Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Sun Glare

Sun glare is a major problem in many areas right now because of the presence of highly reflective snow and ice. This hazard is especially pronounced just after sunrise and just before sunset.

Vision Council of America (VCA) offers the following tips for motorists to help reduce the dangers caused by sun glare: 
  • Drive cautiously and leave a proper distance to ensure ample reaction time.    
  • Make it a habit to lower visors to help block some of the reflected light.    
  • Avoid using high-gloss vinyl cleansers on dashboards.    
  • Keep the car windshield clean and the windshield washer fluid reservoir full.    
  • When possible, take an alternate route lined with tress or tall buildings in lieu of one with extreme glare.    
  • Turn on headlights to reduce the possible poor visibility of oncoming drivers.    
  • Most importantly, wear sunglasses at all times when sun glare is a problem. Even more important is to wear sunglasses with polarized lenses to reduce glare, and lenses with UV protection to shield the eyes from damage.
To watch a video from Consumer Reports offering driver advice on dealing with sun glare, click here.

Click here for the full link to the article on automotive-fleet.com.

Friday, February 6, 2015

VTTI Tasked with HOS Restart Study


The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute is heading the Federal Motor Carrier Administration’s study of the 34-hour restart provision of the Hours of Service rule for truck drivers.

The study will measure the impact on the safety performance and fatigue levels of truck drivers who take two nighttime rest periods during a given 34-hour restart break.

VTTI is seeking to recruit 250 truck drivers for the on-the-road study, which will involve tracking and assessing driver performance and short-term health outcomes over a five-month period. 

Drivers will be split into two groups, one taking two rest periods during a 34-hour restart break and the other taking less than two.

“We are excited by the opportunity and have assembled a world class team to lead this landmark study,” said Richard Hanowski, director of the safety center at VTTI. “We have an opportunity to perform ground-breaking research that will have an impact for decades to come.”

To produce a representative sample of drivers, the study will include truckers from small, medium and large fleets in long-haul, short-haul and regional operations. There will also be variation in the sectors of the industry, including flatbed, reefer, tank and dry-van trailers.

Drivers will be tracked and evaluated using ELDs to track duty status, a Psychomotor Vigilance Test to measure alertness, and Actigraph watches to assess sleep. The trucks will also be equipped with onboard monitoring systems and cameras to record and measure SCEs and driver alertness. The Karolinska Sleepiness Scale will be used to measure a driver’s own assessment of sleepiness as well.

“We have coordinated similar projects that were smaller,” said Hanowski. “This will be the largest study of its kind ever performed using commercial vehicle drivers.”

VTTI will produce a final report after the data has been collected and analyzed. The report will be subjected to independent peer review panels by medical and scientific experts before ultimately being delivered to the Department of Transportation and Congress.  VTTI has previously carried out FMCSA studies on driver fatigue and HOS regulations as well as other driver safety related issues.

“Truck driver fatigue is a prevalent problem and is a tremendous safety concern on our nation’s highways,” said Thomas A. Dingus, director of VTTI. “We are privileged to have the resources necessary to help inform policy makers in a collaborative effort to significantly reduce the number of safety-critical events occurring on our roadways.”


To see the original article, click here.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Here is an email received by Schilli employee Lou Wilkinson.
 
I urge all of you to contact your elected representatives to support this.


The status of volunteerism is deplorable. we have 5 EMTs that try to cover our town's needs, 2 at a time, 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.   On top of that, we're starting to get a significant number of support calls to go to Rensselaer and support the paid ambulance service.

Anything making volunteering more attractive or helpful to young people, just starting out, aids everyone involved.

So please, take a minute, drop your elected reps a line, an email, a web comment....

You can find your local rep here -> http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

And there should be a link to the reps "contact me" site....2 minutes is all it will take.

And it could be you needing the ambulance or your house burning next time.  Do what you can to ease your own suffering here.

 

Here's my short message to Congressman Rokita:

 
I urge you to support HR 343.

In our small town, EMS and Fire are, exclusively, volunteers. We have only 5 EMTs that try, 2 at a time, to support our community 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.

Anything to make volunteering more attractive to young people trying to start families and make ends meet with their limited time helps everyone in the community.


Friday, January 9, 2015

Avoiding Head-On Collisions

A head-on collision is one of the worst collisions on the road, as they often result in a fatality. Fortunately, these collisions are relatively rare. Head-on collisions can occur on any type of roadway from curvy roads to straight stretches and from two-lane highways to one-way streets. It is vital to be aware of the roadway and other vehicles to avoid head-on collisions. It is also important to be prepared to react to such situations to avoid a collision and to minimize the potential for injury or death.

Head-on collisions can occur when a vehicle crosses the median, or centerline. This can be a result from a driver who is asleep, distracted, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Crossing the centerline or median can also occur when a vehicle takes a curve at too great a rate of speed.

Head-on collisions can happen when a driver, knowingly or unknowingly, travels the wrong way in a traffic lane. A common example of this is when a driver enters the roadway and does not see that the road is divided with a median strip. As a result, the driver goes left of the median instead of right and into oncoming traffic.

To help avoid a head-on collision, look down the road for erratic behavior of oncoming traffic. Communicate with other drivers using your horn and headlights. Running headlights, even in daylight, can be especially helpful on curvy roads when other vehicles are more likely to veer from their lane of travel. 

Be careful not to hug the centerline, but drive on the right side of your lane. If an approaching vehicle enters your lane, first slow down as quickly as possible without losing control. Braking will reduce the force of impact if a collision should occur. Drive to the right to avoid the collision, if possible. Going to the left could cause a more serious collision in the event the other driver attempts to recover back to his or her lane at the last second. Going to the left could also cause a head-on collision with other oncoming vehicles. 

When going right, don’t jerk the wheel as this could cause you to lose control of the vehicle and could cause a rollover. If you have to exit the roadway, slow down but do not lock the brakes. This will help maintain control of the vehicle and to avoid hitting solid objects like a tree or bridge support. 


All drivers should continue to practice safe driving habits, such as avoiding distractions, passing with care, and maintaining safe speeds, which will help to avoid head-on collisions. Should a head-on collision occur, wearing your seatbelt can help save your life.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Schilli Transportation Saves Time With Automated Map Lookups

Schilli integrated ALK Maps with its fleet management tools to track drivers and increase efficiency.

October 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Department
by Jim Beach, Technology Editor

As Lou Wilkinson, software development manager at Schilli Transportation Services put it, “It’s not often in IT when you get to put up something that everyone loves,” but that is exactly the reaction he got from the company’s driver managers after integrating ALK Maps into the company’s proprietary Driver Daily Events management tool.

“This was one of those projects that gave every single one of our driver managers an increase in efficiency,” Wilkinson said. “We're talking on the order of a couple hours a day. It's huge. And this isn't smoke and mirrors – these are real users sending back their experiences. It’s very gratifying.”

With administrative offices in Remington, Ind., and 24 additional locations throughout the country, Schilli is a full-service transportation company that provides third-party logistics, dedicated carriage, warehousing and distribution, specialized hauling and leasing services.

On average, the company runs about 400 trucks at any given time and handles about any kind of haul, Wilkinson said: flatbed, van, specialty trailers for hauling large engines, crane trailers for hauling elevators, etc.

Before integrating ALK Maps into their system, driver managers used Google Maps to research locations. With ALK Maps, they save an average of 15 minutes per lookup or about two hours per day.

Driver managers can see a driver’s current location and assigned routes on an interactive map with each route color coded. Fuel stops along the route are visible on the map along with up-to-date fuel prices from Schilli’s preferred fuel providers, which has helped the company reduce fuel expenses, Wilkinson said. “We’re able to show real costs along the routes and let the driver managers direct fueling.” Plus, there are other payoffs as well. “I'd like to think that one of the benefits is increased driver satisfaction. Freeing up the driver managers from much of their routine work, increasing their efficiency, allows them to spend more time in planning and anticipation” and getting drivers load that best suits their needs.

Wilkinson developed the company’s Driver Daily Events tool and describes it as “our version of giving a driver manager a command console with respect to their drivers. Everything a driver manager needs to know about their ‘board’ or their ‘fleet’ is either shown on the screen or one keystroke away.”

Among the things the DDE alerts driver managers to are drivers that need physicals, trucks that need a PM, paperwork that needs review or had not been turned in, whether the truck is on time or running late, hours of service remaining, upcoming planned loads and notes about the driver.

“I've spent the last two years, off and on, working directly with the driver managers to understand what it is they do, what it is that they need and, item by item, issue by issue, adding on and enhancing this tool,” he said.

He said the tool started out small, then all the rest came from the driver managers letting him know what things they had to go out of the tool to do and what they wanted added on.

“It's truly a fully customized solution for what the driver managers tell me they need to know and need to do to more efficiently and effectively do their jobs.”