Five truck trend takeaways from November

Five truck trend takeaways from November

The biggest stories from November focused on the latest truck trends, all in one place.

We know it’s not easy to keep up with everything that happens in the world of trucking. So here are the biggest stories (or, in this month’s case, videos) from November focused on the latest truck trends, all in one place.

5) Online truck parts buying is happening, but are you getting what you need?

There’s no debate: Online truck parts buying is happening, but not without its challenges. Truck part purchasing demands the correct specs. When you have websites offering a single, blurry product image, with specs that are kind of correct, you roll the dice on an attractive price for a part that may or may not fit.

We talked with Ken Clinchy of FleetPride about how the heavy-duty parts buying world is evolving and what fleets should expect to see when buying parts online. Watch the video here for all his insights.

4) Cameras are coming to trailers

Cameras, once taboo in the trucking industry, are now almost ubiquitous inside the cabs of new trucks. At very least, the latest and greatest advanced driver assistance systems employ cameras for things like lane departure alerts and lane keep assist, to name a few technologies. Many fleets are putting outward-facing cameras in cabs to provide more context to safety related incidents in the battle against aggressive litigation. And let’s not forget that we all carry a camera in our pocket pretty much every minute of the day. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that trailer cameras–both cameras that give you a view of what’s behind the trailer and cameras that show you what’s inside the trailer–are a growing trend and were on full display at this year’s ATA’s MCE.

For all of the insights, watch the video below from our stop in the Phillips Connect booth at MCE.

3) Mack rolls out the MD Electric

California’s Sonoma Raceway is about an hour north of San Francisco, and for racing fans, it’s probably best known as the host of a wide variety of racing events from NACAR, IndyCar, Ferrari, and many others. It’s one of the few tracks to host NASCAR races on a dirt track. But on October 30, on a beautiful sunny morning, it also served as our opportunity to drive a brand-new electric truck: the Mack MD Electric.

Mack told those of us at the event in Sonoma that we were among the first non-Mack employees to participate in a ride and drive of these trucks. I was able to get behind the wheel and take the truck up and down hills, around tight curves, and test out the regenerative braking, all while enjoying the quiet atmosphere and smooth ride that we’ve come to expect from electric trucks.

After our drive, I spoke with Tyler Ohlmansiek, Mack’s director of e-mobility sales, about the new EVs. See what he had to say, and get a look at the new trucks, in the video below.

2) What role could A.I. play in trucking?

There’s a lot of hyperbole out there about A.I. So let’s talk facts, and get to what role it can play in truck service shops, in the latest episode of FE’s Data Center.

1) The fuel efficiency faceoff begins!

The battle to earn the CDL is over, but the fight to crown a fuel efficiency champion is just getting started. In CDL school, fuel efficiency was never discussed. It was safe operation of the truck all day, every day. While that’s still paramount once you’re licensed and on the open road, efficiency is the responsibility of the driver.

So, can the latest and greatest fuel-efficiency focused technology overcome experience? That’s what we put to the test when new CDL-holder and Fleet Equipment Content Director Jason Morgan gets behind the wheel of Purple Haze, a hyper fuel-efficient Volvo VNL spec’d by Joel Morrow, chief executive officer of Alpha Drivers Testing and Consulting. Joel is saddled with a mid-90s Volvo VN with a unique transmission and tasked with beating his own fuel-efficient spec.

Can a new truck driver, with relatively no miles under their belt, but armed with the latest trucking technology win in the end?

Click below to watch the latest episode of the Fuel Efficiency Faceoff: The New Driver challenge to see how it starts, and then stay tuned for next week to see how it ends.

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