Archive for March, 2016
Wednesday, March 16th, 2016
North America’s railroads are the result of incredible human effort and innovation. Crisscrossing our great plains and mountain ranges, freight trains move an estimated $433.2 million or more across 140,000 rail miles in the U.S. alone, according to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). It’s no small wonder that the industry has been humming along impressively for centuries. With such historied roots, the railroad lives in the minds of many laymen as an artifact. They see trains as the innovation of the industrial revolution, having nothing in common with today’s top technology, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), or drones.
Given the facts about these two technologies, it’s easy to argue that they don’t have much in common. Freight trains move at a speed of 22.5 miles per hour, while the ScanEagle UAS moves closer to 92 mph, or 80 knots. The first freight train steamed across the tracks in 1827, while commercial drones took their first approved flight less than 2 years ago, in 2014.
Last year, the FAA entered into a partnership with industry leaders to begin using drones to monitor and assess railways, according to Insitu, a company specializing in drone operations. From bridges to tunnels, potential for infrastructure and safety improvements are sky high thanks to the relationship between these old and new technologies. This will allow for a whole new level of quality assurance and, ultimately, better control over daily operations.
While the CheckINN Card doesn’t cover drones at the moment, CLC Lodging can offer better control over your workforce travel spending. With custom reporting and single-check payment, we’re here to take care of your crew while you take care of business. Learn more today.
Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016
Myths and Facts
How can you cut costs for your fleet without sacrificing quality? This conundrum has long plagued fleet owners and C-level freight company managers. Despite best intentions, cost-cutting measures are often unwittingly undermined by vehicle operators. Fleets leak billions thanks to a handful of long-standing myths and mistakes about idling trucks. We first wrote about the high cost of idling trucks in 2012, and the myths persist today.
For years, conventional wisdom held that starting and stopping a diesel engine caused more wear and tear than letting the truck idle. This couldn’t be further from the truth. According to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM), idling wears down internal parts twice as fast as driving at regular highway speeds.
The myth of the mandatory engine warm-up is equally pervasive. The long-held belief that a diesel engine needs to “warm up” before it can be driven can be blamed on older fuel formulas that used to gel in cold weather. In fact, most engine manufacturers state that idling a truck for more than 3 minutes does more harm than good. Diesel fuels on today’s market are better formulated to withstand cold weather, so gelling is no longer a legitimate concern.
Beyond engine maintenance costs, the IDEM estimates that the trucking industry lost a whopping $3 billion in fuel costs thanks to idling trucks. Equally disturbing are the health and environmental impacts, as diesel exhaust is a known carcinogen linked to varying chronic illnesses.
Idling trucks cost more than they save. That’s why your best bet is to book with CLC Lodging. Our custom solutions specialists will negotiate the best rate for you within our wide hotel network across the U.S. and Canada. Find out how you can protect your fleet and save 20-40% on advertised costs with a quick quote today.