100 Years of Covering Trucking: The 2010s - Fleet Management

100 Years of Masking Trucking: The 2010s – Fleet Administration

The second decade of the twenty first century noticed an enormous development in know-how and an business.

Graphic: HDT

The second decade of the twenty first century noticed an enormous development in know-how and an business increasing past the standard definition of trucking. HDT is celebrating its a hundredth anniversary. See how we coated the twenty first century beneath.

2010s: Business

In 2010 HDT wrote about “The Altering Face of Trucking,” as a altering provide chain drove extra trucking firms to diversify. The traces started to blur the sharp definitions that beforehand outlined the U.S. transportation market — truckload, less-than-truckload, intermodal, freight brokers, freight forwarders, third-party logistics firms. 2011 introduced “The Altering Provide Chain.” In 2015, the altering function of 3PLs. In 2017, a year-long sequence on “Trucking within the twenty first Century,” exploring how know-how, from e-commerce to autonomous automobiles, is reshaping trucking and logistics. In 2019, we delved into alternatives in last-mile supply and making the logistics connection.


One other 2010 cowl story checked out growing scrutiny of unbiased contractor standing, one thing that resonates immediately with California’s AB5 gig-worker legislation and the Biden administration’s deal with worker “misclassification.”

In 2011 we ran an in-depth sequence on “The Coming Driver Scarcity,” fueled by financial restoration, new rules, and ongoing demographic, pay, and picture points. (Sound acquainted?) Driver recruiting and retention have continued to be a standard theme for main options, cowl tales, and sequence, together with a 10-part, award-winning “Driver Dilemma” sequence in 2015.

2010s: Laws

The daybreak of the final decade introduced with it a basic change within the security compliance panorama, CSA 2010. The subject of our January 2010 cowl and several other different main options and information tales that 12 months and all through the last decade, CSA continues to be being challenged and tweaked to today. Our August cowl story warned fleets that they may face a impolite awakening when this system went into full impact that November.

The Federal Motor Service Security Administration went again to the drafting board on hours of service rules after recurring court docket challenges by security teams.


Some motor carriers began calling for necessary digital logs, arguing that the issue wasn’t hours-of-service guidelines themselves, however lack of adherence to the principles. A 2012 rule focused carriers that habitually violated hours-of-service guidelines, requiring digital onboard recorders, or EOBRs, to trace driver hours. In 2014 the company proposed necessary digital logging units.

Some fleets began pushing for the DOT to permit using hair testing for necessary drug exams, which nonetheless hasn’t occurred greater than a decade later. FMCSA arrange a nationwide drug and alcohol testing clearinghouse. In 2019, HDT ran a three-part sequence on drivers and medicines.

Cross-border trucking, required by the North American Free Commerce Settlement, was a controversial situation. It took punitive tariffs from Mexico to spur the DOT to arrange a cross-border pilot challenge.

2010s: Clear and Inexperienced

Inexperienced fleets in 2010 have been exploring pure gasoline and debating compressed pure gasoline vs. liquified pure gasoline, diesel-electric hybrids, and biodiesel blends. In 2011 we began reporting on renewable pure gasoline (though it wasn’t known as that on the time) getting used on dairy farms to transform “poop to energy.”


For a lot of fleets, sustainability efforts revolved round bettering gasoline effectivity. New EPA fuel-efficiency rules for vans kicked in for the 2014 mannequin 12 months. In 2014, HDT’s annual gasoline situation featured “121 Methods to Save & on Gasoline.” The EPA’s first SuperTruck program yielded idea rigs reaching extra tan 10 mpg.

Diesel-electric hybrids and hydraulic hybrids got here and went. Volvo was selling dimethyl ether for some time, however a DME-powered engine by no means got here to fruition.

Smith Electrical threw the swap on all-electric vans in 2010, however the industrial EV market didn’t achieve a lot momentum all through the last decade. Smith and different start-ups got here and went within the years that adopted. In 2016 the Nikola One made its controversial debut (initially it was going to be a 2,000-hp turbine hybrid-electric freeway tractor), and Elon Musk’s electrical Tesla Semi was unveiled with nice fanfare. By 2019, part makers corresponding to Dana and Meritor have been creating electrical drive axles and Daimler and Peterbilt debuted battery-electric vans, and we explored whether or not future vans can be powered by battery or hydrogen know-how.

2010s: Tools


EPA 2010 emissions regs launched selective catalytic discount and diesel exhaust fluid to the combination. Fleets welcomed the improved gasoline economic system from the 2007 engines. Navistar was the one truck engine maker to not use SCR to satisfy the rules. Its EGR-only engines had hassle assembly EPA requirements and have been plagued with reliability points.

We noticed the time period “downspeeding” enter trucking’s vocabulary. “Gear quick, run gradual,” improved gasoline economic system by having low numerical ratios in prime gears.

Downspeeding would grow to be extra well-liked as extra computerized handbook transmissions began making inroads into the market. In 2012 Eaton predicted AMTs would make up 30% of the market by 2014. Detroit gave the market a push when it unveiled its DT12 AMT in 2012, with then-chief of Daimler Vans North America on a mission to transform the business. Right this moment, the overwhelming majority of on-highway Class 8 vans are spec’d with an AMT.

2010s: Know-how


An early 2010 characteristic checked out driver buy-in of in-cab applied sciences corresponding to then-voluntary digital logging methods, with photographs of drivers balancing laptops and massive, cumbersome units. We adopted that up with “A Pc in Your Pocket,” about how smartphones may provide a lot of the identical performance as bulkier in-cab {hardware}.

Telematics made advances via the last decade, delivering a wealth of data direct from truck to the again workplace, together with asset monitoring and car well being. In-cab navigation, vehicle-to-vehicle communications.

In 2016 we highlighted the brand new frontier of security applied sciences, from collision avoidance to cameras, from rollover prevention to analytics. By 2018 we have been overlaying computing within the cloud, blockchain, and good trailers.

This timeline article first appeared within the August 2022 situation of Heavy Responsibility Trucking.

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