Since Fleet Owner launched its online initiative called the IdeaXchange three years ago, readers have found engaging, and sometimes controversial, topics explored by our online panel of industry suppliers and experts. IdeaXchange allows industry thought leaders – including you – to share their ideas on a wide variety of topics.
Here is a look at this year’s top IdeaXchange columns. We hope you’ve enjoyed them as much as we have!
No. 10: Blowin’ in the wind
One of my favorite songs over the years is Blowing in the Wind by Peter, Paul, and Mary. I thought of this line while considering the specifications given for the new Tesla Semi. Before I go further, a confession. I worked with Jerome Guillen, the manager for the Tesla Semi, when he was at Freightliner, now Daimler Trucks North America.
Read more: Blowin’ in the wind
No. 9: Outsourcing: It’s not all or nothing
When it comes to outsourcing, some people think it’s an all or nothing decision: Either you outsource all of your repair and maintenance or you do it all in-house. The reality is that in today’s market there are a variety of options when it comes to outsourcing.
Read more: Outsourcing: It’s not all or nothing
No. 8: Safety: Doing more than talking about it
I doubt there is a person in the trucking industry who doesn’t know and support the value of safety. Everyone says they want safer trucks on the road and manufacturers have responded by developing a number of products that increase vehicle safety. I am talking about things like electronic stability control, collision warning systems, lane departure warning systems, adaptive cruise control, etc.
Read more: Safety: Doing more than talking about it
No. 7: Good news on how to improve fuel efficiency
The bad news is there is no magic formula for improving fuel efficiency. The good news is that seven fleets just demonstrated that there are at least seven ways to achieve 10 MPG in real-world operation. During the recent Run on Less 17-day fuel-economy road show, trucks logged more than 50,000 miles and averaged 10.1 MPG.
Read more: Good news on how to improve fuel efficiency
No. 6: Knock out NOx with propane autogas
For fleet owners, it’s time to clear the air — of harmful gases like nitrogen oxides (NOx). As discussed in our last post, “Say No to NOx.” NOx are reactive gases that pollute the air, contribute to acid rain and can trigger health problems.
Read more: Knock out NOx with propane autogas
No. 5: Changes to back office procedures can be a competitive advantage
No area of business seems immune from change. Procurement, accounts payable and accounts receivable are no different.
Traditionally these functions have operated in separate silos. More recently, companies are approaching these areas in more of a holistic manner and looking at people processes and technology.
No. 4: Why your trucks are getting inspected
While there are federal guidelines for what is included in a roadside inspection, there are no hard and fast federal rules determining which trucks will be inspected and which won’t. Although there are inspection data sources that indicate a carrier’s safety performance, ultimately the final decision for closer examination is at the discretion of the state and, more specifically, of the certified inspector or officer.
Read more: Why your trucks are getting inspected
No. 3: Keep an eye on these disruptive technologies
The trucking industry is being bombarded with a host of technologies that could prove to be disruptive. At the recent NationaLease Annual Meeting, Matt Clark, COO of Corcentric, shared his thoughts on the Top 10 disruptive technologies. In order to be successful, you need to be aware of these technologies and stay informed of new developments.
Read more: Keep an eye on these disruptive technologies
No. 2: Mother Nature and fuel economy
Fleets can do a variety of things to control their freight efficiency. But one thing outside their control is weather especially wind and temperature. Both of those elements can impact how much fuel a truck consumes.
Read more: Mother Nature and fuel economy
No. 1: The ELD Mandate: What to expect
You’d have to be living under a rock not to be aware of the impending deadline for the use of electronic logging devices to track drivers’ Hours of Service.
HOS regulations were initially developed in 1937, with paper logging rules established in the early 1960s. There were not a lot of changes to the rule until the 2000s as legislation began to intersect with the demands of the modern supply chain.
Read more: The ELD Mandate: What to expect