This is the TDMST Weekly Round-Up of news affecting professional truck drivers, written by Vicki Simons for the week ending July 10, 2021.
We welcome your comments, thoughts and feedback on the items of your choice below.
1. Regarding inspections, safety, and training:
If you keep your truck in a perpetual state of good maintenance, you’ll never fear a DOT inspection or safety check.
- Inspectors Remove More than 1,200 Commercial Motor Vehicles with Critical Brake Violations from Roadways During CVSA’s Unannounced Brake Safety Day
www.cvsa.org/2021-brake-safety-day-results/ (no longer online)
- Operation Safe Driver Week To Begin July 11
- Preparation, attention to detail help inspections go smoothly
- Quick reminder: Operation Safe Driver Week is next weekQuote: “This year’s Operation Safe Driver Week will take place July 11-17 with an emphasis on speeding.”
- Three states automate Level 3 inspections at weigh stationsThe states are Maine, Maryland, and Virginia.
- What You Need to Know About CVSA’s Upcoming North American Traffic-Enforcement Blitz
It is unfortunate that some trucking companies place a low priority on safety or truck maintenance.
One trucker’s wife reported that his trucking company told him, “Go see what you can scrounge up” regarding the trucks they made available to drive.
Do not let a trucking company exploit you!
- 10 Tips To Catapult Your Way to Safety & Operational Success
- FMCSA Seeks to Expand Definition of ‘Vehicle Safety Technology,’ Modify Mounting Regs
- More than 80 police agencies are patrolling for aggressive drivers through August 22
- Safety check: No carrier thinks it’s ‘unsafe’
- Voluntary Adoption Rates for Safety Tech Improve
- Why You Need to Build a Strong Safety Culture – All That’s Trucking
2. Regarding accident and drugs:
Please learn from these articles what led up to the accident and actively seek to never repeat what led up to them.
- Death Toll Rises in Horrific Big Rig-Involved Crash on Interstate 10 in Arizona
- Family of six dead after semi truck slams into packed car
Never, ever agree to haul illegal drugs, no matter how much reward you are promised.
Not only can you be charged legally, but you may ruin your trucking career in the process.
- Canadian Trucker Charged in $14 MILLION Cocaine Smuggling Bust
- CBSA seizes cocaine worth $14M from truck
- Three Truck Drivers Busted Smuggling $1.3M in Meth, Cocaine and Fentanyl From Mexico
3. Regarding economy, tolls, and tires:
These are some of the most recent articles about the economy from the trucking industry.
- June Class 8 orders jump 11%
- June Truck Orders Moderate As Expected
- New Class 8 truck orders take a June vacation but still robust
- Truckers, OEMs struggling to keep pace with demand: FTR
A decrease and an increase.
- Cross Island Parkway toll in South Carolina comes to an end
- PA Turnpike approves 5% toll increase for 2022 reflecting lowest increase in six years
- Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission approves annual toll hike
- Tolls are going up on the PA Turnpike for the 14th year in a row
- Truckers Hit With Another Tolling Cost Increase on the Pennsylvania Turnpike
4. Regarding bridges, roads, I-14, and routing:
- Closure of I-40 Memphis span draws intense scrutiny to deteriorating bridges across the nation
- I-40 bridge may need additional repairs
- New I-40 Bridge Inspection Reveals ARDOT Missed Even More Needed Repairs
- States with the most structurally deficient bridges
- Tennessee officials hope to reopen I-40 bridge in a few more weeks
- Mudslides causing issues on Colorado highways
- Mudslides trap semi, shut down Colo. highway
- TRIP report: the interstate system needs work
5. Regarding operations, lawsuit, recall, repair, and hazmat:
- Daimler recalling more than 120k trucks
- Freightliner and Western Star Trucks Recalled Due to Risk of ‘Unintended Engine Shut Down’
- Freightliner, Western Star Trucks Recalled for Engine Stall Concerns
- Freightliners, Western Stars part of 122,000-truck recall
Sooner or later, all trucks need repair and maintenance.
Keep your truck well maintained and she’ll reward you with good service.
Make sure that you keep up with when your truck needs maintenance, including oil changes.
- Fleets have traveled 19% fewer miles between breakdowns so far this year
- Report: Frequency of Unscheduled Roadside Repairs Spike – Maintenance
- Spike in Unscheduled Roadside Repairs
- Unscheduled roadside repairs on the rise in U.S.
6. Regarding electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles, emissions, fuel, and mudflaps:
While it may seem admirable to remove trucks’ dependency on fuel, electric vehicles are dependent upon being charged at a suitable charging station.
Perhaps one day, technology will improve to the point where trucks can carry equipment to create fuel out of thin air.
- European truck makers collaborate to develop charging network
- How Will Utilities Deal with Electric-Vehicle Charging and Stressed Electric Grids?
- Major truck manufacturers plan European electric charging network
- Stellantis Nears Deal to Build EV Battery Plant
- Virginia DOT Rolls Out EV Charging Location Information
- WattEV To Electrify TTSI Heavy-Duty Truck Fleet
I am absolutely opposed to autonomous, self-driving, or driverless trucks, but am sharing these articles to help you stay up-to-date with the topic.
- Elon Musk admits that he ‘didn’t expect’ making self-driving vehicles to be so ‘hard’
- FMCSA Eyes Hours-of-Service Changes For Truckers Who Team With Self-Driving Systems
- FMCSA sees potential for human-autonomous team driver regulations
- More than babysitters: Safety drivers keep robot trucks from running into trouble
If your truck runs on fuel, seek the best source that helps you optimize supply for the lowest, reasonable cost.
- Daily Infographic: United States Fossil Fuel Consumption Lowest Level in Nearly 30 years
- Diesel price increase continues across the nation
- Diesel prices surge past $3.30 for first time since 2018
- Diesel Rises 3.1¢ to $3.331 a Gallon
- DOE/EIA diesel price up 10th straight week though commodity prices plunge
- Fuel Use Tops Pre-Virus Level Heading Into Holiday
- Oil, Diesel Prices Continue to Rise
- Running on 100% Biodiesel? Yeah, That’s Happening.
- The Daily Dash: Why oil prices are higher
- How to Reduce Splash and Spray From Your TrucksQuote: “Slotted mudflaps reduce spray from the wheels by allowing water to collect and flow back to the ground rather than smashing the droplets into mist against hard rubber.”I would like to know how slotted and unslotted mudflaps affect truck fuel economy.
7. Regarding capacity, rates, containers, ports, and shipping:
- Freight volumes down slightly but tight capacity keeps rates high
- Southern truckload capacity vanishes before the 4th
- Container lines are poised to hit a $100 billion profit jackpot
- Container lines set to topple quarterly profit records (again)
- L.A. Port Hits Milestone for Processing Containers
- Vancouver port defends truck age policySome say it is discrimination against trucks “more than 10 years old,” but the port authority says it is to “ensure the safe and efficient movement of Canada’s trade through the port, while protecting the environment and considering the local communities.”What do you say?Please comment through the form below. Thanks.
- 229% Surge in China-US Shipping Costs Drives Inflation Pressure
- US Seeks to Lower Spiking Shipping Costs With Competition
8. Regarding technology, solar power, and CSA:
- EROAD brings trailer telematics, Fleet Complete adds dashcam
- Fleets say coaching app improves MPG and driver healthIf you have received coaching as a trucker, please comment below on how that worked for you. Thanks.
- Have you used a digital signature before?
- License plate readers under review in six states State Land Line
- Saskatchewan carriers call for ELDs in province
- The Daily Dash: Rule changes for windshield cameras?
- The future of digital retail is here
I had been under the impression that solar panels on the roofs of tractors and/or trailers could be a good thing.
I don’t know if the kind of solar panels on vehicles are the same kind that are used on residential and industrial buildings or not.
Check out this article for some eye-opening info.
9. Regarding trucks, utilization, and delivery:
This is a very interesting article.
10. Regarding visibility, PRO Act, and employment:
I wondered what “visibility” was, so I did some research.
These are the best descriptions I’ve found:
- “…visibility specifically refers to the process of tracking actual shipments and the associated supply data from end to end.” (source)
- “With 70% of customers expecting the ability to track shipments and gain updates on the progress of the delivery, shippers have turned to real-time visibility to help them meet the rapidly growing customer demands for faster, less expensive, and more transparent delivery.” (source)
Some restaurants that provide food delivery service — and major independent food delivery services — incorporate “visibility” of the food delivery from the store to the customer through their apps.
Here are the most recent articles about visibility in transportation:
- Global shipping congestion calls for greater visibility
- Many shippers underestimate visibility expectations
- Not all logistics providers walk the visibility and tailored-solutions talk
- Video: Daily Feature | PRO Act
- Initial Jobless Claims Edge Up but Hold Near Pandemic Low
- US Job Openings Rise to Record, Underscore Hiring Difficulties
11. Regarding parking, detention, and violence:
- Arkansas officials pursuing safe truck parking in wake of pandemic, Memphis bridge closure
- Increase the chances of finding safe parking with planning and awareness
- Minneapolis council punts truck parking ban back to committee
- NY State Thruway to shut down 10 service areas starting July 29 (for renovation work)
- NYS Thruway to Add Truck Parking, Fitness Facilities as Part of $450M Revamp Project
- Truck Parking Included in House Highway Bill
- Years-long debate over potential Minneapolis truck parking ban continues
- Momentum building to slash detention timesQuotes:”Driver detention is the downtime in hauling that befalls truckers at pickup or delivery locations. Everyone in the industry dreads delays, especially expensive ones, and detention costs do enormous harm to the bottom line.””Detention time spent at shipping and receiving facilities is draining the industry dry in terms of time and money.”
- Three women robbed a trucker sitting in his cab at a gas station, Memphis police sayAfter having read the article, I feel compelled to point out one positive and two negatives:Positive: Evidently there was a device used to either take photos or record video before or while the theft took place.Negative #1: The trucker left his door unlocked.Negative #2: The trucker left his wallet in a place from where it could easily be taken.
I don’t see any mention in the article about weapons brandished or used by either the robbers or the trucker.
What else do you see in the article that could help other truckers from being robbed?
Please comment through the form below. Thanks.
12. Regarding awards:
If you know of truckers deserving of these awards, please speak up!
I look forward to learning who wins the designations/awards.
- Top professional drivers sought for America’s Road Team
- Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence winner will receive a Kenworth T680 sleeper
My husband Mike and I wish you — and all professional truck drivers — safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road.