Recent comments

  • Five critical tips for Brake Safety Week   23 weeks 9 hours ago    

    The below paragraph isn't really accurate.

    "Say no to manual slack adjustment. Where automatic slack adjusters, it's important to not manually adjust them if the brakes are beyond the stroke limit. If 25% of the trucks wheel ends are beyond the maximum allowable brake stroke- in other words , out of adjustment- you are going to get fined. "

    In order for there to be a brake adjustment violation , the brake must be at least 1/4" beyond the maximum stroke. You can be fined for one brake. If you have one brake at 1/4" over and another at 1/8" over, you have 1 1/2 brakes out of adjustment. Two " half " brake violations would equal one full brake violation.

    In order to be placed Out of Service , you must have 20% ( or more) of your total brakes out of adjustment and they must be considered a full brake adjustment violation.

    On a typical 5 axle combination, you would have to have two full brakes out of adjustment in order for the truck to be placed OOS. If you have one brake on the truck and one on the trailer, you now have a combination OOS. Can you disconnect the truck from the trailer and now claim that since the truck only has 1 of 6 brakes out of adjustment , that you fall below the 20% rule and drive off ?

    NO. You can't beat the rule by separating the units. You would legally have to fix BOTH before even just the truck were to drive away.

    If only the trailer had the brake violations than the truck could uncouple and legally drive away.

    On a 2 axle truck, one full brake out of adjustment ( 25%) would be enough to place the truck OOS.

  • CVSA’s annual Brake Safety Week is Sept. 6-12   23 weeks 11 hours ago    

    Important notes on air brake system violations. I have been doing Level 1 inspections both as a MCSAP officer and now directly for carriers since 1999.

    If your air brake truck is 1994 or newer, you have automatic slack adjusters. If you are finding that they are out of adjustment....readjusting them is a temporary band aid. You need to replace the slack adjusters. If not, they will get out of adjustment very soon.

    If your truck is placed OOS on brake adjustment out along the road, it is OK to have them adjusted to get them moving again but the slack adjusters will need replaced SOON.

    Air line chafing. . I continue to find chafing violations on air hoses which count as brake system violations. If there is ANY evidence of a " flat spot" on an air hose , it is a violation. If it is chafed enough that you can see the " inner cords" , it is an Out of Service violation. I have even seen new trucks that have chafing.

    Mechanics in general don't look for this or may assume a new truck should be good. I found the newer trucks are doing a better job of protecting the air lines but I still find places in which chafing will occur if left alone.

    When in doubt, protect any air lines that are in contact with ANYTHING else that could cause chafing. If there is contact but no evidence of loss of material , it is not a violation and should be Data Q'd. But, if there is contact , it is only a matter of time before it will start wearing. It is the most common violation I find on trucks that recently went through a Federal Annual Inspection.

    You should take the time to look ( or have someone else do this) to find and fix or prevent it from occurring in the first place.

    I offer to do full level 1 inspections without any concerns of being ticketed or being placed OOS.

    Andy Blair dotinspector@gmail.com

  • The future of fuel economy: Taking the next step   23 weeks 1 day ago    

    Does anyone know if EPA and NHTSA have done a look-back to see how well their predictions for cost, fuel savings, and decreases in emissions have panned out?

  • TAST - Technology Assisting Service Technicians   23 weeks 2 days ago    

    Great to hear. I'm not a Snapchat user, but I can definitely see where that would be a great way to instantly send photos. I hope you are capturing those for a future website or something that covers typical issues that you see.

  • The VP of Mystery, or Mr. They   23 weeks 2 days ago    

    We have meet the enemy, and THEY are us. Great points Darry.

  • TAST - Technology Assisting Service Technicians   23 weeks 3 days ago    

    Great article! Here at Maxwell our Customer Service and Application Engineers routinely use cell phone photo's, Facetime and Snapchat to help technicians with installation or troubleshooting questions. This technology enables us to help our customers in real time with live voice and video as if we were standing right next to them in the shop.

  • Going green gets lost over cost   23 weeks 4 days ago    

    The good news is the supposed trade-off between green initiatives and cost-savings doesn't exist. Just two examples, CNG and hydraulic hybrids, have very attractive payback and account for 60% of Autocar's sales. They reduce emissions by 23% to 45% - and increase profitability too. www.autocartruck/goinggreen

  • Trucking CEOs see big challenges ahead   23 weeks 6 days ago    

    My Dad drove for TVA in the mid 70's he was making around 30K per year, in today dollars that is well over 120K per year. Then in 78 he went back as a owner/operator making even more than he was at TVA. As a kid we were a upper middle class family, nice house, Mom and Dad both drove new cars, also my Mom was a stay at home Mom. My Dad was at home almost every night, he didn't spend more than 2 or 3 nights a week on the road.

    Companies had to pay drivers good wages because it was so easy to be a O/O. These large fleets, the government, and brokers have made in hard for O/O's to make a living. If you want to fix the industry make it easy again for Owner/Operators.

    More stupid rules from the government is only going to run more people out of the industry.

  • “The trucks are killing us.” Not so, says ATA’s Bill Graves   23 weeks 6 days ago    

    It’s so sad that the American Trucking Association has to come out and defend the trucking industry's safety record amid criticism stemming from a 2014 crash that severely injured comedian Tracy Morgan. They had to respond to a New York Time unfair op-ed critical of the trucking industry.

    "It is unfortunate that the Times ran an opinion column this Saturday titled The Trucks are Killing Us, without properly vetting the statements contained in it," ATA President Bill Graves wrote in a response that rejected by the Times.

    All you have to do it’s to take a look around you when you are on the road, to see car drivers paying attentions to anything else but the road. Whether is reading directions on paper, texting, eating, putting on make-up or tailgating a truck with a clear decal on the back the said “if you can see my mirrors I can’t see you”

    Nobody in the industry will excuse a truck driver that it’s at fault for causing an accident, but it’s not fair to skew or blame the entire trucking industry for all accident that involves a truck. Unlike the majorities of car on our roads and highways, you can be sure that almost 100% of truck driver are professionals that take the responsibility that come with operating a large rig very seriously.

  • Driver harassment and the ELD mandate   24 weeks 2 hours ago    

    ELD's are making the trucking industry unsafe! Along with the current driving rules......... The Wal Mart driver crash was the fault of ELD's and the driving rules........Scrap this to help save drivers and the people around us........Drivers need to be able to rest if they are sleepy without loosing driving hours....Like it use to be when trucking was safe...... before the ATA starting buying Congress to put small fleets and O/O's out of business.

  • Avoiding Collisions   24 weeks 4 hours ago    

    Howard:
    The generic use of “Bendix…Wingman” may create some confusion in the market and I wanted to clarify the differences in the Bendix Wingman family of systems for Fleet Owner readers.

    The NTSB report referenced “Bendix Wingman Active Cruise with Braking” or what is also known as the Bendix Wingman ACB system. Bendix Wingman ACB is an adaptive cruise control system which provides active interventions (dethrottling, engaging the engine retarder and applying the brakes) to help a driver maintain a set following distance behind a forward vehicle when the cruise control is engaged and speed is set.

    Bendix Wingman Advanced, a collision mitigation technology, provides both the adaptive cruise control feature of Bendix Wingman ACB, and also provides collision mitigation. In the Bendix Wingman Advanced system, whether cruise control is engaged or not, when the system determines a collision is imminent, the system will alert the driver and provide a brake intervention to help the driver mitigate the collision situation. Bendix Wingman ACB does not provide a collision mitigation feature.

    I’ve had some fleets contact me with concerns that the Bendix Wingman Advanced system only applies the brakes when the driver has cruise control engaged and wanted to make sure we were clear regarding the different Bendix Wingman systems that can be in use at fleets today. If FLEET OWNER readers would like more information about Bendix Wingman ACB, Advanced, and our newest system, Wingman Fusion, please visit www.bendix.com/media/documents/products_1/wingman_fusion/Fusion_Comparis...

    Of course, the Bendix Wingman systems are driver assistance systems, not driver replacement systems! An alert, safe driver, following safe driving practices, along with comprehensive driver training is not replaced by these technologies.

    Best,

    Fred

    Fred Andersky
    Director, Customer Solutions – Controls
    Director, Government & Industry Affairs
    Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC

  • How the Plant-Fueled Trucker Saved His Job and His Life   24 weeks 11 hours ago    

    Great article and I am glad to see that it really is possible for a driver to make a change if he / she sets their mind to it.

  • Get ready: traffic congestion poised to go from bad to worse   24 weeks 1 day ago    

    Add to that the block aids that will be caused by speed limiters regular interstates will see a lot more congestion

  • Driver harassment and the ELD mandate   24 weeks 1 day ago    

    Junk the whole thing the whole thing is driver harrasment

  • Driver harassment and the ELD mandate   24 weeks 1 day ago    

    Great article and very useful information. These rules really changes the way many fleet management providers address the market and will likely result in a fair amount of disruption especially among big established vendors.

  • To split or not to split: FMCSA can’t win on waivers   24 weeks 4 days ago    

    I believe that these exemptions or waivers is prove that the FMCSA rules and regulations are failures due to lack of research or the lack of common sense along with the lack of experience within trucking.

  • No record of collision warning in Walmart crash   25 weeks 1 hour ago    

    It seems like the real question here is whether the driver violated the HOS rules along with ignoring the work-zone speed limit. Technology can't make a driver who is sleepy or fatigued any more wakeful.

  • The road to the self-driving truck   25 weeks 1 hour ago    

    The security issue has not yet been solved - see the
    Scientific American article "Recall Shows That a Hack Attack on Car Controls Is a Credible Threat". A formidable problem, given that hackers can not be prevented from disrupting the internet.

    hblancha@hawaii.edu

  • It’s your skin in this game   34 weeks 2 days ago    

    The article has really peaks my interest.

  • What’s important when buying a fleet?   35 weeks 5 hours ago    

    Very well stated. Whenever buying a business, do your homework and investigate everything. Get help in areas that you are not comfortable. Assess the risks associated with the ownership change. Have a plan. There are thousands of small fleets out there that will change hands.

  • 2016 Silverado pickups to gain prognostic capability   35 weeks 1 day ago    

    The technology coming out in the next few years is awesome! Eventually (when quantum computers are perfected) freight hauling using human drivers will be history. And so, too, will bus/cab drivers, airplane pilots and military personnel in combat arms. Close to retiring now, I'll just sit and watch, amazed that I was one of those who carried a rifle in combat and drove a big truck across the USA and Canada and now I'm part of history.

  • Transport America increases pay for owner operators   35 weeks 1 day ago    

    What are you getting/paying?

  • Transport America increases pay for owner operators   35 weeks 2 days ago    

    Dollar a mile. Really? I must be missing something. Wow Get serious

  • Customer needs drove design of Kalmar Ottawa T2   35 weeks 2 days ago    

    When is the Drone version going to be available?

  • AMTs deliver operational rewards and higher costs.   35 weeks 3 days ago    

    Darry, I've been waiting a long time for someone in the industry media to speak out and say the things you did about automatics in something other than mid-range or vocational trucks where they are proven and preferred. Wait til folks figure out that torque converters are a better way to launch a vehicle and enable comparable or better fuel economy because the system is more efficient than one that interrupts power at every shift (i.e. a manual or an AMT). Thanks for being objective.

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