This year will end strong for the transportation industry, but can truck drivers expect to see the same growth in 2019? First, let’s take a look back. 2018 was booming – the economy is healthy and there are more and more trucks on the road. Most truckers have finally transitioned to the new electronic logging devices. Driver salaries are slowly climbing to where they need to be. Looking ahead, industry experts are predicting a slowdown in the economy for 2019 – not recession-style lows, but not as prosperous as 2018. However, they see truck drivers benefiting from more options for a work-life balance, and a supreme court case could potentially improve their rights when it comes to disagreements with employers. Across the industry, we’ll see more data collection and technology improvements. These advancements will make transportation safer and more efficient for everyone. With that said, let’s delve into the details of trucking trends for 2019.
Top Five Trucking Trends for 2019 That Drivers Should Watch
AllTruckJobs sat down with several industry experts, from lawyers to VPs. Here’s what they said are the top five trucking trends for 2019!
1. New Prime Inc. Vs. Oliveira supreme court case
The supreme court recently heard a case involving a driver and a trucking company. The original dispute is that driver Dominic Oliveira wasn’t being paid fairly by his company, so he tried to take them to court. However, the company said he wasn’t allowed to take them to court, based on some fine print in his contract. Now, they are debating whether or not this driver even has the right to stick up for himself and sue his employer. The argument made it all the way to the supreme court. The final decision could really impact how much power drivers have moving forward. Although it can be a little confusing, listen below to Oliveira’s attorney, Jennifer Bennett from Public Justice, explain the ins and outs of this court case!
“That’s the thing I think is really important about this case and this kind of case – it allows drivers to band together. I think in general, both in court and we’ve seen… there’s recently been attempts to pass legislation that would be harmful to truck drivers… and truck drivers and others banded together to fight it. I think it shows the importance of the power that drivers have when they band together and how hard some companies are fighting to prevent them from doing that.” – Jennifer Bennet
2. ELDs and data collection
Now that most drivers are using the ELDs, we’ll start to see how the data the devices collect will help the trucking industry. Dean Croke, chief insight officer of FreightWaves, explains how he expects the information from ELDs will help to make the trucking industry more efficient going forward. For example, companies will be able to see which roads make better time, where they’re losing time, and make changes accordingly.
“ELDs, they’re a very rich data source. If you said what was going to be the one big trend next year with ELDs, beyond the need to be compliant with the regulations for the old devices, I think it will be a lot of the people that have these devices will find ways to generate more insight from the data that comes off them. I think that’s going to be the big change next year.” – Dean Croke
3. More developments in autonomous technology
Although Ben Schill, vice president of Paper Transport, Inc. doesn’t expect autonomous trucks driving themselves around in 2019, he does expect to see more movement when it comes to autonomous features in trucks. He thinks the industry will see improvements in autonomous technology, similar to the locomotive industry. This will make both truckers and other drivers on the road safer.
“I truly believe that we’re going to start moving in the direction of other industries, such as you know, the airline industry or the locomotive industry, where there’s more automation around certain aspects that ultimately leads to a safer work environment for our professional drivers and the motoring public.” – Ben Schill
4. Economic forecast
Although the economy was really strong this year, Croke predicts that this trend won’t trickle into 2019. Based on what he’s seeing, he expects a bit of a slowdown in the goods that need to be transported. There are several reasons for this – from fuel prices to tariff increases between the United States and China. Listen below to get his full economic forecast for 2019!
“There’s no question that there are some signs of a global slow down. We’re looking at decreasing oil prices, the container shipping rates all around the world are decreasing, there is geopolitical activity in the middle east that’s pointing towards a slowdown in oil production. So, I just think generally, I don’t know that 2018 will be a year that I would say will continue next year.” – Dean Croke
5. Work-life balance for drivers
The final of the five trucking trends for 2019 is more work-life balance for truckers. This is good news for drivers, especially millennials. Many younger generations want to get into the trucking industry but are intimidated by the long-haul, over-the-road lifestyle. Schill predicts that companies will create more and more home daily jobs to make a healthy work-life balance available to drivers who want it.
“What I believe is probably going to be one of the biggest changes that professional drivers are going to start to see is an accelerated shift toward more frequent home time. Whether it’s home daily or home multiple times a week.” – Ben Schill
PODCAST! Hear from the experts about the trucking trends for 2019
TRUCKING TRENDS FOR 2019 Big Rig Banter EP 22 2018 - YouTube
What big changes do you think 2019 will bring to the trucking industry? Share with us in the comments below!
It’s about the same for every trucker. They spend long days on the road with few breaks, only to fight for a safe spot to sleep at night. There are dangers of shady characters lurking at stops across the nation. Plus, drivers are sometimes victim to one of the most expensive problems in the industry. We’re talking about cargo theft.
In 2017, reports of cargo theft actually decreased, according to Cargonet. A total of 741 cargo thefts were reported to the firm last year in the US and Canada, with an average value loss of nearly $200,000. The number of cargo thefts in 2017 was actually 12 percent lower than in 2016. The firm also recorded another 1,500 stolen tractors, trailers, or intermodal chassis and containers during the year.
Age-Old Attacks on a Modern Industry
Being somewhat romanticized, cargo theft has been around for centuries. Consider the times of bandits attacking trading roads or pirates seizing ships at sea. These crimes have merely evolved into the highly organized, international crime syndicates we see today.
The most common states to experience cargo theft are Florida, California, and Texas. Almost half of all thefts occur between Friday and Sunday. An estimated 61 percent of these thefts happened at official rest stops. So, just who is behind all of this?
For one, states with a high reported incidence of cargo theft are not random. Thieves need to keep their operation as streamlined as possible, so most stolen cargo ends up at shipping ports exporting to countries in South America. After that, thieves sell the stolen goods into black market distribution channels. Understanding the way that cargo thieves plan and accomplish their attacks can help dispatchers, truckers, and truck stop owners protect themselves against these crimes.
Cargo theft can occur at the various stages of transport.
Cargo Theft – Easy Targets and Hard Consequences
Most of the time, thieves target goods they can easily resell. First, they usually gather information on industrial parks or the distribution facility where the targeted cargo is made or stored. Through surveillance and sometimes even visiting the facilities undercover, perpetrators will begin to devise ways to get around alarm systems or certain security measures. Some better-established crime syndicates may even have their own warehouses available to house the stolen cargo. Others make an attempt to quickly transfer the goods into their own trailers.
To ensure that no one is tracking them, some thieves will actually dump the goods somewhere random to collect later. As soon as they believe that no one followed them, they will break down the product to resell on the black market. This process includes changing packaging, re-labeling boxes, or even creating paperwork to facilitate the cargo’s movement out of the country.
Some of the most highly targeted shipments are pharmaceuticals, consumer electronics, apparel, and food. With current economic crises, food and bottled water have seen a sharp increase in the frequency of reported thefts. As expected, thefts of certain goods rise and fall with global market fluctuations. This negative effect ripples throughout the economy.
The proper surveillance can make the difference between cargo theft and a secure business.
Some estimate that these thefts cost somewhere in the tens of billions of dollars. However, calculating the exact number is difficult since crimes often go unreported. This is because companies who are victims of theft then risk tarnishing their reputations in the public eye. Current or potential customers may start to think that the company lacks the proper security standards and protocols.
Fighting International Cargo Theft with Local Efforts
To combat this issue, the National Cargo Theft Task Force pulled together the efforts of law enforcement, insurance agencies, and various trucking companies. Of the possible solutions offered, technology is the deciding factor in preventing thefts and reclaiming stolen goods. GPS tracking tools and geofencing solutions ensure vehicles remain on their ascribed routes. This alerts dispatchers of any foul play or funny business. Some devices even allow vehicles to be immobilized remotely and recovered.
Besides the push for higher tech in trucks industry-wide, be sure to cover the basics with various locks and by executing regular safety practices. Remaining alert and responding to potentially suspicious activities can make a difference in how vulnerable a company’s assets are. There is no sure-fire way to prevent cargo theft. However, thoroughly screening employees and knowing the ins and outs of your supply chain can only help with security. Cargo theft may not be an overnight fix, but, you’ll at least be watching when thieves rear their ugly heads.
PODCAST: Tips for Preventing Cargo Theft
AllTruckJobs’ podcast, BigRigBanter, recently released an episode on cargo theft. Check out these various tips for preventing cargo theft in the trucking industry!
Most people would be jealous of a driver’s work environment. Not only do they get to hit the open road, but they also get to stay off their feet while doing it. While those engaging in careers like nursing or retail where they often spend hours on end on his or her feet, truckers enjoy the freedom of sitting during a shift. However, taking a load off while working isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. In fact, sitting for prolonged periods of time can cause some serious issues. This is why posture is so important when you’re spending long periods of time in the cab. Bad posture while driving can lead to neck, back, and leg issues that could leave you in serious pain while you’re on the road. Below we’ll take a look at some great tips for combating bad posture while driving.
Combating Bad Posture While Driving
Adjust Your Seat
Sounds like a no-brainer, right? Well, unfortunately, many drivers have a seat position that’s causing back discomfort. One of the most difficult things is diagnosing what exactly is causing your back pain. In many cases, truckers won’t actually feel pain while on the road, but as soon as they stop to rest or stretch, then they begin to take notice of some serious back pain. You might feel comfortable in your seat right now, but it’s worth adjusting it to see if it could be the truck for combating bad posture while driving. We tend to slouch when driving because it’s what feels most comfortable. Unfortunately, it could do some serious damage in the long run.
Use Lumbar Support
No, it’s not a pool noodle or a weird pillow for your dog. A lumbar support actually could be exactly what you need when combating bad posture while driving. These are low-cost round pillows that can be used while sitting to help maintain the forward curve in your low back. The pillow pushes your lower back forward to maintain correct posture. If your car does not have in-built lumbar support into the seat, consider using a rolled-up towel or a small pillow instead. Just make sure that you are not over pronouncing the curve of your lumbar arch. You can even use lumbar support while you’re out of the cab. Many truckers will use it when eating or relaxing at home.
It might not seem like driving a truck is an extremely intensive gig, but it’s important that you limber up before, during, and after you hop in the cab. Even our pal Troy Thunder knows a thing or two about working out while on the road. You can even stretch while on the road. In order to maintain could posture, some truckers will arch his or her back so they’re overstretching. This will train the body to maintain a similar position and will create a much more comfortable ride. When in doubt, get out! The easiest thing for combating bad posture while driving is to actually get out of your rig and stretch. Whether you’re stopping to drop off a load, grab a bite to eat, or simply taking a few minutes to enjoy the sights, make sure to get out and stretch. Just a few minutes of stretching can help you feel energized and can certainly help deal with persistent back pain.
Watch What You Wear
This might seem like an odd request, but what you wear actually can have a big impact on your posture. Tight fitting clothing can often be restraining and at the end of the day, it’s just plain uncomfortable. This is why it’s important that you try to wear loose fitting clothing that gives you a full range of motion. Not only will it help with posture, but it’s good for driver safety as well.
If you’ve got any other tips or tricks for combating bad posture while driving, feel free to drop them in the comments below!
Some roads are longer than others, and those in the trucking industry know that anything can be waiting around the bend. Sometimes, things happen on the road that are beyond our control. In these instances, it’s important to know that there is someone out there who cares. BigRigBanter, a trucking podcast powered by AllTruckJobs, interviewed several trucking industry charities in the month of November, all of which offer different services to truck drivers in the event of an emergency. Trucker Charity Inc. is one of the charities interviewed – check out these four things you should know about them!
Four Things to Know about Trucker Charity Inc.
Hear the full interview with Trucker Charity here!
Lance Wood is the president, founder, and CEO of Trucker Charity Inc. He started the organization in xx because xx.
2. What does Trucker Charity do?
Trucker Charity provides emergency assistance to truckers on the road, whether it’s getting them help if their truck breaks down to help them get home in the event of an emergency. It also does what is called The Final Ride, helping transport home a trucker’s body if he or she dies on the road. One thing the charity doesn’t help with is medical bills. A unique thing that the organization does – which is now 50 percent of what they do – is life coaching. What is life coaching, you ask?
What is life coaching?
Wood described life coaching as effective listening. He explained that instead of venting to friends or family, who may persuade you or have a personal interest in your decisions, life coaches can listen and advise objectively. Truckers call the charity to talk about whatever – “It could be anything. Life’s full of problems,” Wood said. Some of the life coaches are certified, will others are not. For example, Wood specializes in addiction coaching, which is actually a growing issue in the industry. Addiction is “that little black sheep one wants to talk about,” Wood said. His organization educates drivers on the subject so that they understand they are “federally protected if they get help before they start failing drug tests.”
Regardless of a driver’s struggles, they can call Trucker Charity 24 hours a day, seven days a week to chat. “They just want someone to talk to,” Wood said.
3. How many people use Trucker Charity?
On average, Trucker Charity assists 156 people per year. However, this year the numbers are slightly less than normal, with a total of about 88 people. These stats do not include how many people call in for life coaching. It’s not unusual that the numbers have dropped, even though there are more drivers on the road, Wood clarified.
“When the economy is good, there’s less need for what we do,” Wood said. “Trucking is booming right now.”
4. How do you get in touch with Trucker Charity?
Trucker Charity’s services, especially the life coaching aspect, are extremely valuable to the trucking industry because not all drivers have someone that they can call at all hours of the day. If anyone needs assistance from Trucker Charity, whether it be simple to vent or something more complicated, like help with an emergency, they can call the organization at 888-523-0087 or visit the website:
Trucking Industry Charities: Listen here!
Trucker Charity is one of many nonprofits out there that are dedicated to helping truck drivers. Check out BigRigBanter’s episode about trucking industry charities, which includes interviews with Truckers Final Mile, Operation Roger, and St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund.
TRUCKING INDUSTRY CHARITIES Big Rig Banter EP 21 2018 - YouTube
Which of the trucking industry charities is your favorite? Share with us in the comments below!
Let’s face it, driving on an empty road at night time is kind of creepy, even if you’re in a big truck. Truckers, if you’re on the road this Halloween, you might want to avoid these haunted roads! Or, if you’re curious what these roads are all about, drive them at your own risk. Here are some of the most haunted roads in the United States!
Six of the Most Haunted Roads in America
1. Route 666/491 – New Mexico, Colorado, Utah
Also called the “Devil’s Highway,” this one probably speaks for itself. This highway was so spooky that its name was changed from Route 666 to Route 491 because some people believed that the highway was cursed. Not to mention there was a high fatality rate along the New Mexico portion. The rumors say that ghosts on this highway could do anything from climb into the cab with you, to try to steal your soul. However, since the route was renumbered in 2003, there have been fewer scary things happening.
2. Boy Scout Lane – Stevens Point, Wisconsin
There are a number of dark rumors surrounding this 3-mile stretch of road in the woods. Rumor has it that back in the 1950s, a group of Boy Scouts ventured into these woods for a camping trip, never to return. While the state has no record of anything gruesome happening, there are different stories floating around that explain the boys’ disappearances. Some say there was a forest fire, while more morbid tales tell of murder at the hands of the bus driver. The boys’ ghosts allegedly haunt the woods surrounding the road. Luckily for truckers, this is a privately-owned road and is off limits to the public. Still, if you find yourself near Stevens Point, you may want to stay as far away from this road as possible!
Boy Scout Lane
3. Clinton Road – West Milford, New Jersey
This roadway in rural New Jersey is rumored to be full of paranormal activity, from a ghost boy to phantom headlights. Additionally, this road has long been associated with the dark side, from the KKK to the Jersey Devil. As if the paranormal associations aren’t spooky enough, the road itself is just downright dangerous. It’s pitch black at night without any street lights, and there are several sharp turns. It’s probably in your best interest to avoid this road at all costs, especially on Halloween.
4. Bloods Point Road – Boone County, Illinois
This haunted road has a bit more of a lighthearted legend. According to rumors, this road is full of ghost vehicles like big rigs, school buses, and even police cars. Allegedly, these ghost vehicles create perpetual rush hour traffic along the road – a truck driver’s worst nightmare! Let’s be honest, some truckers may think that heavy traffic is just as scary as a ghost.
5. Kelly Road – Ohioville, Pennsylvania
This road may be only a mile or so long, but it has no shortage of spookiness. The story here is that any animal who crosses the road instantly turns rabid and violent. Not only that, but there are reports of strange noises and weird lights coming from the woods surrounding the street.
6. The Devil’s Promenade – Hornet, Missouri
If this road’s name isn’t enough to freak you out, maybe the “spook light” will. Described as an orange ball of light, ranging from the size of a baseball to a basketball, the orb travels back and forth along the road. What’s even creepier is that no one, not even the U.S. Army Corps, has been able to accurately explain the light’s origin. Whether you’re in a big rig or not, this road is one to avoid this Halloween.
Have you ever trucked along any haunted roads? Has anything paranormal happened to you while you were driving truck? Share your stories in the comments section below!
Back in 2013, there was a historic victory for deaf and hard of hearing truck drivers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) loosened their hearing standards, allowing deaf drivers that have specific hearing abilities with or without a hearing aid to apply for an exemption to operate commercial motor vehicles (CMV). However, it hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing for deaf truckers over the past five years. Let’s take a look at this exemption, and how it’s continuing to affect deaf drivers today.
Deaf Drivers and Truckers | An Overview
What Does the Exemption Entail?
In February 2013, the FMCSA announced its decision to grant requests from 40 individuals for exemptions from the hearing requirement in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). To accommodate the hearing impaired further, they later also updated their English Language Rule requiring all drivers to have the ability to read and write in English. The FMCSA based their decisions to exempt certain deaf drivers on the findings from the 2008 Evidence Report. Researchers found that there was no direct correlation to a driver’s hearing abilities and crash risk. In fact, they concluded that hearing-impaired drivers are not at an increased risk of crashing.
Additionally, after conducting their own study, the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) found that deaf drivers are less likely to be distracted. The NAD had long fought for these exemptions to happen. They believed that with the increasing integration of technology, a driver’s hearing abilities are almost debatable.
The Stigma is Deafening
Even with the studies’ findings and the FMCSA’s approval, there were still quite a few people that felt uncomfortable with deaf CMV drivers. In 2015, a deaf driver with a CDL permit and an FMCSA approved exemption form was denied from a truck driving training school.
Sadly, even today, trucking companies are denying deaf drivers employment. Just this July, trucking company Werner Enterprises, Inc. was sued “after the company refused to hire a truck driver because he is deaf despite the fact that he received an exemption from the FMCSA,” according to CDLLife.com. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) decided to take action by filing a lawsuit against Werner. Although the deaf trucker graduated from trucking school, obtained his CDL, and obtained the FMCSA’s exemption, Werner refused to hire him, which violated the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).
There Are Some Victories
Luckily, there are many deaf drivers that are benefitting from the FMCSA’s exemption. This past May, Joey Woodle, a deaf man from Alabama, achieved his dream of becoming a truck driver. After passing his skills test, Woodle earned his Class A CDL. However, even though the FMCSA began granting hearing exemptions over five years ago, Woodle remains one of the first people in Alabama to obtain his Class A license.
Deaf Drivers can Make Better Truckers
While some people remain skeptical about deaf individuals’ ability to drive a big rig, there are others making an argument that the hearing-impaired can make even better drivers than those who hear properly. For one, deaf truckers are able to focus more than those who aren’t hard of hearing. There are fewer chances for them to get distracted while behind the wheel.
In 2016, truck driver William Newman was against deaf drivers being on the road. He just didn’t believe that deaf CMV drivers were safe until he conducted an experiment on his own. Newman set off on a trip where he sought to make himself deaf by turning off his phone, stereo, and inserting the highest quality earplugs he could find. Without his usual distractions, Newman found himself more inclined to watch his gauges, his speed, and other ways to be as safe as possible. Overall, he was amazed what a difference it made, and he felt that trip was safer compared to his usual ones.
What do you think? Are deaf drivers able to operate a truck just as well as truckers that aren’t hard of hearing? Share your thoughts in the comments below!