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Truck Drivers Money Saving Tips Email Newsletter, Issue #021, 2011-04-08
April 08, 2011

Issue #21  |  April 8, 2011

Truck Drivers Money Saving Tips

Email Newsletter

We provide real world tips that help professional truck drivers save hard-earned money and personal reporting about products and services for use on the road.

We've developed our unique website as a place to share the tips we have learned through the years -- and where other professional drivers can do the same. In other words...

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Bloglets

Subscribe to our Truckers' Savings Blog to receive these bloglets -- with the links -- as they are sent. If you have news about how professional truck drivers can save money (directly or indirectly) please submit it for publication on our Truckers Savings News page.



Truckers Complaining About Wait Times at International Bridges

Sitting and waiting, it will cost you money. Commercial trucks are backed up along international bridges in the Rio Grande Valley. We're talking hundreds and thousands of dollars spent waiting in line. Commercial truck drivers have to get their load into the United States. It's a trip that doesn't come easy. Companies we spoke with say it's a cost you eventually see on store shelves. ...


Tennessee bills cover ticket cameras, truck rules, rest areas

Tennessee lawmakers are addressing multiple issues of interest to truck drivers. The issues include ticket cameras, federal truck rules, loose loads, rest areas and fuel haulers. ... Senate Transportation Chairman Jim Tracy, R-Shelbyville, said the bill addresses concerns about the cameras being used as revenue generators. "My goal is to protect the public from abuse of these camera systems by providing clear guidelines to ensure that the focus is on public safety," Tracy said in a statement. OOIDA leadership says the focus on ticket cameras ignores the more logical and reasoned approach to roads and traffic. "The goal should be to keep traffic moving in as safe a manner as possible," said OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer. Communities should be pursuing "intelligent traffic lights that actually monitor traffic and are triggered by traffic flow," he said. ...


CARB offers early action compliance credit

The California Air Resources Board on Wednesday, April 6, announced an early action compliance credit for trucking fleets that install a particulate filter by July 1 or that make a commitment to purchase a particulate filter by May 1. By installing a particulate filter early on one truck, the fleet will be able to delay compliance for a second truck in the fleet until Jan. 1, 2017. The early action "buy-one-get-one-free" credit applies to heavier trucks with a manufacturers gross vehicle weight rating of more than 26,000 pounds. There is no limit on how many trucks in the fleet can earn the early action credit. ...


FinditParts.com website launched

FinditParts.com officially launched its new website. The site features an inventory of more than one million parts from more than 800 manufacturers and OEMs, including hard-to-find parts. Users can search by part number, manufacturer or most popular part. Additionally, access to parts specialists is available through a special help feature that allows buyers to "click to chat" or to send a photo of their part via e-mail to FinditParts sourcing agents. "The heavy-duty truck market is huge and complex, not only with the sheer number of parts which we've only tapped the surface of, but the nearly 1,000 manufacturers and OEMs," says David Seewack, chief executive officer. ...


NTEA publishes Federal Excise Tax Guide

The National Truck Equipment Association recently introduced its "Federal Excise Tax Guide," a new publication for the work truck industry. "For more than 30 years, the NTEA has been the leading source of excise tax information to the work truck industry," says Jim Carney, NTEA executive director. "We felt it was time to publish a comprehensive guide that would help retailers avoid pitfalls that can result in huge IRS tax assessments." ...


Senate votes to repeal expanded 1099 tax reporting mandate

The U.S. Senate passed HR 4, a bill to fully repeal the expanded 1099 tax reporting mandate passed as part of last year's health care law. The 1099 requirement was passed in 2010 as part of the health care reform law known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This provision would have forced all businesses to issue a Form 1099 to vendors from whom they buy $600 worth of goods or more on an annual basis, and was scheduled to take effect in 2012. ...


Gordon Trucking to install 2,000 additional side skirts

Washington-based Gordon Trucking Inc. (GTI) will install 2,000 additional sets of Freight Wing Aeroflex trailer side skirts on its trailers, joining nearly 2,200 trailers already outfitted. "Fleets are always looking for ways to control fuel costs, especially as fuel prices increase and fuel surcharge lags behind," Kirk Altrichter, vice president of maintenance, said. "During our testing, we saw a 0.3 mpg improvement, and that gives GTI a payback of less than 18 months." ...


Driver Faces Federal Charges After Fatal Pennsylvania Truck Accident

In January 2009, 57-year-old Valerijs Belovs was driving a semi-truck with faulty brakes outside of Philadelphia. When rounding a curve on the I-76 expressway, Belovs saw that traffic had halted but was unable to stop his large tractor trailer, which was carrying a load of produce to New Jersey. The truck slammed into stopped traffic, killing 49-year-old David Schreffler. Recently, Belovs pled guilty to vehicular homicide and now faces federal charges due to 15 falsified entries made in his logbook prior to the 2009 truck crash. ...


New Hampshire lawmakers OK anti-idling incentive

An incentive to reduce truck idling in New Hampshire is headed to the governor's desk. The Senate voted to send a bill to Gov. John Lynch that would increase the maximum weight limits for large trucks equipped with idle-reduction technology. The House has already approved the bill - Hb117. If signed into law, commercial vehicles equipped with auxiliary power units would be authorized to weigh up to an additional 400 pounds. ...


Indiana bill would give governor sole toll power

An Indiana House panel is expected to take up for consideration this week a bill that would take decisions about partnering with private groups for toll roads out of the hands of state lawmakers. ... Rep. Gail Riecken, D-Evansville, is greatly concerned about handing over sole responsibility on toll decisions to one person. "The value in legislative review is that it makes sure the general public has a chance to weigh in on issues such as relocation of homes and, above all, the impact that tolls will have on them financially," Riecken said in a statement. ...


ATA points out outdated rules to DOT

Responding to President Obama's call to help reduce the regulatory burden on U.S. businesses, the American Trucking Associations on Monday, April 4, highlighted nine outdated, obsolete or onerous rules that the U.S. Department of Transportation should reconsider. In comments filed April 1, ATA pointed to a number of rules issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration as unnecessary or redundant. ...


Tolls removed from Saint John Harbour Bridge

The tolls on the Saint John Harbour Bridge were finally removed over the weekend. "With the tolls now being removed for good, a long-standing irritant for local residents and all users will be eliminated," said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Claude Williams said in a statement to the legislative assembly. ... "Removing these tolls will ensure drivers in Saint John and throughout our province are treated fairly, and this important component of the Atlantic Gateway and Trade Corridor can function more efficiently," added Williams. ...


Truckers link police to highway robbers

[Kenya] Police were on Monday accused of conniving with robbers targeting goods in transit on the busy Nakuru-Eldoret highway. Truck drivers claimed some local police officers were working in cahoots with highway robbers and were turning a blind eye to a cartel operating between Salgaa and Total Junction trading centres. On Sunday, the drivers blocked the road for more than seven hours, demanding that Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere addresses them after six of their colleagues were attacked and the goods in their vehicles stolen on Saturday night. ... The drivers blocked the road at the notorious spot near Sachang'wan trading centre in Molo with more than 300 trucks. It took the intervention of Molo district commissioner Julius Kavita and area police boss Litabalia Achesa to persuade the truck drivers to open up the road after four hours. Mr Achesa promised to take prompt action against local youth engaged in highway robbery. He also promised the truck drivers that security in the area would be tightened through increased and more frequent police patrols. ...


Oregon Increases Biodiesel to 5

Oregon has recently announced a requirement that the majority or the diesel fuel in the state contain 5 biodiesel. This is an increase from the 2 that is currently required throughout the state. ...


How to: Replace Gladhand Seals

Keep your air dry for better braking ...


Trailer enhancements

Great Dane introduced major advances to its Classic Truckload refrigerated trailer and its Composite dry freight van Thursday, March 31, at a press event in Louisville, Ky. Weight was trimmed out of the Classic Truckload, while maintaining its strength, said Rick Mullininx, executive vice president of engineering. Its bonded roof construction reduces weight while increasing durability and maintaining optimal thermal efficiency through the lamination process. And its lighter, yet stronger lining is designed to withstand everyday wear and tear and protect cargo. ...


Thermo King debuts new cooling solutions

Thermo King on Thursday, March 31, introduced two new roofline application cooling solutions for smaller large-commercial van fleets - the V-520 RT for fresh applications, and the V-520 RT MAX for frozen applications. ... Thermo King also introduced an electronic throttling valve (ETV) for straight trucks designed to allow them to optimize energy and operational efficiency while improving product quality on delivery. The ETV enhances the company's T-Series T-600, T-800 and T-1000 single-temp truck units with scroll compressors. "Our customers are saying they need to do even more with their limited resources, and this unique solution helps them do just that," [Doug] Lenz [director of product management for Thermo King] said. "The ETV enables straight truck owners and operators to spend less money delivering higher-quality foods, pharmaceuticals and other fresh and frozen products to their customers." ...


Sapp Bros. celebrates 40th anniversary along I-80

The Sapp Bros. chain of travel centers is celebrating its 40th anniversary at its 16 locations along I-80 from Clearfield, Pa., to Salt Lake City with service specials and prizes including fuel and drink discounts and a grand prize drawing.... ... Each preliminary winner will receive $100. Sapp is also offering a $189.99 preventive maintenance special... ...


Speed limiter law appears to have slowed truckers

While most truck drivers travelling through Ontario appear to be obeying the speed limiter law, those that aren't may still not be breaking highway speed limits. Trucks with speed limiters are required to set them to 105 kilometres per hour while travelling on Ontario highways, but not all of them are obeying the 2009 legislation. Since January 2009, the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) has handed out more than 2,000 tickets to truckers ignoring the speed limiter law. ...


Truckers Say EOBR Bill Will Not Make Highways Safer

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) responded to the announcement by U.S. Senators Mark Pryor (D-AR) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) that they were introducing a bill to mandate electronic on-board recorders (EOBRs) for interstate commercial motor carriers. "With all due respect to Senator Pryor, EOBRs will not improve highway safety. However, they sure will cost small-business truckers their hard-earned money and their privacy," said Todd Spencer, Executive Vice President of OOIDA. "EOBRs are nothing more than over-priced record keepers lobbied by big business trucking companies to wipe out small business competition." ...


New audit could cost truck drivers

Fees for truck drivers may be about to go up. A recent audit shows that Michigan isn't charging heavy truck drivers enough to cover the cost of repairing the roads they damage. Oversize rigs tear up concrete and put stress on bridges. In a year's time, M-DOT says the damage totals $135 million, and it only gets a small amount of funding to fix the trouble spots. The audit could wind up costing truck drivers a lot more if Michigan raises fees on all trucks or increases the tax on gas. One trucker who drives an average-sized 80,000 pound truck says the best idea may be to stop allowing heavier loads of up to 160,000 pounds. He says they do the most damage. ...


#MATS: New aerodynamic fairing and enhancements add significant boost to fuel efficiency for Mack's Pinnacle tractors

... Mack rolled out redesigned roof fairings for its Pinnacle 70-inch high-rise, 70-inch mid-rise and 60-inch mid-rise sleepers. The company also debuted stronger, lighter, longer chassis fairings, covering up to a 140 gallon fuel tank - yet costing considerably less than the previous option. Customers ordering Mack Pinnacle model sleepers with improved aerodynamics can expect up to a six percent fuel efficiency improvement, according to Jerry Warmkessel, marketing manager, highway products said. "The new roof fairings are optimized for the lowest possible coefficient of drag and a much smoother transfer of air from the truck to the trailer," Warmkessel said. "The design of the new chassis fairings is simpler, and more aerodynamic. The fuel efficiency improvements achievable with these optimized aero aids and the proven performance of our MP engines with ClearTech SCR positions the Mack Pinnacle among the best in highway fuel efficiency." ...


Truck drivers block highway to protest robberies

[Kenya] Truck drivers blocked both sides of the Nakuru - Eldoret highway at Salgaa center on Sunday morning to protest what they say is an increased rate of attacks and theft of cargo by highway robbers. ... The more than 300 truck drivers barricaded both sides of the highway to protest an attack against six of their colleagues by suspected highway robbers on Saturday night. The six reportedly refused to stop at a road block erected by the robbers at a notorious spot. The robbers reportedly managed to take away several sacks of wheat destined for Kampala from Mombasa port. "When we were attacked I saw a police officer about 50 meters away and when I tried to plead with him to do something he told me to mind my business and this proves that they are part of a cartel harassing us along the highway," said Mark Juma a Congolese driver ferrying goods from Mombasa to Congo. ...


CSA and Safety Scores

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's new Compliance, Safety, Accountability program is finally getting the attention of many in the trucking industry. Inspections are being seen in a new light. Owner-operators and carriers are trying to figure out how the scoring works and how it's going to affect their livelihood. "Is it really going to take the bad characters off the road?" owner-operator Don Bradley says. "Or is it going to get the Don Bradleys of the world, who have a lot of time and a lot of safe miles? And last week I got my first moving violation in 50 years." Bradley, who's been trucking for 10 of those years, missed a sign prohibiting trucks on an exit in the Northeast. It's hard for Bradley not to think about that violation in the context of CSA. By itself it isn't enough to put Bradley out of service or jeopardize his lease with his carrier. It will, however, contribute points to the carrier's CSA ranking in the Unsafe Driving BASIC (Behavioral Analysis and Safety Improvement Category). It will show up on Bradley's Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP) report, which documents drivers' inspection and crash histories going back five and three years, respectively. If within three years Bradley attempts to lease to a different carrier, it's highly likely the new carrier will evaluate his PSP, and he will have to explain the minor violation. ...


Volvo sees 8 fuel economy gain over 2007

Volvo has said its EPA 2010 diesel engines achieved a 5 percent increase in overall fuel economy compared to its 2007 engine family due to use of selective catalytic reduction emissions technology. Now, Ron Huibers, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Volvo Trucks North America, said the company is going a step further, using new, aerodynamic features and powertrain enhancements to boost Volvo VN fuel economy another 3 percent for an overall gain of 8 percent compared with 2007 Volvo diesel engines. ...


New refrigerated trailer comes with 10-year warranty

A new refrigerated trailer from Dorsey Trailer includes a 10-year warranty. The LiteGuard 5000, unveiled at a press briefing here at the Mid-America Trucking Show, is engineered to be the toughest, lightest, and most energy efficient reefer ever produced by Dorsey. ... The company is also celebrating its 100th anniversary and will be giving away a LiteGuard 5000 at the 2012 Mid-America Trucking Show. The giveaway is open to anyone 21 years of age or older holding a current, valid Class A Commercial Driver's License issued in any of the 50 United States, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands. To sign up, visit http://dorseytrailer.net/contest.html.


Join OOIDA or renew your membership

... at the @truckingshow & receive a $20 discount. #Trucking #MATS


@MATS: Volvo, Mack boast 8-12 fuel savings with enhancements

Volvo Trucks and sister company Mack Trucks exuberantly proclaimed that aerodynamic design improvements and new torque optimization on class 8 trucks provide significant gains in fuel economy over pre-2010 model trucks. Volvo Trucks says its newly designed VN highway series improves fuel consumption by 3 percent; and, combined with a 5-percent gain with its SCR emissions solution engine, the truck can achieve as much as 8-percent savings, the company said. Even more boldly, Mack Trucks claimed as much as a 12-percent improvement on its Pinnacle highway tractor when combining its SCR ClearTech engine, new aerodynamic roof and side fairings, and recently optimized power displacement enhancements. ...


Truck Drivers Told They Need To Pay A Licensing Fee To Listen To Music While Driving

... Every time we post this kind of thing, people joke that it won't be long before they want to charge people a separate license for listening to music in your car with the windows rolled down. We haven't quite reached that point yet, but the Belgian collection society SABAM, who was recently caught accepting payments for made up bands, is now claiming that truck drivers listening to the radio need to pay a performance fee as well, since the cabs of their trucks are technically their "workplace." ...


Mack: Fairings help increase fuel efficiency 12

Mack unveiled several new aerodynamic enhancements to its on-highway Pinnacle model that can increase fuel efficiency by up to 12.5 percent, On-Highway Marketing Manager Jerry Warmkessel said Thursday, March 31, at a press event in Louisville. "I'm confident with the 12.5 percent," Warmkessel said. "That's an accurate number." ...


Volvo claims 8 fuel economy gain

Volvo has said its EPA 2010 diesel engines achieved a 5 percent increase in overall fuel economy compared to its 2007 engine family due to use of selective catalytic reduction emissions technology. Now, Ron Huibers, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Volvo Trucks North America, said the company is going a step further, using new, aerodynamic features and powertrain enhancements to boost Volvo VN fuel economy another 3 percent for an overall gain of 8 percent compared with 2007 Volvo diesel engines. ...


Ticketing to start in emergency zones

Starting Friday, state troopers will be issuing $190 tickets to drivers who fail to slow down - and move over one lane, if possible - when they see the flashing lights of fire trucks, police cars, ambulances, tow trucks and vehicles operated by state Department of Transportation employees stopped up ahead on the side of the highway. ... The $190 ticket fines increase if a driver was speeding or driving recklessly through the emergency zone, and it can be a crime if a driver endangers emergency workers, said Trooper Steve Schatzel, the WSP's spokesman in this area. ...


Washington trucking company adds aerodynamic skirts

A Seattle-area trucking company has announced plans to put aerodynamic skirts on another 2,000 of its trucks... Trailer Body Builders reports that Gordon Trucking Inc. - also known as GTI - saw a .3 mile-per-gallon improvement in fuel economy during testing. ...


Wyoming law increases large truck fines

Gov. Matt Mead signed into law a bill to boost fines in Wyoming for oversized and overweight trucks. It takes effect July 1. Currently, the fine for oversize vehicles ranges from $50 to $500. Previously Sf124, the new law increases the minimum fine amount to $100. ... Also, the schedule of fines for overweight vehicle violations will be changed. Fine amounts will range from $25 to $1,000 - up from a maximum of $750. The additional $100 fine for each 1,000 pounds, or fraction thereof, exceeding 20,000 pounds over the legal limit will be doubled to $200. ...


Uniform speeds in Texas one step closer to reality

Keeping track of the speed limit while driving through Texas could soon be a whole lot easier. A Texas House panel has advanced a bill that would also allow trucks to travel at the same speed as other vehicles. Texas law now authorizes motorists to travel 70 mph during the day along most rural highways. The speed limit drops to 65 mph at night. Trucks travel 10 mph slower than other vehicles throughout the day. ... Todd Spencer, executive vice president for the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, said the only speed limit policy that makes sense is to have all vehicles traveling at the same speed. Requiring trucks to drive at speeds slower than other vehicles does not promote safety. It does exactly the opposite by requiring vehicles to be constantly in conflict with each other," Spencer said. ...


Cummins ISX15 boosts fuel economy

The latest calibrations and optimized combustion process introduced at the beginning of this year in Cummins' ISX15 engine has resulted in a 6 improvement in fuel economy, the company said during the Mid-America Trucking Show here. When compared to the 2007 ISX engine, the 6 improvement is an average, and could be more, according to Steve Charlton, vice president & chief technical officer-Engine Business. ...


Truck drivers raise fees due to high fuel prices :- In the news Todays trends

Kampala Importers will have to pay more than double the price to move cargo from Mombasa port to Uganda after truckers announced new transport rates in response to rising fuel prices. In a media notice issued recently, Kenya Transport Association (KTA) - the umbrella body for truckers - increased the charge for moving containerised cargo from Mombasa to Kampala to about Shs9.1 million ($3,800) from about Shs5.2 million ($2,200) per truck. ... Increased fuel prices KTA cited increased fuel costs among other expenses over the past 14 months in taking the decision. "We note that fuel rates have increased by approximately 40 per cent from Kshs64.06 (Shs1,767) in January 2010 to Ksh89.50 (Shs2,469) in March 2011 while other expenses have gone up by 32 per cent in the same period. Fuel currently constitutes 42 per cent of transport costs as opposed to the ratio of 27 per cent in other countries," KTA said in a media notice. ...


Yokohama debuts new wide single, prototype drive tire

A new wide base trailer tire and a prototype drive tire are on display this week at the Yokohama Tire Corp. booth at the Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS) here. The Ry407 wide base single, which officially debuted at last year's MATS, is now in production. It is a SmartWay verified tire, meaning it meets low-rolling resistance standards, said Rick Phillips, director of commercial sales. ... The drive tire offers low-rolling resistance; improved fuel economy; a unique tread design; solid shoulder rib and serpentine grooves for extra rigidity and stability; Yokohama's patented stress control groove that redistributes shoulder load to prevent step-down wear; and a Z-block design to offer improved wet traction.


Cummins sees 6 fuel economy gain

Cummins is achieving a 6 percent improvement in fuel economy in its 2010 engines compared with 2007 technology, Steve Charlton, vice president and chief technical officer of engine business, said March 29 in Louisville, Ky. Charlton credited the fuel economy improvement to optimized combustion. ...


Florida bill out to clear left lanes

A renewed effort at the Florida Legislature would keep most drivers out of the state's fast lanes. Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, has once again introduced a bill that is intended to combat aggressive driving on the state's multilane highways by reducing the number of drivers in the far left-hand lane. This is the seventh time in recent years the effort has been pursued at the statehouse. ... The bill also targets those drivers who get upset by slower moving vehicles. Tailgating and other risky maneuvers in response to slower drivers could result in $100 fines. Repeat offenders would face as much as a $500 fine and a mandatory court appearance for "aggressive careless driving." Offenders also would receive points for each offense committed. ...


Diesel tax ballot effort heads to Arkansas governor

Truckers in Arkansas could soon be footing more responsibility to help make sure roads are in good shape. A bill on its way to Gov. Mike Beebe would let voters decide whether to boost the 22.5-cent diesel tax by 5 cents per gallon. The increase is one-half of a two-part plan that would help fund nearly $3 billion in interstate highway repairs and construction throughout the state. ... The nickel increase in the diesel tax would be tacked on to the 4 cents of the tax now tied to a $575 million bond program for interstates, which was approved more than a decade ago. The bond program is slated to go before voters for renewal in 2012. ...


Some Truck Drivers Unhappy With Idling Ordinance

A new Dane County ordinance aimed at cutting down on air pollution from motor vehicles is meeting some resistance. ... Specifically, the ordinance prohibits diesel trucks from idling more than five minutes an hour. ... The rule has several exceptions for emergency vehicles, vehicles having maintenance work done and vehicles operating auxiliary equipment, such as a refrigeration system. The ordinance also allows 15 minutes of idling when temperatures are below 40 or above 80 degrees. But some truck drivers said they have concerns about the rule. ... The biggest concern among Converse and other truck drivers is running heat or air conditioning. ... Truck drivers said that many who spend nights at truck stops need to keep their engines running to operate climate control during winter and summer months. ... While some trucks use auxiliary generators to power heat and cooling, Converse said not everyone can afford to install such equipment. ... The fine for breaking the ordinance will be $50 and will likely be enforced on a complaint basis. It will set to go into effect in September. ...


E-ZPass rule changes could affect discount

Drivers who have out-of-state E-ZPass accounts ... many of whom live in New Jersey ... and toll violators soon might have to dig deeper in their pockets. ... New Jersey Turnpike Authority commissioners also proposed ending off-peak E-ZPass discounts for Turnpike drivers whose E-ZPass accounts are with agencies outside New Jersey and drive a "class one" passenger vehicle. ... The change to eliminate off-peak-hour E-ZPass discounts would earn an additional $16 million if it is in effect in 2011, and it is being done to raise revenue, Feeney said. ...


Fuel Efficiency Pays For Adaptations To Freight Trailers Say Haulage Group

... With the bog standard road trailer having all the aerodynamic efficiency of a house brick the use of air dams, deflectors and the like have become the norm for haulage operators purchasing equipment but it seems there are always ways to squeeze out the extra mpg. ... According to Gordon's, the 24th largest truckload carrier in the States, each trailer sees a 0.3 mile per gallon improvement when fitted with the skirts which the company estimates will save 13,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year if they outfit their entire fleet, not to mention the potential $4.5 million saved in fuel costs! ... Return on investment for most big rigs will be less than 50,000 miles at today's fuel prices and with ecologically aware California prohibiting the sale of trailers without skirts from this year, and refusing admission to any truck not suitably kitted out by 2013, it looks like the estimated 7 fuel saving which Freight Wing claim for their product might well be simply a no brainer for any sizeable truck operator.


Valley truck drivers brace for new regulations

Valley truck drivers bracing for new diesel regulations learned about funding sources available to help them Saturday. ... Air quality officials say they understand the process is costly so they're trying to spread the word about grants available. They say drivers can get up to $60,000 for retrofitting or replacing their trucks. ...


Hydrogen-generating systems are a tough sell

Why Canadian flets are not warming up to hydrogen-generating systems despite the claimed fuel savings advantages Despite constant pressure to reduce fuel costs and particulate emissions, many carriers ignore an innovation that could fix both problems. Hydrogen-generating systems (HGS) have been retrofitted on a select group of trucks in Canada, the US and elsewhere for several years. However, recently re-engineered products from two major Canadian vendors, Hy-Drive Technologies Ltd. and Dynamic Fuel Systems (DFS) Inc. continue to face an uphill struggle to gain credibility and sales. ...


Three Sentenced in Broker Fraud Scheme

Three California men have been sentenced to jail and ordered to pay restitution for a fraud scheme that involved double brokering of trucking loads. Rubik Avetyan and his sons Alfred and Allen Avetyan, through their company State Transport, obtained loads from brokers and then brokered the loads again to carriers, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Office of Inspector General said earlier this month. The Avetyans received payment from the brokers but did not pay the carriers....


WV Parkways Authority shelves U.S. 35 toll plan

Truckers were among those who took the lead in opposing a toll road in the West Virginia counties of Mason and Putnam. That effort paid off on Thursday, March 24, as the West Virginia Parkways Authority shelved the toll proposal for U.S. 35 indefinitely. ... Had the roadway been approved, the toll for five-axle trucks would have amounted to $1.21 per mile. ...


Two Tire Associations Ready to Serve Retread Industry

The tire industry got a bit of a shock last fall when the Tire Retread & Repair Information Bureau let Harvey Brodsky go. David Stevens has filled the managing director position held by Brodsky for years at TRIB, and Brodsky has started a new advocacy group for retreaders called the Retread Tire Association. The industry now has two associations working to promote retreading and serving as technical resources. Both of them are exhibiting at the Mid-America Trucking Show....


Schneider National increases van owner-operator compensation

Schneider National announced Thursday, March 24, that it is increasing compensation for its van owner-operators by $0.05 per mile. Under the new lease, owner-operators will earn $0.95 per mile (up to $1.65/mile with short-haul premiums) plus fuel surcharge. Schneider owner-operators will earn $0.92 per mile and an additional $0.03 per mile in a quarterly performance premium. ...


Maine rejects snow removal rule

Maine will not be mirroring New Jersey with a law that requires drivers to remove snow and ice build-up from atop their vehicle roofs and trailers. According to OOIDA, the Legislature's Transportation Committee voted to kill a bill that required vehicles traveling in excess of 40 mph to be clear of snow or ice. Violators would have faced first-time fines of $250. ...


Warning system identifies loose lug nuts

A new patent-pending indicator warning system from ZamLok System identifies loose lug nuts on commercial vehicles. The ZamLok lug nut retention and torque monitoring system is available in standard 33 mm on 3.5 in. stud centers. The system uses resistance between two nuts to minimize their ability to loosen up to 40 lbs.-ft. If they do loosen, than a warning indicator alerts the driver or shop personnel, explained Zamlok. ...


Flashpass? Proposal would extend TWIC renewal

Truckers who rely on the Transportation Worker Identification Credential ID program to get in and out of ports and some warehouses may not have to pay to replace expiring TWIC cards, when the earliest issued credentials begin expiring next year. U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-MS, has introduced a bill that would extend TWIC renewal deadlines until Dec. 31, 2014 or until DHS issues the final card reader rule, "whichever is earlier," Thompson said in a statement. More than 1.8 million U.S. workers have enrolled in TWIC, including more than 300,000 truck drivers. ... ... "Hard-working transportation workers shouldn't have to go through the time and expense of renewing their TWICs if DHS doesn't even have a finalized plan for deployment of the readers. My bill will address this unique problem by delaying the necessary renewal of these expensive cards until DHS issues the final reader rule or December 31, 2014, whichever is earlier," Thompson said in the statement. ... Standard TWIC enrollment costs $132.50, although workers with "current, comparable" threat assessment background checks such as hazmat endorsements, Merchant Mariner Documents or Free and Secure Trade (FAST) cards may obtain a TWIC card with a shorter lifespan for $105.25. The card is designed to last five years with new background checks. ...


Bridgestone Bandag launches retread campaign

As rising oil prices contributes to a rapid escalation in new tire costs, Bridgestone Bandag Tire Solutions (BBTS), a division of Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, is launching a campaign to promote the wider use of retreads by truck fleets. "Tightness in the market supply for new replacement tires in 2011 has made retreading more attractive for all types of fleets," explained Chris Ripani, BBTS director of marketing for strategic brands and channels. "Fleets that now retread are extending their [tire casing] age limits to realize the most value from the casings they own," he said. "We've also seen fleets return to retreading, or perhaps evaluate retreads for the very first time, as a strategy to maximize their tire programs and keep their trucks rolling." ...


Truckers need protection against biodiesel consequences: CTA

OTTAWA - The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) says a national biodiesel mandate would be great for biofuel producers... not so much for consumers or the trucking industry. Reiterating its stance on the issue, CTA says consumers need protection from runaway costs, loss of fuel efficiency, and engine problems stemming from sub-standard fuel. CTA head David Bradley says the federal government's own analysis suggests truckers have reason to be concerned with the mandate, scheduled to take effect July 1. "There is no protection for the consumer, either from higher fuel costs as a result of the mandate, or from low-quality biofuel or blending processes that could gum up our engines," he says. ...


Illegal dumping clampdown

[IrishTrucker.com] A major operation is currently underway in Cork where a clampdown against the illegal operation of dumping scrap metal is occurring. The sale of scrap metal for recycling is turning out to be a lucrative business and there has been an increase in the activity over the past 12 months. However, there are many rogue operators out there that are not adhering to the many legislations that are in place and in Cork a massive operation has seized three truck loads of materials as well as vehicles. ...


Leave the snow on; Wisniewski wants commercial trucks exempt from tickets

Assemblyman and Assembly Transportation Chairman John Wisniewski allegedly would like to exempt commercial trucks from a law that he originally sponsored requiring drivers to remove snow from their vehicles before they take to the roads. ...


Technology solving cell-phone truck use dilemma

Last December, Sec. of Transportation Ray LaHood, proposed banning interstate bus and truck drivers from using handheld cell phones while operating a vehicle. Meanwhile, the number of productivity apps that can be loaded onto cell phones just keeps mushrooming--leaving fleets to seriously wonder how viable an IT platform cell phones will be for trucking business solutions down the road. That proposed rule would specifically ban drivers from "reaching for, holding or dialing a cell phone" while driving. Vehicle operators who violate the rule could be charged $2,750 and risk losing their CDL for multiple offenses. Motor carriers that allow their drivers to use hand-held cell phones while driving would face a maximum penalty of $11,000. ... Virginia-based ZoomSafer also offers software designed to prevent employee use of mobile phones while driving. Called FleetSafer Mobile, the software works on Blackberry and Windows mobile phones and an Android version is coming soon. It is designed to automatically lock the phone while driving to prevent calls, texts and emails. FleetSafer will also send auto-reply messages to incoming texts and emails. According to the company, it can be triggered by telematics, Bluetooth technology, or GPS and is customizable to a company's mobile phone usage policies. ... "In addition to locking the phone down, it offers fleets the ability to tell if a cell phone was used while the vehicle was in motion, even if there was no accident related to that usage," he continued. "For instance, they can see that a 17-second call was made at 3:11 p.m. Tuesday and match that to GPS data to see that the call occurred while the vehicle was traveling down the Interstate at 67 miles per hour. With [safety and liability concerns], CSA and distracted driving regulations the risk is just too high for fleets not to track usage." There are still more companies offering other technologies to control cell phone usage. Cellcontrol, for instance, makes use of an "always-on cabin module" installed in the vehicle communications port to control use of mobile device functions on multiple units available to the driver and passengers. Special features include the ability to allow calls when a Bluetooth headset is detected. The availability of various technologies to restrict and track in-vehicle use of mobile devices is likely to continue to expand right along with the growth in the functionality and use of mobile devices themselves. ...


Trucker pleads guilty to fuel card scheme

A trucker faces sentencing July 8 after pleading guilty to using fuel cards without authorization to steal more than $300,000 from the U.S. Postal Service. On March 11, Vincenzo Bender, 36, of Collings Lakes, N.J., entered a guilty plea to one count of theft of government property before U.S. District Judge Joseph E. Irenas in Camden, N.J. ... Bender admitted that from November 2005 to October 2008, he used the cards to make numerous unauthorized purchases of fuel for personal use, including for his side towing business and to sell to others at a discount. ... The charge's maximum penalty is 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the amount of loss Bender caused. He agreed to pay $335,972 in restitution. The judge released him on a $50,000 bond until sentencing.


TWIC: Where's the pot of gold?

After the distress truckers and the more than 1 million other workers have endured, is TWIC going to be the next federal program deemed inefficient and ineffective? More than 300,000 truckers have enrolled in the Transportation Worker Identification Credential program. ... It appears that for all their efforts, TWIC may not be all that effective. Recent reports at the Port of Baltimore revealed that about one fourth of the nearly 1,000 longshoremen at the port have been convicted of a crime in Maryland. ...


Pressured truck drivers told to speak up

[Australasian Transport News] Drivers who feel pressured by their employers to work longer hours and go a greater distance are encouraged to contact the police, an expert says. Victoria Police Superintendent David Newton, who works as a transport industry liaison officer, believes more drivers are put under greater stress by their managers and therefore take drugs to stay awake. During selective drug testing, one in 20 drivers was found to have used amphetamines while on the road, Newton says. He says the problem is not improving and is particularly prevalent in the long haul sector. ...


Texas to add PrePass technology

The Texas Department of Public Safety announced it will be equipping five of its truck inspection facilities at three separate locations with PrePass commercial vehicle safety technology starting this summer. PrePass is a technology that enables commercial motor carriers equipped with transponders to be screened at designated weigh stations. Cleared vehicles can then bypass the inspection facility while traveling at highway speed. ...


MATS: mark your calendars for March 31-April 2

... Q: Where can I park my truck? A: Tractor/trailer parking is $30 and spots with hook-ups are available for $50. Spots with hook-ups must be reserved by calling 502-367-5384. Free tractor-trailer parking is available courtesy of show management at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. Shuttle buses to and from the Kentucky Expo Center are also provided for anyone parking at Papa John's.


Truck drivers charged with using device to steal fuel at Pilot station

Three truck drivers were arrested Tuesday afternoon, accused of using an electronic device to try to take diesel fuel from a gas station. It was at least the third time such an incident was reported in less than two weeks at the Pilot Travel Center at 2020 SW 135th St. ... The employees were watching the pumps Tuesday after more than 1,700 gallons of diesel, worth nearly $6,800, were taken Sunday by five semi-tractors. ... The damage to the pump was estimated at approximately $2,500, according to reports. ...


Long-Haul Truckers Use Gadget To Steal Gas

Some long-haul truckers found a new way to steal diesel, Marion County deputies said Wednesday. Deputies said they caught three of them using a special gadget that allowed them to pump fuel for free. ... The three truckers are facing felony charges for grand theft, fraud, and illegally using a scanning device. Hundreds of long-haul truckers fill their tanks at an I-75 Pilot gas station every day. Managers believe 99.9 percent of them are honest, but deputies said the ones caught on surveillance Tuesday were not. "And the drivers were acting a little bit suspicious. They were interacting like they knew each other," said Jen Fisher of the Marion County Sheriff's Office. Two South Florida drivers and one from Texas, who deputies said pried open a pump and inserted the gadget, did know each other. "It's some kind of circuit board type that the criminals plug into our pump to try to override our system," Pilot gas station manager Steve Freant said. Freant said it allows thieves to bypass the payment system so the truckers could pump fuel for free. Last Sunday, at 5:30 in the morning at the same station, five truckers used the device and took turns filling their tanks. They stole a total of 1,700 gallons of diesel. ...


FMCSA fires up regulatory machine

Expect to see a bevy of activity by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) on several truck-related regulatory fronts later in the year along with somenew proposals from the agency as well, FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro told attendees here at the 2011 Truckload Carriers Assn. Annual convention. ...


Trucker admits to stealing $335,000 from Postal Service through fuel cards

A truck driver has pleaded guilty to stealing $335,000 from the U.S. Postal Service by illegally using government-provided fuel cards during a three-year span. According to court documents, Vincenzo Bender, 36, of Collings Lakes, NJ, used fuel cards provided by the U.S. Postal Service to fill up his tow truck and personal vehicles and to sell fuel to others at discounted prices between 2005 and 2008. ...


Opinion: Dont Waste Your Precious Profits

Staggeringly high prices for fuel are with us again. The last time fuel prices were hovering in the neighborhood of $3.80 to $4.40 per gallon, many trucking companies fought back aggressively, using fuel conservation techniques and making sure drivers used the cheapest options available. However, for others it was just one more thing to put up with - with the help of fuel surcharges. Many carriers climbed aboard the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's "SmartWay" bandwagon, which encourages companies to be fuel efficient while being good to the ecosystem. The problem with that is if a carrier lacks an "official" fuel conservation program, being "SmartWay" certified is almost a matter of "ready, shoot, aim" and doesn't accomplish much beyond its public-relations value. You even can get an outside expert to fill out the documentation SmartWay requires, and many companies have taken that route. I hasten to add that there's nothing at all wrong with being SmartWay certified, or even outsourcing its paperwork. But the simple truth is even with SmartWay, your effect on the environment is negligible unless you are managing the one factor with a 30 to 35 effect on fuel economy - your drivers. ...


Trucker launches online convoy for no-per-mile pay

BELLE RIVER, Ont-- A veteran southern Ontario trucker is adding his voice to the anti-pay-per-mile chorus. ... He says he's seen his base wage go from $0.32/mile in 1989 to $0.42/mile today. "That equates to an increase of less than $0.005/mile per year. I can't be the only one that sees a problem with that." ...


Cargo insurance rule ends for most truckers

The federal cargo insurance mandate ends March 21 for most truckers, but the 76-year-old requirement will continue for household goods carriers and freight forwarders. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration final rule ends the $5,000 cargo coverage minimum requirement affecting for-hire motor common carriers of property and having to file proof of coverage with the agency. ...


'Here comes plug-in diesel!'

... While clearly not aimed at the highway-haul market (payload capacity is in the neighborhood of 4,000 pounds), the eStar all-electric, medium-duty commercial vehicle is suitable for in-city delivery driving with a range of up to 100 miles per charge and can be plugged in and fully recharged within six to eight hours. It's equipped with a quick-change cassette-type battery that can be swapped out in 20 minutes. Furthermore, all the major truck makers - Kenworth, Peterbilt, Freightliner, Volvo, Mack - have been engaged some hybrid-production activity over the last several years. While governmental incentives for customers to buy the vehicles dried up in some locales with the recession, diesel prices of late you can expect to generate further activity, including interest from buyers as a result of the search for relief from fuel prices alone. ...


Truckers face perfect storm of more regulation, high prices

... The price of diesel fuel has gone from below 50 cents a gallon in 1973, when Daggett started working for his father, Charles Daggett, to near $4 a gallon now. Fully loaded, Daggett's truck averages fewer than five miles per gallon. The cost of a truck itself was approximately $16,000 back then, compared with around $120,000 now. "I make less now than I did back then," said Daggett, 60, who owns the company with his wife, Dianne. "Do you think we've gotten a raise? No. The costs of everything will go up for a long time before we'll get a raise." For hauling a load of pulpwood from Dover-Foxcroft to Verso's Bucksport mill, a round trip of about 100 miles, Daggett said, he earned approximately $250. Nearly $100 of that paid for fuel, with more profit siphoned off for insurance, which Daggett said costs $10,000 per year. "When I was first hauling in 1973, we were getting paid within $1 per 100 miles of what we're getting now," said Daggett. "You do the math. I'm making less now than I did years ago." The economics of Daggett's small-time operation provide a glimpse into an industry that most people take for granted. Most every product there is comes to consumers on a road, rails, waterway or by air. When times are tough in the transportation industry, the effects rampage through the economy, making it difficult for manufacturers to move their products and for consumers to afford them. And right now, times are tough for the trucking industry, and not just for small-time operators. ...


The Disappearing American Trucker

... Regulating the industry or regulating truck drivers? Personal bankruptcies for the month of February, 2011 were 102,686. In 2009, one out of every 300 people in America filed bankruptcy. Since 2006, over five million have done so and many states are on the verge of filing as well, not to mention concerns that even the United States Government is on the brink. As the economic chaos continues, the American trucker and trucking companies alike, continue to see regulation after regulation being forced upon them, creating further financial responsibilities: * Speed Limiters * CSA * EOBR's * HOS changes * Carbon based emission controls * Sleep Apnea screening tests With the continuation of increasing transportation bureaucracy, there is only one way for the industry regulators to keep up . . . to hit the industry and truck drivers with more regulations and fees. ...


Japan earthquake impacts California ports, shippers

Two Southern California ports on Friday, March 11, took precautionary measures in response to the tsunami advisory issued after a major earthquake struck Japan. The Port of Los Angeles said it temporarily suspended the transfer of hazardous materials and bunkering fuel operations as a precaution, but that normal cargo operations were not interrupted. The 8.9 magnitude earthquake off the eastern coast of Japan triggered a tsunami warning for Southern California. The Port of Long Beach reported minor interruption in operations, and port officials monitored the situation in cooperation with the U.S. Coast Guard and other government agencies. The port said a 2007 report showed that it faced a minimal risk of inundation by tsunami. ...


Is large truck lemon law needed?

There's only a couple effective lemon laws in the country that actually provide protection from "defective" Class 8s for buyers. ...


Truck Drivers Parked Alongside Freeways Owe a Duty to Motorists

Should the duty of drivers to exercise ordinary care for others in their use of streets and highways include truck drivers parked alongside a freeway? The Supreme Court of California's recent decision in Cabral v. Ralphs Grocery Company (Feb. 28, 2011) No S178799, concerning an automobile/truck accident found no exception for truck drivers. ...


Lower Your Fuel Costs

...Detroit Diesel's turbo compounding system saves fuel without sacrificing power, making it the best way to battle today's soaring fuel prices. ...

 

Reader Submitted Content


Organization and Space....?

Hello I am a young lady embarking on this truck driving adventure with my boyfriend. He has a Studio Sleeper in his Kenworth and I am trying to think


Distance in your serpentine demo

What would you recommend as a distance to place the cones apart in your serpentine demo in order to practice for my CDL Test? Thanks! ----- Response


Cobra 7750 review

I purchased this GPS unit a few weeks ago. I am returning it asap. To put it bluntly it is only half baked in the software as well as mapping department.


Response to Review of Arctic Breeze Truck AC

That was a very good review. And it has confirmed my estimation of the limitations of that system and any others like it. Part of what is needed to resolve


Getting Paid for Waiting or Down time

If you are a driver for a privately owned truck, how do you make sure you get paid for down time? For example, you take a load to Point A and while you


The digital stove to go

I have two of these and one 110 volt power supply. It looks like a rice cooker so I cooked rice in it. It takes about a half hour. So I put one cup of

 

Reviews

We seek reviews from professional truck drivers on products and services marketed and sold to truck drivers, truck parts and truck stops.


Rand McNally GPS IntelliRoute TND Navigators: Reviews from Professional Truck Drivers

Choices in truck-specific global positioning systems include the Rand McNally GPS IntelliRoute TND Navigators. How do professional truck drivers like them?


Magellan GPS Navigation Systems: Reviews from Professional Truck Drivers

Among the different globabl positioning systems used by professional truck drivers are Magellan GPS Navigation Systems. How do truckers like them?


PC Miler GPS Navigation Systems: Reviews from Professional Truck Drivers

Many professional truck drivers use a global positioning system for work. How do those who use PC Miler GPS Navigation Systems like it?


Garmin GPS Navigation Systems: Reviews from Professional Truck Drivers

Among the various global positioning systems available are Garmin GPS navigation systems. How do professional truck drivers review them?


Edge-O-Lite Truck LED Lights: Reviews from Professional Truck Drivers

All commercial motor vehicles utilize lights. Some professional truck drivers like using LED lights on their trucks. How do Edge-O-Lite products compare?

 

Articles


Our Favorite Salad Recipes for Hot and Cold Salads

There are salads with almost infinite variety. We list some of our favorite salad recipes that you can easily enjoy. We also share some tips about procuring ingredients.


Avoid a Right Turn Accident in Your Tractor Trailer

Right turn accidents involving tractor trailers are almost always preventable. See our photos and read our tips...


Low Cost Self Defense for Professional Truck Drivers

What low cost self defense products and techniques can professional truck drivers use to protect themselves? We provide some options...


Home Security for You, Your Possessions and Your Truck

Are truckers defenseless against an attacker or intruder in their own trucks? Or are there low cost home security systems, products and measures they can take?


Frugal Meal Plan Ideas for Truckers

We have written much about food and recipes on our site. But are there frugal meal plan ideas for truckers? Read our tips...


Becoming a Truck Driver Trainer: Examining Motives, Warnings, and More

Are you cut out to be a truck driver trainer? What motive should you have? What should you be aware of? Learn from Mike's experience...


Mutual Expectations Between a Truck Driver Trainer and Driver Trainee During Training

Learn how professional truck driver trainers and driver trainees can share mutual expectations and maximize the training period and experience.


Company Uniforms and Laundering Service Saves You Money

Professional truck drivers, especially local ones, can save money by using company uniforms and a laundering service. We provide tips...


Crank Handle Repair for Your Truck Trailer's Landing Gear

Have you ever encountered a landing gear when it needed crank handle repair? Here's how one professional truck driver made a temporary and then permanent fix.


Big Rig Rake (BigRigRake.com) Answers Questions About Their Snow Removal Tool

We received this response to our questions from BigRigRake.com regarding the Big Rig Rake snow removal tool for large trucks.


Mean Pea Salad: A Cool Pasta Salad with Tuna, Peas, Pickle and Cucumber

Any time of the year you may desire a cool dish as an entree. Mean pea salad is a cool but hearty dish with pasta and vegetables.

 

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We wish you safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road!

Mike and Vicki Simons, Owners
NKBJ InfoNet, LLC

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