that scared people in the
early years of the technology. Aside from
confirming the notion that first impressions are lasting impressions, it suggests
that the benefits and drawbacks of AMTs
probably demand clarification.
What is an AMT but a box full of gears
with a bunch of bolted on electronic,
mechanical and pneumatic wizardry? You
get the same box full of gears—less the
valued-added hardware and software—
that served truckers well and reliably for
decades. Don’t mess with a good thing,
any self-respecting neo-luddite might say,
while the less skeptical among us would
see that automating a repetitive, tiring
and distracting process could actually
make drivers happy, improve safety, and
maybe even save a little fuel. Bring it on,
they’d say.
Quantifying ROI
If you’re just looking at the dollars in your
comparison, you might miss the intangible benefits to AMTs.
Itamar Levine, the director of fleet assets
at Bison Transport, says they cost more
upfront and they don’t provide any advantage on the residual. Up until not that long
ago, AMTs were a liability at trade-in, he
says, but today it’s a wash; it’s even.
“I was paying twice for the things: the
premium upfront, and the hit on the residual,” Levine told us. “I used to lose at both
ends, now there’s just the upfront cost to
be concerned with. I think in a few years
the automated manuals will be considered
assets at trade-in.”
SHIFTING TRENDS: One veteran driver, sold on the
merits of the AMT, says for the first time in many
years, his left leg is the same size as his right.
OCTOBER 2011
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In Gear
On the maintenance side, there have
been complications. Bison has been running various AMTs since the technology
first emerged more than a decade ago, and
now swears by them. There were challenges in the early years, Levine admits, but
that’s largely water under the bridge today.
“We keep trucks on a three- to four-year
trade cycle, and during that span I don’t
see any chronic maintenance issues,” he
says. “We’ve had a few problems here and
there, sure, but nothing that makes me
think there’s a problem with the design or
build of the product.”
Within that timeframe, most driveline
components are going to be worry-free
anyway, and they’ll certainly be under
warranty. Levine can’t quantify a reduction in driveline maintenance costs since
the whole fleet is automated. He has nothing to compare them to.
But at Moncton, N.B.’s Keltic Transportation, maintenance manager Marcel
Maillet says he does fewer clutch repairs
than he once did.
“We started with one automated manual five years ago and we now have 45 of
them in the fleet of just under 100 trucks. I
do see a difference in maintenance needs
with the automateds,” he says. “We’re doing
fewer clutches, I can tell you that. But
we’re also doing more fifth wheel repairs.”
How do AMTs affect fifth wheels?
Maillet says it’s harder to rock a truck
stuck in snow with an AMT, the way you
can with a manual. So, rather then easing
under a loaded trailer and risking wheel
slippage in snow or on ice, drivers tend to
hit the pin pretty aggressively to make
sure they connect. “That’s cost us a few
top plates,” he says.
Early versions of some AMTs used a
clutch mechanism that wasn’t conducive
to gentle low-speed maneuvering, particularly while backing under a trailer or up to
a loading dock. Like Levine, Maillet says
current clutching systems have resolved
that concern, and he’s looking forward to
doing fewer fifth-wheel repairs.
The Keltic fleet has also had some
issues with air lines and fittings on some
of the air-actuated transmissions.
“We’ve seen some cracking in the fittings,” Maillet says. “It’s minor, but inconvenient. We’ve also learned that it’s vital
that drivers drain their air tanks every day
to keep moisture out of the actuator
mechanisms. It’s a minor irritant, but an
important daily maintenance item.”
With more than a million successful
kilometers on many of his AMTs, Maillet
is convinced the bugs have been mostly
worked out and the remaining issues are
small ones.
Fuel Economy
Can AMTs improve fuel economy? By
almost all accounts, yes. But the scale of
the improvement depends on a number of
factors. There’s no fuel-saving magic in the
meshing of the gears; it all depends on
how well the engine and the transmission
communicate, how well they can sense
what’s going on around them, and how
good your drivers are.
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40
TODAY’S TRUCKING
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In Gear
STRETCH SHIFTING
T
here are a variety of
driver interfaces (formerly known as gear
shifters) on the market, some
proprietary and some the
standard one-size-fits-all
manufacturer interface. Some
are darned difficult to deal
with if you want to operate
the transmission in manual.
It’s an automated transmission, so why would a driver
want to be pressing shift
buttons anyway? According
to several of the drivers we
spoke with, they felt outperforming the transmission’s
shift algorithms for fuel
economy would be easy if
only they could reach the shift
button without taking their
eyes off the road.
According to veteran driver
Phil Marwood, the buttons
on the standard Eaton
interface (R, N, D and +, -)
shifter is located—up on the
dash, or low down near the
bottom of the panel—you
have to poke the button while
the seat is moving up and
down, or you just leave your
hand on the shifter,” he says.
“It’s often located too far
GEARED UP: Mack’s mDrive interface
is within easy reach of the driver.
are small targets for a finger
extended from an air suspended seat.
“Depending on where the
Simple. Quick.
Effective.
away to reach comfortably,
and I have to reach for it. That
sometimes means taking my
eyes of the road.”
His current truck has the
shifter buttons located on the
steering wheel. Finding the
shifter button while turning is
a whole lot of fun, he says. So,
he asks the question, “Why do
they make it so difficult to use
manual mode?”
Marwood has used both
the paddle-type shifters
located on the steering
column and the seat mounted
shifters and finds them much
easier to deal with than the
push-button interfaces.
With AMTs, the fueleconomy question usually
applies to improving the
performance of the poorer
drivers in the fleet, but there
is clearly some benefit to
giving the best drivers in the
fleet the tools they need to do
even better.
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OCTOBER 2011
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In Gear
You may not see the improvements in
fleet average fuel economy you hope for
if your drivers are already well versed in
the dark arts of progressive shifting and
throttle management.
“Bison did a lot of work in the early
years comparing fuel economy in trucks
equipped with manual transmissions and
AMTs,” says Levine. “I’d be bluffing if I told
you that at the time we saw an over-
whelming improvement with AMTs over
manuals, but there was improvement,
even in the early years. I think it’s even
more significant today.”
It’s generally accepted that the benefit
of an AMT in the fuel-economy sphere is
leveling the shifting proficiency between
a fleet’s best and worst drivers. A really
good driver will probably do better with
a manual, but the AMT will bring up
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the bottom 20 or 30 percent of the fleet’s
worst offenders.
“They did improve the fuel economy on
the drivers who were at the back of the
pack in our fleet,” says Maillet. “By how
much is hard to say. We have three different kinds of AMTs here, and a couple of
generations between them. If I had to
guess, I’d say half a mile per gallon across
the fleet would be a safe bet.”
Early versions of domestic AMTs were
often accused of shifting at too high a rev
point, negating some of the possible fuel
economy benefits, but subsequent generations of various brands of AMT are now
equipped with grade and engine load sensors, and can manage shifts based on a lot
more peripheral information.
Twenty-year veteran driver and former
Volvo-factory-trained driver trainer, Phil
Marwood, prefers to run his AMT in manual mode and press the shift button when
he thinks it’s time to shift.
“When I first joined a fleet that was
using automated transmissions, I surprised fleet management with my fueleconomy numbers. The fleet knew I was a
driver trainer, and suspected my driving
techniques had something to do with my
fuel economy. They were partially right,”
he says. “Management wanted me to
show them what I was doing to get those
numbers. They never suspected that I
was driving with the transmission in
manual mode and initiating the shifts
rather than letting the transmission
decide when to shift, but that was it. That
was all I was doing differently from the
other drivers.”
That was back in the days of the snortyshifting early versions of automated manual transmissions. Today, he’s driving the
latest version of Eaton’s UltraShift Plus,
and he admits the transmission does a
much better job than the older models,
but insists he still has an edge because he
can see out the window and the transmission can’t.
Volvo’s and Mack’s automated transmissions, the i-Shift and mDrive respectively, employ a clever fuel saving strategy
called Eco-Roll that allows the transmission to manually disconnect from the
engine. This lets the truck roll without
the parasitic losses associated with maintaining engine revs. The gain here is in
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In Gear
conserved momentum, particularly on
short rolling hills where a little extra roll
gained on the downhill turns into less fuel
needed to get up the next hill.
Levine says he’s a believer.
“I’m 100-percent convinced that EcoRoll works,” he says. “I can’t quantify the
improvement because I don’t have any
manual transmissions to compare them
to. And while the improvement is likely
small, it’s still an improvement. I’ve heard
there were some reliability issues with the
Eco-Roll feature on some fleets, but I can
say I haven’t seen anything at Bison.”
Driver Preference
And speaking of intangibles, Maillet and
Levine both acknowledge drivers do prefer AMTs to manuals, though not always
right off the bat. Levine says it sometimes
took a few weeks in the early going.
“The older drivers, the veteran, big-beltbuckle guys weren’t keen at first and I got
an earful from some of them. They’d spend
a few months playing with the buttons
and running it in manual, but that
stopped after a while and they’d just leave
it in Drive,” Levine recalls. “We never lost
anyone over a transmission.”
Sometimes it takes even less time.
Owner-operator Cy MacDonald say his
i-Shift is the best money he has ever spent.
“A buddy who has one gave me a ride
home from Calgary to Winnipeg a while
back. He was out of hours, so I got a test
drive,” he says. After a 20-minute course
on how it worked, I drove it all the way to
Winnipeg and I was sold. Price didn’t matter. Today, my left leg is the same size as
the right one for the first time in years.”
Heavy-haul owner-op Bob Ash is on his
second truck with an Eaton 18-speed
AutoShift—the one with the clutch pedal.
“I’m at 670,000 km now and no problems at all,” he says. It’s worry-free trucking. Up and down the mountains grossing
132,000 lb, no sweat, just push the button
and go.”
And on another intangible note, if
you’re a fleet that invests heavily in
advanced safety systems such as electronic stability control, adaptive cruise or collision avoidance systems, the AMTs can
improve reaction time by downshifting to
help the braking effort, or in maintaining a
steady cruise speed in changing traffic
conditions. Safety and driver convenience
rolled into one.
While our anecdotal survey could
hardly be called scientific, it seems to suggest that drivers, owner-ops, and fleets are
all beginning to embrace this technology.
It’s taken a few years to work out the
kinks, but it looks like they’ll only get
better with time.
“Driver fatigue, safety, better fuel economy…conceptually, we’re convinced those
are assets,” says Levine. “Our drivers tell us
they are better off and feel better with
them. I accept that, but can I quantify
that? No. I can’t put it onto a spreadsheet,
and as a maintenance guy, that’s what I do.
However, our front office tells me the
AMTs are a valuable retention tool, and I
can’t help but believe it.” ▲
OCTOBER 2011
43
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NewsFIRST
Convoy for a Cure keeps rolling
(September 14, 2011) — TORONTO — What started out as a small, all female convey to raise
support for breast cancer continues to blossom. ...more
CTA pushes for more incentives on fuel regulations
(September 14, 2011) — OTTAWA — The CTA said that Canada should consider its own path
in determining what credit to give for GHG reduction strategies. ...more
Iowa DOT officers in state police clothing, maybe
(September 14, 2011) — IOWA — It could get a little confusing the next time you’re driving
through Iowa. ...more
Trucks and trophies
(September 13, 2011) — CALGARY — Stew Jutzi will need to get a bigger trophy case.
...more
You’re simply not up to date
unless you are a subscriber
It’s FREE, it’s EASY. To sign up go to www.todaystrucking.com
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Product Watch
PRODUCTWATCH
WHAT’S NEW AND NEWS FROM SUPPLIERS
Online Resources:
For more new product items, visit
PRODUCT WATCH
on the web at todaystrucking.com
LANE DEPARTURE,
TIRE INFLATION
PEOPLENET EXPANDS NETWORK OF
SAFETY WARNING PROVIDERS
PETE 382
ADDS OPTIONS
PETERBILT’S MODEL 382 EXPANDS VERSATILITY
IN VOCATIONAL MARKETS
P
ETERBILT has launched new
options for its Model 382, truck
or tractor, offering higher axle
ratings, horsepower and torque configurations to an expanded market range.
Aimed at regional and short-haul applications, the 382 is also suited to meet
many municipal, construction, refuse,
fire service, and emergency specs.
New options include: the Cummins
ISL9 engine with REPTO functionality;
front axles rated up to 20,000 lb; rear
axles rated up to 46,000 lb; frame-rail
options up to 11-5/8 in.; the Bendix
ESP stability system; plus Hendrickson,
Reyco, and Chalmers rear suspension
choices.
The Cummins ISL9 engine is said to
offer one of the highest power-to-weight
ratios in its class. Ratings range from
345-380 hp with a maximum 1,300 lb ft
of torque.
The 382 claims excellent maneuverability with its 50-degree wheel cut, and
its sloped hood provides optimal visibility.
The truck’s advanced forward-lighting
system is said to produce both a broader
and brighter lighted area. Pete also says
its HVAC system has been improved and
offers additional air flow while reducing
maintenance costs.
See www.peterbilt.com and
http://cumminsengines.com/every/
everytime.page
Takata SafeTraK and Mobileye have
joined Iteris as PeopleNet-certified
partners. As well, the company has
added two partners—Doran and BatRF
by Stemco—that integrate with its
tire-pressure monitoring service.
PeopleNet began offering tire-pressure
monitoring last year in partnership
with Advantage PressurePro.
These lane-departure systems act as
an “extra set of eyes” for the truck driver,
the company says, noting that they help
mitigate one of the major cause of highway fatalities—lane departure due to
drowsy, fatigued, or distracted drivers.
It’s claimed that fleets using a warning
system report a 75-percent average
decrease in such accidents.
Programmed to recognize the difference between the road and lane markings, lane-departure warning systems
alert drivers who are drifting out of a lane.
The small, integrated unit consists of a
camera, onboard computer, and software
that’s readily attached to the windshield,
dashboard or into the overhead console.
They’re optimized to “virtually eliminate
false alarms,” the company says.
With the PeopleNet integration, fleet
managers have visibility on all lanedeparture events and can proactively use
this data to identify individual driver
trends that may need corrective coaching
attention.
On the tire front, the company has a
new tire-pressure reporting feature that
OCTOBER 2011
45
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Product Watch
provides the driver with the pressure
status on both tractor and trailer, with
real-time tire-pressure alarms that are
first transmitted to the PeopleNet Fleet
Manager. When pressure exceeds programmed thresholds it also, if warranted,
emails the fleet manager.
See www.peoplenetonline.com,
www.safetrak.takata.com,
www.mobileye.com, www.iteris.com,
www.doranmfg.com, www.batrf.com,
and www.advantagepressurepro.com
the Aljex working screens, the companies
say. Sertifi retains customer documents
on its servers. Users can track and view
documents to see which have been
signed, which have not, and can set up email reminders to help speed the process.
With the integration of Sertifi into
Aljex hosted software, brokers and other
load assigners can email a document to,
say, a carrier or driver. The signed docu-
ment will be emailed back as an attached
PDF right to the person who sent it.
A driver can easily sign and return a
Sertifi document from an iPhone or
Android phone as well as a home
computer, a laptop, or a tablet.
When necessary, Sertifi users can
specify additional levels of verification
to include questions only the signer
could answer.
DUNLOP TIRE WARRANTY
GOODYEAR BRAND EXTENDS WARRANTY
TO SIX YEARS ON FOUR SELECT CASINGS
The warranty behind four Dunlop
commercial truck tire casings has been
extended from four years to six. Dunlop
is a Goodyear brand.
The casings include the Dunlop SP193
FM, SP384 FM, SP456 FM and SP464 in
sizes 11R22.5, 11R24.5, 285/75R24.5, and
295/75R22.5.
Three of the tires—the SP193 FM, the
SP384 FM and the SP456 FM—are on the
EPA SmartWay list of
“verified” technologies.
If retreaded by a
Goodyear “authorized”
retreader, the casings
will be warranted for
covered conditions for
an unlimited number of retreads for a
period of six years from the date of the
casing’s Department of Transportation
serial number or proof of purchase,
if available.
Casing allowances are $100.
See www.dunloptrucktires.com and
www.goodyear.com
We’ve
Got
Your
Back.
®
CAT
SCALE
®
Guaranteed Accurate Weights
At CAT Scale, we stand behind
our weights. Period.
Tell your drivers to look for
the black and gold sign to
get weights both of
you can trust.
“
Safety and compliance are
critical in today’s competitive
market. CAT Scales are
easily accessible and
guaranteed accurate.
Our drivers rely on
CAT Scales to help deliver
on our promise of
Quality and Dependability…
all across America!
”
– Chris Hummer
Don Hummer Trucking
ELECTRONIC SIGNATURE
ALJEX & SERTIFI HAVE PARTNERED TO
OFFER PAPERLESS TRANSPORTATION
DOCUMENT SIGNATURES
Aljex Software and Sertifi Inc. have
integrated Sertifi’s electronic-signature
program with Aljex’s Internet-hosted
transportation-management software.
Now Aljex users can email documents
such as rate confirmations, quotes, or
contracts and have those documents
returned with valid signatures. It can be
done quickly and easily without faxing or
the use of printers and without leaving
© 2011 CAT Scale Company
Read more about
The CAT Scale Guarantee at
www.catscaleguarantee.com.
OCTOBER 2011
47
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Tired of being treated like
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Fountain Tire provides innovative, cost-saving solutions to the entire trucking industry.
You can’t predict what’s going to happen to your trucks tomorrow.
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Product Watch
Aljex users who sign up for Sertifi can
customize the service in other ways. For
example, they can choose the length of
time documents are stored on the Sertifi
servers. On the Sertifi web site, customers can see all the contracts they’ve
sent, whether they’ve been signed or not.
They can set up tools to help them get
signed quicker. If they’ve sent out a rate
confirmation to a carrier, Sertifi can send
that carrier an email reminder every
hour until the document is signed.
Other Sertifi customers, not incidentally, include Microsoft, Pitney Bowes,
and the United States Air Force.
See www.aljex.com and
www.sertifi.com
TIRE SEALANT
WATER-SOLUBLE ULTRASEAL SAID
TO EXTEND TIRE LIFE
Ultraseal has been around a while—
actually used by the U.S. military for 40
years, we’re told—but it’s new to Canada.
It’s a tire sealant and tire life extender
that, once injected into a tire through the
valve stem, protects it from flats and
punctures. It’s said to provide a permanent repair, unique among such products,
and the tire is not hindered in any way.
Once installed it lies dormant until the
vehicle is driven, and then the sealant is
dispersed evenly throughout the tire’s
entire inner surface. That transforms the
tire assembly into a sealed air chamber,
capable of maintaining proper air pressure. In the process, says the company, it
“conditions” the rubber, retarding dry rot
and slowing the casing’s ageing process.
One treatment is good for the legal tread
life of the tire.
When a tire is punctured, water-soluble Ultraseal coats the inner surface of
the tire cavity, including the rim assembly, thus preventing air loss. As the tire
rotates, flexing and normal heat build-up
allows Ultraseal to “seek out and eliminate” common air-loss problems, the
company says. There’s no need to top up
air pressure, and because it maintains
proper air pressure you’ll get better fuel
mileage, the company says.
Ultraseal contains a proprietary rustinhibiting formula to protect all types of
steel and alloys found in wheels and tire
belts and is said to be fully compatible
A
VOLVO, MACK
nother SuperTruck contract
has been awarded, this time
to the VOLVO GROUP,
WIN SUPERTRUCK CONTRACT
involving both MACK TRUCKS and
VOLVO TRUCKS NORTH AMERICA.
Somewhat vaguely, they’ll work on developing technologies to improve the freight-moving
efficiency of heavy-duty trucks and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions with a particular
emphasis on improved aerodynamics and something they call “energy conversion.”
The contract with the U.S. Department of Energy is worth $19 million.
R&D work will be conducted over the next five years in Greensboro, N.C., where Mack
and Volvo are headquartered, and in Hagerstown, Md., where all of the company’s engines
and transmissions are assembled.
The company’s long-time focus on vertical integration will be a factor, says Kevin
Flaherty, Mack senior vice president, U.S. and Canada. “Integrated proprietary components
provide superior performance because they’re specifically designed to work together.”
Last year, Cummins, Daimler Trucks North America, and Navistar scored nearly $120
million in SuperTruck contracts from the DOE,
aimed at achieving a very optimistic 50-percent
improvement in truck fuel efficiency. Each of
the three companies got just shy of $40 million.
The Cummins challenge was to develop a
highly efficient and clean diesel engine, an
advanced waste-heat-recovery system, an
aerodynamic Peterbilt tractor and trailer
combination, and a fuel cell auxiliary power
unit to reduce engine idling.
Daimler was to work on engine downsizing,
electrification of auxiliary systems such as oil
and water pumps, waste heat recovery, improved aerodynamics and hybridization.
And Navistar’s contract had it developing technologies to improve truck and trailer aerodynamics, combustion efficiency, waste-heat recovery, hybridization, idle reduction, and
reduced-rolling-resistance tires.
See www.volvotrucks.us.com, www.macktrucks.com, www.cummins.com,
www.daimler-trucksnorthamerica.com, and www.navistar.com
with the components of any tire.
The Goodyear Duraseal tire uses a
similar compound, by all accounts.
The product is said to work in any
tire—from bicycles to heavy trucks—and
the cost is based on tire size. The cost for
a large commercial truck is about $32
per tire. That compares favorably, the
company claims, with the cost to plug or
patch a tire, especially when you factor
in downtime and the cost of a roadside
service call.
See www.ultrasealcanada.com
SHINY ACCESSORIES
TRP CHROME-PLATED AND STAINLESSSTEEL PARTS FOR THE IMAGE-CONSCIOUS
TRP Aftermarket Parts announces the
availability of a chrome and stainless line
of accessories for image-conscious truck
owners. They’re available only through
Kenworth and Peterbilt dealers.
The company’s chrome-plated and
stainless-steel parts are made with tested
304-grade or 430grade stainless-steel to
resist corrosion. The
high-quality tooling
used in their manufacture is said to give
the parts smooth lines
and “excellent” fit.
TRP’s offering
includes fenders, bumpers, exterior
accessories such as kick panels, steps,
skirts and tool boxes, and interior accessories like knobs and panels. TRP also
offers various accessories and accessory
sets designed specifically for Kenworth
and Peterbilt models.
See www.TRPParts.com, www.
kenworth.com, and www.peterbilt.com
OCTOBER 2011
49
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Product Watch
TMC TIRE GUIDE
TMC UPDATES THE RADIAL TIRE
CONDITIONS ANALYSIS GUIDE
6D
VISION
AIMLER is developing something quite
ambitious and not nearly ready for prime
time called “6D-Vision” technology, based
on a stereo camera. The company calls it “the basis
for new assistance systems and a key step along the
road to accident-free driving.” Also referred to as
“spatial vision” it’s said to ensure instant recognition
of dangerous traffic situations.
The Daimler folks working on this are among the
three teams of researchers nominated for the “Deutscher Zukunftspreis,” or German
Future Prize, the country’s most prestigious award for technical and scientific innovation.
Their 6D-vision technology is said to be faster than the human eye to recognize danger and the company says it’s “absolutely viable” for series production. It’s able to convey
a three-dimensional perception of a person and the identification of potential risks on a
small, easily packaged piece of hardware.
Specifically, it uses a stereo camera acting in much the same way as your two eyes to
compute the three-dimensional geometry of the situation in front of the vehicle in real
time. An analysis of consecutive pairs of images allows instant and reliable identification
of any movement, the company says.
And it’s quick. By linking the perception of both space and time, Daimler says, it’s
possible to differentiate between stationary and animated objects, even from a moving
vehicle. Children running unexpectedly onto the road, for example, are perceived within
200 milliseconds across a broad range of vision. Even the most alert person takes twice
as long to do that, and if distracted in some way, a further 500 milliseconds can be
added. Then there’s an additional moment of shock to create further delay until a
reaction kicks in.
In purely mathematical terms, one second at a speed of 50 km/h equates to a vehicle
covering a distance of around 15 metres. The computer works twice as fast as the driver
and initiates safety measures after just seven metres. In an emergency braking situation,
the vehicle therefore comes to a standstill more than a whole vehicle length sooner.
That’s a car length we’re talking, but there’s an application for trucks too in theory.
And interestingly, Daimler says that since 6D-Vision technology can contribute significantly to accident reductions, it aims to make it available to other manufacturers as well.
See www.daimler.com
D
FROM DAIMLER
50
TODAY’S TRUCKING
The Technology & Maintenance
Council (TMC) has released the fourth
edition of its Radial Tire Conditions
Analysis Guide, the first comprehensive
update since 2004.
Available in both CD-ROM and print
versions, it features many updates to
existing repair,
retread and wear
conditions as
well as new conditions, including those that
pertain to widebase single tires.
With more
than 200-color
photographs and
illustrations, the
guide contains detailed, expert descriptions of every tire failure and service condition known to the industry, including
diagonal wear, irregular wear, sidewall
separations, the “zipper condition”, and
shoulder wear. It shows how to correct
failure conditions and what to do with
the damaged tire.
TMC calls the Guide, written by
top tire experts, “an invaluable failure
analysis tool designed for fleet managers
and tire professionals.”
The Guide is priced at $79 (CD-ROM
version: Item No. T0372; Print Version:
Item No. T0121) for TMC or ATA members and $105 for non-members.
Discounts for quantities of 10 or more
are available.
Call 866-821-3468 or order online at
www.atabusinesssolutions.com.
See also www.truckline.com
TINY TOUGH
COMPUTER
PANASONIC’S TOUGHBOOK S10
NOTEBOOK COMPUTER FEATURES
ENHANCED PROCESSOR AND LONG
BATTERY LIFE
Panasonic’s new Toughbook S10,
powered by an Intel Core i5-2520M vPro
processor, is claimed to deliver up to 12.5
hours of standard battery life—said to be
the longest in its class—and weighs only
three lb.
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Product Watch
SMARTWAY
he ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
AGENCY (EPA) is changing the
designation for fuel-efficient options
CHANGES KEY DESIGNATION on tractors and trailers from “SmartWay
Certified” to “SmartWay Designated.”
The agency says this will help distinguish top-performing vehicles that meet
SmartWay specs from those certified to meet EPA regulatory requirements.
Some critics have pointed out that the word “certified” implies the EPA has actually
tested the listed equipment, but that’s not the case. It tests nothing, relying instead on
manufacturers’ own testing based on EPA protocols. The equipment maker submits
those results to the EPA, and if the criteria are met, the gizmo gets listed on the
SmartWay website.
There are now updated logos for manufacturers of these technologies to use, as well
as for SmartWay Partner fleets that want to label their trucks and trailers.
How long will it take the counterfeiters to work their nefarious magic and allow some
carriers to look better than they actually are, with phony SmartWay stickers?
See www.epa.gov/smartwaylogistics/index.htm
Designed for demanding mobile
users, the computer supports both USB
3.0 and 2.0, analog (VGA) and digital
(HDMI) video and the latest SD card
standard (SDXC) to enable faster file
transfer speeds and greater flexibility.
Security features include an optional
fingerprint reader.
The Toughbook S10 is designed to
survive drops, bumps, and spills, say
Panasonic. Due to its magnesium alloy
case and shock-mounted flex-connect
320-GB hard drive, the device is said to
be able to handle up to a 30-in drop and
also sports a spill-resistant keyboard.
Embedded wireless technologies
include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and optional
Gobi2000 3G mobile broadband technology from Qualcomm.
Other key features include Windows 7
Professional (32-bit or 64-bit), 4 to 8 GB
of RAM, a 12.1-in. WXGA (1280 x 800)
LCD display with LED backlighting
and anti-glare screen treatment, and a
DVD drive.
T
Estimated street price is US$2449
but it comes with a three-year limited
warranty, parts and labour.
See www.toughbook.com and
www.panasonic.com/business-solutions
CUTTING TOOLS
PHILLIPS INDUSTRIES INTRODUCES
NEW CUTTING TOOLS FOR NYLON
AIR TUBING
Phillips Industries has introduced
three new products to their comprehensive line of shop tools essential to truck
and trailer maintenance. Three new
nylon air tubing cutting tools are now
available for economy, standard and
heavy-duty use.
Phillips economy pocket cutter (part
number 12-90003) is compact and ideal
for emergency situations where a simple
cutting tool would aid in a quick
repair. Part number 12-90002, a standard
shop cutter, can be used to cut up to ½ ”
diameter tubing. For production line and
Phillips economy
pocket cutter
heavy use, part number 12-90004 has a
shortened nose for greater clearance and
replaceable blades. Each of the new
cutting tools have preset tubing guides.
All Phillips shop tools can be found in
its new online catalog.
See www.phillipsind.com ▲
OCTOBER 2011
51
Retail Diesel Price Watch
Find out how Espar Heaters
can SAVE YOU MONEY.
WEEKLY PUMP PRICE SURVEY / cents per litre
Prices as of September 13, 2011 • Updated prices at www.mjervin.com
CITY
WHITEHORSE
VANCOUVER *
VICTORIA
PRINCE GEORGE
KAMLOOPS
KELOWNA
FORT ST. JOHN
YELLOWKNIFE
CALGARY *
RED DEER
EDMONTON
LETHBRIDGE
LLOYDMINSTER
REGINA *
SASKATOON
PRINCE ALBERT
WINNIPEG *
BRANDON
TORONTO *
OTTAWA
KINGSTON
PETERBOROUGH
WINDSOR
LONDON
SUDBURY
SAULT STE MARIE
THUNDER BAY
NORTH BAY
TIMMINS
HAMILTON
ST. CATHARINES
MONTRÉAL *
QUÉBEC
SHERBROOKE
GASPÉ
CHICOUTIMI
RIMOUSKI
TROIS RIVIÈRES
DRUMMONDVILLE
VAL D'OR
SAINT JOHN *
FREDERICTON
MONCTON
BATHURST
EDMUNDSTON
MIRAMICHI
CAMPBELLTON
SUSSEX
WOODSTOCK
HALIFAX *
SYDNEY
YARMOUTH
TRURO
KENTVILLE
NEW GLASGOW
CHARLOTTETOWN *
ST JOHNS *
GANDER
LABRADOR CITY
CORNER BROOK
CANADA AVERAGE (V)
Price
134.4
135.2
131.2
121.4
123.4
124.3
126.6
128.6
111.9
111.2
107.4
113.9
114.9
114.9
116.7
115.9
111.9
114.9
129.7
127.2
124.4
126.9
125.7
123.6
125.9
125.7
128.3
124.4
129.2
124.1
123.6
131.7
129.9
129.2
130.4
127.9
129.9
129.9
125.4
129.2
130.2
130.9
131.8
133.2
132.1
132.3
132.4
130.9
133.3
127.2
130.4
129.5
128.3
128.9
129.7
123.1
133.4
130.1
141.8
134.1
124.5
(+/-) Previous
Excl. Taxes
Week
-3.0
-0.8
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
-0.7
0.0
1.0
1.3
0.5
2.0
0.0
2.3
0.0
-2.0
0.2
0.5
0.8
3.0
0.0
0.5
0.5
0.7
2.0
2.0
1.8
1.0
0.0
0.0
1.0
0.5
0.0
0.7
-0.5
1.0
0.5
0.0
0.5
2.7
1.2
1.4
1.4
1.6
1.8
1.6
1.6
1.7
0.5
0.8
0.9
0.9
0.8
0.9
1.0
-0.4
0.8
1.0
0.2
0.8
0.7
116.8
94.3
96.1
90.2
92.1
93.0
95.1
109.4
93.6
92.9
89.3
95.5
96.4
90.4
92.1
91.4
91.1
93.9
96.4
94.3
91.8
94.0
92.9
91.1
93.1
92.9
95.2
91.7
96.1
91.6
91.1
93.4
91.8
91.2
96.1
93.9
93.7
91.8
87.9
95.1
92.0
92.6
93.4
94.7
93.7
93.9
94.0
92.6
94.8
91.2
94.0
93.2
92.1
92.7
93.3
93.0
97.6
94.6
105.0
98.2
93.9
V-Volume Weighted
(+/-) indicates price variations from previous week.
Diesel includes both full-serve and self-serve prices.
The Canada average price is based on the relative weights of 10 cities (*)
www.espar.com
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YOU CAN’T GET THERE FROM HERE
WANT TO BET YOU’VE SEEN THIS PLACE BEFORE?
You Can’t Get There From Here is a new feature for Today’s Trucking Readers who know
a thing or two about the highways and sideroads of this great country of ours.
Every month, we’ll publish a photo of some landmark that’s visible from a major lane;
and it doesn’t matter if you drive past it in a truck, on your Hog or in the comfort of your
spouse-driven RV, if you’re one of the first 10 readers to I.D. the place and tell us where it is,
we’ll send you a fabulous Today’s Trucking cap.
This month’s elaborate money magnet is situated on one of the country’s busiest
thoroughfares. If you know which one, contact Jason Rhyno at
CAN’T
GET THERE
FROM HERE
Today’s Trucking Magazine
451 Attwell Drive,
Toronto, ON M9W 5C4
Fax: 416-614-8861
Email: jason@newcom.ca
Have you ever wondered…
What your turnover rate is, compared to the industry average?
Or, if the proportion of unfilled positions in your firm is higher or lower than that of your competitors?
Are you prepared for the pending retirements of a vast majority of your workforce?
The trucking industry is facing many human resource challenges including an aging workforce, limited entry into trades, and challenges in
attracting youth to the sector.
You have an opportunity to help identify these challenges by participating in the Canadian Trucking Human Resources Council’s
survey. Participating in this survey will help the industry in identifying key labour market issues and inform industry how best to respond. This
information will also help you better position your organization for the future.
This survey is being conducted in partnership with Newcom Business Media (publisher of Today’s Trucking), provincial trucking associations,
and trucking sector councils. The Canadian Trucking Human Resources Council has contracted a research consulting firm, R.A.
Malatest and Associates Ltd. to administer this survey.
The Canadian Trucking Human Resources Council (CTHRC) assists the trucking industry in addressing human resource challenges.
Its data tool, The Labour Information Highway, provides industry with historical, current and projected demand for 9 key occupations.
To update this data tool with the most accurate and reliable information, we are requesting employers or HR Managers in the trucking and
allied /associated trades industry to participate in the survey.
As a thank you for completing this survey, the Canadian Trucking Human Resources Council will provide you with a complimentary
copy of the Executive Summary of its findings.
PLEASE COMPLETE THIS 10 MINUTE SURVEY
either online at www.helpyoursector.malatest.net OR by calling the toll-free
number 1-877-688-5051 and completing the survey by telephone with R.A. Malatest and
Associates Ltd.’s staff OR arranging for a copy of the survey to be sent to you.
THANK YOU FOR TAKING PART IN THIS IMPORTANT STUDY!
52
TODAY’S TRUCKING
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Free Product Information
Today’s Trucking makes it possible for you to make fast, convenient connections
to the advertisers in this issue. Log on to todaystrucking.com
NATIONAL
ADVERTISERS
Alliance
2
www.alliancebrandparts.com
Border Connect
34
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Caterpillar
30
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Cat Scale
47
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CIT
40
www.cit.ca
Double Coin
43
www.doublecoin-us.com
Espar
31, 51
www.espar.com
Fountain Tire
48
www.fountaintire.com
Goodyear
10, insert
www.goodyearep.com
Hankook Tires
16
www.hankooktire.ca
Howes Lubricator
42
www.howeslube.com
Imperial Oil
6
www.mobildelvac.ca
Kenworth
insert
www.kenworth.com
Mack
4
www.mackpinnacle.com
OK Tire
35
www.oktire.com
OTA
46
www.ontruck.org
Peterbilt
back cover
www.peterbilt.com
Shaw Tracking
26, 38
www.shawtracking.ca
Shell
28
www.shell.ca
Simard Suspensions
15
www.simardsuspensions.com
Transcore
41
www.transcore.ca
Today’s Trucking
20, 44
www.todaystrucking.com
Truck World Show
24-25
www.truckworld.ca
Western Star Trucks
18
www.ruggetmeetsprofitable.com
Zurich
55
www.zurichcanada.com/stories
Get Your FREE Subscription
Fill In This Card and Fax to 416-614-8861
❏ Yes – please send (continue to send) Today’s Trucking
FREE OF CHARGE
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SIGNATURE (MUST)
NAME ____________________________________________________ TITLE ______________________________________
COMPANY NAME ______________________________________________________________________________________
COMPANY ADDRESS __________________________________________________________________________________
CITY ___________________________PROV. __________________________ POSTAL CODE _______________________
TEL (
) _____________________________________ FAX (
)
E-MAIL ________________________________________________________________________________________________
HOW MANY VEHICLES ARE BASED AT (OR
CONTROLLED FROM) THIS LOCATION?
PLEASE INDICATE QUANTITIES BY TYPE
TRUCKS __________TRUCK TRACTORS___________________
TRAILERS _____________BUSES _______________________
OFF ROAD VEHICLES _________________________________
ARE ANY OF THESE VEHICLES ...
A. In any of the following Gross Vehicle Weight Classes?
Class 8: 33,001 lbs. GVW & Over
❏ Yes ❏ No
Class 7: 26,001 to 33,000 GVW
❏ Yes ❏ No
❏ Yes ❏ No
Class 6: 19,501 to 26,000 GVW
❏ Yes ❏ No
Class 3,4, or 5: 10,001 to 19,500 GVW
❏ Yes ❏ No
Class 1 or 2: Under 10,000 lbs. GVW
B. Refrigerated
❏ Yes ❏ No
DO YOU HAVE MAINTENANCE SHOP FACILITIES
AT THIS LOCATION?
❏ YES ❏ NO
How many mechanics here?________________
INDICATE YOUR PRIMARY TYPE OF BUSINESS:
Check ONE category only.
(A) ❏ For-hire (Common & Contract Trucking)
(B) ❏ Lease-Rental
(C) ❏ Food & Beverage Production/Distribution
(D) ❏ Farming
(E) ❏ Government (Fed.,Prov.,Local)
(F) ❏ Public Utility (electric, gas, telephone)
(G) ❏ Construction/Mining/Sand & Gravel
(H) ❏ Petroleum/Dry Bulk/Chemicals/Tank
(I) ❏ Manufacturing/Processing
(J) ❏ Retail/Wholesale/Delivery
(K) ❏ Logging/Lumber
(L) ❏ Bus Transportation
(M) ❏ Moving & Storage
(N) ❏ Waste Management
(O) ❏ Other
▼
DATE
DO YOU SPECIFY, SELECT OR APPROVE THE PURCHASE
FOR ANY OF THE FOLLOWING?
Check ALL that apply.
A. New vehicles & components
❏ 01 Trucks, Tractors
❏ 02 Trailers
❏ 03 Powertrain components
(engines, transmissions, axles)
❏ 04 Vehicle systems
(brakes, lighting, suspensions, cooling, electrical)
❏ 05 Tires, Wheels (new or replacement)
❏ 06 Vehicle appearance
(paints, markings - new or replacement)
B. Replacement Components,
Parts & Supplies
❏ 07 Replacement parts
(filters, electrical, engine parts,
brakes, suspensions, exhaust)
❏ 08 Major replacement components
(engine, transmissions, exhaust)
❏ 09 Oils, Additives & Lubricants
❏ 10 Shop equipment and tools
C. Fleet Products & Services
❏ 11 Equipment Leasing
❏ 12 Computers, Software
❏ 13 Financial services, Insurance
❏ 14 Fleet management services
(fuel reporting, permits, taxes)
D.
* PLEASE BE SURE TO
COMPLETELY ANSWER
ALL QUESTIONS IF YOU
ARE A TRUCK OPERATOR
* NON-TRUCK OPERATORS
USE BOX BELOW ONLY
TO BE COMPLETED
BY NON-TRUCK
OPERATORS ONLY!!!
What best describes your
basic business as it relates
to truck/bus fleets?
(Check Only ONE)
❏ MANUFACTURER
(including factory branches) of
trucks, buses, trailers, bodies,
components, parts, supplies or
equipment.
❏ NEW VEHICLE DEALER/
trucks, tractors, trailers.
❏ HEAVY DUTY WHOLESALER/
components, parts, supplies
or equipment.
❏ INDEPENDENT FLEET
SERVICE/REPAIR
SPECIALIST
❏ OTHER (Specify)
_______________________________
_______________________________
❏ 15 None of the above
OCTOBER 2011
53
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Rear View
By Peter Carter
Married to the job
What a silver anniversary, this magazine and
Saint-Louis-Du-Ha! Ha! taught me about life
A
few months back, my colleague Marco was working on a
First thing that occurred to me was obvious: Magazine pubproject. He emailed me this: “Finish this sentence: ‘I really
lishing and my marriage are completely different creatures than
hate it when I’m driving and ______________________.’”
they were 25 years ago. Right off the top? There was no Internet.
I replied: “I really hate it when I’m driving and I get through a
The web changed publishing as radically as, say, having three
busy intersection and think ‘Holy geez! I’m not sure if that light
kids changes a marriage. And as anyone who knows me will
was red or green or if I even looked!’ I hate when that happens.”
attest, I’m telling the truth when I add “For the way better.” In
The longer I thought about it, the more I realized that “I hate
both cases.
it when…” driving moments come easy. Of far greater interest are
Another. Both start out as exercises in optimism. Indeed, a
“I love it when…” episodes.
magazine cannot survive unless it oozes
Here’s one. This August 30 past, I was headoptimism. Ditto staying married. One pered east on 185, outside the best-named town
son put it this way: “Expect the worst but
in Canada: Saint-Louis-Du-Ha! Ha!, Que.
hope for the best.”
My wife Helena and I were ferrying our
Also, until recently Today’s Trucking went
daughters, Ewa and Ria, from our home in
solely to trucking company executives and
Toronto to Dalhousie University in Halifax.
now it’s distributed to the entire industry.
We had spent the previous night camping
As every married person finds out sooner
in beautiful Montmagny, Que., which is
or later, even though you slip a ring on
famous for two reasons. First, Montmagny is
to just one person’s finger, you actually
the birthplace of my friend and colleague
marry a tribe. Again, it makes life way more
Steve Bouchard, who edits our French Sister
interesting.
publication Transport Routier and writes for
Another? My late dad used to subscribe to
Today’s Trucking. Montmagny is also home,
this magazine’s forefather—the now-defunct
every Labor Day Weekend, to the World
Truck and Bus Transport—because he ran a
Accordion Festival.
fleet in Sudbury. He liked diesels and
August 30, 2011, was also Helena’s and my
wheels. He also thought my new blonde wife
25th wedding anniversary. And astonishingly,
was very pretty. (I know it’s not relevant but
25 years minus one day earlier, she and I had VEILED PROMISES: Magazines and
that thought always makes me happy.)
been on the self-same stretch of highway, driv- marriages both rely on optimism if they’re
Plus, with both the magazine and the
ing from Toronto to P.E.I. on our honeymoon.
marriage, the same people who were in
to survive.
(I’ll get to another coincidence shortly but
charge back then are today. Seems to work.
for the record, that part of 185 hasn’t changed much since. It’s still
Another thing the magazine and marriage have in common:
the only two-lane stretch of the Trans-Canada between my house
They both seemed like a good idea at the time.
and Dalhousie. But I digress.)
And they were.
As we slowly neared the pretty village of Cabano, something else
Today’s Trucking is growing in all kinds of ways. With the huge
occurred to me. Today’s Trucking is almost exactly the same age as
growth of our circulation, we’re exploring all sorts of opportunities
my marriage. Today’s Trucking turns 25 next year.
that I’m not about to tell you about because I don’t want to tip our
Now comes the “I love it when I’m driving” part. As the trip
hand to the competition.
continued, for the next few hours or so, I toyed with notions about
At home, with the nest virtually empty and more time together
how a 25-year-old marriage is like a magazine of the same age.
with Helena, I’m looking forward to new opportunities there.
Whenever I get into this fun headspace, the kilometers just
Those thoughts neither, will I share here. But they sure make
zip by.
driving fun. ▲
54
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TT October 2011.qxp:Todays Tr masters.qxd
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Page 56
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