All posts in Trucks

How New Laws and Regulations Are Changing the Trucking Industry

trucking industry

With a new administration in Washington, it is to be expected that there would be new laws and regulations implemented in many industries. The trucking industry is no exception, with several changes impacting how fleets are operated, how drivers perform their duties, and how vehicles must be maintained. Some of these laws will have minimal impact while others could cause significant changes in the way trucking companies do business.

Electronic Logging Devices

In December 2017, mandated Electronic Logging Device (ELD) regulations went into effect. Because proposed rules could limit drivers to between 60 and 70 hours in seven or eight days, ELDs will easily be able to track a driver’s hours behind the wheel. Drivers have been concerned that the ELD will lead to over-monitoring by employers, although all the ELD does is keep accurate records. However, the ELD cannot transfer data as it must be uploaded by the driver.

If pulled for a roadside inspection, the inspector can request that the driver upload the ELD for the last eight days. The ELD is actually a benefit to drivers as it eliminates deadhead miles, eliminates paper logs and helps keep records accurate. Inspections are performed more quickly and the ELD can also store important data like speed, location and the engine date.

Carbon Emissions

Another regulation that will have an impact on the trucking industry is related to greenhouse gases. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued greenhouse gas stages in three stages in August 2012. In Phase 2, which begins this year, phases in initial standards for engines built for model year 2021 with increases in standards in 2024 and leveling off in 2027. This could mean additional costs passed to carriers from manufacturers as they work to meet the new standards.

However, the new standards should also reduce fuel consumption, which will allow carriers to possibly recoup those costs in two years. When the regulations were released, there were concerns that the new requirements could make vehicles unreliable, leading to additional truck repairs at shops like Florida Truck & Trailer CO.

Truck repair experts reported that, when the first phase of the regulations was implemented, 46 percent of owners experienced some type of engine problem in the first year, up from 42 percent in 2011. The most common problem was the electronic control module calibration with 23 percent of owners reporting those problems. The second was the exhaust gas recirculation valves with 20 percent and third was electronic engine sensors with 16 percent. All of these were critical to the new carbon emissions requirements.

Drug Testing Changes

In November 2017, the Department of Transportation published new regulations for drug testing of drivers which went into effect on January 1, 2018. Under the new regulations, four semi-synthetic opioids have been added to the screening process. These include:

  • hydrocodone
  • hydromorphone
  • oxycodone
  • oxymorphone

They also replaced MDEA with MDA. Employers are no longer required to submit blind specimens to laboratories. Collectors will discard samples provided if there is not enough for a test in order to modify the shy bladder procedure. The regulation also limits collection to urine samples.
These are just a few of the regulations that could have an impact on the trucking industry over the next year. In some cases, the ramifications could be felt for several years.

Getting Ready to Ride: 5 Tips for First-Time Truck Owners

truck driving

There is truly something cool about driving a truck, and with the new features adding more power and luxury, even ladies don’t want to be left out of this game. Besides the beasty feel of a truck, you can carry so much stuff in the back for home and business use, so it’s a do-it-all kind of vehicle.

However, if it is your first time driving a heavy vehicle, you are in for some exhilarating pleasure and scares as well. Here are the top five tips for first-time truck drivers.

1. Take a Driving Refresher Course

Driving a truck is very different from driving a small car like a sedan regarding weight, view, and maneuverability. Unlike small cars where the brakes work in a jiffy, you will have to get used to the very slow reaction when you step on the brakes, especially if you were speeding.

Heavy vehicles cannot abruptly stop because of their weight, so you have to give yourself ample room between the truck and the car in front to avoid accidents. You may not need to go back to driving school, but you need someone to guide you on how to safely drive a truck at least until you get the hang of it.

2. Do Not Lift

Many people admire those vehicles that look so high off the ground because it’s cool, but it is by no means safe. A truck is designed to be high so lifting it further does more harm than good and it can cause stability, vibration and wear issues. Though it looks kind of cool to be so high or have those wide wheels, the truck will not be well grounded, and so it will be hard to control in case of any mishap.

Instead, get thin, beefier tires that are good for off-roading and snow and don’t tamper with the integral structure of the truck. You can also add a few lights and graffiti to pimp up the ride or install pickup truck bed caps to protect the front railing and make it look cool without tampering with the vehicle’s integrity.

3. Relax on the Accelerator

The first thing you will notice about heavy vehicles like trucks is that they have extreme power and can fly off the handle if you step on the accelerator too much.

Though trucks are used in off-road races, often a new driver cannot deal with the massive power that such a vehicle holds, so it’s better to go slowly and steadily especially because you cannot stop very fast. Always step gently on the accelerator and add speed slowly as you go instead of stepping at once.

4. Always Remember the Rear Section

One significant difference between a small car and a truck is that the latter has two body parts and it is possible for a new driver to forget the back part when turning, reversing or driving in snow.

Though the two pieces are attached, they don’t always move together, and so it’s important to ensure the back part has moved with the rest of you or it has enough weight to keep moving through snow or mud. For example, when you are making a turn, always ensure there is sufficient room for the entire vehicle, and this consciousness is the biggest challenge for new truck drivers.

5. Reverse with Caution

Seriously, reverse with extra caution than you would with a smaller car. A truck allows you very limited vision at the back so unless you have a backup camera, always go back slowly and ensure there is nothing behind you.

Driving a truck is going to be one of the most exciting things you will ever do if you practice enough before going to the highway. It is a powerful thing to take control of such a beast and be part of the American dream, and everybody should have a chance to do it.

Basic Types of Trailers to Know About

There are a wide range of trailers manufactured for commercial and transport purposes. There are several trucks with varying load capacities and for each type there is a different trailer that can be attached to it. Each trailer has a category of applications linked to it.

While loading your truck by attaching a trailer, there are various factors to consider like the load bearing capacity of the truck and the road guidelines, the size and the cargo to be carried. While considering the total weight, do not forget to add-up both the weight of the trailer as well as the freight that is to be shipped within it.

These trailers are generally classified into 14 basic types. Here is a list:

#1. Flatbed trailer

There are one of the most commonly used trailers because of their versatility. They are used for all types of freight. It has load capacity of 40,000 pounds and a length of 48 to 53 ft. It is an open container with no cover over the cargo that is being shipped.

#2. Dry trailer van

These are also known as enclosed trailers. It is just like a flatbed trailer but with a box around it. The best feature about is that it is waterproof and it protects the cargo from rain and dew during transit. It is mainly used by the grocery stores, clothes stores, electronics industries, and all such organizations that have products that can be damaged by rain.

#3. Refrigerated trailer

Some items need to be kept in a restricted and controlled environment continuously. For such items, refrigerated trailers are used. Stuff like frozen food, pharmaceuticals, and dairy products are to be shipped by such a trailer.

#4. Speciality trailers

This is a category of trailer built specially for transporting a particular type of cargo. For example, the air-tight tank trailers built for hazardous liquids and the inert material trailer for transporting natural gas and LPG. There are discreet regulations to be followed while making such trailers to match the safety requirements of the trailer during transport of hazardous and inflammable materials.

#5. Side-kit trailers

This trailer is equipped with a side wood panel and are used to transport loads that are packed like sand, gravel, dirt, wood, bricks, and all such materials. All the materials that are to be transported in free-form without a packaging is hauled in side-kit trailers. It is generally a flatbed style with a 4-5 ft side panel attached to the deck.

#6. Double drop trailers

There are extendable trailers that enables you to extend the trailer length to fit in longer cargos. They are designed exclusively to handle excessive lengths as well as weights. Though the heights if this type of trailer is low.

#7. Stretch RNG trailers

This is the type that carries extra-long objects that cannot fit into double drop trailers or flatbed trailers. The loads generally are low in weight. But in case the load is more, the truck may need to attach more axles in order to prevent the trailer from slacking in the middle.

#8. Multi-car trailers

These are most commonly used to transport automobiles. There are 2 types in this section of trailers- single layered and double layered. The weight allowance for such a trailer is high and that lets you carry 8 cars at a time. This is also used as a mobile home as that would need an equally high load capacity to be able to carry all your heavy belongings.

All these above-mentioned types are the most commonly used types of trailers. If you are hiring a freight trailer for the first time, it is necessary that you know the basic use of each trailer type to pick the right one for your cargo.

Towing Power: 4 Truck Tips to Increase Your Torque

Torque is what gives your truck low-end power to muscle through deep sand and tow heavy trailers. While many newer trucks have excellent horsepower, they often lack the ability to transfer that power to the wheels at lower speeds. Here is a look at four tips you can use to give your truck massive power when it is needed the most.

1. Have It Professionally Tuned

New vehicles often come with complex computers that manage the entire mechanical system. While these processors can save you money on gas or diesel, they could be limiting your torque. Truck owners should find a local garage that offers custom tuning to those who want as much power out of their vehicle as possible. In many cases, these services can be finished in just 15 or 20 minutes, and they could increase your truck’s torque by as much as five percent.

2. An Aftermarket Exhaust System

Anyone who plans on towing a trailer from Hillsboro Industries with their truck should consider upgrading their exhaust system. While it might not seem like the exhaust does much to alter your engine’s power, it is actually one of the most common areas where low-end strength is lost. Stock exhaust systems bottleneck the air coming out of the engine, and this prevents new air from being drawn in as efficiently as it could. Aftermarket systems are designed to pull air out as quickly as possible without causing any backflow.

3. Install a Performance Chip

Depending on the model you have purchased, your truck might already have a performance chip inside it. These small devices plug into your OBD-II port and give you full control over many aspects of your engine. A performance chip essentially allows you to tune your truck without heading into a garage. Many modern chips also allow you to create specific settings depending on what type of driving you plan on doing.

4. Cold Air Intake

Installing a cold air intake is one of the most cost-effective ways to increase your torque, but you should first make sure these devices are legal in your state. Because they alter a truck’s emissions, some states have decided to ban them. This upgrade lowers the temperature of the air that is going into your engine to make it as dense as possible.

Many of these tips and upgrades will not only make your truck more powerful, but they could even improve its efficiency. That makes them an excellent investment for practically any driver.

An Insight into Diesel Refueling Solutions

Once upon a time, diesel was considered an excessively polluting fuel. However, with the new technologies that oil companies have been introducing over the last few decades, the carbon footprint produced by diesel engines has been significantly reduced. Modern diesel vehicles with improved filters and catalytic converters are less harmful for the environment that they used to be. In order to make their vehicles more efficient, owners of diesel machines have to pump and keep their diesel in a safe way.

Proper Adblue treatment

As we have already stressed out, the production of diesel fuel is today organized in line with some high ecological standards. The introduction the Adblue diesel is one of those innovations that help diesel-powered engines stay competitive in the global automotive race. This type of diesel emits substantially less exhaust gases than old diesel fuels. However, due to its specific chemical properties, Adblue requires a special treatment. For instance, people who have private properties or ranches far away from gas stations need to transport fuel to such locations. In order to store their Adblue diesel, they need to have adequate dispenser units. This is why everybody who needs to use diesel on their own needs to have first-class shut-off nozzles (go for stainless ones), as well as reliable hoses and hand guns.

Refuel diesel on the go

Although there is hardly a town without a gas station, you sometimes have to take some diesel with you. For instance, if you are traveling abroad and you know that fuel is much less expensive in your country, it is practical to bring your fuel with you. The money you save this way can be used to afford your family a more exciting holiday. In addition, the abovementioned owners of remote ranches and farms might need to transport some diesel and make a fuel stash.

The best option to take some diesel with you on vacation is to choose one of those portable diesel refueling tanks. Today they are made in accordance with highest safety standards and, what is even better, they can be bought at quite popular prices. In addition to tanks, it is important to get the right trailer, too. Make sure that the tank is made from polyethylene and that it has venting breathers, which will keep the fuel quality on a high level. When it comes to trailers, on the other hand, galvanized steel is the best material.

Equipped with spare items

If you need to transport fuel and fill the tank(s) on your own, you should never run out of spare parts, too. No matter how efficient diesel type you have in your tank, you can do nothing if your hose swivel is leaking. What every privatediesel refueler needs to have in the trunk is a hose swivel, accompanied by anti-leakage gaskets, as well as cartridge filters and a level indicator. Not being only one of these pieces with you can result in improper tank filling and inadequate diesel storage. Here you can learn more about proper fuel storage.

Moreover, today you do not have to waste your time on local stores, but you can order all those items online. That way you will spend less fuel on from-store-to-store rides and get all the diesel-refueling accessories in one place. What is more, most of these items are cheaper on the web than in local stores.

As a result of rapid development of oil industry, car owners can rely on improved features when it comes to fuels. In addition, owners of diesel-powered vehicles have become ecologically acceptable drivers, too. Now they can safely use and store diesel on their own. However, it is vital to follow the rules and get the right equipment. That way your health, your properties and your vehicles will be properly protected.