FreightWatch issues security advisory for Thanksgiving Weekend

22 Nov by Tags:

Congressional hearing: Majority of vehicles can be self-driving in a few decades

The Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade held a hearing exploring the issue of self-driving vehicles on Nov. 15 as part of the Disrupter Series. Dr. Mark Rosekind, administrator for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and several industry stakeholders testifying before the committee suggested it could be decades before self-driving vehicles become a reality. ...Read the rest of this story
22 Nov by Vitaliy Dadalyan Tags:

Illinois Kenworth Dealer Opens Full-Service Dealership

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Parts and service at Kenworth of Effingham. Photo: Kenworth of Effingham

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Parts and service at Kenworth of Effingham. Photo: Kenworth of Effingham

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Kenworth of Effingham has opened a 21,000-square-foot full-service dealership, featuring a 12-bay service shop and a 2,200-square-foot parts department.

The Effingham, Ill., dealership sits on a 4-acre lot near Interstates 57 and 70. The dealership's recent opening came just as Illinois Transportation completed a six-year, $170-million Interstate 57/70 expansion project along a 6-mile stretch from south of Effingham to an area northeast of town.

“Kenworth of Effingham significantly expands the availability of Kenworth customer support between St. Louis and Indianapolis,” said John Nichols, CEO of Palmer Trucks, Kenworth of Effingham's parent company. “With a great location and large parts inventory, our new location can respond to the needs of national fleets, local agricultural companies, contractors and other vocational customers.”

The dealership's service shop is equipped with a Hunter alignment machine, DPF cleaning, and offers a dedicated bay for diagnosing trucks and providing lubrication service. Kenworth of Effingham also offers driver's lounge with free Wi-Fi for drivers.

Parts and service are available from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The service department offers full warranty support for Paccar MX series engines. The dealership also provides leasing and rental services through its PacLease franchise.

Related: Kenworth Dealers to Offer Certified Pre-Owned Trucks

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22 Nov by Vitaliy Dadalyan Tags:

Proper Inflation is Elementary

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Bendix SmarTire monitoring system's sensors are installed on the wheel, inside the tire, where they're protected from road damage – something appreciated at Boyle Transportation. Photo: Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems

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Bendix SmarTire monitoring system's sensors are installed on the wheel, inside the tire, where they're protected from road damage – something appreciated at Boyle Transportation. Photo: Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems

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Keeping tires properly inflated is elementary to good maintenance, and products that aid in that quest can be valuable.

“In tractors, anything that keeps air in the tires makes tires last longer and stay on the road” is a plus, explains Ben Curtis, fleet manager at Boyle Transportation, Bellerica, Massachusetts, which transports security-sensitive and hazmat cargo. “And trailers are often ignored.” That's why Boyle has used tire inflation systems on trailers since 2001 and a monitoring system on tractors since 2009.

Curtis tends to order the Hendrickson TireMaax Pro on trailers with Hendrickson axles and suspensions, and the Meritor Tire Pressure Inflation System by P.S.I. on others. He likes the fact that the Meritor/P.S.I. system can alert you to a hot wheel end. While noting that the latest TireMaax systems are relatively trouble-free and that he gets great support from the company, he's not as wild about the fact that TireMaax reduces air pressure when tires get hot. “I don't want it to let air out,” he says. “It lets out about 10 pounds. I don't know how much of an advantage that gives you.”

The advantage, Hendrickson explains, is longer tire life. Over-inflation can happen when hot air expands inside the tire.

“Over-inflated tires are harder than properly inflated tires, making them more susceptible to tread surface cutting, punctures and impact breaks,” explains Tiona Campbell, a program manager at Hendrickson. “Over-inflation also changes a tire's footprint, which can affect tire traction and lead to irregular wear patterns. TMC Recommended Practice RP 219B, Radial Tire Wear Conditions and Causes, indicates that the probable cause of excessive wear found on both shoulder ribs of trailer tires ...Read the rest of this story

22 Nov by Vitaliy Dadalyan Tags:

Toyota Eyeing Heavy-Duty Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Technology

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Image courtesy of Toyota

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Image courtesy of Toyota

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Toyota is exploring using hydrogen fuel-cell technology in heavy-duty vehicles to create a zero-emissions solution for the commercial trucking industry.

The company announced that it will conduct a study of a heavy-duty truck sized fuel cell vehicle and the technology's scalability. But it provided no additional details of its plan, saying only that more details would be announced in the coming months.

Toyota currently offers a commercially available hydrogen fuel cell vehicle with the Toyota Mirai. Hydrogen fuel cells generate electricity by combining hydrogen with oxygen to create a chemical reaction and are emissions-free, producing only water as a byproduct of the reaction.

Toyota is not the first company to explore hydrogen fuel cell use in heavy-duty trucks. Notably, startup Nikola Motor Company announced that its forthcoming Nikola One Class 8 Truck would be powered by the technology. Nikola has already taken reservations for the truck and is set to unveil the model in December.

Nikola company claims an operating range of 800 to 1,200 miles on a single fill up. Part of Nikola's strategy involves building out a network of over 50 hydrogen stations for customers by 2020.

Related: Nikola Chooses Hydrogen Fuel Cell to Power Emissions-Free Truck

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