autonomous trucks

TD150: Trucking News Galore!

Podcast Show Notes

Well there is no main topic in the podcast today, but we’ve got enough news, listener feedback, and other stuff to choke a hippo… provided a hippo would try to eat stuff like that.

Anywho, we’ll be covering truck recalls and lots of stuff about truck brakes, myths about truck inspections, truck parking, new hours-of-service clarifications, and we’ll learn about winter fuel additives.

Good news on the economy and trucker pay is always good, but dash cams, drug testing, delayed driver training guidelines, and drivers getting sued, not so much.

Listener feedback covers, trucking schools, elogs, “smart” trailers, autonomous trucking, and of course, tailgating truckers.

Listen to the podcast version or read the full article and the podcast show notes on AboutTruckDriving.com or search for Trucker Dump in your favorite podcast app.

Be sure to check out the 50% off ebook combo pack for Trucking Life and How to Find a Great Truck Driving Job while you’re there. This deal is only available for a limited time!

This episode of Trucker Dump is sponsored by:

Links mentioned in the news segment:

Budweiser Wassup commercial

Daimler recalls 142,110 Freightliner Cascadias for faulty brake lights from FreightWaves.com

Kenworth recalls 1,400 trucks for possible brake issue from OverdriveOnline.com

Brake Safety Week sidelined more than 5,000 trucks from OverdriveOnline.com

Trucking Law: Busting myths about inspection regulations from OverdriveOnline.com

Paul O. Taylor is managing partner of Truckers Justice Center and has represented truck drivers for over 25 years. He can be reached at 855–943-3518 or at TruckersJusticeCenter.com.

Traton, Navistar Reach Agreement on $3.7 Billion Buyout from ttnews.com (Transport Topics)

Q&A: Should I use diesel fuel additives in the winter? from OverdriveOnline.com

TD119:Winter Truck Driving Tips From An Alaskan Trucker from AboutTruckDriving.com

Hazmat renewal waiver extended through 12/31 from OverdriveOnline.com

Answering hours questions, as some ELDs falsely flag errors when new rule options used from OverdriveOnline.com

FMCSA Unveils HOS Resource as Revised Rules Take Effect from ttnews.com (Transport Topics)

Educational Tool for Hours Of Service (ETHOS)

ETHOS detailed instructions

FMCSA Says HOS Rules Still Apply To Self-Driving Truck Drivers… At Least For Now from TheTruckersReport.com

Waymo Begins Fully Driverless Rides for All Arizona Customers from ttnews.com (Transport Topics)

Trucking Approaches Holiday Shipping Season ‘Unlike Any Seen Before’ from ttnews.com (Transport Topics)

Trucker Pay Increasing as Driver Shortage Grows, Industry Capacity Tightens from ttnews.com (Transport Topics)

FMCSA delays driver training implementation until 2022 from LandLineMag.com

TD147:Be Careful Choosing A Truck Driving School from AboutTruckDriving.com

Making the decision to accept your fleet’s camera — or not from OverdriveOnline.com

Trucking Law: No false positives, no room for excuses in today’s drug tests from OverdriveOnline.com

FMCSA Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse

Dr. Alexander E. Underwood works at KT Health Clinic near Springfield, MO. He can be reached at 855–943-3518 or email him at mail@kthealthclinic.com.

Owner-Operator Ordered To Pay $411 Million: Largest Verdict Ever from TheTruckersReport.com

Driver Whose Truck Entered Crowded Protest Faces Charges from ttnews.com (Transport Topics)

Judge Overturns 12 Year Sentence For Pilot Flying J Exec, Says Jury Shouldn’t Have Been Allowed To Hear “Deeply Offensive” Recording from TheTruckersReport.com

Driver feedback wanted on I-10 truck parking issues from OverdriveOnline.com

I-10 Truck Parking Availability System survey

FMCSA Seeks Nominations for Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee from ttnews.com (Transport Topics)

Trucker Grub segment:

Scott Gunter, aka @Killjoy in the Trucker Dump Slack Group tells us about Rutter’sconvenience stores, where you can get some really good grub for cheap.

Links mentioned in the Listener Feedback segment:

Service mention: TruCon.app for Ontario drivers

Product mention: Brooklyn Fuel Bucket Mattress from Brooklyn Bedding at TruckingMattress.com
 
Trevor Dunkel aka @Koolaid in the Trucker Dump Slack Group, talks about his experience with Schneider’s smart trailer app that was discussed in TD149: Job Hopping In The Trucking Industry.
 
Todd R aka @RoadToad in the Trucker Dump Slack Group, follows-up about the racism and prejudice in his Canadian truck driving school that we talked about TD149: Job Hopping In The Trucking Industry.
 
 
Gabe is a trucker and has some thoughts about TD95: 4 Reasons That Trucker Might Be Tailgating You. I mention TD66: Truckers Go Turtle Racing in my response.
 
Nick Mack shares an audio comment about his experiences with his truck driving school and being a driver trainer.
 
Aniruddh Mohan from Carnegie Mellon University study on how autonomous trucks are perceived by truckers. Email him at aniruddh@cmu.edu or text him at 412-576-4494 to schedule an interview.

 

Show info:

You can email your comments, suggestions, questions, or insults to TruckerDump@gmail.com
 
 
Join the Trucker Dump Slack Group by emailing me at TruckerDump@gmail.com
 
 

5 Top Issues In Commercial Driving

This is a guest post by Conner Smith of the Big Rig Banter Podcast and AllTruckJobs.com.

Despite being one of the most ubiquitous industries in the United States, there are a diverse range of pressing issues facing just about everyone in the commercial driving business. Honestly, it’s hard to just sit back and let things take their course because, as many people in the industry will tell you, this isn’t exactly a profession where you can kick back and coast for most of your career. Beyond hiring quality drivers, it takes hard work from each link in the supply chain to keep the flow of goods, services, drivers, and logistics running smoothly.

So what top issues in commercial driving are still alive and well? Here we’ll take a look at what many people, both recruiters and drivers, are facing on a daily basis and some potential ways to move the industry forward for years to come.

1. ELDs and the Supreme Court

As a move that still has many owner-operators voicing their resistance, the Supreme Court’s decision to leave in place the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) rule makes it clear that these devices are here to stay. Essentially, this rule calls for the Secretary of Transportation to adopt the proper regulations requiring ELD use in commercial vehicles driving interstate. After a rejected appeal by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), companies must be compliant by December 18th, 2017. This means installing the appropriate ELDs in all commercial vehicles made after the year 2000.

Despite some obvious benefits to having ELDs in all commercial vehicles, critics have made voiced concerns over constant surveillance, strict hours of service tracking, and the initial concerns of installing hundreds of devices in a relatively short amount of time. In any case, the industry is poised to comply to this new law of the land whether they want to or not.

2. Hours of Service

Trailing behind the recent ELD ruling is perhaps one of the true underlying issues for commercial drivers in the industry — the hours of service regulations themselves. Now with mandatory compliance meaning an ELD in every commercial vehicle, drivers are no longer able to “fudge” their paper logs for very good reasons. It used to be that if drivers were just 30 minutes away from home after getting caught in traffic that they could just “adjust” their hours of service. With ELDs such things are nearly impossible.

Although, many argue that the issue is not with ELDs themselves but with these stringent regulations on hours of service and their corresponding rest times. It’s understood now that fighting the ELD rule is really just a veiled attempt to get adjustments made to laws regarding hours of service, which is sure to continue on as in issue at least for now.

3. CSA Scores

Launched by the FMCSA in December of 2010, the Compliance, Safety, and Accountability (CSA) initiative was introduced as a way to improve the overall safety of commercial motor vehicles on the road. The intention was that the CSA program would put a more intense focus on companies that pose higher safety risks on the road than others. Still, many industry interests contend that the factors integrated into CSA scores are not always reliable predictors of safety.

Critics say that inconsistencies in the process of collecting CSA data in addition to issues about the accountability of crashes make it difficult to fully assess the commercial driving abilities of individuals. Even though the intention is to restrict lesser qualified drivers from being hired by companies that demand the highest degree of safety (which is most of them) CSA can haunt drivers for years to come for a variety of reasons they may or may not have had control over.

4. The Driver Shortage

Characterized by many as a matter of the quality of drivers rather than the quantity of people applying for jobs, the driver shortage continues to worsen with little sign of slowing based on reports from the ATA.

For almost two decades now, this shortage of drivers has made itself known to carriers struggling to find quality drivers to fill their trucks. At the time of the first report in 2005, the shortage was roughly 20,000 drivers but had since grown to a staggering 48,000 by the end of 2015. Should these trends hold, the shortage is projected to reach almost 175,000 by 2024.

As it stands, the driver shortage may actually feel much worse to motor carriers considering all of the previously mentioned issues — increasingly constrictive CSA scores, ELD mandates, and hours of services regulations. Pair this with high turnover rates and it’s as difficult as ever to get the quality drivers needed for the increasing volume of jobs out there — 890,000 over the next decade to be exact.

Now, many companies are looking to targeted demographics such as millennial drivers, female drivers, and drivers with military experience to pick up the torch!

5. The Autonomous Vehicle Revolution

Although it’s not quite the dawn of autonomous vehicles, these highly tech-laden trucks are just about to breach the horizon of the industry. Whether it’s Uber, Tesla, Google, or Nikola Motors, it’s quite obvious that we’re in for a heavily automated transportation industry as these vehicles clear their final hurdles to market. Just like many people were skeptical there’d ever be personal computers in every home, many companies are quietly bracing themselves for what seems like an impending disruption of incredible scale.

With a current 1.7 million trucking jobs in the U.S., it’s still unclear just how many people could be out of work once these self-driving vehicles hit the roads. Predictions by MIT’s Technology Review place this technology at 5-10 years before it’s fully available, however, it’s certain that it will forever alter the nature of the commercial driving industry.

Throw alternative energy sources like natural gas and hydrogen fuel cells into the mix and we’re bound to see a gigantic shift in the types of vehicles — and drivers — making their way across the United States and many countries throughout the world.