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A daily rundown of interesting things from around the trucking industry and beyond, that you may have missed along the way.

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Posted:  7 years, 2 months ago

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New Arkansas Law Requires Human Trafficking Training For CDL Holders

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Earlier this month, Arkansas passed legislation requiring that all drivers who want to get or renew a Class A CDL in Arkansas will need to complete a human trafficking prevention course.

The state will not directly administer the training. Drivers will be required to watch a 26-minute movie and complete a 15-question quiz to be certified by Truckers Against Trafficking, who will then pass on that "evidence of completion" to the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration.

“The course is geared to make commercial drivers to be aware of human trafficking, look for the tell-tale signs of individuals who may be with other drivers or around truck stops who may be victims of human trafficking,” - Arkansas State Police Spokesman Bill Sadler

Truckers Against Trafficking trailer

Modern-day slavery, or human trafficking exists whenever people are bought and sold for forced labor or commercial sex. Around the world, there are an estimated 20.9 million slaves today. Human trafficking has been reported in all 50 states, and the number of victims in the United States is estimated in the hundreds of thousands.

Arkansas joins Ohio as the only states to require the training for new CDL applicants, but goes further to require renewing drivers to complete it.

Truckers Against Trafficking is a non-profit organization dedicated to fighting human trafficking. Truck drivers are uniquely positioned, as the eyes and ears of the road, to help recognize and report trafficking and save victims.

"Mission: Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) is a 501(c) 3 that exists to educate, equip, empower and mobilize the trucking industry to combat human trafficking as part of their regular jobs."

Truckers Against Trafficking Official Website

Human trafficking prevention training to be required for Arkansas truckers

States taking steps to combat human trafficking

Posted:  7 years, 2 months ago

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Vintage Video: Night Driving Safety Tips For Trucker's Circa 1930's

Night Driving Safety - for Truckers - 1930's

Knights on the Highway - The 'Six Rules for Night Driving' for truck drivers are included, relevant today. Nice footage of many freight trucks with their head lights on driving towards the camera, and roadside views at night. No extreme truckers here.

Night Driving Safety - for Truckers - 1930's Film

Inspired by a recent and "exciting" thread on the use of high beams, passing, and courtesy for the eye holes of other drivers, we dug up this beauty on night driving from the 1930's, presented by Chevrolet and the American Road Builders Association.

Produced in an era that still referred to long-haul drivers as the "Knights Of The Highway", this vintage film contains some good, relevant, general advice on night driving. They do, however, recommend using or blinking your "stop light" at night, as at the time brake lights were just becoming required standard equipment on vehicles, and were manually operated by the driver.

At the time, American truck drivers were known as the most courteous and safety conscious drivers on the highway, the "most expert night drivers in the world", according to American Road Builders Association President Murray D. Van Waggoner

"For dependability, endurance, courtesy, and skill, we will look far before we find the kind of drivers who handle themselves and their vehicles with greater safety then the men behind the wheel, of the big, interstate, trucks."

Skip to about the 3:00 mark if you want pass Van Waggoner's flattering intro to get to the nitty-gritty.

NO HIGH BEAMS! Forum Thread

Posted:  7 years, 2 months ago

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New Study: 52% Of U.S. Crashes Are Due To Phone Distraction

In what might come as no surprise to anyone, distracted driving was a factor in over half of driving trips that resulted in a crash, according to one recent study by Cambridge Mobile Telematics. The study collected data from several hundred thousand drivers and measured behavior in six different categories:

"Phone use while driving, excessive speeding, braking, acceleration, cornering, and time of driving."

Key findings in the report included:

  • Distracted driving happened in 52% of trips that resulted in a crash.
  • Average duration of distraction was 135 seconds on trips that involved a crash.
  • 29% of these crashes were at speeds over 56 miles per hour.
  • 20% of drives with distraction had a distraction lasting two minutes or more.
  • Cell phone use was involved in 14% of fatal crashes in 2015.

According to the National Safety Council, overall highway fatalities have increased 14% in the last 2 years, the largest such increase in the last half-century.

Studies have also shown that states with anti-phone laws have only slightly lower rates of distracted driving.

The FMCSA has specific rules to address distracted driving by commercial drivers, and can be summed up as such:

  • NO Reaching

  • NO Holding

  • NO Dialing

  • NO Texting

  • NO Reading

So as a truck driver, unless your are in an emergency or contacting law enforcement, any texting or dialing device needs to be "hands-free", and the FMCSA has this to say about company Qualcomm devices:

"texting on a dispatching device is indistinguishable from texting on another text-capable device, and is therefore prohibited."

Depending on the state laws regarding seriousness of any infractions, the penalties could lead to eventual disqualification for CDL holders.

Some easy tips to avoid distracted driving include the obvious:

  • Don't get distracted by objects outside of your truck.
  • Don't text and drive.
  • Do not dial a handheld phone.
  • Avoid using dispatching devices.
  • Avoid eating and drinking.
  • Avoid reading, writing, or looking at paper maps while driving.

About Cambridge Mobile Telematics:

"Founded in 2010 by two MIT professors and experienced entrepreneurs, CMT pioneered telematics for behavior-based insurance (BBI) and deployed the first solution to provide both traditional vehicle-centric UBI and BBI. With over 20 customers in 14 countries, CMT has a proven record of changing driver behavior: an average reduction of 35% in phone distraction, 20% in hard braking, and 20% in at-risk speeding all within less than 30 days of using the program. With DriveWell, insurers report fast customer growth (e.g., 2x growth rate compared to earlier), lower loss ratios (e.g., 34% lower crash rates, 19% less-severe claims, and 10% lower loss ratio compared to blackboxes), and greater customer retention rates."

Telematics: the branch of information technology that deals with the long-distance transmission of computerized information.

More From TruckingTruth.com

Wiki - Cell Phone Use, Texting, & Driver Distractions

Blog - Distracted Driving For Truck Drivers: The Penalties And Risks

CDL Driver Disqualification

External Links:

New data from Cambridge Mobile Telematics shows distracted driving dangers

FMCSA - Distracted Driving

FMCSA: Limiting the Use of Wireless Communication Devices

Posted:  7 years, 2 months ago

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Commercial Driver Research Survey: The ATRI Wants Your Perspective

The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) has released a survey to get input from commercial drivers on a few industry issues:

Driver shortage: Survey questions on why drivers choose trucking as a career, what keeps drivers in trucking and why drivers choose to leave the industry.

Transportation infrastructure funding: These survey questions seek driver perspectives on the issue of traffic congestion and how the U.S. should fund transportation infrastructure.

Responses are kept confidential and no registration/personal information is required to participate.

The survey can be found here: Commercial Driver Perspectives on Critical Industry Issues

ATRI Official Website: American Transportation Research Institute Online

The ATRI is a not-for-profit trucking industry research organization, that has been in operation since 1954 as a part of the American Trucking Associations Federation (ATA). Their main focus is on research that promotes safety, efficiency, and the viability of the industry as a whole.

Posted:  7 years, 2 months ago

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April: National Donate Life Month - Register As An Organ Donor

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It's April, there's new Spring life blooming everywhere you look. Accordingly, since 2003, April has been designated as "National Donate Life Month" by Donate Life America, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to motivating Americans to register as organ, eye, and tissue donors.

One statistic that is especially important is that 80% of organ donations are from people who have already died. Once you're gone, you can't really give consent, in which case it will be left up to your family to decide. The registration is a binding legal document, that you can revoke, should you choose, at any time. In many states, you can register while you're doing driver's license-type stuff at the DMV, and it counts the same.

What's more, only 3 in 1,000 people die in a way that allows for their organs to be donated. So the list is long, and the options short, for people in need of transplants or donations.

You Have the Power to Donate Life

Everyday, 22 people die because an organ was not made available in time. You have the power to Donate Life by registering yourself as an organ, eye and tissue donor at www.DonateLife.net.

Organ Donation Facts & Statistics:
  • 119,000 people are currently on the national transplant waiting list.
  • 22 people die every day, waiting for a transplant.
  • The number of people on transplant waiting lists has doubled since 1998.
  • Nearly 31,000 transplants were performed in 2015.
  • A single donor can provide up to 8 lifesaving organs: heart, liver, lungs, pancreas, intestines, and kidneys.
  • A single donor can also heal the lives of up to 75 people, through their tissue donation.
  • 4 out of 5 organ donations come from deceased individuals.
  • Only 48% of U.S. adults are signed up as donors.

Registering to become an eye, tissue, or organ donor is as easy as filling out a secure, online form at RegisterMe.org or DonateLife.net:

Online Organ Donor Registration At RegisterMe.org

Other External Resources:

Donate Life America

OrganDonor.gov Organ Donation Statistics

Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network

Posted:  7 years, 2 months ago

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TWIH 1964: The Ford Mustang Debuts At The New York World's Fair

1964-65 NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR - Ford Magic Skyway

Ford Motor Company presents "The Magic Skyway". The "Magic Skyway" ride and product exhibits for Ford Motor Company's 1964 / 1965 New York World's Fair Pavilion were designed by W E D Enterprises, Inc. ( Walt Disney ) Architectural Services and Engineering Company. Here is a film of the exhibit, presented by Ford.

53 years ago this week the iconic Ford Mustang made it's debut at New York's World Fair, finally bringing the culmination of the concept to the showroom for the general public. The 1964/65 Mustang was one of Ford's most successful launches, moving 22,000 Mustangs almost immediately after they became available.

The first-generation Mustang was originally developed as a 2-seater in concept, and changed to a 4-seat design before launch. Though technically a "4-passenger" vehicle, that was reportedly a pretty liberal description considering it was a 2-door sports car with limited leg and head room if you were anyone at average-or-better height riding in the back.

The launch was accompanied by great fanfare, including being featured on the covers of Time and Newsweek (kind of a big deal, at the time), and a coordinated advertising campaign that ran commercials simultaneously on all 3 national television networks. See, kids, back in the day, at any given time, you had your choice of exactly three, yes three, channels to choose from on the TV. The old folks will tell you all about this fabulous thing they used to call "the outside", that used to fill up much of their free time.

First Mustang Commercial 1964

Ford Motor Company introduced the Mustang on April 16, 1964 with a commercial, shot at the New York World's Fair, that ran simultaneously on all three networks.

The Mustang was the brainchild of Lee Iacocca, who would later be credited with Chrysler's 1980's revival, and spawned hundreds of car clubs, and has made appearances in hundreds more films. In 2005, Ford released the 5th generation Mustang, leading the wave of nostalgia for older muscle cars, and "retro-futurism" that also drove the comebacks of the new generation of the Dodge Challenger and Chevy Camaro in 2008 and 2009. Now in it's 6th generation of continuous production, the Mustang has sold over 9 million units to date.

External Links:

Road & Track Magazine, August 1964 First Impressions: Ford Mustang

1964 - Ford Mustang debuts at World’s Fair

WikiPedia - Ford Mustang

Posted:  7 years, 2 months ago

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Tax Day, 2017: Free Stuff

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Tuesday, April 18th is the day the IRS has designated as the tax-filing deadline. If you are going to owe money for your taxes, even if you can't pay right away, filing by the deadline will avoid all kinds of unnecessary penalties, fees, and interest.

In honor of this anti-holiday, many establishments around the country, mostly food-related, are offering deals, specials, and freebies, if you're in the neighborhood and into that sort of thing. Plenty of local places will have their own deals, so check around, wherever your are.

Also beware the "Only at participating locations" caveat. Some highlights include:

  • Arby's: Free curly fries
  • Bob Evan's: 30% off your order with coupon.
  • Boston Market: Half-chicken or 2 quarter-rack BBQ rib meals for $10.40.
  • McDonald's: $.01 Quarter Pounder or Big Mac, with purchase of either.
  • Papa John's: Large 3-topping pizza and 2-liter for $10.40.
  • Pizza Hut: 30% off online orders.
  • Quiznos: As a Quiznos Toasty Points member, you can enjoy 10.40% off your purchase. If you are a new member, you can get a free four-inch sub when you download the app.
  • Schlotzsky's: Free sandwich with purchase of 32-ounce drink and chips.
  • Dollar General: 10% off any order.

The complete list of Tax Day Freebies can be found here:

The best Tax Day freebies and deals

Looking at some of these deals, we would also highly suggest taking advantage of the nicer weather and getting up and moving:

Getting Exercise As A Truck Driver

Posted:  7 years, 3 months ago

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Congress Working On New Transportation Bill That Eliminates Extra Hazmat Background Check For TWIC Holders

In response to concerns raised by government watchdog agencies, that the TSA is not "adequately positioned to identify security risks across different modes of transportation or effectively support federal, state, local and private providers of transportation security.”, a bipartisan group of 4 U.S. Senators has reintroduced the Surface Transportation and Maritime Security Act (S. 763).

Among it's various provisions, is a directive that any individual who has already passed a background check to get, and holds a valid TWIC card does not have to submit to a second, redundant, background check for their Hazmat endorsement. Generally, it eliminates the extra Security Threat Assessment and it's (reduced) fees for drivers who have their TWIC card and need the HME:

Currently: "Reduced rate applicant must already possess a valid TWIC card and be licensed in a state that accepts the TWIC threat assessment in place of the one for the HAZMAT endorsement."

The Hazardous Materials Endorsement Threat Assessment Program

A lot of things happen between the time a bill is introduced and actually getting it through Congress in anything resembling it's original form, so certainly nothing is officially decided. The bill was introduced in the last session of Congress, but too late for it to advance very far.

A number of states were previously determined to have comparable Hazmat background checks, and were already allowed to combine them, but this will establish the practice as the nationwide standard.

The "Surface and Maritime Transportation Security Act"

The added pertinent section reads:

"SEC. 18. BACKGROUND RECORDS CHECKS FOR ISSUANCE OF HAZMAT LICENSES."

"(3) TRANSPORTATION SECURITY CARDS.-An individual who holds a valid transportation security card issued by the Secretary of the departing in which the Coast Guard is operating under section 70105 of title 46 shall be deemed to have met the background records check required under this sub-section.

Other Highlights Of The Bill:

Risk-/based Security Planning: "Requires the TSA administrator to conduct a risk analysis and implement a risk-based security model for surface transportation facilities." and "Mandates risk-based budgeting for surface transportation security focusing resources on current threats with annual reviews of program effectiveness."

Canine Explosive Detection Teams for Surface Transportation: "Authorizes as many as 70 additional canine teams to work in surface transportation security as soon as possible." and "TSA may then raise the total number of canine teams to 200 or higher as identified in TSA’s risk-based analysis."

Enhances Passenger Rail Security: "Authorizes the use of computerized vetting systems for passenger rail at the request of Amtrak police and the Amtrak Board of Directors."

Thune Reintroduces Surface Transportation and Maritime Security Act

The proposed bill aims to assess and streamline surface transportation security, reduce redundancies in the driver credentialing process, and overall make moving hazardous material and accessing security-sensitive areas more efficient, as much as a government agency can be efficient.

External Links:

Trucking Applauds Proposed TWIC Driver-Credential Reform Measure

ATA Applauds Progression in TWIC Program

Posted:  7 years, 3 months ago

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Watch: The World's Smallest V12 Engine

World smallest V12 engine

Apparently the builder's name is Yesus Wilder and he only used three materials to build the engine. Stainless steel, aluminum, and bronze.

World smallest V12 engine

We don't know if this is actually the official "World's Smallest V12 Engine", but it's pretty darn small. The subtitles appear to be in Spanish or Portuguese(?), and the video is a few years old, so you may have seen this.

The builder's name is Yesus Wilder, who reportedly built the engine using only aluminum, bronze, and stainless steel. It is made of 516 pieces, 372 screws, and took 1,580 hours to complete. There is no information on who was shown machining all of those tiny parts, so we're assuming that it was Wilder, himself. Either way, it's a stunning piece of art, that took an incredible amount of skill and dedication.

The engine is technically not an actual combustion engine, as it lacks both an ignition system and fuel, so Wilder pumps compressed air into it to make it operate. Skip to the 8:06 mark if you want to go directly to the tiny engine in action, but be fore-warned that you will be missing out on a truly inspiring crescendo to the "Pirates On The High Seas"-type backing track, which works great for this video, in it's own weird way.

Posted:  7 years, 3 months ago

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Perspective: How Important Are Truck Drivers To Easter In America?

Americans, obviously, like their stuff. The entire world knows it. Especially at holiday time, where by some accounts we seemingly take every opportunity and make any excuse to increase our consumption of various consumer goods.

That's not to say that the reason and spirit for the season is lost on people, by any means, as millions of Christians are celebrating the Resurrection, but the various traditions, rituals and accessories at Easter time also require truckloads and truckloads of physical stock to support it. It is during these times of high consumption that we like to remind the General Public just how important the trucking industry is.

Must of this holiday consumption is food-related, in the form of holiday meals, eggs and candy, and every time you turn around, another brand is coming up with more specialized themed products, like the pastel M&M's and Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs. Around one-third of the estimated $18.4 billion spent on Easter-related retail sales in 2017 will be on food. With around 88% of American parents doing up Easter baskets for their children, here's some Easter by the numbers:

  • Colored Easter Eggs:

    Americans color and dye about 180 million eggs every year. That's around 4.5 billion hen-hours.

  • Jelly Beans:

    A staple of Easter candy-buying since the 1930's, about 16 billion are sold every year. With 8 standard flavor combinations, and about 50 other specialty flavors, they used to be sold by color. So they're probably still trying to get rid of the black ones.

  • Cadbury Creme Eggs:

    Love them or hate them, the mysterious chocolate-covered treats first made in 1971 are as popular as ever, with 500 million consumed at Easter.

  • Peeps:

    Not to be outdone, Easter's other divisive candy, Peeps, sell about 700 million per year. Whatever your take on the oddly-textured Peeps, or your preference in pizza toppings, do not do this. Ever:

    0754247001492022091.jpeg

Another $2.9 billion will be used on Easter gifts, while $3.3 billion will be spent on clothing, and another $3 billion for flowers, decorations, and greeting cards. The effective bottom line of all of this is that record amounts of consumer goods need to be moved from place-to-place, as always.

“Shoppers will find promotions on a number of items on their lists, from Easter baskets to sports equipment, home goods, garden tools and more.”

~ NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay

Other fun Easter stats:

  • Easter Cards:

    Still quite popular, despite electronic alternatives, we send about 43 million per year.

  • Egg Hunts:

    Winter Haven, FL boasts the largest in the country, with almost 10,000 children searching for over 500,000 eggs every year.

  • Chocolate Bunnies:

    90 million chocolate bunnies are produced every year. About 76% of consumers say that the ears should be eaten first. The other 24% are split between the feet, tail, and "other" just to spite them.

External Links:

National Retail Federation Says Later Easter Expected To Bring Record Spending

Sweet Easter Facts

Easter by the Numbers

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