Category Archives: Industry News

A Trucking Firm Installs Cameras To Promote Driver Safety And The Drivers Like It? Preposterous!

Recent talks of autonomous trucks and the passing of the ELD mandate is putting increased emphasis on the use of technology within the industry. While often reluctant to accept change or new tech tools imposed upon them, there is a push within the industry to put driver’s safety at the forefront of the discussions regarding industry practices such as on the road safety. This is an unfortunate side effect of the age of not only the industry itself but also of the truckers.  However, new tech adoption may be on the rise. Netradyne, an analytics company, is putting cameras that monitor driver’s ability to practice safe practices while driving. Logging “events” both positive and negative has become a useful tool in pushing the industry in a tech-forward direction that it isn’t commonly associated with.

These cameras face outward, left, right, and inward, but not continually recording the driver as not invariably to record their every move. This concession has allowed the drivers to not only take pride in the scores they receive on a proprietary app that has lead to positive competition within the current pilot companies that the tech is being tested. It helps lessen the inherent distrust some drivers may feel towards the cameras; an important distinction in an industry that generally shuns new technology. Like Netradyne, RigPark is working tirelessly to help shape and reinvent the parking problem that has plagued the industry for close to two decades. With companies like Netradyne hopefully paving the way for more receptive and open-minded trucking, RigPark looks to help lessen the daily hassle of spending long periods of time searching for safe, predictable parking.

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Truckers say the law that limits them to driving 11 hours a day is a ‘hindrance’ — but one CEO argues that it could actually solve one of the industry’s biggest problems

With the recent adoption of the ELD, truckers, and trucking companies have become more aware of certain aspects that plague the industry. One of the more troubling problems that ELD has brought to light is the amount of time spent waiting at the shipping docks and how it is not being logged succinctly until now. Truckers wait currently at least two hours at the shipping dock unpaid while their truck is either loaded or unloaded. Recent surveys conducted by DAT have revealed that the actual hours are closer to three hours which may put truckers behind schedule. With them being behind schedule, that causes them to rush and possibly break speed limits in an attempt to make up for lost time due to detention at the dock.

Using the ELD, these detention numbers can be more easily and obtained which can help the truckers collect detention pay. This collection of detention pay is something that had been harder to do before the introduction of the ELD as it was not viewable by the trucking company. However, with the introduction of the ELD, trucking companies can fairly comp truckers backpay about the amount of time spent at a shipping dock waiting. It also helps tackle the ever-growing issue of truckers being underpaid for their services. Compared to 1980, truckers are paid 36% less than they used to be. This pay disparity can be made up slightly by coming after detention pay for time spent at shipping docks using the ELD as the source of the time information.

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Is US trucking reaching the tipping point?

The trucking industry seems to be reaching the boiling point thanks in part to a confluence of industry changes, high demand, and an aging workforce.

The ELD has become a massive point of contention within the trucking industry thanks to its innate ability to cause headaches for the drivers. These headaches are further compounded by the industry continuing its upward climb without any signs of slowing down.  In the last year alone, trucks have accounted for 70.2% of all freight moved within the US alone and has seen a 3.8% increase from 2016 to 2017. From January to July in 2018 there was an increase of 8% from the previous year alone; the industry is pushing itself harder every day. This increase is due in part to companies like Amazon who have drastically changed consumer’s expectations on the speed at which goods arrive at their homes.

With more and more Amazon distribution centers being built every year, the strain on the industry is continuing to grow, not just for the drivers. Truck manufacturers are coming under pressure as well as they attempt to keep up with the increased demand from an industry already in the weeds. In July of 2018 alone, a record-setting 52,400 trucks were ordered during a month that is usually the slowest of the year. The hope is that the influx of new trucks will help with the trucker shortage by enticing prospective drivers into the industry.

The trucks themselves are becoming more sophisticated through the use of technology, but it won’t ease all of the problems. The workforce is not able to keep up with the aging and retiring current drivers which exacerbate an already strained industry closer to the point of breaking. When new drivers do join the ranks, their expectations regarding safety and technology are more advanced than the current workforce. This need for smart technology advancements has created a demand that RigPark is looking to satisfy with predictable, safe, and reliable parking for an ever-changing workforce and industry.

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Truck parking problems in search of solutions in big cities

The HOS (hours of service) and ELD (electronic logging devices) notwithstanding,  the need for truck parking continues to mount throughout the US. With the upcoming second Jason’s Law study, it will more than likely reveal that the lack of truck parking is as present as ever, which may come as a surprise to some within the government. The lack of and need for safe, predictable parking in areas that are less remote than 20-30 miles outside of a major city is becoming more evident every day.

Unfortunately, there is little movement to fix the parking issue since the land is seemingly at a premium in urban centers. Certain cities, like Detroit, have basic truck parking lots showing up due to determined pushes from those in the industry. These basic truck parking lots focus on security over everything else while offering essential amenities and the ability to leave to get food. However, this one city solution is not enough to fix a nationwide shortage of parking, and the problem is being further exacerbated. The exacerbation comes from trucking companies making concerted efforts to hire more new truckers which would widen the shortage gap even further.

While states are making efforts to combat the problem first hand, it’s but a small chunk of a massive issue. The lack of available spaces coupled with the inability to not only find parking but also determine in real time the availability of parking in real time has created a need for new ideas into the industry. RigPark hopes to help ease the daily grind of searching for parking with a safe, predictable, and progressive platform that looks to put the trucker in the driver’s seat when it comes to finding parking.

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Trucking Industry Learns to Live With ELD Digital Monitoring

The ELD has become a massive point of contention within the trucking industry and for good reason. Not only does it force drivers to amend and alter their schedule so that they are able to meet the required 11 hours driving, 14-hour workday, 10 hours off but the technology is up to the task yet.

There are some within in the industry who have welcomed the ELD since it helps to remove the guesswork and manual alteration from the previous paper logs. These truckers applaud the ELDs ability to keep everyone honest at all times, unlike the paper system which allowed for all kinds of alterations and dishonest timekeeping.

The truckers who welcome the ELD are few and far between compared to those that are dissatisfied and upset about their mandatory adoption. The ELDs themselves have come under fire for tracking the constant whereabouts of all the drivers as well as making it harder to take breaks on the driver’s time rather than mandated. The lack of training for drivers as well as law enforcement surrounding the ELD is unfortunate as well since the manufacturers of the ELD are able to self-certify their own tech. This self-certification means that while the government is wanting to enact rules, they are unwilling to completely follow through.

RigPark is committed to helping alleviate some of the problems associated with the ELD since many truckers find it even harder to find parking with an ELD. In the past, drivers could take breaks on their own time, meaning they got to choose where they parked. However, now that breaks are mandatory, the drivers have to search for and sometimes illegally park. RigPark wants to pass ahead of the parking issue and offer safe, predictable parking for truckers who are already being inconvenienced enough.

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The 8/2 split sleeper and the future of hours flexibility

With the passing of the electronic logging device rule, a rule that has had many detractors in the industry, truckers are now faced with a new problem: working around delays at the locations of shipping and delivery. These delays can cause massive headaches for drivers as they are unable to work around the obstructions in any meaningful way, hampering their day and stifling their ability to have any flexibility during the workday. While attempts to lengthen the workday are currently happening, utilization of current rules through the 8/2 split sleeper rule is a more stop-gap solution.

The 8/2 split sleeper rule allows drivers to have more flexibility when it comes to how they are were using their off-time/on-time hours. As explained by BigRoad:

“To take advantage of this provision, a driver must spend at least 8 consecutive hours (but less than 10) in their sleeper berth. This rest period will not count as part of their 14 on-duty hours. The driver can then take a second, separate rest period of at least 2 consecutive hours (but less than 10). This period of time can be spent in the sleeper berth, off duty, or sleeper berth and off duty combined. This second break does count as part of the driver’s 14 on-duty hours.

“It doesn’t matter which rest period the driver takes first – the longer one or the shorter one. After the driver completes their second rest period, their 14 on-duty hours are calculated (starting from 0) from the end of the first break.”

The sleeper rule is allowing for drivers to have a semblance of flexibility in their daily schedule which means the brunt of the problems from the ELD isn’t felt as hard. As it currently stands, only splits of 9/1 or 8/2 are allowed under regulations, but an FMCSA pilot program would allow for the ability to split it into 3/7, 4/6, or even 5/5.

RigPark is committed to working with the industry to ensure that when truckers take a break, they have the best available options for safe, predictable, and readily available parking.

To view the original article click here.

Many Nevada truckers admit to ‘unauthorized’ parking amid growing crisis

With the rest of the country on alert with the shortage of truck parking, Nevada has begun steps to pinpoint the cause of the issue. In past month, the Nevada Department of Transportation has worked directly with trucker’s to assess firsthand the real breadth of the parking dilemma that is plaguing the state, and the industry as a whole. The DOT survey reflected previously reported national numbers of 15 to 60 minutes being spent daily looking for parking. While it may have been unnecessary for DOT Nevada to run their survey, it is interesting to see that their numbers directly reflect the national average identically.

Within the state itself, the two major interstates (15 and 80) are the ones experiencing the most problematic situations regarding the lack of parking. These interstates compromise a large percentage of the state’s truck traffic with areas near Las Vegas becoming impromptu “pop-up truck stops” for wary truckers searching for available parking. These have become a nuisance to the neighborhoods where they have become more prevalent, causing problems with the locals.

The state of Nevada is not an isolated case for the lack of trucker parking; far from it. The American Transportation Research Institute has reported that over 32% of all truckers admit to parking in unauthorized locations while another 16.7% do it often. The longer there is no movement on the issue of truck parking, the worse illegal parking, pop-up truck stops, and other stop-gap solutions will continue to get. RigPark is on the cutting edge of working with local property owners to secure safe, predictable parking that can help to alleviate this issue.

To view the original article click here and to view the Nevada DoT presentation click here.

Trucking Firms Offering Incentives For New Drivers

With the current shortage of truckers in the industry, trucking companies are offering more and more incentives to lure not only drivers just out of training but also current drivers. The industry is currently experiencing the most substantial upswing in demand in its history and, unfortunately, does not have the current capacity to handle all of the freight at reasonable prices. This trucker shortage has not only pushed trucking companies to become more aggressive about recruiting new truckers, but also to roll out appealing incentives in hopes of bringing them in.

The perks that these companies are offering to truckers range from hefty signing bonuses, minimum weekly wage, and even 401(k) plan matching. All of these incentives are being used to sway potential new truckers to one of the five major trucking carriers in the US, and it is working. Many students who enter into truck driving school are employed right out of graduation, a statistic that is uncommon in many other industries, especially with an above median yearly income. The training schools are having a hard time keeping up with the demand of nearly 120 companies in the US continually looking for new drivers.

With this influx of new drivers, the need for safe, predictable parking is becoming pressing as ever. Without the ability to park safely at night, many truckers are resorting to less than optimal options that can put them in danger or hamper their ability to do their job correctly. RigPark is committed to fixing the issue of truck parking, along the way helping to create a less stressful environment for truckers and their trucks.

To view the original article, click here.

Safety Changes Hampering Truckers, Raising Freight Prices

While the US government has the best of intentions in mind with their most recent ELD (electronic-logging device) mandate, it’s cutting into the truckers ability to do not only their job but also their pay. Truckers, such as Steven Wright, have been working in the industry for over twenty years and have become accustomed to their internally set schedule. They take advantage of offloading wait times to rest and then utilize the rest of their day to catch up on driving while then getting a proper night’s rest elsewhere. This personal schedule setting allowed for parking areas to not become congested with an overwhelming amount of truckers all being forced to park at the same time.

With last year’s introduction of MAP-21, which included the ELD rule, truckers are only allowed to drive 11 hours a day, work 14 hours total, and must take “regular breaks.” This rule has hampered not only the trucker’s ability to set their schedule but has also cut into their income by a sizable amount. The ELD has cost an average veteran trucker around $270 a week which totals over $14k over a year.

Along with diminishing trucker’s pay, it has caused them to become more reckless when they are driving. This is due in part to them rushing to make their deadline and destination before their ELD for the day runs out. It’s artificially weighing down the truckers and causing them more stress when they search for parking at the end of a workday. Before, truckers were allowed to set their breaks and sleep schedule. Now with all truckers being on the same essential plan, the lack of parking is exacerbated since a larger pool of truckers are vying for the same meager number of quality parking. RigPark’s goal is to help ease the parking issue created by the passing of MAP-21 by creating plentiful, safe, and predictable parking options for truckers nationwide.

To view the original article click here.

The Cause of Shipping Cost Hikes

Some of the largest companies in the US have had their profit margins decreased due to the rising cost of shipping through freight lines. This is due in part to a previously mentioned industry issue that has created a shortage of drivers in part to the less than appealing nature of long-haul trucking for prospective drivers.

Over 70% of all products in the US are transported by freight at some point in their journey to the consumer, reinforcing the importance of the trucking industry. In the last year alone, the rates have raised 6% from April 2017 to April 2018 which has pushed many companies to reassess their ability to subsidize the freight costs. Without the ability to subsidize, those costs get passed along to the consumers with certain companies budgeting additional funds to cover the rising freight costs.

The freight industry itself is experiencing the lowest unemployment numbers since 2000, due in part to the aforementioned shrinking talent pool of qualified truckers. The current workforce is older along with the inability to indeed entice in new truckers due to low wages, stressful conditions, and new federally mandated rules regarding hours on the job. This shortfall has pushed many freight companies to incentivize new truckers by increasing pay and benefits which leads to an increase in shipping costs but helps ease the lack of truckers.

The expectation from certain retailers is also placing a burden on an already stressed industry by setting quicker and quicker deadlines for products expecting to reach consumers. In an industry already under pressure, it’s essential that the truckers are given as stress-free a working environment as possible in the hopes of enticing new truckers into the fold. RigPark is committed to helping provide safe, predictable overnight parking for these truckers which should help to ease one of the most stressful aspects of their career.   

To view the original article, click here.