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Driving Innovations: A Guinea Pig Behind the Wheel

Driving Innovations: A Guinea Pig Behind the Wheel

“If there’s something new, we’re going to be on it,” says Randy Pugh, a driver who’s been in Nussbaum equipment since 2010, “It’s just the kind of company we are; we’re always striving to make things better.”

In his three years at Nussbaum, Randy has tested new driver performance software, new tires, and a new air suspension system. He’s also got a data recorder on his truck monitoring his shift patterns.

Says Randy, “I don’t mind being the guinea pig for Nussbaum and their equipment partners. I have a consistent driving style — slow, safe, and under the speed limit – it helps them build baseline data.”

Here’s a quick review of equipment enhancements tested by Pugh to help the company tighten performance, increase safety and save fuel.

“When you are assigned a truck, it’s yours for as long as you are with the company,” says Randy. He got his Freightliner Cascadia in 2011, his first 6×2 axle with super single tires. In addition to significant fuel savings, Randy reports that the set-up reduces “sideways play” on slippery road conditions.

Equipment manufacturer Meritor installed a prototype ECAS system on Randy’s truck which allows him to raise and lower the back of the truck from a control system in the cab as a complement to the truck’s 6×2 axle. Nussbaum is currently evaluating its performance and expanded use to aid in traction and tire life.

Randy has been testing the in-cab technology from Green Road for more than a year. Through a Red, Yellow, Green indicator system, the software tracks driving performance by reading G-forces in all directions. It provides analysis on each turn, brake and mile of road, helping drivers optimize their driving habits.

They are popping up everywhere, but Nussbaum was one of the first! Randy is a fan, “In addition to big fuel savings, skirts reduce turbulence in cross winds and the tails funnel rain water directly behind the truck, eliminating the hazards of passing a truck when roads are wet.”

Improving Smart Shift technology means modeling manual shifts that are producing the optimal fuel savings. Randy’s driving reputation made him an ideal choice for Eaton to put a recorder in his truck to see how he does it.
Nussbaum’s equipment and operational innovations have been featured in numerous industry publications and Randy is proud to represent the company. So, what’s next for the guinea pig behind the wheel? Nussbaum is committed to being at the forefront of the industry and Randy hopes to be right there testing any new products and programs that come his way.

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