Hybrids on the Rise. Next up – ‘Flybrids’?

Hybrid vehicles

Recently I had been researching hybrid vehicles and technology to learn about them and maybe in future purchase a hybrid vehicle. While web surfing hybrids, I came across an article on the www.theguardian.com website that caught my attention. The title was “Can flywheel technology drive out the battery from car hybrids?” The article discusses the potential of a flywheel-based Kinetic Energy Recovery System (Kers) that could potentially replace the battery in hybrids. These vehicles are known as “Flybrids”

Before discussing these ‘flybrids’, here is some information on hybrids that I found to be interesting:

  1. Hybrid technology was first used in 1900 and in 1901, Ferdinand Porsche developed the Lohner-Porsche Mixte Hybrid, the first gasoline-electric hybrid automobile in the world. An interesting notation that I had found on Wikipedia.
  2. The Toyota Prius was the first mass produced hybrid vehicle and helped create the current hybrid craze that is going on today.
  3. 7.5 million hybrid vehicles have been sold through December of 2013 since they became massed produced in 1997,  6 million of these are Toyota Motor Company owned between Toyota & Lexus brand names.
  4. In 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the ‘Heavy Duty Hybrid Vehicle Research, Development & Demonstration Act of 2009’ for heavy duty plug-in hybrid vehicles.
  5. According to Pike Research, the estimated global market of hybrid medium/heavy duty trucks & buses on the road was 9,000 vehicles in 2010 and expected 100,000 vehicles in 2015. Coca-Cola Enterprises has the largest fleet of hybrid trucks in North America.

Hybrid heavy duty trucks can haul some weight as well. Freightliner Hybrid technology was boasting their new line of trucks having a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating up to 55,000 lbs, a range of 200-320 hp, with torque output ranging from 520-750 lb/ft. These trucks can move/haul just about anything standard diesel engine trucks can as well. If you are in market for a new truck, you should give a hybrid truck a second look.

Now I want to reflect on the ‘flybrid’ article a little bit more. Flybrids are not only for automotive vehicles. There are buses in London currently operating with flybrid engines as a test run, with some also expected in Northern Ireland also.

The concept of the flybrid is, the kinetic energy recovered during braking would spin a flywheel. The recovered energy is stored in the spinning flywheel, to be released upon acceleration. The amount of energy a flywheel can store depends on its mass and the speed at which it is rotating. Certain prototypes have provided up to 80 bhp boost.

Flywheels are lighter than batteries and are easier to dispose of when they go bad. A flybrid engine offers a prospect of improved fuel efficiency as well. Unlike batteries, you can charge a flywheel up & slow it down multiple times without the degradation of performance.

Car manufacturers such as Porsche, Jaguar, Audi & Volvo have begun to experiment with flybrid technology in recent years. Audi Sport’s flywheel hybrid, the R18 E-Tron Quattro, became the first hybrid vehicle to win the legendary “Le Mans 24 hour endurance race.”

As intriguing as this flybrid and Kers technology is, I would not expect a big exploding trend just yet for flybrids on the market just yet. Toyota themselves haven’t shown interest in flybrids, and the major companies who have do not feel the technology is ready for mass production at this time.

In another 5 years or so, you could be debating, Hybrid or Flybrid, when it comes to your next vehicle purchase.

Marine Diesel Exhaust: Wet or Dry?

exhaust manifolds

Marine exhaust systems are an important part of marine engines, but are often overlooked. When it comes to the exhaust systems, there are two main options for recreational boats: Wet or Dry.

Ever wonder why a marine exhaust manifold looks like a big square piece of metal versus an automotive exhaust manifold with its tubes more prominent. The main reason is to accommodate the flow of water mixing in with the exhaust fumes, this type of manifold would apply to a “Wet” exhaust system.

All Wet

A wet exhaust mixes seawater with the exhaust before it can be routed out of the boat. Injecting seawater into the exhaust can dramatically lower the temperature of exhaust run, which reduces risks of fire or being burned by an exhaust pipe.

The water is provided by a dedicated seawater pump which in turn routes water through the engine lube oil cooler, gearbox cooler and main heat exchanger prior to being injected into the exhaust downstream of the exhaust manifold itself.

Bone Dry

This is a dry exhaust system (no seawater is present) and produces high temperatures. Diesel exhaust gases can reach as high as 1200 degrees F. This means that special “lagging” or insulation needs to be added to surrounding areas or parts, to protect surrounding equipment, boat structure and people.

Since no water is used in the exhaust, there are different options in regards to engine cooling. A heat exchanger can be used and seawater would simply be discharged overboard. Another common alternative would be moving the entire heat exchanger outside of the boat. The passing water would carry away the heat, much like a radiator does for a car.

While wet exhaust systems are much more common for recreational boats in general, many builders of deep-sea passage makers prefer to use dry exhaust systems on a number of their models.

Wet Exhaust – Pros & Cons:

  • PRO – Far fewer heat issues with exhaust runs.
  • CON – Seawater pump failure could destroy the engine.
  • PRO – More Interior Space
  • CON – Extra maintenance for the sea strainer, pump and injector elbow
  • PRO – Easier to design and install
  • CON – Exhaust can blow into boat in following wind.

Wet exhaust systems also require a hole in the boat for the intake which requires extra sealing. If the pump fails or strainer is clogged, engine temperature would begin to rise and set off alarms. You may only have a few seconds to shut down your engine before major damage is done.

There is also the potential of flooding the engine when over cranking at engine start-up. Too many unsuccessful starting attempts could dump enough water into the exhaust flooding the turbocharger, exhaust manifold, cylinders and cause catastrophic damage to an engine.

Dry Exhaust – Pros & Cons:

  • PRO – No seawater pump to maintain, or have fail
  • CON – Dangerous heat levels
  • PRO – No seawater strainer to maintain, or have clog
  • CON – Space accommodations for stack (less interior space)
  • PRO – Exhaust released well above deck
  • CON – Complex Design and construction

With dry exhaust systems, most frustrations come from the design of the exhaust rather than the performance or maintenance. There are less parts to worry about, which means not as much maintenance needed. The biggest challenge is insulating/shielding parts so the heat is not damaging other parts, boat structure, or burning the people who have to service the engine.

While wet exhaust systems appear to be more common, especially with recreational boats, they also require more maintenance and replacement parts.

If you can take the heat and like better reliability, then a dry exhaust system may be the best option.

Discover the awesome history of mack trucks

Have you ever heard the phrase ‘Built like a Mack Truck’ and ever wondered where it came from. Maybe you are a truck mechanic who is replacing heavy-duty truck parts on a Mack truck and you thought about where the saying came from. Or you could be a commuter who noticed a Mack truck on the road and was curious about its history. At some point in time, I think everyone has heard the saying and probably was curious where it came from.

Mack Trucks have been an American staple since the 1900s and is one of the first big-name truck manufacturers to have sustained success for more than a century. Kenworth began a business in 1912, Freightliner was developed in t

he 1930’s and Peterbilt was established in 1939.

heavy duty trucks parts

Who made mack trucks?

If you want to know the history of mack trucks, you have to start with the creator.

John M. Mack, known as “Jack” and his brother Augustus purchased the wagon company that John worked for in 1893.

The following year, their brother William joined operations. The brothers began experimenting with steam-powered and electric motors.

Inspired by the Wright Brothers-Orville & Wilbur, Willis Carrier, and Henry Ford’s inventions, John Mack had a vision about producing heavy-duty trucks, engines, and replacement parts.

history of mack trucks


The “Mack Brothers Company” was founded in 1900 and the company opened its first bus manufacturing plant the same year. A sightseeing company had placed the first order.

Mack’s first truck was manufactured in 1907.

During World War I, Mack delivered over 6,000 trucks to the American and British military for use during the war. Rumor has it that the British soldiers were so impressed with the Mack Trucks durability, toughness and reliability they gave them the nickname of “Mack Bulldogs” after their own British Bulldogs.

Mack truck logo history

mack bulldogThe history of mack trucks logo?.

In 1922, “Mack Brothers Company” changed its name to Mack Trucks and the bulldog was accepted as the company’s corporate Logo.

The bulldog was first portrayed on a steel plate mounted to the side of the truck, the hood ornament appeared approximately 10 years later. These trucks with a gold plated bulldog indicate that the truck is made entirely of Mack parts, while built with another manufacturers’ transmission, engine, rear axles or suspension are given the chrome-plated logo.


Mack Trucks made a name for themselves by being tough and reliable trucks.

But they offered many advancements to heavy-duty truck engines and their parts as well.

In 1918 they became the first manufacturer to apply air cleaners and oil filters to their trucks.

In 1920 became the first truck with power brakes.

Also became the first manufacturer to produce their own diesel engines in 1938.

Engines history

Jumping ahead to the 1960s, vice president of product and engineering, Walter May, had developed the Maxidyne high torque rise engine, first as an inline V6 and later a V8. The development was an industry-changing event, as it allowed a Class 8 heavy-duty engine to operate with a 5-speed transmission. Previously trucks would have 10 gears’ or more.

Mack Trucks is a top producer in the vocational “on-road-vehicle” Class 8 through Class 13.

They are also among the most popular manufacturer of heavy-duty “off-road” trucks in America. Are also sold worldwide in 45 different countries.

Their main assembly plant is located in the state of Pennsylvania and has the capability of manufacturing all known heavy-duty Mack Truck Parts.

For more than a century, Have been prominent on American roads.

Their durability to withstand world wars, rising competition, and the test of time is a testament to the brothers that first had a dream and made it come true.

Do you know of anything that is ‘Built like a Mack Truck?’

Volkswagen Beetle Facts You Didn’t Know

love bug

This car is a legend. That’s all we have to know. We don’t need numbers and figures to prove the charisma of an icon, we just know. However, the Volkswagen Beetle has so much to say, and they’re not just boring facts, but a cool story to how it became our favorite bug. Maybe that’s why we came to love bug beetle in the first place. So why don’t we refresh our memories and take a road trip back to where it all happened, then arrive at why we think it is legendary. Seatbelts?

I told you this would be interesting. Even Hitler was a fan! This was in 1938, three years after Dr. Ferdinand Porsche, the man beside Hitler and the mastermind of Beetle’s unique design, created the Volkswagen which means “people’s car” in German. He later created his line of cars and named it after him. Ring a bell?

How born the VW beetle idea and the love of bug beetle

If you are curious and you love the beetle you have to know a little bit of its story first.

In 1931, Ferdinand Porsche and Zündapp developed the Porsche Type 12 the first Volkswagen, the “Auto fur Jedermann” which means “the car for everyone“. Porsche had already developed a four-cylinder boxer air-cooled engine and Zündapp was developing a water-cooled 5-cylinder radial engine. Porsche had chosen a torsion bar rear suspension by Edward Rumpler.

In 1932, there were already three prototypes, and later a fourth in 1933, the Porsche Type 32, built by the NSU motorcycle factory.

Adolf Hitler loved bug beetle since its born.

In 1933, Adolf Hitler commissioned Porsche to design a car for the people (literally in German, Volks Wagen). The car should have a capacity for two adults and two children, with room for suitcases and be able to reach 100km/h. The German National Socialist Party had already used the term “Volks” for other party-sponsored products, such as the Volksradio.


However, the name Volkswagen would not be the official one until a few years later. This new vehicle was initially named Porsche Type 60 and then baptized as KdF-Wagen. KdF was the initials of Kraft Durch Freude (Strength through Joy), the leisure section of the Third Reich.

The first prototype released was in October 1935, the Type 60, known as the V1. In 1936 tests began with the three V3 prototypes manufactured at Porsche’s Stuttgart facility. In 1937, the 30 W30 models, manufactured by Daimler-Benz, already accumulated 2,900,000 km of tests. All vehicles already had the distinctive rounded shape and air-cooled engine at the rear.

Hitler’s plans and his love for the bug beetle were to make this new vehicle available to everyone and for that, he introduced a form of fractional payment. Consumers would buy a “Sparkarte” (a coupon booklet) for 1 Reichsmark, equivalent to about 25 euro cents. After buying the coupon book, you had to buy at least 5 Reichsmarks in coupons a week. The total price that for the basic vehicle was 990 Reichsmark.

In 1938, the Stadt des KdF-Wagens was built around the village of Hesslingen which was where the workers of the KdF-Wagen factory lived.

When World War II broke out in 1939, only a few units had been for consumers.

The war and the beetles

The two main vehicles produced during the war were variants of the Beetle, as the four-cylinder boxer air-cooled engine and rear torsion bar suspension was ideal for the harsh desert conditions in Africa.

Firstly was the Type 82 Kubelwagen, a very basic all-terrain utility vehicle. German military officers had stipulated that the total weight of the fully-loaded Kubelwagen (including 4 soldiers armed for battle) should not exceed 950 kg, leaving the maximum weight of the unladen vehicle at 550 kg. Porsche subcontracted Trutz, an experienced manufacturer of military vehicles, to collaborate on the body design.

The first successful tests were out in 1938 and continued in Poland in 1939. The result of these tests prompted the German military to ask for some important changes. Although the vehicle had shown impressive results on all terrains, even compared to some 4x4s that already existed at the time, the military thought it could be improved, and that the minimum speed of the vehicle had to be reduced from 8km/h to 4km/h in order to match the troops’ walking speed.

Porsche gearboxes

Porsche responded to these requests by installing “gearboxes” (what in practice was a second gearbox with a higher torque), larger wheels and a revised suspension. The gearboxes together with ZF’s self-locking differentials increased the vehicle’s all-terrain capability and made it possible to reduce the minimum speed to match the pace of the troops. Kubelwagens began mass production as soon as the factories at Stadt des KdF-Wagens were finishing.

The second vehicle produced during this period was the Type 166 Schwimmwagen, based on the Kubelwagen 4×4 prototype. The Schwimmwagen was an amphibious all-terrain vehicle using an extended crankshaft that operated a folding propeller at the rear of the vehicle.

This propeller coupling was so simple that the Schwimmwagen could only use the propeller to move forward. To reverse it was necessary to paddle or use the ground wheels to reverse slowly.

The Beetle Turbo

Volkswagen Beetle Turbo

Volkswagen Beetle Turbo

Presenting the Beetle Turbo another reason for our love for bug cars. Convertible sculpted from powerful cosmetic enhancements. It’s an extensive package composed of performance-inspired perks and detailed sleek. You can still sniff the original one’s charm, but this one’s created to suit our contemporary needs. What a beauty!

Re-designing the Beetle is like a noob going head to head with the Godfather. The chances are slim. But why do people still applaud the Beetle despite its evolution throughout the century? May it be the name, the design, the movie, or its story, the Love Bug lives on! It’s legendary, and that’s all we need to know.

Finding the Right Repair Shop

truck repair shop

Let’s say you are a new start-up company and you have a fleet of heavy duty trucks. You have some experience in the trucking industry, but feel it would be too costly to keep in-house mechanics and maintain your fleet.

Finding trained & skilled mechanics is not cheap, but the risk of hiring one trained person and hoping he can train unskilled labor is one you don’t want to take.

Then maintaining your inventory of commercial truck parts for your fleet can be challenging and ending up with too much of one item and not enough of another can lead to longer downtimes for your vehicles.

So after looking at the cost and risks of an “in-house” maintenance program, you decide that you would rather outsource the repair work. How do you know which shop will be the best for your fleet needs?

Working for a company that sells commercial truck replacement parts on a wholesale level, I had never thought about it before.

Being a wholesaler, our company doesn’t deal with the general public. We have referred callers to our closest customer in their area before, but had never given a thought about repair shops in general.

Not until a caller asked me if any of his choices were a repair shop as well, so I decided to do some research.

Now since I still do not have a need for a repair shop, I researched on how to go about finding the right repair shop for your needs.

Here is a list of some ideas to consider when looking for a repair shop:

  1. Make an initial list of the repair shops in your area and begin by looking at the website, if offered.
  2. A professional or user friendly website can be a sign the company conducts itself professionally.
  3. Call up the companies on your list and evaluate their customer service. Are they willing to take the time to speak with you on the phone or are they rushed and trying to end the call quickly? Depending on how these calls go, you could eliminate some companies from your list.
  4. Review the list of services provided. Some repair shops may only specialize in one area of repair work, meaning you would have to find another shop for other repairs.
  5. Make sure the repair shop does work on your vehicle brand/application. If you have a truck with a Aftermarket Detroit S60 engine and take it to a shop who specialize in Caterpillar, you may not get the best repair work done.
  6. What is the labor rate of the shop and hours of operation?
  7. Ask about their technician certifications and experience.
  8. What is the vehicle turnaround time for repairs and their service backlog look like? A shop could do quality repair work, but if understaffed, they could take longer to get your truck up & running.
  9. Does the repair shop maintain an internal inventory of commercial truck parts, or would parts have to be ordered and shipped to them? You may have to wait a day or longer to get your truck back on the road.
  10. Make sure the repair shop has good insurance coverage. Last thing you would need is for some sort of accident to happen, or the building burns down, and the repair shop insurance won’t cover your truck.
  11. Will the shop offer a warranty on their labor?

All of the things listed above are great, but feeling comfortable with the company is just as important. Another thing to consider, just because a company is the cheapest option, doesn’t necessarily mean they are the worst option. The same thing can be said about speed as well.

Granted, you want your truck on the road as soon as you can get it there, but you want it to last for a long time as well. Quality repair work can help make that happen.

How to ceramic coating your exhaust manifold

If you are running vehicles multiple hours a day or in some form of a professional racing league, having your parts professionally coated is probably your best option. But what about the average guy who is looking to restore their dream car, but is on a budget. Do-it-Yourself options can help save some money.

Deciding what brand name or type of coating would be the most difficult choice.

They have cans that look like traditional paint and used in paint sprayers, or Aerosol can options. The Aerosol can option may not always be ceramic coatings, they may just be high-temp resistant paint. If you have an air compressor and access to a paint spray gun that would be best. Even a cheap spray gun from a local supply store would work.

Steps to ceramic coating of your engine parts

Let’s say you want to put a ceramic coating on your exhaust manifold, here is what I have found to be the basic steps:

  1. Make sure you clean the entire exhaust manifold inside as well as the outside. Professionals will have fancy chemicals to help assist them, but a strong household degreaser can work just as well.
  2. Then you would want to sandblast the manifold to remove any loose pieces or dirt the degreaser couldn’t remove. If you do not have a sandblasting tool or access to one, then you can use steel wool or sandpaper. It may take longer to do, but prepping the surface is a must.
  3. Prepare your work area. Lay down tarps and cover anything (in immediate area) that you do not want to be painted. If possible, hang the part(s) by a wire, so the manifold or its pieces are suspended in the air. This would be an ideal position for painting, but not necessary.
  4. Put on a safety mask or respirator, gloves, safety glasses and make sure you have plenty of ventilation if working in a garage or home workshop area.
  5. Before you begin to spray, make sure you read the instructions on the label of the product you purchased.
  6. Spray an even coating over the entire piece(s). Allow a few minutes to dry before applying multiple coats.ceramic coating exhaust manifold

Curing process

After applying the final layer to your exhaust manifold, the curing process is next. Professionals have industrial ovens and other heating equipment that can begin the curing process no problem. Using a conventional oven that can reach a temperature of 500 degrees can work, but you wouldn’t want to use the oven from your kitchen. Without access to an oven or a heat gun, you would need to let the manifold dry for at least eight hours.

The final stages of the curing process occur while the parts are installed on the engine. You want to start the vehicle and let the engine run on idle for at least an hour, or drive the vehicle around. Then let your engine cool down completely and repeat the cycle. This may need to be done a few times, refer to the product instructions.

High temperatures

One important thing to note is that excessive heat from a poorly tuned engine can actually damage the ceramic coating of your exhaust manifold or other coated parts. Make sure all adjustments to camshafts, springs, valves, timing, and fuel injection system are done, otherwise all the time spent coating your manifold and other parts could be time wasted.

Whether you are looking to restore your dream car, or you would like better performance and protection for your everyday car, the do-it-yourself option for ceramic coating can save you some money that can be used for different areas of your vehicle.

Benefits of ceramic coating your exhaust manifold

  1. Increase performance reducing the backpressure.
  2. Surface temperature reduction: Heat at those levels is enough to do serious damage to internal parts of the vehicle.
  3. Prevent corrosion: Ceramic has high resistance and is very durable.

Exhaust manifold ceramic coating cost

The price really depends on the version of your exhaust manifold, each part needs a process before applying the ceramic coating. So the prices can be around 40$ to 250$ or more. (Remember that there are estimates)

Flexplates vs Flywheels: The Ultimate Comparison

Often referred to as being the same thing, flywheels and flexplates have similarities but are quite different.

AKMI' Product: K-21514061 Aftermarket Volvo D11 Flywheel1. Flywheels are typically found on vehicles equipped with manual transmissions, while flexplates are used in vehicles with automatic transmissions.

A manual transmission has a flywheel that is attached to the crankshaft and has a clutch disk in between the pressure plate and flywheel.

When someone presses the clutch, the throwout bearing is pushed in, which forces the pressure plate to stop applying pressure to the clutch disk.

As this happens, it stops receiving power from the engine.

So the gear shifts without damaging the transmission.

Once the operator/driver shifts into a new gear release the clutch pedal then the clutch disk is allowed to start receiving power from the engine once again.

Automatic transmissions eliminate the clutch and grinding.

Basically automating the shifting process so the driver does not have to worry about shifting gears while driving.

A flexplate is mounted to the crankshaft and connects the output from the engine to the input of a torque converter.

Torque converters replace the clutch of a manual transmission.

Allowing the load to be separated from the power source.

They are generally a type of fluid coupling that can multiply torque and is used in transferring rotating power from the prime mover (internal combustion engine or electric motor) to a rotating driven load. The torque converter is located between the flexplate and the transmission.

Flywheels, due to the friction process, are very thick, made of steel and are as heavy as they look.

Their lifecycle can outlast that of the clutch but will need resurfacing before installing a new clutch.

When they need do need replacing, you can typically get away with using an aftermarket replacement.

2. Flexplates are much thinner than a FlywheelAKMI' Product: AK-3973497 Cummins ISC ISL Flywheel

As well as the ring gear it uses to connect with the starter (depending on vehicle and engine size), and are much, much lighter.

This is due to the fluid coupling of the torque converter, which eliminates the grinding of a clutch.

The lighter, thinner metal frame has an ability to flex across its main axis – bending side to side (hence the name Flexplate) – taking up motion in the torque converter as the rotational speeds change.

The metal frame of the flexplate itself will have multiple machine-cut holes within the body of the plate.

One set of holes will look uniform and would be for mounting to the crankshaft.

The other holes are specific to the vehicle, torque converter set-up and potential weight balance of the flexplate.

No matter the car size, small economy size or heavy-duty truck.

If your vehicle has a manual transmission and you have to step on the clutch to shift gears, your vehicle has a flywheel as part of your transmission. If all you have to do is put the shifter in a drive (D) and step on the gas pedal, your vehicle has a flexplate.

AKMI' Product: Mack MP7 flywheel diesel trucks

3. Repair and replacement cost

If you have problems with your flywheel you probably have to replace them, but what it´s their costs?

The replacement of the flywheel can vary depending on the model and the quality, the prices are about 35$ and 400$. In our shop, we have a variety of flywheels for your comfort.

Those were some important facts about flywheels and flexplates.

Now, can I drive with a cracked flexplate?

Sure you can drive with a broken flexplate but is heavily dangerous.

And the sound of the broken part is terrible if you have a broken flexplate or flywheel you have to go to your mechanic immediately and change the part.

Truck Driver Career: Income And How to Become One

truck driver career

The heavy-duty trucking industry has a big demand for qualified truck drivers. There is also a need for qualified mechanics/technicians that are knowledgeable in repair work and know to use quality replacement diesel engine spare parts. If you like this world and the truck maybe you have to study a truck driver career

The freedom of the open road and driving cross country hauling freight doesn’t appeal to the younger generation. Most people, myself included, look to pass trucks while on the freeway and hate getting stuck behind them.

Short-haul driving (within city limits) doesn’t appear to be that appealing either. No one likes traffic, to begin with, and being stuck in the city with a truck & trailer three times the size of the average car daily doesn’t sound fun.

Truckinginfo.com posted an article in December of 2013 titled “Commentary:

The Ever-Pressing Need for Young Drivers and Technicians”. This article mentions that the average age of current drivers is 55+, as provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It’s also mentioned that by 2020, there can be a need for 330,000 new drivers.

How to become in a heavy-duty truck driver

truck driver

1. Requirements

If you want to become a truck driver you have to accomplish these requirements for the school you are gonna apply.

Obtain a CDL

The first step is to obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) from your state of residence, which comes with its own set of requirements.

Attend a Truck Driving School

To earn a CDL, you’ll have to attend a truck driving school. Each school may have slight variations in its truck driver requirements, but there are a few qualifications that are consistent across the board. If you’re wondering where the nearest school is or how you’ll pay for school.

Clean Driving Record & Solid Work History

Most truck driving schools require a clean driving record and a solid work history to enter their programs. Want more information on truck driver qualifications in your state? Pick up a copy of your state’s commercial driver’s manual at your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to become familiar with commercial driving rules and regulations.

Be at least 21 Years Old

The Department of Transportation (DOT) requires all professional truck drivers to be at least 21 years old.

Pass a Drug & Alcohol Test & Undergo a Physical

Prospective drivers also have to pass a drug and alcohol test and undergo a physical by an approved doctor before receiving their CDL.

2. Find a truck driver school


You have to find a good school that teaches you the necessary skills to be an excellent and prepared truck driver.

3. After you complete your preparation you have to find a job as a truck driver.

You can apply for this job on the Internet or in Institutions of truck drivers in your country.

We provide you some free job boards for this career on this web page.

3 benefits of the truck driver career

1. Stability and good pay

With a truck driver career, you have a lot of work opportunities in different companies and the job is well paid.

The median annual wage for a trucker that works for a private fleet,

such as a truck driver employed by Walmart, is $73,000, according to ATA.

The Labor Department pegs the median annual salary for all truck drivers at around $40,000.

truck driver income

2. Traveling.

As a truck driver you are gonna have a lot of travels and adventures around your country, that´s the reason why a lot of truck drivers love their jobs.


you are not going to have a boss or other people disturbing you, you don´t have to deal with other employees or other things like that. You can take different ways to do your job, for example, you can be a local driver, a road driver, tanker driver and other different opportunities that you have as a truck driver.

Here are some misconceptions of being a truck driver:

truck driver on the road

  1. The stigma of super long days or terrible hours.
    Most truckers will work longer days on average than most, but with new safety regulations and limits on how many hours a trucker can drive, it’s not as bad as it used to be. Trucking companies will need drivers at all times of the day, so different shifts are available.
  2. Older trucks are not the easiest to drive.
    While driving a manual transmission truck does take more focus and concentration, many newer trucks have automatic transmissions, so they will be easier to drive.
  3. Short Haul drivers complain the company does not have enough drivers, hours are too long and not being appreciated.
Estimated shortage

Wikipedia noted that in 2005 there was an estimated shortage of 20,000 drivers and expected this number to increase to 111,000 by 2014. At one point, driver turnover for trucking companies was 136%. More drivers were either retiring, quitting, or being let go, they’re being hired as replacements or new drivers. It’s no heavy trucksurprise that the short-haul drivers complain as they do.

The article from Truckinginfo.com goes on to mention that the need for technicians/mechanics is worse than the need for drivers. The Department of Labor estimated 10 years ago there were 606,000 diesel technicians and the industry would need 205,000 more by 2014 to fill new positions and replace retirees.

Repair work

While the weight of diesel engine spare parts may not be a good reason, the complexity of the parts can be one. Also, the repair work may be harder compared to the automotive. Diesel engines and their spare parts are bigger/heavier than automotive engines and parts, but the repair processes are very similar.

When people think of a diesel mechanic, their first thought is probably of an overweight older gentleman, covered with grease spots and an outdated workshop. There are probably places like this, but most certified repair shops are very clean and professional.

Importantly the pay scale for drivers and technicians is comparable to other careers and geographical areas.

Years of experience and quality of work can be factors as well.

So, how can the shortage be overcome?

truck drivers

Creating more public awareness about the positives involved with being a truck driver or technician is one way. Having programs that can reach out and educate high school kids about careers in these fields can go a long way. Not all high school kids go on to college. Some kids may look at going to vocational schools for specialized training or they learn on the job.

Big time truck builders such as “Navistar, Peterbilt and Volvo” have established alliances or vocational training programs with schools like Universal Technical Institute (UTI) or Wyotech to help improve and educate recruits for a career as a diesel technician.

If you are at a crossroads in life or just looking for a career change, there is plenty of room in the trucking industry as a driver or technician.

How to Determine The Best Truck Parts to Add to Your Inventory

Diesel engine parts

As a purchasing manager for an aftermarket heavy duty replacement truck parts supplier, it is my responsibility to research parts and determine the best parts to add to the inventory.

There are many factors to consider when it comes to adding parts to existing inventory. Age of the part, demand for the part, and quality sourcing are all important. Knowing what parts to start with and the basic information of the part are crucial.

Listening to customers is one of the best ways to figure out what new parts are on the rise. Customers at some point in time will ask the salesforce about a part number that is not in stock or currently available by the company. When this happens, is your salesforce prepared to get the information you will need to make it easier to research the part in question?

Here is a list of questions the salesforce team can ask the customer:

How often do you sell this particular part?

Product demand will help in determining a part. You wouldn’t want to add something that a customer only replaces once a year.

What year is the truck?

Newer trucks will have manufacturer warranties up to 5 years or more. During this time, parts are covered by the warranty, so aftermarket heavy duty replacement truck parts are not needed until the warranty is expired. There is not many older trucks, 35 years or older, that are still roadworthy. Adding new inventory parts for trucks this old would not make sense.

Do you see a wide variety of this type of truck or engine types?

Different geographical areas tend to see more of one type of truck/engine than another. One customer could see more Aftermarket Detroit Diesel engines versus Mack engines.

What is the OEM cost to replace the part?

Aftermarket options need to be of good quality, but also need to be priced as such that it is worth going with the aftermarket part instead of OEM.

Besides polling the salesmen for information, reviewing customer purchase history can be useful. If a customer is purchasing many types of Aftermarket Cummins heavy duty truck replacement parts, you can conclude that they would be open to more Aftermarket Cummins part options.

Let’s say you have a list of some part numbers to research. This list was finalized after speaking with your salesforce and reviewing customer histories, but you are still unsure if you should add this part. Another way to get some information on a part is by doing a ‘Google’ or other web browser search.

Type the part number and part type in the search bar and see what comes up. If the first few pages show multiple listings of this part for retail sale, whether it’s used, remanufactured or new, you more than likely are looking at a part number that is in demand now.

If all you come across in your search are overseas companies looking to sell this part number and no retail listings, you may have an oddball part that isn’t in demand. Either this, or the part is still being covered by manufacturer warranty and will not be in demand for a while. It could be possible that you are using an older part number and should check for alternates to confirm.

Before you add any heavy duty replacement truck parts, be sure you research the parts very carefully, then look for your sourcing options.

Exhaust Manifold – Steel or Cast Iron?

You have had your truck for many years now and during routine maintenance of your vehicle, you realize that your exhaust manifold is leaking. Let’s say it’s at a point where you can’t repair the leak, which means you have to replace it.

As you are beginning to inquiry about a new exhaust manifold, your parts supplier asks you if you want ‘Cast Iron’ or ‘Steel’. Would you be able to answer this right away? The OEM manifold that was removed from your truck is more than likely cast iron, so why would you be offered a steel version?

Here is some information that can help you make a decision.

Cast Iron

  1. The material is inexpensive and fairly easy to work with. OEM manufacturers tend to use cast iron because of this.
  2. Material is durable and can have a long life span.
  3. It is heavier than steel and can become brittle and prone to cracking under extreme heat cycles and age.
  4. Requires special tooling for production, but is easier for mass production.


  1. Steel has different options, mild steel or stainless steel
  2. Mild steel has a ‘low degree to thermal expansion’ and is an excellent choice for flanges.
  3. Stainless steel is stronger and more corrosion resistant than mild steel, and also costs more.
  4. Stainless steel can be prone to expanding during heat cycles, then retracting when cooling. This can rip off the bolts or studs that hold the exhaust system together.
  5. Can be used to make traditional log style exhaust manifold, but is better suited for custom made tubular exhaust manifolds, without special tooling needed.

Steel exhaust manifolds can reduce heat loss, especially stainless steel versions, which can lead to an added increase in horsepower and performance. You can add a ceramic coating to cast iron exhaust manifolds for a small increase, but not as much as you would gain with steel versions, which can also be given a ceramic coating.

The decision to replace your exhaust manifold and what type of replacement to go with can depend on many factors.

  1. How long do you plan to keep the truck?
  2. Do you want increased performance and more horsepower?
  3. What does your budget look like?

Now that you are more informed, you can choose the best option that fits your needs.