The brains of these trucks is a system similar to autopilot on an airplane, which employ radar sensors and cameras to compose a 360 degree picture of the truck’s surroundings. Some include a three-dimensional digital map. Used in conjunction with Predictive Powertrain Control (PPC) technology, the systems help maximize fuel efficiency by reacting to changes in terrain and topography.

http://www.knoxnews.com/business/experts-driverless-trucks-would-ease-shortage-create-efficiencies_23845712While driverless cars may be a hot topic these days, some experts think that driverless trucks might be roaming the highways first. The technology is in development now, and one University of Tennessee transportation expert believes autonomous trucks might be on the highway within a decade.

At some point, technology may advance to the point that trucks will not even need a human being aboard, Holcomb said. However, Huneryager said that trucking involves more than just steering a rig down the highway.

The opportunity seems to be for long haul drives.  There is a definite shortage in this area.  I would expect the unions to be involved here also.  One important question will be debated for sure.  Does a driver have to be in a driverless car — just in case? The U.N. Convention on Road Traffic has agreed to allow a car to drive itself so long as the driver is present and able to take the wheel and the system “can be overridden or switched off by the driver” .  Read more…

Image from knoxnews.com

Here is a great video of the Mercedes concept truck to be released in 2025.  This truck is not someones fantasy.  It has already operated in driverless mode on the A14 motorway in Magdeburg, Germany.  It reached speeds up to 50 mph and Mercedes officials claim it could be on the road within 10 years.

 

Mini Sky City, as the tower is titled, is to be part of a larger Sky City series of interconnected skyscrapers that will include vertical farming spaces.

Broad Sustainable Building (a developer in China) claims that the construction technique used is one of the most profoundly innovative in human history.

This prefab construction, which has 19 atriums which are each 10 meters tall, is  environmentally friendly, as large sections were put together at another location and trucked to the building site to be stacked on top of each other.

This vastly reduced the number of trips needed to transport the raw materials, they said. The company says that 15,000 fewer trips by truck were made, greatly reducing dust and fuel pollution.

Watch this fantastic time-lapse video

 

BROAD Sustainable Building Co. Ltd. provides factory-made sustainable buildings featuring 90% per-fabrication, 5 times more energy efficiency, 99% PM2.5 filtration as well as no collapse in 9- magnitude earthquake.

BROAD Group is headquartered in Changsha, China and has products in more than 70 countries.

Video from YouTube.com

When men and women are in elementary school they are conditioned by their parents and teachers to take education seriously.  That usually means preparing to go to college.  There is not enough emphasis placed on considering “the trades” for a career.  With the cost of education out of reach for many of us,  we must realize that there are plenty of opportunities (especially  for women) in these traditional positions generally stereotyped as “men’s work”.  Truck driving is one of them.

http://www.argusleader.com/story/news/business-journal/2015/04/07/women-making-inroads-trades/25433975/When Alyce Widrig asks people to guess what she does for a living, they usually say a nurse or librarian.  She laughs.  “They don’t expect me to be a truck driver.”  But Widrig, fed up with her college experience, read in the newspaper a few years ago that there was a shortage of truck drivers.

On the Federal level there are a number of grants are available that can help you prepare for and even start your own trucking business. Most of these grants were not designed specifically for the trucking industry but can still be used toward the start-up costs of purchasing your own truck and equipment.  Many state also provide grants specifically for cdl training schools.  Remember each state is different so you will have to do some research.

“And if you applied with the state, you could get a grant and learn how to drive, so I applied, and I got it,” the Sioux Falls native said.

Women say that their male counterparts are very supportive, and female customers welcome them with open arms.  The few women that are in the field find they quickly develop a rapport with female customers that the men find hard to replicate.  Men have become very accepting of these women and most of the time become very protective of their female coworkers.  Men benefit because it can create a family-like atmosphere.  Outsiders are usually impressed and sometimes in awe when these women tell them what they do.  The trucking industry needs to reach out us at an earlier age.  Male dominated industries need to look into the untapped resource of women to start filling these positions immediately.

Read more…

John Sloan of Allegiance Capital writes an excellent article on how to recruit millennial drivers and maintain your fleet workforce. The article demonstrates “How to Find, Train and Maintain a Productive Team” with a focus on millennials.

Sloan lists five critical steps to recruit millennial drivers:

Recruit Millennial Drivers

  1. Recruitment – First, millennials are attracted to companies that use social media quickly and smoothly.
  2. Competitive advantage – Up-to-date equipment and flexible work arrangements will help you attract and build a solid workforce.
  3. Engagement – Productivity can be directly linked to the emotional commitment an employee has to an organization and its goals.
  4. Motivation – Clearly communicating your business mission fuels motivation. It helps your workforce understand how they personally contribute to your fleet’s success.
  5. Performance evaluations – Furthermore, evaluations should have clear, achievable objectives that measure individual, team and organizational performance.

Therefore, with the average age of a driver moving towards 55, there will be an influx of millennials flooding the workforce. There must be an adjustment to the benchmarks for driver satisfaction.

Overall, follow these 5 tips to recruit millennial drivers at your organization.

 

 

The process of matching trucks and freight has grown over the years. It started with load boards and now uses web-based load matching tools. Recent technology has allowed carriers, shippers, brokers, and third-party logistics providers to use cloud based applications to get their information about trucks or loads and to do so very quickly.

http://www.truckinginfo.com/article/story/2015/03/online-load-boards-keep-freight-moving.aspx

The type of information online load boards offer has also evolved. In the beginning, it was mostly limited to equipment availability, load availability and contact phone numbers. Now, these services also provide rate information, carrier and broker qualification information and even “Yelp-type reviews on brokers,” Sikes adds.

Online load boards were first introduced in 1995 and now there are over 40 different applications on the market today.  Here is a short list of providers who have entered the market recently.

  1. Truck It Smart, Haines City, Fla.
  2. ComFreight, Long Beach, Calif
  3. Post.Bid.Ship., Scottsdale, Ariz.
  4. Cargomatic, Venice, Calif.
  5. 10-4 Systems, Boulder, Colo
  6. Apex Capital Corp., Ft. Worth  Read more…

Image from truckinginfo.com

Wabco System introduced it latest collision mitigation system and it has some great improvements. The system uses a 77GHz radar which allows it to track both moving and stationary objects. Here is a list of some more great benefits.

  • Radar system works in all weather conditions
  • A dual-mode allows both long-range and adjacent lane views
  • The system provides active braking on moving, stopping and stationary vehicles to mitigate or prevent impending rear-end collisions.

http://www.ccjdigital.com/wabco-launches-advanced-collision-mitigation-system/

WABCO safety systems deliver measurable, real-world benefits to fleets, Varty noted. He cited company data which indicated that fleets have seen 24 percent fewer fatalities when using OnGuard, 53 percent fewer rollovers with the company’s ESCsmart stability system and 5,200 fewer vehicle crashes thanks to its mBSP modular braking system.

Also of note: fleets using full suites of WABCO vehicle efficiency systems such as tire pressure monitoring systems and adaptive cruise control can realize up to 10 percent boosts in single vehicle fuel economy.  Read more…

Image from ccjdigital.com

Damler participates in The US Department of Energy’s SuperTruck program. They unveiled an exciting concept truck. The truck includes some really intelligent features such as:http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1097471_daimler-unveils-supertruck-12-mpg-semi-is-more-than-twice-as-fuel-efficient

  • Resultant aerodynamic efficiency enables it to run a downsized 10.7L diesel engine, which reduces its fuel consumption.
  • Solar panels mounted to the trailer’s roof which can power the climate control system among other things.
  • Waste heat recovery system connected to exhaust that converts thermal energy otherwise wasted.
  • Powertrain that selects the right gears to optimize battery regeneration and improve efficiency

During the 312-mile Texas highway drive, the truck averaged 12.2 mpg while cruising with a gross weight of 65,000 pounds at an average 65 mph between San Antonio and Dallas.

The numbers listed above, on the surface might not seem impressive, but when you realize that freight trucks make up only 4% of vehicles on the road and use 20% of fleet  fuel consumption, it is very impressive.  Damler also achieved the fuel efficiency numbers using commercially available technologies.  This means most manufacturers can achieve the same goals.

Current Federal regulations require heavy-duty trucks to achieve a 10- to 20-percent increase in fuel efficiency by 2018.

These fuel standards seem very acheivable as proved by Damler.  This SuperTruck more than doubled the average fuel efficiency of today’s commercially available semis.  Read more…

Image from greencarreports.com

Related: http://freightlinersupertruck.com/#main

Cummins’ new approach is showing off their new “holistic” approach toward truck engine operation.  They are even going to tour the U.S. and Canada with a fleet of Cummins ISX15-powered heavy-duty trucks  from June through October of 2015.

The first is a new electronic control system called “ADEPT”

It stands for Advanced Diesel Electric Powertrain Technology.

Available starting this summer, ADEPT packages together to two established features to boost fuel savings:

  • http://fleetowner.com/equipment/greater-efficiency-new-mantra-cumminsSmartCoast: This disengages a truck’s engine automatically from the driveline when going downhill. Therefore, it returns it to idle to reduce drag, conserve vehicle momentum and, ultimately, improve fuel economy.
  • SmartTorque2 (ST2): This taps into the same torque management intelligence first introduced on the SmartAdvantage Powertrain. It helps eliminate unnecessary downshifts and keep the engine operating in the most fuel-efficient “sweet spot.”

Also, the aftertreatment system removes exhaust soot and particulate matter

This clean diesel technology leads to near zero emissions.  In addition, the setup was influenced by the make, model, and optional equipment.

Another key piece of the 2017 model ISX15 engine is the development of the new EcoFit single module aftertreatment system from the company’s Cummins Emission Solutions division. Fier said the “single-piece” design reduces the device’s size by 60% and weight by 40% compared to the prior version.

Overall, Cummins deployment of Connected Diagnostics™ gives drivers feedback within seconds of a fault occurrence. Therefore, this helps avoid unnecessary expenses and reduces the the chances of engine failure.

“By using telematics, we can transmit data instantly to Cummins dealers and distributors to help reduce the repair cycle and reduce downtime,” she said – pointing out that Cummins remains “agnostic” in terms of the telematics provider a fleet may choose to use.

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The U.S. oil output rising and refineries running at higher capacities. Therefore, crude oil falls, meaning the price of gasoline sinks even lower.

Crude Oil Falls

http://www.ttnews.com/articles/basetemplate.aspx?storyid=37722U.S. retail gasoline prices in the Lundberg Survey dropped as crude oil fell to the lowest level in six years. Gasoline fell as oil, which makes up a majority of the fuels cost, dropped last week to the lowest level since 2009. Lower crude prices in combination with strong gasoline output from U.S. refineries contributed to the decline, according to Trilby Lundberg, the president of Lundberg Survey.

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