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

Company Logo


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.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Women in Trucking Sponsor Health Competition

Points are accumulated by participating in weekly Rolling Strong coaching and HIGI health assessments as well as logging hydration, sleep, nutrition, and fitness activities -

Rolling Strong, a provider of health and wellness programs for owner-operators, transportation companies, and their drivers and employees, announced the Accelerate Your Health Wellness Competition, which is sponsored by Women In Trucking Association. The wellness competition is open to anyone and is based on points earned in the Rolling Strong app
Fitbit, Drivewyze Inc., and AllTrails, along with Rolling Strong, will be providing prizes for the event that kicks off July 15th and runs through September 1.
Points are accumulated by participating in weekly Rolling Strong coaching and HIGI health assessments as well as logging hydration, sleep, nutrition, and fitness activities – all on the Rolling Strong fitness app. The highest points earners during the competition win the awards.

Learn more at: https://www.worktruckonline.com/10121319/women-in-trucking-sponsor-health-competition

Friday, July 17, 2020

Value of Effectively Maintaining Upfits

While mistakes may not often happen when maintaining upfits, they can occur. Having the right "tools" for the job is essential.  - Photo: GETTYIMAGES.COM/KARANDAEV

 - Photo: GETTYIMAGES.COM/KARANDAEV

While mistakes may not often happen when maintaining upfits, they can occur. Having the right "tools" for the job is essential.

Your upfit is spec’ed, purchased, and installed, and you are now utilizing it in your operations. The next step in the upfit process is ensuring proper maintenance.

Top Upfit Maintenance Challenges:


A huge challenge many fleet managers face in maintaining upfits is simply communicating the value and importance of proper upfit maintenance to field personnel and drivers.


“Most drivers understand the importance of oil changes, brake services, etc., and will typically make sure their vehicle is serviced in a timely manner. But prioritizing upfit maintenance in a similar fashion typically isn’t something that comes naturally. The fleet manager must educate their frontline personnel on the critical aspect of properly maintaining the vehicle’s equipment; not only to maximize its effective lifecycle and control costs but also to ensure the safety of their fleet personnel in the field,” said Jeff Klinghoffer, regional engineering manager for Holman Enterprises.


At the end of the day, it comes down to education and awareness.


“As a fleet manager, you’ll need to communicate the importance of proper upfit and equipment maintenance to your drivers. Beyond that, you can certainly implement processes and procedures to assess the condition of the vehicle and its upfit regularly. You can also explore potential gamification or incentive programs to help secure buy-in from your drivers,” Klinghoffer added.


Let’s face it; fleet managers have a lot on their plate.


“Fleet managers face daily challenges mixed in with bigger picture issues that include building a safe, reliable, and appropriate truck for the job while making executives and stakeholders happy. Finding the time to answer all of the challenges can be difficult,” said Mathew Marcussen, director of customer relations for BrandFX. “Taking the time to do research and learn more, in the beginning, will reap great savings, benefits, and efficiency in the end. Also, purchase a body that maintains its good condition over a long period will reduce the cost of repairs and service.”


When it comes to the different types of materials used in upfitting, you need to select the right material for the job.


“Ladder racks on top of cargo vans are impacted by either the snow and ice removal chemicals in the Midwest or the salty air near coastal regions. Using aluminum and stainless steel in those products is a must to provide the customer a quality product that gets them a good return on their investment,” said Katie Groves, national fleet sales manager for Adrian Steel.


Don’t forget to depend on those who know upfitting best.


“Partner with an upfitter that has a national presence and a team that can support these instances,” Groves recommended.


6 Mistakes Maintaining Upfits


While mistakes may not often happen when maintaining upfits, they can occur. Here are a few top ones to avoid:


Mistake 1: Lack of Inspection


Just as drivers need to inspect your vehicle for leaks, tire wear, etc., they should examine their upfits, too.


“Constantly check routing and clipping for rub points, just because a battery cable was tied up nicely last time you inspected it doesn’t mean a clip didn’t break loose since then,” said Brad Howard, director of Operations for Fontaine Modification.


Mistake 2: Ignoring Preventive Maintenance


When it comes to the vehicles themselves, preventive maintenance (PM) second nature, but that may not be true for upfits.


“Fleet managers realize that adhering to a recommended PM schedule is vital to optimizing the vehicle’s lifecycle and controlling the total cost of ownership. However, the same methodology also applies to a vehicle’s upfitting and equipment, but preventive maintenance for these items is often overlooked,” said Kelly Klemisch, regional engineering manager, Holman Enterprises.


To avoid this mistake, work upfits into your PM strategy for your vehicles.


“Regular service for equipment such as air compressors, material handling units, and aerial devices should be included in the unit’s PM schedule. Additionally, you can also include inspections in the schedule as well, so drivers receive reminders for those items as well. Or, at the very least, take measures to keep these PM items top-of-mind for drivers and operators. For example, you can track crane or compressors hours on an interior door decal,” Klemisch added.


Mistake 3: Not Adjusting Upfits Correctly 


Make sure that ladder racks are correctly adjusted to your ladders. 


“A properly adjusted ladder rack will keep the ladder secured on the van during transportation, reduce noise that could cause driver distraction, and extend the life of both the ladder and ladder rack,” said Katie Groves, national fleet sales manager for Adrian Steel.


Mistake 4: Misusing Upfit Equipment


You should also ensure your drivers and frontline workers fully understand how to use the vehicle’s equipment properly.


“Many vocational vehicles feature sophisticated and complex attachments, so training your employees on the best practices for using these units will help to minimize premature wear and tear and maximize the equipment’s effective lifecycle. This also applies to something as simple as a vehicle’s storage units. We often see fleet personnel overloading a service body or interior shelving with more than it is intended to hold, and this really impacts the longevity of these items,” said Klemisch of Holman Enterprises.


Mistake 5: Wrong Service Timing


When you service certain upfit items is also essential.


“When you service trucks, and related upfits is a big item. One example is a snowplow: make sure to service at the end of the snow season AND beginning of the season,” said Patrick Clark, director of fleet sales for Dejana Truck and Utility Equipment.


Mistake 6: Improper Equipment Storage

Where you store your equipment has a considerable impact on its useful service life.

“Also storing equipment inside helps preserve the life. Work with the local upfitters to make sure you are servicing cranes, liftgates, plows etc correctly,” said Clark of Dejana Truck and Utility Equipment.


Source: https://www.worktruckonline.com/10120069/value-of-effectively-maintaining-upfits

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

GOOD NEWS FOR TRUCK SAFETY



The Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure voted to adopt by a vote of 37 yeas to 26 nays the amendment sponsored by Reps. Garcia (D-IL), Espaillat (D-NY), Cohen (D-TN), and Johnson (D-GA) raising the level of minimum insurance required for motor carriers from $750,000 to $2,000,000.

This increase was long overdue. After nearly 40 years of no change, families of victims and survivors suffering post-crash trauma and financial hardship due to deaths and serious injuries caused by truck crashes will finally have more resources to cover their substantial medical and economic costs. It has been a very long and hard fight. TSC appreciates your help in calling Members of Congress to urge them to support the amendment.

A huge thanks to Chairman DeFazio (D-OR) who supported the amendment and argued persuasively for its enactment in addition to the Members who sponsored the amendment and fought hard for its adoption. We are so appreciative of those 37 Members who stood with the families and voted “yes”. This is a major victory for our truck safety supporters and the truck crash families who shared their personal stories about the emotional and economic impacts of truck crashes.

The Committee will continue debating the bill tonight and tomorrow and many more amendments will be offered. Here is a brief tally of some other important votes today on amendments impacting truck safety that TSC opposed.

Defeated:   An amendment offered by Rep. Perry (R-PA) to strike from the bill a provision mandating DOT to issue a safety standard requiring automatic emergency braking (AEB) for new trucks was defeated.

Defeated:  An amendment offered by Rep. Pence (R-IN) to suspend the federal ELD (electronic logging devices) requirement for ag/livestock/insect haulers. 

Defeated:  An amendment offered by Rep. Bost (R-IL) to strike from the bill a provision which will delay the Administration's implementation of changes to the current Hours of Service rule resulting in more work and less rest time.

Passed:     A special interest amendment offered by Rep. Brown (D-MD) allowing an increase in axle weight for haulers of dry bulk goods.  

Finally, to our volunteers and other friends who joined us in contacting Committee Members, sharing your personal stories and passion for passage of this long-awaited policy change, thank you for not giving up. This is a significant achievement for truck safety.


Thank you for caring about truck safety,

Your Safety Colleagues From
Citizens For Reliable And Safe Highways (CRASH) and
Parents Against Tired Truckers (P.A.T.T.) at the
TRUCK SAFETY COALITION

700 Pennsylvania Ave., SE
Suite 200
Washington, DC 20003
202-921-9526
















Saturday, July 11, 2020

Truck Tire Blowouts



This is a video that teaches drivers how to deal with a steer tire blowout

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Commercial Driver License Handbook - California

State of California Department of Motor Vehicles logo

The California Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Program was enacted in the interest of improving traffic safety on our roadways. As a result, California has developed licensing and testing requirements for drivers of commercial vehicles which equals or exceeds federal standards.


It takes special skills and a professional attitude to safely operate large trucks and buses. Only professional drivers will receive and keep a Commercial Driver License (CDL). A CDL is proof of your professional skills and aptitude.

Download the CDL Handbook or any other of DMV’s publications that may be helpful here:

https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/pubs/pubs


Sunday, July 5, 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

Thursday, July 2, 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.

Monday, June 29, 2020

As trucks get more complex, so does fleet maintenance

Technicians are turning to new tools and technologies to overcome these challenges and reaping dividends through predictive maintenance and less vehicle downtime. 


The growing complexity of modern trucks is driving changes at maintenance shops and for the workers who have to navigate this increasingly digital world.

“Electronics allow vehicles to have a better conversation with technicians than ever before,” said Kristy LaPage, business manager of the commercial vehicle group at Mitchell 1. “In the transition from mechanical to electronic control systems, there has also been a shift from technicians to diagnosticians. Vehicle electronics are the source of information that can become actionable, so shop solutions are evolving with this change.”

“The digital shop is not only changing inspection and maintenance practices,” said Jeff Sweet, solutions engineer at Decisiv, a provider of a service relationship management (SRM) platform. “Advancements in sensors and monitoring continue to improve fault condition filtering and help prioritize work based on fault severity.”

Photo: Noregon

A solution that simultaneously diagnoses all components is now essential as an intake tool for technicians.

Also constantly under development are the tools technicians need to service advanced electronic systems.

“A solution that simultaneously diagnoses all components is now essential as an intake tool,” stated Tim Bigwood, CEO at Noregon Systems, a provider of JPRO commercial vehicle diagnostic and monitoring solutions. “And those tools have evolved because while previously there were limited fault trees to consider based on symptoms, today’s vehicles are more complex, so the aid of a diagnostic and repair solution is a necessity.”

The increase in electronics on vehicles is allowing for real-time access to the equipment’s operating conditions and fault data, noted Renaldo Adler, industrial principal, asset maintenance, at Trimble Transportation Enterprise.

“Fleets now have access to a vast amount of diagnostic data needed to repair assets faster,” he said. “Inspections can also be improved with the use of electronic diagnostic tools, which analyze the equipment’s condition and any active faults, so maintenance departments are able to be proactive.”
Remote diagnostics

All of the original equipment manufacturers offer systems on their new trucks that provide diagnostic data. These sensor-based and telematics-driven solutions can improve maintenance efficiency and vehicle uptime.

Kenworth dealers, for example, use diagnostic data from TruckTech+ Remote Diagnostics.

“We have found it can cut the time a unit is in our shop by 30%,” said Josh Hayes, branch manager at NorCal Kenworth – San Leandro. “We’ve also found that among trucks with TruckTech+ Remote Diagnostics, we’re seeing about a 15% reduction in the number of trucks that must be towed because remote diagnostics allow us to monitor fault codes and diagnose issues to determine if a truck can be driven into the shop.”

Photo: Mack Trucks

For OEMs, part of the value of remote diagnostics systems is that the vehicle is effectively reporting its own status.

Sanjiv Khurana, general manager of digital vehicle solutions at Daimler Trucks North America, said with the Detroit “virtual technician” system, maintenance managers get real-time alerts and a plan for critical faults. When the truck arrives at the service location, the diagnostic information and fault history allow the technician to get a jump-start on the repair process.

At Peterbilt, SmartLinq remote diagnostics have been integrated with reasoning engine technology to enable more precise diagnostic information, fault code collection, and enhanced analysis by linking cascading faults.

Volvo, Mack, and Navistar also offer their own systems, aimed at reducing downtime and allowing for over-the-air software updates.

“With the increase in electronics on commercial vehicles, fleets have a better understanding of vehicle health,” said Brian Mulshine, director of customer experience for Navistar’s OnCommand Connection.

In short, the value in all of these remote diagnostics systems is that the vehicle is effectively reporting its own status to a maintenance operation.

“The key for truck fleets is to apply electronics to enable a proactive system that adds value and not cost,” said Wally Stegall, technical fellow, director at Morey Corp.

Robert Braswell, executive director of the Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC), noted that greater vehicle complexity makes preventive maintenance more of a challenge. “Until enough fleet data in the field is gathered, it makes it more difficult to optimize service and inspection schedules for new electronic systems,” he explained. “But increasing complexity can bring with it sensor-based maintenance strategies that can help with self-diagnostics.”

Source: https://www.fleetowner.com/maintenance/trucks-get-more-complex-so-does-fleet-maintenance?NL=FO-02&Issue=FO-02_20190321_FO-02_446&sfvc4enews=42&cl=article_1_b&utm_rid=CPENT000004488230&utm_campaign=23847&utm_medium=email&elq2=5bd8750c9eba4791abe0019c109758f6

Friday, June 26, 2020

Let's talk video telematics


Many fleets are making use of cameras that can be installed throughout the truck. The typical video telematics system is made up of a series of cameras and sensors that monitor driver and truck behavior and set alerts to the fleet manager if certain parameters are exceeded or violated.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

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.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

How to back up an RV / Trailer "tail swing"


The most common piece of advice that is given to new RV owners is to go out to a parking lot and practice backing up around cones. That is good and all but HOW should you setup the cones??? The maneuvers in this video are setup to teach control of the trailer, and build confidence in the driver. The best drivers are confident and relaxed. This link shows diagrams of how to setup each maneuver. Yes these are the same backing maneuvers used to test CDL drivers. If new truck drivers can parallel park a semi truck, YOU can parallel park an RV. http://bigrigcareer.com/cdl-skills-te...

Wednesday, June 17, 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.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Why do Cars Get Impounded?

Impounded cars are those placed in tow yards legally before they are returned back to their owners, recycled, auctioned or completely destroyed. Impounding agencies must have a legal right before impounding a vehicle. The agents tow the vehicle once they find it in their list of automobiles for impounding.

Police or private agencies have the right to impound vehicles that are violating the law and store them in their yards. The law allows them to store impounded cars until all the fees charged are paid. They are licensed to have your vehicle impounded. If not, find a lawyer to represent your case in court.
Auctioning of abandoned vehicle is often organized to assist in recovery of cash used during towing and the time the auto was stored in the yard. This is usually done if the owner of the vehicle is not found, the owner doesn’t want the car anymore or if the vehicle has overstayed in the yard.
Before retrieving your impounded vehicle, you first need to understand why it was impounded in the first place. This will allow you plan accordingly.

Reasons cars get impounded

    i. Driving with no license
    ii. Possession of a stolen car
    iii. Car was involved in an accident
    iv. The car isn’t insured
    v. Over speeding
    vi. Your car was found abandoned on the road
    vii. Driving under suspension
    viii. Outstanding fines for parking
    ix. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
    x. If your car got involved in assaulting someone
    xi. If the car is not correctly parked
    xii. Your registration is expired
    xiii. If you are violating traffic rules
    xiv. Driving vehicles that are not roadworthy
    xv. If your car is exposing the public to potential health hazards or any other risks

Impounded Vehicles

Has the vehicle been impounded illegally?

In case your car gets impounded illegally, contact a criminal defense lawyer to help you fight for your lawful rights. Most people with impounded cars often make claims of ownership and get collection letters. Once at the correct impounding station, you’ll be needed to prove your identity and ownership of the car.

Sometimes, you might not be able to retrieve your car by yourself due to unavoidable circumstances. If you’d wish to send someone on your behalf, let them bring with them a letter of authorization signed by you, a copy of your driving license and an insurance certificate to prove your identity.

The cost of retrieving your vehicle

Getting your car back for free is almost impossible; there are fees that must be paid before you get your car. The police or private agencies charge you storage and towing fees. All your outstanding charges and fees must be cleared. Abandoning your vehicle because you don’t want to pay charges is not advisable.
It might result in your car being auctioned or completely destroyed. Afterward, you won’t have any claim for that car. The impounding agencies would benefit from auctioning your car. Even so, the municipal or companies you owe debts for years would still want you to pay them.
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Thursday, June 11, 2020

Is There a recall on Your Vehicle?

Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

Every vehicle has a unique VIN. Enter a VIN to learn if a specific vehicle needs to be repaired as part of a recall.
Enter here:

What this VIN search tool will show


Follow this link to find recall on your vehicle: https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls

Monday, June 8, 2020

How to perform a Class A CDL Pre-Trip inspection.



Jeff from Apex CDL Institute demonstrates how to perform a proper pre-trip inspection on a Class A tractor trailer. Remember, your states examiners might require a slightly different procedure. The process we use is good for both Kansas and Missouri and will pass easily in most states.

Friday, June 5, 2020

The Need for Truck Scales

Image result for truck scales

It's no secret that most of America's goods are transported by truck. Because of this, states have enacted various laws and taxes to regulate the industry. Each state has its own laws on how much a truck can weigh when transporting goods. A common standard for the weight allowed is 34,000 pounds or 15,400 kilograms. The amount of weight carried per axle is called axle weight. The gross weight is the total of all the axles of the truck. Most states receive taxes from the truck weigh stations, which goes to improving the roadways. Trucks that are overweight are subject to heavy fines, which is why there are many high quality truck scales available for companies and contractors.

Truck scales are made out of concrete and steel. They are built to handle a large amount of weight each day all year long. The scales can handle up to 80,000 pounds or 36,000 kilograms per load. The weight is calculated by sensors that receive signals from a junction box. Strain gauges, which are wires are embedded in the concrete and have an electrical current running through them. These wires will compress when pressure from the weight of the truck is sensed. The weight is then displayed on a monitor in a booth where the attendant records the weight. It is vital that these systems are reliable and functioning, because if they aren't it will directly affect their pocketbooks.

Another way that is used is called one-axle. In this instance the truck driver needs to place each axle on the truck scales one axel at a time. Once all the axles are weighed a total is given. This takes a lot of time out of the driver's schedule. One stop weighing is where the driver can place the truck on one large scale and the controller will give a gross weight. The one popular method of weighting trucks is when the truck is in motion. The truck doesn't have to stop at all. The sensors on the truck scales will pick up the weight and record it all while the truck is in motion.

Another reason that a company uses truck scales is because running an over loaded truck all the time would cause more wear on the truck. The engine would have to work harder which means you need to change your oil more often to accommodate for the extra stress. Tires would also wear out at a faster pace. Running an over weighted truck is a safety hazard as well as being illegal.

Fines for running an over weighted truck in some states have become much higher. Some fines ran 10 cents a pound for every pound you were over the weight limit, up to a fine of $500 per load. Those same states now are charging fines of 12 cents per pound with no limit to the amount of the fine. States are getting tired of truckers running loads that are overweight and ruining their roads and endangering other drivers. The heavy weight of the trucks does enough damage to the roadways at the normal weight. When to many over weighted trucks continually use their roads it causes repair needs to be done often. The taxes they collect go towards keeping the roads safe for all drivers. So we all have truck scales to thank for not only getting us our goods, but keeping us safe as well!

Troy writes about anything and everything interesting. Have any idea for an article? Pass it along!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Troy_Bassham/1147404

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6859351

Photo Source: https://www.mt.com/us/en/home/products/Transport_and_Logistics_Solutions.html?smartRedirectEvent=true

Tuesday, June 2, 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

Saturday, May 30, 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

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

5 Benefits of Having a Truck Optimized GPS on Your Phone


If you are a trucker working hard day and night, it is essential to choose a truck optimized GPS as your navigation tool while getting behind on wheels. The fastest routes navigated by the standard GPS may cause you ending with more time and money unpredictably.

Here is the list of benefits to get a GPS navigation tool that are specially designed for truckers.

  • · To Avoid Low Clearance Or Truck-Restriction Routes
  • By using the GPS tool that is intended and designed only for truckers, it certainly helps you to avoid the non-friendly truck routes, low clearance or low bridges that could crash your truck trailer.
  • · Save Money On Fuel
  • NO more feeling headaches of searching for the best deal on fuel. There are bundle of GPS navigation tool provides you the up-to-date and accurate diesel price of nearby fuel stations.
  • · Delivery Freights on Time.

The truck specified GPS tool helps you to prevent the traffic congestions. You can plan the route to an unfamiliar destination in advance according to the live weather and traffic conditions provided.

· Save Time
No doubt, you can save your precious time in searching for the nearby Truck POI locations with the truck optimize GPS. Knowing in advance where to pull over your truck, it is definitely beneficial for you.

· Convenience
Within the GPS system, you can easily find the nearby Walmart stores with truck parking, scales, truck washes, hotels and restaurants nearby. It is the most convenience way to find places to fill your stomach and take a nap or relax your mind.

The Truckbubba app is the best companion app for truck drivers in North America. This app is integrated with several different mobile app assistants such as Truck Weigh Station App, Diesel Fuel Locator App, Truck Route Planner, Speedometer, Weather Forecast, etc.

Speedometer feature is a speed limit alert that allows you to adjust the speed limit for highways and cities respectively with no speeding violation.It will automatically warn you with vivid yellow or red value if your truck is over speeding.

Truckbubba app — Truck optimized GPS with speed limit alert is the best matching solution to ensure the safety of the truckers on the road.

Learn more at: www.truckbubba.com


Thursday, May 21, 2020

Getting good sleep: It still ain’t easy, especially in trucking

But sleepiness poses a lot of risks, 
especially to transportation workers.

Fleetowner 29966 Sleeperberth1 0


I’ve slept in a sleeper berth a time or two and it’s something that takes getting used to for most folks; even for long-haul irregular route TL drivers who live in their trucks three weeks or more out of a month.

There are external noises to deal with, the often-constant rattle and hum from diesel-fired auxiliary power units (APUs) or idling engines, and the effort to get physically comfortable on a mattress that’s mayhap not as comfy as the one back home.

Thus getting good, restorative sleep for truck drivers can sometimes be a struggle, and that’s before we inject medical issues such as sleep apnea in to the mix. But truckers should take heart from one aspect of their “sleep struggles,” if you can call them that – they aren’t unique to the freight-hauling business, not be a longshot.

According to a recent global survey conducted by Royal Philips called Better Sleep, Better Health. A Global Look at Why We're Still Falling Short on Sleep, which looked at what keeps people from getting their “optimal” night's rest.

The survey – conducted online in February by Harris Poll on behalf of Philips – reviewed the “sleep habits” of over 15,000 adults across 13 countries – the U.S., the U.K., Germany, Poland, France, India, China, Australia, Colombia, Argentina, Mexico, Brazil and Japan – examining how they prioritize, address, and perceive a range of “sleep issues.”

Philips said several studies estimate that more than 100 million people worldwide suffer from sleep apnea, 80 % of whom remain undiagnosed, and that, globally, 30% of people experience difficulty in initiating and maintaining sleep. Sleeping well is essential to good health, and yet only one-third of people who suffer from sleep disorders seek professional help, the company noted.

"Sleep is the cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle. On a day-to-day basis, how well and how long we slept the night before is the single most important variable dictating how we feel," said Dr. David White, chief medical for Philips. "Thus inadequate sleep can have an immediate impact on our wellbeing unlike exercise or diet. This survey shows that despite knowing sleep is important to overall health, people are still struggling to address it in the same way they would exercise or nutrition. The more we understand how sleep impacts everything we do, the better we can adjust our lifestyle and find solutions that help us get better sleep."

The findings from that research should be of interest to truckers:

Though the survey found that the majority of those polled (67%) view sleep’s impact on their overall health and well-being to be “significant,” only 29% felt “guilty” about not getting enough sleep, in comparison to the guilt over not exercising regularly (49%) and eating healthier foods (42%)
About six in 10 global adults (61%) have some kind of medical issue that impacts their sleep, with a quarter of adults reporting insomnia (26%) and one in five experiencing snoring (21%). Worrying has kept over half of global adults up at night in the past 3 months (58%), followed by technology distractions (26%).
After a bad night’s sleep, those polled said they “look tired” (46%), are “moody/irritable” (41%), aren’t as “motivated” (39%), or they have trouble concentrating (39%).
Three-quarters of those polled (77%) have tried to improve their sleep in some way. Collectively, many have turned to soothing music (36%) or instituted a set bedtime/wake-up schedule (32%).
Throughout the global results, one outlier presented itself in adults aged 18 to 24; the so called “Millennial” generation. Despite being less likely to follow a set bedtime compared to other generations (38% vs. 47% of those aged 25 and over), this group reported getting more sleep each night, on average, than other age groups, with those aged 18-24 getting an average of 7.2 hours, compared to 6.9 hours among those aged 25 and over. They are also more likely to feel guilty about not regularly maintaining good sleep habits as compared to those ages 35 and over (35% vs. 26%).
Now while all of that may sound a bit too “touchy-feely” for many truckers, the impact of sleep deprivation is anything but. In fact, chronic sleep-deprivation, which affects 37% of U.S. workers, is getting so bad that the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Sleep Research Society (SRS) and the National Safety Council (NSC) have joined forces in a campaign to get companies to help their workers avoid fatigue and develop healthy sleep habits for long-term success and well-being.


“Nearly 70 million Americans suffer from a sleep problem and nearly 60% of them have a chronic disease that can harm their overall health,” said Janet Croft, the senior chronic disease epidemiologist in CDC’s division of population health. “Lack of sleep and sleep disorders, including stops in breathing during sleep (sleep apnea), excessive daytime sleepiness (narcolepsy), restless legs syndrome, and insomnia, are increasingly recognized as linked to chronic disease, including obesity, high blood pressure, and cancer.”


And such chronic fatigue is costly in other ways. According to the NSC, fatigued workers cost employers about $1,200 to $3,100 per employee in declining job performance each year, while sleepy workers are estimated to cost employers $136 billion a year in health-related lost productivity.

Sleepiness also impacts transportation in major ways. For example, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) estimates that fatigue has been a contributing factor in 20% of its investigations over the last two decades – and it’s why the agency included “reduce fatigue-related accidents” on its 2017–2018 Most Wanted List of transportation safety improvements. 

In February, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released a research brief estimating that drowsy driving is involved in up to 9.5% of all motor vehicle crashes. Their projections indicate that drowsy driving causes an average of 328,000 motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. each year, including 6,400 fatal crashes.

On top of all that, the effects of sleepiness are exacerbated and pose a constant struggle for workers who work night shifts or rotating shifts, and for those who work long hours or have an early morning start time.

U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics show about 15% of full-time employees in the U.S. perform shift work, many of whom suffer from chronic sleep loss caused by a disruption in the body’s circadian rhythm.

Chronic sleep deprivation is also associated with an increased risk of depression, obesity, cardiovascular disease and other illnesses that negatively impact a worker’s well-being and long-term health, according to the CDC’s research – and insufficient sleep is a big problem in transportation-related categories, the agency added.

In fact, a recent CDC analysis found that the jobs with the highest rates of short sleep duration were communications equipment operators (58.2%), other transportation workers (54%) and rail transportation workers (52.7%).

Along with that, night shift workers and those driving during nighttime hours are most at risk for chronic sleep loss. The NSC found that 59% of night shift workers reported short sleep duration compared to 45% of day workers, while the risk of safety incidents was 30% higher during night shifts compared to morning shifts.

All of that is good fodder for trucking to keep in mind as the industry attempts to handle a surge in freight demand that’s expected to keep on rolling through this year and next.

SOURCE: https://www.fleetowner.com/industry-perspectives/trucks-at-work/article/21702127/getting-good-sleep-it-still-aint-easy-especially-in-trucking