How to Extend Tire Life and Improve Fuel Economy

April 17th, 2015

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For any vehicle, fuel effieciency and tread mileage go hand in hand. When one is bad, chances are the other will be too. By following these easy steps, you can kill two birds with one stone and improve fuel economy while also improving your tread life.

-Keep your tires properly inflated at all times. Believe it or not, truck fleets often don’t do a great job of maintaining proper inflation pressure. Underinflation of your tires kills both your tread life and fuel economy so keeping your tires at the correct target pressure should always be a priority in the maintenance of your truck.

-Take advantage of technology. Inflating tires can be such a hassle but technology now exists to inflate tires at any trailing wheel position. Alongside the inflation systems are tire pressure monitoring systems, which admittedly will not inflate a tire for you, but they will alert you via a warning light when you have a tire going south on you.

-Switch to low-rolling-resistance tires. These tires offer several benefits for you if you maintain them. They generally have less tread rubber to squirm and wiggle away your fuel dollars, and the casing and rubber compounds are formulated for greater stiffness, which translates into less energy needed to keep them rolling.

-Keep tractors and trailers aligned. Tandem axle parallel disalignment is one of the largest contributing factors to fuel consumption on a vehicle and can eat up to 2% of your fuel just from being misaligned!

-Keep a tight reign on your vehicle speed. Speed kills just about everything on your vehicle, tread life, fuel economy, profits, etc. Tire rolling resistance becomes more of a factor at higher speeds, and speed is the single largest variable effecting fuel economy. Cutting your speed from just 65 to 55 can increase your tires’ life by 16%.

These tire life and fuel economy tips are courtesy of HG Logistics LLC, a third party logistics company and freight broker in Cincinnati, OH. For more information on HG Logistics, LLC, please contact our General Manager, Doug Bierman at dbierman@hglogisticsllc.com or by phone at 513-244-3026 ext 3021.

3 Ways Low Fuel Prices Affect Carriers

April 8th, 2015

Springtime is upon us and seasonal trends in fuel prices are beginning to show. According to AAA’s fuel gauge report, diesel was $2.90 per gallon on average nationally at the end of March, $1.11 cheaper than the previous year. As a result, the average fuel surcharge in March 2015 was down to 29¢ per mile, 11¢ lower than last year. Changes in fuel prices means changes for freight business; Here are six ways that lower oil prices are changing trucking in 2015:

1. Cost of Doing Business: Obviously, the lower the price of fuel, the less expensive it is to run a truck. Let’s say a truck averages 6 MPG. The lower diesel prices in February meant that carriers on average spent 18.5¢ less per mile on fuel compared to 2014. 

2. Shift in Customer Needs: With oil prices low, there won’t be as much new drilling in the coming months. That means less oil-industry cargo to move and less competition for drivers from that sector.

3. Freedom to Chase Hot Markets: While changes in the oil industry are shifting freight patterns to other markets, consumer spending for goods and services has grown as a result of declining fuel costs. Carriers that are less worried about fuel savings can focus on targeting their operations where the demand of trucks is since they might be more willing to run lanes that they previously avoided.

Here at HG Logistics, LLC, a third party logistics company and freight broker located in Cincinnati, OH, we are determined to provide the best service possible. With fuel trends becoming apparent, we are focused on providing the best rates and smooth service to get your loads where they need to be quick and hassle free.

For more information on HG Logistics, LLC, please contact General Manager, Doug Bierman at  513-244-3026 Ext. 3021

5 Ways to Lighten Truck Weight

March 30th, 2015

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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.

March Madness – Let the Battles Begin!

March 20th, 2015

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At HG Logistics LLC, a freight transportation broker and third party logistics company located in Cincinnati, Ohio, it is our goal to achieve the highest standard of customer service through the efforts of teamwork and collaboration between employees, drivers, and carriers. Teamwork is what drives us daily, monthly, and throughout the years.

However, about this time each year, our push for teamwork hits a snag, and that snag is called “March Madness.” During “March Madness,” competition peaks to an all time high and everyone goes a little nuts. I am sure HG Logistics is not the only company hit by this so called “phenomenon.” I am sure many companies face the “madness.”

This March, HG Logistics, a company that borders on the Kentucky-Ohio line,  has even more reason to claim “madness” because tomorrow, March 21, 2015, the battle between the two states begins as the University of Cincinnati takes on the University of Kentucky. We call it the “Battle between the Cats.”

At HG Logistics, you are either a Bearcat fan or a Wildcat fan and everyone is taking sides. Needless to say, there is a lot of talk and bantering circling the office today. The experts state that undefeated Kentucky Wildcats definitely have the advantage, but you never know what may happen. That is the magic behind the tournaments.  When emotions run high and the adrenaline is pumping you never know what the outcome may be.  Strange things lurk in the midst of all this craziness. Perhaps this weekend, we will witness one of the greatest upsets of all time.

Now, I hope you realize all this is just in good fun–RIGHT? However, I have no doubt that someone is going to be flaunting a victory sign is the face of the losers on Monday morning.

Everyone, especially our customers, please be assured that after the “madness” dies down, things here at HG Logistics will return to normal. That supportive, team boosting atmosphere HG Logistics has become accustomed to will return with each team member (winners and losers) working diligently, side-by-side, to establish HG Logistics LLC as a winner amongst the freight brokers of the world. GO TEAM!

Trucking App: “Trucker Path” to Help Truckers Truck Better

March 6th, 2015

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As an intern here at HG Logistics, LLC, a third party logistics company and freight broker in Cincinnati, OH I feel as though I am learning new things about the logistics business every day. Not only am I learning in the office but I also learn a lot about the industry while researching topics for the blog. As a millenial, I always find it interesting when new technology comes out and today technology and trucking have come together to make truckers jobs just a little bit easier with an app called Trucker Path.

Trucker Path is a mobile app that helps truckers find truck stops, parking spots, rest areas, scales, DOT weigh stations, truck washes and more. Trucking is an enormous industry, and while there have long been plenty of trucking-centric apps on the market, it appears as though Trucker Path has really caught on with drivers. The service now has 100,000 registered users and is seeing 20 percent month-over-month growth according to the company’s own data.

CEO of Trucker Path, Ivan Tsybaev, said “Our mission is to solve not only economic, but also social problems in the industry – truckers deserve to earn more, America needs to make trucking more appealing for the younger generation.”
 
As a member of the “younger generation” I’d say that with this helpful app, they are one step closer to achieving their goals!
 
For more information on HG Logistics, LLC, Please contact our general manager Doug Bierman at 513-244-3026 ext 3021
 

Winter Storm Safe Travel Tips

March 4th, 2015

In light of the approaching winter storm, HG Logistics, LLC, a third party logistics company and freight broker located in Cincinnati, OH, would like to share some safe travel tips for traveling in the upcoming coniditions. Additionally, we would like to wish everyone safe travels in their commutes to and from work in the next couple of days!

If at all possible, avoid driving during a winter weather event, as even small amounts of snow and ice can make traveling on roads extremely dangerous. If you must drive, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Stay on main roads and highways, and stick to the flattest roads you can. Avoid hills and roads with sloping surfaces wherever possible.
  • Drive only during daylight hours, and avoid driving alone if you can.
  • Bring blankets with you to keep warm in case you become stranded. Also bring bottled water or warm beverages, to avoid becoming dehydrated.
  • Let family members know where you’re going and when you’re expected to return.
  • If a snowstorm or blizzard forces you to stop, pull off the highway and turn on your hazard lights. If you have a distress flag or sticker, hang it from your radio antenna or apply it to your window. Remain in your car, where rescuers are most likely to find you.
  • If you’re stranded for an extended period of time, run your engine for about 10 minutes every hour to stay warm. Open a window slightly for ventilation while the car is running, to prevent any carbon monoxide buildup. Remove any snow that builds up on your car’s exhaust pipe.
  • If you have to spend the night in your car, turn on the interior overhead light so rescuers or work crews can see you.

For more information on HG logistics, LLC, please contact our general manager, Doug Bierman, at 513-244-3026 ext 3021.

US House Revives Bill for Hiring Trucking Companies

March 2nd, 2015

Companies tendering freight to U.S. truckers would have to check the carriers’ federal registration, insurance levels and safety rating before using them under a bill introduced in Congress this week. The bill would create a “national hiring standard” and clarify the legal responsibility of U.S. brokers, third-party logistics operators and shippers, its supporters claim.

The new bill is identical to one that was introduced last year; it would require that before hiring a trucking firm, shippers, brokers, forwarders and receivers ensure that carrier is properly registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, has obtained the minimum insurance required by the FMCSA and has not been given an “unsatisfactory” safety fitness rating.

Under the CSA program, carriers are assigned scores in several safety categories, including unsafe driving, hours of service compliance and vehicle maintenance. Those CSA scores, which change monthly, are not linked to a carrier’s safety fitness rating.

A U.S. standard sanctioned by Congress would head off a patchwork of state-by-state “standards” that could evolve from local court decisions on what shippers, brokers and other third parties must do to ensure they are using a safe trucking company.

The bill, H.R. 1120, was introduced in the House of Representatives by Reps. John Duncan, R-Tenn., Rodney Davis R-Ill., Richard Hanna, R-N.Y., Mark Meadows, R-N.C., and Erik Paulsen, R-Minn. The most likely route to its passage would be a multi-year surface transportation spending bill. Current transportation funding expires May 31.

The bill only requires customers ensure a carrier doesn’t have an unsatisfactory safey rating. The legislation doesn’t address what could or should be done if a carrier has neither a safety fitness rating nor CSA scores. That’s the case with the majority of U.S. trucking companies, according to several sources, including QualifiedCarriers.com.

Here at HG Logistics, LLC, a third-party logistics company and freight broker in Cincinnati, OH, we are always taking the necessary precautions to ensure that our carriers meet the proper qualifications so that we can provide the best service possible. For more information on HG Logistics, LLC, please contact HG Logistics’ General Manager, Doug Bierman at 513-244-3026 ext 3021.

HG Logistics LLC Trucks Through Winter Storm Bozeman

February 23rd, 2015

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Whether it’s freezing rain laying down sheets of black ice or a blizzard blanketing roads with snow, winter weather has a hefty impact on trucking. Harsh conditions can not only put drivers at risk but they can also be costly for many companies as far as time and money goes.  This past week winter storm Bozeman poured snow, ice and sleet all across the Ohio Valley area as it passed through into the Northeast. Areas saw accumulations from 5-13 inches and as a result, numerous areas issued level one snow emergencies for hazardous driving conditions. Slick roads lead to slowdowns, lane closures and many freight delays.

Here at HG logistics, LLC, a third party logistics company and freight broker located in Cincinnati, OH, we are dedicated to providing our customers with the best service possible, no matter the weather. Regardless of what this winter has left to bring us, we plan to stay on track and push through the challenges that we may face during storms such as Bozeman.

For more information on HG Logistics, LLC, please contact HG Logistics’ General Manager, Doug Bierman at 513-244-3026 ext 3021.

Drop in Average Diesel Prices Continues

February 4th, 2015

20121019015230dieselThe average cost of on-highway diesel fuel continues to fall in most of the country, declining another 3.5 cents in the past week. The latest U.S. Department of Energy survey is$2.831 per gallon, $1.12 less than it was this time last year and at it’s lowest price in nearly 5 years. This is the 12th weekly consecutive drop though the average has fallen most of the weeks since  being above $4 per gallon in february and march of last year when U.S. crude was selling for more than $107 per barrel. This is due in large part to increasing production of oil from U.S. shale drilling operations, Saudi Arabia refusing to cut production to bolster prices and slowing worldwide demand.

Contributing to Monday’s drop in oil prices was a report that Russia’s output of oil in 2014 rose to its highest level since the collapse of the Soviet Union, while Iraq’s oil exports in December were the highest since 1980.

There are reports that some traders are expecting oil prices to be trading well into the $40s later this week, especially if government numbers show increasing oil stockpiles. A few are even predicting the $20 to $30 per barrel range by June.

HG Logistics is a third-party logistics company and freight broker located in Cincinnati, Ohio. They are dedicated to providing their customers with the best service possible. For more information, please contact HG Logistics’ General Manager, Doug Bierman at 513-244-3026 ext 3021.

Groundhog Sees His Shadow, 6 More Weeks Of Winter

February 2nd, 2015

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According to Punxsutawney Phil, it’s not quite time to put away your snow shovels and windshield scrapers yet! On the morning of February 2, Phil came out on Groundhog Day 2015 and saw his shadow, promising 6 more weeks of winter. The famous rodent’s forecast was announced just shortly after 7:30 a.m. at Gobblers Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. According to an old German legend, if the groundhog sees his shadow on February 2, winter will last another 6 weeks. If he does not, spring will come early.

6 more weeks of winter means 6 more weeks of potential snowy/icy roads and dangerous travel conditions. HG Logistics, LLC, a third party logistics company and freight broker located in Cincinnati, OH wishes everyone a safe last 6 weeks of winter!

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