Friday, March 30, 2012

New challenges to hour changes

I want to keep everyone up-to-date on the new changes in the hour limitation for drivers. Found this article and it’s definitely a good read. Everyone needs to be aware of the changes and how it will affect your business rates and time restrictions from pickup to delivery.
Nasstrac Joins HOS Legal Battle
Nasstrac, the National Shippers Strategic Transportation Council, has joined in the legal efforts to challenge a lawsuit regarding reduced daily driving hours for truckers, reports the Journal of Commerce.
The organization is intervening in a court appeal, brought by consumer advocacy organization Public Citizen and other groups, to reduce driving time for truck drivers to 10 hours a day. Public Citizen is challenging the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration because the agency did not cut driving time in its new rules.
Nasstrac argues that reducing driver hours wouldn't combat fatigue and that truck accident fatalities have dropped since the 11-hour limit was initiated in 2004.
The group joins the American Trucking Associations, which also filed an appeal. ATA is challenging the 34-hour "restart" rule that could keep some drivers off-duty longer between workweeks. While ATA wants to revise the 34-hour restart, Public Citizen wants to kill it entirely. The U.S. Court of Appeals has consolidated ATA's appeal with the Public Citizen lawsuit.
The FMCSA's rule goes into effect July 2013.

Monday, March 26, 2012

More signs the economy is improving

According to a new report by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), improved U.S. competitiveness and rising costs in China will put the United States in a strong position by around 2015 to eventually add 2 million to 3 million jobs and an estimated $100bn in annual output in a range of industries. The study explained how 15 to 20 percent annual increases in Chinese wages and other factors were rapidly eroding China's manufacturing cost advantage over the U.S.
Seeing this study gives me more confidence for the U.S. and our future. The trend is still in its early stages, so it’s not exactly a crystal ball seeing the future, but nonetheless intriguing. It predicts that production of 10 to 30 percent of U.S. imports from China, which in 2010 accounted for nearly $200bn worth of products, could move to the U.S.
Definitely worth the read -

Friday, March 23, 2012

Wawa coming to Tampa

Wawa is a convenience store and gasoline station with a twist — food service comes first, gas sales, second. This unique convenience store might soon replace a former Italian chain restaurant in Tampa at 401 N. Dale Mabry Highway. The stores are native to the north but have been making their way south and just broke into Florida. Wawa also has other plans for building stores in Orlando as well as more loations in Tampa. The residents of the community have mixed feelings about rezoning the land, but I think this would be a great thing for truck drivers. Professional drivers already have a difficult time eating decent meals simply because they lack a fully stocked kitchen. The majority of the time drivers just go in a grab something while their refueling. For this reason, these stores can have a huge impact on the lives of drivers. While gassing up they could have the opportunity to buy something more than a Slim Jim, a bag of chips and a large soft drink. Hopefully these type of stores will continue to thrive and potentially improve life on the road.
From their website: Wawa offers a large fresh food selection, including Wawa brands like Built-to-Order® Hoagies which come in four sizes: the Junior, Shorti, Classic, and Two-Footer. We are also proud to offer our award-winning Freshly Brewed Coffee (over 195 million cups sold each year), the Sizzli® hot breakfast sandwich, quality dairy products and Wawa brand juices and teas. All Wawa stores feature a wide selection of ready-to-go salads, and fresh fruits.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wheldon's death still casts long shadow over IndyCar

Since many of those who are associated with the trucking industry also tend to be racing fans, I wanted to share this story about IndyCar driver, Dan Wheldon. The article is about how drivers are looking at Sunday's season opener as practically a tribute race.
The drivers will compete for the first time since Wheldon's death last October — racing through the streets of St. Petersburg, Wheldon's adopted hometown. They'll drive a car named for him and navigate their way through Turn 10, recently renamed Dan Wheldon Way.
Wheldon's death was the first fatality in a major racing series since Dale Earnhardt died on the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500, NASCAR accident, and the circumstances were so very different for IndyCar. The Oct. 16 race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway was the season finale, and the race was halted after just 11 laps following the 15-car accident. More than two hours later, the drivers were summoned back to their cars for the five-lap tribute.
I think making this a tribute race is fantastic. The passing of Dan Wheldon serves as a grim reminder of the risk that race drivers take whenever they strap into a race car. All sports are dangerous and racing is definitely no exception. The other drivers and fans should stop for a minute to honor Wheldon in the way he would have like to be honored – on the race track.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Reed Transport now on Freight Friend

Reed Transport has recently redone the way carriers view available loads. Carriers can now view our load board online at Freight Friend. is a FREE load and truck posting website where freight companies and shippers select who can see their postings by inviting their transportation partners as “friends.” is a full-featured load and truck posting service, providing the most intuitive approach to posting, searching and matching freight with available equipment. Please take a moment to sign up and start exchanging your truck and lane information with us today. Be sure to send Reed Transport a friend request once you sign up!

Friday, March 16, 2012

163 Citations given for unsafe driving around trucks

Recently, police officers near Portland, Ore. were on the hunt for unsafe drivers. The officers ended up making 216 stops and issued 163 tickets! Woah baby! That’s a lot of driving tickets. What the officer did was drive in a loop on Interstate 5 riding in an Oregon Department of Transportation truck, observed traffic and radioed ahead to other officers to stop offenders. The violations ranged from speeding to tailgating to unsafe changing of lanes. We all hate driving down the interstate and seeing the cops. Although I’m not a big speeder, my unconscious reaction is to hit the brakes. In two days these cops issue 163 driving citations. 163! Seriously makes you think about all the things you do when you’re driving that can give you a ticket. It’s simply unsafe to drive like a maniac and even worse to do it around trucks. I have to say I’m happy they did this and would like to see more cities do this. Let’s crack down on aggressive driving and make it safer for everyone out there!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Power of Proper Trip Planning

The key to becoming a successful driver is trip planning. In the present economic environment with the skyrocketing price of diesel, trip planning has gained an added importance. To be successful as a driver, you'll always want to carefully plan out your trip so that you can get the required rest and arrive early.
There are several key factors involved in proper trip planning. The driver must calculate time to travel the required distance for the load to include all dead head miles. The driver must also calculate available hours to drive so that he/she can complete the load legally within the DOT regulations. Several other factors to consider are the times for the pick and delivery of the load, traffic patterns through major cities as well as the weather to name a few.
Trip planning involves taking the entire miles for the trip and dividing it by a reasonable mile per hour rate. Also a driver will not be able to maintain the maximum speed limits in most states due to geographical limits.
Another factor that has to be considered for over the road truck drivers is time zones. If you're traveling west from the New York to Los Angeles, Ca. you'll actually gain three hours because of the time zones. Likewise traveling back east you'll loss three hours.
So to properly trip plan a load you'll have to include all of these factors and along with several others. Distance, time, weather, speed, traveling conditions and most importantly rest. Yes considering how much rest you've had or need is another thing you must factor into trip planning if you plan to succeed. Fatigue is one of the major problems that effect truck drivers, especially when it comes to performing their jobs in a safe and successful manner.
Every day on the road is different and no one set of guidelines can cover every possibility. To be successful as a professional truck driver you'll want to always be on time for both your pick ups and deliveries so you don't have to waste valuable time sitting.
Blurb taken from an article by Steven Easley. Read the full article here:

Friday, March 9, 2012

More controversy over driver’s hours

First they complained about the proposed change. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration was going to cut the amount of hours a driver could drive in a day from 11 to 10. There was uproar. Business owners nationwide claimed they wouldn’t be able to function. They’d have to hire more drivers, pay customers more money, miss delivery dates, etc. Then the ATA sued saying the referential agency who promoted an advantage to the change overstated the safety benefits of the new rule, and that the costs outweigh the claimed benefits. No one seemed to be happy about it. So the FMCSA axed the rule. The decided they wouldn’t make a change and leave the hours at 11. And guess what? More people are unhappy..
Highway safety groups along with two unidentified truck drivers filed suit seeking judicial review of the FMCSA. Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, Public Citizen and the Truck Safety Coalition object to FMCSA not reducing the driving day to 10 hours from 11. They claim the FMCSA “had no data to support” increasing truck driving time to 11 hours in 2004, from the previous 10 . And so the debate continues back and forth. Where do you stand?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The economy continues to recover

Given that transportation more than 10% of the national GDP, it’s no surprise that as we continue to see trucking rise, the economy is rising with it. Manufactured goods as well as petroleum and coal are on the rise. Unfortunately, nothing so far this year has been consistent. January new orders for manufactured durable goods declined 3.7%, and new orders for nondurable goods rose 1.3%. Flatter rates indicate a sluggish economy and adequate capacity. Fuel costs have risen, but total spending does not seem to reflect this increase, and some think this has to do with fuel rising. Some experts conclude that carriers have eased up on base rates to compensate for higher fuel charges.
So although transportation and the economy are on their steady path to recovery, an immediate turnaround is unlikely. Unemployment is dropping but consumers are still spending their biggest share of their paychecks on necessities. We can only hope that transportation will continue to rise despite the cost of fuel and will continue to help grow the over economy.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Are you always sleepy?

A poll came out today stating that when asked how they sleep the night before they work, 44% of truck drivers say they rarely or never get a good night’s sleep. Reading that alone I thought, oh that can’t be good! They’re on the roads all day and they got a poor night’s sleep?? But the study also said that 42% of non-transportation workers had the same response. I felt this number was extremely high. Are there really that many people with sleep problems?

Personally, I sleep just fine the majority of the time. After waking up at 6:30am for a run with my dogs, working 8-9 hour days, hitting the gym most evenings, cooking for my family and straightening up the house (yes, a daily chore) I don’t have the energy to do anything. I fall asleep within 30 minutes and sleep just fine until my alarm goes off and I do it all over again. The busier my day, the better I sleep. I think many people who have trouble sleeping could solve the problem themselves by adding in more physical exercise. When thinking of a truck driver, if you’re just lounging around relaxing in your house because you know you have to work the next day, it’s not surprising you can’t sleep. Your body wants to know why you’re sleeping. You didn’t do anything to need so much rest!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Small Thing to Help Fuel Economy

Now I know everyone is depressed about the way gas prices have been climbing, so I wanted to share this article I read recently to slightly counteract that. Now many of us have heard before that tire pressure can also affect fuel economy, but I never knew by how much. I always figured it was something that was a pain to maintain and only saved me $50 a year. Well I was very wrong..
The article said that the program goals were to assess the cost/benefit, to determine if the systems could influence maintenance intervals in a positive way and to determine their impact on performance and safety. It went on to explain how they saw an increase in fuel economy in both fleets of 1.4%, which seems small but is a big deal! Based on current fuel costs [about $4.00/gal] and equipment costs of about $1,500 per tractor-trailer unit, the ROI comes in under one year!!

Steers tires also saw an improvement in tread wear of 5/32 per million miles and trailer tires saw an improvement of almost 2/32 on an inch per million miles. The drive tires, however, improved by nearly 30/32 per million miles. The test was a very positive experience for both fleets.
So although it seems like a minor thing, it can make a huge impact in the long run! Read the full article here: