Truck driver killed in crash off of I-40 bridge

Truck driver killed in crash off of I-40 bridge

Sign up for the CDLLife Newsletter

Subscribe to our mailing list and get today’s top trucking news delivered to your inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

A truck driver lost his life this morning when he crashed off of an overpass in Newport, Tennessee.

Truck Driver Does Not Survive Fall Off Interstate

The crash happened just before 8 a.m. According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, a semi truck hauling auto glass was traveling east on I-40 at mile marker 437 when the driver lost control of his vehicle and crashed off of the interstate, falling dozens of feet onto Golf Course Road below.

Cocke County Sheriff Armando Fontes responded to the crash and attempted to revive the truck driver, but his efforts were unsuccessful. The truck driver died at the scene.

No other vehicles were involved and no other injuries have been reported.

Investigators are working to determine the cause of the crash.Truck driver killed in crash off of I-40 bridge

Truck driver killed in crash off of I-40 bridge

I-40 is open but extensive cleanup of broken glass and spilled fuel is needed to clear Golf Course Road. Authorities say that the roadway sustained serious damage from the falling truck.

Powered by Start Fast - Stay Fast

Ohio DOT mulls closing I-77 rest stop

Ohio DOT mulls closing I-77 rest stop

Sign up for the CDLLife Newsletter

Subscribe to our mailing list and get today’s top trucking news delivered to your inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Ohio Department of Transportation has announced that they are seeking public input on the possibility of closing a rest area located on I-77 northbound in Washington County not far from Marietta, Ohio.

Closing Rest Stops

The Ohio DOT is considering shutting down the I-77 rest area because they believe that other nearby rest areas along the I-77 corridor (the WVDOH Wood County rest area and the ODOT Guernsey County rest area) provide sufficient services for drivers. Another reason for the proposed closure is its proximity to multiple gas stations and food establishments, which transportation officials say would then eliminate the need and the cost of maintaining that rest area. Officials said the annual operating costs are $257,674. The rest stop that opened in 1986 is in need of repairs.

More than 60 Rest Areas Closed Since 1992

Since 1992, more than 60 rest areas have been closed in Ohio as a result of private sector development providing similar services, environmental issues relating to antiquated onsite water and sewer systems and facility obsolescence based on current standards and requirements.

Public comments regarding the proposed closure will be accepted from February 1-March 31, 2018. Email comments to [email protected] or call (740) 568-3904.

Commercializing Rest Stops

For the past 58 years with the introduction of the Interstate Highway System in the 1950’s by Congress, states were prohibited from offering commercial services at public rest areas built after 1959.

Congress passed the law based on pressure from business and community leaders who feared traffic would bypass their cities as a result of the new Interstate system.

But the question now is that still the case. Could privatization save rest stops like the one in Ohio or has the day of the rest stop come to a close with so many rest options in cities across america? Or is it still true that commercial rest areas jeopardize private businesses just as they did 60 years ago?

Powered by Start Fast - Stay Fast

Wage issues mean that it is the best/worst time to be a driver

Wage issues mean that it is the best/worst time to be a driver

Sign up for the CDLLife Newsletter

Subscribe to our mailing list and get today’s top trucking news delivered to your inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Charles Dickens once wrote the famous line – “It was the best of times, It was the worst of times” in his book A Tale of Two Cities. That same sentiment can be applied to wages in the transport industry.

Wages Going Up, But So Are The Challenges Facing Drivers

Industry experts predict that with increased demand for products to be shipped around the country and the trucking industry not having the trucks currently to move it, it could mean increased wages for drivers.

But it also has been pointed out that there are extreme challenges facing drivers in 2018, in spite of some pay increases. Some drivers might be getting paid more but there are also more problems. Government regulations such as the Electronic Logging Device or ELD Mandate, unresolved detention pay issues, major traffic problems with more cars on the road, and the lack of respect shown to those drivers (especially on on-ramps and cars cutting in) are just a few of the things drivers are having to deal with regularly that make trucking a less desirable profession.

Change in Wage Structure

To combat current circumstances some companies are moving away from the traditional per-mile rate and are looking at other measurements to pay including driving time, on-duty time, a per load rate, or a blend of the three.

An increase may be just what some drivers around the country need, where some feel they aren’t receiving a living wage.

That is the biggest question, are drivers receiving a living wage? Senator Bernie Sanders last November asked President Trump that very question. And at the very least government trucking contracts need to pay above a living wage.

Figuring out the Right Wage

Several drivers have left tips on how to look at wages.

[embedded content]

[embedded content]

Feel free to leave comments about wages or other story ideas.

Powered by Start Fast - Stay Fast

Idaho seeks input on transportation spending for next 20 years

US-12 in north-central Idaho will receive much-needed repairs this summer.

Sign up for the CDLLife Newsletter

Subscribe to our mailing list and get today’s top trucking news delivered to your inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

The Idaho State Transportation seeks input on how to identify both future funding for projects through 2040 but also on future technology, demographics, and economics that will shape Idaho.

One for the Pros and One for the Public

IST announced two public meetings, an online discussion and stated more meeting will be held around the state in the future. The first two will be at 3:00 p.m. and at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 7, at the Targhee Regional Public Transportation Authority, 1810 W. Broadway in Idaho Falls.

The first meeting has been set aside for gathering feedback from professional stakeholders in the transportation industry. General comments from the public will be gathered at the evening meeting. IDT said Public comments and input are important to the planning effort.

Idaho Offers Online Transportation Public Meeting

The transportation department is offering an online public opinion survey that will go live on Monday, March 5. Please visit itd.idaho.gov/planning and click on the Long-Range Transportation Plan tab on March 5 and thereafter to participate in the survey. The same web address can be visited for additional information on the long-range plan.

Those with questions about the long-range plan, meetings or online survey can contact Ken Kanownik at [email protected] or at (208) 332-7823.

Powered by Start Fast - Stay Fast

“CyWatch” service to protect fleets from cyber crime

CyWatch to protect fleets from cyber crime

Sign up for the CDLLife Newsletter

Subscribe to our mailing list and get today’s top trucking news delivered to your inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Tuesday the American Trucking Associations announced the launch of Fleet CyWatch, a new service for its motor carrier and council members to use for reporting cybercrimes affecting fleet operations.

ATA President Chris Spear Explains

“As the industry responsible for delivering America’s food, fuel and other essentials, security is of paramount importance, particularly in an increasingly technologically connected world,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “Fleet CyWatch is the next logical step in our association’s and our industry’s commitment to working with law enforcement and national security agencies to keep our supply chain safe and secure.”

The service was created in conjunction with the F.B.I.

Stopping Internet Trucking Crime

Fleet CyWatch will allow fleets to easily report all types of internet crimes related to disrupting fleet operations, which are then communicated to the proper authorities.  After protecting the identity of the reporting fleet, the information is also shared with intelligence analysis agencies and the motor carrier community subscribed to Fleet CyWatch. The program’s responding alerts will address cybersecurity training and education, cyber-threat trends and patterns and best practices development.

Powered by Start Fast - Stay Fast

Here are 8 things that your dispatcher wishes you knew

Top 8 things that your dispatcher wishes you knew

Sign up for the CDLLife Newsletter

Subscribe to our mailing list and get today’s top trucking news delivered to your inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

It seems you can’t have one without the other. Drivers need dispatchers and dispatchers need drivers. However, that relationship can be hard to manage at best at times.

While I am a trained journalist, I spent the last year as a dispatcher for a major chemical hauling company so that my wife and I (she’s a driver still at the company) could grow closer and have more in common.

So, I’ve compiled a list of the top 8 things I wished drivers could see from my side of the transportation industry.

#8 Where is That Snooze Button?

Study: Too Much Or Too Little Sleep Increases Diabetes Risks For Men

Study: Too Much Or Too Little Sleep Increases Diabetes Risks For Men

The one thing that probably doomed my life as a dispatcher was the need for sleep. It didn’t help that I had a new baby son enter my life about halfway through my year-long experience. There are lots of emergencies in the trucking industry where dispatchers need to be notified no matter what time of day.

Yet the most annoying thing I dealt were the early morning calls after being up late with a baby and having to deal with things that a driver should have been able to deal with him/herself.

It was things like where is this trailer then saying there it is; wanting to know what they were doing clearly having ignored their paperwork or countless messages; and equipment issues that should have been discovered with a post-trip inspection. I just felt there was a tad too much hand-holding required from me for adults who should have known better. My job was hard enough, doing it on little to no sleep was nearly impossible some days, including 60-80 work weeks.

#7 Check and Respond to Messages, Please

No one likes to be ignored, maybe left alone, but not ignored. I have taken the time to makes sure each driver knew in plenty of time where and when they needed to be along with the product and directions. I’m did this to make sure drivers were getting work and  kept moving.

It was frustrating being told by supervisors to send messages using PeopleNet (texting was frowned upon) and knowing full well that certain drivers don’t bother reading any messages. We tried to stick to our created dispatch plans but there were times when changes had to be made and it was brain-numbing to not know if the driver had gotten the correct information. Communication is the key to a good dispatch and the communication flow needs to go both ways.

#6 Speak Up, I’m Not a Mind Reader

Going along with the idea that I hate getting yelled at by anyone, especially drivers, but the reverse is true, I can’t help you if you don’t speak your mind. Despite enjoying mind-reading movies that come along, I don’t have the ability to read your mind, yet. If you made a mistake or if I made a mistake you need to speak your mind.

I can’t get better unless I know what I’ve done wrong or right. This also included time-off requests and types of assignments you prefer or hate going. Communication is the key to improving dispatcher-driver relations.

#5 Rock and a Hard Place, Seeing the Bigger Picture

Once again it boils down to communication and understanding. We live in kind of a me-first society and drivers can be self-centered at times, as can we all. Drivers need to understand our first loyalty is to the company and the customers. We need to fulfill those needs first. Which means that sometimes the dispatcher is the one hung out to dry and caught in the middle in a no-win situation between the drivers and the client after a mistake has been made.

I often thought, “I hate being the bad guy.” I did care about keeping the drivers moving and getting paid but that wasn’t always possible as we had periodical slow times. Life would be easier with understanding and a team attitude, but then we don’t live in a perfect world. It is important that both the driver and the dispatcher look at the bigger picture and understand the ups and downs of the business. And that dispatchers do try to be on the same team with the drivers.

#4 Plan Ahead

If I’m not somewhere 15 minutes early then I feel I’m late. You have to give yourself time to get there. There was nothing more irritating than a driver sleeping through an alarm or having an issue due to poor time management. It was embarrassing when having to explain to customers why a driver wasn’t where they should be.

I can be sympathetic to a flat tire, a regen issue, and especially weather factors. But poor planning drives this dispatcher crazy. I am the guy that finds you work and then you thank me by being late and making me look bad. I’m your dispatcher not your mother. This applies to letting us know about vacation requests, holiday wishes, and doctor appointments. The more time we have the easier it is to plan.

#3 Don’t Tell Me No!!!

No was the worst thing that I heard on the job. It made me feel helpless especially being a new dispatcher trying to work with seasoned drivers. In life and at work, we often have to deal with things or do something we don’t want to do. Drivers need to realize they signed a contract and agreed to do whatever was asked of them by the company.

I’m not heartless, I worked hard to learn drivers preferences and match them with the loads they desired. But every so often something would come up where I’d have to ask a driver to do that uncomfortable assignment. Most drivers after some cajoling and negotiating would agree to do it, but once in a while a guy would just say no. Saying no puts me into a bind and raised my blood pressure.

Drivers often don’t understand what it is like dispatching, it is glorified puzzle solving. And I hate it when after the puzzle is put together someone goes and kicks the table. Understand, you will have to do things you don’t want to, but negotiate, you don’t want to get a dispatcher bitter at you. I tirelessly tried to stay fair and not hold grudges, I say not everyone is capable of doing that. Yet, there were times drivers who had a habit of saying no didn’t get lucrative trips because they weren’t team players.

#2 My Name is Not Satan (or insert curse word here)

I can’t count anymore the number of times I was yelled at by a driver for one reason or another. I could handle the ones I felt I deserved when I had made a mistake. My wife is a driver and I know what she is like after a poor experience with a dispatcher. I take knowing that seriously and worked extremely hard to cater to both the customer, company, and the driver’s needs.

I was generally invested in work and I am a caring person and wanted to keep both the driver and my boss happy. It was never possible but I felt I came darn close. I worked hard at finding work for all the drivers all time. I came into the industry with a lot of education and communication skills but little knowledge of the trucking industry.

My advice for drivers is be more understanding of dispatchers, especially the new ones. There seemed to be a high turnover in dispatchers. Ultimately I worked for the shipping company, but I’m was also working in the driver’s best interests as well. I made sure to try and get a general idea and feel for each driver and tried to find work that was tailored to them. But don’t swear at me when I can’t keep you on your favorite run or ask you to deliver asphalt once in a while.

#1 Time is Money

I’m a friendly guy and I really do enjoy interacting with the drivers. I wanted to get to know their likes and dislikes and their lives outside of driving. However, there is a time and a place. I don’t mind a 2-3 minute chat and then moving onto other business but there are some drivers who never got the hint. I was warned about some drivers but it got to the point where I cringed when a driver called in or stepped into the office knowing it would set back my time needed to put together a plan and get the baby from the daycare before the doors closed.

It wasn’t because they were bad people, I liked all our drivers. It was that some people don’t have an off switch and don’t realize that I want to get home too and long chats get in the way of me getting my work done.

I realize each dispatcher-driver relationship is different but these are the things I learned and wished to pass on. Keep on Truckin’ safely.

Powered by Start Fast - Stay Fast

GPS sends 30 ton truck over 3 ton bridge

GPS sends 30 ton truck over 3 ton bridge

Sign up for the CDLLife Newsletter

Subscribe to our mailing list and get today’s top trucking news delivered to your inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Alabama authorities say that a trucker did half a million dollars worth of damage when he tried to take his 30 ton truck over a bridge rated for three tons.

Trucker Led Astray By GPS

The incident happened just before 8 p.m on Wednesday in Cullman County, Alabama.

According to a report from Cullman Today, a trucker was trying reach a location in Jones Chapel, but his GPS device sent him across the County Road 821 bridge — which was built in the 1940’s and is only rated for three ton vehicles.

The thirty ton truck demolished the bridge, causing a partial collapse that will cost an estimated $500,000 to repair.

[embedded content]

It isn’t clear whether the truck driver will face charges.

The bridge is closed until further notice.

Powered by Start Fast - Stay Fast

I-580 reopens after massive 35 vehicle crash

(Image courtesy Nevada Highway Patrol)

Sign up for the CDLLife Newsletter

Subscribe to our mailing list and get today’s top trucking news delivered to your inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Winter weather conditions continued to wreak havoc on drivers including a 35-vehicle crash on the northbound I-580 near Reno, Nevada on Thursday.

As of Friday morning, all of the highways had been cleared and reopened after lengthy closures.

Galena Creek Bridge Crash

At 4 p.m. on northbound I-580 at the Galena Creek Bridge, 34 vehicles were involved in a pileup crash. The Nevada Highway Patrol stated that one NHP trooper was injured but not seriously hurt. The crash shut down the interstate for hours but all lanes were reopened by 7:45 p.m.

US 395

State Troopers also shut down U.S 395 in Nevada near Washoe Valley because of a jack-knifed semi.

I-580, US 50 and I-80

Nevada Highway Patrol was busy with three other snow and ice related crashes Thursday. A second I-580 crash, a serious injury crash on US-50 and another on the I-80.

Four people were were seriously injured after a tractor-trailer overturned and blocked the East bound lanes. The 6 p.m. crash was cleared around 9 p.m.

The I-80 crash that happened in the 6 p.m. hour was cleared and lanes reopened around 7:40 p.m.

Powered by Start Fast - Stay Fast

Off-duty CHP chief charged for assaulting truck driver

Off-duty CHP chief charged for assaulting truck driver

Sign up for the CDLLife Newsletter

Subscribe to our mailing list and get today’s top trucking news delivered to your inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

A high ranking California Highway Patrol (CHP) officer is facing charges for a road rage incident involving a truck driver that left the officer knocked out flat on his back in the roadway near Redding last summer.

CHP Assistant Chief Brought Up On Battery, Reckless Driving Charges

Forty-nine year old assistant CHP chief Todd Andrew Garr has been charged with reckless driving and misdemeanor battery for an incident that was caught on camera near Redding last summer. Fifty-one year old Paul Anthony Asnicar has also been charged with battery against the truck driver in the same case.

The July 14 incident came to light after being caught on camera and posted to YouTube by another truck driver, Jeremy Vipond. Vipond has since removed the YouTube video, but you can see most of the footage in the news coverage from local station KRCRTV below.

In the video, you can see two men — one of whom was later identified as Garr — climbing up on a tanker truck to confront the truck driver as part of a road rage incident.

Vipond later told KRCRTV, “I saw a white SUV parked in front of a tanker trailer, and I saw the first person of interest on the steps arguing with the driver. He appeared to have been struck in the mouth and fell backwards.”

The CHP later confirmed that the man who was struck and apparently knocked out by the truck driver was assistant Chief Garr.

The truck driver was later identified as Kenneth McFall, who drives for Cross Petroleum. Cross Petroleum Vice President Jimm Cross has stated that he supports McFall and the way that he defended himself during the incident: “We are very supportive of our driver that the way he reacted in this situation protecting himself, getting the vehicle away to a safe public place.

Garr is still employed by CHP.

Powered by Start Fast - Stay Fast

Trucker reportedly smuggled 5 Chinese immigrants for $60,000 each

Trucker reportedly smuggled 5 Chinese immigrants for $60,000 each

Sign up for the CDLLife Newsletter

Subscribe to our mailing list and get today’s top trucking news delivered to your inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Last Friday, federal authorities arrested a truck driver in San Antonio, Texas, after they allegedly discovered five undocumented Chinese immigrants in his vehicle.

Trucker Faces Federal Charges For Human Trafficking

The incident began just before 1 a.m. on February 16, according to a report in MySA when Texas troopers called in Homeland Security agents after spotting several people in the back of trucker Lloyd Villarreal’s cab and determining that they were undocumented.

Agents searched the truck with Villarreal’s permission and discovered five Chinese immigrants in the cab of the truck.

Villarreal told investigators that he didn’t know anyone was inside the truck with him.

The immigrants told investigators that Villarreal had agreed to take them to New York City for $60,000 per person. They also reportedly told officers that Villarreal had told them to stay still and quiet in the back of the cab.

Villarreal was arrested and will face federal charges related to human trafficking.

Powered by Start Fast - Stay Fast