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, - 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.”

Friday, October 17, 2014

Report: Trucking Deaths Down 8% Last Year

New U.S. Labor Department figures show the number of deaths in trucking last year accounted for about 10% of all fatal work injuries.

There were 461 deaths in what the department labels the truck transportation sector, 8% lower than in 2012, with 67% of these incidents occurring on the roadway. This includes deaths to vehicle occupants resulting from traffic incidents that occur on public roadways, shoulders or surrounding areas, but excludes those occurring entirely off the roadway, such as in parking lots and on farms as well as incidents involving trains.

Nine percent of the trucking deaths were due to being struck by an object or equipment, 5% were caused by falls and 1% was due to homicides.

Of the wider transportation and warehousing sector there were 687 deaths, accounting for about 16% of all the 4,405 on the job deaths in 2013, down from 4,628 in 2012. While a smaller share of these happened on the roadway, 53%, a level similar to trucking involved being stuck by an object or equipment as well as falls. However, a greater portion, 5%, was attributed to homicides.

Total U.S. transportation deaths were 1,740, or 40% of all work fatalities, a decline from 1,923 in 2012. Just over 990 of these fatalities happened on roadways.

Click here for the original article.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Schilli Transportation Improves Efficiency and Generates Cost Savings with ALK Maps

ALK Maps from ALK Technologies Saves Schilli Transportation an Average of 15 Minutes for Each Look-Up Performed

(PRWEB) September 09, 2014 -- ALK Technologies, Inc., a global leader in GeoLogistics® solutions and navigation software, today announced that Schilli Transportation has integrated ALK® Maps into their Driver Daily Events (DDE) driver management tool. The DDE system offers Schilli’s Driver Managers complete visibility into the scheduling, planning and operational activity of the fleet, including but not limited to work assignments, routes and inspection schedules.

With the integration of ALK Maps, Schilli’s Driver Managers are now able to easily visualize a selected driver’s current location and all assigned routes on an interactive map. Each route is uniquely color coded so a Driver Manager can quickly and easily analyze the route and assess opportunity to reduce dead miles. With ALK Maps, a user can visualize nearby fuel stops along the driver’s route and view up-to-date fuel pricing from Schilli’s partnership with the fuel providers. This enables the Driver Manager to pick the most cost-effective fuel stop location for a driver based on their current route and communicate the information to the driver. The enhanced mapping capabilities provided by ALK Maps have resulted in significant time savings for the Driver Managers.

“What used to be a manual cumbersome process of referring to a plotted map and using a free online mapping program for research has been completely automated with this new solution based around ALK Maps. This saves us an average of 15 minutes for each look-up that is performed. On average during the course of the day, each user is able to save almost two hours of time,” commented Peter Adams, Driver Manager at Schilli Transportation.

With the integration of ALK Maps, Driver Managers are also
now able to visualize adherence to the delivery schedule based on color coding of the trucks on the map, red indicating delays, yellow for warning, and green indicating on-time. With a simple hover over the truck icons, managers can access Hours of Service, current location, direction, speed and ETA for each driver along the route.

ALK Maps offers the transportation and logistics industry a fully customizable cloud-based interactive mapping platform providing high-quality map visualization with precise geocoding and routing functionality. The cloudbased solution helps reduce hardware, software and IT resource costs and easily integrates with a variety of platforms. ALK Maps routing and reporting is powered by PC*MILER®, the industry standard for transportation routing, mileage and mapping.

“We are really excited with how the integration of ALK Maps has helped us improve operational efficiency and save costs with optimizing planning, in such a short amount of time,” said Lou Wilkinson, VP of IT Solutions at Schilli Transportation. “The new capabilities that we have been able to offer with ALK Maps have gotten rave reviews from every single user of the application.”

 “ALK Maps provides a powerful platform for planning and monitoring with visualization of routes and tracking of assets. We are extremely pleased with how our transportation solutions are helping organizations of all sizes to optimize costs and expand their business.” said Dan Popkin, Senior Vice President of Enterprise Solutions at ALK Technologies.

For more information visit:

About Schilli Transportation Services:
Schilli Transportation Services is a full service logistics management company supported by 400 power units under contract to provide or fulfill transportation needs including equipment sales and leasing, warehousing and distribution, and transportation for everything from building products to household goods, from steel coils to automobiles, virtually any commodity. For more information, visit

About ALK Technologies:
ALK Technologies, a Trimble Company and global leader in GeoLogistics solutions and navigation software, is focused on developing innovative solutions for transportation, logistics, mobile workforces and consumers. Product lines include award-winning CoPilot, a leading source of GPS navigation software for fleets, mobile operators, hardware OEMs, systems integrators, professional drivers and consumers. ALK’s PC*MILER is widely recognized as the transportation industry standard for routing, mileage and mapping. ALK Maps is a development platform designed for the transportation industry and provides commercial routing, geocoding and mapping visualization for enterprise applications.

For more information on ALK Technologies, visit: or follow us at:

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Schilli Distribution Services Foreign-Trade Zone 104, Magnet Site 14 is open

Schilli Distribution Services is proud to announce that Foreign-Trade Zone 104, Magnet Site 14, has officially opened for business. New services and opportunities that we are excited to say will be extremely beneficial to you and your organization focusing on International Freight Shipments and FTZ utilization benefits for Freight Forwarders, Customs Brokers and anyone Importing and or Exporting merchandise.

Simply put, we can now offer and provide all Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) Services.

We have been working for many months, with the cooperation of the Department of Homeland Security and World Trade Center of Savannah, to get our FTZ designation and activation and with great success can now offer 140,000 sq. ft. of General Purpose FTZ space here in Savannah Georgia just 2.5 miles from Gate 4 of the Georgia Port Authority.

would greatly appreciate any time you may have to speak
in greater detail about our new FTZ services and how we can help each other in promoting the benefits and providing these services to our clients. This will help your clients by saving, potentially, a substantial amount of money in Import & Export Duties as well as give you more opportunity to micro manage all the necessary documents for entry and withdrawals for your customers. Also, let me know if there is anything I can do in the meantime, for I have many more resources at my disposal as well as being able to leverage rates in all areas of Warehousing and Transportation. Thanks again and I certainly look forward to speaking with you soon!" - David W. Hahne, FTZ Manager & Business Development Manager.

Schilli Distribution Services is located at 120 Crossgate Rd., Port Wentworth, Georgia 31407.

Phone : 912-963-9949
Cell: 912-220-6232
Fax: 912-963-9950

Friday, September 12, 2014

Rest Breaks

It is going on one year since the “Hours-of-Service Rest Break Rule” went into effect. Take time to review the rule to help prevent violations during your next DOT roadside inspection and to minimize downtime because of taking rest breaks when they are not needed.
Below is the actual wording from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations:
Rest Breaks §395.3(a)(3)(ii) - Driving is not permitted if more than 8 hours have passed since the end of the driver's last off-duty or sleeper-berth period of at least 30 minutes.
Some important things to remember:

1. Driving is not permitted after 8 hours, but on-duty activity is
allowed as long as driving doesn’t resume until at least 30
minutes of off-duty or sleeper-berth has been taken.

2. The rest break needs to be at least 30 minutes of off-duty or sleeper-berth time, no exceptions.

3. The 8-hour clock starts again after every rest break. On-duty time after a rest break and before driving needs to be counted in the calculation of 8 hours. The FMCSA considers on-duty time as a contributing factor to drivers’ fatigue.

4. It may be necessary to take multiple rest breaks each day. 

For drivers still using paper logs, a useful tool is to take a logbook ruler and measure out the length of 8 hours on the ruler. Use this technique as a quick reference once driving or on-duty time begins to determine when a rest break must be taken without going over 8 hours.
Take rest breaks seriously. Rest breaks can help reduce stress and fatigue which can lead to a crash and/or workplace injuries. Also, during a roadside inspection, a new rest break violation adds 21 points to the driver’s and carrier’s CSA/SMS score. This violation can also result in the driver being placed “out of service” resulting in additional CSA/SMS points against the driver and the fleet.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Community of Drivers

Restoring Faith in Humanity...
One Story at a Time.

Road Warriors
by Carrie Bryant

Brownstown Township, Michigan, USA

The summer of 1990, my kid brother moved to California. Mom and Dad had to get his car out to him, so they decided that Mom would drive it to California two weeks before Christmas, then Dad and I would fly out there and spend Christmas together with both my brothers. The day before my mother left, she fell and broke her left wrist and had to have a cast up to her elbow.

Dad plotted her route by way of Indianapolis. By the fourth or fifth day of her trip, while I was at my parents' house helping Dad, Mom called. She was in Texas, not far from some friends of theirs, but she found herself so tired she pulled off the road for a 20 minute nap. She woke up and drove to a restaurant, where she called their friends. They asked her to come and stay for the rest of the day and night to visit, so she got directions to their place and left the restaurant.

As mom stepped outside, a man came up to her and asked if she was driving a Ford EXP with out-of-state plates, and had she pulled off the road somewhere a little while back to take a nap or something. Mom was wary about all the questions, but the man assured her that he meant no harm. Once she said yes, she was that woman, he asked her to please wait where she was while he made a call and he would come back to explain. He went to his truck, grabbed his radio microphone, and made a call.

When he returned, he told her that truck drivers had been following her since Indianapolis. It seems that a driver had noticed this little white-haired lady with a cast on her left arm and driving a stick-shift cross-country. Since she didn't have a CB radio, and probably didn't have a cell phone, they took it upon themselves to watch over her. They knew what hotel she stopped at for the night. Each morning another driver would pick her up and continue the trip. Any time the driver following her had to go in another direction, he radioed another trucker driver who picked my mother up and continued following her.

Mom never knew she was being followed day and night by these truck drivers. The driver at the restaurant, telling my mother this story, stated that when she had pulled off the road for those 20-30 minutes, the drivers had lost sight of her and panicked. They were looking for her when he spotted her car at the restaurant and stopped to make sure she was all right. Once he confirmed she was the right lady, he had to call the other drivers to let them know he had found her safe and sound, as they were getting ready to call the state police to look for her.

I can't thank those highway angels enough for the care, worry and protection they gave my mom during this trip.

Originally published as HeroicStories #121 on February 15, 2000.  Available in The Best of HeroicStories, Volume 2.

We'd love to hear your comments on today's story! Just visit
Road Warriors on the web site and participate in the discussion there.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Drivers Needed!!

No, it's not a glamorous job.  You won't have paparazzi clamoring for your picture.  But there is a shortage of truck drivers.  A big one and it looks like it's only going to get worse as more demand for shipping by truck goes up and current drivers retire. 

Trucking companies everywhere are trying to recruit more drivers so their trucks aren't just sitting, but they are finding it harder and harder.  They are looking at different ways to retain the drivers they have as well as recuit new drivers. 

The Tennessean published an article on August 25, 2014 titled "Trucking Industry faces uphill battle to recruit drivers".  It stated that truck drivers were 3rd of the list of the top 10 hardest jobs to fill in Manpower Groups's "2013 Talent Shortage Survey" for the United States.

Age is part of the problem.  You can't get a CDL license until you are 21, so those not going to college still have to wait 3 years after high school to get a driving job.  Also, the training can be expensive, some spending thousands before they are qualified to get a job.

For the full article, click here.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

School Bus Safety

As the summer of 2014 quickly comes to an end, schools throughout the country will be opening their doors to students returning from their brief summer recesses.

For 24 million students nationwide, the school day begins and ends with a trip on a school bus. The National Safety Council indicates there are approximately 325,000 school buses operating on any given school day, with each traveling an average of 12,000 miles per school year. 

What tragedy could be worse for a parent than to lose a young child in a school bus accident? What tragedy could be worse for a trucking professional than to be involved in such an accident? There are steps than can be taken by professional drivers to minimize the potential for these types of losses.
1. Recognize And Obey The Rules Of The Road – When approaching a school bus, be extra cautious. Look for the possibility of warning signals to activate and be prepared to stop. Remember that in most every state, and in most circumstances, it is unlawful to pass a stopped school bus that is either loading or unloading students. Additionally, most buses are required to stop at railroad crossings, so be prepared. Always maintain a “cushion of safety” to avoid rear-ending a school bus.

2. Obey School Zone Speed Limits – If you must travel through a school zone to complete your delivery, obey the restricted speed limits, and always yield to school buses, clearly giving them the right-of-way.

3. Be Prepared For The Unexpected – When following a bus that is making frequent stops, don’t take a chance making an unsafe pass. Remember that school buses often pick up children during early morning hours, when fog and darkness may cause reduced visibility.

As professional drivers, we must use common sense, be courteous, and stay within the law. Think “CAUTION” anytime you observe a school bus.

At times, the trucking industry will take the position that some accidents are inevitable. Yet, when the cargo is as valuable as that carried by our school buses, nothing less than a total safety effort is acceptable.

Let’s give our children a safe and happy school year!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

A Changing Of The Guard

Or as Lou says "The King is Dead!  Long Live the King!"

After 27 years of service, Lou Wilkinson, will be stepping down (his version of semi-retirement) from the VP/CIO position.

He will be embarking on a more creative role as Software Development Manager.

As of Friday, June 13, Nick Gorney will be promoted into the IT Services Manager position.  (And, no, he is not at all superstitious.)

All of us at Schilli wish the best of luck to both Lou and Nick in their new positions.

Tracy Morgan's crash is finally putting some media attention on an issue that truckers have been trying to raise for years.
Federal regulations now limit commercial drivers to 14-hour workdays stating that it would decrease the number of accidents due to driver fatigue. But the hourly ceiling removed the flexibility that commercial drivers once had if they needed to wait out traffic jams, bad weather or to pull over to rest for several hours, forcing many to max out their 14-hour windows.  Additionally, the tight scheduling from shippers stretch the demands for driver's time. 

To read the entire article from NBC News, click here.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Honoring EMS Responders during National EMS Week

EMS personnel are very important to the trucking community.  This week has been designated as National EMS Week and we feel they deserve proper recognition for their dedication.

A statement from HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Nicole Lurie, M.D.

This week, our nation honors emergency medical service (EMS) professionals for their dedication to public service. As the HHS assistant secretary for preparedness and response, I know how important their role is in disasters. As a primary care physician, I know how important their work is every day. People rely on EMS in disasters and other public health emergencies, as well as for personal emergency care.

We know that our health care system must be ready at a moment’s notice to respond to threats to the public’s health. Time and time again, disaster after disaster, EMS responders across the country have risen to that challenge, whether the community is impacted by a hurricane, wildfire, flood, bombing, chemical plant explosion, or pandemic flu. In recent disasters, we have witnessed EMS responders providing triage on the scene in Boston after the bombing, helping evacuate nursing homes in New York state after Hurricane Sandy, and caring for injured or ill patients as they were transported to hospitals in Texas after a plant explosion. Dozens of EMS responders give their lives every year in the service to our communities and our nation. Those who remain continue to take pride in being the people we can depend on even in difficult and dangerous situations.

To become better prepared, the nation is moving increasingly toward building coalitions bringing together EMS providers, public health agencies, hospitals, nursing homes, dialysis centers, health care providers, home health agencies, emergency management agencies, and local businesses. EMS is a critical partner in our health care system, so I encourage EMS professionals to take an active role in helping communities forge and strengthen these partnerships. Given the regular interaction EMS responders have with these organizations in the community, EMS is uniquely positioned to bring potential partners together to plan for and minimize the impact that disasters have on health.

Disaster response and recovery requires a whole community working together. It’s one mission, one team. EMS is a crucial part of that team, there when every minute counts.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners Program

Today is the day of the official start of the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners program. Only a medical examiner (actual person- doctor, nurse, chiropractor etc., not the clinic) found on the National Registry website will be allowed to complete a DOT physical for drivers operating a commercial motor vehicle over 10,001 lbs. 
Beginning May 21, 2014, all medical certificates issued to interstate truck and bus drivers must come from medical examiners listed on the National Registry and on the new medical card format.
Impact on Interstate CMV Drivers
• Drivers are required to obtain physical examinations and a medical examiner’s certificate from a certified medical examiner listed on the National Registry.
• Interstate CMV drivers can find certified medical examiners in their area, or anywhere in the country, on the National Registry website.
• Drivers will still receive a medical certificate from the medical examiner after passing their examination;
• Medical certificates will now need to be completed on the new FMCSA medical card: § 391.43(g) (2) If the medical examiner finds that the person examined is physically qualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle in accordance with § 391.41(b), he or she must complete a certificate in the form prescribed in paragraph (h) of this section and furnish the original to the person who was examined. The examiner must provide a copy to a prospective or current employing motor carrier who requests it and § 391.43(h), which includes:
  • the certified medical examiner’s National Registry Number,
  • medical providers national registry license number and
  • 2 new additional questions:
    • § CDL holder – YES or NO
    • § Interstate- YES or NO
For more information, visit the National Registry website at

Monday, April 21, 2014,,, no, Orange...

The color of light is found to be key to alertness.  However, there is a difference of opinion as to which color of light is the right one. 

Scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York are testing blue LED lights that convince the brain it is morning and resetting the body's natural clock. 
However, Gilles Vandewalle at the University of Liege, Belgium, and his team have been experimenting with blue and orange lights and believe their testing shows that the orange light affects the part of the brain related to alertness and cognition more than the blue light. 

We will let you read both articles and let you make up your own mind.  Personally, I like blue, so that one gets my vote.  Whether it actually works better than orange, I don't know.  I'll let them battle it out.


Monday, April 14, 2014

Driver Turnover

According to figures released by the American Trucking Associations, the turnover rate at large truckload carriers fell six percentage points to 91% in the fourth quarter of 2013, but were above 90% for the eighth consecutive quarter.

The decline was the second straight for the measure of turnover in the driver pool, however, ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said it continues to be elevated.

“We saw turnover at fleets with at least $30 million in annual revenue bottom out near 50% at the depths of the Great Recession and have increased steadily since,” he said. “The rate appears to have flattened out at an elevated level for the moment. However, it could easily increase as tightness in the labor pool should continue, and even worsen, as the economy improves.”

For all of 2013, driver turnover averaged 96%, just below 2012’s average of 98% and well off the all-time high of 130% set in 2005.

Turnover at small truckload fleets rose five points in the last quarter of 2013 to 79%, but was still below the 82% mark the figure hit in the first half of 2012. For the year, turnover at small fleets averaged 82%.

Turnover in the less-than-truckload sector fell two points to 11% in the fourth quarter, which was also the average for 2013.

Looking ahead, Costello said he expects stronger economic growth and increased growth for the trucking industry, which in turn will put more pressure on the driver market and the driver shortage.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

2014 Schilli Basketball Challenge Final

Congratulations to our winner Joyce Schilli with 103 points!

Here is a list of the remaining top 10:

Michael Calvert     82 points
Dean Coleman      82 points
Osbie Wilson        82 points
Ed Brittin               81points
Lou Wilkinson       81 points
Dan Scripter         79 points
Melissa Taylor      78 points
Billy Boswell         77 points
Brian Turnipseed  77 points

For a complete list, click here.

Monday, April 7, 2014

2014 Schilli Basketball Challenge Update

Here are are top 10 as we go into the Championship Game:

Joyce Schilli        103
Michael Calvert     82
Dean Coleman      82
Osbie Wilson         82
Ed Brittin                81
Lou Wilkinson        81
Dan Scripter          79
Melissa Taylor       78
Billy Boswell          77
Brian Turnipseed   77

For the complete list, click here.

Friday, March 28, 2014

2014 Schilli Basketball Challenge Update

Here are the top 10 after Thursday's games:

Michael Calvert    62 points
Richard Rinehart  61 points
Joe Kohler            60 points
Jayne Earhart       59 points
Russ Hammond   59 points
Bobby Shelton      59 points
Dean Coleman     58 points
Heather Geesa     58 points
Sharon Gossett    58 points
Osbie Wilson        58 points

For a complete list, click here.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

2014 Schilli Basketball Challenge Update

After a grueling first week of play, here are our top 10 scores:

Michael Calvert    50 points
Ed Hollowell         49 points
Richard Rinehart  49 points
Robert Young       49 points
Joe Kohler            48 points
Jayne Earhart       47 points
Russ Hammond   47 points
Chance Reynolds 47 points
Bobby Shelton      47 points
Mary Thornton      47 points

However, as we know from last weeks games, anything can happen.  For a complete list, click here.

Monday, March 17, 2014

2014 Schilli Basketball Challenge


One entry per employee

 Only completely filled in (legible) brackets accepted with name of employee.

 Each round will be scored in points as follows: You select each game and each round

Round 2: Winning games receive 1 point

Round 3: Winning games receive 2 points

Sweet 16: Winning games receive 4 points

Elite 8: Winning games receive 8 points
Final 4: Winning games receive 16 points

 Championship: Winning games receive 32 points

 Tie-Breaker: Championship game, total final game points

Grand Prize Winner: $500.00

 All entries must be submitted via email, on the official form by noon, Eastern, Thursday, March 20, 2014, to:

** No late entries accepted.

The official form can be found at:  

For any questions please contact Brian Nehrig at (219) 261-2107 ext. 2337

Fuel-Efficient Big Rig From Walmart

 A Fuel-Efficient Big Rig From Walmart That Looks Like a Smushed Corvette
Originally printed in Wired written by Keith Barry

 Efficiency counts when you have one of the world’s largest commercial truck fleets. That’s why Walmart has developed a new big rig that uses a radical design to increase airflow and cut fuel use.

It’s called the WAVE, which stands for Walmart Advanced Vehicle Experience. It’s a concept truck and trailer that previews the future of long-haul freight, and it’s designed by Walmart in partnership with Peterbilt, Great Dane Trailers, and Capstone Turbine.

The cab might look like it ran over the back half of a Corvette, but that low profile shape makes it 20 percent more aerodynamic than your standard rig. It’s towing the world’s first 53-foot carbon fiber trailer, which you most certainly would not want to catch on a low bridge.

Inside, the driver sits in the middle–F1 style–and is flanked by LCD displays. But it’s not just for driving: There’s also a sleek sleeper cabin in the back.

The truck uses a turbine-powered battery-electric hybrid drivetrain, and the combustion engine can run on diesel, natural gas and biodiesel.

Curiously, there’s no mention of estimated fuel economy. But even the aerodynamic gains alone could save Walmart a massive amount of money. The company has a fleet of over 6,000 trucks, so every mile per gallon saved is monumental.

But right now actual numbers don’t matter–this is just a concept.

“It may never make it to the road, but it will allow us to test new technologies and new approaches,” says Walmart president and CEO Doug McMillon. But if there’s an industry in need of disruption, trucking is it, and the WAVE could point the way forward for the future of long-haul hauling.

Here is a link to the original article:

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Hours of Service & Daylight Savings Time

Instructing drivers on HOS record keeping to accommodate Daylight Savings Time change


Daylight Savings Time began Sunday March 9. This annual event often generates common questions on how to handle Daylight Savings Time on the driver's record of duty status (log). The following "best practices" for the time change can help keep you compliant.

Daily log

There are no official regulations or interpretations addressing documenting Daylight Savings Time on the driver's record of duty status; it's somewhat open to interpretation.

When you "lose" an hour in the spring, your log for that day should show 23 hours of activity. Leave a blank column on the grid for the hour from 2:00 a.m. - 3:00 a.m. (i.e., skip over that hour). The driver should also write something in the

Remarks area like "DST" or "daylight savings."

If you are taking a required off-duty break at the time, make sure it's long enough without counting the lost hour.

Handling the 34-hour restart

Except for the "restart" option, the hours-of-service rules do not rely on "clock" time. The fact that the clock jumps ahead has no effect on the 11-hour driving limit, the 14-hour window (which is based on consecutive time), or the 10-hour off-duty requirement (also based on consecutive time).

 For a restart, the driver will still need to be off for 34 consecutive hours but the clock will say it was 35. For example, if the driver is off from 7 p.m. on the 7th until 5 a.m. on the 9th, that will be 34 hours on the clock but only 33 actual hours due to the time change. Therefore, the driver will need to start the break by 6 p.m. or stay off duty until 6 a.m. to satisfy the rule. In either case, the break must be 34 actual hours long and include the two 1-5 a.m. periods as shown on the clock (even if the clock jumps ahead) and start at least 168 hours after the start of the previous 34 hour break.


Friday, March 7, 2014


 From time to time, almost all employees are involved in moving materials, structures, or products. These activities often lead to injuries, which, in many instances, can be avoided by using safe material-handling practices. To avoid sprains, strains, muscle pulls, or more severe injuries including death, whenever possible, ensure that mechanical means are used to move heavy, bulky objects. 

Equipment such as powered industrial trucks, cranes, and overhead hoists are used to aid in the movement of materials. These types of equipment often use chains to lift and hold their suspended loads. Following is some guidance on the proper selection, use, and maintenance of lifting chains.  


Alloy steel chains are often used because of their strength, durability, abrasion-resistance, and ability to conform to the shape of the loads on which they are used. In addition, these slings are able to lift hot materials. Alloy steel chain slings are made from various grades of alloy, but the most common grades in use are grades 80 and 100. These chains are manufactured and tested in accordance with ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) guidelines. Chains purchased at home-improvement stores may not be rated for lifting so it’s important to check sling rating, grade, and capacity prior to lifting. 
New slings are marked by the manufacture to show size, grade, rated load, and length (reach). 
Designate a qualified person to inspect chains and all fastenings/attachments for damage or defects each day before use. This qualified person also performs additional periodic inspections where service conditions warrant, as determined on the basis of: 
  •  Frequency of sling use.
  •  Severity of service conditions.
  •  Nature of the lifts being made
What to Look for When Doing a Chain Inspection
Make a thorough inspection of slings and attachments. Items to look for include:
  • Wear.
  • Defective welds.
  • Nicks, cracks, breaks, gouges, stretching, bends, discoloration due to excessive heat.
  • Excessive pitting or corrosion.
  • Throat opening of hooks.
  • Missing or illegible sling identifications.
  • Other conditions that cause doubt as to continued safe use of the sling.  
Where any such defect or deterioration is present, remove the sling or attachment from service immediately. Do not use worn or damaged alloy steel chain slings or attachments. Discard or repair them. Use damaged slings only after they are repaired, reconditioned, and proof tested by the sling manufacturer or equivalent entity. See OSHA 1910.184(e)(7)(i) for more information.
                          Safe Lifting Practices
Below are just a few tips to remember when working with lifting chains. For a full list, refer to OSHA 1910.184
  • Do not use alloy steel slings with loads exceeding the rated loads.
  • Use attachments, such as hooks, rings, oblong links, pear-shaped links, or welded or mechanical coupling links that have a rated capacity at least equal to that of the alloy steel chain with which they are used. If attachments with rated capacities lower than the chain are used, ensure that the sling is rated to the weakest component used on the sling.
  • Ensure that personnel do not stand or pass under a suspended load.
  • Make a trial lift and trial lower to ensure the load is balanced, stable and secure.
  • Balance the load to avoid overstress on one sling arm or the load slipping free.
  • Lower the working load limit if severe impact may occur.
  • Pad sharp corners to prevent bending links and to protect the load.
  • Do not leave suspended loads unattended.
  • Store chain sling arms on racks in assigned areas and not on the ground. The storage area should be dry, clean, and free of any contaminants which may harm the sling.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Share the Road!

 Warmer weather (yes, it will get here...) attracts different types of roadway users, including motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians are vulnerable road users—they do not have the protection of a car or truck, and collisions almost always result in injury. 
If you expect to see motorcycles, you are more likely to detect them. Often, we filter out things we don't expect to see. Look for motorcycles, especially at intersections. 
Motorcycles are much lighter than other vehicles and can stop in much shorter distances. This means that when you are following a motorcycle, you should leave more distance. If the rider has to make an emergency stop, the bike will stop in a much shorter distance than your rig. 
When you see a motorcycle approaching, realize that it's easy to misjudge the speed because the size of the motorcycle and the fact that it is coming towards you makes it difficult to estimate speed. 
Pedestrians are just as vulnerable as motorcyclists and bicyclists. Things to remember as a professional driver:

  • You can encounter pedestrians anytime and anywhere – even in places where they are not supposed to be found. Pedestrians can be very hard to see, especially in bad weather or at night. You must keep a lookout and slow down if you can't see clearly. 
  • Stop for pedestrians who are in a crosswalk, even if it is not marked. When you stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk, stop well back so that drivers in the other lanes can also see the pedestrian in time to stop.
  • Cars stopped in the street may be stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross. Do not pass if there is any doubt.
  • Don't assume that pedestrians see you or that they will act predictably. They may be physically or mentally impaired – or drunk.
  • When you are turning, you often will have to wait for a "gap" in traffic. Beware that while you are watching for that "gap,” pedestrians may have moved into your intended path.
  • Be especially attentive around schools and areas where children are active. Drive like you would want other people to drive in front of your own home.  

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Unhitched trailers can become 'missiles on the highway'

Never assume that your trailer is fully attached and secured. 

Take time to inspect all attachments, securements while we cannot eliminate all equipment failures we can prevent human mistakes.

(Rossen Reports

Kristie Cox lost nearly everything because of a missing safety pin and chain.

An improperly hitched trailer broke free on the road, slamming into her husband's SUV, tearing through its windshield and crushing the vehicle's left side. Her husband, Jeremy, and her 3-year-old daughter, Izzy, were both killed instantly. Only her son, Liam, survived.

"I just fell to the ground," Cox said. "How can they be gone? They're my life. They're every part of my life."

According to federal officials, unhitched trailers have killed more than 300 people in recent years. In many cases, the trailers aren't latched properly, and can pop off — which is why most states require two safety chains as backups.
"They become a weapon," said Lt. Brian Orr of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. "They're a missile going down the highway."

It's such a big problem that Oklahoma's state police patrol for it every day. When TODAY tagged along with them, they quickly found trailers that could be dangerous, sharing the road with you.

One driver admitted he'd been out all day without chains, and promised to fix it. Within a minute, police spotted another trailer in violations and pulled the driver over.
"You only had one chain connected to your trailer," Orr told him. "You're required to have at least two."

The driver said the chain had broken and he didn't have time to get it fixed: A one-minute fix to a $10 part that could literally save lives.

"Two chains are pretty basic," Kristie Cox said. "That decision, which could have taken just moments, and [Jeremy and Izzy] would still be here today, and Liam would still have a daddy and a sister."

Police say unhitched trailer accidents are completely preventable. It only takes 30 to 60 seconds to secure trailers the right way.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

No Texting While Driving

No texting while driving

CMV drivers are prohibited from texting while driving. So what qualifies as texting? Texting means manually entering alphanumeric text into, or reading text from, an electronic device. This includes, but is not limited to, short message service, e-mailing, instant messaging, a command or request to access a Web page, or pressing more than a single button to initiate or terminate a voice communication using a mobile phone.
Use of mobile phones is restricted for CMV drivers

This ruling restricts a CMV driver from reaching for, or holding, a mobile phone to conduct a voice communication, as well as dialing by pressing more than a single button. CMV drivers who use a mobile phone while driving can only operate a hands-free phone located in close proximity. In short, the rule prohibits unsafely reaching for a device, holding a mobile phone, or pressing multiple buttons.

How can drivers use a mobile phone and still obey the rules?

. Locate the mobile phone so it is operable by the driver while restrained by properly adjusted safety belts.
. Utilize an earpiece or the speaker phone function.
. Use voice-activated or one-button touch features to initiate, answer, or terminate a call.

What happens if a driver is caught using a hand-held phone or texting while driving?

The rules impose sanctions for driver offenses, including civil penalties up to $2,750 and disqualification for multiple offenses. Motor carriers are also prohibited from requiring or allowing their drivers to text or use a hand-held mobile phone while driving and may be subject to civil penalties up to $11,000. Violations will impact SMS results. Texting and calling on a hand-held phone carry the worst possible violation severity weights against a driver’s results!

BOTTOM LINE: Using a hand held device while driving is a serious traffic violation that could result in a disqualification.

No call, no text, no ticket!
 It's very easy to comply with the new rules: No REACHING, No HOLDING, No DIALING, No TEXTING, No READING.
Safety Management Services Company, 2014
An affiliate of Cottingham & Butler