This Noah's Ark is an 18 Wheeler!

My name is Noah Underwood, son of Co-Owner Anthony Underwood and God-Son of Roger "Top" Lalik the IT Manager of John Wood Transport. I worked at John Wood Transport this past summer. I worked for 6 weeks on the Florida route and had a lot of fun.

I learned a lot during my time on the truck and decided to share them with you. In this essay I will tell you about the driving, unloading, and loading portions of the job. I hope you enjoy it.

While driving I usually listened to music or talked with my dad because there wasn’t much else to do. We would stop for fuel sometimes, and I would go get food, and he would fill up the truck. When it was around 1-2 AM we would listen to a talk show called Coast to Coast if I had not fallen asleep. The show mainly talked about crazy conspiracy theories like aliens, and such. This usually sparked conversations and filled empty spaces.

When unloading the first time, I knew basically nothing. I didn’t know how to loosen up the straps or how to even use the cargo bar. I slowly learned and had it down in two weeks. After that, it became a routine, and I could usually take care of myself once we got to where we needed to be.

This allowed us to get work done almost twice as fast. I would continue unstrapping while a car was being delivered, and most of the time we got in and out in an hour or two.

Loading for the first time was a little bit shorter because it was just reverse unloading for me. It was still hard. This took me about the same amount of time as the unloading part to get the hang of. As the summer progressed, I got better and better, and just like with unloading. 

I could be left by myself as I had become reliable enough to unload without supervision, letting us get out quicker. I would say this was the harder of the two though because you had to be very precise when doing it or you could end up causing damage to the car/cars.

Overall, I had a lot of fun because it let me get out of the house and learn a lot of new things. I got to spend time with my dad and see a lot of different places. I will always be glad I did it, because it let me have a very interesting summer. If I could go back, I know I would make the same choice.

~Noah Underwood

Getting ready to load

Come on dad! Get those cars rolling

It was a long day...

 

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 Diesel truck fuel efficiencies

Hitting 10 mpg today isn’t as unrealistic as it was in 2007. The gains we have made — and by we, I mean the manufacturers and drivers — are impressive.

Yet we keep getting hit as if we’re largely responsible for the climate mess. “Dirty” trucks, by which they mean all trucks, are getting hit with evermore regulations to make us better. Electric trucks are being touted as clean and the only way to move forward. Diesel is being forced out.

Why are we targeted? It’s time we stand up against this. We need to brag about how good we are doing. Compare us to cars.

It just so happens that I crunched some numbers for this. At the fuel rate above, and a retail diesel price at $1.30 it was costing $0.5265 per mile to move 1,000 pounds of my truck down the road.

At a retail price of $1.28 for gas, a Silverado half ton was costing $3.21 per mile, and a Murano $2.9577 per mile, for every 1,000 pounds. I’ve driven both of these models lately and know their average. If I changed to a fuel-sipping car getting 6 liters per 100 km it would still cost $1.8880 per mile per 1,000 pounds.

We’re doing a fabulous job in terms of fuel mileage, but not when it comes to promoting what we have achieved.

Here are some more numbers. A car as efficient as my truck would have to do better than 1.75 liters pre 100 km. If the politicians really care like they claim, they would be forcing car manufacturers to get there. Just like they have with trucks.

We need to stick together and stop being pushed around. I know I’ll get told I’m crazy. I know some may think it’s not a big issue, but it is. There is a cost associated with change. Even change that helps us get better fuel economy.

Diesel engines have proven to be efficient, clean and cost effective. They continue to improve as all manufacturers strive to be the best.

Electric vehicles will have a place, bigger than the one that exists today, but replacing diesel is not going to be cheap, or efficient, or much cleaner.

When I look back, the electronics in our engines have really made a huge difference. Better timing, better injectors, lighter oils, and smaller tolerances all contribute to fuel economy that just keeps getting better.

And remember that I mentioned drivers also play a part in this. So far, no computer program is better than the driver. A great driver continues to be a huge factor in fuel economy.

I’ve had to learn some new techniques. The torque curve has changed, the rpms are lower, and response times are different. Each engine also requires little tweaks to your habits. I love learning. More than I did before. I used to think that I knew a lot, but in reality, there’s always a lot more to learn.

Speed still equals more fuel, but you can still achieve great numbers with the proper driver and spec’s.

We’re efficient, clean, and economical. Pass it on.


John Wood in Action

Tank it up

feed, fuel, monster

Car Carrier

road, car, carrier, JWT,

Load'em Up

road, car, carrier, load