This is the TDMST Weekly Round-Up of news affecting professional truck drivers, written by Vicki Simons for the week ending June 13, 2020.
We welcome your comments, thoughts and feedback on the items of your choice below.
There is room for neither sexism nor racism within the trucking industry.
We were individually teased by our fellow student drivers about who was going to be "first" versus "second" seat driver and earn that penny more per mile.
"Vicki, you'll be equally qualified with Mike to drive the truck. Are you going to let him earn a penny a mile more than you?" they would ask.
Then, they would turn around and use the same argument on Mike from his perspective.
What we ended up telling them was that to us, it didn't matter who got paid "more" of a truck driver salary because we were going to keep "all that lovely money in the family"!
I also struck down the issue of male superiority on our Female Truckers page:
Never let anyone tell you that just because you're female, you're inferior as a professional truck driver.
If you earned your Class A CDL, you're just as much qualified to drive a big rig as any man.
That isn't feminism; it is fact.
I loved it when I read about a truck driver trainee helping a trucker whose truck was blown over by high winds.
The helper stated, "I didn't see color. I saw a human being."
I am reminded of the song that Michael W. Smith recorded on his Change Your World album in 1992 and consequently recorded before a live audience: "Color Blind."
As I mentioned last week, there is only one race, the human race, as is written in the Bible in Acts 17:26:
"and He [God] made from one, every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times, and the boundaries of their habitation,"
Why does this matter on a website about saving money?
Because we are flawed when we let prejudice interfere with our ability to correctly see issues of:
So, the point is that it doesn't matter what a person's gender or ethnic background is; if you've earned your Commercial Driver's License, you are qualified to drive a truck in the classification stated.
Let's all respect each other.
In fact, I'd love it if we would return to the mindset that was common during the time when truckers were known as the "White Knights of the Highway."
I'd also love it if the motoring public and all others would respect truckers -- all the time!
According to a June 10, 2020, article, "An Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study suggests that autonomous vehicles will not prevent as many crashes as stakeholders claim. However, an AV coalition disputes some of the study's conclusions."
The article also states, "Addressing the two-thirds of crashes that IIHS claims AVs cannot avoid, PAVE pokes holes in the Uber Arizona crash anecdote."
I find it at least somewhat vindicating that finally someone is admitting that there are accidents that autonomous vehicles will not be able to avoid!
I wish that the article described how the majority of large truck crashes are contributed to by the driver of the non-truck vehicle.
A June 10, 2020, article revealed an interesting conflict.
In response to the FMCSA saying that there's a "lack of record-keeping violations against truck brokers" in their system, OOIDA says that's because "There's no clear-cut way in the system to file these types of complaints."
Yeah, it's pretty much impossible to enforce a rule against a problem when one won't allow the problem to be reported!
If you feel strongly about this issue, speak up and let those in positions of authority know that you expect this "roadblock" on reporting problems with broker transparency to be fixed ASAP!
Meanwhile, it was reported in numerous publications that Robert Voltmann, president and CEO of the broker group Transportation Intermediaries Association for 23 years, will be leaving TIA at the end of September:
After he retires, he won't be able -- at least in an official capacity -- to lob attacks against owner-operators anymore for "daring" to do what the federal law allows them to do regarding broker rates.
Numerous articles this week revealed -- for those in trucking -- what has been going on, what is currently going on, and some speculation about what the future may hold:
Reports about the drop in trucker turnover were reported in the following articles:
And here are reports about trucking rates:
There is a contradiction in an article about the "touchless" experience at Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores, because "Obviously drivers still have to actually handle the pump...."
Still, "avoiding touching keypads and interacting face-to-face with truck stop employees" is an advantage.
Much as I don't like saying it, this is a step toward totally contactless fueling -- trucks fueling themselves -- which is an issue that I brought up as a problem with driverless trucks.
During the last couple of weeks, riots have broken out in some major cities.
Truckers have been the focus of some of these attacks:
Do you know of an easy and preferably inexpensive way for truckers to protect themselves from objects thrown at them, shot at them, or deliberately put in their way to cause damage and/or injury?
If so, would you please share it through the form below?
And please be on your guard at all times.
Articles this week have covered petitions by protesters wanting to have a trucker charged after they got in his way on the road, dragged him from his truck, robbed him, and beat him up.
Others want him set free.
One petition calls on the Minnesota AG to prosecute protesters who beat up trucker Bogdan Vechirko.
Trucker Rick Santiago says that "he is outraged that protesters are demanding criminal charges be filed despite traffic camera video proving Vechirko lawfully accessed the interstate, and authorities determining he had no intent to harm anyone, nor did he harm anyone."
We also read: "James Lamb, president of the Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC) urged the DOJ [Department of Justice] to take action against those who have committed acts of aggression towards big rigs and truck drivers amid the ongoing nationwide protests."
Furthermore, we read: "The United States Department of Transportation's Office of Inspector General (USDOT OIG) is 'reviewing' the Minneapolis bridge incident for possible violations of federal law pertaining to tampering with hazardous materials (hazmat) loads."
Specific petitions that seem to be pro-trucker are:
Attempts to smuggle both drugs and people have seemingly increased in recent days:
The last article in that grouping covered a 74 year old Mexican truck driver attempting to do the smuggling.
The FMCSA has issued a 50-state extension of the Hours of Service (HOS) suspension, but narrowed the types of loads that qualify:
Other articles concerning the Hours of Service include:
Do you remember the huge push to put in place the Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse?
Now, here's what the FMCSA is up to regarding testing:
So, is testing for alcohol and/or drugs important or not?
While Canadian truckers have asked for a raise in their meal allowance, articles that addressed owner-operators' cash flow and debt relief options include:
Separately, we read about: Proper fleet maintenance for efficient equipment operations
Several different kinds of actions are illegal, as were reported in these articles:
In the article, "Nuclear verdict prevention: Is there any hope for fleets," we are reminded that "Nuclear verdicts are jury judgments that award penalties over $10 million" -- and we read:
For fleets that don't have sufficient video evidence, fighting a legal battle could be financially debilitating. As fleets cannot be certain what will happen, the only way to mitigate risk is to enforce training programs for employees and continuously look to reinforce best practices.
If you need some ideas, please see our article (and opportunity for a free download):
How a Truck Cam, Smart Cam or Dash Cam Can Save Truckers Money.
Two sets of congratulations are in order this week:
First, Will Sneads, who currently drives for C.R. England, has driven 3 million safe miles.
Second, articles here, here, here and here announced Citizen Driver 2020 honorees, Jerry "Skimpy" Seaman and Herschel Evans, who together have "a combined 8 million crash-free miles and exemplary records of leadership and service."
Thanks for being great role models, guys!
My husband Mike and I wish you -- and all professional truck drivers -- safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road.