This is the TDMST Weekly Round-Up of news affecting professional truck drivers, written by Vicki Simons for the week ending January 12, 2019.
We welcome your comments, thoughts and feedback on the items of your choice below.
1. Regarding last mile delivery driverless vehicles and delivery robots:
A January 9. 2019, article stated, "The Continental Urban Mobility Experience (CUbE) combines a robot-taxi with package delivery robots to reduce idle time during non-peak hours".
The video embedded below shows how an Anybotic quadruped robot dog "walked" off a delivery van, navigated its way to a customer's front door, rang the doorbell, and dumped a package a bit roughly both sideways and upside down.
Another article about this is here.
Watch for more of this type of innovation to come into the marketplace in the future.
Here's another article about "last mile" delivery service.
2. Regarding shippers, receivers, and detention:
By way of background regarding unfair treatment of truckers:
A January 6, 2019, article reaffirms these points:
Shippers and retailers are going to have to improve their trucker customer service regarding:
And if that includes using robotic systems like those described in the preceding point, so be it.
3. Regarding ZANZEFF (Zero and Near-Zero Emissions Freight Facilities) and electric trucks:
According to a January 9, 2019, article,
Separately, we read that "Peterbilt [added a] third model to [their] electric truck lineup" and that the "Model 220EV has a 100-mile operating range".
So, obviously, these trucks are not meant for over-the-road use and my initial concern about electrification of the truck for trucker use has been allayed.
However, I am still concerned about in-truck comfort in these fuel cell-powered trucks during summer heat and winter cold.
4. Regarding labor law violations in California:
A state law enacted last September requires the posting of drayage carriers that have committed "labor law violations against their drivers" including "wage theft and misclassifying company drivers as independent contractors", says a January 8, 2019, article.
The last paragraph of the article cites California state law as reading, in part, "California's port drayage drivers are the last American sharecroppers, held in debt servitude and working dangerously long hours for little pay."
It is time for truckers to stop being exploited.
5. Regarding autonomous trucks:
During the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, "Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) ... introduced updates to Freightliner’s flagship Cascadia tractor that will enable SAE Level 2 automated driving", stated a January 7, 2019, article.
The article provides specifics that are were summarized as, "Level 2 automation means the truck can accelerate, decelerate and steer independently."
Another article about this is here.
Separately, an "Autonomous Vehicle Coalition" has been formed to educate people about safety and compliance.
And TuSimple plans to "increase the number of trucks in fully autonomous operation [in Arizona] from 11 to 40 by June of this year."
6. Regarding truck accidents:
7. Regarding truck parking:
A January 4, 2019, article stated, "A group of midwestern states are launching a new system [called Trucks Park Here] to give truck drivers access to real time information about truck parking availability".
8. Regarding per diem changes in the federal tax law:
Land Line Magazine published the following on January 7, 2019:
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is asking congressional leaders in both the House and Senate to make sure the new tax law's elimination of the ability of employee drivers to deduct 80 percent of up to $63 in daily expenses for meals on the road won't result in those drivers "sending more of their hard-earned money to Washington."
9. Regarding tolls:
The governor and lawmakers in the state of Virginia have proposed "tolls for [the] I-81 corridor", states a January 9, 2019, article.
The article states specifics: "If the proposal follows the plan adopted by the transportation in December, trucks will be tolled at 15 cents per mile from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and 7.5 cents from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. Other vehicles will be tolled 7.5 cents per mile during the day and 5 cents during nighttime hours."
Hmm... This will require either the construction and operation of tolling gantries or vehicles to install an electronic tolling device similar to a PrePass unit.
Another article on this topic is here.
You may follow this legislation on OOIDA's website here.
And, separately, Pennsylvania's "annual toll increase" went into effect on January 6, 2019.
10. Regarding idling regulations:
The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) recently updated their compendium of "state and local idling regulations".
The fines for violations can be stiff.
11. Regarding load transparency and owner-operators:
A very interesting article about "load transparency" reveals that 49 Code of Federal Regulations part 371.3 states (in part) that "carriers [have] the right to know [from brokers] what the shipper has paid for any load".
Separately, I found two articles:
12. Regarding trucker exercise:
An article in a trucking publication about being able to get the exercise you need in only 7 minutes did not take into account the facts that:
13. Regarding truck fuel:
I'd previously known about CNG and LNG, but then I read a January 8, 2019, article about how "RNG" ("renewable natural gas") is to be used in California ports.
I found a short, helpful video about RNG on this website.
My husband Mike and I wish you -- and all professional truck drivers -- safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road.