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Truck Drivers Money Saving Tips Email Newsletter, Issue #028, 2011-11-11
November 11, 2011

Issue #28 | November 11, 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 (your story) 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 making an adjustment to his/her APU. 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

Tractor-trailer driver, company fined in Carlisle

A tractor-trailer driver faces $460 in fines and the company he drives for faces another $1,535 in fines for a variety of violations, according to Carlisle police. Police say Kenneth R. Smith, no age given, of Crawford, Ark., was found illegally parked to the rear of Wal-Mart on Noble Boulevard, along with several other tractor-trailers. ... Smith was cited for disobeying the clearly posted "No Trucks" sign and for a length of vehicle violation when the trailer was found to be longer than permitted, according to police. ...



TruckWeight Offers Free Weight-Recording Software

TruckWeight now offers customers free software that will allow users of the company's onboard wireless sensors for mechanical and air suspensions to quickly and easily monitor and record weights. ...



GPS Units So Faulty, They Showed Fire Trucks in New York Harbor

The Bloomberg administration spent millions of dollars to put custom-made GPS tracking units in fire and garbage trucks, only to have vehicles inexplicably show up on computer screens as if they had sunk to the bottom of Long Island Sound or New York Harbor, the city comptroller has found. Faulty devices, inaccurate locations, needless features and prices to make a vendor blush - as much as $56,000 for a single unit in a sanitation truck - characterized the two projects, according to two audits released on Wednesday. ...



British Columbia Officials Urge Chain Prep

If you're driving through British Columbia this winter, make sure you have your tire chains ready to go - especially on the Coquihalla Highway #5 at Box Canyon (south/west of Great Bear Snowshed). ...



Shorepower Technologies to Host Truck Stop Electrification Webinar

With continued growth in the availability and use of shore power, drivers, vehicle owners and fleet operators need to know how they can take advantage of truck-stop electrification and anti-idling technology. They'll get answers to their questions and an overview of how truck stop electrification is changing the trucking industry through a free one-hour webinar to be held 11 a.m. Pacific/2 p.m. Eastern on Nov. 15. "Truck Stop Electrification: The Time Has Come" will feature presentations from the organizations deploying TSE around the country, as well as from truck-stop operators and equipment manufacturers. A Q&A session is scheduled at the end of the webinar. ... Shore power - similar to the electrical connections already in wide use at RV parks and marinas - allows truckers to operate heaters, air conditioning and other cab equipment without idling the engine. In addition to the immediate cost savings - shore power costs about $1 an hour, compared with $4 for each gallon consumed every hour it takes to run the engine - TSE reduces noise and emissions as well as maintenance and repair expenses that result from long-term idling. It also helps drivers and fleet operators comply with the increasing number of laws limiting or banning truck idling. ...



OOIDA legal victory forces FMCSA to 'evaluate' full EOBR mandate

The recent OOIDA legal victory that vacated a regulation mandating electronic on-board recorders for "bad actors" has also sent the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration back to the drawing board on its proposed full EOBR mandate. ...



New coalition urges widespread interstate tolls

You paid for them, and continue to pay for them, through fuel taxes and user fees. We're talking about the interstates, the lifeblood of the American economy and mobility. It may surprise some, but certainly not all, that a new coalition of public and private interests has sprung up to lobby Congress to allow a more widespread use of tolling on interstate highways. ...



B.C. trucker injured after pumpkin tossed from overpass

KAMLOOPS, B.C. -- A B.C. trucker has been sporting cuts and bruises on his face since Monday night - but not because he forgot to wash off his Halloween make-up. Kamloops trucker Gary Henville, 55, a driver with Arrow Transportation, was driving east on the Trans Canada Highway around 9:30 p.m. on Halloween night when a pumpkin tossed over an overpass in Dallas came smashing through his windshield, according to The Kamploops Daily News. The report says the pumpkin, estimated to be about a half-metre in diameter, shot through the truck's windshield and clean through the cabin's back window, causing broken glass to strike Henville in the right side of his face. ...



Medical certificate changes begin Jan. 30

A new law affecting medical certificates for CDL holders will begin implementation Jan. 30 and be phased in through 2014. On Dec. 1, 2008, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration published a final rule to require CDL holders to provide a current original or copy of their medical examiner's certificate to the issuing state driver licensing agency. CDL holders will have to continue carrying a paper copy of their medical certificate (DOT medical card) and carriers also will have to keep a copy of drivers' medical certificates until Jan. 30, 2014. ...



IRHA condemn toll increase

The Irish Road Haulage Association has criticised the NRA's plans to increase tolls around the country. ... "Many drivers are already avoiding toll roads and 90pc of trucks are not using the Limerick Tunnel," said [IRHA president Eoin] Gavin. ... ...



Some tolls set for increase

[IrishTrucker.com] The National Roads Authority has confirmed that the cost of using some tolls around the country is set to rise by 10 cent in the New Year. Parts of the M1, M8, M6 and N25 are set to receive an increase in their toll charges, ... However, hauliers will have to pay the 10 cent increase on the M50 and the NRA has stressed other private toll operators can increase their tolls in line with the Consumer Price Index. ...



OOIDA to Supreme Court: impact of electronic surveillance far from 'minimal'

Big Brother is fighting to be able to track your every move without your knowledge or a court's approval. And the Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case next week that will ultimately decide if that's OK or not. The United States Supreme Court will hear the case of the United States of America v. Antoine Jones on Nov. 8. The case started in 2004. Jones owned and managed the Levels nightclub with a partner in Washington, DC. An FBI-Metropolitan Police Department Safe Streets Task Force began investigating the two for narcotics violations. The investigation culminated in searches and arrests on Oct. 24, 2005. During the course of the investigation, police tracked Jones' movements in his Jeep Grand Cherokee with a GPS device they placed on the vehicle. The evidence obtained from that tracking was challenged because the police did not have a valid warrant. It had expired the day before the device was placed on the vehicle. ... That might or might not have been the end of the road if other circuit courts had not ruled differently on similar cases. That lack of consistency among the courts, and a patchwork of laws regarding GPS surveillance, prompted the U.S. Department of Justice to take the case to the Supreme Court to plead their case. While the case revolves around a drug conviction, the case is ultimately about Constitutional rights - rights of all U.S. citizens, including truck drivers. The government's position is that warrantless use of GPS is not a violation of the Fourth Amendment and should be allowed. And those are the issues the U.S. Supreme Court has been asked to settle. Because of the far-reaching implications of this case on the trucking industry, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association filed a brief in the case ... ...



The TSA's VIPR program: Mission leap, not mission creep By Bob Barr Former Congressman (R-GA)

Not content with hassling air passengers at airports across the country, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is now implementing plans to stop vehicles traveling America's highways and byways, in the hope of finding terrorists and other lawbreakers. The acronym that government brainiacs have concocted for this intrusive program is "VIPR" - short for the "Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response." Last month, Tennessee proudly announced it had partnered with the TSA to become the first state to implement an extensive VIPR program. Volunteer State officials have dubbed their program the less catchy "First Observer Highway Security Program." To illustrate how this new program works, TSA and the Tennessee Highway Patrol recently spent a day bothering truck drivers and passengers by subjecting their cargoes to exhaustive searches. They also warned drivers - in keeping with a common pastime at TSA and its parent agency, the Department of Homeland Security, of developing a nation of snitches - to "say something if they see something" that looks suspicious. ... Although the initial VIPR searches in Tennessee have been limited to trucks, security officials are also cautioning car drivers to keep their eyes open for potentially illicit activity; after all, anyone on the road could be a terrorist. In fact, VIPR programs in other states have not been limited to trucks, but have in fact targeted buses and trains as well. According to a June report in The Daily Caller, the TSA has "conducted more than 8,000 VIPR operations in the past 12 months alone, including more than 3,700 operations in mass transit and passenger railroad venues." Not surprisingly, TSA is citing the expanded VIPR program as an excuse to request more funds from Congress; this despite the complete lack of any evidence the program has accomplished anything other than massively inconvenience people and tie up traffic. State and local law enforcement officials like the program because they can use it to secure additional federal funds. VIPR also has become a way for law enforcement to find evidence of other crimes without resorting to traditional law enforcement work, such as investigating and securing warrants. ...



Truck engine retrofitting part of emissions reduction grant

Twenty dump trucks and 10 garbage trucks in several Missouri municipalities are among other heavy-duty vehicles that will be retrofitted to reduce diesel exhaust emissions, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced. ... The Missouri Department of Natural Resources will partner with the Ozarks Center for Sustainable Solutions in Springfield to retrofit the dumps with diesel oxidation catalysts and close crankcase ventilation to reduce emissions from trucks used for paving and asphalt. ...




No-cost consultations for spine/lower back injury available

... Dr. Richard Kaul of New Jersey Spine and Rehabilitation has teamed up with the St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund to provide no-cost consultations and MRI reviews for truck drivers whose pain problems have gotten out of hand. ... ...



Federal distracted-driving rule would still allow hands-free operation

A final rule that would restrict the use of cellphones for drivers of commercial vehicles continues to advance and may be only days away from publication. One of several actions initiated by federal agencies to target distracted driving, this rule targets hand-held cellphone use but would permit hands-free operation. ... A Virginia Tech study - the same one that showed texting while driving was 23 times more dangerous than not texting while driving - shows that true hands-free operation of a device (i.e., talking and listening on a headset) is safe and actually has a protective effect on professional truckers.



How would mandatory speed limiters on trucks affect highway safety?

... "'Pro' arguments center on the operational limitations of trucks and the severity of their crashes," [Safety guru Ron] Knipling[, whose book, "Safety for the Long Haul," is a definitive work on the causes of truck crashes] says in his book. "Trucks have longer stopping distances and are more vulnerable to brake failure and rolling over, suggesting that speeds lower than other traffic would reduce crash risks. "An 'anti' argument is that differential speed limits increase the variation among vehicle speeds on the highway, whereas uniform speed limits reduce speed variation. Less speed variation among vehicles reduces conflicts, and therefore reduces risk. FHWA studies indicate that crash involvement rates increase for any vehicles traveling significantly faster or slower than surrounding vehicles. The risk of rear-end crashes in particular is reduced on roads with uniform speed limits compared to those with different speed limits for different vehicles." ... So, in a nutshell: Speed limiters improve safety by slowing down trucks. The consequent speed differential harms safety by introducing a factor that can be difficult for drivers to manage. Which is more or less dangerous? We don't know. ...



Time for Truckers to Unite on Cargo Crime, Says CTA

The $5 billion problem of cargo crime is still not being taken as seriously as it should be, said the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) in a press release. The press release came on the heels of a six-hour police chase involving a stolen flatbed tractor-trailer in Toronto along the QEW. The CTA pointed out that the majority of media focused on a "trucker" leading the chase, when in actual fact the suspect in custody, according to various reports, is a tried and true criminal who is known to Halton Regional Police. ... Monday's theft occurred in a well-lit, secure parking lot that is monitored 24/7. The owner of the truck had been parking it in the same place for 20 years. The trailer was even equipped with an immobilizing device, and yet the thief was still able to drive away with the load. ...



New TIRES blog pushes safety for truck drivers

Truck drivers are exposed to a slew of hazards, from slips and falls to highway collisions. Now, the Trucking Injury Reduction Emphasis project, or TIRES, is rolling out a new tool to help keep truckers safe and on the road - the TIRES blog. TIRES is an injury prevention project developed by the Safety and Health Assessment and Research for Prevention (SHARP) program, the research unit for the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I). ... "The goal of the TIRES project is to cut down on the injuries truckers suffer and the costs to employers associated with these injuries," said Caroline Smith, TIRES project manager. ... ...



New skirt configurations displayed by Solus

Solus Solutions and Technologies showcased 10 EPA- and CARB-certified products at the recent 2011 American Trucking Assns. Maintenance Conference & Exhibition in Grapevine, TX. Among the products displayed were seven versions of its split skirt configuration. The split skirt offers fuel savings exceeding 5[percent], Solus said, and the unique design allows easy access to the undercarriage of the trailer. ...



DMVs to begin verifying medical certification in 2012

... The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued a final rule in 2008 that changes the way states must verify the medical certification for truckers either renewing or applying for a CDL. Phased-in compliance deadlines for states, motor carriers and truckers start kicking in on Jan. 30, 2012. ...



TCA Invites Carriers to Apply for Trucking's Weight Loss Showdown

The Truckload Carriers Association is looking to improve the general health of the trucking industry. It will host Trucking's Weight Loss Showdown, a competition with prize incentives for the fleet and individual who achieve the greatest percentages of weight loss. ... According to a December 2007 study by the American Dietetic Association, 86 percent of trucking industry professionals are overweight or obese. Though it might be tempting to blame this on truckers' sedentary jobs, this statistic actually applies to all trucking employees, not just drivers. ...



Salt Lake City Adopts 2-Minute Idling Ordinance

On October 25, Salt Lake City passed a bylaw restricting vehicle idling to 2 minutes or less. The law does not apply when the temperature is below 32F or above 90F. ... Unlike some other municipal ordinances, Salt Lake City's rule does not exempt vehicles on private property. ... First-time offenders will receive a warning. Second offenses will set motorists back $160 ($50 if the fine is paid within 10 days), and a third, $210. ... ...



ATDynamics Works to Reduce Drag in the Slow-to-Change Trucking Industry

... ATDynamics founder and CEO Andrew Smith says rigs with the $2,000 "TrailerTail" burn 8 gallons less fuel for every 1,000 miles driven. Suppose diesel costs you $3.75 per gallon at the pump-you'd only have to drive your TrailerTail-equipped trailer about 66,000 miles to earn your money back. "If you're driving over 25,000 miles a year, this becomes a no-brainer," says Smith. ... ...



Section of westbound I-90 in Fairview to be closed Tuesday for bridge work

A section of the westbound lanes of Interstate 90 will be closed starting today for the emergency demolition of the Platz Road Bridge in Fairview Township. The bridge was damaged when a tractor-trailer truck that was too tall for the overpass struck the bridge Monday morning. The westbound lanes will be closed from the Interstate 79 interchange to Exit 16, or Route 98, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation said. The Platz Road bridge is between those two exits. Westbound traffic will be detoured south on Interstate 79, west to Route 6N and north on Route 98 to get back to I-90. The detour is expected to be in place for two to four days. ...



Android radar app aims to prevent collisions

A new application is hitting the street, designed to turn the Android smartphone into a "visual radar device" to warn drivers of potential vehicle collisions. ...



Getting the Most from Your Limited Budget Through Life-cycle Cost Analysis

Financial constraints often force fleet managers to make tough equipment decisions. Should I repair a vehicle or replace it? If I do repair it, how much work should I do? Just enough to get by or a complete overhaul? Is it better to replace two low-cost units or one higher-cost unit? In far too many cases, the answers to these questions are based on educated guesses or are driven by external decision-makers with their own agendas. One of the best financial analysis tools available to fleet managers for making decisions of this nature is the net present value (NPV) life cycle cost analysis. Instead of relying on guesswork, and not being able to fully defend your position, a NPV life-cycle cost analysis will show you the true total cost of each alternative. Many fleet managers have used life-cycle cost studies for years. Unfortunately, the usual study only considers direct cash flows. A typical logic thread might be something like: If I spend $1,000 today, I will save $250 a year, which means I will recoup my investment in four years. There are two faults with this type of analysis. ... ...



Roadside Attractions: CHANNEL 19

... Don't get burned! Next time you hear the term "hot load," check out plaintiff's attorney Kent Emison's Aug. 29 story in the National Law Journal. He details how legal teams working truck accident cases have access to vast amounts of data on over-the-road drivers. "Every time that they swipe a card, make a call, an email, a text-message, that is data that goes somewhere," he says. Emison hopes a growing awareness of this will give a driver leverage over a dispatcher who would pressure the driver to work beyond hours of service limits. If you do and an accident happens, "you're going to get caught," he says. For a link to his law journal story, and more about this novel "hot load" strategy, see the Sept. 6 entry on the Channel 19 blog. ...



Tired Truckers Versus Efficiency Is Focus of Regulation Fight

Allen Parker tried an experiment. He scrapped his routine of driving his powder-blue rig across the Great Plains for 11 hours a day. Instead, he drove it for 10. That one-hour difference wreaked havoc. ... Paid by Mile Drivers stay on the road as long as they can because they're paid by the mile, not the hour. Parker said he typically works 65 hours a week, driving 3,000 miles. He said he has driven 2.8 million miles without a crash. Parker calculated the lost hours of driving would personally cost him $5,700 in lost wages annually. ... Fewer Fatalities The need to work long hours to eke out a living is part of the problem, said Joan Claybrook, president emeritus at Public Citizen, the Washington-based consumer group that sued the Transportation Department in 2003, 2005 and again in 2009 to force the current rule making. Drivers are chronically over scheduled, she said. "They should be paid by the hour, just like everybody else in America, and they should be paid overtime," Claybrook said. "You can't blame the hours-of-service rule for all the other deficiencies that exist in the system." ...



FMCSA delays new HOS rules for a month

In a tersely worded statement, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) said it is delaying yet again new hours of service (HOS) rules by a month to Nov. 28 - the second time this year the agency has delayed the imposition of its proposed HOS overhaul. ...



Northwest Missouri truck owners eligible for diesel grants

Truck owners from northwest Missouri may be eligible for money to replace or retrofit their commercial trucks. The Mid-America Regional Council has opened up applications for its Clean Diesel Grant Program. ... ...



Report questions motives for red-light cameras

The latest report from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group says red-light cameras and other types of automated enforcement are largely profit-driven instead of being about safety. "Privatized traffic law enforcement should be used solely as a tool for enhancing traffic safety not as a cash cow for municipalities or private firms," report author Phineas Baxandall stated. In an interview with Land Line Now, Baxandall says about 700 municipalities use enforcement cameras. ... ... OOIDA has long believed that profit, not safety, drives the red-light camera industry. And Congress has questioned the motives behind the systems as well. In June 2010, the Highways and Transit Subcommittee of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee held a hearing on the subject. Some studies have shown that crashes and injuries actually increased when cameras were put into use and then decreased when the cameras were taken away. Then there are the contracts that call for revenue sharing between municipalities and camera vendors, something PIRG has called into question. ...



House approves bill nixing 3 percent withholding on government contractors

A bill that seeks to kill a controversial plan that mandates all government contractors - including truckers hauling government-funded loads - have 3 percent withheld is one step closer to becoming law. ... The withholding would be required of anyone who contracts with a government entity - including larger local governments. That means truckers who haul for any government agency, ranging from Department of Defense to state highway departments to local school systems, risk having 3 percent of their income for the load withheld. ...



Detroit Diesel Introduces New Driver Training Video Series

Detroit Diesel launched the first of its new, four-part driver training video series developed to help drivers enhance their engine's performance. The four videos include general product background on Detroit Diesel's Dd13, Dd15 and Dd16 family of engines; guidelines on driving for optimal fuel economy and power; specifics on BlueTec SCR Emissions Technology; detailed information about diesel exhaust fluid (DEF); and updates on DDEC, Detroit Diesel's proprietary electronic engine monitoring system. The videos also provide step-by-step guidance for drivers on ... ...




IdleAir's $1.25/hr Winter Savings Special

Sunday, October 30, 2011 IdleAir is pleased to announce our $1.25/hr Winter Savings Special at four locations: * Madera, CA - Pilot #365 - CA 99 and Ave 18-1/2 * Boonville, MO - Pilot #044 - I-70, Exit 101 * Claysville, PA - Petro #83 - I-70, Exit 6 * Shepherd, TX - Champion Travel Plaza - Hwy 59 North of Houston Premium Service at these locations will be available at the discounted price of $1.25/hr (plus tax) for any length of stay, from November 1, 2011 through March 31, 2012. This is a great way for customers to enhance the value of any on-board idling alternatives, like APU's, bunk heaters, and battery-powered systems. ...



Banks Back Off Unpopular Debit Card Fees

A month after Bank of America announced plans for a widely derided $5 monthly fee for debit card use, BofA, Wells Fargo and Chase are all backing off their plans to charge for debit card use. It's a rare about-face prompted by a groundswell of consumer anger. Will it placate furious customers, or is the response too little, too late? Citing unnamed sources at the bank, the Wall Street Journal says Chase will stop testing a $3 monthly debit card fee next month. Wells Fargo went a step further, announcing yesterday that it was immediately abandoning its test of a $3 debit card fee in five states. Bank of America is keeping its fee, Reuters says, also citing unnamed sources, but it will offer consumers more ways to dodge the fee. Conditions like ... ...



Herbert opposes I-15 toll proposal in Arizona

A proposal that would require drivers to pay to use a stretch of I-15 in northwest Arizona is drawing fire from elected officials in Utah. And those who live or work in St. George and Mesquite, Nev. - or travel between the two - don't like it, either. Gov. Gary Herbert said he "strongly opposes" the Arizona Department of Transportation's plans to explore tolling on the 29.4-mile stretch of I-15 within Arizona's border. "The I-15 corridor through Arizona is part of the ... (federal) interstate program," Herbert said during Thursday's taping of his monthly news conference on KUED. "It's paid for by taxpayer dollars. I think it would be very bad policy to take a little stretch there that goes through Arizona and suddenly cause a toll situation there." ...



Say good-bye to Michigan's fuel tax?

A plan to improve Michigan roads and create better jobs was unveiled Wednesday, Oct. 26, by Gov. Rick Snyder. The plan includes a first-of-its-kind initiative to eliminate the state's fuel tax. Speaking to the Legislature on Infrastructure, the governor announced his strategy to increase transportation funding and improve roads, bridges and public transit. "Michigan's infrastructure is living on borrowed time," Snyder said in prepared remarks. "We must reinvest in it if we are to successfully reinvent our economy." Snyder said the public is not happy with the condition of roads and yet the state is faced with a $1.4 billion shortfall simply to maintain the current system. Among the governor's recommendations is to make dramatic reforms to Michigan's transportation user fees. He wants to eliminate the state's 19-cent-per-gallon gas tax and 15-cent-per-gallon diesel tax in favor of a percentage wholesale tax on fuel. ...



New freight-finding Android app from ATS

A new freight matching app for owner-operators and other carriers comes by way of Anderson Trucking Service's brokerage wing, ATS Logistics. ...



I-10 closures planned for Phoenix

Interstate 10 westbound lanes in Phoenix will be closed periods of Oct. 27 and Oct. 29 to repair and replace overhead message boards, the Arizona Department of Transportation said. Westbound I-10 will close near Sky Harbor International Airport from 9 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 27, to 5 a.m., Friday, Oct. 28. Traffic will detour to I-17, ADOT said. ...



Congress primed to vote on contactor tax withholding

A controversial plan set to go in effect in January that mandates all government contractors - including truckers hauling government-funded loads - have 3 percent withheld is on the chopping block in the U.S. House of Representatives. Back in 2005 when Congress was working to extend tax cuts, commonly referred to as the "Bush tax cuts," they passed the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act or TIPRA, which was signed into law by President George W. Bush. To offset the cost of the tax cuts and credits in the bill, Congress included several provisions that were intended to address tax collection loopholes. One of those was the 3 percent withholding requirement, included in Section 511. The general idea behind the provision was ... ...



Travel plaza shuts down after receiving electrification grant

As the crackdown on truck idling continues and a federal five-minute idling limit on new trucks, truckers without APUs on their rigs are seeking other idle-reduction technologies for their heating, cooling and electrification needs. Currently, truckers' access to these idle-reduction APU alternatives is somewhat scattered across the country. In Tennessee, a travel plaza owner was awarded the state's first-ever truck stop electrification project grant for more than $400,000. The funds were made available through federal stimulus money by way of a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Tennessee Department of Transportation. However, the TR Auto Truck Plaza, located off Interstate 40, in Dandridge, TN, is already closed despite being funded by grant money. ... ...



Pennsylvania Senate green lights increased red-light camera use

Nearly 20 Pennsylvania cities are one step closer to being able to enact ordinances to use red-light cameras. The Senate voted 35-14 on Tuesday, Oct. 25, to advance a bill to protect the use of automated enforcement in Philadelphia and allow more communities throughout the state to post red-light cameras. The bill - Sb595 - now awaits consideration in the House. Currently, only the city of Philadelphia is authorized to use the revenue generator. The revenue from the program is split between the city and the state for pedestrian safety improvements. The program in Philadelphia is scheduled to expire Dec. 31, 2011. The bill would extend the expiration date to Dec. 31, 2017, and also authorize Pittsburgh, Scranton and 17 third-class cities with populations of at least 18,000 people to post red-light cameras for the next six years. ...



Alternative Fuels 101: The future of trucking?

... At the moment, the majority of alternative fuel options are just in their infancy, but they're gaining momentum. Federal requirements to cut fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by model year 2018 are a major driving force. States with higher emissions issues, like California, are testing alternative fuels in government fleets for viability and cost effectiveness. Certain alternative fuels, like biodiesel for instance, can natively run in existing trucks without costly conversions-sometimes without any conversions at all. ...




I- 95 toll plans could be double-dip for truckers

Truckers traveling the I-95 corridor through both Virginia and North Carolina could face a double-dip situation if plans to charge tolls on the highway are approved for both states. Truckers traveling through the area say that the cost of doing business will rise significantly if both states receive permission to toll the highway. "(My trucks) cross the Virginia border daily," Scott Aman, president of New Dixie Oil in Roanoke Rapids told the Daily Herald. "If North Carolina tolls me at the North Carolina border and Virginia tolls me at the Virginia border, that's double." Both North Carolina and Virginia have applied for admission into the Interstate System Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Pilot Program designed to permit tolling programs on the Interstates. ...



Toll for the gorge? Arizona considers making motorists pay to travel on I-15

Arizona is proposing a toll for travelers who take Interstate 15 through the Virgin River Gorge. According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, the state could apply to the Federal Transportation Administration to create a $1 to $3 toll for passenger cars and $6 to $10 toll for semitrailers to help fund maintenance of the 30-mile stretch of road, which passes through Arizona's northwestern tip on its way between Utah and Nevada. The news drew criticism from Utah residents Monday, many of whom commute regularly through the gorge on the way to Nevada and California. ...



Toll Booth-, Transponder-free Tolling now Possible

TransCore has introduced ROVR, a GPS device with GSM communications that allows infrastructure-less tolling and includes an optional driver safety monitoring feature shown to dramatically reduce accidents, improve fuel economy, and decrease Greenhouse gases. As forms of tolling or road user charging become a more viable means to fund transportation infrastructure, the infrastructure-less tolling capability eliminates the need for costly toll structures and can be quickly implemented on new or existing roadways. ...



Right to Repair Question Makes it to 2012 Mass. Ballot

... The Massachusetts Right to Repair voter initiative would, for the first time, allow consumers to access all of the non-proprietary repair information required to have their vehicles repaired where they choose, at a new car dealership or an independent shop. The proposed law would level the playing field between the big car manufacturers' dealerships and independent, neighborhood repair facilities, allowing the latter access to the same non-proprietary automobile diagnostic and repair information that is currently only available to the manufacturers' dealers and their new car dealerships. ...



Free Health Checks For Freight Truck Drivers At BP Truckstops

AUSTRALIA - To coincide with National Safe Work Australia Week, BP Plus - in cooperation with the Australian Trucking Association - is offering free heart health checks to its transport customers. ...



12 Things You Should Know About Oil & Coolant Analysis

Oil and coolant are like your blood and your sweat, respectively, and they have to work together to keep you alive, explains Dave Tingey, senior data analyst with Polaris Laboratories. "If your body is sweating while you're running, you're healthy," he explains. "If you stop sweating, your blood is going to heat up, and you're going to die. If your coolant doesn't do its job, it's going to oxidize that oil prematurely, and next thing you know, your vehicle's going to die." Like your body, your engine fluids should have regular tests to check on their health. Here are 12 things you should know about today's oil and coolant analysis. ...



HybriDrive said to generate 30[percent] fuel savings

Road tests conducted by BAE Systems reveal that commercial trucks powered by the company's green HybriDrive parallel hybrid electric propulsion system use 30[percent] less fuel than trucks running on traditional diesel engines, according to a company announcement. ...



Efforts to freeze Ohio Turnpike tolls fail

Despite efforts by the Ohio Trucking Assn. and others to freeze tolls on the Ohio Turnpike, toll hikes of about 10[percent] will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2012 as planned. The trucking association said it is "adamantly opposed" to the hike that will hit truckers hardest, according to a report in the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Trucks typically generate 60[percent] of the toll road's revenue while responsible for only 22[percent] of the highway's traffic. The 241-mi. toll road connects the Midwest and the East Coast. Cross-state rates for truckers using E-ZPass - specifically, trucks with six axles that are more than 7 ft., 6 in. high - will rise to $50, from $45. Tolls for drivers who don't have E-ZPass remain higher. It's an incentive for drivers to switch to E-ZPass, an electronic-tolling system that allows traffic to move more quickly through interchanges and lessens the need for toll takers. ...



Diesel fuel prices will remain volatile into year ahead

Diesel fuel prices will remain volatile for the remainder of this year and likely well into next year. That trend will continue so long as the cost of crude oil remains tied to financial markets, which themselves are being roiled by continued bad economic news out of Europe - most damaging being the threat of a default by the government of Greece on that country's monumental debt load. ...



Truckstop electrification now at R Place in Wendover, Utah

Shore power now is available at R Place Trucker's Plaza at Wendover, Utah, on Interstate 80 at the Utah-Nevada border. The service, with 32 power hookups, was unveiled at a grand opening celebration on Oct. 13 during a ribbon-cutting ceremony, complete with demonstration of the technology, food specials and giveaways of free nights of shore power service. ... "We are proud to be among the progressive truckstops and plazas offering shore power technology as an alternative to idling,' says Bryan Reed, president of R Place. "Having shore power available reduces the noise, emissions and fuel and maintenance costs that come with idling, and provides one more reason for truckers to stop here. As we transition into the cool nights of fall and go into winter, we expect all the Shorepower pedestals to be used each night. More and more truckers have the prewired convenience of shore power on their truck. And even if they don't, they can simply plug in a space heater at night to stay warm - avoiding the need to waste fuel idling." ... Shorepower pedestals provide access to 120, 208 or 240 VAC power sources, sold at a rate of $1 per hour, and to cable TV at most locations, with wireless Internet available for an additional charge. Access and payment can be handled with a card, smartphone, laptop or telephone activation system. To see the network of Shorepower sites, go to www.plugintosavings.org.



Existing Intelligent Transportation Technologies Could Eliminate Almost All Traffic Accidents

Nearly every traffic accident caused by driver error -- up to 90 percent of all crashes -- could be eliminated if existing intelligent transportation technologies were implemented in our vehicles and roads, say experts at IEEE, the world's largest technical professional association. These include electronics and computing technologies such as in-vehicle machine vision and sensors to detect drowsy drivers, lane departure warning systems, and vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications for safety applications. However, costs of such technologies need to fall so the average consumer can afford such vehicle safety features. ...



Toll company reports massive losses

[IrishTrucker] The group operating the N25 Waterford City Bypass Toll bridge have made losses up to [Euro]16 million in the year ending 2010. Celtic Road Group (CRG) Waterford recently published their annual return and it was revealed that their losses have increased four-fold on last year. The group, when they opened the toll bridge in 2009, anticipated that 14,000 commuters would use the bridge every day. However, the report show that daily traffic levels at the plaza stands at just over 5,000. ... The toll cost is [Euro]1.80 per car to pass through the toll and [Euro]5.70 per truck that has four or more axles. ...



The Only Hope for Reducing Traffic

... no matter how many lanes of road you build in and around American cities, you can't stop cars from jamming them up. ... ... "We cannot think of any other solution," says Gilles Duranton, the paper's co-author. "As soon as you manage to create space on the road, by whatever means, people are going to use that space. Except when people have to pay for it, of course." Duranton points to other cities around the world as evidence that congestion pricing decreases traffic. London's pricing program has created a number of benefits: car use is down, carbon emissions are down, delays are down, even taxi fares are down because the roads move more swiftly. Meanwhile the bus system has grown at exceptional rates, with its expansion largely paid for by the congestion pricing revenue. ...



New side fairings option

Aerofficient has released new fixed side fairings made from automotive-grade TPO material and weighing just over 100 lbs. The hinged three-panel construction, which consists of a top, middle and bottom panel, was quality tested to validate the design, the company said. The panels have a 10-year expected life span. The hinged design allows the fairing to clear 24-in. high obstacles without damage. The bottom panel swings 180 deg. and can bend 90 deg. in either direction. ... [Jim Reiman, CEO, said,] "Industry executives want to save money, not spend money fixing broken fairings." ...



Small fleet route optimization tool

For small fleets and owner-operators looking for a route optimization tool, OnTerra Systems has released a new solution with them in mind. RouteSavvy Online leverages Bing Maps' web mapping technology and runs in nearly any web browser. Cost is just $5 per month, per vehicle, said Steve Milroy, OnTerra Systems' president & co-founder, and reduces time, labor, and fuel costs due to out-of-route miles. ...



Marten ups pay 5 cents per mile

Owner-operators' pay has been increased 5 cents per mile for hauls 151-800 miles, Mondovi, Wis.-based Marten Transport announced. ...



Could more Pennsylvania communities soon use ticket cameras?

One step closer to passage at the Pennsylvania statehouse is an effort billed to improve safety on roadways. The Senate Appropriations Committee voted 21-5 on Monday, Oct. 17, to advance a bill to protect the use of automated enforcement in Philadelphia and allow more communities throughout the state to post red-light cameras. The bill's next stop is the full Senate. If approved there, Sb595 would advance to the House for further consideration. ... Opponents, including the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, dispute any claim that the primary focus of the cameras is to keep people safe. OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer said it is obvious that Pennsylvania's use of the enforcement tool is primarily focused on filling coffers instead of simply trying to keep people safe. ...



California law gives speed power to local governments

A new law gives California communities leeway in setting speed limits and, as a result, reduces yellow light intervals. ... Critics of the plan to authorize lower speeds said the change provides communities an opportunity to set up speed traps. They said if politicians in California and elsewhere are truly concerned about safety, they should make a point of extending yellow times or providing advance warning signs. ...



ATDynamics launches campaign to sell 50,000 trailer tails

Trailer tail manufacturer ATDynamics announced at the American Trucking Associations convention, an ambitious goal to have another 50,000 trailer tail devices deployed on US highways by 2014. The devices, not yet approved in Canada, are US EPA SmartWay-verified. Currently, about 5,000 trailer tails have been sold into the US market. The 'Campaign for the next 50,000 tails' aims to grow that number tenfold over the next three years. ATDynamics is launching several initiatives to help make it happen: increasing options for factory-installed trailer tails at OEM facilities; launching an expanded 2012 swing door TrailerTail product line for low and high mileage dry vans and reefers, including drop deck and rolling tarp trailers; launching a roll door product line in 2012; and expanding an existing Fleet Trial Program that allows carriers to test up to 200 TrailerTails at no risk. ... "The side skirt successfully established in the minds of fleet owners and executives the legitimacy of trailer aerodynamics as a major opportunity to save fuel," added Kyle Houston, ATDynamics vice-president of sales. "Skirts save fuel, and tails double those savings. Ordering fuel-efficient trailers for 2012 means ordering trailers with skirts and tails. Non-aerodynamic trailers will burn 14 gallons more fuel per 1,000 miles at highway speeds than those with tails and skirts." ...



LNG Fueling Station for Trucks Opens in Quebec

MONTREAL -- Canada's first liquefied natural gas (LNG) fuelling station opened in Boucherville, on Montreal's South Shore, reported The Montreal Gazette. ... As part of a $5.4 million demonstration project, the LNG station is the first of many that are planned to open between Quebec City and the Greater Toronto corridor. The next one will open in Mississauga, and a third in Quebec City. ...



Tollways overloaded with debt

BEIJING - Traffic authorities in the capital said on Saturday the city's toll roads are still in heavy debt, as one-third of the tolls collected from highways were paid as interest to creditors who financed construction of the roads. Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport, the city's traffic watchdog, said on its website that at the end of 2010 there were 816 km of toll roads in the city, with unpaid loans worth as much as 44 billion yuan ($7 billion). Although 6 billion yuan was raised from motorists using the roads last year, 2 billion yuan of that was paid to creditors as interest, according to a financial statement issued by the commission. The traffic authority said the city now has 17 toll roads managed by seven companies. It also mentioned the locations of the city's 22 tollgates. ... China's highways have been long criticized for the exorbitant cost of their tolls, which puts pressure on truck drivers and logistics companies. Last year, Shi Jianfeng, a driver in Central China's Henan province, received a life sentence for avoiding paying highway tolls worth almost 4 million yuan in only eight months. The case sparked heated discussion online as Shi's income was far less than the toll fees he was being charged. In June, the State Council launched a campaign to cut highway fees across the nation to reduce the cost of transporting goods. The Ministry of Transport and four other departments jointly announced that they would better regulate the country's toll roads by closing illegal tollgates and abolishing improper charges. ...



Georgia county adds 24 Freightliner M2 112 CNG trucks to fleet

Freightliner Trucks announced that DeKalb County, Ga., has ordered 24 Freightliner Business Class M2 112 compressed natural gas trucks for sanitation and maintenance applications. DeKalb County - considered one of the greenest counties in America - will power the new trucks using its methane gas-to-energy process that converts landfill waste to useable natural gas. ...



Tennessee Electrified Truck Terminal Files for Bankruptcy After $400,000 Stimulus Injection

Just months after obtaining more than $400,000 in federal stimulus funds, TR Auto Truck Plaza off Interstate 40 sits idle. The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) handed out the $424,000 Environmental Protection Agency stimulus grant for electrical hookups so that truckers wouldn't have to burn diesel fuel while resting. Both the state and EPA were apparently unaware that owner Rick Lewis had a history of legal and financial problems and had filed for bankruptcy. What was originally lauded as Tennessee's first electrified truck terminal is now boarded up. "It is Solyndra in miniature," said Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Ga., referring to a Silicon Valley solar panel manufacturer that filed for bankruptcy shortly after receiving a $535 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy. ...



SmartDrive shows commercial truck drivers they can reduce fuel consumption by 22[percent]

Anyone can benefit by using eco-driving techniques, even long-haul truckers, who can reduce their rig's fuel consumption substantially with a lighter touch. That's the conclusion of SmartDrive Systems' new Commercial Transportation Fuel Efficiency Study. Commercial fleets can cut fuel consumption by 22 percent, saving up to $12,500 per vehicle per year, by engaging in fuel-efficient, eco-driving practices. ... ...



Senate measure seeks to block hours rule

Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) is proposing to add language to the transportation appropriations bill (H.R. 2112) that would block the planned changes to truck driver hours-of-service regulations. The measure, Senate Amendment 754, states that "none of the funds made available under this heading may be used to finalize, enforce, or implement the hours-of-service regulations proposed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on December 29, 2010." ...



Attention Long Haul Truck Drivers Whose Trucks Are Powered by Liquid Natural Gas (LNG)

We would like to know: Do you have an auxiliary power unit (APU) on your truck for climate control and electrification? If so, is it powered by LNG, too? Please contact us.



Volvo Drivers Fuel Challenge on horizon

On Saturday October 22nd some of the world's best experts in fuel-efficient driving will meet for the finals of the Drivers' Fuel Challenge competition, which will be held at the Volvo Demo Centre in Gothenburg, Sweden. The is a truly global competition arranged by Volvo Trucks in which professional truck drivers compete to drive in the most fuel-efficient manner possible. A suitable driving style can promote significant savings for both the environment and the haulage company's economy. ... ... no matter how advanced the truck's technology, the driver is still the key factor when it comes to fuel-efficient transport. "The driver is the most decisive factor when it comes to cutting emissions and therefore we want to encourage professional drivers to adopt a fuel-efficient driving style. A skilled driver can reduce fuel consumption by 5 to 10 per cent, which cuts not only Co2 emissions, but also transport costs," explains Staffan Jufors. The prize for the winner of the Drivers' Fuel Challenge will be a Volvo Lifetime Experience - a trip for two to a destination with a Volvo operation - valued at about 15,000 US dollars (approx. [pounds] 9,500). ...





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Reader Submitted Content

Submitted through our Truckers Savings News page:

FREE IdleAir thru 11/30 at Dalton, GA & White Pine, TN

IdleAir is pleased to announce the opening of 2 new locations in Dalton, GA and White Pine, TN: Dalton, GA Pilot #421 I-75 Exit 326 White Pine,




Other Reader Submitted Content:

Truckers Fridge

The KCR-40B Super Kool is a 1.7 cubic foot refrigerator designed with truckers in mind. This unit packs a thermo-cool technology into it's 29 pound frame.


Trailer light problem

My lights on all trailers I move on the yard blink on and off. I thought I saw one time where another driver pried the holes on the pigtail to make it


Question on GPS's

Hi Vicki, I saw the review on the Garmin GPS 465T. I was looking at dieselboss website he has a few GPS units he is reviewing. I seem to like this one


Garmin GPS 465T

i love this gps can use it in my truck and has another setting for a car.. having this gps has saved me a lot of time driving around trying to find the



What to get into Truck driving

Hey Mike and Vicki, My name is Mark Mongeon I am currently working in Afghanistan as a contractor. I want to drive trucks and go back to the good old



Burton Digital Stove to Go

This is an excellent product and cooks great. I got mine a few months ago thru www.GlobalTrucker.com ----- Response from Vicki: Hello, John. Thank



Idleair is a great value.

I've used Idleair in the past and can say without a doubt the new owners and management of Idleair care about the drivers and the trucks they serve. They



 

Reviews

VuQube: A Truck-Mounted Entertainment Option: Reviews from Professional Truck Drivers

Among the entertainment options available to truck drivers is VuQube, a truck-mounted system. How do those who use it rate it?


The Truckers Friend: Our Review of the National Truck Stop Directory

Which truck stop has which services? The National Truck Stop Directory aka The Truckers Friend (or Trucker's Friend) compiles all this info annually...



We request your review of a product or service marketed and sold to professional truck drivers.



 

Articles

Avoiding Overweight Fines: Various Options for Professional Truck Drivers

Federal and/or state laws restriction the amount that commercial motor vehicles can weight. How can you avoid overweight fines? Read our tips...



Save on Hotels for Truckers: Truck-Friendly Hotels and Motels for Less Money

Whether they need to or want to, sometimes professional drivers spend a night out of their trucks. Where can you find hotels for truckers for less money?



Items Thrown From Overpasses Smash Windshields and Hurt Truckers

Be alert to the places where items have been thrown from overpasses which result in damaged vehicles and hurt drivers. Help us keep our list up-to-date....



A Tire Pressure Monitoring System on Your Truck Helps Prevent Inflation Problems

Mike once thought he had a flat tire. But with the tire pressure monitoring system on his trailer, an amazing thing happened...



Geotag That Trucker! The Dangers of Truck Drivers Using Geotagging Services

Checking in with Foursquare is supposed to be fun. But professional truck drivers who geotag their locations are flirting with disaster. Learn how...



Cooking Pork Steak: Making a Delicious Dinner for Less Money than Pork Chops

Have a taste for pork chops but the price is too high? Try cooking pork steak for a delicious dinner. It freezes well, too.



Maximize Truck Fuel Economy for Your Commercial Motor Vehicle

Every drop of diesel costs money. How can you maximize your truck fuel economy to save as much money as possible. Read what to do and what not to do...



Truck Teeth, Jaws and Fangs Bug Screens: Large Truck Accessories that Communicate Aggression?

Does having truck teeth like the Jaws bug screen or Fangs bug screen communicate aggression? Is it evidence that could ever be used against you?



Load Straps for Flatbed Trucks: Inspection, Use and Repurposing

A flatbed driver can't haul freight without either chains or load straps. We cover inspection, use and repurposing the latter from a money saving perspective.



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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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