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Saturday, October 14, 2017

Ryder improving tire life & safety through partnership with Aperia Technologies
Article thanks to Links provided:
Oct, 2017  Ryder System, a leader in commercial fleet managementdedicated transportation, and supply chain solutions, announced that it’s expanding its commitment to innovative safety technologies through an exclusive partnership with Aperia Technologies, the leading supplier of automated tire inflation devices for tractors and trailers.
The Halo Tire Inflator solution will become the standard spec for Ryder’s heavy duty commercial rental fleet as the company responds to increasing demand from customers looking to improve fleet performance, safety and driver job satisfaction.
“We believe innovative automatic tire inflation solutions provide tremendous peace of mind for customers committed to on-time deliveries,” said Scott Perry, Chief Technology and Procurement Officer for Ryder Fleet Management Solutions. “These technologies will play a major role in the rapidly growing tire management space and will also become a critical component in advanced driver-assistance systems. Our strategic partnership with Aperia expands upon Ryder’s ability to provide customers with the most innovative solutions to help them streamline operations, promote safety, and reach their efficiency goals.”
Additionally, Halo will become Ryder’s preferred tire inflation solution for Ryder ChoiceLease customers and bundled offerings will also be available to Ryder SelectCare customers. This latest Ryder offering signifies Aperia’s first exclusive partnership with a full service leasing company for a bundled Halo purchase and installation.
“Technology-enabled task automation in the commercial vehicle market is helping fleets—from drivers and technicians to owners and managers—operate more safely, reliably, and efficiently. With Halo, we are delivering a step-change improvement in how fleets interact with their tire assets,” said Josh Carter, CEO of Aperia. “We see tremendous opportunity with Ryder’s similar commitment to bring innovative products and service solutions to fleets with the goal of maximizing uptime. Now it will be easier for more fleets to reduce complexity when it comes to tires and reap the benefit of fast payback with our industry-leading technology.”
Tire under-inflation remains an industry hazard for the eight million tractor/trailers on U.S. roadways. Ryder fleets, equipped with Halo, will maximize tire life and reduce fuel consumption based on automatic tire pressure management. Unlike traditional tire inflation systems, Halo is self-powered, self-contained, and versatile, making for turnkey integration with Ryder’s nationwide network of state-of-the-art service facilities.
Ryder currently offers various safety technologies, such as forward looking radar and collision mitigation systems in its commercial rental fleet and as an available option to its Ryder ChoiceLease customers. Ryder’s fleet of vehicles incorporates many other advanced technologies including automated manual transmissions, roll stability controls, and telematics. The company also utilizes video monitoring and management systems in its Dedicated Transportation Solutions fleet. Ryder continually monitors emerging fleet technologies and works closely with leading technology providers and equipment manufacturers to provide feedback around functionality, usability and adaptability.
Ryder reports having a long track record of consistently improving the performance, safety and reliability of commercial vehicles.
“With these new safety standards, Ryder continues its leadership in advanced vehicle technology, and builds on its strategy of providing customers with the most flexibility, choice, and control in fleet management,” the company reports in its press release. “These technologies aim to reduce the possibility of vehicle crashes, while also providing a cost benefit to Ryder customers.”
At Ryder, safety is a year-round focus and a core value. Each year, the company invites its team of more than 34,000 employees around the globe to participate in the World Day for Safety and Health at Work. The annual international campaign promotes safe and healthy workplaces. As a proud member of Together for Safer Roads (TSR), Ryder joins its fellow private sector coalition members in leveraging the day as an opportunity to promote and raise awareness of safe driving practices.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Wheel Selection: Choosing Wisely With Help From Wheels For Less
Article thanks to Randy Boligand and Links provided:

Sept, 2017 Car guys express their automotive passion in different ways. Some choose big engines while others choose flashy paint. However, there is one choice that always seems to draw criticism – deserved or not – and that is wheel selection. Mechanical and eye-catching attributes of your car notwithstanding, your car’s appearance can either make you the envy of the show, or “that guy” at the end of the row.
It’s all a matter of perception, and the wheels you choose and the tires surrounding them will definitely influence whether others like your car or not. But, there are more than good looks to consider when selecting wheels. To get some expert advice, we turned to Jeff Roberts of Wheels For Less. That’s because, we were curious about any specific attributes we should be looking at when choosing wheels.

Like almost everyone else, we can’t afford to go out and spend an untold amount of money on wheels, so we need to make the right choice the first time. Choosing wheels begins by figuring out your budget first, then choosing the wheel that looks right and fits your ride.
The four main factors you should be considering before you choose are style, size, weight, construction, and most importantly, price. Realizing how much cash you have to put into a set of wheels will affect things like construction and size. Once you have your budget, you can start narrowing your choices. After all, it doesn’t matter if those billet wheels you have your eyes on are perfect for your Chevelle if you don’t have the dinero to buy them.

It’s also a good idea to have a basic understanding of wheel fitment. In other words, understand what wheel/tire sizes can be properly mounted on your vehicle. We all remember a time when N50s mounted on a 10-inch wheel didn’t have to fit within the wheelwell. Back then, that was considered a cool look. Today, no one wants to see that look make a comeback. Without knowing what will actually fit, you risk buying a setup that doesn’t, can cause vibration issues, and alter ride quality. The wrong package can cause contact with fenders, inner fenders, struts, shocks, tie rods, brake calipers, and other suspension parts.  “The questions we receive most, are really about fitment and size,” said Jeff.

We also wanted to find out more about the different construction materials used in wheel construction, and the pros and cons of each. So, without further ado, here are some things that Wheels For Less want you to consider when choosing a wheel/tire package that will not only look good on your car, but meet your driving goals and actually fit your vehicle.

One-Piece Cast Aluminum Wheels
Everyone knows that one-piece cast aluminum wheels are made by pouring melted aluminum into a cast mold. But, did you also know that there are three types of casting methods used when making cast-aluminum wheels? One is a low-pressure gravity feed casting. Another is counter pressure, which uses vacuum to pack the aluminum into the mold. And finally, there is high pressure casting, which uses air pressure to pack the aluminum into the mold. The method used depends on the particular weight, strength, and finish of the wheel they are building.
“All one-piece cast-aluminum wheels are made overseas in China, and then shipped over by container to their distribution centers in the U.S. The quality of these wheels is high due to today’s manufacturing techniques,” Jeff stated, However, the drawback to a one-piece wheel is their limited size and offset availability. The manufacturer has to predict how many wheels of a particular style they can sell , and build only the sizes and standard offsets they believe will have the best sales potential.
Pros: These wheels are most inexpensive to purchase and come in a myriad of designs.
Cons: They are more brittle than forged wheels. These are also the heaviest of all wheel construction types. Backspace, width increments, and diameter selection offerings are limited. If one gets cracked, they are nearly impossible to safely repair. A damaged cast wheel usually needs to be replaced.

Two-Piece Cast Aluminum Wheels
The centers of two-piece cast wheels are made in exactly the same way as one-piece wheels are made. The centers are cast overseas and then shipped to the U.S. where the wheel is assembled. The cast centers are welded into an outer aluminum rim that is spun, heated, and then pressed between steel rollers to give the rim its final shape and width.

This process produces a wheel that is lighter and stronger than a one-piece cast wheel, but is much less expensive than a forged wheel. “This also offers the consumer a wide variety of fitment options, as the centers can be welded to achieve custom offsets. That means, if you are custom building a car that has a narrowed rear axle, you can get a custom offset and width to allow for a wider, deeper wheel to make your car look exactly as you want,” Jeff told us.
Pros: These wheels are not as expensive as a forged wheel and offer more backspace options than a one-piece cast wheel.
Cons: The centers are still more brittle than forged wheels, but the rim is not as brittle as a cast rim/barrel. If the center gets cracked, a safe repair in not certain. But, unlike a one-piece cast wheel, the rim/barrel can be repaired.

Forging A Finer Fender Filler
Forged wheels are made by placing a hunk of aluminum into a press that forms it into its fundamental shape. The wheel’s basic shape is then machined to achieve the final design. This process of making a wheel uses much less material, and this means a lighter wheel. Forging also creates a wheel that is stronger than other manufacturing processes.

Two-Piece Forged Aluminum
A two-piece forged wheel is built by using a center that is welded into an outer rim – or barrel. This affords a greater available selection of design, offset, and widths as compared to cast wheels. Forged wheels are also made in the U.S. and are of the highest quality wheels available today.

Three-Piece Forged Aluminum
Three-piece forged aluminum wheels will have the same show quality, varied styles, and lighter weight as the two-piece forged aluminum wheels. A huge benefit of three-piece wheels is there is a greater range of size and offset options available. If your running bigger than stock disc brakes, this is a huge advantage. Some of today’s big brake systems with four and six-piston calipers can make aftermarket wheel fitment very difficult

Mono-block Forged Aluminum
A Mono-block wheel is a fully-forged, one-piece wheel that is machined from a single piece of 6061-T6 aluminum. This type of process creates a product that is extremely stiff, exceptionally strong, and very lightweight. These are ideal for racing, because they are the stiffest, strongest, and lightest weight possible.
Pros: This dimensions can be configured to fit over larger than stock brakes. More design and fitment options available.
Cons: They are substantially more expensive than cast wheels.

What’s Best For Me?
You always want to consider how you plan to use your vehicle. Is it a race car that will be hitting the corners? Is it mostly street-driven? You might not realize it, but it does make a difference. Wheels designed for racing need to be strong and lightweight. They need to be able to withstand very strenuous cornering loads, heat, and abuse. When it comes to wheels for a street car, looks are usually the primary end-goal.
What The Hub Is Going On?

During your search, you may also come across the terms hub-centric and lug-centric. Knowing what each means is crucial when ordering rollers for your ride. Both terms refer to how the wheel is centered/mounted on a vehicle to avoid creating any vibration.
A hub-centric design means the large center hole of the wheel is a perfect fit to the hub of the vehicle. This allows the weight of the vehicle to rest on the center bore, rather than the studs. This creates a very safe and stable design, and most OE wheels are hub-centric. This also requires that you know the hub dimension of your car.

“Most aftermarket wheels are not hub-centric. That is because most manufacturers make the center hole large enough to accommodate a wide variety of applications,” Jeff said. That means the wheel is lug centric. A lug-centric wheel employs wheel stud holes with cone-shaped bottoms that are matched to a conical-seat lug nut. The car’s hub protrusion does not actually contact the wheel. When the lug nuts are tightened, the cone-shaped lugs locate the wheel on the hub and properly center it.
This also brings up a long-standing discussion about the wheel studs supporting the weight of the car. Some feel that running a lug-centric wheel without using a spacer is asking for trouble. This is because the wheel studs are supposedly dealing with side – or shear – loads. But, others say that a wheel’s stud is not subjected to the shear-load factor because of the Coefficient of Friction (COF) principle.

COF can be explained this way: In an exaggerated example, take two pieces of sandpaper and place the grit-covered surfaces against each other. Now, try to slide each piece in opposite directions.  The principle is applied in wheel mounting, as the tightening of the lug nuts “mates” the hub and wheel surfaces, and any movement must overcome friction between the two surfaces. But, if the lug nuts do not supply sufficient clamping force (i.e improper torque), the wheel can move, and overcome the COF principle. Once the wheel is able to move, the shearing action of the studs can occur.
Since many aftermarket manufacturers rarely make a hub-centric application, some will provide a hub-centric spacer. This is usually a machined collar that fits inside the hub opening of the wheel, and over the car’s hub. This does help to maintain hub support and a solid centering of the wheel.

Summing It Up
As you should with any part you buy for your car, always do a little research before you commit to a purchase. When it comes to buying wheels and tires, these parts have to be able to stop, turn, and support your car. If you experience a failure at any speed, the results can be bad. So once you’ve done your research and decided what wheel is best for your ride, the guys at Wheels For Less can be sure to help you get the right wheel the first time.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Keep your mind from 'zoning out' on the road
Article thanks to Larry Kahaner and Links provided:
Sept, 2017  On September 11, truck driver Normand Lavoie was sentenced to three years in prison after being found guilty of causing the death of three high school boys after he admitted that he 'zoned out' while driving through a construction zone in May 2015 and smashing into their stopped car. Lavoie also injured a flagperson who still is not well enough to return to work.
The 41-year old Winnipeg driver told police that he was in "la la land … I'm there behind the wheel but I'm not." He added that he was on "auto pilot" because of the flat Saskatchewan landscape. There was no evidence of violating Hours of Service rules, drug or alcohol use.
What many drivers call 'zoning out' is a phenomenon known in scientific circles as 'mind wandering,' and contrary to what many truckers believe, it may not be relieved by listening to the radio, singing or any other activity. Moreover, it can occur during a monotonous task, such as driving on a dark, empty highway, or during an engaging activity such as watching an exciting movie or reading a suspenseful book.
We spoke with Jonathan Schooler, PhD., who studies mind wandering at the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences, University of California, Santa Barbara. Following is an edited excerpt of that conversation.

What causes peoples' minds to wander?

It's the brain's default state. Research suggests that people mind-wander 25 to 50 percent of the time. It's what the mind does. When the current situation is not that stimulating, people wander off to greener pastures to more interesting things.

Does mind wandering cause crashes?

That research suggests that mind-wandering definitely is a major cause of accidents. In studies, researchers went to emergency rooms where people just had accidents. They interviewed people who had either been the victim or the cause of the accident [according to insurance company findings] and compared the two. The people who were the cause of accidents were much more likely to have been mind-wandering [at the time of the crash].

Can you prevent mind wandering by listening to the radio while you're driving?

With respect to the impact of listening to a radio, it's not clear whether or not that would necessarily help. Listening to the radio – particularly listening closely to content – could be distracting in and of itself, in much the same way that talking on a cell phone could be.

Is there any way to prevent mind wandering?

The best way to prevent mind wandering is to know when you're doing it. The technique that seems to be the most well-documented for aiding with mind-wandering is meditation. Not while driving, of course. What practicing meditation does is allow you to sharpen control of your attention to be better able to direct it where you want to, and also be better able to notice when your attention has drifted. I would encourage drivers during their breaks, and when they're done for the day, or maybe even first thing in the morning, to take ten minutes and practice meditation. It also has lots of other remarkable benefits, including reduced stress and increased wellbeing.
There's a number of apps available. One is called Headspace, which seems very good. Essentially what mediation entails is just using the breath as the center of focus – there are other techniques as well – and practicing trying to hold one's attention on the breath. When it drifts off, which it does, of course, you bring it back. This develops an attunement of one's attention and an ability to stay more focused.

Is mind wandering the same as daydreaming?

The field has not fully settled on a distinct vocabulary for these two terms. The way I look at it is that mind-wandering is when you have a task set in front of you, say driving, and then your mind drifts away from that primary task. Whereas with daydreaming oftentimes there's no task at all. For example, you're just sitting in a chair, staring out the window. There's nothing else you're trying to do. Mind-wandering, from my perspective, tends to be more the situation where there's something else you're intending to do and your mind has drifted away from that intended task.

Is there a relationship between the task that you're doing and mind-wandering? If I'm driving a long distance and the road is boring, there's nothing to see, my mind could wander. On the other hand, I could be reading a very exciting book, and my mind will still wander. Can you explain that?

In general, when you're involved in a more engaging activity, the mind will wander less. So while it's true that your mind can wander when you're reading an exciting book and when you're on a boring drive, you're more likely to mind-wander on the boring drive. That said, one of the reasons why the exciting book can still make you mind-wander is because it's provocative, and causes ideas to pop into your mind. Then you get grabbed by those ideas.
The trick is to try to catch yourself mind-wandering when you're reading, and then pause and follow through with the thought. It's what we call meta-awareness, which is noticing the mind wandering. If you can do that, then you can think through that interesting thought and get back to the reading. If you don't notice that your mind is wandering – and I'm sure you've had this experience – your eyes just continue moving across the page, and you lose all track of the content.

That can happen as you drive. You don't remember driving the last three miles.


Is there a relationship between fatigue and mind-wandering? Are you more apt to have a mind wander if you're tired?

There is some evidence that being tired can influence mind-wandering, but it's surprisingly less consistent than you might expect. And here's another thing which is surprising. In general, as people get older, they mind-wander less. You might think that as people get older, their executive function in general declines, and mind-wandering is oftentimes considered a failure of executive function. So why do people mind-wander less when they get older? It's because they have fewer resources to wander off to. I would predict – although I don't know this for sure, but this would follow from what I know – the cost of mind-wandering when someone is sleep-deprived will be much greater than the cost of mind-wandering when someone is alert. Because the resources that one has to mind-wander are less good, so it's going to be even more problematic if you do mind-wander when you're tired.

Is there a positive side to mind-wandering?

We find that a substantial proportion of people's creative ideas happen while mind-wandering. In particular, it seems to be ideas that involve overcoming some sort of impasse. If you're stumped on a problem, mind-wandering seems to be a way to come up with fresh perspectives.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Reflections on a Truckstop Life

Photo: Pilot Flying J
Nearly 60 years ago, a twist of fate detoured James “Jim” Haslam from a football coaching career into running filling stations. And that detour sparked the rise of what is today the Pilot Flying J truck stop network.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Stupid Trucker File
Keep filling 'till it's FULL!

On Thursday, September 7, 2017 at about 9:30 am, the Pepin County Sheriff's Office contacted the Northwest Region State Patrol requesting assistance with a potential motor carrier violation. The Pepin County Sheriff’s Office had report of a disabled semi unit on USH 10 near the Pepin/Pierce County Line west of Durand. The semi unit had left St. Paul, Minnesota at approximately 7 pm on September 6th destined to deliver its load to a location in Neenah, WI. At about 8 pm two tires blew out on the semi-trailer where it became disabled. The driver contacted a tire repair service to respond to the scene to replace the tires. The repair service was not able to lift the trailer in order to change the tires due to its weight. The following morning a second repair service attempted to change the tires. That service contacted a heavy tow truck operator to lift the rear of the trailer to allow the tire changes. The tow operator contacted the Pepin County Sheriff's Office to advise them of the obvious overweight issue. Pepin County Deputies then requested a State Patrol unit to assist. Sergeant Wm. Berger responded to the scene to assist.
The initial tow truck was not able to lift the rear of the trailer so a second, larger 50 ton rotator tow truck responded and was able to lift the rear of the trailer to change the tires. Due to the extreme flexing of the frame and the potential for a catastrophic failure of the trailer frame system extra blocking and jacks had to be used to support the center the trailer while it was being lifted. The unit was eventually weighed on a set of the Wisconsin State Patrol’s portable scales. The unit had a gross weight of 165, 900 lbs. The legal gross weight of the unit was 80,000 lbs. All of the tires on the semi-tractor and trailer, with the exception of the steering tires, were significantly exceeding the tire manufacturer’s maximum tire weight rating. Some of the tires were carrying more than double the allowable weight allowed by the tire manufacturer’s rating. The driver was issued a citation for failure to place the required emergency warning devices for a stopped vehicle in the area around the disable semi unit. The unit was partially in a traffic lane for over 10 hours without anyone contacting law enforcement or placing the safety devices. The company was issued a citation for an 85,900 lb. axle group overload. The bond amount for the overweight citation was $20,287.86. A second citation was issued to the carrier for exceeding the tire weight ratings. Nine other axle weight warnings were issued along with 12 out of service violations for exceeding the tire weight rating limitations. A final warning was issued to the driver under the Federal Safety Regulations for Reckless Driving. The unit was escorted approximately 4 miles where it could be safely offloaded.