Recent comments

  • Driver rest: Topping off the tank   13 weeks 2 days ago    

    If only companies would practise what they preach when it comes to safety than safety would be part of all decision from the CEO to the POTRD (professional over-the-road driver). Is the top driver the safest driver in your company and I'm not talking about his driving record but does he practise safety every mile he drives. Some drivers only have a safe driving record due to luck and more than likely that others have been able to avoid his unsafe driving habits. How involved is your safety department with the mechanics and auditing appointments times that require drivers to unload while on his 10-hour break? Companies don't want to talk about the unspoken rule that drivers perform their driver's duties while unloading or setting at docks waiting to unload while being off-duty. With the low pay per mile and no detention time being paid this is the only way that drivers can make minimum wage per hour and the company's CEO wants the drivers to blame the government and regulations for this low pay. If only companies practised what they preached from the CEO to the dispatcher or driver managers. It reminds me of the small trucking company from just south of Louisville KY. I observed one of their drivers come close to causing a major accident when the driver passed three cars on a two lane road and the only thing that prevented this accident with an on-coming car was that we let this foolish unprofessional driver back into our lane. I emailed this companies CEO (also the owner) and told him about what his driver had done. His reply was that his drivers did not drive in this unsafe manner. This is how out of touch this CEO and his safety department was with the ability of their drivers to be professional drivers and this is how out of touch the majority of CEOs are in the majority of all transportation companies. This is why I have a dashcam. Hard to dispute a video of a companies unprofessional and unsafe drivers.

  • Speed vs. Quality   13 weeks 6 days ago    

    Sound advise.

  • Limit your speed, save a life   13 weeks 6 days ago    

    IF safety was really the issue, truck drivers would be paid by the hour. Instead, they are paid by the mile or percentage. If you pay truck drivers $20 - $24 an hour they would not need to hurry or rush. As it is, you have set up the system so the slower they go the less they earn and the faster they go the more they earn. As it is, you are trying to "look good" while asking the working man or woman in the truck to underwrite your campaign through lost wages. Make up your mind. Quit enticing drivers to "hurry" by "production based" pay and then turn around and blame them for lack of safety! Pay drivers by the hour and all these "safety" issues will evaporate.

  • Ford 2017 Super Duty payload, towing data released   14 weeks 4 hours ago    

    Buyers of trucks capable of towing trailers over 10,000 lbs. need to be careful of what they do.

    If the truck is at 15,000 GVWR , the biggest trailer they can pull is 10,000 lbs without needing anything.

    Any trailer in EXCESS of 10,000 lbs will be added to the truck weight and the limit for the entire combination will be the base GVWR of the truck. The 15,000 lb truck used above will still be limited to 15,000 TOTAL weight.

    The only way to accommodate the over 10,000 lb trailer weight is to get a Combination Weight Rating on the truck. This is set by the manufacturer taking into account the engine, trans, gearing etc.

    To stay away from needing a CDL ( with a trailer over 10,000 lbs) the truck and trailer combined registered ( or actual) weight cannot exceed 26,000 lbs.

    A 15,000 lb truck with a combination of 26,000 lbs can pull an 11,000 lb trailer with no CDL issues.

    If you could get a 28,000 lb combination weight rating and pull a 12, 14 K trailer , NOW you are into CDL A territory.

    My recommendation is to never go over 10,000 lbs for a trailer unless you absolutely need to.

    If you do go over, get the " smallest" truck you can get with the highest ( 26,000 lb) GCWR you can get. A 10,000 lb F-350 with a combination weight rating of 26,000 can pull a 16,000 lb trailer.

    A 12,000 lb F-350 with a 26,000 lb GCWR can pull a 14,000 lb trailer.

    By staying at or under 26,000 lbs, you avoid CDL territory.

    What's the biggest truck and trailer a non-CDL driver can operate ? 26,000 lb truck with a 10,000 lb trailer. That's because trailers AT or under 10,000 lbs don't get added to the weight of the truck. Same truck pulling an 11,000 lb trailer now requires a Class A license.

    It isn't so much whether or not your truck CAN pull a trailer, it's are you legally registered to do so ? These chickens will come home to roost if you get stopped by an officer trained in weight enforcement or get into a crash.

    The other reason for the 10,000 lb rule you want some guy in a 6 cylinder F-150 trying to pull a 14,000 lb trailer ? I mean it can probably " pull" it but can he STOP it ?

    Andy Blair

  • Darling: FMCSA compliant with will of Congress   14 weeks 5 hours ago    

    Laws must be enforced if they are to have their intended consequences. DC is too accustomed to ignoring the "unintended" ones, however. Have any of these career bureaucrats ever driven a driven...for a living! Or been a negligent motor carrier owner? Start there! Enforce the present rules and laws! Then get the bad drivers off the roads!

  • A trucker's wisdom from 5 million miles and a half century on the road   14 weeks 3 days ago    

    Way to go Bob Wyatt. As of January 4, 2016 I've 26 years and 4 million miles with no preventable crashes, one non, no citations...using what I call The Sixth Sense. My wife of 39 years is a driver. I now serve the industry as Trainer and Safety and Compliance Manager. Thank God.

  • A trucker's wisdom from 5 million miles and a half century on the road   14 weeks 3 days ago    

    As a common motorist with a CDL - I say - Great Job and Great Advice! There are many good drivers on the highway - the few bullies make a bad name for all of the good ones in public perception. It is a cliché - but defensive driving practices assure safe travel.

  • FMCSA seeks ‘doable’ crash preventability assessment   14 weeks 3 days ago    

    The four new " exclusions" listed are great but don't go far enough. A CMV driver going through an intersection on a green gets T-boned by a car driver who ran a red light would not make this list.

    What should be added is any accident in which NO violation is attributed to the CMV driver and a violation ( or violations) ARE attributed to the other driver. Most crashes occur due to simple traffic violations and are fairly easy for any officer to determine fault. The only shortcoming is the availability of a DOT Certified Officer in the event of a more complicated crash or one with CMV concerns that exceed the knowledge of CMV laws.

    Andy Blair

  • Senators introduce bipartisan companion truck-weight reform bill   14 weeks 5 days ago    

    notice there was no mention of a freight rate increase to offset the added expense of the additional axle or wear and tear on the equipment. Again the owner of the equipment is footing the bill for the shippers.

  • No matter the cost of fuel, new trucks can still offer savings   14 weeks 6 days ago    

    I have a hard time believing that older trucks cost more to operate than new trucks loaded down with emissions.
    I own pre emission & brand new trucks. The new ones have ridiculous amounts of "down time" and 75% of the time it's "emission related".
    50% of my fleet exists of Glider trucks and have almost NO DOWN TIME... They also get better fuel milage (15+%) and the power difference is HUGE!
    Just my 2 cents but they have NOT perfected the emission systems and until they do "BUYER BEWARE"...

  • Latest three sticking points to consider: Why (or why not) video?   15 weeks 4 hours ago    

    Mr. Angel's opinion that telematics may trump driver facing video is naive. Truck drivers are just as liable to be texting, CB'ing, or engaging in other distracted behavior which telematics won't show. Professional drivers are pro's, no doubt, but the prevalence of distracted driving makes driver facing cameras essential in a proactive safety culture.

  • Latest on ELD self-cert: 3 (more) things carriers need to know   15 weeks 3 days ago    

    Any article " selling " the ELD requirements should also include the exceptions. They are 1999 and older trucks , drivers who are 100/150 mile exempt and drivers who make some logbook runs but don't do so more than EIGHT times in a rolling 30 day period.

    ELD's aren't for everybody and those that don't want / need them who qualify for the exemption should know they don't have to.

    Andy Blair

  • Ready for the robots?   15 weeks 3 days ago    

    Dear Mr. Roberts:

    While it is true that transportation is at a transitional stage, what you describe is only the beginning of that transitional phase. The economics of an automated transportation infrastructure is relentless, and what will begin as a supplement to human drivers will converge upon their nearly total replacement. Obviously, the transition is already upon us, with the increasing availability of automatic transmissions that you note in the above (and which "old school" drivers rightly abhor; I would never want to be on a snowy mountain pass with an automatic transmission). This part of the transition will occur rather rapidly, followed by full automation of long-distance driving over straight, flat interstate highways in the coming decades. A machine that never takes a rest room break, never stops to eat, never stops for a smoke, never goes on vacation, and doesn't need to be paid (whether hourly or by miles) sounds too good to be true from the perspective of major carriers, but that's what's coming.

    Best wishes,

    Nick Nielsen

    PS -- I've written about this in more detail:

  • No matter the cost of fuel, new trucks can still offer savings   15 weeks 4 days ago    

    It is amazing to me that every fleet talks about fuel (and the price) but they never talk about how making diesel fuel quality better could save them much more money than nearly anything they try.
    I have been in the diesel fuel additive business for more than 43 years and I have seen many changes in driver training to get better fuel economy, truck engine changes to make them run better, air deflectors and cowlings to make the vehicles move through the air with less wind resistance and many other technological advances.
    I have authored numerous articles telling fleets (and fuel producers) how to make diesel fuels better, but the industry still pretty much ignores these facts.
    Any fleet that wants to save 5, 7, 10 percent and sometimes more can do that with the 'right' diesel fuel additive product custom formulated to the diesel fuel(s) being used in any area of North America. That is what we do and we can show you how if given the opportunity - guaranteed. Look us up on the web Amalgamated, Inc.
    Gary Pipenger, Owner.

  • Your July 7 Pre-Trip: Charges dropped against carrier in fatal GA crash   15 weeks 4 days ago    

    So I guess five young girls are worth 200k now a days this is sickening

  • Truck-related deaths up 4% in 2015   15 weeks 5 days ago    

    Make the fines larger and time longer for using hand held devices. Make them fit the crime. Slow down the traffic. Everyone is going to fast. Well over the Speed Limit.

  • It’s not the size of the dog in the fight …   16 weeks 20 hours ago    

    I read and the information seems pretty spot on.

    I've been a BCO since 2003 and approved carriers have always haul +- 50% of the loads.
    What others haul I have no control over all I can do is stayed focused on my business.
    #1. Manage risk
    #2 manage cost

    Key to sustaining profit is keeping cost low more than hoping for high rates that will rise up to pay your bills.

  • Of Millennials and freight   16 weeks 1 day ago    

    Interesting, I thought it a little odd the author of the article chose to use the term "ethnic minority" rather than just "minority" so I looked up the definition to better understand the difference and according to Merriam-Webster dictionary this is a definition of "Ethnic minority":
    "a member of a minority group who retains the customs, language, or social views of their minority group."

    The distinction is evident: Don't try to integrate into the society you have chosen to live in, try to assimilate it to your culture.

    I don't intend to sound intolerant but moving to another country brings a certain amount of responsibility to a person to conform to your new countries culture, including the language. Retaining loyalty to your previous country does your new country a disservice. If you choose to immigrate to America then be an American.
    I have some experience with this since I lived in Japan for 3 years, the people were generally patient with me as I learned the language and I had to hire an interpreter on occasion when dealing with governmental agencies but they did not adjust their policies or practices to suit me, I had to adjust mine.

  • What Goes Around Comes Around   16 weeks 1 day ago    

    This is a great post. Thank for share this awesome post

  • It’s not the size of the dog in the fight …   16 weeks 4 days ago    

    I'm the owner of the Landstar NRI Agency. We do not take 3rd party freight and we post on the Landstar board with all "Y"s. We work hard to get our direct business and to keep it.

  • It’s not the size of the dog in the fight …   16 weeks 6 days ago    

    Ok let me chime in here. I don't know what is going on here, but freight couldn't be worse. Not only is there no freight, but it's not paying well. Consistently driving 150mi for a decent paying load isn't sustainable. How can all the freight be going into horrible places? It's like Landstar is getting all the freight others don't want and it's not even their loads. Landstar on their board has shipper direct yes and no options. Essentially meaning a Landstar or a brokered load - consistently 80% or higher are brokered. That is outsourcing! All these agents are doing is reposting other companies freight. 75% of the time if you call they have to call "the customer" to then tell you the load has already been covered. Why? It wasn't their load. That is OUTSOURCING. The rates are insanely low as well. Lower than the national average and lower than even a swift or Schneider would pay an owner operator. If BCOs are so special and a higher level of everything why aren't agents commanding a higher rate??? I'll lay it out there - Why should an agent and Landstar get 30+% of the revenue for reposting someone else's load? They have no skin in the game. They can sit at home in their PJs and make money while the BCO has all the risk. A BCO can only haul Landstar freight while a Landstar agent can use anyone, give the load to anyone. That's not fair. They have no incentive to use a Landstar truck. I honestly don't think the agents have any idea what it costs to operate a truck. BCOs need to pay their salary, save for maintenance, save for the next truck, save for retirement, etc and right now you can't do that. There is absolutely no reason to keep bringing on new BCOs or agents. That last part is my favorite. "Landstar BCOs keep rolling and keep making money." I'm sorry, what planet is this??? I HATE airing dirty laundry like this, but this is serious. This is about making money and feeding families. I get what this article was, a fluff piece. It's for investor consumption, etc but Not everyone has a $4 million salary and stock options to fall back on.

  • From plastic bottles to car parts   17 weeks 5 days ago    

    Through recycling we are able to recycle different types of products from plastic bottles to car parts. Recycling is a beneficial process and we can take good advantage from this process and utilize our waste products again for reuse. In different countries people are taking advantage from recycling to reduce environmental pollution and also promote; so recycling is a developing concept and we take good advantage from this concept.

  • Study: Biggest trucking firms outsource over 42% of their freight   17 weeks 6 days ago    

    Given LaneAxis’ service offering and the need to differentiate themselves from their competitors it is not surprising that the thrust of their recent marketing report was that shippers could benefit from their tool’s freight management and load tracking functionality. What is surprising however, are the somewhat uninformed generalizations they make and the financial data they take out of context to make the erroneous conclusions in the report. Their contention that “the 13 biggest public (trucking) companies outsource an average of 42.29% of their freight shipments” is considerably misleading. They are making a blanket generalization that every load moved by a either a rail provider or owner-operator for these carriers is an “outsourced” load with zero visibility for the shipper as to the load’s status. This is simply incorrect. A deeper dive into the financial statistics for the thirteen carriers cited in the report and a clearer understanding of their respective service offerings is in order.

    Of the thirteen-carrier sample cited in LaneAxis’ statistics the largest carriers, by purchased transportation as a percentage of annual revenue, overwhelmingly drive the stated 42.29% weighted average statistic. They are all carriers who have significant intermodal components to their business and / or who have significant numbers of independent contractor owner-operator trucks in their fleets. As such, their payments to rail providers as well as to independent contractor owner-operators running under their operating authority are considered “purchased transportation” and reported as such in public financial filings. The purchased transportation spend amounts of these carriers disproportionately weights LaneAxis 42.29% claim.

    The following points provide more context and a more complete overview of the larger purchased transportation spend carriers weighting the LaneAxis sample:

    • Selected J.B. Hunt financial data cited by LaneAxis shows they have an approximate 48.4% purchased transportation spend. What is not taken into consideration is that J.B. Hunt operates ~73,300 intermodal containers and corresponding revenues generated by their intermodal division comprises ~59% of their annual revenues (FY2015 Annual Report, page 47). Additionally, approximately 10% of J.B. Hunt’s fleet is comprised of independent contractor owner-operator trucks which operate under J.B. Hunt’s authority (Transport Topics 2015 Top-100 Private Carriers, both). Payments to rail providers and to the independent contractor owner-operator providers running under their authority are both recorded as “purchased transportation” per common accounting practices. Furthermore, and like all other top-tier carriers, J.B. Hunt’s in-house order management systems offer complete visibility of dispatched OTR and IM loads on these assets.
    • Selected HUB Group financial data cited by LaneAxis shows that they have an approximate 88.3% purchased transportation spend. What is not stated is that HUB operates ~28,400 intermodal containers and has a truck fleet comprised of ~59% independent contractor owner-operators (Transport Topics 2015 Top-100 Private Carriers). Again, payments to rail and independent contractor owner-operator providers are both recorded as purchased transportation, and their in-house order management systems are similarly capable of providing complete visibility and tracking of loads dispatched on these assets.
    • TransForce, Inc., a Quebec-based TL provider is cited by LaneAxis as having a 65.7% purchased transportation spend. What is not stated is that approximately 58% of their fleet is comprised of independent contractor owner-operators (Transport Topics 2015 Top-100 Private Carriers).
    • Landstar, the largest TL provider in the U.S. to operate a 100% independent contractor owner-operator fleet, with ~8,650 trucks, also has their publicly-stated purchased transportation statistic of 76.8% as part of the LaneAxis sample group’s weighted average (Transport Topics 2015 Top-100 Private Carriers).

    The across-the-board generalization that the above carriers’, along with the other sample group carriers’, purchased transportation spend is solely on outside provider assets who have no order management and tracking visibility is a fundamental misunderstanding of the both the nature of these carriers’ operations and the sophistication and capabilities of their in-house order management systems.

  • Speed limiter proposal stuck in slow lane   18 weeks 1 hour ago    

    The current highway infrastructure will not support all trucks going the same speed. There is too wide of a variance that the auto traffic travels at. If all interstates were 3 lanes each direction, that may work better than only 2.

  • Truckers love Weed; Weed loves truckers   18 weeks 1 day ago    

    Hats off to the city of Weed for being trucker-friendly. Another thing to love about California is

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