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Industry News Briefs Courtesy of PMTA

September, 2017

ATA Forecasts Continued Growth for Trucking, Freight Economy

Arlington, VA… The American Trucking Associations released its latest forecast for the next decade of freight transportation, projecting continued growth for freight transportation overall and for the trucking industry.

“As the U.S. population grows and the economy increases with it, we will see continued gains in demand for freight transportation,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello.

In ATA Freight Transportation Forecast 2017, ATA projects freight volumes to grow 2.8% in 2017, and then follow that up with 3.4% annual growth through 2023. After that, ATA projects a more modest growth rate of 2.3%. In 2017, ATA projects that 15.18 billion tons of freight will be moved by all modes – a figure that rises 36.6% to 20.73 billion tons in 2028.

“Over the forecast period, capacity shortfalls will develop,” the report said. “We are starting to see some selected tightness in freight handling capacity, enough to suggest that capacity expansion will be required if the modes are going to be able to handle anticipated growth.”

“While overall truck volumes will continue to rise, and trucking will remain the dominant freight mode – its share of freight tonnage will dip to 67.2% by 2028, with pipelines picking up most of the additional market share, and, to a lesser extent, rail intermodal,” Costello said.

“As we look ahead at the rest of the 21st Century, the projections found in Freight Transportation Forecast are invaluable to decision makers in the board room and the hearing room alike,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “Having good, accurate data is critical to making sure businesses are making appropriate investments in their companies and that our government is making the proper investments in our nation’s infrastructure.”

Costello will discuss ATA Freight Transportation Forecast 2017 in a media conference call at 1 p.m. EDT. Participants can call (855) 287-5188 and enter access code 20782 when prompted.

ATA Freight Transportation Forecast is available for purchase at http://trck.ng/Forecast or by calling 866-821-3468.


Bendix Tech Tips: Dual-Tire Imbalance – Perils And Prevention

ELYRIA, OH… It’s common knowledge that the right tire inflation pressure is a major factor in vehicle safety, tire life, fuel efficiency, and operating costs. Less frequently discussed, though, is the specific issue of pressure imbalance in dual-tire wheel-ends – the subject of this entry in the Bendix Tech Tips series from Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC.

Pressure Basics

While a low-pressure tire can be pretty easy to spot on a standard car, the more robust engineering of commercial truck tires and the arrangement of dual-tire wheel-ends make it more difficult to visibly notice underinflation. And it doesn’t take much less air in a tire to have significant negative impact: Tire underinflation by as little as 10 percent results in a 1.5 percent drop in fuel economy, and underinflation by 20 percent results in a 30 percent reduction in tire life.

“Not many folks can tell at a glance the difference between a truck tire that’s running a bit low at 95 psi and one inflated properly at 105 psi – but that’s all it takes to start accelerating wear,” said Jon Intagliata, product manager for Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) at Bendix. “Add in the fact that safety components – ranging from brakes to stability and collision mitigation systems – can’t perform to their optimal capabilities if tires are not operating in their proper condition, and the stakes become even greater.”

Bendix highly recommends the use of a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) to provide fleets and drivers with real-time information and alerts, enabling them to address potential failures before they occur.

The Issue of Imbalance

A dual-tire arrangement does require additional care in that close attention be paid to keeping both tires inflated to the same pressure. If the pressure between both tires is not equal, one tire will wind up carrying a greater share of the load and do more work than the other. In addition, their sizes will be slightly different and as the tire assembly rotates, the smaller tire will drag, causing premature wear. In short, running imbalanced duals increases the odds of a blowout on the overloaded tire and significantly shortens tire life on the underinflated tire. Industry data has shown that the pressure difference at which this becomes an issue can be as little as 5 psi. This small difference in pressure creates a difference in the tire’s circumference and causes the smaller tire to be dragged by the larger tire, producing accelerated or irregular wear.

While addressing dual-tire imbalance is simple enough – it’s just a matter of setting the tires to the right pressure, which is routine maintenance – noticing it in the first place can be trickier. This is especially true for the inner dual which is masked by the outer tire, making it very difficult to spot a problem.

The best tool for tracking proper tire psi is a tire pressure monitoring system. These vary in design but operate in the same general fashion, using sensors mounted at each wheel-end of a tractor or trailer to constantly measure a tire’s pressure. If the sensor is mounted inside the tire, it can also measure temperature. (Checking tires only when they are cool is not always convenient or feasible, and temperature compensation is important to ensure that tire pressure is able to be monitored over a long trip.) Tire pressure and temperature information is transmitted wirelessly and displayed on either an in-cab display or a technician’s handheld device during maintenance checks.

In the cab, most TPMS systems will provide pressure alerts to drivers. Some, like the SmarTire® TPMS by Bendix CVS, can provide temperature-compensated pressure figures, along with high-temperature alerts. SmarTire also includes a programmable alert that will let the driver or a technician know when a set of duals exceeds a set deviation in pressure between the two tires. To monitor trailers, SmarTire® Trailer-Link TPMS wirelessly transmits alerts, pressure, and temperature information for trailers directly to the tractor and is displayed on the SmarTire® TPMS dash gauge or integrated vehicle cluster.

“The more real-time information and alerts a system can provide, the better equipped a driver is out on the road, and the safer the truck becomes,” Intagliata said. “A steel-belted truck tire blowout can do damage on several levels, from harming wheel-end components to vehicle downtime to causing an accident. Simply paying attention to the details of correct inflation, tire temperature, and dual-tire pressure balance can help keep vehicles on the road and in good operating condition, reducing the odds of a catastrophic failure, and improving highway safety.”

Information in the Bendix Tech Tips series can be found in the Bendix multimedia center at http://knowledge-dock.com/. Further instructional videos and interactive training on foundation drum brakes and friction are available at the Bendix On-Line Brake School, http://www.brake-school.com/. For more information on tire pressure monitoring technology, contact the Bendix Tech Team at 1-800-AIR-BRAKE.

About the Bendix Tech Tips Series

Bendix, the North American leader in the development and manufacture of leading-edge active safety and braking system technologies, is committed to helping keep commercial vehicles on the road and in good working condition. The Bendix Tech Tips series addresses common commercial vehicle maintenance questions and issues concerning the total range of components found within foundation and air brake systems, as well as advanced safety systems.

About Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC

Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, a member of the Knorr-Bremse Group, develops and supplies leading-edge active safety technologies, energy management solutions, and air brake charging and control systems and components under the Bendix® brand name for medium- and heavy-duty trucks, tractors, trailers, buses, and other commercial vehicles throughout North America. An industry pioneer, employing more than 3,000 people, Bendix is driven to deliver solutions for improved vehicle safety, performance, and overall operating cost. Contact us at 1-800-AIR-BRAKE (1-800-247-2725) or visit http://www.bendix.com/. Stay connected and informed through Bendix expert podcasts, blog posts, videos, and other resources at http://www.safertrucks.com/knowledge-dock. Follow Bendix on Twitter at http://twitter.com/Bendix_CVS . Log on and learn from the Bendix experts at http://www.brake-school.com/. And to learn more about career opportunities at Bendix, visit http://www.bendix.com/careers.


Congress Proposes Delay Of ELD Mandate

Grain Valley, MO… The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) thanks U.S. Representative Brian Babin (R-TX-36) for introducing legislation that would delay an electronic logging (ELD) mandate for two years.

OOIDA says, among other problems, there are too many unanswered questions about the technical specifications and enforcement guidelines of the mandate, warranting a delay of implementation by the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration).

“The agency has failed to answer important questions from Congress and industry stakeholders about this mandate,” said Spencer. “This includes issues related to enforcement, connectivity, data transfers, cybersecurity vulnerabilities, and many other legitimate real world concerns,” said Spencer.

“The agency refuses to certify any ELD as compliant with the rule, thus leaving consumers with no idea if a device they purchase is indeed compliant.”

Babin’s bill, H.R.3282, the ELD Extension Act of 2017, would extend the current implementation date from December 2017 to December 2019.

“We thank Rep. Babin for realizing the serious problems associated with implementation that can only be avoided by putting off the mandate,” said Todd Spencer, executive vice president.

Spencer said that the Association encourages OOIDA members to get involved in its Out Bad Regs campaign and will continue to communicate with Congress and the Administration about this and other regulations. Concerned truckers can contact their lawmakers about ELDs by clicking here.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is the only national trade association representing the interests of small-business trucking professionals and professional truck drivers. The Association currently has more than 158,000 members nationwide. OOIDA was established in 1973 and is headquartered in the Greater Kansas City, Mo., area. 


ELD SOLUTIONS DEVICE NOW SELF-CERTIFIED ON FMCSA ELD REGISTRY

Brentwood, TN… ELD Solutions (ELDS), which launched earlier this year, is intensely focused on helping fleets and drivers meet the federal electronic logging device (ELD) compliance rule that goes into effect this December. The company has announced that its device registration and self-certification with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is complete.

“We’re excited that ELDS’ device is now certified by the FMCSA,” said Jeffrey Farrington, vice president of ELDS. “Our primary goal has always been to provide the easiest-to-implement solution for the industry. We’ve carefully and intentionally designed a device that gives companies and owner-operators the simplest solution for ELD mandate compliance. ELDS is proud to offer a product that is FMCSA registered and compliant and one that simplifies every step of the process from ordering to installation and training.”

FMCSA’s mandate requires the majority of commercial drivers to transition to electronic logging devices by December 18, 2017. ELD manufacturers are required to register their device with the FMCSA and self-certify that the ELD meets the technical specifications of the ELD rule and is compliant. This ensures that drivers will have ELDs that are accurate and compliant when recording and storing information.

The registered and certified FMCSA device from ELDS meets and exceeds all minimum requirements of the new law. With no up-front costs, ELDS offers dedicated-device packages and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) packages that vary from simple ELD compliance to a full suite of telematics tools. A simple, competitive monthly fee is all that is needed for companies to gain access to the ELDS app from one easy-to-navigate website. Each ELDS package includes a tablet, ELD module, ECM plugs and quick-start instructions.

ELDS is focused on maximizing efficiencies that ensure companies are getting the most hours of service out of every vehicle and that drivers can safely maximize their earning potential when on the road. Created by experienced trucking professionals and transportation leaders, ELDS is the only electronic log provider specifically focused on ease-of-ordering and implementation for carriers. Beyond electronic logging, they offer vehicle and trailer tracking, IFTA mileage reporting, driver communication tools, engine diagnostics, driver behavior monitoring and more. To order or to learn more about ELDS, please visit http://www.eldsolutions.com/ or call 855-696-ELDS (3537).


Maverick Transportation Announces New Sign-On Bonus 

Little Rock, AR…Arkansas-based Maverick Transportation LLC, named one of The National Transportation Institute’s Top Pay Carriers last year, recently announced its new $5,000 sign-on bonus for experienced drivers.

“Drivers know that Maverick is a place where they can build or continue a successful and rewarding professional career,” said Kimberly Williams Gary, executive vice president for Maverick Transportation. “By providing drivers new to Maverick with a generous sign-on bonus, we’re able to help make their job change an easier and more profitable one.”

To receive the $5,000 sign-on bonus from Maverick, drivers must have at least one year of verifiable OTR experience. It is applicable to driving jobs in all divisions. The sign-on bonus will be paid out in $1,000 increments. The first payment will be paid after the first load is delivered and the subsequent payments will be given at 30 days, 60 days, 90 days and 120 days after emptying the first load.

In addition to this new sign-on bonus, Maverick drivers enjoy competitive pay with the ability to earn increases up to five years, a pay-per-performance bonus and a driver referral bonus program. Maverick also offers drivers excellent home time, weekend guarantee pay, paid orientation and training, 401k plan + match, company-paid life insurance, health and dental insurance options and paid vacation.

For more information about the driving opportunities at Maverick, visit www.maverickdrivers.com or call 800-201-7695


PA Turnpike Commission Approves Six Percent Toll Increase for 2018

HARRISBURG, PA… At its bimonthly meeting today, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) approved a six percent toll increase for both E-ZPass and cash customers; the increase is set to take effect at 12:01 a.m. on Jan. 7, 2018.

Because of today’s action, the most common toll for a passenger vehicle will increase next year from $1.23 to $1.30 for E-ZPass customers and from $1.95 to $2.10 for cash customers. The most common toll for a Class-5 vehicle — a prevalent tractor-trailer class — will increase from $10.17 to 10.78 for E-ZPass and from $14.45 to $15.35 for cash.

The toll increase will apply to all portions of the PA Turnpike system with these exceptions:

•there will be no 2018 increase for E-ZPass or Toll-By-Plate customers at the Delaware River Bridge westbound cashless tolling point (#359) in Bucks County;

•toll rates at the Keyser Avenue (#122) and Clarks Summit (#131) toll plazas on the Northeastern Extension (I-476) in Lackawanna County will not increase until April 2018 as a part of the planned conversion to cashless tolling (rates will be set closer to the conversion date using a new vehicle-classification system); and

•toll rates at the Findlay Connector (PA Turnpike 576, Allegheny and Washington counties) will not increase until April 2018 as a part of the planned conversion to cashless tolling (rates will be set closer to the conversion date using a new vehicle-classification system); and

The toll increase — like previous increases since 2009 — is required to meet the PTC’s various funding obligations. These include providing funding to the PA Department of Transportation (PennDOT) to support public transportation statewide and improving the Turnpike’s own 550-mile toll-road system that is almost 77 years old in places.

“The Turnpike Commission is obligated by state law to augment Pennsylvania’s infrastructure needs; in fact, the commission has delivered $5.65 billion in toll-backed funding to PennDOT in the last decade,” said PA Turnpike CEO Mark Compton. “Today, our annual payments of $450 million enable PennDOT to provide operating support to mass-transit authorities across the state to help ease future fare increases for riders.”

Since August 2007, the PTC made 40 quarterly payments to PennDOT totaling $5.65 billion. Of that, $2.25 billion has supported the PA Motor License Fund (MLF) where it is invested in off-Turnpike highway and bridge projects; $3.4 billion has supported the PA Public Transportation Trust Fund (PTTF) to provide financial assistance to the public-transit systems. Beginning in 2014, the PTC’s payments no longer funded the MLF but have gone exclusively to the PTTF.

“At the same time, we must also continue to invest in our aging tollway system and make it safer, wider and smoother for our customers,” Compton said. “This fiscal year, about 85 percent of the PTC’s $500 million capital budget is focused on renewing, rebuilding and expanding our toll highways which last year carried a record 200 million vehicles.”

The PTC has thus far reconstructed more than 124 miles of its system, with another 20 miles of roadway now being rebuilt and widened and more than 90 miles currently in planning and design phases.


Peterbilt And Paccar Financial Announce Medium Duty Fair Market Value Lease Program

DENTON, TX… Peterbilt has partnered with PACCAR Financial (PFC) to offer an attractive fair market value (FMV) lease program in the United States. The program offers a Peterbilt Model 337 with a 26-foot Supreme van body on a 60-month term with monthly payments as low as $799, depending on vehicle specifications.

“The Model 337 FMV Lease program gives Peterbilt customers a great opportunity to lease the high quality Medium Duty Model 337 and take advantage of extremely competitive pricing,” said Robert Woodall, Assistant General Manager – Sales and Marketing. “Customers will benefit from the reliability and durability of the Model 337 through its lightweight features and ergonomically designed interior while also maximizing their cash-flow through reduced payments.”

Visit www.paccarfinancial.com or a participating Peterbilt dealer location for moreinformation. Dealership location information can be found at www.peterbilt.com/dealers.


Senate Report Supports Made-in-Canada Emissions Rule; Crack Down on Tampering

A report of the Senate Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development supported three key recommendations of the Canadian Trucking Alliance to smooth the transition to cleaner engines in the trucking sector.

The report, titled Healthy Environment, Healthy Canadas, Healthy Economy: Strengthening the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, captures CTA’s first key recommendation related to the negative impact on carriers of poor trucking equipment reliability. CTA urged the government that any mandatory environmental equipment should be tested and proven in Canadian operating conditions.

Specifically, the committee recommended that “Environment and Climate Change Canada work with the Canadian Trucking Alliance to establish testing protocols for greenhouse gas reduction qualifying technology to ensure that such technology and systems are suitable for use in Canada.”

Relatedly, CTA also highlighted the safety and operational issues associated with a truck entering ‘limp’ mode because of an emissions system failure. Because of CTA’s testimony, the Senate report acknowledged how drivers can get stranded with time-sensitive loads, such as perishable food shipments, in various parts of the country. Additionally, the report pointed to CTA’s submission explaining how a minority of operators resort to using so-called defeat devices to circumvent the environmental controls trucks.

As a result, the Committee recommends Environment and Climate Change Canada consult with CTA on the length and distance limp mode should be extended. It also points out legal issues associated with defeat devices and the difficulty detecting their instillation on a vehicle. But it did recommend the Canadian Environmental Protection Act be amended to empower Environment and Climate Change Canada to crack down on the “brazen” manufactures, sellers and installers of equipment that interferes with vehicle emissions controls.

“CTA is thankful to the members of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development, for including several of our key recommendations in the final report,” said CTA president Stephen Laskowski. “CTA will continue to work with Environment and Climate Change Canada to turn these recommendations into action.”