The last several months have been industry conference and trade Mshow season. Just about every week there has been a major event somewhere in the country. The good news coming out of these events is that monthly Class 8 truck sales have climbed above 20,000 units for five consecutive months. Trailer sales have also been strong this year. Other issues being discussed during these trucking industry conferences include:
Federal Motor Carriers ruling regarding Hours of Service (HOS), attracting new drivers and retaining existing drivers, EPA SmartWay program, Compliance Safety Accountability (CSA) program, reducing carbon footprint (improving fuel economy), and roadability of the current intermodal chassis pool. When it comes to commercial tires, the hot subject is using innovative new materials to help improve fuel economy without adversely affecting removal mileage and traction. That’s because as the world population continues to grow from 7 billion in 2011 to an estimated 9.2 billion (30% increase) by 2050, there will be continued pressure on all natural resources and reducing the carbon footprint.
The HOS rule was implemented to make sure truck drivers can get the rest they need to operate safely when on the road. The rule was designed to reduce fatigue related crashes involving trucks and to save lives with the final rule reducing, by twelve, the maximum number of hours a truck driver can work within a week. Under the old rule, truck drivers could work on average up to eighty-two hours within a seven-day period. The new rule limits a driver's work week to seventy hours.
In addition, truck drivers cannot drive after working eight hours without first taking a break of at least thirty minutes. Drivers can take the thirty--minute break whenever they need rest during the eight-hour window. In the new rule, the eleven hour daily driving limit is still valid. There is also a "34-hour restart" provision that allows drivers to restart the clock on their work week by taking at least 34 consecutive hours off-duty. The restart provision occurs only once during a seven-day period.
EPA SmartWay program has been in existence for several years now and has been a winner. Fleets are more conscientious in reducing carbon footprint & improving fuel economy by spec’ing fuel efficient tires and maintaining proper tire air pressure all the time, using APU’s, reducing idling time, and spec’ing equipment with aerodynamic fairings.
The CSA program has had a dramatic game changing effect on both fleets and drivers since both are penalized for running trucks and trailers with equipment issues. Lights, tires, and brakes have been the major contributors to roadside violations. Because of CSA, drivers want to be driving only the newest and best maintained equipment to insure that penalty points are not assigned to them. When it comes to the intermodal industry and chassis, the subject is all about making sure that the chassis meets the stringent roadability regulations.
Keeping up with new rules, regulations, and new technology are real benefits to attending as many of these industry events as your schedule allows.
Article first seen on and republished with permission from psitiredigest.com.