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Truck Drivers Money Saving Tips Email Newsletter, Issue #023, 2011-06-10
June 10, 2011

Issue #23 | June 10, 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...

Get and share great money saving tips for truck drivers at
Truck-Drivers-Money-Saving-Tips.com

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Important Notice

  1. Goal Surpassed!

    At the beginning of 2011, we set a goal to reach a certain number of subscribers to this email newsletter by the end of the year. We have been blessed to have already reached it! Furthermore, it was a double blessing to have reached our subscriber goal on our two year anniversary of starting this email newsletter. We've come a long way since June 2009. Thanks for helping us meet and exceed our goals for helping professional truck drivers save money.

  2. To Increase Confidence and Make Things Easier

    We have recently added a Privacy Policy, a Link Exchange request form and a Permission to Use request form to our site.

  3. Get and Share Great Money Saving Tips for Truck Drivers

    Every professional truck driver has a story about saving money or spending too much money in trucking. We share our own successes and bone-headed mistakes to help you. The most common way to share your story is through your review of a product or service marketed and sold to truck drivers, a truck part, or your experience at a truck stop. We're eager to hear from you.

  4. Who found it first...?

    We published a free download on our site since our last newsletter to help drivers document something that is very important regarding the operation of their trucks.

    If you found it, contact us with your full name and email address to let us know:
    1. which page it is (the URL),
    2. what the item was, and
    3. your thoughts about what we revealed.

    The first person to write with all the info we require -- and the correct answers -- will receive special recognition in our next email newsletter.

  5. Photograph Request

    Not long ago, we began seeking the kind of photographs that only a professional truck driver can take. We plan to publish them on our site with appropriate attribution.

    This month, we're seeking a photo of a professional truck driver using the Cyber Clean® on his or her laptop computer. If you have such a photo, please submit it along with your review on our Product Reviews page.

  6. Word-Of-Mouth Helps All Professional Drivers. Please Spread the Word.

    If you find value in our website, social networking outlets or this email newsletter, please spread the word in whatever way is most convenient for you. We constantly seek to OVER-deliver value to help professional truck drivers worldwide save money. So let other professional truck drivers know. You can "Like" us on Facebook, retweet one of our tweets on Twitter, send an email, mention us favorably online or use social networking as you choose. Thanks.

 

Bloglets

Maryland's double whammy for truck tolls

So yeah, about that $15 truck toll you currently pay on some Maryland bridges. In two years, those same tolls could be $48 a pop as part of a steep set of increases announced by the Maryland Transportation Authority. Public hearings begin Thursday, June 9. Truckers are still reeling from a round of truck-only toll increases that took effect in 2009. Under the proposal floated June 2, tolls for 5- and 6-axle commercial vehicles stand to at least double by July 2013 on each of the authority's eight facilities. The increases would occur in two phases, with the first tier scheduled to occur Jan. 1, 2012. The steepest increases are proposed for one-way tolls on the William Preston Lane (Bay) Bridge on U.S. 50/301 and the Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge on U.S. 301. Those are both $15 tolls now, but would double to $30 on Jan. 1, 2012, and then increase to $48 on July 1, 2013. "This is ridiculous, especially in the midst of our current economic situation," said OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer. "Obviously the MTA doesn't know or doesn't care that toll costs come out of truckers' pockets and are generally not passed along to their customers. Tripling tolls on those bridges will likely result in truckers diverting to other less appropriate routes or simply choosing not to service many Maryland communities." A current truck toll of $30 on the John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway, which is part of Interstate 95, would increase to $36 in 2012 and then to $48 in 2013. ...



Steer tire guarantees 30 more miles

A new low-rolling-resistance steer tire that is EPA SmartWay-verified for improving fuel economy will also significantly boost miles-to-retread, according to Michelin North America. Introducing its next generation dual-compound tread technology, Michelin said the new XZA3+ Evertread steer tire will be guaranteed to run at least 30 longer than competitive steer tires in long-haul applications. ...



Groups push for safer trucks

The American Trucking Associations and the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association on June 8 called on the federal government to begin researching how standards for crashworthiness for heavy trucks could benefit truck drivers. ...



Rest Stop to Remain Open: State Rep. Robert Godfrey said last-minute deal leads to saving the I-84 rest stop.

A day after contacting the governor's office, State Representative Bob Godfrey, who represents Danbury in the General Assembly, helped secure an agreement that will keep Danbury's Interstate 84 rest stops open, Godfrey said in a prepared press release. ... "First and foremost, we must consider the safety of truck drivers and others travelling on the roads," Godfrey wrote in a June 7 letter to the Governor Malloy. "Over tired truckers and drivers are a serious safety concern." ...



Illinois Attempts to Improve Truck Routing Information

Truck drivers who plot their routes with consumer GPS devices may be setting themselves up for a problem. Those systems are great for showing car drivers which way to turn, but they don't necessarily identify critical truck information, such as the height of a bridge or the weight limit on a county road. Last year the Illinois General Assembly was considering a direct approach to the problem: pass a law that would require truck drivers to use a commercial truck GPS system. But before it acted, the Assembly put together a task force to study the issue. Now, based on the task force's recommendations, the governor is poised to sign a bill that takes a more comprehensive approach. The bill doesn't mandate truck GPS units but it will require local governments to report road restrictions and designations to the state Department of Transportation, which will post a unified list on its web site. ... [Don Schaefer, executive vice president of the Mid-West Truckers Association, said,] "The Chicago area, in particular, has a hodgepodge of truck routes that locals fiercely protect and love to write tickets," he said. "A guy running 80,000 pounds on a 73,280 road is in line for a ticket around $1,100." The new law will make a difference, he said. "It means the state can start putting pressure on local jurisdictions. If they're going to complain about trucks on certain routes and they haven't updated their data, they won't get much support." ...



Dual-compound steer tire

Michelin introduced its XZA3 + Evertread steer tire June 8, incorporating a "dual-compound" tread design. Ted Becker, director of marketing for Michelin America's Truck Tires, said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency SmartWay certified tire is designed for fuel efficiency, meeting California Air Resources Board requirements and to deliver 30 percent more mileage than competitor steer tires. ...



Inspecting trucks with infrared

... many motor carrier enforcement agencies are now using infrared inspection systems or "IRIS" for short to help them quickly identify trucks with under-inflated, flat, or over-inflated tires, leaky exhaust systems, and most importantly overheated brakes. The biggest advantage of such technology is that it can quickly identify trucks with problems in all of these areas - usually in seconds - thereby helping law enforcement officers quickly determine who's operating good, safe equipment ... and who isn't. ...



Maine Turnpike Authority reform nears passage

An overhaul of the Maine Turnpike Authority is one step closer to becoming state law. In the wake of a report that questioned spending at the turnpike authority, a bill was introduced at the Maine statehouse that calls for significant changes. Among the benefits for truckers and other drivers is a requirement that more toll revenue be routed to state highway projects. ...



IRU opposed to new tax

The International Road Transport Union have announced their opposition to a new road tax that the European Parliament is set to introduce. ... The Eurovignette Directive proposed by the EP TRAN Committee and the Council of Ministers adopted today by the European Parliament turns the Eurovignette merely into a heavy, additional new tax to be paid by EU citizens for any road freight service, which will penalise the EU economy and job creation with no environmental benefits. ... President of the IRU EU Goods Transport Liaison Committee, Alexander Sakkers, stressed: "While the road transport industry is strongly committed to further greening its services, this new tax imposed on road transport services through the Eurovignette Directive will actually impede operators from investing in and implementing the best technologies and techniques crucial to further green road transport and meet the CO2 reduction target." ...



States act on ticket cameras

Use of technology to enforce traffic rules is an annual point of contention at statehouses. This year is no different with lawmakers in multiple states addressing whether the enforcement tool should be allowed. ... OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer 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," Spencer said. Communities should be pursuing "intelligent traffic lights that actually monitor traffic and are triggered by traffic flow," he said. ...



Illinois nears privatization approval

The Illinois General Assembly has approved a bill that resorts to tapping private companies to help build new roads. The funding method is already authorized to build the long-sought Illiana Expressway. ... A year ago, [Gov. Pat] Quinn signed into law a bill permitting the state to partner with private groups to develop, build and manage the proposed 53-mile expressway. Daniels approved similar legislation, which authorizes a private group to build and operate the proposed $1 billion roadway in exchange for toll revenue. ...



National Tire Safety Week spotlights tire maintenance

The Department of Transportation (DOT) hopes to put the spotlight on tire safety this week. National Tire Safety Week runs from June 5-11, and coincides with the begining of the heavy summer driving season. The latest data from DOT's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that over the five-year period from 2005 to 2009, nearly 3,400 people died and an estimated 116,000 were injured in tire-related crashes. ... ...



FMCSA seeks hours paperwork comments

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is seeking public comment on its revised estimate of the paperwork burden of the hours of service rules. To comment, go to www.regulations.gov; the docket number is FMCSA-2011-0065. ... The currently approved estimate is 181.28 million hours, as approved by OMB on Aug. 20, 2010; the expiration date of this information collection is Aug. 31. In the newly revised request, FMCSA proposes to reduce the paperwork burden by about 9.20 million burden hours, or by 5 percent, to 172.08 million hours.



Who's Winning, You or Your Fuel Program?

You and your fuel program should be working together in harmony. However, with diesel fuel prices going up and down like a yo-yo, and your work schedule getting busier, not easier, it probably feels like neither you nor your fuel program is winning. Perhaps you feel helpless against rising fuel costs. In fact, they really are out of your control, and even minor fluctuations in pricing can have a big impact on your bottom line. ... So, how can you win? ...



No-Idle Systems

As we report in the June 2011 issue of Heavy Duty Trucking, there are a large number of suppliers of idle-reduction systems. We have listed as many as we are aware of for your convenience. ...



Oregon Bill Would Restrict Truck Idling

The Oregon State Senate has approved a bill that prohibits commercial trucks from idling in front of schools and residential neighborhoods, but the measure not take effect for more than two years, the Oregonian newspaper reported. Under Senate Bill 767, penalties are $50 for first offense, $100 for second offense and $200 after this. Fines would be levied against drivers, not the fleet owners, according to the state legislature's website. Truckers could still idle their engines to recharge batteries or make repairs, and to run their air conditioners in summer or keep them warm in winter, the website said. ...



Truck driver speaks out after obejct shatters his windshiled while driving

An early Sunday morning incident could have killed two truck drivers on Interstate 80. Iowa State Patrol confirms someone dropped an object from an overpass near mile marker 222 near Tiffin and hit the windshield of two semi-trucks. "I was coming from Omaha headed to Chicago," said truck driver Kim Heath. Kim Heath has some 45,000 pounds of steaks to get from one Midwest city to next. But at about three Sunday morning, an unexpected incident derailed his plans. "As I passed under the overpass I heard a loud explosion and my windshield shattered," said Heath. This is the windshield. He says it was a styrofoam cup filled with ice that did all the damage. And Heath wasn't alone. "And within a matter of seconds another trucker pulled over right in front of me," said Heath. ...



Declining living standards pre-date the recession and threaten the recovery

Average living standards in the UK economy are now in the grip of their first prolonged decline since the late 1920s. Most commentators have attributed this trend to the recession. In fact its roots go back a lot further. Wages for most of the workforce have been falling behind increases in wider prosperity since the early 1980s and at an accelerating rate. ... In contrast, those of a group of relatively unskilled and semi-skilled workers, including bakers, forklift truck drivers, packers and bottlers actually fell in real terms. As a result, despite the implementation of the minimum wage, the proportion working on low pay has almost doubled from 12 in 1977 to over 22 today. This 30-year long squeeze has, together with the spread of unemployment, greatly undermined the promise of an aspirational culture much promoted across the political spectrum. ...



Wages at standstill over last 30 years

... Higher earners, including barristers and medical practitioners, have seen huge rises in their income, while those in professions like bakers and truck drivers have seen their earnings actually fall in the last 30 years. Gap widening between high and low earners The real wages (adjusted for inflation) show that medical practitioners have seen their wages leap by 153 per cent, while bakers' pay fell by 1 per cent. Judges, barristers and solicitors earn 114 per cent more than they did in the 70s - but forklift truck drivers earn 5 per cent less in real terms. ...



Are you an UltraChef?

TravelCenters of America and Petro Stopping Centers are looking for winning comfort food recipes from UltraONE driver rewards program members for the UltraChef One Million Point Recipe Challenge. ... Two grand prize winners will be chosen. They will receive... Two runners-up will be chosen to receive... ...



Marten to pay detention time

Marten Transport out of Mondovi, WI, says it's going to start paying detention time to both its company drivers and owner-operators on July 1, regardless of whether the customer shares in the cost or not. Recruiting director Tim Norlin told Land Line Now that if a load is delivered on time, after two hours of waiting a company driver will be paid $12 an hour extra. Owner-operators will be paid $20 an hour extra. ...



Now Oregon law provides indemnification protection

A bill to address indemnification clauses has completed its trek through the Oregon Legislature. Gov. John Kitzhaber signed into law a bill to make unenforceable any motor carrier contracts that provide for shippers to be indemnified for losses caused by their own negligence. The rule, which took effect immediately, applies only to contracts executed after May 27. ... [Joe Rajkovacz, OOIDA director of regulatory affairs] says the indemnification protection effectively prohibits a receiver from pre-conditioning unloading by attempting to require the motor carrier to obtain specific insurance coverage that many times is not commercially attainable. ... "This type of scam is often used by receivers to force motor carriers into paying for unloading services provided by the receiver - services from which they profit dramatically," he said. ...



Cargo Theft A Greater Concern Than Terrorism For Supply Chain Future

Cargo theft is a major concern for an overwhelming majority of supply chain professionals, far higher than terrorism, according to the annual supply chain survey by FreightWatch International, a global logistics security solutions provider. Cargo theft was rated the top concern for supply chain risk over the next five years, as stated by supply chain professionals during the 2011 FreightWatch supply chain survey. Over 80 percent of all respondents stated that cargo theft was a major concern for supply chain operations over the next five years, surpassing terrorism, which only 11 percent of respondents listed as a major concern. In addition, 74 percent of all respondents stated that cargo theft had a major or moderate effect on their supply chain operations. ...



[Australia] Trucking operators face 3.4 percent wage increase

Trucking operators employing drivers under the modern award system will need to increase wages by 3.4 percent from July 1. Fair Work Australia today handed down its minimum wage decision, which also includes a $19.40 increase for the country's lowest paid workers. The 3.4 percent increase will apply to trucking operators employing staff under the Road Transport and Distribution Award and the Road Transport (Long Distance Operations) Award. The increase will coincide with a 2.4 percent jump in heavy vehicle registration fees and the diesel excise. ...



How to: Change transmission and axle lubes

Transmission and axle lubricants accumulate contaminants because they are subject to heat and mechanical stress. They also have additives that need to be replenished. Don't use transmission and axle lubes interchangeably. ...



Roadcheck to focus on HOS violations

Considering that 70 percent of HOS violations are "form and manner" violations, this would be a good week to take a long hard look at your logbooks. The CVSA annual Roadcheck safety blitz will focus its enforcement on HOS and logbook violations next week, June 7-9. ...



Pilot Flying J to upgrade showers, host contest

Pilot Flying J showers are being renovated and truckers can vote on the best shower at its interstate facilities this summer, the travel center announced. For the next two years the truck stop's 4,000 showers will be upgraded ... ...



Diesel falls 4th week

For a fourth consecutive week, the national average retail price of diesel fell during the week ended May 30, according to the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration. The national average price dropped 4.9 cents to $3.948, the lowest price since April 4. Prices in all regions dropped... ...



Prime Inc. increases pay per mile to independent contractors

Independent contractors in reefer and flatbed segments will have minimum pay set at $1.02 per mile starting June 1, said John Hancock, Prime Inc.'s recruiting director. The increase is available to all new and existing operators. The Springfield, Mo.-based carrier pays its contractors 72 percent of revenue. ... ...



Base rates soften in March, fuel surcharges increase

TORONTO, Ont. -- Canadian ground transportation costs increased slightly in March, due to mostly to fuel surcharge increases, according to the most recent Canadian General Freight Index compiled by Nulogx. ...



Saskatchewan running triple trailer turnpike trial

REGINA, Sask. -- Saskatchewan is running a triple trailer turnpike trial between Regina and Saskatoon. The province announced special restrictions have been placed on the vehicles to ensure their safe operation. The turnpike triples can be up to 58 metres long. Participating carriers must pay a $2,000 per year administration fee and pass a pre-entry audit. ... ...



New York bill would mandate front-end mirrors for trucks

An initiative on its way to the governor is intended to eliminate blindspots for truck drivers traveling in New York City. Large trucks base-plated in New York would be required to have front-end mirrors installed if traveling through any of the five boroughs. ...



Texas idling issues sent to governor

An effort to allow certain trucks in Texas to idle without truckers having to be watchful of the clock could soon be law. The Texas House voted unanimously to approve a bill that would permit trucks with "clean idle" engines to idle while also providing an incentive to reduce idling. ... Texas law now limits idling to five minutes per hour from April to October in cities that include ... The bill calls for the idling restriction to be removed for trucks equipped with a 2008 model year or newer engine that is certified by the Environmental Protection Agency. Heavy-duty engines certified by a state environmental agency to emit fewer than 30 grams of NOx per hour would also qualify. In the bill analysis, Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, wrote that "during many months of the year, it is impossible for a driver to get the rest he or she needs without air conditioning or heat." ...



Trucks free to enter toll road again

[Indonesia] ... The Jakarta administration previously extended a ban on trucks to four more sections of the inner-city toll road for a month after implementing a five-day truck ban along the Cawang-Tomang section for the 18th ASEAN Summit on May 7-8. The expanded ban barred trucks from operating between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. along the sections of ... The ban was met by a mixed response throughout Jakarta. Some residents reported observing immediate benefits, claiming that the toll road was less crowded and commutes were faster without trucks to slow the pace of traffic. Some even took to the streets to support the ban, rallying on several days to give moral support to the city administration, which faced a barrage of criticism from the central government, local businesses and truck drivers. A strike by hundreds of container truck drivers in the Tanjung Priok Port, North Jakarta, on Friday was followed by the triumphant return of their trucks to the toll road. ...



Freight Transport Association Claims Potholes Increase Haulage Costs

UK - Yesterday the Labour Party estimated that the bill for repairing Britain's roads was as high as 13.4 billion and that 92 of the Councils which responded to their survey stated they had insufficient funds to effect repairs. Given that, once reported, it is the legal obligation of a local authority to repair potholes, for fear of legal liability should a subsequent accident occur, the bill could actually be even higher. Now the Freight Transport Association has spoken out on the subject on behalf of the nation's road haulage interests. The FTA says that damage to commercial vehicles from poorly maintained local roads represents a significant cost to business and, eventually, hits the consumer in the pocket too, with industry estimates that tyres and maintenance account for over 10 per cent of the costs of running a typical large truck the damage caused by uneven road surfaces an have a very real and direct effect on a hauliers costs to say nothing of the element of road safety involved. ...



Nearly Half of Americans Would Struggle to Come Up With $2K in 30 Days

Last month's most terrifying financial news comes from a paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research: Financially Fragile Households. From the abstract: This paper examines households' financial fragility by looking at their capacity to come up with $2,000 in 30 days. ... Approximately one quarter of Americans report that they would certainly not be able to come up with such funds, and an additional 19 would do so by relying at least in part on pawning or selling possessions or taking payday loans. The researchers also report that the ranks of the couldn't-come-up-with-$2,000-in-one-month class includes many people with incomes that put them well above the poverty line, reflecting "either a substantially weaker financial position than one would expect, or a very high level of anxiety or pessimism. Both are important in terms of behavior and for public policy." ...



Meritor WABCO supports tax credit for safety technologies

Meritor WABCO announced its support for the Commercial Motor Vehicle Advanced Safety Technology Tax Act of 2011, introduced by Congressmen Geoff Davis (R-Ky.) and Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) on May 4 as H.R. 1706. The bill would provide an income tax credit for proven advanced safety technologies to owners of commercial trucks, buses and commercial motor vehicle fleets. The proposed bill facilitates the accelerated development and deployment of advanced safety systems by providing tax credits to purchasers of commercial vehicles of up to $1,500 per safety system and $3,500 per vehicle. The tax credit cannot exceed $350,000 annually per taxpayer. The bill's supporters say its passage ultimately could lead to fewer crashes, fatalities and injuries. ...



DOTs 'Click It or Ticket' campaign back for Memorial Day weekend

As drivers prepare for the long Memorial Day travel weekend, the U.S. Department of Transportation on Thursday, May 26, announced the 2011 "Click It or Ticket" mobilization with a reminder about the severe risks of driving unbelted, day or night. "Seatbelts are a lifesaver, but too many people are failing to buckle their seatbelts at night, and it's costing lives," U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says. ...



Maine Turnpike Authority reform closer to reality

In the wake of a report that questioned spending at the Maine Turnpike Authority, a bill to overhaul the agency is on the move. Among the benefits for truckers and other drivers is a requirement that more toll revenue be routed to state highway projects. ...



New York Senate OKs fuel tax holidays

The New York Senate has likely won more favor from residents in the state this week after approving legislation to suspend collecting taxes on fuel purchases for three holiday weekends in 2011. It now moves to the Assembly. The Republican-led bill cleared the Senate on a 48-14 vote. The measure - S4880 - would lift the taxes on the state's gas and diesel purchases for the Memorial Day, July Fourth and Labor Day holiday weekends. Advocates say it would save consumers about 33 cents per gallon in state sales, motor fuel excise, and petroleum business taxes during the 12-day period. Local governments would also have the option of waiving their sales taxes of about 15 cents per gallon. The state's petroleum business tax accounts for 17 cents per gallon. The state sales tax and motor fuel excise tax each account for 8 cents. ...



Trucking Survey

... This survey will only take about 15 minutes of your time. Please answer each question to the best of your ability. Some questions may appear repetitive, but it is important that you answer all of them. Anonymity is guaranteed and your responses will only be used in combination with answers received from other participants. Also, your responses will not be shared with management. Once you complete this survey, you will be entered into a drawing for a $50 Gift Card to Petro Stopping Center. This study has been reviewed and approved by the Collegiate Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects in Research. ...



Truck drivers and farm workers: Risk of being killed working

Safe Work Australia released its latest report on work-related deaths due to injury called Work-related Traumatic Injury Fatalities 2008-09. This report indicates little change in the number of workers killed each with 286 workers killed in 2008-09, 100 of which were due to traffic incidents on public roads. In addition 117 workers died while travelling to or from work and 41 members of the general public were killed due to someone else's work activity, according to Safe Work Australia. Truck drivers and workers on farms are the groups most at risk of being killed while working. ...



Govt Wants Compromise on Truck Ban as Drivers Threaten Strike [Indonesia]

... "We are renegotiating the toll road matter. Trucks from Merak [in Banten], for instance, could be allowed through the Puri Kembangan toll gate [in West Jakarta] to Pluit and then to Tanjung Priok [port in North Jakarta]," Royke told reporters. ...



CVSA Roadcheck to target HOS and HHG compliance, passenger buses

Truck and bus safety inspectors will be on the job night and day during the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance's 72-hour International Roadcheck on June 7-9, checking vehicles and their drivers at inspection sites along major highways across North America. In addition, roving patrols will inspect vehicles and drivers traveling other roadways. ... With the recent increased attention being made relative to driver hours of service and electronic onboard recorders, this year's Roadcheck will emphasize checking driver logbooks and underscore to drivers the importance of maintaining their logbooks, taking breaks, preventing fatigue, and driving without distractions. Also, Roadcheck 2011 will include added emphasis on finding carriers of household goods who may be operating under the radar by using improperly marked rental vehicles and/or operating as a property carrier rather than a HHG carrier. ...



Semi-annual truck inspections underway

Commercial truck drivers need to make sure their rig is up to snuff, because police are in day two of a three-day, roadside inspection blitz. During the first day of the program, 30 per cent of the vehicles checked, didn't pass muster. That 30 per cent fail rate sounds a lot worse than it really is. Inspection officers are armed with an infrared camera which helps them spot potential tire, brake and other issues. ...



Natural Gas Vehicle Bill Draws Critics

Criticism over legislation that would offer tax incentives for natural gas vehicles is intensifying, which may make it more difficult for the bill's supporters to accomplish the goal of a vote on the measure before the August recess, reports the Motor Equipment Manufacturers Association. The "New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions" (NAT GAS) Act of 2011, H.R. 1380, introduced in April, would authorize tax incentives for both light-duty and heavy-duty vehicles ranging from $7,500 to $64,000, depending on the size of the vehicle. Introduced by Representives John Sullivan, R-Okla., Dan Boren, D-Okla., John Larson, D-Conn., and Kevin Brady, R-Texas, it currently enjoys the bipartisan support of 185 cosponsors and prominent supporters of natural gas including billionaire T. Boone Pickens. However, the legislation has drawn sharp criticism from prominent conservative groups, which have called the measure "another wasteful subsidy" that unfairly supports one technology. Proponents of the bill responded to the criticism by arguing that inaction amounts to a de-facto subsidy of the oil industry. ...



States act on 'distracted driving' efforts

Thanks to the feds, truck drivers already are prohibited from texting while driving. More and more states are acting to put into place similar bans for all motorists. During the past year, about a dozen states have acted to outlaw the distracted driving practice. By the end of this summer, at least 32 states will be enforcing bans while more states are working to approve similar actions. ...



Turnpike E-ZPass discounts end for out-of-state tag holders

New Jersey drivers on the New Jersey Turnpike with out-of-state E-ZPass accounts and tags will lose their off-peak discount starting July 1. The Turnpike Authority board of commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday morning to end the discounts, meaning that customers with New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority or Port Authority E-ZPass will have to make a choice. ... Officials will continue to offer off-peak discounts to truck drivers to encourage them to travel outside of the prime commuting times of 7 to 9 a.m. and 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. weekdays. Weekends also are considered peak hours for purposes of E-ZPass discounts. ...



Website promotes alt-fuel vehicles

Drivers and managers can find educational information on alternative-fuel vehicles and environmental performance of vehicles at a new interactive eco website launched by GE Capital Fleet Services. The site is dedicated to alternative vehicles and services and offers information, tools, and educational materials. It has dedicated sections for business solutions and driver solutions. ...



Texas lawmakers approve uniform speeds, all day

Truckers welcome news that the days of setting speed limits in Texas by the presence of the sun could soon be a relic of the past. A bill has completed its journey through the Texas statehouse that would allow truckers and other drivers to travel at the same speed, night and day. ...



Indiana governor given greater tolling authority

A new law in Indiana gives the governor greater authority on toll projects in the state. ... The governor will have sole authority to add toll lanes, including truck-only lanes and high-occupancy toll lanes, to existing roadways as long as free lanes are not reduced. ...



Cargo thefts can kill

Sales of stolen goods - particularly pharmaceuticals - may hurt large-scale public health in the U.S., according to a cargo theft analysis conducted by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). "Cargo theft is not only a property crime that hurts the national economy, it can have a serious impact on public health and safety," stressed Joe Wehrle, NCIB's president and CEO, in the group's 2010 National Cargo Theft report released this week. ... The NICB's research identified 747 cargo thefts occurred across the U.S. nation in 2010 with an estimated loss value of $171 million, with most freight stolen from trucks or railroad cars, although the group stressed intermodal and air freight shipments are vulnerable as well. However, that number may be quite low as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) estimates that cargo theft costs the U.S. $15 billion to $30 billion a year - resulting in an estimated 20 mark-up in retail prices for consumers. ...



NYS Senate Passes Bill To Help Protect Pedestrians From Truck Accidents

... "Trucks equipped with crossover mirrors eliminate the truck driver's blind spot and allow drivers to see pedestrians crossing in front of them," Senator Golden said. ... The bill requires all trucks, tractors, and tractor-trailers or semi-trailer combinations registered in New York State with a maximum gross weight of 26,000 pounds or more and a conventional cab configuration, to be equipped with crossover mirrors when operating in New York City. Crossover mirrors allow the driver to see any person at least three feet tall who passes at least one foot in front of their vehicles. While the exact cost depends on the type of mount used, the mirror heads themselves cost approximately $10 to $29 each and assembly kits which include the mirror head and the adjustable braces and mounting hardware are available for approximately $23 to $57 each. ...



Fuel Cost Sparks Truck Crime As Haulier Attacked

UK - As the price of fuel has increased apparently the latter day spectre of theft from parked vehicles is returning to haunt road haulage outfits, as well as ordinary motorists. The large quantities of diesel used by a freight or general delivery truck is bound to appeal to cash strapped thieves, some of whom it appears are willing to resort to violence. Motorway service areas can be hotspots for truck crime and the Road Haulage Association (RHA) has been campaigning for years for improved security at these sites. As fuel prices rise, diesel has become a highly valued commodity among criminals who sell it on for a 'below market' cost. This activity is creating large losses for haulage firms in particular. The RHA tells us that one of their members was recently threatened with physical harm by several individuals intent on siphoning diesel from his tank while he was parked... ...



Getting Ready for More Volatile Fuel Prices with Fuel Purchasing Strategies

Rising and volatile fuel prices are applying significant pressure to commercial fleet operational plans and budgets. In the first two months of the New Year, fuel prices were 50 cents higher than at the same time last year. This was before the unrest in North Africa and the Middle East that continues today, which has driven a barrel of oil above $100 and diesel prices over $4 per gallon. Many analysts predict that prices will continue to climb and remain highly volatile - reminiscent of 2008. ... ...



Trucker's Objectives of Electronic On Board Recorders May Significantly Alter the Way Freight Moves In the USA

The freight industry has become under relentless tension from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)'s desire to implement a lengthy list of regulation. ... Monitoring of Truck Drivers by means of the use of Electronic On Board Recorders (EOBR's) is 1 example of a controversial law being strongly considered for implementation. With Electronic On Board Recorder (EOBR)'s, third parties are able to determine and record the precise running time of a truck from a single device installed in the driver's cab. The goal of such a program is to monitor the actual driving time of each driver remotely so that log books and driving hours no longer have to be kept and accurate record keeping can be achieved. The United States Freight Marketplace has not accepted this brand new controversial laws without a large quantity of debate. Several truck drivers do not want EOBR's installed in their trucks as well as see such legislation as a violation of their privacy by the government. ...



Delaware jobs: Trucking companies hard-pressed to keep drivers on their payrolls

This high-stress career path has plenty of forward motion but little upward mobility. And traditionally, that's meant high turnover for truck drivers. But lately, amid high gas prices, new government rules and an economy struggling to get out of neutral, truckers have been changing jobs with even greater speed. In the fourth quarter of 2010, annualized turnover at large-fleet, long-haul trucking companies was 69 percent, according to the American Trucking Association. That's the highest it's been since the second quarter of 2008 -- another period of high fuel prices. ...



Fuel card news: Illegal diesel detected by HMRC

Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has announced it has traced thousands of litres of illegal fuel at a truck filling station on the M1. Representatives have said that 217,000 litres of "highly adulterated" diesel has been discovered. Kerosene was added to standard diesel in a process known as "stretching". The fuel has a lower duty rate and criminals can take advantage of this by selling it with official diesel to make a tidy profit. ... "The addition of kerosene would have made the fuel more combustible and prolonged use would undoubtedly damage the engine of any vehicle," commented assistant director of specialist investigations Stuart Crookshank. ...



Nation's Best Truck Drivers Provide Life-Saving Tips To Motorists During Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day serves as the start for the busy summer driving season and nearly 35 million motorists are expected to travel over 50 miles this holiday weekend. America's Road Team Captains, elite professional truck drivers with millions of accident-free miles, can offer advice on how to navigate safely through highway traffic and arrive at your destination safely. ...



Trucking firms urged to secure properties for holiday weekend

... Police are warning trucking companies to take extra precautions with protecting their property this holiday weekend after a rash of thefts. Over the past few months, tractor trailers loaded with property were stolen from trucking yards... ...



Student Truck Driver Survival Guide for Men and Women

... Going to a carrier who claims they pay more "cents per mile" (CPM), does not always mean you will make more money. The reason why is that word "Average" in the fine print. You may be assigned less miles at a higher CPM and vice versa. Make sure you realize this before company jumping. ...



Every little BIT helps in California

Truckers and enforcement are working together in California to effect some positive changes in the state's mandatory two-year compliance review program. The changes could save time and money - something every trucker could use a little more of. California's Biennial Inspection of Terminal program, known as BIT, is the state's version of a compliance review for intrastate carriers. It comes with a fee, administered by the California Highway Patrol, ranging from $270 for one-truck operations up to $1,870 for 101 or more trucks using a terminal. A cooperative effort by the California Highway Patrol, California Department of Motor Vehicles, OOIDA, the California Dump Truck Owners Association and California Trucking Association aims to make substantive changes to the BIT program - and it will take a legislative effort. ...



Natural-Gas Trucks Face Long Haul

An 18-wheeler can burn as much fuel in a year as 40 cars. What if it burned domestic natural gas instead of imported oil? ...



Wabco to supply emergency braking technology to Hyundai

Wabco Holding announced that it has entered into a long-term agreement with Hyundai Motor Co. to develop and supply Wabco's OnGuardPlus system. OnGuardPLUS, an emergency braking system, is designed to reduce risk of colliding with moving vehicles ahead as well as decelerating vehicles ahead that come to a standstill, applying brakes in imminent collision situations and providing the driver with acoustic and visual warning. It autonomously initiates emergency braking, enables maximum possible deceleration and can bring the vehicle to a complete stop, Wabco says; it also reacts to stationary vehicles ahead, such as when approaching traffic congestion. ...



Drivers have mixed reactions to fuel subsidy

Beirut's taxi drivers appeared divided on the agreement between caretaker Finance Minister Raya al-Hasan and a coalition of transport unions Wednesday evening to subsidize taxi drivers by LL470,000 monthly. The confederations of taxi drivers had planned to stage strikes across the country Thursday to protest against high gasoline prices but the two parties eventually came to a three-month agreement, pending renewal by an incoming government. "I'm happy with the decision, it's better than nothing," said Marwan Assouss, 44, who said he was originally planning to take part in the strike. Neameh, a 49-year-old man who did not want to give his full name, called the deal "acceptable" but lamented that it was only directed at taxi and truck drivers. "It's unfair that all citizens will not benefit from it," he said, stressing the issue was not only about gasoline prices but about the general cost of living. ...



Double Coin to raise prices 6

Buyers of Double Coin Tires will have to shell out a few more dollars for the company's products following the announcement of a price increase for TBR & ROTR products beginning June 1. ...



Truckers: Ban on trucks on toll road not a problem

The Organization of Land Transportation Owners (Organda) will organize a mass strike action today to protest the Jakarta administration's decision to limit trucks from using the inner city toll road, but several truck drivers said they did not object to the new rule. Aji, a truck driver who usually transports logs of wood, told The Jakarta Post on Thursday that instead of joining the strike, he would rather stay at home. "It is true that since the rule came into effect, there are extra costs I must bear and extra time wasted, but we just need to work better on scheduling our time and addressing the costs," he said. ...



Tallman bill will halt illegal truckers

A bill that would amend current transportation law to strengthen fines for certain truck drivers whose rigs are insufficiently licensed while operating in Pennsylvania will be put to vote Tuesday in the House of Representatives' Transportation Committee. ... Act 37 of 2001 requires out-of-state operators driving their four-axle dump trucks into Pennsylvania to purchase a Class 20 license at a cost of $1,251. Failure to do so was recognized as a summary offense with a simple $25 fine. If Tallman's bill is voted into law, violators of the law would be issued a summary offense and face fines ranging from $500 too $1,000 for each violation. ...



Minister gives no hint Severn Bridge tolls will fall

THE UK Government yesterday gave no hint that tolls will fall on the Severn Crossing when it enters public ownership and warned of delays this summer because of resurfacing work. ...



R.I. Exploring Putting Tolls on Interstate 95

Rhode Island state officials are pushing ahead with a plan to explore putting tolls on Interstate 95, the state's top transportation official said, despite U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood's disapproval of the idea. ... "We don't support the kind of approach, though, for roads that have already been built with taxpayer dollars then to be tolled," LaHood said in an interview posted on television station WPRI's website. ...



U.S. Xpress driver wins idling contest, receives truck

Scot Hays, a driver with more than 17 years of experience with U.S. Xpress Enterprises, received a 2007 Freightliner truck after being named the first grand prize winner of the company's Idle Reduction Sweepstakes. ... A company spokesman said Hays reduced his idling to about 5 percent during first quarter. U.S. Xpress President John White said all the top qualifiers received cash prizes for their efforts during the contest, which will be repeated quarterly. "Through our Idle Reduction Sweepstakes, U.S. Xpress has been able to create an additional focus on cutting down engine idle which also offered a valuable business opportunity for our drivers," he said.



Forget the gas tax - a driving tax may be next

Washington lawmakers are kicking around a new idea to help raise funds to fix our highways and infrastructure: a national driving tax charging motorists by the mile. A driving tax could either replace the current 18.4 cent a gallon federal gas tax or, possibly, add to it. ... While many see a driving tax as more efficient than the gas tax, there are privacy concerns over how driving information would be collected. Plus, lawmakers opposed to the idea say it places a heavier burden on motorists from rural states. ...



Trucker fined in 2010 crash on Interstate 81 that hurt trooper

A judge fined a truck driver $2,000 Monday for a spectacular wreck on Interstate 81 that injured a state trooper last summer. Judge Gino Williams found Enrique Gonzalez guilty of reckless driving in connection with an incident on June 20 near Ironto. Williams also gave Gonzalez a six-month license suspension. ... A police report said Gonzalez lost control while using a cellphone. ...



Becoming a Successful Owner/Operator

Trucknews.com and Michelin have teamed up to present a 10-part video series on Becoming a Successful Owner/Operator. ... The videos are available to view on the Trucknews.com home page in the Learning Centre video box.



Health association to team with Texas truckers

... To introduce TMTA members to HTAA Health and Wellness benefits, TMTA fleet members and their drivers will receive complimentary HTAA benefits for six months. ...



Rest areas closing

Nationwide, rest areas are closing because of flooding or budget shortfalls. On the other hand, one is being converted to truck parking. ...



Free Trucker Stuff Opens Massive Free Load Board List for Truck Drivers

FreeTruckerStuff announced the debut of another new webpage with massive free load board lists for truckers. Over 35 load boards listed and growing! ...



Call to flood-proof roads over truckie rest stops

The Transport Workers Union (TWU) says the State Government should be flood-proofing Queensland's roads, instead of spending money on truck stops. ... TWU state secretary Peter Biagini says safer roads for truckies should be the Government's focus. "It costs truck drivers a lot of lost money through time lost sitting beside the road, waiting for the roads to be open, let alone the damage it does to roads," he said. ...



Poor county raises funds by fining truck drivers

Traffic cops in a remote, poverty-stricken county of Northeast China have been collecting millions of yuan in fines to help pay themselves salaries and bonuses, China Central Television (CCTV) reported Friday. The traffic administration of Lindian county, Heilongjiang Province, reportedly handed in 3 million yuan ($461,630) in fines to local government in 2010. The county's revenue is not enough to support the administration's daily operations, said former director Yao Binhai. "Only 19 out of my 40 officiers are paid from the county's public finances," Yao said. "By fining more trucks, I can pay the rest of the officers," Yao said in the CCTV report. ...



ELDs and EOBRs - What's the Difference?

Part of the fun of technology is getting a new vocabulary of acronyms. The latest for automated driver logs is ELDs - or electronic logging devices. According to some reports, ELDs are not only better than Electronic On-board Recorders (EOBRs), but they cost less. ... ... ... What do these things cost? What is the difference between the low cost version and full blown high end versions? ... ...



Truck Drivers Surprised by Inspections

Truck drivers traveling near two intersections were stopped by state troopers Thursday for a surprise vehicle inspection. The Nebraska State Patrol set up shop at 84th and Brentwood and 108th and Giles to make sure commercial vehicles didn't pose any dangers to our roads. Authorities say during their stay they kept on the lookout for bad brakes and tires among other issues all in an effort to keep your family safe. "We check all of the paperwork on the driver and the truck," said Trooper John Lewis. "We even do a complete walk around on the vehicle." Those who passed the inspection received a special yellow decal good for 90 days as proof their vehicle is suitable to drive. Those who didn't get the thumbs up were shut down until their company fixes what's wrong. ...



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Reader Submitted Content

If you do bring a child on the truck, tether the car seat to the back wall

Freightliners have bolted clips in the back wall for the bunk safety webbing. It works great for the auxillary adaptor belt that comes permanently attached



Remove grafitti within two days easily from your truck

Auto paint takes three days to cure. Lightly wiping grafitti from a trailer with paint thinner within two days removes the new paint without the old. In



Reader Review: burton digital stove to go

I got mine about 2 months ago. I like it and have cooked in it nearly every day. I have made beef stew, beef and beans, ham and beans, pot roast, spaghetti



6 jars

Note: The following submission has been edited to remove a promotional plug. ----- Hello Mike & Vicki; I cannot take all the credit for this but I read



Volvo Visors Breaking Hinges?

Has anyone come up with a good reliable fix to the Hinges continuing to break on the Volvo VNL Visor compartment Hinges breaking? I can't come up with



 

Reviews

Call Capture Cellular Signal Amplifier: Reviews from Professional Truck Drivers

Does the Call Capture cellular signal amplifier work well for those on the road? Professional truck drivers review it here.



Airtab Aerodynamic Fuel Economy Saver: Reviews from Professional Truck Drivers

The Airtab is a wishbone-shaped vortex generator designed to increase aerodynamics and fuel economy by reducing air drag. Professional truck drivers review it.



Fuel Shark Compact Fuel Saving Device: Reviews from Professional Truck Drivers

The Fuel Shark guarantees to increase MPG by 10 percent or more, even for diesel engines. Does it do what it claims for large trucks? Professional truck drivers weigh in.



 

Articles

Low Clearance Bridges and Overpasses: How to Watch Out for and Avoid Them

Being involved in an accident from trying to squeeze a truck under a low clearance is totally preventable. Here's how to know about and avoid them.



Do It Yourself (DIY) Tasks That Truckers Can Do Themselves

Of tasks that truckers need to have done, which of them are the do it yourself kind? With training, which tasks can become the DIY variety?



Lessons on Tire Tread Depth and Mismatched Tires

Can failure to replace both tires in a pair result in mismatched tires and problems with tread depth? Read this lesson.



DIY Truck Washing for Professional Drivers Who Want to Save Money

Every professional driver is familiar with commercial truck washes. But what about do it yourself truck washing to save money? Here are some tips...



Portable Toilet 2: Reasons Why You Should Consider Having One in Your Truck

In Portable Toilet 2, we cover reasons why professional truck drivers should consider having one in their trucks.



Trucker Protest: 10 Reasons Why Parking Your Truck Can Be Costly

If you ever hear about a trucker protest where drivers park their rigs on the side of the road for an hour, watch out for these potential costs...



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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

http://www.truck-drivers-money-saving-tips.com/

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