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Truck Drivers Money Saving Tips Email Newsletter, Issue #026, 2011-09-09
September 09, 2011

Issue #26 | September 9, 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. 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. While we share our own successes and bone-headed mistakes on our website to help you, our site isn't just about us. Our goal is for it to become a clearinghouse of how truckers around the world save money. Perhaps you've mastered something we haven't or you have knowledge about something we don't.

    We invite you to share
    • your review of a product or service marketed and sold to truck drivers,
    • your experience regarding a truck part you've used, 
    • your experience at a truck stop or
    • your personal experience in dealing with money on the road as a trucker.

    So, what's your truck driver money saving tip?

  2. Photograph Request

    We're 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 installing window screens in a truck window. If you have such a photo, please submit it through the form on our Truck Operations page.

  3. 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 we suggest that you Thanks.

 

Bloglets

TCA Website helps truck drivers find next week's NTDAW events

National Truck Driver Appreciation Week is Sept. 11-17, and the Truckload Carriers Association reminds professional truck drivers that freebies, entertainment, special events and discounts will be available to CDL holders during NTDAW by checking DriverAppreciation.com before they hit the road. The website sponsored by TCA and its industry partner, uDrove, allows professional truck drivers to locate upcoming NTDAW activities taking place in North America and plan their schedules accordingly. ... NTDAW is an annual industrywide effort to honor and recognize professional truck drivers and to draw public attention to the role that trucking plays in the economic growth of North America.



CVSA: Half of Roadcheck out-of-service violations were brake-related

More than 50 percent of commercial motor vehicle out-of-service violations cited during roadside inspections were for brake-related violations, according to Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance Roadcheck 2011 data - indicating much more education and awareness is needed to reduce the number of highway crashes caused each year by poorly maintained braking systems on commercial vehicles. CVSA is working with drivers, mechanics and others during the week of Sept. 11-17, Brake Safety Week, to enhance knowledge, regulatory compliance and performance of CMV braking systems. ...



CVSA Brake Safety Week planned for Sept. 11-17

Truckers will want to mark their calendars for CVSA Brake Safety week, which starts this coming Sunday. The event, scheduled for Sept. 11-17, is held nationwide by participating members of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance. For more information, visit cvsa.org.



Shell announces LNG for heavy-duty trucks

CALGARY -- Shell says it will be providing liquefied natural gas (LNG) for heavy-duty fleets beginning in 2012 at Shell Flying J truck stops, starting in Alberta. ... Shell is also actively developing new business opportunities with truck OEMs to substitute LNG for diesel and propane in a number of industrial sectors, including on-road trucking and oil and gas drilling applications. ... Marvin Odum, president of Shell, said that the initiative will give larger fleet vehicles a reduction in emissions and offer a cost-competitive alternative to other fuels. However, a report by the Globe and Mail on the same story points to the cost of installing an LNG engine is about $50,000 to $60,000 on top of the cost of the truck itself. ...



Illinois requires posting of truck routes, education on truck GPS

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has signed legislation aimed at enhancing truck safety in the state by making truck routing and restrictions more accessible to the commercial trucking industry. The new law also provides a program to educate professional truck drivers about the vast differences between truck and car GPS devices. ... "The difference between a truck-specific GPS and a device designed for car routing is significant," says Rep. Michael Zalewski, task force chairman and state representative for the 21st Illinois Congressional District. "Using the appropriate tool for the job will benefit the citizens of Illinois by reducing accidents, congestion and the costs of repairing infrastructure damaged by accidents involving commercial vehicles." ...



In Vt., closed roads take toll on trucks, buses

... The washout of hundreds of Vermont roads and bridges by floodwaters from the remnants of Hurricane Irene has meant big detours -- and increased costs -- for just about everyone who drives in southern and central Vermont. With major east-west routes U.S. 4 and U.S. 9 and north-south U.S. Route 7 closed in parts because of damage from the Aug. 28 storm, the wheels of commerce have had to travel farther. "It's costing us more, and it's inconvenient," said James Pratt, senior vice president of operations for cheese maker Cabot Creamery. "It's made our distribution more creative, that's for sure." It's still unclear how quickly full access will be restored to the highways. State officials have yet to put a repair cost on all the damage or give a timetable for repairs. ... About 40 percent of the company's Vermont truck routes have been affected by the road closures, according to Anisa Balgam, route assistant. ... Bellavance Trucking President Roland Bellavance said about 40 percent of his trucks have had to deal with route changes. The company hauls granite, coffee and paper, among other things, and its operations have been most compromised in and around Bethel and Killington, Bellavance said. The company has had to absorb the added time and fuel costs, he said. "It adds quite a few miles, but what are you going to do?" he said. "We've pretty much just had to eat it." ...



Trucking wages to rise by 30 percent

US trucking companies may face a massive 30 percent surge in wages by 2014 as rising demand for freight shipments threatens to push the industry's driver shortage to the longest on record, according to freight transport analysis firm, FTR Associates. ...



National Trucking Week: David Bradley pens open letter to the men and women of the Canadian trucking industry

OTTAWA, Ont. -- National Trucking Week 2011 is being celebrated from Sept. 4-10. What started as an idea from the Canadian Trucking Alliance in the latter part of the 1990s, National Trucking Week has been embraced by the industry as a way to spotlight the contributions of the hundreds of thousands of men and women of the Canadian trucking industry who keep the country's freight moving, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. ...



Proposed HoS reduction would impact wages, economy: ATA

... "Late last year, DoT's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) proposed costly changes to truck drivers' hours-of-service rules which, if finalized, would result in reduced wages for hundreds of thousands of drivers, significant administrative and efficiency costs for trucking companies, and most importantly, billions of dollars in lost productivity," [ATA senior vice-president of policy and regulatory affairs Dave] Osiecki wrote in the Sept. 2 letter to [Cass] Sunstein [, administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the Office of Management and Budget]. "These inefficiencies and costs would deal a serious and sustained blow to the huge 'tangible goods' economy that trucking supports, affecting not only shippers of freight, but ultimately consumers." Osiecki pointed out the FMCSA's own regulatory impact analysis found the proposed changes would result in costs that would outweigh any crash reduction benefits. He also indicated that US truck safety has improved since the current rules were put into place in 2004. ...



Rand McNally Offers Buyers Lifetime Map Updates

Rand McNally Co. said buyers of its IntelliRoute GPS devices will be eligible to participate in a lifetime map program. For a one-time fee of $89.99, IntelliRoute customers will have access to Rand McNally map up-dates as long as they own the device. Rand McNally now provides free updates and upgrades to its IntelliRoute GPS products. ...



HOS, EOBR Rules Among Costliest

Proposed regulations to change maximum truck driver hours and require electronic onboard recorders for almost all trucks are among the most costly rules currently being considered by the Obama administration, the president wrote in a letter. The EOBR rule, which has an estimated economic burden of $2 billion, and the hours-of-service rule, with a price tag of $1 billion, are two of seven regulations President Obama told House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) will cost at least $1 billion. ...



Three travel plazas close temporarily on Pennsylvania Turnpike

Three travel plazas on the Pennsylvania Turnpike are scheduled to be closed for approximately nine months for repairs starting in September. ...



Patriot Farms Flying Js on I-95 now accepts Transflo Express

Pegasus TransTech has announced that its Transflo Express truckstop scanning now is available at three Pilot Flying J locations along Interstate 95 from Maryland to South Carolina. All are operated by Highway Service Ventures Inc.; all three are named Patriot Farms Flying J. ... With Transflo Express, drivers hand their delivery documents to a cashier for scanning. In seconds, these documents are delivered electronically to headquarters for immediate billing and payroll processing. Transflo Express helps speed the flow of paperwork, reducing days-sales-outstanding and increasing cash flow. ...



After 9/11, international border patrol staff doubles; fewer tourists cross border, more criminals caught

... Technology has played a key role in finding the drugs, Smith noted. "We've got the ability to look at things closer now," Smith said. "We've got all the technology now: gamma ray inspection of trucks ... it allows us to look at a commercial truck without physically going into it." And they're finding plenty. According to CBP, ecstasy seizures along the U.S.-Canada border have increased significantly over the years, from 1.1 million doses in 2004 to more than 2 million doses in 2009. Marijuana seizures have increased 22[percent]. Detroit, in particular, has turned into a hotbed for ecstasy. "We're the first stop on the line for ecstasy coming in," said Daniel Lemisch, chief of the criminal division of the U.S. Attorney's Office in Detroit. "It all gets funneled through our district because of the bridges and tunnels." Federal agents say they've witnessed major ecstasy busts in recent years at the border, the bulk involving Canadian truck drivers. For example, at the Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron, agents seized more than 80,000 ecstasy pills hidden in the walls of a tractor-trailer last September. At the same bridge last year, agents seized more than 250,000 ecstasy tablets hidden in a truck carrying a shipment of health and beauty products bound for Texas. ... ...



9/11 security fallout still a headache for truckers

B.C.'s trucking industry is still struggling to recover from the security changes wrought 10 years ago after the Sept. 11 attacks, thousands of kilometres away. Trucks carry more than six billion tonnes of freight every year in B.C. alone, and much of that makes its way across the international border into the U.S., a trip that is ultimately more costly and often takes longer since 9/11. ... Transport Canada estimates the impact of U.S. security measures costs Canadian truckers up to $400 million a year. But what are people like [Fred] de Boer [, owner of Mainland Floral Distributors Ltd.,] getting for their money? Since 2006, wait times at the border have started to go down, according to University of British Columbia associate professor Garland Chow, who studies freight security and transportation systems. Trucking operations with security clearance do get through the border faster, providing the companies a competitive advantage, said Chow. "By having that, they can sell to their customers a greater chance that if there's a problem, they are going to get through more quickly," said Chow. "Even right now get through more quickly." Fred de Boer's said he's not convinced his trucks are getting across the border any faster than his non-certified competitors. ...



Semi drags boulder onto I-205 near airport

A commercial semi-truck driver dragged a huge boulder from IKEA to I-205 Saturday and he didn't even realize it was there, police said. A landscaper alerted police after following large scrape marks all the way from the Cascade Station IKEA store to the freeway, and then spotting the truck with the boulder still under it. ... The boulder damaged the undercarriage of the truck, which eventually caused the driver to stop on the freeway. ...



TCA partners with clinic on weight-loss contest

The Truckload Carriers Association is partnering with Lindora Clinic, providers of a medically based weight-loss/management wellness program, to create a weight-loss contest aimed specifically at truck drivers and other trucking industry workers. Prizes will be awarded to the fleet and individual achieving the greatest percentages of weight loss. Fleet applications to compete in the contest will be accepted from ... ...



California bill would tweak transit tax vote rule

Only days remain in the regular session in California. Among the bills that could advance to the governor before time runs out is an effort to help relieve traffic congestion. ... Supporters say the fees would provide a direct benefit to travelers paying the surcharge because there would be less congestion for truckers and other drivers. ...



Shoemaker's offers electrified parking spots

Shoemaker's Travel Center on I-80 in Lincoln, Neb., is the latest truck stop to add electrification by offering 24 electrified parking spaces. Shoemaker's has signed up the national Shorepower Truck Electrification Project program funded by the U.S. Dept. of Energy. STEP aims to finance electrification at 50 truck stops nationally over the next 18 months. The facility at milepost 395 on I-80 will have a grand opening Sept. 9, co-hosted by Shorepower Technologies and Cascade Sierra Solutions, which are partnering on STEP. ...



How Much Should You Save for Emergencies?

A few years ago, the personal saving rate had dwindled to barely one percent. Americans were spending nearly all of their disposable incomes. Now, however, the personal saving rate hovers at about five percent. With all this saving going on, many folks are faced with a burning question: How much should we save, anyhow? How much is enough to survive a financial emergency? ...



Oh, the Irony: Identity Theft Prosecutor Falls Victim to Identity Theft

Credit card skimming, in which a crook installs a device in an ATM or payment terminal to steal account information, can happen to anybody. For proof, look to Seattle, where Jenny Durkan, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington and chair of the Justice Department's Cybercrime Subcommittee tells local news outlets she had a card compromised by skimmers. ...



Drivers urged to guard cargo over holiday weekend

Drivers should be aware of increased cargo theft especially at terminals and drop yards during Labor Day weekend, says Dan Burges of security provider FreightWatch International. Cargo theft rates rise an average of 28 percent over this and other long weekends, he says, noting that they "provide criminals with excellent opportunities to target, steal and transport goods to their storage locations before the product is even discovered missing." Loaded trailers that are parked for long periods over the weekend are vulnerable, Burges says. ...



Three-day weekend brings increased truck cargo thefts, firm warns

Parking your truck and/or load for the Labor Day three-day weekend? If so, you may want to keep this in mind: Security experts say cargo theft rates increase about 28 percent over long weekends. FreightWatch International, a logistics security firm, recently reminded truck and cargo owners of the increased cargo theft incidents during three-day weekends, "especially at terminals and drop yards where loaded trailers are parked for long periods of time." Truck drivers stopped at high-risk areas like truck stops and rest areas should maintain communication with dispatchers, and shouldn't drop or leave loads unattended, the company said. ...



NYC Toll Increase Riles Trucking Group, Commuters

... ATA President and CEO Bill Graves wrote a letter Aug. 25 asking Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey and Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York, who appoint the authority's board, to reconsider what Graves called an "ill-conceived and unprecedented" toll hike. "We urge you to veto this proposal, which will not only devastate trucking companies who serve the New York City area, but will also increase the cost of doing business in a region already regarded as among the most expensive in the nation," Graves wrote. He said ATA and the state trucking associations in New York and New Jersey strongly oppose a plan where "a majority of new revenues will subsidize projects with no benefit to those paying the tolls." Graves said the proposed tolls for five-axle trucks will be nearly three times higher than for comparable bridges nationwide, and if Maryland's proposed increases are implemented, tolls for a truck hauling goods from Baltimore to Manhattan will rise from $114.25 today to $209.25 within three years. "If the proposal is approved, ATA will be compelled to consider its legal and legislative options," Graves added. ...



Professional Truck Drivers Offer Highway Safety Tips for Labor Day Holiday

A group of elite professional truck drivers with millions of accident-free miles are offering advice on how to navigate through highway traffic and arrive at your destination safely. Tips include... ...



Rand McNally lowers price for IntelliRoute GPS products

Rand McNally announced that it is dropping the price of its line of IntelliRoute TND products. Effective immediately, the IntelliRoute TND 510 now is priced at $299.99 plus applicable taxes, and the TND 710 is priced at $399.99 plus applicable taxes. The $50 price reduction includes the recently announced Lifetime Map Program ... ...



Pilot Flying J Now Offers At-the-Pump DEF at 135 Locations

... At Pilot Flying J travel centers and travel plazas, DEF and fuel dispensers are located together on one pump, so customers swipe their card once to re-fuel and fill up with DEF. ...



Truck Drivers Now Have a Better Way to Scan, Send, and Store Freight Documents

Eleos Technologies today announced the release of Drive Axle, a cloud-based service that enables owner operators to scan, send, and store freight documents with an iPhone or Android smart phone. Documents can be scanned from anywhere with no need to locate a fax machine, scanner, or overnight mail drop box. Documents are organized and stored securely online for one year, where they can be easily retrieved from any web browser. The service is priced at a flat $29/month. ...



LogBook: New regs will increase truck cost

The first-ever regulation for truck fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions is expected to cut diesel use by 4 gallons per 100 miles traveled by the time 2018 models are sold. New trucks are expected to cost $6,220 more because of the rule. New truck fuel efficiency rules will cut fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions beginning with 2014 models. President Obama announced the new standard would yield a total fuel savings of $73,000 over a truck's life. Heavy-duty trucks should expect a 20 percent reduction in fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by model year 2018 under a new Heavy-Duty National Program. Many organizations applauded the development, but the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association criticized it, saying there are cheaper ways to achieve the same goals. ...



High water keeps Iowa roads closed

Some portions of major Iowa highways remain closed after almost three months, forcing truckers to detour as much as 121 miles, and a reopening schedule is not yet available. Recently, the Missouri River has receded from flooding that began June 9. Iowa Department of Transportation employees are getting their first post-flood glimpses of Interstate 680 at the Interstate 29 interchange. Damage assessment will take time, but reopening will not occur this year, said spokeswoman Dena Gray-Fisher. ...



I-680 in Iowa Severely Damaged by Floodwaters; Repairs to Take Months

... The 3-mile stretch on I-680 at the I-29 interchange down to the Missouri River has been nearly obliterated. Pavement is cracked and buckled into large chunks, giving the look of an intentional demolition project. The impressively bad damage was caused not just by submersion for several weeks, but aldo by the continuous flow of water. The force of the river washed out any and all loose sediment, getting into cracks and leaving the pavement without support. ...



Feds to Trucking Company: You Cannot Fire Alcoholic Drivers

The federal government has sued a major trucking company for its firing of driver with an admitted alcohol abuse problem. Alcoholism is classified as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the suit maintains, and therefore employees cannot be prohibited even from driving 18 wheelers due to their histories of abuse. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which filed the suit against the Old Dominion Freight Line trucking company on August 16, noted that while "an employer's concern regarding safety on our highways is a legitimate issue, an employer can both ensure safety and comply with the ADA." ... If the EEOC prevails, of course, it will mean that Old Dominion will still be liable both for any damage to life or property that results from a potential relapse by one of its recovering drivers - which in turn increases the risks involved in investment in the company - and for the cost of trying to ensure that such damage never occurs. All of these new burdens will raise Old Dominion's cost of doing business, and hence the cost of everything they transport. And all of this can't possibly ensure that a recovering driver does not relapse without the company's knowledge. ... Despite the apparent precedent for alcoholism-related lawsuits, EEOC's case might not be a slam dunk. As the Competitive Enterprise Institute's Hans Bader notes, a federal appellate court ruled in 1995 that employers can fire someone for problems caused by an ADA-qualified disability if that disability "poses a significant risk [to others] that cannot be eliminated by reasonable accommodation." ...



I-90 closures create traffic headaches for truck drivers

Gregory Ward had his truck route all mapped out. On Monday he figured the Thruway would be the quickest route from Saratoga County to Onondaga County, but that wasn't the case. "I spent the better part of nine hours sitting in that traffic. It was totally ridiculous. There was no where we could go," said Ward. The reason he and many others couldn't go anywhere: The Thruway was closed. A portion of the interstate was closed Monday so crews could determine the damage to Thruway bridges around Schoharie Creek. The trip should have taken the Houston native three hours, but it tripled with his many detours. ...



CVSA Brake Safety Week planned for Sept. 11-17

Truckers will want to mark their calendars for CVSA Brake Safety week, scheduled for Sept. 11-17. The event is held nationwide by participating members of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance. ...



Love's Installing RFID Technology Chainwide

Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores will install radio frequency identification (RFID) technology at all of its locations, Tire Business reported. Similar to bridge and tunnel transactions operated by groups such as E-Z Pass, the technology when combined with a RFID tag in the cab of a truck will allow fuel transactions to occur wirelessly without the use of a credit or debit card. When a truck enters Love's fuel lane, the RFID technology will instantly link to the user's account. Called Fuel Island Manager, the program reduces a driver's time at the pump because he or she does not need to enter any payment information. Love's is rolling out the program at more than 270 locations and 100 tire stations in 39 states during the fourth quarter of this year, according to the report. ...



Comdata markets cardless fueling system

Comdata Corp., a provider of electronic payment innovation, announced a new cardless fueling solution for travel centers and transportation companies. The company says the program provides a faster, more efficient way for drivers to fuel, while giving transportation companies more options to control the fuel-purchasing process. The cardless program uses radio frequency identification technology to initiate transactions at the fuel terminal, instead of requiring the presence of a card to facilitate the process. Companies install RFID tags in each of their vehicles that activate fuel terminals at approved RFID-equipped locations as the vehicles pull alongside them. ...



Trucking companies and terminal operators discuss snow removal

HALIFAX -- Jean-Marc Picard, executive director of the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association, has begun pushing for port terminals to take responsibility for snow removal from containers and trailers, reported The Chronicle Herald. Picard noted that it can be difficult for carriers to arrange for snow removal, which usually involves driving to another part of the city. ...



New EPA, DOT truck fuel economy rules undervalue nat gas

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Transportation (DOT) are drawing criticism for not doing more to reduce foreign oil imports with the newly proposed regulations covering emissions and fuel economy for medium- and heavy-duty trucks. NGVAmerica is one of the groups saying it believes that the rules could have been even more effective in reducing emissions and reducing the use of imported petroleum. In particular, the federal government should have done more to promote and encourage the use of fuels such as natural gas. ...



Electrification of truck stop spaces revives

As fuel prices spiked in 2007-08, a large majority of truckers' anti-idling interest was focused on dedicated auxiliary power units, which market expanded dramatically with a profusion of new manufacturers. This time around, with the economy still somewhat shaky, owner-operator and fleet interest in up-front investment in full-function APU technology may be taking a back seat infrastructure improvements and use of electrified truckstop parking space services when needed. For operators who don't already have APUs, these new spaces will be a big boon to on-road comfort in the inclement seasons. ...



Truck drivers get a seat on tax forum

The chairman of the Australian Trucking Association, David Simon, has been appointed to the Australian Government's Tax Forum, to be held in Canberra on 4-5 October. The government has invited 184 representatives of the community, business, unions and government, as well as academics and other tax experts, to attend the forum, which will debate priorities for reforming Australia's tax and transfer system. The forum will consider road charging and other environmental and social taxes on the afternoon of 4 October. ...



Post-Storm Flooding, Road Debris Slows Trucking: East Coast interstates open, but side routes still restricted by damage

Major trucking companies along the U.S. East Coast were restricting operations Monday in some areas hardest hit by the high winds and flooding of Irene and taking stock of damage to roads and their equipment. Although most interstates appeared to be open and undamaged, several major state roads and side routes were littered with trees and other debris and authorities reported some roads near rivers up to Vermont were flooded out. Widespread power outages meant truckers couldn't buy fuel in some areas, and those headed into the hardest hit regions should fuel up beforehand. ...



New fuel card program offered

Wright Express Corp., a provider of business payment processing and information management systems has launched the OTR PRO fuel card program. Designed for long-haul fleets and truck stop owners, the card offers 0.5-3-cent discounts on in-network fuel purchases at more than 700 independent truck stops and regional chain locations. ...



Appeals Court Throws Out EOBR Rule

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's electronic onboard recorder 2010 final rule for motor carriers with significant hours-of-service violations does not protect truck drivers from potential harassment by their employers, a federal appeals court has ruled. Siding with three truck drivers and the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association, a panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Aug. 26 vacated and remanded the rule back to the agency for further proceedings. ...



U.S. diesel price climbs after falling for a month

After declining for four consecutive weeks, the U.S. average price of a gallon of diesel fuel increased 1.0 cent to $3.82 for the week ending Monday, Aug. 29, according to the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration. The price, which had fallen 13.9 cents since July 25, is 88.2 cents higher than the same week last year. ...



Experts: Tire maintenance critical in CSA era

Truckers should make sure their tires are properly mounted, suit the hauls they carry and are fuel-efficient, experts said Friday, Aug. 26, during a tire technology seminar at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas. ...



Georgia lawmakers approve fuel tax freeze

A special session in Georgia geared toward nailing down the state's legislative district maps also provided some answers to two questions that covered transportation issues. State lawmakers ratified a freeze in the tax collected on fuel purchases. Georgia's fuel tax is a two-part tax. A 4 percent portion of the tax is calculated twice per year and is based on the average price per gallon of fuel in the state at the time. The rate can change every six months on Jan. 1 and July 1. Gov. Nathan Deal decided in June to freeze the state's fuel taxes to help consumers avoid more pain at the pump. The tax rates were slated to increase the first of July. As required by state law, the Georgia House and Senate approved the freeze through the end of the year with passage of a bill - HB2EX. ...



New law eliminates reduced speed limits

Starting Thursday, motorists on highways posted with 70 mph speed limits no longer will have to drive slower at night. A new law lifted the reduced 65 mph speed limits on state highways for nighttime motorists. It also lifts the 65 mph limits that were posted for truck drivers, said Mark Cross, spokesman for the Texas Department of Transportation. ...



FL cargo theft impacting drug shortages, prices

It's a theft more lucrative than robbing a bank and the evidence often vanishes by consuming it. Pharmaceutical cargo theft is big business in Florida. It's so big its impacting the price you pay for medicine. Gone in 90 seconds. That's how fast truck drivers says criminals can steal cargo containers. ...



Pa. governor's panel advises more red-light cameras

Cameras that catch people who run red lights have been spreading across the country, along with controversy. Now a panel appointed by Gov. Tom Corbett has recommended that Pennsylvania cities be allowed to deploy them to reduce crashes at dangerous intersections. "It's using technology to affect behavior, reduce the cost of enforcement and improve enforcement," said state Transportation Secretary Barry Schoch, who chaired the governor's Transportation Funding Advisory Commission. ... More than 500 cities in 25 states use the cameras, and the number is growing, said David Kelly, president and executive director of the National Coalition for Safer Roads, formed to advocate for the systems and a recipient of funding from companies that market them. The Insurance Industry for Highway Safety says its study showed a 24 percent decline in fatalities from red-light running in cities where the cameras are used, and reductions of 40 to 96 percent in violations. It has estimated that 150 lives were saved over five years in the 14 biggest cities that use them. "The greatest determining factor in getting people to change their behavior is the threat of a ticket," Mr. Kelly said. The cameras have critics who say they don't reduce crashes and are deployed primarily to raise revenue. Some also have questioned the legality of citations issued without a police officer personally observing the violation. In Los Angeles and Houston, the city councils have voted recently to remove the cameras. The action in Houston followed a referendum in which voters by a small margin opted to eliminate them. ...



Pilot Flying J to offer gyms, membership to truckers

... Each gym will be staffed by fitness professionals and include top-of-the-line fitness equipment, Snap Fitness said. A monthly membership of $29.95 will provide access to any of more than 1,300 Snap Fitness clubs worldwide. Family membership options for the trucking community will also be offered. ...



Two New Low-Cost EOBRs Ready to Enter In-Cab Device Market

The market for low-cost electronic onboard recorders is getting two new entrants. Rand McNally Co. has elbowed its way onto the EOBR scene by unveiling a new in-cab communication device it calls the TND 760 Fleet Edition and sells for $799, while cab-communications giant Qualcomm Inc. said it will meet that price with a new model to be introduced later this year. ... Most EOBRs are more than just recording devices. They provide automated driver logs and include other fleet-management services such as load assignments, location tracking, vehicle diagnostics, navigation and mobile communications. Many EOBR models cost be-tween $1,000 and $2,000, and this does not include a monthly service fee between $30 and $50 for each vehicle. The fees depend on what range of services are provided. ...



Cargo thieves change tactics: High-tech fraudsters use fake identities to lure customers

Thieves are taking cargo thefts to a new level, experts say. In some cases, thieves are impersonating legitimate trucking companies. In other cases, they are setting up bogus businesses that appear to be real to gain access to trucking company shipments, the experts say. ... Sources say cargo thieves will even go so far as setting up a shell company with a website to add legitimacy, then place bids on electronic "broker load boards" to haul freight that shippers need help in delivering. "If they win work off the board, they walk in and take the cargo," Mr. Kirk said. ...



Penn lawmaker goes on offensive to curb toll increases

... Adding to public angst about how the [Delaware River Joint] toll bridge commission is run, the agency enacted a new toll rate structure on July 1. As a result, large trucks are paying 75 cents more per axle - to $4 from $3.25 per axle. Tolls for passenger vehicles are up 25 cents - to $1 from 75 cents. Discounted E-ZPass rates remain available for truckers and other users that travel during off-peak periods. Agency officials said the rate hikes are necessary to keep up with capital improvements. An agency press release notes that higher truck fees reflect the "greater wear and tear trucks cause" on roads and bridges. Emrick labeled the fare increase a tax on users in more ways than one. "Businesses that use the bridges regularly will pass the 'tax' along to their customers and consumers, who will be hit again. There has to be a better way," he stated. ...



Illinois approves toll increase for $12 billion plan

Tolls for passenger vehicles are going up in Illinois on Jan. 1, 2012. The Illinois Tollway Authority has already enacted a toll increase for trucks as part of a $12 billion plan to reconstruct, widen and improve portions of interstates 90, 94, 294 and 57. ...



Tollway price hike approved

... On Thursday, the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority Board voted, 7-1, to approve the measure, which will increase most tolls by 87.5 percent to pay for the plan. The increase takes effect on Jan. 1. ... Matt Hart, the executive director of the Illinois Trucking Association, said he feared that truck drivers are upset over the 60 percent increase they will have to pay between 2015 and 2017. Increases after that are tied to the Consumer Price Index. Hart says the toll roads are the safest routes for truckers, and he said it's possible that many will opt to choose local roads if tollways become too expensive. "Our biggest issue is safety," Hart said. "We operate on a very thin margin, and if it's more cost-efficient, they will [avoid toll roads]." ...



Truckers triumph. EOBRs are O-U-T. Court rules driver harassment argument enough to vacate rulemaking

... The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit sided with OOIDA saying that the FMCSA ignored a federal statute that any regulation imposed for the use of monitoring devices in commercial vehicles must ensure that the devices are not used to harass vehicle operators. The court said that EOBR technology allows the pressuring of drivers to perform at higher levels and to even drive when tired, and thus it vacated the rule. "Companies can and do use technology to harass drivers by interrupting rest periods," said Todd Spencer, Executive Vice President of OOIDA. "This decision not only dealt with the issue of harassment, but the court also made it clear there were other aspects of the rule they believed problematic." In 2010, the FMCSA enacted a final rule to mandate EOBRs for interstate commercial motor carriers that have a greater than 10 percent rate of noncompliance with hours-of-service rules in any single compliance review. OOIDA challenged the regulation in court with three arguments. The Association said that it was arbitrary and capricious based on the harassment aspect, that the cost-benefit analysis failed to demonstrate the benefits of the technology, and that EOBRs violate the Fourth Amendment. ...



Courts toss FMCSA's EOBR rule

The Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) successfully won a nearly year-long court battle to get mandates for electronic onboard recorders (EOBRs) promulgated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) disallowed - primarily as they would be a form of "harassment," violating a drivers' right to privacy under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.



Natural gas gaining traction as tank truck fleet fuel

On August 14, the first four truck-tractors in a 42-truck order were delivered to Fair Oaks Farms near Fair Oaks IN. Fueled with methane from the dairy farm, this milk-hauling fleet operation is being described as the largest transport-related renewable compressed natural gas (CNG) project in the United States. ... "We believe there is a big future for heavy-duty trucks fueled with natural gas," said Andy Douglas, Kenworth national sales manager, specialty markets. "Customers are asking for these products, which use existing diesel technology that is robust, tough, and proven. "Here in the United States, we sit on the world's largest natural gas reserves. Other countries are using it more in transportation than we are. Oil will continue to face price pressures, while natural gas prices have remained relatively constant." About 23,000 vehicles in the United States are fueled by natural gas at this time. That includes approximately 800 tractors that have gone into port drayage operations in California and other states as part of emission-reduction campaigns. ...



Carriers, East Coast brace for the wrath of Irene

As Hurricane Irene bears down on the East Coast, and in particular the Northeast, this weekend, trucking fleets are busy preparing for the storm. Whether it is rerouting trucks or battening down the hatches at terminals, carriers are preparing for the worst and hoping for the best. ... According to weather.com, Irene is expected to make an initial landfall along the Cape Hatteras area of North Carolina later tonight and into Saturday. The storm is then expected to skirt the coastline before finally coming ashore across Long Island and into Connecticut and up through Western Massachusetts on Sunday and into Monday morning. Because of the size of the storm, nearly 400 mi. wide, hurricane and tropical storm conditions could be felt up to 200 mi. inland even if the storm stays just offshore, according to experts. ...



Revamped IdleAir plans expansion

Electrification services will expand from 21 sites currently in operation to 100 by the end of 2013 with more expansion planned, shorepower provider IdleAir announced Aug. 25 at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas. Regions targeted for site development include Interstate 95 along the East Coast, the Midwest, Southeast and Southwest, where demand is highest in the summer for air conditioning service, said IdleAir president Mike Fielden. ... Fielden and [CEO Ethan] Garber touted fuel and cost savings for those who use the service, citing that the provider saves 5,000 gallons of diesel use a day collectively. Each station provided at truck stops across the nation costs $1.99 per hour and $1.25 per hour after 10 hours of use. ...



Texas Simplifies Vehicle Registration Fee Structure

A new system that standardizes and simplifies registration fees for nearly every vehicle owner in Texas begins September 1. Currently, Texas has 1,745 fee categories for registration. That number is being reduced to nine weight classifications. The simplified structure makes it easier for Texans to know what they owe, and reduces administrative costs for the state, counties and private businesses. ... "This fee modification will save time and money, positively affecting the more than 15,000 trucking companies across the state as well as the hundreds of thousands of professional truck drivers who live and work in Texas," said John D. Esparza, president and chief executive officer of the Texas Motor Transportation Association. "We are pleased that this new structure simplifies and standardizes a convoluted system and modernizes an outdated process." Fees also change for trailer owners. The 75 different trailer categories, which include travel trailers, are reduced to one annual fee. It will cost $45 to register any trailer or travel trailer up to 6,000 pounds. ... Some Texans also will pay a new $1 automation fee. This fee was assessed in Texas' largest 60 counties, but now applies statewide. ... ...



Tolls to jump 87.5[percent] on Illinois Tollway

The Illinois State Toll Highway Authority Board approved an 87.5[percent] increase in tolls for the road last night, effective Jan. 1, 2012. ...



Tollway board approves toll hike

The Illinois Tollway board today approved a plan that would nearly double tolls to pay for an ambitious $12.1 billion program of expanding and building highways. Basic I-Pass toll rates will rise from 40 cents to 75 cents, with those who use cash continuing to pay double what I-Pass users do. ...



Great America Trucking Show Specials

Even though we can not be there, You can still buy and save with our show specials on truck wash: ... Show specials are available up to Friday, September 30, 2011. ...



Truckstop Chains Upping Fitness Options

TravelCenters of America is expanding its StayFit program by adding new sites, and Flying J will be adding fitness centers through a partnership between Snap Fitness and Rolling Strong. ... The 960-square-foot workout centers "are designed to accommodate the trucking community and those who travel frequently for business or vacation, so they can get the workouts they need quickly and conveniently," said Peter Taunton, CEO and founder of Snap Fitness. Each Snap Fitness Rolling Strong gym will be located at a Pilot Flying J travel center or travel plaza, staffed by fitness professionals and will include a variety of top-of-the-line fitness equipment. Monthly gym dues are $29.95 for the trucking community, and will provide access to the Snap Fitness Rolling Strong gyms as well as any of the 1,300 Snap Fitness clubs worldwide. ...



U.S. braces for Hurricane Irene

Truck drivers are often on the front lines when severe weather hits. Many are preparing for Hurricane Irene, expected to hit the Carolinas sometime Saturday, Aug. 27. ...



Trucker ordered to pay restitution for falsely reporting 'stolen' Peterbilt

New Jersey prosecutors say a truck driver reported that his 2007 Peterbilt had been stolen, though investigators later proved the driver still had the truck, which he had repainted. Casey M. Wendling, 28, of Millville, NJ, was sentenced Aug. 19 to five years of probation and ordered to pay $52,978 in restitution. He pleaded guilty on June 3, admitting that between September 2008 and August 2010 he had submitted a fraudulent vehicle theft claim to the Lincoln General Insurance company. ...



The Great American Trucking Show takes over Dallas this weekend

... The Great American Trucking Show will be held at the Dallas Convention Center in Dallas, TX, Aug 25-27. It's the nation's second-largest trucking trade show. ... Ride and Roll is partnering with Crete Carrier Corp. to give away a bicycle. Register for the drawing at the Ride and Roll booth in the parking lot. ... OOIDA Senior Member Jon Osburn will have the Medical Education Research Vehicle, aka the MERV, on site. Visit him for an affordable health screening. ... In addition to the sights and sounds, a number of free seminars and events will be offered, covering hot industry topics such as CSA, EOBRs, tire technology, safety audits and more. ...



Can taxing trucks by the mile help save transportation funding?

Transportation researcher Richard Mudge is looking for ways to make sure states can afford to fix and build roads and bridges, even as gas taxes become less effective. Like other experts, he wants to start taxing vehicles for how far they drive, instead of the current system based on how much gas they use. The difference is that Mudge wants to start using the system on trucks, not cars. ...



Rand McNally offering Lifetime Map updates for GPS products

At the Great American Trucking Show, Rand McNally announced that all IntelliRoute TND GPS purchasers will be eligible to participate in a Lifetime Map Program. For a one-time fee of $89.99, participating IntelliRoute TND customers will have access to the latest Rand McNally map updates as long as they own the device. ...



California DMV Employee Charged with Taking Bribes to Falsify CDL Records

An employee of the California Department of Motor Vehicles has been charged with taking bribes to alter driver's license records and issue commercial licenses to individuals who had not passed the required written and driving tests. Michelle Carbajal, 37, is charged with 19 felony counts of altering public documents and 19 felony counts of computer access and fraud. If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of 22 years in state prison. ... Between June 10, 2009, and April 27, 2010, Carbajal is accused of accepting money from 12 individuals in exchange for unlawfully altering their driver's license records. She is accused of marking in the records of the 12 individuals that they had passed both the written and driving tests to obtain a commercial license. In fact, none of the 12 had passed any of the tests. In all, the 12 purchasers paid $23,000. ...



Illinois approves privatization for new roads

Illinois officials now are authorized to tap private companies to get new roads built. The state has already resorted to using the funding method to build the long-sought Illiana Expressway. Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill into law Tuesday, Aug. 23, to open the door to allowing the state to form partnerships with private groups to get more road work done. The partnership would permit private business to partially or fully fund construction in return for revenues, such as tolls. ...



Is a low-cost truck invasion on the horizon?

... [Sandeep] Kar [, global director, commercial vehicle research for Frost & Sullivan, a research group that concentrates on global infrastructure and transportation issues,] defines a "low-cost" truck as a vehicle that sells for 20 to 25 percent less than a current, new low-cab-forward commercial vehicle today. And he notes that in the U.S. today, there are virtually no truck models available for sale in that price bandwidth. "This tremendous pricing gap today is and will attract truck-makers from all over the globe," he notes. "And it demands a response from U.S. truck manufacturers today." Kar notes that moving into the North American market will not be easy for foreign manufacturers with unknown reputations for reliability. Although he says that recent inroads in the auto industry by foreign brands have lowered that hurdle somewhat. "The key will be not to build cheap trucks," he says. "But rather to build good trucks cheaply." ...



Tracking device leads to cache of 'hot' parts

A tracking device on a stolen trailer led police to a cache of auto parts, lighting fixtures and forklifts in rural Wells County. Carter Express Inc. in Anderson reported Monday that one of its trailers loaded with Nissan auto parts was stolen from a parking lot off Interstate 69 in Gas City over the weekend, Gas City Police Chief Kirk McCollum said. The parts were valued at more than ... ...



Scam pretends truckers owe NY State Police

In early August, Don Endecott saw an email from a @nyc.gov address that was purportedly from the New York State Police. It included file attachments under the name: "Uniform Traffic Ticket." Don, an OOIDA member and 61-year veteran of trucking, clicked on the attachment - something he immediately regretted. It locked up his computer. ...



Pennsylvania Turnpike may soon do away with cash option

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is studying whether to transition to a cashless system of toll collection, but truckers say the agency should keep a cash option available. The commission recently published an online survey and called on truckers, especially those who pay cash, for input. Most frequent users have E-ZPass, but some still prefer to pay cash, says OOIDA Senior Member Chris Behrens of Brodheadsville, PA. ...



Truckers upset over NY/NJ toll hikes

Using the bridges and tunnels between New York City and New Jersey will cost truckers a pretty penny with a Port Authority toll hike approved Friday that will increase fares to 5-axle trucks from $40 to $65 per trip beginning next month. Eventually, those trucks will have to fork over $105 per trip in 2015, a 125 increase, as the Port Authority plans to gradually increases the fee. Under the plan, trucks that use E-Z Pass will pay an extra $2 per axle beginning in September 2011. The toll will rise by the same amount each December from 2012 to 2015. Cash-paying truck drivers will pay the same increase - plus a $3 per axle penalty. ...



Truckers insulted by 125 percent tax increase in NY-NJ

The governors of New York and New Jersey vowed not to raise taxes, but that's precisely what has happened in a deal struck Friday with the local port authority to increase truck tolls by 125 percent and car tolls by 67 percent. The fast-tracked plan has left truckers with feelings of betrayal as only a fraction of the new revenue will be used to improve infrastructure. As part of the plan, the $40 truck toll on the George Washington Bridge will become $50 on Sept. 1 of this year. Then the truck rate will increase $10 each December from 2012 through 2015, ending up at $90. That amounts to a 125 percent increase by 2015. And that's for the E-ZPass customers. Cash customers will make out much worse. ... ...



Truckers take carbon tax fight to Canberra

[Australia] Demonstrators led by about 200 truck drivers have protested against a range of Federal Government policies outside Parliament House. ...



Trucking industry calls for permanent exemption from carbon tax

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) is calling for the Federal Government to permanently exempt the trucking industry from the carbon tax. Under the government's proposed carbon tax, which is set to come into effect on 1 July 2012, the trucking industry will be exempt from paying a price on carbon for two years. ...



New Illinois Law to Improve Oversize/Overweight Permits

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation allowing the state Department of Transportation to issue permits for loads that previously exceeded size and weight restrictions for travel on state highways if specific conditions are met. "This law will significantly cut transportation costs for companies throughout Illinois," Quinn said. "Common sense laws like this will help us continue to strengthen Illinois' position as the nation's inland port." ...



Illinois laws cover truck ops, road repairs and safety

Multiple new laws in Illinois are intended to reduce costs for trucking operations, save the state money on road repairs, and improve safety on roadways. Gov. Pat Quinn signed one bill into law on Monday, Aug. 22, which is intended to reduce fuel and equipment costs for trucking companies throughout the state. ...



Road train speed limit increase

South Australian truck speed limits are lining up with other states after the road train speed limit increased from 90 to 100 kilometres per hour at the start of this month. ...



Graves calls on NY, NJ governors to veto toll increases

American Trucking Associations President and CEO Bill Graves Thursday called on Govs. Chris Christie of New Jersey and Andrew Cuomo of New York to reconsider what Graves called an "ill-conceived and unprecedented" toll hike recently approved board of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. "We urge you to veto this proposal, which will not only devastate trucking companies who serve the New York City area, but will also increase the cost of doing business in a region already regarded as among the most expensive in the nation," Graves, a former two-term governor of Kansas, wrote in an Aug. 25 letter. ... The Port Authority's original plan called for truck tolls per axle using E-ZPass in off-peak hours to increase from $7 to $13 roundtrip and in peak hours from $8 to $14, with an additional $2 per-axle-increase in 2014 for both off-peak and peak hours. A similar cash surcharge of $3 per axle will be applied to trucks in 2011 that continue to use the optional cash system with an additional $2 per axle in 2014. The governors' proposal approved last week requires trucks to pay an additional $2 per axle beginning next month and then an additional $2 per axle in December of each year from 2012-2015. Tolls on trucks paying cash will have the same increase but would be subject to an additional $3 per axle cash penalty under the governors' proposal. The approved plan means that by the end of 2015, EZPASS roundtrip truck tolls will be $90 for a five-axle rig. ... ... if these, as well as other proposed increases in the I-95 corridor are implemented a truck hauling goods from Baltimore to Manhattan will see its toll burden rise from $114.25 today to $209.25 in just three years, he said. ...



NY-NJ Truck Tolls to Double

Truck tolls at bridges and tunnels linking New Jersey and New York City will more than double over the next five years under an increase approved Friday by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The port authority board approved scaled-back toll increases proposed by Govs. Andrew Cuomo of New York and Chris Christie of New Jersey, who appoint members of the bistate board. Tolls for trucks using E-Z Pass payment tags will rise $2 per axle in September, or $10 for a five-axle vehicle. Tolls will rise an additional $2 per axle each December between 2012 and 2015, resulting in a total increase of $50 per five-axle truck over five years. Under the toll increase that takes effect next month, trucks paying in cash will pay a penalty of $3 per axle. A five-axle truck using E-Z Pass currently pay a total of $40 during peak hours, $35 during off-peak hours and $27.50 during overnight hours on weekdays. The tolls apply only to eastbound crossings. ...



Port Authority officials back reduced toll, fare hikes

Port Authority officials say they support a scaled-back toll- and fare-increase package proposed by Govs. Chris Christie of New Jersey and Andrew M. Cuomo of New York... The package would roll back the base toll increase to cross the authority's Hudson River bridges and tunnels and the fare to ride its PATH rail system and instead proposes small annual increases for several years afterward instead of the big bite the agency proposed on Aug. 5. ...



Freightliner focuses on fuel economy: Challenging accuracy of competitors' ECM fuel consumption data, Freightliner develops its own fuel testing methodology

Freightliner Trucks has set an ambitious goal of improving the fuel efficiency of its flagship Cascadia by 5[percent] every two years. The company shared some insight on where it stands today and how it will deliver further fuel economy improvements during a recent press briefing here. David Hames, Freightliner's general manager, marketing and strategy, said the company improved the fuel efficiency of its Cascadia by 5 when introducing its EPA2010 emissions package using selective catalytic reduction (SCR) exhaust aftertreatment, achieving a baseline of 6.7 mpg in typical linehaul operations. That was improved another 3.5[percent] in 2011 with a recently introduced aerodynamic package including improved chassis fairings. ... ...



Virtual Technician keeps Freightliner fleets connected

Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) has made its Virtual Technician remote engine diagnostics tool standard on Freightliner trucks with Detroit Diesel engines. ... When a Check Engine light appears on a truck's dash, an engine fault code is immediately sent to the Detroit Diesel Customer Support Center. A technician assesses the urgency of the situation and then advises the driver or fleet manager on the appropriate course of action. If immediate servicing is required, the driver or fleet manager will be provided with a list of the nearest approved service centres, including their current inventory of required parts. ... The ultimate goal ... is to increase uptime and reduce the time spent waiting for parts and service when a repair is necessary. Providing details on truck breakdowns in real-time also allows fleets to better make contingency plans; they'll know as soon as the Check Engine light appears how long it will take to resolve the issue and whether or not it's necessary to dispatch a second truck to deliver the load. ...



Port Authority officials back reduced toll, fare hikes

Port Authority officials say they support a scaled-back toll- and fare-increase package proposed by Govs. Chris Christie of New Jersey and Andrew M. Cuomo of New York, which will be voted on by the bi-state agency's board of commissioners this morning. The package would roll back the base toll increase to cross the authority's Hudson River bridges and tunnels and the fare to ride its PATH rail system and instead proposes small annual increases for several years afterward instead of the big bite the agency proposed on Aug. 5. ...



Dynasys APU System Give-A-Way

As a truck owner operator or fleet owner, how would you like to win a Dynasys APU for your truck? The unit, valued at $8,200 installed, will be awarded to the winner of the Dynasys APU Give-A-Way, presented by Hodyon, Inc., during the upcoming Great American Trucking Show in Dallas, Texas. Hodyon, one of the top APU manufacturers in the country, will give away the unit during the show, to be held between August 25-27, 2011. The contest rules could not be easier. ... ...



RI Wants Tolls on I-95

Rhode Island has asked the federal government for permission to charge tolls on Interstate 95 near the Connecticut border. As WPRI reports, the state Department of Transportation filed an application in late June asking the federal government to approve the installation of tollbooths between Exits 1 and 2 on both sides of I-95 in Hopkinton. No tolls are proposed at the Massachusetts border. The documents don't say how much the toll would be. ...



Used tire program recycles 25 millionth tire in Ontario

TORONTO, Ont. -- Ontario Tire Stewardship (OTS) has recycled its 25 millionth scrap tire in the province since the start of its Used Tires Program in 2009. To date, more than 125,000 tonnes of tires have been recycled in Ontario and made into a range of innovative tire derived products. ... Officials say the program has not only significantly reduced tire waste in Ontario, but has also fostered positive change in the province's tire recycling industry, generating $23 million for the industry in the first year alone. ...



NHTSA Preparing to Require Stability Control Systems on Tractors

A pending federal proposal to require stability control systems on truck tractors is getting a mixed reaction from the trucking industry. The proposal, scheduled to be published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at the end of the year, would specify the details of a technology standard that that a growing number of fleets already have adopted voluntarily because they see safety benefits. ... two types of stability systems on the market, Roll Stability Control and Electronic Stability Control. ... The agency ... says that rollover and loss-of-control crashes are responsible for 304 deaths and 2,738 injuries a year. And stability control systems are effective in up to 56[percent] of single-vehicle tractor trailer rollover crashes, and up to 14[percent] in crashes from skidding. From this, the agency estimates that the systems will save as many as 66 lives a year and prevent almost 1,000 injuries. The systems would cost the industry up to $107 million a year, but that cost would be outweighed by up to $372 million in savings from preventing property damage and travel delays, the agency said. ...



Forecast: Operator pay rising

Over the next 12 months, owner-operator pay will rise 4 to 6 cents a mile and company driver pay 3 to 5 cents a mile as carriers compete for a diminished supply of quality candidates, predicted pay specialist Gordon Klemp Aug. 15 at an online seminar. ...



Trucker fights prohibited credit card surcharge

Is it worth it? That's the question many truck drivers ask themselves after they've discovered an accounting error on a repair or parts bill, but are sometimes hundreds or thousands of miles down the road. Depending on the amount, many drivers choose to "eat" the cost because it's not worth the time and effort to try to recoup their losses. The owner of a small trucking company in Texas is urging all drivers to review their purchases to make sure they get what they paid for - and no surcharges are added to their bills. ...



Truck Driver DAC Report Class Action Registry

... One of the major obstacle that truck drivers face is the ability to find employment, once false information has been reported on their DAC report. It can literally destroy their career. Most often, the false information has been reported to USIS DAC Services by the trucking company for retaliation purposes against the driver; even for such reasons as the driver leaving for better employment. ...



Port eyes higher tolls

A proposal by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey could sharply increase tolls on bridges and tunnels starting in September. The plan would raise cash tolls for 5-axle trucks to $85 from $40 roundtrip. E-ZPass users would see peak fees increase to $70 from $40 and off-peak would go up to $65 from $35. The E-ZPass overnight fee would remain at $27.50 and ... ...



E-toll fee adoption 'bold, progressive'

[South Africa] The ANC has called Cabinet's approval of the tariffs for the controversial e-toll system "bold and progressive". It says it commends Cabinet for endorsing the revised tariffs that saw a slight reduction on the fee structure initially gazetted and subsequently suspended earlier this year. Click here The ruling party specifically highlights the exemption of all taxis and buses from the e-toll system, which is based on a user-pay principle. "This will result in motorists, motorcyclists and truck drivers paying much reduced toll fees. ... ...



Freight Wing offers OOIDA member discounts on side skirts

Owner-operators who own their own trailers can save on their fuel bills if they run with aerodynamic trailer side skirts. If they happen to be OOIDA members, they can save even more, thanks to a 15 percent OOIDA member discount being offered by Freight Wing, the company that manufactures EPA SmartWay-verified Aeroflex side skirts. ...



Natural gas growing as trucking fuel option

Natural gas is slowly making inroads in trucking as carriers are buying NG-powered trucks and more LNG and CNG fueling stations are opened, executives reported Aug. 11 at a green trucking event presented by Kenworth. ... Helping drive the interest in NG is the price of diesel and growing availability of NG fueling locations. NG costs about half diesel's current price on an equivalent diesel basis and is projected to stay at that price for the foreseeable future, [Andy] Douglas [, Kenworth national sales manager for specialty markets] said. NG also releases about 25 percent fewer emissions when burned. Its attractiveness is enhanced because it can be used with existing diesel engine technology with a few modifications. Interest in NG trucks is increasing despite a 30 percent to 40 percent higher cost. Most of the additional cost comes from ... ...



Would You Pay to Use Your Debit Card?

Banks have been scrambling to find ways to boost their revenue after the government stepped in to quash overdraft abuses and cap interchange fees. Free checking accounts have already become harder to come by as banks have upped their minimum balance requirements or required direct deposit. They've added or increased fees for everything from talking to a teller to using an out-of-network ATM. The newest volley comes from Wells Fargo, which is charging some of its customers in five states $3 a month just to use their debit cards. Starting in October, some checking account customers in Georgia, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon and Washington will be charged $3 for each month they use their debit cards. It doesn't matter whether the customer presses "credit" or "debit" on a checkout payment terminal; the fee still applies... ...





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Reader Submitted Content

How old is too old to be a truck driver?

I am 67, in good shape and just retired from 35 years of lawyering. I want to do something else. I can get my cdl permit on my own. What should do next



NOVA TRUCK WASH

SMALL LOCAL OWNED TRUCK WASH IN NORTH CEN. WIS. tHESE GUYS HAND WASHED MY RIG, TOOK ABOUT 30 MINUTES FOR THEM TO COMPLETE, BUT ALL i CAN SAY IS: WOW!!



Specific Leg Strengthening Exercises to Step Up into Truck Cab

My husband is an OTR truck driver who would like me to accompany him on some road trips since I'm not working right now. My problem are my weak legs!



 

Reviews

Trailer Locking Pin Locator: Reviews from Professional Truck Drivers

Truck drivers who need to slide their tandems may rely on a trailer locking pin locator to help them. How well does this device work? Submit and read reviews...



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Articles

Being Exploited: Truck Drivers Trapped by Unscrupulous Trucking Companies

Some would-be truck drivers set themselves up for being exploited by unscrupulous trucking companies. Find out how and what you can do to avoid it.



Cash Advances for the Professional Truck Driver: The Pros and Cons

What are the pros and cons of professional truck drivers getting cash advances against their paychecks? Read our tips...



Dash Trash: What a Trashy Looking Truck Says and Does

Does piling rubbish on your truck's dashboard, what we call dash trash, have an effect on your and your job? You might be surprised...



Truckers Atlas: Cost Saving Comparison of Trucker Maps for Professional Drivers

There are lots of trucker maps for sale in truck stops. Why can the right choice save you money? We recommend a specific truckers atlas and tell you why...



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