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Lack of training to blame
Trucking News

B.C.'s Transportation Ministry is reviewing the Class 1 training program

Trucks have been crashing into overpasses on B.C.'s highways with surprising regularity.

A semi-truck driving south on Highway 1 in Langley collided Tuesday into the Glover Road overpass, causing a two-hour lane closure. 

In Dec. 2017, a truck slammed into the 152 Street overpass on Highway 99, affecting nearby businesses. In July 2017, a pedestrian overpass in Burnaby collapsed after being hit by a dump truck.

What gives?

There's no standard for training truck drivers, says the head of the B.C. Trucking Association. 

"Clearly, the individual who was driving didn't understand the dimensions or the structure of the load and how it related to the infrastructure around them," CEO Dave Earle said about Tuesday's collision. 

Poorly trained drivers are ill-equipped for navigating perilous highways, causing accidents that snarl traffic, drain resources and require costly repairs.

"When things go wrong, they go very wrong," Earle said.

Some training courses don't 'cut it'

Driving a semi-truck requires a Class 1 licence, which involves holding a Class 5 or 6 licence, passing a knowledge and road test, completing air-brake training and undergoing a driver record screening. 

To prepare for the tests, drivers can go through an array of driving schools that offer different curricula.

The most rigorous programs offer a blend of theory and up to 100 hours of on-road training.


"In other circumstances, the individual goes through a two- or three-day course, writes the knowledge test, passes the road test and they're on the road the following week," Earle said. 

"That's just not going to cut it." 

ICBC increasing retest waiting times

That's assuming the driver passes their road test the first time. 

Between Jan.1, 2015 and June 12, 2018, the average pass rate for Class 1 road tests was roughly 53 per cent, according to ICBC data.

As of June 25, ICBC is increasing its Class 1 retest waiting times.

Drivers who fail their road test the first time will wait two weeks, instead of one week, before retesting. Those who fail the test twice or more must wait 30 days instead of 14 days. 

The change is meant to encourage drivers to better prepare and to free up appointments, said ICBC spokeswoman Lindsay Olsen. 

But Earle said most drivers don't have access to trucks to practice. And there's no requirement for the individual to practice more, he said.


Class 1 training program under review

B.C.'s Transportation Ministry is reviewing the Class 1 training program, which it says is consistent with all Canadian jurisdictions except Ontario.

Ontario implemented a new commercial driving training program in 2017 that mandates at least 103.5 hours of instruction. 

B.C. will review the recommendations before deciding on improvements. 

The Transportation Ministry said overpass collisions are uncommon given the hundreds of oversize loads that move across the Lower Mainland every week. 

It said collisions happen when drivers don't secure an oversize permit or fail to follow prescribed routes.

Source of article click here : CBC NEWS



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1 dead as truck and semi collide on bridge near Brooks
Trucking News

Highway 36 near Range Road 160 reopened about 5 p.m. Saturday

Highway 36 south of Brooks, Alta., was closed for several hours after a fatal crash near the hamlet of Scandia.  

At around 4:30 a.m., RCMP say a semi-trailer collided with a pickup truck on the bridge crossing the Bow River.

One person was declared dead and another was transported to hospital with minor injuries.

The truck leaked diesel fuel into the river, which delayed the reopening of the highway, as fire departments worked to block the river flow with booms. It is not known exactly how many litres of diesel leaked into the river.

Highway 36 near Range Road 160 was closed for several hours while the truck and trailer were cleared from the bridge, which was expected to reopen about 5 p.m. 

RCMP are investigating the cause of the collision.

Source of article click here : CBC NEWS

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Prime Trucking failed to protect female driver from sexual harassment, federal a
Trucking News

Springfield-based Prime Trucking, Inc., one of the nation's largest trucking companies, is being sued by a federal agency.

Prime failed to take adequate steps to prevent a female truck driver from being sexually harassed, said a news release from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which filed a lawsuit in federal court Wednesday.

A request for comment left with Prime was not returned by press time.

The lawsuit alleges that Prime continued to let independent contractor driver Eric Weekley drive with its employees after knowing he had sexually harassed a female trainee driver — without warning the employees about his past harassment.

Prime had stopped using Weekley as a trainer after the company found out that he sexually harassed at least one female driver trainee, the lawsuit says.

However, Weekley continued to work as a contractor for Prime and his overall pay was unchanged, the EEOC says. He became a co-driver with another female Prime employee, Melinda Huerta, in October 2016.

The trucking company did not warn Huerta about Weekley's past conduct or tell Weekley that he must not harass Huerta, the EEOC says.

Weekley continually talked about sex in graphic and violent terms during the six weeks that Huerta and Weekley were co-drivers, and he told her she would lose her job and commercial driver's license if she reported his behavior, the EEOC alleges.

The lawsuit includes specific comments that Weekley allegedly made to Huerta, which started as soon as they were on the road together.

Weekley showed Huerta pictures he had surreptitiously taken of another woman in his truck as she was climbing into the top bunk, the lawsuit says.

He allegedly repeatedly made explicit comments about wanting sex, such as: "I could f*** your brains out."

Huerta repeatedly told Weekley that his sexual comments were not welcome, according to court documents.

Weekley allegedly told Huerta that he had been arrested for rape and was under investigation for the death of his wife. He also said he had been caught with a gun in his truck, the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit says Weekley tried to control Huerta by refusing to give her time to take care of personal needs or shower.

For weeks, Huerta was afraid to report Weekley to Prime, the suit says, because she feared for her safety and was worried that she would be fired.

After Huerta reported Weekley's harassment to Prime, she was not immediately placed on another truck, the lawsuit says. 

Huerta "missed significant work and lost income" before she was placed on another truck and her position was "downgrad(ed)," the EEOC alleges.

Prime employs more than 2,000 people, the release said. It provides truck-freight services to customers in Mexico, the United States and Canada.

James R. Neely Jr., director of the EEOC’s St. Louis District, invoked the #MeToo movement in a statement about the lawsuit.

“Sexual harassment in the workplace is not new, but in this age of #MeToo, no company can bury its head in the sand and pretend it isn’t happening," Neely said in a statement. "Employers must take steps to protect their workers from this sort of inexcusable misconduct.”

Andrea G. Baran, regional attorney for the EEOC's St. Louis District said all employers have an obligation to take steps to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace.

"When employers fail to take those steps, they fail all their workers and enable a cycle of abuse and sexual harassment to continue," Baran said.

The EEOC is asking for the court to order Prime to institute policies and programs that provide equal employment opportunities for female workers. It's also asking for Prime to provide Huerta back pay and benefits with interest, compensation for losses related to emotional distress and punitive damages for its conduct.

The EEOC says it filed its lawsuit after Prime and the federal agency failed to reach a resolution through a conciliation process.

Source of article click here : News-Leader

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New carrier connected to Humboldt incident being carefully monitored
Trucking News

CALGARY, Alta. – One of the drivers and trucks from the carrier involved in the Humboldt Broncos bus collision is operating under a new numbered company, according to Alberta Transportation.

Though the lone driver currently employed by the numbered company is not the individual who was involved in the incident that claimed the lives of 16 people and injured 13, Alberta Transportation is keeping a close eye on the carrier.

“Alberta Transportation did its due diligence by immediately suspending the numbered company’s Safety Fitness Certificate (SFC) until the company could demonstrate it was in full compliance with all commercial transportation safety legislation,” read a statement released by Alberta Transportation. “Once the carrier demonstrated that it was in compliance Alberta Transportation had no legal grounds to maintain the suspension and the suspension was lifted on June 1.”

Conditions have been attached to the SFC of the numbered company, and a follow-up audit will be conducted over the next three months.

Graeme McElheran, director of communications for Alberta Transportation, told Truck West it is important to understand that the suspension of Adesh Deol Trucking, the company involved in the Humboldt Broncos bus collision, applies to the carrier’s SFC, not to any individual involved with the company or its assets.

“While the carrier’s SFC remains suspended,” said McElheran, “there is nothing stopping any of the people involved with the company from seeking employment elsewhere.”

However, if a carrier’s SFC is downgraded to unsatisfactory, all owners, directors, and stakeholder of the company are prohibited from applying for a new SFC for a period of six months. And if the SFC is suspended, and the owners, directors, and stakeholders attempt to operate another company, Alberta Transportation will investigate their roles with the new carrier.

“They might work for another carrier, but if they are found to have executive or management roles, Alberta Transportation may suspend, downgrade, or apply conditions to the carrier’s SFC,” said McElheran.

The Alberta government will be monitoring the new numbered carrier’s profile on a regular basis over the next three months to see if any events are added by authorities when conducting inspections and roadside enforcement to ensure compliance.

Taking all matters of road safety seriously, McElheran said Alberta Transportation is in process of reviewing driver training polices.

“Alberta Transportation has been reviewing several of its policies and regulations for commercial carriers as a matter of due diligence to address concerns and enhance road safety,” he said. “These reviews include mandatory driver training, enhanced pre-entry requirements for new companies, and the safety of intersections across Alberta.

“Like millions of Canadians and people around the world, we were deeply saddened by the tragedy in Saskatchewan involving the Humboldt Broncos, and we extend our condolences to the families and friends of the victims of this heartbreaking incident.”

Source of article click here : Truck News

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Ontario truck blitz results improving
Trucking News

NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. – “If a proper pre-trip is done, 90% of the stuff I find doing roadside inspections should be caught.”

That was the blunt message delivered by Const. Pat Martin, an officer with the Ontario Police Commercial Vehicle Committee (OPCVC), who was speaking June 14 at the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada’s annual conference. He was joined by Staff Sgt. Mike Hinsperger of the same organization to discuss road safety and inspection blitzes.

Last year, said Hinsperger, the police agencies making up the OPCVC conducted blitzes that included 1,837 commercial vehicle inspections, resulting in 1,574 charges and a startling 40% out-of-service rate. However, Hinsperger noted these are targeted inspections, so the high OOS rate doesn’t mean as much as the better rates resulting from Roadcheck.

Officers Pat Martin (left) and Mike Hinsperger gave PMTC delegates a talk on road safety.

“I have to throw a grain of salt in there,” he said of the results. “The type of enforcement we are doing is very subjective. When our officers see three trucks going down the road and one is a brand new Peterbilt and the other is a 1991 International Binder with parts falling off it, which one do you think we’re going to bring in for inspection? Yes, it’s a high out-of-service rate, however that out-of-service rate represents those vehicles we brought in for inspection.”

The good news is, 2018 results have improved so far, after about 12 years of consistently high OOS rates.

“The 2018 results we’ve been seeing have been vastly improved over what we have seen in the past,” Hinsperger said, noting they’ve been in the 22-28% OOS range at the blitzes conducted this year. “Hopefully we’ll see that trend continue.”

The most common defects found at these blitzes tend to be brakes that are out of adjustment, as well as load securement. Other issues that come up include: defective steering; unsafe trailers; cracked frames; defective tires; loose wheel fasteners; expired inspection reports; and false logbooks. But many of the mechanical items should be discovered during a proper pre-trip inspection, the officers noted.

“Loose wheel fasteners consistently come up,” said Hinsperger. “Drivers should be doing a thorough inspection of the vehicle before the vehicle goes on the road. How preventable is a loose wheel fastener? I’d say very.”

After highlighting a number of commercial vehicle violations Martin and Hinsperger have encountered in the field, the session moved to a question and answer format. PMTC delegates had plenty of questions about distracted driving, which Hinsperger said is now the number one cause of collisions.

He said there were nearly 65,000 crashes on Ontario’s 400-series highways in 2017, with most of them involving distraction.

“Distracted driving has surpassed impaired driving as the number one cause of collisions,” said Hinsperger.

“From what I see every day, it is a huge problem,” Martin agreed.

While the Highway Traffic Act doesn’t specifically address distracted driving, the enforcement officers pointed out careless driving charges can be laid if a driver is distracted. And it doesn’t have to be by a mobile phone.

“Say a person lost control drinking coffee or tuning the radio or reaching to pet a dog. Is that distracted driving? It’s called careless driving and that is the investigation avenue we will take,” Hinsperger explained.

Drivers can help roadside interactions with enforcement officers go more smoothly by being organized.

“The biggest thing for me is documents,” said Martin. “Are they in a nice folder? If a guy is looking under his seat for his pre-trip, that’s a big indicator for me that maybe I upgrade to a Level 2 or Level 1 inspection. If everything is in order, off he goes.”

Hinsperger urged fleets to make it easier for drivers to do their pre-trip inspections, by taking advantage of available tools such as pushrod stroke indicators, which make their jobs easier.

“Let’s make the job as easy as possible for the drivers,” he said. “It’s going to improve the safety of your trucks. Put things like tattletales on the pushrods so a driver can recognize quickly if it’s coming out of adjustment.”

Source of article click here : Truck News

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Afternoon Coffee: Trumps Hints at Separate Trade Deals with Canada and Mexico
Trucking News

With a renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement by the end of this year off the table, President Trump has signaled that he now would prefer to negotiate separate bilateral deals with Canada and Mexico rather than continue a three-country discussion, the New York Times reports. The two countries have opposed the idea as cumbersome and unnecessary.

Uber Freight

Uber Freight has announced a new offering that provides motor carriers with multiple trucks to more efficiently manage operations and increase productivity, according to SupplyChain 24/7. Called Fleet Mode, the tool allows “carriers and their dispatchers to find, book, and reassign the best loads for their team,” Uber wrote in a blog post.

Riskmethods Intregrates with IntegrityNext

Supply chain risk monitoring provider riskmethods announced Tuesday it had added new sustainability and compliance features through an integration with IntegrityNext, according to a press release. The add-on helps companies to adhere to international standards such as UN Global Compact, OECD, ISO, GRI and more.

“The Risk Intelligence Add-on based on IntegrityNext allows us to extend our risk coverage within the area of sustainability and compliance with risk indicators such as anti-bribery, environmental protection, human rights and labor, health and safety, quality management, conflict minerals and cyber security,” said Heiko Schwarz, founder and managing director of riskmethods. “We’re also excited about the real-time social media monitoring capability of IntegrityNext, which monitors public opinion and sentiment of supply chain actors, a critical reputational risk to companies.” 

Retaliatory Tariffs

And finally, a trade update: Mexico has hit back against the Trump administration’s steel and aluminum tariffs with its own set of duties on a variety of products, Reuters reports. Mexico’s list included a 20% tariff on U.S. pork legs and shoulders, apples and potatoes, as well as 20%–25% duties on types of cheeses and bourbon.

Source of article click here : Spend Matters

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Titanium increases driver pay for a second time
Trucking News

BOLTON, Ont. – A second round of pay increases is coming to Titanium Trucking Services.

The company announced it will be increasing its rates for its cross-border company drivers. The increase comes after owner-operator rates were bumped Jan. 1.

Cross-border company drivers will now be making 60 cents/ mile for flatbed, or $28/ hour for flatbed hourly, and 56 cents/ mile for van mileage, and $25/ hour for van hourly.

The owner-operator rates were increased to 70% of revenue for van owners and 75% of revenue for flatbed owners in January.

Titanium COO Marilyn Daniel says the ability to attract strong drivers affects the level of customer service the company is able to offer.

“We recognize that our drivers are the backbone of our company,” said Daniel. “We are able to deliver excellent customer service as a result of our reliable, efficient and well qualified driver group.  We are able to attract and retain the best drivers because of our professional culture of equity and respect.”

As part of its existing compensation package, Titanium offers a bonus plan for safety and maintenance performance objectives and is the only Canadian trucking company that offers a share purchase plan for all of its drivers.

Source of article click here : Truck News

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Daimler to open automated truck research center
Trucking News

Daimler Trucks demonstrated an autonomous truck in 2015, and says such tech has a future in helping address the growing shortage of longhaul drivers. Just not for awhile.

PORTLAND, Ore. – Daimler Trucks will create an Automated Truck Research and Development Center at its North American headquarters in Portland, Ore. – focusing on automated driving technology and its affect on society and customers alike.

The new center builds on the company’s established research and development presence, and will be at Swan Island, where a full-scale truck wind tunnel can already be found. The High Desert Proving Grounds are also nearby in Madras, Ore.

North American engineers will tap into company resources from other Daimler locations in Stuttgart, Germany and Bangalore, India, leveraging experience from other divisions including work on passenger cars, Daimler Trucks says. Research and development on automated trucks will also be expanded in Germany.

The new center is part of Daimler plans to invest more than $3.8 billion (CDN) in research and development during 2018 and 2019, and $758 billion earmarked for e-mobility, connectivity and automated commercial vehicle technology.

“This center of excellence is part of our global innovation network and supports the Daimler Trucks ethos of rigorously testing new technologies, ensuring systems are developed safely and functionality is fully validated before it is released to customers,” said Sven Ennerst, head of truck product engineering, global procurement, and Daimler Trucks China.

While Daimler Trucks says it doesn’t expect series-produced driverless trucks in the near future, it sees the technology as an eventual way to help keep up with freight demands and a dropping number of longhaul drivers.

The center will focus on all aspects of development, testing and validation around software, sensors, machine learning, and simulation, as well as adapting base vehicle platforms.

“We are again aiming for a fully integrated, proven Daimler solution that will provide the best tool for our customers’ needs,” said Roger Nielsen, president and CEO of Daimler Trucks North America. “We can accomplish this with a combination of vehicle road testing over millions of miles around the globe and advanced simulation. The global collaboration that takes place among research and development teams at Daimler extends to vans, buses and passenger cars, and each advancement is a building block for the future of automated vehicles.”

The announcement builds on several innovations around autonomous vehicles. The Freightliner Inspiration Truck was the first autonomous commercial truck to drive a U.S. public highway, during demonstrations in 2015. Today’s Detroit Assurance 4.0 safety systems, meanwhile, are expected to be the foundation for increasingly automated applications.

The company has also demonstrated platooning – electronically paired trucks that tightly follow each other in the name of improving aerodynamics. Using tools such as radar and camera sensors, vehicle-to-vehicle communications, and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems braking, trucks are kept in the center of their lanes, while vehicles to the rear respond in less than 3/10 second to braking by the lead truck.

Source of article click here : Today's Trucking

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Pilot programs aim to increase gateway efficiencies for truck drivers
Trucking News

VANCOUVER, B.C. – A pair of pilot programs will move forward to help productivity outcomes for the drayage sector and improve gateway efficiency.

Following collaboration between the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, Transport Canada, the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, and the Office of the B.C. Container Trucking Commissioner (OBCCTC), the programs were effective June 1 and will run to Dec. 31.

The programs include the normalization of truck reservation fees at $35 for all appointments at GCT Deltaport and GCT Vanterm, as well as pre-gate operational efficiencies for truckers at GCT Deltaport.

The normalized truck reservation fee pilot program is aimed at increasing productivity within a driver’s operating hours, providing operational autonomy to trucking companies, improving capacity utilization, and mitigating barriers for increased double-ended container moves.

Container truck drivers will also no longer be required to enter their appointment number when arriving at the GCT Deltaport vehicle access control system gate for the duration of the pilot program, as the practice has been identified as redundant.

“Reduced idling and truck trips on lower mainland roads translate to reduced road congestion and lower overall emissions in the Vancouver Gateway,” said Peter Xotta, vice-president of planning and operations at the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority. “Our joint efforts will go a long way to supporting livability in our region.”

B.C. Trucking Association (BCTA) president and CEO Dave Earle said he is eager to hear feedback on the pilot programs.

“Our goal is to advance the stability and efficiency of the drayage sector,” said Earle. “We will be closely examining data from the trials to inform improved outcomes for our members.”

“Our truck reservation and extended night gate program maximizes the use of the existing port infrastructure,” added Eric Waltz, president of GCT Canada. “By piloting this next iteration in our reservation system, we are responding to the drayage community’s request to increase operational flexibility, and seek to eliminate bunching at the start of night gate shifts caused previously by the differentiated rates.”

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Trucking HR Canada launches new report on recruiting Indigenous People
Trucking News

OTTAWA, Ont. – Trucking HR Canada has launched its new report Indigenous Recruitment & Retention: A Roadmap for Canada’s Trucking and Logistics Industry, to support industry employers in their efforts to better attract and retain Indigenous employees.

The number of Indigenous workers in the trucking and logistics industry continues to remain well below the average for the Canadian workforce, Trucking HR Canada says.  Yet, they represent a significant untapped labor pool. Employers in the trucking and logistics industry, as well as other like-minded industries in Canada, have achieved important business benefits by successfully hiring Indigenous peoples. Their experience shows that success will come from being intentionally inclusive in their recruitment and retention practices.

Trucking HR Canada engaged with Indigenous communities and interviewed trucking and logistics employers to better understand their perspective on the industry and the opportunities and barriers that exist for recruitment and retention.

The report highlights the findings from the interviews as well as practical steps to support more diverse recruitment and retention efforts. The report provides a roadmap for community outreach, recruitment and hiring, orientation and onboarding and a section on available training resources.

“Indigenous peoples are the fastest growing demographic in Canada. In light of the current labor shortages industry employers are facing, implementing innovative recruitment and retention initiatives to reach out to these communities is not only the right thing to do, it is a business imperative,” said Angela Splinter, CEO of Trucking HR Canada.

At a time where the driver shortage is top-of-mind for all trucking and logistics employers, this practical resource can support those interested in attracting, recruiting, and retaining workers from largely untapped labour pools.

To download your free copy of the Indigenous Recruitment & Retention Roadmap, click here.

Source of article click here : Truck News

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25-tonne concrete slab falls off truck, blocks lanes on Highway 10
Trucking News

2 out of 3 lanes are blocked, causing traffic jams on the highway and on the Champlain Bridge

A slab of concrete weighing 25 tonnes fell off an 18-wheeler truck and onto Highway 10 heading toward Montreal Monday morning, blocking two of three lanes.

Transports Québec says it happened near exit 9, for the Bell Sports Complex and the CN train line. Crews are on site to remove the piece of concrete.

Transports Québec and Quebec provincial police are looking into how the cargo became untied from the truck carrying it.

Transports Québec said the slab was to be used in the construction of the new Champlain Bridge. The work site for the new bridge is not far from where the incident occurred.

There is a significant amount of traffic on the highway and the Champlain Bridge as a result.

Source of article click here : CBC NEWS

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Police hunt for fatal hit and run suspect, release footage of pickup truck fleei
Trucking News

Toronto police have released surveillance footage of a pickup truck involved in a fatal hit and run in the city's west end that left a 50-year-old woman dead.

Police were called to the scene in the Briar Hill Avenue and Dufferin Street area at 3 p.m. Monday, when a Dodge Ram pickup truck travelling northbound struck the woman, leaving her lying in her the roadway.

Police earlier said a witness described the driver as a male in his 30s, wearing a construction vest. 

In a news release Tuesday, police say the driver of the vehicle stopped his truck briefly and approached the woman. After a brief conversation, the driver got back into the truck and fled at what police say was a "high rate of speed" through a residential area.

Video footage shows a grey four-door truck fleeing from the scene after stopping for just

The woman was rushed to hospital with life-threatening injuries and died shortly afterward.

Police are now asking for the public's help in tracking down the driver and the vehicle. They say the pickup may have sustained damage to the front area.

Police want body shops or parts suppliers contacted for repairs to contact investigators. 

Anyone with security camera footage from the time of the incident on Stayner Avenue, Locksley Avenue, Risa Boulevard, Times Road an Briar Hill Avenue, is requested to contact police, along with anyone with dash-cam footage from Dufferin Street between 2:45 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Source of article click here : CBC NEWS

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Ontario Trucking Association says low barriers to enter industry puts safety at
Trucking News

Joint safety blitz between MTO and OPP called 'Operation Corridor' began Wednesday

"Operation Corridor" began today on the province's major trucking routes.

The president of the Ontario Trucking Association supports this week's joint MTO-OPP safety blitz on trucks, but thinks stricter regulations are required to truly improve road safety.

The annual 'Operation Corridor' safety blitz began with a statement from OPP that there have been 25 fatal collisions involving transport trucks this year — a 25 per cent increase from last year.

In total, 3,047 truck-related collisions have been reported in 2018.

"Poor driving behaviours and moving violations alone account for a large number of transport truck-related crashes every year," said OPP Deputy Commissioner Brad Blair.

"When other dangerous habits are thrown into the mix such as failure to adhere to vehicle maintenance, inspection and hours of service regulations as well as unsecured loads, it then becomes a question of when, not if more lives will be lost in serious transport truck collisions."


In an interview with Afternoon Drive host Chris dela Torre, Ontario Trucking Association President Stephen Laskowski said while enforcement blitzes "have their place," there are larger concerns which need to be addressed.

"Is it too easy to enter our industry? I think increasingly participants in our industry [and] the enforcement community are saying probably the answer is 'yes,'" he said. "So if we can make sure that companies ... understand the need for compliance, the cost of compliance, how to manage compliance, that will assist in terms of producing better safety results on the road."

Source of article click here : CBC NEWS

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Riding in the ultra-efficient Starship truck
Trucking News

RAPHINE, Va. – Like something out of a sci-fi movie, the AirFlow Starship initiative has produced a futuristic-looking rig that’s been in the making for several years.

Beginning with a simple drawing by former driver and owner of AirFlow Truck Company Robert Sliwa, the Starship, which is a joint venture between AirFlow and Shell Rotella, has been tearing up the road for a while now, and I recently had the chance to ride in the fuel-efficient truck during the Shell Rotella SuperRig Roadshow at White’s Travel Center in Virginia.

For those who haven’t yet heard of or seen the Starship, here is a general breakdown of the truck: it employs an aerodynamic design to minimize wind resistance (giving the truck its futuristic look), has an active grill cooling system, low viscosity, used full synthetic Shell lubricants, boasts an ultra-low RPM transmission (never surpassing 1,250), a 6×2 axle ratio configuration for lower weight, friction, and better fuel efficiency, low roll resistant, single wide-base tires, roof-mounted solar panels, predictive cruise control, regenerative braking, and relies heavily on driver behavior for peak performance.

“If you put the wrong driver in this truck, they won’t get as good of fuel mileage,” Sliwa said during our ride along June 14.

This past May, the Starship made a cross-country trip from San Diego, Calif., to Jacksonville, Fla., in an effort to showcase what the truck is capable of, which Sliwa said is comparable to any big rig out there.

“Both Shell and I wanted to prove that this a real-world truck that stops at truck stops just like everybody else,” said Sliwa. “I have to do an ELD like everybody else…it’s a real-world truck that hauls real-world freight.”

The truck was fully loaded during the trip, with a total gross vehicle weight of 80,000 lbs., while the Starship’s freight ton efficiency was measured by an on-board telematics system.

Riding in the Starship is like riding in many other tractor-trailer combinations. With an automated manual transmission, shifting gears was smooth and efficient, even while accelerating up to speed to enter the highway.

The air conditioning cooling the cab was powered by the 5,000 watt solar panel configuration on the roof, charging a 48 volt battery bank on the tractor.

Sliwa said he started building trucks back in 1983, a time when anything out of the ordinary in the trucking industry was not as accepted as it is today.

He said his first truck seemed to get about 95% negative reactions from those who saw it.

The next truck, the BulletTruck, which he started in 2009 and completed in 2012, was more accepted by the industry, but still there were reservations by many.

“We took that truck from coast to coast and everywhere else hauling real freight. Some guys really hated it and some guys really loved it,” Sliwa said, adding that there was about a 50/50 split between the two sides.

Sliwa said now with the Starship, some people still ask whether the truck is an electric vehicle or some other alternative fuel offering, even when he’s at a truck stop pumping diesel to power the truck’s Cummins X15 engine.

“This truck seems to be about a 90-95% positive reaction,” he said.

Sliwa said historically trucking is a very conservative industry and takes baby steps when it comes to change, and over the past five years progression has been glacial. He said several OEMs know that the Starship’s design is what is needed to help save fuel and put out a more efficient truck, but fear of the unknown and potential challenges selling a product like the Starship steers them away from the design.

Rolling down the highway at around 60 mph, I asked Sliwa how the truck performs in adverse weather conditions as seen in Canada and the northern states.

Having driven through a snow storm in Nebraska, Sliwa said the experience was no different than if he were driving any other truck, and took the same precautions as the other drivers had.

He also drove in 75-mph cross winds north of Salt Lake City, Utah, and unlike some assumptions, the truck was sturdy.

“A lot of people contend that the truck will be less stable or tend to blow over with full trailer skirts, but it’s really the reverse,” he said. “If you didn’t have skirts and the wind was blowing 75 mph, it’s only going to hit the top of the trailer and blow it over. When you have the full skirts, it pushed it sideways.”

He also said the skirts eliminate splash and spray, an advantage for both the truck driver and others on the road around them.

The Starship does not have any traditional mirrors, which Sliwa said can get dirty in adverse weather. The driver instead relies on a mirror eye system, using cameras around the truck, which have their own boat tails to help reduce any debris from inhibiting the view.

The cab was extremely roomy, with the bed having been removed and replaced with seats for the ride along.

No testing has been done on the Starship yet, even after its journey from California to Florida. Sliwa said testing will come, but that is the second phase of the Starship initiative.

All in all, other than the look of the truck, it rode much the same as several other trucks I’ve been in. I did not get the chance to drive the Starship, which of course means I am missing out on what driving the truck would really be like when it comes to power, torque, and maneuverability.

But as Sliwa pointed out, trucks like the Starship represent the future, and if the industry is going to embrace a more fuel efficient vehicle, it just might catch on soon.

Source of article click here : Truck News

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Highway 401 is a bad neighbour to rural municipalities, say mayors
Trucking News
OPP investigate an accident on Highway 401 just east of Prescott Ontario Tuesday Nov 28, 2017. A Quebec trucker was arrested early Tuesday morning hours after two people were killed in a five-vehicle crash late Monday on Highway 401. Four people were also taken to hospital after the crash at about 10:30 p.m. Monday between Prescott and Highway 416, one of them by air ambulance with life-threatening injuries. Tony Caldwell Ottawa Citizen

OPP investigate an accident on Highway 401 just east of Prescott Ontario Tuesday Nov 28, 2017. A Quebec trucker was arrested early Tuesday morning hours after two people were killed in a five-vehicle crash late Monday on Highway 401. Four people were also taken to hospital after the crash at about 10:30 p.m. Monday between Prescott and Highway 416, one of them by air ambulance with life-threatening injuries. Tony Caldwell Ottawa Citizen

A day after a bus crash near Prescott sent dozens to hospital, mayors of rural municipalities bordering the 401 say highway emergencies are costing their taxpayers and exposing their residents to danger.

A 54-year-old passenger on the bus loaded with Chinese tourists died of his injuries, Ontario Provincial Police said Tuesday morning. Other victims remained in hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Mayors said their hearts go out to the victims and their families. But at the same time, the incident has reignited questions of the strain critical incidents place on the municipalities along the 401 corridor.

Among the costs they must shoulder with no or only partial compensation from the province: road repairs due to heavy use while traffic is being detoured from the 401 while a collision scene is cleared and investigated.

Brett Todd, mayor of Prescott and vice-president of the Eastern Ontario Mayors’ Caucus, says that whenever there is a detour from the 401, whether it's construction or a collision, the town's main street becomes a "wall-to-wall traffic jam."

That places residents at risk, not only of injuries, but also because firefighters and paramedics can't respond to calls in a timely manner, he said. "When the 401 is closed, I don't sleep at night."

Mayors have been calling for 401 expansion for years without a serious response from the government, he said.

"It's really not a partisan issue here. We're all united in the fact that we need to expand the 401. We just need to get Queen's Park to listen to us."

Detours cause significant pressure on county roads used as detours, said Ian McLeod, the mayor of South Glengarry and warden of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry.

Upper-tier roads, typically two-lane paved county roads constructed to a higher standard, are designated as detour roads. "But anyone with a GPS tries to find the quickest way back onto the highway," he said.

"We have trucks going on roads that are not designed for that. And the substrate gets damaged. If we submit the costs to the province, we won't get any compensation."

Rural municipalities are also called upon to provide service to calls on Highway 401, whether it's a serious accident or a motorist whose engine has overheated, he said.

About half of the calls are not compensated by the province, said McLeod, who estimates the cost to his municipality is between $20,000 to $30,000 a year. Calls for paramedics to the highway also take those services away from taxpayers who have paid for those services, he said.

There is even the occasional case where a 401 crash ends up costing a municipality money. In one example, a vehicle left the highway, went through a fence and ended up on a municipal road, says McLeod. There was no compensation from the province.

On another occasion, a fire truck on its way to a call in inclement weather was involved into an collision and flipped into a ditch. The fire truck was a writeoff and it cost $350,000 to replace it. A volunteer firefighter on the truck has still not returned to work. The province's response was to go to the municipality's insurer, said McLeod.

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Transport said the province supports the funding of municipal roads and bridges in smaller municipalities through programs such as the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund, which provides municipalities with a total of up to $200 million a year to invest in infrastructure. The fund also provides up to $100 million a year on application-based funding.

Municipalities are reimbursed for the cost of providing emergency fire and rescue services on provincial highways owned by the ministry, but the province does not pay for emergency services on municipal roads as a result of detours. Municipalities can bill drivers directly for emergency services, she said.

In March 2017, a 30-vehicle crash near Mallorytown east of Kingston killed the driver of a tractor trailer and sent 29 people to hospital, including 13 first responders who underwent decontamination after hydrofluoric acid spilled at the scene. The 401 was closed for 30 hours.

Volunteer firefighters with the township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands responded to the call. The municipality had to spend more than $250,000 the replace breathing equipment and bunker gear because it was contaminated, said Mayor Joe Baptista. The municipality was eventually compensated, but only because it was a provincially significant incident, he said.

Baptista said the firefighters were well prepared for the incident. Although the municipality has fewer than 10,000 residents, it has its own training centre.

"We are at the heart of three major transportation corridors. We have rail, we have the 401 and we have the St. Lawrence River," said Baptista. "The law of averages means eventually you'll have to deal with a major incident."

In the wake of the spill, then-transportation minister Steven Del Duca agreed to work with representatives of the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus and the mayors’ caucus to improve the safety of transporting hazardous goods.

Robin Jones, warden of the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville, said the working group succeeded in getting stakeholders together, including the province, Transport Canada and the Ontario Trucking Association.

The group came to a consensus about seven recommendations, including a study of high-risk factors that contribute to distracted and aggressive driving and the potential for standardized training for drivers who transport hazardous goods.

"The way of moving forward is to continue to build consensus and ways to make the highway safer," said Jones. "I think it's doable. This working group was unprecedented in the number of stakeholders that came together."

What would the parties do if they won?

• In their platform, the Progressive Conservatives say they will "actively explore potential for high-speed rail and highway projects including the potential of widening to six lanes Highway 401 to the 416 between Toronto and Ottawa."

• The NDP's platform commits to restoring and increasing the Ontario municipal partnership fund, which is the main transfer to municipalities. The NDP says this would allow communities to make locally focused decisions on how best to improve roads in their communities. The NDP would also bring winter road maintenance back into public hands.

• The Liberals say their platform increases annual funding to the Connecting Links program by $30 million year. The program supports the rehabilitation or reconstruction of municipal roads or bridges that connect two ends of a provincial highway through a community.

Source of article click here : thewhig

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Tremcar West now ABSA certified in Edmonton
Trucking News

EDMONTON, Alta. – Tremcar West’s Edmonton location has been certified by the ABSA, the pressure equipment safety authority, to repair and perform alterations on pressure vessels, as well as modifications on pressure rings.

Salvatore Tanzi has been appointed as Tremcar West’s propane supervisor. Coming from Westcan Bulk, Tanzi has more than 26 years of experience in the industry.

“We are dedicated to being a full tank service and parts facility,” said John Sadoway, general manager for Tremcar West in Edmonton. “With our experience in testing and servicing liquid tank trailers and trucks, it was only natural to diversify our services to include pressure vessel certification and repair. Mr. Tanzi’s knowledge and professionalism is a great addition to our Tremcar West team.”

Salvatore Tanzi, propane supervisor, John Sadoway, general manager, and Ross Longson, service manager, for Tremcar West.

Source of article click here : Truck News

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Danger Zones
Trucking News

It can happen without warning – a previously unseen hazard makes itself known with tragic results.

For one Woodstock, Ont. driver, that happened when a routine unloading turned deadly April 30. The 47-year-old was moving granite countertops out of his truck at a Kitchener supply store when disaster struck and he was crushed.

Details of how the incident came to pass are being closely guarded by authorities until an Ontario Ministry of Labour investigation can be completed, but the incident is hardly an isolated one.

For all the advertising governments do to promote safe practices in the workplace, statistics on workplace safety can be difficult to interpret. No national statistics exist, and those kept and curated by provincial organizations vary.

The five-year injury rate in British Columbia. The red line represents the overall provincal workforce, while the blue line is the “general trucking” catagory. Graphic provided by WorkSafe BC.

WorkSafe BC, the provincial workplace insurer for British Columbia, keeps statistics by industry, but drivers can be classed in several different occupational groups, and not every stat is available by those individual groups. Ontario’s data sets often don’t include occupations or industry subsectors at all, according to Ministry of Labour sources.

What is clear is that, when compared to the broader workforce, those in the trucking industry face disproportionately high injury rates — even after accounting for motor vehicle collisions.

According to data collected by WorkSafe BC, the injury rate for those in the transportation sector is double the provincial average. The rate for both groups has remained steady over the past five years, with just 2.2% of the province’s overall workforce facing injuries on the job. But 4.4% of those in transportation experience on-the-job injuries each year.

In 2016, 1% of those classified as “general trucking” workers – those not operating specialized equipment like log haulers or fuel tankers – suffered serious injuries. That’s more than three times the 0.3% serious injury rate of the overall BC workforce.

While the numbers may not seem like a lot, WorkSafe BC paid out more than $94 million in claims to trucking industry workers in 2016. Nearly $32.7 million of it went to those in the “general trucking” sector, which also doesn’t include those employed as mechanics, warehouse employees, or dock workers.

More than 1,000 short- or long-term disability claims (known as time lost claims) were made in 2016. To be classified as one of these claims, the injured worker must be off work for 10 or more days, requiring a longer period to recover. This number includes fatalities.

These numbers don’t include other direct or hidden costs to businesses associated with injuries, says WorkSafe BC spokesman Mark Ordeman.

When an injury happens, drivers and fleets know they’ll immediately see costs associated with lost time and productivity, health expenses, administration expenses, damages to property and equipment, and replacement wages, but with each injury there is the potential for even greater costs down the line.

The long-term costs of accidents are often the most expensive and can be harder to measure. They range from an increase in insurance premiums, to downtime associated with investigations, to the effect on a fleet’s reputation, employee morale and retention. Not to mention the impact on the injured themselves.

In the five years between 2013 and 2017, about 18 drivers were killed during B.C. incidents not related to a motor vehicle crash. Of those deaths, six were related to asbestos exposure and six were due to complications from other long-term injuries sustained while working.

One unnamed driver died in 2014, two years after he was injured on the job. His eventual death was the result of an accidental drug overdose from opioids used to treat injuries obtained in a 2012 accident, highlighting some of the hidden consequences of workplace injuries.

While it’s easy to focus on the more serious injuries in the workplace, smaller injuries can be just as costly as the big ones. Between 2013 and 2017, WorkSafe BC recorded 5,521 serious and fatal injuries – including those injured or killed as the result of a motor vehicle crash – while it recorded more than 4,900 claims for smaller injuries.

Strains and sprains made up the majority of those claims, with a total of 3,348. Those claims alone totaled nearly $70 million over five years. Fractures came next, with 689 reported to the tune of more than $51 million.

Some workplace accidents may be seen as just one of the costs of doing business, but does it have to be that way?

In that same five-year period, WorkSafe BC conducted more than 2,100 inspections on businesses classified under the general trucking banner. Of those inspections, just 25% of inspected companies did not receive some kind of warning, order, or follow-up for violations.

Most of these orders aren’t considered major violations. Just eight received warning letters or administrative penalties.

The most-issued citation was for not complying with a regulation that requires employers to have the equipment and supplies to immediately and adequately address first aid issues when they happen, and failing to take the appropriate action. Eighty-five employers faced that.

In an Ontario Ministry of Labour blitz conducted in February 2011, there were 1,089 workplaces inspected and 3,233 orders issued – an average of three per workplace. Just 84 of those were serious enough to warrant a “stop work” order.

The most frequently issued orders in that inspection were for failing to maintain equipment and facilities in good condition, or not taking reasonable precautions to protect the health and safety of workers.

Ministry analysts said the majority of these violations happened during loading and unloading on docks, when safe practices weren’t observed, including failing to ensure vehicles were stopped and properly secured.

“This indicated shipping and receiving areas and related equipment may not be regularly inspected and maintained by the employer,” the ministry report said.

Trucks and trailers need to be immobilized before loading or unloading begins to prevent them from moving in any direction – including against the dock, which could lead to injuries or deaths due to falls, or being pinned if the truck does move.

Of the 15 workers who died while working in a shipping and receiving area from 2000-2010, most were pinned by a vehicle that moved when it wasn’t supposed to. In these cases, being pinned between a truck and dock, a truck and trailer, or two forklifts proved tragic.

Workers also died after being struck by falling or improperly secured items during the loading and unloading process.

Citations during the blitz were also frequently issued for failing to provide workers with information, instruction and supervision to protect their health and safety.

Training in material handling is key for all workers when it comes to loading and unloading, according to the Ontario Ministry of Labour. It’s something that may reduce the chance for catastrophes like the one in Kitchener.

Source of article click here : Today's Trucking

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Class 8 orders remain strong in May: FTR
Trucking News

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Preliminary North American Class 8 orders for May were strong according to analysts at FTR Transportation Intelligence.

The forecasting company reports preliminary North American orders sitting at 35,200 units last month, falling slightly below the six-month average of 40,000 units per month – volumes never before seen in the industry.

Although the numbers were lower than they have been, orders still exceeded expectations as fleets try to keep up with huge freight demands.

North American Class 8 orders for the past twelve months have now totaled 386,000 units.

FTR vice president of commercial vehicles Don Ake says the capacity crunch is the tightest the industry has ever seen.

“Long-time veterans in this industry are saying this is the best freight market they have ever seen. Fleets cannot add capacity fast enough and as long as the economy and manufacturing are going great, this capacity crisis will continue.”

Ake indicated a shortage of truck parts has been holding up deliveries, exacerbating the situation and leading fleets to grab every available build slot in an attempt to get more trucks before the end of the year.

Delivery dates for orders are starting to spill over into the early months of 2019.

“It is a red-hot market.”

Source of article click here : Truck News

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Two new container port programs test trucking efficiency
Trucking News

Two pilot programs launched this month at Vancouver and Delta container ports aim to increase trucking productivity and efficiency.

As of June 1, truck appointments with Global Container Terminals Canada (GCT Canada) will be $35 at all hours, down from $50. The program will run at GCT Deltaport and GCT Vanterm until December 31, 2018.

In Delta, container truck operators will no longer be required to enter an appointment number upon arrival at the vehicle access gate. The change eliminates a redundant step in the arrival process and will speed up truck turn times, which GCT Canada says are already at industry-leading lows.

“By piloting this next iteration in our reservation system, we are responding to the drayage community’s request to increase operational flexibility, and seek to eliminate bunching at the start of night gate shifts caused previously by the differentiated rates,” stated GCT Canada president Eric Waltz in a news release.

Both pilot programs follow extensive consultation with a number of stakeholders to help improve gateway efficiency, and boost productivity in drayage – the transport of goods over a short distance.

Source of article click here : Business Vancouver


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'Disaster after disaster': Expert calls for Malahat highway alternativ
Trucking News  
A fuel truck lies on its side with airbags deployed near Goldstream Provincial Park after a crash on the Trans-Canada Highway Thursday,

VICTORIA — Thursday’s crash on the Trans-Canada Highway at Goldstream Provincial Park is another example of how the highway and its approaches are inadequate, says the vice-chairman of the Capital Regional District Traffic Safety Commission.

“I don’t know if everyone in town realizes every drop of gasoline, diesel and home-heating oil that comes into this region comes in a fuel tanker over the Malahat,” said Chris Foord. “And if that doesn’t raise alarm bells in everybody’s head, I would say there’s something wrong.”

The solution is a new highway that perhaps runs through part of Goldstream park and the watershed reserve lands, he said.

Foord said the status quo is not working. “What we have here is a recipe for disaster after disaster waiting to happen.”

He said efforts to improve the current highway with centre dividers and other measures amount to using “Band-Aids” on the problem.

Foord allowed that a new highway would mean trees coming down.

“None of my environmental friends have been able to show me which tree in Goldstream park is worth somebody’s life,” he said.

The lengthy highway shutdown on Thursday, caused by a fuel truck and a van colliding, once again raised the issue of how long roads should be shut down for such crashes. Foord said police are bound to do as thorough an investigation as possible. Crews also had to deal with potential fuel spills and pump furnace oil from the toppled truck.

Foord noted that the highway shutdown affected people in many ways. “I think of parents trying to get kids home from school, there are people trying to get home from medical appointments, there are people probably missing flights.”

A 2015 report from the Ministry of Transportation, Crashes and Highway Closures: Why the Delay, pointed out that highway crashes have varying levels of severity and are all unique.

“Crash sites are potential crime scenes where possible negligent or criminal actions led to someone’s life being altered in the blink of an eye,” the report said, in reference to the RCMP’s role. “The RCMP has a legal and ethical responsibility to thoroughly investigate every vehicle crash to ensure the causes are determined, fault is identified, charges are laid (if appropriate) and that all evidence is accurately documented.”

The site has to be secured, victims cared for and extensive physical observation carried out, the report said. The work includes obtaining a detailed photographic record and doing a close examination of the road surface for hundreds of metres.

The Malahat was closed from about 11 a.m. Thursday to 12:30 a.m. Friday in both directions just south of Finlayson Arm Road, blocking a road used by 25,000 motorists a day — the only time-efficient route to travel between Victoria and up-Island.

A truck carrying home-furnace fuel and gasoline collided with a courier van, seriously injuring the van driver.

 Source of article click here : Vancouver Sun

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