Today's Trucking

What’s the Rush? Are we moving too fast on autonomous vehicles?

April 10, 2018

Perspective is what prevents us from making lousy decisions and watching our stress levels rise as we try to cope with the fallout from those mistakes and misperceptions. Never before, I would argue, has perspective been as necessary as it is now. In life at large and certainly in this industry of ours.


The Propane Option: Have we closed the book on the fuel too soon?

March 16, 2018

Does propane get enough love as an alternative fuel? I think not. The question arose at the recent Green Truck Summit in Indianapolis, Ind., as another journalist and I listened to seemingly endless mention of electric options and natural gas […]


Hourly Pay’s the Way: If there’s a good side to ELDs, it’s that driver pay systems will change

February 21, 2018

There are two things converging in this sometimes tumultuous industry of ours: an apparent capacity crunch in many sectors and the difficult onset of electronic logging devices, which is only making the former worse. And will continue to do so, […]


Perspective, People: The onslaught of new technology is fascinating, but who really cares?

January 9, 2018

Amidst the astonishing flood of electric this and autonomous that lately, I wonder who actually wants any of this stuff. I mean out there in the land of real trucking, not in the offices of mega-fleets with the means to […]


Is everybody going electric?

November 25, 2017

  So last week I spent an illuminating day at the annual Cetaris user group meeting here in Toronto, in the company of some very big names in the North American fleet world. Kindly invited by the company’s founder and […]


Surprise! Cummins goes electric

August 31, 2017

COLUMBUS, IN – In a dramatic demonstration of technological agility, Cummins finished off a press conference here yesterday by unveiling its all-electric, zero-emissions class-7 tractor. Obviously, it’s a first for the 98-year-old diesel manufacturer that wants to become known as a powertrain provider, not an engine builder. It was a surprise to many, even to those of us who knew electric power was in the cards at Cummins, as well as being a small slap in the face to Tesla, which has been threatening to introduce an electric tractor next month.
Called the ‘AEOS’ electric commercial vehicle demonstrator, and built by Roush on what seems to be an International ProStar base, it’s a working 4×2 regional hauler, not just a concept shell. Cummins sees its role in vocational applications like urban delivery, port drayage, and terminal container handling.
It’s claimed to achieve over 30 miles per gallon in diesel-equivalent terms while accelerating 25-35% faster than the same tractor powered by an 11- or 12-liter diesel (depending on rear-axle ratios, of course).


Headlights Again: Now digital

August 9, 2017

A few months ago I wrote a couple of times about headlights, complaining that the standard lamps offered in most vehicles — from cars to heavy trucks — are insufficient. Meaning, it’s too easy to over-drive your lights at what are pretty ordinary speeds nowadays. The light just isn’t thrown far enough down the road, reducing the ability of a driver to see far enough ahead to avoid an obstruction and maybe a catastrophic accident.


Volvo Pushes Forward

July 13, 2017

Volvo has been mighty busy of late. Back in late April it chose our very own Expocam truck show in Montreal to unveil its new and long overdue VNR regional tractor. Promoted as the “shape of trucks to come,” it was joined this week by another much updated truck, the long-haul VNL, replete with all manner of safety technology as standard equipment.


Turn Complaints Around: When things go wrong, listen to your customer

June 27, 2017

Had a lesson in customer service the other day. Nothing to do with trucking, but an extraordinary example of how to respond to complaints.


Making Dust in a Western Star

May 3, 2017

So I had some fun last week in Arizona with a few of Western Star’s latest trucks and the continuation of the company’s anniversary celebrations. They refer to it as ‘Celebrating 50 Years of Legendary Awesomeness’. No hyperbole there.


India Called, I Answered

April 6, 2017

Bucket-list item ticked: I finally got to India. In fact I’ve just returned from spending two weeks in that astonishing country, where I couldn’t keep up with anything that was going on here in the world of trucking, so this edition of my report will borrow heavily from work my colleagues have been doing in the last while.


Daum Reaches the Pinnacle

March 30, 2017

I’m writing this issue of the newsletter in absentia, so to speak, as it will be published while I’m away from computers and unable to stay in touch. To be more precise, I’m a week early in posting this so forgive me if giant events occur between now and the 22nd and they’re not covered here. Then again, this report isn’t intended as a news vehicle.


See Much?: We need better headlamps, period.

February 22, 2017

Clearly, there are issues with the headlights that show us what’s ahead. Or maybe don’t. We shouldn’t be happy.


What does Trump mean to us?

February 9, 2017

Well, we’re a couple of tumultuous weeks into the new Trump administration south of the 49th, and it would seem chaos prevails. At least for the moment. With the new President having promised, implicitly and otherwise, something of a war on regulatory controls, some issues with an impact on trucking are up in the air.


Got Enough Light?

January 12, 2017

I’ve long held that North American headlight standards are inherently dangerous because they don’t allow brightness levels to match the speeds we travel. It’s just too easy to over-drive your lights, meaning you don’t see obstructions like stalled cars or animals or — may all the gods forbid — pedestrians in the way until you’re past the point of being able to stop in time. Even back in the 1950s when cars and certainly trucks were much slower, this held true. In fact it was worse.