News, Interviews, and Happenings From The Trucking World
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
Friday Short Haul - Self-driving certificate, truck platooning, trade war stacking up cargo
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."
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