This is the TDMST Weekly Round-Up of news affecting professional truck drivers, written by Vicki Simons for the week ending July 20, 2019.
We welcome your comments, thoughts and feedback on the items of your choice below.
1. Regarding speed limiters on trucks:
Here we go again!
Another proposal has been put forth on the federal level to make trucks “safer” — this time through a Senate bill that would mandate a maximum speed of 65 miles per hour for all commercial motor vehicles.
Owner-operator Henry Albert says its a “terrible idea” — and he’s right!
Although the “speed-limiter bill” has supposedly garnered support of trucking groups, you can read the dozens of comments from truckers below the article about all of the reasons why this bill must be stopped!
Furthermore, according to a July 12, 2019, article, OOIDA stated:
Speed limiters create dangerous driving conditions, including challenges navigating merges and running blockades (known as elephant races) that increase ‘road rage’ among other drivers. Arbitrary speed limits make it difficult for truck drivers to switch lanes to accommodate merging traffic at entrance ramps — or to merge themselves.
Please contact your U.S. Senators to speak out about this!
2. Regarding getting on board or “get left behind” on autonomous trucks:
Since I greatly appreciate caution in any new endeavor, I didn’t at all appreciate the “do or die” type sentiments recently expressed by a Louisiana lawmaker regarding autonomous trucks.
According to a July 8, 2019, article, Terry Landry, who is the Chairman of the Louisiana House transportation committee, “recently urged lawmakers and the public to get on the (autonomous) train or ‘get left behind'” and believes that it is futile to resist autonomous technology.
The article further stated, “According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 29 states have already passed … measures governing the rules of the road for autonomous vehicles.”
In doing a little digging, I found the NCSL resource here.
3. Regarding autonomous vehicle vs. human-driven truck crash:
In response to this article about a crash between a human-driven truck and an autonomous vehicle carrying passengers, I wrote the following in a trucking Facebook group:
– if the autonomous vehicle didn’t automatically respond to its surroundings;
– if the attendant didn’t have control over the autonomous vehicle;
– if the attendant had had control over the autonomous vehicle and could have prevented the accident;
– if the autonomous vehicle was operated by remote control but the remote operator didn’t prevent the collision; and
– if the trucker — who is very experienced in making deliveries to that location — could not reasonably have anticipated the autonomous vehicle being on its passenger side;
then why is this the **trucker’s fault**, especially since by his maneuvers, he was preventing other accidents from taking place?
I’m thinking ahead about an army of autonomous vehicles zipping around each other in backing situations like this.
How many more “live” truckers will be blamed for accidents involving autonomous vehicles?
Another article saying basically the same thing was written here.
Another article about this accident says that it was both the trucker’s action and lack of access to AV manual controller that were cited as the cause of the wreck.
4. Regarding the autonomous trucks comment period closing soon:
Meanwhile, there is still a little bit of time left to submit your comments regarding autonomous vehicles, according to a July 11, 2019, article.
5. Regarding trucker fitness and physical exercise:
Several articles published recently have addressed trucker fitness (or the lack thereof) and physical exercise:
- Study: truckers more at risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, the full report having been published by Atlas Injury Prevention Solutions
- Infographic: No workout equipment? Build your own circuit
6. Regarding driver profiling:
A July 9, 2019, article states that a “hacked border surveillance firm wants to profile drivers, passengers, and their ‘likely trip purpose’ in New York City”.
What’s wrong with this?
A YouTube video shows very short clips from:
- the documentary America: From Freedom to Fascism (a); and
- the 1942 movie Casablanca (b).
The article linked above further states, “The pitch, as outlined in the files, went well beyond mere toll enforcement and into profiling New Yorkers’ travel patterns and companions, creating what experts describe as major privacy risks.”
Be on your guard regarding this and similar potential invasions of privacy.
7. Regarding annual bidding versus real-time freight booking:
In a commentary about “How on-demand freight is poised to transform logistics“, I read something interesting:
Most shippers rely on an annual bidding process to both provide signals on the future cost of freight for budgeting purposes and to provide reliability in their network by locking in capacity for the following year.
Of course, planning a whole year in advance has its risk.
The article further states:
Real-time freight booking and pricing opens up many new possibilities for logistics — savings in soft markets, better service in tight markets and lower labor costs in procurement — yet widespread adoption will take time to achieve.
“Real-time freight booking and pricing” is one of the reasons why we are pleased to recommend DAT TruckersEdge Load Board.
8. Regarding freebies on National Hot Dog Day:
According to a July 10, 2019, article:
“Visit any TA and Petro Stopping Center or TA Express Wednesday, July 17 — which is, of course, National Hot Dog Day — and get two hot dogs for $1, or a free hot dog with your UltraONE kiosk coupon.”
9. Regarding low clearance accidents:
A trucker ignored a clearly posted sign that a railroad bridge in Scranton, Pennsylvania, had a clearance of 12 feet, 8 inches (12’8″).
He tried to get his 13’6″ truck under it, but obviously could not because it was higher than the bridge’s clearance.
Separately, another trucker got his rig stuck under a 12’6″ railroad bridge in Frederick, Maryland.
10. Regarding potential boosted profits of trailer ownership:
A July 11, 2019, article quoted a leased owner-operator as saying that if he had his own trailer, he could get “an extra 7%”.
This referred to “the percentage of revenue rate that Landstar pays its owner-operators”.
A breakdown of his numbers showed:
- monthly payment and insurance on a 5-year loan: $800;
- earn this much extra per month: $1,200 to $1,300;
- for net extra income of: “as much as $500”.
Owner-operators, if you own your own trailer, would you please comment below to let us know how much extra you’re earning per month versus not owning your trailer?
Thanks in advance.
11. Regarding truck-only tolls in Rhode Island:
According to a July 12, 2019, article, the Director of the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) announced that during its first year of operation, truck-only tolling had collected $7.26 million, exceeding revenue projections.
Furthermore, it was reported that “truckers are not avoiding the tolling locations” — and my response is, “Of course! What alternative truck routes are in the area that lead to the same places?”
Another article about RIDOT’s financial haul was written here.
If there was at least one way to fix this, it would be to toll all vehicles that travel on that route, even if the toll for 4-wheelers is small.
12. Regarding fines to truckers who are late or miss appointments:
According to a July 12, 2019, article, “Starting in September, railroad company Union Pacific will start issuing fines to truckers and trucking companies who miss their intermodal deliveries at six west coast terminals.”
Be on your guard against this kind of loss.
My husband Mike and I wish you — and all professional truck drivers — safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road.
(For your convenience, we are linking to or listing products on Amazon.com, with which we have an affiliate relationship.)