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TDMST Weekly Round-Up: 2020.07.25

This is the TDMST Weekly Round-Up of news affecting professional truck drivers, written by Vicki Simons for the week ending July 25, 2020.

We welcome your comments, thoughts and feedback on the items of your choice below.

 

TDMST Weekly Round-Up

1. Regarding ELDs:

By way of background, in my Electronic Logging Devices Mandate Commentary -- which I delivered on December 4, 2017 -- I stated:

On November 29, 2017, Indiana Attorney General Curtis T. Hill, Jr. wrote a letter to the FMCSA "to propose an immediate delay in the implementation of new requirements currently set to take effect December 18, 2017, regarding the use of Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) by commercial drivers."

In that letter, we read:
"With manufacturers of ELDs currently responsible for 'self-certifying' their compliance with government standards -- with no effective procedures seemingly yet developed to provide oversight over such 'self-certifying' -- drivers and operators are left without any way of ascertaining which brands and models of devices ultimately will pass muster. They must 'fly blindly' into investing in products they are being required to purchase."

Also, in my Comments to FMCSA on Automated Driving Systems, which I wrote on August 27-28, 2019, I stated:

Anything that runs on technology is only as good as:

  • The hardware (which can fail);
  • The software and programming (which can be faulty); and
  • Its inability to be hacked by hackers.

This week, we find out the ramifications of the FMCSA allowing ELD manufacturers to "self-certify" and finally, those of us who waved the red flag back in 2017 have been vindicated over our concerns regarding the potential for hacking.

Recent articles about this include:

A somewhat related article also states:
Truckers look for functionality, reliability as ELD mandate ages.

 

2. Regarding self-driving, driverless, and autonomous trucks:

With the huge push by many to replace human truckers with machines (self-driving, driverless, and autonomous trucks), there have been many predictions as to when this technology will go mainstream.

News this week includes predictions as to how far off that will be:

Just so you can keep up with what's going on, here are related articles on this topic:

 

3. Regarding the economy:

Recent articles about the trucking industry and the economy include:

 

4. Regarding face masks:

I am very outspoken regarding the need for people to:

  • boost their immune systems (as part of good health and wellness) through proven, natural methods; and

  • not wear oxygen-restricting face masks.

Numerous medical doctors have spoken out against the wearing of face masks for the simple reasons that their use can lead to:

  • an oxygen-deficient atmosphere;

  • an increase in the amount of carbon dioxide breathed in; and

  • a decrease in the body's natural immune response.

In spite of the fact that there is no scientific justification for wearing face masks, this week:

  • two major truck stop chains have announced that they are imposing face mask mandates in their locations; and

  • the CEO of NATSO made a preposterous statement.

Recent articles on this topic include:


In response to the NATSO CEO calling for a nationwide face mask mandate -- saying that it is a "patriotic duty" to wear one -- I have several things to say:

  1. If it was truly one's "patriotic duty" to wear a face mask, why are we just now -- some 244 years following the formation of the United States of America -- just now hearing about this?

    Because it is not one's patriotic duty to wear a face mask. Period.

  2. Abraham Lincoln was once quoted as saying, "How many legs does a dog have if you call his tail a leg? Four. Saying that a tail is a leg doesn't make it a leg."

    So, just "saying" or "claiming" that it is one's patriotic duty to do something doesn't mean that it is.

    Furthermore, if wearing face masks becomes the de facto definition of being patriotic, what is the next thing to be labeled that way?

    This is a slippery slope.

    Remember that the definition of "patriotism" is love of country -- and that wearing a face mask has NOTHING to do with loving your country.

  3. There are a number of logical fallacies either used in or implied in the claim that wearing face masks is "patriotic," some of which are, adapted from the list here:

    • band wagon fallacy (following in the path of an "authority figure" who recently said or implied the same thing);

    • dogmatism fallacy (an unwillingness to even consider the opponent's argument, in this case, that some people can be patriotic and NOT wear a face mask);

    • false dilemma fallacy (in the context of the NATSO CEO's comment: "You don't support wearing face masks? You must be unpatriotic.");

    • emotional appeals fallacy (in this context, the "scare tactics" include: "Bad things will happen if you do not agree with my statement about wearing a face mask.");

    • fallacy of exclusion (implying that you're only patriotic if you wear a face mask);

    • faulty analogy fallacy ("wearing face masks is patriotic" when the two cannot be compared to each other);

    • non sequitur (meaning "it does not follow") fallacy (in this case, the implication is, "If you were patriotic, you would wear a face mask");

    • red herring fallacy (changing the debate mid-stream, in this case, "We start talking about how to stay safe during COVID-19, but you bring up your opinion that wearing face masks is patriotic.");

    • straw man fallacy (the argument on one side being presented in such an extreme way that nobody will agree with it, in this case by implication, "Either we all wear face masks to display our patriotism or we're all going to die!"); and/or

    • "weasel words" fallacy or "glittering generality" fallacy (the use of words so broadly defined -- such as "patriotism" -- such that the term becomes essentially meaningless).

Do not fall for these fallacies or anything like them.

Learn to discern and follow the money trail.

Just curious: Is it possible -- just barely possible -- that the truck stops in NATSO's network sell face masks and have something to gain thereby?

Hmm...

 

5. Regarding retreads:

This is an interesting article, particularly for those who have typically always resisted retreaded tires:

6 Things Top Retreaders Want Fleets to Know.

 

6. Regarding smuggling:

Smuggling humans and illegal products is never worth the promised price:

 

7. Regarding tolls:

Well, the Pennsylvania Turnpike is back in the news with their announcement of approving its 13th annual system-wide toll increase in 2021, this one varying depending on whether or not one is on E-ZPass:

 

8. Regarding apps and truckers:

Please be careful about releasing your personally identifiable information over an app.

You never know how it will be used, tracked or hacked in the future.

Recent articles about apps include:


News about a past and future safety blitz include:


It is distressing that truckers have been and are being targeted for violence:

Please take the appropriate steps to:

 

9. Regarding a low clearance accident and overweight fines:

Over and over again, we have addressed low clearance accidents and how to avoid them on our site.

I've even issued a reward to the first person who can prove that their commercial motor vehicle-specific GPS unit led them to a low clearance.

In spite of all of that, a trucker tried to take a 13'6" trailer under an 11'0" high bridge and did a lot of damage in the process.

This was completely preventable!


According to a July 22, 2020, article:

  • "According to a Facebook post from the Alberta Sheriff's Office, the department has recently handed out numerous overweight tickets on the Vinca Bridge in Alberta, Canada"; and

  • "It appears that truckers are ignoring the signs and Alberta Sheriff's deputies are waiting for them. They've handed out two tickets exceeding $20,000."

Ouch!

According to another article:

  • the weigh restriction of 20 tonnes (44,000 lbs.) was put in place on June 8 on "the Vinca Bridge, located on Highway 38 south of Redwater, which is approximately 40 miles (64 km) north of Edmonton"; and

  • one "tanker 'carrying dangerous goods,' was presented with a fine for $21,307."

If you travel in this area with a big truck, please choose another route.

 

10. Regarding lawsuits and vindication:

Several trucking related lawsuits have been filed, settled, or proposed:


I love it when truckers do what is right, and after they are punished, are later vindicated.

Such happened in this case:

Feds: Company must re-hire a driver fired for refusing to drive an overweight truck

 

11. The irony!

You can't make this stuff up!

First the Protesters [Planned] to Shut Down "Multiple Checkpoints" Along I-490 During Rush Hour.

Then there was the report of how Protesters [Clashed] With Police After Shutting Down Stretch of I-490.

In an interesting turnaround (given that some protesters have been calling for the defunding and eradication of police departments), we read:
Group Cancels Interstate Protest, Blames Police for Not Helping Block Traffic!

The protesters want to get rid of the police and then blame them for not helping them carry out the protest?

Bahahahaha!

 

12. Regarding the reasons for...

A portable toilet was one of the two indispensable packing list items that my husband Mike and I had in the trucks we drove for the 10 reasons we describe.

If only other truckers traveling through Wyoming had taken our advice to heart!

This is a larger version of the Thetford Porta Potti than we used in our trucks, the link being from Amazon.com, with which we have an affiliate relationship.


I have described over and over again why it is necessary for truckers to be able to use a truckers atlas in routing themselves.

Now we read: Garmin reports massive outage affecting its products.

That's right! A GPS unit will do you no good when there's a service outage!

I have listed here the Rand McNally Truckers Atlas that we recommend from Amazon.com, with which we have an affiliate relationship.

Rand McNally Motor Carriers' Road Atlas Deluxe Edition
(laminated and spiral bound for heavy-duty users)

 

My husband Mike and I wish you -- and all professional truck drivers -- safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road.











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