7 months ago

The Trucker Newspaper - April 15, 2018


MCCOLLISTER’S AUTO TRANSPORT FLEET EXPANSION MCCOLLISTER’S ENCLOSED AUTO TRANSPORT FLEET IS CONTINUING TO GROW DUE TO OUR CLIENTS AND OUR TALENTED DRIVERS. FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL: JOE CSIK (EAST) 1-800-257-9595 EXT. 9490 PAUL (WEST) 1-800-257-9595 EXT. 1041 OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE FOR OWNER OPPERATORS & COMPANY DRIVERS. NEW TRAILERS COMING IN MONTHLY. WWW.MCCOLLISTERS.COM 24 • April 15-30, 2018 Business b TCA from page 23 b He then credited TCA members for the contributions of both money and passion to the organization. “Last year, we asked each of you to write a check to voluntarily fund the newly formed government affairs operation at TCA for 2017,” he said. TCA members responded with nearly 175 checks. “Thank you for allowing us the resources to do our job, by not just making our presence known but felt,” he said. “With our combined efforts, we delivered just over 1,000 letters, emails, voicemails and personal congressional and regulatory visits. It is important to be out front talking about who we are and what we stand for, not just what our policy says.” To this end, Lyboldt said, TCA is establishing an advocacy advisory committee. This committee is expected to consist of himself, the immediate past TCA chairman, committee chairs from the highway, regulatory and independent contractor policy committees, TCA’s four at-large officers, and the vice president of government affairs as staff liaison. “The charge of the committee will be how we prioritize our legislative and regulatory direction to set clear legislative and regulatory priorities based on the impact to our industry, cost-benefit analysis, and the likelihood of success,” Lyboldt said. He then pointed to the success the organization has already had in improving congressional and regulatory awareness regarding the truckload segment of the industry. In just the past year, TCA has gone from being virtually unknown on Capitol Hill to being a valued source of information on trucking’s most pressing issues. “No longer will truckload be on the sidelines,” he said. “We will be on the field and at the table.” Also, just a year ago TCA promised it would develop ways to help members achieve better business results, Lyboldt said, and that’s come to pass, too. “At the end of August of last year, we rolled out the TCA Profitability Program, known as TPP, designed for you to do just that, improve profitability and improve sophistication. This program formally combines our successful best practice group program with our cloud-based composite platform, InGauge.” In seven months, TCA has formed three new best practice groups, he added. “This represents a 55 percent growth in dry van, refrigerated and flatbed groups, and there are now an additional 31 carriers who are comparing their performance with InGauge,” he said. “In total, with each participating member and their subsidiaries, there are now 153 distinct trucking company profiles within the InGauge database.” To reach more members, TCA has recently published a standard TPP chart of accounts. “This chart of accounts builds on the reporting format utilized by best practice group members and will undoubtedly provide more business insight for those companies who decide to utilize it,” he said. “This chart of accounts will fill a critical need for a standardized, flexible financial and operational reporting model for today’s trucking enterprise. “If we aren’t all speaking the same language we are building on a bad foundation, I think you all would agree. With this new service, which will be free and available to all existing members on the InGauge website, carriers will be able to rapidly map and report their unique financial and operational data to InGauge and go beyond simply comparing month-to-month performance with similar peers.” It’s been a good year, there’s been a lot of progress, Lyboldt said, but it’s just the foundation for so much more, and some of it is already in the works. “We are currently working on building out a truckload instructor-led academy,” Lyboldt said. “This academy will teach operational best practices across all carrier type departments.” A new TCA website is nearly ready to lunch, he said. “It is a sizeable investment, but one that will improve our workflow and productivity so we can do more for you. “As you can see, we are increasing the membership value proposition. It is where we live and what we do every day at TCA.” 8 Professional Drivers Have THeir reason #78 State of the Art Equipment Beautiful and dependable late model Freightliner Cascadia’s equip our drivers to have success every day. It’s REASON #78 why we are among the leaders in low turnover. Our Company DrIvers and owner-operators tell our story best. when you drive for D&D sexton, Inc. you achieve the respect, image, and stellar reputation you deserve. why? Because D&D sexton is the midwest’s premier refrigerated Carrier. 33 HIrIng AREA ShAdEd Discover more by calling (800) 743-0265 Or text us (417) 310-0455 Apply online at Business April 15-30, 2018 • 25 APUs can save you money, but weigh your options carefully so you make the right choice Cliff Abbott If you have visited the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Kentucky, in any of the past 10 years, you know that options for Auxiliary Power Units (APUs) abound. High fuel costs, anti-idle laws and other factors are making APUs a more attractive option than ever. Purchasing the wrong APU, however, can result in difficulty and expense. If you’re purchasing a new unit for your tractor, plan on spending $8,000 to $10,000. There are cheaper alternatives, but upfront savings can quickly be consumed by a higher cost of maintenance and repair. Other factors must be considered as well, such as the weight of the unit. Begin your search with what you want your APU to do for you. If all you need is power to recharge the tractor batteries and support use of interior lights and a small microwave, a small unit will do. Most truck owners, however, purchase APUs for heating and cooling the cab and sleeper areas without idling the tractor. An average tractor burns about a gallon of fuel per hour at idle, whereas a diesel-powered APU can run for hours on a gallon. Over a year, the cost savings can be significant. Some APUs are connected to the truck engine’s cooling and electrical systems, so the same unit that warms the sleeper can be used to keep the engine ready to crank in winter temperatures. You’ll want to make sure that the unit you purchase can handle the capabilities you expect of it. Remember, there are electric options, too. Most don’t provide the horsepower of dieselpowered units and their operating time is limited, but they can cost less to operate because their fuel consumption is zero. Consider the weight of the APU you are considering, including any portions installed inside the cab. Adding a 500-lb. APU to the tractor uses up a ton of freight-hauling capacity every four loads, reducing revenues for owners who are paid by the ton for bulk products and limiting load options for others. Batteries to power electric units can add weight, but the weight of a diesel engine isn’t needed and the entire APU assembly can be comparable to diesel units. Reliability is a key factor in APU selection. Many drivers prefer to stay with APUs marketed by companies that have manufactured refrigeration units for decades. Vendors like ThermoKing and Carrier are known both for quality products and for extensive service networks. Service is widely available and parts are generally in stock. APUs that are sold in truck stops can sometimes be obtained for less cost upfront, but savings can disappear rapidly when the nearest service facility is a day away and it takes several more days to get parts. Fleet Focus Ask about maintenance schedules, too, since these can vary widely. Some APUs require preventive maintenance every 100 hours, while others can go to 1,000 hours. That’s a significant difference in how often you’ll need to change oil and filters. Noise is a factor, too. Keeping the sleeper area nice and cool or warm can definitely help you get the rest you need, but if the APU is so loud that it keeps waking you up, you won’t get quality rest. Ask how the unit is insulated and if noise level information is available. APUs that are connected to vehicle cooling and electrical systems can impact the truck engine, so make sure you know what is being done and any potential issues it could cause. Unless you have large sums of cash available, there’s a good chance you’ll be financing your APU. In some cases, an APU can be added to a tractor you are purchasing and the cost rolled into the vehicle purchase price. Some vendors, however, offer financing for the brands they sell. High interest rates can reduce the benefits of an APU purchase, so make sure you read the contract through and know what your total cost will be. Finally, your APU will add value to your tractor that you can cash in on when you sell or trade. A higher quality unit may add even more value. Ask your dealer about resale values and what your APU will be worth in a year or a few years. APUs can improve life on the road for tractor owners and their drivers, but the real comfort they provide may come in the accountant’s office when the financial numbers are calculated. The right choice makes a difference in both. 8