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February 29, 2012 Vol. 8, No. 5

There’s a ‘weasel clause’ at the end of this newsletter in which I state what should be obvious: that I don’t explicitly or implicitly endorse any of the products I write about here. Yes, once a year I declare 10 or so faves but that’s as far as it goes, and I figure I’m entitled to an opinion after all this time.

Nor do I have the resources to test products, with some rare exceptions like little iPad apps. I certainly don’t have the means to conduct SAE Type-whatever tests to determine things like fuel consumption.

That weasel clause has been there for eight years now but I feel the need to remind you guys about it. This arises because an old friend of mine, a very smart guy, an engineer and SAE member, recently noted that I allowed a fuel-efficiency claim to appear as fact. He was right, to a point. Now, 999 times out of 1000 I’ll write that company ABC “claims” that its magic gizmo saves X% fuel, as I did in this case – with the exception of one final sentence where I forgot to insert the “claims to save” qualification.

My buddy may seem to be picking nits here but he’s not. In the particular case he was referring to, the claimed saving is actually in dispute. If I’d known that, I would have written differently. I don’t yet have the whole story so I won’t name names, but the point is a general one anyway: I can only report, and while I do try to verify claims when I think there may be doubt, I don’t have the time to dig endlessly.

Truth be told, I couldn’t count how many times something has been presented to me as a magic potion of some sort, yet when I ask for proof all I get is a testimonial by an obscure five-truck fleet in Timbuktu. I ask, has an SAE test been done? Most times the correspondence stops there and you never hear about said potion.

Anyway, I’m just sayin’…

amidst all the flutter about natural gas. Specifically, Hino Trucks was honored at the recent National Biodiesel Conference in Orlando. The National Biodiesel Board gave the truck maker its 2012 “Eye on Biodiesel Impact Award”.

This represents the biodiesel industry’s top honour, I’m told, an award given to companies, groups or individuals that have helped carry the biodiesel torch, encouraging broader use of the fuel. Hino was nominated for serving as a trailblazer by becoming the first truck manufacturer to support the use of B20 biodiesel blends in a hybrid-electric truck, as well as in its complete product line of class 4 and 5 cabover and class 6 and 7 conventional trucks.

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Rolf Lockwood is editor emeritus of Today's Trucking and a regular contributor to

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