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Drivewyze’s bypass service available in North Dakota
Trucking News

EDMONTON, Alta. – Canadian trucking software company Drivewyze will be expanding its weigh station bypass service to North Dakota, marking the first time the program will be offered in the state.

The Drivewyze PreClear program provides weigh station bypass opportunities to qualified carriers in several states and Canadian provinces, including Alberta, where it recently added 23 new vehicle inspection sites throughout the province.

The service became active in Alberta in April, which was the company’s first in Canada.

PreClear will be available at 13 various approaches to seven fixed weigh stations, as well as eight mobile sites, for a total of 21 locations in North Dakota.

“Drivewyze PreClear now debuts offering five times as many bypass opportunities as that of an anticipated transponder-based system when it goes live,” said Brian Heath, president and CEO of Drivewyze. “Truck fleets and drivers who operate safely and within legal weight limits and meet the state’s criteria can obtain bypasses through Drivewyze.”

Heath said the company’s PreClear program is the largest bypass service in North America, and that the addition of the sites in North Dakota closes a near 400-mile service gap between Moorhead, Minn. and Wibaux, Mon.

“Drivers traveling from Chicago to Idaho now have bypass opportunities in all six states over a 2,000-mile stretch,” said Heath.

Drivers for Manitoba-based trucking company Wildwood Transport are excited about the addition of PreClear in the Peace Garden State.

Matt Holland, manager of information technology for Wildwood, said with 35 of his company’s trucks activated on PreClear, and now the addition of the service in North Dakota, it will greatly impact Wildwood’s business.

Drivers for Wildwood, who haul over 1,000 loads through North Dakota and into various states, obtain weigh station bypasses through the Drivewyze app that is preloaded on the company’s electronic logging devices (ELDs), which Holland said helps to reduce delays.

“Each time our drivers encounter a weigh station increases the chances that they will undergo an inspection that can last up to an hour,” Holland said. “With driving time being limited, once that happens, staying on schedule can be nearly impossible for our drivers.”

Drivewyze uses commercial mobile radio service (CMRS) technology to deliver weigh stations bypasses and can read weight data transmitted from WIM sensors embedded in the pavement as the truck passes over them.

Source of article click here : Truck News


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SPECIAL REPORT: The early days of mandatory training
Trucking News
TORONTO, ON -- Darryl Robitaille belongs to a rare graduating class, one of the first future truck drivers to study under Ontario’s new Mandatory Entry-Level Training (MELT) regime. That means he had to complete at least 103.5 hours of approved training before the Ontario Ministry of Transportation would allow him to take the road test for an AZ licence to drive tractor-trailers.

He failed on the first attempt.

“The road test I did fine on,” says the resident of Caledonia, Ontario, referring to actions like steering and backing. His challenge was with new questions linked to pre-trip inspections. “I was extremely nervous,” Robitaille adds. This despite the fact that he personally completed a 200-hour training program, well above the mandated minimum introduced on July 1. But with a little extra studying he passed the test on his second attempt. Now he is looking to secure his first job behind the wheel.

Robitaille can take comfort in knowing he wasn’t alone. Exact figures have yet to be compiled by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, but training schools across the province have reported higher-than-usual failure rates in the face of new tests at Ontario’s DriveTest centers.

Written tests now include 30 questions, up from 20 that existed earlier in the year, and are more specifically geared toward related licence classes. The directions of road tests are also more prescriptive than ever before, specifying the number of tasks and subtasks that licence candidates need to demonstrate, so there’s less room for interpretation by evaluators. In a bid to break away from circle checks that some trainees were memorizing, the ministry has also introduced randomly generated questions about pre-trip inspections. When presented with a component, those being tested must explain the minor and major defects that can arise, as well as what they would do in each case.

It’s been a learning process for trainees and trainers alike.

"When procedures change, there's
obviously going to be some growing pains."

“When procedures change, there’s obviously going to be some growing pains,” says Matt Richardson, sales and operations manager at KRTS Transportation Specialists, where Robitaille completed his training. “It’s got to do with the examiners getting used to a new way and protocol of testing.”

New backing tests align more with daycabs than highway tractors, says Yvette Lagrois, of Ontario Truck Training Academy.

New backing tests align more with daycabs than highway tractors, says Yvette Lagrois, of Ontario Truck Training Academy.

“The more-difficult test is better,” Richardson says, suggesting that the new training regime will bring an end to most of the so-called licensing mills that prepared trainees for ministry licensing tests but often failed to develop the skills needed to earn a job.

Yvette Lagrois of Ontario Truck Training Academy, headquartered in Oshawa, is among those who believes there is still room to improve the new test procedures themselves, particularly when it comes to the layout of backing exercises. “Previously the cones were further back,” she says, suggesting that today’s layouts for 90-degree turns align more with day cabs than highway tractors.

While schools have insights that could help address issues like that, she says the exact test changes came as a surprise. “We should have had at least some sort of meetings with those who are providing the training,” she says. “I’m sure there’s some political reason why we didn’t get it.”

But Lagrois also believes the new training standards have helped to force out schools with questionable training practices. “They’re looking for different business models,” she says of those operations, many of which had no dedicated training facilities. In some cases that might mean shifting training businesses to focus on DZ licences, which allow a driver to operate a truck or vehicle combination weighing more than 11,000 kilograms if the towed vehicle weighs less than 4,600 kilograms. That licence class is not included in the new mandatory training regime. “These people who were in the business for training were also freight operators,” she adds. “Those will probably move back into being owner-operators. They’ll have to figure out how to make money.”

Looking for loopholes

It hasn’t stopped some private career colleges from looking for shortcuts in the new training path, as they search for ways to attract lucrative students who can represent thousands of dollars in tuition.

In the weeks following the rollout of mandatory training, the Ontario Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development issued a blunt memo on news that some schools might not be complying with their approved training programs and conditions – specifically when it came to upgrading BZ or DZ licence holders to an AZ licence, or offering hourly lessons. (The holder of a B licence can drive a school bus that seats more than 24 people, while the Z endorsement indicates the licence holder can operate a vehicle with air brakes.)

“Any AZ training which does not adhere to the MELT standard does not provide the student with the ability to challenge the AZ road test,” the memo stressed, threatening potential fines of up to $250,000 for corporations as well as $50,000 fines and one-year prison terms for individuals.

Approved schools must now use an online portal to identify students who have met the new training requirements, before the individuals are allowed to take the road test. Prior to July, anyone could be tested.

Schools that don’t comply with the new rules could have programs revoked, requiring refunds for students, wrote Terry Tretter, manager – compliance and enforcement unit at the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development’s Private Career Colleges Branch. Ads promoting unapproved licence upgrading programs and other “non-vocational AZ programs” could run afoul of the province’s Consumer Protection Act, too, which has similar fines and includes maximum two-year prison terms for individuals.

Advanced standing

Like private career colleges that support other industries, these schools and trainers can issue “advanced standing” -- and that counts toward the mandated 103.5 hours, depending on a trainee’s previous experience or demonstrated skills. Each school must have its related policy assessed by someone recognized as a qualified third party, and approved by the ministry’s superintendent.

“The application submitted by a PCC (Private Career College) is reviewed separately by the adult education experts and sector subject matter experts,” explains Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development spokeswoman Ingrid Anderson. “The advanced standing policy may include such factors as the documented types of training received, the number of years of driving experience, and other relevant qualifications that would make an individual eligible for advanced-standing status.”

The emphasis on “may” is ours. Each school can propose its own standards.

“It’s not something that’s new. The schools, or some of them, have been doing it for some period of time,” says David Bradley, the retiring Chief Executive Officer of the Ontario Trucking Association, and now interim Chief Executive Officer of Trucking HR Canada – the organization that established National Occupational Standards, which helped define minimum training outcomes.

The concept can also make sense depending on an individual’s background, he says, referring to DZ drivers with many years of experience, or people who grew up around farm machinery. “Ultimately what you would want is a situation that provides for advanced standing, but is subject to enough oversight that it precludes the irresponsible people from taking advantage of the situation.”

"If you can exempt as many hours you want, then MELT is melted."

The lack of common tests to confirm advance standing concerns Naeem Cheema, the owner of Pine Valley Driving Academy in Etobicoke, especially since individual policies are ultimately approved by ministry personnel who are not necessarily experts in trucking.

Cheema says limited controls around advanced standings are a loophole to close.

Cheema says limited controls around advanced standings are a loophole to close.

“We should have a standard how the road test should be, [and] there should be a knowledge test,” Cheema says, suggesting that there should also be limits on the number of training hours that can be trimmed. “Advanced standing has to be standardized in terms of how many hours in class, in vehicle, in yard you can exempt ... If you can exempt as many hours you want, then MELT is melted.”

In the weeks after the 103.5-hour minimum was introduced, he says he heard from potential students who were promised they could be trained for just $2,000, covering all the material in a fraction of the hours. “These are not too many hours,” he says of the 103.5-hour limit. “So what? Make them know more.”

If he had his way, the 103.5 hours would be the bare minimum. Long-term drivers may still lack formal training in factors like Schedule 1 inspection standards and Electronic Logging Devices, he says as an example. “MELT, the way it’s laid out, is beautiful.”

“Maybe we need to make them enter the number of training hours they had behind the wheel,” suggests Private Motor Truck Council of Canada president Mike Millian, referring to the information that schools provide about trainees with advance standing. Someone who has worked for 20 years as a DZ driver is not going to require the same amount of training to secure an AZ licence, he says. But even then, he believes there is room for more training than they had in the past.

“You shouldn’t be able to go any lower than half (the 103.5 hours),” Millian says. “They’re still pulling a trailer.”

Regardless, the advanced standing option doesn’t apply to carriers who train and upgrade employees under a Driver Certification Program.

 “Arguably it should. Part of what we were trying to accomplish is harmonize (Driver Certification Program) with the (Private Career Colleges) program, and I don’t get any sense that there’s a desire to abandon advanced standing on the (Private Career Colleges) side of things,” Bradley says.

“At the end of the day, when we went into this thing with MELT, we said we wanted to take back our industry from the training schools,” he adds. “The benefits still far outweigh the issues. It’s a work in progress.”

Source of article click here : Today's Trucking

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Canada prepares for its version of the ELD mandate
Trucking News
If draft rule issued this fall as expected, deadline for compliance would be 2019, with those using automatic onboard recording devices (AOBRDs) getting until 2021.

Though it has been a long time coming in Canada – almost six years by one reckoning – an electronic logging device (ELD) mandate similar to the one in the U.S. is poised to be issued by the close of 2017 if all goes as planned.

Geoff Wood, senior vice president of policy for the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA), explained during a presentation here at TMW and PeopleNet's 2017 in.sight user conference and exposition that Canada’s version of the U.S. ELD mandate – which will be “99.8% in line” with the rule promulgated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) – is entitled “Gazette I” and a draft should be published sometime this fall by the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA).

He expects that draft to be quickly approved, as the technical standards have been in development for six years now, with a final rule – dubbed “Gazette II” – likely to be issued by the end of 2017.

If published as expected, the deadline for compliance with Canada’s ELD mandate would be by December of 2019, with those using automatic onboard recording devices (AOBRDs) getting until 2021 to make the switch.

“We don’t expect a lot of surprise over this rule, partly because we’ve taken a lot of time to develop it,” Wood said. “We also needed more buy-in from the provincial governments as our federal rules work a little bit differently compared to here in the states.”

The rules of who is and who is not covered under Canada’s ELD mandate will mirror those in the U.S., he noted. Federally-regulated motor vehicles operating vehicles over 10,000 lbs. (some 4,500 kilograms in Canada) where the driver currently must maintain a paper logbook are covered. Exemptions are for truck rentals under 30 days and for drivers who stay within a 160 kilometer (99.14 mile) radius of home base – though those “short-range” drivers must still comply with hours of service (HOS) rules.

Fleets operating under what are known as “federal HOS permits” are exempted as well, such as those serving in the oil fields and hauling dry or liquid fertilizer for farming.

“They can switch to using ELDs if they want to; they are just not being made mandatory for them,” Wood pointed out, though they must still use paper logbooks as well, like they do today.

There are a few differences, however, between Canada’s soon-to-be proposed ELD mandate and the one on the books in the U.S., he added. Some of those are:

  • In Canada’s case, the technical standards ELD’s will be required to meet will only be referenced in its mandate; by contrast those standards and embedded within the U.S. mandate.
  • ELDs in Canada will be required on commercial vehicles back to the 1995 model year, as opposed to the 2000 model year cut off in the U.S. If that wasn’t done, Woods said some 65,000 to 70,000 trucks “would not be captured” by the ELD rule.
  • There is a “deferral of off duty” option in the Canadian HOS rules that the U.S. does not have.
  • In terms of personal use, the device must measure 75 kilometers (some 46.6 miles) within 24 hours. If 75 kilometers of personal conveyance is exceeded within 24 hours, the ELD automatically changes status from “personal conveyance” to “drive status.”

However, Wood stressed that those differences aside, Canada’s ELD mandate will closely track what’s been established in the U.S.

“The long and short of it is, if you buy and use and U.S.-compliant device, you will have no issues in Canada,” he said.

Source of article click here : American Trucker

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Ontario introducing electronic permits
Trucking News

TORONTO, ON – The Ontario Ministry of Transportation is implementing electronic single trip permits for oversize/overweight vehicles beginning Monday, August 14.

If permit holders choose to carry an electronic version of the permit, it has to be downloaded to a handheld device or tablet before departure – or printed as a hard copy, the ministry notes. Cellular coverage, after all, can be limited in certain areas.

Those who choose to carry and surrender an electronic permit must also agree to hand over the hand-held device or tablet when requested by police or other ministry-appointed personnel carrying out provisions under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act. They must also, on request, email the permit to the officer.

Source of article click here : Today's Trucking

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Thursday is deadliest day of the week for truckers
Trucking News

Fatal Thursdays. It sounds like the title of a horror film. In many ways, it is a nightmare scenario on our roadways that re-occurs week after week. In the trucking industry, Thursdays are one of the deadliest days of the week for new and experienced drivers of 18-wheelers.

Has this startling statistic been brought to light to scare new prospects from the trucking industry and to give drivers a bad reputation? On the contrary, as truck drivers, you deserve to know all the information that’s available to keep you safer and alive while on the road.

The biggest crash factors

Whether you’re starting out in the industry or have been behind the wheel for decades, the road can be a fascinating and challenging place to work. More often than not, when sharing the highway with other motorists, you may have a “now I’ve seen everything” moment. Some motorists are terrible drivers and are hazardous to everyone on the road.

As a driver, you may have made (or will make) a few mistakes of your own. Driver errors are a leading contributor to crashes, but can be avoided. Ditching bad habits like tailgating or driving too fast can save your life.

You’ve learned everything you need to know how to drive safely, use that knowledge each and every time you get behind the wheel of your rig. Taking time to follow all protocol from your company and paying extra attention in an unfamiliar area will not only keep you safer but will allow you to keep your job and commercial license.

Why Thursday?

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, truck accidents are more likely to occur during the week, rather than the weekends, because more trucks are hauling freight. While some truckers are behind the wheel on the weekends, crashes that occur on a Friday or Saturday typically involve standard auto drivers who are distracted or intoxicated.

Depending on a steady income and a clean driving record, truckers rarely take the risk of driving while intoxicated. So why Fatal Thursdays? For the typical Monday through Friday truck driver, there’s a greater risk of feeling fatigued, and the ability to stay alert or react quickly are less likely.

Fighting off fatigue

Preventing fatigue can be tricky sometimes but as a trucker, it’s essential that you know how to combat nodding off behind the wheel, regardless of the day of the week. Sitting long hours on the road can make you feel like you’re on auto-pilot. Recognizing the signs of fatigue are the first step in avoiding a preventable, fatal accident.

Yes, deadlines are important but stop pushing yourself. If you need to take a small break, take one. Drink water, do some stretches, close your eyes at a rest stop for 20 minutes. Self-care is essential if you plan on making trucking a lifelong career.

Don’tignore mechanical problems

In addition to driver errors and drowsiness, mechanical errors also play a big role in crashes involving a truck. Even though you may not be a mechanic, you need to understand the basics of your truck. Your rig is a hardworking machine and puts on many miles and hours a week so it’s only natural that the tires and brakes will wear down.

Work for a company that values your safety and will take the time to examine and fix your truck. If something doesn’t sound or feel right while you’re behind the wheel, you’re putting your life and many others at risk.

Where are roads the deadliest?

If Thursdays are the deadliest, where are the deadliest roads, and can they be avoided? More than half of fatal accidents involving a truck occur on major roads other than interstates or highways and about one-third occur on interstates and freeways.

Unfortunately, as a trucker, it’s difficult to avoid either type of road. Minimal maintenance and rural roads are never a good idea (and should be avoided as much as possible). They can slow down your time and may put you at greater risk for getting lost or having a hard time maneuvering your large truck.

In Indiana, the most numerous crashes from 2011-15 occurred in and around the Indianapolis area. Within this region, 57 trucking accidents occurred, with a total of 59 fatalities.

Fatal Thursdays don’t have to continue to affect the trucking community. By improving company rules that focus on the safety of the drivers and improving training and continued education, this dismal day can become a thing of the past.

Source of article click here : The Herald Tribune

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Navistar ending medium-duty engine production
Trucking News

LISLE, IL – Navistar will stop producing medium-duty engines at its plant in Melrose Park, Illinois, beginning in the second quarter of its 2018 fiscal year.

Most of the proprietary engines made in Melrose Park are nine- and 10-liter models for Class 6 and 7 trucks. Navistar reintroduced the option of a 6.7-liter Cummins engine in 2013, followed last year with the option of a nine-liter Cummins.

Cummins engines for Class 6 and 7 trucks are produced in Indiana and North Carolina, while Navistar makes big-bore engines for Class 8 trucks in Alabama.

About 170 employees will be affected, reducing Navistar’s operating costs about US $12 million per year. The company says a “significant portion” of the hourly employees are eligible for retirement.

"Ceasing production of engines at Melrose Park is a difficult decision, but represents another important step on our journey to strengthening the company's competitiveness," said Persio Lisboa, Navistar’s Chief Operating Officer. "Our N9/10 engine family was updated in 2014 and since then has served as a competitive niche offering for specific medium-duty vehicles. As we approach future regulatory requirements, the low volume nature of the platform could not justify further product development investments on it."

The company still has a presence at Melrose Park, where facilities are being transformed into a technical center for testing and validating trucks and engines, and also selling and reconditioning used trucks. That transformation began in 2010.

Source of article click here : Today's Trucking

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Truck rollover closes eastbound lanes on Highway 401 near Whitby
Trucking News
The rollover is causing heavy delays during the morning rush hour, according to police

A tanker truck carrying water rolled over on Highway 401 Wednesday morning.

A tanker truck carrying water rolled over on Highway 401 Wednesday morning.

All eastbound lanes on Highway 401 just east of Lake Ridge Road near Whitby remain closed due to a crash involving a truck carrying water that rolled over, according to the Ontario Provincial Police.

Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said the tanker spilled some of its water onto the highway.

It's unknown when the eastbound lanes will reopen, he said.

Police have not received reports of any injuries in the rollover.

The eastbound lanes are closed only in the area of the accident, but that is causing traffic to back up, according to police.

"Obviously it's the morning rush, there is lots of traffic in that area, and it's a big visual distraction as well for traffic on the other side of the highway," said Schmidt. "It will be an area you want to avoid for the next few hours."

Just after 10 a.m. police provided an update on twitter that the truck has been removed, but all lanes remain blocked while the road is being cleaned.

Source of article click here : CBC NEWS

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General Motors recalls 80,000 pickup trucks in Canada due to power steering defe
Trucking News
The Silverado 1500 at the Canadian International Auto Show at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto, February 19, 2013

The Silverado 1500 at the Canadian International Auto Show at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto, February 19, 2013

 

General Motors is recalling nearly 800,000 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 pickup trucks worldwide that could lose power steering, according to documents made public Friday.

The largest U.S. automaker said the 2014 model year trucks could suffer a temporary loss of electric power steering, especially during low-speed turning maneuvers, according to documents disclosed Friday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The recall includes about 690,000 vehicles in the United States, 80,000 in Canada and around 25,000 in other markets. GM dealers will reflash the vehicle’s software to address the defect.

 

GM spokesman Tom Wilkinson did not have any details on whether crashes or injuries are connected to the recall.

GM told regulators that before the 2015 model year it made a series of changes to address potential sources of temporary low voltage conditions that disable the power steering.

GM has not said when dealers will begin repairing vehicles.

Source of article click here : Global News

 

 


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Ontario driver training schools warned
Trucking News

TORONTO, ON – Ontario’s private career colleges have received a stern warning from the ministry that oversees them, after complaints that some schools are trying to bypass newly introduced mandatory training for commercial drivers.

The Mandatory Entry Level Training (MELT) program was introduced by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation on July 1, and sets a minimum of 103.5 hours of training for anyone looking to earn a Class A licence. It's the first jurisdiction in North America to introduce such a standard.

In a memo obtained by Today’s Trucking, the Ontario Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development says it has heard some schools may not be complying with approved training programs and conditions. The issue includes programs designed to upgrade BZ or DZ licence holders to AZ licences, or simple hourly lessons.

“Any AZ training which does not adhere to the MELT standard does not provide the student with the ability to challenge the [Ontario Ministry of Transportation] AZ road test,” the memo stresses, referring to the Private Career Colleges Act’s potential fines of up to $250,000 for corporations as well as $50,000 fines and one-year prison terms for individuals.

Schools must use an online portal to identify trainees who have completed the ministry-approved training regime, before the individual can go to a DriveTest Center to take the road test for the licence itself.

Schools that don’t comply with the rules could have programs revoked, requiring refunds for students, writes Terry Tretter, manager – compliance and enforcement unit at the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development’s Private Career Colleges Branch.

Ads that promote unapproved licence upgrading programs and other “non-vocational” AZ programs could also contravene the Consumer Protection Act. That also carries potential fines of up to $250,000 for corporations as well as $50,000 fines and two-year prison terms for individuals.

There are ways for trainees to be recognized for “advanced standing” toward the required schooling. But schools must have their approach approved before offering it.

Source of article click here : Today's Trucking

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PIT Group participating in truck platooning research
Trucking News

MONTREAL, Que. – PIT Group announced recently that it is participating in Transport Canada’s Cooperative Truck Platooning Systems (CTPS) testing program.

The test began July 24 and ends August 18 at the Motor Vehicle Test Centre in Blainville, Quebec.

The testing program is led by a joint effort by Transport Canada,  National Research Council, Partners for Advanced Transportation Technology (University of California at Berkeley); the U.S. Department of Energy; the U.S. Federal Highway Administration; the California Department of Transportation, and Volvo Trucks.

PIT Group was chosen to participate because of its testing expertise and  will manage track operations and provide trailers, drivers, test engineers and scientific equipment, in addition to conducting fuel consumption measurements using the TMC Fuel Consumption Test Procedure in a ISO 17 025 context.

In 2016, the same team successfully conducted Fuel Economy Testing of a Three-Vehicle Truck Platooning System. This year, the group is focusing on the real world performance and reliability of CTPS using a range of tractor-trailer configurations, speeds, separation distances and weights in various traffic conditions.

Through reductions in aerodynamic drag and vehicle spacing, CTPS offers the potential to improve fuel economy, emissions, traffic flow, and road capacity by employing wireless communications and automation to create a convoy or “platoon” of multiple trucks following in close succession. The technologies employed by CTPS also have potential benefits for drivers and for increasing road safety.

“Platooning is an important step towards autonomous vehicles and to realizing the potential to reduce fuel consumption, eliminate highway congestion and improve safety,” said Yves Provencher, director, market and business development of PIT Group. “This year’s testing program will provide a valuable understanding of the real savings potential of platooning. We are pleased to contribute our ten years of testing expertise to assist in this valuable industry research effort.”

Source of article click here : Truck News

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Float Down safety is everybody’s business
Trucking News

Life is not without risks. It’s why we buy insurance and buckle our seat belts.

It’s why, for the first time ever, the Mackinac Bridge will be completely closed to vehicle traffic for this year’s Labor Day Bridge Walk. In past years, car and truck traffic was shifted onto the southbound lanes while walks used the other half of the bridge.

This year, following the advice from the Michigan State Police and U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the bridge authority will bar regular traffic from the bridge from 6:30 a.m. to noon. Simply put, too many cars and trucks have plowed into crowds of pedestrians in recent years.

But police and the Mackinac Bridge Authority are not the only people responsible for keeping the thousands of walkers safe on Labor Day. The participants themselves have responsibilities as well. Walker are advised to wear closed-toe shoes, apply sunscreen and avoid horseplay on the bridge — and to make sure they are physically capable of a five-mile walk.

Likewise, numerous authorities are working together to mitigate and minimize the risks of participating in the Port Huron Float Down on Sunday afternoon. Also for the first time, marine and law enforcement officials from both sides of the St. Clair River are coordinating their efforts to get everyone to the end of the float and out of the river safely.

It’s a smart move and one that all of us appreciate.

Like bridge walkers, though, Float Down participants also have a role in keeping themselves safe while enjoying Sunday’s event. There could be a record turnout this year following the worldwide attention that last year’s escape to Canada received. There will not be rescuers to mind every single Float Down participant.

Participant safety begins with being aware of your physical capabilities. It is longer, farther and more difficult than it looks. It is not safe for children.

Wear a personal floatation device and bring a suitable paddle to keep your float on course. You’re going to be out in the sun for several hours, which means you’ll need sunscreen, clothing to protect your skin and probably water and food. Avoid alcohol.

Carry identification, preferably sealed inside a waterproof bag, in case you need to explain yourself to Canadian customs. Obey the law and respect private property.

Have fun.

Source of article click here : The Times Herald

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Tractor-trailer collisions on the rise in Chatham-Kent
Trucking News
Construction zones on Highway 401 near Chatham seeing bulk of crashes

A truck fire on Highway 401 in Chatham-Kent.

A truck fire on Highway 401 in Chatham-Kent. (OPP)

A section of Highway 401 near Chatham has seen a spike this construction season in the number of collisions involving tractor trailers.

Figures from provincial police show 61 collisions have been reported in the first three months of construction season, which stretches from May to November. That figure is already close to the 88 crashes in the entire construction season in 2016.

Of the crashes reported since May, 47 per cent have included tractor trailers, compared to 32 per cent last year, according to police statistics.

OPP spokesman Const. Jay Denorer couldn't pinpoint a reason for the increase.

"Everything is set up for traffic to flow safely," he said. "As you're approaching the construction zone slow down, enter into the construction zone, give space in front of you and the most important thing, don't be distracted whether it be by things in the vehicle or by your cellphone."

Const. Jay Denorer

OPP Const. Jay Denorer said there have been 61 collisions in the Highway 401 construction zone near Chatham so far this year season. (Melissa Nakhavoly/CBC)

Tony Tanghe has been a truck driver for almost 40 years and he said it seems as if the roadway has become more dangerous. 

He travels on the 401 in Chatham-Kent a few times a week and is concerned when travelling through that stretch of road.

"It's too much traffic, too close together," he said. "It only takes one person to screw up and then you have a big mess."

Tony Tanghe, collisions 401

Tony Tanghe has been a truck driver for almost 40 years. He said all motorists need to leave more space between vehicles to avoid collisions on the highway. (Melissa Nakhavoly/CBC)

The troubled stretch of road recently claimed the lives of Lacie Brundritt and her 14-year-old son Kyle.

The family was heading home from a family vacation when they became stuck in slow traffic. While they were stopped, a tractor-trailer slammed into their truck and several other vehicles near Dillon Road in Chatham-Kent.

The deadly crash prompted provincial police to warn drivers to be extra cautious around the construction zone, but just nine days later, five vehicles were damaged in a "chain-reaction" crash involving three transport trucks.

Denorer said he's heard concerns from residents as well.

"I've heard concerned people are afraid to go on the highway when collisions are happening," he said. "They think there's been a huge increase and there's a lot of safety at risk."

Source of article click here : CBC NEWS

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Peel pilot to test off-peak deliveries
Trucking News

BRAMPTON, ON – Ontario’s Peel Region, just west of Toronto, will partner with private delivery businesses this fall to test the potential of off-peak deliveries.

The goal is to help reduce congestion and improve traffic flows by shifting truck traffic off the area’s congested roads during peak hours.

The six-month pilot begins in September, when regional staff will help develop customized delivery plans.

“This is an opportunity to improve the way we do business and create efficiencies. We are looking forward to following the Region’s pilot initiative and support their efforts in bringing innovative strategies to alleviate congestion,” said Jonathan Blackham, the Ontario Trucking Association’s (OTA's) director – policy and public affairs.

It’s not the first time a Canadian jurisdiction has tried this. When introduced in Vancouver during the 2010 Olympic Games, off-peak deliveries saw total truck volumes drop 37% during congested periods. During the 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games, about 100 businesses and more than 500 receiving locations participated in such a project.

A 2009 pilot study of off-peak deliveries in New York City saw participants realize a 30% drop in costs, shorter delivery times, and lower parking fines.

“OTA is hopeful that shippers and receivers also embrace this initiative, as we know in the past there has been some hesitation to shift workers to off-peak shipping/receiving,” added Blackham.

Those interested in participating in the pilot project can contact Elizabeth Bang, Peel’s principal planner – transportation systems planning, at 905-791-7800, ext 4694, or email elizabeth.bang@peelregion.ca.

Source of article click here : Today's Trucking

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Navistar loses US $30.8 million judgement
Trucking News

JACKSON, TN -- Navistar is disputing allegations that it didn’t thoroughly test MaxxForce EGR engines, in a case that saw former executive Jim Hebe testify that the company “did not test sh*t”, and a jury award a truck fleet US $30.8 million in damages.

The Tennessee jury found that Navistar committed fraud and violated the Tennessee Consumer Practice Act in connection with the sale of 243 Navistar International ProStars with MaxxForce engines to Milan Supply Chain Solutions. It awarded US $10.8 million in actual damages and US$20 million in punitive damages.

Tennessee-based Milan alleged that Navistar misled them, saying the truck maker failed to disclose that the MaxxForce 13L engine, which used exhaust gas recirculation to meet 2010 emissions standards rather than the selective catalytic reduction being used by other truck and engine makers, was launched with “serious known defects.”

Milan also alleged that Navistar, while touting the quality of its testing program, knew that the testing had serious flaws, was incomplete at launch, and put the trucks into customers’ hands knowing that the customers would end up becoming the de facto test fleet for Navistar’s new 2010 year model engine.

In a statement, Navistar said it is disappointed in the jury’s verdict and is evaluating its options to challenge it, noting it has successfully defended similar claims in several jurisdictions, including dismissal of claims of fraud in courts in Texas, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Alabama, and Illinois.

“Navistar tested the MaxxForce 13 engine consistent with industry standards,” the company said in a statement. “They were tested for 12 million miles prior to launch under rigorous conditions, in test cells and on the road. At the time of the product launch, we were confident, based on this testing, that the product would perform. All products undergo continuous improvement throughout their lifecycle. When some parts unexpectedly failed, we fixed them under warranty for our customers, including Milan Supply. We've invested a significant amount of resources standing behind our products and supporting our customers.”

Indeed, those warranty claims have dogged Navistar, being a key factor in many quarters of disappointing financial results.

EGR vs. SCR

Milan purchased the MaxxForce-powered ProStars in 2011 and 2012. The MaxxForce engine used Navistar’s go-it-alone strategy of “advanced exhaust gas recirculation” to meet EPA 2010 emissions regulations, which it used hoping to avoid the use of selective catalytic reduction (SCR) adopted by other truck and engine makers. However, Navistar was never able to get EPA approval for the MaxxForce engine after the expiration of its emissions credits, at which point it switched emissions-control technologies to SCR.

Since that time, Navistar has overhauled its management team and product lineup, moving to engines supplied by Cummins and a new Navistar A26 engine just going into production developed based on proven engine technology from new partner Volkswagen.

What would eventually turn out to be an ill-fated decision by Navistar to use Advanced EGR instead of SCR led to numerous quality problems with the engine, which resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars of warranty costs to Navistar and losses on the resale market for trucking companies like Milan.

During the trial, numerous executives testified either live or by deposition, including the aforementioned comment from Jim Hebe, former senior vice president of North American sales, who said Navistar never tested the final version of the engine before selling it to customers.

In an email to current CEO Troy Clarke, Navistar’s current Senior Vice President of Engineering Dennis Mooney quoted former Vice President of Quality Tom Cellitti (who was in charge of testing the Maxxforce engine) as saying over and over again prior to the launch to customers, “we have no field testing,” because the company only tested engineering development trucks rather than validation trucks. 

In the same email, according to plaintiff’s attorneys, Mooney admitted that customers ended up uncovering problems that Navistar would have uncovered with the Maxxforce had it been able to do more testing.  

In another email exchange between Mooney and Clarke revealed at the trial, Mooney said the management had told the board of directors in 2013 that the “physics of the EGR strategy is (sic) not sound.” None of these things were ever revealed to the public prior to trial, according to attorneys.

Navistar's MaxxForce engine

Navistar's MaxxForce engine

The jury also heard evidence that Navistar knew when it launched the engine that critical engine components had serious quality problems and a shortened life span. For instance, the EGR cooler allegedly had a life span of less than 20% of the design requirement based upon testing done before the sale of the engines to the public, according to the attorneys.

While the attorneys for the plaintiffs charged that none of this information was disclosed to customers, Jack Allen, the former chief operating officer and president of truck operations, testified for Navistar that in his opinion it was “normal business practice” for companies to not disclose to customers in advance of a sale about known defects in the products or to disclose to customers that they were buying a product that had not been fully validated or tested by the manufacturer.  

“The jury seemed shocked to hear this testimony about the corporate culture and philosophy of Navistar from one of the company’s top executives,” said Clay Miller of the Dallas law firm Miller Weisbrod, lead trial attorney for Milan, referring to Allen's testimony. Miller said he believed this played a key factor in the punitive award.

Milan and its attorneys also criticized Navistar, saying the company refused to work with the fleet to address issues and instead went the litigation route.

Navistar said it “strongly disagrees with plaintiff counsel's characterizations of Navistar's conduct. Navistar has and will continue to defend our products, our reputation in the market, and the integrity of our employees.”

Quelle dieses Artikels klick hier : Today's Trucking

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Edmonton company to maintain Alberta’s road weather information system
Trucking News

EDMONTON, Alta. – Edmonton’s Campbell Scientific Canada has signed a multi-year contract to take over the maintenance of Alberta’s 152 road weather information, camera, and digital messaging systems.

As part of the Road Weather Information System (RWIS) contract between Amec Foster Wheeler and Alberta Transportation, the effort is vital for ensuring the safety of motorists on the province’s highway system, enhancing roadway maintenance efficiency, and reducing the environmental impact.

“Our goal as a company has always been to provide the best measurement possible and we’re extremely excited to apply that principle in our own backyard,” said Campbell Scientific Canada president and CEO Brian Day. “We live and breathe the weather in this province every day, so we understand what Albertans deal with and we look forward to playing a role in the safety of Alberta’s roads for the foreseeable future.”

Alberta’s weather information network includes 112 road weather information stations, 10 mobile road weather stations, 17 digital messaging signs, 10 road camera stations, and 3 road condition warning stations.

The contract includes the possibility of installing up to 20 new stations over the next five years on Calgary’s Stoney Trail and Edmonton’s Anthony Henday Drive.

Alberta’s RWIS network gathers road and weather information in real-time and reports on current conditions and forecasts, which helps road maintenance personnel plan and prepare for weather events, and drivers plan trips to ensure safe travel.

Source of article click here : Truck News

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Suspects sought for break-in at Swarovski Canada warehouse in Markham
Trucking News

Crime Stoppers is appealing for help identifying three suspects wanted for a break-in at the Swarovski Canada Limited warehouse in Markham March 30.

They gained entry to the warehouse, on Gough Road, through an adjacent unit, according to a news release. Once inside, they ransacked several rooms and stole several watches and crystal items. The suspects fled in a Budget rental truck and a silver sedan.

Anyone with information about the suspects is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). You can also leave an anonymous tip online at 1800222tips.com, or text your tip to CRIMES (274637) starting with the word YORK. 

If the information you provide helps solve the case, you may be eligible for cash reward of up to $2,000.

Source of article click here : YorkRegion

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Yukon gov't says Alaska Highway should re-open Tuesday evening
Trucking News
Alaska Highway has been closed since fuel truck and tankers crashed Monday evening west of Rancheria Lodge

The two fuel tankers at kilometre 1105 on the Alaska Highway just west of the Rancheria Lodge.

The two fuel tankers at kilometre 1105 on the Alaska Highway just west of the Rancheria Lodge.

The Yukon government plans to re-open the Alaska Highway Tuesday evening and have pilot cars escorting the flow of traffic past the site where a fuel truck towing two tankers crashed, with at least one tanker rupturing.

The territory's department of environment said in a release that approxmately 20,000 litres of fuel was spilled. Foam was put on the spill to mitigate the fumes and prevent it from catching on fire.

"The incident site has been stabilized," said a later release.

Whitehorse based Pacesetter Petroleum, which operates the truck, has hired a contractor to deal with the incident, said the release, adding that "fuel is being removed from the site."

The release said that the government's emergency social services unit was assisting people stranded on the highway, "by providing portable toilets, food and water."

However, some people waiting in long lines of traffic told CBC News that they had not seen or talked to any officials.

The crash, which took place at around 8:30 Monday evening, was at kilometre 1105, just west of Rancheria Lodge and about 125 kilometres west of Watson Lake.

RCMP say the driver was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. 

Alaska Highway closure fuel tankers

Traffic was lining up at points on the Alaska Highway while people waited for the highway to reopen. (Philippe Morin/CBC)

Flagpersons were on the highway all day at several locations near communities on each side of the crash to alert motorists to the closure, said Heather McKay, who works with the territory's department of highways and public works.

A Pacesetter truck also overturned at the intersection of the Alaska and North Klondike highways in Whitehorse in June, closing both roads for hours. An employee at its Whitehorse office said the company was trying to determine what had happened.

The RCMP said the public should monitor Yukon highways' emergency road closure website www.511yukon.ca for updates on the closure.

Source of article click here : CBC NEWS

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Class D renewal requirements to tighten
Trucking News

TORONTO, ON -- Ontario is preparing to tighten the requirements to renew Class D licences, bringing medicals and knowledge and vision tests in line with other commercial classes, the Ontario Trucking Association reports. The changes would be effective July 1, 2018.

Formal notice is expected to be issued to licence holders by the end of August.

Class D licence holders up to 80 years old will now be subject to a Class D knowledge test and vision test every five years, when they renew their licences. Air brake knowledge tests for a Z endorsement will occur at the same time. Drivers 65 to 79 years old, with three demerit points or an at-fault collision on their record, will have to take a road test as well.

Medical reports will have to be submitted every five years for those under 46, three years for those 46-64, and annually for those 65 and older. Forms will be mailed to licence holders 90 days in advance of the due date.

A Class D licence allows someone to drive any truck or vehicle combination exceeding 11,000 kilograms, provided that the towed vehicle weighs less than 4,600 kilograms.

Source of article click here : Today's Trucking

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OTA voices opinion on legalization of marijuana
Trucking News

TORONTO, Ont. —  The Province of Ontario has begun consultation sessions on the legalization of marijuana and has asked stakeholders to provide it with input on how the introduction of drug could impact their sector and how government could develop a responsible policy approach.

“Historically drug and alcohol use among commercial drivers has not been a safety issue in the Province of Ontario, and the Ontario Trucking Association (OTA), wants to keep it that way,” said Ontario Trucking Association’s Jonathan Blackham. “Operating commercial vehicles comes with an added responsibility and strong commitment to road safety. Ontario needs to make sure that all vehicle operators understand that operating a motorized vehicle under the influence of marijuana will carry strong consequences,” added Blackham.

Statistics show operators of large commercial vehicles are much less likely to be impaired by alcohol or drugs than all other motorists.

OTA supports the Canadian Trucking Alliance position that the trucking industry, regardless of the legal status of marijuana, should be held to a zero-tolerance policy for being under the influence of marijuana while at work.

The OTA will also be working with the province of on comprehensive workplace testing policies, a review of the duty to accommodate, and the benefits/impediments to establishing differing sobriety levels for commercial drivers and passenger vehicles, similar to those policies currently deployed for safety sensitive positions.

Source of article click here : Truck News

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New Sask. overpass meant for big vehicles is too narrow
Trucking News
VIDEO

Regina-area farmers and truck drivers are frustrated with a new overpass that was supposed to make crossing the Trans-Canada Highway easier, but has instead made it more difficult.

The Balgonie overpass has been open to the public for less than a week as part of the Regina Bypass Project, but has already faced criticism over the width of the lanes, which are too narrow for farm equipment.

Farmer Ryan Leibel was initially excited for the new overpass as trying to cross the highway has always been difficult with his heavy farm equipment. But he says the new overpass hasn’t solved the problem.

“I tried to take the maiden voyage across and try it out,” Leibel told CTV Regina. “I realized quickly it wasn’t quite wide enough.”

The overpass itself is wide enough for both farm equipment and trucks, but the access lanes are only 4.5 metres wide. Leibel’s tractor is nearly 5.5 metres wide.

Leibel came away from the overpass with scuff marks on his tractor tires from scraping the curbs on the road. Tire marks from other large vehicles can also be seen on curbs approaching the overpass.

Other motorists like Clint Walker, who uses the overpass, are frustrated with the miscalculation made for the access lanes and what it might mean for the just-opened overpass.

“I think it’s absolutely horrible,” said Walker. “A complete waste of money and will not work.”

Saskatchewan highway officials are expected to come out to the Balgonie overpass next week and to assess the situation and determine whether they will have to change the design.

Source of article click here : CTV NEWS

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· Man, 25, dies after car collides with transport truck near Clarenville
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