Editorial Archives - Fleet Equipment Magazine
Fleet service shops: Going in a different direction

I got a recent call from a gentleman that I have known for 24 years. He told me he was let go from his job; he was told the company was “going in a different direction.” What does that mean? Years ago, I met him through client that retained me to coach his SVP of

Fuel and oil: a year-end update

Much has happened this year in the areas of diesel engine oils and alternative fuels. We have approximately one year under our belts with the new API CK-4/FA-4 API performance categories. CK-4 is an improvement over CJ-4 in the areas of oxidative stability, viscosity control (shear stability), air entrainment (aeration), and catalyst/particulate trap durability. CK-4

Fuels and lubes column
A zero emissions reality?

Given the current surge of interest in electric vehicle technology, “zero emissions” is a popular product bullet point to tout. Yet, as far as I know, of all transportation fuels, only hydrogen emits no pollutants when it is combusted. In electric vehicles, batteries must be charged, and that charge electricity is provided by your friendly

Fuels and lubes column
The truth about biodiesel

My latest rant is the result of reading that Minnesota is going to require B20 biodiesel fuel usage in all diesel engines. Please, don’t misunderstand me: I’m all for biodiesel as an alternate diesel fuel. However, the EPA, environmental activists and “Big Ag” often don’t let the truth get in the way of their mission.

Fuels and lubes column
The reality of electric commercial vehicle use

I recently came across two articles that I found staggering. The first asserted that France wants to quit selling gasoline and diesel fuel by 2040 (Britain made a similar announcement a few weeks later). The second detailed Volvo’s announcement that it will equip every car it sells with an electric motor starting in 2019. Since California

Fuels and lubes column
What’s the alternative? A look at hydrogen, natural gas and zero-emissions trucks

Physicists tend to be long-term thinkers. If you recall, I mentioned in January 2010 that we would eventually end up using hydrogen fuel for our vehicles and nuclear energy to generate electricity. I also mentioned that gaseous fuels made perfect sense as an interim alternative fuel for our fleets. I had high hopes for algae-based

Fuels and lubes column
An update on API CK-4, FA-4 oils

The transition from API CJ-4 heavy-duty diesel engine oils to the new CK-4 and FA-4 lower viscosity oils is proceeding smoothly, according to the API. After almost five years of lab testing and oil development has been completed, approximately 400 CK-4 and 60 FA-4 products have been licensed since December. Several diesel engine manufacturers are

Fuels and lubes column
Lubricating oils for alternative fuels

A tremendous amount of attention has been focused on alternative fuels. However, little attention has been paid to lubricating oils for use with alternative fuels, and each alternative fuel prefers oils with slightly different compositions. In general, the heavier and more complex a fuel is, the more that is required of its lubricating oil. Diesel,

Fuels and lubes column
Five common biodiesel myths busted

Questions about cold weather operability are common for those of us in the biodiesel industry, and I’m happy to answer them—because biodiesel blends are used by fleets and truckers problem-free throughout North America, including during the depths of winter when used properly. Yet biodiesel’s alleged cold weather issues is one of the most persistent myths

Maintenance- and headache-free truck ownership

When you buy an upscale vehicle, more and more come with all future maintenance included. The automobile manufacturers want to support more captive work for the dealers, control the customer and the maintenance of the vehicle with the full circle of ownership, and the next sale. Included is all maintenance including tires and some options.