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TDMST Weekly Round-Up: 2022.04.09

This is the TDMST Weekly Round-Up of news affecting professional truck drivers, written by Vicki Simons for the week ending April 9, 2022.

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

TDMST Weekly Round-Up

1. Regarding inspections and Roadcheck:

Inspections

If you keep yourself, your trucking records, and your truck in great condition, you'll never dread an inspection.

Here are some of the most recent articles about inspections within the trucking industry:


Roadcheck

According to the second article linked below in this section:

"The CVSA Roadcheck takes place May 17-19, and inspectors will be out across the U.S. inspecting commercial motor vehicles and drivers. It's the largest targeted enforcement program on commercial motor vehicles in the world."

Please keep your truck in great condition all of the time, not just before a major "blitz."

 

2. Regarding fuel, emissions, autonomous vehicles, and electric vehicles:

Fuel

Many professional truck drivers and trucking companies are feeling the pinch of higher fuel prices due to inflation.

From a comment I made to a Facebook post written by one of our U.S. Senators:

...here's a great definition for inflation:

"Undue expansion or increase of the currency of a country, esp. by the issuing of paper money not redeemable in specie. A substantial rise of prices caused by an undue expansion in paper money or bank credit."

So, let's look at the official numbers to see what's really been happening.

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis,
https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/M1SL

the money supply in the USA went:
- from 4,779.8 Billion in April 2020 (Trump);
- to 16,232.9 Billion in May 2020 (Trump);
- to 18,107.1 Billion in January 2021 (Trump);
- to 20,694.5 Billion in February 2022 (Biden).

Increase in Money Supply since April 2020.

So, of the increase in the money supply (15,914.70 Billion) in the USA since April 2020:
- 13,327.30 Billion (83.74%) was under Trump; and
- 2,587.40 Billion (16.26%) has been under Biden.

...a "Republican" President was responsible for nearly 84% of the increase of the money supply [during that time frame]...

And based on that, it seems as though nearly 84% of the inflation that we are currently experiencing had already started to happen under Mr. Trump before Mr. Biden ever took office.

The only question now is: Can this be reversed and if so, how?

Here are some of the most recent articles about fuel as it concerns the trucking industry (and please also see the section on "Business" below):


Emissions

While I'm definitely in favor of being a good steward of the planet Earth that our Creator gave to us, those without a freedom-based mindset want to enslave us to their ever increasing and expanding worldview and political view.

So, be on your guard.


Autonomous vehicles

I most definitely oppose self-driving, driverless, and autonomous trucks on the publicly accessible roads that are used by the motoring public.

However, I am listing some of the most recent articles about this subject so that you will stay informed.


Electric vehicles

Please be aware that while going "all-electric" sounds exciting -- as in "no fossil fuels," right? -- there are both pros and cons!

 

3. Regarding economy, e-commerce, rates, towing, and work zone:

Economy

Here are some of the most recent articles about the economy from the trucking industry's perspective:


E-commerce

  • E-commerce is here to stay -- so are its environmental impacts

    Quote: "As a result of that shift, businesses are spending their money differently. For example, the survey revealed that over a third of companies reported using more warehouse space to keep up with online orders. Two-thirds said they needed to increase their warehouse staff, while half said they had seen an increase in packaging costs."

    Other than perhaps the use of extra materials for shipping ("packaging costs"), I do not understand from the article how fulfilling orders via e-commerce means creates a greater environmental impact than fulfilling orders via non-e-commerce means.

    I mean, consumers would have to go buy the items from a traditional brick-and-mortar store if they didn't order online, right?

    I would like to see a side-by-side comparison of the numbers to get a better feel for this.


Rates


Towing

  • Trucking company says it got a $47,000 bill for a 10-mile tow

    My questions:

    - Is this situation an example of gouging or is the towing bill fair compensation for the work that was done?

    - Is there a way to get a reliable estimate for towing before the fact?

    - Is towing a big rig a task that should even be considered on a shop-around-for-the-best-price basis?

    Please share your thoughts through the form below.


Work zone

Even though April 11-15 is "National Work Zone Awareness Week," please slow to the proper speed in every work zone, all year long.

 

4. Regarding ATRI, business, and audits:

ATRI


Business


Audits

 

5. Regarding drugs, smuggling, and violations:

Drugs

Never, ever haul illegal drugs, no matter how big of a payout you are promised.


Smuggling

  • Trucker "under the influence of Xanax" arrested for attempt to smuggle 88 migrants

    One of the lessons to be gleaned from this article is not to be so influenced by a drug that you don't know what you're doing as a trucker.

    If I'm looking at it correctly, this specific drug is used to "treat anxiety and panic disorder."

    Isn't there a better way of treating this health condition that doesn't lead to being "under the influence" to this extent?

    I know that there are natural substances that can help people to relax.


Violations

 

6. Regarding damage, distracted driving, age, and testing:

Damage

If you cause damage with your truck, please be willing to take responsibility for it and make compensation to those whose property was damaged.

Love your neighbor as you love yourself.


Distracted driving


Age


Testing

 

7. Regarding accidents, wheel-off/axle-off, fatalities, and near miss:

Accidents

  • VIDEO: Pickup hauling trailer is pretty sure he'll fit between these two semis

    Yes, I realize that the pickup/trailer driver did not have the space to merge in.

    But as I watched the video, I counted 4 seconds when the trucker whose tractor was hit could have backed off and let the impatient pickup/trailer combo driver merge in.

    Furthermore, when you look at the overhead highway signs or gantry, it is clear that drivers in the through-lane should be prepared for some last-minute lane changes by drivers who don't want to exit off.

    I could be wrong, but I view this as a preventable accident on the part of the semi truck driver whose tractor was hit.


Wheel-off/Axle-off

Yes, truckers are responsible for doing pre-trip inspections.

Yes, trailers are supposed to undergo an annual inspection.

I can't ever remember a time when I -- as a professional truck driver -- looked at how well tandems were attached to the bottom of the trailer.

What do you think happened here?


Fatalities

We extend our deepest sympathies to the families of those truckers who were killed.

While not all of these fatalities were a result of poor load securement, please make sure that your load is secure before you drive a single inch.


Near miss

 

8. Regarding employment, exploitation, expose, pay, fees, and turnover:

Employment


Exploitation

I have written on our website about truckers being exploited and the second article linked below in this section contains a perfect example.

Student drivers and prospective truck drivers, make sure you understand everything before you sign anything by way of a contract with a trucking company that offers to train you in exchange for you working for them for a period of time afterwards.


Expose


Pay

We do not endorse or recommend any trucking company listed in this section.

Please do your due diligence before you sign on with any trucking company.


Fees


Turnover

  • Driver churn? ATA says it's good for you

    No, driver churn is not good.

    Truckers wouldn't leave trucking companies if they were satisfied.

    If the leaders at trucking companies were smart, they would regularly ask truckers what they could do to make work conditions better -- or, for truckers who are the least bit hesitant to say something, make a way for them to submit feedback anonymously.

    As a model, see the video embedded below.

 

9. Regarding GPS, household goods movers, and fire:

GPS

This is another example of the need to not totally rely on technology for routing.

Learn to use a truckers atlas and follow written directions for how to get to a place.


Household goods movers


Fire

While we encourage truckers to quit smoking, those who continue to do so must make sure that they properly extinguish anything that they set on fire.

 

10. Regarding leasing, market value, parts, tires, and roads:

Leasing

We address commercial truck leasing on our website.


Market value


Parts

Need truck parts?


Tires


Roads

 

11. Regarding personal conveyance, politics, and zipper:

Personal conveyance

Although there may be earlier articles about this topic, the earliest one I found is dated October 5, 2018.

So why, in 2022, is this issue still a problem?


Politics

Watch out for any "gotcha" that might come down the road as a result of this proposal (assuming it is passed into law).


Zipper

Just like a zipper on clothing, when a zipper is performed in traffic, drivers in multiple lanes of traffic take turns merging into a single lane.

Courtesy of Superior Auto Body Saskatoon, here's a great image to show how this works:

Merge like a zipper. Alternate When Merging.

 

12. Thank you!

All of the articles below highlight someone who helped out a fellow human being in need -- and I recognize and thank them for their compassion.

 

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











Return from TDMST Weekly Round-Up: 2022.04.09 to our TDMST Weekly Round-Up Trucking Commentary or our Truck Drivers Money Saving Tips home page.





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