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TDMST Email Newsletter, 2017-07
July 14, 2017

Truck Drivers Money Saving Tips Email Newsletter

Issue #96, July 14, 2017

Featuring content from and supporting:

"Because truckers know that no trucker deserves to be stung financially."

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  • Hot Weather Can Affect You!

    Lots of things can happen in the summer when temperatures get hot.

    Some roads (especially asphalt) can develop ruts.

    Air conditioners work harder.

    And truckers need to stay hydrated and be aware of the impact of working and resting in a hot truck!



In numerous places throughout some of the TDMST Weekly Round-Up content, you'll see where we request a comment "below". These are references to the place on the page from which the content was taken, where comments may be left.


From the TDMST Weekly Round-Up: 2017.06.17

1. A June 16, 2017, article contains an amazing quote:

Panelist John Woodroffe, head of transportation safety analysis at University of Michigan, explained that it is important for truck manufacturers and tech developers to make autonomous trucks even more reliable and safer than the trucks already on the road.

"We should be designing trucks that refuse to crash," he noted. "If the truck refuses to crash, then society's perception will improve, and it will reflect the industry well."

Do you think that it is possible to create a "truck that refuses to crash"?

2. A one-vehicle accident reveals how dangerous it can be to overcorrect your truck.

According to a June 10, 2017, article, after overcorrecting, the truck "collided with a temporary construction guard rail", the impact of which "ruptured the fuel tank of the tractor-trailer", causing an explosion and fire. More than 40% of the driver's body was burned and he was in critical condition at the time the article was written.

If one of your truck's steer tires go off the pavement, it is better to slow down to regain control on the road.

3. An excellent June 12, 2017, article from addressed the topic of truckers carrying guns for protection. Of interest was this statement:

"Yet drivers of armored vehicles have had the legal right to carry firearms across state lines since the passage of the Armored Car Industry Reciprocity Act, or ACIRA, in 1993."

Do you think that professional truck drivers ought to be able to carry a firearm anywhere they travel, no matter what jurisdiction they travel in?

4. Here's an interesting question that came up as a result of this June 12, 2017, article:

If your trucking company saves money on its insurance by installing cab-facing cameras in its trucks, do you feel that you deserve to have a slice of those savings if you're one of the drivers on-camera?

5. The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to consider OOIDA's petition "to hear the trucker trade group's argument against the Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requirement to install [Electronic Logging Devices] or ELDs, in heavy-duty trucks," according to a June 12, 2017, article.

"Equipping roughly 500,000 U.S. trucking firms with ELD looks to be about a $1-billion business, according to FMCSA estimates."

Another article on this topic states, "OOIDA Vows to Continue Fight Against Mandatory ELDs".

What are your thoughts on this?

6. A June 13, 2017, article reveals a tragedy of errors.

First, the trucker hauling a flatbed with a container on top didn't know how tall his load was.

Second, when the container struck a railroad bridge, "the force of the collision caused the fastening straps that were holding the cargo to break." The article does not say how much time elapsed between the bridge strike and the container falling off the flatbed.

Third, when the container fell off the flatbed, it fatally crushed a bicyclist.

The "truck driver has been charged with vehicular manslaughter" and if he is convicted, "he faces up to six years in prison."

Always, always, always know how tall your load is and which routes you need to take to avoid a low clearance accident.

7. In time for Father's Day is this June 13, 2017, article about four generations of fathers and sons in one Pennsylvania trucking company.

BTW, Pilot Flying J is offering free coffee to dads on Father's Day, according to this June 15, 2017, article.

8. A June 15, 2017, article stated that grocery retailer Kroger experienced "a 50 percent reduction in collisions, a 71 percent reduction in handheld cell phone use, and an 82 percent reduction of Driver Unbelted incidents" as a result of using DriveCam technology.

Another article about this topic is here.

Would this kind of "pay back" make you willing to have a cab-facing camera in your truck?

9. "Imagine this: a tire that is airless, made of recycled materials, and will never inflate. That is what Michelin calls its Vision Concept."

This was the opening paragraph of a June 14, 2017, article that has me completely fascinated. I'll be looking to learn more about this, since it was pointed out to me that using something like TyrFil is not suitable for on-road usage.

I've got lots of questions:

- If it is airless and will never inflate, can it ever go flat?
- Will it ever need to be retreaded?
- Can it be retreaded?
- What are the pros and cons of using these on a truck?

10. A June 13, 2017, article stated, "Truckers entering New York City by bridges and tunnels operated by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) will receive a 50 percent discount on tolls ... From July 10 and Sept. 1...."

11. OK, I have a question stemming from this opening paragraph (emphasis added) of this June 16, 2017, article:

"A federal jury awarded $779,127 in damages in a class action suit against Werner Enterprises Inc. and a subsidiary after the company allegedly violated minimum wage laws by failing to pay driver trainees for 20-minute rest breaks."

If one group of truckers is subject to minimum wage laws, why aren't all truckers subject to it? Hmm...

12. A June 3, 2017, article stated another reason why automation is sought by stakeholders in the transportation industry:

"Driverless trucks won't need health insurance, vacations or pay. They also won't need dispatchers, compliance departments or human-resource managers."

Did you catch that? Not only will the truckers themselves be replaced by robots, but the robots won't need the folks behind the scenes. That means that others whose jobs depend on truckers' jobs will find themselves out of work, too!

Separately, it was reported that a Russian trucking company "has taken steps to replace 20 percent of its fleet with vehicles that have autonomous capabilities this year. In 2018, the goal will double." The article that also stated, "Truck manufacturers are already starting to offer semi-autonomous features that could impact the role of the driver...."

So hang on, folks. This shift to self-driving trucks is going to be economy-changing.


From the TDMST Weekly Round-Up: 2017.06.24

1. As it turns out, truckers in the USA aren't the only ones who are not being fairly compensated for their work.

A June 20, 2017, article quotes a former dispatch coordinator for a transport firm in Perth, Australia, as follows:

"There were times when I worked as much as a 60, 70-hour week and they didn't have to pay overtime, they didn't have to do all that."

The article further states, "Mr Pengilly said the company told him he was 'trouble making' and 'not working as a team', and he was sacked earlier this month."

When someone accuses someone else of "not being a team player," it tends to mean that the accused will not comply with the corporate way of doing things. If the "corporate way of doing things" is exploitative in nature -- meaning (in this case) that the company is not doing unto its workers as they want their workers to do unto them -- then there's no reason why workers should put up with that.

Labor laws need to be written in such a way that is fair to all and then carried out by all.

2. I've seen some pretty bold and daring things in my time. I've also seen some actions are so beyond-the-pale stupid that I can't help bursting out laughing.

Such was the case when I saw the June 19, 2017, article entitled, "Truck driver arrested after attempting to enter Tinker Air Force Base with large load of marijuana".

According to another article, the trucker was hauling "715 pounds of marijuana and several thousand bottles of marijuana oil in his trailer with other cargo."

Sir, what were you thinking?

3. It appears as though there are two issues behind why "a group of truck drivers and warehouse workers [were] going on strike at the ports of L.A. and Long Beach" as of Monday, June 19, according to this article:

1. the misclassification of drivers as independent contractors instead of employees (a wage dispute); and

2. requiring the truckers to "pick up some of the cost for the recent initiatives for greener operations at the ports".

In a separate June 17, 2017, article, a trucker who was interviewed stated, "We want clean air, too, but they need to raise the wages, the freight price. They pass the cost on to us."

To me, thrusting the cost of equipment upgrades upon those who do not own the equipment as a condition of employement is flat-out wrong.

What do you think? Who should foot "The effort to clean up the port, one of the region's biggest polluters, [which] will cost tens of billions of dollars over the coming decades"?

4. A June 19, 2017, article lists "5 things you should never do to save money" and that can even be dangerous.

One of them is buying cheap work gear -- including cheap shoes.

Unless you've already been given instructions on what to wear, ask your trucking company for recommendations. One of them may likely be steel-toed work boots.

5. PBS NewsHour opened its June 17, 2017, article with this paragraph:

Truck drivers are a crucial link in the supply chain of getting imported goods from ports to stores. An investigative report by "USA Today" shows those drivers work long hours for low pay, all while being heavily in debt from leasing their trucks. The story, "Rigged," published yesterday, recounts how at least 140 truck companies in southern California have been accused of labor violations, and forcing truckers into working conditions akin to indentured servitude.

A separate June 20, 2017, article about mistreated truckers stated:

The California probe exposed the plight of hundreds and perhaps thousands of mostly poor immigrant truckers forced into lease-to-own programs that find them coughing up nearly their entire salaries as repayment for the trucks they're driving. They operate short-distance routes, from the ports to nearby warehouses, and for many years did the work with dilapidated vehicles pouring out unhealthy emissions. A new law a decade ago designed to curtail the use of such old trucks had unintended consequences, however. Many companies stuck drivers with the cost of paying for the new fleet through abusive leasing arrangements. The result? Drivers have become little more than indentured servants, effectively working for pennies an hour and often working up to 20 hours a day.

Be on your guard against such treatment.

6. Lawsuits like the one described in a June 16, 2017, article are causing trucking companies to be more cautious regarding having their at-risk trucker employees tested for sleep apnea.

The trucker who rammed a car that was stopped in traffic had fallen asleep. The article states, "Black box records from the truck record the driver's speed at more than 50 miles per hour at the moment of impact."

The article further states, "According to a study by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, truck drivers with obstructive sleep apnea who don't get treatment have a rate of preventable crashes five times higher than truckers without the ailment."

What are your thoughts on this?

7. Mike and I were recently talking with a woman who drives a dump truck. She had been injured because while driving, the bed of the truck started to rise without her knowledge and the elevated bed got hung on an overpass. Vicki asked her some questions that she has asked through our website in the past.

According to the driver, there is no warning of any kind in the cab of the truck when the bed of a dump truck is elevated: no visual indicator like a light, no auditory indicator like a beep, no nothing.

The driver said that the previous driver had "forgotten" to tell her that there was a problem with the bed staying down. In other words, there was a mechanical problem.

Are dump trucks inspected the same way that Class A trucks are? If so, what inspection would have found this problem?

In Vicki's opinion, this situation about the in-transit elevation of a dump truck bed without warning is something that smart manufacturers need to address.

In response to this, one former dump truck driver stated on our Facebook page that when he drove that kind of truck, he "constantly looked in mirrors and made sure bed was down".

Comments? Feedback?

8. I regularly see articles in the trucking journals about truck stop chains opening new facilities in various places. What I am waiting to see are news articles with titles like these:

- New Truck Stops Opening in New Jersey
- Finally, New York City Gets a Large Truck Stop
- R.I. Eliminates Truck-Only Tolls and OKs Stop Off I-95
- Much-Needed Truck Stop to be Built Near D.C.
- Northeastern Industrial Parks to Add Adjacent Truck Stops

Well, I can dream, can't I? :-)

9. According to a June 20, 2017, article: "The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance announced that its Brake Safety Day is taking place on Sept. 7 this year across North America."

You can also read more here.

10. In response to a June 20, 2017, article about Missouri's I-70 project, I feel compelled to ask,

"Would you pay a toll in order to drive your truck in truck-only lanes -- and if so, how much?"

11. The opening paragraph of a June 21, 2017, article referred to a potential tax elimination:

U.S. Representative Doug LaMalfa (R-CA) introduced a bill this week that seeks to eliminate the 12% federal excise tax or "FET" most heavy-duty trucks, tractors and commercial trailers - a levy the American Truck Dealers (ATD) group claims can add anywhere from $12,000 to $22,000 to the sticker prices for such equipment.

You can read more about that here.

12. How much would you save in your trucking business by going "paperless"? That's my question based on this June 23, 2017, article.


From the TDMST Weekly Round-Up: 2017.07.01

1. A June 30, 2017, article stated, "Nowadays, old-school banking methods have evolved to now include our ever-present mobile devices. And, with a little bit of adjusting, almost anyone can set up automated savings or investment applications."

Which mobile app (listed in the article or not) has been for you like a "digital savings jar" to "help you manage your money and lead the way to saving more and spending less"?

Does using your Smartphone to handle your money make you at all nervous?

2. MarketWatch quoted an industry expert on June 29, 2017 as stating that "Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is escalating its war of words with Amazon by sending veiled messages to the trucking companies that haul its merchandise from its distribution centers and stores, telling them if they do business with the Web giant it may not want to work with them".

However, the article also quote a Walmart spokesman who "denied that the company has had discussions with trucking companies about high-peak delivery times or about Amazon, adding that 'it would be illegal for us to tell them who they can do business with.'"

A separate article states, "Walmart (WMT) denied claims it told trucking companies throughout June that they might not want to work with them if the companies also haul loads for (AMZN)".

Be on your guard regarding price competition and any "free shipping" wars. As one trucking advocate says, "Say 'no' to cheap freight."

3. In a trucker's rant about the cost of health insurance published on June 29, 2017, he stated, "if I elected to buy health insurance for my family of four through my company, I would take a salary cut to the tune of about $25,000 a year. That's on top of my employer paying approximately one-fourth of the costs, about $6,000."

Furthermore, he stated, "I may be dumb, but I'm not stupid. I'm simply not going to pay out the nose for virtually nothing in return. My game plan is to pay out of pocket for our regular medical expenses. What would you rather do: Pay $400 per month to fund your own regular medical expenses, or pay $2,400 per month for insurance premium plus co-pays plus meeting the deductible? I'll take option 'A.'"

Do you know the real cost of your health insurance annually?
Are you shopping around for the best plan you can get?
Are you sticking with one of your employer's plans or doing something else?

One year during open enrollment held by the trucking company for which Mike Simons was driving, he declined coverage twice. Read our article for details.

Please comment below.

4. Because the driver of an empty gravel truck was unable to slow down in a construction zone and he "veered into oncoming traffic", he struck a pick-up truck hauling a horse trailer head-on, killing both the pick-up truck driver and the horse.

The gravel truck driver has been charged with vehicular manslaughter, according to the June 28, 2017, article.

Even though a driver should always be alert for slowing traffic -- and be able to compensate speed -- one should be even more aware of the need in construction zones.

This was a totally preventable accident and we extend our sympathy to the family. Never overdrive your ability to stop your vehicle.

5. A June 28, 2017, article revealed that a trucker who had falsified his log book and should have been out of service at the time of the fatal head-on collision he caused, has been sentenced for vehicular manslaughter.

Never falsify your log book or ELD record, no matter the incentive to do so.

6. Failure to change lanes on I-65 led one trucker to crash into an unoccupied INDOT dump truck that was blocking traffic for construction work. The collision led to his death, according to a June 28, 2017, article.

Since the accident happened at about 12:30 a.m., I suspect that the driver was tired or fell asleep at the wheel.

If you find that you're getting sleepy, park in the first available safe and legal place to do so until you're alert once more.

7. Congratulations to Larry Gorby, who was named "Grand Champion of the West Virginia Trucking Association's 61st annual Truck Driving Championship" for his accomplishment!

Read more in this July 1, 2017, article.

8. A June 26, 2017, article reveals that a truck driver in Australia who had experienced issues with his truck's brakes went to inspect them when the truck "rolled onto him, crushing his legs".

Learn your company's procedures for dealing with situations like this. As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

9. When will these truckers ever learn?

One trucker hauling heroin and cocaine has been sentenced to 10 years in state prison for "possession with the intent to distribute", according to this June 26, 2017, article.

Another trucker has been sentenced to a 64-month prison sentence and five years of supervised release "for possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute", after having been involved in a "$500,000 drug bust case", according to a June 23, 2017, article. In this case, however, "Parts of the truck's rear axle were rigged to create an area to discretely hold the drugs", so this was obviously intentional.

Don't haul drugs! Not only can it cost you years of your life, but you may never be able to drive commercially again.

10. The 5-day strike of California port truckers has ended, according to a June 26, 2017, article.

A separate June 28, 2017, article states: "There's no mystery why shipping firms at the port prefer the independent contractor model: It saves them about 30% compared to the cost of operating with employee drivers."

I'm all for being frugal, but shippers and receivers need to do unto truckers as they would have truckers do unto them.

A June 29, 2017, article from reveals more about the exploitation that some port truckers have faced.

11. A June 26, 2017, article stated, "The growing importance of open telematics and digital solutions will eventually change focus of manufacturers and dealers from 'truck-as-a-product' to 'truck-as-a-service' or 'TaaS', explained Frost & Sullivan's Franck Leveque."

I wonder how this shift will affect truckers' wages.

12. Two lessons that might have prevented a trucker from being crushed to death under a steel coil, as listed in this June 23, 2017, article are:
  • "heavy steel coils and similar cargo that can tip over should be secured before a bridge crane sling is detached from them"; and
  • "workers loading such cargo should maintain a clear line of sight of the cargo at all times".
Read the rest of the article for more info. We extend our condolences to the trucker's family.

13. Just so you know, depending on the unit you have, your cell phone can pinpoint your whereabouts.

In the case of one trucker, he was not where he claimed to have been and the cell phone evidence led to his being tracked and arrested for the crime for which he must serve at least 20 years, according to an undated article.

14. "TA Petro Stopping Centers will serve free meals to all active duty military, veterans and reservists with proof of service Tuesday, July 4 at participating Country Pride or Iron Skillet restaurants nationwide", according to a June 30, 2017, article.

15. Will you as a trucker be actively looking to buy or avoid buying fuel in any or all of the 10 states whose fuel taxes were set to change on July 1?

A June 30, 2017, article has the details and at the top of the list is my home state of South Carolina.

16. Allen Smith of urges truckers to call their federal representatives to "REMOVE FAA bill's Anti Trucker wage amendments".

For all of the details, please see this article and make the calls -- adapting the provided suggested wording -- now.


From the TDMST Weekly Round-Up: 2017.07.08

1. A July 6, 2017, article opened with this statement: "The driver of a tractor-trailer was charged in a fatal seven-vehicle wreck on Interstate 95 North near Wade...".

A Highway Patrol trooper stated that the trucker had been "driving a truck loaded with 5,000 gallons of liquid, [and] was unable to get stopped and rear-ended a vehicle", which obviously started a chain reaction.

Prevent these kinds of rear-ending accidents. Leave plenty of following distance -- and make sure that your truck's brakes are properly adjusted -- so that you can stop your truck in time. Also, stay alert to traffic slowed or stopped in front of you.

Our condolences go to the families of those killed.

2. How would you prevent an attack such as the one in which a truck driver was killed, as was reported in this July 7, 2017, article?

3. It was bound to happen sooner or later. This July 7, 2017, article shows photos of a truck with no place for any driver to sit.

The article states, "Einride's T-Pod is an all electric truck built for long-haul deliveries. The trailer, which is a little over 7 meters (23 feet) has space for cargo but lacks a cabin for a human driver or operator - as well as everything else that goes in a driving space, i.e. pedals, a steering wheel, and a windshield. It can be remotely controlled by a human operator or run completely free of human control."

And just so you know, this July 5, 2017, article states, "The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defined five levels of autonomous driving from 0 to 5." The T-Pod described above supposedly operates at Level 5.

4. A June 30, 2017, article stated, "Artificial intelligence and the changes it will bring to pass is not a trucking industry issue. It is an issue that changes our human society on a global scale. It does not matter what your profession is, you will be impacted in some way, shape, or form. Yes, there will be jobs created by this new technology, but there will be far more jobs that will be made obsolete."

Now is the time to be planning for your future, truckers. One way to do that is to start earning a second income from the cab of your truck.

5. The author of a June 30, 2017, article says that it isn't ELDs that are the problem but the Hours of Service regulation:

"Even the most conscientious drivers have found ways to round the rough edges of the hours system to make it tolerable on a good day, without jeopardizing safety. Then along comes a technology that says hey, buddy, no more of that. You must embrace the literal HOS regs, even if it means driving while fatigued and resting when you're alert."

I'm glad that some changes were proposed in the article.

6. Two questions arose after I saw this July 6, 2017, article about truck drivers' premiums going up:

If there are no truckers in commercial motor vehicles, will the vehicles themselves still need to be insured?

If so, against what?

It will be interesting to see what happens as a result of the first fully-automated truck being involved in an accident with a 4-wheeled vehicle, proving who or what was at fault.

7. A July 6, 2017, article states that a trucker has been "arraigned ... on 34 charges, including three counts of involuntary manslaughter" for his role in a deadly crash.

Another article indicates that before the crash occurred, "a medical condition caused him to black out".

According to the driver's lawyer:
  • "records showed no glaring problems with [the driver's] medical condition or work hours";
  • the trucker "reported taking his diabetes medicine but not his blood pressure medicine that morning"; and
  • "none of the medical testing after the crash showed anything alarming".
And yet according to the article, the driver "had a stent put in after the crash when his doctor found a severely blocked artery."

Something is out-of-whack here. Either there was a problem with the driver's medical condition or there wasn't.

Could this situation -- and string of fatalities -- have been prevented?

If so, by whom? The DOT medical examiner? The trucking company? The trucker himself?

8. A truck accident on the New Jersey Turnpike resulted in the "left two lanes of the roadway [being] closed for five hours", according to a July 5, 2017, article.

The driver of a box truck fell asleep at the wheel and was involved in an accident on Interstate 81 that closed the south bound lanes "for several hours", according to a July 4, 2017, article.

What sorts of slowdowns or traffic stops due to accidents have you encountered, trucker?

9. A truck driver faces two felony counts -- "one count of unlawful discharge and one count of criminal damage" -- after "allegedly dumping sewage on the grounds of a special-education school in Phoenix", according to a July 5, 2017, article.

Since "thousands of gallons" of sewage was dumped into the school's storm drainage system, this appears to have been no accident.

If you're hauling waste products, make sure that your load is secure and never ever dump your load in a non-approved spot.

Although clean-up may have been done, who knows what long-range problems could result from those exposed to the place where the waste once touched?

10. reported on July 5, "A proposal in the Wisconsin legislature to create a mileage-based fee on trucks to help fund highway improvements was met with fierce opposition from business groups."

What other states have passed -- or have tried, but did not pass -- a similar per-mile fee?

11. What kind or size of reward would be most meaningful to you as a trucker for consistently having clean truck inspections?

What is a "clean Level II scale inspection" worth to you?

These questions arose as a result of reading a July 4, 2017, article.

12. Congratulations to Kansas City, Kansas, which Allstate stated has "the safest drivers in the U.S. overall", according to a June 30, 2017, article.

13. According to a July 7, 2017, article, getting refund checks is another good reason for having the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association on your side as truckers.

14. Are you concerned about truckers' wages? A July 5, 2017, article states:

"Congress is again considering legislation that would block any state-level effort to dictate driver pay reforms and hours of service restrictions. The so-called Denham Amendment, first brought to the table by Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) in 2015, seeks to reassert federal authority over hours of service regulations and reinforce the industry's standard per-mile driver pay model."

Farther down in the article, we read, "The language also blocks states from requiring carriers to pay drivers 'separate or additional compensation' beyond per-mile pay, effectively targeting any mandate for detention time/break pay and/or other compensation methods."

This is a constitutional matter. Remember the Tenth Amendment:

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people."

Please take the action specified on here.


From the TDMST Weekly Round-Up: 2017.07.15

1. A July 12, 2017, article stated that the driver of a delivery truck "swerved to avoid" an object (a "log") that had been thrown at it. I speculate that it was the swerving that caused the truck to flip over on its side.

There are two issues here:
- The object being thrown at the truck (which the trucker could not control); and
- The swerving of the truck (which the trucker could control).

Had the driver not swerved, the "log" may or may not have caused the truck to crash. But we will never know because that's not the action the driver took.

If you're driving in the Tyngsborough, Massachusetts, area, especially Route 3, near exit 34, be on your guard for debris either in the road or being thrown.

I encourage all truckers to review their trucking company's safety procedures when it comes to collision avoidance with objects that suddenly appear in the lane of travel.

This includes live animals, such as the one that another trucker swerved to avoid, according to a July 13, 2017, article. In this case, the truck hit a guardrail and went down an embankment -- and the trucker was "ticketed for improper lane usage".

2. An article published on July 12, 2017, stated that a fuel truck driver had overdosed.

"Drugged driving has overtaken drunk driving as one of the leading perils of the road, according to recent data from the Governors Highway Safety Association."

If you see something that looks like a medical emergency, please take appropriate action.

3. It could be a vast oversimplification of the reason, but from what I can tell, the fatal truck crash described in a July 12, 2017, article was caused by a food delivery truck driver who "tried to beat a red light".

The driver also had a phone to his ear, possibly contributing to being distracted.

No matter what you're driving, be aware that your actions have consequences.

In this case, the driver "was convicted of one count of criminal negligence causing death and two counts of criminal negligence causing bodily harm".

Not only were people injured and one person killed, but this kind of accident damages equipment, freight, and one's future career options.

As a former trucker and now instructor for a commercial drivers license training program stated in a separate July 2, 2017, article, "Safety comes first".

4. This is urgent: Please call your elected officials in Washington about one or more bills that could affect trucker wages.

According to a July 13, 2017, article, "The full [U.S. House] Appropriations Committee is set to debate and consider the legislation Monday, July 19."

The article linked here describes the bill in polite terms. What the bill actually does is strip states of their right to impose on trucking companies the need to pay truckers for certain things, like "state-mandated breaks" (link).

Once truckers' wages are federalized, this matter will almost certainly never be reversed.

I am seeking information about the exact bill number(s). For now, scroll down to page 38 to read "SEC. 134. FEDERAL AUTHORITY." of this document.

The U.S. House Appropriations Committee members who consider various pieces of legislation -- as well as your own elected officials -- can be reached by calling the U.S. Switchboard: 202-224-3121.

Thanks to Allen and Donna Smith, here's what to say:

Tell them to SAY NO TO FAA (F4A) bill with Anti-Trucker Wage Preemption Amendment (Denham language):
As a trucker, I'm against the Denham amendment and the Fisher amendments to the FAA bill which will nullify state laws that require trucking companies to pay for rest breaks, detention time, and all time working. These amendments work against the interests of trucker rights to be paid for all time worked and are also anti state's rights and anti safety.

5. Thirty percent of trucks on the road are now "equipped with clean diesel engines and advanced emissions control systems", according to the Diesel Technology Forum (DTF) in a July 13, 2017, article.

That's all well and good, but has this technology led to any kind of financial savings?


DTF's Executive Director stated, "Over a 5 year period, the newest generation commercial vehicles have saved 4.2 billion gallons of diesel fuel, and reduced 43 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2), 21 million tonnes of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and 1.2 million tonnes of particulate matter."

Saving fuel is good! Saving fuel and not pumping particulate matter into the atmosphere is even better!

6. Don't start your trip before you have the proper permit in-hand.

One crane company did that and ended up having to pay an extra $60,000. Ouch!

7. Now that's clever!

The "Sygic Truck Navigation app on Android ... projects navigation information onto a driver's windshield, so the driver never has to take eyes off the road to look down at their navigation software".

A July 13, 2017, article says that one million users have already downloaded (installed) the app.

If you have this app installed on your Android device -- and you use it -- would you please review it?

8. A July 13, 2017, article quotes the delivery and fleet manager for a Washington state-based beverage delivery company:

"Trucks are targets for accidents because they think companies have deep pockets... We do a good job training our drivers, and now with the DriveCam video, we're able to prove where fault really lies."

The system is being used as a "coaching tool" and to address driver "deficiencies".

What are your thoughts on this?

9. The date keeps moving all over the map, but according to a July 13, 2017, article, "Self-Driving Trucks Could Be on Highways in 3 to 4 Years".

Will this technology throw millions of truckers out of work?

"We see our technology as complementary to drivers," said Alden Woodrow, product lead for self-driving trucks with the Uber Advanced Technologies Group. "We have a much more optimistic view about the implications for driver livelihoods, employment and productivity due to some of the ways we see the industry shifting with the technology."

The article specifies that the level of automation being described is Level 4. "The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines a Level 4 autonomous vehicle as one that can drive itself in most situations, with some exceptions, such as weather or construction, where a human may need to take control."

In the July 8, 2017, issue of TDMST Weekly Round-Up, I linked to an article that showed a photo of a Level 5 truck with no place for a driver to sit.

Truckers, as it concerns truck driving jobs, do you see self-driving trucks as being complementary or a threat?

10. Heads-up: The headline of a July 12, 2017, article states, "Wal-Mart Will Punish Its Suppliers for Delivering Early".

Whether the receiver is Walmart or not, I strongly encourage you to read every dispatch fully -- before you accept a load -- so as to understand:
- what "early delivery" means (as in "how" much time before your delivery appointment you can arrive without financial punishment); and
- what sort of fine will be involved for early and late deliveries.

11. Were you ready for the CVSA's "unannounced Brake Safety Day on May 3"?

Nearly 2,000 trucks were put out of service and of those, over 1,100 were sidelined due to brake issues, according to a July 13, 2017, article. That's 12 percent, stated Land Line Magazine.

As I wrote in our June 3, 2017, TDMST Weekly Round-Up, "Save yourself the time and expense of violations by always being ready for an inspection."

On another note -- and being a bit futuristic -- as long as there will be self-driving trucks on the road one day, why can't trucks have self-adjusting brakes? Hmm...


Falcon Eye Dash Cams

Falcon Eye Dash cams, until further notrice, not recommending them any more. I've attempted to contact them, with noreply. 4 cam system costing well over

Shower fee at Portage, Wisconsin, Petro infuriates trucker's wife

Note: A trucker's wife who wants to be identified only by her initials, P.H., wrote a post on one of the groups on Facebook about a situation that transpired

Garmin dezcamlm

Over all a good product, as always finding addresses can be confusing. Cr- state Route or odd address such as N58 w17350 Shawn cir,Menomonee falls,wi.

how to stay cool without an APU

How can I stay cool without an APU? ----- Response from Vicki: Thank you for asking a question about how to stay cool without an APU. This is an ultra-important



Married Couple Showers

At Truckstop Showers can a married couple shower together? Do we have to have our own time? ----- Response from Vicki: Hi, Juliette. Thanks for asking


Earn More, Save More

Trucking is one of the most deadly occupations.

Within the last week, Vicki has read about three separate truck accidents in which a professional truck driver died: in New Jersey, in Florida, and in Texas.

Our condolences go to the families.

Not only were these truckers' families left without the men in their lives, but they were left without their trucking incomes.

Did the families prepare by having enough life insurance in place to tide them over for a while? (Many families are not well-prepared, especially if finances are tight.)

Some folks enter the trucking industry because trucking is all they've ever wanted to do. We hope they'll be ready for what happens when the industry becomes more automated.

For other truckers, they would like to earn money another way, if only there was another way.

It is for those who "want more" that Vicki continues to revise her Second Income for Truckers E-Course into a different format.

Learn more about earning a second income as a trucker.


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Many years ago, a well-known singer sang a song entitled, "Those Lazy Hazy Crazy Days Of Summer". It is the "lazy" part that we're going to encourage you to be on your guard against.

Just because you've driven a particular section of road 100 times before, stay alert. Don't get distracted. Stay alert as you drive.

Seek to prevent accidents by "thinking ahead" about what other motorists might do. Make allowances for the amateurs around you without thinking less of them. Remember that they haven't had the training -- and don't have the experience -- that you have.

To all of our readers who are professional truck drivers, we wish you safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road!

Best regards,
Mike and Vicki Simons, Owners

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All information on this site and in this email newsletter is intended for informational and educational purposes.
It neither substitutes for professional advice nor negates user responsibility to do due diligence.

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