Showing posts from tagged with: transportation news

Electric-Powered Vehicles the Future of Commercial Trucking

Posted February 2, 2017 by Administrator

Battery-electric vehicles with zero-emissions are most certainly the future of the trucking industry in America. The cost savings of electric trucks is staggering; current high fuel and maintenance costs will someday be a burden of the past for America’s fleets. The electric truck markets are growing rapidly; many options are now commercially available. There are already new competitors in the U.S. that offer off-road yard tractors and urban utility trucks with ranges in excess of 100 miles.

The benefits of commercial electric vehicles include:

  • Reduction in energy-consumption. Electric delivery trucks use 30 percent less total energy.
  • Reduced emissions. Electric trucks emit 40 percent less greenhouse gases than diesel trucks
  • Similar costs. When you take the cost of purchase and operating, diesel-fueled and electric trucks cost roughly the same.
  • Elimination of noise pollution. Electric trucks virtually eliminate the city/urban noise pollution, a major factor in densely populated urban cores where hundreds of thousands of people must put up with extreme noise pollution from the current internal-combustion-engine technology.
  • Elimination of air pollution. Currently, people must deal with dirty exhaust and smelly CNG fumes. Electric trucks will bring a quantifiable environmental impact that will be welcomed, especially in densely populated urban areas.

Not every trucking company will rush to replace their diesel-fueled vehicles with electric ones, though. There are important criteria to consider for trucking fleets that are considering being on the forefront of change. Here is some of what must be considered:

  • Routes and distance from electric truck stops. The ideal trucking routes are ones that are fixed and low mileage. If routes are consistent and within the distance of electricity-charging stations they may be a good fit for electrification.
  • Company interest. While most companies have the word “sustainability” in their mission statement, not all are ready to make the trade-off between environmentally-friendly and the initial cost of vehicle replacement. However, some companies make the decision to make the shift in order to benefit the planet.
  • Emissions regulations. Virtually all air regulating agencies across North America have continually increased truck emissions regulations, and this trend will continue to mean tighter restrictions in the future.
  • Ease of transition. Some industries are less complex, which will make it easier for them to make the decision to convert to electric power.

In the not-so-distant future expect to see more affordable electric vehicles; the number of electric vehicles may even outnumber diesel-fueled vehicles as people around the world continue to demand a shift to greener commercial vehicles. Expect to see the price of batteries lower which will mean that tomorrow’s electric vehicles will be less expensive to own than today’s gas and diesel  powered vehicles.

Cline Wood represents top trucking and agribusiness insurance carriers across the country. We have access to all types of insurance programs. We treat your company as if it were our own. Contact us today to find out how we can help you manage your risk, which directly contributes to your bottom line.

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FMCSA Rulemaking Meetings Continue Amid Sleep Apnea and Trucker Debate

Posted August 10, 2016 by Administrator

The beautiful red US Truck with chrome

The debate about rulemaking and who pays in the screening and treatment for truck drivers with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) continues as the FMCSA holds late August meetings for recommendations. The public meetings will be held Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 22-23, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern at the FMCSA National Training Center in Arlington, Va.

Drivers are raising concerns about lost time and money after being referred for a sleep test by a medical examiner. The guidelines for referring a driver for a test are also in question regarding the neck circumference and body mass index (BMI) ratios that can trigger the testing.

Although the rulemaking process has not reached the stage of whether the FMCSA will issue a regulation or just guidance truckers are attempting to get out ahead of any final rulings regarding both testing criteria and cost burden. Many have suggested the agency pursue a pilot program to help determine what the practical costs and implications of such a rule would be.

What is clear at this point is that not all insurance providers cover screenings, equipment and everything that goes along with OSA. The American Transportation Research Institute has also released its findings of a study on sleep apnea conducted this year. ATRI found that costs to truckers can exceed $1,000 in out-of-pocket expenses when referred for sleep apnea screening and much higher costs for treatment if it is not fully covered under their insurance. To learn more about FMCSA regulations and trucking news, visit our blog regularly or view our webinars.

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Transportation Industry News: Have You Been Keeping Up?

Posted August 3, 2016 by Administrator

truck with the container goes on the country highway

From risks to regulatory changes, it’s been another eventful period in the transportation industry. Have you been keeping up? Failure to anticipate risk can cost your business time, money, and reputation. Failure to prepare for compliance with impending regulatory shifts can place unnecessary burdens on your training, resource allocation, HR, and other operational areas. To stay abreast of the latest news, we’ve compiled several of our most popular recent transportation news articles and resources:

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Trucking Industry Lost 4,000 Jobs in Two Months

Posted April 1, 2016 by Administrator

trucksThe commercial trucking industry has had difficulty finding enough qualified drivers to fill open positions. Recently, the for-hire trucking industry employment fell significantly in the first quarter of 2016, losing 4,000 jobs in the last two months. The Department of Labor announced that total employment in the trucking industry fell by 1,600 jobs in February and 2,400 jobs in March.

The 4,000 job loss was a blow to the industry that was still recovering from the severe drop in employment in December of 2015. While as a whole the industry has seen a steady increase of for-hire jobs, 2015 was a rocky year for commercial trucking. According to the DOT, total employment for the for-hire trucking industry was 1,4623 million in March.

While the trucking industry may have lost a significant number of jobs, trucking employment is better than many other industries. In March, the unemployment rate rose to 5%, despite an increase of 215,000 jobs across the US.

If your company is going through a significant organizational overhaul, then you should contact the experts at Cline Wood. We can help you streamline all of your business expenses while practicing strategic risk management.

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New Initiatives Make it Easier for Military Vets to Become Truck Drivers

Posted March 23, 2016 by Administrator

shutterstock_118561318 - CopyThe FMCSA has proposed several rule changes in order to make it easier for military veterans to obtain a CDL and transition to a truck driving career. The FMCSA has also made a new website available for veterans to learn about partner initiatives, current and future FMCSA programs, and job resources.

Future FMCSA Programs

The FAST Act requires the FMCSA to create a procedure to make it easier for VA doctors to perform DOT medical certifications for veterans and launch an interstate driving program for veterans between the ages of 18-21.

In addition to the initiatives created by the passage of the FAST Act, the FMCSA wants to give veterans more time to apply for skills test waiver. In addition, the FMCSA suggests that military personnel who are in the process of transitioning to civilian life be allowed to apply for a CDL in states where they are stationed.

Partner Initiatives

The FMCSA has partner initiatives with many groups including:

  • The US Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes
  • International Brotherhood of Teamsters’ Helmet to Hardhats
  • Army’s Soldier for Life
  • American Legion’s Veterans Employment and Education Commission

Hiring a veteran for your commercial trucking company offers many benefits. To learn more about the ways that hiring practices affect your business insurance rates, contact the experts at Cline Wood.

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2016 Could Be the Year of Regulatory Reform

Posted January 26, 2016 by Administrator

shutterstock_118561318 - CopyWith all of the changes and upheavals in the transportation industry, there could be good news in the area of regulatory reform. From the FAST Act to the pending confirmation of T.F. Scott Darling III, transportation regulation could be seeing many changes in 2016.

New FMCSA Administrator

President Obama nominated T.F. Scott Darling III last summer for the FMCSA administrator position. Darling III had to wait five months before his confirmation hearing in January. Before the Senate Committee hearing, Darling promised to reform many aspects of the FMCSA, including the CSA.

President Obama’s Regulatory Agenda

President Obama’s nomination of T.F. Scott Darling III was only one step in his effects to create an aggressive regulatory agenda. The introduction of the FAST Act was another effort of the Obama administration to improve regulation in the transportation industry. President Obama wanted changes in CSA scoring, which was part of the FAST Act.

As acting administrator of the FMCSA, Darling III has made many promises but has carried through on few of the regulations President Obama would like to see enacted, such as electronic logging devices and speed limiters. Many believe the acting administrator is waiting to be nominated before beginning aggressive changes in the FMCSA.

For more industry news, contact us today.

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Find Qualified Drivers for the New Year

Posted January 12, 2016 by Administrator

Man standing in front of truck

With the high turnover in the trucking industry, finding and keeping qualified drivers is important. If you have an open position in your commercial fleet, you need to adjust your hiring practices to attract top talent.

Determine What You Want

When you are creating the job description for your open position, you need to be as specific as possible. The more details you can offer, the better your chances of finding a driver with the right qualities. Removing vague descriptions from your job posting will also attract talented candidates who are looking for challenging and growing positions.

Make the Ad Attractive

With so many postings online and offline, you will need to be able to stand out in the crowd. With the right job description and an attractive ad, qualified drivers will be pulled to your posting and be encouraged to apply.

Don’t Forget Social Media

Social media sites are a popular way to search for and fill open positions. Network with qualified candidates so that when you have an opening you can communicate it to drivers you already have a relationship with. It will also give you time to vet potential drivers for your organization before you need them.

When faced with a small number of qualified candidates and a large number of positions, commercial trucking companies need to be creative. Focusing on a detailed job description, networking on social media and designing effective ads will help find qualified drivers for your 2016 open positons.

For more business tips, contact us today and our experienced staff can offer guidance on how your company can minimize costs while maximizing your insurance coverage.

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FASTPORT Truck Driver Appreciation Video

Posted September 16, 2015 by Administrator

National truck driver appreciation week is upon us. Many think of the transportation industry as mundane or a nuisance. In fact transportation is not only a diverse and thriving industry, but one that we all depend on. Without transportation professionals, our goods (and people) wouldn’t get where they need to go. Our entire way of life would collapse in a day. This moving video from FASTPORT quickly and profoundly conveys just how much we rely on the transportation industry, and how important these professionals are to our daily lives. To view the video, click the thumbnail below. And a big thanks to all the drivers and support staff around the country!

fastport trucking video

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