1. As technology evolves, parasitic loads can become a problem for fleets
“Recruiting and retaining experienced, high-quality drivers is a challenge. The job demands long hours on the road away from family. To keep up with driver demand and support recruitment efforts, many of today’s trucks are decked out with all the latest in technology: GPS; TVs; refrigerators; entertainment systems; you name it. While this is certainly important in terms of driver retention, fleet managers need to consider the enormous toll this takes on the truck’s battery.”
The line between keeping drivers comfortable and causing problems with a truck’s battery is a fine one: Associate Editor Alex Crissey takes a look at the parasitic loads problem and how to avoid crossing that line. Bonus takeaways: Here are some looks at the issue from a lighting perspective and from the point of view of two fleet managers with opposing viewpoints.
2. A primer on truck leasing options
“To the extent today’s fleet manager is tasked with maximizing the return on its capital investment in equipment, while meeting the high expectations of its internal and external customers, full service leasing companies are adept at keeping its customers’ trucks on the road and earning their keep.”
Leasing trucks is a cost-effective yet often overlooked option for fleets. Editor-at-Large Carol Birkland walks readers through the process of leasing trucks and the options available to fleet managers.
3. Can trucks be hacked?
“Data streams off today’s trucks as readily as the diesel that flows through the engine. That data is insulated by several layers of security, and all of the technology companies we spoke to—Omnitracs, PeopleNet and Zonar—were extremely tight-lipped about what goes into that security.”
With technology constantly evolving, today’s trucks have almost become as much mobile computer systems as vehicles. With that in mind, editor Jason Morgan asks the question: Can trucks be hacked?
4. There’s more than one way to tackle fuel efficiency
“One controllable fuel efficiency factor is engine idling. The Idle Reduction Solutions Confidence Report by the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) says that idling reduction technologies can save more than $5,000 annually per tractor. The report covers 19 types of solutions such as diesel-fired and battery-powered APUs, and notes that manufacturers are working on things like solar power-based systems.”
Cost is always the one thing on the forefront of a fleet manager’s mind. Diesel prices may be low this year, but it never hurts to find the most fuel-efficient way to run your fleet. Seth Skydel takes a look at the fuel efficiency options that are available to be spec’ed.
5. Fleet Equipment’s On the Road series rolls on with two new videos
Why be told about a truck’s new features when you can see them in action for yourself? Editor Jason Morgan did just that this month, visiting two major OEMs, Volvo and Kenworth, to take an up-close look at their newest offerings.
Here’s his look at Volvo’s Adaptive Loading suspension:
And here’s a look at Kenworth’s 76-in. mid-roof sleeper cab:
And if that’s still not enough truck video for you, all of the videos from FE‘s On the Road series are archived here.