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Freight numbers not holding up to 2018's highs 6/19/2019 Truck safety group urges purges of drug abuse drivers 6/17/2019 Friday Short Haul - Self-driving certificate, truck platooning, trade war stacking up cargo 6/14/2019 HOS waiver coming soon for fireworks haulers 6/12/2019 FMCSA takes a further look at detention time 6/10/2019 Friday Short Haul - Autonomous delivery, HOS rules changes, CDL retest 6/7/2019 Roadcheck 2019 in effect this week 6/5/2019 Hemp arrest prompts USDA memo 6/3/2019 Friday Short Haul - Waymo big rigs, Move over sting, Under-21 comments 5/31/2019 Severe weather prompts renewed emergency declaration 5/29/2019 Memorial Day holiday is prime time for cargo thefts 5/25/2019 Friday Short Haul - Hauling hemp, road rage fatality, new rules for autonomous vehicles 5/24/2019 Autonomous trucks on USPS test run 5/22/2019 Future era of cab-less trucks will be the end of HOS rules 5/20/2019 Friday Short Haul - FMCSA under-21 comments, Tesla autonomous car crash, 24,000 drivers sign contract with YRC 5/17/2019 Under-21 interstate drivers getting serious look by FMCSA 5/15/2019 Trucker Buddy program matches drivers with a classroom; everyone wins 5/13/2019 Friday Short Haul - Driver awarded $80 million, ODFL driver wins, loading dock black hole 5/10/2019 Storm breaks out from Rockies, slams into Midwest, South 5/8/2019 Capacity issues have shippers looking at private fleets 5/6/2019 Friday Short Haul - HOS rules, dark skies, Falcon drivers 5/3/2019 'Bug' permits now required for four eastern states 5/1/2019 Simulator use is catching on for schools, carriers 4/29/2019 Friday Short Haul - Thinking electric, Penske opens charging station, border crossing crisis, railroads taking trucking business 4/26/2019 ELDs might not be the panacea that was hoped for 4/24/2019 Truck drivers may soon see "phantoms" driving yard trucks 4/22/2019 Friday Short Haul - Nikola big rigs, WIT welcomes Peterbilt, Oregon crashes, Border crossings 4/19/2019 Carriers claim financial benefit of putting up drivers in hotels 4/17/2019 Uber's IPO application reveals interesting data about its freight brokerage business 4/15/2019 Friday Short Haul - CDL examiner arrested, tolls proposed for trucks, marijuana use on the rise 4/12/2019 Smart Load Board will get carriers the loads they need 4/10/2019 Huge lines and long wait times greet carriers at Mexico border 4/8/2019 Friday Short Haul - Marijuana, ATA campaign, personal conveyance rules 4/5/2019 Over-the-air downloads revolutionize parameter updates 4/3/2019 Don't get scammed by skimmers 4/1/2019 Friday Short Haul -- New Cascadias honored, motorist survey, U.S, Xpress awarded, rest stop parking 3/29/2019 Legislators address underride collisions, propose more underguards for trucks, trailers 3/27/2019 Motorists soon may encounter a different kind of truck convoy 3/25/2019 Friday Short Haul -- Women in Trucking, irate motorist, FMCSA eases HOS, Safe-Cap 3/22/2019 Recent survey shows cost of roadside repairs is rising 3/20/2019 FMCSA announces drug and alcohol clearinghouse website 3/18/2019 Friday Short Haul - Swift settlement, driver shortage myth, TCA Best Fleet award 3/15/2019 The hidden danger of looking but not seeing 3/13/2019 Accident scammers target trucks for financial payout 3/11/2019 3/9/2019 3/9/2019 Friday Short Haul - Snow on the roof, bypassing toll road, Waze under fire 3/8/2019 Retailers blame driver shortage for price increases 3/6/2019 Drivers' smartphones may be clue to road roughness 3/4/2019 Friday Short Haul -- Freight rates, HOS changes, tonnage reports 3/1/2019 New tax changes hit drivers hard 2/27/2019 FMCSA to implement under-21 interstate driver program for former military 2/25/2019 Friday Short Haul -- Connecticut tolls proposed, hydrogen fuel-cell trucks, cell phone use 2/22/2019 Congress committee looks at state of America's highways 2/20/2019 Number of cargo thefts is down; but dollar value about the same 2/18/2019 Friday Short Haul -- Crossing the border, CA sues FMCSA, Lobbying against larger trucks 2/15/2019 Detention - A problem still in search of a solution 2/13/2019 February Highway Angels honorees named 2/11/2019 Friday Short Haul -- C.R. England announces pay raises, eCommerce impact on trucking, TCA announces best fleets 2/8/2019 Is a guaranteed minimum pay the solution to the driver shortage? 2/6/2019 Long CDL testing wait times cost economy billions of dollars; not helping driver shortage 2/4/2019 Friday Short Haul -- Walmart hiring, Uber Freight App, Speed-limiter Law, America's Road Team 2/1/2019 Cranking -- The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly 1/30/2019 California survives challenge to its low-carbon fuel standards 1/28/2019 Friday Short Haul - Highway robbery ... autonomous trucks ... new trailers 1/25/2019 LithiumHub enters jump-starter market with Jumpbooster JP30 1/23/2019 2019 Looks Good For The Transportation Industry 1/21/2019 Raymond Burt named TMC Trainer of the Month for February 2018 3/28/2018 TMC Transportation Announces Recipient of Prestigious Wheel Master Award 3/7/2018 TMC Transportation Named The Home Depot’s Flatbed Carrier of the Year For Fourth Straight Year 2/28/2018 Pay Raises & New Peterbilts for PAM Drivers 2/26/2018 New DOT Drug Testing Rules Effective Jan 1, 2018 1/11/2018 Amtrak Derailment: Trucks Haul 270,000 Pound Locomotive Engine During Cleanup 12/21/2017 Pepsi Places Largest Order Yet For Tesla Electric Trucks 12/12/2017 Kavin Hallett named Trainer of the Month for October 2017 12/8/2017 Over 100,000 Truck Drivers Likely Have Undiagnosed Sleep Apnea And More Testing Is On The Way 8/10/2017 Drivers Share Their Best Tips, Tricks, And Secrets For Life On The Road 7/18/2017 Drivers Are Losing Money By Taking The Wrong Approach 7/13/2017 Truckers and Guns: What Is and Is Not Legal 7/6/2017 Preparing To Go Solo For The First Time? Experienced Drivers Share Their Best Advice 6/29/2017 The Truck Stop Survival Guide: Advice From Experienced Drivers 6/15/2017 The Worst Cities For Traffic In The U.S. For 2017 6/8/2017 We Ask Drivers How They Would Make The Logbook Rules Better 5/30/2017 Self Driving Trucks Are Not Coming Anytime Soon 5/25/2017

Friday Short Haul - Self-driving certificate, truck platooning, trade war stacking up cargo

Dave Wickenhauser on Fri, June 14, 2019

Last Updated: Thu, June 13, 2019

Pima Community College to offer first-ever self-driving driver certificate

The self-driving truck industry, often thought to be ultimately responsible in the future for costing truck drivers their jobs, is having to deal with a driver shortage of its own.

TuSimple, one of the most aggressive innovators in the autonomous big rig industry that is already hauling freight on a limited commercial basis, is priming the pump for its labor needs by helping Pima Community College, Tucson, Arizona, develop a certificate program for self-driving big rig drivers.

Graduates of the program will hold the title of autonomous vehicle driver and operations specialist.

Tucson is home base for TuSimple, and the company promises that graduates of the community college's program will have hiring preferences.

Prospective students must have already obtained their Class A commercial driver's license. They will take five classes beginning this September in autonomous vehicles, industrial safety, computer hardware components, electrical systems and transportation and traffic management.

TuSimple made the news recently when it announced a contract with the United States Postal Service to haul freight between Phoenix distribution centers, and from Phoenix to Tucson facilities. A pilot program concluded last week hauling mail and packages between Phoenix to Dallas USPS distribution centers.

The company said it is on track to have more than 50 big rigs based at its Tucson facility by the end of this month. For now, the human element still exists for self-driving innovators as licensing restrictions mandate they continue to have human drivers on board for safety reasons.

Truck platooning eyed in terms of its effect on bridges

Truck platooning, the subject of a March 25 Trucking Truth article, is getting another look, this time in terms of what the effect of virtually linked, closely following big rigs will have on the nation's bridges.

Federal Highway Administration engineers talked about platooning with members of the American Society of Civil Engineers during a recent conference, saying the FHA is researching its impact on structural safety, bridge fatigue limits and design standards.

FHA bridge management engineer Derek Constable told members, “Connected and autonomous vehicle technology is advancing rapidly and has the potential to significantly change highway transportation infrastructure requirements.”

Platooned trucks, he explained, impact infrastructure differently than individual big rigs. Current bridge formulas were designed around the characteristics of single trucks, but weights, spacing and the number of trucks in a platoon mean that new formulas must be developed.

The truck industry is interested in platooning as potential fuel savings for the lead trucks of about 4.5 percent, and 10 percent savings for the following trucks. And because platooning today, unlike the convoys of trucker lore, will incorporate semi-autonomous features they are proposed to have a positive effect on driver safety.

Braking and accelerating will be automated and digitally slaved to the lead truck, but a driver will be in control of the steering wheel of each truck at all times.

Not everybody is a proponent of the platooning concept. In January of this year Daimler, the parent company for Freightliner trucks, announced it was ending experimentation and testing for its platooning program.

After several years and thousands of miles of testing on America's roads Daimler said that the fuel savings from platooning was less than expected, and was made even less when less-perfect conditions were experienced, such as something that causes the platoon to disconnect and makes trucks have to speed up to connect again.

Among the problems needing addressing before platooning becomes mainstream are:

  • Having to rely on motorists to resist trying to swoop in and fill the very narrow gaps inherent in the platooning scheme.
  • That the guy in the front truck, like the lead bird in a flock, takes the brunt of fuel hit. There wouldn't be much incentive for that lead truck in a mix of trucks from different trucking companies.
  • Not all states have following-distance laws that allow a small enough gap to capture the fuel savings from platooning. Those that do, generally have restrictions on the following distance, none less than 40 feet, and they require digital tethering, and automatic braking.

Trade war causing cargo overload at SoCal ports

Los Angeles and Long Beach ports, which together handle 47 percent of all incoming cargo from China nationwide, are experiencing a glut of shipping containers that is impacting the industries down the line, like trucking, railroads, warehousing, construction, manufacturing, and farming.

Most attribute the container port bottleneck to President Trump's new tariff policies, but much of the problem appears to be self-inflicted by importers overreacting to the new trade policies.

Apparently, in anticipation of higher tariffs for the cheap Chinese goods that retailers and manufacturers have been benefiting from for years many importers have made huge advance orders, filling their warehouses, and causing containers to stack up at the ports.

The changes have "really gummed up the operations of the supply chain," Eugene Seroka, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, told the LA Times. "We’ve got a lot of cargo coming in that just sits. Containers are stacked high. Truck lines are long. And warehouses are bursting at the seams."

One estimate is that so much extra cargo is filling up area warehouses that the average 5 to 7-percent vacancy has been reduced to about 1 percent.

But the news is not all bad for everybody. In a June 11 press release the Port of Los Angeles reported it had moved 828,662 20-foot equivalent units in May, making it the busiest May in its 112-year history.

"I'm extremely pleased with another record month of throughput," Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka said in the release. "As we prepare for our traditional peak shipping season in the months ahead, we're closely monitoring global trade tensions that have created heightened unpredictability."

Sources: Autonews, Transport Topics, SafeHaven, DC Velocity

Tagged Under:

Autonomous Trucks Driver Solutions Self-Driving Vehicles The Economy And Politics Truckers Technology Trucking Industry Concerns

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