This is the TDMST Weekly Round-Up of news affecting professional truck drivers, written by Vicki Simons for the week ending September 14, 2019.
We welcome your comments, thoughts and feedback on the items of your choice below.
National Truck Driver Appreciation Week is drawing to a close and we want to say once again how much we appreciate truck drivers year-round.
We agree with the quote by John Leo Post: "Truck drivers are the backbone of our economy, getting things to the people who need them when they need them. I think this week is about establishing a culture that highlights the importance of these individuals to the nation, and to bring awareness to people on how the industry works."
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) is holding their annual Brake Safety Week event starting on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019.
While we believe that it is necessary to keep truck brakes in tip-top condition and adjustment year-round (not just in advance of this event), it is a good time to verify that all is as it should be.
Recall our article about Money Down the Drain During CVSA Brake Inspection, which stated:
The cost of getting his truck's brakes adjusted before the brake inspection was $40.
The cost of getting his truck's brakes adjusted during the brake inspection was a whopping $700:
- $200 for the ticket (which the trucker said was at the State Transport Police's discretion) and
- $500 for the mechanic to come and make the adjustment.
The IIHS said that in a study of large trucks involved in crashes with injuries or deaths, researchers from IIHS and the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center found that drivers using a short-haul exception had a crash risk nearly five times higher than those who weren't.
Specifically, truckers who reported driving after it had been at least 12 hours since an extended sleep period were 86% more likely to crash than drivers who had been awake for less than eight hours. Truckers who reported driving more than five hours without stopping were more than twice as likely to crash as those who drove one to five hours.
"Ten drivers have been selected to participate in Run on Less Regional, a fuel-efficiency roadshow," states a September 10, 2019, article.
The time frame for the event starts on October 7 and "ends in Atlanta during the North American Commercial Vehicle Show Oct. 28–31.
An economist at the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics -- Dr. Kristen Monaco -- recently stated that the "driver shortage within the trucking industry" is "the industry's driver churn rate, with industry recruiting practices exacerbating the issue".
As a reminder, this is what OOIDA's Todd Spencer has been saying for a long time.
Dr. Monaco further said:
We read in a September 11, 2019, article, "Seasonal changes bring with them changes in driving conditions, placing a different emphasis on truck maintenance."
The article specifically addresses antifreeze, air systems, air dryers, lubrication, and oil.
Our condolences go to his family.
Given the time at which this accident happened -- around 3:30 a.m. -- I wonder if the driver simply fell asleep or became fatigued at the wheel.
If you find yourself getting drowsy, seek a safe and legal truck parking space as soon as possible.
A September 12, 2019, article stated that tolls could soon be coming to Interstate 80 in Wyoming.
Meanwhile the American Trucking Associations (ATA) has come out against road tolls "to finance infrastructure construction and maintenance [because it] is inefficient, unsafe, and harmful to the trucking industry."
Land Line Magazine stated, "California lawmakers have passed a bill, AB5, that would change how workers are classified in the state."
The article also stated:
Supporters of AB5 called it a win for the worker, while some trucking groups said the future of independent owner-operators "is hanging on the line." Businesses, such as Uber and Lyft, also are opposed to the bill.
Before you go to work with any trucking company, do your research and ask questions about worker classification and what that will mean to your wages.
Although I'm sure that the owner is proud of the custom rig that "took 7 years and $7 million to build", I couldn't get past all of the "stuff" sticking up right in the line of sight of the driver!
The FMCSA's PDF entitled "DRIVER DISTRACTION IN COMMERCIAL VEHICLE OPERATIONS" referenced "Driver 1 Vision Obscured by" ... "207 = Vehicle related vision obstructions."
I'm almost positive the FMCSA never envisioned a vehicle built with huge pieces coming off the motor that appear to permanently obscure the driver's ability to see the road in front of him/her.
I hope the owner/driver of this tractor never gets involved in an accident, but I don't see how that is going to be unavoidable at some point down the line.
If you are asked to drive such a vehicle, I strongly urge you to refuse on the grounds of safety.
My husband Mike and I wish you -- and all professional truck drivers -- safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road.