Truck Drivers Money Saving Tips Email Newsletter
September 2010 -- Issue #014
we provide real world tips that help professional truck drivers save
hard-earned money and personal reporting about products and services
for use on the road.
Our site not only provides information we have learned
about saving money on the road, but it is also the place where
professional truck drivers can do the
In other words...
With your help, we're looking to expand our website to
provide money saving information on lots of different topics,
information that provides tangible value to you and
other professional drivers everywhere.
Better Communication of News?
In previous issues, we've made our readers aware of the
money saving tips and inquiries that we send out through our Twitter
account. While anyone with a Twitter account can follow our
on Twitter -- and while anyone with an Internet connection can see the
compilation of those tweets on our
website -- we decided that it would be a good thing for
visiting our website to be able to see what's new at a glance.
So, we put a widget box in the right hand column of most
of our pages
that contains not only recent money saving tweets but also links
to our most recent additions to our site.
We hope you like it.
How do you feel about it? Does it
help or hinder you? Does the time it takes to download the widget box
prevent you from wanting to further explore our site? You decide and contact
us to let us know. Thanks.
Reaching Out to Professional Truck Drivers
Our website and email newsletter, while written in
English, is not solely for English-speaking truck drivers. We are
getting significant traffic to our site from other countries. For this
reason, we put a Google Translate widget on our site in the right hand
column. This way, upon the user's selection in the widget's drop
box, our site can be translated into any of the 57 languages that
Google Translate currently supports.
We know that drivers from other countries have different
situations from those of American truck drivers. While the money saving
provided on our site may be primarily geared for drivers in the United
States (because that is our home country), we would very much like to
have input from drivers worldwide.
Reviews Requested and Completed
We are seeking these kinds of reviews on our site:
In fact, we've made it easier for you to submit a truck
review or fuel
island review. Just fill in the form at the pages
linked and submit.
As a service to you, we have completed the reviews
listed below since our last newsletter.
Please be aware that we perform reviews based on our own
personal set of expectations. We fully recognize that what one driver
expects, another may not and vice versa. If you, as a professional
driver, disagree with a review,
please feel free to submit one of your own.
Fuel Island Reviews
Island Review: Flying J at Carlisle, PA
Island Review: Flying J at Rock Hill, SC
Island Review: Pilot at Albany, GA
Island Review: Pilot at Staunton, VA
Island Review: Flying J at Kenly, NC
Island Review: Pilot at Cordele, GA (2)
Island Review: Pilot at Florence, SC
Island Review: Flying J at Saint Augustine, FL
Island Review: Pilot at Battle Creek, MI
Island Review: Pilot at Summerville, SC
Truckers' Savings Blog
Below are the "bloglets" (from newest to oldest) we have
published on our Truckers'
Savings Blog since our last email newsletter. They contain
the titles and snippets of articles together with links to the original
sources so that you can learn more. Each of these entries was
originally accompanied by a link so that readers could read the entire
article. (To get the link, subscribe to our news feed to get bloglets
as they are sent.)
Through this blog, we send news about opportunities for
saving money or getting rebates; share articles revealing how drivers
saved money or lost money (as examples to learn from); and alert
drivers to situations to be aware of that could cost them money.
- Near passage: California bill would add toll lanes on
A bill on its way to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's desk is intended to
clear any legal hurdles for Riverside County's project to build toll
lanes on California's 91 Freeway.
- How is it bad to save a buck?
This is some pretty simple math, but let me walk you through it.
say that you buy a truck for $140,000. If you got a 10 percent savings
on that, you'd keep $14,000.
OOIDA and a number of other groups have proposed
to provide a 10 percent credit on the purchase of new trucks meeting
2010 engine standards for anyone - individuals. Right now, this is just
a proposal, so the details aren't nailed down.
- Produce Center to Install All-Electric Trailer
The New England Produce Center in Chelsea, Mass., will install 79
Carrier Transicold Vector 5100 all-electric trailer refrigeration
units, which will replace diesel-powered units that previously ran.
The Vector 5100 units are also expected to help eliminate the annual
consumption of more than 480,000 gallons of diesel fuel, which can save
the produce market approximately $500,000 a year.
- Trailer Side Skirts Save This Trucker 8.94[percent]
Some truck owners have begun buying trailer side skirts because they
need them to legally run in California. Others got them because they
know the skirts can and do save fuel at highway speeds.
Among the latter are Greg & Dannele Decker, who operate Triple
Decker Transport out of Airdrie, Alberta. He drives a 2007 Volvo VT880
with a D16 engine that pulls an '02 Utility 3000R reefer equipped with
Windyne skirts (http://windyne.com). He says they save 8.94 percent in
"I just completed a trip to North Carolina with a company dry van (no
fairings) and my fuel average was 5.83 U.S. mpg. I did a trip to
Virginia at the end of July and averaged 6.4 U.S. mpg with our trailer.
Both times I weighed 80,000 pounds leaving Alberta and came home
weighing 77,000 pounds.
"As you can see from the above data, I increased my fuel economy by
8.94 percent. The miles driven were slightly higher in the last four
months but I used 503.543 gallons or 1906.121 liters less fuel. Using
the average fuel cost for that time period we saved $1,467.83 which
would extrapolate to $4,403.49/year.
"With the cost of the Windyne Flex-Fairings being $4,600 U.S. ($5,000
Canadian), it will take approximately 13.6 months to pay for the
fairings. With an expected life cycle of 10 years, my total dollar
savings (at today's fuel prices) will be approximately $39,000.
- AC for AZ truckstops
Two installation sites in Cochise County, AZ along Interstate 10 have
been agreed upon for electric hookups for long-haul diesel trucks,
according to a recent announcement from the Arizona Department of
Environmental Quality (ADEQ). The installations will be part of a truck
anti-idling project designed to reduce engine emissions along southern
According to the announcement, each of the parking spaces will include
cooling and heating units for heavy-duty trucks. The cost of
electricity is projected to be less than half of what it would cost to
power the trucks' onboard systems by leaving the diesel engine running.
Payment for the electricity will be made at on-site kiosks which will
accept credit cards.
- Truckers' GPS from Rand McNally upgraded
The IntelliRoute TND, a GPS navigation device specifically designed by
Rand McNally for professional truck drivers, now creates state-by-state
mileage reports that can be exported to spreadsheets for IFTA fuel tax
The new feature is part of a free upgrade announced by Rand McNally
that also includes...
- CVSA brake safety week Sept. 12-18
Any drivers who haven't checked their brakes in a while might want to
do so. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance's annual Brake Safety
Week starts Sunday, Sept. 12.
- Shorepower adds two sites in south Arizona
Truckers on Interstate 10 will have at least two new electrification
options at truck stops in the near future when traveling through
Cochise County, AZ.
Shorepower Technologies has been selected to install nearly 60 units at
the Gas City Truck Stop, at the intersection of State Highway 90 and
I-10 in Benson. At least 30 units will be installed at the Sunmart
Truck Stop, located at Exit 378 and I-10 in San Simon.
- COMPETITION WATCH: Interstate Distribution begins
massive trailer side skirt installation
Interstate Distributor Co., Freight Wing and the Pacific Northwest
Pollution Prevention Resource Center (PPRC), have announced the
beginning of one of the industry's largest installations of trailer
...installing 2,058 Freight Wing Aeroflex side skirts in July at its
According to [Lee] Owens [senior vice-president of maintenance and
facilities for Interstate Distributor], the Freight Wing side skirts
give a lot of bang for the buck when it comes to reducing fuel
consumption and emissions. "We've tested the side skirts for the past
few years and have seen up to a 5[percent] improvement in fuel economy
depending upon the route and the speed we're travelling. The higher the
average speed, the better the performance. We also tested durability -
a huge factor for us in deciding which side skirts to purchase. We
chose the Freight Wing product because it was more resilient than
others we tested."
- Trojan Battery to power Bergstrom NITE Systems
Trojan Battery Co. will supply absorbed glass mat (AGM) battery power
for Bergstrom's NITE no-idle line of products.
According to Trojan Battery, to effectively power an auxiliary heating
or cooling system like Bergstrom's, a battery with deep cycling
capabilities is required. The Overdrive is equipped with a thicker,
more robust plate and a heavy-duty grid that makes it ideal for such
The NITE systems are CARB-approved and generate emissions-free high BTU
The OverDrive AGM 31 battery is a sealed deep cycle, AGM battery
designed for powering no-idle HVAC systems over long periods of time.
It provides a steady current in excess of 10 hours to effectively
maintain power to the APU system.
- Trucks of the future driven by coming greenhouse gas,
fuel efficiency regs
In some aspects of trucking, the future is approaching at warp speed.
And nowhere is that more true than the technology being driven by
coming greenhouse gas reduction regulations and proposed mandates to
increase fuel efficiency.
Predictive cruise control uses GPS and digital mapping techniques,
something already being pursued by trains to save fuel by predicting
hills, valleys and regulating fuel use to match.
- IdleAire back open for business
New IdleAire Inc. CEO Mike Fielden admits it's going to be a tough sell
to woo former customers back to using its in-cab services after the
previous owners unexpectedly shut down in January. Many drivers had
money on their IdleAire cards at the time of the company's closure and
were never reimbursed by the previous owners for the money they were
However, Fielden told Land Line that the new owners plan to honor the
prepaid balances customers had on their cards.
According to Fielden, so far nine sites, which are mainly located in
the southern states, have been reopened. The plan is to reopen 25 sites
by this fall.
- SCL endorses 'empty miles' program
The Supply Chain & Logistics Association of Canada (SCL) says
the VICS Empty Miles service will help drive transportation cost
efficiencies and support the sustainability efforts of its members.
The Empty Miles service is an industry-led backhaul transport solution
for the North American supply chain....
The program matches a company's trucks and trailers on the return leg
of their journey with cargo that can be retrieved or delivered along
the return route. In tandem with removing empty transport vehicles from
the road, Empty Miles has been shown to curb greenhouse gas emissions,
decrease fuel consumption, increase user productivity and save money.
- Loblaw's hybrid Class 8 pilot project underway
Loblaw Companies Limited has become the first Canadian retailer to
pilot a hybrid Class 8 truck in an effort to improve fuel efficiency
and reduce the fleet's carbon footprint. The company has set a target
to improve the fuel efficiency of its corporate transport fleet by
2[percent] compared to its 2009 level.
- Side fairing added to Hyundai Translead trailers
Trailer manufacturer Hyundai Translead has partnered with Ridge Corp.
aerodynamic side fairings on all HT trailers.
Ridge produces the Green Wing side fairing, which the company said
produces up to 5.2[percent] in fuel savings under J1321 tract testing
to meet EPA SmartWay requirements.
The side fairings are made of high-performance thermo plastic composite
engineered to produce predictable deflection modes that provide
stiffness and reduce failure in bending, according to Ridge. The device
is also UV protected, weighs less than 200 lbs., is dent-proof and
warranted against corrosion.
- Feds: Hundreds cheated on PA CDL tests with
The federal government has charged the owners of a Pennsylvania truck
driving school for helping hundreds of out-of-state individuals
illegally obtain CDLs through the Pennsylvania Department of
Vitaliy Kroshnev and Tatyana Kroshnev owned and operated the
International Training Academy from at least 2007 through mid-August.
The business provided training for individuals trying to obtain a CDL
Court documents show that Khroshnev told an undercover FBI agent this
past year that the academy could provide him a "guaranteed" CDL for
$2,200, as well as fraudulent residency documents for an additional
As part of the alleged scheme, the academy would help the would-be
truckers lie to obtain in-state residency before applying for a
Pennsylvania driver's license, and later a commercial driver's license.
- Ill. trucker rebuilding life after identity theft
Trucker Earl Robert Hood didn't know his identity had been stolen until
commercial driver's license was suspended in 2008 for four DUIs he
He promptly lost his job and many of his possessions and saw his
marriage end in divorce. Now he wants other truckers to learn from his
- Fleet survey: Load boards boost revenue, profits
Smaller fleets that rely heavily on load boards earned $800 more per
truck per month compared to those that that use the freight matching
services less frequently, according to a new survey. According to the
TransCore Carrier Benchmark Survey, revenues for all carriers this year
are up by approximately $1.500 per truck per month, or 11.4[percent]
compared to 2009.
- California GHG compliance could save carriers money
the costs of complying with the California Air Resources Board's (CARB)
new heavy-duty tractor-trailer greenhouse gas (GHG) regulation mandate
that went into effect Jan. 1 this year, some fleets are finding they
may come out ahead in the long run.
...Tacoma, WA-based Interstate Distributor Co. says the fuel efficiency
gains it's achieving via new aerodynamic side fairings on its trailers
should more than outweigh the cost of installation within a relatively
short time frame.
According to PPRC, Interstate's trailer fairing project is expected to
save 1.1 million gallons of diesel a year, over 16 million gallons over
the lifespan of the skirts...
Those fuel savings should more than help offset the costs associated
with installing trailer side fairings. CARB, for example, estimates the
average cost of trailer compliance with its new mandate - which governs
53-ft. or longer box-type trailers operating in California - at around
$2,900 per trailer.
Yet if fleets achieve gains of 7 to 10[percent] in fuel economy with
such devices, CARB figures they'd save $4,000 to $5,700 per year per
- Nine Charged in CDL Scam in Pennsylvania
A U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania charged
nine defendants with knowingly producing, attempting to produce,
conspiring to produce and aiding and abetting the production of false
Pennsylvania commercial driver's licenses.
- Federal Program Helps Interstate Install Aerodynamic
Skirts on 2,058 Trailers
After several years of testing showed trailer side skirts save
considerable fuel and therefore cut exhaust emissions from tractors
that pull them, Interstate Distributor Co. has begun installing them on
2,058 reefers and dry vans at its maintenance facilities in the Pacific
"We've tested the side skirts for the past few years and have seen a 3
to 5 percent improvement in fuel economy depending upon the route and
the speed we're traveling," [Lee] Owens [senior vice president of
maintenance and facilities] said. "The higher the average speed, the
better the performance. We also tested durability - a huge factor for
us in deciding which side skirts to purchase. We chose the Freight Wing
product because it was more resilient than others we tested."
- Delaware OKs driving ban during emergencies
Snowstorms that make travel in Delaware a hairy ordeal could result in
hefty fines for truckers and other drivers who white-knuckle their way
Gov. Jack Markell has signed into law a bill that creates a three-tier
system. It is intended to curb drivers when heavy snow falls in the
state. Previously SB306, the new law takes effect Oct. 30.
Offenders of the second and third tiers would face up to $115 fines.
Repeat offenders would need to pay up to $200 with the possibility of
spending between 10 and 30 days in the clink.
Employers are forbidden from "any adverse employment action against an
employee" who is refusing to violate the law and who hasn't been given
- TransCore Survey: Using Load Boards Pays Off
using load boards for more than 40 percent of their loads can earn an
additional $800 per truck every month, according to TransCore's 2010
Carrier Benchmark Survey of more than 500 fleets.
Of the companies surveyed, 60 percent said they had 10 or fewer trucks,
and 87 percent reported having 50 or fewer.
For frequent load board users, with 40 percent or more of their loads
coming from load boards, their revenue per mile in 2010 averaged 3
cents more than less frequent users, and they averaged 309 more load
miles per truck every month compared to less frequent users.
- North Carolina I-95 proposal includes tolling
In North Carolina, the state Department of Transportation continues to
discuss what improvements residents would like to see done to
The latest in a series of public meetings dubbed "Driving 95. What's
Your View" was scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 19, in Smithfield, NC.
Discussion focused on possible improvements to I-95 and how to pay for
them. Among the options being discussed are public-private partnerships
and local sales taxes.
Some state officials are pushing for conversion of the interstate into
a toll road. But opposition groups are forming up - including one
spearheaded by the Chamber of Commerce in Roanoke Rapids. Roanoke
Rapids is a community on I-95 near the Virginia state line.
- Drug, alcohol strike force nets more than 100 bus,
An early summer "strike force" targeting drug and alcohol violations by
bus and truck drivers resulted in 109 drivers being removed from the
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's annual drug and alcohol
strike force sweep took place June 21 through July 2.
FMCSA confirmed to Land Line that of the 109 drivers FMCSA officials
took off the road, 100 were truck drivers. Of the 100 drivers, 16 had
hazmat endorsements with four of those drivers operating a hazmat
vehicle at the time of the crackdown.
- Truckload Carrier Takes Advantage of DERA Funds For
...Tacoma, Wash.-based Interstate Distributor Co. will install 2,058
Freight Wing Aeroflex side skirts at its maintenance facilities.
Interstate is a truckload carrier, with a fleet of more than 2,000
tractors and 6,800 trailers.
"We've tested the side skirts for the past few years and have seen up
to a 5 percent improvement in fuel economy depending upon the route and
the speed we're traveling," said Lee Owens, senior vice president of
maintenance and facilities for Interstate. "The higher the average
speed, the better the performance. We also tested durability - a huge
factor for us in deciding which side skirts to purchase. We chose the
Freight Wing product because it was more resilient than others we
The side skirts are constructed of durable plastic panels, combined
with a flexible bracing system designed to absorb and deflect both
ground and side impacts.
The Aeroflex side skirts reduce aerodynamic drag by preventing wind
from hitting the trailer's wheels and axles, said Sean Graham,
president of Freight Wing. They have been SmartWay verified and tested
to increase fuel economy by 7 percent in independent SAE/TMC J1321
track testing conducted by Energotest 2008.
According to PPRC, the Interstate project is expected to save 1.1
million gallons of diesel a year, over 16 million gallons over the
lifespan of the skirts, while preventing 182,633 tons of greenhouse gas
SuperTurbo Project Could Increase Fuel Economy 5-7[percent]
An easily-missed announcement of a joint development program between
Cummins and a start-up, VanDyne SuperTurbo, points the way to a future
technology that could result in as much as 7 percent fuel savings for
heavy trucks. The agreement is part of the Super Truck program, a
cost-sharing initiative between the Department of Energy and the
- Glacier Bay adds shore power option to ClimaCab APU
UNION CITY, Cal. -- Glacier Bay has announced it has added shore power
capability to its ClimaCab electric auxiliary power unit (APU).
With the shore power option, drivers are able to keep cab temperatures
comfortable as long as they want while recharging the ClimaCab and
- Nova Scotia rebate program deadline extended, cap
HALIFAX, N.S. -- Conserve Nova Scotia has extended the deadline and
removed the funding cap for a Class 8 fuel efficiency rebate program.
Nova Scotia fleets and owner/ops now have until Sept. 30 to file for
their share of the funding. They can secure a rebate covering
20-40[percent] of the cost of qualifying fuel-saving equipment, such as
anti-idling devices, aerodynamic fairings, low rolling resistance tires
and tire pressure monitoring and inflation systems. To be eligible, the
equipment must be EPA SmartWay-verified.
VAT also slapped on Coastal Road toll
MANILA, Philippines - The government will impose Value-Aded Tax (VAT)
on toll along the Manila-Cavite expressway, also known as Coastal Road,
Under the new rate, class 1 vehicles would have to pay P25, up from
P22. Class 2 vehicles, (light trucks and buses) would be charged P48
from P45, and Class 3 vehicles (heavy and multi-wheeler trucks) P78
Trucking customers have questions as IdleAire reopens at four locations
IdleAire Inc., has reopened four sites recently, with three more
locations scheduled to reopen this week. Meanwhile, many former
IdleAire customers are wondering if their accounts will be reactivated
or if they will be reimbursed for money they still had on their cards
when the company abruptly closed back in January.
- IdleAire begins rollout in limited return to service
IdleAire was founded a decade ago to provide heat, air conditioning,
Internet and satellite TV through a console that fits in the driver's
window of tractor-trailers at commercial truck stops. The technology
allows truckers to turn off their truck engines when they stop to rest,
reducing fuel consumption and diesel exhaust emmissions.
A related article is here: http://bit.ly/bfL4rA
- Ground transportation costs continue rise in May:
The cost of ground transportation for Canadian shippers continued to
increase in May, according to reports published this week by the
Canadian General Freight Index.
Overall freight costs increased by 3 in May when compared to April.
Base rates, which exclude the impact of fuel surcharges assessed by
carriers, also increased by 2.7 with average fuel surcharges increasing
by 2.9 from the prior month.
- Navistar's eStar all-electric truck is ready to roll
Following a production kick-off at the Wakarusa, Ind. plant in May and
introductory launch events in Portland, Ore., and Sacramento, Calif.,
in May and June, Navistar officials say the eStar all-electric truck is
generating significant interest in the marketplace.
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If you have news about how professional truck drivers
can save money (directly or indirectly) please submit it for
publication on our Truckers
Savings News page. (Note: We do not accept commercials or
promotional pieces, just news.)
New Money Saving Resources on our Website
These are the articles we have published (besides the
reviews above) since our last email newsletter.
Requesting Driver Feedback
There are some products and services marketed to truck
drivers that we have not tested (and may not ever test). But we are
concerned about the value of the products in your bottom line. That's
we're asking for
your input. If you have used this product, please rate it:
Reader Submitted Content
We provide on our site numerous opportunities
readers may contribute tips, share ideas, give opinions, submit reviews
or ask questions.
Here is the list of what we were sent since our
Fuel Treatment Review
Xtreme Fuel Treatment Successful truck owner operators and trucking
fleets understand the importance of saving every dollar wherever
possible. Most owner
We look forward to having your input because our
website is designed to help truck drivers save money.
We Answer Readers' Questions
One form on our site is specifically designated as the
place where drivers can ask questions: Ask
Here are the questions we received and responded
to since our last email newsletter:
Vicki great site, just wondering how you do the girly girly stuff? Hair
makeup bathroom needs etc. Look forward to your answer. Take Care!
We are just starting out in team driving as a married couple at 53 yr
young. We could always use advice, what is your best advice for us?
Hi Vicki. Thanks for your response. I will not be driving, that would
scare me to death. I guess I'll share a little about us, then maybe
I am SO happy to have found this site! I'm 98[percent] sure I will be
husband otr and we will be becoming homeless. I have searched high and
Mike says that there are no questions about truck
drivers saving money on the road that are too big, too small, or too
seemingly unimportant to ask on our site. If you have a question and
would like our feedback, please ask.
note that depending on what you ask, a response may be needed from
someone else who has more experience on your topic than we do. We can
post it on our site and open it up for discussion, inviting others to
is here for you and we honestly want to help.
Do All Our Readers Always Agree With Us?
Has all of the feedback we've received to date been
On many of our pages, you'll see something like what is
written in this box:
Each link points to the form on the Tier 2 page under
which that Tier 3 page is grouped. For example, if you have a different
opinion about one of our fuel island, restaurant or shower reviews, you
can submit one of your own through the forms linked from our truck
How Can We Better Serve You?
Is there a burning question that you have about how to
save money on the road?
Have you been burned financially on the road and --
although it may have been a bit embarrassing -- you wish that you could
warn other drivers not to repeat your specific experience?
(Remember, we have shared some of our bone-headed mistakes on our site,
so it's not like you'll be the first.)
us know how we can better serve you.
Word of Mouth Testimonials Work!
If the number of unsolicited testimonials we receive is
any indication of the positive impact we're having in professional
truck drivers' lives, we think that we've struck a nerve.
We're not paid to give a positive or negative review of
anything -- and wouldn't accept a bribe even if one was offered.
(There's an old saying that we desire to always observe: not to distort
justice, not be partial, and not take a bribe -- because a bribe blinds
If you believe that our website, our news feed or our
email newsletter is valuable, would you please share it with a fellow
truck driver or those related to truckers? We surely would appreciate
it -- and we believe they will, too.
Perhaps you'll be the next person to send us a testimonial.
Drop by our site any time to:
Don't forget to...
We wish you safe travels and lots of money saving
opportunities on the road!
Mike and Vicki Simons
© 2010. All Rights Reserved. NKBJ InfoNet, LLC
All information on this site and in this email newsletter
is intended for informational and educational purposes.
It neither substitutes for professional advice nor
negates user responsibility to do due diligence.