Recent comments

  • Why is the trucking industry so resistant to new safety regulations and technologies?   43 weeks 3 days ago    

    "And most motorists have been witness to bizarre antics by some trucker", the KEY word being SOME as in SOME bizarre antics by private passenger drivers, also. SOME does leave space for the thousands upon thousands of SAFE professional and private passenger drivers. My husband has been a safe driver since 1981 and he is only one of the thousands that have logged billions of miles safely. Riding with him daily, I observe so many poor driving habits of both professional and private passenger drivers, but there are fortunately, far more safe drivers. I witness both types of drivers pile up on each other without any type of safe space. Ironically, when a LARGE truck does leave that space, a private passenger vehicle will zoom into that space with no thought as to why that space is there. Does it not scare you that some companies allow a driver with as little as 6 months commercial driving experience to begin training other drivers? Does it not scare you that in 2013 there were 87,000 commercial drivers cited in inspections for being "unable to speak English" (which doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out they can't read English either)? Check Federal Highway Safety Administration's statistics...it's there. Does it not bother you that CSA didn't meet it's goals to get "bad actors" off the road? Time and time again, it took a fatality for CSA to then investigate and remove the company (often citing how many violations the company had BEFORE the fatality). Ironically, Walmart has been in the limelight and they are one of the few large companies that show less than 10% violations on all BASIC's. Wonder why the industry resists? Drivers are forced to drive 11 hours daily whereas the prior regs allowed breaking up hours for short rests, shipper delay, rush hours, etc. Study after study has proven "inconclusive" but yet, regs are put into effect and when they prove to be unsafe, there are no consequences to FMCSA, only to the industry. And if you think insurance premiums are going to reduce, think again. I worked in insurance when Michigan implemented No Fault and was "touted" as ultimately reducing premiums. Fifteen years later, premiums reached record highs. Just because they "say it will" doesn't mean it will...let's get down to the fact that both commercial and private passenger drivers need to be better trained.

  • Why is the trucking industry so resistant to new safety regulations and technologies?   43 weeks 3 days ago    

    I completely agree with you that the driver is the key factor in safe trucking operations. And I fully endorse your statement that drivers today should not be forced to choose between operating in accordance with the law and earning a living.

  • Why is the trucking industry so resistant to new safety regulations and technologies?   43 weeks 3 days ago    

    The comparison I made had to do with how the airline industry has done a much better job convincing the public that it is invested in improving safety in the sky than trucking has the motoring public believing in its attitude toward safety improvements. I was suggesting that a more positive, pro-active stance by trucking would yield great gains with the public in general and government regulators in particular.

  • Why is the trucking industry so resistant to new safety regulations and technologies?   43 weeks 3 days ago    

    Excellent comments Mr. McMahan and right on the money. We have three major problems in this industry.

    Truckers not being properly trained to handle an 18 wheeler.
    truckers not being paid at a level that encourages quality people with the correct qualifications to enter the industry.

    And both an industry and regulatory agency trying to fix stupid through over regulation and dependency on technology instead of focusing on the core problems of low pay and lack of good high quality training.

    Truckers don't need government and corporate baby sitters for the roads of America to be safe They need correct training and they need compensation commiserate with the skills required for driving 40 tons on the road with 1 nad 2 ton vehicles with far less training.

    In the November 2011 issue of Fleet Owner Magazine in my Small Business Review I purposed the following solution to the driver training, retention, and pay safety castorophy faced by the trucking industry. It bears repeating

    Small Business Review
    Time for a New Paradigm?
    By Timothy D. Brady ©2011

    Trucking continually struggles with driver retention and getting quality individuals interested in a truck driving career. At present, even with staggeringly high unemployment, trucking is still considered an undesirable profession.

    What trucking needs is a Paradigm Shift. Under its current hiring methods, truckers’ job descriptions are two-dimensional: a trainee, a trucker, and very little room for advancement or increase in compensation. This is where the shift needs to occur.

    If carriers would embrace a “Student, Trainee, Apprentice, Journeyman, Master Trucker and Master Trucker Trainer” ladder, training new entrants and granting CEUs (Continuing Education Units) that advance a trucker to the next level, the turnover rate would shrink. Here’s an outline:

    Student: A minimum of three months or 480 hours of trucking school, focused on learning driving, backing and rules of the road. Break it down: at least 120 hours driving a truck on streets and highways, 60 hours of backing and maneuvering a truck in tight situations, then 60 hours of understanding the mechanics of a truck and mastering the pre- and post-trip inspections. The remaining 240 hours of classroom instruction would be spent learning how FMCSA regulations and HOS work, and including a course explaining what life on the road is really like.

    Trainee: Once the new entry-level trucker graduated from trucking school and received that CDL, he/she would be placed with a Master Trucker Trainer for a minimum of six months at his/her carrier. During the training period, any time the trainee is in the driver’s seat, the Trainer is in and instructing from the passenger seat. In order for the trainee to move up to apprentice, he/she must pass a skills and knowledge test administered by a third party (not the carrier).

    Apprentice: Once the Trainee becomes an Apprentice, he/she teams with a Journeyman or Master Trucker for a minimum of one year. Here the Apprentice gains additional experience, sharing driving with the lead team driver.

    Journeyman: To become a Journeyman, meaning a solo driver or lease operator, the Apprentice must pass a skills and knowledge test after completing 10 hours of CEUs. In addition, he/she must have a minimum of 12 months and 100,000 logged miles of experience, accident-free, with no major traffic or out-of-service violations.

    Master Trucker: This requires an additional 30 hours of CEUs, covering driving, freight handling and trucking business skills and knowledge. He/she must have a minimum of 5 years and 500,000 logged miles, pass a Master Trucker’s skills and knowledge test and have an accident-free driving record.

    Master Trucker Trainer: In addition to the required 30 CEUs to become a Master Trucker, he/she must complete a Truck Driver Trainer Certification course worth 30 CEUs, with a written test and skills exam. The trucker must be accident- and ticket-free for a minimum of 5 years to receive this certification.

    This comprehensive program would reduce turnover and make trucking a career, with advancement and good compensation based on skills, knowledge and experience.

    Imagine picking the best of the best for your drivers…

  • Level the playing field   43 weeks 3 days ago    

    Slogs are not safer in any way,you word it to sound like they are,but in fact are fine if you want to use them,but have caused more accidents and frustration on other drivers.
    The ones using them think they can sit and block a fuel island for their break and that it's forbidden for them to move...That is false. They will stop in the worst place because of them
    No sir,,your fleets that are using them are not the solution they are the problem..
    They only reason to use eld is because your driver is not trained and your too cheap to train them

  • Why is the trucking industry so resistant to new safety regulations and technologies?   43 weeks 3 days ago    

    I don't know why companies think that the public is so stupid? They realize that these safety rules are not about safety,they realize that the new equipment is not about safety...The large companies using Legos,crash avoidance systematic,rollover protection ,and other so called safety devices are having more driver turnover and more crashes than the smaller fleets that hire well trained safe drivers,these drivers know the difference between compliance and safety and have been trained to choose safety every time. The so called safety equipment and the latest rules and regulations have forced these drivers to chose between safety and compliance daily . If a person thinks that safety should depend on equipment or technoledgey ,and should ignore the proper training of drivers ,is in fact what is causing the problem we are trying to overcome. You CEO or safety directors that wonder why you can't fill those seats ,should rethink your approach .. The person that runs the company is there because he knows business,the person that wrote this was hired because he knows how to put things on a page and make it easy to read,so why should the person that is in controll of that 80,000 pound truck not be just as trained to do what he is expected to do ? Should the CEO need some device to controll his decision when purchasing equipment ? Should the writer need spellcheck ? Should your hair dresser be required to have more hours training and more experience than your drivers?
    I think safety is a word that is misused more often than any other word in this industry. We all want to be safe,we just know that safety is not relative to compliance ...
    If I have not caused you to think for at least one minute about the alternative ,then I have failed,if you don't at least think about what I said then you have failed.

  • Why is the trucking industry so resistant to new safety regulations and technologies?   43 weeks 3 days ago    

    Like other I have noticed the reference of the trucking industry as to the safety regulations in the airline industry.
    (1) Lets put as many planes in the air during peak times as there are trucks on the highways!
    (2)Lets throw in the mix an added amount of small planes as there are 4 wheelers into the mix that is no where near as regulated as the rest that share the sky's or highways
    (3) Ad those 2 variables to your airline industry reference and let me know how that statics look then.
    (4) We are damn tired of everybody wanting to compare industry to industry, people there are to many variables and neither industry operates the same as the other so come up with some factual documentation and self ideas and we may not be so resistant. As of today I have yet seen anything new come up for the better that was not based off another totally different industry

  • Why is the trucking industry so resistant to new safety regulations and technologies?   43 weeks 4 days ago    

    Thanks for your comments. However, I would submit that it really is "broke", based on the number of accidents that continue to occur and the public's perception of trucking.

  • Why is the trucking industry so resistant to new safety regulations and technologies?   43 weeks 4 days ago    

    Thanks for the comments, Mike. I agree that trucking would be better served by actively moving forward on safety improvements, rather than waiting for the government to mandate them.

  • Why is the trucking industry so resistant to new safety regulations and technologies?   43 weeks 5 days ago    

    Thanks Howard for this article and in a big way you are right!

    Over the years I have provided simulation/safety training solutions to the US military and various industries. I've experienced how long it takes to adopt and implement safety technology. Many people are of the mind set, "If it's not broke, don't fix it!" That can be true for many things, but not for technology and the many benefits it can offer.

    Progressive and proactive companies in the trucking industry who adopt technology to increase safety among it's drivers are seeing the benefits. Not only are they providing another fool proof way to increase safety on the road, but they also help their company see a ROI by utilizing technologically advanced safety products.

    Our company, Simumak helps companies with increasing safety on the road and at the workplace. Our professional truck driving simulators provide a tool for their drivers to increase awareness and mitigate traffic accidents on the road.

    We should come together to help drive safety technology awareness and the use of such products in the trucking industry! It's a win-win scenario for those involved and helps to bring home our drivers in a safe way!

  • Why is the trucking industry so resistant to new safety regulations and technologies?   43 weeks 5 days ago    

    Howard you are right on-point. I have been involved with motor carrier business for more than 40-years and it frequently appears that a number of carriers like being beat-up instead of advancing their business. The industry can avoid a lot of bad legislation by taking a positive stand on self-regulation. Safe equipment (advertising the carrier), safe drivers (that are cared about by management), etc. ... not rocket science, but good business practice. Hopefully, the industry's research arms (e.g., ATRI) will help evaluate and develop information for the safe operation and growth of the industry.

  • Can higher pay alone solve the driver shortage?   44 weeks 1 day ago    

    I would say it strongly comes down to respect.

    I hear, "The truck is here to get...." and then I sit for 3-4 hours.

    I am NOT a truck. I am a human being who has further commitments to make for the day just as you do. People FAIL to see that person in the cab.

    We arrive at a shipper/receiver and we are told to go wait in the cab and "we'll come get you...." Making us invisible to the guy in the trailer unloading / loading us.

    All we are is, "A truck" that needs to be load/unloaded.

    I arrived today to get unloaded at a place that has their own brokers and their own cold storage. The people on the dock are co-workers to the people in the office finding the truck.
    "Call about 3 PM to let us know when you'll arrive". I told them at 3 the same thing I told them at 10:30 AM. "I'll be there around 5:30 PM."

    I arrived at 5:37 PM and I was told, "We weren't even told you were coming today. We don't know what to do with you."

    Where is the respect in that.?

  • Can higher pay alone solve the driver shortage?   44 weeks 2 days ago    

    I dispatch for owner operators. Have been for 2 years now and no driver pay itself is not the problem. The problem is these cheap customers paying rock bottom rates and these big brokerages like TQL, Ch Robinson , Coyote Logistics, Crestline Transportation , etc etc etc. have COMPLETELY FLOODED the marketplace with bottom dollar rates.

    I cannot afford to run my truck for fuel money. I don't care what anyone says about ''market conditions'' or whatever, if these loads don't start paying more, then we will all lose our livelihoods. Every one of us in this industry needs to grow a pair and learn to say NO when we are offered a load that doesn't pay well enough to cover operating costs plus make profit.

    These brokers and customers alike bank on carriers becoming desperate to move out of whatever area and pay horrible money. Some days I want to hang up dispatching that the market is so bad. The hours of service too make it where I have to get good money to make it worth my owner operators to have to sit. If they ain't happy, I ain't happy.

  • PremierCare offering AC checks   44 weeks 2 days ago    

    Although, AC's are useful things but according to reports its one of the huge source of dust and pollution even. Generally, these AC systems are known to carry dust in their ducting. So, in order to keep strong and fresh environment its important to check the refrigeration systems. For more details go through Air Duct Cleaning Denver.

  • Peterbilt offers more compact battery boxes on Model 579 for SmartAir system   44 weeks 2 days ago    

    A photograph of Peterbilt's new compact space-saver battery box on the Model 579, in support of the article, would have been nice.

  • Alliance Truck Parts adds clutches, RSD brake drums   44 weeks 4 days ago    

    What is an RSD brake drum? I understand that there are friction changes, but what was done to create an RSD drum?

  • TCA board approves policy changes on drug policies, sleep disorders and onboard technologies   44 weeks 4 days ago    

    How well are these new changes implemented? There are many people suffering from sleep disorder and its important that they get rid of it as it may cause other problems too. A recent study have found out sleep deprivation can significantly increase your risks of contracting fibromyalgia. http://tinyurl.com/mrvh3v7

  • Fuel economy: 2017 and beyond   45 weeks 2 days ago    

    Gooood stuff!

  • NHTSA plans to mandate V2V technology for vehicles   45 weeks 3 days ago    

    Another gizzmo to add to the initial cost not to mention ownership cost. This is an attempt to compensate for drivers not paying attention . Can't fix stupid.

  • Partnering up to tackle the technician shortage   45 weeks 4 days ago    

    Thank you Sean for the article. It is a very important issue that we face today.

    It is too bad you missed the Partnership between Mack Trucks and Volvo Trucks & WyoTech. We have an elective program in place with WyoTech that is unique to the industry. When the class in Sept. garduates we will have graduated more than 130 students from this program in 1.5 years.
    Please continue to write articles about this crisis we face.

  • Hegbloom takes reins at Ram Trucks   45 weeks 5 days ago    

    Bigland will also retain his role as head of U.S. Sales for Chrysler as well as president and CEO of Chrysler Canada.

  • NHTSA plans to mandate V2V technology for vehicles   45 weeks 5 days ago    

    The older one gets, the hard it is to see your blind spots so seemingly this should help.

  • Chevrolet: City Express to get 24 mpg in city driving   45 weeks 5 days ago    

    I regret that General Motors chose to purchase and rebadge Nissan NV200s to create the City Express. The NV200 is not thee least bit attractive. There are better options, such as the Ford Transit Connect.

    For years, GM did well in the compact van segment with the Chevy Astro. Then they walked away from those customers and left them hanging.

  • FMCSA may negotiate a rule on driver training   45 weeks 6 days ago    

    21 years passed the original deadline! Just another example of how ineffective big Government is at accomplishing ANYTHING. States have dealt with driver licensing requirements since the beginning and IMHO are way more effective...get Big Government out of our lives.

  • FMCSA may negotiate a rule on driver training   45 weeks 6 days ago    

    Now that steamship lines don't own there chassis and have turned them over to a number of different chassis pool companies, this is the time for the FMCSA to really look a t what these pools are putting out on the streets!!

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