SAD SACK Trucker Saved by SP-233

The Journal of the Society of Automotive Engineers, October, 1962

A pretty confused fleet operator gets his problems solved by some of the best brains in the motor truck industry in the technical drama unfolded in "Tailoring the Vehicle to the Job." Just published as SAE's SP-233, this volume unfolds the story of a truck operator who hauls dry freight over-the-road, has 10 terminals, has long-haul vehicles which cover 65,000 to 75,000 miles each year, and short haul units which roll 20,000 to 25,000 miles.

While we never learn the actual size of his fleet, we do know that it is "a mixture of makes, models, and specifications, and is split between gasoline and diesels." He hadn't selected his fleet with any plan in mind, but had always shopped for low price. He didn't keep any operating records, had no mechanical records, no list of his parts purchases and usages, and no costs-per-vehicle. He just used fleet averages.

His biggest virtue, it seems, is that he knew he needed help...and the main pages of SP-233 comprise a clear, well-reasoned, practical detailing of the very fine help he got from Messrs. Diesel, Gasoline, Clutch, Transmission, Single Rear Axle, Tandem Axle, Front Axle, Brakes, Electrical, and Tires. All of these able gentlemen, assembled Mr. T.O. by Mr. Consultant, show him how to go about the job of selecting a fleet, what elements to consider, how to evaluate and relate the variety of specific data necessary to assemble and consider before making final decisions.

What this story of Saving the Sad Sack Operator lacks in dramatic perfection, it more than contributes in completeness and clarity. SP-233 is a full-statured manual on HOW to select a truck as well as a treasure-trove of specific, factual information useful to any operator in selecting any truck for any fleet.

The value of the information is best characterized by the star-studded cast of characters who provided it. Mr. Truck Operator was an impossible role for A. W. Neumann to play, because his Willett Truck Leasing Co. operation is just the opposite of that of the confused character for whom all this help was needed. But GM's L. T. Flynn is completely at home in the role of Mr. Consultant, who brings together the experts to help Mr. T. O. The experts-each superb in the drama unfolded by SP-233: Detroit Diesel's J. C. Campbell was Mr. Diesel; GM'S W. E. Whitmer, Mr. Gasoline; Dana's J. R. Ludwig, Mr. Clutch; Rockwell-Standard's K. M. Koch, Mr. Front Axle; Rockwell-Standard's E. F. Petsch, Mr. Single Rear Axle; Eaton's G. D. Griffen, Mr. Tandem Axle; Delco Remy's F. P. Plovick, Mr. Electrical; Rockwell-Standard's R. K. Super, Mr. Brakes; and Firestone's T. A. Robertson, Mr. Tires.

“Tailoring the Vehicle to the Job” (SP-233) is available from SAE General Publications Department at $3.50 to members; at $7 to nonmembers.