20/20 Vision Search all the sites for tank truck topics

March 1, 2002
TAKE a look at what's happening on the many Web sites that provide information applicable to the tank truck industry. Some sites are subject-specific,

TAKE a look at what's happening on the many Web sites that provide information applicable to the tank truck industry. Some sites are subject-specific, while others offer topics with a broad range that also are relevant to people involved in the industry.

It's a good idea to surf the Internet for a variety of sites in order to cover the services that are offered, and to avoid missing information that may be located at the many addresses.


The National Tank Truck Carriers (NTTC), Alexandria, Virginia, now has a Web site up and running. Information about the organization and the issues it addresses can be found on the pages. One section lists member companies, both carriers and suppliers, and has the capability of providing links to their Web pages.

Carriers can find information on becoming a member, the dues, and an application form that can be submitted via e-mail. Another bonus is an NTTC calendar of events. A description of each event and its purpose accompanies registration forms that can be downloaded, printed, and faxed to the appropriate address.

The Web site is one more way NTTC provides relevant, useful, and timely information not only to its members, but to others who are interested in issues affecting the tank truck industry today. Among the association's services are publications, research services, meetings, seminars, and other modes of education for the tank truck industry.

A password-secured section for members is on the drawing board and will be used to update members on legislative matters and other issues affecting the industry.


The Web site of Kuriyama of America, Elk Grove Village, Illinois, provides a hose order tracking program that is available by entering a Kuriyama order number, the customer's purchase order number, or a UPS tracking number.

The site contains a complete line of Kuriyama hose products with literature available online. Just select the individual literature to download or view online. The brochures also can be obtained by filling out an order form online and e-mailing it to the company.


The Diesel Technology Forum Web site focuses on clean diesel solutions to reduce emissions from existing diesel engines, says Forum Executive Director Allen Schaeffer.

“This site is geared toward key stakeholders including trucking and transit bus fleet owners and operators, equipment operators, government officials, the media, and general public,” he says. “Our goal is to provide basic program information and real-life examples of success stories in modernizing and upgrading existing diesel equipment so that truck and bus operators, air pollution control officials, regulators, and municipal governments understand the full array of issues, options and benefits toward meeting clean air goals.”

Diesel Technology Forum has been working with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and state and regional governments providing technical, policy and program support for these programs.

The Web site encompasses a full array of clean-diesel solutions for modernizing and upgrading existing equipment, including retrofitting, applying emissions filters and catalysts to existing vehicles and equipment; refueling, using cleaner diesel fuels or emissions-reducing fuel additives; rebuilding, taking existing engines and upgrading them with hardware and/or software changes; repowering, replacing older engines with new lower-emitting engines; and retirement, replacing old equipment with new equipment that has lower-emitting engines.

Streaming audio, project photos, video clips, and explanations of technological advances are utilized to inform and educate the end-user as to current retrofit activities, pilot programs, and published papers. An adjunct to the EPA Web site, the Forum site provides current EPA retrofit commitments and news, retrofit events, links and breaking retrofit news developments.

To reach the retrofit pages, go to the Web site and select Retrofit Program on the navigation bar.


Western Star Trucks Inc, Willoughby OH, has launched a new Web site that is easy to use, interactive, and an electronic gateway to the truck manufacturer's line of heavy-duty trucks. The site organizes Western Star's product line into three main areas: owner-operator, premium vocational, and specialty/extreme.

An enhanced dealer directory features complete reference information, including hours, services offered, maps and more. News and events pages keep visitors up to date on the latest happenings at Western Star, while a search function makes finding information even easier. Content will be frequently updated to keep the site interesting and timely, according to the company.


Failure to use technology creates roadblock for most trucking fleets

Many private and dedicated truck fleets are failing to use technology despite the growing complexity of their operations, according to a survey by the Logistics Institute at Georgia Tech (TLI). The survey focused on transportation costs, how companies operate their fleets, and transportation planning methods.

“What is very clear from this survey is that the majority of companies, both with smaller trucking operations of under $10 million annually as well as much larger operations exceeding $100 million, continue to plan truck routing and loading manually with very limited use of available information and decision technologies,” said Harvey Donaldson, TLI director. “The Transportation and Logistics Survey results indicate that while respondents foresee substantial cost savings opportunities from improved transportation planning, they are reluctant to adopt available technologies because of concerns about the associated costs and complexity.”

Key findings from the survey indicate that nearly two-thirds (65%) of respondents indicated better planning could save their organization 6% to 30% in transportation costs.

More than half of the respondents said they currently use a manual process for route planning (72%), load building (72%), dispatching (65%), and tracking (61%). The remaining companies mostly use custom or commercial software.

The average satisfaction rating with current route planning, load building, dispatching, and tracking processes was below 7 on a scale of one to 10 (with 10 highest).

More than two-thirds of respondents considered software the ideal method for truck transportation planning for their organization (37% in-house or custom software and 31.5% customized commercial software).

Most respondents indicated that their organization's typical truck routes change either on a daily (45%) or weekly (20%) basis. More than half of the respondents (58%) said that less than 10% of their outbound loads generate backhaul revenue. Thirty-eight percent of respondents indicated that backhaul revenue was insignificant to their organization.

Respondents indicated that customer service and route efficiency and cost savings rank highest in importance among factors regarding transportation planning. Driver satisfaction and backhauls were of significantly less importance.

The top three constraints that could prevent implementing better transportation planning were complexity of environment (33%), organizational culture (29%), and overhead cost (24%).

For complete results of the survey, visit TLI's web site at www.tli.gatech.edu/resource/transsurvey.


Modalgistics web site debuts

Modalgistics, a supply chain services unit of Norfolk Southern Corp, has launched its web site at www.modalgistics.com. The site offers a complete list of Modalgistics services, products, and facilities served. In the future, users will be able to view their supply chain securely and use inventory control systems for complete shipment visibility.

A combination of traditional rail, truck, ocean carrier, and Triple Crown Service can be provided for customers. Supply chain options include independently owned and operated distribution facilities as well as access to Norfolk Southern's distribution and warehousing network of 174 rail transfer facilities, 124 lumber reload centers, 71 metals distribution centers, seven plastics warehouse distribution centers, and four just-in-time rail auto parts centers.


Seal has range of 100 feet

With a reading range of up to 100 feet, advanced dual-frequency capabilities, and enhanced programmability, TydenTek's new D3 DataSeal brings instant tracking and verification to cargo sealing applications.

The reusable seal stores event data such as time, date, and duration of every seal opening and closing during storage or along a delivery route. Remote reading can be either short-range, up to nearly two feet using a HandHeld Terminal; or long-range, up to 100 feet using a DataReader.

Dozens of containers are readable from a central location. Strategically placed DataReaders allow access to shipment information even while cargo is moving at high speeds. At the same time, the D3 system allows a tampering event to be sectionalized at any point along the distribution route.


XataNet applications for MVPc

XATA Corp has announced the commercial availability of two XataNet applications for use with Qualcomm's MVPc in-vehicle computer. The electronic driver logs and fuel tax applications automate driver logs, monitor state line crossings, and calculate fuel tax. The new XataNet applications deliver:

  • Increased productivity: Eliminates paperwork, such as manual driver logs, reduces administrative costs and gives drivers and fleet managers time to focus on customer needs.

  • Simplified regulatory compliance: Automated fuel tax and driver hours-of-service calculations eliminate errors and minimize violations.

  • Improved driver safety: Automated logs mean drivers no longer need to write down border-crossing information while driving, and they also show drivers their available driving time on the MVPc's in-vehicle display.


WebEDI module for non-LoadMaster users

McLeod Software now offers its Web based Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) module as a stand-alone product to trucking companies that may not be a McLeod LoadMaster customer. This product has been developed so that it is non-integrated with the LoadMaster base package. Therefore, companies who want WebEDI, but do not necessarily want to purchase the LoadMaster software, can have WebEDI.

WebEDI is a non-integrated means of transferring data between carriers and customers and is useful for low-volume customers that require EDI. Carriers can log onto McLeod's WebEDI server via the Internet using a web browser to receive load tenders (204s), functional group acknowledgements (997s), and remittance advice (820s) from customers. McLeod maintains a secure host WebEDI server, and everything is transmitted and received in both standard ANSI X12 EDI and TDCC Format with minimal deployment. Carriers using WebEDI also can send load acceptances (990s), shipment statuses (214s), and electronic invoicing (210) via the Internet.


Innovative offers Fuel Surcharge module

Innovative Computing Corp has released its new Fuel Surcharge module, which will allow Innovative software users to use multiple methods of calculating fuel surcharges using current fuel prices. The module will also allow users to apply regional fuel prices and calculate fuel surcharges based on commodity type.

About the Author

Mary Davis