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  • Indemnification Clauses are Disappearing from Trucking Contracts

    by Charlotte Freed | Nov 18, 2016
    11.18.16_IndemnityIndemnity clauses have long held trucking companies responsible for damaged goods - regardless of fault. New York became the latest state to take this unfair protection away from shippers.

    With the support of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) and the American Trucking Associations (ATA), New York became the 45th state to do away with indemnification clauses in truck contracts. The new law will prevent shippers from being indemnified for losses caused by their own negligence.

    The law, which took effect immediately after being signed by Governor ANdrew Cuomo will not limit anyone's ability to collect for damaged goods, but will hold the responsible party liable. OOIDA director of state legislative affairs Mike Matousek said that New York, as well as other states who have created laws to bar these clauses, has created a "reasonable and fair solution to address rules that essentially provide shippers and receivers with immunity from any damage caused by their negligence while a trucker is on their property."

    With the passing of New Jersey and New York's Anti-Indemnification Laws earlier this month, the only states that still permit indemnifications clauses in trucking contracts are Delaware, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

    Trucking contracts without these clauses will no longer leave companies with burdensome liabilities when damage to goods is not their fault. Head to the OOIDA's website to see a full list of states where Anti-Indemnification Laws are present.
  • How to Combat Cold Weather Challenges

    by Charlotte Freed | Nov 10, 2016
    11.10.16_WinterColder weather is an inevitable challenge that the trucking industry must face every year. Not all hope is lost in the annual battle against the cold. Combating these winter woes starts with reviewing fleet data from the previous year and implementing training programs to help fleets know what to expect. 

    As the winter months approach, companies tackle issues such as increases in idle time, lower tire pressure, heavier rolling resistance, and increased safety issues. All of these factors lead to deteriorated fuel economy and delays.

    Mike Spence, senior vice president of fleet service at Fleet Advantage suggest analyzing data from the past 13 months in order to take the appropriate precautions before winter begins. This includes checking tires often to make sure they are in good condition, keeping the fuel tank half full to prevent freezing, and keeping an eye on idle time which tends to increase 25% in winter months. Knowing how your vehicle perform is half the battle.

    Training one's fleet is the next step to preparing for the winter months. Driver fatigue is a serious safety issue which is heightened in the winter. Weather can cause delays in deliveries resulting in an estimated loss of 32.6 billion vehicle hours and loss of $2.2. billion to $3.5 billion annually. Industry loses of this magnitude have created a culture of "pushing through" as opposed to a culture that promotes finding places to stop and rest. Rather than pushing through, drivers should be taught the early signs of fatigue, and should be encouraged to report fatigue. 

    There's no way to avoid colder weather and the issues that come with it. Instead, fleets can be prepared. Know what routes your fleets are taking, review your data, and prepare your drivers. Being prepared not only keeps your drivers safe, but keeps your fleet productive, resulting in maximized cost effectiveness for your company.

    Colder weather is an inevitable challenge that the trucking industry must face every year. Not all hope is lost in the annual battle against the cold. Combating these winter woes starts with reviewing fleet data from the previous year and implementing training programs to help fleets know what to expect. 
  • Updates to Drug Testing Policies in Trucking

    by Charlotte Freed | Nov 04, 2016

    11.04.16_DrugTestBig changes centered on drug testing are coming to the trucking industry. For some major motor carriers, these changes are not happening fast enough, and that’s why they’re petitioning the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) for exemptions on existing drug testing rules.

    The first change the industry will see is the creation of the CDL Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse. The Clearinghouse, which could be live by the end of the month, will create a database of CDL holders who have failed or refused to take a drug test. Carriers would submit positive tests and refusals to the database, or authorize a third-party administrator to submit any information. This would allow information to be shared with other carriers.

    Many major motor carriers believe that the Clearinghouse is not enough to prevent drivers from skirting around the system, and have filed a petition to allow the sharing of test results from hair-testing. Current FMCSA rules, as per last year’s FAST Act highway bill allow for hair-testing in addition to mandatory urinalysis. Hair-testing, which tends to be twice as accurate and tends to cost twice as much, must be done in addition to urinalysis, and the information cannot be shared with other carriers.

    Lane Kidd, the managing director of the Trucking Alliance, believes that the petition “clearly shows the loophole in the FMCSA’s desire to keep drug users out of trucks.” At many of these carriers, hair-sampling is used, and many times CDL drivers who pass the urinalysis are identified as lifestyle drug users based on the additional test.

    With drug test protocols in place, Kidd questions why the FMCSA will not allow the results of the hair-testing to be shared when urinalysis results will have to be published to the Clearinghouse.

    The Trucking Alliance hopes that these changes will be made in a timely manner, rather than being held up by rule makers, as their overall goal is to improve highway safety. 

  • Staff Shout Out - Constance Salters

    by User Not Found | Nov 02, 2016

    Centerline Employee: Constance SaltersCenterline is passionate about connecting drivers with the right companies. An essential component in making that happen is building a strong team that embodies that passion as their own. Constance Salters is an example of this.

    Constance has been an Account Manager at Centerline since 2009, and has 15 years of experience under her belt.

    She grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, but got tired of the snow and ended up finding a career in Tampa, Florida as a recruiter. She has persevered through good and bad times always working hard to connect customers with the best drivers available. Her secret to success, she says, is being able to work well with the people around her.

    “You have to have a good team,” says Constance. “I give 200% all of the time.” She explains that when the people you work with have the same passion as you do, you have a complete team. “It’s like magic: everything falls into place.”

    According to Constance, the most rewarding part of her job is finding that perfect match of driver and customer. “My strongest skillset is that most of the time I can look at a driver and know what customer he or she would fit with within a five minute conversation. It’s a combination of what they say, how they act, previous experiences and personality. Since I know the customers so well, I know what would be a good match.”

    She explains that when it comes to establishing a relationship with customers, building trust is a must. “Integrity first and foremost every single day. If you’re honest and you’re sincere, you will build loyalty and commitment.” Customers are reaching out to her regularly, and she does her best to be there for them – even on her breaks. “I just try to be myself and always be honest about what I have and about what I can offer. When you’re able to sell to people that have a need, everything else falls into place.”

    In true team spirit, Constance is quick to give a shout out to her fellow coworkers. She explains how Centerline’s centralized support team plays a large part in her success. “My support person is incredible. We’re totally in sync with expectations for each other.”

    In addition to her support at work, Constance says her mother has been a key supporter in her life. Not only did she build her confidence, but taught her the value of integrity.

    It is evident that hard work and integrity are ingrained in Constance’s life. Centerline customers have often noted that she, “will go out of her way to help with whatever needs we may have.” We are proud and thankful to have her on the team!

  • Accelerate! Conference to be held Nov. 7-9

    by Charlotte Freed | Oct 28, 2016
    10.27.16WomeninTruckingFrom November 7-9, the Women in Truck Association, Inc. (WIT) will be hosted its annual Accelerate! Conference and Expo in Dallas, Texas. With over 30 educational sessions, WIT will drive the message of how gender diversity can have a positive impact in the trucking industry. 

    The annual conference is designed to support the WIT mission: Encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry, promote their accomplishments, and minimize obstacles faced by women working in the industry. The 30 plus education sessions will highlight various perspectives of the positive impact women can have on the industry.

    The conference and membership to WIT is not limited to just women. The organization encourages all genders to attend as the three day conference will address topics on the economy, capacity challenges, work/life balance, recruiting from non-traditional demographics, and more. 

    One major highlight of the event will be when T.F. Scott Darling, administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, speaks during the opening ceremony. Darling will tackle some of the major regulatory issues facing the industry, including the implementation of the FAST Act and proposed rulemakings on speed limiters.

    Centerline is happy to announce it will be returning as a Sapphire Sponsor for the second year in a row. Stop by our booth to meet and network with President Jill Quin, National Accounts Director Rod Crowell, and Director of Business Development Ruthanne Roper.

    For more information, including the schedule of events and registration, visit the WIT website
  • ATA Predicts a Promising Future for Trucking

    by Charlotte Freed | Oct 21, 2016
    10.21.16_ATAFutureAs 2016 comes to an end, economists will begin to look towards the future to map out what to expect in trucking. Last week, the American Trucking Associations (ATA) released its ATA American Trucking Trends 2016projecting a promising U.S. freight transportation forecast to 2027.

    There's no denying that 2016 has been tough on trucking; however, the ATA predicts this year will be an outlier compared to the growth the industry will see in the coming decade. According to ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello, the trucking industry will see growth due to sustained increases in the overall economy, particularly due to manufacturing, consumer spending, and international trade.

    The forecast projects a drop in the share of freight moved by trucks from 70.1% to 66.5%, but even with this drop, the estimated 27% growth of the amount of freight moved by trucks will allow trucks to retain its stronghold over rail, water, and other modes of transportation. 

    The ATA predicts that by 2027 trucking revenues will grow by 77.2%. If these predictions are right, the trucking industry will gross a total of $1.605 trillion by the end of the next decade. In order to hit this number, overall freight volume is predicted to climb 2% a year from 2017 to 2022 and then 1.6% a year from 2024 to 2027. 

    Though no one can accurately predict the future, the ATA's Freight Forecast has proven to be a valuable tool in the past, as it has been used by industry leaders and government policy makers. In a constantly transforming economy, one thing remains certain: so long as the economy continues to grow, trucks will continue to move a vast majority of America's goods. 
  • Transportation Infrastructure Remains Top Priority in Upcoming Election

    by Charlotte Freed | Oct 13, 2016
    10.13.16_ElectionWith less than one month until Election Day, voters will be deciding which candidate will best represent their interests. For the trucking industry, one issue that candidates must address is transportation infrastructure.

    Compared to recent elections, contributions from the trucking industry to both Democratic and Republican candidates are down, but that doesn't mean organizations aren't making their voices heard. Last week, three dozen transportation groups, including the American Transportation Associations (ATA),Transportation Builders Association, and US Chamber of Commerce, wrote to the two major party candidates stressing the importance of the continued existence of the Highway Transportation Fund

    The groups are calling for an infrastructure package that includes "additional sustainable revenue to ensure the permanent solvency of the Highway Trust Fund." They are calling for the sources to be "long-term, reliable, dedicated..." and focused on the "users and beneficiaries of our transportation network."

    The fund, which is currently dwindling, helps states pay for infrastructure projects. Uncertainty of funding prevents local and state governments from planning, funding, and constructing transportation projects. Organizations believe that without the ability to plan, fund, and construct these projects, state and local economies have missed the opportunity to create and increase the number of "good-paying jobs..." and therefore have "...hampered America's economic competitiveness." 

    Groups backing the continuation of the fund believe that raising federal taxes on fuel will help restore funds to help with these projects. Both candidates have promised to modernize the country's infrastructure. To learn more, you can read both Hillary Clinton's and Donald Trump's plan to improve the nation's infrastructure. 
  • Preparing for Hurricane Matthew

    by Charlotte Freed | Oct 07, 2016
    10-07-16_HurricaneMatthewHurricane Matthew will continue to make its way up the coast of the United States this weekend. As the worst storm that Florida has seen in over 100 years, we have nothing but the safety of our partners and employees in mind.

    Here’s what you need to know in all states that have declared states of emergency:

    Florida: All roads and highways have reversed the pattern of traffic to help with evacuations. Tolls have been suspended. Certain trucking regulations have been suspended, including hours of service, size and weight restrictions for vehicles transporting emergency equipment, services, or supplies.

    South Carolina: Truck weight limits have been increased to 90,000 pounds, and hours of service have also been suspended. Reversed traffic will be in effect on I-26, as well as certain lanes on I-526 in North Charleston and I-77 in Columbia.

    North Carolina: Truck size and weight restrictions have been suspended up to 90,000 pounds and hours of service will be waived for those transporting essential fuels, food, water, and supplies.

    Centerline urges all those in the area to take the appropriate precautions, and avoid any areas in the path of the storm if possible. 

  • NAFTA Freight Values Showcase Mixed Results for Trucking

    by Charlotte Freed | Sep 30, 2016

    The Department of Transportation has released its July 2016 dataset for the North American Transborder Freight Database. The database shows the value of U.S. freight moved between North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners, Canada and Mexico, and tracks freight carried by rail, truck, air freight, and vessel.

    For the 19th consecutive month the total value of U.S. freight has fallen from the same month of the previous year. The 10% decrease that was reported last week signals the lowest monthly amount of cross-border freight since February of 2011. By taking a closer look at the numbers, commodities moving by truck fell a total of 8.8%, and in Canada specifically, the value of truck freight fell 7.2%. 

    While July saw a drop in freight for all carriers, trucks were still the most widely used mode of transportation. Trucks carried 64.7% of U.S.-NAFTA freight, and were the most heavily utilized mode for importing and exporting goods between the three countries, accounting for 64.2% of the $44.6 billion of imports, and 67.4% of the $39.1 billion of exports.

    While trucks led in freight movement across borders, there is some cause for concern as overall value continues to decline month over month.  Further analysis of the DOTs findings for the month of July can be found at the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

  • Automated Vehicles could be the Next Big Thing in Trucking

    by Charlotte Freed | Sep 23, 2016

    Technology continues to revolutionize the trucking industry. The newest development has been the introduction of highly automated vehicles, or HAVs. Just last week, the Federal Government took its first steps in regulating this technology through the Federal Automated Vehicles Policy.

    Mark Rosekind, the head of the DOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, believes HAVs, vehicles that can take full control of driving tasks in at least some circumstances, along with these new regulations can help dramatically reduce those numbers. In the United States, of all the car crashes in 2015, 94% were caused by human error.

    Safety is also the number one goal of the policy. The Obama administration stated that the policy is designed to help create a safer, cleaner, more accessible, and more efficient form of transportation.

    What impact do HAVs have on the trucking industry? Experts believe that these vehicles will be the first real big change for the industry since deregulation, and may have a positive effect on the on-going driver shortage. Transportation economist, Noël Perry, who spoke at the 2016 FTR Conference believes that these automated vehicles could save trucking companies $1 on every mile in operating costs. Lower operating costs would result from a combination of lower insurance costs, better fuel economy, and higher productivity of automated trucks.

    As HAV technology and the regulations surrounding it continues to develop, transportation companies will have to stay abreast of new trends in the industry.

  • Truck Driver Happiness: The Battle to Retain Drivers

    by Charlotte Freed | Sep 16, 2016
    shutterstock_346317764 copy

    This past week, we celebrated National Truck Driver Appreciation Week. Though this week of appreciation has passed, the idea of retaining drivers cannot fall to the wayside.

    This begs the question: How do we keep our drivers happy?

    For years, motor carriers across the country have used various efforts to find and retain drivers. Often retaining drivers comes down to competitive driver pay, but is that the only factor to be considered? This is a complex industry and one where drivers who are respected and valued has high and often equal impact on retention as pay rates. 

    Stay Metrics has conducted an ongoing survey with over 80 motor carriers to help find the answer to the driver retention question. So far, the most decisive factor in determining driver happiness seems to be home time and work-family conflict. The Stay Metrics survey showed that drivers dissatisfied with their home time are 93.4% more likely to quit, while those with a work-family conflict are close to 60% more likely to leave.

    Home time and work-family conflict cannot be the only factors considered when discussing retention, and that, again, brings up the subject of pay. Interestingly, this survey shows that drivers who are satisfied with their pay are actually more likely to quit at the three month mark than those who are not. This statistic is actually very close, with those more likely to quit at 55.8% of those surveyed.

    Even though the numbers are so close, Mike Khron, the vice president for PGT Trucking continues to stress the importance of pay in the industry. He brings up an interesting point when stating that “driver pay has not gone up with inflation, let alone comparison to other occupations.” Should companies also factor in a generational difference? A TD Ameritrade survey found that while millennials require less money to consider themselves happy, the idea of saving makes them feel secure. The idea of saving equates with the idea of freedom.

    After looking at these factors, all transportation companies have to come up with their own answer of what combination of pay, home time and work-family balance will benefit their drivers. Companies need to derive their own strategies as the driver shortage is creating more competition and drivers will naturally go where they find the most satisfaction.

  • Going Green: Trucking Efficiency at its Finest

    by David Kimball | Sep 09, 2016
    09.08.16_Go Green

    Amidst the many alternatives for fuels out there, biodiesel is a great option for fleets interested in greater efficiency and reducing their environmental footprint. It also opens new opportunities to use cleaner vehicles and work with other green partners.

    Vince Buonassi, G&D Integrated group manager of transportation programs, has fully transitioned to biodiesel after starting with a blend.

    “[Ag-Land FS Inc.] were claiming that this product would not only cost us less money but would not result in any efficiency losses,” says Buonassi. “What we observed was there was absolutely zero degradation in performance.”

    Transportation, logistics, and warehousing are among the services of G&D’s operation. With a fleet of over 400 vehicles and more than 25 million miles of travel per year, this change has radically decreased the carbon dioxide emissions to almost 230,000 fewer gallons annually. 

    Chicago-based Testa Produce has also completely converted their fleet of over 50 vehicles to biodiesel. “As a produce company, we’re naturally a green company,” Peter Testa, business owner says. “So, using renewable energy and environmentally friendly fuels all kind of fits together.”

    Green initiatives have even decreased Testa annual costs by 15%. This also includes their efforts to maintain a green-friendly facility in addition to their vehicles.

    While biodiesel can go a long way, other sustainability efforts like investing in lighter weight components or minimizing drag can also save you money and decrease your footprint’s impact. With some smart setup and innovative thinking, going green can make your fleet even more efficient. 

  • Tire Balancing: When Should You Do It?

    by David Kimball | Sep 01, 2016

    08 31 16 Tire BalancingTires are a large investment for any truck on the road, and account for a top 3 annual expense for the trucking industry. Selecting the right tires while properly inflating them is paramount to making them last, you can leverage balancing to increase efficiency even further.

    However the most effective method of tire balancing is debated, and whether or not it’s worth the cost.

    “The main reason that tire balancing isn’t common in heavy trucks is the perception of time required,” says IMI Products associate product manager Derek A. Forney. “With the added factor of recommended re-balancing every 20,000 miles, using wheel weights isn’t practically feasible for balancing some or all wheel positions.”

    Spin balancing can add up to 15 minutes for each tire on installation, says Forney.

    Lone Star Truck Group’s fleet services manager, Ken Eggen, also agrees balancing is a worthwhile endeavor in practice, however the number of hours required has kept him from mandating the process.

    “When I ran 1,000 trucks in a fleet, it’s just tough to take the time,” says Eggen.

    Bob Jessee, regional account manager for Centramatic, contends that any elimination of vibrations that can be done, should be done. Controlling what you can in that regard will make all parts last longer.

    Jessee cites “visible and controllable forces” like worn suspension parts, torqued bearings, and incorrectly mounted tires are commonly fixed. However imbalance tends to be more “invisible,” but still controllable, therefore it gets ignored by many.

    Centramatic, an onboard balancer, mounts on the hub before the wheel which balances the tire, as well as the complete wheel assembly permanently and continuously. Jessee contends that, unlike drop-in  solutions, Centramatic is portable and can be removed and installed on another truck in the same application.

    Such options offer a “once and done” solution rather than continuously adjusting or swapping out tires - that might save costly hours and make balancing worth the investment.

  • 9 Month Low for Truck Tonnage

    by David Kimball | Aug 25, 2016

    08 23 16 -- Tonnage Graphic for Web PostingAccording to American Trucking Associations’ For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index (seasonally adjusted), Truck tonnage has hit its lowest level since October of last year.

    Truck tonnage’s all-time high, 144, recorded back in February has taken a dive in July at 134.3, which has been part of a downward trend for the previous five months also.

    “This prolonged softness is consistent with a supply chain that is clearing out elevated inventories,” ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said in the report. “Looking ahead, expect a softer and uneven truck freight environment until the inventory correction is complete. With moderate economic growth expected, truck freight will improve the further along the inventory cycle we progress.”

    Another version of the index, one that is not adjusted seasonally, reports a 138.2 in July, which was a 2.7% drop from the previous month.

    The report states trucks hauled around 10 billion tons of freight in 2014 alone, and that motor carriers obtained around $700 billion in revenue.

    ATA determines the tonnage index based upon data from surveys since the 1970s, and says that the index is a “preliminary figure and subject to change in the final report issued around the 10th day of the month.” Results are taken both month-by-month and year-over-year.

    Image from ATA.
  • 5 Ways You Can Increase Your Truck Productivity

    by David Kimball | Aug 22, 2016
    08.22.16_Incrase Truck efficiency

    Founder and president of Trincon Group, a consulting firm, Duff Swain sees missed opportunities in the trucking industry in the last several years. He cites the recession as a reason for the trend, as weaker carriers were driven away and the sense of urgency at the time strained freight capacity with increased rates.

    “Unlike most industries (especially manufacturing) the trucking industry did not appreciably increase productivity per truck during the recession or after it,” says Swain. “It would have been logical to do so since it would not require buying more trucks, just getting more revenue miles out of the ones they had.”

    Swain suggests five key steps on how fleets can maximize their productivity and efficiency, which he argues are key to success for trucking companies. 


    Even small and medium size carriers need to build measuring into their process. Determining profit and specifically what kind of margins exist is vital. Fueling surcharges should not be included in your productivity numbers, however. Rather, gauge how well fueling surcharges are doing by directly measuring it against fuel cost.

    Utilize TMS

    A good computer management system is an essential way to accurately track and measure activity. Sometimes there are issues with adopting new tech, despite purchases of digital tracking management systems. Considering organizing by planning, ales, and driver managers.

    Per-truck productivity

    Looking at trucks individually can vastly improve your bottom line.  It doesn’t necessarily need to be every single truck in the fleet, but per-truck attention can increase your gross margin by squashing variable expenses like driver pay, parts, and fuel.

    Top down change

    Drivers should be given a strong understanding of the importance of their role. If you don’t share the numbers, they can’t see the big picture. Tying customer/driver/mil consciousness with revenue and profits can build a stronger team.

    The right people in the right positions

    Once measures are taken to track productivity, efficiency, and providing proper incentive to drivers, it becomes time to evaluate whether or not you have the right people in the right positions. This process takes time and can vary drastically, but is important to consider. With proper tracking, however, performance and strengths can be identified more accurately and more readily. 

  • Truck Fleet Operators Are Not Happy About California’s Sustainable Freight Plan

    by David Kimball | Aug 11, 2016

    California’s Sustainable Freight Action Plan has received some harsh criticisms from two groups that represent truck-fleet operators in California.

    The plan’s latest iteration, according to the California Air Resources Board, says it is further informed by “industry, labor, regional and local government, and community and environmental group stakeholders,” despite it being largely similar to the initial document.

    CARB’s aim with this initiative is to decrease the industry’s environmental footprint while also providing a solution for more competition and higher efficiency. The plan was in response to Governor Jerry Brown’s executive order, and was an effort of numerous state agencies.

    Critiques of the plan include not taking into account the current spending on environmental improvement efforts, an unnecessary amount of regulation, and it being “an interference in the goods-movement marketplace.” [source]

    Among those opposing the plan are director of governmental affairs and communications for the Western States Trucking Association, Joe Rajkovacz, and CEO of the California Trucking Association, Shawn Yadon. 

    “If the true intent of this program is to advance zero and near-zero emission technology, then California must make the case for billions of dollars of new private investment in the state,” said Yadon. “Continuing to signal that draconian new rules are on the horizon will only hurt this effort.”

    The action plan includes a “2050 vison” and goals for moving the industry forward in these ways:

    • 2020: 100,000+ zero emission vehicles deployed
    • 2030: Increase freight system efficiency by 25%
    • Improve growth within the freight goods-movement industry

    You can review the plan in its entirety by visiting the California Sustainable Freight Action Plan’s website

  • NHTSA Gets Slammed for Moving Forward with Robot Car Technology

    by David Kimball | Aug 05, 2016

    On July 28th, three advocacy groups sent the National Highway Traffic Administration a letter pushing them to cease their adoption of “robot car technology.” The reasons cited were that, at present, robot driving technology doesn’t meet current safety standards and lacks the necessary testing to be moved forward.

    The NHTSA’s Administrator, Mark Rosekind, had expressed that the association didn’t intend to remain idle while this new technology was being developed. “Of course we have to do everything we can to make sure new technology does not introduce new safety risks, but we also can’t stand idly by while we wait for the perfect,” Rosekind said in a remark.

    Among those that wrote to Rosekind were president emeritus of Public Citizen, executive director of Consumer Watchdog Carmen Balber, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety Clarence Ditlow, and Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Project director John M. Simpson.

    The letter implored the NHTSA to consider the serious security flaws in current robot driving technology, like Tesla’s self-driving car flaws, and to recall such problem tech instead of moving forward with it. It also accused Rosekind and company with being “giddy advocates of self-driving cars” and warned them to take more seriously security measures in the future.

    “Someday, autonomous technologies can save lives,” says the letter. “But they should only be implemented after thorough testing and public rulemaking that sets enforceable safety standards.”

    The Tesla crash is still being investigated, but it appears the crash occurred during the vehicle’s autopilot mode.

    Rosekind has yet to make a public response to letter.

  • Diesel Prices Continue Falling, Average is $2.19

    by David Kimball | Jul 29, 2016
    07.27.16_center line hero image

    The price-drop trend for diesel has been going on for months, and last week it dropped even further.

    According to the Department of Energy, diesel fuel has dropped by roughly 2.3 cents per gallon last week alone, putting the current average price at $2.19. Comparing prices to this time last year, it’s a drop of 34.4 cents.

    Standard gas prices have also fallen, dropping 4.8 cents in the past week, totaling to an average of $2.18 per gallon.  

    By region, the Midwest took the greatest dive in price, with a 2.8 cent decrease. The Rocky Mountain region, by contrast, only had a 0.1 cent decline however.

    With the adoption of hybrid and electric vehicles, demand for crude oil and diesel fuel has gone down, and the trend continues. Massively increased production of oil has contributed also.

    According to CNBC, oil is at its lowest since April 25. Per barrel, Brent crude had oil at $44.65 per barrel, and U.S. crude had oil at $43.13 per barrel. Three months ago, oil settled at approximately $42.64 per barrel.

    Analysts are saying, however, that the drops may not necessarily result in an imminent rise.

    "Although drilling activity is now at its highest level since the end of March, it is still 30 percent below the level at which it found itself at the beginning of the year." Said Commerzbank analysts.

    Even globally, the demand for oil has been gradually fading, even in major markets like China and India. 

  • Darling Confirmed as New Head of FMCSA

    by David Kimball | Jul 25, 2016
    T.F. Scott Darling, III_1

    Since Anne Ferro’s departure from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, T.F. “Scott” Darling has taken the reigns as the administrator of the agency.

    On July 14, the U.S. Senate confirmed Darling in a unanimous decision. President Obama had nominated him last August, and his confirmation hearing was held January of this year.

    Darling has already been a part proposed regulations such as entry-level training requirements for drivers, the electronic logs mandate, and the driver coercion rule.

    As an acting Administrator, Darling’s primary focus has been reducing fatalities and crashes among large bus and trucks. Transportation Secretary Foxx is in support of his efforts, “His collaborative approach has moved the ball forward on commercial motor vehicle safety. I look forward to our continued work together and congratulate him on his confirmation.”

    Darling held the position of deputy chief of staff as well as assistant general counsel prior to joining FMCSA. He was employed by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority in Boston. Before that he attended Clark University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government. He later went on to Tufts University where he earned a Master’s degree in Public Policy, and finally to Suffolk University where he earned a Juris Doctor’s degree.

    “I am humbled by their [FMCSA] devotion to our safety mission, and the incredible efforts of everyone in the Agency to advance high way safety,” Darling said in a statement. “It is not easy work.” 

  • Concept Truck Reveals Hybrid Engines, Highway Automated Systems, and More

    by David Kimball | Jul 15, 2016

    According to ZF Friedrichshafen AG, digital enhancements will be a major component of trucking in the next two decades.

    The Germany-based company unveiled a concept tractor-trailer equipped with their Evasive Maneuver Assist tech which autonomously steers and brakes to avoid collisions, an advanced hybrid drive train, remote vehicle backing for ease of docking, and more.

    “Automated driving is real and it’s here to stay in the trucking industry,” Peter Lake, member of the ZF board. “We’re in a period of change like no other seen [in the industry].”

    At speeds below 30 mph, the truck runs solely on electric power. Not only does this advancement cut down significantly on emissions, but encourages partner companies to focus on alternative fuel development.

    Automated backing systems allowed this concept truck to exit docking stations and back into them remotely.

    SF’s CEO, Sefan Sommer, points to three significant “megatrends” in the automotive industry that push their work: efficiency, safety, and automated driving.

    “Our focus is 2025,” Sommer says. “We have to rethink the architecture of automobiles to have new concepts and new technologies.”

    These innovations introduce an “intelligence” component to mechanical systems. This new connected-research-and-development approach will lead to rolling out new technology company-wide more rapidly, for instance, via an internet connection.

    Dubbed “smart hardware,” this truck’s tech won’t only affect the European trucking industries, but international markets as well.

    The Innovation Truck, or the DAF XF, will be on display at Hannover, Germany’s IAA trucking trade show