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Investing In Premium Trucks Attracts More And Better Drivers

Commercial trucking plays a major role in the American economy. About 70% of the U.S. freight moved each year is handled by trucks. Commercial trucking generates over $700 billion each year. However, a shortage of drivers is threatening the smooth functioning of the trucking industry. Companies large and small are finding it difficult to attract and retain well-trained, experienced, dependable truck drivers. One effective strategy a growing number of trucking companies are using to attract the good truck drivers they need is investing in the purchase of top of the line premium trucks.

Premium Trucks Attract Top Truck Drivers

Truck drivers tend to gravitate towards companies with high quality, well-maintained, premium trucks. With the looming driver shortage that is threatening to hurt this very lucrative, essential industry, savvy trucking fleet owners are paying attention to this fact and upgrading the quality of their fleet. One in five drivers who leave companies do so because the trucks they are asked to drive are old, not properly maintained, lack the right safety technology and don't run well. On the other hand, companies with the premium trucks find it easier to attract and keep all the drivers they need to succeed and grow. 

Why Drivers Are Drawn To Companies With Premium Trucks  

There are several simple reasons truck drivers want to work for trucking companies that have premium trucks. Truckers get paid based on the number of loads they haul and how many miles they drive. A premium truck enables a driver to transport loads over longer distances faster and easier. Plus, premium trucks work better and the driver does not
have to waste precious time and miss out on the opportunity to make more money because the truck they drive regularly breaks down and has to be repaired. Safety is another reason drivers want to work for companies with the best trucks. Truck drivers want to know they can make their runs in inclement weather and rough terrain safely.

A Good Strategic Move

For trucking companies that want to ensure operational consistency and attract and keep top-caliber truck drivers, bolstering their fleet with new premium trucks is a good and smart strategic move. It enhances the company's image in the eyes of the drivers, shows they take driver safety and comfort seriously and want to make sure their drivers can
make as much money as possible. In an industry where keeping drivers happy and on the job is more important than ever before, investing in the premium quality trucks drivers enjoy driving is a winning strategy. It signals to drivers their safety, comfort and economic successes is important to you.

Having Quality Assets

Purchasing premium trucks benefits trucking companies in other ways. Customers will be more likely to do business with them because they know their trucks will be able to get to their destination on time while keeping the items being transported well protected. Good trucks are quality assets that add value to a trucking company. By having quality assets, a trucking company will be better positioned to get and keep good drivers and attract more business and take advantage of the lucrative opportunities available in the marketplace. Investing in premium trucks can lead to a great return on investment. 

Safety, Efficiency And Accountability

Buying high quality trucks gives trucking companies the stability and flexibility they need in these uncertain economic times. Plus, it gives them the additional operational diversity they want as they handle challenges associated with the safety, efficiency and accountability of their fleet and their drivers. Investing in premium trucks can help trucking companies address some of their unique business challenges. It changes the way potential customers view you. They are more confident that fleet owners with new premium trucks will understand their business concerns, deliver the cargo intact and on time and will not leave them in a bind.

A Major Step

Purchasing a fleet of brand-new, premium make and model trucks is a major step. But if you talk to drivers, their consensus perspective is investing in premium quality trucks puts your company on a higher level. It shows your long-term vision for your company takes into consideration what drivers want and how best to provide them with it. When
a company gives drivers new, premium brand trucks with the latest safety, communication and infotainment technology to drive, it means they want to give drivers the chance to earn a huge salary. That enhances the company's image and attracts the top drivers.

A Variety Of Important Benefits

Investing in premium trucks provides trucking companies and drivers working for them with a variety of very important benefits. The company is viewed as a “premium brand”. Plus, it sends a strong message to the drivers that the trucks will be well maintained and they will be able to earn a high salary. The trucks will consistently deliver good fuel economy and performance, intangible and hidden costs that can negatively impact pricing loads are eliminated and uniform fleet management will be easier. When there is an entire fleet of new, high-quality trucks, every driver will be able to get lots of good loads.

A Win-Win-Win Proposition

When trucking companies invest in premium trucks, it creates a win-win-win proposition. Customers can hire those companies confident their cargo will be properly protected and arrive on time and intact. Drivers will be driving excellent trucks that run well and have all the latest driver-assistance and safely technology that enables them to make
more trips and more money more comfortably. Company owners will have their pick of the best drivers and jobs, make more profit and be able to quickly pay off their trucks. It can be of great benefit to all involved when trucking companies make the commitment to get premium trucks.

Powerful, Durable Engines And Transmission And Diverse Safety Systems

Companies actually save money when they build their fleet using premium quality trucks. These vehicles have powerful, durable engines and transmissions that work smoothly for many years when they are properly maintained. The new trucks also have a diverse range of technologically advanced safety systems designed to protect the driver, the truck
and the cargo being transported. These safety systems qualify the company to get lower insurance rates that can save them thousands of dollars. When drivers are happy, they are more productive. When customers are happy they spend more money. And safer trucks makes the drivers, customers, insurance company and the trucking company owner happier.

A Waiting List Of The Best Drivers

There is a growing shortage of truck drivers. Some companies respond to this by cutting corners and still lose drivers. Some bold, savvy, trucking companies deal with it in another way. They invest in premium quality trucks drivers and customers love. Many of those companies now have a waiting list filled with some of the best trucking industry drivers from which to choose and a growing roster of lucrative clients. The decision to invest in the best trucks is already paying dividends. Offering drivers premium trucks that they enjoy using and treating them well, has helped many of the most successful trucking companies to attract more and better drivers even during a driver shortage.

[Video] New Lube Service Reminders With Multiple Criteria Report

In the video below you'll discover how to use the new Lube Service Reminders with Multiple Criteria Report that was released in TATEMS Fleet Maintenance Software version

This new report lets you filter the Lube Service Reminders by Equipment Type, Lube Service Type, Location, Customer, Department or Area.

You'll can also sort the report by Equipment number, Sort Order Number, Miles/Km to Go, Hours To Go, Days To Go, Location, Department or Area, Customer or Lube Service Type.

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How Truck Automation May Change Roadside Inspections

You now have trucks that are capable of much more than they were ever used to being capable of on their own. Trucks aren't driverless and likely won't be for a while, so there is always a driver to do all of those little things that an automated vehicle cannot do on its own. When it comes to inspections, vehicles will still need to be inspected even with the automated things in place for all those things that aren't automated.

Key Takeaways:

  • Because its an emerging issue, how to deal with the advent of autonomous trucks, remains problematic. For example, legislation may have not even been thought of yet for certain circumstances.
  • What the protocol for dealing with a vehicle minus a driver is yet to be finalized.
  • An enhanced and more thorough pre-trip review may be one way to deal with the evolving possibility of driverless trucks.

“Asked for his thoughts on how CVSA and the overall enforcement community is viewing the advent of highly automated and eventually fully automated (aka autonomous or “driverless”) trucks, Schaefer told HDT Talks Trucking that “it’s a very fluid discussion. We established some recommendations for policy at the end of 2019. They're evolving. So, what we recommend might be a little different in the near future.”

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Southern California Fleet Turns to Volvo to Electrify Operations

The California truck company known as Dependable Highway Express, is going for a more sustainable future as part of its core mission going forward. To that end, the company has taken big steps to improve its profile vis a vis climate and air quality measures. Part of this initiative has included taking on two new Volvo electric trucks. With the successful inclusion of the two vehicles into the DHS fleet, the company has signed an agreement to take on 10 more such vehicles in 2022. Meanwhile, the company's strong commitment to environmentally friendly energy and sustainability is continuing very much on point. To wit, the company has added Class 8 trucks, batter-electric yard trucks and charging equipment to their infrastructure. The charging equipment services fleet needs and company employee vehicle needs as well. Solar panels and energy storing options have also been added to the company's receiving facility. Much of this lauded move to sustainability falls under the management of the Volvo Lights project. This is a tandem project instituted between Volvo Truck and South Coast Air Management Quality District, as well as a host of like-minded organizations. The goal has been to introduce these electric trucks into the market at scale.

Key Takeaways:

  • Dependable Highway Express has been turning to sustainability efforts as they've been trying out two new Volvo electric trucks since last September.
  • The South Californian carrier has plans to purchase ten more Volvo trucks by 2022.
  • A statement from Volvo claims that their partnership with DHE has been pivotal to the success of the Volvo LIGHTS project.

“Through the Volvo LIGHTS project, DHE introduced Volvo VNR Electric Class 8 trucks, battery-electric yard trucks and forklifts, charging infrastructure for fleet vehicles and employees’ personal vehicles, as well as solar panels and onsite energy storage at its shipping and receiving facility in Ontario, California.”

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Kenworth Adds Front Air Suspension Option for W990

Kenworth is now offering their W990 with an optional Kenworth AG130 front air suspension which will bring this heavy weight titan into a new class capable of supporting 13,200 pounds. The new suspension is special proprietary technology that will allow for faster repairs and a more comfortable drive. This new suspension is available on the T680 and T880 models as well. This is a welcomed move forward for the Classic truck and Kenworth customers should be quite pleased.

Key Takeaways:

  • As of mid-month January of 2021, the Kenworth Company has optimized its W990 with availability of the AG130 front air suspension option, rated at 13,200 pounds.
  • The W990 is the Kenworth bread and butter vehicle, it's most classic truck design. The model features 131.5 inches from bumper to back of cab.
  • Besides gracing the iconic W990 model, the new front air suspension option will also be available in the Kenworth T680 and the Kenworth T880 units.

“Kenworth said in a news release that its proprietary AG130 front air suspension uses an innovative design and high-performance components to provide serviceability while reducing the total cost of maintenance and ownership.”

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Electric Trucks Conquer Pike’s Peak

Colorado's famed Pike's Peak, which was named for a military explorer in 1908, is a grueling piece of natural architecture which has been a proving ground for even the staunchest of motor vehicles. With the advent of the emerging automotive industry arrived a need to best one another in proving the to have the best vehicle endurance. A trek up Pike's Peak was the approved venue for such quests to prove vehicle endurance and capability. The long and winding path includes more than a hundred turns. Because of the length, drivers often must expect differences, sometimes amounting to extremes, in weather change, as they mount to greater elevations. This natural test-ground for automotive worth has stood the test of time as the gold standard of how strong a vehicle can claim to be. Of late, two new trucks have endured the challenge to prove that sustainable and zero-emission vehicles are just as capable of rugged terrain as the next truck. The Paccar Company threw its hat into the ring with its Kenworth truck, likewise Peterbilt has put forth its own sustainable model. Both vehicles are victoriously claiming that their sustainable model is the first of its type to make it to the apex of the peak.

Key Takeaways:

  • An army explorer by the name of Zebulon Pike founded the highest peak in the south part of the Rocky Mountains.
  • Originally Zebulon named it Zebulon's Mountain but everyone call's it Pike's Peak because it's simple.
  • To get to the top drivers must make 156 tough turns and drive through tough weather conditions many times even when it starts out sunny.

“A carriage road to the summit of the mountain was the perfect place for manufacturers and drivers alike to showcase their technology, durability and skills on a tough, 12-mile course that begins at 9,390 feet elevation and finishes at 14,115 feet.”

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Paccar Parts Introduces Charging Stations for All Electric Vehicles

Paccar Parts is anticipating the global launch of electric vehicles by revealing new charging stations. They are releasing multiple fast chargers that are rated up to 920V DC. Chris Scheel says that they offer a range of products that range from 20 KW to 350 KW. They anticipate that their chargers will get a truck up to full battery in around four hours. They are compact is size which is nice for the urban market.

Key Takeaways:

  • Early in 2021 Paccar Parts has proudly lifted the veil on a stunning institution, the creation of new electrical charging stations.
  • This successful launch on the part of Paccar Parts is meant to synch with the global launch of electrical vehicles world-wide.
  • The station is designed to work with an array of vehicle types and brands, including Kenworth, Peterbilt and DAF electric.

“The 20 kW charger option is a UL-certified DC Wallbox and the perfect charger for commercial parking and fleet or dealership service facilities. The low power DC charger is easy to install and ideal for vehicles with extended dwell times.”

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Santa Monica Seafood Delivers

The Santa Monica Seafood Company is a high profile distributer, as it is the largest specialty seafood distributer of fresh and frozen seafood in the U.S. Southwestern region. The company has earned it valid and well-regarded reputation in the industry by making timely deliveries a core commitment. The trucks are also regulated to deliver the contents at the right temperature. Across the region in which it operates the company has about 80 trucks. of which almost 90% are medium duty and of a class 3-8 box style vehicle. The eclectic fleet has an array of models, including Peterbilt, Kenworth and Freightliner models. The 10% of the fleet that is not allocated as medium duty are heavy duty vehicles, including 53 foot tractor-trailer models. A typical service stop includes about 10 cases. Generally routes are considered dense, that is consisting of more than a dozen stops to finish the route. Destinations include hospitals, groceries, military bases and even theme parks. Going forward, a big concern for the company, instituted in 1939 is acquiring up-to-date and relevant technology for its mostly medium-duty trucks, as its been historically the precedent to offer the most cutting edge advantages to the heavier truck models first.

Key Takeaways:

  • At the top of the heap size-wise, as regards fresh seafood distribution, is Santa Monica Seafood Company, at least so far as the Southwest region is concerned.
  • The landlocked Southwest loves its seafood, and SMS delivers the goods in a timely manner, packed at the proper cold temperatures.
  • The SMS food delivery fleet consists of about 80 medium-duty sized trucks and class 3-6 box style vehicles.

“Most trucks drive dense delivery routes (15-35 stops per route) for foodservice customers — restaurants, hotels, grocery stores, hospitals, event venues, casinos, country clubs, military bases, and theme parks (e.g., Disneyland).”

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Electric Last Mile Solutions is Bringing Electrification to E-Commerce Delivery

Electric Last Mile Solutions is a new electric van start up that wants to shake up the industry to be more sustainable. Their new van is set to be released by the third quarter of 2021. It's set to be made for rural deliveries where the van only has to rely on it's 150 mile range. The van will be able to charge completely in two hours and should make last stop trips truly sustainable.

Key Takeaways:

  • Electric Last Mile Solutions is a new startup that focuses on electric delivery vehicles.
  • ELMS is building vans that are made for the final step in delivery for urban markets.
  • ELMS plans to have their first product released in the third quarter of 2021 with the goal of the van being able to charge in two hours.

“With the launch the company is also ensuring that it is developing a product aimed at giving fleets a low total cost of ownership (TCO), an essential component to what every fleet manager looks for in vehicles it acquires.”

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Imagining a Completely Driverless Truck

Self-driven vehicles are in our future, and we’ve seen the technology improving in the recent years. Yet, when we envision the driverless cars, few of us actually thinks of trucks without drivers. While autonomous truck prototypes are already presented to the general public, we can imagine and take this step further imagining a truck that is completely automated. Such truck would not have a cab, infotainment or stereo systems. Drive data would be transmitted remotely to a control center, where all monitoring would be done.

Key Takeaways:

  • Although the idea of a driverless truck has been on the radar for a while, a true design for one is non-existent. Currently, there are only models that include some experimental autonomous controls.
  • Such a vehicle would be very stripped down, as human needs would be a non-issue. Gone would be anything having to do with human comfort. or entertainment. No cup holders.
  • What would probably remain would be the electronic capability and the temperature parameters to accommodate the product being hauled.

“In addition, the truck cab has to be arranged in a way to serve as a home away from home for long-haul drivers. All of that stuff – and all of that space and weight and materials – would suddenly be superfluous for an autonomous truck designer.”

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