Why isn’t a truck’s appearance part of the PM process?

Everyone knows that oil is the lifeblood of the engine and the engine is the heart of a truck. As a result, most trucks are getting their oil changed on a regular schedule. But oil changes alone will not keep trucks from operating inefficiently or worse, breaking down. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) rules say that fleets must have programs to “systematically inspect, repair and maintain…all motor vehicles…subject to its control.”

Key Takeaways:

  • Companies are spending thousands of dollars on graphic and designs for their equipment; some of those companies as well spend millions on television ads and Internet ads.
  • Some spend thousands of dollars on decals or replaceable vinyl rotating descriptive advertising their products or services.
  • Additionally, the rear door decals would not stick or if it did, eventually, peel, or faded through time.

“A lot of professional companies look at their vehicles as a rolling billboard and use decals and on the tractors as a method of defining who they are.”

http://www.fleetequipmentmag.com/truck-appearance-pm-process/

2017 Chevrolet Malibu 2.0T Quick Spin: Experiencing Chevy’s Nine-Speed Automatic

The GM Propulsion Systems folks (née Powertrain—they’re now ready for warp drives or whatever comes next) sort of “soft-launched” the nine-speed automatic they joint-developed with Ford at the Chevrolet Equinox introduction last September. This week an official coming-out party for the new tranny was staged, at which we learned a lot more about the transmission and even got a chance to take a spin in a 2017 Chevrolet Malibu 2.0-liter turbo equipped with the 9T50E.

Key Takeaways:

  • Relative to the Aisin Warner F8F45 eight-speed automatic fitted to 2016 Malibu 2.0Ts, GM Propulsion says the 9T50 improves fuel efficiency by 2 percent by allowing the engine to spend a bit more time in its efficiency sweet spot.
  • GM claims the 9T50 spends between 13 and 52 percent of its time in ninth gear on the FTP and US06 tests that determine those EPA numbers.
  • As the Dexron-VI transmission fluid heats up and expands, an active oil management system stores excess fluid in a tank on the side of the valve body to prevent any of the spinning parts from contacting the oil in the sump.

“My one request to the transmission team on hand was that they find a corner of one of the fuel-efficiency screens in the driver-information center to display the current gear.”

http://www.motortrend.com/news/2017-chevrolet-malibu-2-0t-quick-spin-experiencing-chevys-nine-speed-automatic/

Colo. State Fleet Manager Retires

Scott Madsen, Director of the Division of Central Services, recently retired after being with the State of Colorado for 15 years. A longtime member and past president of NCSFA, Madsen exemplified what it meant to be a fleet manager and mentor to others in the industry. Says Barb Bonansinga, State of Illinois Fleet Project Manager, “Scott has been a mentor throughout my career not only as an NCSFA past president but also for the expertise and insights he has always generously shared as a fellow state government fleet manager.”

Key Takeaways:

  • Scott has been a mentor throughout my career not only as an NCSFA past president but also for the expertise and insights he has always generously shared as a fellow state government fleet manager.
  • Madsen has been recognized for overseeing one of the top green public fleets in the nation. Madsen was a longtime member and past president of the National Conference of State Fleet Administrators.
  • Madsen’s decades of experience shows in the foundation of work he developed as the state fleet manager and continues to benefit the state each day, Edwards added.

“Scott Madsen, director of the Division of Central Services, State of Colorado, recently retired after working for the state for 15 years.”

http://www.government-fleet.com/channel/operations/news/story/2016/12/colo-state-fleet-manager-retires.aspx

U.S. Xpress Agrees to Join Trucking Alliance

U.S. Xpress has accepted an invitation to join the Alliance for Driver Safety & Security (Trucking Alliance), beginning in 2017. U.S. Xpress is the second largest privately-owned trucking company in the United States and is headquartered in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The addition of U.S. Xpress will double the membership of the Alliance in 2017.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Chattanooga, Tennessee-based carrier is one of several transportation companies to join The Trucking Alliance in recent months, joining the refrigerated carrier KLLM, Cargo Transporters, and truck insurance brokerage company Aeon Transportation & Risk Solutions.
  • U.S. Xpress is one of the largest privately owned trucking companies in the country.
  • The Trucking Alliance is a small coalition of carriers and allied business that support common operating principles and safety reforms to reduce large truck accidents and improve the working environment of drivers.

“The Trucking Alliance is a small coalition of carriers and allied business that support common operating principles and safety reforms to reduce large truck accidents and improve the working environment of drivers.”

http://www.truckinginfo.com/channel/fleet-management/news/story/2016/12/u-s-xpress-agrees-to-join-the-trucking-alliance.aspx

FMCSA Finally Establishes Entry-Level Driver-Training Standards

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced a Final Rule establishing comprehensive national minimum training standards for entry-level commercial truck and bus operators seeking to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) or certain endorsements. The standards established in today’s rule address the knowledge and skills necessary for the safe operation of commercial motor vehicles and also establish minimum qualifications for entities and individuals who provide entry-level driver training.

Key Takeaways:

  • In addition, the driver training must be obtained from an instructional program that meets qualification standards set forth in the final rule.
  • The American Trucking Associations praised the rule for its “common sense” approach to safety.
  • This is a major step in advancing highway safety by requiring driver training and ends nearly 25 years of effort to get this rule in place.”

“The American Trucking Associations praised the rule for its “common sense” approach to safety.”

http://www.worktruckonline.com/channel/safety-accident-management/news/story/2016/12/fmcsa-finally-issues-final-rule-on-driver-training-standards.aspx

Texas City Eliminates New Fleet Replacement Program

The Killeen City Council on Tuesday will consider several resolutions and ordinances, including one that will allow the city to spend $11 million for the creation of a fleet funding program. According to a council memorandum, the city needs a sustainable funding method to enable citywide vehicle and heavy equipment purchases, especially when several expensive units must be replaced in the same year. On average, Killeen spends $3.4 million annually on fleet purchases.

Key Takeaways:

  • The City of Killeen (Texas) has terminated its newly created fleet funding program due to a budget shortfall. City Council voted to terminate it on Dec. 6.
  • In January 2016, City council approved the establishment of an internal service fund and an $11 million fleet funding program (FFP) for replacements and operations. A total of $5.5 million was transferred to the internal service fund to start the program.
  • Funds remaining in the FFP — $1.38 million — will be returned to the original sources, with Solid Waste receiving 35.7% and Water & Sewer receiving 64.3%.

“the city’s financial situation has since changed and it now needs to address immediate budget shortfalls. The newly adopted FFP is intensifying the strain on the operating funds,” a memo to the City Council stated.”

http://www.government-fleet.com/channel/procurement/news/story/2016/12/texas-city-eliminates-new-fleet-replacement-program.aspx

Wis. Fire Department Adds Aerial Ladders

The Fire Department of New York City has added another ten aerial ladders to its contract with Ferrara Fire Apparatus, Inc. Ferrara, America’s premier custom fire apparatus manufacturer, announced the initial ten aerial ladders in December of 2009. Coupled with the multi-unit heavy rescue project, Ferrara Fire Apparatus now has contracts with the City of New York totaling more than $24 million.

Key Takeaways:

  • The apparatus features the TAK-4 independent front suspension and the TAK-4 T3 mechanical rear steering system. Each aerial ladder is equipped with a Detroit DD13 500-hp engine and a Command Zone advanced electronics and control system.
  • “These new Quantum quint vehicles respond as both engines and ladder trucks, and we put a lot of miles on them over some very rough and narrow streets,” Franz said. “The turning radius is excellent, and the handling is equally impressive.
  • The four-section, 105-ft. aerial device includes remote tip controls, a two-way intercom, a LyfePulley rescue system, and LED rung lighting. The system includes a single-stage PUC pump offering 1,500 gallons per minute, a 500-gallon water tank, and low-mount crosslays.

“The apparatus features the TAK-4 independent front suspension and the TAK-4 T3 mechanical rear steering system. Each aerial ladder is equipped with a Detroit DD13 500-hp engine and a Command Zone advanced electronics and control system.”

http://www.government-fleet.com/channel/procurement/news/story/2016/12/wis-fire-department-adds-aerial-ladders-to-fleet.aspx

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