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Are Better Brakes In the Future?

Better Brakes For Better Stopping

Better Brakes For Better Stopping

For any commercial truck driver, one of their worst nightmares is getting into an accident because the vehicle in front of them brakes too fast. That type of scenario is a recipe for disaster, and a need for improvements in braking systems has been a reality for years. In recent years, a lot has been done to increase the response rate of trucks for commercial tractors, and according to a recent FleetOwner article, it’s possible that we may be seeing even more improvements in the near future.

2009 – A Year of Change

In 2009, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration set new requirements in place that called for a decrease in the stopping distances of commercial trucks. As a result, most companies complied by replacing their existing braking systems with enhanced S-cam drum brakes. Of course, stopping requirements vary based on the weight of the load you’re carrying, but the new brakes made braking safely much easier on truck drivers. Weight remains a factor, and although the new requirements helped, the experts knew there was more that needed to be done.

ADB Brakes

As time went on, engineers saw a need for improvement in drum brake technology as well. They wanted a brake that would perform well, but that would allow for a more even distribution of the weight of the truck’s freight. That, in turn, would also improve fuel efficiency. ADB brakes are said to last a lot longer before they need to be serviced and changing brake pads is done much quicker than with drum brakes, unless the rotor needs to be changed as well. Friction is also a concern, which is something that is going to be addressed in the near future. It’s possible that ADBs will be made without a torque plate an an effort to move toward electronic brakes.

In short, braking systems are improving! Want to know more? Check back right here at www.truckertotrucker.com.

Truck Drive Newbie? Here’s Our Top Tips from Trucking Pros

Rising Insurance

Tell Them What You Want!

Before you hit the road, try learning from experienced truckers. There will still be plenty to learn after you buy a new truck and start your first job, but the more you know the better. Here’s what veteran truckers want newbies to know:

Fight for competitive starting pay

You may be itching to get behind the wheel. You may need that first paycheck ASAP. Even still, think about your long-term future when accepting your first job. Future raises will build off of your starting pay. Insist on a competitive rate from the beginning.

Be firm about what you want

Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself — regarding the hours and miles you drive, the routes you take, and the loads you sit around waiting for. Companies will always focus on their own bottom line, so they might try to push you around.

Learn trucker etiquette

New truckers often believe myths about trucking. For example, you should not flash your brights when someone passes you, contrary to popular opinion. (Switch regular lights off and on, or don’t do anything). In general, if you learned something from TV or you’re just assuming, think again. Don’t make assumptions; ask questions and learn good trucking habits!

Choose safety over pride

Out on the road, other cars — and yes, other truckers — will tick you off. Avoid getting sucked into the rage of other drivers and driving aggressively. Trucker safety should always be the #1 priority.

Always be professional

Even if you are not an owner/operator, you still operate as your own boss. You’re responsible for getting to drops on-time. You’re responsible for the way you communicate with dispatchers and companies. Show everyone you do things the right way, and you’ll get better loads and better assignments.

Ready to start your career? Look for good deals in our truck listings and follow our blog for tips, tricks, and important trucker news.

Will Your Truck in the Future Be Powered by Natural Gas?

Switching to Natural Gas

Is Gas In Our Future?

While electric vehicles get a lot of attention currently, there is another alternative fuel that is among the most abundant and clean burning available. Natural gas is considerably less costly than diesel and expected to remain that way for the foreseeable future. It not only creates near-zero emissions and thereby reduces air pollution, but natural gas engines also create much less noise pollution by operating significantly quieter than traditional diesel engines. For these reasons and more, an ever increasing number of corporate fleets are making the switch to natural gas.

Real savings

Even with oil prices dropping, the average price for diesel is $3.50 a gallon. When your livelihood relies on a truck that averages somewhere between 4 and 8 mpg, that is far from a bargain. Erik Neandross is the CEO of Gladstein, Neandross & Associates (GNA). They are a leading transportation & energy consulting firm. Neandross says natural gas currently cost between $1.50 and $1.80 per diesel gallon equivalent (DGE) delivered. That price includes all necessary taxes. The Federal Highway Administration estimates that a single semi will average 45,000 miles each year. Long-haul operators average closer to 100,000 miles each year. Savings of $1.50 to $2.00 per gallon can translate to significant savings for fleets and individuals.

Some major hurdles

Fueling stations and qualified mechanics for natural-gas vehicles are sparse and not yet sufficient to support distance trucking. Liquefied natural gas (LNG) does not get as many miles per gallon as diesel. Compressed natural gas (CNG) is even less efficient. That would require trucks carry more fuel and create possible weight concerns. Drivers also needs special training on how to fuel natural-gas trucks. These factors prevent natural gas from being a practical substitute for diesel in the near future.

Stay current on all of the latest trucking news, upcoming legislation affecting truckers, and tips to operate safely and efficiently by signing up for our TruckertoTrucker.com feed by email.

New App Makes Crossing to Canada Easier for Truckers

Cross The Border With Ease

Cross The Border With Ease

Trucking across the border just got a whole lot easier for those making their way between the U.S. and Canada. Livingston’s new app Shipment Tracker streamlines the scanning and tracking process for shipments headed either direction.

If you’ve hauled a load over the U.S.-Canada border crossing, you know the possibility of paperwork and red tape nightmares. Shipment Tracker (available for both iOS and Android) includes several features to speed things up and keep track of data:

  • Clearance status quickly sent to carrier and driver
  • Works for both Pre-Arrival Processing System (PAPS, entering the U.S.) and Pre-Arrival Review System (PARS, entering Canada)
  • Barcode scanning to automate shipment entry and tracking
  • Tracking available for clients
  • Optional SMS and email notifications
  • English, French and Spanish options
  • Manual entry option when desired

Everybody prefers less paperwork and more automation! Truckers have an easier time handling and tracking shipment info when crossing the U.S.-Canada border in either direction. Carriers can use the app to track air, train, and ocean shipments as well.

Truckers have so far given the app very positive reviews. The simple function and handy features mean less time calling in to check on shipments and communicate with clients. Even if you rarely make trips to Canada, you can still do well by downloading the app to save time at the border and provide faster information to carriers and clients.

The app also helps when you have the occasional shipment without a barcode. You can enter the info manually so you still have all your international tracking in one place.

Have you already used Livingston’s app for Canadian shipments? Tell other truckers what you think in the comments! We love hearing about other apps for truckers, too. And be sure to follow Trucker to Trucker for the latest tools and tips that make your work life easier.

Faceoff: the Detroit DD15 vs the Cummins ISX Reviewed

Battle For Supremacy

Battle For Supremacy

Are you buying a new truck or replacing the engine in your current one? If so, you’re probably weighing the differences between the Detroit DD15 and the Cummins ISX. The right engine is crucial for efficiency and performance, and selecting the right one can save you time and money down the road.

The first step is to consider what kinds of loads you’re hauling and the primary type of terrain you travel. Driving lumber over the mountains or transporting liquid across flat plains benefit from different features.

Here are some comparisons between the Detroit DD15 and the Cummins ISX, including feedback from truckers who have actually operated each.

  • The DD15 is more fuel-efficient than the ISX, particularly at RPM lower than 1,500.
  • The ISX has a wider power band than the DD15. meaning a larger range of efficient operating speeds.
  • If you transport heavy loads over mountain roads, the ISX has more horsepower and better pulling power.
  • Some truckers have encountered chronic fuel line problems with Cummins that don’t tend to occur in the DD15.
  • If you’re buying a new truck and have a preference of model, the DD15 is available only in Freightliners.
  • The DD15 has a proprietary asymmetric turbocharger that is designed for optimum performance with the Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system, resulting in fewer problems than the ISX as reported by truckers.

TruckertoTrucker.com is your one-stop resource for buying and selling trucks and engines as well as other truck parts and equipment. Our searchable database lets you compare options side-by-side and our blog features news and information along with tips for life on the road. Be sure to make our website a regular stop.