Recent comments

  • Air disc brakes: The next stage   3 weeks 6 days ago    


  • Drivers at Fault Could Foster Autonomous Vehicles   3 weeks 6 days ago    

    I've seen that percentage often quoted by people. I can believe it from some data I've seen from fleets that show the variation of fuel economy for a large number of drivers that have the same truck equipment. But, they run different routes at different times with different loads under different weather conditions. I don't have a specific study. I expect with more big data analytics, we will see some documentation to support a percentage.

  • Drivers at Fault Could Foster Autonomous Vehicles   4 weeks 2 hours ago    

    Has there been any studies done that show that a driver can account for 30% of the variation in fuel economy?

  • Your Oct. 29 Pre-Trip: Survey reveals top reasons drivers stay loyal   4 weeks 16 hours ago    

    RE: Why drivers stay. Independence and respect top the list. What do you think your drivers are going to do when you install driver facing cameras to watch their every move ? That eliminates the top 2 reasons they stay. If I were a driver I would not stay with a camera watching me 24/7.

  • Truck parking: The everywhere problem everything's causing   4 weeks 1 day ago    

    For what I have seen on I-77 northbound in OH before you get to Cleveland. I'd say about 30 to 40 miles there is a rest area. It's pretty sad that the DOT is chasing early morning the truck drivers that are resting. And as soon as they wake up they are stopped for inspection. I have seen it a lot of times. Not sure if that could be considered harassment. But I guess it is much easier to mess with the hard-working people that with a thief.

  • Air disc brakes: The next stage   4 weeks 3 days ago    

    disc brakes may work well on the highway's but off road they don't hold up very well .

  • Why this fashion designer wants to change the way truckers dress   4 weeks 4 days ago    

    What about pants? Truckers sit in them for long periods of time.

  • 18 year olds: Attracting the best teens to trucking   4 weeks 5 days ago    

    "Yet one reason many carriers want to lift that interstate restriction on CDLs, aside from dealing with the current and growing shortage of truck drivers, is that it would help them recruit from a potentially better cohort of driver applicants as well."

    What do they mean by "better"? Here's the thing - they have a recruiting problem because it's a lousy job, with lousy pay. This is, in part, because they're cutting each other's throats to haul freight for nothing. They want these young people so they have a bigger pool of drivers to chew up and spit out. They are perfectly aware that they'll never retain drivers for what they pay.
    Another issue for retention is the way drivers are treated. I've worked in bars, I've worked for lawyers. I can assure you that drunks and lawyers treat you with more respect than any trucking company I've ever worked for. I was truly shocked my first couple of years, at the utter disdain, and lack of respect, given to drivers. What other industry has a 97% turnover rate? If any other industry were faced with a 97% turnover rate, they'd be in crisis mode, trying to figure out how to stop it. In the trucking industry, it's par for the course, and they just go looking for fresh meat.

  • Driving MPG vs. Overall MPG   4 weeks 6 days ago    

    John Flynn is correct that the electronic vehicle/engine systems provide more data to mine. However, be careful - other reports in the industry show that different engines, etc. may vary in the accuracy of their fuel consumption reporting.
    So, first, compare the recorded tank mileage with the electronic report ("overall MPG" in Flynn's discussion) to establish a baseline. You may find that every unit in your fleet is different.
    Secondly, in addition to "driving" mileage, there may be additional metrics such as Time-Fuel-Distance (TFD) in top-gear, 1-gear down and "lower gears." As well, there could be metrics for TFD using cruise control and road-speed limiter. Lastly, there are metrics for PTO usage. You may find that your best drivers (relative to fuel usage) use top gear more and, on average, run at slightly lower average speeds.
    With the TFD segments described above, you can compute sub-categories of average speed and MPG which may be useful in assessing driver behavior.
    An especially useful metric is "Fan Operating time/distance." An inordinate amount of fan operation will have a detrimental impact on the "driving" MPG.
    Lastly, don't forget that MPG per se doesn't tell you how much freight you moved or the terrain you covered. You really need to know the Ton-miles/gallon of vehicles on the same route to compare different vehicle configurations.

  • Truck parking: The everywhere problem everything's causing   4 weeks 6 days ago    

    Is there a shortage of truck parking or is it simply a case of it being a shortage of free parking .

  • 18 year olds: Attracting the best teens to trucking   4 weeks 6 days ago    

    I'm not sure what to think of this. As a society we keep pushing minimum ages up and up while actively discouraging responsible behavior, and yet now we expect an 18 year old to be mature enough to make the decision to give up pay for safety (AKA; doing things properly) and keep a calm head when operating a 40 ton truck 2 weeks out. There are definitely some 18 year olds that could be trusted, but there are many more 21 year olds that have already had some time being somewhat responsible that could be trusted with that responsibility. That is really the crux of it; I don't want operating a tractor-trailer to be a person's first job (it certainly wasn't mine). I want them to prove they can be responsible in a job that places the public in much less danger first.

  • FMCSA’s Darling: ELD rule coming   5 weeks 9 hours ago    

    I agree HOS and ELD's will not weed out bad drivers alone. Nor do I sense he implied it would. But it is a start. HOS is not something new. It's will now have enforceable measures to what all agreed to when obtaining a CDL. Any valuable driver will still be out there or he wasn't so valuable.

  • FMCSA’s Darling: ELD rule coming   5 weeks 12 hours ago    

    ELDs will just make those who currently thumb their nose at the regs find a new way. Unless ELDs have some sort of "identifier" that is fingerprint, eye reader, etc. There will be room for a driver or company to beat the system.

  • Paying by the Mile Caused Fatigue, Crashes and Fatalities   5 weeks 17 hours ago    

    Unrealistic scheduling and dispatching has a far greater impact on safety as long as your being paid a fair amount per mile .

  • Truck Driving Would be a Great Job if You Got Paid   5 weeks 17 hours ago    

    Many valid points in this article .One of the things not mentioned anywhere is the proliferation of driving schools .I feel that has been one of the problems of the industry ,more people driving trucks that should not be on the road .The schools are in it to make money and that,s what they do ,while flooding our roads with people that should be in other occupations .I don't think letting 18yo people drive will do anything beneficial ,it will fill empty seats and that's what they want now ,if you can breath your a truck driver .Most 18 yo people are not mature enough to be out on the road .The argument of being able to serve and die for our country at 18 has no relevance in being mature enough to drive OTR .Of course if you have served you shouldn't have to meet the 21 yr requirment ,but it seems like you would .Most young people now days live with their parents until they hit 30 .So from what I have seen ,the government getting more involved in trucking which includes the CDL licence and being forced to attend a driving school ,have done little to insure we will have an abundance of qualified drivers available .It has forced the good drivers to seek other employment as the company executives didn't pay any attention to the unhappy grumblings of the old timers and instead choose to replace them with driving school grads .Rep what you sow .

  • DTNA ‘confident’ Phase 2 GHG goals attainable, but…   5 weeks 1 day ago    

    New trucks cost more money and the self serving shipping community and their finical geniuses can only demand New Equipment and Lower Rates. Maybe the Government should assess penalties for poor load factors and 48 hour delivery requirements on singe shipments.

  • Reality check for vehicle safety systems   5 weeks 3 days ago    

    I completely agree with the points mentioned in this article. Technology is a boon as well as a bane in the automotive industry. The failure of blind-spot monitoring systems is a major cause of fatal accidents. Technology, when used wisely, can prove to be a great safety enhancer but if drivers rely too much on technology it is a big harm. The leading motorcycle dealer company, Clandes Motards (, advises all motorcyclists as well as motorists to accessorize their vehicles with different technology-enabled systems like GPS, Intercom systems, Blind Spot monitoring systems but before getting any of these products installed on the vehicle, review it carefully and determine its usage. Too much of a reliance will definitely prove to be a bad decision.

  • FMCSA’s Darling: ELD rule coming   5 weeks 3 days ago    

    As much as I respect Scott Darling and feel he will be a good administrator, HOS and ELD's are not alone going to weed out the bad drivers, but rather going to loose some very valuable drivers. I like others are still waiting for the proof that ELD's will make the roads safer.....

  • 18 year olds: Attracting the best teens to trucking   5 weeks 3 days ago    

    Maybe it is time for the industry to help save these vocational classes by supplementing the costs. The shortage of funding and resources seems to be the biggest reason that is leading to the cuts in these programs. This is the real safety issue that faces our industry. Not enough techs to keep up with the maintenance, and an ever shrinking pool of drivers that forces less to do more.

  • 18 year olds: Attracting the best teens to trucking   5 weeks 6 days ago    

    I think an appropriate compromise would be this.

    From age 18-20. Must have one year of CDL driving experience FIRST and can than move from intrastate commerce to interstate. Just like any other graduated licensing program. If they get their CDL ( and start using it ) at age 18 1/2, they would be able to graduate to interstate at age 19 1/2.

    While the demand for drivers is genuine, placing briefly trained 18 year olds may not be the best solution. It would be interesting to see how many carriers would actually hire an 18 - 20 year old anyway.

    In a quick look through driving help wanted ads, the standard seems to be age 23 with at least 6 months experience. So , are companies actually willing to drop down in their hiring ages and will their auto insurance take them to the cleaners for doing so ?

  • Path to autonomous trucks will be a smooth road for drivers   6 weeks 1 day ago    

    In the Peloton system, the trailing truck does indeed have a screen to view the road ahead of the the lead vehicle.

  • Path to autonomous trucks will be a smooth road for drivers   6 weeks 1 day ago    

    Why does the 2nd truck not have a heads up display of what is in front of the 1st truck.

  • Truck-driving simulators enhanced to boost training effectiveness   6 weeks 2 days ago    

    The Transim is a good training tool, we had our sim repaired by an engineer at appliedsimtech, still works to this day.

  • Truck driver shortage: Are military veterans the solution?   6 weeks 2 days ago    

    We hear about driver shortages all the time and what to do about them. What if the industry was to push for the ability to have weekend drivers. For example if you have an owner operator who would like to load Friday evening and be home by Sunday night? There is plenty of time for the driver to cover some miles but of course needs to be able to get unloaded when he reaches destination. I would do this in a heartbeat but not able to find anything that works.

  • Where is the rule?   6 weeks 6 days ago    

    Exactly what I am doing is waiting for the regulation to appear it's ugly head. I need to know what equipment, parameters and whatever else the reg is going to show, then figure what is not in the new regulation. This for us this will be a major game changer since we are a small but very specialized industry of trucking.

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