A test drive of the new Mack MD was one of the year's top articles. - Photo: Jim Park

A test drive of the new Mack MD was one of the year’s top articles.

Photo: Jim Park

Heavy Duty Trucking’s most popular articles of 2020, as determined by web analytics from Truckinginfo.com, run the gamut from hot current issues to evergreen how-to tips.

When we wrote this online feature in March, fleets were wondering how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on surfaces. Equipment Editor Jim Park dug into what were viewed to be the best practices at the time for this article.

Changes to federal hours-of-service work rules for drivers were announced in June to allow more flexibility, something the trucking industry had asked for with the implementation of mandatory electronic logging devices. But some found the changes confusing. This article offered insight into one of those changes, the 30-minute break.

After the electronic logging device mandate went into final, full effect in December 2019, some owners of trucks with older engines, exempt from the ELD rules, were running into problems with DOT compliance officials. This article laid out what documentation truck owners need to have in this situation.

Another big regulatory change that took effect this year was the federal drug and alcohol clearinghouse. This article outlined what fleets needed to know to comply with the new rules.

While many of our top articles dealt with current affairs, sometimes a good how-to story is helpful for those challenges truckers deal with every year. Although there should be no need to panic about fuel when it gets cold if you manage your fuel properly and take appropriate steps, many don’t, and get stung with the added expense of on-road fuel treatment purchases or the inconvenience of a shut-down.  

As stay-at-home orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic took hold across much of the country in the latter part of March, the level of freight available dropped rapidly. By the second half of April, spot-market rates were so low that independent truckers were staging protests in Houston, California, and Washington, D.C., many blaming brokers. But were brokers really gouging truckers, or was it a simple case of supply and demand? Editor in Chief Deborah Lockridge dug into the issue.

As part of our annual alternative fuels and drivetrains issue, we took a closer look at renewable natural gas. Advocates believe it’s being overlooked in the rush to zero-emission electric powertrains and in fact could be more environmentally friendly when you look at “well to wheel” calculations.

Despite the pandemic, Equipment Editor Jim Park managed to arrange a test drive over the summer of Mack’s new MD Series medium-duty truck announced earlier in the year.

As changes to hours-of-service rules prepared to go into effect in late September, we shared some insight from Joe DeLorenzo, acting associate administrator for enforcement at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, about the rules.

Our January print magazine cover story, this feature addressed one of the most pressing issues affecting many fleets today – soaring insurance costs.

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