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September 2015, - Feature

How To Build An Engaged Driver Workforce

Nussbaum Transportation stresses communication with drivers. Photo: Nussbaum

By Deborah Lockridge

Want drivers who not only stay with your company long-term, but also go the extra mile to make sure it succeeds? The key may be “employee engagement.”

Tags: Nussbaum Transportation, Driver Retention, Driver Dilemma

August 2015, - WebXclusive

The Latest Threat to the Owner-Operator Model

Photo by Jim Park

By Deborah Lockridge

New guidance from the Department of Labor issued in July could pose a threat to the trucking industry's use of owner-operator drivers as independent contractors, with the American Trucking Associations calling it "an aggressive departure from prevailing classification standards."

Tags: Driver Shortage, Owner-Operators, Independent Contractors

August 2015, - Editorial

The Smart Road to Younger Drivers

Editor in Chief, Deborah Lockridge

By Deborah Lockridge

While lowering the age of drivers may cause panic in the media, being smart about training young drivers can significantly reduce the risks.

Tags: Regulations, Driver Training, Driver Shortage

August 2015, - WebXclusive

The Risks of Hiring Inexperienced Drivers

By Denise Banks, HNI

Trucking companies hiring inexperienced drivers may be opening themselves up to more risk than it's worth.

Tags: Driver Training, Driver Shortage, High-Risk Drivers

August 2015, - WebXclusive

Reassessing the Independent Contractor

HDT File Photo

By Robert F. Dow and Douglas A. Smith

Truck driver classification should be weighed in light of current waged hour laws, safety regulations and the Affordable Care Act

Tags: FMCSA, Drivers, Compliance, Independent Contractors

August 2015, - WebXclusive

Commentary: Regulatory Drag and the Driver Shortage

Electronic logs, speed limiters, a drug and alcohol testing database and other regulations will mean more drivers are needed, even if the economy slows. Graph: FTR

By Evan Lockridge

Despite projections of an economic slowdown, upcoming regulations could still require fleets to find large numbers of new drivers.

Tags: Economy, Regulations, Driver Shortage, Speed Limiter, 34-Hour Restart

July 2015, - Feature

How Nice Cabs Can Affect Driver Satisfaction

It’s all about making the best of 50 square feet of living space.

By Jim Park

Whatever the reason for their discontent, the driver turnover rate for 2014 wound up at over 95%. Perhaps a newer, better mattress would help them sleep better at night or an on-board satellite TV system or a more comfortable seat?

Tags: Driver Shortage, Driver Turnover, Driver Comfort

July 2015, - Feature

Can Autonomous Trucks Solve the Driver Shortage?

Being able to do other things while in autonomous mode could make the job more productive and attractive to drivers. Photo: Freightliner

By Deborah Lockridge

One thing the developers of autonomous technologies have emphasized is that they are not a “driverless truck.” So how can they help with the driver shortage? Part 7 in HDT's Driver Dilemma series on the driver shortage.

Tags: Driver Shortage, Driver Productivity, Autonomous Vehicles

June 2015, - Feature

Fleets Can Help Drivers Maximize Fuel Economy

The right equipment for the job improves the fleet’s and the driver’s chances for success.

By Jim Park

The right equipment for the job improves the fleet’s and the driver’s chances for success. Part 6 in HDT's Driver Dilemma series on the driver shortage.

Tags: Driver Training, Fuel Economy

June 2015, - Editorial

Commentary: The Reality of Autonomous Trucks

Deborah Lockridge, Editor in Chief

By Deborah Lockridge

If autonomous Trucks aren't driverless, what, then, are the potential benefits? Think of it as cruise control on steroids.

Tags: Self-Driving Vehicles, Daimler Trucks North America, Autonomous Vehicles

May 2015, - Feature

The Automated Revolution is Real

Eaton AMTs come with a choice of a dash-mounted keypad shift control or the more driver-friendly cobra-head shift selector.

By Jim Park

After 20 years on the fringes of the heavy-duty transmission world, the switch from sticks to semiconductors may be reaching the tipping point.

Tags: Fuel Economy, Transmissions, Automated Manual Transmissions

May 2015, - Feature

Training for the Long Haul

Maverick last year completed a $4 million expansion of its training center. Photo: Maverick Transportation

By David Cullen

Start with the basics when training drivers – but it may pay to look back to bring them ahead. Part 5 in HDT's Driver Dilemma series on the driver shortage.

Tags: Driver Safety, Driver Training, Driver Shortage

May 2015, - WebXclusive

4 Ways Technology Can Improve Fleet Operations

Henry Popplewell of SkyBitz and Chris Smallwood of U.S. Xpress shared details on the fleet's experience since implementing SkyBitz’s trailer tracking system. Photo: Jim Beach

By Jim Beach

Information technology permeates all parts of a successful trucking fleet's operations today, and sessions at ALK's Transportation Technology Summit last week showcased technology used in trailer detention management, in-cab navigation, in-cab video and driver hiring.

Tags: ALK Technologies, Information Technology, Navigation, Trailer Tracking, Detention Pay

May 2015, - WebXclusive

How to Prepare for the CVSA Inspection Blitz

Art via HNI Blog


The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance's annual roadside inspection blitz is on the calendar for June 2-4. Here are some best practices to make sure your drivers' truck inspections go as smoothly as possible.

Tags: Vehicle Inspection, CVSA, HNI, Roadcheck

May 2015, - WebXclusive

The Freightliner Inspiration Event

The Inspiration Truck held its first demonstration on the Hoover Dam. Photo: Daimler

By HDT Staff

Daimler unveiled the Freightliner Inspiration Autonomous Truck to much fanfare and HDT was there to cover it all in the Nevada desert.

Tags: Freightliner, Daimler Trucks North America, Autonomous Drive

May 2015, - WebXclusive

Hands-off on the Highway

Driver Antonio Edgar, an electrical engineer in the vehicle test group, kept his hands in his lap while operating at highway speeds. Photo by Jim Park

By Jim Park

There are still a few misconceptions about autonomous commercial vehicles. They are not driverless trucks, but trucks that help make drivers' lives a little easier and roadways safer through the use of advanced technology. Jim Park takes a ride in Daimler's Inspiration Truck.

Tags: Cascadia Evolution, Daimler Trucks North America, Autonomous Drive

May 2015, - WebXclusive

Do Sign-On Bonuses Work?

By Deborah Lockridge

"In the second half of 2010, we had zero companies offering sign-on bonuses. We've gone from zero to nearly 50 percent of the companies offering some sort of sign-on bonus or transition pay."

Tags: Driver Pay

April 2015, - WebXclusive

One Woman Driver's Take on the Driver Shortage

Art Johannson and Amanda Jones. Photo courtesy Drivewyze

By Deborah Lockridge

Amanda Jones has been on the road with husband Art Johansson for 13 years and driving for a little less than a year, so she's got some interesting perspectives on what fleets can do to attract and keep drivers, especially female ones.

Tags: Driver Shortage, Women Drivers

April 2015, - Department

Attracting and Retaining Drivers with Satellite TV

A golf tournament is displayed on the EpicVue flat-screen TV inside a truck’s sleeper. The company offers its service based on three-year and five-year contracts. Photo via EpicVue

By Jim Beach

Cargo Transporters recently started installing in-cab satellite TV systems in some of its trucks and the driver feedback has been encouraging.

Tags: Technology, Driver Shortage, Driver Retention

April 2015, - Editorial

Commentary: Self-Driving Trucks Sooner Than You Think

Rolf Lockwood, Executive Contributing Editor

By Rolf Lockwood

Dutch transport officials have a plan that would see self-driving trucks hauling freight from Rotterdam, Europe’s largest port, to other cities in the next five years.

Tags: Mercedes-Benz, Self-Driving Vehicles, Future Trucks, Autonomous Drive

April 2015, - WebXclusive

Q&A: PeopleNet's New Trucking GM Mark Kessler

By Deborah Lockridge

A chat with the head of PeopleNet's new Trucking Division about big trucking issues and how better using data can help fleets win the day.

Tags: Information Technology, PeopleNet, ELDs

April 2015, - Feature

In Search of Owner-Operators

Of Schneider National’s 13,000-plus drivers, more than 2,200 are owner-operators like Andy Mills, shown here. Photo: Schneider National

By Deborah Lockridge

After a difficult recession caused many to give up trucking, owner-operators are on the rise again and fleets are doing all they can to recruit and retain them. Part 4 in HDT's Driver Dilemma series on the driver shortage.

Tags: Owner-Operators, Driver Recruitment, Driver Dilemma

March 2015, - Feature

Expanding the Driver Pool

Carlus Patterson is a former veteran who now drives a dedicated route for Ryder.

By Deborah Lockridge

In the face of a shrinking, aging driver population with high levels of driver turnover the trucking industry and individual carriers are looking for ways to expand the driver pool. Part 3 in HDT's Driver Dilemma series on the driver shortage.

Tags: Veterans, Women Drivers, Driver Dilemma

March 2015, - Editorial

Commentary: Would You Drive for Your Fleet?

Deborah Lockridge, Editor in Chief

By Deborah Lockridge

Are you treating your drivers like employees?That may sound like an odd question. Unless you use owner-operators, of course your drivers are employees. But … do you really treat them like the rest of your employees?

Tags: Truck Drivers, Driver Shortage, Driver Pay, Driver Retention

January 2015, - Department

How Well do you Know CSA?

By John Simms of HNI

Considering the regulatory environment in which transportation firms do business is miles from black and white, it’s no surprise that both drivers and enforcement personnel alike often are confused by the ins and outs of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s CSA.

Tags: FMCSA, CSA, HNI, Quiz

February 2015, - Feature

How Important is Driver Pay?

Truck driver pay is rising at a record rate. Is it the answer to the driver shortage?

By Deborah Lockridge

Truck driver pay is rising at a record rate. Is it the answer to the driver shortage? The second in a series on the driver shortage. Part 2 in HDT's Driver Dilemma series on the driver shortage.

Tags: Driver Pay, Driver Dilemma

January 2015, - WebXclusive

Driver Dilemma: A Year-Long, In-Depth Series on the Driver Shortage

Art Johansson and Amanda Jones are a husband-wife driving team. Photo courtesy Drivewyze.

By Deborah Lockridge

For 2015, as the trucking industry is dealing with the worst driver shortage and capacity crunch in its history, Heavy Duty Trucking is delving into the topic of truck drivers. A year-long series in the magazine is complemented by WebXclusive features.

Tags: Driver Pay

December 2014, - WebXclusive

Safe Winter Driving Tips

Photo by Ryder System.

By Mel Kirk, Ryder System

General preventive driving habits can make a big difference in winter driving safety. Here are some tips to make driving in hazardous conditions safer.

Tags: Driver Safety, Winter Driving, Accident Prevention, Ryder System, Snow Chain

December 2014, - WebXclusive

Winter Truck Maintenance Tips

Photo via Ryder System.

By Mel Kirk, Ryder System

Make sure your vehicle is properly serviced and maintained before the winter season begins to keep your fleet up and running.

Tags: Preventive Maintenance, Ryder System, Winter, Weather

December 2014, - WebXclusive

Hours of Service Hot Button Questions, Part 3

By Rick Malchow, J.J. Keller

Every year, hours-of-service questions from drivers and carriers make up the vast majority of inquiries concerning the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. In this final installment in a three-part series, we look at the 34-hour restart rules.

Tags: Hours of Service, 34-Hour Restart

December 2014, - WebXclusive

Hours of Service Hot Button Questions, Part 2

By Rick Malchow, J.J. Keller

Every year, hours-of-service questions from drivers and carriers make up the vast majority of inquiries concerning the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. In this article, the second of a three-part series, we'll look at the 30-minute rest break requirement.

Tags: Hours of Service

December 2014, - WebXclusive

Hours of Service Hot Button Questions, Part 1

By Rick Malchow, J.J. Keller

Every year, hours-of-service questions from drivers and carriers make up the vast majority of inquiries concerning the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. In this first installment in a three-part series, we look at electronic logging devices.

Tags: Hours of Service, Electronic Logging Devices, ELDs

November 2014, - Test Drives

Test Drive: Western Star 5700XE

Western Star's 5700XE is a Classic-style truck in aerodynamic wrap.

By Jim Park

Western Star’s 5700XE might just be everything to everyone. It’s a big classic-styled truck with second-to-one aerodynamics.

Tags: Western Star, Test Drive, Aerodynamics, Downspeed

November 2014, - WebXclusive

STAA Whistleblower Claims Taking Bite Out of Interstate Commerce Firms


There's been an increase in claims of retaliation under the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982. These STAA whistleblower claims are being filed by truck drivers who are contracted/employed by motor carriers.

Tags: Liability, Insurance, Lawsuits, HNI, Surface Transportation

November 2014, - WebXclusive

3 Things Drivers Need to do in Workers’ Comp Claims

By Corey Lile

Falls from loading docks or trailers, back sprains from throwing tarps, slips on icy truck steps -- truck driver injuries can lead to workers' comp claims. Make sure your drivers know these key areas of responsibility that are in their hands.

September 2014, - Department

Safety & Compliance: Using a Simulator in Your Safety Program

Photo: DriveWise

By Deborah Lockridge

Although driving simulators have been around for a long time, the current technology is more sophisticated, takes up less space and more affordable.

Tags: Training Simulator, Virtual Driver Interactive, DriveWise, Virage Simulation, Driver Training

September 2014, - WebXclusive

7 Ways to Get the Most Out of A Driver Simulator Program

Deciding what you want to get out of a simulator program is the first step. Photo: Virage Simulation

By Deborah Lockridge

Driving simulators today are more sophisticated, take up less space and are more affordable. How do you make sure you're choosing the right one for your company and getting the most you can out of it?

Tags: Driver Training, Training Simulator

July 2015, - Department

Would Your Brakes Pass Inspection?

Photo: J.J. Keller

By Betty Weiland, J.J. Keller

Out-of-adjustment brakes and other brake system violations make up almost half of the out-of-service roadside inspection violations on commercial vehicles.

Tags: Vehicle Inspection, Brake Safety Week, Brakes, CVSA

August 2014, - Editorial

New Truck? Or New World?

By Rolf Lockwood

What two driverless trucks can tell us about the future of transportation and society at large.

Tags: Technology, Driverless Vehicle, Autonomous Drive

August 2014, - Department

Driving A SuperTruck

By Jim Park

The SuperTruck lives up to its name as a groundbreaking technology demonstration project that is also fun to drive.

Tags: Fuel Efficiency, Aerodynamics, SuperTruck

August 2014, - Feature

Electronic Logs Mandate: Outrage & Applause

By Oliver Patton

The electronic logging device mandate has sparked a variety of responses with some questioning and others embracing the change.

Tags: Hours of Service, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, ELDs, E-logs

August 2014, - Cover Story

Inside the Numbers Driving the Heavy-Duty Trucking Industry

By Staff

There are many ways to tell a story – through words in books and magazines, pictures, videos, song, and more. With the inaugural issue of the HDT Fact Book, we are telling trucking’s story through facts, numbers, statistics, charts, and graphs.

Tags: Emissions, Drivers, Equipment, Statistics, Parts, industry statistics, Fuel and Oil

August 2014, - WebXclusive

Don't Get Busted with 'Guilty' Incentive Based Wellness Programs

Photo via HNI.


Getting in trouble with the law is pretty much the last thing on someone’s mind when starting a wellness program, right? But there are some legal issues to consider.

Tags: Driver Wellness, HNI, Driver Health

August 2014, - WebXclusive

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring Truck Drivers

Photo courtesy Haldex


We don't have to tell you how important driver recruiting is to the success of your company — hiring truck drivers is priority No. 1 for nearly every transportation company. HNI shares some "don'ts" to keep in mind when recruiting drivers.

Tags: Driver Training, Recruiting, HNI

July 2014, - WebXclusive

7 Things Drivers Need to Do at the Scene of an Accident

Don Jerrell with HNI talks about the importance of being prepared for accidents.

By Deborah Lockridge

SCHAUMBURG, IL — Fleets should prepare for and practice what to do in the event of a serious accident just like they do for fire drills – from top management to dispatchers to drivers, said Don Jerrell, a safety expert at HNI Risk Services, to attendees of the Fleet Safety Conference Tuesday.

Tags: Accidents, Driver Training, Fleet Safety Conference

June 2014, - Department

Carrier Streamlines Communication by Equipping Drivers with Tablets

By Jim Beach

Drivers at Land Air Express of New England keep in touch with home base and handle all the necessary paperwork through the use of tablets.

Tags: Information Technology, Tablets, Smartphones, Land Air Express

May 2014, - WebXclusive

Four Key Takeaways from HNI's Driver Recruiting Summit

Reaching out to women and other underrepresented groups is one way to improve recruiting. Photo courtesy Con-way.

By Jim Daly, President, HNI Minnesota

HNI's Driver Recruiting Summit covered some of the pitfalls and best practices in the world of recruiting -- and retaining -- truck drivers.

Tags: Recruiting, HNI, Retention

May 2014, - Editorial

Commentary: Texting Caught on Tape

By Deborah Lockridge

The consequences of texting and driving can go far beyond your CSA score, a ticket or even the maximum $11,000 fine from the feds.

Tags: Texting, NTSB

May 2014, - Feature

Driver Ergonomics: Round Pegs and Oval Holes

By Jim Park

As well as being in short supply, trucking’s new recruits are also, shorter generally, and thinner, as well as less likely to want a truck to look and feel like a truck. The challenge for truck makers comes in designing truck cabs to fit an expanding body-size profile, while making the driving environment appealing to people who have different expectations about trucks – all without alienating the existing driver population.

Tags: Ergonomics, Volvo Trucks, Women in Trucking

May 2014, - Feature

Five Ways Private Fleets Keep Drivers Longer

Average pay for drivers in the private fleet community was reported at $60,021 in 2012, up nearly $1,500 from the $58,784 reported in 2011. Starting pay for drivers remained virtually unchanged at just under $50,000, as did pay at the end of year one ($53,417). However, pay after three years dropped 12% to $58,137, while the upper limit for the most experienced drivers maxed out at more than $68,000 annually, a decrease of $14,000 compared to the previous year.

By Deborah Lockridge & Kate Harlow

In 2012, driver turnover at large truckload carriers averaged 98%, according to figures from the American Trucking Associations. At smaller truckload fleets turnover averaged 82%.

Tags: NPTC, Driver Turnover, Private Fleets, Driver Pay, NationaLease



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