Thursday, August 13, 2020

How to use Ford’s new Pro Trailer Backup Assist



Pro Trailer Backup Assist is new to Ford 2020 Super Duty trucks. We turned to Ford’s trailer technology supervisor Don Mattern who showed us how to backup a trailer using a dash-mounted knob in conjunction with the truck’s trailer reverse guidance system.




Check out our website for more https://www.hardworkingtrucks.com

Monday, August 10, 2020

CLP & CDL TESTING DELAYS CONTINUE

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Thank you to all who participated in our August 4-5 survey on problems schools are currently facing. I wanted to provide some feedback for everyone and offer a snapshot of where state driver’s license agencies stand in terms of service offerings.
For reference, at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, CVTA members saw the state driver’s license agencies (SDLAs) close like dominos. At its peak, there were 27 SDLAs completely shutdown. Moreover, all states, even those that remained “open” were operating at limited capacity. As our nation began understanding more about the virus, treating those infected, and preventing the spread, we began to see SDLAs reopen, albeit on a limited basis. As more SDLAs came back on line, CVTA understood that our problems were far from over and that state DMVs would struggle to clear their backlog.
We are nearly six months into the pandemic, and though many Americans continue to face economic uncertainty, trucking is a bright spot. Freight volumes continue to increase and trucking as an industry remains an economic beacon. Trucking is often seen as a leading economic indicator of our nation’s economy. If so, this is good news for America.
Back in March, the driver shortage temporarily vanished as freight volumes plummeted. Simply put, with less freight, fewer commercial drivers were needed in the short term. It will return, however, and when it does, we will need more drivers than before. The inability for SDLAs to license new students and trainees, could severely impact the supply of drivers.

CVTA SURVEY & OUTLOOK

CVTA conducted a CDL school survey from August 4-5th to determine whether commercial driver training schools were still experiencing problems with securing CLP knowledge tests, CDL skills tests, or issuance the physical resulting from reduced state driver’s license agency service offerings due to COVID-19. The survey found over 1/3 of state driver’s license agencies (SDLAs) faced moderate to significant delays in conducting CLP knowledge tests, CDL skills tests, or issuance of the physical CDL. Delays in obtaining CLP appointments ranged from 2 weeks to 90 days in at least 15 states, with most averaging between 30 to 60-day delays. Other states delays have similar extensive wait times, but these delays are more regional or even local in scope.
Based on the survey response, CVTA believes the significant delays center around those states using online appointment systems (as opposed to a walk-in policy), those states who prohibit schools from third party skills testing, or those states that use third party testing but have not adopted the FMCSA’s CLP waiver, which allows third-party testers to administer the CLP knowledge test.
Another challenge is the delay between a student passing their skills test and obtaining their physical CDL, which requires the student to again make an appointment through the online appointment system.
Earlier this year CVTA estimated that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States would produce 60% of the drivers it has in previous years. Given the continued delays in CDL licensing, we are reviewing our estimate of that goal to determine if this needs to be revised downward.

Friday, August 7, 2020

About Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)

History

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000, pursuant to the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999 (49 U.S.C. 113). Formerly a part of the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries. Activities of the Administration contribute to ensuring safety in motor carrier operations through strong enforcement of safety regulations; targeting high-risk carriers and commercial motor vehicle drivers; improving safety information systems and commercial motor vehicle technologies; strengthening commercial motor vehicle equipment and operating standards; and increasing safety awareness. To accomplish these activities, the Administration works with Federal, State, and local enforcement agencies, the motor carrier industry, labor and safety interest groups, and others.

Activities
Commercial Drivers' Licenses
The Administration develops standards to test and license commercial motor vehicle drivers.

Data and Analysis
The Administration collects and disseminates data on motor carrier safety and directs resources to improve motor carrier safety.

Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
The Administration operates a program to improve safety performance and remove high-risk carriers from the Nation's highways.

Research and Technology
The Administration coordinates research and development to improve the safety of motor carrier operations and commercial motor vehicles and drivers.

Safety Assistance
The Administration provides States with financial assistance for roadside inspections and other commercial motor vehicle safety programs. It promotes motor vehicle and motor carrier safety.

Other Activities
The Administration supports the development of unified motor carrier safety requirements and procedures throughout North America. It participates in international technical organizations and committees to help share the best practices in motor carrier safety throughout North America and the rest of the world. It enforces regulations ensuring safe highway transportation of hazardous materials and has established a task force to identify and investigate those carriers of household goods which have exhibited a substantial pattern of consumer abuse.
Updated: Monday, March 31, 2014

Learn more at: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

IN THE DRIVER’S SEAT: TOP 10: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

So, you want to be a truck driver? Have you thought about what it takes to be a truck driver, but most importantly, a professional one who is in it for the long haul?
I know a few things about preparing for and having a successful career in the trucking industry. I’m not just a school owner, I am a driver. I have had my Class A CDL for over 40 years and during that time, I’ve been an owner-operator, pulled a refrigerated trailer, done local delivery, and worked as a dispatcher for a fleet of over 20 trucks. While I’m no longer a full-time driver, I occasionally get behind the wheel of my 73’ rig and drive across the country. These occasional road trips allow me to understand the demands of today’s truck drivers, and in turn, pass along that valuable information to my students who will be the future drivers of tomorrow.
After logging many miles on the road, here are a few things to think about when making your decision to be a truck driver or instructing your students.
Top 10: What You Need to Know
  1. Be on time. Dispatchers value a driver who shows up to work on time. Once you start your day, don’t worry about delays that are beyond your control. If you start your day with enough time to get on the road, good carriers will not push you or give you a hard time.
  2. Do your inspections. A lot of your co-workers will not do their inspections, and some of them will give you a hard time when you’re doing your job and they aren’t. While tempting, do not engage with them in these instances. Go about your pre-trip as you were taught at the truck driving school. Besides, the pre-trip routine is a federal regulation so there’s no way of getting around it.
  3. There’s no whining in the trucking industry. Every day you will be confronted with problems or issues at every turn – trucks break down, there’s traffic congestion, unpredictable and volatile weather, and shippers will delay you. Don’t complain to your dispatcher Deal with it, professionally of course. It’s good practice to communicate with your dispatcher effectively and without any emotion. This professionalism will go a long way in how you will be treated.
  4. Plan your trips. Parking is tight out there, so don’t expect to find a spot readily available when you need one. Parking is at such a premium that there are apps available for truckers to find and reserve a parking space, even at some truck stops. Learn from your trainers on how they figure out where to park. While their experience will provide insight, you need to come up with a system that works best for you.
  5. GOAL! (Get Out And Look). Backing accidents are the number one problem for new drivers. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about. It happens to everyone. Being safety minded is a good quality. So, get out and look before backing that truck up.
  6. Maintain your following distance. Discipline yourself and commit to a proper distance. In heavy traffic that means you must run 3 or 4 mph slower than traffic flow to keep your following distance. Embrace new technology applications that automatically keeps the distance for you.
  7. Slippery when wet. Bad weather. It happens. Being mindful of safety regulations before being faced with hazardous road conditions, will better prepare you when they do occur. Take your time, and even stop when conditions warrant.
  8. Safety “Seal of Approval”. Work for an established carrier with a good safety record. Employment with a well-established, safety-minded carrier will ensure you have access to properly maintained equipment. One other thing, your paycheck will not bounce.
  9. Expect to be recruited. With the driver shortage these days, chances are you will be approached at truck stops by a carrier or by other drivers convincing you to go to work for another company. Do not believe their claims as they are probably receiving a commission for recruiting you. Some companies pay up to $2,000 for the referral. Consequently, there will be false claims being made.
  10. Stay healthy. Stay fitSave money. Invest in a small refrigerator and buy your own food versus eating at restaurants. You will realize the return-on-investment with more money in your wallet and feel physically better through a healthy diet. If you are a local driver, pack your lunch in a cooler. Also, remember to stretch and do your exercises every day.
This guest post originally appeared in CVTA’s Get-in-Gear Summer/Fall 2017 edition.
Bill Collins is the Owner of Interstate Truck Driving School.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

How 4WD (4x4 - Four Wheel Drive) Works - 2H, 4H, 4L, LSD, Centre Diff, Diff Locks, Traction Control.


A complete and thorough video on how four wheel drive (4WD) 4x4 systems work. This video will look into depth on how part time and full time four wheel drive systems work, operate, what to expect and when to use it. It will cover in depth the following: - Drivetrain Fundamentals - Part Time 4x4 - Full Time 4x4 - Open Differentials - Locked Differentials - Torque Distribution - Torque Multiplication - High Range - Low Range - Transfer Case - Crawl Ratio - Limited Slip Differentials - Brake Traction Control - Wind-Up Phenomenon - Diagonal Wheels Phenomenon - Free Wheeling Hubs

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Rightsizing Your Vehicle Fleet to Conserve Fuel

Fleet rightsizing is a management practice that can help vehicle fleet managers build and maintain sustainable, fuel-efficient fleets. Fleet inventories often grow over time to include vehicles that are highly specialized, rarely used, or unsuitable for current applications. By evaluating fleet size and composition, managers can optimize vehicle use, conserve fuel, reduce emissions, and save money on fuel and maintenance.

Evaluate Vehicle Needs and Use
Fleet managers should understand their fleet's daily vehicle use and needs. Most fleet managers already have a handle on their number and type of vehicles, average mileage, payloads, and fuel economy. Fleet rightsizing combines this information with a critical look at fleet operations to identify opportunities to reduce energy use. When rightsizing, fleet managers should evaluate how important each vehicle is to the fleet’s performance by asking themselves:

What tasks are accomplished by each vehicle? Or, what is the drive cycle?

What is the daily, weekly, or monthly mileage of each vehicle? Or, what is the duty cycle?

Are fleet vehicles the optimal vehicle type, class, and size for the job?

Are there any vehicles that are no longer cost effective to operate or are no longer fulfilling their purpose?

Are there any vehicles that are no longer being used or have experienced a lot of downtime?

What is the fuel consumption of each vehicle? Can any vehicles be replaced by lighter, more fuel-efficient vehicles?

What is the age of the vehicles? Can any vehicles be replaced by newer, more efficient and reliable vehicles?

Are there any alternatives to owning or leasing a vehicle, such as shuttle bus services, motor pool vehicles, sharing vehicles with other offices/agencies, vehicle stipends, public transportation, or short-term rentals when needed?

Considering the answers to the previous questions, what is the optimal composition of the fleet required to properly support the fleet’s needs?

In addition to reviewing telematics or fleet analysis data, fleet managers should consider soliciting input from drivers when conducting a rightsizing review, as they can be very knowledgeable about how vehicles are being used to support operations. Gathering this input also gives drivers a stake in the development of rightsizing recommendations. Fleet managers can solicit input through driver surveys or face-to-face meetings to establish consensus.

A fleet rightsizing strategy should evaluate the business case of each vehicle to determine whether reassigning, replacing, or eliminating the vehicle would reduce fuel and maintenance costs without compromising fleet activities. Fleet managers often need to define evaluation criteria and rank vehicles to complete this analysis. A fleet dominated by sport utility vehicles, for example, may find that mid-size sedans can suffice with a significant reduction in fuel costs.

Fleet managers may develop their own analysis or use existing evaluation tools. The Vehicle Allocation Methodology developed by the U.S. General Services Administration is an evaluation framework that federal agency fleets use to ensure fleets are cost-effective and contain the appropriate number and type of vehicles. Learn more about this methodology in the Comprehensive Federal Fleet Management Handbook (PDF).

Make Smart Vehicle Purchases

Fleet managers may decide to replace older vehicles with more fuel-efficient or alternative fuel vehicles. These purchasing strategies may help fleet managers make decisions that meet operational needs and conserve fuel:

Transition to Smaller, More Efficient Engines: Using smaller engines can help fleets meet operational needs without downgrading vehicle class. Some fleets choose to switch from 6-cylinder to 4-cylinder engines to help reduce fuel use and emissions. In many cases, the new, smaller engine can have nearly the same horsepower as a larger engine. Fleet managers can also improve fuel efficiency by selecting smaller engines with optional gearing for their application.

Choose Lighter Vehicles: When purchasing new vehicles, look for opportunities to reduce vehicle weight. Lightweight materials, such as aluminum frames, and smaller components can reduce rolling resistance and drag, thereby improving a vehicle’s fuel economy. For example, a 10% reduction in vehicle weight can improve fuel economy by 6% to 8%. Also, try to avoid unnecessarily large body configurations and heavy accessories. For more information, refer to the North American Council for Freight Efficiency's Confidence Report.

Use Alternative Fuels and Vehicles: Alternative fuel and fuel-efficient advanced vehicles can reduce a fleet's fuel use, making them economical options for many fleets. Cost savings from vehicle maintenance, operation, and fuel use and price often offset higher purchase prices.

Source: https://afdc.energy.gov/conserve/rightsizing.html

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Choosing the Right Tow & Stow


How to measure to get the correct amount of adjustment we recommend from your Tow & Stow.