John Baxter

Business, Technology, Fuel

Considerations for Hydrogen-Electric Trucks

Kenworth Several Kenworth tractors with Toyota hydrogen-electric powertrains that are being deployed in drayage operations around the Port of Los Angeles. (John Baxter)

Hydrogen will likely end up as the dominant fuel for longhaul trucks one or more decades from now, according to experts at familiar component suppliers and truck manufacturers. Nikola Motor Co. agrees, as one of the first entrants into this arena, with a whole new vehicle architecture.

John Baxter | Special to Transport Topics
October 9, 2020
Business, Technology, Equipment, Fuel

Ducted Fuel Injection Shows Promise for Diesel

ducted fuel injection This image, taken by an in-piston camera, shows the effect of ducted fuel injection on the level of soot in a diesel flame. (Sandia National Laboratory)

Researchers have developed a promising yet surprisingly simple modification to diesel engines that could hold the key to reducing the complexity, maintenance, and size and weight of emission aftertreatment systems.

John Baxter | Special to Transport Topics
July 17, 2020
Business, Technology, Equipment, Fuel

Taking a Look Under the Hood of Electric Trucks

Peterbilt all-electric Model 579 day cab tractor Electric trucks feature new components such as lithium-ion batteries and electric motors. (Mindy Long for Transport Topics)

The introduction of electric-­powered trucks represents a new frontier for the transportation industry, but this new breed of commercial vehicle will not be completely unfamiliar to fleets and maintenance shops.

John Baxter | Special to Transport Topics
April 24, 2020
Business, Technology, Equipment, Fuel

One Major Fleet’s Experience Testing Electric Trucks

Penske truck A Penske electric truck parked at one of the company's charging stations. (Penske Transportation Solutions)

Fleets that have been at the forefront of testing electric trucks are gaining insights into how these new vehicles perform in real-world freight operations.

John Baxter | Special to Transport Topics
April 24, 2020
Business, Technology, Equipment, Fuel

Diagnostics Could Ease Adoption of Electric Trucks

Mack LR display The Mack LR Electric refuse vehicle has gauges indicating charge status and regeneration. (Mack Trucks)

The advance of diagnostic programs has improved maintenance and uptime for diesel trucks, and it appears the same will be true for electric-powered vehicles.

John Baxter | Special to Transport Topics
April 24, 2020
Business, Technology, Equipment

Rear Axle Ratios Are Still Moving Downward

Mack Anthem Mack Trucks has experimented with an ultra-low rear axle ratio of 2.31:1 in its Anthem model. (Mack Trucks)

Downspeeding saves fuel, and with aerodynamics and tires continuing to improve, truck manufacturers are experimenting with still lower rear axle ratios.

John Baxter | Special to Transport Topics
January 24, 2020
Technology, Equipment

Avoid Aftertreatment Woes With Routine Preventive Maintenance

Heading off engine exhaust aftertreatment headaches can be as simple as doing preventive maintenance by the book, representatives of fleets and truck and engine makers said. Diesel particulate filtersand selective catalytic reduction systems have helped Class 8 trucks cut emissions of particulate matter, or soot, and nitrogen oxide compounds.

John Baxter | Special to Transport Topics
October 25, 2019
Business

Trucking Market Is ‘Hot,’ Says SVP of Mack Trucks

Mack Granite tractor and trailer This Mack Granite tractor and a trailer loaded with gravel is owned by Silver Streak. (John Baxter)

A sales executive with Mack Trucks expressed optimism about the trucking industry during a recent briefing with the press in Portland, Ore., and Seattle.

John Baxter | Special to Transport Topics
July 25, 2019
Business, Equipment, Fuel

The Upside of Downspeeding

Volvo D13TC engine The Volvo D13TC engine adds an energy recovery turbine to the standard turbocharger. (John Baxter)

Industry experts and fleets tell us that engine downspeeding is a great way to save fuel at highway speeds and that it affords additional benefits.

John Baxter | Special to Transport Topics
April 26, 2019
Technology, Equipment, Safety

Diesel Engine, Drivetrain Spec’ing Prove Crucial

Careful attention to diesel engine and drivetrain spec’ing is essential to ensure that Class 8 trucks have the highest productivity and lowest cost per mile for their specific applications.

John Baxter | Special to Transport Topics
January 25, 2019

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