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CSA Scores a Competitive Weapon for small fleets?

February 07, 2013

A good article was published in the Truck News Blogs by James Menzies regarding CSA as a competitive weapon. More of the smaller companies and O/O's will need to establish their own track record and procedures if the trend of the larger trucking companies to hold their data and methods as a competitive advantage, because they have the money and the means to collect/process and control the information.  We see many small fleets customers using the BigRoad fleet management platform to level the playing field and compete fairly with the big guys.

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Trucks waste $27B/year due to congestion - fleet tracking can help

February 05, 2013

Many fleets are finding that real time tracking with traffic alerts for drivers and dispatchers can help reduce getting caught in traffic. Though traffic congestion in U.S. cities has remained relatively stable in recent years, delays are still costing commuters and truckers hefty sums, according to an annual study – with an estimated $27 billion worth of time and diesel fuel wasted by trucks alone in 2011 due solely to traffic jams.  

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Did You Know?…Interesting Trucking Facts

February 01, 2013

Think you know everything about the trucking industry?  Below are some interesting facts you may not have known; from the history of the first tractor trailer to interesting tidbits that will spark any truck lover’s interest.

The First Tractor Trailer

The first tractor trailer was invented in 1914 by Charles Freuhauf, who was a German-American blacksmith. Freuhauf built the truck in Detroit at a merchant’s request to transport his boat to the Ford Motor Company.  Freuhauf was then asked to build a similar tractor trailer to haul lumber, leading him to establish the Freuhauf Trailer Company in 1918. More info about first tractor tralier

The Fifth Wheel

John Endebrock, a sales representative at the Sechler Company, a carriage manufacturer which changed its name to The Trailmobile Company in 1915 when Endebrock created a trailer that could be pulled by a Ford Model T, created the fifth wheel, a mechanism that couples the tractor to the trailer. Link to more about the Fifth Wheel

The Motor Carrier Act

Passed by Congress in 1935, allowing the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) to “grant operating permits, approve trucking routes,” and “set uniform tariff rates for hauling freight,” leading to little competition among trucking companies.  The ICC was abolished in 1995. Link to to history of US trucking industry

The Department of Transportation

Created in 1967, the DOT sets requirements on braking standards, maximum work hours, and “overall safety fitness of interstate carriers.”  (http://www.irs.gov/businesses/article/0,,id=170623,00.html)

Maximum Weight Requirements

In 1982, the Surface Transportation Act was created, stating that interstate highway trucks cannot have a total weight of more than 80,000 pounds.

Largest Tractor

The world’s largest tractor was created by the French in 2005.  Named the TRACTOMAS TR 10X10, created by NICOLAS Industrie, this tractor has a “tare weight of around 40 tonnes, along with a vehicle total weight of 71 tonnes,” with an overall weight of truck and trailer of about 600 tonnes. Link to more about Abnormal worlds largest highway tractor

Largest Cargo Theft

To date, the largest cargo theft resulted in $76 million worth the loss from an Eli Lilly and Co. warehouse loaded with prescription drugs in Enfield, Conn. on March 14, 2010.

#1 Driver Log app on Android

BigRoad is the fastest growing electronic log application on the Android smartphone and tablet platform.  It also has one of the highest ratings of any trucking app on Android with a driver rating of 4.53 out of 5 stars




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The smell of an EOBR by any other name - ATA softening stance?

January 18, 2013

I think Todd Dills of OverDrive Online is accurate when he says it appears that the ATA's Bill Graves is softening his stance on EOBR's - referring instead to 'Electronic Logs' as the imperative.  Maybe the EOBR mandate will also be seen as too heavy handed - and too much 'BigBrother' by the time it comes to pass?  This potentially has significant implications for the mutlitude of small carriers and independent Owner Operators represented by David Owens', NASTC (National Association of Small Trucking Companies) that are going ahead on their own with the adoption of electronic logs on their own with providers such as BigRoad

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Weigh Scale Pre Clear app integrated in BigRoad Android elog app

January 16, 2013

BigRoad is excited to include a link to enable weighscale bypass or preclear in our free trucker app.  Too much time is spent in 'chicken coops' across the nation and this app was selected as the best in breed for getting pre clearance.  Drivewyze PreClear is an innovative new way for commercial vehicles to bypass weigh stations and mobile inspection sites.

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Small Trucking Companies adopting eLog solutions from BigRoad and NASTC

January 15, 2013

A new electronic hours-of-service logging application is now available for small trucking companies and owner-operators. The app, from BigRoad, is specially designed for use by small fleets looking for a cost-effective logging solution.

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National Association of Small Trucking Companies (NASTC) Partners with BigRoad to Provide Electronic HOS Logs and Fleet Management to Members

January 14, 2013

Smartphone app for independent drivers and small fleets offers common sense, low cost solution for Hours of Service (HOS) and Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) compliance

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Make Money on Your Fuel Surcharge - some tips!

January 09, 2013

Team Run Smart has put together a nice article about fuel surcharge strategies.

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Electronic Driver Logs (E-Logs) Adoption Increasing

January 08, 2013

Another example today of how the trucking industry is quickly moving towards electronic log adoption, with Landstar System's announcement covered in OverDrive by Todd Dills.  The good news is that it is getting easier and easier for drivers and small fleets to adopt eLogs.  BigRoad has seen 34,000+ downloads of it's free eLog (Electronic Logs) app on Android since launching only 6 months ago.  









Known widely as the nation’s largest all-owner-operator fleet, Landstar System has since August installed in the neighborhood of 1,000 electronic onboard recorders (EOBRs) on trucks operating leased to one or another of its fleets. The installations are the result of a new policy company Vice President and Chief Safety and Operations Officer Joe Beacom described as stemming in part from Landstar Inway (with Landstar Ranger, one of the company’s primary truckload fleets) moving above the intervention threshold in the Hours of Service Compliance BASIC (Behavioral Analysis and Safety Improvement Category) under CSA.

All new leases signed at Ranger and Inway now come with the requirement for the business capacity owner (or BCO, Landstar’s internal nomenclature for its leased owner-operators) to keep their hours of service electronically using one of three Qualcomm EOBRs with other communications/reporting tools embedded. The program also applies to current BCOs, but adoption of EOBR technology remains voluntary in large part. “Anybody who’s already here can voluntarily get one” of the units, said Beacom, “and [Landstar] will pay for the purchase of the unit.”

The  BCO is responsible for airtime costs at rates of $27.25 per month for the Qualcomm MCP50 and MCP110 units and $36.25 per month for the MCP200, company officials said.

Such applies only with voluntary adoption, however, and will be an option for contractors as long as “they don’t have any [hours] violations or roadside issues,” said Beacom. “As they get violations, they’ll have to get one — and pay for it.”

The policy — not applicable to contractors with expedited fleet Landstar Express America, though BCOs there can purchase EOBR-capable units through the Landstar Contractors’ Advantage Purchase Plan for volume discounts — has been in effect since August, Beacom added, when Landstar Inway crossed the then-Fatigued Driving BASIC’s intervention threshold for hazmat carriers, 60. (Today, the Inway fleet remains slightly above the threshold, at 61.60, the only score in any of the BASICs above threshold level among all of Landstar’s fleets.)

Before that happened, “we had talked an awful lot,” said Beacom, about how to introduce EOBRs, given the large fleet’s peer group’s wide adoption of the devices, which virtually eliminate the minor so-called “form and manner” violations that are the most common hours violations. “Our peers are the large companies that have them on every [truck]. I’d say we’re fortunate to be in the low 60s that way. Our guys historically have not had a lot of log violations, but when somebody has next to zero because it’s all automated, it’s hard to compete with that. We like the progress we’re making.”

Beacom said customers have asked “what we’re doing” to combat Inway’s hours BASIC ranking, “and they like our answer. We show them our Crash Indicator BASIC measure, which is not public — it’s 9 or so, the top ten percent best in accident frequency in the peer group.

The company continues to have a very low turnover rate, Beacom added — “Our turnover rate is going to end up this year at 25 percent” — and the policy has had no effect on contractor profitability with the carrier. “Things haven’t changed,” Beacom said. “It’s not moving the needle on profitability. It’s just a way to automate and use technology to do something you were doing already.”

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How Drivers can protect CSA and PSP Pre-Employment Screening Program

December 31, 2012

In the past few months, I have written a lot about what motor carriers can do about preparing for the new FMCSA’s Compliance, Safety and Accountability (CSA) program. So, now I am going to show drivers what they can do to prepare and protect their CSA scores, thus protecting their PSP scores and careers!

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