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Author: Rowan van Tonder

Solutions to combat driver fatigue accidents

Caterpillar, the world’s largest manufacturer of construction mining equipment, will start selling eye and face tracking technology to keep sleepy truck drivers from getting into accidents.

Driver Safety Solution consists of a camera that tracks a driver’s eye behavior, including pupil size and blink frequency, and where their mouth is located. When it senses the driver has fallen asleep or is looking away from the road and not paying attention, it activates audio alarms and seat vibrations to bring their focus back. An infrared camera in the truck cab allows the camera to analyze a driver’s eyes through glasses or in the dark.

If DSS senses a driver has entered a micro-sleep, a short sleep period that only lasts a few seconds, it will also alert support staff, who will have access to video footage of the driver’s eyes and data about their behavior from a GPS and accelerometer in the truck. Often people don’t even realize they fell asleep after experiencing a micro-sleep, making it especially dangerous for drivers.

The firm that developed the technology, Seeing Machines, is one of many companies looking to combat driver fatigue


3 Ways to Manage Stress on Long Drives

Though some truckers wouldn’t admit it, transporting freight long distances can be very stressful. Demanding dispatchers, demanding receivers, and a plethora of timelines and conditions to adhere to is a recipe for stress. This can be accelerated if the driver is dealing with personal issues, or if they’re encountering some erratic traffic on the way to their destination.

Managing stress is key for having a more fulfilling work-life, and for maintaining a better level of health. Here are a few strategies drivers can use to handle things when the pressure gets a little excessive.

  1. Step away from the stressful environment, even only temporarily, can work wonders for your psyche. Sometimes you don’t always have the luxury of parking your truck and getting out to walk around for a few minutes. But when the opportunity presents itself, it’s a wise idea to consider.
  2. Use a stress ball or even a fidget-spinner, the modern replacement, can be helpful to take your mind off the demands of the road when you are able to find a stationary moment.
  3. Occupy your mind with other things once you have gotten a break. Reading, talking with others, and even playing various app games can all be great ways to keep the brain active while taking the focus off the stresses of the road.

Stress is something every trucker has to deal with, and it can greatly affect their trip. Knowing how to manage it is vital for a long and healthy career.


What’s the story on the B-Train?

It‘s arguable that what we call the modern B-train (a set of trailers joined by a fifth wheel on the lead trailer) is a Canadian invention that was prototyped and developed in Canada by Hutchinson Industries of Toronto, Ont., (now a subsidiary of Treamcar), under the tutelage of Ralph Hutchinson Jr., sometime in the mid to early 70s.

Whether or not the B-train was born in Canada the modern version of the B-train became popular after several crashes, mostly in Michigan in the early 70s, involving heavily laden fuel and lumber A-trains (this is why Michigan has some of the strictest axel-weight restrictions and why you see six axle trailers in the State. A-trains with their converter dollies and pintle hooks might better described as “wiggle wagons” which are in another league and nowhere near as stable as the B-trains. C-trains were also developed at this time, but are rarely seen these days.

B-trains are found in every province in the country and have proven themselves as the best method for hauling the most weight in 60 feet of combined trailers. Whereas the US, with a few exceptions in places like Michigan and Washington State, have never embraced the B-train. Some States won’t even allow them on their roads. B-trains in a word, are as Canadian as hockey, lacrosse, back bacon and maple syrup.


Customization and Flexibility are key factors in the Tank Trailer industry.

The last available Tank Truck Industry Market Analysis done for the National Tank Truck Carriers (NTTC) by the American Trucking Association (ATA), published in March, 2015, offered interesting findings:

  • In 2013, the tank truck industry hauled 2.48 billion tons of freight, which equaled 25.6% of all truck freight (9.68 billion tons).
  • The largest commodity group for all tank truck freight was petroleum products (gasoline, diesel, and aviation fuel), which equaled 1.22 billion tons or 49.2% of all tank truck tonnage, followed by sands at 419.9 million tons (15.2%), and chemicals excluding fertilizers and cryogenics at 240.9 million tons (9.5%).
  • In 2013, the tank truck industry generated $34.5 billion in revenue, which equaled 5.1% of all truck revenue ($681.7 billion).
  • The commodity group that generated the most revenue for for-hire carriers in 2013 was chemicals, excluding fertilizers and cryogenics, at just under $7 billion, or 28.3% of all for-hire tank truck revenue. Closely following chemicals was petroleum products, which brought in $6.8 billion in revenue in 2013, or 27.5% of all for-hire tank truck revenue. Cements were a distant third at $2.3 billion, or 9.5% of the total.
  • In 2013, the tank truck industry operated 163,670 tractors, or 10.9% of the roughly 1.5 million of all over-the-road tractors in the US.

“The study offered first-rate economic market intelligence that never before existed leaving most to rely on anecdotal guesstimates about our unique industry at best”, said NTTC President Daniel R. Furth. “Now industry players can really gauge the varied service segments and their respective market shares and apply this intelligence to planning and operations. Moreover, the study gave us a solid baseline to track market trends by commodity types over time as new commodity flow information becomes available.”

This is the type of data that serious players in this market like Transcourt Tank Leasing; rely on to better understand the market in which the company has been evolving for over 20 years. Leaders like John Campbell, Chairman and Co-Founder of Transcourt and Robert Pahanich, Vice-President Fleet Management and Procurement and Vice-President USA Business Development, rely on these types of studies to enhance their knowledge of the industry. They also have gained precious comprehension of the needs of their customers. Through the years they have developed a deep understanding of just how far they can go to offer the right solution at the right price to their customers. This is what differentiates Transcourt from other tank lessor in Canada and the United-States.

“The main goal of the tank industry’s ability to evolve is to gain better payload. As products become more sophisticated and more complex to handle, anti-roll and air inflation technology are becoming standard rather than options”, explains Robert Pahanich. “Stainless steel, FRP, Propane or aluminium, whatever the tank trailers are designed to haul it is important for carriers to have a piece of equipment that will last 20 to 25 years while respecting existing regulations. There are more loading tools and gauges available. With an automated approach replacing manual driver checks we are moving towards digital readouts provided by monitoring systems, the job is becoming safer for drivers who can work on the ground. This type of fall protection is very important here in Canada where the laws regarding fall protection are clearly outlined and the US is not very far from making this a standard as well.”

Trailer Body Builders’ 2016 Trailer Output Report indicated that out of 282,680 trailers of all types built by the top 25 trailers manufacturers in North America in 2016, roughly 7,500 were tank trailers. This is a number that has been declining in recent years due to the dwindling drilling activity. But there seems to be a shift on the horizon. World Oil, a voice of the upstream oil industry, reports that late December, 2016 and early January 2017 numbers indicate the start of a possible resurgence in the oil patch. World Oil suggested there may be increases in 2017 drilling of as much as 30% in the U.S.A., 21% in Canada and 9% in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. This is surely a good sign for many Transcourt customers and for the lessee.

“When we started out, we discovered that tanks, at the time, were high maintenance equipment. What we did was start out by helping our customers get better quality and lighter products.  Spring suspensions were the standard then. Very few tank trailers were air ride. We now use spring suspensions only on the rare occasions when air ride are not available. Air ride was a great leap forward and today we are adding lift systems to increase fuel efficiency and reduce drag on our trailers; great options for those who can only haul one way in dedicated services. States John Campbell; “Innovations did increase the price but at the same time they improved efficiency and reduced operating costs. We felt this was a “must have” and many customers agreed with us.”

“Whether we are talking of liquid or dry bulk, we always listen to what customers are looking for and try to get a grasp of what was done in the past. It is only when we get to know our customers and their true needs that we can propose solutions that will make it possible for them to handle additional volumes. Helping our customers enhance what they can offer their customers is our way of building our trust level. Fair market is everywhere, but trust has to be built in our efforts to establish long lasting relationships with our customers”, continues Pahanich.

Transcourt has made a name for itself over the years by developing relationships with customers where it works closely with the client to understand the needs and then build a trailer to meet these needs. “We were never the lowest cost option, but we provided our customers the best equipment in every application.  Our marketing starts by looking at special needs and then working with the customer to add various modifications. We look at the big picture and ask ourselves; can we make it affordable if we customise it?”  said Campbell. “We are not a dealer for any specific manufacturer. We deal with all of them in order to respect our customer’s preference.”

Transcourt always tries to offer a customer different potential solutions: one with a bare minimum, a second middle of the road one and a third more expensive one that yields the highest results. Campbell, Pahanich and all other members of the Transcourt team also have to deal with the various axle configurations that vary from Canada to the United-States, from one province to the other north of the border or from one state to the other south of the border.

As complex as Transcourt’s approach may seem (and offering the right solution at the right price is no simple matter), the company has greatly simplified the process. And last but not least, the lease documents themselves are probably the most understandable, simplified and flexible in the industry.


All you need to know about the basic of B-train trailers

In the road transport or trucking industry, a Btrain, Super B, trains etc depending on what part of the country you are in consists of two trailers linked together by a fifth wheel, and are up to 26 m (85 ft) long.

The B train trailer can be a 62 000 liter Petroleum unit with/ 6-compartment Lead and Rear Trailer ‘B’ combination, a 2950 Cubic feet dry bulk unit, 11,500 USG Chemical trailer, 21,000 uswg LPG Super B-train, or a flatbed combination.

Super B Tanker

These combinations are used sometimes by LTL carriers, where the axles of the lead trailer slide from underneath the lead trailer so it can back into a door just like a regular trailer. Food companies and Petroleum companies use this type of trailer as well to extend their distribution network. A set of two can be pulled, usually overnight, to a city within 500 miles of the distribution center. Then, the trailers are broken up and are taken by two fresh drivers for deliveries to restaurants and their other customers. Petroleum companies can deliver multiple types of fuel and do one stop replenishments with their equipment.

The B –Train combination is also very popular for hauling flatbed, bulk and liquid goods in Canada and some US states. Because these types of operations usually don’t require backing up into a dock, drivers will generally only drive forward, making it easier. However, most drivers that pull these on a regular basis can back them up fairly well, even into a dock or around a corner. The 8 axle, 63,500 kg B Train is a standard across Canada.

Source: Transcourt 2017

What is the capacity of tankers pulled by a truck?

A tanker is a motor vehicle designed to carry a number of things including liquefied loads, dry bulk cargo or gases on roads.

The largest vehicles are similar to railroad tank cars which are intended to carry liquefied loads. Many variants exist due to the wide variety of liquids that can be transported. Tankers can be insulated or non-insulated; pressurized or non-pressurized; and designed for single or multiple loads. The sizes and axle configurations are determined by the commodities hauled, we see multiple applications ranging from Tandem, Tridem, Quad Quint and B train options, 6 and 8 axles options are also seen being utilized in the US especially in Michigan but we see many more configurations in the Continental US. Tankers are almost always created with internal divisions in their tank or contain multiple compartments to prevent load movement destabilizing the vehicle.

A tank truck is distinguished by its shape, usually a cylindrical tank upon the vehicle laying horizontally. Some less visible differences between tank trucks have to do with their intended use: compliance with human food regulations, refrigeration capability, acid resistance, pressurization capability and more.

The industry standard for tanker trucks hauling all these types of commodities is very hard to peg down, as products are measured in barrels, cubes, cubic feet, tons, US gallons, Litres and Imperial gallons.

However, when we look at State and Provincial regulations each have unique and limited characteristics to the available capacity that each commodity/product can be hauled, In Canada there are 2 standards that are accepted nationwide, that is the tandem and B train configs. Please visit the website at to see our guide to weights and axle configs.

Source: Transcourt, 2017

Zafety Lug Lock prevents wheel loss and saves lives

Canadian company Zafety Lug Lock has been selling millions of its wheel nut management system around the world. Developed by TafCan Consulting Limited, a Toronto area based enterprise owned by inventor Taffy Davis, who has a patent for the product. Made of special engineered plastic, the Zafety Lug Locks were developed to address the conditions in high temperature environments created by frequent stop and go vehicles. These include public transportation vehicles such as city buses; refuse trucks as well as any truck that circulate on roads all over the world.

The engineered plastic if formulated to withstand continuous operating temperature of -40 degrees Centigrade (-40°F) to +100°C (+212°F) with transient temperature spikes up to +120°C (248°F), giving it a total temperature range of 140°C (252°F). With this live saving invention, Taffy Davis was awarded Canada’s most prestigious innovation in 2013, the Ernest C. Manning Innovation Award. Since 1982, the Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation has been creating a culture of innovation in Canada by discovering, celebrating and rewarding Canadian innovators of all ages. We tell the stories of Canadian innovators who are improving the lives of Canadians and others around the world through their commercialized innovations.

The Zafety Lug Locks prevent wheel-off accidents by securing adjacent lug nuts to each other. The Safety Lug Locks are easy to install on two lug nuts at a time and they have enough strength and elastic retention to keep the nuts in place under conditions like the centrifugal force that they can resist on heavy duty commercial tires going high speed on the road. The result of three years of development, the main characteristics of the Safety Lug Locks is how they reduce the vibrations that lead nuts to loosen in time.

The only product of its type that has been put through a full range of recognized tests, the Zafety Lug Lock strips have been certified to resist different chemical products to which they are exposed such as de-icers, liquid calcium chloride, windshield washer alcohols, radiator liquids, hydraulic and transmission fluids, gasoline, iron oxide, diesel, ethanol and lock tight. Working with a stereolithography manufacturer and an industrial designer, Taffy Davis spend over six months mixing products to reach the desired retention and flexural strength before fabricating the molds to produce the prototypes.

Some 18 different engineering resins where tested as well as various mixes of these resins to find the ideal plastic for the strips. Resins from three different producers go into the final product because none of them could, on their own, supply the chosen formulation with all inherent properties. Each of the raw materials has a history of special application in the automotive industry. “The final result is two products that should have a life expectancy of about 10 years under normal conditions”, explains Taffy Davis.

Zafety Lug Locks can be installed on any type of truck wheel to improve safety and reduce the risk of nuts loosening or falling off. The possibility of wheel-off accidents, wheel-end damage and loose lug nuts is minimized. The strips provide a clear visual status of the lug nuts at the time of inspection. The strips fit snuggly over two adjacent nuts on the wheel to secure them together. The Zafety Lug Locks are made to be installer after the nuts have been properly torque and the nuts can be re-torqued or checked without removing the strips.

The idea for the product came to Taffy Davis as he was watching a police show on television and saw a cop pout the handcuffs on a suspect. The strips do look like miniature handcuffs… They are ideal for refuse and recycling trucks up to military and utility vehicles as well as snow removal equipment and highway trucks. Zafety Lug Locks can also be installed on buses. The product has already been sold in Canada, the United-States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Israel and elsewhere around the world. The strips are available in various widths depending on the wheel size and multiple sizes for the nuts and various colors. The Zafety Lug Locks cost less than $20 per axle which means about $100 to secure all the wheels on a truck. It is important to remember that a loss wheel can cause important damage and even kill someone, so Zafety Lug Locks also save lives.

How will marijuana legalization impact your insurance?

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – Lynne Cook discussed the legalization of marijuana will have significant impacts on the insurance and transportation industry they have to extend coverage offerings and anticipate the risks involved in dealing with impairment claims.

Currently, the government of Canada proposed that come July 1, marijuana users could grow up to four marijuana plants in their own home. Cook said that because of legalization, gone will be the days where insurance won’t cover your home if you have grow operations.

As far as transportation goes, Cook says that Northbridge still believes impaired is impaired and trusts the statistics that show marijuana causes a slowed reaction time, blurred vision, and drowsiness, all risk factors while operating a vehicle.

Currently, Canada has not outlined a minimum impairment limit on the amount of THC one can consume, though it is expected to follow the baseline rolled out by states which have legalized marijuana for recreational use. Currently, Montana, Colorado, and Washington all have a limit of 5 nanograms per microliter of blood for personal vehicles. The U.S. DOT, however, has banned the use of marijuana by commercial drivers.

“And that’s not a bad standard to go by,” Cook said stating she thinks the same rule could be applied to Canadian truck drivers. “The DOT is taking a zero tolerance, because regardless of the level of impairment, what they are recognizing is the risky behavior that comes along with this. It’s their stance if drugs are being used, they will end up in the workplace.”


Transcourt Tank Leasing strengthens team in Western Canada


Oakville, ON , September 21st, 2015

Transcourt Tank Leasing is pleased to announce the appointment of Kevin Quick, to the role of Vice-President of Business Development for Western Canada (British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan).


Mr. Quick is based in Edmonton and has spent his entire career in the transportation industry. Prior to joining Transcourt he held the position of National Account Director with a major North American bulk carrier.

“Kevin’s experience and industry knowledge, as well as his proximity to our client base will definitely enable us to provide a higher level of service to our customers in the west” says Transcourt’s President, Bruce Daccord.

About Transcourt

Transcourt Tank Leasing was founded in 1997, to meet the leasing and long- term rental needs of the liquid and dry bulk transport industry. Transcourt’s large fleet of tankers is available to customers across Canada and USA, with a wide selection of tank trailer configurations available to a variety of unique industry segments.

Transcourt is committed to providing customers with the best equipment, and with leasing solutions to help them meet their business objectives.


Source:           Vianna Murday
                        Transcourt Tank Leasing

Fun for everyone at Transcourt’s Calgary gathering


Toronto, July 14th, 2015

Transcourt Tank Leasing has made a habit of taking advantage of the world famous Calgary Stampede to host a Customer Appreciation Event. This activity is organized for customers from not only Calgary, but throughout Alberta and elsewhere in Western Canada. Transcourt customers in attendance at the Calgary Stampede, were invited to saddle up and mosey on over to the Customer Appreciation Event this past July 6th.

The event started off with a BBQ Cookout at the frontier Pavilion. The outstanding meal was followed by a trip to the Grandstand and the GMC Rangeland Derby, the premier chuckwagon races at the Stampede. The evening ended with the world famous TransAlta Grandstand Show. All the customers in attendance had a great time and Transcourt was more than happy to thank them for their support in such a fashion.

“It is our way of letting our customers know that we truly appreciate their business and it is a good way to get to know them better and build solid relationships, which isn’t always easy in a conventional business format”, explained Bruce Daccord, President of Transcourt.

Transcourt Tank Leasing was founded in 1997, specifically to meet the leasing and long-term rental needs of the liquid and dry bulk transport industry. Transcourt’s large fleet of tankers is available to customers across Canada. A wide selection of tank trailer configurations is available to a variety of unique industry segments and includes stainless and aluminum tankers, propane btrains and tridems, crude oil and condensate tankers as well as dry bulk trailers.
Chuckwagon races or horse-drawn carriage races like this one are not your typical evening event and this is why Transcourt chose the Stampede on July 6th for a Customer Appreciation Event.
Bob and Sterling Hancik, of Bamss Contracting as well as Allen and Arlene Frandrick, of Allen’s Transport all had an enjoyable time at the Transcourt Customer Appreciation Event at the Calgary Stampede.
Such an event is conducive to some interesting discussions that can take a business relation to a new level.
On this festive picture, we recognize Bruce Daccord and Robert Pahanich, of Transcourt, Gerald & Sandy Pearson, of RBS Bulk, Bob Hancik, of Bamss Contracting, Danny Tieulie and Candace Hills, of Cen-Alta, Allison Daccord and Phil Troyer, of Troyer Ventures.

Source: Vianna Murday
Transcourt Tank Leasing