Tag Archives: truck drivers

How to Help Prevent Distracted Truck Drivers

Cell phones and different technology gadgets play a significant role in our daily lives. Almost all vital actions involve attention to a screen, and driving is no exception. According to a distracted driving survey, 88 percent of drivers are using their phones on the road. Along with high cell phone use, there are many other factors that are also distracting drivers from the road.

The issue of distracted drivers becomes worse every year, as there are several different types of distractions. A driver can be confused by both internal and external factors, and the distractions can be anything that involves taking eyes off the road or at least one hand off the wheel. Whether its holding food or beverages, billboards outside, smoking, using a cell phone or reaching out for an object, all of these things are considered a distraction. Other common causes of distraction while on the road is fatigue, daydreaming and other cognitive reasons. As truckers spend long hours on the road, they increase their chances of being more exhausted and prone to more distractions.

The National Highway Transportation Administration reports 28 percent of vehicular crashes involved distracted driving. The problem of distracted drivers is very prominent in today’s society, and should get more recognition to help reduce the risk of truck driver accidents due to distractions.

How to Reduce the Occurrence of Distracted Driving?

Institutions like the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) have already established penalties to bring attention to distracted driving in CMVs to resolve the problem. There is a $2,750 fine for drivers caught using cell phones and up to $11,000 for the fleet owners. Using hand-held devices and providing better resting conditions for drivers may improve the driving situation along with encouraging drivers not to use the phone while driving.

For fixing the problem, both drivers and carriers should make efforts to change the situation. Using a cell phone on the road increases the possibility of crash 20 times, and puts other people on the road in danger too. Supervision and hands-off devices for can help improve safe navigation, as well as consider reducing shifts for the truckers to avoid exhaustion. The new ELD mandate has made an effort to help truck drivers’ conditions by limiting the amount of hours a truck is allowed to drive, along with other regulations to help with driver safety.

There are many small things that drivers can do to become less distracted on the road. New technological advancements are constantly improving trucker technology, making it easier to use driver technology on the road without becoming too distracted. It will be interesting to see what new advancements are made in the comings years to continue to help improve trucker safety and prevent distracted driving.

How to Navigate the Driver Shortage

Why is the drivers’ shortage happening?

According to the survey by American Trucking Association, the driver’s shortage could reach 175,000 drivers by 2024, which is almost five times more than 2014 rate. These forecasts can soon become a reality, as the average age of American truck driver is 55 years. It is easy to figure out that in a matter of 10-15 years, the old generation of truckers will retire, and carriers will have to deal with a disastrous situation, as recruiting young talents is a challenge.

How to deal with the problem?

There are two main challenges in truckers’ recruitment: to decrease leaving rates among truckers and to attract young ones. For the first category, the answer is simple: give the drivers what they want. Usually, they don’t want a lot: simple things like competitive salary, less stress, and comfortable working conditions. To conquer the new generation of drivers, companies have to change their recruiting strategy.

  • Decrease the hauls time. These are primary and evident things that everyone wants to receive for doing a hard job. But roots of the driver’s deficit problem lay deeper than the layer of monetary reward. Changes involve personal approach and attention to important life events, like birthdays and anniversaries. Mere modifications like giving truckers extra time at home will increase efficiency and loyalty to the employer.
  • Provide comfortable equipment. No one wants to drive an old, run-down truck that has lots of issues. If you want the driver to spend a long time on the road, make the route enjoyable. Modern, spare, clean restrooms and small kitchens are vital for staying sane while driving long distances. Sleep deprivation is among the most painful troubles in a trucker’s job. Nutrition matters as well. Short break time prompts drivers to eat junk food, high in fat and sugar. Matching this with an inactive lifestyle will result in a collection of serious health problems and possible weight gain. Investing in the health of truckers will lead to enduring partnerships and can reasonably diminish the shortage.
  • Eliminate side responsibilities. Turns out that drivers are often involved in the time-consuming processes that are not in their direct competence. Equipping the trucks with smart devices like GPS and hands-off control will not only save shippers and drivers from time-consuming processes, but will also increase the safety during the route, as the driver is not distracted and can focus on the trail. Automation of the freight tracking process will also be a major step towards route optimization. If the driver goes to Chicago, you can update him with load offers ahead of arriving, so he doesn’t have to run an empty truck to the start point to receive a new order.

At the end of the day, better results require major changes. An update of all of the strategies that involve truckers can be a useful solution for decreasing the shortage. Optimizing the system, reducing the haul time, raising the payment, providing new equipment, and changing the approach towards drivers’ off-work life altogether will create a principal difference in the current situation.

Why Do We Need Truck Drivers?

Technology has completely taken over today’s world. Whether it is going to the grocery store, ordering items online, or just typing a question into Google – we expect products and answers almost instantly. As the demand for products and goods continues to grow, so does the importance of truck drivers.

Why do we need truck drivers?

Without truck drivers, we wouldn’t be able to do or buy half of the things that we need to. Truck drivers move billions of tons of freight each year and are the main reason we are able to walk into a store and purchase what we need. Without truck drivers, we would have to rely on local resources for food and wouldn’t have access to seafood, fruit and other meat options due to location restrictions. This can also apply to other products like oil, gas, and steel that are more abundant in certain parts of the U.S. than others.

importance of truck drivers

During this year’s National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, we want to take some time to highlight the importance of our truck drivers and say thank you for all of the hard work that they do. Many companies wouldn’t be able to be in business if it wasn’t for the hard work and commitment of truck drivers. Below are some of the main reasons that we should be thankful for truck drivers.

Importance of Truck Drivers

They’re Committed

Many truck drivers have been on the road for years and still enjoy what they do every day. Drivers commit to their work and make sure that their job gets done and deliveries are properly made.

They Help Businesses Run Smoothly

Businesses rely on trucks to bring in new shipments of products. For example, clothing stores would not be able to sell clothes without truck drivers delivering new items to them. Truck drivers are on the road early in the morning and late into the evening to deliver on time so that businesses can run smoothly.

They Spend Time Away from Family

Truck drivers often have to make sacrifices due to their busy schedules. Many truck drivers have children of their own and are away from home on deliveries for multiple days at a time. Being a truck driver requires putting in a lot of time on the road. Being able to balance work, family, and responsibilities at home is an important part of being a truck driver.

A world without truck drivers would be completely different than the world that we know today. Make sure to thank a truck driver this week to show appreciation for all that the drivers do for the world!

 

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5 Driver Safety Tips That Will Save You Money

Collisions are impossible to predict, and when they happen, they can cost your company millions. To combat this, you’ll want your fleet manager to construct a safety program that makes this unpredictable expense, well, predictable.

Fleetistics iStock-545806984.jpgstated that “investing in fleet safety technology is the most effective way to minimize collisions and all of the expenses that accompany them.”

Settlement payouts, repairs, insurance premium increases, and the harm to your brand’s image are too great a cost to risk. However, implementing technology isn’t a miracle fix. It definitely won’t benefit your business if your drivers and managers aren’t using it effectively.

According to Mobileye, onboarding is the most important factor in this equation, as it’s the best place to begin. The driver is already learning about driver safety during this stage, and since they’re new, they’re going to take it seriously.

Use the following tips and tricks to save your business money, increase productivity and employee satisfaction, and boost your revenue.

  1. Explain how adhering to the safety program benefits the driver. Before even understanding the different fleet safety systems, the driver needs to know why using them is beneficial. Reasons, like protecting their health and boosting earning potential, are sure to encourage new hires to take the learning process seriously and sweat the details.
  2. Empower drivers to look for solutions. Certain fleets will have drivers that travel through desert plains or snow for days. When they’re taught how to seek out safe solutions for situations that are common, they’ll be empowered to critically solve future problems for their team.
  3. Connect new drivers with experienced drivers. Experienced drivers with a record of safety can be an invaluable asset to your company and your new hire. Shadowing is not uncommon among fleets, and if a driver with a record of safety is training the new hire, they won’t be as prone to reckless driving practices as they would be if an unsafe driver had done it.
  4. Provide safety incentive programs. You’d be hard pressed to find a better way to capture employees’ attention than an incentive program. Choose an incentive that works well for your business and that your drivers respond to.
  5. Never stop monitoring. Keeping drivers compliant after training is a challenge, but it can be made easier by staying up to date on their driving history. Don’t stop monitoring and training your employees after they’ve become seasoned.

Read next: 5 Things Carriers Should Stop (Now).

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Shipper Strategy: What to Do as ELD Mandate Threatens Capacity

The trucking industry is adjusting as fuel prices fluctuate, the driver shortage continues, and new regulations are authorized.

The ELD mandate is causing waves of concern among shippers and carriers. The rule could drastically change the trucking landscape.

Electronic logging devices (ELDs) are predicted to bring safety and proficiency to the industry. The DOT estimates the devices will save $1.7 billion and reduce the number of truck accidents by more than 1,800 a year.

Fleets that have already installed ELDs say they’re able to monitor drivers’ hours more closely and make strategic planning decisions to maximize productivity. The availability of data will increase exponentially because ELDs transmit information to and from trucks and operators.

About half of the trucking industry has installed ELDs – the half that has not is made up almost entirely of small carriers who don’t want to or can’t make the monetary, technological investment.

Even though the rule has positive implications, it affects about 3 million truck drivers. When the mandate is official law in December 2017, more drivers and carriers, particularly owner-operators and small carriers, are expected to leave the industry.

Most drivers or carriers will leave the industry because:

  • They’ve failed to adopt or understand the technology
  • Small- and mid-sized carriers can’t afford the initial investment and upkeep
  • They’ve ignored HOS rules in the past and are operating illegally
  • Drivers fear that time at loading docks, traffic congestion, and poor scheduling will chip away at earning time, leaving them with less than they had going into the mandate

ELDs Threaten Capacity

If more drivers and carriers leave the industry, it would result in a serious capacity issue. Capacity could be cut between 3-5% once ELDs are mandatory, and, considerable hikes in freight volumes are projected in the coming years. In 2015, trucks moved 64% of freight tonnage, and by 2045, tonnage is expected to increase to 69 million tons per day.

More freight and less capacity creates competition for trailer space, which leads to higher shipping rates.

With the threat of tight capacity, shippers should create a transportation management plan, accommodate drivers’ needs and schedules, invest in a TMS, and collaborate to create backhauls or other shipping options. Shippers have to consider rates, driver coercion, and pickup and delivery times.

Broader Effects of ELDs

For carriers who don’t leave the industry, once the initial challenges of ELD adoption are overcome, ELDs will offer carriers two serious benefits: 1) more effective asset utilization and 2) innovative routing solutions for freight moves. Then, shippers will benefit from these new carrier capabilities.

As the economy evolves and businesses grow, shipper-3PL relationships will broaden. Expand your relationship with a 3PL to identify solutions to ongoing pain points like capacity shortages and rate increases. 3PLs provide valuable expertise and enable more productivity, better customer experiences and transportation cost reductions.

A 3PL has long-standing agreements with carriers and shipping companies to help increase efficiency of all parties. As smaller carriers are adjusting to the implementation of ELDs, a 3PL will be a valuable partner to help keep shipping costs down.

In the long-run, ELDs will improve asset utilization for drivers and carriers, but in the meantime, it could create headaches for shippers by taking away needed capacity and increasing rates.

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