Recent comments

  • Reality check for vehicle safety systems   16 weeks 4 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 (www.clandesmotards.net), 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   16 weeks 4 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   16 weeks 4 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   17 weeks 17 hours 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   17 weeks 2 days 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   17 weeks 2 days 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   17 weeks 3 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?   17 weeks 3 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?   18 weeks 15 hours 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   18 weeks 17 hours 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   18 weeks 18 hours 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   18 weeks 18 hours 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   18 weeks 20 hours 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   18 weeks 2 days 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   18 weeks 4 days 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   19 weeks 18 hours 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   19 weeks 2 days 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   19 weeks 2 days 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   19 weeks 3 days 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   19 weeks 3 days 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   19 weeks 3 days 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   19 weeks 4 days 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   19 weeks 4 days 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   19 weeks 5 days 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   20 weeks 1 hour 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.

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