Obama Orders Another Round of Greenhouse-Gas Rules for Trucks

Speaking at a Safeway Inc. distribution center in Maryland on Feb. 18, President Obama ordered his staff to develop a proposed rule further tightening greenhouse-gas emissions by heavy- and medium-duty trucks by March 2015 and to complete the process a year after that.

Obama chose the Safeway facility in Upper Marlboro because of the grocery chain’s commitment to cleaner freight transportation, calling it an “early leader.” As he spoke, he pointed to Safeway tractor-trailers parked nearby.
Safeway ranks No. 26 on the Transport Topics Top 100 Private Carriers list.

The president was accompanied by Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy. EPA and the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Transportation Safety Administration developed the first greenhouse-gas rule that set standards for truck fuel economy and carbon dioxide emissions, first for 2014 and then for 2017.
The president did not specify timing for when the new rule would take effect.

Obama praised several major companies in his remarks that lasted almost 20 minutes. He said that if competitors such as FedEx Corp. and UPS Inc., Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo Inc., and AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications could join in the effort to use cleaner trucks, “maybe Democrats and Republicans can get together, too.”
The president also suggested offering tax credits to manufacturers of clean vehicles and to fuel-stop operators selling clean fuels. While the fuel standards can be done within the executive branch, changing the tax code would require congressional action.

By Transport Topics

Drivewyze Launches Weigh-Station Alert Service

Drivewyze Inc. said it is offering a free alert service to go with the latest version of its PreClear weigh-station bypass mobile app.
The new Weigh Station Heads Up alert service, available without a subscription to PreClear’s bypass service, provides audio and visual alerts two miles and one mile before a weigh station so a driver knows when to move to the correct lane to pull in to the station.
Truckers can get the notifications by downloading PreClear from the Google Play store on their Android smart phones and tablets.
The alerts are free, but PreClear’s weigh station bypass service requires a subscription starting at $15.75 per vehicle per month with free trial offers and volume discounts available, Drivewyze said in the Jan. 30 announcement.
With the bypass service, drivers receive not only alerts but also the opportunity to request bypass at 252 weigh stations and inspection sites in 19 states.
Drivewyze said its customers’ bypass rates range from 50% to 98%, based on the carrier’s credentials and safety record.
The initial release of the Heads Up service is available only for Android devices, but the PreClear bypass service remains available for iOS and Android.
The Drivewyze alerts work in all 50 states and recognize permanent weigh stations and temporary inspection sites at more than 700 locations, Drivewyze said.

By Seth Clevenger
Staff Reporter

ATRI to Test Rollover Notification System

This Story Appears in Feb. 3 Edition of Transport Topics.

The American Transportation Research Institute said it will soon begin testing a system that warns truck drivers as they near a stretch of highway where significant numbers of rollovers have occurred.

ATRI and a group of telematics providers will begin testing in about two months, after recruiting carriers that frequently travel through some of the nation’s worst rollover sites, which have been identified in Iowa, Montana, Kansas and Georgia.”We want to find folks who are not random to the corridors,” said Daniel

The notification system employs geofencing — electronically establishing two points that intersect, one the moving truck, the other a fixed geographic locationWhen the truck enters the fixed danger zone, a warning will sound on the in-cab communications system, Murray said. The system also will be tested on smart phones.

For the test, the researchers and the telematics providers plan to have the warning sound at about 600 to 800 feet before a truck enters a highway spot where rollovers are frequent,

The warning system is the outgrowth of a study ATRI first published in 2012 after analyzing more than 50,000 police reports on rollover crashes in 31 states between 2001 and 2009.The ongoing study pinpoints the locations with frequent rollover crashes and produces state maps of where rollovers have occurred most often.

Rollovers are particularly deadly and costly for trucking. Fifty-two percent of all large-truck occupant fatalities in 2009 involved a rollover, ATRI said. When a rollover results only in property damage, the average cost is $197,000, and that figure increases to more than $1.1 million when there’s a fatality, ATRI said.

The Driving Force Behind Freight Classification Changes: Simply, Times are A Changing….

A significant factor in freight classification is the change in material composition and packaging. Production and building materials are shifting from heavy metals to lightweight plastics and polymers. Yesterday’s cast iron lawn furniture, pipes, and fittings have been replaced with polycarbonate and polyvinylchloride versions. In electronics, the switch from CRTs to LCDs significantly reduces product weight while often increasing value liability.

The use of lightweight materials can reduce tonnage by more than half, which, in turn, reduces rates charged by shippers. But operating costs and truck space required remain the same or may increase, creating a business challenge for LTL carriers. To compensate for less weight, some carriers are looking for higher freight classifications to offset lower charges compared to their costs.

Speed, Seat Belt Violations Fall in CVSA’s Operation Safe Driver

The percentage of truck and bus drivers cited or warned for speeding and seat belt use declined during the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s Operation Safe Driver, the group said.

Officers pulled over 29,048 commercial drivers during the one-week enforcement blitz in October, of which 7.3% were cited or warned for speeding and 2.9% for seat belt use. That compares with a 10.8% warning or citation rate for speeding in 2012 and 3.8% for seat belt use, CVSA said.

Speeding and seat belt enforcement also fell for passenger car drivers, though they were the top violations for both classes of drivers. Operation Safe Driver focuses on enforcing laws for trucks and buses as well as passenger cars that drive near them.

In total, officers pulled over 74,765 drivers as part of the operation, nearly three times the 2012 figure. While only 7.3% of commercial drivers were pulled over for speeding, 56% of passenger car drivers were warned or cited for speeding.

“Operation Safe Driver continues to increase its impact each year in targeting problem behaviors by all drivers, whether they drive a passenger car or a CMV, and by taking action on those who need it,” CVSA’s president, Sgt. Thomas Fuller from the New York State Police, said in a statement. “We will continue to grow our enforcement and outreach efforts until we can eliminate those driving behaviors that have been shown to cause or contribute to crashes involving large trucks and buses.”

By Transport Topics

Tips for Driving Safely in the Snow

In eight years as a truck driver, Shawn Judge has driven 810,000 miles (accident-free) throughout Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin for a beverage distributor. Here’s his advice on how to handle yourself when the snow starts falling:

Relax:

Breathe and stay calm. Panic causes people to overreact. You need to focus.

Slow Down:

Drive only as fast as your abilities and the capabilities of the vehicle permit for the road conditions. If you’re out of practice on snow and ice, slow down. If your tires are bad, slow down. If your car has a low ride height, it won’t handle accumulating snow well. Again, just slow down.

Be Smooth:

Your actions need to be controlled and deliberate. Hard acceleration, hard braking, and sharp curves all decrease traction. Maintain a consistent speed, open up the distance between you and the car ahead, and be easy on the brakes. Steer gently, and remember that inertia will be a factor.

Let There Be Light:

In inclement weather, turn on your headlights. This is so other drivers can see you. Your taillights will be brighter too.

Use Your Signals:

Here’s a trucker’s rule of thumb for lane change: Dry or rainy (not freezing) weather: three blinks, then move over for three blinks. Winter weather: four or five blinks, then move over slowly. Signal for turns before you start slowing down.

If you’re going significantly slower than the traffic around you, turn on your four-way hazards, take the rightmost lane, and just let everyone pass you. The hazards let other drivers know you’re going slower than they are, and this can help prevent a pileup.

Observe Tire Spray:

Pay attention to the water coming off of other vehicles’ tires. If there’s a lot of spray, the roads are wet. If there’s less spray and the road’s wet, take extra caution; the roadway is starting to freeze. If the road looks wet with little or no spray, you’re on black ice. Be extremely cautious.

Watch the Truckers:

When the weather goes south, if the big trucks are slowing down, you should too. If they’re pulling off, perhaps you’d better take a break as well. By no means do I recommend keeping pace with them. (We’re kind of a crazy breed with the advantage of more weight, higher road clearance, more tires, and bigger tires.)

Do Not Stop:

If visibility is zero (i.e., you can’t see beyond your hood), do not stop where you are! You WILL be hit. Creep along until you can safely get your vehicle off and away from the road.

Waiting it Out:

Exit ramps are typically plowed after the main highways. Rest areas are cleared after that. If you need to get off the road, wait it out in the parking lot of a gas station, 24-hour restaurant, or hotel. You stand a better chance of not being snowed in.

Traction is Everything:

Loss of traction in snowy/icy conditions doesn’t happen because you’re on ice. It means you’re hydroplaning on an almost microscopic film of fluid water (in a transitional state) between the ice and the surface of your tires. The lack of cohesion in the fluid gravely reduces friction, which results in less traction.

Make sure you have snow tires or all-weather radials with wide and deep tread valleys. Siping (small cuts that look like squiggly lines) on the tread studs will help with grip on packed snow and ice.

When is Cold-Weather Driving Riskiest?

You face the greatest risk of losing traction on snowy, wet roads when temperatures are between 22 and 35 degrees Fahrenheit. At colder temperatures (10 to 20 degrees or less) snow-covered and icy roads afford more traction than at those warmer (22 to 35 degree) temperatures.

Don’t believe it? Try this: Take two ice cubes. Place one in a deep freezer for 30 minutes. Drop the other in a glass of water. Try picking it in up with your fingertips. Notice how slippery it is? After 30 minutes, get the other ice cube from the freezer. My bet is it practically sticks to your fingers for a bit.

The same principle applies to driving. The ice is almost sticky in more extreme cold. But during heavy and slower traffic, more heat is applied to its surface, and traction will be commensurately reduced.

Ultimately, you’re responsible for exercising your best judgment. If the weather is bad, stay put and let road crews do their jobs.

Be safe out there.

Natural Gas Conversion Bandwagon

The adoption of natural gas as a transportation fuel continues to pick up speed, as the industry begins to consider transforming from diesel, a fuel we have used for decades to natural gas. I understand the challenges in making the decision to switch to natural gas.

The refuse industry has been the front runner in this race for several years and for good reason. Natural gas allows our truckers to operate cleaner , reducing smog-causing emissions by more than 80% and greenhouse gas by more than 20% over traditional diesel-powered vehicles. And lets not forget there are more than 12,000 transit buses across the United States running on natural gas, and fleets of medium-duty vehicle’s as well. Now is the perfect time to embrace a cleaner, cheaper American fuel–natural gas. I don’t mean to dismiss the challenges to convert to natural gas as being insignificant.

While natural-gas vehicles do require a higher initial investment today of $35,000 to $40,00 for heavy-duty truck equipped with the 12 liter engine. Your investment can quickly be recouped when you consider that cost of natural gas. The saving on average is approximately one-third less than conventional diesel at the pump, depending on the market, the saving can be $1.50 per gallon, meaning you can recoup upfront costs in little more than a year. In addition, natural-gas trucks don’t require DPF’s(diesel particulate filters) or SCR(selective catalytic reduction) making the cost advantage that much clearer.

Truckers are now able to travel coast to coast and border to border on natural gas, thanks to a robust and growing network of fueling stations. By recognizing the potential of natural gas, carriers can benefit from lower overhead, and make for a cleaner, energy-independent future.

Micheal Judge

micheal@cassidytransport.com

BASED ON A ARTICLE FROM TRANSPORT TOPICS

Spending on Logistics Services on the Rise

Today, Its not uncommon for a small or midsize shipper go to third party logistics company to get access to all there services in one place. Third party logistics providers bring flexibility to the market by allowing shippers the oppturnity to access a full range of capabilities, from fleets of all sizes. 3PLs have made the market more efficient. For example, shippers may only have a few dozen trucks in there data base, but there is about 250,000 truckload carriers running the United States. Let Cassidy’s Transport show you a new approach to carrier selection. We are logistics specialists, with over 28 years of freight shipping experience. Here at Cassidy’s Transport our customer service is here for you 24hr. a day, 7 days a week. We take pride in our team being able to provide you with prompt, reliable service at a good rate, without service failure. Give us a try, let us be your freight shipping partners.

Thank You

Micheal Judge

micheal@cassidytransport.com

info@cassidytransport.com

352-503-2017

Great News Florida Carriers

Recently Gov. Rick Scott toured the $220 million dredging operation that will enable Miami’s cargo port to accommodate much bigger vessels. It is expected to be completed in spring of 2015. This will allow the port of Miami to handle so-called Panamax vessels, the ability, to port and unload cargo. With the increase of cargo landing in Southern Florida it is going to increase the need for more carriers to haul cargo out of Florida. That’s great news for the future, of Florida transportation.

” Cassidy’s Transport is Always Here to Service Your Shipping Needs.”

Micheal Judge

micheal@cassidytransport.com

Influx of Cash Aids Logistics Firms – Based on a article in Transport Topics

Competition between asset-based freight carriers and non-asset based logistics companies is giving way to cooperation as shippers increasingly turn over freight management to outside firms, according to industry analysts. We have seen an emergence of companies that have access to full range of platforms needed to service your shipping needs, of all sizes. It’s not uncommon for a small or mid-size shipper to go to a third party logistics company to get access to all those services in one. Logistics service providers bring flexibility to the market by affording shippers the oppturnity to take in a mode neutral approach to carrier selection. 3PL’S have made the market more efficient. A shipper may have a few dozen carriers in it’s data base, there’s about 250,000 truckload carriers in the US. and 97% of them have less than 20 trucks. 3PL’s are the best way for shippers to access smaller fleets and are essentially an outsourced sales force for carriers, working to cut costs and eliminate empty miles. By letting 3PL’s take care of your logistics needs, it allows you to focus on where it counts, operational efficiency, making sure your shipments are picked up and delivered when needed.

Micheal Judge

micheal@cassidytransport.com

info@cassidytransport.com