Category Archives: Parts

CVSA Releases 2016 Brake Safety Week Results

brakeinspectionweekCommercial motor vehicle enforcement members of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance conducted 18,385 CMV and brake system inspections during Brake Safety Week, Sept. 11-17, 2016. Inspectors reported 13.2% of inspections with out-of-service brake violations and 14.8% of inspections with non-brake related out-of-service violations, each inclusive of some with violations in both categories.

During the week-long annual brake safety campaign, local, state, provincial, territorial and federal inspectors throughout the United States and Canada conducted inspections to identify out-of-adjustment brakes and brake systems violations. Roadside inspections included inspection of brake system components to identify loose or missing parts; air or hydraulic fluid leaks; cracked damaged or worn linings, pads, drums or rotors; and other faulty brake system components.

Inspectors also checked anti-lock braking system malfunction indicator lamps for compliance with jurisdictional regulations, an effort that was begun during CVSA’s unannounced Brake Check Day in May. Participating jurisdictions reported the number of trucks and buses with anti-lock braking systems as well as ABS violations observed.

The ABS survey for 2016 Brake Safety Week found the following:

Trucks

  • 93.2% of air-braked trucks (including tractors) inspected and 90.4% of hydraulic brakes trucks inspected required ABS, based on their date of manufacture.
  • 89.4% of air-braked trailers inspected required ABS, based on their date of manufacture.
  • 8.8% of ABS-required, air braked trucks and 8.8 percent ABS-required, hydraulic-braked trucks were found with ABS violations.

Trailers

  • 15.8% of trailers requiring ABS were found with ABS violations.
  • 7.6% of trailers inspected were not air- or hydraulic-braked and therefore not subject to ABS requirements.

“Brakes must be routinely checked and properly maintained to ensure the safety of the commercial motor vehicle, the CMV driver and everyone else on the road,” said Julius Debuschewitz of Yukon Highways and Public Works, CVSA president. “Although brake inspections are a part of the Level I inspections conducted by our hard-working CMV inspectors every day, Brake Safety Week is an opportunity to remind motor carriers and drivers of the importance of brake health and safety, and it provides the opportunity for our inspectors to conduct targeted and focused inspections to identify and remove commercial motor vehicles that have brakes with critical violations from our roadways.”

Brake Safety Week is part of the Operation Airbrake Program sponsored by CVSA in partnership with FMCSA and the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators. The Operation Airbrake Program is an international enforcement activity dedicated to preventing large truck and bus crashes, and saving lives throughout North America. The campaign seeks to highlight the importance of proper brake inspection and maintenance in an effort to reduce the number of brake-related violations discovered during a roadside inspection.

With Speed Limiter Proposed, Drivers Respond

A proposed rule to mandate the use of speed limiting devices on heavy-duty trucks was published in the Federal Register on Sept. 7, 2016, officially opening the 60-day comment period on the rule. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) released the proposed rule Aug. 26, which would require trucks weighing more than 26,000 lbs. to use speed limiting devices. The DOT did not specify a speed to which trucks should be governed, but did suggest three possibilities: 60 MPH, 65 MPH or 68 MPH. Overall, the proposal offers little in the way of guidance toward Truck07awhat a final version of the rule could look like, and the DOT is mainly looking for feedback from the trucking industry and equipment manufacturers about the technical aspects of requiring speed limiters on new trucks as well as those already on the roads.

The key argument among supporters of the mandate is that capping truck speeds will reduce the number of truck-involved crashes. Proponents of a speed limiter mandate also push limiters as a means to increase fuel economy, which would cut carriers’ costs and reduce emissions. Opponents of the rule argue the opposite stating that by setting maximum truck speeds would increase crash risk by creating unsafe speed differentials between cars and trucks, putting truckers and the motoring public at greater risk. Industry stakeholders on both sides of the fence intend to convince the DOT agencies responsible for the rule their side is right during the comment period and subsequent development of a final rule to mandate speed limiters.

Many of the more than 300 public comments already submitted have come from independent truckers who contend that speed limiters would put them at an economic disadvantage, while also producing more traffic congestion, road rage incidents and accidents. Wisconsin-based driver Steven Brown makes his argument against speed limiters in his letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives.  The letter to his Congressman follows:

It has been brought to my attention as well as others in the trucking industry that the American Trucking Associations has lobbied to restrict the speed of vehicles weighing more than 26,000 lbs. I and other drivers are very concerned about the future of our employment. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration have said that the cost of accidents would be greatly reduced if commercial vehicles were restricted to a lower speed limit and would also be a greener substitute for the environment.

I have read in trade magazines that there will be public discussions regarding this matter. It appears to me, based on the time and location of these meetings, that the NHTSA and the FMCSA really could not care less about what drivers think — because drivers in this industry are rarely home.

As a professional truck driver for 15-plus years, never having had a moving violation or accident on a public road while operating this equipment, this makes me believe there is more to this than safety. If anyone understands economics, it is obvious there is an underlying agenda. I make income based on cents per mile, just like [many] other truck drivers in the industry. When this restriction goes into effect, I can guarantee most, if not all, will not be compensated for what is lost. If I were to stay in the career of driving commercially over the road, my time at home would be virtually non-existent. It is just another way to tax the working class or create a simulated tax break for businesses.

This also creates another problem, and you really don’t have to look very far from your back window in Janesville, Wis., [to see it]. On any given night, there are trucks all over the country trying to fight for that last parking spot — or an illegal one. My only solution is to shut down earlier or park sometimes 50 to 100 miles away just to make sure I’m parked safely. But I still have problems finding adequate parking. I have even been kicked out of D.O.T. scales near Seattle, Wash., with minutes to spare trying to find safe and legal parking. These scales have been built with federal monies supposedly to keep the general public safe. There is a driver shortage now; just wait and watch the parking problem explode along with an abundance of new inexperienced drivers.

Since I live in Wisconsin and drive all over the country I have spoken to many other professionals in the trucking industry. Most of us (the working class) may not agree with each other about our political beliefs, but we do agree on one item: It’s all about the giant conglomerates. The large companies want to keep as much for themselves as they can. If I decided tomorrow to buy my own truck and this specific regulations would go into effect, this would absolutely destroy my business and other small businesses. This would create a pseudo-monopoly.

Safety is important to me and my family, as I am sure it is to yours. The untold truth, which I have witnessed firsthand, not only in the trucking industry but in other industries as well, is as follows: Safety is only discussed when it costs companies money. If highway safety is truly a concern, states would not have raised the speed limits. Also, with technology, texting and data services wouldn’t operate while a vehicle is in motion. (Rest assured if a truck is moving slowly, someone will rear-end it while texting at a higher speed, most likely an automobile. Often, when an accident occurs with a truck, the general public blames the truck driver. Moreover, whether it is the truck driver’s fault or not, it negatively affects the safety [record] of the truck driver.) Let’s have a zero tolerance for drunk driving for automobiles, too. This hasn’t happened — telecom and alcohol companies have deep pockets and lobbying firms.

I was hoping to retire doing what I love, but I have to be honest and say that I should have chosen politics instead. At the end of the day I am sure somehow this will fall on deaf ears and/or blind eyes, since I don’t have a super PAC or a lobbying firm to back this up. I also can’t promise a politician at my organization a position when someone decides to hang up a political career. Both political parties are guilty of this.

A few final thoughts: “The path to hell is paved with good intentions.” The next time you vote, please think of this — are you voting for your own personal interests, the lobbying interests, or those of Joe Common American? Be thankful that I pay my fair share, because without it politicians would not have their excellent benefits. Hopefully I can retire and receive my retirement wristwatch or golf bag, since my 401k will be depleted by unknown fees. If somebody could profit by making the First Amendment illegal, it would have been done already.

We will agree that big government isn’t the answer, but neither is big business. They are practically identical. If bankers were truck drivers, there would not be income-restricting regulations.

Be a politician for the people. Take 15 minutes and ask one truck driver anywhere what his/her thoughts are. I have. The sentiments contained in this letter are agreed to by truck drivers all across this land.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. –Steven Brown

A final rule could take months or years to develop, and the DOT outlines a three-year implementation period once the final rule is published. The 60-day public comment period for the Sept. 7 published Notice of Proposed Rulemaking ends Nov. 7.  Comments can be made by searching Docket No. FMCSA-2014-0083 or NHTSA-2016-0087 at www.regulations.gov, or by clicking this link directly

 

While Davis Transport Inc., is one of the leading flatbed freight carriers in the nation, we consider ourselves a company built for flatbed owner operators by flatbed owner operators. Our flatbed lease purchase program has facilitated hundreds of truckers’ transition from employee to business ownership. To learn more about our flatbed lease purchase program lease click here.

 

Davis Transport – New Technology Roll Out – Happening Now!

Davis Transport, Inc is rolling out new technology platforms to better serve our driving team and our customers. Technology investment is critical to provide our customers and our driving team the tools they need to succeed.

In addition to a new operating system we are rolling out a Mobile In-Cab platform that will allow our driving team to send real-time images / paperwork to be processed the same day. The Mobile In-Cab platform will be accessible via a smart phone, a tablet or a laptop. This new Mobile In-Cab system will also have weather reporting, road conditions, routing and allow our driving team to receive dispatch information, directions and other load data directly via their chosen device.

We look forward to sharing all of these technology investments with our stakeholders.

While Davis Transport Inc., is one of the leading flatbed freight carriers in the nation, we consider ourselves a company built for flatbed owner operators by flatbed owner operators. Our flatbed lease purchase program has facilitated hundreds of truckers’ transition from employee to business ownership. To learn more about our flatbed lease purchase program lease click here.

5 Things You Need to Know About ELDs

5 Things You Need to Know About ELDs

Fleets prepared to make the necessary changes to every facet of their operation will be more successful transitioning to e-logs.

Heavy Duty Trucking recently identified 5 things you need to know about the ELD mandate.  This is a follow up to other reports we have issued on the new rule.  If you have any questions on the new rule feel free to reach out to us at Davis Transport, Inc for help in understanding the rule and the impact it may have on your operations.

Electronic logging devices to track driver hours of service become mandatory in December 2017. Everything you need to know about compliance is spelled out in the final rule, but here’s a quick look at some of the more common sources of confusion – and a few things you’ll need to consider that are not spelled out in the text of the rule. A couple of these points will be of particular interest to really small carriers and independents.

1. Self-certified doesn’t mean compliant.

FMCSA has left it up to suppliers to certify that devices they offer meet all the requirements of the rule. The agency offers a rather lengthy checklist to help suppliers but does no verification of its own. The onus is on the vendor to self-certify their product, says Joel Beal of JBA Telematics. “It’s the honor system,” Beal explained in a recent webinar, “because FMCSA says they don’t have the budget to check all of the product that’s coming to market.”

It’s still early days, but Beal says there are already what appear to be some non-compliant devices on FMCSA’s list of self-verified devices. He recommends asking the vendor to supply all the documentation they used in the self-certification process as well as all the driver documentation.

“For example, if you operate under the California agricultural exemption or the oil field exemption or into Canada [a Canadian ELD rule is forthcoming], make sure the device you choose fits with and can comply with the rules you operate under,” Beal advises.

2. The required supporting documents.

This requirement could prove to be a burden to some carriers because it takes us back to the retention of paper, or it will require the manual conversion of a paper receipt to some form of digital image. Drivers are required to retain all related documentation for a period of eight days, but receipts must be submitted to the carrier no later than 13 days after the document comes into the driver’s possession. The final rule states this requirement is to verify on-duty not driving time.

The rule says carriers must retain each supporting document generated or received in the normal course of business, and goes on to say that carriers need not retain more than eight supporting documents. Among them must be the earliest and the latest time indications of all the documentation.

Supporting documentation can include dispatch records, trip records, expense receipts related to on-duty not driving time, payroll records, settlement sheets, etc. They must include appropriate data to link the record to a driver and a date and trip as well as the time, location, etc. Such documents must be retained for six months.

3. There are (a few) exemptions.

The list of operations exempt from using electronic logs under the new federal mandate is short – three to be precise.

  • Drivers who are on time cards, typically those that operate within a 100-air-mile radius of the terminal. Some casual drivers are exempt as well, provided they work no more than eight days out of 30.
  • Drive-away and tow-away operations, typically those that deliver or ferry new or used trucks from factories to dealers or customers.
  • Trucks manufactured for model-year 1999 or earlier, which may not have the electronic infrastructure to support ELDs.

4. What happens during Inspections.

At roadside, inspectors will be looking for a certification sticker supplied by the manufacturer and the handbook explaining how the ELD is used. When asked to produce the log, the driver may electronically transfer the information to the officer via email using an identifier unique to that inspection request, or via bluetooth or USB file transfer. The driver may also hand the officer printed copies of the logs if a printer is available. A fourth option is handing the device to the inspector if it is not tethered to the vehicle or if the cable is long enough to reach outside the truck.

In a facility audit, inspectors can demand six months of logs, in which case the carrier can display the logs on screen or in printed form. Inspectors can also ask to see any edits performed on the logs, meaning they will need the originals of all electronic records of duty status. They will also ask to see supporting documents (see number 2).

5. Interoperability of different devices.

Managing owner-operators’ use of ELDs could be among the biggest challenges here, but it’s certainly not the only one. Allowing each owner-operator to use the ELD of his or her choice could require a lot of back-end infrastructure on the carrier’s part. On the other hand, requiring owner-operators to acquire and use your choice of ELD could pose some hiring and retention strife. Depending on how you manage it, management’s decision could impose significant cost on one party or the other.

Your approach also runs the risk of compromising the arm’s-length carrier/owner-operator relationship. In the replies to various comments contained in the full document, FMCSA says, “the independent contractor relationship is outside the scope of this rulemaking,” so you’re on your own on this front.

In a broader context, there may be reasons one brand or type of ELD might suit one division of the company better than another, or in the event of a merger or acquisition, there could be significant cost associated with “retooling.”

Davis Transport, Inc. is a leading flatbed transportation company. Davis Transport, Inc. only works with the best flatbed truckers who put safety and customer service above all. We are currently recruiting for flatbed independent contractors to join our fleet. Whether you are a veteran flatbed owner operator or a trucker looking to start your own business through Davis’ flatbed lease purchase program, give us a call today. All of our independent contractors enjoy the same benefits, as well as one of the highest levels of compensation in the industry for semi-tractor-flatbed combinations.

3 Ways To Save On Tires At Davis Transport

At Davis Transport we are constantly looking for ways to make our driving team more successful.  At Davis Transport we have an exceptional tire program that maximizes casing value and allows owner-operators to save significant money on their tire purchases.  On top of saving money on the tires and consistently having casing credits to use we save owner-operators money on the install of tires as we do that in our own shop.

3 Ways to Save on Tires

March 2016, TruckingInfo.com – Department

by Jim Park, Equipment Editor

Everybody knows tires can eat up a big chunk of a fleet’s operating budget. Keeping costs in line isn’t impossible, but you have to work at it. And there’s one important thing to remember: You can’t simply copy another fleet’s approach in your own operation. There are just too many factors at play to make that work. Ambient temperatures, pavement condition, axle loads, exposure to damage and the skill and diligence (or lack thereof) of the maintenance department will determine how your tires wear and thus, how much they will cost you.

Here are three suggestions that can help you get a handle on tire costs and keep them under control.

Analyze your scrap tires

A good place to begin is where the previous tire left off. If something is robbing your tires of life, you need to find out what’s wrong. Analyzing every tire you take out of service is a bit like doing a post-mortem to determine the cause of death.

Gary Schroeder, director of commercial vehicle and OEM sales for Cooper Tire’s Roadmaster brand, suggests using the ATA Technology & Maintenance Council’s Radial Tire Conditions Analysis Guide as a resource.

“The guide provides photos of tire conditions for steer, drive and trailer tires, which are very helpful if you’re not an experienced scrap tire inspector,” he says. “It also outlines a list of possible causes for the condition, in addition to suggestions for what might need to be done to the vehicle and what to do in operations.”

If those conditions point to a maintenance- or service-related item, the tires will continue to hit the scrap tire pile until the problem is corrected.

Typical maintenance-related causes could be alignment, lack of adequate inflation, improperly matched tires, suspension issues or improper bearing adjustment. Once identified, these can be corrected.

Service-related conditions could include improper repairs, mounting damage with torn beads, and load/inflation issues. The age of the casings and the number of retreads also need to be looked at.

“If you find a condition that can’t be traced to a cause, your tire dealer or tire manufacturer should be brought in for help,” Schroeder says.

Scrap tire analysis also might reveal some recoverable dollars from possible warranty issues. If nothing else, if a host of service issues show up in the examination, you’ll know that your tire program needs rehabilitation. That could be a big money saver, too.

Retreading can extend casing life two, three or even four times, significantly lowering the life-cycle cost of the tire. While retread costs vary with the type of tread, the quality of the casing and the contract arrangement you have with the retreader, prices are roughly a third to half that of a new tire.

If you keep an eye on casing value, you’ll know that casings sold seem to fetch a fraction of what they are truly worth. You might get $90 to $125 for a good casing in a tight market, but retreading the casing gives you a “new” tire with a couple of hundred thousand miles of life – often several times. Which is more valuable?

“A casing is a terrible thing to waste, since at least 75% of the cost of a tire is in the casing,” says Ron Elliott, marketing and communications manager, Marangoni Tread North America.

Plus, there’s a significant environmental benefit to retreading.

“Retreading a truck tire requires significantly less oil and 70% less energy to produce, contains 75% post-consumer material and keeps tires out of landfills,” says Matt Loos, director of truck and bus tire marketing at Bridgestone.

There are three key factors in a successful retreading program:

  • Start with new tires that have a good history of retreadability
  • Protect the value of the casing through good tire management
  • Maximize the casing usage through strategic deployment in less demanding applications.

According to Loos, it’s no coincidence that fleets that use retreaded tires successfully are good at tire management.

“Besides achieving the lowest cost per mile, retreading encourages fleets to better manage their tire assets overall,” he says. “In general, fleets that use retreaded tires often do a better job of protecting and caring for tire casings to ensure they can be retreaded. Greater attention to good tire care practices helps to improve wear-out performance and fuel economy for the fleet, and it can help reduce costly road calls.”

Proper inflation and regular inflation checks will keep all tires in service longer — including retreads. While several tire debris studies have disproven the notion that modern retreads suffer from failing more often than new tires, doubts linger.

“Proper tire pressure is one of the simplest aspects of daily truck upkeep, but it can have major short- and long-term effects on tire life and performance, fuel economy, and maintenance costs,” says Jon Intagliata, product manager of tire pressure monitoring systems at Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems. “Underinflation by 20% results in a 30% reduction in tire life. We see this across the industry. Nearly half of all emergency service road calls are tire related, and underinflation – along with excessive heat, which is an additional consequence of low tire pressure – is responsible for 90% of tire failures.”

You won’t get far with retreads if you buy lower-quality tires in the first place and then neglect them. If retreads get a bum rap, this may be part of the reason.

“Most casings are designed and manufactured to be highly repairable and retreadable to last more than one life,” Elliott says. “A proper tire management program will help ensure the very lowest total running cost.”

Compare tire cost to tire value

On the other hand, price alone is not always a sure indicator of quality, says Cooper Tire’s Schroeder.You could easily reduce your upfront tire costs by buying cheap tires, but that decision may come back to bite you.

“Tires are far from a commodity item, and tire price points don’t always tell you the ‘life’ you should expect to get from them,” he says. “Just because you pay more for a tire doesn’t mean you will get higher mileage and more retreads.”

Schroeder believes that in order to get the most out of your tires, it is important to find a brand that provides long miles to removal, as well as one that takes into account the casing quality and belt package.

In today’s tire market, fleet managers can be tempted by the lure of low-priced tires over retreading higher quality value tires. According to Patrick Gunn, director of sales and marketing for commercial tires at Giti Tire (USA), “These budget tires are designed for single use, with poor retreadability, resulting in a shortened product lifecycle.”

Gunn suggests fleet managers do a head-to-head comparison of the tires they are considering, focusing on certain characteristics as well as the tire’s construction and the materials used to build the tire:

Footprint and ground contact pressure area: Rectangles are good, ovals bad. The closer to a rectangular shape the contact area is, the more durable the tire. If the contact area resembles an oval shape, the wear life is compromised due to different rolling circumferences across the tread width. A rectangular shaped contact patch has pressure distributed evenly for longer even wear.

Under-tread rubber depth: Seek an under-tread rubber depth that is deeper than most budget or inexpensive tires. Thick under-tread rubber promotes long tire life when the tread is worn out and protects the casing from damage, which enhances retreadability.

Belt layout: Belt design optimizes tread rigidity, which improves contact pressure (makes it more rectangular in shape) and wear performance. Uniform belt layouts provide higher mileage, fuel savings and positive environmental impact.

Bead construction: As a force and contact bearing point, the bead acts as support to pass force from tire to rim. Bead contact area with the rim edge has 10 times the pressure on the interface compared to other parts of the tire.

“Ask tire dealers and manufacturers for specifics on these tire attributes,” Gunn suggests. “Spending some additional time to separate tires with quality materials, construction and design from the inexpensive, lesser quality tires on the market will reduce your overall tire operating costs.”

One final note on lowering tire costs; it can be easy to step over a dollar to pick up a dime. Lloyd Hair, direct of maintenance at heavy-hauler Keen Transport of New Kingstown, Penn., will only run brand new tires on any load over 55 tons. Despite having a very advanced tire program, Hair says tire problems can be mission-crippling when you have to run daylight hours only under permit with those big loads.

“We just can’t afford to stop those trucks,” he says. “To lessen the chance of a problem, we run only new tires on those loads. It’s not that older tires or even retreads aren’t up to it, it’s really just managing risk.”

In such cases, scrimping a little on a tire, or pushing tires a little too far, could have some downstream consequences.

Ignoring tires when trying to save on maintenance almost never ends well, nor does having inexpert people servicing your tires and wheels. Some money-saving strategies are worth exploring, but going cheap almost never works.

Davis Transport, Inc. is a leading flatbed transportation company. Davis Transport, Inc. only works with the best flatbed truckers who put safety and customer service above all. We are currently recruiting for flatbed independent contractors to join our fleet. Whether you are a veteran flatbed owner operator or a trucker looking to start your own business through Davis’ flatbed lease purchase program, give us a call today. All of our independent contractors enjoy the same benefits, as well as one of the highest levels of compensation in the industry for semi-tractor-flatbed combinations.

Big Sky Canvas Flatbed Tarp Coupon Code

At Davis Transport, Inc we are constantly working to provide ways to make others in the transportation industry more successful. Recently we reached out to a local company in Montana called Big Sky Canvas to see if we could put together a tarp deal for anyone that receives this email.

Big Sky Canvas has agreed to provide a 10% discount to everyone that provides the coupon code below and free shipping to anywhere in the Continental United States.  If you pick the tarp up yourself they will deduct another 5%. They have offered the deal for the entire month of March 2016.  Orders have to be placed by the end of March 2016 to receive the deal.

You can reach Big Sky Canvas by calling: 406.543.8303. You can also reach out to them via email at info@bigskycanvas.com

Visit their website at www.bigskycanvas.com

COUPON CODE: MONT2016

All orders are made directly with Big Sky Canvas and not Davis Transport, Inc

Again, make sure to call and order your tarp before the end of March 2016 to receive the deal. Their design team will assist in creating the best longest lasting tarp you’ve ever purchased.

Davis Transport, Inc. is a leading flatbed transportation company. Davis Transport, Inc. only works with the best flatbed truckers who put safety and customer service above all. We are currently recruiting for flatbed independent contractors to join our fleet. Whether you are a veteran flatbed owner operator or a trucker looking to start your own business through Davis’ flatbed lease purchase program, give us a call today. All of our independent contractors enjoy the same benefits, as well as one of the highest levels of compensation in the industry for semi-tractor-flatbed combinations.

 

ELD Mandate Has Been Published

ELD Mandate Has Been Published.  To learn more about the mandate click on the Top 10 Things About ELD Mandate link.

Davis Transport has been working with electronic logs for an extended period of time in preparation for the mandate.

10 Things to Know about ELD Mandate

Davis Transport, Inc. is a leading flatbed transportation company. Davis Transport, Inc. only works with the best flatbed truckers who put safety and customer service above all. We are currently recruiting for flatbed independent contractors to join our fleet. Whether you are a veteran flatbed owner operator or a trucker looking to start your own business through Davis’ flatbed lease purchase program, give us a call today. All of our independent contractors enjoy the same benefits, as well as one of the highest levels of compensation in the industry for semi-tractor-flatbed combinations.

ELD Rule Will Take Longer To Publish

Congress’ long awaited rule to mandate electronic logging devices on commercial trucks will wait a little longer. Many owner-operators are probably happy about the delay, but the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) claims the rule will be published in 2014. The mandate to have ELDs on all trucks was contained in MAP-21, the transportation reauthorization law signed by President Obama in 2012. Highway safety experts advocated for an ELD rule.

 

Congress ordered that a rule be available on ELDs by Oct. 1, 2013 but the FMCSA claimed it would not make that deadline, but would publish by the end of the year. Right now the rule is being reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget but it is expected to be published in 2014.

 

A rule was a required by Congress claiming it would help enforce hours-of-service regulations, but such a rule has divided many in the trucking industry for years. Many, including the American Trucking Association believe it will increase safety. But just as many, especially independent owner operators, view it as unnecessary. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association claims that since EOBRs cannot automatically record the job status of a driver and can only track location and movement of a truck, they are no more reliable than paper logbooks in ensuring compliance with hours-of-service regulations. The statement, released in a Transport Topics news story goes on to say, “The safest thing to put into a truck is a well-trained, experienced driver”.

 

Davis Transport, Inc. is a leading flatbed transportation company. Davis Transport, Inc. only works with the best flatbed truckers who put safety and customer service above all. We are currently recruiting for flatbed independent contractors to join our fleet. Whether you are a veteran flatbed owner operator or a trucker looking to start your own business through Davis’ flatbed lease purchase program, give us a call today. All of our independent contractors enjoy the same benefits, as well as one of the highest levels of compensation in the industry for semi-tractor-flatbed combinations.

Load Tarping Best Practices

With the advent of bad weather, Davis Transport wants to look at some safe practices for safely
tarping loads in all weather conditions. Davis Transport provides 100% flatbed tarp pay to our
flatbed owner operators . Passing on this payment allows us to give our ownership of tarped
loads and allow them to earn extra money. However, the safety of our flatbed owner operators
and flatbed independent contractors is our number one priority. That is why we think you can
never review a list of safe practices enough, especially when harsher weather returns to many of
the states where we carry flatbed truck loads.
Tarping flatbed loads is one of the most dangerous jobs a flatbed owner operator can regardless
of the weather conditions. Here are some of tips for tarping flatbed loads safely and properly.

  • Tarp loads away from power lines and away from windy and adverse weather conditions.
  • If you are outside, try to park on the leeward side of a building or use a bay provided by your shipper.
  • Wear safety glasses and a high visibility vest.
  • Secure all four corners of your tarped load first. When windy, attach rolled up straps to

    grommets with bungee cords before dropping the sides of the tarp. This will keep the tarp

    flush with the cargo.

  • If you must lift the tarp, proper lifting technique by lifting with your legs not you back.

  • Be aware that the potential for back injury increases, when the lift also requires bending,

    twisting and extended reaches.

  • Always use a ladder to get on the load.

  • The most dangerous thing that can happen when tarping is falling from the load. Do not

    stand on a load.  Always crawl on a load. Use your hands to test for voids in loads.

  • Position tarp on the back of the load first. Fasten rear folds from the top of the load. Pull

    the bungee away from your body and face.

  • Take your time. Most accidents are caused by unsafe acts implemented to save time and

    effort.

 

While the advent of SafeTarp systems, such as the ones installed by Davis Transport client JMC
Steel, are the inevitable future for tarping flatbed loads, flatbed independent operators need to
stay on top of their best safety practices when tarping flatbed loads, because on the road
situations do arise that will require drivers to use their tried and true training to make sure the
flatbed load arrives in the same condition as it leaves and that you come home safely.

JMC Steel installs new SafeTarp systems

JMC Steel Group is proud to announce the installation of two SafeTarp systems. One system will be in Wheatland Tube Chicago, IL and the other in Warren, OH. Beginning on Monday November 4, 2013 drivers loading at Chicago – Wheatland will be able to increase the safety and efficiency of the tarping process through the use of the SafeTarp automatic tarping systems. The Warren, OH facility will be available November 11, 2013.

Tarps will be stretched out and then lifted by the SafeTarp system operated by a JMC Steel employee. The driver will then pull the trailer under the tarp system and the tarps will be lowered. In roughly five minutes the tarping process will be complete. This will decrease idle time and increase driving time.

Most importantly, the SafeTarp system will keep your driver off of his/her load. Ultimately preventing injury and saving lives.

There will be a charge back of $40 for this mandatory provision. JMC Steel Group will provide an employee at all times to operate the machine. Your driver will sign a document confirming that the load was tarped using our SafeTarp system. This fee will be deducted from your invoice. The $40 charge will be effective November 18, 2013 for both facilities.

For additional information on this process, click on the video link below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GglyC2cQduA

Thank you for your cooperation,

 

Jeff Shulman

Director, Corporate Logistics

 

UPDATE BELOW

November 5, 2013

Dear Valued Carrier Partner,

After some thoughtful feedback for many of you last week we have decided to make an adjustment to our previous letter.

We realize that $40 is a little steep for many of your drivers to pay. We would like to discount that charge by half and will be charging $20 for our SafeTarp service. This is a small price to pay for your drivers’ safety and efficiency. This does not apply for any driver with a covered trailer or any loads that do not require tarping. We are investing a lot of time, money and effort in this machine to keep people safe and increase our Valued Carriers’ and JMC’s efficiencies.

We now have a day of use at our Chicago facility under our belt and great feedback from many drivers who believe in this system. This machine will not be a bottleneck. JMC Steel will not let that happen. Some of you also had concern about its mandatory use in the previous letter. The reason that we want every driver to use our machine is that we do not wish to see anyone injured when there is a safe alternative just steps away. No family would forgive either of us.

We will be stamping every Bill of Lading when a driver has been tarped using the SafeTarp machine. This should assist in the administration of the tarp fee when invoicing for your deliveries.

Just to reiterate the benefits of this machine:

Prevents serious injury or death resulting from a fall

Less worry about Workers Comp claims while loading at our facility

Prevents any damage claims as we will have JMC employee inspect tarps

Can roll out plastic wrap automatically never having to walk on top of the load

Aging driver population will love this machine which will result in less attrition

Quicker Tarp time and more driving time to stay ahead of HOS concerns

 

 

 

 

Thank you for your cooperation,

 

Jeff Shulman

Director, Corporate Logistics