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EDMONTON, Alberta, July 11, 2018 – Intelligent Transportation Systems Society of Canada (ITS Canada) recently recognized the Alberta Partners in Compliance (PIC) with a national award for its use of smart transponders to expand weigh station bypass opportunities for the Alberta trucking industry.

ITS Canada presented Alberta PIC with its top award for projects at three levels, including the larger metropolitan/provincial/federal level, at its annual conference in Niagara Falls, Ontario, in mid-June. Alberta PIC earned the top award at the larger metropolitan/provincial/federal level.

“This award honors the Alberta Justice and Solicitor General Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Branch (CVEB), Alberta Transportation, and the Alberta Motor Transport Association for their forethought in adopting a smart transponder-based system, which allows them to sustainably grow the Alberta PIC program bypass,” said Janneke van der Zee, general manager of ITS Canada. “It’s clear from the results that provincial officials made a good decision in choosing this technology for providing weigh station bypasses. It fulfills ITS Canada’s objective in achieving the highest and best possible use of the latest technology to improve efficiency of the Canadian highway transportation system and the safety of the motoring public.”

Brian Heath, president and CEO of Drivewyze, said as a result of adding Drivewyze, the number of sites offering weigh station bypass in Alberta has nearly tripled from 23 to 56. In the month of May alone, nearly 56,000 participating PIC member trucks received weigh station bypasses from Drivewyze in Alberta. Based on his company’s own studies of average weigh station pull ins, Heath estimates that those bypasses returned 1,134 hours of driving time to the drivers of participating Alberta fleets and saved their companies more than $126,000 in avoided fuel and operational costs.

“Our technology can stand on its own or as an addition to the existing technology commercial vehicle enforcement agencies use in offering weigh station bypass,” Heath said. “By utilizing the cellular network and the GPS-based geo-fencing capabilities Drivewyze offers, the Alberta PIC program not only delivers more bypass opportunities at more locations for members, but also opens the door to other future freight mobility and safety initiatives.

“We’re working on providing Alberta PIC members access to driver safety notifications and to electronic inspections in the near future,” Heath added.

Alberta PIC Director Andrew Barnes said members are excited to hear drivers may soon receive safety notifications alerting them to upcoming hazards such as curves in the road where high incidences of rollovers have occurred in the past. And electronic inspections will be a great opportunity for members to improve their safety scores without having to instruct drivers to pull into the weigh stations and ask for them, Barnes said.

“I think this award confirms and reinforces the belief we held 18 months ago that partnering with Drivewyze would provide our members a great opportunity to leverage the work they do in meeting the program requirements,” he added. The Alberta PIC program is operated by the Alberta Motor Transport Association under a partnership agreement with Alberta Transportation and the Alberta Justice and Solicitor General CVEB. To achieve PIC membership, carriers must undergo a successful national safety code audit, achieve certification, and complete quarterly safety reports.

“With all of the additional technology truck fleets have had to install with recent changes in HOS compliance, it’s good to see how Drivewyze can help PIC members and their drivers further leverage that technology as they work to maintain Alberta’s highest roadway safety ranking,” Barnes said.

While Drivewyze helps safe motor carriers save time and money, Jacquie Daumont, acting chief of the Alberta Justice and Solicitor General, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Branch, said it also helps her enforcement officers be more efficient. This greater efficiency allows them to focus their attention on those carriers needing it, Daumont said.

“The addition of Drivewyze will help our commercial vehicle inspection officers automate the processing of PIC members, so they can conduct inspections while still lowering the volume of trucks entering and exiting weigh stations,” she added. “As a result, they’ll be better able to deal with ever-increasing truck traffic in the province.”

The post ITS Canada Recognizes Alberta PIC For Expanding Bypass Opportunities for Truck Operators appeared first on Drivewyze.

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Lately, it seems there’s been a great deal of discussion about the development of the next generation of trucks. As we approach the 121st anniversary of the successful test of the world’s first diesel engine in 1897 by Rudolf Diesel, and the 94th anniversary of the debut of the world’s first truck powered by a diesel engine with direct fuel injection, it’s interesting to note all of the new diesel fuel alternatives currently under development.

Noted Silicon Valley entrepreneur and Stanford University lecturer Tony Seba predicted that by 2030, the advantages of electric power over diesel will force fleets to switch to electric vehicles (EVs). The futurist, who also penned the book “Clean Disruption of Energy and Transportation,” made the prediction at Transparency18, a two-day conference in Atlanta, produced by data analytics company FreightWaves in partnership with the Blockchain in Transport Alliance and Georgia Tech.

One futurist says electricity will disrupt diesel within 10 years; another says not so fast

“The 2020s will be the most disruptive decade in history,” Seba told conference-goers, as reported by Max Heine, editorial director of Overdrive: https://www.ccjdigital.com/forecast-disruptive-decade-will-include-massive-shift-to-e-trucks/ Heine also noted that Jason Schenker, chairman of the Futurist Institute, presented conference-goers a more pessimistic view about the future of EVs. Schenker pointed out that oil isn’t a rare enough commodity, however materials used in the production of batteries – a key component in EVs, almost certainly are.

Regardless of what the futurists may be trying to foretell, one thing is clear: while developers of cutting edge EV technology, like Tesla and Nikola Motors charge ahead, truck manufacturers are certainly not taking any chances at having their brands go the way of the dodo. In several instances, truck manufacturers have developed many new technologies that they have rolled out overseas and in Latin America, but not here in the United States because of public perception, legislation and existing infrastructure.

Still, a number of truck manufacturers have diesel alternatives for the U.S. market under development, which their dealers may eventually offer. For some trucking fleets and operators watching nervously as world events are causing diesel fuel prices to rise, perhaps this may be welcome news.

For the near future, a number of OEMs are developing major tweaks to their diesel-fueled combustion engines and integrated powertrains to accomplish major fuel efficiency gains. Looking further ahead and well into the 21st Century, many are developing trucks that can operate within a platoon, can assist the driver and can drive themselves. Some OEMs are making further advancements employing engines powered by diesel fuel alternatives and that won’t require emission treatment systems.

While all or nearly all of the major truck OEMs offer Cummins Westport natural gas-powered engines, consider these additional technology developments by several well-known and other not-so-well-known truck OEMs and equipment vendors:

  • Driver-assist and self-driving trucks: While autonomous trucks will likely use radar and cameras, which already provide the eyes for existing onboard safety systems, another technology called lidar, which stands for light detection and ranging, will play a major role in the further development of driver-assist and self-driving systems. Other industries and the military have used lidar for years in the development of autonomous vehicles. Lidar can scan areas around the truck through laser emitters and chipsets that can analyze the 3D scans of its surroundings. This allows the onboard computer to make better self-driving decisions. Previously, lidar suppliers couldn’t offer solid-state versions of the devices, which lack the moving parts of older systems, at a low enough price-point to make them affordable. Recently, that’s changed as Quanergy, Valeo and Velodyne have offered solid-state lidar in higher volumes making them more affordable for the trucking industry;
  • Level 4 autonomous trucks: Chinese company TuSimple, Peterbilt Motors Company and Nvidia are developing a Level 4 autonomous truck. Level 4 means that while the truck could drive itself, it would still require a human being to be at the wheel once it exits the highway. Three of the autonomous trucks successfully traveled about 10,000 miles between Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona, in field tests last year. The truck was showcased at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2018) in Las Vegas in January;
  • Electric-powered waste trucks: Peterbilt is developing all-electric Class 8 Model 579 day cab tractors and Model 520 refuse trucks using Meritor powertrains and TransPower battery systems. The Model 520 demonstration refuse truck was on display at Waste Expo in Las Vegas in April. Field tests are expected to take about a year;
  • Electric-powered over-the-road trucks: The Daimler Trucks North America Freightliner division unveiled two fully electric trucks, including an electric version of its flagship Cascadia tractor – the Freightliner eCascadia, and a smaller truck called the eM2 at its headquarters in Portland, Oregon, in June. The eCascadia features up to 730 peak horsepower. Its batteries provide 550 kilowatt hours (kWh) of usable capacity, allowing it travel up to 250 miles. The eCascadia’s batteries can also charge up to an 80 percent capacity in about 90 minutes giving drivers a range of 200 miles. The eCascadia is designed for local and regional operations. The smaller eM2, which is designed for local distribution, pickup and delivery, food and beverage delivery and final-mile logistics operations, features up to 480 peak horsepower. Its batteries offer 325 kWh of usable capacity, which translates into a range of up to 230 miles on a full charge. After being plugged in for 60 minutes, the eM2’s batteries can deliver a range of 184 miles on an 80-percent charge.
  • Hydrogen fuel cells: The Kenworth Zero Emissions Cargo Truck (ZECT), which appeared at CES 2018 in January, is a hydrogen fuel cell powered battery-electric vehicle with a current range of 100 miles. Its range can be extended though the installation of larger hydrogen fuel storage tanks. Development of the truck was funded through the Department of Energy’s Office of Efficiency and Renewable Energy, under the funding plan for zero-emissions cargo transport initiative, as well as the South Coast Air Quality Management District and the California Air Commission. It is soon expected to be deployed at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and operated by Los-Angeles-based port drayage company, Total Transportation Services Inc.;
  • Fuel economy rockets away on a Starship: Airflow Truck Co. in partnership with Shell Lubricants, is developing a Class 8 tractor-trailer combo called simply Starship, which promises to turbocharge fuel economy savings for truck fleets and operators;
  • Truck platooning: Peleton Technology Uber’s Advanced Technology Group, formerly known as Otto, has been developing self-driving truck technology for the past two years. In 2016, it field tested a self-driving truck that hauled Budweiser beer on a 120-mile run in Colorado. Peloton is also a frontrunner in the development of platooning technology;
  • Adapting self-driving technology currently in use: Since 2009, Google’s parent company Alphabet has been developing self-driving technology through Waymo. Recently, it has been adapting that technology for a truck that works much like the Uber self-driving truck, perhaps because a former Google self-driving tech executive left to start Otto;
  • Electric-powered medium-duty trucks: Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corp., a division of Daimler Trucks, are jointly developing a concept vehicle called the E-Fuso Vision One truck, which isn’t available yet for the U.S. market since there isn’t a large enough electric charging infrastructure;
  • Fuel economy on a mega diet: Meanwhile, Freightliner is developing the Freightliner Supertruck, which can currently travel nearly twice the distance on a single gallon of diesel fuel compared to most trucks on the road today – http://www.freightlinersupertruck.com/#main;
  • Here’s some Inspiration: Then there’s the autonomous Freightliner Inspiration, which Daimler introduced in a grandiose fashion with a public unveiling that featured what could be arguably called the biggest video presentation projected directly onto the face of the Hoover Dam;
  • DME: In partnership with Oberon Fuels, Mack Trucks has been exploring the use of dimethyl ether, or DME, a clean-burning alternative to diesel with field tests. Depending on the outcome of those test results, which are expected soon, interest in the alternative fuel may be re-ignited. The truck maker and its parent company, Volvo Trucks North America, abandoned earlier development plans when diesel fuel prices dropped and interest in alternative fuels waned.

The post Back to the Future: New Technologies under Development for Trucking Industry appeared first on Drivewyze.

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NOTE: The following is the first installment of an on-going series on the technologies that helped build and shape today’s trucking industry. This story looks at how and why the diesel engine was developed and the circumstances surrounding the mysterious death of its inventor before the engine that bared his name really took off.

The date was Feb. 17, 1897. The place was the Maschinenfabrik Augsburg manufacturing facility near Munich, Germany. The inventor of the diesel engine, Rudolf Diesel, knew the technology he had been developing for the past four years, and which he was introducing that day, had the potential to dramatically change how people and freight move across the globe. But it’s not clear if he could have foreseen just how much his invention would change things. After all, the diesel engine eventually became the lynchpin for an industry that hauled what would have likely seemed to him to be an unimaginable amount of cargo across the United States. More than 3.4 million Class 8 commercial trucks moved over 10 ½ billion tons of freight across the United States in 2017. And a vast number of those trucks were powered by the engine that bore his name. To move an equivalent amount of freight overseas in 1897 would have required nearly 2 million double-screw-propelled 300-foot-long steam freighters.

Let’s put it another way. With the ships of the U.S. Merchant Marine fleet having carried 4.4 million tons of freight in 1890, it would have taken the equivalent of nearly 2,400 U.S. Merchant Marine fleets to transport the same amount of cargo that diesel-powered commercial trucks carried across the United States in 2017. (Unfortunately, since we weren’t able to find how many ships the U.S. Merchant Marine operated in 1890, we can’t tell you how many ships that would have been).

If At First You Don’t Succeed…

Four years earlier, Rudolf’s initial attempts to produce a working engine that could surpass the omnipresent steam engine failed. However, the 30-something engineer trained at the Munich Polytechnic University, what is today called the Technische Universitat Munchen, knew through his knowledge of thermodynamics that his idea of burning fuel slowly, and at higher pressures, would work. Rudolf was the protégé of Carl von Linde, the head and founder of the thermodynamics laboratory at his alma mater in Munich. Rudolf came up with his idea for his compression engine from a fire pistol von Linde had been given as a present during a trip to Pinang Island in Southeast Asia and he used to light a cigarette. The young engineer was convinced he could come up with new technology that could replace the steam engine. Theoretically, he knew his invention could generate propulsion at far greater efficiency than the 10 percent the steam engine could achieve. Since it had far fewer moving parts than a gasoline-powered engine, Rudolf also knew this new diesel engine would be much more robust. And it would be cheaper to operate since it burned heavy oil.

After convincing the president of Maschinenfabrik Augsburg – the forerunner of MAN, to provide the equipment, manpower and funding to develop the engine, Rudolf set to work on it. For nearly four years, he continued that work, but didn’t come up with a prototype that offered satisfactory results until that fateful day in February of 1897. Powered by kerosene – or what would eventually be marketed as the No. 1 grade of diesel fuel, the 3-meter-high A-frame engine with the cylinder mounted on a crosshead, (a design element borrowed from the steam engine), and flywheel at the side, produced 18 horsepower at a remarkable efficiency of 26.2 percent. This performance outclassed all other forms of propulsion available at the time and it worked without requiring an ignition device, a boiler or a coal bunker.

Two German Manufacturers With Long Names Become MAN

A year after Rudolf developed his first working prototype engine, his company and Maschinenbaugesellschaft Nurnberg combined and eventually became Maschinenfabrik Augsburg Nurnberg or MAN. For the next several years, MAN engineers worked at perfecting the diesel engine to make it more viable for the market. They developed direct injection, exhaust turbocharging and added improved forms of combustion. During the first years of the 20th Century, MAN engineers did away with the crosshead design. This produced a substantial reduction in the weigh-to-horsepower ratio and dropped its fuel consumption by 23 percent.

Even the Best Engineers Don’t Always Make the Best Business Decisions

Failing to see the importance of this work in making his invention more commercially viable to a wider market, Rudolf grew increasingly frustrated by the work of the other MAN engineers and complained bitterly that few factories were up to the task of making his engine. Historian Daryl Worthington wrote in his article “The Mysterious Death of Rudolf Diesel,” posted on the New Historian website, that while Rudolf saw any further development as unnecessary mop-up work, other MAN engineers and company leaders knew it was quite necessary. They recognized that beyond its use in ships and ferries and as stationary power, diesel engines couldn’t work very well in road and rail vehicles due to design limitations.

The engine lacked the right accompanying powertrain, it was too heavy and its fuel compressor injection system too complicated. Six years after he developed the first commercially viable diesel engine, Rudolf mysteriously vanished during a crossing of the S.S. Dresden on the English Channel from Ghent, Belgium, to London, where he was scheduled to attend the Consolidated Diesel Manufacturing conference. His badly decomposed body was found floating in the North Sea several weeks later by the crew of a Dutch tugboat operating there. There was no room on the boat to store his body, so the crew gathered personal items from the corpse. Rudolf’s youngest son, Eugen, later identified the items as belonging to his father. Since the body was never recovered, an autopsy couldn’t be done to confirm the cause of death.

Suspicious Circumstances Surround the Death of (Rudolf) Diesel

Some, including members of Rudolf’s family, have never believed that the cause of death was suicide even though there’s some strong circumstantial evidence to support that conclusion. Even though worldwide license agreements for his diesel engine made him a millionaire, because of a series of poor business decisions, Diesel faced bankruptcy when he disappeared. His patents for the diesel engine in the United States expired in 2012, which meant he wouldn’t be getting as much revenue from licensing deals. Plus, he withdrew a large amount of cash and gave it to his family before leaving for the conference. And none of his bank accounts had enough money to cover interest payments on his debt due just two days after he left for the conference. Despite those circumstances, conspiracy theorists believe that the German government had Diesel killed because he was about to sell his diesel engine technology – a system used at the time in the construction of all submarines – to a British company.

Meanwhile war between Germany and the Austrian-Hungarian Empire and the rest of Europe led by Great Britain and France appeared more and more likely. The German Armed Forces Administration pressured MAN into abandoning its manufacturing license agreement with a Swiss automobile factory and ramping up production of trucks for the expected war effort. The company eventually halted all development work on the diesel engine.

Following the war, MAN engineers resumed that development and eventually solved the key roadblock to the diesel engine’s successful use as a truck engine – direct injection of fuel into the combustion chamber using a high-pressure pump. This refinement greatly simplified the engines and their maintenance. It also opened up the way for smaller engines and higher engine speeds.

MAN Introduces Machine at Berlin Auto Show

At the German Automobile Show in Berlin in 1924, MAN presented the first diesel truck equipped with a 4-cylinder engine with direct fuel injection. This engine:

  • Delivered 45 hp @ 1,050 rpm (crank shaft revolutions);
  • Consumed 200 grams of fuel per horsepower hour (or about 10 liters per hour assuming the engine burned No. 2 diesel fuel with a density of 0.84 kg per liter and not a heavier grade diesel fuel);
  • Weighed significantly less than the first commercially viable engine Diesel developed 27 years earlier. It was barely heavier than a conventional carburetor engine. (The Benz-Gaggenau S100 4-cylinder carburetor engine, which delivered 35 hp @1,200 rpm, weighed about 900 pounds).

Check out the original internal combustion engine patent from Rudolf Diesel officially patented on August 09, 1898. Original Patent 1898

Sources:

MAN Nutzfahrzeuge AG company archives – http://www.omnibusarchiv.de/include.php?path=content&mode=print&contentid=397

Dieselduck.info – “A brief biography of Rudolf Diesel,” authored by Martin Leduc, 1999, updated 2008, 2013 – http://www.dieselduck.info/historical/01%20diesel%20engine/rudolph_diesel.html#.WyxM8BJKjJ8

Car Magazine – “Diesel: From Coal to Common-Rail,” June 10, 2009 – http://www.carmag.co.za/technical/diesel-from-coal-from-coal-to-common-rail/

MAN Museum – https://museum.mandieselturbo.com/en/historical-figures/rudolf-diesel/rudolf-diesel—an-overview

New Historian – “The Mysterious Death of Rudolf Diesel,” posted by Daryl Worthington on Sept. 28, 2015 – https://www.newhistorian.com/the-mysterious-death-of-rudolf-diesel/4932/

The post Building Blocks of the Trucking Industry – the Diesel Engine appeared first on Drivewyze.

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Was it the Winton Gas Engine and Manufacturing Company, Fairbanks Morse and Company (Fairbanks-Morse) or Kenworth Truck Co. that developed the first commercial vehicle equipped with a diesel engine? While all three have claimed distinctions involving the diesel engine, one thing is clear, Winton built the first diesel engine in the United States.

In 2011, Alexander Winton, who made his fortune in building bicycles and automobiles, had built his first yacht equipped with a steam engine. Since it took a few hours to start the steam engine and get the boat underway, Winton wanted a better engine that wouldn’t take nearly as long to get started. First, he came up with a gas-powered engine and then in 1913, after Diesel’s U.S. patents expired, he developed his company’s first diesel engine. Losing out in the battle for dominance in building automobiles to Henry Ford, Winton eventually ceased production of automobiles in 1924 and concentrated on developing Winton Engine and Manufacturing Company to build marine and diesel powerplants. Eventually, he sold the engine manufacturing business to General Motors in 1930.

Meanwhile, Fairbanks Morse Company, which started as a weighing scale manufacturer in the early 1800s, and diversified into windmills, coffee grinders, feed mills, and farm tractors, entered the large engine business following the expiration of Rudolf Diesel’s U.S. patent in 1912. By 1914, the company was producing the single-cylinder Model Z hot-bulb diesel engine in 1-, 3-, and 6-hp ratings and eventually ratings up to 20-hp. Over the next 30 years, the company built more than half million units of the two-stroke semi-diesel engine, which used a red-hot bulb chamber to ignite the fuel.

Fairbanks Morse also developed a range of Model Y diesel engines for trucks with one to six cylinders and horsepower ratings 10 to 200. The company’s Model Y-VA became the company’s first high-compression, cold-start full diesel engine, which uses mechanical compression to heat up the air and ignite the fuel in the combustion chamber.

Two years after General Motors acquired Winton Engine and Manufacturing Co., and while it was still working on perfecting the Winton diesel engine for commercial vehicles, Kenworth Truck Co. engineer Murray Aitken drew up plans for the company’s first production model equipped at the plant with a diesel engine.  The plans called for equipping the Kenworth truck with a 100-hp Cummins HA-4 diesel engine and an exhaust pipe rising vertically above the truck cab. Prior to the assembly of this first diesel engine-equipped truck at its relatively new factory in Seattle’s Belltown area, Kenworth had retrofitted gasoline-powered trucks with diesel engines.

Sources:

Getloaded.com – “Who Invented the First Semi-Truck?” Sept. 12, 2014, by Timothy Brady, http://www.getloaded.com/load-board-blog/post/Who-Invented-the-First-Semi-Truck

TruckTrend Network – “General Motors’ Diesel History – Baselines. Long Before The 6.2L And Duramax…” by Bill Senefsky, March 1, 2006 – http://www.trucktrend.com/cool-trucks/0603dp-gm-diesel-history/

Dieselduck.info – “Detroit Diesel – North American Diesel icon,” by James Jensen, 2011, http://www.dieselduck.info/historical/01%20diesel%20engine/detroit%20diesel/index.html#.Wyxo2RJKjJ8  This article on Dieselduck.info was first published as “Jimmy Diesels – A Short History,” by James Jensen, in the Western Mariner Magazine, April 2011.

“Kenworth: The First 75 Years,” by Doug Siefkes and Kenworth Truck Co., Documentary Book Publishers, 1998

The post First Semi-Truck in the United States to Get Loaded on Diesel appeared first on Drivewyze.

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As of June 4th 2018, Drivewyze service has resumed at the Castaic I-5 NB site in California. Drivers may have been experiencing greater than normal pullin rates since December 2017.

Construction on the weigh-in-motion is now complete allowing for Drivewyze PreClear to access vehicle weights and allocate bypasses at a conventional rate.

Thank you and keep safe,

Drivewyze

The post Weigh In Motion Construction Complete at CA Castaic I-5 NB appeared first on Drivewyze.

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Drivewyze is very excited to share that on the 7th of June 2018 the company was inducted into the TECTERRA Hall of Fame, celebrating Alberta based companies that have that have been successful in achieving excellence in technology development and commercialization.

The award was presented at the NORTH51 Connect awards gala in Calgary Alberta, Canada that celebrated Canada’s best and brightest in geospatial innovation.

Read more about the event, the other winners and TECTERRA here – http://www.tecterra.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/N51-Connect-Launch-Release-FINAL.pdf

The post Drivewyze Inducted Into TECTERRA’s Hall of Fame appeared first on Drivewyze.

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The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s 2018 International Roadcheck is right around the corner, taking place from June 5 to 7 this year. Some Drivewyze-enrolled trucks may experience an increase in weigh station pull-ins during this time, as many stations will be looking to see as many trucks as possible.

This year, knowing whether your operation is hours-of-service (HOS) compliant will be very important. That’s because the alliance chose to concentrate on HOS compliance for this year’s three-day Roadcheck event.

Our in-house experts, many of whom have commercial vehicle enforcement experience, offer these five primary recommendations in preparing your drivers and your fleet operations for this year’s Roadcheck:

  1.  Know whether your trucks are equipped with electronic logging devices or ELDs or with properly “grandfathered” automated onboard recording devices or AOBRDs;
  2.  For trucks equipped with AOBRDs – know the exemption status and carry documentation that supports the exemption. Drivers should know that confusion among law enforcement officers can occur when the AOBRD manufacturer offers similar devices in an ELD platform;
  3.  For trucks equipped with ELDs, drivers should carry U.S. Department of Transportation or DOT reference cards from the manufacturer certifying compliance with the ELD mandate – (FMCSR 49CFR 395.15). Cards should also provide instructions for transferring RODS to law enforcement officers, changing the driving mode, reviewing not only the current duty status, but also the data collected during the current eight-day period, on-duty time remaining and unassigned driving time, among other things;
  4.  Become familiar with when and how to properly annotate logs;
  5.  Always practice honesty when filling out RODS. During inspections, things would go far, far better for drivers were they to make mistakes using annotations than they would were they to misidentify their records of duty status. When drivers assign time to the wrong categories, commercial vehicle inspectors may assume an intent to deceive even when no such intent existed. That could open up fleets and their drivers to potential false log violations, which are far more serious than honest mistakes.

One common issue fleets and their drivers will want to review sometime before June 5 is the potential misuse of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s four special driving categories allowing drivers to operate their trucks while off-duty – authorized personal use, yard moves, adverse operations or oilfield operations. Joe DeLorenzo, director of FMCSA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance, told Overdrive’s Todd Dills that personal conveyance is often used as a catch-all for circumstances it was never intended. Around mid- to late-November, the FMCSA plans to issue further clarification of personal conveyance in light of the ELD mandate in a Federal Register notice.

When unavoidable circumstances, such as delays at a shipper’s or receiver’s loading dock or searching for a legal place to park, require drivers to operate their trucks beyond their on-duty limits, employing honesty instead of misapplying one of those special categories can go a long way with commercial vehicle enforcement officers.

What is the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s 2018 International Roadcheck?

During this three-day event, commercial motor vehicle inspectors in jurisdictions throughout the United States and Canada conduct a flurry of North American Standard Level I inspections of commercial motor vehicles and drivers over a 72-hour period. A Level I inspection involves a 37-step procedure that includes an examination of both driver operating requirements and vehicle mechanical fitness.

Inspectors look closely at various components on the trucks and trailers including cargo securement, which was last year’s enforcement focus, brakes, tire and wheels, and lighting devices. Here’s a link to the eight recommendations in preparation for the 2017 International Roadcheck – https://drivewyze.com/blog/safety/8-tips-survive-international-roadcheck/ With the exception of the ELD-related recommendations, many are still applicable in helping you prepare for this year’s event.

The post Time Keeps on Slippin’ at CVSA’s 2018 International Roadcheck appeared first on Drivewyze.

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The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s 2018 International Roadcheck is right around the corner, taking place from June 5 to 7 this year. Some Drivewyze-enrolled trucks may experience an increase in weigh station pull-ins during this time, as many stations will be looking to see as many trucks as possible.

This year, knowing whether your operation is hours-of-service (HOS) compliant will be very important. That’s because the alliance chose to concentrate on HOS compliance for this year’s three-day Roadcheck event.

Our in-house experts, many of whom have commercial vehicle enforcement experience, offer these five primary recommendations in preparing your drivers and your fleet operations for this year’s Roadcheck:

  1.  Know whether your trucks are equipped with electronic logging devices or ELDs or with properly “grandfathered” automated onboard recording devices or AOBRDs;
  2.  For trucks equipped with AOBRDs – know the exemption status and carry documentation that supports the exemption. Drivers should know that confusion among law enforcement officers can occur when the AOBRD manufacturer offers similar devices in an ELD platform;
  3.  For trucks equipped with ELDs, drivers should carry U.S. Department of Transportation or DOT reference cards from the manufacturer certifying compliance with the ELD mandate – (FMCSR 49CFR 395.15). Cards should also provide instructions for transferring RODS to law enforcement officers, changing the driving mode, reviewing not only the current duty status, but also the data collected during the current eight-day period, on-duty time remaining and unassigned driving time, among other things;
  4.  Become familiar with when and how to properly annotate logs;
  5.  Always practice honesty when filling out RODS. During inspections, things would go far, far better for drivers were they to make mistakes using annotations than they would were they to misidentify their records of duty status. When drivers assign time to the wrong categories, commercial vehicle inspectors may assume an intent to deceive even when no such intent existed. That could open up fleets and their drivers to potential false log violations, which are far more serious than honest mistakes.

One common issue fleets and their drivers will want to review sometime before June 5 is the potential misuse of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s four special driving categories allowing drivers to operate their trucks while off-duty – authorized personal use, yard moves, adverse operations or oilfield operations. Joe DeLorenzo, director of FMCSA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance, told Overdrive’s Todd Dills that personal conveyance is often used as a catch-all for circumstances it was never intended. Around mid- to late-November, the FMCSA plans to issue further clarification of personal conveyance in light of the ELD mandate in a Federal Register notice.

When unavoidable circumstances, such as delays at a shipper’s or receiver’s loading dock or searching for a legal place to park, require drivers to operate their trucks beyond their on-duty limits, employing honesty instead of misapplying one of those special categories can go a long way with commercial vehicle enforcement officers.

What is the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s 2018 International Roadcheck?

During this three-day event, commercial motor vehicle inspectors in jurisdictions throughout the United States and Canada conduct a flurry of North American Standard Level I inspections of commercial motor vehicles and drivers over a 72-hour period. A Level I inspection involves a 37-step procedure that includes an examination of both driver operating requirements and vehicle mechanical fitness.

Inspectors look closely at various components on the trucks and trailers including cargo securement, which was last year’s enforcement focus, brakes, tire and wheels, and lighting devices. Here’s a link to the eight recommendations in preparation for the 2017 International Roadcheck – https://drivewyze.com/blog/safety/8-tips-survive-international-roadcheck/ With the exception of the ELD-related recommendations, many are still applicable in helping you prepare for this year’s event.

The post Time Keeps on Slippin’ at CVSA’s 2018 International Roadcheck appeared first on Drivewyze.

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Time is money, and nowhere is that more evident than in Florida. There are weigh stations, agriculture check stations and there are toll roads — 719 miles of them to be exact. If you don’t have bypass, you’re losing time. And, while Drivewyze has been helping our customers with weigh station and ag bypass, truckers can take advantage of another bypass service to fly through road toll collection sites. It’s called SunPass.

Florida has more toll roads than any other state according to a recent report from the Orlando Sentinel citing federal data. Traveling through the Sunshine State could be stop-and-go if not for SunPass, Florida Department of Transportation’s innovative Prepaid Toll Program.

According to SunPass Program Director Carlos Vargas, the goal behind SunPass is to save motorists — passenger and commercial vehicles alike — operating costs and travel time through the convenience of electronic toll collection and non-stop travel.

SunPass clients pay for the cheapest tolls available, since SunPass toll rates are lower than cash and TOLL-BY-PLATE rates. “Commercial vehicle (operator)s always pay the lowest toll available,” confirms Carlos, “and will not receive invoices (higher toll rates), which include administrative fees.”

Although 96 percent of vehicles utilizing the system are passenger vehicles, Florida’s Turnpike is a crucial route for commercial vehicles. Efficiency comes with a price — and using SunPass is less expensive than throwing coins into the proverbial toll bucket. For instance, SunPass’s toll calculator, shows that a trip from Orlando to Kissimmee costs a five-axle truck $5.36 in tolls utilizing SunPass – and $7 with cash. Not huge, but it adds up over frequent trips.

The real savings is in time management — not having to stop at toll stations along your route, and not having to mess with coins for the bucket, or to get in line to see an attendant with cash (no credit cards accepted) and wait for a receipt. SunPass toll traffic still must slow at toll plazas, but it doesn’t come to a complete stop. As vehicles pass through SunPass-only lanes at up to 25 mph, toll plaza sensors communicate with a transponder and deduct the toll charge from the users prepaid account.

SunPass Commercial Prepaid accounts are available for commercial business or companies. Once approved, the Commercial SunPass account activation requires a $50 minimum toll deposit. One advantage for fleets — transponders issued to commercial accounts can be interchanged between vehicles, despite the type of vehicle or axle count. Just don’t lose them!

So where does the money go? To good use! The Turnpike’s maintenance programs are comprehensive in nature, resulting in one of the best-maintained roadway systems in the country. Technology has also been installed to create a safer traveling environment — among the assets are Wrong-Way Driver Detection, Rapid Incident Scene Clearance, Specialty Towing and Roadside Repair, and Road Weather Information Stations (RWIS), which gathers environmental data such as visibility, wind and precipitation to forecast weather conditions that may affect road conditions.

So, if Florida is on your delivery schedule, check out the “smooth sailing” experience of SunPass, and be sure to take advantage of Drivewyze PreClear, which is operational at 55 fixed interstate locations. (A map with all of the active weigh stations in Florida and across the country is available on the Drivewyze web site: https://drivewyze.com/coverage-map/)

If you’re not hauling any agricultural products or operating trailers with refrigeration units, and are running Drivewyze on supported Android, Omnitracs, PeopleNet, Pegasus Transflo, and Rand McNally platforms, you can receive bypasses at an additional 36 Florida agriculture inspection sites. As part of its standard subscription, Drivewyze offers bypass opportunities at Florida agriculture inspection sites as an added value. For more details, visit https://drivewyze.com/florida-agriculture/.

The post Drivewyze and SunPass Offer Truck Drivers Smooth Sailing appeared first on Drivewyze.

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Before Preparing Your Truck for Summer, Let’s See What Ole’ Man Winter Has Done

Note: The following is a two-part series on getting your trucks ready for summer. This first part offers some ideas about what to look for when checking what Ole’ Man Winter has done to your truck. It may be especially relevant for those of you who have experienced the full brunt of this last winter. (These ideas may also help you prepare for the 2018 CVSA Roadcheck, which takes place June 5-7.)

If you had driven much in the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast regions this winter, you would probably have screamed if you had heard Mother Nature planned a fifth Nor’Easter last month to celebrate Easter.

Ah, after four of them in three weeks? No thanks.

Fortunately, that gigantic ocean storm that developed offshore New England and produced offshore swells up to 42 feet high just before Easter, didn’t bring another N-bomb. National Weather Service said it formed far enough out in the Atlantic to spare the East Coast from anything other than big waves.

Of course, those of you who drive in the Midwest and Northeast know Mother Nature wasn’t about to let you off that easy as she gave all you’all another wallop with Winter Storm Xanto (pronounced ZAN-toe) in mid-April.

Well, here’s some happier thoughts – summer is now just around the corner – just a few weeks away. As you think about how you’ll want to spend your summer vacation, now may be the time to also think about what you’ll need to do with your trucks to be prepared for summer.

But, first things first – if you spent a lot of time dodging those a-four-mentioned monster storms, or driving through their aftermath, consider the abuse and damage your trucks may have encountered. Beyond the day-to-day issues you might discover during daily vehicle inspections, consider how winter conditions, particularly during brutal winters like this past one, can negatively impact various truck and trailer systems and components:

1. Air system. Consider the moisture that cold air brought along with it when your compressor drew it in this winter. If enough moisture gets past the air dryer, condensation can build up in the air tanks. From there the moisture can travel downstream to the brake system and other connected technologies. Manually drain the air tanks. This should be done every three months for a typical line haul truck. More frequently when it gets really cold.

2. Brake system. If your truck’s air system froze and you had to use alcohol or similar de-icing, manually drain the system’s air tanks if it doesn’t have an automatic drain valve. If you find an excessive amount of water and/or oil, it may be a sign that the system needs a new air dryer cartridge. Inspect the glad-hand seals and hoses for cracks, missing sections, chaffing or damage. Examine the spring brake chambers looking for signs of corrosion from road salts, chemicals and other contaminants and check the spring brake chamber’s stroke indicator. Check CVSA guidelines to determine the maximum allowable stroke, which is based on the chamber size and type. Those wheel-ends with measurements beyond the maximum allowable stroke are considered out-of-adjustment and should be replaced. Remember, do NOT try to adjust this manually – it’s an automatic.

3. Fifth wheel slider components and locking mechanisms. Check the kingpin lock and plate for wear and function. If the fasteners on either side of the fifth wheel’s coupler assembly, including those on the mounting to the frame or the mounting plates and pivot brackets, are missing or ineffective, repair that pronto. Same holds true if the latching fasteners on either side of the sliders are ineffective or if any fore or aft stop is missing or not securely attached. Clean and remove the old grease and replace with an NLGI Grade 2, lithium-based grease. This type of grease has robust anti-corrosion and antiwear additives and because its synthetic it’s easier to pump and has stronger staying power while in service. A common mistake is to apply grease on the top plate and connector believing that it will all work around during the engagement. But that can create areas where there’s too much lubrication and other areas with not enough. When applying the grease, the best method is to apply a thin layer of grease starting at low end of the fifth wheel and about two-thirds of the way up the fifth wheel. Avoid applying excessive grease that will just end up on the floor or on the truck frame during engagement.

4. Running lights and tail lights. Even if your lamps light up, check for cracked, punctured or broken housings, or blown seals. Moisture and clouding inside the lamp housing is a clear sign that it needs to be replaced. Better to replace it now than to get sidelined at a CVSA Roadcheck site or at a weigh station.

5. Tires. Check the air pressure on all of your tires. Tire pressure drops with the ambient temperature, as much as 10 psi for every 20-degree drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Now that it’s warmer, it’s possible your tires are now over-inflated, which can lead to premature or irregular wear at the tire center. At the extreme, it can lead to a blowout or it can be dangerous for your technician when it comes time to remove them.  You may also want to check and calibrate your pressure gauge to be sure it’s giving you or your drivers the correct readings. Over-inflated tires are also more susceptible to damage from road debris or potholes – which can be pretty common, particularly after the winter we’ve had.

6. Minor body damage and collision repair. You might be tempted to overlook that cracked or damaged fender or other minor, cosmetic issue, or have it repaired at a shop that uses untrained technicians and takes shortcuts. Don’t. It’s not worth it. Modern truck exterior design relies on advanced components and materials unheard of just a few years ago. It’s not uncommon for OEMs to use proprietary composites or metals in their design. In the long-run ignoring minor body or collision damage or doing repairs on the cheap could end up costing you a lot more when the issue becomes bigger or when it comes time to sell your truck. Besides that, unrepaired damage or improperly done repairs just look bad and convey the wrong image. Commercial vehicle enforcement officers are also more likely to take a harder look at your truck and trailer.

The post 6 Tips for the Annual CVSA Roadcheck appeared first on Drivewyze.

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