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TDMST Email Newsletter, 2017-10
October 13, 2017

Truck Drivers Money Saving Tips Email Newsletter

Issue #99, October 13, 2017

Featuring content from and supporting:

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

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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: 2017.09.16

This is the TDMST Weekly Round-Up of news affecting professional truck drivers, written by Vicki Simons for the week ending September 16, 2017.

We welcome your comments, thoughts and feedback on the items of your choice below.

TDMST Weekly Round-Up 1. According to a September 12, 2017, article, "Hurricane Irma's late shift to the west seems to have spared Florida the worst of the storm, but even with reduced impact, its effects are widespread."

One estimate of Florida's total damage costs was $58 billion, "far less than earlier numbers, which reached as high as $200 billion". All major interstates and turnpikes in Florida are open but residents in some places are urged not to go home until damage is assessed.

It may take weeks, months, or even years for some damaged areas to begin to return to being habitable. According to a September 10, 2017, article, "agricultural officials suggested more than $1 billion worth of crops could be lost by the time the storm ends" and "Florida is among the top growers of fresh tomatoes, oranges, green beans, cucumbers, squash, and sugar cane."

According to a September 11, 2017, article about Irma, "Reports are that as many as 6.5 million residents and businesses are without power."

According to a September 12, 2017, article:

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) along with other government agencies and military units continue to send relief supplies and personnel into areas affected by Hurricane Irma. Those efforts including staging such supplies at a variety of locations, including military bases, ahead of the storm's landfall at Cudjoe Key island off the western coast of Florida just after 9 a.m. on Sunday, September 10.

I anticipate that there will be a lot of loads like this in the coming days.

2. A Chiropractic Physician wrote on September 1, 2017, the following statements:
- "Many factors can increase wear and tear of the spine."
- "The good news is that there are several things you can do to lessen the risk of injury."

The article provided "Seat Adjusting Guidelines" for trucks seats.

3. According to an August 29, 2017, article:

"A preliminary investigation showed that at 12:48 p.m., a Toyota Sequoia entered I-65 from the eastbound direction on Airport Boulevard and struck a Volvo tractor trailer tanker that was traveling northbound on I-65.

"Police said the tanker swerved left, jackknifed, struck the overhead sign posts anchored to the median wall and overturned over the median in the southbound lanes of I-65. The driver of the tanker was ejected and pronounced deceased on the scene."

Every single time we have read of a tractor trailer driver "swerving" to avoid or minimize a collision, there has almost inevitably been a resulting accident anyway.

In this case, it may not have been the collision that killed the driver, but possibly the fact that he was "ejected" from the vehicle.

What this usually means is that the driver was not wearing his or her seat belt.

If this was the case, then this was a preventable fatality.

Mike and I know of a trucker who was involved in a truck crash so bad that the front axle fell out from under the tractor when it was lifted off the guardrail where it had landed. Yet, because the trucker was wearing his seat belt, he survived the crash!

When Vicki was in training with Swift, her trainer didn't like to wear a seat belt. He made it a habit, though, of buckling up before entering a weigh station, to make it appear as though he wore it all the time.

Folks, wearing a seat belt may be uncomfortable, but in a situation where where there is an impending collision, there isn't time to buckle up.

Please practice safety. Buckle up before you ever release your truck parking brakes and don't take it off until after the truck's parking brakes have been reapplied.

Our condolences go to the family of the trucker who died.

4. I love it when people join private forces to help those in need, as this September 12, 2017, article reveals happened between a trucker and a pastor who joined forces to help hurricane victims in Texas and Florida.

Another article stated that about 450 truckers were helping victims of Irma, according to a September 12, 2017, article.

Love it!

5. I hope that the "three-part series on how rapidly technology is changing the ways fleets can monitor driver fatigue" -- that Overdrive announced -- addresses the need for safe and legal truck parking as well as the fight that will take place between
- the technology that says a trucker is tired versus
- the hours that the log book or ELD says the driver has left to drive versus
- the opinion of the trucker's driver manager regarding freight movement.

This would seem to point to the need of driverless trucks that never get fatigued. And speaking of that,
- a September 7, 2017, article says, "legislation that would ease the application of autonomous driving technology to commercial trucks has so far failed to gain traction on Capitol Hill"; and
- a September 11, 2017, article states, "Senate to Hold Hearing on Automated Trucks".

Meanwhile, "Driver-Facing Cameras Get the Boot in Quebec" according to a September 8, 2017, article.

Furthermore, a trucker who claimed that he was fired for taking rest breaks has had his matter taken to the legal system, according to a September 12, 2017, article.

We read: "The Surface Transportation Assistance Act prohibits an employer from terminating an employee for refusing to operate a vehicle because 'the operation violates a regulation, standard or order of the United States related to commercial motor vehicle safety, health or security.' Driver fatigue falls within the protection of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act."

Additionally, the free TRELP Truck Parking App "plans on having 3,000,000 parking spots on its platform by 2019 so every trucker has a safe place to sleep", according to a 2017 article.

6. As much as I understand the need for truckers to provide direct assistance in emergency situations, I am always concerned whenever federal regulations are suspended in such situations, as has been done regarding the wildfire situation in Oregon and Washington state.

7. Do you need updated road conditions in the state of Texas following Hurricane Harvey? One article states, "visit or call 800-452-9292."

8. Given the fact that Hurricane Harvey affected fuel refining capability, it is no surprise that "Diesel price averages were up in all 10 regions in the U.S., according to the Energy Information Administration", according to a September 11, 2017, article.

9. A bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives that would have delayed the ELD mandate failed to pass, according to a September 7, 2017, article.

This topic is also covered here.

10. The "Run on Less" MPG Roadshow "closes during the inaugural North American Commercial Vehicle Show in Atlanta from September 25-28", according to this article.

Mike and I look forward to going to this show.

11. Some 143 million Americans (44% of the population) have been affected by a data breach at Equifax, one of the 3 major credit bureaus.

The types of data that may have been compromised were:
- Social Security numbers,
- driver's license numbers,
- dates of birth,
- credit card information, and
- more.

If you are among these folks, you are at risk of having your stolen data being used against your will.

One author wrote: "It could take up to 18 months or more to resolve, and you may need to take time off from work to deal with this issue."

A September 8, 2017, article shared "How to protect yourself from Equifax's data breach". The interviewee in the video recommends putting a credit freeze in place.

My husband Mike and I wish you -- and all professional truck drivers -- safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road.


From the TDMST Weekly Round-Up: 2017.09.23

This is the TDMST Weekly Round-Up of news affecting professional truck drivers, written by Vicki Simons for the week ending September 23, 2017.

We welcome your comments, thoughts and feedback on the items of your choice below.

TDMST Weekly Round-Up 1. From the Truck Drivers Money Saving Tips Facebook page on September 21, 2017:

Truckers, Vicki read the following on another Facebook group today and felt it necessary to pass it along. Pay attention to your health on the road. If you notice a decline, it could be that your truck has a problem that needs fixing.

So just found out today that my trucker could have died on the road because of a $5 part that needed to be replaced! His dispatcher thought he was really out of it so he pulled over. I've been going on for a couple weeks... He didn't feel well he was sometimes dizzy he thought it was his diabetes NOPE. (TESTED) He was in the hospital two and a half weeks ago because they thought it might be a heart attack, NOPE then it was a panic attack -too much caffeine, nicotine , not enough sleep, dehydrated, may be coming down with a cold? NOPE they keep coming up with new things but it was ........ a carbon monoxide leak ! So buy those detectors! He feels much better- well rested and back on the road!

2. According to a September 12, 2017, article,

Coming down the pike is a new roadside inspection category that you and your drivers need to get to know: electronic inspection. ...

According to Andy Blair, a retired police/DOT enforcement officer and owner of DOT Safety Checkups, electronic inspections will be set up similar to the current weigh-station PrePass model, in which a truck transmits wireless information as it passes a given point. The driver, most likely unaware he or she has gone through a checkpoint, won't be pulled over by an enforcement officer, but an inspection report will be generated and subsequently sent to the carrier.

If the driver is the one who must be satisfied that the truck that he or she is driving is safe and legal to drive -- and if an "electronic inspection" finds something wrong with the truck -- why won't the driver be the first one to be notified of any problems found? This doesn't sound right.

3. "On Sept. 13, Senator John Thune of South Dakota (Rep.), will convene a Senate Commerce Committee hearing to examine the potential benefits and impacts of automated commercial vehicles," stated a September 11, 2017, article.

4. Having a grease-free fifth wheel platform sure sounds nice.

If you have used one of these, please review it.

5. A September 4, 2017, article lists safety tips on driving through intersections.

6. A September 1, 2017, article stated:

"According to insurance companies, hitting fixed or stationary objects in parking lots is the most frequent type of accident. What many truckers don't realize is that these types of accidents can be worse financially than a bigger accident, because they don't meet insurance deductibles. Consequently, all or most of the cost is borne by the trucker."

The article also includes tips on how to avoid collisions.

7. Drive Safely Work Week is scheduled for October 5 - 9, according to an August 28, 2017, article.

8. A September 12, 2017, article entitled "25 Proven Ways to Save Money Before Next Year" has some interesting ideas.

I particularly like: "17. Take the $500 saving challenge".

It works like this: "Over the course of a 31-day month, you stash away $1 on the first day, $2 on the second, $3 on the third and so forth. ... On Day 31, you'll put aside $31. And at that point, you'll have saved $496, with hardly any effort."

A September 1, 2017, article encourages -- among 20 ways to save money -- doing that every day:
"Start every day by setting aside $1 for $365 at yearend. Make it $3 for $1,095, or even $5 for $1,825."

How many truckers would be willing or able to do this?

9. The value of a warranty on a used truck boils down to "what it covers - and what it doesn't", according to a September 11, 2017, article.

The Used Truck Association president stated, "Can you afford not to have a warranty? You need to take steps to protect yourself."

Meanwhile, a September 2017, article shares "Tips for Reducing Truck Acquisition Costs" and another shares "How to Get the Most from Truck Resale".

10. Two amendments prohibiting "funding for establishing and collecting tolls in Oregon, Pennsylvania and Washington" were added to a U.S. House appropriations bill, HR3354, according to a September 7, 2017, article.

11. Confused about tractor trailer lengths allowed in some places?

"Now a useful guide, Truck Trailer Length State Laws illustrating the maximum tractor trailer length regulations has been published by Verduyn Tarps which illustrates the rules for every individual state", according to a September 8, 2017, article.

12. Why are some truckers leaving trucking companies?

They were lied to by the recruiter, they don't get enough miles, their home time wasn't satisfactory, and women stated they had "equipment issues", according to a September 2017, article.

I know for a fact that "not enough miles" and "not enough home time" were two reasons why my husband Mike left what used to be a Top 20 trucking company in 2015. Sad.

Some truckers are leaving the industry because the regulations keep increasing. An August 8, 2017, article reveals: "FMCSA Adds 12 Violations to SMS, Updates SMS Website". Are these regulations actually improving the trucking industry or reducing the number of truck crashes?

A December 19, 2016, article stated regarding 2015 statistics: "There were 745 fatal injuries to heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers, the most of any occupation." (In other words, trucking was the deadliest occupation in 2015.)

Meanwhile, a September 12, 2017, article stated about trucker wages: "The obvious fact here is that we live in a free market society whose economy runs on a supply and demand structure. The market will dictate the remuneration you're paid, determined on the specialty of your trade or skill in conjunction with the scarcity of workers in your sector. So if one is to put forth the position that drivers are vastly underpaid the argument that there is a driver's shortage holds no water and must be false, you simply can't have it both ways."

13. Don't drive mindlessly!

According to a September 20, 2017, article, a truck driver had "zero explanation" as to why he had driven "over two-and-a-half miles" on the boardwalk in Ventnor City, New Jersey.

If this was a case of a GPS error, it obviously was not a GPS that was geared for commercial motor vehicles!

14. Does "unlimited" mean "unlimited" when it comes to one's phone plan? In Australia, maybe not!

According to a September 20, 2017, article, a truckie is "perplexed and annoyed after receiving a text message from his mobile phone provider saying he needs to cut down on calls, despite paying for 'unlimited' calling."

Check the details of your mobile phone plan from time to time to make sure you're getting the best "talk, text and data" plan for you and your needs -- or whether there is a "fair use policy" in place.

According to the article, "fair use policy" by that service provider means, "Your use of the services must be fair, reasonable and not excessive, as reasonably determined by us by reference to average and/or estimated typical customer usage of the services."

15. It's important to have your truck's headlights on at times of low visibility.

Even though a September 18, 2017, article references a pick-up truck being involved in a crash with a school bus, it was due to the truck driver's not having his truck's headlights on that led to the bus driver not seeing him.

Consequently, when the bus turned left in the path of the truck that he did not see at 6:45 a.m., there was a crash (which was the truck driver's fault).

If memory serves me correctly from truck driver training school days, one needs to have one's headlights on
- an hour after sunrise and
- an hour before sunset.

Remember that your headlights help you see -- and help others see you!

My husband Mike and I wish you -- and all professional truck drivers -- safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road.


From the TDMST Weekly Round-Up: 2017.09.30

This is the TDMST Weekly Round-Up of news affecting professional truck drivers, written by Vicki Simons for the week ending September 30, 2017.

We welcome your comments, thoughts and feedback on the items of your choice below.

TDMST Weekly Round-Up 1. In this September 21, 2017, article, we read:

"Blockchain, a technology that stores incorruptible blocks of information across a shared digital network, could revolutionize the future of trucking and logistics by creating a new system of completing transactions, tracking shipments and managing fleets."

An example given in the article was how "distributors can trace a contaminated shipment to its source".

Another is "... the creation of a streamlined payment system. Blockchain technology can create a 'digitized roadmap' of routes, and smart contracts written into the blockchain can trigger the transfer of funds to a driver instantaneously once a delivery has been completed."

I'd love to see truckers get paid instantaneously for completing their work!

2. Are you in a truck driver training school on a federal student loan? Then watch out for missing checks.

According to a September 17, 2017, article, the director of a Tucson school "is accused of intercepting checks and depositing them into a business bank account he opened behind the school owner's back" and "embezzling nearly $1 million from students and his ex-employer".

Both the auditors and the bank have denied wrongdoing despite their involvement.

3. Are you driving in the Champaign, Illinois, area? Then be particularly careful about construction and the likelihood of encountering low clearance bridges and viaducts.

"Since the beginning of 2012, there have been 41 viaduct accidents, with one at Logan Street, 11 at Springfield, 14 at Washington Street and 15 at Green Street", a September 17, 2017, article stated.

Besides being costly, "When trucks collide with the viaduct, it ties up traffic for hours." Depending on the load being hauled, it could tie up the area for up to 6 hours.

Pay attention to low clearance signs, regardless of what your GPS unit says.

4. According to a September 15, 2017 article:

"Thom Albrecht, president of Sword and Sea Transport Advisors, pointed to four radical changes in consumerism that could dramatically alter trucking industry operations ... painting a picture of a near-future trucking industry that leans more heavily on less-than-truckload hauls, medium-duty straight trucks and vans, shorter routes and final-mile delivery. He predicts reefer to remain strong, despite shifts in reefer freight movement. Dry van, however, will see a decay in the coming years, he says."

How will these changes affect your job?

5. According to a September 15, 2017, article, a truck driver who arrived at a Zephyrhills, Florida, Home Depot store too late to be off-loaded ended up giving away the plywood on his trailer when the area people were desperate for the product in the face of Hurricane Irma.

While the load wasn't his to give away, some people are calling him a hero.

The article quoted the driver as saying that he had been fired from his job, but his trucking company's CEO wrote, "We understand what was probably going through his mind during these extraordinary circumstances, which is why we did not fire him, and have no plans to do so."

"Western Express said the company and the Home Depot would be 'writing off the cost of the plywood.'"

The only hitch in the situation was that evidently, for whatever reason, the driver either did not -- or was not able to -- communicate with his trucking company about giving away the plywood.

My husband Mike hauled dimensional lumber for a period of time and he said that in the same situation, he would have contacted his trucking company before giving away the product.

6. Arising from the news of the trucker who gave out plywood in advance of Hurricane Irma was this little nugget:

"...he arrived too late, delayed by the seven hours he spent Friday getting a flat tire changed in South Carolina."

This is a business opportunity in the making: helping truckers get their tires fixed or replaced in a more timely manner.

7. The subtitle of a September 18, 2017, article summed up a couple of presumptions about truck drivers in light of the December deadline regarding Electronic Logging Devices:

"Drivers worry about lost income with a December rule requiring electronic logs".

The first presumption is that many truckers are currently falsifying their log book entries.

The second presumption is that truckers will lose money when ELDs start being used.

The third presumption is that when faced with the ELD mandate and lower wages, many truckers will leave the industry.

Some years back, I seem to recall that one country (Japan?) had an on-time air transportation efficiency that was extremely high. I realize that this is not the same as truck transportation. However, if extremely high efficiency has been done in one industry, why can't the principles of that industry be applied to others?

What I'm saying is that
- if the Hours of Service regulation was more flexible;
- if shippers and receivers upped their games regarding drastically reducing loading and unloading times; and
- if truckers were truly paid what their skill sets and job responsibilites were worth;
then trucker income would go up regardless of electronic logs.

Just saying...

8. The opening paragraph of a September 13, 2017, article reads:

"Self-driving trucks, rather than throwing millions of drivers out of work, might actually increase the number of trucking jobs, two industry representatives told a U.S. Senate committee hearing Wednesday."

The article also stated: "Chris Spear, president of the American Trucking Associations, argued that completely autonomous trucks capable of driving themselves in all situations - a technology referred to as level 5 automation - remain decades away."

Meanwhile, "A U.S. trucking trade group and truck maker Navistar International Corp (NAV.N) urged a U.S. Senate panel on Wednesday to include self-driving commercial trucks in proposed legislation intended to speed autonomous vehicles to market", according to this September 13, 2017, article.

9. Watch where you park, even in the face of a storm.

A September 13, 2017, article stated: "A local driver carrying dangerous cargo said he got caught in Monday night's storm and had no other choice but to pull over into a strip mall parking lot and ride it out. But when the storm was over, he was blown away by the penalty he says he had to pay."

Kevin Gray pulled into "a strip mall in Decatur off of I-20 and Wesley Chapel Road" instead of "fighting 40 to 50 mph wind gusts". However the strip mall was marked with Private Property and towing signs.

"Gray said because he's an independent operator, he agreed to pay the $650 out of his own pocket", the article stated.


10. A September 12, 2017, article shares the true account a trucker who had been badly beaten for having gone into a "a wayside in Kenosha County".

Not only was the trucker beaten but his wallet was stolen.

We sympathize with the trucker and nothing like this should ever happen to anyone.

In my opinion, this is another reason why it is a good idea for truckers to have a portable toilet in their trucks.

11. "The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is speaking out against a bill that would force the U.S. Department of Transportation to push through a rule to mandate sleep apnea testing for trucker drivers", according to a September 29, 2017, article.

12. A September 28, 2017, article revealed that the Compliance, Safety, Accountability [CSA] safety measurement program -- that was supposed to result in a reduced number of crashes -- underwent "a congressionally mandated study" that "concluded that the safety measurement program is defendable on paper but falls short on execution."

13. A September 27, 2017, article stated: "The Owner- Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) led a 31-organization coalition in calling for passage of a bill U.S. Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX) introduced back in July - the ELD Extension Act of 2017 (HR 3282) - that would postpone the ELD implementation deadline till December 2019."

14. In a September 2017 article, we read that two results from the 7 trucks in the "Run on Less" contest were:
- 17 days in length; and
- 10.1 average miles per gallon!


My husband Mike and I wish you -- and all professional truck drivers -- safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road.


From the TDMST Weekly Round-Up: 2017.10.07

This is the TDMST Weekly Round-Up of news affecting professional truck drivers, written by Vicki Simons for the week ending October 7, 2017.

We welcome your comments, thoughts and feedback on the items of your choice below.

TDMST Weekly Round-Up 1. According to an October 2, 2017, article, "In 2015, large trucks were involved in more than 400,000 crashes, a 4% increase from 2014. Those crashes resulted in 4,000 deaths and 116,000 injuries."


Furthermore, the article stated, "The AAA Foundation looked at safety and cost benefits of four advanced safety systems available for use in trucks", which were named.

"According to the foundation, the societal safety benefits, which include the economic value of lives saved, injuries prevented, etc., of equipping all trucks with lane departure warning and video-based onboard safety monitoring far outweigh the costs. ...

"Lane departure warning systems can prevent up to 6,372 crashes, 1,342 injuries and 115 deaths each year.

"Video-based onboard safety monitoring systems can prevent as many as 63,000 crashes, 17,733 injuries and 293 deaths each year."

I'm interested in knowing the costs of these products, how they will help prevent crashes when the other vehicle is clearly at fault, and what the real ROI (Return On Investment) is. If you're currently using one or both of these systems, would you please comment below -- or write a product review?

2. A September 26, 2017, article revealed that a truck driver who "veered" -- possibly to try to avoid a collision with a four-wheel vehicle -- "careened through a freeway guardrail in Otay Mesa and crash landed onto the street below, killing the driver instantly".

Be on your guard against any vehicle that may do this to you. Drive with a spirit of anticipation and be ready to slow and stop.

3. A September 27, 2017, article entitled "High cost of truckers not having enough places to park and rest" stated:

"A pilot study by Oregon State University illustrates the high economic cost of having too few safe places for commercial truck drivers to park and rest.

"Over a seven-year period on one 290-mile stretch of highway alone, at-fault truck crashes resulted in approximately $75 million of 'crash harm,' research conducted by the OSU College of Engineering for the Oregon Department of Transportation shows."

Farther on down the article, we read a quote from Salvador Hernandez, a transportation safety and logistics researcher at Oregon State:

"'Around the country, commercial drivers are often unable to find safe and adequate parking to meet hours-of-service regulations,' Hernandez said. 'This holds true in Oregon, where rest areas and truck stops in high-use corridors have a demand for truck parking that exceeds capacity. That means an inherent safety concern for all highway users, primarily due to trucks parking in undesignated areas or drivers exceeding the rules to find a place to park.'"

The solution is not to wait for the day when autonomous trucks are on the road.

4. No explanation was given in the September 28, 2017, article for why the driver of a Peterbilt truck was traveling "at a high speed when he rear-ended Wummer's Ford Escape while she was slowing down to around 10 mph for a work zone". The woman whose vehicle he hit died at the scene.

I suspect that this driver was either tired or distracted.

Stay alert!

5. "An Indiana truck driver called out the Big Brother-esque over-regulation that he experiences in his occupation", states a September 21, 2017, article.

The trucker also stated, "Every minute of every day is monitored by Uncle Sam, who takes care that I can never make a decision for myself based on my circumstances."

The irony that the trucker points out is that the very clocks that are designed to keep truckers from working too long end up making them feel "rushed to get to their destinations before the clock runs out."

Truckers, don't allow yourself to feel rushed on the job. Haste can lead to waste.

6. What led to a tractor-trailer loaded with vodka flipping on its side in North Carolina?

According to a September 22, 2017, article, "the driver flipped his cab and trailer as he made a right turn ... [and failed] to lock down the load, which allowed it to shift when he took the turn".

Remember to slow down before curves and turns. Do not let the momentum of the freight inside your truck take you places you don't want to go. Stay in control.

7. Are you one of the "1 in 3 shoppers [who according to an article] uses the Internet to seek information before shopping"?

My husband Mike and I are. Among the Smartphone apps we use is Flipp. We also use Trello to help us keep up with our virtual shopping list.

8. Drivers, I want to know if you run into any problems with the "all-electric APU, the TriPac Envidia" from Thermo King, particularly as it concerns keeping the unit going when the truck has not been running for a while.

This was one of "two new products at the North American Commercial Vehicle show" in Atlanta, according to a September 29, 2017, article.

Review this product here.

9. "The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is just one member of the group of 31 organizations in the coalition" ... "that is growing in membership while making an appeal to delay a federal regulation requiring trucks to be equipped with electronic logging devices", according to an October 4, 2017, article.

Continuing... "There are significant technological and real-world concerns that have not been addressed by FMCSA, according to OOIDA. These concerns include the certification of devices (or lack thereof), connectivity problems in remote areas of the country, cybersecurity vulnerabilities, and the ability of law enforcement to access data. The FMCSA's inability or refusal to resolve these issues makes the enactment of HR 3282 [-- 'a bill proposed by US Representative Brian Babin (R-TX-36) that would delay the ELD mandate for two years' --] unquestionably necessary."

The article states that the estimated cost to "impacted stakeholders [is] more than $2 billion ... a massive unfunded mandate that provides no safety, economic, or productivity benefits for most ensnared by the mandate."

"Operation Black and Blue" (according to its website) "is an organized protest, in which we endeavor to sustain the integrity and dignity of the trucking industry, and the drivers, by protesting against unfair regulations." This group also has a Facebook page.

This October 4, 2017, article states that 1 million truckers have yet to comply with the mandate. Out of 3.5 million, that is about 28.5%.

10. Obviously, investor Warren Buffett doesn't see truck drivers disappearing from the American landscape any time soon. (link)

An October 3, 2017, article states that the Buffet-controlled "Berkshire Hathaway has made a significant minority investment in [the] truckstop chain".

This October 3, 2017, article reports that "Berkshire bought a 38.6% stake in Pilot Flying J, and in six years, it will boost ownership to 80%".

Another confirmation as to truckers remaining on the scene for a while was an article about tractor manufacturers at the NACV Show designing their rigs for driver preferences.

11. Did you know that French "Truckers were furious that the reforms, pushed through by France's president Emmanuel Macron, would threaten bonuses they are entitled to such as night pay, travel expenses and a thirteenth month salary, that make up a significant portion of their salaries"?

12. At "the peak of their shipping season", potato farmers in Skagit County, Washington, are feeling the effects of a "driver shortage" that the October 6, 2017, article said was due
- "partly from commercial drivers striking over a new federal law that requires drivers to use an electronic device that automatically logs miles and hours driven"; and
- partly because truckers are "delivering supplies to hurricane-damaged communities in Texas and Florida".

I suspect that if shipping potatoes paid more, there would be more trucks available to ship them.

Of course, that would probably cause the price of potatoes to go up. Just saying...

My husband Mike and I wish you -- and all professional truck drivers -- safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road.


From the TDMST Weekly Round-Up: 2017.10.14

This is the TDMST Weekly Round-Up of news affecting professional truck drivers, written by Vicki Simons for the week ending October 14, 2017.

We welcome your comments, thoughts and feedback on the items of your choice below.

TDMST Weekly Round-Up 1. The annual "Operation Safe Driver Week, [which is] aimed at combating unsafe driving behaviors by truckers and passenger car drivers" -- according to an October 5, 2017 article -- "is scheduled for the week of Oct. 15-21."

On October 9, 2017, published "Eight tips: Don't get pegged during CVSA's safe driving enforcement week".

As a heads-up about what to especially look for, Land Line Magazine published on July 26, 2017, a list of "The top five warnings and citations issued to CMV drivers" last year during Safe Driver Week.

2. This October 3, 2017, article points out the need for truckers to be treated with respect in terms of not only being paid for their time but also being allowed to use an on-site restroom facility.

What did the shipper expect the driver to do for 15 hours?

This is one reason why I never drove or rode in a commercial motor vehicle without a portable toilet.

3. According to an October 6, 2017, article about autonomous trucks:

"When it comes to drivers actually being able to take their eyes off the road while that active steering keeps the truck in its lane and other ADAS technologies keep the truck a safe distance from vehicles ahead of it, Volvo's Brandis said that there's much more research to be done."


"What happens when a vehicle cuts in front, or when snow obscures the sensors? 'All these are challenges we as engineers admit we haven't figured out, but that's OK,' Brandis said."


"However, Volvo officials emphasized that they 'do not see a world that does not have professional truck drivers.' As Göran Nyberg, head of VTNA, pointed out, aircraft have been using sophisticated autopilot systems for many years. But 'when an aircraft needs a pilot, it really needs a pilot, and that goes for the trucking industry as well.'"


"Even so, a lot of people will still feel more comfortable with a human behind the wheel."

The article lists the results of 2 polls.

4. According to this article, the ELD is going to force drivers to run strictly by the clock.

"Your fourteen hours starts as soon as you start. You can't stop it, you can't do nothing," said Amy Funk, who has 7 trucks. "I may have to hire another driver just to have him sitting here to go pick trucks up, bring trucks in."

According to Funk, the trucker protest taking place around the country are "to show an example of how deliveries can't be made within the time constraints."

So, does this mean that drivers who are driving her trucks have been falsifying their log books all along to make deliveries on time?

5. According to an October 6, 2017, article, "The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has a list of 30 approved ELDs on their website, but drivers buying from other self-certified companies could find out later their new software is not certified."

The self-certification issue is a big issue for some truckers and the trucking companies for whom they drive. Why? What if they pay hundreds or thousands of dollars on a self-certified system, only to find out later that it didn't work correctly?

According to an October 6, 2017, article, "The devices on FMCSA's registry have not been vetted for performance or compliance; manufacturers themselves submit the devices and claim that they are compliant."

And that is the reason why " announced... it is teaming up with electronic logging device providers to build an online database of available ELDs ... [that they have] carefully researched and vetted..."

CCJ has published "The Ultimate ELD Survival Guide" and "Successful ELD Rollout White Paper".

6. Praise is due!

I applaud every trucker who is able to make difficult turns look easy like the one captured in the video embedded in this October 6, 2017, article.

Secondly, a drone captured aerial footage of the excellent parking job that one trucker did.

That's great. But there are truckers all over the country -- and possibly around the world -- who can do just as good a job. And I applaud them all.

7. "The latest traffic crash data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that 37,461 lives were lost on U.S. roads in calendar year 2016 -- marking a significant increase of 5.6% over the same period in 2015", according to an October 10, 2017, article.

"As to fatalities resulting from crashes involving large trucks, the agency recorded a 5.4% jump in those over 2015, the highest since 2007. Of those 4,317 fatalities, 16.7% (722 persons) were occupants of large trucks, 10.8% were 'non- occupants,' and 72.4% were occupants of other vehicles."

According to a related October 10, 2017, article, "An estimated 94% of serious crashes are linked to poor driver choices."

8. "Truckers around the country -- including in the nation's capital -- gathered between Oct. 6-8 to protest the upcoming ELD mandate, which goes into effect Dec. 18", read an October 6, 2017, article.

"Some were participating in the ELD or Me protest in Washington, DC, while others took to the streets in Fresno, California, as part of Operation Black and Blue, to protest the implementation of the electronic logging device rule, which has proved controversial among small trucking companies and owner-operators."

An October 12, 2017, post on states that truckers are letting President Trump know "It's an #ELDorMe."

Protests extended to local places, too, according to an October 11, 2017, article.

This October 7, 2017, article stated that ELDs will not improve safety, and I agree with that.

As much as I empathize with the truckers who are being forced to accept and use ELDs -- and support their right to protest in peaceful ways -- I cannot support the protest when truckers stop their trucks on any roadway, impeding the flow of traffic, as this October 9, 2017, article states.

9. An October 9, 2017, article about how the state of Wisconsin is planning to put sensors at the "congested rest stop on eastbound I-4" for the 17 spaces there raises 2 points.

1. Not having enough spaces "often forces tired drivers to either keep driving or park illegally"; and
2. As one trucker said, "Expanding rest stops and having more spaces would help a lot more."

Why is a state investing in trying to make it easier for truckers to use a limited number of spaces instead of focusing on creating more spaces? This situation of not having enough parking spaces for big trucks has existed for years.

In my opinion, states need to expedite the process of creating more big truck parking spaces near existing industrial parks where trucks have to pick up and deliver loads anyway.

10. "A Kenosha truck driver died after a collision Thursday morning on Russell Road in Wadsworth that shut down the roadway to traffic for over five hours, according to the Lake County Sheriff's Office", stated an October 12, 2017, article.

Our condolences go to the trucker's family.

This accident happened when the truck was "struck by a Jeep Compass" that had "crossed the roadway's double yellow center line for an unknown reason and struck the tractor trailer, causing it to go off the road and into a ditch."

I wouldn't be a bit surprised if the woman driving the Jeep had become distracted while driving.

11. An October 8, 2017, article states that a trucker "lost control of the vehicle while trying to negotiate a right curve in the roadway" which led to the rig leaving the road, overturning multiple times and "ending up at the bottom of an embankment."

The trucker and his passenger were ejected from the vehicle (an indication that they were not wearing seat belts), the trucker died, and 20 cows on board also died. The passenger survived with "serious injuries".

When you're getting ready to make turns and take sharper curves like loop de loop highway exits, slow down ahead of time.

My husband Mike and I wish you -- and all professional truck drivers -- safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road.


Updated: Forced to Retire from Trucking and Truck Driving

Which factors have impacting the trucking industry such that some truckers have been forced to retire? Is there anything professional truck drivers can do about them?


From 2 wide to 1/2 dots. Comes in handy for oh so many things from phone holders to dog dishes. ----- Response from Vicki: That's an excellent idea!

Updated: Buying a Thermoelectric Cooler? Here's What Truckers Need to Know...

Before you buy a thermoelectric cooler, you need to know some things. Our experience with this cooling device may help you...


Earn More, Save More

Did you catch from the October 12, 2017, article listed above that not only did a trucker die due to an accident caused by a four-wheeler, but that the road was closed to traffic for over five hours?

We can say with safety that the family of the trucker who died are devastated emotionally. And, if they depended on the trucker's income for their livelihood, they will most likely be devastated financially, too.

How horrible!

Make no mistake about it: truckers work hard for their money. But they are trading their time for money, not leveraging it.

Would you like to learn how you can start earning a second income from the cab of your truck?

Vicki is pleased to announced that is live and you can now subscribe to get Second Income for Truckers Video Mini-Course for FREE!

Her SIFT Video Mini-Course is a lead-in to the paid Second Income for Truckers Report.

Learn more at


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The snow has started to fly (and land) in some places up north. Not only do you want to make sure that you have good tread on your truck's tires, but you'll want and need to have appropriate traction devices before you go into some areas.

Truck traction devices include cables, chains (manually applied and "instant" varieties), truck claws, and auto socks big enough for truck tires. Due your own due diligence before buying.

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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