Recent comments

  • Truck driver shortage: Are military veterans the solution?   1 year 44 weeks 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?   1 year 45 weeks 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.

  • EPA slaps Estes Express with $100,000 fine   1 year 45 weeks ago    

    I can understand the initial fine, but the additional monies is ridiculous and typical CA politics at its best. Glad I don't live or work there!

    Big D

  • Driver shortage increases by 27%, according to ATA   1 year 45 weeks ago    

    So many places to start on this one, yet, I'll focus on pay here. The days of "up to .42/mile" are done. Due to the inconsistent nature of the industry, company drivers (as a whole) are only bringing home $30-$40K/year net. I'm sorry, but that's not going to cut it, especially when I could take a local job and be home several times per week, if not daily for similar pay. To attract people to go OTR, pay has to be more attractive. My suggestion . . . starting pay for newbies = .40/mile. Experienced drivers with at least 2 years of OTR = .50/mile with an escalating scale from there to say, .65/mile. This is outside of any bonus structure the company may offer for safety, fuel, and on-time deliveries. If nothing else changes, I believe driver take home pay will increase by at least 1/3, if not more.

    Another option is percentage, similar to what O/O's make. If my current load pays $4K, then as a company driver, I want at least 20% of that, so $800. Depending on the type of trucking business, this could be more advantageous than mileage pay. Here too, % goes up with tenure.

    This may be a bit simplistic in nature, I understand. However, pay is a big deal! To make driving a truck, especially OTR, more appealing, more $ has to be put on the table to compensate the lifestyle adjustments that are required to do the job.

  • CSA works, FMCSA report tells Congress   1 year 45 weeks ago    

    I think the CSA/SMS program has made carriers more aware of the need to manage their safety programs and for the most part does what it was implemented to do. However, with that being said, they need to get rid of the flaws in the program. The crash indicator is severely flawed. Why does a carrier received scores or points when a car rear ends us at a stop light, or a drunk driver loses control of his vehicle as he is passing us and hits us (because he is drunk) and the carrier gets CSA points. Along with that, they changed the way they calculated accidents, it use to be per million miles traveled, now they figure it by number of units on the road. In addition, the DATA Q process needs improved, this should go to a non-biased committee rather then the officer who wrote it. In addition, why do the carriers have to carry points for 4-6 weeks on a violation that was Datq'd in which the carrier won; why cant it be removed immediately. Along with that, if a carrier has a driver that was terminated for unsafe behavior why does the carrier still keep that drivers points for 24 months? The carrier did the right thing and terminated the driver for unsafe actions, why are we still punished for the next 24 months.
    As the VP of Risk Management for a trucking company, I think CSA has done a lot to force carriers to be compliant and safer. BUT at the same time it has to many flaws that hurt good carriers that are trying to do the right thing and improve the safety of the company and everyone that travels on the nations highways.

  • Drivers: Ten ways to be more professional   1 year 45 weeks ago    

    Kudos to Joey for writing this and for Fleetowner publishing it. This is a subject that, unfortunately, still needs to be addressed. As a former driver, it saddens me to see sloppy-looking, smelly drivers who don't seem to give a rip. Well, if that's your attitude, then guess what? You get what you get in return. If you want respect, start by looking in the mirror each day.

  • Study: Driver assistance technology could prevent 28% of crashes   1 year 45 weeks ago    

    When all the people that want these noise and intrusive systems in big trucks live with them in their cars then we will talk.

  • Two fleets' experience: ELDs and extras cut costs, boosted image   1 year 45 weeks ago    

    everything that you are claiming these are doing for a company is a management tool decision to utilize. You have shown NOTHING that this is doing to actually improve safety. So WHY is the government into mandating a management tool? If you want it, then buy it and use it. But don't legislate it in to every situation.

  • Good health correlates to safer drivers, increases in retention   1 year 46 weeks ago    

    This is a great article with a subject that should be given a higher priority with fleet owners and managers. My mind is buzzing with things we need to start addressing.

  • TAST - Technology Assisting Service Technicians   1 year 46 weeks ago    

    Following your comments and articles now. Thanks for your knowledge and gathering of information. Hope to visit at the MC&E show.

  • Vehicle OOS rate falls over full percentage point during Roadcheck 2015   1 year 46 weeks ago    

    Fleet Safety is a never ending journey. Using your BASIC score, you can identify the most common violations for your company and focus on going after them before you accumulate too many more of them.

    You should institute some sort of random inspection program beyond your traditional state or Federal Annual inspection. Mechanics are usually too busy to take the time to do a good inspection. Let them fix what needs fixing and find someone who knows the underside of a truck AND the DOT regulations ( preferably a retired DOT officer) and they can do this for you right in your yard.

    I may be able to help locate a retired or former DOT officer to assist you do this.

    Contact me at dotinspector@gmail.com

  • Data: It’s just not getting used   1 year 46 weeks ago    

    I don't think they know how to use the information for their benefit. Nor do they have the time to analyze it. They would most likely have to hire someone to compile, analyze and report it. If they can see no benefit in it that's not going to happen.

  • New bill would permit 91,000-lb. rigs with extra axle   1 year 46 weeks ago    

    I'm not sure I agree with this bill. The number one area of violations is in maintenance, brakes. Shouldn't we be addressing and solving this concern before putting larger trucks on the road?

  • Symposium seeks to shine spotlight on truck driver health   1 year 46 weeks ago    

    We all agree driver health is a major issue but what is the solution? Check out selkirk.ca/fittodrive This is an innovative solution that we have seen work for many Canadian drivers. Company workshops are available along with handy pocket size booklets to help keep your drivers on track.

  • Economist on driver shortage: Higher pay alone not solving it   1 year 46 weeks ago    

    Driver pay was good in the 70's before these ATA companies and the government forced O/O out of business.......Pay back then was around 30K per year and in today dollars that is over 130K. yes driver pay WAY UP, and removal of the government and stupid computers and speed limiters from trucks and the driver storage goes away in less than a year. Driver are NOT paid very well for what is asked of them, that is the reason you can't retain them. Drivers are at work 24 hours a day when on the road at a LOW wage of 20.00 per hour they should be grossing a MIN of $480.00 per day. That will get these guys and girls back to what was being paid in the 70's. Stop working for these BIG ATA companies and this problem will fix itself very fast.

  • Economist on driver shortage: Higher pay alone not solving it   1 year 46 weeks ago    

    Driver pay was good in the 70's before these ATA companies and the government forced O/O out of business.......Pay back then was around 30K per year and in today dollars that is over 130K. yes driver pay WAY UP, and removal of the government and stupid computers and speed limiters from trucks and the driver storage goes away in less than a year. Driver are NOT paid very well for what is asked of them, that is the reason you can't retain them. Drivers are at work 24 hours a day when on the road at a LOW wage of 20.00 per hour they should be grossing a MIN of $480.00 per day. That will get these guys and girls back to what was being paid in the 70's. Stop working for these BIG ATA companies and this problem will fix itself very fast.

  • Drivers: Ten ways to be more professional   1 year 46 weeks ago    

    Great tips, also on the clothing try to wear a branded Polo Shirt with your company name. It looks more professional, it will help you stand out from the rest of the driver. Specially if you are a owner, it said the you are a professional & you're drive for a processional company.

  • 10 key slides detail growing driver shortage   1 year 47 weeks ago    

    Young guys used to get into truck in because it gave them some independence that they typical blue collar job didn't offer. It was also a job that many of us who began in the 70s, that with experience and hard work that you could own your own company fairly easily. Now those of us who own trucks, are forced to hire people, that someone in a driving school taught to drive, who can talk all day about regulations but need someone to help them back up to a dock. Drive through a tuck stop parking lot and see how many trucks are pulled into the parking slots, rather than backed in as they once were, because the drivers lack the skills to back into a parking place and then back out blindly. The independent nature of the job is gone with the paperwork and regulations, and am owner operator can hardly do the daily paperwork, much less the reports that are now required, not to mention just the expense these days. Why the hell would people want to get into an industry with weird schedules when they have to work with idiots, and there was little chance of them owning their own "big rig" one day.

  • New bill would permit 91,000-lb. rigs with extra axle   1 year 47 weeks ago    

    My god. How would various governments operate, with fewer trucks to fine for revenue? Not to mention all those ticky tacky overweight fines. I'm serious. It will never happen because it would cut into a revenue source for everything for your local justice of the peace courts here in Texas to the fines the Feds hand out. Trucking is a hidden source of revenue for the government, and a perfect one at that. They claim the industry is so dangerous that you will probably die on the way to Walmart this week, so they pass regulations for "safety" that always have fines. When Americans pick up a loaf of bread, or a six pack, they have no clue, how much of what they pay goes toward, fines, fees, and costly, do nothing regulations imposed on trucking. In Texas, texdot now brags that they take in more money than they receive from tax payers. They still get it from tax payers, they just use trucking as a middle man.

  • Efforts underway to fix truck parking problem   1 year 47 weeks ago    

    I keep reading these articles about very real problems in the industry, and often read comments sent in by drivers, and I'm always a little perplexed. People are always calling on the fmcsa, the DOT, or some other agency to figure out a solution to that problem. DRIVERS, calling on the government, either federal or state is a little like having the fox go check out the problem in the hen house. The government is the source of the vast majority of the issues both carriers and drivers have these days. They are THE reason there is a driver shortage, having driven out older drivers, who were around when truck driving was just that, and not a job where you are valued more for your knowledge of the latest regulations, than you are for your ability to drive a truck safely, and profitably down the road. Yes I probably do have old guys syndrome, and the phrase, "back in my day" is often on the tip of my tongue, but truck drivers used to be an independent lot, and have just rolled over and accepted their home states surrendering their right to regulate the industry in their state to the feds, and when was the last time the federal government made anything better? Here in Texas, our bunch in Austin are more worried about their money coming from DC, than they are about the state loosing ability to make choices ourselves. Why does a truck that is registered to operate only in Texas required to have a US DOT number? In the paperwork I got recently after getting a new DOT number for my intrastate operation, they sent me a form for all my drivers to sign stating what the policy of my company was, with the name inserted in all the appropriate locations. It is not appropriate for the government to tell me anything about what the policy of this company is, as long as I comply with the regulations, and for a company that doesn't operate interstate at all, there should be zero federal regulations that apply. Keep calling on the Feds to improve your situation, and you'll come to find the cure is worse than the disease.

  • Trucking executives seek help to solve driver shortage   1 year 47 weeks ago    

    Because most of the UPS "model" is the result of union negotiations primarily by the Teamsters.

  • Trucking executives seek help to solve driver shortage   1 year 47 weeks ago    

    Pay, home time, equipment, customers, are all part of the equation. However, I'd refer any driver and executive to read the article, "Drivers: Ten ways to be more professional" published yesterday in Fleetowner. If you want respect, you need to start by looking into the mirror. 4-wheelers will continue to do stupid things around trucks. Shippers and receivers will continue to pull shenanigans at the dock. It's how you handle yourself that can make a difference for the better.

  • Companies seeking freight cost cuts via nearshoring   1 year 47 weeks ago    

    We agree. Companies are recognizing that with the use of the refined metrics of total cost of ownership to uncover the hidden costs and risks of offshoring and reducing costs with sustainable strategies such as robotics, improved product design, innovation, automation, and lean they can increase competitiveness and manufacture profitably in the U.S.

    We see many companies moving toward localization. U.S. companies are reshoring to be in close proximity to the U.S. market. Reshoring is a good strategic move for many companies due to rising offshore wages, counterfeit parts, IP risks, quality issues, risks along complicated supply chains, long lead times and carrying costs of large inventories.

    By reshoring and shortening supply chains, companies can greatly improve lead times, responsiveness to customers, quality, innovation and R&D.

    In order to help companies decide objectively to reshore manufacturing back to the U.S. or offshore, the not-for-profit Reshoring Initiative’s free Total Cost of Ownership Estimator (TCO) can help corporations calculate the real P&L impact of reshoring or offshoring. TCO can be found on the ReshoreNow dot org website.

  • GHG Phase II: Upfront costs versus payback for fleets   1 year 47 weeks ago    

    Interesting article. It does, however seem disingenuous to estimate the payback on 2013 diesel prices. The DOE average fuel price for diesel in that year was 3.92 / gallon. Today’s price is 2.49. It has proven to be a fool’s errand to predict the price of oil, but nothing indicates we are headed back to $4.00 / gallon diesel anytime soon. Therefore, the I’d assume the ROI would now be closer to 3 to 4 years, assuming the underlying assumption around fuel economy are accurate.

  • Trucking executives seek help to solve driver shortage   1 year 48 weeks ago    

    Step number one in solving the driver shortage is getting the government out of the trucking business. Why would anyone want to pursue a career where the primary function of government is to make your life miserable? EOBR's, speed limiters, ridiculous inspection practices and subsequent fines. It's all a scam. I've been a driver for 30 years and will retire this year. I very strongly discourage young people from getting into trucking whenever I have the opportunity. This once noble profession has been destroyed by the FMCSA and ata. Not to mention the states who pillage drivers for fines. It's really sad.

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