Avoiding brake-related CSA citations

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s CSA violations should be an unnecessary problem, especially since they can lead to costly delays, and unexpected downtime may cause fleets to lose customers not only because of delays.


Happy Holidays from A & T Road Service

Warmest Thoughts and Best Wishes for a Wonderful Holiday 
and a Very Happy New Year


It’s a good time to be small

The trucking industry is booming, and small carriers are potentially the biggest benefactors. Looking to the U.S., small fleets are growing while larger fleets are not. Speaking at Newcom’s Surface Transportation Summit Oct. 10, Stifel Financial Corp.’s David Ross pointed out that small fleets are increasing revenue, while larger fleets are seeing a decline.

“Large fleets have been shrinking for some time, partially because they got too big and most of them didn’t make any money,” he said, noting how many turned to asset-light options like brokering trucks and warehousing.

In September, I attended the FTR Transportation Conference in Indianapolis, Ind., and there was discussion there as well about the improved outlook for small carriers. Finding and keeping drivers is the name of the game, and in a strong market, small fleets have certain advantages on this front. They can offer more perks to drivers, create family environments, and focus exclusively on driver-friendly freight and not have to chase skids from major retailers.

“Retailers that allow their operations to hold drivers for six to 16 hours are abusive in today’s environment and it happens every day in retail,” said Jeff Tucker, CEO of freight broker Tucker Company.

There were also accounts of shippers – desperate for capacity – going out in pursuit of small fleets that can serve as “one lane wonders.”

“If you have some dedicated runs like we do, and if you can match them with a niche carrier where that lane becomes meaningful to them, it’s a great opportunity,” said John Janson, director of global logistics for Sanmar. “Last year we added three different sets of one lane wonders where my transportation team has put their sales hats on and they’re out finding these carriers.”

Large shippers seeking out small carriers…how times have changed. Back at the Surface Transportation Summit, I moderated a panel discussion on success strategies for small carriers. The panel consisted of: Leanne Quail, Paul Quail Transport; Brian Taylor, Liberty Linehaul; and Doug Sutherland, Sutco Transportation Specialists. All said they are enjoying improving rates and more demand than they can keep up with. The key, they agreed, is not to lose sight of your core customers.

“There’s a lot of people asking for us to do business now, and I think you don’t want to chase that,” said Sutherland, whose company is focused on the forestry sector.

He said small fleets are at an advantage in prosperous times, because they can be more agile decision makers and can offer a driver-friendly workplace easier when every employee is known by management on a first-name basis.

Taylor said Liberty Linehaul has been approached of late by large Fortune 500 shippers, looking for capacity, and asking how they can become a good customer. This is something only the mega-carriers had experienced in the past.

Another thing small fleets have going for them is that technology is offering them the ability to cost-effectively offer services to customers that previously only the large carriers could provide, including real-time visibility of freight. Only a few years ago I wondered if the small carriers could survive without the IT resources enjoyed by the big guys. However, I now see technology as the great equalizer, and not a competitive disadvantage, thanks to the arrival of well-designed, simple apps and other tools that are now more cost-effective than ever to deploy.

I think everyone would agree it’s a good time to be a trucking company – and the buoyant moods I observed among carriers at both the conferences I recently attended would support that. It could be that it’s an even better time to be small.

Source:  https://www.trucknews.com/blogs/its-a-good-time-to-be-small/

James Menzies

James Menzies

James Menzies is editor of Truck News magazine. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 15 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at james@newcom.ca or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies.


Hours of Service - Who Must Comply?

Most drivers must follow the HOS Regulations if they drive a commercial motor vehicle, or CMV. In general, a CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business and is involved in interstate commerce and fits any of these descriptions:
  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards

Hours of Service Final Rule for Truck Drivers

The Hours of Service of Drivers Final Rule was published in the Federal Register on December 27, 2011. The effective date of the Final Rule was February 27, 2012, and the compliance date of remaining provisions was July 1, 2013.

NOTICE: The Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015 was enacted on December 16, 2014, suspending enforcement of requirements for use of the 34-hour restart, pending a study. Based on the findings from the CMV Driver Restart Study, the 34-hour restart rule in operational effect on June 30, 2013, is restored to full force and effect.  The requirement for two off-duty periods of 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. in section 395.3(c) of the Agency’s hours-of-service rules will not be enforced, nor will the once-per-week limit on use of the restart in 395.3(d).

Summary of the Hours of Service Regulations

Hours of Service: How Familiar Are You? Webinar

The FMCSA hours of service (HOS) rules are designed to eliminate the type of drowsiness that can lead to crashes.  Although many commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers feel that they know when they are getting drowsy, various laboratory tests have shown that persons are not good at estimating their own drowsiness.
The following topics are discussed in the "Hours of Service: How Familiar Are You?" webinar:
  • Purpose of the Hours of Service Rules and Regulations
  • Applicability
  • Drivers' Responsibilities
  • Carriers' Responsibilities
  • Property Carrier Hours of Service Driving Time Limits
  • Passenger Carrier Hours of Service Driving Time Limits
  • Acceptable Recording Methods
  • Important dates and deadlins for Electronic Loggind Devices (ELDs)
  • Limited Exceptions to the Hours of Service Rules and Regulations

"Hours of service: How Ready are You?" transcripts

Color/508 Compliant

Black and White

Hours of Service Live Question and Answer Session

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) hour-long Hours of Service (HOS) Question and Answer Session allowed participants the opportunity to submit HOS related questions and have them answered by FMCSA’s HOS subject matter experts Tom Yager, Chief of the Driver and Carrier Operations Division, and Peter Chandler, Lead Transportation Specialist in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Passenger Carrier Division.
The HOS Question and Answer session addressed the number hours that a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) driver may be on the road, the HOS exemptions, and the number of hours a CMV driver may be on duty before a required period of rest.  In addition, the session addressed the permitted driving time based on a driver’s on-duty hours in a “work-week”.
"Hours of Service Live Question and Answer" Session transcripts
Updated: Thursday, May 31, 2018


Erb at the wheel for cool, seasonal move


THUNDER BAY, Ont. – Erb Group founder Vernon Erb is always eager to spend time behind the wheel. It doesn’t even matter that the latest load of produce in his trailer is being moved for free. In fact, that was by design.

The longtime industry executive is donating his time for the shipment heading to food banks in remote northern communities, working through the Trucks for Change Network that helps coordinate free or discounted shipments on behalf of Canadian charities. Navistar is even covering the cost of the fuel.

Erb Group has supported the organization in the past, but when the senior Erb heard about this one – in the midst of the Christmas season – he jumped at the chance to haul the load himself.

“I left at noon yesterday [from Leamington] and got to Cochrane last night in a snowstorm,” he said on Thursday morning, from the bunk of his prized 2014 International 9900. “There’s lots of snow up here and it’s two or three below Fahrenheit [-19 Celsius]. Now the sun’s out and it’s a beautiful day to be trucking.”
Vernon Erb

Such temperatures aren’t that friendly to fresh food, but the veteran of moving temperature controlled freight is ensuring that everything keeps above freezing.

Erb arrives in Thunder Bay on Friday, ensuring the food can be prepared for flights into remote areas further north. And that’s all part of CBC’s annual Sounds of the Season programming, which spreads the holiday cheer.

“Transportation is a key part of it,” said Volker Kromm, executive director of the Regional Food Distribution Association (RFDA), which serves as a hub for food banks throughout northwestern Ontario. “The discounted rates, they save a huge cost.”

Contributions from Erb and Navistar will save about $4,000 on this shipment alone.

Trucks for Change supports dozens of charities that are vetted and then connected with offers of reduced-rate shipments, says Pete Dalmazzi, that organization’s president.

“We’re connected to the food bank system in Canada at all levels,” he adds, referring to close to a dozen related loads that need to be moved a month. “To the charities involved it makes a big impact.”

The donations to remote areas are particularly important. “It’s so expensive to get stuff up there and it’s a completely empty backhaul all the time,” Dalmazzi says.

He hopes coverage of this shipment will engage other carriers in similar work. About 60 carriers participate in Trucks for Change today. He’d like to see that number double. “So we can say yes every time, and make it sustainable.”

Source: https://www.todaystrucking.com/erb-at-the-wheel-for-cool-seasonal-move/


Electric Powertrains Are the Future. Will Fleets Be Ready?

 Many automakers are making a switch to producing battery-electric and hybrid electric vehicles across all vehicle classes. Image:Josh Bauer/NREL

Most readers of Government Fleet are seasoned professionals pursuing careers either in public fleet management or in corporate roles in support of public sector fleets. For a moment, however, put aside your current career history and aspirations and try to remember when you were a younger person, weighing career options and considering just what path to take.

The public fleet industry is on the threshold of a truly cosmic shift, and it’s quite possible that young people today are looking at our industry and questioning those options. We should, as those young people may be doing, consider what this shift will mean when it occurs.

The shift will be toward a predominance of electromotive powertrain technology and away from the internal combustion engine (ICE). Is it true that the demise of the ICE is greatly overstated, or, should we, like those young people still contemplating their career paths, be reading the tea leaves and presume they portend a very different future for us?

LEARN MORE AT: http://www.greenfleetmagazine.com/channel/electric/article/story/2018/03/electric-powertrains-are-the-future-will-fleets-be-ready.aspx



The Vulcan all-digital air scale system for tractor / trailer combinations provides an accurate way to obtain axle and/or payload weights. Corrosion resistant, stainless steel air sensors provide a rugged and reliable solution well suited to meet the requirements of on-board trucking applications. Air sensors are altitude and temperature compensated to enhance performance and accuracy. Vulcan VSL electronics allow unlimited mixing of tractors and trailers without any adjustments.

Learn more at: http://www.vulcanscales.com/index.php/general-trucking/tractor-trailer-semi/


2018-2019 Tow Show Schedule


April 11 – 14, 2019
Florida Tow Show®
Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace, Orlando, FL.
Phone: 407-296-3316
April 18 – 19, 2019
North American Repossessors Summit hosted by American Recovery Association 
Omni Mandalay Hotel at Los Colinas, Irving, TX
TBD 2019
AT Showplace Las Vegas hosted by American Towman
Southpoint Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, NV
Phone:  800-732-3869
Web: atshowplace.com
May 17 – 18, 2018 
Towers Family Retreat hosted by the American Towing & Recovery Institute
Crown Reef Resort in Myrtle Beach, SC
Contact: Wes Wilburn
Phone: (910) 747-9000
New Hampshire Tow & Trade Show  hosted by the New Hampshire Towing Association
Hampton Beach State Park, Hampton, NH
Phone: (603) 863-4206
Web: nhtowingassociation.org
TBD 2019 
35th Annual ESTRA Tow Show hosted by Empire State Towing & Recovery Association
Charles R. Wood Park, Lake George Village, NY
Contact: Melissa Perlow
Phone: (631) 728-7752
Web: estratowshow.com
June 1, 2019
Nebraska Tow Show hosted by the Professional Towers Association of Nebraska
CHI Health Center, Omaha, NE
Contact: Dana Adamy
Phone: (402) 890-6531
June 14 – 16, 2019
Wisconsin Towing Association Tow Show
Chula Vista Resort (608-254-8366), Wisconsin Dells, WI.
Contact; WTA Office
Phone: 608-833-8200, ext. 17
July 31 – August 2, 2019
Towing & Recovery Management Summit (hosted by Tow Times)
Capital Hilton, Washington D.C.
Contact: Brenda Faulman
Phone: (407) 936-2494
August 9 – 10, 2019
Southern Tow Expo hosted by Tow Professionals
Orange Beach Convention Center, Orange Beach, AL
Contact: Darian Weaver
Phone: 205-223-4548
Web: southerntowexpo.com
TBD 2019
AT Tow Expo Dallas/Fort Worth hosted by American Towman
Phone:  800-732-3869
Web: towexpodfw.com
TBD 2019
Pacific Northwest Tow Show presented by Towing & Recovery Association of Washington
Greater Tacoma Trade and Convention Center, Tacoma, WA
Contact: Peter Lukevich
Phone: 206-492-5032
Web: pacificnorthwesttowshow.com 
TBD 2019
North Carolina Tow Truck And Trade Show 
Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, NC
Contact: Elaine
Phone: (919) 876-0687
Web: nctowing.org/events
Sept. 26 – 29, 2019
Midwest Regional Tow Show Hosted By Towing and Recovery Association of Ohio
Great Wolf Lodge, Mason, OH
Phone: 513-831-7469
Oct 10 – 12, 2019
Tennessee Tow Show hosted by Tennessee Tow Truck Association and Tow Times
Chattanooga Convention Center  Chattanooga, TN
Contact: Brenda Faulman (Tow Times)
Phone: (407) 936-2494
Web: tennesseetowshow.com
Nov 2019
AT Exposition hosted by American Towman
Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, MD
Phone:  800-732-3869
Web: atexposition.com


California Trucking Schools

 TruckersReport.com logo

A survey conducted in the year 2008 revealed that trucking companies in the United States have more than 3.2 million vacancies. It was also estimated that by the year 2018, the number of vacancies in the US truck driving industry will increase by as much as 9%. These inspiring numbers motivated many people to join the country’s trucking industry. The scenario is the same in every state across the nation. People of the most populous state of the country, California, have also jumped on the bandwagon. The basic requirement for becoming a professional trucker in California is a commercial driver’s license. The process of becoming a professional truck driver in California goes like this: you will have to attend truck driver training in California, pass the CDL skills test to obtain your commercial driver’s license and start working as a professional trucker.

Learn more at: https://www.thetruckersreport.com/trucking-schools/california/


Automation: The unstoppable force

But what will this mean for truck drivers?


For transportation economist Noël Perry, the debate over the future of autonomous truck technology has already ended.

“It is an unstoppable force, no less unstoppable than the car killing the trolley car,” said Perry, who heads up consulting firm Transport Futures.

The reasoning behind his belief is simple: Automation will increase truck utilization to levels never before thought possible.

Learn more at: https://www.fleetowner.com/autonomous-vehicles/automation-unstoppable-force?NL=FO-06&Issue=FO-06_20181123_FO-06_790&sfvc4enews=42&cl=article_1_1&utm_rid=CPENT000004488230&utm_campaign=22069&utm_medium=email&elq2=fd41e15a5cea4ba4820df0e0db509ae0