This is the TDMST Weekly Round-Up of news affecting professional truck drivers, written by Vicki Simons for the week ending March 4, 2017.
1. According to a March 3, 2017, article, "... Connecticut appears ready to earn a reputation as even more truck-unfriendly. ... Seven rest areas on I-84, I-91 and I-95, containing a total 222 truck parking places, were targeted for shutdown..."(a)
While we certainly empathize with states needing to cut their budgets, closing over 200 truck parking space without approving the construction of truck stops to make up for the loss is going to hurt professional truck drivers.
What is holding back the construction of truck stops in Connecticut? Please share your thoughts below.
2. Navistar's president and CEO, Troy Clarke, spoke at the 2017 TMC annual meeting about "how the 'connected truck' is going to upend traditional freight shipment practices in the U.S.", according to a March 3, 2017, article.
Please share your thoughts below about
- how much extra (in U.S. dollars) you expect for this "connectivity" to cost per truck and
- whether you think the ROI (Return on Investment) will
- come quickly;
- come slowly; or
- never come at all.
3. It's good that trucking companies want to "keep drivers happy" when it comes to pay, but engaging in payroll theft isn't the way to do it.
If you had the means by which to do it, how would you structure truckers' pay so that they were paid for all of the time they spend driving and taking care of truck-related duties (fueling, washing the truck, getting maintenance done, etc.)? Please share your thoughts below.
4. A March 2, 2017, article, stated, "Michelin is the first manufacturer to integrate RFID into its full commercial truck tire portfolio."(b)
If you use -- or plan to use -- RFID-equipped Michelin tires on your commercial motor vehicle, how much do you think this technology will save you over 1 year, 3 years, 5 years or more? Please share your thoughts below.
5. In a March 2, 2017, article about real-time data being collected by the Iowa DOT to "help fleets refine routes and avoid idle time," it was said that "fleets with fewer than 100 trucks were found to not have access to the technology or the manpower needed to receive and process DOT data."
How much money would it take for each fleet -- or each truck in a fleet -- to access, process and utilize this DOT data -- in Iowa and other states?
How much it would end up saving each company per truck in the end?
Please share your thoughts below.
6. If you were in your truck in an area being battered by 71 mph winds, how would you keep your truck from overturning?
Please share your ideas on truck overturn prevention below.
7. When we were in truck driver training school, we were told that if there was an impending collision, to "get some paint" (let the other driver hit your truck) rather than wreck to avoid a wreck. This driver didn't do that.
The article says nothing about the trucker having had a truck dash cam in his truck to prove that he swerved to avoid the car. Swerving to avoid an accident can obviously lead to an accident -- and in this case, did.
What would you do if you were in this situation? Please share your thoughts below.
8. Trucker, even if you're desperate for cash, don't ever agree to sell a load of freight in exchange for cash to anyone other than the receiver. You'll end up in legal hot water, as did this trucker, who now faces a "charge of grand larceny."
If you need more income than you're earning in trucking, consider earning a second income.
9. A February 27, 2017, article stated that "a truck driver has been sentenced to 14 years to prison for ... conspiracy to distribute cocaine."
Hauling illegal drugs will eventually catch up with those who transport them. It's not worth the risk.
Oh, and don't go to work for any trucking company that would hire someone who is "on probation for a drug conviction." Show yourself some respect.
10. The writer of a letter to the editor stated that "[the] trucking industry, tractor-trailers and big rigs" are "perpetrators" in damaging the "interstates, highways and roads" in the
state of Tennessee.
If you were in charge of this situation, how would you go about making sure that vehicle owners/operators pay "their fair share" for road maintenance?
Is charging a per-mile tax the way to go? If not, what is? What is your solution? Please share your thoughts below.
11. A March 3, 2017, article opened with this paragraph: "Autonomous trucking technology companies have popped up like gophers in the past 12 months, each with similar technology that can't quite clear two very important hurdles: getting the truck on and off the highway."
It's only a matter of time, in our opinions, before this technology hurdle is cleared. How long do you think that will take? Please share your thoughts below.
12. The "in-pavement detection systems" that I
predicted years ago is being used in Florida(c) and has "a 95 percent or greater accuracy rate".
Is this kind of technology helping you find truck parking? Please share your thoughts below.
13. Have you invested in "variable engine-driven accessories [that] have emerged as minor fuel-saving strategies" as described in this February 26, 2017, article?
If so, would you please, provide a truck parts review?
On behalf my husband Mike and me, we wish you safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road.
a. http://cour.at/2lKGhEa (no longer online)
b. http://www.thetrucker.com/News/Story/MichelinaddsRFIDtoenablebetterassetmanagement (no longer online)
c. http://www.landlinemag.com/Story.aspx?StoryID=32939#.WLtOZ_LjXrM (no longer online)