In The Drivers Seat -- Interstate Trucking, a Journey

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The record of duty status must be kept current to the last change of duty status and records of the previous seven days retained by the driver in the truck and presented to law enforcement officials on demand. Electronic on-board recorders EOBR can automatically record, among other things, the time the vehicle is in motion or stopped. New HOS hours of service regulations came into effect on 1 July These require a break of 30 minutes to be taken before eight hours of duty is reached.

There are additional HOS regulations for California. A shortage of truck drivers has been reported in the United States. Retention rates are low. Truck drivers are paid according to many different methods. These include salary, hourly, and a number of methods which can be broadly defined as piece work. Piece work methods may include both a base rate and additional pay. Base rates either compensate drivers by the mile or by the load.

The main advantage of being paid by the mile may be that a driver is rewarded according to measurable accomplishment. The main disadvantage is that what a driver may accomplish is not so directly related to the effort and, perhaps especially, the time required for completion. Household good drivers deal with the most complexity and thus are typically the highest paid, potentially making multiples of a scheduled freight-hauler. Mileage calculations vary from carrier to carrier.

Hub miles, or odometer miles "hub" refers to hubometer , a mechanical odometer mounted to an axle , pay the driver for every mile. One version of hub miles includes only those per carrier designated route, i. Many of the largest long haul trucking companies in the United States pay their drivers according to short miles. Short miles are the absolute shortest distance between two or more zip codes, literally a straight line drawn across the map.

Unpaid Tolls

These short miles rarely reflect the actual miles that must be driven in order to pickup and deliver freight, but they will be used to calculate what the driver will earn. Short miles are on average about ten percent less than actual miles but in some cases the difference can be as large as 50 percent. An extreme but not unheard of example would be a load that picked up in Brownsville, Texas, and delivered in Miami, Florida.

This journey would require the driver to travel over miles. The short routing however would believe the distance to be only , as though the truck could drive across the Gulf of Mexico. Another extreme example would be a load that picked up in Buffalo New York and delivered in Green Bay Wisconsin, not giving any consideration that three of America's Great Lakes lie between that load's origin and destination. Other obvious obstacles would be mountains and canyons. Truck prohibited routes sometimes create this same phenomenon, requiring a driver to drive several truck legal routes and approaching a destination from behind essentially driving a fish hook shaped route , because the most direct route cannot accommodate heavy truck traffic.

Some trucking companies have tried to alleviate some of these discrepancies by paying their drivers according to "practical miles". This is where dispatch gives them a certain route to follow and will pay them for those. This is done in effort of compensating drivers for the actual work done. These routes will largely follow the Interstate Highway system but will sometimes require the driver to use state and U. Trucking companies practice this method in order to attract and retain veteran drivers. Household goods HHG miles, from the Household Goods Mileage Guide aka "short miles" was the first attempt at standardizing motor carrier freight rates for movers of household goods, some say at the behest of the Department of Defense for moving soldiers around the country, long a major source of steady and reliable revenue.

Today, the 19th version of the Guide has grown to contain distances between more than , cities, zip codes, or highway junctions. Therein, if you ask many drivers, lies the inherent unfairness of HHG-based mileage pay; miles are driven point-to-point, not from "city" to "zip code" or "highway junction".

Registration & Licensing

Getting paid by percentage is the preferred way of business among veteran drivers and owner-operators. Typical percentage among owner-operators pulling flatbed trailers is between percent of line haul being paid to the driver. Additionally the driver may receive percent of fuel surcharges and fees for extra pickups or drops or for tarping loads.

Traffic Information

It creates strong incentives for drivers for agreeing to pull especially difficult loads; i. It also discourages drivers and owner-operators from agreeing to move "cheap freight". In Australia heavy vehicle licenses are issued by the states but are a national standard; there are 5 classes of license required by drivers of heavy vehicles:.

A driver's license in Canada , including commercial vehicle licenses, are issued and regulated provincially. Regarding CDL commercial drivers licenses , there is no standardization between provinces and territories. In Australia, for example, a HC license covers buses as well as goods vehicles in the UK and most of the EU however a separate license is needed.

The United States employs a truck classification system, and truck drivers are required to have a commercial driver's license CDL to operate a CMV with a gross vehicle weight rating in excess of 26, pounds. Acquiring a CDL requires a skills test pre-trip inspection and driving test , and knowledge test written covering the unique handling qualities of driving a large, heavily loaded commercial vehicle, and the mechanical systems required to operate such a vehicle air brakes, suspension, cargo securement, et al. For passenger bus drivers, a current passenger endorsement is also required.

A person must be at least 18 years of age to obtain a CDL.


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Drivers under age 21 are limited to operating within their state of licensing intrastate operation. Many major trucking companies require driver applicants to be at least 23 years of age, with a year of experience, while others will hire and train new drivers as long as they have a clean driving history. A CDL can also contain separate endorsements required to operate certain trailers or to haul certain cargo. Other endorsements are possible, e.

The laws of the state from whence a driver's CDL is issued are considered the applicable laws governing that driver.

If a driver either fails the air brake component of the general knowledge test or performs the skills test in a vehicle not equipped with air brakes, the driver is issued an air brake restriction, restricting the driver from operating a CMV equipped with air brakes. Specifically, the five-axle tractor-semitrailer combination that is most commonly associated with the word "truck" requires a Class A CDL to drive. Beyond that, the driver's employer or shipping customers, in the case of an independent owner-operator generally specifies what endorsements their operations require a driver to possess.

Truck drivers are responsible for checking the axle and gross weights of their vehicles, usually by being weighed at a truck stop scale.


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Given the competitive nature of the trucking industry much of the savings generated by new technology would be passed on as lower shipping costs. Job loss and workforce automation in transportation is an ongoing concern in the coming on autonomous vehicles, and trucking is certainly no exception. Martin believes that as soon as driverless cars are reliably safer not just more efficient, but safer — i.

Any reduction in the cost using trucks would have broad implications well outside the trucking industry. They is almost no industry not directly or indirectly impacted by the cost of shipping via truck. Customers could see the cost of goods for agricultural products, retail, construction material, etc… reduced because of lower shipping cost. The big question is when and if the regulation will catch up with the technology.

Interstate 5 in California

Effectively all the uses listed above are not legal in most places. Most of the big potential economic benefits from level 4 autonomous trucks are only possible if the laws change. For example, a truck that allows the operator to rest in back while traveling down a highway would offer only modest benefits if the same rules limiting hours of operation applied. Florida, Nevada, and Michigan currently have some of the most autonomous truck friendly rules and are likely to be the places that some of this technology will first be used.

Many of the big hurdles though are federal. This is why Michael Ducker, chief executive of FedEx Freight, is pushing for new unified federal rules for autonomous trucks. Watching how strongly the major shippers and manufacturers lobby for federal change could be a useful proxy for determine when and how quickly these developments reach wide commercial use. Several car makers predict they will able to make true self-driving cars in the next few years - as we've covered in our recent self-driving car timeline article.

This technology, though, is only valuable if there are plenty of roads these self-driving cars are legally allowed to travel on. Even if the technologies allow for true autonomy, without legal permission the self-driving cars are mostly worthless to individuals and companies. A company by company examination of the top car makers public investment and statements by their top executives makes it clear that most car companies are betting that artificial intelligence utalized in self-driving will be inevitable, and they're all jumping in with investment and initiatives.

Our cities, streets, homes, and businesses are built for beings that walk on two legs biped. From stairs to the shape of hallways to the placement of kitchen cabinets, all have been designed for bipeds. Emerj Artificial Intelligence Research helps enterprises and executives survive and thrive in AI disruption with in-depth AI research, advisory, and insight. At Emerj, we have the largest audience of AI-focused business readers online - join other industry leaders and receive our latest AI research, trends analysis, and interviews sent to your inbox weekly.

Thanks for subscribing to the Emerj "AI Advantage" newsletter, check your email inbox for confirmation. This analysis will look at two key aspects of the development of autonomous trucks: The unique ways autonomous or semi-autonomous trucks are expected to be first commercially used When the major manufacturers, technology companies, and outside experts project this technology will see significant use Autonomous trucks will not be deployed in a single defining moment, but in a series of steps.

Below are actual uses of level 4 automation in truck already being tested by companies in real world environments: 1 — Highway Driving One big expected first use of the technology is to handle highway driving in fair weather conditions. LinkedIn Twitter Facebook Email. Related posts 5.


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  7. Nov 29, Jan 16, Automation and robotics. Research and development. Feb 03, Oct 03, Follow Emerj Artificial Intelligence Research. Stay Ahead of the Machine Learning Curve At Emerj, we have the largest audience of AI-focused business readers online - join other industry leaders and receive our latest AI research, trends analysis, and interviews sent to your inbox weekly. Maybe it IS getting to be time for Mr. Khat to hang up the keys…. It sounds as if all you whiny … think your little sap suckers are going to be behind the wheel of a big rig. So implement a b.

    If we do not strike soon we deserve what happens to this industry!! It would take days to make America focus on our needs and change things for the better for all truck drivers! We must at least fight against teens driving damn trucks across the USA!