Cargo Theft

5 Useful Tips to Help You Avoid Cargo Theft

Cargo Theft

Cargo Theft

Cargo theft is a common problem of the trucking industry in the United States. During the third quarter of 2016, the total cargo theft incidents went up significantly. In July, August, and September there were 193 cargo thefts. The average loss of value was equal to $120,536.

According to FreightWatch International, in the third quarter of 2016, California got the first place in the cargo theft ranking. It accounts for 38 % of all incidents. Texas got the second place with 16 % of the thefts. About 75 percent of all thefts took place at the unsecured parking locations. 13 % of the thefts occurred at the secured parking lots and 11 percent at the warehouses/distributions centers.

It’s impossible to completely protect yourself from cargo theft. However, by following a few simple rules, you can significantly reduce the chances of being robbed.

  1. Find Secure Parking Spaces

As you can see from the statistics, most of the thefts occur in the unsecured parking lots. Since there is a certain shortage of secure truck parking in the country, finding a good location can be complicated. You can opt for trying to find a well-lit area that’s not isolated. Look for parking lots or spaces where you can back you truck against a fence or a wall to prevent easy access to the cargo. You can also park you truck tail to tail with another cargo vehicle.

  1. Keep Your Mouth Shut

This might seem rude but it’s one of the best ways to protect your cargo, especially when it’s valuable. Chatting with the guys at truck stops and discussing cargo details over the phone in a crowded area is the best way to give thieves a good idea of what you are transporting. Another simple way to reveal information is to create detailed social media posts. They are often easy to track.

  1. Lock Up

While this is an obvious advice, for some reason, many truckers believe that if they leave for “just a minute”, nothing bad will happen. Experienced thieves can leave you without your cargo in a matter of seconds. So even if you are going out for a quick bathroom break, make sure all your windows are rolled up and the doors are locked.

  1. Listen to Your Gut

When you are carrying expensive cargo, being paranoid is a good quality. If you feel as if someone is paying too much attention to your truck or following you for a long time, don’t hesitate to call for help. At least let the dispatcher know that there might be a problem, so you can avoid the responsibility in case such circumstances lead to theft.

  1. Know the Hot Spots

Most of the thefts happen during the first stop after loading. So you must be extra careful about your cargo when you first stop for refueling, resting, restroom breaks, etc. Plan your trip to make the first stop at least 200 miles away from the shipper’s location. Not many thieves are ready to follow your truck this long. Also be extra careful when traveling in California, Florida, New Jersey, Illinois, Georgia, and Texas. These states are the kings of cargo theft.

best truck routes

Truckers Are you Saving Miles or Saving Money?

Saving Miles or Saving Money?

best truck routes

Truckers would you use small roads or express way if you can save some miles?

Trucking newbies, as well as experienced truckers, often find themselves in a situation when they see an amazing opportunity to save a few miles and some time by getting off the expressway and maneuvering through small town roads.

Our inner voice often tells us that breaking a small rule can help us gain a huge advantage, so it’s worth it. My own experience tells me otherwise. The few miles you save by going off the expressway can turn into a complete disaster for the following reasons:

  • Bad roads. By going off the route, you have no idea where you’ll eventually end up. A small town road might not be designed to accommodate your vehicle and you will be forced to U-turn, which is far from being a pleasant experience. If the roads are not designed to accommodate a large vehicle, a truck can cause damage to the pavement. The weight limits didn’t just come out of nowhere.
  • Let’s face it. Cops are not less intelligent than we are. They are more eager to catch truckers on the small roads than race after speeders on the expressways because small towns need money. In addition, a speeding ticket is much more preferable than a fine for entering a “no truck” zone. If you think there are fewer cops on town roads than on the highways, think again. There are just as many or even more.
  • Getting into an accident on a small town road is 70 % easier than on an expressway. People rarely expect to see a large vehicle when backing out of their driveways. Bikers, joggers, inattentive kids – these are the “fun” bonuses you get on small roads.
  • Consequences. The tickets you get for breaking the rules on small roads will eventually lead to:
  • Bad job records – A real killer for your career
  • Increased insurance – A serious toll on your wallet
  • Suspended registration – Job loss

The consequences of an accident don’t even need to be discussed. They can vary from unpleasant to downright scary.

Going to non-approved roads can cost you up to $2,000 in fines and lead to a registration suspension for up to three months. It is easy to do the math and realize that such consequences will cost you much more money and hassle than you will save by getting off the expressway.

Small roads might not always be a way to save time. Traffic on town roads can be much heavier than on an expressway.

We have all broken a few rules while driving. It is hard to avoid adding a little speed or parking for just a few minutes in a restricted zone. However, choosing your battles is an absolute must when you are driving a truck. The consequences of maneuvering on small town roads can be extremely unpleasant for you and damaging to your vehicle.

Food for thought: Did you know that a fully loaded five-axle rig that weighs 80,000 pounds could damage the expressway more than 5,000 cars? Imagine what it can do to a small town road.

 

truck speed limiter coming

Truck Speed Limiter: Is the Government About to Make a Mistake?

Truck Speed Limiter is a huge concern for the government. The government is actively pushing through a law that will require installing electronic truck speed limiters on all trucks over 26,000 pounds. The rule will work only for the vehicles manufactured after the law goes into effect. The regulation can be finalized after the comment period that will end on November 7th. The speed might be limited to 60, 65 or 68 miles per hour.

Truck Speed Limiter

truck speed limiter coming

The supporters of the new rule are turning to physics and saying that the slower the truck is; the less damage will occur upon crashing. A study done by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showed that 1044 people die every year as a result of an accident involving heavy trucks on the roads, where the speed limits are at least 55 mph.

They point out that if the speed was limited to 60 mph then about 500 lives per year would be saved since the crashes would be less serious. If the speed limit would be set at 65 mph, then over 214 lives would be saved.

The agency seemed to have done a thorough job collecting and analyzing the statistics, but did they ask the truckers? People with many years of truck driving experience believe that the government could be making a huge mistake by limiting the driving speed.  Will the new speed limit for truckers make the matters on the roads worse?

The traffic jams

Now the time has come to forget the physics and turn to logic. What will happen when one truck will try to pass another at a similar speed? The traffic jams will be unavoidable, the car drivers will be frustrated, and eventually some rules are bound to be broken.

The advantage of owning an old Truck

Truck owners will try to do their best to extend the lives of the old vehicles that don’t have an electronic truck speed limiter installed. Can it boost the cost of the used vehicles? It most certainly can. Accordingly, the sales of the new ones will go down. This approach can be rather dangerous since older and ill-conditioned trucks will be filling the roads.

The same speed limit for everyone?

While limiting the speed of trucks, the government is not even considering the same limitations for other vehicles. This can result in a reversed effect. If the truck is running slower than the rest of the vehicles on the road, it can cause a crash situation. A car with a higher speed that’s coming up behind a truck will run into its back every other time. More than 50 % of the truck-car accidents are caused by the cars, not the trucks. So will limiting the trucks really work?

The discussion is underway and the new regulation has plenty of supporters. Chris Spear, CEO of the American Trucking Associations, is fighting against the new rule.

“The various differentials in speed from what this rule proposes and what state speed limits are dangerous,” he said. ““We cannot afford to elevate risks for the motoring public with a rule that does not take into account the danger of differential speeds for cars and trucks.”

But will his efforts be enough to stop the government from making a mistake?

free trucking software

TransIT offering Free Trucking Software

free trucking software

free trucking software

Irving, TX: TransIT TMS is offering free trucking software for owner operators and small trucking companies operating two trucks or less in their fleet. Interested owner operators and small trucking companies can sign up at the website selecting the package and following through the sign up process. Once you have signed up, you will be provided with the username and password to access the software within 24 – 48 hours (currently there is a delay). TransIT is the only software provider offering free web based trucking software in the trucking industry.

TransIT TMS helps you manage trucking operation efficiently by offering complete truck management system. Set up and dispatch easily from anywhere.

As always, we will be here when you need support.

Thank you for your continued support.

Operations Manager

TransIT

news@transittms.com

Uber Acquired Otto 90+ team of Self driving Truck Company

 

Uber Acquired Otto

Uber Acquired Otto

Uber Acquired Otto

I’m excited to announce that Uber has acquired Otto, a 90-plus person technology startup whose mission is to rethink transportation, starting with self-driving trucks. Anthony Levandowski, Otto’s co-founder, will now lead our combined self-driving efforts reporting directly to me—across personal transportation, delivery and trucking—in San Francisco, Palo Alto and Pittsburgh.

If that sounds like a big deal—well, it is. More and more the world of atoms is interacting with bits. In order to provide digital services in the physical world, we must build sophisticated logistics, artificial intelligence and robotics systems that serve and elevate humanity.

Screen Shot 2016-08-18 at 10.39.10 AM

When it comes to this advanced technology stack, Otto plus Uber is a dream team. Anthony is one of the world’s leading autonomous engineers: his first invention, a self-driving motorcycle called Ghostrider, is now in the Smithsonian. Just as important, Anthony is a prolific entrepreneur with a real sense of urgency.

Together, we now have one of the strongest autonomous engineering groups in the world; self-driving trucks and cars that are already on the road thanks to Otto and Uber’s Advanced Technologies Center in Pittsburgh; the practical experience that comes from running ridesharing and delivery services in hundreds of cities; with the data and intelligence that comes from doing 1.2 billion miles on the road every month.

In the last six years we’ve seen the profound impact that smartphone technology has had on transportation, as well as the delivery business. When people can push a button and reliably get an affordable ride across town, things change for the better—and quickly. Ridesharing helps cut drunk driving. It complements public transit, getting people to places that other means of transportation don’t reach, replacing the need to own a car over time. Most important of all, the smartphone has made mass carpooling a reality. By getting more people into fewer cars, we can reduce congestion and pollution in our cities.

Otto truck Driverless

Otto Truck Driver less

Of course, this is just the start, especially when it comes to safety. Over one million people die on the world’s roads every year and 90 percent of these accidents are due to human error. In the US, traffic accidents are a leading cause of death for people under 25. This is a tragedy that self-driving technology can help solve. That’s why our partnership with Swedish car maker Volvo, which we’re also announcing today, is so important. Volvo has consistently been a leader when it comes to safety. And partnership is crucial to our self-driving strategy because Uber has no experience making cars. To do it well is incredibly hard, as I realized on my first visit to a car manufacturing plant several years ago. By combining Uber’s self-driving technology with Volvo’s state-of-the art vehicles and safety technology, we’ll get to the future faster than going it alone.

Here’s to a great partnership with Volvo. And to Anthony, Lior and the Otto team—welcome to Uber. We’re pumped to have you on board. It’s time to move.

–Travis Kalanick, CEO and Co-Founder, Uber

www.uber.com

Ford Full Autonomous/Driverless car in 2021

ford-driverless-car-2021

ford-driverless-car-2021

FORD TARGETS FULLY AUTONOMOUS VEHICLE FOR RIDE SHARING IN 2021; INVESTS IN NEW TECH COMPANIES, DOUBLES SILICON VALLEY TEAM

 

 

  • Ford announces intention to deliver high-volume, fully autonomous vehicle for ride sharing in 2021
  • Ford investing in or collaborating with four startups on autonomous vehicle development
  • Company also doubling Silicon Valley team and more than doubling Palo Alto campus

PALO ALTO, Calif., Aug. 16, 2016 – Ford today announces its intent to have a high-volume, fully autonomous SAE level 4-capable vehicle in commercial operation in 2021 in a ride-hailing or ride-sharing service.

To get there, the company is investing in or collaborating with four startups to enhance its autonomous vehicle development, doubling its Silicon Valley team and more than doubling its Palo Alto campus.

“The next decade will be defined by automation of the automobile, and we see autonomous vehicles as having as significant an impact on society as Ford’s moving assembly line did 100 years ago,” said Mark Fields, Ford president and CEO. “We’re dedicated to putting on the road an autonomous vehicle that can improve safety and solve social and environmental challenges for millions of people – not just those who can afford luxury vehicles.”

Fields says he’s not closing the door on potential partnerships. Ford and Baidu Inc., the Chinese Internet behemoth, announced that both companies jointly invested $150 million in Velodyne, a Silicon Valley company that specializes in sensors. Already Silicon Valley and the auto industry have been in a dating frenzy looking for long-term partners to help develop the technology behind a self-driving car. Volkswagen spent $300 million to get a piece of ride-hailing company Uber’s European rival Gett. General Motors spent $1 billion to purchase Cruise Automation, as well as investing in ride-hire service Lyft. Meanwhile, Toyota invested in Uber.

Ford’s engineers may be confident, but are riders? The announced plan would have cars without not only drivers but obvious vehicle controls. Visintainer says he understands the public’s uneasiness about autonomy. He says the company is looking for ways to convince the public that self-driving cars can be safe. “It’s going to be an education and a journey, being transparent and open about the progress we’re making, and how we’re doing is a key part of that.”

Analysts say discussing the technology is a move to placate the concerns of Wall Street. General Motors, Google and some of Ford’s other competitors have spent the year making announcements and investments in advanced technology. Michelle Krebs with autotrader.com says GM has been grabbing all the headlines recently “and Ford can’t be happy about that, especially as some Wall Street analysts have wondered if Ford is falling behind in future mobility.” Ford’s Mark Fields has said Ford has been setting the pace.

 

Read More

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/08/17/490406911/ford-looks-to-a-fleet-of-driverless-cars

DOT Brake Safety Week Coming in September

Truck Brake Inspection week sept 11 - 17 2016

Truck Brake Inspection week sept 11 – 17 2016

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Association will be holding its annual brake safety inspection campaign the week of Sept. 11-17, 2016. The event is designed to promote brake safety in commercial vehicles and will focus on brake system compliance.

Commercial vehicle operators should be prepared for inspections by law enforcement officials to include checks for loose or missing parts; air or hydraulic fluid leaks; worn linings, pads, drums or rotors; and other faulty brake-system components.

If inspectors find defective or out-of-service brakes, those vehicles will be placed out of service.

During the week of Sept. 11-17, 2016, law enforcement agencies across North America will conduct inspections on large trucks and buses to identify out-of-adjustment brakes, and brake-system and anti-lock braking system (ABS) violations as part of CVSA’s Brake Safety Week, an annual outreach and enforcement campaign designed to improve commercial motor vehicle (CMV) brake safety throughout North America.

Properly functioning brake systems are crucial to safe CMV operation. CMV brakes are designed to hold up under tough conditions, but they must be routinely inspected and maintained carefully and consistently so they operate and perform properly throughout the vehicle’s life. Improperly installed or poorly maintained brake systems can reduce braking efficiency and increase the stopping distance of trucks and buses, posing serious risks to driver and public safety. ABS systems help the vehicle, and thus the driver, maintain control in certain situations, which reduces the risk of some types of crashes.

Brake-related violations comprised the largest percentage (representing 43 percent) of all out-of-service violations cited during Operation Airbrake’s companion International Roadcheck campaign in 2015, which focused on inspections of both vehicles and drivers.

Inspections conducted during Brake Safety Week include inspection of brake-system components to identify loose or missing parts, air or hydraulic fluid leaks, worn linings, pads, drums or rotors, and other faulty brake-system components. ABS malfunction indicator lamps are also checked. Inspectors will inspect brake components and measure pushrod stroke where applicable. Defective or out-of-adjustment brakes will result in the vehicle being placed out of service.

Many inspectors will be conducting Level I Inspections, and in the 10 jurisdictions currently using performance-based brake testing (PBBT) equipment, vehicle braking efficiency will be measured. These systems include a slow speed roller dynamometer that measures total vehicle weight and total brake force from which braking efficiency is determined. The minimum braking efficiency for trucks is 43.5 percent, required by U.S. federal regulation and the CVSA out-of-service criteria.

Outreach and educational efforts by CMV inspectors, participating motor carriers and others in the industry will also take place during Brake Safety Week and are integral to the success of the campaign.

More than 3.4 million brakes have been inspected since the program’s inception in 1998.

Brake Safety Week is part of the Operation Airbrake program sponsored by CVSA in partnership with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

 

How TransIT TMS can Help Your Trucking Company Manage Your Business?

The Transportation Management System (TMS) is dedicated to help companies to move consignments from one place to other with more efficiency, cost effectiveness and reliability. TransIT Transportation Management System provides an amazing solution to all TMS related services. The best thing to know is that TransIT TMS system is compatible with mobile phones that makes your customers as well as stake holders capable enough to access websites using their smartphones so that they can anytime order for a truck, check its availability, track shipment, rate quote and many more. It also provides benefits to drivers with various facilities so that they can check complete details of dispatch information for load, make easy settlements and can apply for new job openings.

Generally, the process of consignment dispatch takes long time because processes are executed manually but this latest software provides fastest order processing facility and it is very intuitive to use.

 

How TransIT can help your Trucking Business?

Following information will help you know about this effective software and its abilities to boost your business output within very less time:

  • TransIT works with fastest order processing facility where you can enter details of stops, destination and origin within seconds and it automatically calculates miles, scheduled pick up, quote rates, deliveries and does efficient order processing. With all such facilities it becomes best system for trucking business companies.
  • Once you have entered details about load and processed it further, it will start waiting for dispatch and it can be managed with just a few clicks to right truck.
  • You will be glad to know about its LTL processing feature that makes processing possible with less than actual truckload cargo even with multiple stops and customers. It allows you to fix unlimited number o stops as per customer requirements and helps to achieve greater profits with best utilization of modules.
  • TransIT works for easy billing and send immediate invoice to customers with few clicks only. It allows easy reception of payments and removes chances of mistakes.
  • This software helps users to allocate right vehicle as per requirement and it becomes possible due to ability of this software to store all important details like unlade weight, GVW, Axles, Types, Length, Model, Make as well as engine.
  • Using TransIT, you can also track and record of fuel for your vehicle so that fuel expenses can be controlled to generate profits. It also allows user to use fuel integration facility and keeps records for future use.
  • Here you can manage all your documents easily as like tickets, legal documents, receipts and invoices.
  • It provides best payroll facility to business owners so that they can generate salaries of drivers and office employees with few clicks only.
  • TransIT Software comes with completely integrated website that displays details about offered services, client accounts, recruit drivers, list jobs, driver accounts, settlements, shipping tracking and many more.
  • It makes your trucking system completely online and highly safe.

With all such incredible features, TransIT software becomes best choice for trucking business owners.

How to Choose a Profitable Trucking Lane?

It takes efforts to make decision about profit oriented things but it demands more experience to ensure that we are going to follow profitability for long run. For a trucking company, the waiting time and collection is one of the most contentious problems and a wrong decision about trucking lane can also lead to more fuel wastage with least profits. It is good to develop better strategies for driving out on profitable lanes with perfect loads, drivers so that companies can improve their services and some latest software tools help to resolve this decision making issue in very efficient manner. Such advanced and highly interactive software can pre-determine profitability of trucking lanes in real time and it also controls wastage of resources.

In order to make decision about profitable trucking lane, you have to follow these steps:

  • Determine your beginning point which is commonly your domicile or operation home base.
  • Generate a list of all local distribution centers and local manufacturers within a specifc radius of 50 to 100 miles.
  • Call all of them; although some may not be interested but several will join hands with you and they will make your first leg of freight lane.
  • Now for those who have refused for your services, it is possible that they are already using 3PL or freight brokers services for their shipments; now your next step is to get details of all those service providers and get information about where they are failing to satisfy clients on the way.
  • Look at those dead areas where brokers are not providing services; this area can serve as strength for your business and you can make analysis about this lane while managing perfect truck to load ratio.
  • Look for an ever widening circle of services ranging from low rate to no freight area till the time any freight fits perfectly to your hauling rate range.
  • Your final objective must be to design a freight lane for trucks that can cover hauling for whole month and can generate required revenues.

Sometimes it may seem that one lane or back can bring profits to your business but actually you need to go somewhere else where it is possible achieve better profits. Experts say that tri haul or more than that is always a better choice and it can help you to generate more revenues.

Once you are able to find right routes for your trucking business then the next part is to find loads. It is not always good to go ahead with a broker rather try to collect experience from market by yourself. Go directly to clients and make them aware about your services; let them know how your trucking service can be better and profitable for them and develop trust among clients for your quality of services. There are so many factors that play important role in this selection process; but experts say that it is always good to move ahead with industry standards. A tri haul lane can lead to more profits because here your return trip is also dedicated to cover few loads and there is no wastage of resources as like straight lane service.