Showing posts from tagged with: trucking risk

Increasingly Sophisticated Weather Forecasting Technology a Boon to Trucking Industry

Posted September 26, 2017 by Administrator

Sophisticated weather forecasting technology applications help trucking fleets navigate adverse weather conditions that could pose freight delivery delays or safety risks.

New technologies provide drivers in the contintental U.S. with weather-related information to improve safety and efficiency. With these new applications, drivers can view:

  • current radar
  • precipitation on roadways
  • wind speed
  • current and extended forecasts, helping them be aware of the weather ahead.

Weather prediction resources have significantly improved since the days when the Farmers’ Almanac was the best weather forecaster source.

Rapidly improving technology has put weather forecasting and radar capabilities into the hands of those who need this information the most, which includes truck drivers. Weather technology continues to improve, current technologies are able to predict the disruptive impact of weather events and suggest actions that can be taken to mitigate the effects of the disruption.

This ability to foresee the weather and make adjustments as needed is especially useful for trucking fleets, whose daily operations can be disrupted, sometimes for days or weeks, from the effects of a hurricane, flash flood or blizzard.

According to PeopleNet, a provider of fleet management technology, weather has accounted for $3.5 billion in mobility costs and $14 billion in accident costs. Amazingly, 93% of those disasters can now be predicted using the new, cutting-edge predictive applications.

The new weather technology may be the catalyst for change for today’s competitive trucking firms, who must deal with disruptive weather events. A large-scale weather event, such as Hurricane Harvey that recently swept through the Houston, TX region, can have a disastrous effect on the transportation supply chain.

Weather is one of the biggest causes of market volatility in both the short term as well as the long term. These new technologies can help mitigate the impact such events can have throughout the supply chain. Companies are starting to use trading platforms that enable independents, fleets and third-party logistics firms to lock in rates ahead of major weather events like earthquakes.

Weather forecasting has been used to predict market price volatility for commodities since the 1980’s and is already commonly used by oil, gas and grain traders.

Enhanced notifications of road and cargo hazards can help carriers minimize losses and reduce down times. The new technology will enable drivers and equipment to maximize their potential while improving delivery efficiency during harsh weather seasons. For more on transportation safety, news, and risk, contact Cline Wood.

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What Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers Need to Know about Diesel Exhaust Fluid

Posted July 19, 2017 by Administrator

In 2007, semi truck and engine manufacturers began installing DEF fuel tanks in order to meet federal emissions regulations that went into effect in 2010. The new technology, called selective catalytic reduction (SCR), is an aftertreatment that is injected in small amounts into a diesel engine’s exhaust stream. DEF stands for Diesel Exhaust Fluid. The exhaust stream, which is hot, vaporizes the DEF to form ammonia and carbon dioxide, which is passed over a catalyst and converted into nitrogen and water, which is harmless.

DEF is kept in a separate reservoir tank. DEF is composed of 32.5% high-purity urea and water. Urea is a compound of organic nitrogen that is used commonly in agriculture for fertilizer.

The SCR technology not only reduces pollution, but also saves on fuel. Since the engine no longer has to be tuned to reduce the toxic NOx, it can be adjusted for better fuel economy.

The fuel tank on your truck that has the blue cap is called the DEF fuel tank. When you remove the blue cap, you will notice there is a smaller opening than what’s on the diesel fuel tank. If at all possible, when you go into the commercial card lock or the truck stop try to get bulk DEF fuel. You don’t want to have to deal with the small jugs or containers. The smaller jugs require a funnel and are not as convenient as purchasing it in bulk. Some truck stops will only carry it in the smaller containers, but if at all possible it is best to purchase in bulk.

Once full, a DEF fuel tank will last for about six fills on diesel fuel. So you don’t have to fill it every time you refuel. Just make sure you check it regularly to ensure you don’t get stuck and end up having to use the messy jug system.

There are two fuel gauges on the dash of your rig. One is for the diesel fuel and the other one is for the DEF tank. Keep an eye on your dash gauges so you don’t run into a situation where you get too low.

The biggest concern when it comes to storing DEF is the possibility of contamination. Although DEF is non-toxic, non-polluting and non-flammable, it has to be kept in a plastic container to avoid corrosion. It also has to be kept in a temperature-controlled location and out of direct sunlight. It can be kept for years when stored properly.

If you need to store DEF, here are a few tips to safeguard it from contamination.

  1. Do not refill previously used containers.
  2. Be sure to insert the DEF nozzle into the tank’s inlet to avoid contaminating the spout.
  3. Use only dedicated DEF equipment for storing and dispensing. Do not use funnels or containers that have been used for other purposes.
  4. Do NOT use tap water if you need to rinse the fueling equipment. You must use de-mineralized water.
  5. Keep DEF away from substances such as oil, grease, water, dust, fuel, dirt, metal or detergent.

Diesel engines and systems operate better using SCR technology and fleets appreciate the fuel cost savings the DEF system offers. Cline Wood represents top trucking insurance carriers across the U.S. To learn more about the issues that concern commercial truck companies today, trucking coverage and risk management, contact us.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

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Safe Parking for Commercial Trucks

Posted May 11, 2017 by Administrator

Truckers need and deserve safe parking. Shipping and receiving facilities are sometimes in very bad neighborhoods. When there isn’t a safe place to park, drivers may be mugged, beat up or have their equipment damaged. Between 2010 and 2014, 40 big-rig drivers were killed while working, according to the Bureau of Labor statistics. And homicides are only part of the problem. Truck cargo thefts occur at the rate of at least twice daily; 86% of those when commercial vehicles are parked in unsecured location such as public parking and truck trailer drop lots.

The issue of safe and adequate parking has been an issue for decades. The FMCSA has conducted studies on the issue. One study, “Commercial Driver Rest and Parking Requirements” was originally conducted in 1996 and was updated in 2014. The study found that there are 1700 miles of interstate highway that are not within 30 miles of a truck stop or rest area. Some drivers choose to ignore important Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) hours-of-service rules so they can keep driving until a legal and safe parking spot is available. The shortage of parking suitable for commercial motor vehicles puts tired drivers in a bad position.

The FHWA has established the National Coalition on Truck Parking. So far, several major trucking organizations, such as the American Trucking Association and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association have joined the coalition. The coalition is looking at concerns such as why $231M in parking projects across the U.S. have been submitted, but only $34M has been allocated. Most of the $34M ($20M) has been awarded to pay for intelligent transportation systems technology that alerts drivers when parking spaces are available through in-cab messaging notification systems. Some drivers advocate for cities to change zoning laws to permit additional commercial vehicle parking accessibility. Other advocates want shippers to take more responsibility and allow truckers to park in their lots when resting or waiting.

Clearly, the truck driver parking shortage remains a stubborn issue that just won’t go away. Trucker parking shortage is costing the trucking industry time, money and productivity, not to mention the risk for drivers in terms of stress, fatigue, security for their equipment and, most importantly, their personal safety.

To learn more about the issues that concern truck drivers today, trucking coverage and risk management, contact us.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

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Webinar: Keeping Your Focus on the Road Ahead

Posted April 11, 2017 by Administrator

Truck InsuranceJoin Cline Wood University and industry expert Mike Bohon from Great West Casualty Company as we discuss factors that contribute to rear end crashes. These include (but are not limited to) following distance, vehicle speed, driver distractions, and improper reaction by the driver. We’ll cover a variety of important strategies to combat these issues – improving safety and reducing risk. Topics include:

* Calculating stopping distance
* Gauging proper following distance
* Reducing/eliminating distractions
* Mentally practicing reactions to road hazards
* Preventing/mitigating rear-end crashes

Date & Time: Wed, Apr 19, 2017 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM CDT
To register for the complimentary webinar: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8878248911594592771

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

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