Today's Trucking

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.


On Super Trucks, Nikola One, and Emissions Tampering

December 15, 2016

Navistar unveiled its Catalist SuperTruck on September 28, reporting a 104% improvement in freight efficiency compared to the DOE’s control vehicle, managing a commendable 13 mpg. The truck also demonstrated an impressive 50.5% brake thermal efficiency, and Navistar says it’s on the path towards 55% BTE.


The Sideguard Debate: Unresolved

December 2, 2016

There’s renewed interest in mandating sideguards for trucks, and just as much disagreement as ever over their efficacy. The U.S. Department of Transportation says that half of all cyclists killed by a truck first impact the blind side of the vehicle, as collisions typically occur when the truck does a right-hand turn at an intersection. The issue goes much deeper than that, of course, and involves more than just heavy trucks. Toronto Police statistics show that 541 cyclists have been hit by cars since June 2016. That’s nearly 10 collisions per day.


Target: Fuel Economy

November 2, 2016

Amidst all the talk of progressively wilder technologies, there’s one fundamental subject that comes first: fuel economy and how to maximize it.


Anything is possible

November 1, 2016

Where are we headed? Well, with enormous potential waiting to burst, we’re in the midst of the second industrial revolution. It’s all about the Internet of Things, meaning a network of physical things embedded with electronics and sensors and internet connectivity — and crucially, the ability to exchange data. Put a savvy truck in the middle of that network and start thinking about what it could link up with.


The urban future?

September 21, 2016

As I write this in a hotel room in Hannover, Germany — where 400 other trucking journalists are also lodged — I’m anticipating the opening of the 2016 IAA Commercial Vehicles Show tomorrow morning. Ultimately there will be some 2500 motor noters like me descending on the Hannover exhibition grounds and then rushing about this way and that like pen-wielding ants, all of them looking for a story that nobody else has discovered.


VW, Navistar: What’s the Deal?

September 9, 2016

Well, it finally happened. Rumored for many months, if not years, and now a fait accompli, Volkswagen Truck & Bus has bought a piece of Navistar International. While the gossip mill mostly envisioned an outright purchase by the German giant, yesterday’s announcement described a less dramatic deal: VW is buying a 16.6% stake in the Illinois company. It will pay US$15.76 per share or a 25% premium over Navistar’s 90-day volume-weighted average price as of Aug. 31, or 12% over Navistar’s closing price on Sept. 2. Navistar will receive US$256 million from the equity investment to be used for general corporate purposes.


What’s “professional”?

September 9, 2016

I have trouble with the phrase ‘professional truck driver’. Some drivers are indeed professional, very much so, and I count many amongst my friends. If I were a fleet manager I’d trust them with any load going any place at […]