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The Volvo & Telogis Partnership

July 30, 2014


It was just earlier this month that Volvo announced their continued partnership with Telogis - the global provider of cloud-based location intelligence software - and the availability of Volvo Trucks equipped with integrated fleet management services direct from the factory floor. The integrated fleet management tool will be available on new Volvo Trucks beginning September 2014, as well as 60,000 vehicles that have been purchased since 2012 with Volvo's Remote Diagnostic capabilities.

This fleet management tool uses the same data-gathering system as Remote Diagnostics. That information will help motor carriers control costs, increase safety and HOS compliance, improve customer service and enhance operations - delivered through the Telogis platform.

The program can also generate "vehicle health reports" in, scorecard form, so fleet managers can identify inefficiencies and spot trucks and drivers that aren't performing to expectations or display bad habits.

There are three Fleet Management packages offered; Telogis Fleet, Telogis Compliance and Navigation and a Bundled option that provides the full suite of services offered in the Fleet, Compliance and Navigation packages.


Telogis Fleet;

This package allows fleet managers a consistent way of viewing information about the fleet in one platform and driver dashboard. Through hardware that is built into all new Volvo powered trucks, customers can activate Telogis service over the air, delivering a dependable, scalable and complete fleet management solution. Fleets gain insight to help improve operations, asset utilization and driver safety.


Telogis Compliance and Navigation;

For hire and private fleets can easily manage and meet mandates with HOS driver vehicle inspection reports (DVIR). Coupled with compliance is Telogis Navigation, delivers truck-specific, real time road conditions and community based navigation updates.


And what's making this partnership unique is that the trucks coming straight from the factory will have the necessary software and can generate useable data immediately with no association hardware costs.



Sources;

http://www.trucknews.com/business-management/volvo-offer-built-hardware-free-fleet-management-tools/1003058408

http://www.dieselprogress.com/July-2014/Volvo-Trucks-Teams-With-Telogis-For-Fleet-Management/#.U9fo5PldVHQ

http://www.volvotrucks.com/trucks/na/en-us/_layouts/CWP.Internet.VolvoCom/NewsItem.aspx?News.ItemId=147800&News.Language=en-gb



Trucking Tech; Autonomous Trucks

July 17,2014

With smartphones, smart watches and even smart pants (?!) it was only time that technology took over the transportation industry. And the loudest whispers among the industry have been the development of autonomous trucks. 

At a global press conference earlier this July, Daimler introduced their first fully autonomous truck, the Mercedes-Benz Future Truck. They say the truck could be ready for real-world deployment by 2025. But Daimler needs to be ready for some serious competition in this venture, specifically competition from Volvo.

 

The Swedish manufacturer has been developing driverless vehicles as part of the European Union's Safe Road Trains for the Environment program - which looked at the feasibility of platooning - when a single, lead driver in a truck, using what might be thought of as a kind of digital towbar, controls the speed, steering and braking of two or more trucks or cars, to form a road train. Volvo Trucks tried out its autonomous vehicles on public roads for the first time back in 2012. 

  

Volvo Cars is playing a leading role in the world's first large-scale autonomous driving pilot project with 100 self-driving cars using public roads in everyday driving conditions around the Swedish city of Gothenburg. No word on when a Volvo self-driving truck will be introduced. 

But what has been really impressing industry professionals is the ZF Innovation Truck 2014, which was showed off during an international trade press event in the Aldenhoven Testing Center in Germany.  In addition to new technologies - such as the company's TraXon transmission, expected to reach market in 2016 - the truck's autonomous driving capabilities are what makes this truck special. The vehicle and its technologies will be showcased this September in Hannover, Germany. 

 

The trailer is operated by an Android tablet with the operator holding their fingers in the tablet and directs the truck where they want to go - removing the finger and the truck will stop. This comes from technology that has been adapted from the automotive world - working on the prototype system on truck for about 10 months. 

Notice how the steering wheel is still upfront in the vehicles? Just like auto-pilot in planes the steering wheel is still accessible for safety measures, allowing the driver to intervene during critical manoeuvres. 

Regulatory and legal challenges remain before the trucks would be allowed to take to the road. But it's these technologies that show us how close the future really is. It's innovative ideas such as these that push the boundaries of engineering and ultimately lead technologies that are useful today, regardless of what present-day thinkers believe. 



Buying a New Truck

July 15, 2014

When you're starting on road to buying a new truck there are many things that need to be considered. Below we've broken down a few of things you need to do and think about through this decision process. 


1. It's Time to Prioritize: Before you go shopping, sit down and make a list of the specifications that are most important to you - What model are you looking for? What engine do you want? What transmission? Nail down what you absolutely need and/or want and then you'll find out what you'll be able to compromise on. Remember that many options can be changed if they're not to your liking. 


2. It's Okay to Compare: You'll probably find that there are a few dealerships in your area that sell the truck you need - get your facts before you decide on a dealer. Ask for a price quote along with the specifications. Compare the spec sheet from different dealer's line for line. You may find that the salesman that gave you a lower quote withheld on some of the options without mentioning it. If you find that the salesman's quote has different specs, tell them which ones you want changed and resend the specs and quote. ALWAYS read through the information and don't trust anything verbal. 


3. What's your Budget? I'm not talking about financing, but rather how much you're able to spend out-of-pocket monthly. Calculate the costs of fuel, maintenance and taxes. If you're a company driver, spend a few months putting your records on paper. Look at the bottom line; what will you have left after all your expenses?  If you plan out a budget beforehand it will help you narrow down your choices and avoid overspending in the long run. And before you take the risks involved with owning a truck, make sure you have the contracts that can pay for it. No work, no money, not truck. 


4. Financing: Don't forget about financing. Because this is such a big investment, often people rely on financing to get the truck they want. Certain things are looked for when you apply like how long you have been in business, your credit score(don't be worried, many companies will often provide some kind of finance plan with bad credit or no credit) and the type of loan you need.  Also, dealers may have more than one company they work with for financing, so if one doesn't work there's always another option. 

 


Articles Sourced From:

http://www.righttrucks.com/blog/things-to-consider-when-buying-a-commercial-truck



Buying a Used Truck

June 25, 2014


Buying a truck is a massive investment, some people say it's right up there with purchasing your first home. But maybe you new to the industry, and don't want to make that 100% commitment to a brand-new truck, maybe you can't. This is why we have used trucks. Keep reading to find out our checklist of what you need to know when looking for a used truck.

    1.  Don't be Afraid to Ask Questions; the first questions you should ask is why the owner is selling the truck. It could be that they're simply upgrading, or it can actually be a technical issue. If it's a technical issue, it could end up costing you more in the long run. 

    2.  Always Check the Oil; when you check the oil you'll get a good insight into the maintenance of the engine. Make sure you get the historical records of both the engine and transmission oil changes to verify they were done correctly.

   3. Ask for the vehicles service record; similar to historical records, the service record will give you a good overview of the trucks performance and whether you could encounter any problems in the future. Also, make sure you verify the VIN number with the number on the records to be sure the records you were given are legitimate.

    4. Look For Structural and Surface Rust; rust never looks good on any truck; and while surface rust can be easily fixed, structural rust - such as on the frame or other parts - can mean the truck will need a much larger investment, or worse, have very short life-span left.

    5. Verify the Availability of Replacement Parts; if you can't find at least two suppliers for any replacement part, you may want to consider looking at other options.

    6. Inquire about Financing; if you need it, make sure you can get financing for the truck. Inquire at the dealership about what the requirements are for financing

      We hope this helps you on your hunt for a used truck!



Top Free Apps. for Truckers

June 11, 2014

If anyone can benefit from apps, it's truckers. From gas prices, to news, to weather, these things are practically made for truck drivers. But with app industry booming, there are thousands of apps out there to choose from, and often, you can download a dud. To help you avoid that, we've compiled the best free apps to make your life over the road easier (because everyone likes free things):

    Gas Buddy: This is an app to help you find the best regular, midgrade, premium and diesel fuel in your area. A must when you're driving from unknown city to unknown city.  

    Google Maps: This is one of the more famous navigation and mapping services you can find out there; this is a voice-guided turn-by-turn GPS navigation system that will allow you to also get an aerial view of almost any address, coming in handy when you need to know where the truck dock is for some places.

    Skype: Almost everyone and their mother has Skype these days, it's a great way to stay in touch for a low cost. This app gives you free instant messaging, free voice and video calls, low cost call to mobile and landlines, and free unlimited video messaging; the trick? You need a strong internet connection or it will degrade quickly with a weaker signal.  

    BigRoad: A free trucker log book app for iPhone, iPod, iPad and Android devices that allows truckers to keep track of their daily driver logs. It will help you find truck stops, weigh scales and traffic directions; it allows you to send documents and photos to your company right from your phone.

    Weather.com: Now, while weather apps are a dime a dozen these days, you may want something that's accurate and offers you a little more than the 5 day forecast. The Weather channel offers updates, radar maps, pollen alerts, weather warnings and hour-by-hour weather breakdowns (great for deciding when to stop and when to drive).

    My Fitness Pal: This app is perfect for truck drivers, who are challenged by being stuck in a seat for a long haul. This app is a calorie counter and diet tracker that is very easy to use (I've personally used it in the past); it allows you to set goals, keep caloric diary and input exercise statistics. This app also looks up the calorie count when you input exercise or food so you don't have to.

 (While most of these apps are available on iOS or Android phones, Blackberry users will have a bit of a difficult time finding a few of these)

While these are the best free ones, there are quite a few more that will cost you that work just as well - sometimes better; deciding whether the cost is worth it or not is up to you.

 



The Lo-Down on Dash Cams 

June 2, 2014

We've all seen the videos showing what power dash cams hold - someone runs out in front of a car to purposely get injured in hopes of getting insurance money, only to realize there's a dash cam in the vehicle, leading them to promptly run off.

Since their uprising in places like Russia to guard against corruption and insurance fraud, dash cams have now started to gain popularity in North America. And although this level of insurance fraud isn't as big of a problem in North America, truckers are starting to see the benefits of investing in a dash cam.

One of the more notable incidents is the video that came out earlier this year; a semi crashed into a guardrail while carrying a full load when another truck tried to pass a snow plow on a two -lane highway just outside of Nipigon, Ontario.  Luckily, no one was hurt and because of the driver's dash cam, the right person was charged.   

The front-mounted digital cameras give the police an unbiased witness when they are trying to track down other drivers for alleged infractions and back up insurance claims.

Though they are not as popular among the regular driver here, they have popularity among the truck drivers, and it's not a big investment - the cameras ranging from $50 - $100; definitely worth the money.

And although there is a flip side to having video evidence so easily accessible - drivers may have to produce the video to officials regardless of what's being shown - many truckers see that the benefits outweigh the possible negatives.

 


Long-Distance Parenting 

May 23, 2014

It's said being a parents is one of the most difficult jobs in the world, but also the most rewarding. So imagine if you had to be away from your family for days to weeks at a time? That's the reality for many parents who choose truck driving to support their family. There's the constant struggle of how to be a present figure in your child's life without actually physically being there.

Now there is no special secret formula we can give you, but it's often the smallest things that make the biggest of difference, and the things that are often overlooked. The key in all of this is constant communication; and with today's technologies it's becoming easier; video calling being the staple now - Skype is the most well-known and if you can find Wi-Fi, free! (There is an option for without Wi-Fi, though that will cost you) 

If you're a little tech-challenged invest in a good long distance plan and just call; even if it's just a short goodnight to your kids, the effort will be remembered. And if your children are a bit older, use social media to reach them. We're in a digital age and your kids have been plugged in for years; it's a great way of keeping up-to-date with their lives and let them keep tabs on you!

It's often difficult to be all together in the same room, shared experiences are one of the more missed moments of trucking families; but there are a few things you can do to bond remotely. Try planning to watch a weekly TV show together, or a sports game - chatting about it afterwards connects you and your kids. If you have a younger child, reading them a bedtime story as they're getting ready for bed will be beneficial in helping them recognize that you want to be, and are a constant presence in their life.

Whether your kids are younger or older I bet they'll love surprises; whether it's a present, letter or a funny email, it's a great way to show that they're always on your mind.

When it comes to the disciplinary actions, if you're the parents on the road, stand by the parent at home. The kids need to see you as a united front - or else they'll try to use the "good cop, bad cop" routine, which will end up causing tension between you and your spouse.  If you can, make a mutual decision together, but at the same time understand that they don't always have the time to include you when they need to make a snap decision.

And while being away from your family can have an effect on your kids, don't forget about your spouse as well. Being on the road can affect your relationship as well, if you let it.  Never undermine the hard work they're doing, especially if not only do they take care of the kids, but have a job too! Respect will be the difference between the couple that makes the distance or not.

It's important to acknowledge the hard work of the parent back home; invest in a good babysitter from time-to-time for when a night away is needed. And also, depending on how large your brood is, maybe look into a housekeeper, the larger the family the harder it becomes to keep up with it.


It's not easy being a parent on the road, you miss those little moments; but that just means when you are at home, those little moments turn into big ones.


Save Your Fuel

May 23, 2014

When it comes to fleets and their operating costs, fuel makes up 25% of it; so saving just 2 or 3% in fuel costs for one truck it will make the difference. There are many things that determine the amount of fuel being consumed; the condition of your truck, type of traffic and weather. And while some things out of your control, there are things you can do to avoid a serious negative impact on your fuel economy.

Road type and traffic conditions will have a significant effect on your fuel use; the more you change gear, brake or accelerate, the more fuel is being used. To try to avoid a harsh impact use your height to your advantage; look and plan ahead of you. It'll be better to keep your vehicle moving at a walking pace during traffic than accelerating and harsh stopping - using a considerable less amount of fuel. (Though we understand sometimes you can't help it.)

Now we cannot control the weather (as much as we would like to), so we have to accept a few drawbacks. Vehicle performance in the winter months can be as much as 10% poorer than the summer months - the change from summer to winter grade fuel can contribute to a difference in consumption of around 3%. Not to mention, increased use of things like your fog lights and de-misters can contribute to a lower fuel economy. So if you're noticing you're filling up more in the winter months - be aware it won't last for long (hopefully).

We all know excessive speeding isn't safe, but do you know it's a big factor affecting your fuel economy?  This is because of the increased aerodynamic drag and excess stress on your engine and transmission system. Reducing your speed can reduce your fuel consumption.  And when you speed you're more likely to use your foot brakes more often; that speed lost has to be made up again using the accelerator and then burning fuel.

A way to pick up speed without hitting the accelerator is using your momentum; notice how you're always faster going down hills? Use that momentum to avoid hitting the accelerator. The fuel stops entering the combustion chamber; you're moving but there's no fuel used.

And try to manage your idle time; it wastes fuel and money while increasing emissions. If you're stationary for a long period of time, or you don't need it on, turn it off. Think before you idle.

Now, we may have to accept the fact that fuel prices are not looking too good right now - and who know's, maybe one day they'll come back down (ya right!). But for now, all we can do is our best to avoid stopping at the gas station as much as possible.


 



Is the Trucking Industry Lacking in Women? 

May 7, 2014

With whispers running around the industry of a driver shortage in the next 10-15 years we continue to develop the newest ways to fill those seats, but we may be missing out on the best way to avoid this shortage altogether; women.

It's apparent that women are still largely underrepresented in trucking-related careers in an industry that has always been viewed as a "man's industry". Here's a current breakdown of women in the Canadian trucking and freight transportation industry:

    - Freight claims/safety and loss prevention specialist: 25%

    - Dispatchers: 18%

    - Parts Technicians: 13%

    - Managerial staff: 11%

    - Mechanics, transportation trailer technicians and cargo workers: 3%

    - Truck drivers: 3%


Fighting the fight to bring more women to our industry and develop careers for women are SWIFT (Supporting Women in Freight Transportation) and the Women in Trucking Association.

Formed earlier in 2014 by Trucking HR Canada, SWIFT is a Canadian initiative with a national advisory committee made up of senior managers, directors, presidents and C-level executives. Women in Trucking Association, formed in 2007, is working with SWIFT in hopes that they will learn from WIT and both initiatives work to complement each other.

Both initiatives are working towards developing careers and encouraging employment for women in the industry.

Although we continue to push for a stronger presence in the trucking industry, stereotypes still persist. Some people still view driving a truck as not feminine or that women do not lack the strength or capability of controlling a big-rig.

But research does show otherwise; according to statistics, female truck drivers are three times less likely to get into an accident and five times less likely to violate safety regulations than their male counterparts. Both males and females measured highest in patience followed by conformity.

So why aren't more women attracted to trucking? For one thing, it could be because of the stigma attached to the industry that women have never even considered a career in trucking. Some drivers say that it's rare to find women who drive alone; that you'll see them more in husband and wife teams - so does that mean family is more of a factor than it is to men?

No matter what the reason, it's clear that we need to remove this stigma and start welcoming more women in.

To learn how you can help or find out more information on WIT or SWIFT, check out these links;

http://womenintrucking.biz/

https://www.truckinghr.com/en/content/supporting-women-freight-transportation



Stay Alert, Stay Alive; Keep Awake OTR

April 8,2014

At any time of the day you can always see at least one truck rolling down the highway, maybe you're the one driving that truck, and maybe you're exhausted. Fatigued driving among the trucking community has become an alarming trend; with 1 in 4 truckers having admitted to falling asleep while driving in the previous month.

But truck drivers are not the only ones; about 18.5% of Canadian drivers admitted to falling asleep at the wheel within the past year and 60% admitting to having it happen more than once. It's believed driver fatigue plays a role in about 19% of non-fatal accidents and 4% of fatal ones.

Who can blame them though? Truckers average less than 5 hours of sleep per night, while the average adult requires 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night, it's a no wonder why our drivers are falling asleep at the wheel.

With 65% of fatal crashed occurring on long-haul trips the North American trucking industry introduced new regulations in June of 2013; the goal was to reduce the problem of driver fatigue by limiting the work week from 82 to 70 hours, and required longer rest periods after reaching the 70 hour maximum work period.

But as some drivers know, limiting the driving hours may not be enough, so here are some tips to help you out when fatigue hits and how to avoid it.

   - Ideally, you would need to get a full nights rest, but for the truck drivers meeting deadlines this isn't as realistic as they would like. If you can, take a quick power nap before you hit the road - look for somewhere between 20-30 minutes.  

  - When you're on the road and hitting a tired patch, avoid energy drinks. Though the promise to give you a jolt of energy seems promising, that's all they will give you, just a jolt; and the fall will be harder and faster. If you do need caffeine fix, look for coffee or tea.

 - Eat a healthy meal before you hit the road, but after you nap (if you can manage to fit one in). Look for something that consists of complex carbohydrates and protein, these are energy foods that will give you a long lasting stamina. Avoid fat, salt and sugar which will make you tired.

 - With your healthy meal take your vitamins; look for vitamins B and C to give you energy. But take them with a healthy meal or else your body won't absorb them.

 - If you can, pull over and take a walk - even if it's just a quick one around your rig. The blood flow will wake you up.

If you can't pull over, open your windows! This works particularly well if your truck is warm inside and it's freezing outside; open the window for long enough to jolt you awake but not enough to make you uncomfortable.

-  Keep your mind alert with audio books! But don't pull out something boring that will put you asleep, think along the lines of scary or suspense novels that will allow you to keep your mind occupied.


Between traffic jams, tight deadlines and mechanical problems it can be easy to forget about your sleep; but don't let that stop you from driving safe. Keep alert when driving; it could save your life or someone else's.


Truck World 2014 is Coming!

April 3, 2014

7 days remaining and the official countdown has begun - but really, it began months ago for anyone in the industry. Truck World 2014 returns April 10th; and with over 400 exhibitors and 300,000+ square feet of new trucks and equipment, it's sure to be one heck of a show.

Durham Truck will be at the MACK booth - Hall 1 - right in front, so come and stop by and check us out!

Oh! And don't forget to register before you get there! Check out our Latest News to get our registration code. 

 


End the Stigma; Eating Healthy OTR

April 2,2014


Often when people think of truck drivers they think of that guy with a gut (and many other things that are best left for another time). There has always been that stigma attached to the truck driver occupation, but now more than ever we are hearing that drivers are ready to end the stigma and get healthy.

So what's the problem? Well it's the same as anyone trying to get healthy; it's the act of starting that seems to be the biggest issue. When drivers are busy dealing with staying on schedule against traffic, poor driving conditions, mechanical trouble and possible fatigue, some don't even want to THINK about having to make a meal. But the trick is to take out the thinking, and make healthy eating second nature.

Now more than ever we live in a convenience-filled world, allowing us to take most of the work out of eating healthier. Next time you're at the grocery store to stock up, throw these items in your cart - you'll thank us later. 


   - Pre-washed bags of lettuce and spinach

   - Pre-washed and cut vegetables; easy to eat alone or put in your salad

   - Pre-washed and cut fruit; great for snacking

   - Whole pieces of fruit that are easy to clean

   - Grilling meat - look for chicken and turkey breast (obviously for this one you would need a portable grill, those are easily accessible at most large department stores)

   - And look for anything protein rich like peanuts and almonds - this will help keep you full longer.


Check out this link here to The Healthy Trucker's Grocery List for a much more extensive list of what to keep in your truck: http://www.thehealthytrucker.net/trucker-grocery-list/

Ps. their site is fantastic for not only meal ideas, but exercise as well. When you have the time I recommend checking it out.


Now these things are all fine and dandy, but if you're like me, a boredom eater, it's easy to overeat. Here are some tips and tricks to help you really start to think about what you eat and when you eat it.

Portion control is the key to everything; invest in smaller bowls, plates, cups and single serving baggies.

While getting bulk snacks from places like Costco can be great for your wallet, you have to be careful not to gorge out straight from the packaging. Often, your brain doesn't recognize when you're full so you end up eating past that point. The best thing to do is to divide your snacks into single serving baggies or 100-calorie baggies as soon as possible. So when you hit the end of that first baggie, you end up actually thinking about if you need that second bag.

Now do you have your grandmothers or great-grandmother's fine china? When you get a chance, pull it out and compare it to the plates you have now. That's a huge size difference right? The plates you have right now are probably about 12-inches -it's obvious why our plates sizes have grown over the years, our portions have grown with our stomachs! But imagine your regular meal on that plate; you'll end up trying to balance out your plate because proper portion sizes look so small. Now imagine your meal on that fine china, not such a small meal now is it? Invest in smaller plates and bowls - about 8-inches - or side plates as we now call them; they will help you eat an adequate, healthy portion size.

With so many diet programs out there, it's easy to get overwhelmed, but at the end of the day it comes down to eating right and exercising. That being said, for some people it does end up being a mind over matter issue. So give it to us, what are your tips and tricks to eat healthier?

  



Fighting Cargo Theft PT 1: The Facts

March 17, 2014

"Over $500,000 worth of property disappears every day in the GTA area alone"

What it Costs Us

Cargo theft has been around for centuries, from bandits to pirates to organized crime. Though the methods have changed the facts are still the same - cargo theft is costing us all.

It's believed the cost of cargo theft to be a $5 billion problem in Canada, over $500,000 worth of property disappears every day in the GTA area alone. According to insurance industry sources, a trucking company operating on a 5% profit margin must generate over $1 million in new business to cover a $50,000 loss.

Cargo theft doesn't just affect the trucking industry either; consumers pay when fallout from losses translate to higher prices on consumer products.

How They Do It

Quite often, thieves - members of various organized criminal gangs or opportunistic lone wolves - will sneak into darkened yards, knock on the aluminium containers, listening for the thud of a laden container; they'll steal a tractor, hook it up to the trailer and haul it away.

As the items become more valuable, the stakes become higher - making this a volatile situation. There have been multiple reports in the past involving truckers found gagged and tied up with their truck later found empty and damaged; and in worse cases, some have been killed for their cargo. Back in 2006 a 35 year old trucker, Donald Woods, was shot in his rig in a Pickering Wal-Mart for 14,000 kg of air-chilled chicken, worth about $40,000. A Montreal man has since been charged for the killing.

"A $65 billion sector of the economy that accounts for the movement of roughly 90% of consumer goods and foodstuffs in Canada."

What Are They Taking?

So what is being stolen? Food and drinks are the big money - doubling in 2013 from 2012, making up 27% of all thefts - stolen loads of nuts, seafood, candy, cookies and snacks, dairy and eggs, and meat are among the big sellers. They are easy targets since they are unable to trace without serial numbers - getting anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000 from the load.

Television and projects were the most targeted electronic loads; electronic loads making up 14% of all thefts.

  

Organized crime has latched onto a particularly profitable niche - a $65 billion sector of the economy that accounts for the movement of roughly 90% of consumer goods and foodstuffs in Canada. In Canada, the Chinese Triad crime organization has been linked to several reported cargo thefts.

It's believed most of the stolen cargo is brought to ports and exported in ocean containers to countries such as Paraguay, Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, the Dominican Republic, and Costa Rica. It is then sold though black market distribution channels.

What can we do to stop this from happening? Keep a look out in my next blog where I'll lay out what is being done and what we can do to prevent cargo theft. 



Spring Prep for Your Truck
March 10, 2014

This winter may just have been the longest, most gruelling winter we've seen in quite some time. But - thankfully - here we are at the end of the tunnel, warmer weather in sight (fingers crossed) and it's time to get that beauty of a truck back to its former glory!

Here are some quick tips on what to make sure you get checked out before hitting the road this spring!

  • Always check your fluids at the beginning and end of every season, and if you aren't already, get in the habit. Check your engine oil and any other fluids. Because of the disgusting winter temperatures we had this year the effectiveness of your vital engine fluids may have diminished - this is even more so if you don't use synthetic lubricants. (They're formulated to deliver better protection against high and low temperature extremes).
  • Winter weather doesn't bring out the best driver in people, which makes it the worst time to be a truck driver. The ongoing traffic and nervous drivers forces the stop and go effect, wearing down your brake pads. If you're hearing any squeaking or grinding, go get it checked out.
  • Go get your tires air pressure and tread levels checked, and the tires rotated.
  • A small but important component, especially when we enter the "spring showers" season - wiper blades. Check out if they seem dry or cracked, you may need a fresh set.

And don't forget to take that sucker out for a wash. Any residual salt could damage the exterior - and it'll make it look like new!

Don't forget, most companies do have maintenance programs - so when you're purchasing a truck, or just in the area go check them out!

What are some of your Spring Prep tips that you rely on every year?

 


Mack was "Born Ready"
March 5, 2014

The big reveal has happened; Mack Trucks is ready to reinvent itself. Tuesday night in the Las Vegas World Market Center company officials revealed the new tagline "Born Ready" and a refreshed logo.

This re-branding is in an effort for a long-term plan to increase Mack's market share and sales in long-haul and over-the-road trucking application.

Tuesday night's big reveal was no small undertaking either, even load in and build took more than 60 techs, riggers, programmers and production industry professionals four days to prepare the nearly 77,000 square feet site.

John Walsh, Mack Vice President of Marketing said, "It's time we told our story in a way that captures both the essence of the brand - what had always made Mack great - as well as all of the exciting things happening with Mack today. That's really what the new work we're debuting today is all about."

There has been much talk over the internet that all the hype was for nothing, while others are excited for this new venture for Mack. Either way the proof will be in the numbers - we can't wait to see what will happen.

Check out the new logo - we're loving their new look. What do you think?

 


Help! We're Running Out of Drivers!
March 3, 2014

It's no secret that the industry may be facing a labour shortage in 10-15 years. With more than one-fifth of drivers over the age of 54, it's no wonder we're worried. By 2020 we could be facing a shortfall of more the 25,000 drivers, according to the Conference Board of Canada. Truckers are ageing faster than we can get any young workers in their seats; it's often been referred to as a "demographic tsunami".

"By 2020 we could be facing a shortfall of more than 25,000 drivers, according to the Conference Board of Canada."

What once pulled in drivers is no more- the allure of the open road is gone. Low wages, long hours and being treated like unskilled labour are a good reason why trucking isn't anyone's first choice for employment any more.  

Many people believe that the big issue facing this industry are the wages. Not only are they not competitive enough with alternative occupations but pay is often not consistent enough and varying with the volume of work. They need to compensate the drivers for being away from their loved ones for such a long period of time.

Other people believe the government can, and should, help - by developing policies and regulatory frameworks that establish national occupational training and licensing standards that recognize truck driving as a skilled occupation.

"90% of the food and consumer products that Canadians consume every day are delivered by truck drivers."

Truck driving has become the "invisible occupation" to most - a job that most see as so basic, we take for granted every day. The reality is, with 90% of the food and consumer products that Canada consumes every day being delivered by truck and nearly two-thirds of our cross-border trade with the United States goes by tractor trailer, we need drivers to keep our economy running.  

A New Future on the Horizon?

As most of the industry is scrambling to attract younger workers into the labour pool, some industry leaders are looking above and beyond who we have. They are ready to invest in the next generation of truckers - it's time to think self-driving trucks.

In early 2014, Rio Tinto plans to have 40 robot trucks operating at three Australian mining locations, being controlled from Perth - 1,500 kilometres away from the site! Since trials began in 2008, the autonomous trucks have operated every day, 24 hours a day, and have moved more than 100 million tonnes of material and travelled more than one million kilometres.

On the Canadian side of things, Canada's largest energy company, Suncor Energy Inc. is testing similar technology at their open-pit mine in Steepbank, Alberta.

Are robot trucks the future of trucking? The information is making them look pretty attractive; they are energy saving up to 20%, safer roads due to reduced driver error, less congested roads as robots trucks can travel closer together, increased productivity because robot trucks can operate around the clock and lower costs because of less drivers.

Some say this may attract more young people to the industry - this kind of new technology is what is interesting for Millennial's. But robots may not take over the driving occupation on a global or even national scale for quite some time.

Though the fact of the matter is as the baby boomers start to retire the pressure is on to put the bodies in those seats.

I want to hear your thoughts on this; how do you think we should solve the labour shortage?

 
Sources:

1. http://www.capitalnews.ca/index.php/news/truck-driver-shortage-could-put-canadas-economy-in-neutral
2. http://www.cantruck.ca/imispublic/Home2/AM/ContentManagerNet/ContentDisplay.aspx?Section=Home2&ContentID=12881
3. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-drive/new-cars/auto-news/self-driving-fleets-are-steering-big-rig-operators-toward-obsolescence/article16937157/
4. Conference Board of Canada



Mack Trucks are Re-Branding 
Feb. 24, 2014

Mack Trucks Inc. is looking to re-focus their efforts this year. Mack will be focusing more on its brand in hopes to capture more of the North American Class 8 market - which their share currently remains under 10%. Stephen Roy, President of North American Sales and Marketing at Mack Trucks Inc. is confident we will see growth as early as this year;  "With our backlog and the amount of activity we see now, there's no reason Mack can't be above 10% this year, with a vision to being much greater than that," Roy said

You can expect to see Mack aggressively grow its on-highway presence. "If we are going to improve share, we need to have a larger presence in the on-highway market," said Roy.

Roy is projecting about 250,000 Class 8 truck sales this year in North America, which would represent a slight boost in demand from 2013.

Having seen a slight preview on what to expect, we at Durham Truck are excited about this next year with Mack Trucks.

The official re-launch of the Mack brand will happen at the ConExpo construction show in early March

 
Source: http://www.trucknews.com 


Feb. 3, 2014

The trucking industry can be tough to navigate, especially if you're new to the business - that's why we're here to help. Think of this blog as your lifeline to learn and explore everything truck related; from buying your first truck to the most up-to-date news and the whole lot in between.

If there's a topic you're interested in reading about, let us know in our comment section to the right - we'd love to hear your ideas!

And keep an eye out in the coming weeks for our first post!