News, Interviews, and Happenings From The Trucking World
Friday Short Haul - Schneider's error, Change.org petition, Teamsters Canada demands
Authors: 'Legacy' carriers ignore autonomous technology at their peril
COVID-19 scare: State gun laws come under scrutiny
Friday Short Haul - Inspection blitz postponed, COVID-19 webinar, FHA urges states to keep rest areas open, fewer cars means faster truck deliveries
DOT and FMCSA issue COVID-19 responses
Starsky Robotics calls it quits
Friday Short Haul - Weigh station parking, rest areas reopen, HOS waiver expanded, freight prices increase
Truck drivers mostly exempt from coronavirus lock downs
HOS rules relaxed for COVID-19 relief effort
Friday Short Haul - Western Express recovers from Tennessee tornado, driver involved in two accidents six minutes apart, another carrier quits
Daimler's electric vehicles and autonomous trucks continue real-world testing
Predictive technology increases driver safety, benefits carriers
Friday Short Haul -- Coffee drinking drivers, Amazon coronavirus email, FMCSA safety summit
AIRman introduces no-crank technology to landing gears
Roadmaster shows how to reduce driver turnover
Friday Short Haul - CBD users beware, 8,000 violations revealed in Clearinghouse, laptop theft lands Alabama trucker in prison
Canada company offers easy access to spare trailers
Roadcheck could result in temporarily higher freight rates
Friday Short Haul - Self-driving yard trucks, Knight-Swift partners with Truckstop.com, Security guard shoots driver
Training providers offer a diversity of options
Idaho eases hemp transport prohibition; too late to help arrested drivers
Friday Short Haul - Tennessee carrier quits, signs a carrier is going down, retaining drivers
New phone app hopes to alleviate shipper waits
Senate Transportation Committee gets an earful from trucking execs
Friday Short Haul - Best fleets to drive for, FMCSA delays ELDT rule, Cold Carriers closes doors
Baylor Trucking deals with consequences of ELD outage
WIT announces first-ever Driver Ambassador, names February Member of the Month
Friday Short Haul - ATA at White House USMCA signing, AB-5 fight continues, toughest jobs
May dates announced for this year's roadside inspection blitz
States work to toughen up left-lane-hogging laws
Friday Short Haul - Pilot Flying J name change, CRST-Swift lawsuit, Schneider named innovator
Seven drivers named as TCA's Highway Angels
Travel advisories and restrictions announced for Midwest weekend storm
Friday Short Haul - Senators demand GPS app updates, Jason's Law survey, ATA applauds USMCA, FMCSA's truck crash survey
Research group recommends a national autonomous truck policy
A glimpse into driving long-haul in China
Friday Short Haul - Court blocks AB-5, SBTC vs. FMCSA, Can Opener Bridge
Loses appeal: Walmart ordered to pony up $54 million to drivers
WIT and Walmart seek nominations for Female Driver of the Year
Friday Short Haul - Sweatshop on Wheels, judge exempts truckers from AB-5, Fleetwood closes doors
Trucking Truth's top stories for 2019
Random drug tests of drivers to double in 2020
Friday Short Haul - New EV semi, tonnage down, turnover up, Grapevine fatality, runaway truck tires demolish car
Trucking industry goes out of its way for Christmas charitable giving
Fuel card provider hit with FTC lawsuit
Friday Short Haul - Driver coercion, zero emissions, driver fatalities
Hard enforcement for ELD compliance now in effect
State CDL agencies get reprieve from drug & alcohol clearinghouse deadline
Friday Short Haul - JB Hunt's Wreaths Across America, Plus.ai butter run, states look for zero emissions
Carriers muster to pick up Celadon drivers, employees
Will Amazon's pay-per-day plan influence the industry?
Freight volume and rates downturn turns into a 'bloodbath'
Friday Short Haul - Independent contractors getting booted out of CA, winter weather resources, ransomware attack
Knowing when to say goodbye to an unprofitable shipper
Schneider donates trucks; Congress considers women-driver-friendly bill
Friday Short Haul - CTA files lawsuit against California, Highway Hero nominations sought, video of "Move Over" crash
Tesla announces new electric Semi model
Not everyone happy with potential FMCSA clearinghouse delay
Friday Short Haul - AI taking driving jobs, CRV scam, Truckers protest AB-5, ELDs quit working
Investigators cracking down on truck accident fraudulent lawsuits
So you want to start your own trucking company?
Friday Short Haul - FMCSA emergency exemptions, snow plows, FedEx employee bribery charges
Human smuggling via big rigs on the increase
Carriers, drivers look at ways to deal with California's AB-5
Friday Short Haul - Millennials and trucking, Truckers Christmas Group, Navistar settlement
Too many drivers still don't know to "Move Over"
Are trucker strikes a thing of the past?
Friday Short Haul - Passenger car drivers, spotted lanternfly, women drivers
OOIDA makes final push for better HOS rules
Car-truck crash fatalities continue to increase
Friday Short Haul - Amazon's fleet of day cabs, legislator's disclosure, WTA petition
ATA chief takes on truck-accident lawyers
Lonely on the road? Get a furry friend
Friday Short Haul - Lab-grown meat, fraudulent freight brokering, FMCSA HOS committee, FMCSA Clearinghouse
UPS takes giant leap in its drone delivery program
Female drivers are safer bet for trucking companies
Friday Short Haul - Embark gets financing, FMCSA announces safety grants, Covenant exits Mexico routes, and trucking statistics
Emissions standards battle heats up between the EPA and California
Smog checks in the future for California truck drivers
Friday Short Haul - Volvo Dynamic Steering, Meals for 18 Wheels, speeding crackdown, OOIDA opposes legislation
Telematics could be insurance-premium-saving boon for fleets
54 percent of survey respondents still not impressed with telematics technology
Friday Short Haul - Walmart video, it's churn, not shortage, California's independent contractor bill, hemp drivers plea
TCA honors three Highway Angels
Now they're talking about "smart" trailers
Friday Short Haul - Detention-time comments, truck orders decline, diesel fuel shortage
Berkeley study says reducing independent truckers can alleviate climate change
Clearing up concerns about the drug and alcohol clearinghouse
Friday Short Haul - Hurricane Dorian, Speed limiter bill, Thank a Driver campaign
Georgia jury awards $280 million for truck-driver-caused multi-fatality
Friday Short Haul - New eCascadias, Top cities for truck driver jobs, Push against driverless trucks
Decision on California drivers' employee/contractor status coming down to the wire
UPS jumps on autonomous bandwagon with TuSimple investment
FMCSA publishes proposed HOS rule changes
Fleets, drivers coming to like automated manual transmissions
CVSA asks for new truck crash study
Friday Short Haul - HOS revisions delayed, AEB mandate proposed, Koch sued for sex discrimination
Kodiak Robotics takes lead in autonomous truck industry race
New York City combats rash of cyclist/truck clashes
Friday Short Haul - CRST wins lawsuit, OOIDA opposes insurance hike, UPSNav
Mechanics shortage equals driver shortage in intensity
DOT announces almost 1$ billion in grants to fix infrastructure
Friday Short Haul - DOL on sleeper pay, UPS drone delivery, Geowiz ELDs
FMCSA takes a look at assault, harassment of female and minority drivers
It's hot out there, what's a trucker to do? Can't idle.
Friday Short Haul - Utah truck rollovers, aging truckers, lifetime CDL bans
Truck-mounted LED billboards coming under fire
Trucker 'drones on' with unique approach to teaching driving skills
Friday Short Haul - Rhode Island tolls, human smuggling, contractor vs employee status
ELD mandate deadline looming, many still not compliant
New "boot" device being deployed to threaten Walmart overnighters
Friday Short Haul - Prime Inc vs Amazon, mother fights HOS changes, truck drivers appreciation week
Proper way to fly the American flag on your truck this Fourth of July
Roundabouts are becoming popular; but are they best for trucks?
Friday Short Haul - Skills test proposal, driver shortage, hemp sentencing, driverless trucks
Experts warn of active wildland fire season
More states signing on to enlist truckers against human trafficking
Friday Short Haul - Shippers of Choice, insurance rates, wheel spikes, WIT award
Freight numbers not holding up to 2018's highs
Truck safety group urges purges of drug abuse drivers
Friday Short Haul - Self-driving certificate, truck platooning, trade war stacking up cargo
HOS waiver coming soon for fireworks haulers
FMCSA takes a further look at detention time
Friday Short Haul - Autonomous delivery, HOS rules changes, CDL retest
Roadcheck 2019 in effect this week
Hemp arrest prompts USDA memo
Friday Short Haul - Waymo big rigs, Move over sting, Under-21 comments
Severe weather prompts renewed emergency declaration
Memorial Day holiday is prime time for cargo thefts
Friday Short Haul - Hauling hemp, road rage fatality, new rules for autonomous vehicles
Autonomous trucks on USPS test run
Future era of cab-less trucks will be the end of HOS rules
Friday Short Haul - FMCSA under-21 comments, Tesla autonomous car crash, 24,000 drivers sign contract with YRC
Under-21 interstate drivers getting serious look by FMCSA
Trucker Buddy program matches drivers with a classroom; everyone wins
Friday Short Haul - Driver awarded $80 million, ODFL driver wins, loading dock black hole
Storm breaks out from Rockies, slams into Midwest, South
Capacity issues have shippers looking at private fleets
Friday Short Haul - HOS rules, dark skies, Falcon drivers
'Bug' permits now required for four eastern states
Simulator use is catching on for schools, carriers
Friday Short Haul - Thinking electric, Penske opens charging station, border crossing crisis, railroads taking trucking business
ELDs might not be the panacea that was hoped for
Truck drivers may soon see "phantoms" driving yard trucks
Friday Short Haul - Nikola big rigs, WIT welcomes Peterbilt, Oregon crashes, Border crossings
Carriers claim financial benefit of putting up drivers in hotels
Uber's IPO application reveals interesting data about its freight brokerage business
Friday Short Haul - CDL examiner arrested, tolls proposed for trucks, marijuana use on the rise
Smart Load Board will get carriers the loads they need
Huge lines and long wait times greet carriers at Mexico border
Friday Short Haul - Marijuana, ATA campaign, personal conveyance rules
Over-the-air downloads revolutionize parameter updates
Don't get scammed by skimmers
Friday Short Haul -- New Cascadias honored, motorist survey, U.S, Xpress awarded, rest stop parking
Legislators address underride collisions, propose more underguards for trucks, trailers
Motorists soon may encounter a different kind of truck convoy
Friday Short Haul -- Women in Trucking, irate motorist, FMCSA eases HOS, Safe-Cap
Recent survey shows cost of roadside repairs is rising
FMCSA announces drug and alcohol clearinghouse website
Friday Short Haul - Swift settlement, driver shortage myth, TCA Best Fleet award
The hidden danger of looking but not seeing
Accident scammers target trucks for financial payout
Friday Short Haul - Snow on the roof, bypassing toll road, Waze under fire
Retailers blame driver shortage for price increases
Drivers' smartphones may be clue to road roughness
Friday Short Haul -- Freight rates, HOS changes, tonnage reports
New tax changes hit drivers hard
FMCSA to implement under-21 interstate driver program for former military
Friday Short Haul -- Connecticut tolls proposed, hydrogen fuel-cell trucks, cell phone use
Congress committee looks at state of America's highways
Number of cargo thefts is down; but dollar value about the same
Friday Short Haul -- Crossing the border, CA sues FMCSA, Lobbying against larger trucks
Detention - A problem still in search of a solution
February Highway Angels honorees named
Friday Short Haul -- C.R. England announces pay raises, eCommerce impact on trucking, TCA announces best fleets
Is a guaranteed minimum pay the solution to the driver shortage?
Long CDL testing wait times cost economy billions of dollars; not helping driver shortage
Friday Short Haul -- Walmart hiring, Uber Freight App, Speed-limiter Law, America's Road Team
Cranking -- The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
California survives challenge to its low-carbon fuel standards
Friday Short Haul - Highway robbery ... autonomous trucks ... new trailers
LithiumHub enters jump-starter market with Jumpbooster JP30
2019 Looks Good For The Transportation Industry
Raymond Burt named TMC Trainer of the Month for February 2018
TMC Transportation Announces Recipient of Prestigious Wheel Master Award
TMC Transportation Named The Home Depot’s Flatbed Carrier of the Year For Fourth Straight Year
Pay Raises & New Peterbilts for PAM Drivers
New DOT Drug Testing Rules Effective Jan 1, 2018
Amtrak Derailment: Trucks Haul 270,000 Pound Locomotive Engine During Cleanup
Pepsi Places Largest Order Yet For Tesla Electric Trucks
Kavin Hallett named Trainer of the Month for October 2017
Over 100,000 Truck Drivers Likely Have Undiagnosed Sleep Apnea And More Testing Is On The Way
Drivers Share Their Best Tips, Tricks, And Secrets For Life On The Road
Drivers Are Losing Money By Taking The Wrong Approach
Truckers and Guns: What Is and Is Not Legal
Preparing To Go Solo For The First Time? Experienced Drivers Share Their Best Advice
The Truck Stop Survival Guide: Advice From Experienced Drivers
The Worst Cities For Traffic In The U.S. For 2017
We Ask Drivers How They Would Make The Logbook Rules Better
Self Driving Trucks Are Not Coming Anytime Soon
Now they're talking about "smart" trailers
Last Updated: Sun, September 8, 2019
Photo courtesy of Wabash National
While Class 8 tractors are getting smarter, and even learning to drive themselves -- and getting all of the media attention – there's one other element in the trucking supply chain that is getting a boost in smarts as well, but still riding relatively under the radar.
The lowly trailer – that assemblage of tires, body, axles, and doors, with glad hands and a fifth wheel to connect the trailer to the tractor – has not changed much over the decades, other than incremental improvements like ABS braking and self-inflating tires.
But something began happening a few years ago. Trailer manufacturers began implementing into their trailers some of the technology appearing in the tractors that pull them – and suddenly key buzzwords like telematics, data points and tracking began to be heard around engineers' offices.
In addition to ABS and tire-pressure monitoring, the new evolution in telematics can provide an almost endless variety of information from a trailer, such as interior and exterior temperature, door-open status, wheel hub vibration and hub temperature, tire temperature, cargo monitoring, and lights-out monitoring,
But the big buzzword being heard these days as developers try to make use of all of the data provided by these new technological advancements with trailers is "integration."
Trailer-Body Builders reported on the importance of integration and standardization in the industry from a panel discussion in Atlanta recently at the Technology & Maintenance Council’s annual meeting and exhibition dubbed “Smart Trailers: Creating Trucking’s Next Information Superhighway."
For a few years now carriers have employed mechanical technology on their trailers to perform such tasks as safer braking and inflating tires. Then, at the turn of the century trailer tracking became common, along with load sensing. Telematics began showing up to give fleet owners data about their reefer units.
But even with the most-recent deployment of smart systems in trailers like door sensors, solar panels, wireless temperature sensors, and even video uplinks from the cargo hold there was still something lacking – some way to tie all that data together.
"There were a lot of different individual things, but they were not part of an integrated whole," panelist Wally Stegal, technical fellow and director of business development for Morey, stated. Morey develops and manufactures technologies for smart connectivity.
As reported in the Trailer-Body Builder's article, Stegal stated during the panel discussion, “I’m hoping that we can form a more unified vision, from a topology standpoint with physical layer and protocol.”
“Everybody who’s got a bar of metal is trying to put a sensor on that bar of metal to provide data. All these various systems need to be interoperable and work together, so that the fleets can spec what they need for their operations.”
Another panelist, Noregon Chief Technology Officer Dave Covington, reinforced that concept as it applies to diagnostics, currently a major use for telematics for truck maintenance that is increasingly being carried over into trailer maintenance.
He pointed out that diagnostics, the ability for a technician to apply the data provided by the smart systems, is not keeping up with the technology that produces the data.
“There are lots of reasons diagnostics have been slow to evolve, but primarily we probably haven’t had the data that we needed in the past all in one place,” Covington states as reported in Trailer-Body Builder's article.
“Lots of things are driving the technology on the vehicles, from regulated emissions changes to our push for autonomy. So the vehicles are getting super complicated.”
He said that in a very short time the average number of electrical control units on a truck has grown from two to 15, while the data points provided by these ECUs has risen astronomically from around 60 to more than 700.
“We need to do something to utilize all the data that we have to make the technicians more efficient,” he said.
Covington points out that one of the main problems in non-integrated telematics is proprietary data systems requiring a shop to keep up with dozens of different diagnostic apps.
“As an industry, I think we need to work together to build a common portal to support all makes, all models for reprogramming. Otherwise, you guys get to get more logins and passwords to more portals—sorry about that,” Covington is quoted in the Trailer-Body Builders article as he was speaking to the crowd of fleet maintenance managers.
He cites a lack of a common, standard data bus on the trailer for getting the data from the trailer to a technician, and the absence of an independent, built-in power source.
Panelist Aaron Wood, fleet trailer manager for US Xpress, told attendees about how trailer-tracking technology has benefited the large carrier.
What may come as a surprise to every truck driver who has ever spent countless hours in search of empties, Wood said that after introducing trailer tracking US Xpress was able to reduce the number of trailers in their fleet by 20 percent in the first 17 months of implementing the relatively rudimentary technology.
He said that knowing the exact location of every single trailer at any given time allows the carrier to do the same amount of work with less equipment.
The added benefit is that trailer-tracking efficiency has also helped with the trailer maintenance bottom line, allowing US Xpress to pull trailers into their own shops for maintenance more often rather than paying for more-expensive road service repairs.
Wood noted that outside service dropped from 68 percent in mid 2016 to 54 percent by the end of 2018. And in-house scheduled service increased from 32 percent to 46 percent.
Wabash National, one of the industry's largest manufacturers of semi-trailers, had a representative panelist at the event.
Wabash Van GM Mark Ehrlich encourages trailer manufacturers to expand beyond mechanical innovations and delve deeper into integrating technological solutions.
“When we look at tomorrow’s specs, or smart specs, they start to sound different; they look different—different considerations, and different expertise,” Ehrlich is quoted in the Trailer-Body Builders article.
“We’re talking about devices, gateways, networks, analytics, security platforms. And we start to get away from the adage, traditionally, as ‘assembly,’ and we start using the term ‘integrated.’ Like Dell integrates a computer—taking many components, putting them together into a package to aid and serve the customer—in our case, the fleet.
"We are going to have to come up with that bridge between all the many systems. We’ve got many different systems already, and we’re having to figure out how to make those work: Where yesterday it was fit-up and tolerance, it now might be protocols and bandwidth.”
Sources: Trailer-Body Builders,
US Xpress Transport