• “Machine Vision” Video Systems: New Technology to Improve Truck Safety

    Feb 17, 2017

    Lytx_activevision_300x240Technology in the trucking industry continues to advance with the rest of the world; now revealing in-cab camera and video systems with the ability to use “machine vision” to improve safety. This technology enhances safety measures by tracking lane markings, detecting other drivers, detecting travel time compared to traffic, and recognizing if a driver fails to stop at a stop sign or run a red light. The cameras can “see” the truck’s surroundings. These systems also work with other sources, such as accelerometers and the engine’s control unit, for data with the hope of alerting drivers when dangerous situations arise, such as drowsy driving.

    Lytx Inc. is a supplier of one video-based program, and offers the machine vision service, ActiveVision, as an enhanced service. The technology can track the environment both inside and outside the cab with data points. If repeated safety signs happen, such as swerving repeatedly in a period of time, the driver will be alerted via in-cab audio and visual alerts. 

    Netradyne is another company that has joined the video system market with its Driver-i program. Their core technologies are based on artificial intelligence and deep learning rather than human review, distinguishing them from the competition. Whereas other programs gather video that is sent to a human review center and then to the fleets once reviewed, the Driver-I gathers video and does all the computation and sends the information to the fleet manager within minutes. The artificial intelligence allows for quicker feedback to customers.

    The overall goal of this new “machine vision” technology is to improve driver safety. Many of the programs are focused on fatigue management to help employers and drivers create plans to combat undue risk. The hope is to also identify and document good driving behavior. This gives companies the opportunity to recognize those drivers and create best practices.

     
    Image Source: ttnews.com

  • A Woman among the List of this year’s America’s Road Team

    Feb 10, 2017
    Rhonda300x240The 2017-2018 American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) ‘America’s Road Team’ has been chosen. This year’s list features 19 men and one woman and that woman is Rhonda Hartman. Hartman is the 16th female driver that has been selected since the team’s inception in 1986. The 20 team members are selected among a pool of 2,200 applicants after many interviews and recommendations.

    Hartman will have the honor of serving as a trucking industry ambassador, while remaining a full time trucker. She will tour North America in ATA’s Interstate One Image Truck over the next two years  for a national public outreach program. This program focuses on sharing the message of safety, essentiality, sustainability, and professionalism in the industry. 

    Hartman joined the industry after growing up driving heavy equipment on farms in Iowa. Hartman has been trucking for 34 years now, estimating 2.7 million accident-free miles. Her colleagues say she is a great role model. 

    She hopes that her involvement will encourage more women to consider trucking as a career choice. The Women in Trucking (WIT) organization also has its own Image Teamthat serve as trucking ambassadors but would like to see more women on the ATA team. Currently, it is estimated that female drivers account for 5.1 percent of the more than 3.5 million truckers on the road.

    The other 2017-2018 America’s Road Team Captains are:

    Steve Brand, FedEx Freight
    Jon Brockway, Walmart Transportation LLC
    John Gaddy, Carbon Express, Inc.
    W. Scott Harrison, K Limited Carrier Ltd
    Rhonda Hartman, Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc.
    Gary Helms, Covenant Transport, Inc.
    Bill Krouse, YRC Freight
    David Livingston, TCW, Inc.
    Charles Lobsiger, Walmart Transportation LLC
    Timothy Melody, ABF Freight System, Inc.
    James Moore, Saia LTL Freight
    Chris Outen, FedEx Freight
    Charlton Paul Jr., UPS Freight
    Jeffrey Payne, Reddaway, Inc.
    Stephen Richardson, Big G Express, Inc.
    Michael Sheeds, Werner Enterprises
    Steven Smalley, ABF Freight System, Inc.
    Gary Smith, Garner Trucking, Inc.
    Earl Taylor, Penske Logistics
    Tim Taylor, FedEx Freight

    Image Source: Trucks.com
  • FMCSA New Driver Training Rule Delayed

    Feb 03, 2017
    01.31.17TrainingThe rule concerning minimum training requirements for entry-level Commercial Vehicle Operators  has been delayed to March 21, 2017. The delay was made to comply with Trump’s executive order to halt federal rules published but not yet effective. 

    The delay will postpone the Training Requirements by 60 days, but could be delayed further pending White House review. The February 7, 2020 compliance date will not be delayed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) even with the postponement of the rule’s implementation.

    The new rule has the following standards for any drivers receiving their CDL on or after the compliance date:
    • A core classroom curriculum, no minimum time requirement currently
    • Behind-the-wheel training, no minimum time requirement currently
    • Different standards for Class A and Class B CDL trainees
    • Requirements for endorsements such as hazmat and passenger

    In addition to these standards the rule will establish a registry of FMCSA-approved trainers that new truck drivers must receive their training from. The training will be deemed complete when “all elements of the curricula [are] proficiently demonstrated while the driver-trainee has actual control of the power unit during a driving lesson,” the rule states. Many organizations, such as the Owner-Operated Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) and American Trucking Associations (ATA), support the entry-level driver training rule as it will create more efficient drivers, lead to fewer crashes, and lower maintenance and repair costs. 
     
  • Athlete-Turned-Trucker Improving Truckers’ Health

    Jan 26, 2017

     

    trucker-health-2_300x240

    The truck driving community is constantly trying to find ways to protect their most valuable commodity—the driver. As with many sedentary occupations, truck driving can lead to obesity and high risk for other health conditions. Whether a driver spends 8 hours behind the wheel or 12, they can improve their regiment with both diet and exercise all while on the job.  

    Siphiwe Baleka, a swimming champion turned truck driver, has made drivers’ health his priority by speaking to new recruits on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle in this occupation. His method incorporates short bursts of exercise to boost metabolism, with diet changes such as cutting carbs and increasing protein intake. 

    Here are some health and wellness dos and don’ts for all drivers based on Baleka’s method: 

    • DO enjoy comfort foods, but be aware of your overall diet – make sure your comfort foods are in the right portions and coupled with healthier options. 

    • DO realize small changes make a difference – instead of grabbing macaroni and cheese, grab low sodium soup and a salad. Most restaurants (even the fast food ones) have healthier items on the menu to save you the calories. 

    • DO exercise activities that also decrease stress to improve mental health – if you don’t like running or walking, find an alternative method to get your heart rate up and blood pumping.  All you need is at least 15 minutes a day. Some simple tools to store in your truck or bag are a jump rope, resistance bands, and/or exercise mat.   

    • DO eat after working out, and keep eating – to build muscle and feed your metabolism.  

    • DO keep a log – and review at the end of the week to see where you can improve. You can even use an app to help with logging or planning (such as Baleka’s app or these other free options). 

    • DON’T settle for convenience – take the extra step to grab foods that aren’t prepackaged. Keep healthy snacks on hand in your truckso only the good foods are at reach. 

    • DON’T wait, start now 

     

    Image Source: NPR
  • ELD Court Hearing Denied: What this Means for Drivers

    Jan 19, 2017
    shutterstock_521249434_300x240The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association’s (OOIDA) denied request to have their case reheard means the compliance deadline of nearly all truck drivers’ adoption of ELDs will remain December 18, 2017. The OOIDA plans to appeal the case in the Supreme Court, but no date has been set as of yet. In order to succeed, four of nine justices will have to vote in favor - one of the justice spots is currently empty. They also plan to work with the incoming Trump administration to reevaluate the rule, but optimism is low due to Republican support of the mandate in 2012.

    The OOIDA has been battling the ELD mandate since March 2016. The association’s primary argument is that the rule violates truckers’ Fourth Amendment rights to privacy.

    So what does this mean for drivers?

    All truck drivers outside of the exempt category will be required to use ELDs to track duty status, discontinuing the use of paper logs. They will have to comply by the 2017 deadline. 

    Complying means one of three things: carriers and drivers currently using automatic onboard recording devices may continue using AOBRDs through December of 2019, switch to ELDs, or attempt to become exempt to the rule.

    With many drivers reluctant to the change, some are considering buying older trucks to be exempt from the new technology. A rule is in place that states pre-2000 model-year trucks will be exempt from having to use ELDs. For those drivers that own pre-2000 model trucks, some expect demand and price to rise if they put their truck up for sale. In a survey conducted for readers by Overdrive, 39% said they are, or will be in the market for a pre-2000 truck to avoid ELDs. 
     
  • Safety and Updated Infrastructure are Keys to Elaine Chao

    Jan 13, 2017
    Untitled design (26)On January 11th, Elaine Chao had her first Senate confirmation hearing. For 3.5 hours, senators from both sides of the floor questioned Chao on how she would carry out President-elect Donald Trump's infrastructure plans. Though she did not share much trucking specific insight, it is clear that she is well regarded by congress.

    Chao is not new to high profile positions in government. She has experience in the cabinet, having served as George W. Bush's secretary of labor for both terms. Due to her experience and connections in Washington, Commerce Chairman John Thune believes she's the "idea candidate" to lead the DOT for the next four years.

    During her hearing, Chao advocated for increased investment by the private sector in public infrasturcutre. She also stated that she is willing to implement any practical solution for funding infrastructure spending - public, private, or mixed. This will be necessary to carry out Trump's trillion dollar infrastructure plan, a plan which Chao did not share much details about.

    On infrastructure, Chao believes strongly that the nation's prosperity is jeopardized by "infrastructure in need of repair, the specter of rising highway fatalities, growing congestion, and by a failure to keep pace with emerging technologies."

    On regulations, Chao stated that she believed federal rules should be rooted in analysis and data built around sound science. Chao also believes that risk-based analysis will prevent accidents before they happen, and suggests considering both the costs and benefits of new rules and regulations.

    With that being said, Chao acknowledged that safety should remain and will remain the top priority of the DOT if her nomination is confirmed.

    Image Source:
     NPR
  • Number of Jobs in Trucking Reaches All-Time High

    Jan 12, 2017
    01.12.17_JobsAtAllTimeHighEarlier this month, the U.S. Department of Labor reported that trucking closed out 2016 with a new record high number of jobs. This in part was due to a strong finish to the year.

    For six months, the trucking industry has continued to improve. The greatest signal that the trucking industry is taking a turn for the better is the fact that the 1,400 new jobs created in December bring the industry job count to a new record high. The December gain puts for-hire trucking jobs at 1.4742 million. That is 19.5% more than the number of jobs reported in 2010, which was the low point of the economic downturn, and is 10,400 more jobs than the industry had in December of 2015.

    These new jobs were part of the 14,700 jobs gained in transportation and warehousing - most of which are attributed to the holiday rush. The continued growth in the trucking industry demonstrates the continued growth of the U.S. economy overall.

    The U.S. added 156,000 jobs in December overall. Though this number was below what economists expected, the unemployment rate did improve to 4.7%. Though only a slight improvement from November of 2016, December marks the lowest rate of unemployment since August of 2007.

    After six months of success, and closing out the year on an all-time high, the trucking industry has a lot to look forward to in 2017.
  • Regulations to watch in 2017

    Jan 06, 2017
    01.07.17_2017RegulationsWhen President-elect Donald Trump is sworn into office as the 45th President of the United States he will begin to pursue reducing the federal regulation of American business.

    Trump said he will ask department leaders to "submit a list of every wasteful and unnecessary regulation which kills jobs, and which does not improve public safety, and eliminate them." Another main avenue for regulatory rollbacks is the Congressional Review Act (CRA). This oversight tool allows executive rules to be overturned if the rule was enacted within 60 "legislative days." This covers rules which were enacted by a federal agency going back to the end of May 2016.

    The seven trucking rules that experts say to watch are:
    1. Hours of service: President Obama signed a Continuing Resolution that fixed a glitch in previous legislation that threatened use of a 34-hour restart as part of the hours of service rule.
    2. Electronic Logging Devices: The FMCSA announced a final rule in December that mandates the use of electronic logging devices for all trucks of model-year 2000 or newer used in interstate commerce. This rule was mandated under a GOP house majority, and is therefore highly improbable that the new Congress will roll it back.
    3. GHG Phase 2: The Phase 2 Greenhouse Gas/Fuel Efficiency sets CO2 limits for trucks, tractors, and trailers. It sets separate engine fuel-efficiency standards for each category of commercial vehicle, and for the first time, also regulate trailers.
    4. Meal/Rest Break Exemptions: Lobbyists will seek legislative provisions that would prevent individual states from enacting their own meal and rest break rules for CDL drivers. This effort failed three times in 2016.
    5. Sanitary Food Transportation: A final rule issued by the Food and Drug Administration will require motor carriers that haul human and animal food to use certain sanitary practices. Carriers will need to constantly monitor temperatures and humidity levels inside reefer and dry trailers and vans when hauling certain items for consumption. 
    6. Compliance Safety Accountability: The FMCSA announced a set of proposed changes to the CSA. These changes would increase the minimum number of crashes needed for determining the score a carrier receives in the Crash Indicator BASIC.
    7. Speed Limiters: ​In August, a joint rule was proposed that would require heavy-duty vehicles to be equipped with speed-limiting devices.

    Only time will tell if these rules come into effect or change direction in 2017.

  • Trucking's New Year's Resolution is to get Healthy

    Dec 23, 2016

    1.2.17_WeightLossThe American Trucking Associations (ATA), has partnered with Healthy Fleet to run the 10 Pound Challenge. For 59 days, from New Year’s Day until the end of February, participants will form healthy eating habits and activity plans to reach their weight and health goals.  

    Healthy Fleet, which was created in 2013, aims to help motivate, educate and support drivers in their efforts to achieve a healthier lifestyle while on the road. This is often difficult for truck drivers, who face unique health challenges due to their work. Sitting for extended periods of time and failing to have access to nutritious foods make reaching health and fitness goals a challenge.

    For this challenge, the ATA has selected five drivers to serve as America’s Road Team Captains. They are: 

    • Allen Boyd, Walmart Transportation
    • Charlie Demchock, Walmart Transportation
    • John Lex, Walmart Transportation
    • John McCown, UPS Freight
    • Russ Simpson, Holland 

    These captains will have access to Healthy Fleet’s nutritionists and coaches, who will provide them with valuable information and feedback. This feedback will help the captains change their routines for lasting results. 

    America’s Road Team Captain John Lex is excited for the challenge, stating it is an opportunity “for truck drivers throughout North America to take a closer look at their daily routines and build healthier habits.” 

    To help the 5 participants reach their goals, the Road Team has asked the trucking community to cheer them on. Make sure to follow America’s Road Team’s official Facebook and Twitter accounts for challenge updates, and get inspired to make changes to your routine as well!

  • Centerline Shines a Spotlight on Victor Marquez

    Dec 19, 2016
    California Highway Patrol (CHiPs) for Kids is a local toy drive in the Los Angeles, Orange County area marking its 28th year. Our driver Victor Marquez has been participating to make the holiday season brighter for kids throughout the county.

    In 2011, Victor came up with an idea with his employer, Coastal Pacific Food Distribution (CPFD), and together they would collect toys from other drivers, staff and warehouse workers and take them over to a CHiPs for Kids drop off facility. The lieutenant at the drop off facility told Victor that their trucking company was the first to ever drop off toys at their facility. After this first successful toy drive, a new tradition was started and he’s been doing it ever since. This year, the CHiPs for Kids facility warehouse was burglarized so it was even more important that Victor’s work continued to provide toys to help this charity complete their mission of giving to the underprivileged.

    Victor started driving for Centerline 10 years ago, and has been assigned to CPFD account for 17 years. When he was younger, he always knew he was going to be a driver. Victor is a veteran and was stationed at Fort Ord, CA. He was put into transportation and drove flatbed and food trucks. He delivered anything from tank equipment to ammunition to food supplies. It wasn’t until after he completed his service that he decided to get into commercial truck driving, he learned he has a passion for it. His total experience in driving is over 38 years. Victor comes from a loving family who are very supportive of his career even though it causes him to be away from home from time to time. In his spare time, Victor enjoys spending as much time as he can with his family, whether it is going to the river, mountains, or the beach.

    Victor’s words of wisdom to future drivers are, “you need to make the best of what you do, it can be hard sometimes, but worth it.”

    Congratulations to Victor for all your hard work, Centerline is very lucky to have you!
  • Ride Along with the Women in Trucking Association

    Dec 15, 2016

    12.14.16_RideAlongFederal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator Scott Darling got a first-hand look into what it means to be a professional truck driver when he joined Women in Trucking (WIT) Association’s Stephanie Klang on a two day trip from Missouri to Oklahoma.

    Klang, who has over 3 million miles of accident-free experience, has been driving professionally since 1980. In her 36 years of driving, Klang has served as a captain on the American Trucking Associations (ATA) America’s Road Team, and currently serves on the WIT Image Team.

    On their two day trip, Klang and Darling were able to discuss ELDs, speed limiters, safety techniques, and other everyday concerns. Darling stated that the ride-along was a “fantastic opportunity to obtain first-hand, on-the-road perspective of some of the challenges facing today’s professional drivers.”

    WIT CEO Ellen Voie has been allowing regulators and legislators to ride along with professional truck drivers in the association as a way to help them better understand the challenges a driver faces on the road each day, and see it from a female driver’s perspective. Other notable WIT ride-alongs have included Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Congressman Reid Ribble of Wisconsin, and CRASH safety Advocate Ron Wood.

    To learn more about the WIT and their programs that help support and encourage women in the trucking industry, visit their website

    Image Source: Women in Trucking
  • The Need for Infrastructure Improvement Cannot be Ignored

    Dec 08, 2016
    12.8.16_InfrastructureTogether the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) released The State of Freight II – Implementing the FAST Act and Beyond. The report highlights the need for more freight infrastructure spending.

    December 4 was the first anniversary of the FAST Act, a national plan to provide long-term funding for surface transportation infrastructure planning and investment. However, even after one year there is still an overwhelming need to identify a “multimodal infrastructure funding source” explained M. Kathleen Broadwater, deputy executive director for the Maryland Port Administration.

    The State of Freight II analyzes how states are currently funding freight investments at the state level and how it can be coupled with federal investments. The survey found that 57% of states have targeted more than 6,200 freight projects for inclusion in their plans.

    The current state of the FAST Act only provides $11 billion in funding over a five year period. Bud Wright, AASHTO’s executive director stresses the importance of identifying additional resources as he notes a lot more than $11 billion “will be needed just for the over 6,200 freight projects being targeted by the states.”

    Kurt Nagel, APPA president believes that president-elect Trump’s infrastructure plan will be vital to supporting the U.S economy. The State of Freight II encourages all parties to determine the combination of federal, state, local, and private sector resources to make the biggest impact on infrastructure.
  • ATA Supports blocking of Mandatory Overtime Legislation

    Dec 02, 2016
    12.2.16_OvertimeRuleThe Overtime Final Rule, which looked to extend mandatory overtime pay to more than 4 million workers was blocked from taking effect due to a ruling by U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant. The rule was set to take effect on December 1st.

    The rule would have raised the threshold for mandatory overtime pay for salaried workers. In effect, the raise would have doubled the pay threshold from $23,660 to $47,476. While many government regulations affect drivers in the trucking industry, this change would have greatly affected back office workers who help drivers complete their routes.

    The blocking of this rule was fully supported by the American Trucking Associations(ATA) President Chris Spear. Spear stated that "...the rule change would have affected countless salaried dispatchers and other managers who need the flexibility to work as the need arises, in response to unpredictable operational demands." The rule would also force "millions of salaried professionals to be treated like hourly employees." The ATA also believes that the rule would force carriers to micromanage their time causing inefficiencies and frustrations.

    21 states and a number of business groups challenged the rule, leading it to be brought to court. Though it was blocked from going into effect, the US Department of Labor can still challenge Judge Mazzant's ruling.

    The Obama administration can challenge the most recent ruling by bringing an appeal to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, but with the change in administration coming in January, experts expect that Trump's Department of Labor would drop the legislations. According to experts, the overtime rule may be dead in the water.
  • Standardizing Curriculum coming to Truck Driving

    Nov 23, 2016
    Untitled design (17)Pending changes mades by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA), the first-ever federal CDL curriculum standards could be published by the end of the year.

    Cleared by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) last week, the Entry-Level Training Rule would establish new curriculum that would affect the training standards for those applying for their initial CDL, and upgrade to their CDL1, hazardous materials, passenger, or school bus endorsement for their license.

    The proposed rule, as it stands, will introduce trainees to the basics of truck driving. This includes instruction on how to read instruments, how to perform pre and post trip inspections, how to safely back into and dock, and more.

    Aside from the basics, the curricula is subdivided into two categories: theory and behind the wheel training (BTW). The BTW category is further divided into range driving and public road driving.

    For BTW training, a Class A CDL trainee must complete a minimum of 30 hours, with at least 10 of those hours being on a driving range. For the public road segment, the trainee must fulfill either 10 hours on a public road, or by driving 10 trips on public roads, each no less than 50 minutes in duration. No matter how many hours of BTW training a trainee completes, training providers have been told not to issue certificate unless the student demonstrates proficiency in operating a commercial vehicle.

    The FMCSA projected that the new standards would require a 10-day wait from OMB clearance to publication in the Federal Register. To view other significant rulemaking by the DOT, visit the DOTs significant rulemakings webpage.
  • What We're Thankful For 2016

    Nov 18, 2016

    Centerline would like to wish you and your family a happy Thanksgiving! We have so much to be thankful for at Centerline, so we took some time to share our gratitude with you. Thank you to all of our drivers and customers, we are blessed to work with you.

  • Christmas's First Delivery - The US Capitol Tree

    Nov 11, 2016
    11.10.16_ChristmasSanta isn't the only one making sure the Christmas spirit is spread across the country. The trucking industry plays an important part in spreading Christmas cheer, but many don't know that this process starts in the first week of November

    Since 1970, each year a different national forest has been chosen to provide the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree, better known as "The People's Tree." This year the tree is from the Payette national forest in Idaho.

    Kensworth, for the third straight year, will be transporting the official U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree across the country. Gary Amoth will be driving the Kenworth T680 and its oversized cargo. Much like Santa Tracker, SkyBitz will allow people to track Amoth's progress as he completes his cross-country tour.

    The 80-foot Spruce, which was cut down on November 2nd, will be the 52nd tree that call's Washington DC home during the holiday season. This year, the tree will make a2,800 mile trek across the country. Along the way, it will make 26 stops in various communities. The last stop will be on November 27th when the tree arrives on Join Base Andrews in Maryland.

    After being prepped on base, the tree will be delivered and set-up on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol. The tree will be illuminated during a special ceremony on December 6th that will be presided over by U.S. Speaker of the House paul Ryan.

    Visit the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree's website to learn more about this annual trek, and to track the tree as it makes its way across the country.
  • ELD Mandate Upheld in Court

    Nov 04, 2016

    11.04.16_ELDMandateOn Monday, October 31st, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, the second highest court in the country, ruled in favor of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), effectively keeping the ELD mandate in place. The unanimous decision was handed down after hearing oral arguments from both the FMCSA and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA).

    The major arguments made by the OOIDA focused on no protection against harassment, no cost-benefit, and the fact that the ELD violated drivers’ Fourth Amendment Rights. In response to each of these claims, the court had these responses:

    • Harassment: The FMCSA received input from drivers, motor carriers, and trade organizations through public listening sessions and then incorporated suggestions and feedback into its final rule, including several suggestions from OOIDA.
    • Cost Benefit: The FMCSA was not required by Congress to conduct a cost-benefit analysis. Though they were not required, the studies that were used when making the final rule were deemed sufficient.
    • Violation of Fourth Amendment Rights: The OOIDA claimed that the mandate was an unconstitutional use of search and seizure. The Court denied this notion for a number of reasons, including the fact that trucking was a previously regulated industry and the reasonableness of the mandate.

    It is important to note that the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals previously ruled in favor of the OOIDA 5 years ago when the FMCSA tried to issue a similar ELD mandate.

    With the Court’s ruling, the next step for the OOIDA would be to challenge the opinion at the highest level, the Supreme Court. To learn more about the ruling, read the Court’s entire decision

  • Historic Delivery Made by Budweiser and Otto

    Oct 28, 2016

    10.26.16_AutonomousTruckingThe next can of Budweiser you open might have a little more history attached to it than you think. That's because the American beverage company has paired up with Otto, and together have reached a major milestone on the road to autonomous trucking by completing the world's first shipment using a self-driving truck. 

    On Tuesday, 51,744 cans of Budweiser were successfully hauled from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs, Colorado. On the entire 120-mile journey down I-25, all professional truck driver Walter martin did was load and secure the freight, and drive the truck to the interstate. After that, Martin was simply a passenger on the historic trip.

    Otto, a company now owned by Uber, states that their goal is to assist in creating a safer and more efficient transportation network for drivers and customers alike. The company believes that Otto-equipped vehicles will "allow truck drivers to rest during long stretches of highway while the truck continues to drive and make money for them."

    The truck operates by using cameras, radar, and LIDAR sensors mounted on the vehicle. The equipment, which is placed on the top of the truck to provide an unobstructed view, can control acceleration, braking, and steering. The hardware and software on Otto trucks is tuned for consistent patterns and easy-to-predict road conditions of highway driving. 

    Otto will continue to test its technology on highways, which make up 5% of the roads in the United States. To learn more about Otto and their ground-breaking journey, you can visit their website, or view the video of their trip. 

  • FMCSA Grants $1 Million to Assist Veterans

    Oct 21, 2016
    10.21.16_FMCSAVets.jpgThe Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) provides a number of grant funding opportunities throughout the country. The Commercial Vehicle Operator Safety Training (CMV-OST) grant program just recently announced it would be awarding $1 million in grants to seven technical and community colleges across the country.

    A main objective of the CMV-OST is to "assist current or former members of the United States Armed Forces...and their spouses to receive training to transition to the CMV operation industry." The newly awarded grants will be aimed at helping to train veterans and their families for jobs as commercial bus and truck drivers.

    The grants are projected to provide training to more than 250 students at the following technical and community colleges:
    • Joliet Junior College - Joliet, IL
    • Hawkeye Community College - Waterloo, IA
    • Johnson County Community College - Overland Park, KS
    • Central Technical Center - Drumright, OK
    • Rogue Community College District - Grant pass, OR
    • The Sage Corporation - Camp Hill, PA
    • Tidewater Community College - Norfolk, NA

    FMCSA Administrator T.F. Scott Darling, III and U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx believe that with the help of programs like this, veterans will be prepared to be some of the safest commercial drivers on the road

    This is another step by the FMCSA to recognize the unique skills and training obtained by members of the armed forces. This includes a pilot program that will allow a limited number of individuals under 21 to operate commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce. 

  • Reminder: This Week is CVSA's Operation Safe Driver Week

    Oct 18, 2016
    10.18.16_SafeDriverWeekSpeeding, distracted driving, and traveling too close to other vehicles are all hazards that commercial-vehicle drivers and passenger-vehicle drivers deal with on a daily basis. In order to keep these hazards top of mind throughout the year, the Commercial vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), in partnership with the Federal motor carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), are continuing their Operation Safe Driver Week, and aim to increase commercial vehicle and non-commercial vehicle traffic enforcement, safety belt enforcement, driver roadside inspections, and driver regulatory compliance. 

    What does this mean for you?
    1. Be on the lookout for heightened traffic safety enforcement. Last year, over 20,000 vehicles were pulled over. 
    2. Be on the lookout for education programs in your area to learn how to combat these hazards. Head to the CVSA's website to find programs in your area.
    3. Make sure you are not engaging in distracted driving or speeding. 
    4. Make sure you are wearing your seatbelt and are obeying traffic control devices.

    At Centerline, your safety is our number one concern. Always stay alert behind the wheel to ensure you don't endanger yourself or others around you. For more safety tips, visit our website to view our Driver Safety Tips

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