Automation might not wipe out truck drivers

A new study by researchers Maury Gittleman and Kristen Monaco published by the Center of Transportation and Logistics, argues that despite contrary belief, truck drivers may not be at such a high risk of losing their jobs due to automation.

Gittleman and Monaco found among the 2-3 million estimated truck drivers that could lose their jobs, according to multiple media sources, may not be the case. Their research uses data on employment, job tasks, and operational characteristics to identify market segments that are more likely to be impacted by technology. In addition, Gittleman and Monaco considered whether autonomous truck deployment may weaken labor market churning on long-haul trucking.

During their research they found that a small amount of workers of the truck driving occupation which will be most affected. Gittleman and Monaco found three factors that attributed to the inflation:

  • The count of truck drivers is increased due to a misunderstanding of its occupational classification used in federal statistics
  • Truck drivers do more than drive and these non-driving tasks will continue to be in demand
  • Some segments of trucking will be easier to automate than others

In conclusion, the research suggests that even though autonomous truck will change how goods are transported through the nation, not all truck driving jobs will be easily automated and still require human labor. Technology may transform the trucking driving industry but it won’t eliminate the need for truck drivers.

Source: https://ctl.mit.edu/events/thu-05242018-1200/are-truck-driving-jobs-headed-rapid-elimination

Read More

Peterbilt and Kenworth recalled for faulty mirror glass

PACCAR Incorporated is recalling 2020 Peterbilt 567, 579, and Kenworth T680, T880 and W990 vehicles due to a defect in the mirror glass which may cause the glass too detach as a result from inadequate adhesion.

As a result, if the mirror glass detaches from the mirror carrier plate the driver will not only have reduced visibility but the glass can become a road hazard and increases the risk of a crash or injury to other drivers and pedestrians.

In a statement from PACCAR roughly 4 percent of the 3,907 recalled trucks are expected to have the problem. The recalled trucks were built from Feb. 14 to March 6.

PACCAR notified the dealers on May 31 and customer notices go out June 20-21. Designated dealers will inspect the upper mirror glass/mirror carrier to determine if it needs replacing. Kenworth owners may contact PACCAR customer service at 1-425-828-5888 and Peterbilt owners may call 1-940-591-4220.

PACCAR’s numbers for this recall is 19KWC and 19PBC.

Read More

TuSimple partners with PCC for a first of its kind AV certificate program for truck drivers

TuSimple a company located out of San Diego, Calafornia, whose mission is to bring self-driving trucks to the market has partnered up with Pima Community College (PCC) in Tucson, Arizona, for a first-of-its-kind autonomous vehicle certificate program.

The program is called “Autonomous Vehicle Driver and Operations Specialist”, which launches on September 2019, registration will be in August. The program will consist of five courses covering technology deployed in self-driving semi trucks. The program requires the students to have a Class A Commercial Driver’s Licence (CDL) prior to enrollment as the students will build on their knowledge through out each course.

TuSimple director of public affairs Robert Brown says, “Human drivers will have to interact with our vehicles for the foreseeable future.” Brown concluded that the Autonomous Vehicle Driver and Operations Specialist program will allow truck drivers up-skill as the industry changes. TuSimple will prioritize hiring the certificate graduates for jobs at its Tucson testing center and they hope to eventually expand the program nationwide.

TuSimple most recently partnered up with the United States Postal Service (USPS) for a two-week pilot program to transport mail between the USPS distribution center in Phoenix, AZ and Dallas, TX.

Read More

How Much Time Do Truckers Waste At Loading Docks? The FMCSA Wants To Know

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is seeking public feedback on driver detention times at loading docks to better understand how it impacts safety on the road.

In a 2011 study conducted by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) which recommended the, “ FMCSA examine the extent to which detention time contributes to hours of service violations in its future studies on driver fatigue and detention time.’’ In response to the GAO report, the FMCSA sponsored a study later conducted that estimated the average detention time a driver spends loading and unloading is, “10 percent of their stops for an average duration of 1.4 hours beyond a commonly accepted two-hour loading and unloading period”. However, the study failed to calculate what normal loading and unloading times should be.

The DOT study hypothesizes that not only does detention time increase fatigue, but may also contribute to dangerous driving behaviors and increased frustration.

The FMCSA is seeking comments on the following questions:

  • Are data currently available that can accurately record loading, unloading, and delay times?
  • Is there technology available that could record and delineate prompt loading and unloading times versus the extended delays sometimes experienced by drivers?
  • How can delay times be captured and recorded in a systematic, comparable manner?
  • Could systematic collection and publication of loading, unloading, and delay times be useful in driver or carrier business decisions and help to reduce loading, unloading, and delay times?
  • What should FMCSA use as an estimate of reasonable loading/unloading time? Please provide a basis for your response.
  • How do contract arrangements between carriers and shippers address acceptable wait times? Do these arrangements include penalties for delays attributable to a carrier or shipper?
  • What actions by FMCSA, within its current statutory authority, would help to reduce loading, unloading, and delay times?

Ezlogz offers geofencing, a feature which allows the admin to set up a barrier to track how long a driver is at a location, which will then notify the admin when they leave the geofenced area. Many of our customers like to use this feature at loading docks. Geofencing is an essential feature every fleet should have to track which loading docks effect your drivers available driving and on-duty time.

The FMCSA stated they need more information on trucker detention time at shippers and receivers in order to understand how those delays impact highway safety. The FMCSA is requesting feedback, there is a 90-day comment period ending on September 9, 2019. If you’d like to leave a comment please follow all guidelines listed here

Source: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2019-06-10/pdf/2019-12167.pdf

Read More

Alabama Passed Bill to Lower Minimum Age for Truck Drivers

The state of Alabama, announced a new law to lower the minimum age for truck drivers to 18, instead of 21, in hope to aid the truck driver shortage. The bill was signed by Gov. Kay Ivey last week but won’t go into effect until Feb. 7, 2020.

The law will help the truck driving industry attract more people, as we face a nationwide shortage. While it might attract a younger audience, it’s still up to local business in Alabama if they want to hire 18 year olds with CDL’s. As they need to consider if the increased insurance rates is something they can afford.

There are restrictions for the young drivers, which include:

  • Limited to Class A CDL only
  • No hazmat or passenger endorsements
  • Prohibited from operating oversize or specially configured loads requiring a permit from ALDOT
  • Limited to commercial driving within the State of Alabama only

Alabama Trucking Association President Frank Filgo says, “This legislation is a win-win for motor carriers, shippers and consumers,” and “The ongoing truck driver shortage, now estimated to be more than 60,000 nationally, is a burden to the economy. With the passage of this bill, additional drivers will help advance long-term, sustainable profitability for Alabama motor carriers and suppliers.” Lowering the age requirement will not only benefit the trucking industry but the economy as well.

Read More

Reminder: New Hours of Service Releasing Today, June 7

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) U.S Department of Services (DOT) is scheduled to release new flexible hours of service. They began revising the HOS in August 2018, and opened the proposed rule making for public comment and feedback.

The FMCSA asked for comments on the following:

  • Expanding the current 100 air-mile “short-haul” exemption from 12 hours on-duty to 14 hours on-duty, in order to be consistent with the rules for long-haul truck drivers;
  • Extending the current 14-hour on-duty limitation by up to two hours when a truck driver encounters adverse driving conditions;
  • Revising the current mandatory 30-minute break for truck drivers after 8-hours of continuous driving; and
  • Reinstating the option for splitting up the required 10-hour off-duty rest break for drivers operating trucks that are equipped with a sleeper-berth compartment.

The new HOS regulations are scheduled to be released today, June 7th, however the DOT can change the date. Following the release of the revised HOS, there will be a 49-day comment period allowing the public to give valuable feedback. The comment period will end on July 26. Based on the feedback, the agency will determine to either revise the rules or proceed with the final rule.

For a more in depth article please see our post https://ezlogzblog.com/2019/05/02/new-flexible-hours-of-service-set-for-next-month/

Read More

Driving School Nightmare: Hundreds of Truck Drivers Could Lose Their CDL

Hundreds of truck drivers recently received letters from state officials ordering them to retake their driving tests or risk getting their CDL revoked, and as a result they could possibly lose their jobs.

Roughly 280 drivers who took their CDL test at the Carolina Truck Driving School that was located in Charlotte, North Carolina, were ordered by the NC Division of Motor Vehicles to retake the CDL test. Some drivers only had a couple days to retake the test, and other drivers had a few weeks.

The Carolina Truck Driving School closed down in November 2018, which only had three employees, all of which were official testers. According to the owner he closed the driving school because it wasn’t making enough profit. However, the school also has another location in Tennessee.

All estimated 280 drivers that received a notice will need to retake the CDL test because state officials discovered the school failed to comply with the state and federal guidelines. It was also exposed that the school is missing 450 records. The owner of the school said it was one of his three employees who stole the records, but he’s unsure which employee it was.

Trying to make amends, the owner of the school is offering those affected to use a truck and trailer he will provide at the DMV in Statesville and Rock Hill in the middle of June for anyone to use to retake the test.

Read More

Tips to Keep Truck Drivers Safe On The Road

The life of a truck driver isn’t easy and while there’s many ways to stay safe such as seatbelts, speed limits, and planning your trip ahead of time, at Ezlogz we’re focused on your safety. We understand what it’s like to be on the road, after all Ezlogz is made by truckers for truckers. Here are our tips to stay safe:

Ezlogz Dash Cams

One way to stay safe on the road is with dash cams. Dash cams are useful because they provide proof during accidents. They’re also are a great way to prevent fraud and theft. Coming soon, Ezlogz will be offering Dash Cams. It’s an extra layer of protection we believe every driver should have, because our cameras offer live data you’ll never have to worry about what’s going on.

Ezlogz SOS

Within the next month Ezlogz will be releasing a new feature, our SOS button. This will allow any driver who enables SOS to send a driver in distress message to nearby drivers. Ezlogz takes pride in building a platform where drivers can communicate with one another, once the driver enables SOS, dispatch will automatically get notified, the driver in distress also has the option to call 911. It’s another feature Ezlogz provides to keep your drivers safer on the road!

Communication

Communication is key. It’s important to communicate if there’s issues with the load, truck, or shipping docs because it’s better to be safe than end up with a violation or out of service order. If you feel like something’s not right tell your boss or supervisor about it.

As always Ezlogz has 24/7 customer support in more than six languages. Feel free to give us a call anytime at 1(800)670-7807 or email support@ezlogz.com

Read More

USDOT & The Future of Self-Driving Semi Trucks

The United States Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and FMCSA proposed on May 21st their rule-making on regulations to safely introduce automated driving systems (ADS). They’re currently seeking public comments on what approaches to propose to address potential challenges.

The U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao says, “One of the Department’s priorities is to prepare for the future by engaging with new technology while addressing legitimate public concerns about safety, security, and privacy, without hampering innovation.” While some of us speculate the results of self-driving semi trucks, Tesla released on November 16, 2017 a Tesla Semi prototype by Jerome Guillen who’s also the former Model S Program Director and VP of Vehicle Engineering at Tesla. However, a year and a half later on April 25, 2019 Tesla announced that they will be delaying their electronic semi truck production. Although Tesla isn’t the only company manufacturing self driving semi trucks, there are many laws and regulations that have to pass for these trucks to be fully compliant on the road, not only with state but federal too.

In an article written by the U.S Department of Transportation, Preparing for the Future of Transportation: Automated Vehicle 3.0, the DOT included a letter from Elaine L. Chao. The letter summarized many benefits the economy will have if automated vehicles were to hit the road.

Along with potential benefits, however, automation brings new challenges that need to be addressed. The public has legitimate concerns about the safety, security, and privacy of automated technology. So I have challenged Silicon Valley and other innovators to step up and help address these concerns and help inform the public about the benefits of automation.

Chao wrote this in 2018, and nearly two years later the FMCSA and DOT are moving faster in the direction of having a future with self driving semi-trucks.

The FMCSA is seeking public comments to further develop its rules to account for both human drivers and the future of self driving semi trucks. The questions focus on topics such as: HOS rules, requirements of human drivers, CDL endorsements, medical qualifications, distracted/safe driving, inspections, roadside inspections, repair, maintenance, and cybersecurity. There will be a 60-day comment period ending on July 20, 2019. The FMCSA is strongly encouraging public feedback, if you’d like to leave a comment please go here, all the requirements are listed on the FMCSA website.

Source: https://www.transportation.gov/av/3

https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/us-department-transportation-seeks-input-testing-vehicles-automated-driving-systems

Read More

2019 Inspection Blitz: What to Expect

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) announced that the 2019 International Roadcheck will begin on June 4th and end June 6th. The inspection will be taking place throughout all of North America. During the 72-hour blitz, CMV inspectors will be inspecting both the commercial motor vehicles and the driver.

Most drivers who are inspected will receive the full 37 point North American Standard Level I Inspection. Every year the International Roadcheck focuses on a specific category of violations, this year they’re focusing on steering and suspension systems. According to the CVSA, inspectors may also conduct, “Level II Walk-Around Driver/Vehicle Inspection, Level III Driver/Credential/Administrative Inspection or Level V Vehicle-Only Inspection.” If no violations are found during the inspection a CVSA decal will be applied to the vehicle. The decal indicates the vehicle passed the inspection from a CVSA certified inspector. On the contrary, if there are violations present the CVSA certified inspector may issue the vehicle out of service. The vehicle cannot resume operating until the violations are corrected, the same goes for a driver who is issued out of service.

The International Roadcheck is the biggest enforcement program on CMV’s in the world. The CVSA states that, “around 17 trucks and buses inspected, on average, every minute in Canada, the United States and Mexico during a 72-hour period.” This means during the inspection blitz that roughly 24,480 CMV’s are inspected every 24-hours.

Source: https://cvsa.org/news-entry/2019-roadcheck-dates-focus/

Read More