As the saying goes, "Opinions are like [fill in the blank], everyone's got one." And that is no more true than here at HDT. We have rounded up the top 10 commentaries for you to enjoy while you ring in the New Year.
Hundreds of trucks successfully negotiate the treacherous 50 miles between the Eisenhower Tunnel on Interstate 70 and the city of Lakewood, Colorado, where a driver who wasn't so lucky made international headlines, roaring down the grade, out of control, slamming into stopped traffic in a fiery crash that claimed four innocent lives.
It doesn't matter where you read it, reports on the driver shortage are always followed by strings of comments from drivers hotly denying there's such a shortage. In their view, it's a shortage of pay, or a shortage of drivers willing to work for what they consider inadequate pay. Wrap it up and spin it any way you want; trucking's labor woes won't be solved by blaming its staffing difficulties on failed drug tests or general disinterest in the job.
As one of Canada’s most closely followed truck-crash trials drew nearly to a close, we finally learned what happened at a cold crossroads near Tisdale, Saskatchewan. Sixteen lives were snuffed out, 13 people were badly injured, and the expected arc of dozens of families was irrevocably knocked off kilter by a truck careening through a stop sign and being struck by a bus.
Once upon a more uncomplicated time, logistics was something a motor carriers’ customers had to worry about. The trucking company’s only concern was to deliver freight somewhere and do that at an acceptable cost, on time, and in one piece.
There is a phrase we have all heard and some of us have likely said it, too: “The heavy-duty trucking industry just isn’t sexy.” For years, I have heard language like this used across our industry in regards to why we struggle to capture a new generation of employees.
A California Supreme Court decision has made it much tougher for trucking companies to use owner-operators in the state. The Western States Trucking Association, in fact, says the ruling will effectively end the practice. The group plans to challenge the ruling, potentially setting up a U.S. Supreme Court challenge.
It's easy to get excited and stay excited about fuel economy when you can see positive change coming from your efforts. When I saw the numbers creeping up into the 10s on a recent test drive in a Peterbilt 579 Epiq, I started pushing for 11. And it worked.
In general, the proposed changes to the hours of service rules announced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Aug. 14 appear to be common-sense changes that were sought by many in the industry. But one thing troubled me – and based on a Facebook conversation, it looks like it troubles some drivers as well.
I’m not a numbers guy. In fact, I’m such a non-numbers guy that I suspect something isn’t quite wired right inside my brain when it comes to figures, addition, multiplication, division and all that stuff. If I’ve ever successfully worked an algebra problem in my life, I don’t remember it. I certainly haven’t used algebra since my last Math 101 class in college.
Jeff Barker is an experienced truck driver (and technician by training) who’s been training drivers for Crete Carrier Corp. for years. He's just about seen and heard it all. But a recent encounter with a young trainee about GPS navigation systems was a new one.