America needs to keep on trucking: The $791.7 billion industry hauls 72.5% of all freight transported in the United States and employs about 6% of all full-time workers. But an aging workforce combined with the recent surge in labor shortages could spell disaster for the vital industry.
The ongoing truck driver shortage is now estimated at 80,000, up from 61,000 just three years ago. A new study by Bob Costello, chief economist for the American Trucking Associations (ATA), estimates that the industry will have to recruit 1 million new drivers within the next nine years to replace retiring drivers.
Many factors contribute to a lack of drivers, said Costello, including….. READ ARTICLE
WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – One of the fastest growing sectors of Pennsylvania’s economy is Transportation and Logistics. Even so, companies simply cannot find enough truck drivers and warehouse workers to meet the demand in Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania. No matter where you turned, companies that move freight by truck or warehouse items for major retailers were advertising for employees today. Employers told Eyewitness News reporter Andy Mehalshick that the challenge was just getting people to even consider a career on the open road. In the past five years, Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania has become a major center for warehouse operations. Just about every industrial park in our area has distribution centers for nationally known companies. That translates to a lot of jobs but relatively few…. FULL STORY
A company created by former Google employees is working to introduce driverless trucks to highways around the country, taking self-driving technology even beyond the tech giant’s push for the widespread use of self-driving passenger cars. … full article
According to Motor Trend:
With more than 1.6 million Americans working as truck drivers, truckers hold the most common job in 29 states. If those jobs are replaced by self-driving trucks, it would mean 1 percent of the U.S. workforce would be unemployed. But the ripple effects could be even more devastating to the American highway as we know it. Truck stops, motels, gas stations, diners, and many other businesses will struggle to stay open without a steady flow of truckers coming through. – full article
Truck drivers with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) who were not adequately treated for the condition were five times more likely to be involved in preventable crashes than drivers without the sleep disorder, researchers reported.
Truck drivers who were non-adherent with positive airway pressure treatment had a crash rate for preventable U.S. Department of Transportation-reportable crashes of 0.070/100,000 miles that was nearly five-fold more that the rate of 0.014/100,000 miles for matched controls (without sleep apnea) and fully compliant drivers (incidence rate ratio 4.97, 95% CI, 2.09-10.63, P<0.001), according to…. – FULL STORY
We have had several inquiries about whether the DOJ advice to Federal prosecutors regarding pursuing criminal cases will have an impact upon the Department of Transportation’s longstanding regulation about the use of marijuana by safety‐sensitive transportation employees – pilots, school bus drivers, truck drivers, train engineers, subway operators, aircraft maintenance personnel, transit fire‐armed security personnel, ship captains, and pipeline emergency response personnel, among others.
We want to make it perfectly clear that the DOJ guidelines will have no bearing on the Department of Transportation’s regulated drug testing program. We will not change our regulated drug testing program based upon these guidelines to Federal prosecutors.
The Department of Transportation’s Drug and Alcohol Testing Regulation – 49 CFR Part 40, at 40.151(e) – does not authorize “medical marijuana” under a state law to be a valid medical explanation for a transportation employee’s positive drug test result.
That section states:
§ 40.151 What are MROs prohibited from doing as part of the verification process?
As an MRO, you are prohibited from doing the following as part of the verification process:
(e) You must not verify a test negative based on information that a physician recommended that the employee use a drug listed in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. (e.g., under a state law that purports to authorize such recommendations, such as the “medical marijuana” laws that some states have adopted.)
Therefore, Medical Review Officers will not verify a drug test as negative based upon information that a physician recommended that the employee use “medical marijuana.” Please note that marijuana remains a drug listed in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. It remains unacceptable for any safety‐sensitive employee subject to drug testing under the Department of Transportation’s drug testing regulations to use marijuana.
We want to assure the traveling public that our transportation system is the safest it can possibly be.
Jim L. Swart
Office of the Secretary of Transportation
Office of Drug and Alcohol
Policy and Compliance
Department of Transportation
October 22, 2009
Updated: Thursday, November 19, 2015
– See more at: https://www.transportation.gov/odapc/medical-marijuana-notice#sthash.hbRH2xAr.dpuf
What happens to those 660 minutes in a driver’s day?
J.B. Hunt recently released a report on the full extent of the wasted time drivers spend as a result of inefficient practices. Mitigating such inefficiencies, the report notes, can increase capacity. The report is directed at educating shippers and receivers, but the data and lessons apply to any operation or fleet.
The Hourglass vs. the Stopwatch
In many ways, capacity shortage and driver inefficiency are a result of misinformation surrounding Hours of Service. Think of a driver’s time as that of an hourglass, a perishable commodity which is continually diminishing. Whereas in the past a driver could, much like a stopwatch, start or stop his or her clock depending on the activity, a driver today cannot log time waiting at a shipper location or making a delivery as “off duty.” Once a driver begins his or her safety check at the start of the workday, the clock is running down without pause… READ THE FULL REPORT
Have you ever found yourself driving behind a semi-trailer truck? If you’re on a single-lane highway or road, it can be a nightmare. Even though the truck is driving relatively slowly, you cannot overtake it due to its size, and because you cannot see what is happening in front of the truck.
However, Samsung has developed a solution that may make this problem a thing of the past.
Argentina’s statistics on traffic accidents are among the highest in the world, with most of these accidents occurring on two-lane roads and particularly in situations of overtaking. With this in mind, Samsung developed a technology for trucks that seeks to enrich the lives of people through innovation. But more than that, this time the goal is more ambitious: to save lives.
How Does it Work?
The Safety Truck consists of a wireless camera attached to the front of the truck, which is connected to a video wall made out of four exterior monitors located on the back of the truck. The monitors give drivers behind the truck a view of what is going on ahead, even in the dark of night.
This allows drivers to have a better view when deciding whether it is safe to overtake. Another advantage of the Safety Truck is that it may reduce the risk of accidents caused by sudden braking or animals crossing the road.
Samsung led the prototype development by providing large format display samples, and conducted a test with a local B2B client
Currently, the prototype truck built is no longer operational. So far Samsung has been able to confirm that the technology works and that this idea can definitely save the lives of many people.
The next step is to perform the corresponding tests in order to comply with the existing national protocols and obtain the necessary permits and approvals. For this, Samsung is working together with safe driving NGOs and the government.
There is no magic wand to make all of life’s issues disappear. And between career, family, and self, there is always too much to get done. But one thing a professional driver doesn’t have to do is reinvent the wheel. (See what I did there?) We can learn from others, and borrow their experience to make the road a little a smoother for ourselves. (Did it again…)
We have found a few web sites that are both informative and entertaining with information valuable to CDL drivers of all stripes. So we wanted to share them with you.
Freightliner for instance has a great web site called – Team Run Smart, where drivers can find practicle articles like “Laundry Tips for Truckers” and “Dealing with a Debt Collector While You’re on the Road“. They also have health tips, business tips, and general trucking know how, from a panel of experts. Sure it’s a bit of an infomercial, but the practical information available is helpful.
A few other destinations with similar resources include:
We have written about this before. But back then it was just a concept, not actually operating on US roads. Well Nevada just green lighted the first driverless truck.
The world’s first autonomous 18-wheeler is getting down to business. At a ceremony at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Tuesday, Gov. Brian Sandoval handed over an official Nevada license plate for use by a new Freightliner Inspiration Truck on public roads.
Though a human “driver” will need to sit behind the wheel in case of an emergency, the new system is intended to usher in an era that could very well lead to fleets of trucks that have no humans on board at all, said Wolfgang Bernhard, the board member overseeing truck operations at Freightliner’s parent, Daimler AG.
Even in its current, more limited form, the technology offers a number of advantages, Bernhard said, noting that 90 percent of truck crashes involve human error, according to government data, much of that due to fatigue.
It doesn’t look like robot competition will over take human drivers just yet, the truck needs a driver still, and can’t go where there aren’t white lines…. but we expect this technology to move very quickly.
The Collins Amendment language suspends the restriction on the use of the so-called 34-hour restart that requires drivers to take two consecutive periods of 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. off during the restart, thus lifting the restriction on using the restart more than once every 168 hours, or one week.
The bill language says that within 90 days of the enactment of the act, “the Secretary (of transportation) shall initiate a naturalistic study of the operational, safety, health and fatigue impacts of the restart provisions.” It would suspend the current restart provisions through Sept. 30, 2015, “and the restart rule (previously) in effect on June 30, 2013, shall immediately be in effect.”
Keep in mind – The 2015 appropriations bill suspended two provisions of the 2013 HOS rule: (1) The requirement that drivers’ 34-hour restarts include two 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. periods and (2) the provision that limits the use of the restart to once per 168 hours (a week). BUT Not the 30 minute break requirement…