Factors Benefiting the Trucking Industry

It is commonly understood by economists that the state of the trucking industry in America reflects the state of the overall economy. Why? Because 70% to 80% of the freight we move completes at least part of its journey by truck. Trucking is the most cost-effective way to move freight. Therefore, a robust trucking industry is a sign that the economy is doing well. In light of that, economists sometimes look at new truck orders in an attempt to forecast what things will look like in the coming year.

Some economists were concerned because new truck orders were off in January (2016). According to Bloomberg, year-on-year sales were down some 48% as compared to the previous year. It did however raise the question whether or not falling new truck orders are a key indicator of the trucking industry. We don’t think so, as there are a variety of reasons that help the trucking industry.


Freight Volume Is More Important

The first thing to understand is that, freight volume is a much more reliable indicator than new truck sales. The more disposable income consumers have, the more money they spend on buying things. This results in higher inventory levels at distribution centers and warehouses and in turn increases the volume of freight being moved closer to the consumer.

Due to this fact, what we should consider is whether or not trucking companies are still moving the same volume year-on-year, combined with forecasts for economic growth. According to Bloomberg, economic expansion for 2016 should be slightly more than 2%. The trucking industry should be able to absorb such a modest amount of growth without substantial investments in new equipment.

As long as truckers are still moving the same volume of freight, the situation is fine. Falling new truck orders do not necessarily translate into lower volume any more than falling profits for diesel fuel makers.

Shifting Logistics

Another reason to be optimistic despite fewer new truck orders can be found in shifting logistics. We have noticed a trend beginning to emerge involving trucking companies and shippers relying more on regional distribution rather than coast-to-coast freight forwarding. Moving to a regional model reduces travel time between destinations, keeps truckers closer to home, and makes logistics more flexible in adapting to a quickly evolving on-demand marketplace.

What does all this mean to truck manufacturers? It means fewer orders. Trucking companies that rely more on a regional distribution model do not need to invest as much equipment on an annual basis. Equipment lasts longer under this model, and replacement schedules can be adjusted accordingly.

Constant Economic Cycles

The US economy is no different than any other major world economy undergoes similar economic cycles. Some economists concerned about falling new truck sales point to a 2014 surge that saw near record numbers of new trucks manufactured and sold. What they may have not accounted for are new equipment purchases made by companies emerging from the last recession. Those same companies might not be replacing equipment as aggressively.

The cyclical nature of any economy dictates that there are ebbs and flows in nearly every industry. Truck manufacturing is not unique in that sense. Economists who might be concerned need only look at the outlooks of each of the major manufacturers who supply the trucks both domestically and abroad. None of them are panicking, so there is no need to be concerned.

As an existing truck driver, the ordering of new trucks doesn’t mean more road time and translates to more higher wager. In fact, well planned logistics result in improved driving schedules and the ability to choose better route options, both, for the driver and the load being transported. That being said, if you are conscious of your trucking gear and truck tarps, a look through our complete inventory of flatbed truck tarps, truck tires, cargo control equipment, and other accessories you would need for the coming year and change in seasons.


  • Bloomberg – http://www.bloomberg.com/gadfly/articles/2016-02-08/truckmakers-skid-doesn-t-mean-recession

On-Demand Economy Reshaping the Trucking Industry

An on-demand economy fueled by the sale of smartphones is changing literally every segment of our society. Traditional taxi and livery services are losing out to ride sharing companies while weary travelers can use their smartphones to do everything from ordering a meal to finding last-minute accommodations. Even doctors and nurses have embraced the on-demand economy by using mobile platforms to arrange house calls. So it should come as no surprise that, an on-demand economy is also reshaping the trucking industry. A great case in point being Amazon.

The Internet retailing giant recently began purchasing a fleet of branded trucks and trailers many believe will be just the starting point of a foray into logistics. For the time being, it appears as though the company is looking only to control its shipping rather than having to rely on companies like UPS and FedEx. But who knows? If Amazon is successfully able to handle their shipping and save money at the same time, they just might end up expanding into freight forwarding. But don’t worry, that would not be a bad thing.


As the Wall Street Journal points out, there is still more than enough freight to go around – even with the entrance of Amazon into logistics. Some of the biggest names in trucking are already working at maximum capacity with still more freight to be accounted for. And like it or not, the on-demand economy is playing an important role in what we are observing.

Speed and the Logistics Sector

Just a decade ago, a veteran truck driver might pick up a flatbed trailer in California and drive its load of steel coil down to Texas. From there he might pick up a dry goods van loaded with imported consumer goods headed for Chicago. That truck driver would spend months at a time on the road without ever seeing home.

While the scenario we just described is still fairly common among long-haul truckers, the model is gradually being replaced by a new model focused more on regional, rather than national, distribution. Shippers and receivers are more content to operate a larger number of smaller distribution facilities in and around major metropolitan hubs in order to get goods from the warehouse to the customer more quickly. This is what Amazon is attempting to accomplish with its trucks and trailers.

In order to meet the needs of the on-demand economy, companies have to have an ample supply of goods on hand. They also have to be close enough to their customers to get those goods delivered in a timely manner. The only way this is possible is by embracing more regional and local distribution.

Truckers Will Keep on Trucking

There are those in the logistics industry who do not see the on-demand economy’s influence as being a good thing. But it actually is. Despite the changes – and we know that change is difficult to embrace – America’s truckers will keep on trucking for decades to come. The big difference will be one of time and distance.

The Wall Street Journal also points out that logistics companies are already looking at charging by the day rather than the mile to account for the needs of the on-demand economy. They are looking at quicker deliveries and shorter routes that have truck drivers home more frequently. It is all about finding the model that works best at keeping wholesale distributors happy so that they, in turn, can keep their customers happy. In the end, there is no need to fear Amazon trucks. They are a positive addition to the logistics industry.


  • Wall Street Journal – http://www.wsj.com/articles/trucking-companies-confront-amazon-threat-1453842572

Winter Driving 101: Do You Know How to Chain Your Tires?

It only takes a few inches of wet snow and a slight incline to stop a truck in its tracks. Once stopped, a big rig weighing 10,000 pounds or more suddenly becomes a serious problem. That’s why tire chains are required in some locales where snow and ice are routine problems every winter. So when posed with the question: Do you know how to chain your tires? It is surprising to learn how many truckers do not learn this procedure.


The East Oregonian ran a story on February 8 (2016) profiling two men who work as certified tire chain installers along a 30-mile stretch of I-84 in the northern part of Oregon. These certified installers are among a group of five certified by the Oregon Department of Transportation to help truckers install tire chains when necessary. This particular crew is called into action, whenever the DOT declares chains are required on their stretch of highway.

According to the East Oregonian story, professional tire chain helpers often find themselves helping truckers, who have never installed chains before. Some of the drivers are new to the truck driving occupation; others have worked for companies, with policies in place instructing drivers to park when conditions are severe enough to require chains. The pros say the biggest problem they encounter among inexperienced drivers, is chains that are not put on tight enough.

Chains that are too loose are prone to falling off without warning. That could be a big problem in the middle of a steep grade where there is very little room for error. Lose a chain while climbing and it is nearly impossible to get it back on again. The pros make a point of getting chains as tight as humanly possible. More impressively, they can completely chain a truck and get it on its way in about 20 minutes.

Know Your Company Policy

The best advice we can give truckers starts with understanding company policy. If your company expects you to keep running even in the snow, it is important that you learn how to apply chains quickly and effectively. You might also want to maintain a supply of chains on your truck just in case state DOTs either don’t lend them or run out during a heavy snowstorm.

Company drivers who are encouraged by their employers to park during heavy snow should obviously abide by those recommendations. Pressing on in extreme weather and winding up in an accident, not only jeopardizes one’s own safety and health, but it could also jeopardize one’s job. It’s better to just park and wait it out, than to violate company policy.

Independent contractors should certainly consider purchasing chains as well. We carry them here at Mytee, along with a full range of truck tires for all positions. The right combination of tires and chains will keep you on the road except under the most extreme conditions.

Making a Living in the Snow

We commend the dedicated workers in Oregon who brave miserable weather conditions to help truckers apply tire chains. It cannot be easy to spend an entire workday kneeling in the snow, being dripped on by dirty, melting snow underneath wheel hubs, and constantly having to worry about other truck traffic that could be potentially deadly. These individuals certainly deserve the respect of the entire trucking community.

Should you ever have need of their services, we hope you will show them your appreciation and respect. Getting professional help to chain your tires will get you back on the road quicker and ensure that your chains are properly fastened. Everybody wins in the end.


  • East Oregonian – http://www.eastoregonian.com/eo/local-news/20160208/chain-men-embrace-cold-and-dirty-job

How To Detect and Avoid Abnormal Truck Tire Wear

The average independent trucker invests a lot of money on truck tires – It’s part of the game. But take a moment to step back and consider how important a role tires play in everything you do as a trucker. The rubber underneath you affects your mileage, your handling, the kinds of loads you can safely carry and, ultimately, your profit margin at the end of the year. That means minimizing tire wear plays a pivotal roll in improving your bottom line.

Truck tires wear out just as anything else on your truck. What you should be most concerned about is abnormal wear. When tires wear abnormally, this is a sign that something else is wrong with your truck or your driving habits. Correcting the issues causing the abnormal wear is imperative.


Abnormal Wear on Steer Tires

Your steer position tires are most susceptible to abnormal wear because they take the brunt of the friction as you drive down the road. There are multiple classifications of abnormal wear including full shoulder wear, feathered wear, cupping, and toe-in/toe-out wear. The wear pattern on your steer position tires should tell you what’s going on with your truck.

For example, full shoulder wear is often the result of side scrubbing, according to Fleet Equipment Magazine‘s Al Cohn. He says that side scrubbing is caused by either the steer axle or drive axle being misaligned. When axles are not properly aligned with each other and the truck frame, the misaligned axle pushes against the tires on the wide side of the angle. This causes the full shoulder wear on that side.

Cohn also says drivers should be looking for cupping – i.e., a wavy wear pattern – on steer position tires. Cupping is likely a sign that a wheel is out of balance, although under-inflation can also cause cupping as well.

Abnormal Wear on Trailer Tires

Truck tires mounted on the trailer position are not exposed to the same level of stress as drive and steer position tires. Nonetheless, they can wear abnormally under the right conditions. Cohn suggests checking trailer tires regularly for signs of brake skid, diagonal wear, shoulder wear, and depressed wear.

Tire damage resulting from brake skids is an obvious sign that the driver is using his or her brakes too aggressively. The most effective way to approach the problem is to be more gradual and purposeful in the braking process. Avoiding skids will certainly increase the life of your trailer tires.

As for the other three kinds of wear, they can be caused by a number of different problems. For example, excessive camber or bearing problems can cause unusual shoulder wear on one side of the trailer. Diagonal wear can be caused by skids or by using mismatched duals on the same axle. Depressed wear is often the result of tire under-inflation.

According to Cohn, the keys to maximizing tire performance and minimizing wear are proper tire inflation and routine equipment checks that look at wheel balance and axle alignment. Keeping those three things in check ensures your truck tires run smooth, straight, and at recommended pressures.

Mytee Products carries a full line of truck tires for all positions, offering well-known manufacturers including Triangle, Double Coin, Roadmaster, and Super Cargo. You can find complete details about our entire tire inventory here on our website. You can search for tires by manufacturer, brand, position, price, or profile.

Remember, you invest an awful lot in your tires regardless of where you purchase them. Protect your investment by taking care of your tires at all times.


  • Fleet Equipment Magazine – http://www.fleetequipmentmag.com/minimizing-irregular-truck-tire-wear/

Use Strap Winders and Save Tarping Time

Most flatbed trailers are equipped with straps stored on the winch. These are used to fasten and secure load on transit. Any truck driver will tell you about the great deal of time they spend coiling straps when not in use.
The Kwik winch winder from Kinedyne Corporation is an excellent tool for winding straps. It allows the driver to wind the straps on the winch in a fraction of the time they would take to do so by hand.

You just feed the end of the strap on the winch mandrill and insert the hook end of the strap winder and wind the strap in no time at all.

The Kwik winder is made of steel with zinc plating and has 2 plastic-grip handles to allow for easy rotation of the winder bar during operation.This essential tool helps truck drivers to easily recoil straps, save time and quickly get back on their journey.