New Reports Show Bright Spots In The Economy
While trucking and the rest of the nation are nervous about the increasing likelihood of federal budget sequestration and its effect on the economy, some of the first numbers out show the year has started off better than expected.
The private group The Conference Board said Tuesday that its Consumer Confidence Index for February showed the first hike in four months. The 69.6 reading is up dramatically from the previous month’s level and is higher than a consensus poll of economists were forecasting. The Board’s Present Situation Index and The Expectations Index both also reported increases from January.Read more
2nd major snowstorm paralyzes parts of Midwest; even 18-wheelers get stuck
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — For the second time in a week, a major winter storm paralyzed parts of the nation’s midsection Tuesday, dumping a fresh layer of heavy, wet snow atop cities still choked with piles from the previous system and making travel perilous from the Oklahoma panhandle to the Great Lakes.Read more
Driving games: Attracting, rewarding drivers while boosting efficiency and safety
The first part of the “Driving Games” series covers the benefits of using technology and games to engage drivers and what types of games are available — see it here. Part 2, below, details how to make game play fair, how to get […]Read more
Going Green: The truth behind LNG refueling speeds
Myth: It takes too long to refuel natural gas trucks and tractors.
Fact: While this statement may be true for trucks that run on compressed natural gas, trucks powered by liquefied natural gasactually fuel comparably to diesel tractors at a rate of 12 or more diesel gallon equivalents (DGEs) per minute. LNG is often the best alternative-fuel option for long-haul trucking applications where trucks operate between two or more LNG fueling locations and where vehicle weight and operating ranges are important.
LNG refueling requires the use of gloves and protective eyewear to protect drivers from exposure to unintentional release of cryogenic LNG. In addition, drivers must use air hoses at the LNG fueling island to blow debris from the LNG fuel nozzle and tank receptacle to prevent contaminants from entering the LNG fuel tank.Read more
Easing into ownership: The successful path to lease-purchase
Among many truckers, lease-purchase programs have a less-than-stellar reputation. Some programs are easy to enter, offering no-money-down no-credit-check guarantees. But they also can make it hard to achieve the ultimate goal: truck ownership.
“There are some good companies out there with lease-purchase programs that help the driver, but the fail rate with most lease-purchases is very high,” says Allen Smith, founder of Truth About Trucking, a website and Internet broadcast that gives new and prospective drivers an inside look at over-the-road driving.
Smith, a former household-goods-hauling owner-operator who now works as an intrastate company driver in Florida, tried three lease-purchase programs in the early 1990s and never found a way to make them work. His 2011 Truth About Trucking survey showed 77 percent of drivers never complete their lease-purchase agreements.Read more