Latest Trucking Trends Show Increased Advertising and Technology Use
Regardless of whether they operate with their BOC-3s or not, trucks and big rigs that traverse the highways of the United States have always been a staple of the American road. That said, these trucks create a pretty huge impression on those who see them drive by. Trucks and rigs that flaunt catchy designs and graphics generate a lasting impression. An investigation on the matter, which was headed by the American Trucking Association, revealed that 90% of people are more likely to notice the words, pictures, and other graphics on trucks and rigs.
Fusing this fact to the bigger picture, trucks that have operating authority within city limits can make 16 million impressions a year. That means that trucks, regardless of having a BOC-3 or not, do make people’s heads turn and notice the decals and details painted on its sides. Other truck customizations include full body painting, logo designs, chrome plating, and neon lighting systems. Accessories are also a great addition to make any rig more attractive, such as 10-inch exhaust pipes, chrome visors, and customized hoods. Modern trucks and rigs can also be fitted with additional features such as air-conditioning and polished wood for fixtures such as bunks and cabinets within the truck’s cab itself.
Such attractive designs have ushered in a new trend in the trucking industry – truck-side advertising. Trucks can now be modified into rolling billboards with customized paint jobs that can bring in profits ranging from $ 3,800 above for 53-foot rigs. Swaying with this trend may still be a risky move but with the right operating authority and some faith, any trucking company can blaze the trail for the next truckers to follow.
Although not a new trend in the trucking industry, truck brokerage still offers its brokers lucrative pay, despite the fact that truck brokers do not shoulder the legal responsibility for any loss of or damage to the shippers’ goods while in transit. While broker authority is limited to selecting the carriers for the shippers and the operating authority, truck brokers enjoy significant success in this field. Truck brokerage has attracted a lot of people, especially since broker authority leaves other truckers outside the parameters of the law with regards to shipment transportation.
Recent regulations imposed on the trucking industry mandates trucking firms and companies to purchase recent models of trucks and rigs due to environmental concerns. Truck brokers, even though their broker authority does not cover trucking operations, may need to work with trucking companies who strictly adhere to environment regulations.
Moreover, due to the rising cost of fuel and operations to maintain a trucking business, most trucking companies are resorting to several means to become as efficient on energy as possible. Currently, the trucking industry in the United States consumes approximately 18 billion gallons of fuel, accounting for over 12% of the country’s total fuel consumption.
An important factor in fuel economy is route management. In terms of trucking operations, most trucking firms squeeze as much shipment of goods as possible to deliver them in a strategic way that saves time and fuel. Modern trucking companies are employing GPS and software that aid trucks and rigs in efficiently reducing fuel usage. Computer programs give out intelligent analyses on alternative routes and scheduled stops. Other new technologies being used by trucking firms include tire inflation for optimum tire performance and hybrid truck engines.
Speaking of fuel, most trucking firms buy their fuel supply from states where diesel is not as expensive as in others. States where diesel fuel is cheap include:DelawareNew JerseyMissouriOklahomaSouth CarolinaMarylandPennsylvaniaKansasIowaVirginiaThe following cities offer the cheapest rate on diesel and other petroleum products:OklahomaDes MoinesHoustonWichitaSt. LouisTrentonWilmingtonBaltimoreDallasTucsonTrucking companies and firms understand that gas prices vary and may have a 20% differential within just a few blocks. In extreme cases, trucking firms even purchase their diesel supply in certain regions where their legal operating authority and BOC-3 are not honored, such as Mexico.
Fuel wastage is also caused by drag. In fact, at least 50% of the power generated by a truck is utilized to overcome drag at highway speeds. Reducing aerodynamic drag can definitely save energy and this can be achieved by: selecting a sleeper package appropriate for the trailer; aerodynamic treatment like roof fairing for use with van trailers, chassis and trailer fairings, cab extenders and aerodynamic mirrors; removal of accessory components from the air stream if possible; and wheelbase and fifth wheel settings.
Finally, correct driver behavior and proper truck maintenance also come into play. The truck driver must avoid excessive speeding and idling to save on fuel. The use of the fuel economy display also helps monitor usage. To keep a truck in good condition, make sure to: maintain correct tire inflation pressure; change air and fuel filters at the appropriate intervals; and keep drive and steer axles properly aligned to reduce rolling resistance. Monitor fuel quality at the pump; dirty fuel causes the fuel injectors to clog or exhibit improper spray pattern.
The use of aluminum flooring for trucks is also an efficient way to cut cost without sacrificing performance. Since aluminum is a lighter material, a truck or rig can accommodate greater loads of shipment while spending less on fuel.
The trucking industry may be dampened by the rise of fuel costs and the surfacing of environmental issues, but with the latest trends and improvements on truck navigation, operation, and fuel efficiency, it is safe to say that trucks and rigs will remain a huge part of the American highway for years to come.