Monday, December 28, 2020

A Look At USDOT Number


A motor carrier’s USDOT number is used by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to track safety performance. All legal entities involved in interstate commerce using commercial motor vehicles are required to have one. Nearly forty states mandate that their intrastate carriers have a USDOT number. Regardless of the state of operation, any intrastate carrier that’s required to have a Hazardous Material Safety Permit (HMSP) must also register with the FMCSA. With over 1.5 million registered carriers in the U.S., questions are bound to exist. The following covers the most commonly asked questions regarding the fundamentals – or ABCs – of FMCSA registration.

A = A Single Number. As a matter of policy, the FMCSA assigns a unique USDOT number to each person or entity that registers. A one-to-one relationship should exist between a legal entity and a USDOT number, but the FMCSA’s position is not hard and fast regarding this stance. Some companies do have multiple USDOT numbers, but it is the FMCSA’s preference that divisions and terminals report up through the corporate USDOT number. The agency does prohibit companies from obtaining or keeping multiple USDOT numbers to avoid compliance, mask or conceal non-compliance, or hide a history of non-compliance. The unique identifier policy is also the reason that USDOT numbers are not transferable. When, as a result of a sale or merger, a new entity is created (as identified by a new FEIN), the new entity will also need a new USDOT number to continue transportation operations.

B = BASICs Influencer. Five of the seven Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) BASICs rely solely on the number of relevant inspections within the BASIC to determine a carrier’s scoring and resulting peer group ranking. However, two of the BASICs, Unsafe Driving and Crash Indicator, also take into consideration how many “at bats” the carrier has. These two BASICs have a utilization factor that incorporates the number of power units and the vehicle miles traveled into the methodology formulas. It stands to reason that if all things are equal, a carrier that has twice as many powered vehicles and travels twice as many miles in a year will have twice the number of accidents and unsafe driving violations. Because of this factor, carriers that are growing should/must update their MCS-150 more often than every other year so they can be properly compared with their peers.
When carriers are reducing their size, based on vehicle counts, it’s as important to provide updates more often than biennially. This is because the Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) plan uses a carrier’s MCS-150 vehicle count as the starting point to determine the fee bracket. The more vehicles reported, the greater the likelihood of being in a higher fee bracket. Changing from one bracket to the next can mean the difference of hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of dollars that the carrier pays.

C = Counting Vehicles and Drivers. As stated, getting the counts right can make a difference in a carrier’s CSA peer group and the fee bracket for UCR. But what vehicles and drivers should be counted? At first glance, the driver count seems the more difficult of the two to calculate. The FMCSA wants the drivers broken out by the number that operate strictly intrastate (within one state) and the number that operate interstate (in multiple states). The agency then wants those totals broken down into drivers that operate exclusively within a 100 air-mile radius and drivers that work outside of the 100 air-mile radius. Those four totals need to add up to the total number of drivers.
From the total number of drivers, a separate count is needed for the number of CDL drivers. At this point, it seems almost as bad as doing your own taxes on the long form, but it needn’t be. The driver counts are based on an average workday. The FMCSA is not expecting carriers to break out the spreadsheets and pivot tables. They are looking for an educated overview of the operation. The data is used more from a census point of view rather than from an enforcement stance. Your driver count does not enter into the calculation of any safety scores.

The exercise is completed more easily when you work it out backwards. Start with the number of drivers that operate CMVs on any given (average) day. Break that count into drivers that are likely to stay within 100 air-miles (not necessarily qualifying for the short-haul exception). The outside the air-mile number is then the difference from the total. Break those numbers out into the average that run intrastate versus interstate. The interstate versus intrastate breakdown is most important if taking advantage of the often more permissive intrastate rules.

Counting vehicles seems like it would be easier than drivers, and it might be if the count also used the “on an average workday” instructions. But, the MCS-150 instructions are a bit confusing regarding which vehicles to count. Thankfully, MCSA-1 will eventually replace the MCS-150. The MCSA-1 is much clearer and provides exactly what the FMCSA is looking for.

The vehicle count is based on the number of vehicles, on the day the form is submitted, that have a weight of 10,001 pounds or more (rated, actual or used in combination) and are operating under the carrier’s USDOT number. For the purpose of the operation, count vehicles that are registered to the carrier or have been leased for more than 30 days in the last year. On the MCS-150 there is no distinction between inter- and intrastate vehicles. If the vehicle meets the description above, it should be counted.

The count does need to be broken down by the type of vehicle and whether the vehicle is owned by the carrier or leased. Leased vehicles are subdivided by whether the lease agreement is a term or a trip lease. The vehicle types are relatively straight forward. But one question that is often asked in this area is how to count pickup style trucks. Pickups are considered straight trucks.

The old adage goes, if all else fails, read the directions. That’s good advice when registering or updating your registration with the FMCSA. On paper, the MCS-150 is three pages, but the form comes with eight pages of instructions and examples. For the most part, the instructions are simple and written in plain English. As with taxes, filers have two additional options: filing electronically or hiring a professional. The electronic versions have some help available through the process, which makes it a little easier. Since professionals are familiar with the process, there should be no guessing or headaches for those who choose this option.

By Wayne Schooling
Posted in: Wayne's World

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About Wayne Schooling
Wayne Schooling has been in the transportation business since 1962. Starting out as a driver, Wayne later made the switch to management. Over the years, he has accumulated 22 various awards and honors, been involved with 6 professional affiliations, has spoken at several lectures, and earned 3 professional diplomas. Wayne, who has written for 10-4 Magazine since 1994, is currently President Emeritus of the NorthAmerican Transportation Association (NTA).

All Images and content on this site are protected by copyright laws, but 10-4 Magazine gives viewers the right to download images or text for personal use. Simply click on most images to access a higher resolution image for viewing and/or downloanding. For commercial uses, call for permission.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Christmas Truck Parade


Every year Victoria, BC The Island Equipment Owners Association (IEOA) has a lighted truck parade, quite something to see, enjoy the ride!

Monday, December 21, 2020

Towing Guide - Vehicles Towing RV's

Camping World Toyhauler

A key aspect of buying a towable RV is understanding the tow rating of your current (or future) vehicle. Pay attention to the automobile’s Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (normally found on a sticker inside the driver’s side door frame). This number is the maximum weight your vehicle should tow.

You don’t want to fall in love with an RV only to find out the RV is too heavy for your vehicle to safely tow. To help you find the right RV, please use our Vehicle Tow Rating Finder as well as our Glossary of Terms.

Learn about capacities here: https://rv.campingworld.com/towguide

Saturday, December 19, 2020

A&T Road Service - 7-Days a Week Roadside Mobile Truck Repair Service



At A&T "Mobile" Truck Road Service we like to think of ourselves as the "Ambulance Service for Trucks." If your truck is broken down, we will come to you and perform the necessary triage to get you back on the road. Now includes towing, load adjustments, and more.

A&T "Mobile" Heavy Duty Truck and Trailer Road Service is a 24-hour, 7-days a week roadside mobile truck repair service for light and medium-duty to heavy duty commercial trucks and trailers. A&T Road Service, a subsidiary of North Bay Truck Center.

Our fleet incudes a 2014 Kenworth (Shown in video) with a 500 hp Cummins and 18-speed gearbox is outfitted with an NRC Quickswap detachable tow unit with a tag axle for extra capacity. This allows the truck to be a wrecker and also a transfer vehicle, so with the unit disconnected, it will tow mobile home units, trailers of all kinds and with the wrecker unit attached is capable of lifting up to 20,000 lb steer axles for heavy duty truck towing. This unit can easily to HD trucks, buses, mobile homes.


Not only do we provide 24 Hour Emergency service, we could come out and do light mechanical work on site to our customer's fleet and avoid the truck having to come in the shop.We will go just about anywhere for anything, at anytime. We have a wide normal service area and have been known to go beyond those boundaries by request. See our Service Area.

Below is a bullet point list of services by A&T Road Service.


 New: In-House TOWING
            Fully Equipped Mobile Repair Units
            Tire Replacement
            Load Adjustments
            Welding
            Fuel Delivery
            Lock-Outs
            Vehicle Storage
            Hydraulics
            DOT & BIT Inspections
            Crane Inspections
            Glass Replacement
            Vehicle Rentals
            Liftgate Repairs and Service
            Tens of Thousands of Parts In Stock


North Bay Truck Center is centrally located in Fairfield CA to service all of Solano County along with much of the San Francisco/Oakland bay area and Sacramento. A&T Road Service is available by calling 800-434-1205,

You can also visit our website at http://www.NorthBayTruckCenter.com

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Drivetrains 101 | Consumer Reports


A car’s drivetrain is how you get power from the engine to the wheels. Consumer Reports’ expert explains the difference between front-wheel, rear-wheel drive, all-wheel, and four-wheel drive. Check out https://www.ConsumerReports.org for the latest reviews, tips, and recommendations and subscribe to our YouTube Channel: http://bit.ly/1Nlb1Ez

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Ford Auto Nights: SEMA Show Special - F-150 | Ford


The all-new 2021 F-150 is the most productive and most powerful ever – work and play has never been easier, and of course, it is Built Ford Tough. The BDS F-150 HEV build looks great and is a completely functional truck to take you from work to play. For more info – including free, downloadable digital illustrations of the latest and greatest vehicles from Ford – visit https://ford.to/FordAutoNights.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

NHTSA rejects GM petition, orders massive truck and SUV airbag recall


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration struck down a petition from General Motors this week requesting that the agency exclude roughly 7 million GM trucks and SUVs from a Takata Airbag-Inflator recall.

In response, GM issued the following statement: The safety and trust of those who drive our vehicles is at the forefront of everything we do at General Motors. Although we believe a recall of these vehicles is not warranted based on the factual and scientific record, NHTSA has directed that we replace the airbag inflators in the vehicles in question. Based on data generated through independent scientific evaluation conducted over several years, we disagree with NHTSA’s position. However, we will abide by NHTSA’s decision and begin taking the necessary steps.

The recall will affect 6 million GM pickups and SUVs in the U.S. and other 1 million outside the U.S. from model years 2007 to 2014 and will cost the company roughly $1.2 billion according to the Associated Press.

Source: https://www.hardworkingtrucks.com/nhtsa-rejects-gm-petition-orders-massive-truck-and-suv-airbag-recall/

Monday, December 7, 2020

Winter Maintenance and Towing Tips for Fleets

Preparing for winter: is your fleet ready?

truck driving in winter weather
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, more than 70 percent of roads in the U.S. are located in regions that typically receive more than five inches of annual snowfall. With many commercial fleets using these snow-prone routes on a regular basis, preparing vehicles and drivers for winter conditions is a task most companies need to address.
Read More >

Friday, December 4, 2020

Who You Gonna Call? A&T Road Service - We'll Get You Back on the Road!



At A&T "Mobile" Truck Road Service we like to think of ourselves as the "Ambulance Service for Trucks." If your truck is broken down, we will come to you and perform the necessary triage to get you back on the road. Now includes towing, load adjustments, and more.

A&T "Mobile" Heavy Duty Truck and Trailer Road Service is a 24-hour, 7-days a week roadside mobile truck repair service for light and medium-duty to heavy duty commercial trucks and trailers. A&T Road Service, a subsidiary of North Bay Truck Center.

Our fleet incudes a 2014 Kenworth (Shown in video) with a 500 hp Cummins and 18-speed gearbox is outfitted with an NRC Quickswap detachable tow unit with a tag axle for extra capacity. This allows the truck to be a wrecker and also a transfer vehicle, so with the unit disconnected, it will tow mobile home units, trailers of all kinds and with the wrecker unit attached is capable of lifting up to 20,000 lb steer axles for heavy duty truck towing. This unit can easily to HD trucks, buses, mobile homes.


Not only do we provide 24 Hour Emergency service, we could come out and do light mechanical work on site to our customer's fleet and avoid the truck having to come in the shop.We will go just about anywhere for anything, at anytime. We have a wide normal service area and have been known to go beyond those boundaries by request. See our Service Area.

Below is a bullet point list of services by A&T Road Service.

 New: In-House TOWING
            Fully Equipped Mobile Repair Units
            Tire Replacement
            Load Adjustments
            Welding
            Fuel Delivery
            Lock-Outs
            Vehicle Storage
            Hydraulics
            DOT & BIT Inspections
            Crane Inspections
            Glass Replacement
            Vehicle Rentals
            Liftgate Repairs and Service
            Tens of Thousands of Parts In Stock


North Bay Truck Center is centrally located in Fairfield CA to service all of Solano County along with much of the San Francisco/Oakland bay area and Sacramento. A&T Road Service is available by calling 800-434-1205,

You can also visit our website at http://www.NorthBayTruckCenter.com

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

The Making of an American Truck | Exceptional Engineering


Exceptional Engineering: The Making of an American Truck
The Swedish automotive group Volvo has been producing trucks for the North American market since the late 1970s. Every ten minutes, a new truck rolls off the assembly line, with a tailor-made production line equipped to cater to individual customer requirements. More than 500 color tones are available for the cab paint job alone. After just one day in assembly, the new trucks are ready to roll on public highways throughout the United States provided they have successfully completed a test drive on the factory track.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

What To Keep In Your Truck or Car


Mickey shares his Truck EDC setup. Includes a medical kit from D-Dey Response Group, security best, battery jumper, proper vehicle jack, outdoor boots, snacks and much more... F150 Truck Cover by Diamondback.

by: Carry Trainer




Thursday, November 26, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving


Give thanks for a little, and you will find a lot. 
-Hausa Proverb

Sunday, November 22, 2020

How to Set Trailer Brake Gain | BetterWeigh™ Mobile Towing Scale


This video describes how to use the Trailer Brake Gain feature of the CURT BetterWeigh™ mobile towing scale. With this feature, you can easily set up your brake controller without the need for traditional methods of taking multiple passes and guessing at the optimal gain setting.

The CURT BetterWeigh™ #51701 is a Bluetooth-enabled OBD2 device that wirelessly syncs with your smartphone to provide a variety of vehicle and trailer weights. This includes vehicle weight, GCW, payload, tongue weight and pin weight, as well as weight distribution setup and trailer brake gain.

To begin setting up your trailer brake controller with the CURT BetterWeigh™, find a flat, open area to park your vehicle. Select the Trailer Brake Gain option from the home screen. Then, follow the screen prompts and enter your trailer weight and combined weight. Select your trailer type.

Next, calibrate your towing setup. Set the brake controller gain to 3. With the vehicle in gear and at a complete stop, fully activate the manual override on the brake controller. Then, accelerate in a straight line to 15 mph. When the progress bar fills up all the way, BetterWeigh™ will provide the optimal gain number. If wheel lockup occurs, tap the Lock-Up Occurred button and start again, adjusting the gain to the BetterWeigh™ recommendation.

If you increase the load on your trailer, enter the new trailer weight and BetterWeigh™ will automatically provide a new trailer gain number.

BetterWeigh™ is compatible with Apple and Android phones. Download the BetterWeigh™ app from Google Play or the App Store.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Preventable Accident Tips For Truckers That Really Work


Dave chats about some common sense ways to AVOID UNNECESSARY accidents, for truckers.... NEW DRIVERS AS WELL AS EXPERIENCED DRIVERS. - Move slowly and methodically at all times. -Adjust your speed according to weather/road conditions. - Be thorough and double check all that you do. - When picking up or delivering freight, get out and check out the area on foot. - Don't rely 100% on a spotter. - Use a paper map, exit guide and GPS and reference each of these to locate and plan your route. - Trip plan to avoid problems.
These tips aren't rocket science, but it's surprising how many drivers fail to adhere to these basic principles... new and experienced truck drivers.
Many accidents are avoidable. Such accidents can scar your CDL and possibly ruin your driving career.

If you're a truck driver, or interested in becoming a truck driver, be sure to subscribe to our Smart Trucking Channel for tips and advice which may be useful in your trucking career. Smart Trucking 

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR CHANNEL! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDLY...

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Keeping Your Car Sensors Clean | Consumer Reports


Today's cars come with cutting edge technology designed to help keep you safe. Consumer Reports' expert explains how these revolutionary innovations can stop working with one simple thing: dirt.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Built Together | Built for America | Ford


We’re strongest when we’re building. We are both at our best, this country and this company, when we build for every single American. Learn more about Built for America, here: https://ford.to/33PUGq7

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Fleet Drivers: Are You Getting Enough Sleep?


As more businesses resume operations, and more vehicle fleets are getting back on the road, it is important to remember that an alert fleet driver is a safe fleet driver. While no one is immune to drowsy driving, there are steps you can take to help ensure you get enough sleep.

Across North America, this week and next have been designated Drowsy Driving Prevention Week in the US and Canada respectively. A recent study by the National Safety Council revealed that almost 50% of Americans operate their vehicles while too tired to do so. This is a troubling statistic, especially considering the NSC has determined that driving with less than five hours sleep has the same accident risk as driving drunk. In other words, drowsy driving is impaired driving and half of us are driving around without enough sleep!

When you don't get enough sleep, you are more likely to make bad decisions and take more risks. The effects of drowsy driving are staggering, with an estimated 100,000 accidents and 1,500 deaths caused by drowsy driving each year. In addition to the impact on loved ones and family members, driving drowsy results in close to $13 billion in losses per year in the US alone.

The COVID-19 pandemic has added to the problem. Many are struggling with additional stress caused by uncertainty and fear, which is preventing them from getting enough sleep. Neurologists are seeing a spike in patients with sleep disorders caused by COVID-19, and are calling this phenomenon “COVID-somnia.”

What do companies need to remember to prevent drowsy driving?

As more businesses resume operations, and more vehicle fleets are getting back on the road, it is important to remember that an alert fleet driver is a safe fleet driver. Employees may not have driven in a few months, they may be operating a different vehicle, or they may be new hires with little driving experience. Given these additional challenges, it is even more important that drivers are well-rested, alert, and fully aware of their surroundings.


Getting enough sleep is even more important depending on your work environment. Long-haul trucking with heavy loads for example, the sheer size and weight of the truck and cargo combined demands a focused, and alert driver. Similarly, getting enough sleep can be a challenge for others who work long hours, night shifts, or have a very early start time every morning.


The NSC has compiled a list of nine risk factors for driver fatigue, and a staggering 97% of drivers surveyed had at least one of these factors which include: shift work, late working hours, sleep loss, and physically or cognitively demanding work. While no one is immune to drowsy driving, there are steps you can take to help ensure you get enough sleep.

What can fleet drivers do to stay healthy and well-rested during the pandemic and in “normal” times?

The best way to ensure you are well-rested and ready to drive, is to get enough sleep. So how much is enough? The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) recommends that adults get at least between seven and eight hours of sleep every day. Our bodies crave sleep - not getting enough of it can also increase the risk of having high blood pressure, heart disease and lead to other medical problems.

Here are some great tips from NHLBI and UC Davis Health that will help you get a better sleep:

Sleep and wake at consistent times every day, including weekends. Establishing a regular sleep rhythm can make sure your body knows when to stay awake.

Maintain your daily routine when working remotely. Wake up, get dressed and eat breakfast as if you were heading to work. The same goes for after work, try to eat dinner and carry out your evening tasks on a regular schedule.

Establish one hour of quiet time before sleeping. Avoid loud music, strenuous exercise, and bright screens (e.g., smartphone, TV, laptop) and make sure your sleeping area is as dark as possible.

Stay away from heavy meals, alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine right before bed. All of these things will disrupt your sleep.

Use caution with sleep aids. Over-the-counter sleep aids can leave you drowsy the next morning and prescription drugs can lead to dependence.

Stay active - exercising on a daily basis, especially outdoors, can help maintain a more regular sleep rhythm.

Don't take naps - a short nap is ok, but anything over 20 minutes will disrupt your sleep cycle.

Take a hot bath or practice relaxation techniques - such as meditating before going to bed.

If you are already on the road, and feeling a little drowsy, there are a number of things you can do to help stay alert. The National Sleep Foundation recommends the following:

Drive in two-hour shifts with resting stops in between. If you begin to feel drowsy while driving or find yourself dozing, pull over and park as soon as possible to take a short nap.

Drink a caffeinated beverage. While caffeine is not a substitute for sleep, a caffeinated beverage can help you feel more awake after a short nap.

Travel with a passenger who is fully awake. Having someone who can help keep you awake or alert you if you’re drowsy can help prevent an accident. If possible, drive in shifts with your passenger.

Getting enough sleep every day is essential. It's also easier said than done, especially considering the psychological stress that COVID-19 has caused for so many of us. The best thing you can do is try and maintain a regular routine, exercise regularly, and avoid consuming stimulants before bedtime. We hope these tips will help you stay alert and focused on the road. Drive safely!

By Element Fleet Safety - 

By the Element Safety Team

Source: https://www.elementfleet.com/resources/blog/fleet-drivers-are-you-getting-enough-sleep


Sunday, November 8, 2020

Stop. Trains Can't.


The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have launched a national railroad crossing safety ad campaign to increase public awareness around railroad tracks and reduce crossing deaths and injuries. Although accidents at railroad crossings are an old problem, the problem is easily avoidable. This ad is the latest in a three-year, focused effort to reverse the uptick in railroad crossing fatalities. Its message is simple: Stop. Trains can’t.

For more information, please visit: https://www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/get-materials/rail-grade-crossing/stop-trains-cant.

Thursday, November 5, 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.

Sunday, November 1, 2020

A & T BIG RIG TOWING SERVICES


North Bay Truck Center and A&T Road Service heavy duty towing.We think this is the most flexible and useful rig to tow the biggest trucks on the road, along with big buses, and large RV units.

Our normal service area covers the best part of the bay area and Sacramento region; however, we now have capability to tow across the country if needed. Our A&T Road Service has expanded so much that we had to add towing to make it even more effective and timely.

Need a tow? Call 1-800-434-1205

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Distracted Driving


In life you don’t get do-overs and even if you did, things may not turn out the way you expect. When you drive and use your cellphone, not only can you get a ticket, you can also cause a crash where you could die or kill someone else. U Drive. U Text. U Pay.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

What to Know About Towing | Consumer Reports


There are so many vessels and vehicles to satisfy your inner adventurer. Consumer Reports’ expert explains what you need to know about getting these beauties from point A to point B.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Driver Training for On-Highway Heavy-Duty Truck Engines


Driver Training for On-Highway Heavy-Duty Truck Engines – Part 1 of 13 in a series of chapters from the Cummins On-Highway Heavy-Duty Truck Engine Driver Training Video Series updated in 2015. This segment is the Introduction to the video series.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Cummins On Highway Electronic Engine Features - Load Based Speed Control


Load Based Speed Control or LBSC is an electronic feature that is programmable on the Cummins ISX15 and ISX12, and ISX12 G engines. LBSC encourages the driver to shift into the next gear as soon as possible and is active in all gears except the top two. LBSC turns off when applications are above 100,000 lbs GCVW, during tire scrub events, and when grades exceed 2%. To set up or adjust LBSC trim settings, download PowerSpec, a free computer application, and talk to your local Cummins representative to receive free licensing rights. For more information, visit the feature description section of http://cumminsengines.com/powerspec.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Winter Treads



When much of the country is getting pounded by winter storms and deep snow, our thoughts turn to tires. Some pickup truck owners have separate wardrobes for summer and winter. Nome, Alaska, and Miami residents maybe not so much.

Pickup winter wear can include anything from a fresh wax to do-it-yourself undercoating to lighter lubricating fluids to a block heater to winter diesel fuel. But does your truck's cold-weather wardrobe include winter tires?

Winter tires are designed for cold weather and associated precipitation. Tires rated for mud and snow (M+S) may not qualify as winter tires and often don't excel in either mud or snow. A winter tire's specific compound, tread design — and studs if you want them — is far more suitable and safer on cold roads and the various forms of water you might find on them.

In every road-based comparison in which I've participated, dedicated winter tires were more valuable than the number of driven wheels. However, while winter tires can improve performance, they are no substitute for common sense and can be pushed beyond their limits. They also add expense and create the issue of storage logistics.

The U.S., unlike some countries, does not mandate winter tire use, although some states and cities have laws about the use of studded tires or chains. It's worth noting that some insurance companies offer discounts for using winter tires.

Do you think winter tires should be required for new drivers or general safety, and if so, under what parameters? And if you don't believe in running dedicated winter tires, studs or chains, how do you deal with marginal winter traction? Let us know in the comments section below.

Source: http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2017/01/talking-trucks-tuesday-winter-treads.html#more

By G.R. Whale

Cars.com graphic by Paul Dolan; cars.com image by Bruce Smith

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Health and Safety Tips for Commercial Van Drivers



Health and safety. It is a number one priority while at work. And for tradesmen and commercial van drivers especially, now is the time to be extra careful while on the job. Follow our health and safety guidelines to ensure your commercial van stays clean and sanitary.

Keep the Air Fresh
Ensure that the air in your cab and cargo space is constantly moving, and not staying stagnant in your vehicle for long periods of time. One product that helps with this, is a Flettner vent. Installed on the roof of the commercial van, it sucks in fresh air as you drive while forcing the stale air out. This lowers the chance of germs settling on surfaces, reducing the risk of sickness.

Put Up a Barrier for Yourself
For commercial vans designed to carry passengers or materials that may be contagious, it is a good idea to put up a barrier to protect you. Composite safety partitions for cargo vans are a great option. Their tight fit to the van walls prevent germs from seeping into the cab while you drive. For smaller passenger vans, a clear plexiglass shield offers just as much protection and also allows the driver and passengers to see and hear each other clearly.

Clean Your Work Space Regularly
Giving your commercial van a quick clean, as often as required by company guidelines or government regulations, is a good way to rid yourself of germs and bacteria. However sometimes it can be difficult to wash the things you touch the most; your seat for example. That’s why we suggest Seat Covers. Sturdy and fitted, they are also removable which means you can throw them in the washing machine as needed.

Keep Protective Equipment Close
Hand sanitizers, gloves, masks… these are essential items to be carrying around in this current time. However, these are relatively small items which means they can be easily lost in the equipment of a commercial van. The solution to this is the 3-in-1 Sanitizer Caddy. This aluminum holder mounts anywhere in your van and stores all the essential items you need when coming into contact with other people.

Here at Ranger Design, your health and safety is top priority. We have designed these products to provide you with a way to keep your commercial van sanitary while on the job. Learn more on how to better protect yourself with partitions.


Learn about all Ranger Design products at: https://rangerdesign.com/




Saturday, October 10, 2020

Big or Small- We Tow Them All

If its a Truck, we can tow it. 


 Hydrovac vacuum truck



Front Loader

Truck, Bus, Heavy Duty, Light Duty, we can tow it!



Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Take a close look at a heavy Wrecker Truck


Before continuing work on my class 8 wrecker model project I thought I would get some good pictures of a real wrecker, especially the business end.

Sunday, October 4, 2020

How to Set Up Weight Distribution | BetterWeigh™ Mobile Towing Scale


This video describes how to use the Weight Distribution feature of the CURT BetterWeigh™ mobile towing scale. With this feature, you can easily set up your weight distribution hitch without the need for a measuring tape, pen and paper. The CURT BetterWeigh™ #51701 is a Bluetooth-enabled OBD2 device that wirelessly syncs with your smartphone to provide a variety of vehicle and trailer weights. This includes vehicle weight, GCW, payload, tongue weight and pin weight, as well as weight distribution setup and trailer brake gain. To begin setting up your weight distribution hitch with the CURT BetterWeigh™, choose the weight range that best suits your vehicle-trailer setup. To set the range, tap the gear icon and select Weight Distribution. Then, select a weight range. Next, select the Weight Distribution feature on the BetterWeigh™ app homescreen. Before pressing Ready, make sure your vehicle and trailer are aligned and ready to be coupled. Turn off the engine. Then, step back from the vehicle and tap Ready. BetterWeigh™ will take an initial reading of your vehicle’s pitch. Once the vehicle pitch is analyzed, lower the trailer tongue until the coupler is resting on the ball. BetterWeigh™ will then display the trailer tongue weight. Tap Ready again to see the weight distribution relative scale. Weights will be shown across the front, rear and trailer axle. The goal is to redistribute the weight toward the front vehicle axle. Next, attach the weight distribution spring bars to the trailer. Then, raise the trailer jack off the ground to see the initial weight distribution reading. Adjust the weight distribution hitch until the front end axle is in the green zone on the app. Finish connecting your trailer, and you’re ready to tow! BetterWeigh™ is compatible with Apple and Android phones. Download the BetterWeigh™ app from Google Play or the App Store. Learn more at www.curtmfg.com/betterweigh

Thursday, October 1, 2020

EVIR® Electronic Verified Inspection Reporting

Tag, inspect and transmit - it’s that simple

Tractor / Trailer Inspection configuation

TAG – Data-encoded RFID tags are placed in each inspection zone of a vehicle or asset. In a commercial trucking environment, for example, tags are placed in inspection zones that adhere to DOT compliance requirements for pre- and post-trip inspections. Many school districts place tags at the back of a bus to ensure that drivers perform their end-of-shift check for students.

INSPECT – The individual performing the inspection must physically scan each tag on the vehicle. The tablet device must be within two inches of the point of inspection, which helps to verify that a check was performed and the vehicle is up to operating standards. EVIR acts as an electronic, verifiable log to prove that inspections are being performed accurately and consistently.




TRANSMIT – Defects or vehicle damage can be captured with Zonar's tablet device. Equipped with a 5 mega-pixel camera, drivers can easily transmit photos to give maintenance a heads-up as to what they are seeing. After the tablet is docked inside the vehicle, the inspection data is seamlessly transferred back to Zonar's web-based application, Ground Traffic Control®. Fleet managers and maintenance personnel have immediate access to the inspection data from the field, helping them to prioritize and schedule repairs.

Not just for vehicles

The EVIR system is as flexible as our customers' unique needs. While most commonly used to verify the pre- and post-trip inspection process for fleets across all industries, EVIR use spans to wherever there's a need to verify a process is being followed.

A complete solution provider

Zonar offers a full suite of smart fleet technology solutions that improve safety, decrease downtime of vehicles, reduce fuel costs, coach driver performance, and streamline back-office reporting.

Unparalleled customer service

From onboarding to installation, our U.S.-based Customer Care team makes sure that you’re set up for success. There’s a reason more than 99 percent of our customers that choose to do business with us, stay with us. More than 30 percent of our company is devoted to after-sale support, which means you can always reach a live Zonar employee—24/7/365.

Learn more at: http://zonarsystems.com/solutions/evir-electronic-verified-inspection-reporting/


Thursday, September 24, 2020

How to Properly Load a Trailer - CURT


This short video will teach you how to properly load a trailer. The most important thing to consider is how the weight of your cargo is distributed onto your trailer. The ideal distribution is to have 60% of the weight in front of the trailer axle, and 40% behind. Its also very important to make sure your cargo is secured properly. Always practice safe towing.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Ford Service Advice: Do I Need New Tires? | Service Advice | Ford



This video will explain the importance of having proper tread on your tires to ensure safety, performance, and handling, how to check tread depth, as well as key signs that you may need to replace your tires. Learn more about Ford Service Advice here: http://ford.to/FordOwner

Friday, September 18, 2020

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

10 ways to improve diesel efficiency

Ten lessons learned during NACFE’s 2017 Run on Less event 
prove what fleets can do to improve its miles per gallon.

Diesel Fuel Station Vitpho Dreamstime

In all of the excitement about developments in electric trucks, I want to make sure we don’t lose sight of the necessary work of improving the efficiency of diesel-powered vehicles. They will make up the majority of the new truck production for a while.

As many of you may recall, in 2017 during NACFE’s first Run on Less, seven drivers achieved an average 10 MPG over a three-week period. Remember that was the average of all seven trucks over the 17 days (99 truck-days) with four truck-days reaching between 12.5 and 13.0 MPG.

Since that event, we are hearing more fleets and drivers talk about striving to reach 10 MPG consistently. As we analyzed the data from the Run we came up with what we called 10 Actions to Achieve 10+ MPG.

Whenever I am asked about what one thing can make a difference in improving MPG, I always refer to our 10 Actions graphic. The truth is there is no one thing that will get a fleet to 10 MPG. Each fleet has different operating conditions, duty cycles and challenges. And each fleet is at a different point on its path to better MPG.

It’s been awhile since I talked about the 10 Actions, so I hope you won't mind if I do so now. I figure a little refresher is always a good thing.

In no particular order, here are the 10 lessons we learned about improving MPG from Run on Less 2017.

  • Use downsped powertrains and AMTs: AMTs enable downspeeding but be aware that the most aggressive downspeeding is best suited for applications with high average speeds and a low amount of starts and stops. 
  • Educate and incent drivers: The driver is one of the key elements to success in achieving high MPG. Hire drivers that are already committed to driving in a fuel-efficient manner or train existing drivers about how to save fuel. Enlist the aid of drivers who are getting excellent MPG to share their tips and secrets with other drivers and to talk about why good MPG matters. 
  • Buy all available tractor aerodynamics: Manufacturers have worked hard to improve the aerodynamic efficiency of their base models but adding all available sleeper tractor aerodynamic devices has proven to have a high ROI in line-haul applications. 
  • Adopt appropriate trailer aerodynamics: Look at trailer aerodynamics in three key areas — side, rear and front. Invest in those that are most appropriate depending on the characteristics of your duty cycles. 
  • Optimize cruise control and vehicle speed: Engine parameter settings are your friends. Use them wisely to optimize for fuel efficiency. And remember to review them periodically or as your operation changes. Tweak as needed. 
  • Keep equipment well maintained: Solid maintenance practices ensure vehicles run as intended and play a role in improving fuel efficiency. 
  • Implement the right axle configuration: Use the correct axle specification for the job depending on payload, speed, maneuverability and fleet practices related to tire management. 
  • Embrace low rolling resistance tires: Low rolling resistance tires are one key element to achieving high MPG but be sure to make tire selection based on application and region. 
  • Provide tools to reduce idle time: The truck should be shut off whenever possible, but drivers need to be comfortable and have access to creature comforts as well. Technology and engine parameters can help you achieve both goals. 
  • Build a culture of methodically choosing technologies: Make sure you have a process in place to vet technologies that can increase fuel economy. It is imperative that you understand the performance they can achieve and their payback or ROI. 
These 10 actions taken together or separately can help you boost the MPG of your existing diesel-powered vehicles — and all of these, except for number 1, will be just as important on electric trucks. Together, they will help increase the range of electric trucks by 30% or 40%.


Saturday, September 12, 2020

National Truck Driver Appreciation Week 2020

NTDAW

This year's National Truck Driver Appreciation Week is September 13-19, 2020, and takes on a special significance considering the crucial role truck drivers have played during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This week is a way to show appreciation to the 3.5 million professional men and women who not only deliver our goods safely, securely, and on time, but also keep our highways safe.

Next year, NTDAW will be held from September 12-18, 2021.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

RV Towing at A & T BIG RIG TOWING SERVICES


North Bay Truck Center and A&T Road Service heavy duty towing.We think this is the most flexible and useful rig to tow the biggest trucks on the road, along with big buses, and large RV units.




Our normal service area covers the best part of the bay area and Sacramento region; however, we now have capability to tow across the country if needed. Our A&T Road Service has expanded so much that we had to add towing to make it even more effective and timely.

When you need a tow, Call 1-800-434-1205

Sunday, September 6, 2020

A &T Road Service NRC Quickswap & Tag Axle - We Can Tow HD Trucks, Motor Homes and Buses



A&T Road Service added Truck 32 in 2014. It was a brand new 2014 Kenworth with a 500 hp Cummins and 18-speed gearbox is outfitted with an NRC Quickswap detachable tow unit with a tag axle for extra capacity. This allows the truck to be a wrecker and also a transfer vehicle, so with the unit disconnected, it will tow mobile home units, trailers of all kinds and with the wrecker unit attached is capable of lifting up to 20,000 lb steer axles for heavy duty truck towing. This unit can easily to HD trucks, buses, mobile homes.

It is outfitted with tools and parts to make minor mechanical repairs, air line repair, fuel line repairs, add fuel, and can take care of any DEF needs. It is also equipped with extra high intensity lights for more effective and efficient night work, since A&T Road Service is available 24 hours a day.

North Bay Truck Center is centrally located in Fairfield CA to service all of Solano County along with much of the San Francisco/Oakland bay area and Sacramento. A&T Road Service is available by calling 800-434-1205, You can also visit our website at http://www.NorthBayTruckCenter.com

Thursday, September 3, 2020

1/2 ton, 3/4 ton, and 1 Ton Trucks! Know the Towing and Payload Differences!


Know the Towing and Payload Differences! with 1/2 ton, 3/4 ton, and 1 Ton Trucks! 


Credit: Big Truck Big RV

Monday, August 31, 2020

Cascadia w/ an AA Custom Sleeper Truck Tour


I give a truck tour of our 2016 Freightliner Cascadia with an AA custom Sleeper that we just got back in July of 2018.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Kenworth Driver's Studio


The Driver’s Studio package is a set of premium options that help create a luxurious home-away-from-home living experience for the driver while out on the road for extended periods of time.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

RPM & Fuel Economy - Driver Training for On-Highway Heavy-Duty Truck Engines


Driver Training for On-Highway Heavy-Duty Truck Engines – Part 5 of 13 in a series of chapters from the Cummins On-Highway Heavy-Duty Truck Engine Driver Training Video Series updated in 2015. This segment discusses the effect RPM has on fuel economy.