Category Archives for "Transportation Industry"

Safe and Flexible Driving Rules

Driving hours have long been a part of trucking safety. Driving for too many hours can cause drowsiness and a lack of concentration. To drive long distances and sustain the necessary energy it takes to work in the trucking industry, many drivers plan ahead.


Hours Of Service

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration was first adopted in 1937 for the safety of commercial drivers. The Hours of Service rules then specified what the operating hours should look like for truck drivers. Since then, the rules and guidelines have been changed to meet current standards.

Truck driver hours of service rules were changed on September 29th. The official new rules allow for more flexibility so that scheduling hours around breaks are now easier. Among some of these guidelines, two exceptional changes provide huge benefits to trucking safety: The Thirty Minute Rule and The Adverse Driving Conditions Exception.

Adverse Driving Conditions

The Adverse Driving Conditions Exception extends the maximum permitted driving time by two hours. Due to inclement weather conditions or traffic build-ups, it can be tempting to drive faster to complete the distance needed by the driving deadline hours. With two additional hours, unexpected driving conditions are not nearly as stressful for truck drivers.

The Thirty Minute Rule

The Thirty Minute Rule was created for mandatory break times. Continuous driving throughout the day can be hazardous without intermittent breaks. Without these breaks, drivers can become unaware of drowsiness or a lack of concentration and may cause harm to themselves or other drivers. The thirty minute break rule requires a break after eight hours of consecutive driving time. At this point, a driver can relax at a restaurant or take a nap before re-energizing for the next stretch.


Driving safety can sometimes be an afterthought when distance and time are of the essence. By following the guidelines set in place by The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, commercial motor vehicle drivers can remember to stay safe on the road.

The Top Safety Tips For Truck Drivers


When navigating the roads, it’s prudent to expect the unexpected. This advice is especially important for truck drivers to heed. With considerable caution and on-the-road safety tricks, you can ensure that you remain out of harm’s way while en route. Whether you’re preparing for a trip or traveling to your destination, here are some tips to consider while in the driver’s seat.

Pre-Road Safety Hacks


Track The Weather

When bad weather rears its ugly head, driving becomes exponentially more dangerous. According to the Federal Highway Administration, nearly 21 percent of vehicle crashes are weather-related. With that said, it’s critical to check the weather both before you’re driving and while on the road.

Get Comfortable

There’s nothing more bothersome than being uncomfortable in the driver’s seat. Fidgeting and constantly adjusting will only distract from what’s going on on the road. To keep yourself cozy and attentive, find your sweet spot before the trip begins.

On-The-Road Safety Hacks


Stay Alert

It’s all too easy to get distracted while driving. If you feel your concentration waning, take a break. As a result, you’ll give yourself the opportunity to refuel. Much like your truck, you don’t perform as well when you’re running on empty. To avoid an accident, it’s crucial to stay alert while behind the wheel.

Stay In Your Lane

Due to their large size, trucks are sensitive to wind, speeding cars, and other unpredictable elements. When these forces are too strong, it can cause you to swerve into the next lane. By keeping both hands on the wheel, you remain in complete control of the vehicle and, in turn, manage to stay in your lane.

Maintain Distance

If you have to come to a screeching halt, you’ll need about seven seconds to do so. With that in mind, keep a reasonable distance between you and the car ahead of you. When you do have to come to a stop, you’ll find comfort in knowing that you won’t plow into the vehicle in front of you.

Robots and AI in Trucking

Businesses depend on the trucks for the movement of their goods. America has more than 3.5 million trucks on the road. From medical supply, groceries, sanitizing supplies, and many others, they all need this automobile industry's services. The changing times have posed a significant challenge to fleet owners, managers, mechanics, and sector employees.

This sector recorded a great profit before the COVID-19 pandemic broke out this year.
However, government fleets were not massively affected compared to heavy-duty private trucks. The epidemic retarded the growth rate of the sector, and many jobs were lost.

Read on to find out current technological trends affecting the trucking industry.

Robotic Automation

The use of robots has ensured that the repetitive processes that were initially done manually are automated. Loading and offloading used to be done manually, and many people earn their daily earning through it. Automation increases the output, and business productivity is enhanced.

Recording clerks during the loading and offload process can be re-assigned to other duties. Conversely, many truck companies have not yet adopted the strategy. If it is utilized, it will boost the business. Regrettably, many will lose their jobs.

Use of Artificial Intelligence

The trucking sector is adopting A.I. There are essential data that will require detailed analysis that human is likely to err. This will ensure that most decisions are made faster, and employees can shift their focus on providing the process works.

Efficient and effective delivery is the core business of the trucking sector. The exact date and information should accompany the freight on transit. On the other hand, the truck managers should ensure this data is transmitted to the container destination via artificial intelligence.

Artificial intelligence will ensure that all the data on the trucks and loads are reliable. It will also replace the tedious paperwork. However, it will come with operating costs that will affect the net profit.

Autonomous trucks

Trucking companies have started adopting autonomous trucks technologies. It works by alerting the receiver of the departure and arrival times of his consignment.

It is trending news in the USA that driverless trucks are in the offing. However, electric trucks are already on the road. This has affected the price of diesel-powered engines. Companies are looking forward to adapting to new technology, which has caused severe industry challenges.

Autonomous trucks will affect both manual fleet owners and mechanics. Therefore, they will have to upgrade their skills.

Electronic Logging devices

The coming into effect of the Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) is slowing the movement of goods. All trucks are required by law to be equipped with ELD. The idea is to bring effectiveness in the management of the trucking industry. However, ensuring that all the trucks are equipped with this technological device is expensive and time-consuming.

In conclusion, the trucking sector continues to experience many trends and news that affect its profitability. With the emergence of automation trucks and electric fleets, the diesel engine trucks and manual operated will become obsolete with time. The introduction of robotics and intelligence renders truck workers jobless.

The Present and Future of Automated Trucking

Driverless technology has extended to cars, pickup trucks, and now commercial trucks that take up most of the road. This means that there is no driver controlling the vehicle, or there may be a driver who is monitoring the system but not steering the wheel. Autonomous trucking is already here, but many people wonder if it will grow or decline in popularity.

The Present State of Driverless Trucks

Autonomous trucking has already appeared in a small percentage of trucking companies. Prototypes are being driven out on the public roads. Driverless trucks save companies tens of thousands of dollars a year. The companies that manufacture these vehicles make millions per year. However, the livelihoods of countless truck drivers are at risk.

The Importance of Road Tests

In the U.S. alone, truckers transport the majority of the country's goods for retail stores, office buildings, homes, restaurants and most other businesses. Trucking is a necessary part of life, but many people are concerned about 30,000 pounds of steel speeding down a crowded road with no driver. For this reason, many companies are going through test modes. And the tests are proving to be successful for the most part.

Growing Confidence in its Technology

During tests, it's recommended that a real-life trucker sits in the passenger seat as a backup driver. Truckers with decades of experience are confident in the technology's efficiency. Brand-name retail and shipping companies use autonomous trucks that cost nearly $250,000. This cost is not too expensive compared to paying the annual salaries of several truckers, which vary from $40,000 to $60,000. In addition, automated trucks can reach their destinations in fewer days with fewer breaks.

TuSimple is one type of company that has fleets working on the road. The computer system collects a large amount of data, including maps and driving routes. This collective data is used to improve its driving performance on the road and make it more superior than that of a human.

The workdays of commercial truck drivers are numbered as they are gradually being replaced by smart technology. Autonomous cars and trucks are real and being used for personal and commercial purposes. In the future, drivers should expect to see more of these high-tech vehicles on public roads and highways.

Top 5 trends affecting trucking in 2020 and 2021

The trucking industry has experienced a plethora of changes affecting operations, truck manufacturing, and the complex way in which the industry markets overall.

Especially with the 2020 pandemic, companies and retailers have had to come up with flexible ways to continue their transport efforts and even increase them with new and innovative ideas.

Though this year has been particularly difficult, the rapid growth of innovation and the increase in the production of the trucking industry have been numerous in number and overall variety.

Below are the top five trends that are currently affecting and drastically changing the trucking industry.

1. Change in Location of Production

Some of the biggest trucking companies in the nation have typically kept their production locations the same as this has allowed them to increase efficiency and stable structure over the years.

With the restructuring many companies have had to endure, increasing the agility of these production locations have become the primary focus of many trucking companies

Dry van production locations are shifting to various Midwest states such as Illinois and Ohio.

Reefers have been seen to change production location to California.

And flatbeds are beginning to increase their production locations in areas such as Pennsylvania and Texas.

2. New technology

The integration of technology has not been lost on the trucking industry. Software programs to increase the efficiency of trucking companies’ operations have been integral to the industry's continued growth and survival.

Trucks are increasingly being outfitted with more advanced technology to improve the vehicles themselves and improve the tracking of shipments and goods they carry from one location to another.

This also allows for better communication with customers as to where when and how their shipments are being managed.

3. E-commerce

The influence of this new way of shopping online has greatly affected the trucking industry. Trucking companies have had to become more agile in their distribution because of the growth of this fast-paced online market.

The ability of distributors to adapt to the new e-commerce environment is key for each company's longevity. The e-commerce industry is inevitably tied to the trucking industry, however, it will be the companies with the highest ability to serve the online market that will succeed.

4. Increasing Urbanization

The trucking industry is and will continue to be supported by increasing the urbanization of towns and cities. Increased connection between city centers and rural areas will only improve the ability of distributors to get their products to consumers.

5. Analytics

The operation of data analytics not only runs the agility of most companies today but is a very important technological advancement for trucking companies. Introducing these analytics to trucking companies’ workforce, vehicle usage and routes, and their end-user experiences can have major impacts on companies’ flexibility and positively affect their bottom line.

Using this data will also allow them to predict future workforce strategies and also customer needs which will allow them to get ahead of future market changes.

Survey Says! Top Trucking Industry Issues In 2020

Semi Truck And Trailer At AirportThe 2020 Top Industry Issues Survey Provides Data That Benefits The Trucking Industry

A 501(c)(3) not-for-profit the American Transportation Research Institute's focus is on making the transportation of freight by truck more efficient, safer, and more secure. For 66 years, the ATRI has collected and analyzed data on issues affecting truckers. The 2020 survey of truckers' concerns is currently open. The information collected will be used to research solutions to the topics respondents rate most important.

The Questionaire

Open to anyone who works in trucking the questionaire is completed online. The gathering of data for this year began on 8 September. The deadline for participation is 16 October. The questionnaire consists of three parts.

  • Information about the participant
  • The three most important industry concerns
  • Respondent concerns not otherwise listed

The results of the study become public on 27 October.

Why The Survey Matters

Stressing the brevity of the survey form Randy Guillot, the American Transportation Research Institute Chairman, described the importance of the information gathered as “immeasurable.” Completing the survey gives voice to those whose livelihood depends on the trucking industry.

ATRI Research

A lack of safe parking for drivers who have reached their maximum number of driving hours is a perennial issue. The efficient locating of available parking is just one of the matters for which the American Transportation Research Institute is seeking a solution.

The GPS Parking Supply Study

An increase in the number of trucks on the road, the utilization of former parking places for other purposes, and a lack of land to build new parking areas are to blame for the shortage of safe places for drivers to stop and rest. Recently, the ATRI conducted a two-part study addressing the locating of rest areas. Both parts involved using a truck's GPS to aid truckers in locating available parking.

Part 1

Part 1 of the study concentrated on four truck stop sites in Minnesota. GPS data was analyzed to determine the availability of truck parking. The break down of data collected included the time-of-day and day-of-the-week.

Part 2

During the second phase of the GPS study, the American Transportation Institute tested methods for relaying parking availability to truck drivers.

  • Electronic signs
  • A web portal
  • Direct messaging to the truck

The University of Minnesota worked in conjunction with ATRI in this study.


Both the use of GPS and the above-listed approaches proved viable in guiding commercial drivers to available resting places. As a secondary benefit of not having to search blindly for a parking place, driver efficiency improved.

More About The ATRI

The American Transportation Research Institute provides advisory services to 31 Departments of Transportation. The institute oversees the U.S. DOT's Freight Mobility Program. Intelligent Transportation Systems America and the Institute of Transportation Engineers have helped finance ARTI's efforts on behalf of the cartage industry. All information compiled by ARTI is available online free-of-charge at


Staying Entertained On the Road


The truck driving lifestyle can be lonely and repetitive. With the right technology however, it’s easy to stay entertained during long drives.

Audio Books: Smart phones make it easy to find and download audio books for your listening pleasure. Audible is just one app with a 100,000+ selection of books.

Podcasts: Podcasts are almost always free, they cover almost any topic you can think of and can help you keep up with current happenings.

Music: The FM radio comes and goes and can be quite boring. Pandora and other music streaming services are often free and offer a much wider variety of music and more control than what’s offered through the dial.

Smart phones and modern technology make it easier than ever to stay entertained on the road. With a little research, planning ahead and downloading, you can be set with entertainment for days!

A Brief History of Freight Shipping

The process of moving goods by land and sea goes back for centuries. Even one of the most well-known birth stories of the United States, The Boston Tea Party, was an attack on a fleet of cargo ships.

As populations grew and the industrial revolution kicked in full force, the amount of goods needing to be transported increased at an exponential rate. Modern cargo ships are capable of carrying several thousand tons of goods from one country to another.

The amount of products being moved at any given time is so vast freight companies have to use specialized software, like the kind made by TATEMS, just to keep track of it all!

3 Ways for Truck Drivers to Stay Alert on the Road


1. Drink Less Caffeine: Although it may seem counterintuitive, caffeine, when used too frequently will not only make it hard to get a good night’s rest, but it will also increase anxiety which can pull focus from the road.

2. Healthy Diet: Food is key when trying to stay alert for long periods of time, and sugar and fatty foods can cause major spikes in our energy levels. Try snacking on more fruits and vegetables when on the road.

3. Exercise: Making sure to stay physically active can decrease anxiety, give way to more productive sleep patterns and serve as a natural stimulant. Try developing a quick exercise program to execute before taking off from each stop.

Avoiding dangerous mechanical issues on the road is a more challenging problem. Tatems Truck & Trailer Equipment Maintenance Software can help you make sure your fleet stays safe.

Outrageous! Mini Cooper Tale

Photo By: Collin Allen

Daughter Gets A New Car

Last week my youngest daughter bought her first car.

She bought a 2009 Toyota Corolla with about 35K miles on it from CarMax.  She also got the extended warranty 100,000 miles on the odometer Or 75 months from purchase at Carmax for about $1000 (for the extended warranty).

My wife Karen and I discovered Carmax when we first moved to Las Vegas In 2003 and have probably purchased about 6 cars from there since.

We don't even bother going to other dealers, we went to a few here before finding Carmax and it was not a good experience.

The Mini Cooper Tale

Mini Coper Tail light and logo

Photo By: Ben Martin

We just heard a car purchase horror story from the lady who owns the UPS store.

She purchased a used Mini Cooper from the local BMW dealer a few months ago.  She paid about $15000 for the car and they offered her an extended warranty for $4500! Which she turned down.

Outrageous price for the warranty I thought and also a red flag.

Like, is there something about this make/model/year of car that causes it to breakdown and be expensive to repair?

It had 50K miles on it and she had some issues with it having  an oil leak.

She thought they had fixed it but when she drove up to Utah the Engine blew.

Photo By: Steve Snodgrass

In Utah she got an estimate for the engine repair for $7500!

She wasn't happy and she has been calling the local BMW dealership  to see what they can or will do and now all they do is hang up on her.


So if you are going to buy a used car save yourself from grief and If you have a Carmax near you go there, it is a much different  “no pressure” buying experience and make sure you get an extended warranty, even if it's still under factory warranty.

In my experience they have more that paid for themselves.   Like the time the transmission on my GMC Sierra had the be replaced.  It only cost me the $50 deductible.

We just heard a car purchase horror story from the lady who owns the UPS store.

She purchased a used Mini Cooper from the local BMW dealer a few months ago.  She paid about $15000 for the car and they offered her an extended warranty for $4500! Which she turned down.

Do you have any used car tales? Leave your comments below and have a great week!

Thanks Again,