This is the TDMST Weekly Round-Up of news affecting professional truck drivers, written by Vicki Simons for the week ending June 2, 2018.
We welcome your comments, thoughts and feedback on the items of your choice below.
1. Numerous articles are covering the First Roadcheck of the ELD era, including one in which experts say that the event "could cause supply chain disruptions" and one in which Pilot Flying J is "offering free mid-trip inspections for Roadcheck preparation."
According to the CVSA president in a May 29, 2018, article, "The top reason drivers were placed out of service during 2017 International Roadcheck was for hours-of-service violations."
There are some 300 different Electronic Logging Devices in use, and knowing the "transfer process" before an inspection "could save as much as 30 minutes," according to a May 28, 2018, article.
A June 1, 2018, article provided "7 ELD Tips for Roadcheck Inspection Blitz."
2. A May 15, 2018, article says that the ELD rule is "hurting the trucking industry" by "creating market distortions that hurt trucking businesses significantly, ranging from large companies to small owners in particular, and resulting in carrier capacity drops that slow our nation's core economic activity."
3. Jimmy Nevarez recorded a video of an inexpensive repair he made to a bull's eye or rock chip in his pickup truck, as an example of what could be done on the windshield of a big truck.
4. On April 16, 2018, one writer succinctly identified a "risky maneuver" made by a "mad trucker" who took it upon himself to break up a rolling log jam created by two truckers driving side-by-side on Interstate 10 in Arizona.
If another trucker is trying to pass you and doesn't quite have what it takes, temporarily lower your speed to let him/her pass.
It's the kind thing to do -- for all concerned.
5. A May 29, 2018, article states:
"A Virginia-based company is developing a new radar gun that not only detects speeding, but texting and driving as well."
Paired with another technology, the device will be able to tell who in the vehicle sent a text.
6. It sure would have been nice if Uber had informed the "operator" of a self-driving vehicle that "all advanced driver assistance functions were disabled when it was put into computer control mode."
Because a May 24, 2018, article stated that the "automatic braking feature" was not enabled and the vehicle went on to strike and kill a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona.
When the time comes for truckers to drive autonomous trucks, find out before you leave: "Are all advanced driver assistance functions turned on or enabled?"
7. Plan ahead regarding the closure of I-70 through Kansas City between I-435 and I-470 from Friday, June 8, through Monday, June 11.
8. A number of articles recently published address the issue of truck parking and paid parking.
A May 24, 2018, article stated, "The large commercial truck stop is the most important building block of the national rest stop location system. With electronic logging devices (ELDs) now keeping tabs on all drivers hours of service (HOS) there is an even greater need for more truck parking."
One May 29, 2018, article provided some much needed history about how the free truck parking business model is no longer working, and concluded that the "fleets [not the drivers] should be paying to park their trucks overnight" and that the "shipper ... ought to pay for the overnight storage for 80 feet and 80,000 pounds of truck."
Another May 29, 2018, article opened with this statement: "There are about 250 fewer parking spaces for large trucks on the Georgia I-75 corridor than there were 18 months ago."
A May 30, 2018, article asked, "Could commercialization stem rest area closures?"
Another May 30, 2018, article stated: "Truck stop chains seem to have anticipated the swelling demand [for truck parking following the ELD mandate], some converting formerly open spaces to pay-to-park spots available only with reservations. While some drivers frown on the practice -- denouncing reservation systems as a means to pad revenue at the expense of loyal customers -- truck stop chains insist the reservation option benefits drivers."
We would like to hear from any trucker who feels that the truck stop "reserve a parking spot" option -- even though expensive -- is a good one, and if so, how.
Another May 30, 2018, article addressed the correlation between paid parking with the ELD mandate. This one mentions the idea that I've had for years: using "space in or around industrial parks or warehouses [as] secure parking facilities."
10. A May 24, 2018, article revealed that the goal of a bill that was filed in the U.S. House "would, if passed, exempt the smallest trucking companies -- those with 10 trucks or fewer -- from compliance with the U.S. DOT's electronic logging device mandate on a permanent basis."
OOIDA lauds this bill.
Why couldn't this have been addressed before owner-operators and small truck fleets had to invest in ELD equipment?
AskTheTrucker.com stated on May 29, 2018, "Truck drivers are in the midst of 2 of the most heated and pivotal battles of all time-- The ELD mandate and the Federal Authority trucker wage provision."
11. "Real-time coaching using telematics can significantly improve fleet fuel economy," states a May 27, 2018, article.
Some "25 different behaviors" work to "generate fuel efficiency" and when implemented with a group of 15 drivers, "Over the course of four weeks, drivers improved their fuel efficiency by 7%."
Another May 27, 2018, article provided tips on how to achieve "maximum fuel mileage."
And a May 31, 2018, article provided "3 Proven Fuel-Saving Strategies for Truck Fleets."
12. We now know that the trucker whose truck crashed and "dumped 40,000 pounds of chicken feathers on I-5" fell asleep at the wheel.
If you feel yourself getting drowsy, find the next nearest safe and legal parking space, so that you can park.
Don't risk an accident.
My husband Mike and I wish you -- and all professional truck drivers -- safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road.