News, Interviews, and Happenings From The Trucking World
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
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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
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Accident scammers target trucks for financial payout
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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
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February Highway Angels honorees named
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California survives challenge to its low-carbon fuel standards
Friday Short Haul - Highway robbery ... autonomous trucks ... new trailers
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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
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New DOT Drug Testing Rules Effective Jan 1, 2018
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Kavin Hallett named Trainer of the Month for October 2017
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Self Driving Trucks Are Not Coming Anytime Soon
Recent survey shows cost of roadside repairs is rising
Last Updated: Mon, April 15, 2019
According to some industry spokesmen, trucking companies are performing more poorly in the area of unscheduled roadside repairs than they should be, resulting in higher overall maintenance costs and affecting their customer experience.
Quantifiable data was released recently on this topic at the March annual meeting of the Technology & Maintenance Council. A benchmarking study conducted by FleetNet shows that the average number of miles between unscheduled repairs decreased in the fourth quarter of 2018 by 3 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2017 – from 11,007 miles in 2017 to 10,663 miles for the same period in 2018.
The average cost of roadside repairs, excluding tires, increased to $334 in the fourth quarter of 2018, compared to $317 in the third quarter and $299 in the second quarter of 2018.
However, one unnamed fleet wowed executives of TMC and FleetNet by turning in a very impressive record in the Truckload Vertical Benchmarking Study of 75,528 miles between breakdowns.
"This is a clear indication that fleets can reduce their roadside repairs, driving down costs and improving customer service," said Jim Buell, executive vice president of sales and marketing for FleetNet America. "If one fleet can run 75,000 miles between breakdowns, why can't all fleets in the industry? It's a matter of using data to direct where you have the best opportunities to improve."
Buell added, “The truckload vertical shouldn’t be breaking down every 10,000 miles. Fleets are spending more on maintenance than they should and most are having customer experience issues than they should.”
Buell said participating carriers can use the results of the benchmarking program to identify areas where they can improve their regular maintenance in order to keep their emergency roadside repair costs down, because the average cost of a roadside repair is four times the cost of a shop repair.
Just five categories of repair – tires, lighting systems, brakes, cooling systems and wheel-end components -- accounted for 63 percent of all roadside repairs during the study period of the fourth quarter of 2018.
“We look at roadside failures because it costs more to fix something on the side of the road,” said Buell. “I believe understanding roadside failures gives you greater insight into overall maintenance operation.”
Participant carriers can use the benchmarking program to compare their roadside repair performance to other carriers in the program, even to the granular level of individual categories of repair.
An executive summary of the benchmarking data is available to TMC fleet members. But a deeper look into the data is available to participating carriers in the program. They receive tools that allows them to analyze their own performance compared to others in the industry.
Interested trucking company executives can get more information about the TMC/FleetNet Verticle Benchmarking Program at http://benchmarkit.fleetnetamerica.com.
Currently, the benchmarking study only surveys truckload data, but Buell said he hopes to add less-than-truckload and tankers to the program later in 2019.
How to avoid breakdowns
FleetNet America says that there are four components that commonly lead to needing roadside repairs.
- Tires account for more than half of all roadside repairs. Prevention can include such simple pre-trip routines as checking for under inflation, low tread depth and misaligned axles.
- Brake-related issues account for 29 percent of semi-truck accidents, according to the FMCSA. They are vulnerable to a lot of factors including heat, pressure and friction and can wear down without proper maintenance. In addition, brake system failures can be caused by air leaks, corrosion and wear, and water contamination or freezing in the air lines.
- Electrical Systems need periodic maintenance. Signs of component failures can include corroded battery connections, dead batteries, dim or flickering lights, and any kind of strong or unusual odors.
- Refrigerated trailers are in the top five of roadside repairs and require regular monitoring and maintenance in order to protect the freight from damage.
Sources: PRNewswire, CCJ, FleetNet America
Pre-trip inspection (PTI)
Trucking Industry Concerns