News, Interviews, and Happenings From The Trucking World
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
A relatively new "boot" device, combined with draconian Walmart parking enforcement, is becoming the nemesis of truck drivers wishing for nothing more than a quiet, uninterrupted night's sleep.
Truckers overnighting in Walmart store parking lots are finding themselves waking up to find their vision blocked with a new device on their windshield called The Barnacle; which can only be removed after they pay a $500-plus fine – or they face being towed.
In one recent YouTube video a driver parked overnight at a Berea, Kentucky, Walmart was saved from such ignominy by another driver warning him before the parking lot security company could slap the device on his windshield.
In the video, it appeared that the "booters" were making no attempt to wake the driver, and had their ladder setup and the Barnacle programmed to affix it to the windshield. The helpful truck driver yelled loudly at the sleeping driver to wake up, shouting and knocking on the driver's door. "Driver … Hey man … You better hurry up. They're gonna boot ya!"
As soon as the driver began to stir, the "booters" collected up their ladder and windshield boot and went away. It is very clear in the short video that if the other driver had not been there to warn the sleeping driver he would have woken up to a $560 fine, or the threat of being towed.
Once the sleeping driver was awake and cranking up his truck to leave, the helpful driver told him that the "booters" tried to stop him from waking him up, as he was "messing with their business." The booters work for the parking enforcement company called R&R Parking Management hired by the Berean Walmart.
Seth Willis, one of the men involved in the booting attempt defends the company's actions in comments on the video. "Ya'll do know their is signs in the parking lot saying no overnight truck parking right? It even says their will be a fine so this is completely legal and the truckers are at fault."
He explained their booting policy: "He woke up caint boot em when they wake up. You truckers just dont wanna admit when you do something wrong." Which explains why they did not attempt to wake the driver, and were upset at the other driver for doing so.
The comments then got heated between drivers and Mr. Willis, until he remarked:
"Stop trashing the parking lots and throwing food and urine bottles and poop bags out and respect walmarts property and maybe they wouldnt hire us to do this. Ever think about that? Ya'll truckers think you own the road and can do whatever you want and you dont think laws apply to you well i got news for ya'll. The laws are the same for a 50,000 pound loaded semi as they are for a 100 pound moped."
In another recorded incident on YouTube the driver became very irate at having his truck booted with the Barnacle device in a Walmart parking lot along with a number of other drivers.
The six-minute video has the whole story, with some screen caps shown here. But here is the story in the victim driver's own words:
"My 11 hours was up. I had stopped at the pilot and checked for parking. There wasnt any. So I went over to Walmart where there were 2 Walmart trucks plus 6 or 7 others. I pulled my brakes, ended my log. Around 11:30 ish. Walked and put my garbage in a can. Went in and spent roughly $50 in groceries. Paid, walked out put my groceries away pushed the cart back in the corral as well as grabbed another cart that was out. Crawled up in the bunk now around 12:30-1am. They "knocked" courtesy knock which I never heard, and that was around 3:45-4am. They knocked so loud I thought my truck was hit, and that's when I woke up to them telling me that I had 1 hour to pay the $500 parking violation or my truck and trailer would be towed at my expense."
This incident exposes several of the predatory policies inherent in R&R's and other booting contractors' approach. Apparently they do not make an honest attempt to wake the driver to ask him to leave the parking lot, but instead are intent on mounting the Barnacle device so that they can extort the $500 fine under threat of being towed.
Official Walmart corporate policy is not clear about large commercial trucks being allowed to park overnight in store parking lots, but they do have a comment regarding RV parking:
"While we do not offer electrical service or accommodations typically necessary for RV customers, Walmart values RV travelers and considers them among our best customers. Consequently, we do permit RV parking on our store lots as we are able. Permission to park is extended by individual store managers, based on availability of parking space and local laws. Please contact management in each store to ensure accommodations before parking your RV."
Unofficially, information about Walmart parking policy is available online. A website called Walmart Locator, for example, gives an overview of overnighting at individual Walmarts.
There are around 4,000 Walmart stores throughout the United States, of which more than 1,000 have policies prohibiting overnight RV parking. Read further for resources on how to ascertain if RV policies also pertain to commercial trucks.
In any event, Walmart Locator states that many Walmarts do not allow overnight parking because of local ordinances prohibit it, or the decision is out of the store's hands because the store leases the property, and landlords have the no-parking policy.
Since the decision to allow overnight parking is up to each store's manager where he is allowed to do so, managers differ in their opinions of truck drivers parking on their properties based on the experiences they have had with them.
Walmart stores that do prohibit overnight parking typically have signs stating it. But truck drivers say those signs are not always posted at truck entrances and are often too small or difficult to see.
It is becoming axiom among truck drivers these days that the prudent thing to do is research individual Walmarts where they might be hoping to spend their 10 at. Calling ahead and asking permission is advised.
There are also many resources available for drivers seeking parking solutions:
Truck Stops and Services Walmart Parking Directory
Truck Parking USA App
Park my Truck App
Trucker Path App
While booting is becoming widespread in many jurisdictions, some states outlaw the practice.
For example, Idaho state code 49-229 prohibits booting, stating that doing so is a violation of property rights. And Washington State makes booting cars on private property illegal and punishable by a year in jail and a fine of $5,000.
In Hawaii, car booting is banned statewide, even for police officers. But the Barnacle is deployed there, side-stepping the law because it is not a boot that attaches to the wheel of the vehicle.
Many other jurisdictions, recognizing the predatory practices of this new multi-million-dollar business are proposing legislation regulating or prohibiting booting on private property by contractor booting services.
Others are concerned that this type of booting by private contractors violates trespassing law. Most states' trespassing laws have language regarding the "entering and remaining" of a trespasser on private property. Judges, when considering violations where there was no damage to property, nor threat to the property owner, and where the trespasser left when asked to do so, generally consider there was no actionable trespassing violation.
And that flies in the face of truck drivers being booted in Walmart parking lots. Granted, the drivers ignored the "No parking" signs, and were technically trespassing. However, due process should require them to be asked to leave the property, before taking further action if the driver refuses to leave.
The obvious predatory practices by private contractors as seen in these videos shows them to be in blatant violation of that intent. Without due process, depriving drivers of their ability to drive by blocking their view with hardware constitutes vandalism, and should be treated as such.
How the Barnacle works
The Barnacle is an ingeniously designed device that is insidious in its difficulty to defeat. And that is the purpose of its design.
Invented by a company called Barnacle Parking, the device is a 20-pound plastic piece smaller than a windshield. It has two industrial strength suction cups on the windshield-facing side that exerts 750 pounds of sucking force.
It has electronic components that set off an alarm if tampered with, and a GPS tracker should the driver decide to stick his head out of the window and drive away with the unit attached.
There is a keypad that the driver can punch in a code to release the suction once he or she has paid the penalty. Payment can be made over the phone via credit card.
The driver is then responsible for returning the device back to the company or law enforcement agency that place it on the vehicle. In some areas, the driver must drive to the company's location or find a drop box provided by the company. Often, a portion of the fine will be refunded upon return of the device.
Anecdotes abound in YouTube comments about what to do if you find a Barnacle stuck to your windshield. There is no way to verify these statements, but they are good for grins:
"Two words, challenge accepted. People will drive with their head out the window, then figure out how to break it later." Answered by: "But if the cops see it you will get another ticket for obstruction of view. And most likely the car will be impounded because it's unsafe to drive unless you pay up." And, "It transmits a signal to law enforcement whenever you try and go anywhere."
"I removed it with a flathead screwdriver and ripped out the battery. Good luck tracking anything!"
"Not if the transmitter is fried. A 25 watt 2.4 Ghz transmitter with a yagi (beam) antenna pointed right at it will cook the little GPS transmitter."
"Drill two holes into it and it comes off!"
"Long bread knife removed it in 15 seconds with no damage to car or device. It was NOT placed by law enforcement, but by a towing company, illegally. The product can be purchased by people for extortion."
"Large, Plastic with suction cups. Might want to carry a cordless drill with a 1/4" bit. Drill through the housing, through the suction cup, toss this thing in the garbage."
"Buddy used a slim Jim and got it off in 3 seconds ..."
"Just take a drill to the center where the suction cup is located and it will release the pressure. This will be way easier to remove than a boot! awesome!"
The problem with merely removing the device is that the driver still has the violation on record with his vehicle's license number and VIN, and additional fines will be piled on especially if the device is damaged.
It appears there is no way to defeat the barnacle, so drivers, especially those who park in Walmart parking lots should be especially careful to do so with permission. In the meantime, it is hoped that there will be appropriate challenges to violations of due process that are committed by extra-zealous contract personnel.
Sources: https://barnacleparking.com/" Barnacle
https://www.walmartlocator.com/rv-parking-at-walmart/" Walmart Locator