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TDMST Email Newsletter, 2017-12
December 08, 2017

Truck Drivers Money Saving Tips Email Newsletter

Issue #101, December 8, 2017

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From the TDMST Weekly Round-Up: 2017.11.18

This is the TDMST Weekly Round-Up of news affecting professional truck drivers, written by Vicki Simons for the week ending November 18, 2017.

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

TDMST Weekly Round-Up 1. A November 15, 2017, article says that during the "transition period" between the ELD mandate in December 2017 and the enforcement of them through April 1, 2018, truckers who "are cited at roadside for not complying with the ELD rule" will not have CSA points but they could still face hefty fines!

According to Lane Kidd, managing director of The Alliance for Driver Safety & Security, "the fines attached to those tickets will likely cost the drivers more than the price of an ELD".

2. Here's a question that came up from a November 15, 2017, article:

Why would a bread delivery driver be carrying $900 in cash in his wallet on the job?

3. If there's one thing that we learn from a November 15, 2017, article, it is that ripping off, taking advantage of, or exploiting customers will bounce back on anyone who does it -- sooner or later.

Temporary gain at the expense of one's conscience never pays off. Don't do it and don't put yourself in a position to do it to others.

4. According to a November 15, 2017, article, a New Jersey truck driver was detained and "charged with theft of service, toll evasion and failure to observe toll signs" when he ran through "an E-ZPass toll on the George Washington Bridge" without paying and was found to have "over 532 toll violations and $62,262 in outstanding tolls."

When you use a toll road, pay for the use of the service.

If you don't want to pay for the service, use one that is clearly free.

5. A simple "accounting error" caused a truck driver who maintained his innocence to
- be "charged with grand larceny after his employer accused him of stealing $2,000";
- endure "nearly a year of legal trouble"; and
- take a financial toll on him "with an open felony charge" against him.

However, according to a November 17, 2017, article, he was vindicated when the error was discovered. Hurray!

6. According to a November 14, 2017, article,

"Trucking companies and giants who invest heavily in logistics--like Amazon and Walmart--see great potential in cutting costs and speeding up delivery times. That will come via cutting labor costs when truck drivers no longer become necessary..."

"Goldman Sachs economists predicted that trucking will shed about 300,000 jobs per year starting in about 25 years. That may begin sooner than anticipated if automated trucking clears government hurdles and technology innovations--and becomes widely adopted by trucking companies."

7. Fleet management technology provider Zonar published graphics "showing the top 10 most dangerous roads in the U.S. for truck drivers", according to a November 14, 2017, article.

This is important because "An additional 36 percent more trucks are on the roads during the holidays ... and truck companies can use logistics to keep drivers safe."

8. Truckers who support HR 3282, a House bill to delay the ELD mandate deadline for two years, know that the bill's passage is unlikely before the December deadline.

According to November 14, 2017, article, "That's left truckers suggesting that their only hope of halting the regulation is a nationwide strike."

Do you think that there will be a nationwide strike, especially the week before Christmas?

Meanwhile, a November 14, 2017, article stated:

"ELDs should simplify the tracking of hours and free drivers from the drudgery of paperwork and should even make inspections faster and easier."

9. When the law says that you need to move over when law enforcement is parked on the shoulder, do it if it is at all possible.

One trucker in Canada didn't and now has been "charged with driving after 14 hours of duty without eight hours off and failure to slow down and proceed with caution for an emergency vehicle", according to a November 13, 2017, article.

Furthermore, "Fines for conviction of the fail to slow and move over charge range from $400 to $2,000 for the first offence and $1,000 to $4,000 for the second offence or imprisonment for six months, or both."

10. A food truck driver "has been charged with involuntary manslaughter" and has "also charged with reckless driving, driving without a license and insurance, and failure to have a vehicle inspected in connection with the Sept. 8 crash that killed" a 39-year-old mother and "injured her three children and her mother."

A November 13, 2017, article said that the truck "ran a stop sign" supposedly due to brake failure. Part of the indictment was "driving a vehicle 'not under proper control or which had inadequate or improperly adjusted brakes'".

Before you drive a truck, make sure the brakes are properly adjusted.

Our condolences go to the family of the woman who was killed.

11. "Authorities say an ex-truck driver for a Phoenix company who was indicted for dumping thousands of gallons of sewage into a school's storm drainage system has pleaded guilty and is facing prison time", according to a November 13, 2017, article.

Make sure that you dump things that need to be dumped in approved locations only.

12. According to a November 12, 2017, article, in New Delhi, India, the time it takes for "trucks and goods vehicles to cross state borders still ranges from 2 to 9 hours at some of the check points".

13. According to a November 17, 2017, article, "Amazon is looking to speed up the process for trucks to get in and out of its massive warehouses with a new app called Relay."

If you've used Relay, please write a service review.

14. In an article published on November 17, 2017, one professional truck driver wrote, "driverless trucks will be here before driverless cars because that's where the early money is going to be made. With some of the world's most aggressive and best capitalized companies racing to be first with a viable driverless vehicle, I don't give myself very good odds on choosing when to hang up my keys."

Meanwhile, on November 7, 2017, we read, "Workhorse Group Inc. is official kicking off a pilot test program in 'several major cities' this week of its new N-Gen electric van equipped with an optional HorseFly unmanned aerial vehicle or 'drone' for delivering packages weighing up to 10 lbs."

This type of machine could eliminate the need for delivery drivers of smaller parcels, like fast food.

Just saying...

15. If you use "TruckWings" -- as was described here, as a aerodynamic enhancement on your truck would you please provide a product review?

16. Not only are there "smart trucks" but also "smart highways".

According to a November 2017, article, , the City of Los Angeles has been using a smart road for over 30 years. Look for more of these in the future.

17. According to a November 13, 2017, article, "Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT) wants the U.S. government to only provide federal contracts to trucking companies that pay workers a living wage and benefits, he stated in a letter President Trump last week."

Only, I didn't see any definition of "a living wage and benefits".

- a November 10, 2017, article states, "Higher base pay and bigger bonuses are being deployed by motor carriers across a range of sectors -- from flatbed operators to dry van freight haulers"; and
- a November 15, 2017, article states, "Driver pay is headed up, driven by tightening capacity, a shortage of drivers, rising turnover and improving freight rates".

18. One of "Five Tips for Winterizing Heavy-Duty Diesel Engines" -- according to a November 17, 2017, article -- is "Treat the fuel".

19. The subtitle of a November 15, 2017, article says it all:

"Drivers can improve MPG by thinking about idling and truck stop time and proper acceleration techniques and appropriate engine and road speed."

My husband Mike and I wish you -- and all professional truck drivers -- safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road. If you're a professional truck driver in the USA, we also wish you and your family a blessed Thanksgiving.


From the TDMST Weekly Round-Up: 2017.11.25

This is the TDMST Weekly Round-Up of news affecting professional truck drivers, written by Vicki Simons for the week ending November 25, 2017.

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

TDMST Weekly Round-Up 1. There is ongoing legal wrangling about the contribution of the truck driver whose falling asleep when traffic was stopped led to a "Palm Springs tour bus crash that killed 13". There was one very interesting statement in a November 22, 2017, article:

"NTSB Chairman Robert L. Sumwalt said, 'In this crash, not one but two commercial vehicle drivers -- people who drive for a living -- were unable to respond appropriately to cues that other motorists did act on.'"

"Cues that other motorists did act on" implies the movement of traffic -- and in that manner, also implies vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication. There is more about this technology on the NHTSA's website.

2. According to a November 22, 2017, article, an Oklahoma trucker died following an accident that resulted from his attempt to avoid a collision with "the rear dual tires" that had come off of a vehicle traveling in the opposite direction.

He swerved to avoid the dual tires, causing the truck to roll over. He was pinned and partially ejected from the vehicle despite wearing a seat belt.

This is the first time I've read that someone wearing a seat belt was partially ejected from any vehicle.

Our condolences go to the trucker's family.

3. A November 21, 2017, article about the debt, bondage and "forced labor" imposed on truckers at U.S. ports near Los Angeles stated:

"some lawmakers are moving ahead nonetheless with the Port Drivers' Bill of Rights Act of 2017. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Grace Napolitano and seven other House Democrats, is intended to create basic standards of work for port truckers, including fair wages, protection under labor laws, and freedom from 'exploitative truck lease or rental arrangements'".

Exploitative situations like this could be avoided if those who put truckers in such situations would simply love them as they love themselves. Just saying...

4. How big of a problem is it for "heavy items such as granite and stone" to be broken into loads that are legal to haul when it comes to weight?

According to a November 21, 2017, article, an attorney stated,
- "When truckers arrive at the Port of Long Beach or Port of Los Angeles to ferry the products, they are charged if they don't take the entire load".
- If truckers take a whole load, "The moment they pull out of the port, they are in violation of city laws".
- But "If the trucking companies ask their customers to ship lighter loads, customers threaten to take their business elsewhere."

If you had the ability to fix this problem, what would be your solution?

5. A fight within the trucking industry involves the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) "plan to ease new emissions rules for part of the trucking business", according to a November 21, 2017, article.

This concerns "gliders", which are "heavy-duty trucks built from new and remanufactured parts" that "cost about 25 percent less than a new $150,000 semi-tractor".

Objections have been raised by truck and engine manufacturers because they have invested "millions of dollars into new technology to control emissions in trucks in the U.S. and globally and don't want their investment undercut."

6. A November 20, 2017, article stated:

"Massachusetts law enforcement ticketed more than a thousand commercial truck drivers in 2017 for using their cell phones while driving, according to statistics from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)". One Massachusetts State Police Trooper said that it's a big problem.

The article also stated, "Distraction is the second deadliest cause for crashes involving large trucks, according to 2013-15 data from the FMCSA. Speeding is number one."

- It's against the law for commercial motor vehicle drivers to hold a cell phone;
- Truckers who use a hand-held phone risk losing their jobs;
- The fine for this illegal action costs $2,750;
- A moment of distraction is all it takes to be involved in a crash; and
- Truckers who were using the phone or texting while driving -- and who caused fatalities -- know that their distracted behavior wasn't worth it.

7. According to a November 24, 2017, article, "A truck driver who caused a fatal head-on crash on the Trans-Canada Highway had psychosis and likely didn't know what he was doing when he crossed the centre line, a psychiatrist told court Thursday".

What is strange is that the trucker had:
- "previously been hospitalized for mental-health concerns";
- "admitted he caused the crash";
- but says "he can't be held criminally responsible because of his mental disorder."

Why would a trucking company open itself to liability by hiring someone who has a known mental disorder?

8. Kudos go to the Boise Stage Stop in Boise, Idaho, for feeding a Thanksgiving meal to CDL drivers.

A November 23, 2017, article stated that the truck stop's motto is "Everyone is Family" and "that's why they started Driver Appreciation Day."

9. A very long November 2017 article entitled "70 Answers to Top ELD Questions" has some interesting points. Among them are:
- 25. How do I know my ELD is compliant?
- 26. Do I need to buy a device that has third-party verification?
- 52. What are the penalties for noncompliance?
- 59. What do drivers do if their ELD stops working? and
- 63. If I choose a device that turns out to not be compliant, despite the vendor's self-certification, what do I do?

Meanwhile, in a 2017 ELD Buyers' Guide, we read:

"The right price: In the crowded ELD market, a few companies set themselves apart with systems requiring no monthly fee".

Let the buyer beware.

10. A November 22, 2017, article reveals that at least two veteran truckers are skeptical about Tesla truck technology.

One of them stated, "I am not going to put my life into the hands of a computer".

Another said, "I trust a person's ability to recognize a hazard up ahead more than I do a computer's -- there's just too much room for error".

Do you agree or disagree?

11. Meanwhile, in the first part of a two-part article about "10 Tesla Takeaways" published on November 21, 2017, the author states (point 4):

"Autonomous tech is coming far faster than most realize".

12. I could be wrong, but I summarize a November 22, 2017, article about the state of New York having lost tens of millions of dollars through unpaid tolls this way:
- either the state didn't think things through when it came to the likelihood of people skipping paying tolls;
- or the state has gotten sloppy about its toll collections.

13. Supposedly, the FMCSA is "offering more electronic logging device transition guidance", according to a November 21, 2017, article.

"For more information on ELDs please visit:".

14. Truckers, you are very important!

According to a November 21, 2017, article, "The amount of freight hauled by the trucking industry in October rose 9.9 percent year-over-year, the largest increase since December 2013."

15. According to a November 21, 2017, article:

"Eroad, a global provider of fleet-management technology, has been selected to take part in the first multi-state truck pilot to explore the feasibility of instituting a Mileage-Based User Fee along I-95, the East Coast's main north-south Interstate highway, running from the Canadian border in northern Maine through Miami in South Florida."

A related article is here.

16. In response to a November 21, 2017, article about "fatigue monitoring technology", I feel compelled to ask this simple question:

Why aren't the Hours of Service regulations flexible enough to let truckers rest when they're tired?

In a related article, we read:

"As many truckers are quick to point out, the hours of service rule's one-size-fits-all prescription isn't suited for drivers' highly variable and unpredictable schedules. Furthermore, because the rule is unable to address the quality or quantity of sleep during off-duty periods, there is no guarantee baked into the regulation that a driver legal on hours is alert enough to drive safely."


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: 2017.12.02

This is the TDMST Weekly Round-Up of news affecting professional truck drivers, written by Vicki Simons for the week ending December 2, 2017.

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

Note: This page was updated on December 3, 2017, to correct annual costs versus monthly costs of ongoing ELD service.

TDMST Weekly Round-Up This issue of TDMST Weekly Round-Up will focus solely on the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate.

There are numerous articles online and in print about the December 18, 2017, deadline to comply with the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate -- as well as the December 4, 2017, set of protests against the mandate.

One thing is clear: A machine that records the hours worked is dependent upon the one who is using the machine to input accurate information.

If a professional truck driver falsifies his/her electronic log to record work time as if it was not work time, a series of things will most likely happen:
1. The problems associated with the current way that most truckers are paid will not change;
2. The problems associated with the current way that some shippers and receivers operate will not change;
3. The problems associated with the current Hours of Service (HOS) regulations will not change; and
4. The problems associated with truck and trucker safety will not change.

Let me paint a scenario and share what's wrong. Let's assume that "John" arrives at Big Shipper on time but the load he is to pick up isn't ready to be loaded on his truck. John has to wait 6 hours in a parking place on the property and then has to move his truck into the dock. Well, he can't list the 6 hours as part of his sleeper berth time because his sleep time -- according to the HOS regulations -- has to be 10 hours. Not only that, but depending upon when John started driving to the shipper, he may not be able to move his truck after 6 hours of waiting anyway. If he started driving any farther back on the clock than 5 hours before he arrived at the shipper, he is not supposed to drive his truck at all (because of the 11-hour window in the HOS). What is John supposed to do? Will he be paid for his time waiting?

In my opinion, if all drivers simply agreed not to falsify their logs and refused to move their trucks when their Hours of Service demanded it, there would soon be change! Freight wouldn't move, trucks would be backed up, chaos would ensue.

What about being paid? Truckers are the ones who are operating the equipment they drive. If they simply refuse to drive when they are not supposed to drive, yes, it may hurt on the basis of cents per mile for a while, but the method by which they are paid to do their jobs will most likely change. Pressure will need to be put upon the parties who are responsible for trucker delays: shippers and receivers.

Back in the September 30, 2017, issue of TDMST Weekly Round-Up, I wrote,

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.

I took time to look up some info about air transportation in Japan and found a couple of articles:
- According to this article, "Emirates [Japan] has invested in one of the best flight planning systems available, to carefully plan flights and optimise routes. By working with our partners at Airservices Australia (ASA) to use non-fixed (flexible) air traffic routes that are optimised for the prevailing weather, we save time, fuel and emissions -- every day."
- According to this February 23, 2010, article, "Japan Airlines and ANA topped the rankings of major carriers' on-time records by FlightStats, a platform by Portland, Ore. company Conductive Technology. ... What's particularly special about Japan Airlines' 91% on-time record is that it achieved this with more than 215,000 flights during the year."

Again, I think that it is possible that manufacturing, shipping and receiving in the USA can be made more efficient.

Furthermore, if truckers are only being paid to drive -- as in being paid cents per mile -- then this basically says that the rest of the time that they are on duty not driving is worthless. This patently unfair system needs to change.

Let's look at another perspective of the ELD mandate: Supposedly, this move is going to save lives. Do you remember what happened in 2013 when the Hours of Service regulation was changed, purportedly to "save lives"?

I wrote a guest blog here on August 1, 2013, citing, "FMCSA estimated that these new safety regulations will save 19 lives and prevent about 1,400 crashes and 560 injuries each year." Has that happened?

According to a November 29, 2017, article, "Data released by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) on November 21 revealed 2,030 more people died in transportation accidents in 2016 than in 2015, with highway fatalities accounting for 95% of all transportation fatalities in 2016." OK, what about large truck crashes?

According to Data and Statistics from the FMCSA:
- "Over the past year (from 2012 to 2013): The number of large trucks involved in fatal crashes increased by 2 percent, from 3,825 to 3,906, and the vehicle involvement rate for large trucks in fatal crashes (vehicles involved in fatal crashes per 100 million miles traveled by large trucks) remained steady at 1.42." (link)
- "Over the past year (from 2013 to 2014): The number of large trucks involved in fatal crashes decreased by 5 percent, from 3,921 to 3,744, and the large truck involvement rate (large trucks involved in fatal crashes per 100 million miles traveled by large trucks) declined by 6 percent, from 1.43 to 1.34." (link)
- "Over the past year (from 2014 to 2015): The number of large trucks involved in fatal crashes increased by 8 percent, from 3,749 to 4,050, and the large truck involvement rate (large trucks involved in fatal crashes per 100 million miles traveled by large trucks) increased by 8 percent, from 1.34 to 1.45." (link)

In my October 14, 2017, issue of TDMST Weekly Round-Up, in point #7, I cited an October 10, 2017, article that stated: "As to fatalities resulting from crashes involving large trucks, the [National Highway Traffic Safety Administration] recorded a 5.4% jump in those over 2015, the highest since 2007."

So, annually over the period from 2012 to 2016, fatal crashes involving large trucks was up by 2 percent, down by 5 percent, up by 8 percent, and up by 5.4%, for a net increase of 10.4%. What has been happening? Are the large trucks at fault in all or even most of these fatal crashes involving large trucks?

Ohio doesn't represent the entire USA, of course, but we read in a November 22, 2017, article that "Based on statistics from 2016, the Ohio DOT confirmed that the truck driver wasn't at fault in about 75 percent of fatality crashes involving a commercial motor vehicle."

Obviously, something needs to be done to prevent the fatal crashes for which truckers are at fault. But the focus needs to be on the greater of the two contributors, which is not the commercial motor vehicles or their drivers. Imagine the uproar that would ensue if non-commercial motor vehicles were all required to have monitoring systems in them!

I was very pleased to read in a November 30, 2017, article that Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hall sent a letter to the FMCSA, asking "for a delay on the mandate, citing the 'self-certification' provision in the current regulation that allows device manufacturers to claim their ELDs are compliant, without any government or third-party verification." He wrote that "with no effective procedures seemingly yet developed to provide oversight over such self-certifying -- drivers and operators are left without any way of ascertaining which brands and models of devices ultimately will pass muster ... They must fly blindly into investing in products they are being required to purchase."

Another aspect of the ELD mandate that has not been addressed appropriately is the possibility that ELDs can be hacked or operated remotely without driver input. We already know that reports about compliance can be sent to 2 entities other than the trucker!

As far as verification is concerned, one wonders if trucking companies that have been using ELDs for some time are any "safer" than trucking companies that haven't been using them. According to one resource I read last night, a large trucking company that uses ELDs has a poor safety record!

What about the economic impact of ELDs? Well, first there is the cost of the device, then the ongoing cost of the service, and then the cost of training a driver on how to use the device and service. (I wouldn't trust any company that doesn't charge a monthly fee for service, because there will be no motivation to keep the service compliant. Just saying...)

Will the ELD save time and money in the long run? Supposedly, "the net benefits of ELDs outweigh the costs with expected paperwork savings of over $1.6 billion annually" (link). With 3.5 million trucks in operation, that assumes an annual savings per truck of over $457 per year. Is that reasonable?

What about the ongoing cost of the ELD service? If 3.5 million trucks pay $50 per month, that will be an outlay of $175 million per month. Multiply that by 12 months for an annual cost of $2.1 BILLION in service fees -- after the cost of the equipment and installation! (That's whole lot of money that can be put into increasing driver pay.)

What about the cost of lives? If the ELD mandate is estimated to save 26 lives every year -- at an ongoing cost of $2,100,000,000 per year -- then that means that each of those lives is worth $80,769,230.76 annually. At $80,769,230 per year, that's about $221,285 per day. Why aren't truckers being treated and paid as if they weren't worth that much money?

So, this issue is about far more than just moving a commercial driver's Record of On Duty Status (RODS) from paper to an electronic format. This is about power and control. And it's also a move toward replacing professional truck drivers with autonomous trucks. The only problem is that if 75% of the fatal crashes involving large trucks aren't the truck driver's fault, then in such situations, it won't matter if the "operator" of a truck is a human or a machine. There will still be truck crashes because the fault lies with the operator of the other vehicle.

Read more about the December 4, 2017, protests against the ELD mandates here and here.

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: 2017.12.09

This is the TDMST Weekly Round-Up of news affecting professional truck drivers, written by Vicki Simons for the week ending December 9, 2017.

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

TDMST Weekly Round-Up 1. Many articles have been written about the ELD mandate protest. And others are still being written.

I feel compelled to address this part of a December, 5, 2017, article, "Lifting the mandate, though, would be a big mistake. That's because if we're being honest, the only reason to resist installing an ELD is to keep cheating."

That viewpoint is incredibly naive and does not take into account numerous other factors, at least three of which I addressed in my Facebook Live broadcast (turned into a YouTube video entitled, What Professional Drivers Must Know About The ELD Mandate) which are:
- the costs,
- the self-certification problem, and
- the safety numbers since the FMCSA changed the 2013 Hours of Service regulations, supposedly in the name of safety.

According to a November 30, 2017, article, "Federal data shows that an ELD reduced the truck crash rate by 11.7 percent and reduced hours-of-service violations by 50 percent when compared to users of paper logs." However, I've never seen any of this data published online. Where is it?

"Representatives of the small carriers' segment of trucking industry appeared before The U.S. House Committee on November 29, one day after a request was sent to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao requesting an exemption to the ELD mandate for carrier with fewer than 50 employees," according to a November 29, 2017, article.

One November 30, 2017, article stated that a group of truckers going by the name "ELD or Me" who oppose the electronic logging device mandate are 19,000-strong. They were "planning to stage events around the nation [on Monday, Dec. 4] against the mandate and in support of a bill in Congress that would delay the proposal for two years." At the time the article was written, more than 40 locations had been arranged and the group's goal was at least one rally in every state.

Information about where the rallies were to be held were linked from this November 28, 2017, article.

Independent Kentucky truckers said that the ELDs "can be hacked and manipulated, and there is uncertainty as to which of the ELD brands will ultimately be certified for use", according to a December 4, 2017, article.

A "longtime driver and trucking activist" stated in a December 3, 2017, article that "truck drivers are targeted [for citations] in order to bring in revenue -- that's all we are to them, a source of revenue."

2. "Indiana's Office of the Attorney General has become the first state agency to ask the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to delay [the] mandate requiring electronic logging devices in commercial vehicles," according to a November 30, 2017, article. "Attorney General Curtis Hill asked for a delay on the mandate, citing the 'self-certification' provision in the current regulation that allows device manufacturers to claim their ELDs are compliant, without any government or third-party verification."

I could be wrong, but I suspect that if numerous truckers wind up with Electronic Logging Devices that are listed on the FMCSA's website as being "self-certified" but which ended up falling short of the requirements of the law, this agency of the federal government could find itself as one target of a class-action lawsuit.

It is my hope that truckers are documenting the information from the FMCSA's and the manufacturers' websites now, so that if appropriate action needs to be taken later, it can be. Truckers, protect your interests -- and feel free to submit a product review of your Electronic Logging Device (ELD) on our site.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) applauded Attorney General Hill and posted his letter here.

3. A December 1, 2017, article, stated:

"A truck driver was cited for failing to have proper permits to haul a 36-foot wide shed in northwestern Minnesota."

Furthermore, the trucker "was also cited for not having an escort vehicle and various other violations".

If you're going to haul an oversized load, make sure you have the needed permits. And if you require an escort, arrange for one!

4. As a Georgia truck driver "had stopped [his] semi on the [Florida] SunRail tracks and was trying to back into a business' loading dock", his truck was struck by a Florida commuter train and he consequently died, according to a December 1, 2017, article.

If it was the case that the business's loading dock was that close to the train tracks, then extra precaution should have been taken to make sure that the truck was not going to be on the tracks when a train came through. Thankfully, none of the train's 38 passengers were hurt.

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

5. If it is the case, according to a GHSA report based on 2015 data, that "Illegal drugs were detected in more than 40 percent of fatally injured drivers for whom test results were available", then why are trucking companies "not always notified when a driver is arrested for drugs"?

6. Although I've never seen an explanation for why the trucker did this, according to a December 4, 2017, article, he "was indicted for dumping thousands of gallons of sewage into a school's storm drainage system [and] has been sentenced to nine months in prison."

If you haul waste products of any kind, always, always, always dump them in an approved location.

7. According to a November 22, 2017, article, "Based on statistics from 2016, the Ohio DOT confirmed that the truck driver wasn't at fault in about 75 percent of fatality crashes involving a commercial motor vehicle."

8. "The [electric] Tesla Semi $150,000 base model will have a 300-mile range. The $180,000 model will have a 500-mile range", according to a December 1, 2017, article.

If this comes to pass, it could be a great savings over trucks that operate on diesel. There are too many unknown factors to know at this time if that will be the case.

Speaking of electric trucks, "Workhorse Group says electric vehicle energy costs 35% of what diesel costs last-mile delivery fleets as nearly 1 billion packages are expected to be delivered during 2017 holiday season", according to a November 30, 2017, article.

9. Congratulations to Tammy Newcomer, a trucker driving for Ohio-based Jet Express. "Between January and August, she averaged 8.38 mpg ... [and] reached 99.9% of her potential mpg", according to a November 28, 2017, article.

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


Electronic Logging Devices Mandate Commentary

What follows is the written speech -- the Electronic Logging Devices mandate commentary -- that was delivered via Facebook Live on Monday morning, December 4, 2017.

In what other industry besides trucking has the government ever mandated the purchase of a 'self-certification' product?

In my December 2, 2017, TDMST Weekly Round-Up, I cited a November 30, 2017, article that captured the following: Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hall sent a letter to the FMCSA


got a ticket in wyoming for 392.00 and the lawyer jusy postponed the ticket after paying him 400.00. He did nothing that we discussed to lower speed or change to nonmoving. I


Earn More, Save More

What will truckers who refuse to put an electronic logging device (ELD) in their trucks -- and shut down rather than operate their trucks with that equipment -- do for income?

Although the information that Vicki Simons provides through is designed to let truckers start earning a second income from the cab of their trucks, it could come in handy for those who simply need to switch jobs.

Subscribe now to get Second Income for Truckers Video Mini-Course for FREE!

The SIFT Video Mini-Course is a lead-in to the paid Second Income for Truckers Report -- and more Action Steps for those who need it.

Learn more at


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Over the last couple of days, south Texas has received a rare blanketing of snow. The first snow of the season may be covering much of the I-95 corridor this weekend.

Please maintain adequate following distance as you drive, drive safely, and make sure that you have in-truck sufficient provisions (food, water and a way to stay warm such as a well insulated sleeping bag) in case you are stranded.

We strongly suggest having an updated first aid kit, an emergency kit, an emergency fund, and updated medical emergency contact info in place.

If you are able to be home with your loved ones over Christmas, please cherish that time together.

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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