TT Podcasts: RoadSigns
Episode 122: Inside the List: What Does It Take to be America's Greatest Truck Driver?
Is UPS' Gragg Wilson America's greatest truck driver? The new National Truck Driving Championships' grand champion has managed to survive the grueling, four-day gauntlet of skills competitions and tests to achieve the industry's most vaunted prize. In 37 years on the road, he has learned how to do the hard, labor-intensive job of truck driving for one of the nation's largest fleets just as successfully. In this special edition of RoadSigns, Wilson takes us through the competition's course, successful driving practices and how to attract new drivers. une in above or by going to RoadSigns.ttnews.com.
Episode 121: Inside the List: Transport Topics’ 2023 Top 100 Private Carriers List
How much should a loaf of bread cost? How about a dress shirt? Or a gallon of gas? The cost of goods is subject to their respective levels of supply and demand. With today's strong consumer demand, private motor carriers are adapting — increasing tractor counts by the thousands, optimizing efficiency, improving asset utilization — and creating value for the end consumer. In this episode, Transport Topics' Seth Clevenger, Michael Freeze and Mike Senatore dissect private carrier operations — how fleets are adapting to this new, softened market and what it takes to be successful amid new mergers and increased consumer spending. Tune in above or by going to RoadSigns.ttnews.com.
Episode 120: Roundabout: What Does the Future of the Internal Combustion Engine Look Like in Commercial Trucking?
According to fleet executives, as well as maintenance managers, the death of the internal combustion engine may have been greatly exaggerated in spite of the excitement about electric powertrains. In fact, a panel in the House recently approved a bill that would block efforts meant to prevent the sale of internal combustion engines. We wonder, though, how long until sustainability goals challenge the predominance of internal combustion engines? What solutions are being explored to make diesel engines more efficient and compatible with alternative fuels? And, how can fleets prepare for a potential future with an entirely new driving force? To find answers, we bring in Ryan Manthiri, project leader at Shell Global Solutions, and Michael Grahe, head of operations at Navistar. Tune in above or by going to RoadSigns.ttnews.com.
Episode 119: Roundabout: How Has the Trucking Industry Become So 'Preventive' and 'Predictive' in 2023?
Quick! Can you explain the differences between predictive maintenance and preventive maintenance? Those who can usually save their heavy-duty truck fleets a lot of money and get a lot of kudos. Those who can’t? Well … Transport Topics RoadSigns host Michael Freeze has you covered. In this episode, he clarifies the differences between predictive and preventive. He gives fresh commentary on everything from how enhanced connectivity boosts your preventive maintenance plans to what predictive possibilities AI can offer your shop. Here come the clarity, the kudos and the savings! Tune in above or by going to RoadSigns.ttnews.com.
Episode 118: How Can Third-Party Services Assist Growing Trucking Companies?
Finance is about the money you make, compliance is about the money you keep — if you follow the rules, the money you make will be the money you keep. Whether a motor carrier is expanding or not, keeping up with regulatory compliance rules and back-office maintenance can be expensive, confusing and hard to follow. In this episode, we examine the perks of outsourcing these costly tasks to designated specialists who can help companies stay on track with compliance regulation and business operations. How effective have these services proved to be? Let's find out with compliance guru Michael Precia, president and CEO of Fleetworthy Solutions, and back-office aficionado Dan Rutherford, lead CFO of logistics & transportation industries with Summit Virtual CFO by Anders. Tune in above or by going to RoadSigns.ttnews.com.
Episode 117: Inside the List: Transport Topics’ 2023 Top 100 For-Hire Carriers
Despite a softer freight market, the largest trucking companies in North America managed to grow their businesses last year even as spot market rates dropped, truck capacity loosened and bargaining power swung back toward shippers. In the face of these challenges, how were the top players in trucking able to stay on top? What acquisitions and strategies proved to be successful? And how can you learn from their success stories to better your trucking business? In this episode, the makers of Transport Topics’ updated Top 100 For-Hire Carriers list examine trucking’s shifting business environment — and what it means for the supply chain. Tune in above or by going to RoadSigns.ttnews.com.
Episode 116: How Can In-Cab Technology and Coaching Help Drivers Reach Their Full Potential?
Your trucking business success depends on who you have at the wheel. The right truck driver in the right seat at the right time could mean everything for fuel economy and risk profile. All-star drivers focus on fundamentals; they tend to be tenacious, disciplined and hardworking. In fact, they are very likely to be running your loads already. Identifying them, Kriska’s Guy Broderick tells us, requires a lot of coaching know-how and a little help from today’s in-cab technologies. In this special edition of RoadSigns, Broderick shows how he successfully combined data reports and a simple understanding of human nature to become one of the best driver coaches in North America. Better, he brings these winning ways to you. Want to help your drivers to succeed behind the wheel? Tune in above or by going to RoadSigns.ttnews.com.
Episode 115: How Can Predictive Analytics Help Fleets Improve Driver Safety?
Driver safety is pivotal for trucking companies, especially in a time when roadway crashes are at an all-time high. Determining dangerous driving behavior and predicting accidents is key to making roadways a safer space for drivers. Tapping into a variety of data sources, predictive analytics software and scoring driver practices helps to reduce guesswork. What will this new, predictive technology reveal? Will it help fleet managers discover behavior patterns in drivers? Are drivers on board with data-backed criticism? Hayden Cardiff, co-founder and chief innovation officer of Idelic, has the answers in this episode. Tune in above or by going to RoadSigns.ttnews.com.
Episode 114: How Can Trucking Navigate the Road to Net-Zero Emissions?
In 2018, Peter Voorhoeve became the president of Volvo Trucks North America. Since then he has overseen the rollout of Volvo's VNR Electric model and zero-emission initiatives such as the Volvo LIGHTS project, a union of public and private stakeholders creating a realistic ecosystem for battery-electric trucks. What will it take to make electric vehicles successful in the trucking industry? Is the North American electric grid ready for battery-powered commercial trucks? Let's find out. Tune in above or by going to RoadSigns.ttnews.com.
Episode 113: Can Outsourcing Business Functions Make Fleets More Efficient?
In this post-COVID era, where freight market fluctuations and staffing issues loom, trucking companies must find creative ways to keep up. For many, keeping up means looking for outside help for those arduous, nonfreight-related tasks. Today's trucking decision-makers employ professional specialists who handle tasks like freight billing, document management and call-center support. Globally, businesses of all types spent nearly $700 billion on outsourcing and shared services in 2022, according to a Deloitte study. They seem to believe that business function outsourcing can reduce operating costs, enable staffing flexibility and save time. But does it? How efficient are fleets with outsourcing business services? And how well have they managed the transition between in-house and outsourced teams? In this episode we find answers with Chad Crotty, vice president of sales at DDC FPO Solutions. Tune in above or by going to RoadSigns.ttnews.com.
Episode 112: Inside the List: Transport Topics’ 2023 Top 100 Logistics Companies
Destiny (and orders) fulfilled. Third-party logistics providers expanded their share of the freight market during the supply chain challenges and surging demand brought on by the pandemic. Now, in 2023, the most profitable third-party logistics companies are more collaborative, more attuned to the fast-changing market demands and more technologically prepared than they have ever been. In fact, they are brokering, forwarding, storing, processing and tracking freight so much more efficiently that forecasters expect the global 3PL market to grow significantly during the next five years. What does this growth mean for you and your business? How will this 3PL evolution impact the supply chain at large? And what does all of this mean for how freight is shipped and orders are fulfilled today? Find out in this special 'Inside The List' episode, featuring the Transport Topics 2023 Top 100 largest logistics companies. Tune in above or by going to RoadSigns.ttnews.com.
Episode 111: Can Connected Truck Data Produce Smarter Maintenance Plans?
Class 8 truck dealers are taking a new approach to customer service — they are implementing an adaptive, dealer-managed service plan that is paired with enhanced connectivity to cover all fleet preventative maintenance. Expanded visibility allows dealers to analyze a fleet’s needs, empowering their customers to make the right maintenance decisions. How? What factors feed the data to make these right decisions? Will this consulting approach to truck maintenance stick around and encourage other truck sellers to do the same? Find out with Mike Furst, director of contract service and business technology solutions at Volvo Trucks North America. Tune in above or by going to RoadSigns.ttnews.com.
Episode 110: What Is the Proper Approach to EV Truck Repair and Maintenance?
UPS' Anthony Marshall is no stranger to electric and alternative-fuel vehicles. Over the course of Marshall's tenure at UPS, the company has invested more than $1 billion in alternative fuels and advanced-technology vehicles, amounting to more than 1,000 electric vehicles. Marshall has tested and tested again the best approach to the repair and maintenance of electric vehicles. So, what's the gold standard for an efficient and effective EV maintenance cycle? Is there one? Let's find out with the vice president of maintenance and engineering for UPS, Anthony Marshall. Tune in above or by going to RoadSigns.ttnews.com.
Roadshow Episode 13: Brian Antonellis
Fleet Advantage’s Brian Antonellis has all the answers; in fact, companies like Coca-Cola and Pepsi leaned on him for fleet management solutions, overseeing 102 locations, 29 supervisors, 350 technicians and 16,500 assets. Today, he travels across America advising the country’s biggest trucking fleets, delivering programs and processes that maximize effectiveness. He holds a record of successfully managing large-scale, complex, high-quality and cost-effective fleet programs. So, what management tips and tricks can you learn from him? Listen to this interview and find out. Tune in above or by going to RoadSigns.ttnews.com.
Episode 109: How Is Predictive Analytics Streamlining Truck Maintenance?
Truck maintenance parts and labor costs increased 13% year-over-year in Q4 2022, according to a recent report by ATA TMC and Decisiv. The costly increase left fleets wondering — how can we prevent expensive truck repairs? Can historical data help reduce maintenance guesswork? How can my technicians react to fixes in a timely way? In this episode, we find answers with Kayne Grau, CEO of Uptake, a service directed to help companies translate underutilized data into insights that make industrial operations smarter and more efficient. Tune in above or by going to RoadSigns.ttnews.com.
Roadshow Episode 12: Todd Cotier
Since childhood, Todd Cotier has had an eye for detail. He would spend hours after school and on weekends greasing backhoes and checking tires on dump trucks for his family’s construction business. Today, he brings the same spirit of quality and responsibility to the big stage as the new TMC chairman. In this episode we ask, how will Todd's spirit differentiate him from past chairmen? And, how will this "attention to detail" bring change to maintenance practices and technician recruitment models? Join us for this conversation from the floor of TMC's Annual Meeting to find out. Tune in above or by going to RoadSigns.ttnews.com.
Episode 108: How Can Carriers Squeeze More Fuel Efficiency Out of Today’s Trucks?
On the road, he is known as a professional driver with over a million miles. At Volvo, he is the star of the "No Compromise" video series which features him interacting with other drivers on truck design to optimize their driving experience. Joel Morrow, chief executive officer for Alpha Drivers Testing & Consulting traveled across America asking one simple question: What if a trucker designed a truck? In this episode, we find out. Tune in above or by going to RoadSigns.ttnews.com.
Episode 107: What's Under the EV Hood?
Has the trucking industry finally found its very own white knight? And, is it electric trucks? Although electric trucks have a higher price tag than their diesel counterparts, the return on investment is high. With a battery-powered engine, fewer moving parts, and essentially zero fuel, electric truck adopters are not only decreasing their emission levels but saving on maintenance and fuel costs. As the EV pros continue to outweigh the cons, it's time for the trucking industry to brace itself for a high-voltage transformation. In this episode, Steve Slesinski, director of global product planning for Dana Inc., and Trent Broberg, CEO of the vehicle transport firm Acertus, pop the EV hood and reveal new, easier ways to repair, prepare and invest in electric trucks. Tune in above or by going to RoadSigns.ttnews.com.
Episode 106: Can Better Visibility Alleviate the Truck Parking Problem?
Our highways allow commercial vehicles to move, but what infrastructure is in place when they need to stop, and their drivers need to safely rest? The need for ample and safe parking for large semi-trucks could generate the next great business idea. But, as a business problem, the issue is complex: Parking requires real estate, investment and a will to work through red tape. Host Seth Clevenger sits down with Evan Shelley, an entrepreneur with a real estate background and some very good ideas on how to approach this vexing issue. The co-founder and CEO of TruckParkingClub.com thinks that tapping into information technology and available land could create a new parking landscape. Will it? Budding entrepreneurs, truck stop owners, fleet administrators and truck drivers will all find Shelley's words worth stopping for. Tune in above or by going to RoadSigns.ttnews.com.
Episode 105: How Can the Trucking Industry Better Utilize Diagnostic Technology?
Your modern trucks are telling you when they are ailing. Your in-house technicians know how to read the symptoms and make the fixes. But you still seem to have many diagnostic-related headaches. Before you head for the office aspirin cabinet, check out OnLine Transport Inc. VP of Safety and Maintenance Randy Obermeyer's treatment plan that starts at the dealer and can scale to shops across North America. He talks to our Michael Freeze about how to handle conversations with out-of-house technicians, how to understand the data coming into uptime centers, and how to rethink treatment plan timing. Tune in above or by going to RoadSigns.ttnews.com.
Episode 104: Where Do Autonomous Trucks Fit Into Trucking’s Future? Part 3
Did you know? With the power of driverless technology, a 50,000-pound semi-truck can stop in less than a tenth of a second. Autonomous technology also halts the burden of driver turnover, hours-of-service regulations and unreliable deliveries. Yet, some industry folks are still asking, what are the benefits of driverless cars and trucks? To weigh the pros and cons of autonomous technology, we bring in one of the autonomous vehicle industry’s true pioneers, Don Burnette. With more than 10 years' experience working on self-driving software development, he has tested the whole autonomous tech stack — from wheels and trailer sensors to asset utilization and 24/7 delivery. Tune in above or by going to RoadSigns.ttnews.com.
Episode 103: Where Do Autonomous Trucks Fit Into Trucking’s Future? Part 2
Are you asking yourself: Will autonomous truck technology really improve efficiency in the transportation industry? Will self-driving trucks really take over and replace truck drivers? Let's ask a leading expert on autonomous trucking, Peter Vaughan Schmidt, CEO of Torc Robotics. With his experience in this field, he has a keen understanding of the potential that autonomous technology holds for freight transportation. He also knows the myths and misconceptions about autonomous trucking. In this episode, he sets the record straight and provides a guide to realign your business with the true autonomous reality. Tune in above or by going to RoadSigns.ttnews.com.
Episode 102: Where Do Autonomous Trucks Fit Into Trucking’s Future?
Autonomous trucks are still in the early days. Tech companies, startups and companies like Daimler, TuSimple, Paccar, Aurora, Waymo and Volvo continue to invest, making this transformative technology a reality. For this technology to succeed, however, it must integrate into real-world freight operations. In this episode, host Seth Clevenger wonders how autonomous trucks can fit into the freight transportation industry? What are the potential use cases and business models for self-driving commercial vehicles? To find answers, we step into Waabi World with Waabi's chief commercial officer, Vivian Sun, and later we hear from autonomous vehicle pioneer Jan Becker, CEO and co-founder of Apex.ai. Tune in above or by going to RoadSigns.ttnews.com.
Episode 101: 2023 Year in Preview
C.H. Robinson CEO steps down, potential recession looms and House Republicans focus on an in-depth examination of the Biden administration’s infrastructure funding priorities. With uncertainty in the air, what is the outlook for trucking in 2023? How will the industry change with the current government, economic and business trends? To guide you through this spate of trucking news, host Michael Freeze turns to the experts — Transport Topics' congressional reporter Eugene Mulero and business reporter Connor Wolf. Tune in above or by going to RoadSigns.ttnews.com.
Episode 100: Celebrating 100 Episodes of RoadSigns; Where Is Trucking Headed?
One hundred episodes. Over 100 guests. And, most importantly, 100 critical trucking questions ... answered. The first episode of RoadSigns asked, "Autonomous: Who's Behind the Wheel of Tomorrow?" To answer, Seth Clevenger brought in Alex Rodrigues of Embark who was just starting off in the autonomous trucking sector. Two rookies tackling the biggest question of their time and setting the stage for the future. Now, four years later, we've acquired an entire roster of extraordinary guests in tech, autonomous trucking, workforce development and trucking equipment, along with an irreplaceable co-host, Michael Freeze. For the next 30 minutes, see where trucking was in 2018, where it's going in 2023, and how the RoadSigns podcast has enjoyed every minute in between — helping you, our listeners, navigate the trucking road ahead. Tune in above or by going to RoadSigns.ttnews.com.
Roadshow Episode 11: Rahmel Wattley
"I always tell people, driving a truck is either for you, or it is not for you. You either have it, or you don’t have it.” In 2002, Rahmel Wattley realized driving a truck wasn't for him. Trucking, however, was. He started dispatching and quickly climbed the corporate ladder. Then, he asked himself, "what if I started my own company?" The trucking business guru answered with a driver-staffing company whose first-year sales revenues exceeded $1.2 million. Now, this trucking-obsessed entrepreneur hosts one of the industry's most influential podcasts – and audiences can't wait to hear the lessons in each episode. What keeps the successes coming? What lessons can he give those who want to run trucking businesses? And what does his former rap career have to do with any of it? Let him tell you. Tune in above or by going to RoadSigns.ttnews.com.
Episode 99: Why Should the Trucking Industry Care About Cybersecurity?
On Feb. 17, 2020, a privately owned transportation and supply chain management company was attacked by malware. The company was a notable trucking industry for-hire company player with a strong IT team and plentiful resources. And, yet, even this well-oiled company was not cyberattack-proof. If cybersecurity threats can take down these digital systems, what will they do to yours? Can you prepare? In this episode, host Michael Freeze relays the company story and discusses strategies that need to be implemented to avoid cyberattacks. To crystallize the conversation, he brings in a 30-year veteran of automotive cybersecurity, vehicle electronics and diagnostics systems. Tune in above or by going to RoadSigns.ttnews.com.
Episode 98: What Are Trucking Professionals Most Thankful For?
Meet the truck-driver-turned-writer whose book, "Overcoming Challenge: The Tar-Billy Way," is helping thousands of everyday people lead with positivity. Then, hear from the philanthropist whose truck-driver-focused charity seeks to ensure that drivers who need help, get it. In this inspirational episode of RoadSigns, Ernest Hamilton and Etienne Hightower will remind you that kindness is all around — and trucking is a springboard for it. Tune in above or by going to RoadSigns.ttnews.com.
Roadshow Episode 10: Randy Obermeyer
Randy Obermeyer is flipping the script on finding new diesel technicians. The newest Technology and Maintenance Council chair knows that being a truck mechanic is much more than a dirty job. Today, it requires a deep understanding of diagnostics, electric truck software, circuit boards, telematics and control modules. He also knows this multi-faceted type of talent is hard to come by, but for the people with that talent, he wagers, the job is worth it. Here's a look at the man who is reinventing technician recruiting. Tune in above or by going to RoadSigns.ttnews.com.
Episode 97: Inside the List: How TT’s Top 50 Global Freight Companies Are Preparing for an Uncertain Future
After spending the past two years contending with supply chain disruptions and severe port congestion, the world’s largest freight transportation providers now face high inflation and economic uncertainty heading into 2023. In this episode we examine how international shippers and their freight transportation providers have been re-evaluating their supply chains and preparing for an uncertain future. Tune in above or by going to RoadSigns.ttnews.com.