Recent comments

  • Diagnosis: drivers bedeviled by inexperience, lack of skills   7 weeks 4 days ago    

    People tend to think of driving a motor vehicle as a "right". Driving is something that all individuals must prove they are capable of doing safely before they are issued a license. So, with that in mind, I suggest that teenagers go through a more intensive training program along with the simulator and hands-on driver training, getting their regular license when (and if) they graduate from high school.

  • Determining Your Tractor Fleet Financing Method   7 weeks 4 days ago    

    John,

    Excellent article on the process of determining which way to go.

    Mike

  • Five Things Your Drivers Don't Know About Roadside Inspections   8 weeks 3 days ago    

    This is excellent advise!!! I would only like to add -
    along with a "tidy cab" a little bit of self respect goes a long way!!!
    If a driver looks like he just rolled out of the bunk and hit the road - makes me look a little closer at hours of service...
    And the comment about not finding anything on the pre-trip --
    Don't try to hide it drivers!!! If you want to play stupid games - we can play! But chances are we will win!!

  • Oge: GHG rules designed as a win-win   8 weeks 4 days ago    

    Being the owner of a Ram 1500 Ecodiesel , it is a great light duty pickup with great towing ability and I get 27 mpg in a full sized four door 4x4 truck ! The little 3.0 V6 has more torque that the 5.7 hemi.

    Now that is a win win. Diesel certainly has an bright future in all vehicle sizes.

  • Peterbilt looks to 2029: Meet the 'highway pilot'   8 weeks 4 days ago    

    Yawn...I remember in the 50s all the scientists and engineers said we would all have flying cars by now

  • Oge: GHG rules designed as a win-win   8 weeks 4 days ago    

    The mind set of the leftists (and Oge is the quintessential leftist) treats "society" as disparate groups (but NEVER as a individuals) that compete against each other. The benevolent (sic) government tries valiantly to reign in the "bad" groups (like truckers) and force them to behave in a manner that helps "society". With friends like Oge, who needs enemies?

  • What’s important when buying a fleet?   8 weeks 4 days ago    

    Paul, I just saw your article today, so the opportunity has probably passed, but I thought I would add my two cents worth anyway. I have financed a number of small trucking companies, and look at it from the perspective of analyzing risk. It's hard to narrow it down to 3-5 things, but at the top of the list, I would be looking at something that is not industry-specific.

    In many small businesses, there are no systems in place, and everything depends on the owner. What are his relationships with his customers? Will they stay if he leaves? What's his reputation as a service provider and employer? Will the drivers stay? Can you keep him engaged after the transition - usually through seller financing or earn-out?

    Specific to the industry, the number one problem my trucking clients face is finding and retaining drivers. How competitive is the compensation package? Any benefits? How often will the driver be home? What's the age and condition of the trucks? Can the buyer survive if he suddenly loses one (or both) of his drivers?

    And then...the buyer. Has he done a business plan, and does he thoroughly understand it? Does he know what the risks are, as well as the opportunities? How will he position his company to stand out from the competition in a crowded field dominated by larger competitors? Are his projections realistic? Are the assumptions logical? Does he have adequate capital? What is his industry experience? Does he have any management experience? Can he recognize his strengths and weaknesses, and bring in appropriate support to shore up his weaknesses?

    SCORE is a great resource. I especially like the templates they have available, and often refer my clients there.

    The SBA 7(a) program works great for financing trucking companies. Find a local bank that is a preferred lender, and not adverse to the trucking industry.

  • Lessons learned   8 weeks 4 days ago    

    Get the ATA behind it they will lobby for it. Next thing you know it will be A law in the name of safety. Then us drivers are stuck with this junk. some tech nerd gets his wallet fat.

  • Bendix offers tips for CVSA Roadcheck 2015   8 weeks 5 days ago    

    WOW! One of the best pieces I've read in a while! And dead-on. This one is getting printed, saved, emailed and distributed. Thanks!

  • Truck Driving Would be a Great Job if You Got Paid   9 weeks 1 day ago    

    This article is spot on but that's been the issue for how many years now? There was a day when the driver was a true professional and dressed the part. Now they're all treated like bottom feeders and companies hire anyone who can spell CDL. The issue isn't a shortage of drivers, it's an over abundance of freight companies, mainly the scabs who are government subsidized, what do they care how low the rate is, government makes up the difference. I don't see this industry improving at all.

  • Truck platooning should boost fuel economy, project finds   9 weeks 1 day ago    

    From this side of the 49th, we often look with amazement at the things the US does that defy logic - and that we have dealt with for years. This is another.

    Why would anyone want to tie up two tractors, two drivers and lose the HUGE benefits of having the second trailer very close to the first? (aerodynamically, that is extremely important). On major routes in much of Canada we simply use LCVs that allow up to two 53' dry vans to be carried by one tractor on either A or B train configuration (sometimes Chicago hitches, technically C trains I guess).

    What truly puzzles me is why we don't use Australian style road trains on some routes (we DO have full size tripples for some roads here in SK). Yes, I do understand bridge laws, and agree it would limit some routes, but we seem to manage to find structural tolerances even here with the limited infrastructure of a very large country with a very small population base to support it.

  • Truck Driving Would be a Great Job if You Got Paid   9 weeks 2 days ago    

    I totally agree with this article 100%. Right on point. But is anyone paying attention? Pun intended...

  • The road to the self-driving truck   9 weeks 2 days ago    

    wow..This can be a big change in Driving technology. However, I don't support this...just because if something goes wrong, truck will cause very serious accidents.

  • GM reveals redesigned GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverdo pickup trucks   9 weeks 2 days ago    

    GM is the most promising and popular motor company of USA. It is the best performer in the automotive industry over the years. after many troubles in recent years, I still believe in using their products.

  • Truck Driving Would be a Great Job if You Got Paid   9 weeks 2 days ago    

    No different "down under" nor for any driving industry. Ours is buses. It is always the guy/gal at the bottom of the pecking order that bears the brunt of the bosses decisions to cut costs. That pressure gets into other areas as well. The mechanic/technician gets pressured to get the vehicle out of the shop, work all sorts of ours, with no additional compensation per work hour (no overtime). Decisions are made for expediency not good practice.

  • Making good decisions about alternative power: a free webinar   9 weeks 4 days ago    

    Having this webinar is a really positive initiative that provides a platform for all enthusiasts to obtain reliable information from. People from various industries can also exchange opinions and knowledge during this event regarding energy storage, processes and many more.

  • Congestion cost trucking $23 billion in 2010   9 weeks 4 days ago    

    I think due to this wastage of fuel costs would definitely get the various companies brainstorming for new business strategies to tackle the issue. It would be rather contradicting that they are trying to save up on warehouse storage, but end up paying for fuel wastage costs due to congestion problems instead.

  • Heroes are his co-pilots   10 weeks 20 hours ago    

    Hooah!

  • Gratuitous Letterman post: Dave’s trucks   10 weeks 1 day ago    

    Thanks, Kevin. Funny, wonderful post.

  • House patches highway funding with summer extension   10 weeks 1 day ago    

    Why do we not hear ANY of the politicians or the self-promoting president & CEO of the ATA questioning WHY the HTF is empty?

    Why is it these politicians and business cronies won’t tackle the issue of what is draining money from the HTF?

    Why is it these clowns ALWAYS go the higher taxes route?

  • House patches highway funding with summer extension   10 weeks 1 day ago    

    Here’s an idea: How about those politicians that are SOOOOOO concerned over the funding of the transportation bill, get off their duffs and DO SOMETHING to stop the monies in the HTF from be STOLEN and used elsewhere? This would go a looooong way to putting the kibosh on any attempt to raise the fuel taxes we pay on every gallon.

  • Maintenance Horror Stories: All You Need Is A Flashlight   10 weeks 2 days ago    

    Preventative maintenance is always a good idea. Part of such a plan could ( and should) include a checkup by someone who is well versed in the 49 CFR Regulations and the Out of Service Criteria.

    Mechanics are great at fixing things but many are not current with the specific regulations , especially the OOS criteria that DOT trained officers are looking for. Every shop should have a copy of 49 CFR but more importantly a copy of the newest North American Standard Out of Service Criteria.

    This OOS book is THE guide that the officers use when they are looking to determine if a driver or a vehicle meets the requirements to be shut down. By mechanics becoming at least somewhat familiar with the standards, they can better do preventative maintenance and also possibly DataQ violations that they feel are not OOS.

    The OOS book comes out every April and can be purchased through JJ Keller or CVSA.org.

    A good resource to have is to connect with a former roadside DOT Enforcement Officer who has done MANY inspections in his career and continues to do them as a post-retirement job.

    This is what I do. I travel mainly along the East Coast but have traveled farther with my coveralls and a creeper doing the exact same Level One inspections I used to do as an Officer but no longer do I place trucks or drivers OOS. I find the violations and give them to the companies to take care of so they can improve their CSA scores.

  • Maintenance Horror Stories: All You Need Is A Flashlight   10 weeks 2 days ago    

    This was also a failure on the part of the drivers as a proper daily vehicle inspection would have caught these problems. This gives us a check and balance system so fewer items are missed. Besides, it is the law!

  • Natural gas and climate change: problems in alternative power paradise?   10 weeks 3 days ago    

    So CO2 has been de-throned by methane as the most evil of all greenhouse gases? Actually, water vapor ("clouds", for those in Rio Linda) is the number one all-time champion greenhouse gas, but we can't regulate clouds, now, can we? And if the increase in global temperature is scheduled to be 1.8 degrees F., in the next 100 years, why are we even having this discussion?

  • Alternative fuels: Finding the sweet spot   10 weeks 3 days ago    

    Here is an infographic we recently created here at Total Motion - I hope you like it
    www.totalmotion.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/the-future-of-the-Cars-...

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