This is the TDMST Weekly Round-Up of news affecting professional truck drivers, written by Vicki Simons for the week ending December 29, 2018.
We welcome your comments, thoughts and feedback on the items of your choice below.
1. Regarding wrapping up 2018 and starting 2019:
From where I stand, here are the top trucking topics of 2018:
2. Regarding autonomous vehicles and auctions:
Recently, my husband Mike and I had the opportunity to test drive a car with some "driver assist" or autonomous technologies.
Mike didn't try each and every new technology, but our understanding is that each one has to be activated -- and can be overridden -- by the driver.
For the sake of this column, the two big takeaways from our test drive time (and shortly thereafter) were these:
Be that as it may, two year-end articles stated, "Equipment auctions shouldn't be intimidating" and "Trucking fleets turn to auctions in search of equipment"
Let the buyer beware.
Separately, one article indicated that autonomous trucking would likely take place in "four stages" and "With full autonomy, operating costs would decline by about 40 percent" (meaning without drivers).
3. Regarding severe weather affecting trucking:
Be prepared to shut down in the event of extreme weather.
4. Regarding trucker productivity:
As I mentioned last week, it is ridiculous for the FMCSA to have pre-empted California's meal and rest break rules on the basis of so-called "loss in productivity" given the fact that they have their own built-in loss of productivity in the current Hours of Service regulations.
The article by OOIDA comes close.
And I'm glad that OOIDA says that this decision is going to prompt a lawsuit.
5. Regarding impending collisions:
If you are a company driver, I encourage you to ask your trucking company which action they would rather you take if a large animal like a cow, bull, deer, elk or moose is in the path of your truck and you are traveling at an otherwise safe speed:
According to a December 26, 2018, article, a "semi truck driver... swerved to avoid a deer in the roadway", crashed, and one of the fuel tanks ruptured.
Truckers with a "big front grill" installed on their trucks may still need to be concerned about certain animal collisions because an antler poking through a radiator still spells trouble.
Additionally, I encourage truckers to have a forward-facing truck cam recording all events taking place in front of their trucks.
Another article addressed how dash cams [are] used in the trucking industry.
6. Regarding truck tolls:
7. Regarding truck-train collisions:
More and more news articles (and sometimes videos) are being broadcast about trucks becoming "high-centered" on railroad tracks and then being hit by an oncoming train.
The most recent one about which I've read happened on December 18.
Watch for "Low Ground Clearance Railroad Crossing" signs -- or similar types of signs -- warning of the potential for trucks not being able to clear the railroad tracks.
Never attempt to cross the tracks where one of these signs is posted unless you have specific authorized routing to do so -- and make sure you get the name of the person who authorized it.
8. Regarding new laws in effect January 1, 2019:
9. In the head scratching department:
Nine states in the northeastern USA and the District of Columbia (D.C.) signed a "carbon emissions reduction agreement", saying that "emissions from transportation account for the largest portion of the region's carbon pollution".
What is so ironic about this is that:
Any vehicle that uses a hydrocarbon fuel (including gasoline and diesel) is going to produce carbon dioxide and water.
In my opinion, among the ways around this are for vehicles to be powered without hydrocarbon fuel (possibly fuel cells or by electricity) -- or for vehicles to also have a means of using carbon dioxide as fuel.
10. Regarding ELDs with no fees:
In my December 2, 2017, issue of TDMST Weekly Round-Up, I wrote, "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..."
So it is no surprise that a "no-subscription fee ELD [is] going out of service" on January 31, 2019.
11. Regarding starting the new year:
Look ahead to determine:
12. I am planning to release an updated look and feel for Truck-Drivers-Money-Saving-Tips.com very soon.
My husband Mike and I wish you -- and all professional truck drivers -- safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road.
And we wish you a prosperous New Year!