Author: Vitaliy Dadalyan

3 Oct by Vitaliy Dadalyan Tags:

Limiting speed doesn’t mean limiting efficiency

It's likely that there will be a final ruling on limiting the speed of heavy-duty trucks as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently issued a Notice of Proposed Rule Making.

There are arguments both for and against speed limiters, but the reality is that many fleets have been limiting their vehicle speeds for years for both safety and fuel economy reasons.

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3 Oct by Vitaliy Dadalyan Tags:

ATA 2016 Conference: Getting Started

With a strum of string guitars, the 2016 American Trucking Associations (ATA) annual Management Conference & Exhibition (MC&E) opened its doors in Las Vegas, NV. A variety of truck manufacturers and industry suppliers also held press events during the first few days of the conference to discuss a variety of new products, from new tractors and engines to electronic logging devices (ELDs) and other information technology (IT) systems. (All photos by Sean Kilcarr/Fleet Owner)

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2 Oct by Vitaliy Dadalyan Tags:

ATA’s Spear: Trucking Must “Take Seat at the Table” for Making Autonomous-Driving Policy

<img width="150" src="http://www.automotive-fleet.com/fc_images/news/m-spearreporters-1.jpg" border="0" alt="

ATA president Chris Spear fielding reporters' queries on autonomous policymaking. Photo: Evan Lockridge

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ATA president Chris Spear fielding reporters' queries on autonomous policymaking. Photo: Evan Lockridge

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LAS VEGAS. Because autonomous driving technologies offer “a lot of potential but also a lot of unknowns,” Chris Spear, president of the American Trucking Associations, said trucking must “take our seat at the table with other industries [primarily the automotive sector] to develop a [policy] framework without stymying innovation.

“The technology is here and will grow rapidly,” Spear told members of the industry press during a brief Q&A on Oct. 2 here on the show floor of ATA's Management Conference & Exposition. “Suppliers are already creating connected and automated technology.”

He said trucking is “a different animal than the car side” so the association is aiming to ensure the industry's voice is heard as federal policymaking develops.

Suggesting there is urgency to this issue, Spear lamented that the first federal guidelines for the testing and deployment of autonomous vehicles recently released by the Department of Transportation were put together with almost no input from the trucking industry.

On the other hand, he said that “[technological developments] are not going to wait for the federal government. He also pointed out that autonomous policymaking will move on two tracks.

“States are not waiting for the federal government, either.” He pointed to Nevada, which has enacted legislation and regulations to enable the testing and operation of autonomous vehicles, as an example. “Nevada is innovating; creating a breeding ground for this technology.

“As far as [putting in place] seamless regulation, that has to be done by the federal government,” Spear continued. “But we will also get engaged at the state level to avoid a patchwork of laws [for autonomous trucks.]”

Spear said connected and autonomous vehicles hold the promise of increasing highway safety, reducing fuel consumption and emissions, and by alleviating congestion, boosting trucking productivity, which in turn ...Read the rest of this story

2 Oct by Vitaliy Dadalyan Tags:

Bosch Shows off Concept of Trucking Future at IAA

<img width="150" src="http://www.automotive-fleet.com/fc_images/news/m-bosch-visionx-02.jpg" border="0" alt="

Bosch's VisionX project details what trucks and the driver's job may look like in a decade. Photo: Bosch

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Bosch's VisionX project details what trucks and the driver's job may look like in a decade. Photo: Bosch

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Job description for the truck driver of the future: perform key freight forwarding tasks, including checking transport status via cloud, responding to e-mails, organizing routes, and adjusting them to take on additional cargo. Ideal candidate: a team player with good multitasking capabilities – confidence in using new media a must!

That's Bosch's vision of the driver's job in the not-too-distant future as shown off at the IAA Commercial Motor Vehicles show in Hannover, Germany, recently.

"The truckers of the future will go from being drivers to serving as logistics managers,” says Dr. Markus Heyn, member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH. The commercial vehicles of 2026, Bosch said, will be automated, connected, and electrified.

Bosch showed off the “VisionX” concept study it's using to demonstrate what commercial vehicles will be capable of in just a few years.

Fully connected and in some cases offering automated driving, they will run on highly efficient diesel or even electricity as the situation demands.

“The truck of the future will be a 40-ton smart device on wheels,” said Heyn. Smart connectivity and automation will enable it to navigate traffic on the freeway itself, mostly without driver intervention. This will give drivers time to take care of other tasks, such as planning routes, processing shipping documents, or simply taking a break.

Visitors to the Bosch booth at IAA got a chance to sit behind the wheel and watch a highly realistic animated feature that allowed them to experience the future of truck driving firsthand.

The Bosch booth also featured a bevy of real-world technologies that are available now, including:

• New display and user interfaces. Bosch is putting large displays and touchscreens in trucks to make connectivity and infotainment functions easy to use.

...Read the rest of this story

2 Oct by Vitaliy Dadalyan Tags:

Economic Watch: Muddy Future Discussed at ATA MC&E

<img width="150" src="http://www.automotive-fleet.com/fc_images/news/m-econtalk-1.jpg" border="0" alt="

The economy and its effect on trucking was the topic of a general session on Sunday, hosted by American Trucking Associations' Chief Economist Bob Costello and his guest and analyst Diane Swonk, at the ATA's annual convention in Las Vegas. Photo: Evan Lockridge

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The economy and its effect on trucking was the topic of a general session on Sunday, hosted by American Trucking Associations' Chief Economist Bob Costello and his guest and analyst Diane Swonk, at the ATA's annual convention in Las Vegas. Photo: Evan Lockridge

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LAS VEGAS -- There is a lot of uncertainty about where the economy is headed, but there is reason for hope that it and business conditions for trucking are slowing improving.

That was the message Sunday afternoon at the American Trucking Associations' Management Conference & Exhibition in Las Vegas during a session hosted by ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello and his guest Diane Swonk, analyst, founder and CEO of DS Economics.

According to Swonk, the American economy is at a “turning point,” meaning business conditions are expected to rebound from their current “subpar growth” for several reasons.

One, she said, consumers are “holding their own,” meaning they are continuing to spend, which helps drive a lot of freight movements. Two, job growth has been fairly strong, although Swonk believes there are still people sitting on the sidelines.

Costello said he expects job growth to decelerate at some point, while Swonk pointed out that the millennial generation (those who reached adulthood around the turn of the century) spend more money on services rather than products – a negative for trucking – and it won't be at least until 2022 before this generation “gets over the hurdle of their student debt legacy” meaning they have less money to spend.

Add to this the fact that online shopping is growing by leaps and bounds, resulting in what Swonk called “shifting to this hybrid of bricks and clicks,” and millennials taking jobs once held by older, higher paid workers, and it's no wonder why there is uneasiness about how some of these trends will affect trucking.

Even technology ...Read the rest of this story

2 Oct by Vitaliy Dadalyan Tags:

Peterbilt Adds Fuel-Efficient Day Cab

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Peterbilt's new Model 579 Epiq day cab on display at ATA MC&E. Photo: Deborah Lockridge

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Peterbilt's new Model 579 Epiq day cab on display at ATA MC&E. Photo: Deborah Lockridge

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LAS VEGAS — Peterbilt has added a day cab version of its aerodynamic, fuel efficient Model 579 Epiq day cab, officials announced during the ATA Management Conference & Exhibition.

It's aimed at fuel-conscious day-cab fleet customers in regional, tanker and bulk haul applications.

“Fuel-efficient day cabs have been an underserved market up till now,” said Darrin Siver, Peterbilt general manager.

The Model 579 Epiq day cab offers up to 14% improved fuel economy compared to the predecessor Model 386 day cab, Siver said, and that number can be enhanced further by using a drivetrain featuring the Paccar MX engine and Eaton Fuller Advantage automated transmission.

Among the aerodynamic enhancements on the Model 579 Epiq day cab are:
Multi-piece aerodynamic hood available in both 117- and 123-inch lengths;

A three-piece collapsible roof fairing;Chassis fairings with rubber skirts from the quarter fender to the back of the cab and aerodynamic rubber closeouts under the sides of the cab;A three-piece aerodynamic bumper;A bumper air dam and bumper-to-hood seals;Front wheel closeouts and fender liners; andChassis fairing kickouts.

Customers can specify the full aero package through Peterbilt dealerships for simplified ordering or customize it for specific needs, such as an aero bumper-to-back-of-cab package or an aero bumper-to-front-tandem package. The aerodynamic components and packages are also available through Peterbilt dealerships for aftermarket installation.

Peterbilt's Model 579 Epiq day cab is available with the fuel-efficient Paccar MX-13 or MX-11 engine in a wide range of horsepower and torque ratings.

The three-piece collapsible roof fairing is an industry-unique design that in a few minutes allows the roof fairing to be lowered, according to Peterbilt. This allows the truck to be transported without the need to completely remove the roof fairing, as is common with most day cabs.

Other features of Peterbilt's Model 579 Epiq ...Read the rest of this story