It’s been another monumental year in trucking and transportation. Before the excitement and uncertainties of 2019 begin, we take a look back at the 10 most read stories on FleetOwner.com in 2018. Some of these might not be the most important stories of the year but they drew some of the most interest among our thousands of readers each of the past 365 days.
1. Drivers and fleets respond: The common refrain in HOS complaints
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's Hours of Service (HOS) regulations are flawed, say many truck drivers, dispatchers and fleet managers, because the rules don't allow the flexibility that trucking in its many forms requires. Yet there are starkly common themes in what's called out as the problem. Read more.
2. Kenworth W990: What's with the gaiters?
In the American Civil War, some soldiers wore gaiters, a protective legging that would keep rocks and dirt out of boots (or brogans, if you've ever heard that word) that were often only ankle-high. Some WWI GIs had "puttees," which work similarly. Looking at the striking new Kenworth W990, somehow I ended up thinking of soldiers in those historic photos. Read more.
3. 10 things to know about personal conveyance
For the first time in more than 20 years, the federal agency responsible for motor carrier regulation has issued official guidance on personal conveyance. That's where a commercial truck or bus driver can operate the vehicle while off duty and isn't subject to on-duty hours restrictions. Read more.
4. Operational costs poised to rise for truckers
Hikes in driver pay, healthcare costs and fuel prices, plus full enforcement of the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate, are all poised to create more difficult “headwinds” for truckers, according to analysis by PLG Consulting. Read more.
5. Enforcing the ELD mandate
Abe Dunivin waves the tractor-trailer into an inspection bay at the weigh station on Interstate 5 in Woodburn, OR. It’s something Oregon inspectors do thousands of times each year, but it has been different since December 18, 2017. “Every time, I discover something new,” said Dunivin, technical service coordinator with the motor carrier division of the Oregon Dept. of Transportation (ODOT). Read more.
6. FMCSA denies 10 ELD exemption requests
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) just announced the denials of 10 electronic logging device (ELD) exemption requests from 10 trade organizations and associations. Read more.
7.Updates for Ram 2019 lineup: New design, sizes for vans, distinct choices for pickups
Ram Trucks detailed changes for its 2019 commercial lineup, including a bolder look for its ProMaster and ProMaster City vans and a "Classic" designation for current body style 1500 pickups, which will be sold alongside the newly arriving, redesigned 2019 1500 trucks. Read more.
8. Trucking faces a rapidly-changing job market
So let’s start with the shortage of truck drivers, which was expected to reach an all-time high by the end of last year. Finding folks willing to pilot big rigs for a living – and keeping them behind the wheel for a significant stretch of time – is already hard to do. Read more.
9. Standing above the rest: A walkthrough of the new Peterbilt Model 579 Ultraloft
When given a choice between a room with a king or smaller beds, the answer is obvious for most: you choose the king for best comfort and space. That's exactly the kind of thinking that went into Peterbilt Motors Co.'s new Model 579 Ultraloft integrated sleeper on-highway truck, which the company designed to top the industry in offering improved living and working quarters for long-haul drivers and driver teams. Read more.
10. FCA makes good on Jeep pickup promise
Following through on a vehicle that FCA's late CEO Sergio Marchionne promised would follow the new Wrangler unveiled in late 2017, Jeep has added a pickup truck to its lineup for the first time in over a quarter of a century. In true Jeep off-road style, it'll ford water up to 30 in. deep. Read more.