Here at HG Logistics, LLC, a third party logistics company and freight broker in Cincinnati, OH., we are dedicated to providing the best service possible to those we work with. Sometimes, a part of providing the best service can include trying to make others’ jobs a little bit easier.
Everyone know’s the all too familiar Monday morning struggle of getting the work week started again. However, I’d like to start this week by “taking a load off” with these 5 ideas for lightweighting your truck:
1. Downsized sleeper or day cab -
Is a day cab wiser than a sleeper cab? It is if few runs are (or are likely to be) overnighters. A large sleeper box weighs 1,500 or more pounds. If that much more product can be put in a tanker or on a flatbed most of the time, the cost of an occasional motel room may be cheap. As operators switch from long-hauling to regional runs, day cabs become more feasible.
2. Aero Packages -
A road tractor that spends much of its time cruising at highway speeds should have an aerodynamically designed nose and cab, including mirrors. You can also add upper and side fairings and cab extenders, with advanced designs now available from several truck builders. These have been perfected by computer research and wind-tunnel testing, and can save enough fuel to make up for their additional cost and weight. But a tractor or truck that sits a lot or moves at urban speeds doesn’t need the aerodynamics, much less the weight that comes with them. Analyze the operation before ordering.
3. Horizontal Exhaust -
A few pounds and some complexity can be saved by spec’ing a frame-mounted horizontal exhaust system instead of the vertical stack, with its extra brackets and piping. The latest diesels burn so cleanly that exhaust can’t be seen or smelled. However, if aimed downward, the frame-mounted exhaust can kick up dust in gravel parking lots and the like. And the expensive diesel particulate filter is down in the road salt and grime, which can shorten its life. It also can get in the way of PTO equipment or if the transmission needs work.
4. Lightweight Materials -
Aluminum wheels, hubs, gear cases and frame crossmembers can add up to big weight savings, even if they cost more than standard steel and iron components. Aluminum is also better at resisting corrosion — a major issue these days of aggressive road de-icing salts. However, high-strength steel can be a cost-effective way to do the hauling job and cut weight. And anti-corrosion treatments, from galvanizing and galvanealing to polymer coatings, can shield ferrous metals from those salts. Plate-type walls for trailers and truck bodies are thin sandwiches of metal and foam that reduce use of posts and heavy liners.
5. Composite Fifth Wheels -
Fifth wheels, as well as fifth wheel mounting brackets and slider systems, are now available in lightweight options, using aluminum, fabricated steel and synthetic facings. Operations with repeatable loads, like fuel-hauling tankers, spec fixed fifth wheels to entirely eliminate slider parts.
For more information on HG Logistics, LLC, please contact our General Manager, Doug Bierman at 513-244-3026 ext 3021.