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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Is the EPA unfairly targeting Volvo?
Article thanks to Jack Roberts and Links provided:

Feb, 2015  The other day a glowing report noted a recent environmental study, which concluded that “modern” diesel exhaust smoke (i.e. smoke from post-2010 diesel engines) is essentially harmless to humans.
That’s certainly good news. Although I know quite a few people in the trucking industry who wonder if that end justified the means. Because the Emissions War that wracked trucking in the first decade of this new century was a decidedly messy affair. And it seems some battles are still being fought today.
An article by Holman W. Jenkins, Jr., written for the Wall Street Journal came across my desk yesterday. It’s worth a read because it highlights not only how cutthroat the battle over competing emissions technologies became among engine manufacturers, but also spotlights egregious Federal overreach by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It’s one of those rare (these days) cases that unites conservatives and liberals alike and raises serious questions about how much power an agency like the EPA should be granted.
The story dates back to the height of the EGR-SCR wars in 2006, when the EGR camp (Caterpillar and Navistar) was looking for ways to make life difficult for their SCR competitors. The timeline is complex, but essentially, Caterpillar tipped off the EPA about stationary diesel engines produced by Volvo Penta (a wholly owned subsidiary of AB Volvo) in Sweden, that did not comply with a 1999 consent decree forcing all engine makers to accelerate compliance with new emissions standards. The only problem, in Jenkins’ words, was that the engines in question were “not built in America, not sold in America, unlikely ever to end up in America, and not subject in any way to the EPA’s statutory jurisdiction.” Nevertheless the EPA – perhaps a bit drunk with power – slapped Volvo with a $72 million fine, even though the agency had previously certified the engines as compliant with then-current emissions levels. A federal appeals court later found that the consent decree did not in fact apply to the engines, but upheld the penalty anyway lest Volvo enjoy a competitive advantage in the race to develop EPA 2010-compliant engines.
To its credit, Volvo has been steadfastly fighting this case, which has now been appealed to the United States Supreme Court.
The fact that the EPA feels empowered to punish a private company for emission performance outside of U.S. borders is certainly troubling. And, frankly, sets a precedent that ought to give all major global engine players pause. Moreover, it’s clear now that the SCR side decisively won the Emission Wars. The idea that Volvo, which played a key role in developing SCR and was an outspoken SCR and emissions-compliance advocate during that long war, is being punished for the performance of diesel engines it never intended to sell in North America in the first place is absurd.
Here’s hoping the court finds in favor of Volvo and against government overreach.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Suck it up! - Silver Eagle's New Converter Dolly
Article thanks to Tom Berg and Links provided:
Feb, 2015  NASHVILLE -- The large gap between combination trailers can now be decreased at highway speeds to reduce aerodynamic drag and save fuel with Silver Eagle Manufacturing’s T-Dolly, the company says.
The dolly’s tongue automatically retracts 28 inches to close the trailer-to-trailer gap from 40 inches to 12, explained Gary Gaussoin, Silver Eagle’s president. Retraction occurs at 45 mph, as measured  by the vehicle's anti-lock braking system, and extends as it slows past 40 mph to allow sharp turns. A hydraulic mechanism does the pulling and pushing.   
Fleet testing with double- and triple-trailer combinations shows the T (for telescoping, T-shaped tongue) Dolly improves fuel economy by 2.5% to 3.5%, Gaussoin said. Reduction in turbulence and closer coupling between trailers improves stability and reduces the “wiggle” effect, especially after lane changes, something that test drivers remarked on, he said during the official announcement during the Technology & Maintenance Council's annual meeting.

"The only reason to have a large gap between trailers is to make a sharp turn at low speed,” Gaussoin said. “Just think of how little you turn the steering wheel at highway speeds to change a lane; there is a very small steering angle in those situations.”
The T‐Dolly concept was first brought out in 2007 for Future Truck Exposition of the Technology & Maintenance Council of ATA. In 2008 a manually adjustable dolly was tested in Texas, where appreciable fuel savings came from reducing the gap between trailers. Next, wind tunnel tests verified energy savings.
Then the difficult work of creating the mechanical components and methodologies to be fully automatic and autonomous began, Gaussoin said. It needed to work regardless of the equipment to which the dolly was hooked.
“From the beginning we were very aware that the T‐Dolly had to fit into the fleet like any other dolly, and it had to ‘fail safe’ and return to the normal extended position,” said Kevin Sternes, Silver Eagle’s lead engineer.
Mature components and technologies were used throughout the design, he said. Examples are the sliding drawbar system that the company has used for decades; speed readings from the anti-lock braking system; and proven hydraulic cylinders and pumps.
UPS agreed to test the T‐Dolly and has worked through several iterations, employing them in regular service between Portland, Ore., and Everett, Wash.
“The T‐Dolly will play an important part in reducing fuel consumption in our fleet.” said Bill Brentar, UPS director of maintenance and engineering for transportation equipment. “UPS drivers who use these dollies preferred the way they feel in the closed position, and that they settle down right away when changing lanes.”
“An additional benefit of the single telescoping tongue has been better ergonomics for maneuvering the dolly into position, and air and electrical hook ups.” said Brian MacKenzie, Silver Eagle’s director of sales. “This additional open space gives greater clearance for a tight turn and reduces the chance of a bent tongue.”
During fuel efficiency testing on the Ohio Turnpike, a test driver declared, “Triples pull like double 45-foot trailers,” a combination known to be stable, Gaussoin said.
Fuel savings were measured by Type IV testing for double- and triple-trailer combinations. The supervisor was Chuck Blake, an applications engineer for Detroit Diesel and one of the authors of the TMC-SAE test procedures more than 20 years ago.
“This is a no brainer, isn’t it?  Geater stability (less wag) and improved fuel economy, especially in windy yaw angles,” Blake commented. “Even in no-wind conditions the savings are significant and very measurable.” "Right now, the T-Dolly costs about $4,500 more than Silver Eagle’s non-telescoping dollies – meaning its price tag hovers around $14,000 compared to a standard dolly.
Company engineers noted, however, that the fuel savings potential of the T-Dolly should help fleets achieve a return on investment (ROI) within 3.5 years of operation.
And Gaussoin stressed, too, that his company’s long-term goal is to reduce that price difference down to $3,000."

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

How To Cook a Whole Chicken on the BBQ Grill

The following is a guest post from my wife Mary's blog. A link is provided below:

My husband is such a great cook, I wish he would cook all the time.  On the weekends he likes to fix a piece of meat on the grill when we have nice weather, or the oven when it's cold outside.  Yesterday was 70 deg. outside and beautiful BBQ weather, so Dan went and bought a whole chicken for the grill.

This is a step-by-step instruction for my daughter who lives in Cheyenne Wyo, and wanted to know how he cooked a whole chicken on the grill:

First - he has a bag of 100% natural Mesquite wood chips (for use in gas and charcoal grills), he takes about 3 handfuls and soaks them in a bowl of water for 30 min.  Then he puts the wet chips on 2 pieces of foil and wraps them up to place under the grill top on the flames, leaving the ends uncrimped for the smoke to come out.  He also covers an old pan to put under the grill top where the chicken is cooking to catch all of the juices so that it won't be a big clean-up job on the bottom of the BBQ'er when your done. This works best with a three burner barbeque that you can turn off the middle burner for indirect cooking. You can also use a charcoal grill with the coals on each side, but not directly under the chicken.


Next - he goes out and turns on the BBQ to heat for 10 min. so he can clean the top really well, and gets it sprayed with cooking spray.  Now he gets the foil with chips and the drip pan and puts them under the cooking rack. Put the two wood chip packets directly over the burners on each side.

He has prepped his chicken by rinsing and then spicing it.  He never uses the same spices, always different, he sprinkle with garlic powder, onion powder, Season Salt, about anything in the cupboard.

So, outside we go for the fun part.  He slides the chicken off of the plate onto the grill:

The important thing here is to keep the temperature around 350 deg.  He leaves the burners on each end on about halfway, and shuts off the middle burner (indirect cooking method).  Now the wait begins while we sit outside and admire the nice weather and the apricot blossoms blooming at the end of our yard. With a thermometer on the cover, monitor to keep the temperature about 350 to 375 degrees. Try not to open the cover, as the heat and smoke will escape and cool the grill.

About 2-1/2 hrs later, the chicken is perfectly juicy and browned.

Dan grabs a long handle spoon to insert and pick up the chicken, then puts it on a plate to continue our meal inside.

This smells so good I can hardly wait to partake!

Let it sit for 10 minutes before cutting, then dig in..

I can't stop grabbing pieces of skin while he is cutting, it is crunchy and well seasoned, and out of this world delicious.

Dan loves the drumsticks.

My favorite is the chicken breast.  It is so juicy and most that you can't stop until it is gone.  Ok, now I wish I hadn't eaten so much!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Hotshot hauling: How to be your own boss
Article thanks to Todd Dills and Links provided:

In trucking, the term “hotshot” commonly refers to either the truck or the freight – often both. In the former sense, it’s normally a Class 3-5 truck used in combination with a variety of trailers to run for-hire freight, whether for a single customer or less-than-truckload, with multiple customers’ freight making up the same load, though there are exceptions.
The truck often will be one of the big three U.S. auto manufacturers’ ¾- to 1½-ton cab-and-chassis rigs or pickups outfitted for weight-distributing gooseneck- or fifth-wheel-type connections to a trailer.
Hotshot freight is hauled for a single customer and needed in expedited fashion. Jeff Ward of the Atlanta area says the local and regional loads he hauls with his one-truck Brady’s Hotshot Hauling business are “true hotshot freight.” That freight – power company equipment to keep the electrical grid running – is needed as soon as possible to avoid a shutdown.
Most agree the term originated in the Texas oilfields where, decades ago, pickups delivered quickly-needed parts to offroad drilling and pumping operations. The niche survives to this day and has benefited from the growth in U.S. fracking operations.
The advantage to utilizing smaller trucks for such freight for all hotshot customers is avoiding service downtime while minimizing costs. Fon Du Lac, Wis.-based hotshot owner-operator Greg Cutler says he can run his gas-fueled 2010 Dodge Ram 2500 at 85 cents per mile, much less than what the average Class 8 truck owner-operator will spend.
Joey Slaughter operated primarily as a car hauler when he started Blue Ridge Transport in 2010 after years as a Class 8 long-haul company driver.
Slaughter guesses he ran his own 2009 Ram 3500 at about 80 cents per mile, a good deal lower than the $1.20/mile average he later spent hauling cars in a Class 8. He transitioned earlier this year from an open car-hauling trailer to a 53-ft. step deck pulled by a Class 8 tractor. He brought in $1.35 a mile in revenue running hotshot, including deadhead.
While Slaughter says he’s doing better today than the 55-cents-a-mile hotshot income, he views the hotshot route as having been ideal for him getting started. A self-described cautious type, Slaughter drove a gas tanker as a company driver for 12 years.
“I wanted to be my own boss,” says Slaughter, who considered hauling cars, “but I was too cautious to go out and buy a large rig and go into a lot of debt.” He bought a 2005 Dodge 3500 dually for $25,000 and found a new $7,000 Kaufman three-car wedge trailer, and he was in business. 
“I didn’t realize I’d be on the tightrope,” he says, walking the line between federal regulations and earning income as an independent business.
“I just thought I’d be hauling cars, but the next thing I know, I had to get my [Department of Transportation] number, then the DOT officer’s in my house auditing me as a New Entrant. I’m setting up a drug program, just like a regular trucking company with a Dodge dually and a three-car wedge. I asked [the New Entrant auditor], ‘What’s preventing me from going into business with a full-size tractor-trailer?’ Nothing, he said – just sign up with IFTA, and you’re off to the races.”
The view from the other direction – seeing hotshot’s low startup equipment costs relative to Class 8 –drives a great deal of interest from those driving Class 8 long-haul today. Butch Sarma, product manager of the load board, says that every year at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas, booth visitors show uncommon interest in oilfield work because of lower equipment costs.
“I could buy a new Ford 250 or 350 and a solid, well-built fifth-wheel or fixed-gooseneck trailer for $75 to $80K. That kind of money with a tractor-trailer will not get you a new model.” Furthermore, a new Class 3 rig with a new trailer, says Sarma, “will have maintenance costs lower than those of an 18-wheeler that’s five years old.”
Establishing the business
When it comes to regulatory requirements, as Slaughter intimates, interstate hotshot businesses face many of the same regulations as those of interstate Class 8 haulers.
It’s possible to lease your hotshot to a larger entity, particularly if you’re in an area with a lot of oil drilling, but most hotshot businesses operate with their own motor carrier authority, requiring well less than $1,000 for federal and state filings at startup. The biggest initial cost, unless you’re leased, is buying at least $750,000 worth of primary liability insurance coverage, a requirement to run interstate.
One-truck operators interviewed for this story reported a range of $4,000 to $5,500 for liability coverage.
Unless you’re able to lease to a business, you’ll need your U.S. Department of Transportation motor carrier authority and all that entails, including primary commercial auto liability insurance, membership in a drug and alcohol testing consortium, required driver qualification filings, adherence to hours of service regulations and the like.
Operators who remain plated under 26,001 pounds can avoid filing quarterly IFTA reports and purchase fuel according to the best pump price available. You’ll need only to file via your BOC3 Process Agent in the states where you’ll be doing business.
Like the IFTA requirement, a commercial driver’s license is necessary for combination haulers using typical hotshot pickups only if the plated GCWR exceeds 26,000 pounds.
Search “Be your own boss” on for the HWT sister magazine’s January 2014 guide to running an independent owner-operator business, including a guide to establishing authority and getting the business up and running.
Spec’ing the equipment
You won’t get the biggest amount of payload from a standard tow hitch on the bumper.
The towing specs for the 2013 Dodge Ram 2500 pickups show that factory bumper-pull tow options limit you to a maximum of 17,950 lbs., and that’s with both the short cab and bed and the biggest diesel available, the 6.7-liter Cummins. Ford’s 2015 tow guide for its Super Duty pickups shows a limit of 19,000 lbs. towed, included the trailer’s weight.
If your setup is like hotshot hauler Greg Cutler’s, with a 20-ft. Doolittle bumper-pull trailer with a 2-foot dovetail at the rear, the trailer payload maximum will be under 9,000 lbs., as the trailer weights 9,100 lbs.
Spec to the load: You may not need all the pulling power that the big three auto manufacturers have to offer with their pickups.
Atlanta-based hotshot owner-operator Jeff Ward launched his business with a 2008-model F450 Super Duty dually, with maximum weight up to 35,000 lbs.
But he’s since downsized to a 2012 F350 tagged at 26,000 lbs. GCWR, largely for fuel mileage: the 350′s more than 4 mpg better than the 450, which typically logged about 8 mpg.
The Cadet flatbed body on the unit Ward spec’d has a gooseneck-type hitch, similar to what was on his previous 450.
The majority of his moves are bulky enough to necessitate the 30-foot P.J. flatbed, but he feels the flatbed body delivers more versatility over a standard pickup bed, with more lateral space for freight.
Some of his more local loads are light enough – 3,000 pounds or less – to fit on the flatbed alone, which improves fuel mileage sometimes up to 18 mpg or more.
On the trailer, Ward’s got 25 feet of wooden-deck space, with an additional five on the rear if he doesn’t need the spring-loaded dovetail that pulls out into a set of ramps for the occasional piece of powered equipment he may haul.
The P.J. Trailer’s tandem axles are outfitted with single tires at each axle end, saving weight, and each is rated at about 7,000 lbs. of potential capacity, more than he needs given his heaviest possible load today is just 10,000 lbs. He’s tagged at a combined maximum weight of 26,000 lbs.
Part 2 of this article, which will publish next week, spotlights how hotshoting has worked for three operators.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Smart Ways to Be Fit while on the Road
The following is a guest post written by and thanks to Kelly Everson. You can see her bio below:
Getting on a diet plan is hard work. Diets are often restrictive which makes it hard to find food without feeling deprived of anything. Diets also take a lot of self-control. At home does not seem too difficult. A person goes to the grocery store and is able to buy and prepare foods that are good for them. When a person is on the road it is a completely different story. A person will not have access to their own kitchen to cook and prepare foods. There are many fast food establishments that offer a quick meal. There are some smart ways to stick to a diet and stay fit even when traveling away from home.
Take Some Food Along
There are some foods that are easy to pack and that are healthy. The foods do not require refrigeration or any preparation. Vegetable sticks, granola bars, and nuts are some great snacks to take along. There is no preparation needed and they do not take up a lot of storage space. Instead of stopping for sugary drink a person should bring along water bottles. Water is good for the health and will help a person stay hydrated. Water is expensive to buy on the road. A bottle of water can cost a person several dollars. Packing along these items will help  keep the costs down and still be healthy.
Studies on Dieting Away from Home
A study conducted by the Economic Research on health and dieting away from home used data and case studies to take a closer look at this. The study found that when traveling the average adult has a poor quality of diet and has an increase in the number of calories they consume every day. Breakfast alone can have an adult consuming around 1,000 calories and enough fat to last the entire day.  People often eat more sugar when they are drinking out. There is a decrease in the amount of whole grains a person eats. Overall being on the road has a negative effect on a person’s diet. That is why they need to put some extra motivation into staying on the right track.
Do Not Skip a Meal
When a person is on the road they may not want to stop and eat every meal. Skipping meals is one of the worst things that a person can do. Skipping a meal often leads to overeating at the next meal since a person is very hungry. If a person eats a small snack such as protein rich nuts every two to three hours they are less likely to overeat later on and are more likely to make healthier choices when they do eat their next meal.
Find the Best Option
Not all eating establishment are going to offer salads and other healthy foods. A person can get nutritional facts about most of the foods before they order online or they can ask a staff member for this information. This will allow a person to make the best judgment call when ordering.  They may be able to find something lower in calories. Restaurants and even fast food establishments aim to please the customers. Instead of getting a hamburger with a bun ask for a lettuce wrap. Be sure to ask to have the salad dressing and sauces on the side. They often are high in calories and this way a person can control how much they are consuming. Instead of getting a side of French fries ask for a salad or some kind of vegetables. Many eating establishment will be happy to accommodate their guests.
Plan out Meals Ahead of Time
Instead of waiting until the last minute to find whatever is quick and on the way plan out meal times and places to stop. If a person waits until they are very hungry and stops at the closer eating establishment they are more likely to make poor food selections. Instead plan out healthy items that can be ordered and do an internet search to plan out a place to stop at.
Get Some Rest
A person needs at least six hours of sleep a day in order to stay health. This may be hard on the road. If a person does not get enough sleep at least six hours a night the body will store fat. When a person gets enough sleep the body is re-energized and is ready to go. There are many tips regarding how to sleep better.
Going out on the road is a time to relax and let loose. Just because a person is enjoying themselves does not mean they should forget about their diet. Having an occasional treat is fine, forgetting about healthy eating habits altogether is not. These tips will make it easier for a person to plan their diet while traveling and will give them the motivation they need to stick to it.
Resource Links:
Author Bio:
Kelly Everson is an American author and having MA in English literature. After spending time as a writer in some of Health Industries best websites, she now works as an independent researcher and contributor for Consumer Health Digest. In her spare time, she does research work regarding Beauty, Skin Care, Women’s Health, Fitness and overall health issues, which acts as a fuel to her passion of writing. When she is not researching or writing, you can find Kelly staying active, whether it be practicing yoga or taking swimming classes. Connect with her on Twitter & Facebook.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Inside Job? Suspicion, questions surround heist
Article thanks to Jon Jimison and Links provided:

Detectives suspect the $4.8 million gold heist Sunday on Interstate 95 may be an "inside job,” they said in a search warrant application.

March 4, 2015  Sheriff Calvin Woodard was reluctant to label the robbery suspicious but admitted that some of the circumstances surrounding the robbery were suspicious. He said the victims were cooperative and were free to leave Wilson County.

In a televised press conference Wednesday, Woodard did say they are still conducting their investigation, and there are certainly suspicious aspects. Woodard also publicly detailed how a mechanic couldn’t find anything wrong with the truck after the victims had reported mechanical issues. They had also reported the smell of gasoline; that couldn’t be detected either, Woodard said.

It was also revealed in the press conference that the only thing that stood between the three robbers and $4.8 million in gold was a small Master lock that anyone could buy at a Lowe’s. That information received a chuckle from the media in attendance.

"There is suspicious at this time that this could be an inside job due to the circumstances of the robbery,” Detective Josh Bissette wrote in a search warrant application. "The fact that the truck was robbed immediately upon it pulling over at an unannounced stop is suspicious in an of itself. It is also suspicious because there are no marking on the side of the truck that would indicate the type of cargo contained therein.

"The suspects also went directly to the trailer and found the gold which was in unmarked 5-gallon buckets. It is not believed that this is a random act due to the nature and facts of this robbery.”

Detectives sought the cell phones of the victims.

A description and drawings of two suspects has been released as well as a photo of a white vehicle matching the description of the one reportedly used. One suspect was described as about 40 years old, heavy set, who spoke with a Cuban accent. The second suspect was a dark-skinned Hispanic male. He had a white beard and goatee and wore a black hooded jacket and black combat boots. There was a third suspect but no description was available.

The cargo of the truck belonged to Republic Metals Corp. of Opalocka, Florida, documents reveal. The two armed security guards were employed by TransValue Inc. They told investigators when they were transporting a shipment of gold and silver from Florida to Massachusetts they began having mechanical problems with the truck and pulled over. That’s when three armed men reportedly pulled off the $4.8 million gold heist Sunday night along Interstate 95 in Wilson County.

So far, investigators haven’t found evidence of anything remotely wrong with the tractor-trailer. An inspector has checked out the truck, said Wanda Samuel, Wilson County Sheriff’s Office chief of staff. Officials didn’t have any trouble removing it from the interstate either after the incident, officials said. Woodard said the suspects placed orange safety cones behind the truck during the robbery.

TransValue has launched its own internal investigation, Woodard said. He said the company has been cooperative. He did say the employees breached protocols. The investigation of the gold heist on Interstate 95 has taken Wilson County sheriff’s investigators beyond county’s borders. In fact, it has taken them out of the state entirely, Samuel said.

Not everything in the truck was stolen, investigators added. Silver and gold were left in the truck. Woodard said they didn’t inventory how much was left. TransValue has transported the remaining contents back to Florida. This time an armored car was used. Woodard smiled when he revealed this information.

TransValue Inc. was founded in 1992 in Miami for international transport of valuables between financial institutions, according to company information. It has expanded since that time. It transports other commodities such as precious metals, stones, jewelry, credit cards, data tapes and other such valuable commodities. TransValue’s armored shipments are insured through the company’s insurance policy up to $100 million, according to the company.

No arrests have been made in the case, Samuel said.

The incident has drawn national news coverage with stories from The Washington Post, USA Today, ABC World News Tonight, The Associated Press, People magazine and most national news outlets.
TransValue has offered a $50,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Axle Ratios: The Best One For Pickups

Article thanks to Bruce Smith and Links provided:

How to choose the right axle ratio for the best pickup truck performance

Feb, 2015  Axle ratio. It’s one of those techy optional items buyers of new pickups ask questions about a lot. Probably more so than tow ratings and engine options.
That’s because manufacturers don’t think informing buyers about axle ratio options helps sell their trucks or plays into a buyer’s ultimate decision making process.
So there’s very little, if any, axle ratio information in their brochures or on their websites.
But choosing the right axle ratio does make a difference in how a pickup performs, be it empty,  towing a trailer or hauling a heavy load in the bed. Axle ratio also affects fuel economy on the open highway.
So there’s very little, if any, axle ratio information in their brochures or on their websites.
But choosing the right axle ratio does make a difference in how a pickup performs, be it empty,  towing a trailer or hauling a heavy load in the bed. Axle ratio also affects fuel economy on the open highway.

About Pickup Axle Ratios

Pickup Axle Ratios   Ford's 2013 F-150 engineering manager gives some insights about the best pickup axle ratios   by Bruce W. Smith Dawn Piechocki loves vehicles and has devoted ...
So here’s the short take on how to choose the best axle ratio:
FUEL ECONOMY: When it comes to fuel economy, look at the axle ratio as the amount of fuel burned over a given amount of time when the truck is running at highway speeds.
For example, a truck with a 3.31 axle ratio would burn less fuel at highway speeds than one with a 3.55 ratio. That’s because the 3.31 ratio keeps the engine rpm lower than would the 3.55 ratio.
Likewise, a 3.55 ratio would get better mpg at highway speeds than it would equipped with 3.73s – all other things being equal.
How much better mpg? In general, about .5-1.0mpg at 65mph per .25 increase in axle ratio.(It’s important to note that in city driving there’s negligible difference in fuel economy between axle ratios.)
PERFORMANCE: The larger the axle ratio number, the quicker the truck will accelerate. For example, a truck equipped with 3.55:1 axle gearing will accelerate faster than one equipped with a 3.31 axle ratio.
Similarly, a pickup with a 3.73 axle ratio will be faster than one with 3.55s. It does’t matter whether the truck is empty or loaded. It’s pure mechanics.
BEST TOWING RATIO:  In general, the best towing axle ratio for most of the post-2010 pickups is in 3.55 or 3.73. Those ratios provide very good acceleration with gas V-8s and diesels.
Trucks equipped with 8-, 9-, or 10-speed automatics may work well with 3.31 ratios as the new transmissions have lower 1st and 2nd gears than the old 4-, 5- and 6-speeds, helping offset the axle ratio acceleration deficit.
BEST MPG RATIO: If getting the best fuel economy is priority, then choose the lowest numerical number offered, such as 3.08, 3.23 or 3.31. This applies to highway driving; city driving mpg isn’t really affected by the axle ratio. If you do a mix of both, go with the “standard” axle ratio offered by the manufacturer.