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best semi trucks
When it comes to naming the best semi trucks for CDL drivers, everyone knows there are only two good answers.

The one you’re driving or the one you wish you were driving!

This is actually a hot debate about which truck is the very best semi truck, but there are a few names you can’t miss. Vote for your favorite, then see who’s winning in the polls right now!

Which truck is best?

Freightliner

Peterbilt

Volvo

Kenworth

1. Freightliner

Every list of the best semi-trucks that’s worth its salt has to include Freightliners. They are currently the most popular truck among drivers in the United States. It’s for a few good reasons.

freightliner truckFreightliner highway trucks offer day, sleeper, and crew cab options. They’re built to handle all types of loads, and they house a 350-600 horsepower engine. Freightliner trucks are aerodynamically efficient, so they get good fuel efficiency which saves money in the long run. They are also typically less expensive to buy and operate than Peterbilts and Kenworths. So, that’s another plus for the pocketbook.

With top features for drivers and a lower price tag, it’s not hard to see why many people choose Freightliners. 

2. Peterbilt

Open roads stretching ahead of you, a powerful rig beneath you, and a classic look that you just can’t beat: that is the legacy of a Peterbilt. They are the Harley Davidsons of the trucking world. A long-nose Peterbilt is an iconic trucking look, and for style, it can’t be topped.

Peterbilt truckPeterbilts are made by PACCAR, the same company that owns Kenworth. While many drivers are loyal to what Peterbilt represents, there’s no denying the quality of these trucks. Peterbilt offers the most trucks with alternative fuel options. Their trucks also have aluminum bodies. This makes for a lighter and more fuel-efficient ride, but you may want to look at something else if you’re hauling heavy loads.

3. Kenworth

Kenworth truckLooking for a tractor built by truckers for truckers? Kenworth is your place. Experienced drivers consult on the design for new models, and it shows. These trucks have great navigational technology which makes your day on the road a little smoother and less stressful.

Kenworths are made by the same parent company who makes Peterbilts. They tend to be a little bit heavier on materials and build than their Peterbilt counterparts. Kenworths lose out on some fuel efficiency as a result, but it also gives them a sturdy feel that drivers love. 

4. Volvo

Volvo truckVolvos don’t get quite as much fame in the United States as Freightliners, Peterbilts, and Kenworths, but they are top notch. Even though they aren’t as common in the US, Volvos are recognized internationally as a top brand.

In the US, Volvos come in fifth for heavy-duty truck manufacturers, but it holds the second place title worldwide. They come from the same parent company that makes Mack trucks, and drivers can be confident they are getting a quality ride with a great support network when they choose a Volvo. 

5. International

Rounding out our top 5 list of best semi trucks for drivers is International. With models like the Lonestar and the LT series, International shows off some good looks and quality trucks.

These trucks are especially known for power and performance.

That performance makes models like the Lonestar particularly good for special deliveries like cattle, horses, and other livestock. 

The Bottom Line

In the USA, Freightliners, Peterbilts, and Kenworths have the most loyal followings. With clean designs and a truck body that’s built to last, it’s easy to see why drivers love them. But, Volvo and International score high marks globally and are a great choice for many drivers. At the end of the day, it’s a matter of personal preference, price, and your driving needs. What’s your opinion? Tell us what you love about your truck and why it’s the best. We have a debate to settle!

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Image via Shell

Truckers showed off their best equipment in June to claim the coveted best in show.

Raphine, Va., hosted hundreds for the 36th annual Shell Rotella SuperRigs® show. This three-day is a gathering of truckers from far and wide.

Contestants compete in multiple events for over $25,000 in cash and other prizes.

Various “beauty contests” are held for trucks in two categories — working or retired.  “Working trucks” must have logged a minimum of 85,000 miles annually. Other awards for Best Lights, Best Theme, People’s Choice and more are given out to the most outstanding trucks. The owner of the overall Best In Show truck receives a whopping $10,000 prize.

Image via Truck News

Wisconsin resident Bill Rethwisch won Best In Show for the third time in five years with his yellow 2016 Peterbilt 389. Additionally, his truck received top awards for Best Interior and Best Engine.

Other winners included Brad Garetson, who took first in the tractor-trailer division for his 2016 Peterbilt 389 and 2017 MAC flatbed Conestoga trailer, and Jayme and Whitney Snow in the classic division for their 1999 Classic XL Freightliner. Hills Construction of Hempstead, Texas, took home the Most Hardworking Trucker Award for its 2007 Freightliner Coronado.

Image via Overdrive

This year’s SuperRigs show also featured a “Tribute to Toughness”.

Drivers also showed off trucks featuring newly redone engines, cabs built from scratch, and tributes to loved ones. Mike Manuel’s 2015 Peterbilt 389,”Autism: One of Many,” was designed to raise awareness.

 

 

To read more about the 2018 SuperRigs show, click here.

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Pennsylvania has recently begun enforcing a winter weather trailer ban on certain empty trailers on Interstate-80.

They hope that this will reduce any chance of a traffic large pile up on the roads. A major concern is that winter weather effects like slick ice and snow will cause more trailers to slip off the roads.

While drivers recognize that these laws are for the benefit of all drivers on the road, many are eager for the spring weather to open up the roads once again. These laws will remain in place until the winter conditions subside.

Tractor-trailer laws differ per state.

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showerbag-onegirltruckingYou’ve been on the road all day, finally pull into a much-needed rest stop where you plan to shower and clean up before dropping off a load. But the shower is broken or looks like might actually get you dirtier.

Maintaining good hygiene on the road can be difficult. That’s why Bethany from One Girl Trucking offers a few suggestions get rid of the grime. Step one is to be prepared.

“I keep a messenger bag as my go-to shower bag loaded up with all of my essentials in my truck at all times, so that I do not have to remember to throw a bag in the truck each week I go out or repack said bag because I will always forget something.”

As you know, not all rest stops are created equal. Petro and TA Truck Stops often receive high marks for shower quality. At these stops, drivers automatically receive two free towels and a bath mat. In her article, Bethany cautions against Love’s and Pilot/Flying J stations because they have significantly fewer showers available.

What can you do when no showers are available and you’re running short of time?

Bethany recommends:

“Keep facial wipes handy along with action wipes for quick, good smelling, adult-sized body wipes. Also, the best thing about these wipes are that they will not make you smell like a baby and they are perfect for a quick shower without having to use actual water.”

Have your own suggestions? Share them with us here, we’d love to hear from you!

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trucker-scholarship Whether your little one is preparing for their first steps or walking into their first day of college, TruckerToTrucker can help prepare you financially for the next big step in their life. Money doesn’t have to be one of the challenges that prevents you from continuing your education. That’s why TruckertoTrucker.com compiled a list of trucker scholarship opportunities for no-scam, easy-access applications.

The scholarships are for truck drivers seeking to continue their education at accredited trucking schools. The program is also for relatives of people in the trucking industry. The latter is intended to recognize your value as a driver by helping those who are important to you: your family.

TruckerToTrucker explains its own challenges in distributing its trucker scholarship money:

“In 2013, TruckerToTrucker.com decided to put together a new scholarship. This trucker scholarship is specifically for those who want to become professional drivers. It’s a great way to give back to the hard working community that makes our industry possible.

We couldn’t give the money away!

After several weeks of contacting professional commercial driving schools and trucking organizations, we had maybe 3-4 applicants. In addition, we had lots of unreturned calls and emails.

We were offering a $1,000 scholarship with no obligations on the winner or school, and it was almost impossible to give the money away! That’s crazy.

We also talked with other organizations that offered trucking related scholarships, and they had the same issue. Money, free money, they’d like to give to promising individuals looking to start a new career…and nobody applied for it.

TruckerToTrucker sees the lack of applicants but recognizing the need for the scholarship. Also, their mission is to create a “single resource for legitimate scholarships.”

More than a half-dozen scholarships are detailed on the site.

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stltoday.comSometimes, nothing feels better than a hot shower. But when you’re homeless, hot showers are hard to come by. One St. Louis, Mo,. pastor changes all that, however, with a new nonprofit called Shower to the People.

The pastor, Jake Austin, bought a truck for $5,000 and modified it to equip it with shower stalls and sinks. In June, Shower to the People will make its debut, bringing hope and cleanliness to St. Louis’s homeless.

Shower to the People made headlines in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch recently, and we thought those of you with CDL driver jobs would be inspired by reading about it, too. Austin has serviced homeless people throughout his career, but his new endeavor is unique.

The idea for it struck him a couple of years ago.

One day in fall 2014, when Austin was distributing soap and hygiene supplies to the homeless in downtown St. Louis, he offered a bar of soap to a man who came up to the table. The soap is nice, the man said, but where would he use it? He had plenty of clothes and food, but he hadn’t had a shower in two months and had a job interview in two days.

Austin was embarrassed he hadn’t thought about this earlier. “People can get food and clothes, but if they haven’t had a shower in three months, they can’t get a job even flipping burgers,” he said in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch story.

And that’s how Austin came up with the idea for Shower to the People.

The truck-turned-portable showering-unit has two shower stalls with curtains for privacy and two sinks inside. Sinks on the outside will allow homeless to brush their teeth, wash their faces and shave. According to the story, the truck will connect to fire hydrants, and a generator on the outside will run a water heater on the inside.

Austin figures if the truck is parked in one place for six to eight hours, it would be long enough to give 60 people showers. The truck would move to different locations throughout the week.

He knows of only one other organization in the country that does this, a group called Lava Mae in San Francisco that converts buses into shower units.

Austin is setting his own course here.

He got nonprofit status for his endeavor. He’s getting the proper permits and support from City Hall, and hopes to have the Shower to the People truck rolling and out on test stops within a couple of weeks. Its grand debut will be June 4 in Soulard, just south of downtown St. Louis.

“I decided I’m going to do one thing really well, and that’s hygiene,” Austin told the newspaper.

Austin hopes to one day employ homeless people by hiring them to make soap. Other nonprofits have contributed to the effort, too.

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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