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Fleet Equipment On the Road Column

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Have cameras, will travel

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Jason Morgan is the editor of Fleet Equipment. He has more than 14 years of B2B journalism experience covering the likes of trucking and construction equipment, real estate, movies and craft beer industries.

The sun splashes a glare across my laptop screen as the 600-MPH soaring cattle cannon crosses the country. The Kinks’ This Time Tomorrow drowns out the drumming of the engines and fuels dreams of the Fleet Equipment staff’s next adventure. The trucking industry is a market in motion. It’s true, the FE crew travels a ton—each of us easily spends 60 days a year on the road, and we’ve booked you the seat next to us. Not only do we detail our exploits in the pages of this very website (not to mention the magazine), but we also continue to grow Fleet Equipment’s On the Road video web-series.

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The brainchild of traversing time zones and too much cold coffee, On the Road straps you into the passenger seat of the latest and greatest truck equipment. With a pair of GoPro cameras, we capture the sights and sounds of the trucks you read about every month and sit down with the biggest rainmakers in the industry. The videos offer exclusive content that you won’t find in print.

Last year, we produced 14 videos featuring the likes of Martin Daum, president and chief executive officer of Daimler Trucks North America; Stephen Roy, president of North American sales and marketing with Mack Trucks; and Kurt Swihart, director of marketing for Kenworth Trucks, to name a few. Catch up with the first season’s highlights with this compilation video:

We were there when UPS made collision mitigation systems a standard spec and put them to the test. We stuck a camera to the driver of the Freightliner Inspiration autonomous truck, giving you a behind-the-wheel view of the self-driving truck. We attached cameras to places that made us worry they were going to fall off when cutting a path down a Utah highway to put the Volvo Adaptive Loading system through its paces.

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Now, we’re already going big for On the Road’s Season Two.

We visited Accuride’s award-winning Rockford, Ill. manufacturing plant to chronicle its recent major metamorphosis. In the past five years, the plant transitioned from an aged manual manufacturing process to a world-class facility. I talked with Edward Bledsoe II, director of operations, and Zack Zebrovious, director of engineering—MMC technology, about how the huge sea change in the manufacturing process presented fundamental challenges to the day-to-day operations. Imagine a manufacturing floor that employed a handful of robots going to a process that, today, includes 13. You can watch the full episode right here:

As I type this, we’re gathering the FE team to embark on a six-day, two-trade show road trip that will give you an inside look at TMC’s Annual Meeting and Transportation Technology Exhibition Information; NTEA’s Work Truck Show; and a conversation with Bridgestone about the balance of achieving both tire fuel efficiency and wear performance. On the Road will visit OEMs, talk to industry executives and continue to roll out that fantastic fleet footage.

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