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TDMST Email Newsletter, 2018-04
April 13, 2018

Truck Drivers Money Saving Tips Email Newsletter

Issue #105, April 13, 2018

Featuring content from and supporting:

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

  • We provide real world tips that help professional truck drivers save hard-earned money and personal reporting about products and services for use on the road.
  • We've developed our unique website as a place to share the tips we have learned through the years -- and where other professional drivers can do the same.

Table of Contents


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Important Notice

  • Vicki's New Time- and Money-Saving Idea

    Today (April 13, 2018), Vicki Simons published a special article on our site that contains an idea that will help countless truckers for years to come, if only the idea is developed into a product that is used on trailer roofs.

    Check it out at the end of the Media section below.

  • Deduct Your Business Expenses

    Now that a new tax law has been passed, it's more important than ever that you deduct every business expense you incur.

    We personally use and recommend the service described in this free webinar:

    How to Pay Less Taxes and Never Worry About an IRS Audit.



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: 2018.03.17

This is the TDMST Weekly Round-Up of news affecting professional truck drivers, written by Vicki Simons for the week ending March 17, 2018.

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

TDMST Weekly Round-Up 1. It isn't happening just in the USA. According to a March 14, 2018, article, a truck driver in Kent, U.K., who was "using his smartphone behind the wheel" to text about texting laws (of all things) was pulled over and given:
- "the current maximum six point penalty" and
- fined £200 ($275).

Don't text and drive. It isn't worth it.

Even though this video from the NHTSA on distracted driving shows what happens when a four-wheeler gets distracted while texting, it can happen just as easily to a trucker.

Remember: when you're driving, keep your mind and eyes on driving.

2. "'The Hours of Service regulations for commercial truck drivers need to be updated to match the realities of freight movement and to truly improve highway safety,' writes columnist Todd Spencer" in this March 13, 2018, article.

In a related March 12, 2018, article, we read:

"Representatives of the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) met recently with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Administrator Raymond Martinez, 'urging his agency to come up with equipment and rules related to interstate trucking that meet the unique needs of the livestock industry,' NPPC said in its weekly Capitol Report."

It is obvious that there is a great deal of diversity in the truck industry, and that it is wrong for the FMCSA to treat all sectors exactly the same.

3. According to a March 13, 2018, article, "Truckers Against Reserved Spots recently formed to fight increased reserved spots for commercial vehicles at three large truck stops around the country."

The article stated, "Many of the truck stops have made the choice to take spots from their current locations and convert them into paid and reserved spots. Forcing drivers to pay fees of an extra $15 (or more) a night for a resource that is already dwindling."

The costs per week, per month, and per year were also listed.

4. A truck driver was "arrested after reportedly dumping [between 20 and 30] barrels of gasoline ... into a pond" in Maringouin, Louisiana, according to a March 9, 2018, article.

He has been charged with:
- "Criminal trespassing";
- "Dumping a controlled product"; and
- "Criminal damage to property".

Never, ever dump something outside of approved receptacles. This includes bodily waste products.

5. "Pay and work conditions for truck drivers at [the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles] have been in the news since USA Today published an investigative report that looked into illegal subcontracting schemes that exploit truckers...", stated a March 9, 2018, article.

The article further stated, "Some of the reports have said that there are truck drivers who are being paid $150 a day but have to pay $140 per day in leasing fees."

Beware of becoming entangled in such an exploitative work situation.

6. According to a March 9, 2018, article, this was the week that "Waymo's self- driving trucks [would] arrive on Georgia roads".

I will be very interested to read about what happened.

7. A March 14, 2018, article provided an overview of a 2016 crash where a tractor-trailer traveling at about 75 mph struck an SUV traveling at about 40 mph on I-70 near Goodland, Kansas, at about 2:15 a.m.

The SUV was designed for seven passengers but had 11 occupants and was experiencing "mechanical problems". The collision "killed six people and injured five".

"The NTSB said the [trucker] may have been fatigued, and that collision avoidance/collision mitigation technology could have prevented or reduced the severity of the crash."

No matter where you are driving, stay alert. If you are tired or fatigued, park in a safe and legal parking spot -- and contact your company to let them know.

A March 2018 article addressed "How to Prevent Truck Driver Fatigue."

8. OK, this makes me a bit nervous!

A March 13, 2018, article described the "Pass My Physical" mobile app, which was created to streamline "the U.S Department of Transportation's medical examination process for drivers."

The article didn't address any specific personally identifiable information that the app would request or require.

Still, I don't see how it is possible for a "driver's information" to populate the exam form and be ready to print off "at any time" unless some personally identifiable information is included.

Drivers, any time you put your personally identifiable information "out there", you are giving another opportunity for your info to be intercepted and used against you.

Be on your guard against identity theft. Let every app installer and user beware!

9. There were two articles this week about states doing initial work on allowing autonomous trucks there:
- one in Minnesota and
- one in Wisconsin.

Regarding the latter, we read:

"Should freeway shoulders be set aside to run autonomous trucks? Wisconsin's Department of Transportation is considering doing that along a portion of Interstate 94 to support the carrying of machinery to a new factory south of Milwaukee."

Reasonable questions:
- What will happen if there is a breakdown of any kind along that stretch of road?
- If an autonomous truck is traveling at highway speeds and encounters a stopped vehicle on the shoulder, what will happen?
- Assuming autonomous trucks start to use freeway shoulders as lanes of travel, what will prevent other vehicles from using it, too?
- What will happen at the freeway exit ramp when vehicles from the "right lane" try to exit across the path of the vehicles riding on the "shoulder"?

A separate March 13, 2018, article addressed "truck-only lanes".

10. In what has to be the worst chain reaction accident I've read about in quite some time, we read in a March 14, 2018 article:

"Winter Storm Skylar reared up its ugly head 40 miles north of Columbus, causing an 81-car pileup on I-71 in Morrow County, Ohio Tuesday."

Maintain your following distance, always be prepared to stop, and if roads get too slick, pull over and park.

Don't wait for states to ban truck travel like Rhode Island and Massachusetts did on Tuesday.

11. "Tackling the parking problem within the trucking industry, the National Coalition on Truck Parking, organized by the Federal Highway Administration, is asking truck industry stakeholders, particularly drivers, for some good examples of truck parking beyond truck stops and rest areas", according to a March 16, 2018, article from OOIDA.

This is what I submitted in the "Description" part of the form through the Google Doc entitled, "Truck Parking Solutions, In Practice":

"Many cities and counties have industrial parks, distribution centers, and major manufacturers where trucks continually go in and come out. Instead of focusing on trying to create more truck parking near residential or commercial neighborhoods that don't want them, why not just use land adjacent to these established truck- friendly locations for truck parking?"

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

Further, we also wish:
- everyone a blessed St. Patrick's Day; and
- all those attending the Mid-America Truck Show next week a great time of education and saving money.


From the TDMST Weekly Round-Up: 2018.03.24

This is the TDMST Weekly Round-Up of news affecting professional truck drivers, written by Vicki Simons for the week ending March 24, 2018.

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

TDMST Weekly Round-Up 1. A March 20, 2018, article states:

"Truck driver pay is changing faster than it has in three years, according to the National Transportation Institute (NTI). According to the 4Q 2017 supplement, the average per-mile pay increase is currently at $0.029."

It was unclear to me as to whether this almost-3-cents-per-mile pay increase was within a year or a quarter (3 months).

So, truckers, please comment below to let us know if you have received a rate increase and if so, over what period of time. Thanks.

2. Numerous trucking websites stated that the annual international Roadcheck inspection is slated to take place over the 3-day period of June 5-7 -- and this year's focus will be on hours of service.

During the annual inspection in 2017, the "top reason drivers were placed out of service" was because of "hours-of-service violations," according to CVSA President Capt. Christopher Turner of the Kansas Highway Patrol, who was quoted in a March 20, 2018, article.

A March 30, 2018, article covered "A refresher on roadside inspections" with the FMCSA's "seven-point checklist for inspections."

3. Speaking of Hours of Service, a March 18, 2018, article stated that a grandfathered AOBRD will have to be replaced by an electronic logging device (ELD) by Dec. 16, 2019.

4. "A car with the [Uber] ride-sharing service was operating in self-driving mode with a human in the driver's seat when it struck and killed a woman in Arizona overnight," according to a March 19, 2018, article.

While our condolences go to the family of the woman who died, this situation raises some questions that are not addressed in the article:
- If there was a "human in the driver's seat", did the driver see the pedestrian that the car was about to hit?
- If the driver in the car saw the pedestrian -- and if it was apparent that a collision was imminent -- did the driver attempt to take any corrective action (like applying the brakes)?
- If the driver applied the brakes, did the car "take over" or "override" the driver's actions?

I want to know more of the specifics on this because as the situation goes with autonomous cars, so will the situation go with autonomous trucks.

5. The Mid-America Trucking Show is being held this week at the Kentucky Expo Center in Louisville, Kentucky.

According to a March 21, 2018, article, the show "features a variety of educational sessions, the country's largest trucking expo, and other trucking festivities aimed at drivers, owner-operators, small fleets and other trucking enthusiasts."

On our website, we provide Trucking Shows Tips For Exhibitors, Truck Drivers to Save Money.

6. "Oh, thanks, Pennyslvania!" I mutter sarastically under my breath.

We read in a March 20, 2018, article, "The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has filed a class-action lawsuit against the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission for what it claims are excessive toll increases that place 'an undue burden on interstate commerce while improperly diverting toll revenue to other projects unrelated to the turnpike.'"

According to a related article, the National Motorists Association has also filed suit.

7. A fourth winter storm "in less than three weeks" hit the Northeastern USA earlier this week and prompted Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey to restrict tractor-trailer bans on interstates until the storm passed over.

If you're traveling in snow-prone areas, be watching for truck travel restrictions until there's no threat of winter weather.

8. A March 19, 2018, article stated that an owner-operator was accused of violating the ELD mandate even though "his truck's powered by a 1995 Detroit engine and thus exempt from the mandate."

The article further stated, "Come April 1, law enforcement officials will in fact be utilizing that violation code [395.8(a)], which comes with a 5 (out of 10) severity weight in the Hours of Service Compliance BASIC in the CSA Safety Measurement System, when issuing a no-ELD-in-use violation."

Check Section 395 of the FMCSR in order to make sure that you stay legal and in compliance with the Hours of Service regulation.

I read in a Facebook group this week that at least one state has inspectors who have been bullying drivers about ELDs. Even though we are still in the "soft enforcement" period until April 1, from what I read, if truckers have not yet been compliant with the ELD mandate, the inspectors have told them that they will "find" something wrong with their trucks to put them out of service.

If you run into this kind of harrassment, make sure that you get the officer's name, badge number, rank, and other identifying information, and report it to OOIDA. If there are enough complaints, OOIDA may work on behalf of all truckers to stop this.

9. Updated information about what ELDs must have just keeps coming out. This must be very frustrating for those who have already purchased a system from a supplier listed on the FMCSA's website.

According to an undated page, there are 9 ELD requirements that some people didn't know about. Registration is required to get the whole list, but check these out:

An ELD must have:
- two separate visual indicators: one for malfunctions and another for data diagnostics";
- those visual indicators "must be visible to the driver while driving"; and
- "there must be a visual warning that a driver is not logged into the ELD other than on a screen".

10. Even though a New Jersey bridge had a marked clearance of 12 feet, 5 inches, the driver of a FedEx truck "struck the bridge with such force that the top of the trailer was sheared off and the trailer was split into two parts", according to a March 20, 2018, article.

If the bridge was struck with such force so as to destroy a trailer, then that meant that the trucker had complete confidence that he could get under it.

I feel compelled to ask the trucker two questions:
- Despite the fact that there was a clearly posted low clearance sign, in what were you placing your faith that you could get under the bridge?
- Were you using a GPS unit -- and if so, was it the kind designed specifically for commercial motor vehicles?

Remember, I will reward the first professional truck driver who can sufficiently document through our CMV GPS Low Clearance Report Form that his/her CMV GPS unit routed his/her truck to a low clearance.

Always, always, always do the following when you're driving a commercial motor vehicle:
- use an up-to-date trucker's atlas to route your big rig around low clearances;
- pay attention to and heed low clearance signs; and
- if you use a GPS unit, make sure that it is designed and updated for commercial motor vehicles.

If you're driving a truck with a height of 13 feet, 6 inches, your truck won't fit under bridges lower than that. Make allowances for any accumulated snow or ice on the road.

Is there snow or ice on your truck's or trailer's roof? Consult your trucking company for procedures and equipment on how to remove it.

11. Pay attention when you park your truck and make sure to set your truck brakes.

Our condolences go to the family of the trucker killed by his own truck after he failed to set the parking brake and was pinned between two trucks, as was reported on March 19, 2018.

12. On a positive note, "The Weather Company wants to provide truck drivers with a more detailed snapshot of weather information before they hit the road", according to a March 20, 2018, article.

Among the things that make this sound great are:
- the tracking of "six parameters that will affect truck driving, including fog, high winds, wet roads, puddling, snow and ice"; and
- "plans to add a predictive traffic service that uses weather data and machine learning to better forecast traffic speeds."

These days, getting weather forecasts is quick as a weather app on one's Smartphone. However, this service sounds even better!

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: 2018.03.31

This is the TDMST Weekly Round-Up of news affecting professional truck drivers, written by Vicki Simons for the week ending March 31, 2018.

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

TDMST Weekly Round-Up 1. This coming Sunday, April 1, 2018, is the date when enforcement of the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate is scheduled to begin. According to a March 29, 2018, article:

There has been resistance to the regulation, especially among drivers and owner-operators, and the ramp up to full implementation has been slow and fractured. There also was some confusion among drivers, fleets, and even enforcement officials about some points of the rule.

So, since the rule went into effect in December, violators have not been subject to being placed out of service or having the violation affect their CSA scores. But starting April 1, any driver operating a commercial vehicle without a compliant ELD or Automatic Onboard Recording Device will be subject to the full weight of the law if caught.

We don't agree with industry-wide forced use of ELDs -- especially since there have been "technical glitches and other equipment issues" with some units and "there are still problems with the technology."

However, we urge those who wish to keep driving commercially to stay legal and compliant, avoid "a firehose of violations" issued roadside by law enforcement", and check out the article for "10 Things You Need to Know Before April 1" about the mandate.

More info about the "four core areas" in the ELD final rule is available by registering for it here.

2. Perhaps one of the only good things to come out of the ELD mandate is that now there is documentation of "problem shippers and receivers" regarding long waits for loading or unloading.

A March 26, 2018, article stated, "Truck drivers lose an estimated $1,281 to $1,534 per year because of wait times at loading docks, costing the industry an estimated $1.1 billion to $1.3 billion in income annually, according to a Department of Transportation office of inspector general audit." One example of why we think the cost is much higher is this...

One long-haul owner-operator, Laird Fuller, recently stated, "Shippers and receivers don't have to work for free, why should we"? One documented delay cost him "around $1,200", which is how much he would have generated had he been driving "and not sitting on a dock." In his opinion, shippers and receivers "should be given 1 hour to load or unload his trailer, anything after an hour past the appointment time they set, they should be held accountable and required to pay detention time."

His quote appeared in a March 30, 2018, article which also stated, "The reality is that many shippers and receivers simply don't care [about the 'the risk and personal sacrifice truckers take to hold up their end of the bargain'] and are all too happy to treat truckers like second-class citizens." Well, now with ELDs, "Data is king and for the first time every trucker has ELD data at their disposal that can quantify the opportunity costs of loading dock inefficiency."

Although we disagree with truckers providing any "free time" in a dock, "Freight-booking company Convoy has built a web-based solution to the detention problem where shippers can book and truckers can accept loads via a mobile application ... [and] drivers who are in the Convoy network get paid for detention regardless of whether or not the shipper pays detention. Convoy will pay the driver $40 per hour for detention following 2 hours of free time."

Another example of the problem was described in a March 27, 2018, article: "Drivers say it can take up to 5 hours to pick up their cargo and they are not compensated for that time. They want the Port [of Virginia] to cut down on wait times."

Furthermore, the ELD mandate is bringing to light the failure of facilities to provide a safe place to park when leaving the facility would violate a trucker's Hours of Service regulation. A March 29, 2018, article detailed "How to blow the whistle on problem shippers/receivers when delays force violations." Check out the details about how to report a "Truck Complaint" and specifically being "Coerced to commit a violation."

3. A poll on asked, "With the ELD mandate in play, which of these choices best describes what you've seen on your routes in terms of parking availability?"

As of March 30, 2018, 1,031 votes had been cast. There were 668 votes (64.79% of the total) cast for the option, "I've noticed lots full or very close to full earlier in the evening and/or later in the morning than before."

I once read in an anti-ELD mandate Facebook group where some truckers asserted that now that the ELD mandate is in place, many truck stops are taking advantage of drivers by increasing the number of reserved paid parking spaces in their lots. I pressed for documentation on that and so far have not seen an actual connection between the two (the mandate and the number of paid parking spaces).

On March 30, I read a Facebook post in which an owner-operator provided a screenshot of a mobile app listing of the TA truck stop in Commerce City, Colorado. Of the 224 truck parking spaces, 122 were "Reserve-It Parking" (meaning paid parking). That's about 54.5% of their parking lot being set aside for paid parking.

One lady wrote, "Turn your receipt in and company will put it back on your check".

I asked, "Are there any reports of trucking companies not reimbursing company drivers for paid parking? Thanks."

She responded, "Some probably don't but ours will pay you back just gotta turn in a receipt".

Company drivers, before you pay for paid parking, ask your company:
- Will you pay for me to park your truck?
- If someone says yes, ask what procedure you need to take to make sure their truck stays secure.

4. "According to the recent study, the median salary for a truckload driver working a national irregular route increased 15% to over $53,000 annually, when compared to ATA's last survey which covered pay for 2013. Private fleet drivers have seen an even larger salary increase in the same period, jumping 18% to $86,000 a year", according to a March 27, 2018, article.

Drivers, have you seen your pay increase 15% - 18% since 2013 (5 years)?

Isn't 5 years a bit too much time between surveys?

5. LandLine Magazine published an article on March 27, 2018, that opened with this:

"As policies for autonomous technology in passenger vehicles continue to move forward, federal regulators are seeking input on regulations governing autonomous commercial motor vehicles. Addressing the issue, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is accepting comments aimed at identifying regulatory barriers to the implementation of automated driving systems on CMVs."

We encourage you to speak up about this.

6. A survey of professional truck drivers about why fleets have "a hard time recruiting drivers" was reported on March 22, 2018.

- "Less than 2 percent of drivers said a sign-on bonus would motivate them to change carriers";
- "9 percent of respondents said they aren't making enough money";
- "three out of four respondents ... cited low pay"; and
- the number one reason, given by 44 percent of respondents, is "regulations... [that] make it harder to work and make a living".

Do you agree with this list? Comment below.

7. "The 12% Federal Excise Tax on new heavy trailers may be added twice if a vehicle is bought and sold within six months," says a March 21, 2018, article.

8. Without a dash cam or witnesses, how will the trucker who lost control of his rig, crashed, experienced a diesel spill, and shut down Interstate 4 for hours, prove that that another driver cut him off?

9. What is it with truckers attempting to take their commercial motor vehicles under clearly posted low clearance bridges?

This time, it was a trucker hauling a hazmat load who attempted to get his 13'6" rig under a 12'6" bridge! The bridge strike caused a barrel of a hazardous chemical to leak, which prompted an evacuation of "homes and businesses within a 300 foot perimeter of the crash site", according to a March 29, 2018, article.

Read and heed the signs! If your CMV-specific GPS unit led you to a low clearance, report it here.

My husband Mike and I wish you -- and all professional truck drivers -- safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road. Have a blessed Resurrection Day!


From the TDMST Weekly Round-Up: 2018.04.07

This is the TDMST Weekly Round-Up of news affecting professional truck drivers, written by Vicki Simons for the week ending April 7, 2018.

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

TDMST Weekly Round-Up 1. In an April 5, 2018, entitled Drivers need to get paid twice as much, says OOIDA president Todd Spencer, we read his quote:

"Pay for truck drivers has been falling for three decades, while the demand and the responsibility to the job are going exactly the opposite," he said. "It will always be difficult to find people to do jobs that are hard, that doesn't really pay much."

- the average trucker wage of $31,618 in 1980,
- the cost of inflation eroding the buying power of the dollar such that it would require $111,000 to match that pay today, and
- the paltry $41,000 that the average trucker earns today,
a trucker earns only about a third of what he/she should earn, especially since he/she works between 70-80 hours per week.

I wrote about this problem with trucker wages years ago:
- Inflation Calculator Shows Trucker Pay Fails Cost of Living Test
- 26 percent.

2. "As full enforcement of the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate began on April 1, an ongoing poll conducted by CarrierLists indicated that ELD compliance rates during the final week before the deadline spiked six points to 97%," stated an April 4, 2018, article.

Will those who proclaimed "ELD or Me" months ago stand by what they thought at first?

3. An April 2, 2018, article about how "Blockchain tech could put teeth in detention pay" stated:

"A blockchain system called a 'smart contract' between a shipper and carrier, for example, could utilize GPS and geofencing technology to document a truck's arrival time and exact position at a shipper or receiver for all parties to see, [Dan Pickett, chief data scientist with FreightWaves] said. To use such a system for detention pay would require precise language in the contract to address matters such as how close the truck is to the dock and whether the trailer doors are open, he said."

There are other potential benefits to using blockchain technology to protect truck drivers.

I look forward to reading more about this and how it is helping truckers get paid for all of their work.

4. The reason why the trucker ran his truck over and damaged a fire hose that supplied water for firefighters to put out a fire in Chattanooga, Tenn., was not explained in the April 5, 2018, article.

However, we do know that the trucker was charged with "reckless endangerment and crossing a fire hose."

Now you know.

5. If you drive a truck in which the trailer can be lifted to an angle, don't forget to lower it before you go back on the road.

As reported on April 5, 2018, a Canadian trucker forgot his trailer was elevated and smashed it into an overpass.

The event was caught on video.

6. Also, if you're driving a commercial motor vehicle, make sure that you stay on truck routes and never attempt to cross railroad tracks marked "No Trucks."

A trucker attempted to cross just such a set of tracks, got stuck, and jumped out of his truck seconds before an oncoming train smashed it.

7. On March 29, 2018, an article stated that "the Georgia Ports Authority broke ground on a new project in Garden City that will dramatically reduce the need for trucks state-wide."

Of particular note is the estimate of the 200,000 trucks that will be taken off the road annually.


8. If you were one of the 2,103 truckers who received a DOT medical certificate from "Dr. Kenneth G. Edwards in Phenix City, Ala.," you will need to retake your physical exam within 30 days of being notified.

Why? According to the March 27, 2018, article, all of those medical certificates will be revoked by the FMCSA because the the doctor was arrested on multiple charges "related to falsifying the results of Department of Transportation physicals."

Wasn't the whole point of having a "National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners" to eliminate problems like this?

9. "FMCSA administrator Raymond Martinez said that the agency would be open to ideas from others on how to improve highway safety," stated a 3/2018 article.

A March 26, 2018, article stated that when he was at the Truckload Carriers Assocation, he said he wanted "productive conversations."

If that is true, why isn't the FMCSA listening to the truckers who bear the brunt of trucking regulations?

According to a March 26, 2018, article, Joe Delorenzo, director of the FMCSA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance, was unable to complete "most of his presentation" at the Mid-America Trucking Show as the session became dominated by the "1-2-3 punch of complaints of an inflexible hours rule logged via electronic logging devices, uncompensated and over-extended delays at shippers and receivers, and the much-less-than-ideal parking situation on the roadways."

A March 30, 2018, article asked, "What would fix the Hours of Service rules for commercial drivers?"

Speaking of that...

10. "Rep. Brian Babin, R-Texas, a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, has introduced H.R. 5417 The Responsible and Effective Standards for Truckers (REST) Act, legislation that would modernize Hours of Service regulations for truck drivers," stated an April 3, 2018, article.

Supposedly, "The REST Act would allow drivers to take one rest break per shift for up to three consecutive hours."

Is this a good idea?

Owner-operator Henry Albert has a different take on the legislation:

"In my opinion, this rule would create an environment in my local/regional line of [work] where the unspoken expectation from these abusive parties would be for me and my drivers to work the new 17-hour day for the same rate as the current 14-hour day, with the exception of a little bit of possible detention pay."

What are your thoughts, truckers? Is the REST Act a good idea or not?

11. "More than 500 communities around the country employ the use of red-light or speed cameras to nab drivers who disobey traffic rules, the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety reports," stated a March 21, 2018, article.

What is irritating to me is the short "yellow light cycle" on many traffic lights.

If yellow light cycles are short to drivers of cars, I can only imagine how short they are for big rigs!

This situation is plenty of motivation for truckers to have an attorney firm on retainer through a type of pre-paid legal service.

On our site, we go over trucker legal help and trucker attorney qualifications.

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: 2018.04.14

This is the TDMST Weekly Round-Up of news affecting professional truck drivers, written by Vicki Simons for the week ending April 14, 2018.

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

TDMST Weekly Round-Up 1. According to an April 10, 2018, article from, "the ATA, the 50 ATA-affiliated state trucking associations, the Truckload Carriers Association and others" have tried five times unsuccessfully to get language passed into law that would prevent truck drivers from being paid for all of their time. But they aren't stopping!

What it is called: "the Denham Amendment, Denham language, F4A preemption, FAAAA preemption, Meal and Rest Break Preemption."

What it would do: "If preemption language is to be included in one of the many final bills that the ATA and others have been lobbying so hard for, it would affect how drivers are paid permanently."

For example, now that Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) are in place, everyone with access to the data knows exactly how long truckers are at shippers' and receivers' locations. That documentation is the "teeth" so that truckers can be paid detention pay for having to "sit there" while trailers are loaded or unloaded.

"There are states who have laws and believe that truckers should be paid for all their work." But if this "preemption language" is passed, truckers whose main way of being paid is by the mile can forget about being paid anything other than mileage pay.

This is why it is crucial for you to connect with your federal lawmakers to tell them to stay out of states' affairs.

Please watch the video (less than 5 minutes long) to see how you can take action -- and then take action. Your paycheck may depend on it.

2. Recently, there have been two totally opposite views on Team Run Smart regarding truck parking:

- On April 6, 2018, an author wrote that paid truck parking is "A future cost of doing business" and shared: "Personally, I have found that if we know we will need a place to park later in the evening, pay to park equals peace of mind where in the past our stress level would be up wondering how long it would take us to find a safe parking spot."

- On April 9, 2018, another author wrote that he feels that he's been a good customer for more than 30 years and that when truck stops charge for parking, he feels "as though I am no longer a valued customer." Furthermore, he stated, "A lot of truckers and trucking companies have made the decision to pay for parking. I have no problem with their decision. As for me, I have decided not to."

Here's the question, drivers (especially company drivers): Does your trucking company have a reimbursement plan in place for paid truck parking -- or do they make you pay for paid trucking out of your own pocket?

3. Speaking of truck parking, according to an April 11, 2018, article, " the wake of the ELD mandate coming into effect last December, notes Heartland Express driver Bob Stanton, 'the term "shipper/receiver of choice" is getting a lot of traction,' particularly as it relates to load/unload efficiency and the ability to park at least somewhat securely for longer periods when out of hours. 'If I've got a choice on a well-reviewed customer or a negatively reviewed one - who am I going to choose?'"

The article describes the "Dock411 smartphone app/service, which enables such reviewing" of facilities and allows app users to "add information about and comments on more than 100,000 facilities."

4. An April 9, 2018, article about trucking in Australia stated, "WE HAVE credible evidence that shows that [truck] drivers are not the cause for problems in the industry."

One woman was quoted as saying that "nine times out of 10 the car drivers are at fault."

So, this issue isn't just happening in the USA.

5. This April 9, 2018, article is the first time I've read of a trucker being ticketed for being overweight because of weight from snow and ice on his trailer's roof.

Look for my article about this coming out soon.

6. Look for more and more trucking companies to adopt virtual reality (VR) technology to educate truckers so as to "improve worker safety."

Trucker workplace safety includes driving and tasks such as loading and unloading.

According to an April 11, 2018, article, in 2016, "truck driver deaths [accounted] for 40% of all worker fatalities."


7. The 100th Street bridge in Byron Township, Michigan, has been struck again, this time by "a pair of trucks carrying oversized loads along US-131." The damage to the structure was so great that DOT officials limited travel to a single lane.

There are signs warning of the clearance height and a violator can be fined up to $250. However, what was most alarming to me in the April 10, 2018, article, was the statement that state law is such that "the driver of a truck that damages the bridge can be held financially responsible for the resulting costs up to $1 million"!

This is the first time I've read that a trucker can personally be held responsible for repairs for damage that he/she has caused.

Pay attention to truck routes and low clearances.

If you're driving an oversized rig, pay close attention to your permitted route.

8. Speaking of holding parties responsible, I read in an April 10, 2018, article that "Some California lawmakers want to hold the nation's big box retailers responsible for labor abuses by trucking companies that haul their goods."

In a nutshell, here's what the legislation would do if passed into law:

"Trucking companies that fail to pay judgments when they cheat workers would be identified on a public list and would be required to disclose their violation history to corporate customers. Retailers that then do business with those same companies will be jointly liable if workers obtain future judgments."

Of course there is opposition to the bill, but its seems to me that it would put "teeth" into trucking companies shirking their responsibility to "stop systematically exploiting their workers."

What are your thoughts about this, truckers?

9. I've never read of a trucker swerving to avoid something and managing not to be involved in an accident. This week, there were two such situations:

- When a "truck driver who swerved to avoid hitting another vehicle on Interstate 78 ended up tipping over the truck" (link); and

- When a car driver missed his exit, stopped on the highway, and maneuvered to his exit, "two truck drivers crashed to avoid hitting him" (link).

10. According to an April 10, 2018, article:

"The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and National Motorists Association claim in a lawsuit that a deal requiring the commission to transfer $450 million annually to PennDOT for off-turnpike road projects is artificially inflating turnpike tolls and violating their constitutional rights."

The article indicates that the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission will be financially devastated if it has to pay $6 billion in toll refunds. Hmm... Isn't there some kind of middle ground so that those who were overcharged can be paid back in a timely manner?

In my opinion, the Commission needs to do two things:
- immediately cease spending turnpike tolls for non-turnpike projects; and
- come up with an agreement to refund what is owed as quickly as possible.

Speaking of turnpikes and rates, according to an April 9, 2018, article, "the West Virginia Parkways Authority [has] proposed a toll increase that could double" current tolls!

11. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) will be holding Operation Safe Driver Week this year from July 15-21, during which "driving behavior" will be targeted. For more information, read this article.

12. I find it sad and funny at the same time that, according to an April 4, 2018, article: "The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said a medical professional does not become a certified medical examiner until he or she receives a signed certificate and that any DOT exams performed before that time would be considered invalid."


In a related article, we read: "The FMCSA's National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners website has been down since it was hacked on Dec. 1."

The FMCSA is regulating truckers and they can't even keep this website from being hacked? Aack!!!

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


No Snow Roof - A Solution for Eliminating Snow and Ice on Trailer Roofs

A no snow roof is a solution eliminating snow and ice on trailer roofs without having to go somewhere or scrape it off manually.


Earn More, Save More

A March 23, 2018, article stated that all lanes of I-10 near Defuniak Springs, Florida, had been reopened after having been "closed for hours following an overnight crash" of a semi-truck hauling 149 head of cattle.

We empathize with the driver who was injured and the cows that suffered and died.

We also bear in mind those who were delayed because of the road closure.

Don't you wish that there was a way that you could be earning money round-the-clock?

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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While some areas of the USA and northern hemisphere may be enjoying springtime weather and temperatures, other places may still feel like they're in the midst of winter.

It's a good idea to carry a variety of clothing with you just in case you haul a load into an area with a vastly different climate.

Keep various kinds of emergency provisions fresh and stocked up. And don't forget to stay hydrated.

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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