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Could this new app improve your health on the road?

LONDON, Ont. –Healthy Trucker announced today that the Healthy Fleet Challenge is returning on January 1. The new challenge will be based in their mobile app called Healthy Team, and integrates aspects from all of their previous challenges, including step tracking.

Andrea Morley, lead nutritionist and health coach at Healthy Trucker explained: “Going forward, we wanted to add more value to participants by creating a community for them to connect, learn, and share throughout their health journeys. We launched the Healthy Team app at the beginning of 2017, which was a great way to educate and motivate participants on healthy living, but until now it lacked the ability to track steps. We are proud to announce that the Healthy Fleet Challenge now includes step tracking as part of the app so that participants can track all aspects of their nutrition and physical activity.”

The app also includes daily educational posts from Andrea, which include recipes, videos, workouts, and more. Participants share their meals and workouts, and can cheer each other on, ask for advice, and monitor their progress all within the app.

Fleets create teams by signing up their company, which then allows any and all of their drivers and staff to download and use the app as they work towards their health and wellness goals. Participants are awarded points for their steps, meal & exercise posts, and more in order to climb the leaderboard individually and as a team.

The cost to the fleet? Free! Simply offer up a prize to give away to a team member at the end of the challenge. In the past, fleets have offered company merchandise, gift cards to healthy restaurants, new Fitbits, and/or a paid day off.

To sign up your company, e-mail info@healthyfleet.com with your logo and what prize your company will be giving away at the end of the challenge.

Source: TruckNews, https://www.trucknews.com/transportation/healthy-fleet-challenge-returns-jan-1/1003081428/

How analytics can save you money

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – “Do you wanna make more money?” That was how Brian Abel, freight network engineer with KSM Transport Advisors, introduced himself before a Surface Transportation Summit session on improving the profitability of your trucking business.

 

The key to achieving this, Abel contended, is by leveraging analytics. “Carriers for years have sought a metric that could best capture potential profitability,” he explained. His firm developed a concept called “yield,” which is essentially the margin per day of a fleet’s entire network. “As yield goes up, operating ratio goes down,” Abel explained. “The concept of yield creates a common language to allow carriers to analyze freight using proven mathematics.”

The metric measures the time and cost to deliver a load, beginning with the empty call following the previous delivery. Any unplanned time is considered delay, which gives the fleet insight into how long it actually takes to deliver a load compared to its expectations. It also considers geography and helps fleets to drill down on the most – and least – lucrative lanes, loads, and customers.

 

These analytics also allow fleets to better understand backhaul requirements, and whether they’re charging appropriately. Mike Buck, president, MCB Fleet Management Consulting, spoke to how improving maintenance practices can also improve a fleet’s profitability. A good fleet maintenance program needs rigorous inspection processes, he noted, so all technicians are following the same workflow.

 

Source: TruckNews; https://www.trucknews.com/business-management/analytics-maintenance-keys-trucking-profitability/1003081461/

How long before self-driving trucks are a reality?

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – The technology for modern-day society to look like an episode of The Jetsons is here, but the infrastructure to support that kind of life, isn’t. That was the consensus of the future of trucking panel at this year’s Surface Transportation Summit, who focused on technology at the October 11 event.

By far, the most exciting and “sexy” technology topic in the world of trucking today is self-driving vehicles. And though the industry has proven the ability for a truck to roll down the highway without human intervention is possible, doesn’t mean it’s going to happen in the near future, panelists agreed.

 

“The technology is there today to run autonomous vehicles,” Kudla said likening the technology to modern-day airlines. “I’ve used this analogy before…but 99% of an airplane flight is done by a computer. But the day a pilot isn’t in it, I’m not getting on that plane. Every one of the major OEMs has trucks running autonomously, but to have trucks on the road without drivers in them concerns me. And I don’t know if our governments or infrastructure will ever let that happen.”

Ritchie Huang, manager of engineering and safety in the compliance and regulatory affairs division at Daimler Trucks North America, agreed saying Daimler has similar views.

“From the Daimler perspective, we don’t see the driver being out of the picture for a very, very long time,” he said. “There is a need for the driver. You hear a lot of hype, and press about it, but we don’t believe that these self-driving trucks or driverless trucks will be here any time soon. The reason being there is not enough safety data out there.”

Source: TruckNews, https://www.trucknews.com/transportation/panel-discusses-future-trucking-technology/1003081465/

 

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 transcourt.com/white-papers 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.”

Source: https://www.trucknews.com/transportation/marijuana-legalization-mean-insurance-coverage/1003080867/

10 Reasons Why You’re Getting Pulled Over

According to Mark Abrahamson, a 27-year veteran of the Wisconsin State Patrol states, “The following are driving behaviors or situations that “stood out” from the norm. Not every violation mentioned below necessarily results in a citation, but it will, at a minimum, be a reason for a traffic stop and a possible warning.”

Image Curtesy of: truckinginfo.com

  1. Following too close

Reaction time for a driver is less than 2 seconds for driver to see, acknowledge, and act by steering or braking to avoid a crash. When trucks are following less than a truck length behind another. More distance is needed to just fulfill the perception and reaction time, and to meet most states’ following distance laws.

  1. Speeding

Speed is typically linked to following to close. If the driver “gave reason” for the traffic stop, it’s now an opportunity to review the driver’s credentials and the vehicle’s equipment.

  1. Lane deviations

Significant deviations raise concerns relating to the driver’s possible illness, fatigue, or impairment. Typically, once it’s observed that it was not simply a “push of the wind,” officers will initiate a traffic stop for deviation.

  1. Inattentiveness

Observation of a truck that is approaching a lane closure or traffic stop at a high speed and the driver takes an aggressive crash avoidance action. These drivers are of high concern to be stopped for illness or fatigue. They demonstrate a threat to themselves or others.

  1. Improper load securement

When equipment is loaded on a flatbed, it’s clearly in plain view, and securement methods, number of devices, and general condition can be freely observed. Any observed deficiency will result in a traffic stop.

  1. Use of handheld phone

If this action is observed you will be pulled over. The concern relates back to attentiveness and the driver’s ability to respond quickly if crash avoidance is required.

  1. Lighting violations

Lighting violations would be avoided with a proper pre-trip and post-trip inspection. The frequent observation of lighting devices and replacement lenses/bulbs carried on the trucks would reduce chances of being pulled over.

  1. Improper registration or credential display

This is a reason to initiate a traffic stop. A CMV officer will at a minimum conduct a Level 3 inspection in this situation. As an officer is walking back and forth, he or she is taking a close look at the equipment, and if a violation is observed it will be upgraded to a Level 2 inspection.

  1. Overweight

With the increase of mainline high-speed virtual weigh-in-motion systems, the efficiency of this enforcement strategy has increased carrier contacts for violations. The system screens CMVs and highlights violators.

  1. Failure to obey official traffic signs or signals

Related to overweight violations is overlooking posted signs for weight limitations. Penalties will be implemented if postings are disregarded, misread or misjudged. Also, failing to follow a state’s lane restriction guidance such as “all trucks use right lane.”

Source: truckinginfo.com

House Bill Targets to Refine Independent Contractor Status

Image Curtesy of : truckinginfo.com

A bill recently proposed in the House would change the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to modify the classification of employers and employees.

“Currently, it is difficult and overly complicated for businesses to use independent contractors, which limits companies’ growth and individuals’ work,” said Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN), who introduced H.R. 3396 on July 25. He added that this legislation “provides clarity and guidance for businesses so they know they are properly classifying independent contractors without fear of IRS penalties.”

The contents of the bill are not available yet, but the Customized Logistics and Delivery Association, an advocate of the bill, said the legislation would provide benchmarks for defining a worker’s employment status.

“This bill provides much-needed clarity and guidance for businesses that partner with independent contractors to provide the flexibility of their workforce they need to meet customer needs,” said John Benko, CLDA president. He noted that in a recent survey, over 89% of CLDA members said that their ability to use independent contractors was important to their business success.

“Independent contractors are the backbone of our industry,” Benko added, “allowing us to be responsive and flexible enough to meet changing customer demands. This bill brings clarity and transparency to the definition of an independent contractor, enabling all industries that depend on them to remain in compliance and to properly classify them.”

The association clarified that back in 1978, Congress authorized Section 530 of the Revenue Act of 1978 to provide a safe-harbor for organizations with respect to the employment classification of individuals. “This came as a result of inconsistent employment tax audits where the definition of ‘employee’ was unclear. Congress affirmatively acted to make the Section 530 Safe Harbor permanent in 1982. However, this issue wasn’t included in tax reform in 1986 and therefore was not codified as part of the Internal Revenue Code.”

Source: truckinginfo.com

How to avoid getting a ticket during a roadside inspection

Image curtesy of: ontruck.org

Private Motor Truck Council of Canada (PMTC) hosted an educational seminar on March 29 at the Tim Hortons Distribution Centre in Guelph, Ont. Kerri Wirachowsky of the MTO spoke to attendees about what fleets and drivers can do to avoid getting ticketed during inspections.

She shared that there are many ways to get out of and avoid what Wirachowski called “simple violations” and offered advice to the audience.

Keep your attitude in check:

 Wirachowski highlighted, drivers that are honest and that don’t give an attitude to officers, often do better during a roadside inspection because the process is smoother.

“When I’m interviewing a driver and all of his stuff is in a row, the inspection tends to go well…but when I’m asking him where he’s coming from and where he’s going and he doesn’t want to tell me anything, things go sideways,” she said.

As soon as the driver hints that he/she is not going to be cooperative in the inspection, Wiraskowski said it sets the tone for how the rest of the (now) lengthy inspection will go.

Be prepared and organized:

 Drivers who know where to find the needed documentation and present it to inspectors in a neat, organized binder often do well in an inspection.

Not being organized is one of the main reasons why violations are issued, according to Wirachowski. She stressed when an officer asks for documents like insurance cards and CVOR certificates that it is presented in an organized binder, all valid documentation is accessible, and that the operator name is the same on all documents (log book, CVOR, insurance card.

“What we’re seeing more of, is the operator name is similar, but they’re all slightly different on each document…and then we’re on the side of the road trying to figure out which name is the legal entity,” she said. She also warned about presenting faded trailer registrations. A rule to remember is: if it’s not legible, it is a chargeable offence.

Get technical:

Knowing the truck you’re driving is paramount during an inspection, added Wirachowski.

“Make sure your drivers are familiar with the truck,” she said. “When I’m standing there with a driver and he’s telling me he did his pre-trip today and he didn’t know how to hit the lights or didn’t know where the horn was or he didn’t know how to pop the hood…I’m thinking how good of a trip inspection did you do? Trust me that is a signal to me that he doesn’t know that truck at all.” Educating drivers that they should know how each and every truck they are driving works will help you avoid charges, she added.

As well, with more fleets adopting ELDs comes a whole new set of problems. Wirachowski stressed that drivers should know how to use the EOBR once your fleet decides to adopt them.

Source: trucknews.com