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Feds fund trucking improvements at the Port of Montreal
Trucking News

Canadian government to invest C$18.5 million for logistics system, bridge, signs and “intelligent” communications to boost flow of trucks as part of a broader effort to improve trade infrastructure


The Canadian government will invest C$18.5 million to improve trucking operations at the Port of Montreal, and alleviate the congestion accompanying record volumes of cargo. 

The investment, equivalent to nearly US$14 million, will fund a digital logistics system, a bridge, electronic signs and an “intelligent communications network.” 

In an August 12 statement, Transport Minister Marc Garneau said, “Upgrades to the port infrastructure will ensure that Canada’s transportation networks remain competitive and efficient. The investment at the Port will also help reduce congestion and truck traffic in and around its various terminals.”

The improvements are designed to increase efficiency for the 2,500 trucks that access Canada’s second-largest port daily.  

Montreal has already dramatically cut down truck processing times in an effort to reduce congestion, taking measures that include extending gate hours. The port processed trucks in 47 minutes on average during during the first seven months of 2019, seven minutes less than the same period of 2018.

Montreal hit 1.6 million 20-foot equivalent units in 2018 – the fifth consecutive year of record cargo growth. The port benefits from the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union.

The investment in Montreal is part of a larger effort by the federal government to improve international trade flows. The government announced more than C$40 million in funding to that end during the past week. 

The new funding includes C$20 million to boost rail capacity in Abbotsford, British Columbia, which will benefit the Port of Vancouver, and C$12.4 million to improve infrastructure at Grand Hills Railway in Saskatchewan. 

Transport Canada also providing nearly C$4.8 million of funding for the Port of Johnstown in Ontario to upgrade its grain facilities.

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CAA Niagara urges drivers to slow down, move over
Trucking News

Tow truck drivers can be seriously injured or killed on the job by careless drivers

CAA Niagara is urging drivers to slow down and move over when passing a tow truck.

"Highways are busier now than they've ever been," said Trevor Kinghorn, emergency roadside service manager for CAA Niagara, who admitted he worries about his drivers.

While people who fail to slow down and move over for tow trucks and emergency vehicles can face fines upwards of $2,000 plus demerit points, he said that doesn't seem to be enough of a deterrent.

The Slow Down Move Over law was amended in 2015 to include tow trucks, and yet CAA Niagara still must continually remind drivers.

Parked on the shoulder of the QEW, Kinghorn said most transport trucks move over one lane to give the tow truck space, but only about five per cent of other vehicles comply.

It's a scary feeling, being out on the side of a busy highway, exposed to the high-speed traffic, and he said any truck driver can attest that the force of a passing transport truck can actually pull you into traffic.

"It's a hard experience to describe, because it's very dangerous."

The number of tow truck drivers injured or killed on the job is quite high in Canada, he said, but there have been no fatalities in Niagara.

That being said, Kinghorn could easily list employees who have suffered injuries because of incidents that have occurred while pulled over harnessing a customer's vehicle to a truck.

In one example, a distracted driver hit a worker's tow truck while it was parked on the Highway 406 shoulder, pushing the truck into the car being serviced and throwing the worker into a ditch.

That particular worker had to take six months off work to recover, he said.

"This isn't a job for everyone."

Emergency roadside service driver Jamey Townsend, who has more than 20 years of experience rescuing stranded drivers, said he's had some close calls of his own.

He recalled one driver who was texting and driving and drove right into the front driver's side of his truck while he was doing a tire change.

If it weren't for the customer who grabbed him and launched him into a ditch, he said he could have been seriously injured. That truck ended up being a complete writeoff.

"I think my life matters, and I want to go home to my family every night," said Townsend.

It takes mere seconds to slow down and change lanes, he said, so there's no excuse for putting a life in danger.

Despite the danger, Townsend said he loves his job. He gets to meet new people and even though they're often having a bad day, they're usually pretty happy to see him.

"You just tell 'em, 'You know what, your car is replaceable and you aren't.'"

St. Catharines resident Brad Butler, whose car had to be towed to a nearby garage, said drivers like Townsend offer a valuable service.

"You're putting your life in your hands when vehicles are driving by," he said, adding it doesn't take much for an accident to occur.

"It's a job that has to be done and I'm grateful they do it."

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210 pounds of suspected cocaine seized at Ambassador Bridge
Trucking News

Windsor — More than 210 pounds of suspected cocaine was seized by Canadian authorities at the Ambassador Bridge, officials said Monday.

The Canada Border Services Agency and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said they seized 213 pound of the suspected drug on July 30 from a tractor trailer at the Ambassador Bridge Commercial Operations in Windsor after it was referred for a secondary examination.

During the examination, officers and a drug-detecting dog found 80 bricks of suspected cocaine inside the commercial load. The driver was arrested and the suspected cocaine was seized.

Authorities have identified the truck's driver as a 27-year-old from Lasalle, Quebec, Canada.

Police continue to investigate, officials said, but he faces charges that include the importation of controlled drugs and substances and possession of drugs for the purposes of trafficking.

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2 dead, 3 injured in 3-vehicle collision on Hwy. 401 in Mississauga, Ont.
Trucking News

Two people were killed and three were injured in a three-vehicle collision on Highway 401 in Mississauga, Ont., provincial police say. 

As of 12 noon on Monday, the highway had reopened. It had been closed hours to allow crews to clean up.

According to the provincial police, three people were transported to hospital with minor injuries and have since been released.

Two others were pronounced dead in hospital, according to Sgt. Kerry Schmidt, spokesperson for Ontario Provincial Police's Highway Safety Division.

Schmidt said reports are that the driver of a red Chevrolet Corvette travelling eastbound on Highway 401 in the collector lane, lost control of their vehicle after overtaking the transport truck.

 

"The Corvette slammed into the side of the transport truck, rolled over the concrete median into the express lanes and slammed into a silver vehicle," Schmidt said.

"The transport truck was completely consumed by fire."

Schmidt said the collision had resulted in "massive damage" to the median concrete wall which separates the express lanes from the collector lane.

In the hours after the collision, Schmidt predicted the cleanup would take "the better portion of the night."

Do not drive the wrong way on highway, police say

Peel Regional Police said the fatal collision at Highway 401 had prompted motorists stuck in traffic to drive the wrong way on the highway as well as across surrounding green spaces to get around the collision.

"Officers are working as fast as possible to help drivers around the accident safely," Peel police said in a tweet, in which they urged motorists not to drive the wrong way on the highway.

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Trucking HR Canada to honor top fleet employers
Trucking News

OTTAWA, Ont.  – Trucking HR Canada will honor the best workplaces in the trucking and logistics industry at its annual Top Fleet Employers awards gala this fall.

The event will take place at Toronto’s Palais Royale on Oct. 17.

In addition to celebrating and recognizing top fleets, Trucking HR Canada will present awards for:

  • Top small, medium, large and private fleet
  • HR leader of the year
  • Achievements of excellence in a number of categories including workplace culture, training and skills development, workplace diversity, HR innovation and gender equity.

“The Top Fleet Employer program provides Canadian fleets with an exceptional opportunity to be recognized as leaders among their peers and showcase the industry as a great place to work,” said Angela Splinter, CEO of Trucking HR Canada.

“This gala evening provides a unique opportunity to celebrate their accomplishments.”

Click here for more information.

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By the numbers: OC Transpo's collision record
Trucking News

In 2 years, bus drivers were involved in 140 collisions that resulted in injury

On average, crashes involving OC Transpo buses left someone injured every five days in 2017 and 2018, data obtained by CBC News has revealed.

After a double-decker bus crash in January killed three people and injured nearly two dozen others, CBC asked OC Transpo for two years of collision reports through an access to information request.

 

It was provided with a partially redacted spreadsheet revealing that in 2017 and 2018, there were 140 collisions that injured someone.

In 83 of those collisions the drivers hit another vehicle, often another transit bus.

They hit pedestrians 36 times, cyclists 12 times, and a dog once.

 

How to compare

Other transit agencies use different metrics to collate data, making direct comparisons with other cities difficult.

In Toronto, the Toronto Transit Commission reported 233 bus crashes with injuries over the same two years, but its bus fleet is more than twice the size of Ottawa's.

In Edmonton, a city with a population closer to Ottawa's, the Edmonton Transit Service reported 148 injuries in bus crashes over the same two-year period. It doesn't count the number of crashes, just the number of injuries.

 

And in Montreal, Société de transport de Montréal logged more than 6,000 crashes over those two years, but that figure includes every collision, not just those with injuries.

The most directly comparable information CBC was able to obtain was the number of collisions involving pedestrians and cyclists in the four cities.

In 2017 and 2018:

  • OC Transpo drivers struck 36 pedestrians and 12 cyclists.
  • Bus drivers in Edmonton struck 25 pedestrians and 11 cyclists.
  • Toronto bus drivers struck 61 pedestrians and 28 cyclists.
  • Montreal bus drivers struck 68 pedestrians and 34 cyclists.

That puts Ottawa roughly in the middle when population is factored in.

In collisions with cyclists and pedestrians involving buses, Ottawa has a collision rate of 4.8 per 100,000 people, compared to 6 per 100,000 in Montreal, 3.1 per 100,000 in Toronto; and 3.2 per 100,000 in Edmonton.

 

In many of Ottawa's cases, the injuries were described as minor. According to the city, 64 per cent weren't deemed significant enough to report to police.

For example, in February 2018, several people on a bus were injured after it was rear-ended.  

"All [passengers] fell forward, with five banging their knees and one striking her face on hand railings. All people who were injured were given ice packs and were asked if they required EMS. All declined," reads the report.

 

46 people taken to hospital

In other cases outlined in the reports, people suffered more serious injuries. A total of 46 people were taken to hospital.  

On an August afternoon in 2017, one pedestrian with a walker was hit by an empty bus travelling to the Rideau Centre to start a route.  

"The pedestrian managed himself to go back to the sidewalk and laid down on the sidewalk on his back, his left leg was bleeding with severe trauma and the [operator] called control," reads the report of that crash.

In another collision in October 2017 on Albert Street, a pedestrian narrowly avoided a tragedy.

"The operator did not see the pedestrian when contact was made. The pedestrian grabbed the bike [rack] to avoid going under the bus," reads that report.

 

Fault data redacted

What the data can't tell us, because the city redacted the information, is whether or not the driver was at fault.

The investigator's note from each crash has been redacted, as well as a yes or no identifying whether the outcome was preventable.

Several categories that might indicate whether a driver was sanctioned or retrained were also not released.

But speeding does not appear to be a major issue for drivers.

Enforcement numbers OC Transpo provided show that in 2018, just more than two per cent of 2,383 vehicles officers monitored were caught doing more than six kilometres over the speed limit. 

Collision rate 'extremely low,' city says

The city declined an interview on the data, saying that some of the 140 collisions may still be under investigation. But it did respond to emailed questions and said it uses crash data to improve training programs.

"When reviewing our training programs, we look at industry best practices, collaborate closely with city partners and other transit agencies, in addition to using information from collision reports," reads a statement from transit services chief safety officer Jim Hopkins.

 

OC Transpo also said that in 2017 and 2018 there were nearly 29,000 collisions in Ottawa among other vehicles on the road that led to 59 deaths and more than 7,000 injuries.

"When considered in terms of the number of passenger trips and kilometres traveled by OC Transpo vehicles, our collision rate is extremely low," Hopkins wrote.

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Ontario to crack down on emissions system tampering
Trucking News

TORONTO, Ont. – Truckers who have tampered with their emissions system could have their plates seized in Ontario, no matter where their truck is domiciled.

That’s due to changes made by the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP), which is ramping up its enforcement powers through updated legislation. The changes are aimed at cracking down on trucks that have had their emissions system disabled or tampered with.

Previously, officers could only seize plates and permits from Ontario-plated trucks.

Other amendments allow for heavier fines, and a move is underway to increase enforcement abilities against providers and installers of delete kits in Ontario.

“These changes signal a true commitment from the provincial government to clean up our air and create a level playing field for all trucking businesses that are operating in Ontario,” said Stephen Laskowski, president, Ontario Trucking Association. “These amendments are a great first step and will help ensure that all carriers that tamper with their emissions systems and pollute in our province will be held accountable for their actions.”

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Love’s app now helps you plan when, where to shower
Trucking News

Trip planning is an essential part of the day for most over-the-road truckers, and part of that process is finding a time and place to take a shower.

The Love’s Travel Stops mobile app can now help you do that. An update to the Love’s Connect app has a new feature called the “busy times” graph. It shows shower traffic based on historic data that each Love’s location typically receives for every hour of the day, according to a statement from the company.

The company says the busy times graph idea came from feedback it received from drivers who said they wanted a better way to plan when to stop for a shower. The app already allows drivers to check in for a shower at a Love’s location and skip the fuel desk.

“Planning an efficient route is of utmost importance for our customers, which is why we developed this new app feature,” said Jerry Hamm, senior manager of customer technology and innovation. “This is an exciting piece of technology that we believe will improve our customer’s experience as they drive across the country.”

Drivers can download the Love’s Connect app here.

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Dana provides e-Propulsion system for Alberta project
Trucking News

North American driveline component manufacturer, Dana, is providing its Spicer Electrified e-Propulsion solution with integrated TM4 Sumo HP motor-inverter system for prime movers hauling freight between Calgary and Edmonton in the Alberta province of Canada.

The effort is part of Alberta’s Zero-Emissions Truck Electrification Collaboration (AZETEC) project aimed at designing and manufacturing hydrogen fuel-cell electric hybrid heavy-duty trucks with extended range.

“Dana is pleased to have been selected as a key partner for this enterprising hydrogen fuel project,” said President of Dana Commercial Vehicle Driveline Technologies, Mark Wallace.

“It marks another step in the innovation continuum as the industry transitions to zero-emission transportation.

“The consortium partners share a common vision in advancing clean technologies, and we welcome the opportunity to provide Spicer electrodynamic solutions as part of these collective efforts.”

Dana’s custom Spicer e-System is optimised for the Canadian market and has a hauling capacity of 140,000lbs (63,500kg). According to Dana it features a compact design that reduces weight, allowing for more hydrogen fuel storage.

Operated by Trimac Transportation and Bison Transport, the combinations being used for the project are 64-ton Gross Combination Mass (GCM) B-train (B-double) tractor-trailer units said to be capable of travelling up to 700km between refuelling stops.

The $15 million project received funding from Emissions Reduction Alberta, which committed $7.3 million through its Best Challenge initiative.

The trucks are expected to haul approximately 12 million tonnes of freight for the AZETEC project.

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Ritchie Bros. to hold its largest ever Manitoba auction
Trucking News

WINNIPEG, Man. – Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers is set to hold its largest ever Manitoba auction, which will include the sale of more than 1,250 items for Hugh Munro Construction.

“We are doing a major realignment of our fleet as we increase our focus on the quarry side of our business,” said Colleen Munro, owner and president of Hugh Munro Construction. “By working with Ritchie Bros, we can sell more than 1,100 items in a single day and reinvest that money back into our business. As we move forward, we’ll continue to do some civil projects, but will be more selective, and are also diversifying into the unbreakable glass industry.”

The auction will take place Aug. 15 in Winnipeg at 61053 Hwy 207 and will include such equipment items as truck tractors, trailers, dozers, dump trucks, and loaders.

“Hugh Munro Construction and its fleet are very well known, as they’ve done work across Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Northwestern Ontario,” said Jason Huber, regional sales manager for Ritchie Bros. “Their maintenance program is second-to-none, with a 50,000-square-foot shop and multiple experienced mechanics onsite to ensure their equipment is ready to go to work. Buyers won’t want to miss out on the opportunity to bid on their equipment.”

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No transports following Tuesday morning rollover
Trucking News

North Highway 99 was down to one lane following a rollover accident about seven miles north of Emporia Tuesday morning.

At 10:39 a.m. dispatch indicated that a semi-trailer and truck had overturned north of Emporia about a mile west of the Reading turnoff on N. Highway 99.

Lyon County Sheriff Jeff Cope said he semi was one of three piloted trucks with oversized loads hauling cooling towers en route to Canada from Tulsa, Oklahoma, when the passenger side tires of the semi went off the roadway and he tipped and lost his load.

The driver was reported to be outside of the vehicle, but complaining of a head injury. He was assessed and treated at the scene.

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Critter couriers: Trucker who transports rescue animals needs drivers to join hi
Trucking News

Josh Aldrich is a truck driver who keeps strange company in his cab. 

The Cranbrook resident voluntarily transports rescue animals to their foster or "furever" homes across British Columbia.

Aldrich, founder of Fur the Haul of It, has had baby elk and deer, skunks, raptors and even a marmot sit shotgun in his truck and he is hoping some other truckers are open to having wild passengers ride along.

He told Daybreak South host Chris Walker he doesn't like the idea of rescue animals going into the hold of an airplane and would rather take them in his truck

 

Aldrich transports wild animals, as well as rescue dogs and cats, around B.C., and has other drivers who help with transport to Alberta, but he is looking for drivers who can make trips to Saskatchewan and the United States. 

"I like to call them friends. Some people call them suckers that like to help me out," said Aldrich with a chuckle.

 

Drivers are provided with critter food and animal carriers. They also get the benefit of a pal on the open road.

"Even the stinky little skunks I have had in the cab of the truck with me,' said Aldrich, who said all the drivers treat the animals with love, like one of their own pets.

His favourite passenger was a fawn he was transporting on a day his truck was acting up. He said every time he stepped out of his rig to check his vehicle the baby deer would cry for him to come back.

 

Aldrich spoke to Walker from his Cranbrook home. They were briefly distracted by loud purring.

Aldrich explained it was his Asian leopard cat, a rescue from Sparwood, B.C., that has found a permanent home with him.

"My house is pretty much a zoo," said Aldrich. "I do a lot of rescues, but I am not very good at the re-homing part, I guess."

 

But keeping all the critters he carries would mean missing the moment when he rolls up and their new family gets to meet them.

He loves "watching their faces light up" and seeing how excited both the people and animal get when it arrives at its "furever" home.

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Semi truck operator drove at more than double legal booze limit: Mounties
Trucking News

A semi truck driver was hauling a full load while driving at more than twice the legal alcohol limit, say Canmore Mounties.

On Monday at 11:46 a.m., two motorists called 911 to report a westbound tractor trailer driving erratically on the Trans-Canada Highway.

“He was swerving on the road,” said Canmore RCMP Cpl. Jon Cormier.

Mounties pulled over the B.C. man and conducted a breath test, which he failed.

He was taken to the Canmore RCMP detachment for a further test, which showed him to be more than double the legal blood-alcohol limit of .08.

“It is scary because his trailer was loaded and the impact and risk (of an accident) would have been bigger,” said Cormier.

The driver was released facing pending impaired-driving charges, and his driver’s licence was suspended until at least the time of a Sept. 18 court appearance.

“It’s not a very common thing but, then again, how many car drivers do we catch and how many actually (drive impaired)?” said Cormier.

Monday’s arrest wasn’t an entirely isolated case.

On Aug. 8, another semi truck driver was arrested for driving at twice the legal blood-alcohol limit while idling his vehicle in a hotel parking lot in Thompson, Man.

Last November, the driver of a tractor trailer was stopped after allegedly driving the wrong way on the Trans-Canada Highway. at Brigus Junction, N.L., while impaired.

And last May, Mounties were horrified when they pulled over a semi-trailer driver near Jacquet River, N.B., who was allegedly three times over the legal limit.

That traffic stop resulted from a public tip.

“We can’t be everywhere, we depend a lot on what the public sees,” said Cormier.

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Car Hauler Jack Cooper Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
Trucking News
Car Hauler Jack Cooper Ventures has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy citing difficulty competing with its mostly non-unionized competition.
 - Photo via Jack Cooper Transport Facebook


Car Hauler Jack Cooper Ventures has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy citing difficulty competing with its mostly non-unionized competition.

According to a Wall Street Journal report, Solus Alternative Asset Management has agreed to buy Jack Cooper’s assets and allow the company to operate normally through the bankruptcy process.

Jack Cooper pre-negotiated the company’s restructuring to minimize any impacts from the bankruptcy on workers, unions and lenders, according to the bankruptcy filing with the Northern District of Georgia Atlanta Division court.

Jack Cooper is one of only two unionized car hauling fleets along with Cassens Transport, operating a fleet of over 1,600 vehicles and a network of 39 terminals across the U.S. and Canada.

Jack Cooper was operating at a 10% to 30% cost disadvantage relative to its non-union competitors, the company stated in the bankruptcy filing. Coupled with difficult overall industry dynamics, from 2016 to 2018, the company’s revenue declined by 12.3% and unit volumes it shipped dropped by 16.9%. The company expected further declines in 2019.

Some examples of the difficult industry dynamics included a major decline in the number of vehicles that Jack Cooper shipped for Toyota, which was its third largest customer. Over the two year span, the company lost 80% of Toyota’s business as the car company moved to non-union competitors.

General Motors, which makes up 48% of Jack Cooper’s revenue and is the car hauler’s largest customer, received a 5% price concession under a new three-year contract that was executed in 2019 and includes no annual price increases. Ford received a 1% price concession this year.

Jack Cooper also cited unsustainable collective bargaining agreements with its workers unions, with requirements to contribute to multiple pension funds.

Another drain on revenues was increased maintenance costs from Jack Cooper’s aging fleet. The truck fleet’s average age was over 14 years as the company was unable to invest in new equipment and refurbishments.

The lost business resulted in the closing of 17 terminals and cost around 250 drivers and mechanics their jobs.

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Inspection blitz focuses on hazmat shipments
Trucking News

Hazardous materials tanker

MONTREAL, Que. – Loads of hazardous materials are in the spotlight this week as part of Hazardous Material Week, and this year the inspection blitz is expanding beyond Canada.

Transport Canada has recognized the week since 2013, but the event shifts to August rather than September as the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) brings the focus to the U.S. and Mexico.

It’s a highly regulated segment of the trucking industry for good reason. In the event of an accident, the materials in the trailers can cause serious injury, death and property damage – and not only in the area of the collision itself.

Of course, the inspections are not limited to a single week.

“Road inspectors check this type of transportation throughout the year,” says Marie-Josée Michaud, public relations officer for Contrôle routier Québec.

“We have several operations throughout the year targeting different types of transportation. The transportation of hazardous materials is not among the most delinquent. However, this type of transportation must be well supervised, because an incident can often have greater consequences [compared to] a vehicle carrying general merchandise.”

Like the annual Roadcheck blitz, which looks at North America’s broader heavy vehicle fleet, this blitz is used to measure trends and help to standardize related enforcement.

Regulators identify about 3,500 hazardous materials, many of which are used in daily life — such as propane, helium, butane, compressed air, gasoline, diesel, car batteries, chlorine for the pool, fireworks, paint, some glues and solvents.

“The regulation targets all road users who transport hazardous material on the road network. Drivers of passenger vehicles, motor homes, and small businesses such as landscapers and electricians, more often ignore the regulations because their work is not specialized in the transportation of hazardous materials,” says Michaud.

Last year in Quebec alone, roadside inspectors reviewed 5,500 shipments involving hazardous materials, issuing offences for 921 of them —  a violation rate of 16.7%

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Kinedyne Continues to Expand by Establishing Additional Distribution Facility
Trucking News

Kinedyne's additional distribution facility uses technology to enhance customer experience, improve lead times, assure order accuracy and increase service quality.

PRATTVILLE, Ala., Aug. 6, 2019 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Kinedyne LLC, a world-leading designer, manufacturer and distributor of cargo control technologies, including cargo securement, capacity and access solutions for the transportation industry, announced that its new distribution facility is fully operational.

The establishment of a new distribution facility represents the most recent expansion of the company's Prattville operation. Kinedyne began consolidating engineering, manufacturing, quality control, supply chain management, customer service and government contract functions within its 200,000-square-foot facility in late 2016, to improve overall speed, efficiency and productivity.

Equipped with the latest inventory management technology, the capabilities of the new distribution, logistics and warehouse operation will significantly improve Kinedyne's order processing, lead time and accuracy.

"With over 20 years of experience in operational strategy and global manufacturing, Doug Apelt, vice president – operations, oversees all operational processes in the United States and Canada," Dan Schlotterbeck, president of Kinedyne LLC, said. "Doug's operational expertise and leadership of the Prattville team has benefitted this expansion initiative and continues to strengthen and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our overall North American operations."

"This is an exciting opportunity for us to further improve operational integrity through process control and technological advancements," Doug Apelt, vice president – operations for Kinedyne LLC, said. "Employees and customers will each enjoy the advantages generated by the additional facility, and it positions Kinedyne to successfully manage its customers' expectations and our own future growth objectives."

Kinedyne has been a part of the fabric of the city of Prattville and has called it home for several decades. With this expansion and nearly 300 employees, it remains among Autauga County's largest employers. Kinedyne's distribution facility now supports the distribution of the many products made in its Prattville manufacturing operation, including government/military products, cargo nets, helicopter slings, tow straps, logistics straps and the company's renowned load securement straps.

Kinedyne's broad line of cargo control, capacity and access products can be purchased through Kinedyne's extensive distribution network, which includes thousands of outlets across North America. Users can find distributor locations near them by calling Kinedyne's customer service department at 800.848.6057 in the United States, 800.268.3530 in Canada and 011.5255.53184844 in Mexico.

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Oregon travel center adds reserved truck parking
Trucking News

The Jubitz Travel Center and Truck Stop in Portland, Oregon this week added reserved truck parking.

A major truck stop and travel center in the Pacific Northwest now lets drivers reserve truck parking ahead of their arrival.

Jubitz Travel Center, which is located on Vancouver Way just off Interstate 5 in Portland, Oregon, now has 18 truck parking spot in its main lot that can be reserved for $15. The company earlier this week said it “is committed to listening to the needs of professional drivers and providing services to make their jobs a little easier” and the ability to reserve parking ahead of time is one way to do that.

Jubitz said the majority of its 250 truck parking spots remain free on a first-come, first-served basis. Truckers reserving a space can park any time after 4 p.m. and must leave that space before 3 p.m. the next day.

Reservations can only be made using the Parkmobile website. Then:

  • Click the “Search by Address, City or State” field and update arrival time to “Arrive after 4:00 PM,” then search
  • Select the “Reserve. Park Here!” button
  • Create your ParkMobile account or log in
  • Add your vehicle and payment method and checkout

ParkMobile accepts nationally recognize credit cards. It cannot process AMBEST redemptions or fleet cards.

Reserved truck parking spots can be found by turning left when entering the truck parking lot. Reserved spots are marked with signs. Just move it aside and park. If you need assistance moving the sign, Jubitz says to pull into the 15-minute parking area and see a fuel desk attendant.

Jubitz also has a driver’s lounge, free wifi, DIY pet washing station, scale, Blue Beacon truck wash, barbershop, cinema, shoe repair, hotel, and several restaurants.

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Transport Ministry to review highway exit after Laval, Que., crash kills 4, inju
Trucking News

Police working with the coroner's office to ID victims

The Quebec Transport Ministry says it will review the configuration of a highway exit in Laval, north of Montreal, where four people were killed in a crash Monday afternoon that involved at least eight vehicles, including two trucks. 

The accident happened around 3:30 p.m. ET on Highway 440 westbound when a small car collided with an 18-wheeler near the exit to Highway 15.

 

The two vehicles then hit a second truck, starting a pileup involving another six vehicles and a major fire, with plumes of black smoke that reached high above the city. One car became stuck underneath one of the trucks.

Provincial police investigators are working with the coroner's officer to identify the victims of the crash.

Three people remained in critical condition Tuesday and nine first responders were treated for smoke inhalation.

Investigators collected statements from witnesses, but are asking anyone who saw the collision or has video of it to contact them — which can be done anonymously at 1-800-659-4262.

"Some of the vehicles are in such a damaged state that it's not easy to find the [serial] numbers that identify them," said Sûreté du Québec Sgt. Daniel Thibodeau on Tuesday morning.

 

Transport Minister François Bonnardel said his ministry will look at the provincial police investigators' report when it's ready to see what improvements can be made. 

In the meantime, he said, the painted line separating the service lane from the highway will be extended a few hundred metres to dissuade motorists from moving into the service lane "at the last minute."

Terry Blanchard, who works by the scene of the collision, heard two loud booms, and when he looked out the window, it was clear it was a deadly accident.

"All we saw were flames. One truck looked like it hit the back of another truck," he said. "I've never seen anything like that before."

He said the smoke went so high that it blocked the sun.

 

Driving in the area regularly, he said, the configuration of the highway where it connects with Highway 15 could have contributed to the accident.

But he also said he often sees reckless drivers on the road.

"You've got people cutting in. There's just a lot going on at once."

Mario Lévesque said he sees accidents at that stretch of highway all the time, and drivers often go from travelling at high speeds to being bumper to bumper.

"There are regularly three or four accidents per week," he said, though not as severe as Monday's collision.

 

Highway reopened

One of the trucks had about 10 propane tanks inside, but the Laval fire department said Tuesday that the tanks were empty. The fire department had the blaze under control around 5 p.m. that day.

Crash scene specialists spent the night collecting physical evidence and the busy highway was reopened to traffic around 5 a.m. Tuesday.

Thibodeau said it's too early to determine the cause of the crash.

"Nothing is off the table at this point. We're still gathering as much information as we can and the public's help would be much appreciated."

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Could ELD data help solve shipper delays?
Trucking News
Transport Minister Marc Garneau with an ELD

Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau has announced plans to mandate electronic logging devices (ELDs) for federally regulated carriers. The data may offer more benefits than replacing paper logbooks.

TORONTO, Ont. — On the eve of the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate, one of the largest U.S. trucking operators, J.B. Hunt Transport, told customers to budget for transportation cost increases as high as “10 percent or more,” as the peak fall distribution season and electronic logging mandate (ELD) would intensify a driver shortage.

“This is one the highest periods of turbulence and volatility in supply we have ever experienced, and we don’t think it will abate any time soon,” John Robert, president and CEO, and Shelly Simpson, chief commercial officer, said in the letter sent to J.B. Hunt customers in the fall of 2017.

With Canada’s long-awaited ELD rules finally in place and a June 2021 implementation deadline on the horizon, many believe that the data carriers will collect can improve the carrier-shipper relationship, especially when it comes to the loading and unloading times known as demurrage.

While it may oversimplify things when it comes to ELDs you just don’t know what you don’t know, says Ray Haight, a consultant with Dan Goodwill and Associates.

“The awareness that can be brought to the shipper community [from ELDs] could show them what they don’t know about their own facilities,” he says.

Being able to collect and access historical data from numerous carriers will be critical and paints a different picture, giving carriers more leverage in discussions with problem shippers — who could previously duck complaints coming from only one customer, he says.

“It will be different now,” adds Haight. “Carriers can say, ‘Here’s how long every truck was in your yard, not just how long my trucks have been there.’”

While it’s not as simple as turning on a light switch, ELDs will help with the momentum of objectively identifying where time is being wasted in the network and prevent everyone from being painted with the same brush, says Trevor Fridfinnson, COO of Bison Transport, which has used the technology since 2009.

“It has helped with, ‘Everyone has to pay more because the network is not efficient enough and drivers are getting held up at too many places,’” he says, referring to general discussions.

“Ideally, in more situations it should help create those fixes. We want to take waste out of the system and we can help [shippers] identify where.”

The implementation of ELDs in the United States, which began in 2017, has been generally positive, according to Jennifer Hedrick, executive director of The National Industrial Transportation League, America’s oldest and largest freight transportation association.

She says the most apparent benefit has been the improved visibility into the relationship between shipper and carrier.

“Like any transition, there have been some bumps in this early period. Some of our shipper members have reported no effect on their operations, while others saw rate increases early on due to reduction in capacity. Right now the shippers seem to hold a bit of advantage as capacity is plentiful.

“We’ve also seen that shippers have been held more accountable for delays in loading or unloading, often resulting in detention charges or fewer choices of carriers.”

Hedrick pointed out thought that many companies are still using pre-existing Automatic On-Board Recording Devices (AOBRD), a technology that has been grandfathered until December.

“We’ll be looking to the data in the first quarter of next year to give more detail on the impact of full conversion.”

For Fridfinnson, it has taken too long for the industry and regulators to get to this point.

“We saw [ELDs] as the future and it fit with our safety culture and our values around having good tools to promote that culture,” he says, explaining Bison’s early adoption of ELDs.

The biggest benefit of ELD use, though, has involved better managing time in a safety-sensitive position, such as truck driving, compared to what could be done with a paper record.

Any fears from drivers were quickly overcome, according to Fridfinnson. “Our belief and what we should hold as an industry is that no one should feel compelled to bend or break rules in order to make a living.”

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TCA opens Philly cheesesteak restaurant in Nashville
Trucking News

Stop for a meal in Nashville and you’ll have a new choice of where to eat.

TravelCenters of America LLC has opened a Charleys Philly Steaks & Wings restaurant at the TA travel center located off Interstate 24 South, Exit 48 (111 N. First St.).

The restaurant dining room can seat 66 people and is open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. The Nashville Charleys is the first in Tennessee and fourth overall operated by TravelCenters.

The Columbus, Ohio-based Charleys Philly Steaks serves Philly cheesesteak sandwiches, French fries with a variety of toppings and what it calls Real Fruit Lemonades. The menu recently expanded to include classic and boneless chicken wings, available in  10 flavors ranging from Angry Ghost and Nashville Hot to milder options like Zesty Lemon-Lime Rub and Sweet Teriyaki.

A breakfast menu is available as well. Breakfast, along with regular menu items, can be ordered all day.

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