Truck and Dealer of the Year

This weekend at the American Truck Dealers Convention and Expo held in San Francisco awarded the Truck and Truck Dealer of the Year. The title of the Truck of the year goes to the Kenworth T880, which bested the Peterbilt 567 and the International WorkStar 7600. The trucks were judge by a panel of commercial trucking journalists. The Kenworth ranked high in exterior and interior design, style, and handling at high and low speeds.

At this same convention, Scott McCandless of McCandless Truck Center was named the 2015 Truck Dealer of the Year. The award was presented by American Truck Dealers, Heavy Duty Trucking Magazine and Procede Software. Mr. McCandless was one of six dealers nominated for this award. He started in 2000 as a new truck sales manager and after a four year period, McCandless won a competitive selection process to be the DealCor manager for Rocky Mountain International in Denver. Today, McCandless Truck Center has revenues of more than $100 million. The team that nominated McCandless said that he demonstrated an exceptional commitment to both customer and employee focused leadership in his dealership.

Volvo to Introduce New Safety Technology in Trucks

Volvo Trucks has developed a new safety software that, within the next 5 to 10 years, will lower the amount of Volvo Truck collisions. This technology will over time be available to all trucks in the industry, but Volvo wants to implement it sooner than later.

The new safety technology will scan the environment around the truck, warn the driver when collisions are imminent and prevent accidents. Trucks will be able to evaluate everything that is happening and take actions to avoid accidents. Information from cameras, radars, and sensors mounted on all sides of the truck will be assessed by a data platform, performing a 360-degree scan every 25 milliseconds. Compared to a limited view by the driver only when they take their eyes off the road, this system will add a much needed safety concern for all drivers.

Mansour Keshavarz, a systems engineer at Volvo Trucks, stated that the technology serves as a co-driver, but one that can see all around the truck. The system can also alert the driver so they have a better chance to avoid an accident before the trucks emergency actions take place. Even though the technology is not ready to be implemented, Volvo Trucks believe that within 5 to 10 years we will be introduced to this safety technology. There are hurdles that must be overcome when developing automation in heavy vehicles.

Truck Features of Tomorrow

The Technology and Maintenance Council (TMC) of the American Trucking Associations is always looking for what the members want and expect in the trucks of tomorrow. As of 2013, the TMC was midway through the multi-year process of developing a new Future Truck position paper. This paper goes into detail of these changes truckers are wanting and how to achieve them. Here is a list of things that we should expect to see on trucks within the next 5 to 10 years.

 

Better Fuel Economy

Gaining better fuel economy is being driven by fleet demand and by federal regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Mike Jeffress, vice president of maintenance at Maverick Transportation hopes to see an increase in fuel economy to 10 to 15mpg for all of the tractors. To accomplish this, ideas that range from using solar power idle reduction to using lighter weight materials are being put to the test.

 

Better Durability and Maintenance

Oil change intervals will continue to increase, hoping to increase to more than 60,000 miles per change. More fleets will go to air disc brakes, which will take less maintenance than traditional drum brakes. There will be a greater usage of tire pressure monitoring and inflation systems to help tires last longer and save fuel.

 

More Safety Features

With more use of high-tech safety systems such as collision avoidance, lane departure warning, rollover prevention and stability control, we are finding that trucking accidents are beginning to lower.

 

Changes in the Cab

We will see more integration of in-cab technology into the trucks dashboards. Several companies are including in their designs removable tablets that display information about navigation and instantaneous feedback on fuel economy and unsafe driving. Many of the interior features of these future trucks are based around driver productivity and satisfaction.

Future Systems for Fuel Savings

Peloton Technology, based out of California, demonstrated its two-truck platooning system on May 8th to three of Nevada’s primary transportation agencies. This systems technology makes use of a forward collision avoidance system and vehicle-to-vehicle communication to allow two trucks to travel closer together than would normally be safe. Traveling this close reduces drag and increases fuel savings. The trucks can be paired into a platoon only if the weather conditions warrant and only through Peloton’s operations center.

When the trucks get the ok to engage through the operations center, the safety system from both trucks are linked, allowing each truck to access each others camera views. The point of this system is to allow truckers to travel closer together, but in doing so causes the concern of collisions. This is solved by Pelotons forward collision avoidance system. The average driver needs 1 to 2 second to react when a vehicle in front slows, but this system reacts in a fraction of a second.

Peloton Technology is currently talking with more than a dozen fleets for pilot deployments of the the platooning. With time, the company will be able to gain valuable information in making continuous improvements with this technology that will not only be able to help trucking companies, but eventually all drivers.