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Posts Tagged ‘Logistics’

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ooida-with-hopeThis was a significant moment! To arrive with Hope Rivenburg (Jason’s Law) at the OOIDA Headquarters for the final of four regional truck parking coalition meetings held on October 5, 2016.

If you have followed this blog and my social media activity over the past 8 years you will know just how many twists and turns my journey into the trucking industry has taken. Truck parking came to my attention through twitter when an article about a murdered truck driver named Jason Rivenburg was shared with me by a friend I met through social media that had a small Virginia newspaper.

Shortly afterwards I came to know Hope Rivenburg and felt blessed that I could help share news of her campaign to create a safe truck parking bill named after her Husband Jason.

Over the years watching this movement transition from a heartbroken family gathering petition signatures at their local country fair to the day Hope texted me during her first trip to Washington D.C. saying she wished she wore flat shoes because it was “…much bigger than she thought it was…“, I have been inspired.

One person CAN make a difference! Hope Rivenburg is proof of that.

The series of truck parking coalition meetings brought together people who would normally not sit at the same table and have a conversation. I found that there were vast differences in the beginning in understanding terminology between the groups but I felt optimistic following each meeting that most of the people in attendance wanted to identify ways to solve the problem of truck parking shortages.

I say “most” since there were some stakeholders that were absent and should have been represented in these meetings such as the shippers and receivers who dictate strict schedules, representatives from the freight brokerage sector and the trucking carriers of large fleets where drivers have very little experience in locating truck parking outside of their designated fuel stop locations.

lisa-joyce-and-meDo you know that there were only two individuals (2) that attended all four (4) meetings for truck parking? I was one (1) of those people. The other person was Mr. Carl Rundell from “Truck Smart Parking Services“.

Regardless of the absence of some of the major stakeholders,  I was pleased to meet several representatives from the National Association of Truck Stop Owners (NATSO) and be able to better understand where they are coming from with their arguments and statements about truck drivers and trip planning. It was clear that there has been a lack of communication to partner industries in the supply chain when it comes to the needs of the individuals that serve this country each and every day in their work as truck drivers.

Joyce Hibma, the Wife of a truck driver has become an instrumental voice for drivers in the North Bend, Washington truck parking battle. She attended the Salt Lake City coalition with me as a REAL Women in Trucking Mission Support Member. This is a woman who herself is on a mission and she is to be commended for her hard work on behalf of drivers. In Salt Lake City, Joyce and I met Lisa Mullings from NATSO and Caroline Boris Research Analyst from ATRI ( American Transportation Research Institute ).

At the Maryland and Dallas Meetings, Idella Hansen RWIT Treasurer and Pat Hockaday from “Truckers United” attended the coalition meetings which helped place more drivers in the room in order to give real life perspective to solutions.

Lisa Mullings CEO of NATSO remarked during the final meeting at OOIDA Headquarters “Where are the carriers in this conversation? They call themselves “Logistics” companies and they are dictating fuel stops and highway routing in the bigger carriers, Why aren’t they helping their own drivers with parking?

It is a great question and observation since these issues will get worse when mandated ELD’s come to fruition. atri-gal-with-joyce-and-iThe truth is that the inexperienced driver population is more likely to park on highway ramps because they are being run to the minute with their e-logs and many of these drivers do not have knowledge on truck parking outside their fuel routing.

Another issue that emerged was trucking fleets that only fuel at one chain that notoriously does not construct enough truck parking for the area in need which then in turn pushes off overflow to other chains who do not benefit from fuel sales. Pilot Travel, specifically, the “fuel your truck and get out” chain vs. Travel Centers of America, a chain that generally has a larger area to park but not so much a place fleet drivers are authorized to fuel at their locations. What are the reasons for this? Only major carriers can answer this question and drivers can only speculate. This is why carriers should have been part of these discussions.

The truck parking shortage is a problem that still has obstacles and that is where YOU, the reader comes in. In a post I published on the REAL Women in Trucking blog called “How to Take Action on a Local Level for Truck Parking” I’ve explained seven (7) simple steps each one of us can do to help advance this issue and keep the momentum going.

Essentially, we are in a place where despite all of the great ideas that emerged from the four regional truck parking coalition meetings there remains an obstacle. Communities that protest new truck parking that have not been sold on how safe truck parking serves them.

Here is what you need to know and how you can help work toward educating your state freight planners. Currently, All of the states have been tasked by the Federal government to do something they have never been required to do in the past, that is to create a freight plan. States must have an approved freight plan and freight network in place by December 2017 in order to continue to use their freight formula funds that were made available in FAST Act.  See Link: The FAST Act: The Freight Provisions

Truck parking is an eligible activity for FAST Act funds but it is not required. Truck parking is often overlooked as a necessary component to intelligent freight planning. Smart freight plans should be focused on alleviating highway congestion and part of thsleeping-truckat would be assisting truck drivers who must comply with federal hours of service requirements to prevent unsafe operation of a commercial motor vehicle.

  • Truck parking facilitates interstate commerce which must not be impeded by states and local governments
  • Truck parking improves highway safety

Hope Rivenburg has worked tirelessly to make sure that “Jason’s Law” for Safe Truck Parking, an initiative named after her murdered Husband would be recognized by the Federal government as a matter of safety. Hope took immediate and relentless personal initiative to take action for truck drivers.

Hope Rivenburg proved that one person CAN make a difference and she got the ball rolling but now the ball is our court.

Truck drivers must keep this issue relevant and they can do that by helping to write emails and making phone calls to educate state agencies that are not aware that truck parking is an eligible activity for FAST Act funds.

This is a call to action

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Use this link created by Allen Smith to the MPO Interactive Map to locate your State MPO contact information.
  2. Use the SAMPLE LETTER located on the MPO Interactive Map Link as a guide by using “cut and paste” and then revise the letter for your particular region and situation. You can use this link to download a PDF of the SAMPLE LETTER TO STATE AGENCIES. ( This letter is only a sample, it is not to be used verbatim, please personalize it to your situation.
  3. Send a letter, email it or make phone calls to the state agencies you have selected from the MPO Interactive Map to explain the pertinent information in a respectful manner that includes asking if “truck parking is in the freight plan” and if they are aware that “truck parking is an eligible activity for FAST Act funds and it is necessary in their region”.
  4. Identify to these agency heads in your letter or phone call that the funds “can be used on eligible projects until December 2017. After that, they can only use them if they have their freight plan in place”.  (Remember that eligible activities include truck parking and ITS type systems for information sharing and notifications).
  5. You can also help by calling State Motor Carrier Associations to make sure they understand that truck parking is an eligible project and asking them if they know “What’s in the freight plan?” for that State. The goal is to make certain that the agency representative comes away from the conversation with awareness that truck parking is needed and eligible for funds for their state.
  6. If possible, get involved in State and MPO area freight advisory committees.
  7. Ask the State agencies that you contact: “What have you done to improve on Jason’s Law data since the report was published”?

If they have not heard of “Jason’s Law” ask them for their email to share with them the following links.

FHWA DOT Jason’s Law

USDOT “Jason’s Law” Survey Reaffirms Nationwide Truck Parking Needs

Final Advice: Persist with your state by asking the question: “What is in your freight plan?” be tenacious but polite about getting answers.

REMEMBER! There are only 50 States, If you commit to writing at least 2 MPO’s from the interactive map we can make a difference. Stop waiting for everyone else to make a difference for YOU!

Listen to the Replay> Solutions to Improve Truck Parking with Host Allen Smith and Guests Nicole Katsikides Deputy Director of Maryland Department of Transportation Office of Planning and Preliminary Engineering and Desiree Wood President REAL Women in Trucking, Inc.

Much Thanks to Nicole Katsikides for help in drafting this call to action for truck drivers!

with much gratitude,

Desiree Wood

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I just returned from Memphis where I gave a seminar called “Social Media and Women Truckers’ at the 1st Annual Memphis Truck Expo.

Two rather broad topics but I decided to include them in one presentation to illustrate the following:

  1. How powerful social media has been for social justice issues.
  2. To demonstrate how influential individuals can be in social media.
  3. To emphasize that persistently covering up issues related to women truckers and to those women entering the industry will eventually come back to haunt carriers who are permitting it to occur.

In the past few months I have been contacted by a number of Social Media Experts & “Guru’s” who have been consulting with various trucking industry entities who are looking to launch social media campaigns.

For someone outside of the trucking industry who is doing research , odds are they will find one of the outspoken social media truckers.

Here is the problem for the trucking industry:

Social Media cannot be “Controlled” the way mainstream media and advertising has been in the past. The trucking industry has been very slow to understand this.

When I spoke to contacts in supply chain / logistics to let them know about my presentation the response was: “Good, someone needs to tell them because they do not get it.

What this person meant was “Transparency” is what the trucking industry does not get. Saying you are being transparent can just as easily mean you are being a transparent liar but for someone who has never had to do business with all cards on the table this concept is difficult to grasp.

The power of social media is enormous. The first thing the trucking industry needs to recognize is that size does not matter. If your organization does not participate in listening and problem solving you are irrelevant.

Isn’t that logistics?

Unless you have a commitment to positive transparency you will fail in social media. Until the trucking industry can digest that transparency can be positive or negative, I do not recommend wasting any money launching a campaign that will fall flat.

If carriers cannot take the heat in a public forum to have their money source (Shippers) see how they treat employees (Drivers) or how they permit drivers to conduct themselves in public they will have a big problem in social media.

Currently, there are a number of mainstream media projects in development that will feature women truckers. This will inevitably create a recruiting boom for the unethical.

By creating the presentation called “Social Media & Women Truckers”, my hope is to help others in the trucking industry understand that corporate responsibility begins with each and every individual.

What I have referred to as my “Social Media Experiment” to see if one person could have a voice and make an impact is now complete.  I achieved my goal BUT I will continue to create a path for others who are searching for accurate information to enter this industry, at least until I see others stepping up to do the right thing.

Unfortunately, Women are still frequently being harmed during their training period, and violence against women in many areas of the trucking industry remains an issue. I will continue to use my social media presence to raise awareness of this fixable problem.

Ironically, Women Truckers to those outside and away from the trucking industry are admired. The image of a woman trucker is held in high esteem as a symbol of resiliency and strength. I have received emails from parents telling me that they hope their Daughters would grow up to be strong like I am, from old ladies telling me to keep talking and heard from Fathers of Daughters who are eager to see who will step up and make the necessary changes to create a more professional environment in the trucking industry.

I’d like to walk away now but it would be irresponsible to do that when few others are stepping forward. Women truckers carry a silent secret, they know others are being harmed in this industry and the truth is it’s best to not get involved for fear of retaliation. Other drivers, both Men and Women have been told “stay out of it” and targeted for retaliation for trying to stick up for someone who has been harmed, this is wrong. This mob mentality, prison inmate mentality, street gang mentality, religion based fanatic mentality must stop. The people being hurt,  retaliated against, shunned are the children of someone.

To me, being silent is not okay when someone is being harmed.

Looking the other way is NOT okay!

One person can have an impact and individual drivers participating in social media have seen this is true.

I will be sharing my presentation called “Social Media & Women Truckers” as a series of posts in the coming weeks on the self help website “Real Women In Trucking

I have included a preview here called:

What are you Sponsoring?”

Sponsoring Diversity is great, but do your homework. Are you sponsoring a cover up, an advocate or simply looking for a smoke screen to ease the impact of impending litigation? Violence against women is an issue worldwide. Silence equals an endorsement of violence in some male dominated industries.
 
 

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Women in Trucking

 

Where has the Non-Profit Organization, “Women in Trucking” been in all of this?  Well, that will be my next cronicle if I can ever finish my student trucker story.  I joined “Women in Trucking” as soon as I had chance to get to a computer in 2008. I was under the impression that the Mission Statement on the front page of the website was accurate.

I observed the climate for a period of time before I ever posted. It most certainly did not seem very friendly but the immediate positive response from other truckers on Allen Smith’s “Ask the Trucker” who were both male and female persuaded me to reach out to Char Pingel and tell her about what had been happening to me AFTER I went through the chain of command and into the arms of the HR Lady in my story.

Char told me to post on the “Women in Trucking” forum and I did. I started a thread called “My NEW experience might help you.

This thread has the most reads of any thread on the WIT Forum which at last count was over 3000! From day 1 I was attacked publically on the WIT forum by Sandy Long aka Lady Godiva . In a series of private emails I was further dismissed and basically told that they run people off like me who want to publically discuss what I was seeing with my own two eyes happen to Women who were entering the trucking industry for the first time.

Remember, I entered as a single Woman, not with a Husband or Boyfriend. I do not come from a trucking family. I was totally reliant on my CDL School Training, My Company Support System and My Trainer to provide me the tools to be successful. So far, none of them had come through for me but I wasn’t going to quit.

I first called Char Pingel and told her that a public cat fight is detrimental to ALL Women and she agreed but nothing was done. Later, I began emailing Ellen Voie about the fact that her forum seemed to be commandeered by Lady Godiva who actually has shown time and again that she does not like other Women. I was called names that were meant to label me and be derogatory but all the names were in fact, all different types of Women!  It made me wonder, “What kind of Women are allowed to be supported in “Women in Trucking”?

After many calls and emails to Ellen Voie and watching her tweet about getting her CDL but never actually operating a Big Rig herself, I saw that she had an aversion to the hard questions that are of the upmost importance for new females entering trucking. Is she an Advocate? or a Carpetbagger?

Here are a sampling of screen shots made from Ellen’s Twitter tag  @WomeninTrucking (Caution: Ellen Deletes stuff after I publish it but I have the screen shots on my hard drive) *** Note: These are in reverse order as they are Twitter Stream Tweets

WomenInTrucking

89. I am traveling out west with my boyfriend, and I am
so happy that I can handle a 38 foot 5th wheel trailer!
3:33 PM Jan 22nd from web
     
90. The Trucker ran a story about my getting my CDL
http://www.thetrucker.com 9:55 AM Jan 18th from web
     
91. I did not have to take a written or practical test to
transfer my Ohio CDL to Wisconsin. 4:25 PM Jan
15th from web
     
92. I completed the driving test in Ohio, then came back
to Wisconsin and transferred my license. I am now a
CLD holder! 4:24 PM Jan 15th from web
     
93. I passed!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I got my CDL today. 8:22 AM Jan
9th from txt
     
94. This week I will be returning to Canton Ohio to take
my driving test over. I’m scheduled for 8 am
Thursday. Wish me luck! 2:42 PM Jan 6th from web
     
95. I made a left turn and the light down the road turned
green in my turn, so he claims that I made them slow
down. Darn! I’ll be back! 9:49 AM Dec 22nd, 2008
from web

96. So, the bad news is that the examiner did not pass me
on the driving test. He said that I impeded traffic. 9:48
AM Dec 22nd, 2008 from web
     
97. I took my CDL test on Saturday. I passed the pre-trip
with an 89 out of 90. I passed the skills test also
(parallel parking was not fun!) 9:47 AM Dec 22nd,
2008 from web
     
98. Today is the day. I am up early, after spending the
night in Canton. My test is at 8 am. Next time I log in
I hope to have my CDL! 4:08 AM Dec 20th, 2008
from web
     
99. This afternoon I was able to get my last hour of
driving time in to complete my 10 hours of driving. It
was slushy outside. 5:20 PM Dec 19th, 2008 from web
     
100. The freezing rain caused us to stay in the classroom
all morning. We watched videos and practiced our
pretrip inspection by memory. 10:26 AM Dec 19th,

I spent my own meager salary on two occasions to attend trucking conventions to meet Ellen Voie in person to see for myself. Is she only trying to collect a paycheck from a non-profit organization off the backs of Real Women Truckers or what?

On a number of occasions she had told me that “WE” cannot say anything disparaging about certain companies because “they might be our sponsers”. That’s pretty sick when you consider that CRST is one of them.

When time permits I will chronicle all the emails, all the bullying, all reasons that the idea of a Women’s Trucking Organization is wonderful but in order to be responsible it is imperative to be clear that you WILL NOT help those entering Trucking if they get raped, beaten or harrassed. It is esspecially important because of the frequent radio appearences made by Ellen Voie that encourage Women to use her book as a guide to help them through CDL Training.

That is not radical feminism, it just being clear that you represent the industry, not the Women who drive the actual Truck.

Allen Smith did two shows on the topic of “Bullying in the Workplace” both of those links for the archived shows are in my FAQ section. The topic was in part inspired by the CRST Sexual Harrassment Case which was occuring at the same time the situation on the WIT forum was going on. Remarks putting down other Women and making Judgements on Women were frequent. One particular thread commented on was about how a crocheted valance had been seen on a big rig and this was looked down upon, as that female was just advertising her presence. This was sort of funny because at the same time a female crocheting trucker on Twitter seemed like she could handle herself pretty well if someone came to give her any shit about her hobby.

I delibrately persisted on the WIT forum. I wanted to see for myself and for the other Women who had been contacting me what sort of support WIT truly could offer to overcome obstacles in their trucking carreer. 

Ellen Voie was invited to participate in these radio programs. She even had us rearrange the schedule to accomadate her schedule, which we did. Unfortunately, she later declined citing her lawyer advised her against it, but she would love to do a follow-up show.

In Las Vegas, the general consensus from Women Truckers I met is that Ellen Voie is not doing anything for Women Truckers.  She did manage to land a reality TV Producer though, but that’s actually not too hard if you have ever been to Vegas or anywhere in California. You just have to be willing to make an ass of yourself on TV. Selling the idea of Women Truckers very easy but the image Ellen & the ATA are trying to sell the general public may not be helping Real Women Truckers at all.

In Dallas, Ellen Voie took credit for something she had absolutely nothing to do with and in fact wanted no part in asking for a company to address the subject matter. I had seen her do this with articles as well. I was beginning to get the picture.

As I get time I will chronicle all of this because what she is doing is actually detrimental to Women. There is a problem in the trucking industry for female students and Ellen is recruting them with her book and radio appearences, therefore she needs to clarify to these women that should they be harmed, she is not the person to go to.

Please watch this Video Clip in Ellen’s own words for and upcoming documentry on Bullying in the Workplace by filmaker Beverly Peterson.

Like I told Ellen Voie in a recent email, “I support Women in Trucking but I do not Support a Women who has never driven a truck making money off the backs of those who do, there in a name for that you know!”

Also, I am including this post I made about the CRST Sexual Harrassment Case which is Ellen Voie’s Sponser. It is from this post I came to know Tracey Tuttle-Hamm and “OKCSafety” who is “Tom” in the Dan Rather Segment called “Queen of the Road”  read it HERE

 

 

 

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Getting involved is much easier if you know where to start. I just spent some time today contacting my Representative with this Easy Link

I simply put in my State and Zip Code and I got the contact information I need to get involved and ask my Represetative to Support “Jason’s Law” HR 2156 for more Safe Trucker Parking.

Can you take a few minutes and get involved too?

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                     CRST Sexual Harassment Case

I am disturbed but glad at the same time that some women are coming forward to speak about what is happening in the trucking industry to female students.

The  35 cases of sexual harrassment at CRST is just the tip of the iceberg but the tenacity to keep the story under wraps is precisely why I wrote my student trucker story on “Ask the Trucker” .

People outside the trucking community who have read my story “A Day in the Life of a Lady Trucker” have been shocked, while people inside the trucking community can ussually add 10-15 chapters of horror story material of their own. (more…)

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My BIG GREEN Idea

I currently live in Texas, when I am able to get home.

Mostly, I live in my truck delivering Americas Food & Clothing.

California is where I was born & raised.

I am of a Family of Migrant Field Workers who came to California before the Freeways.

I grew up at the beaches in Venice, Oxnard, Malibu, Arcata, Trinidad, and Carlsbad as a child of the Welfare System.

After a life of struggles as a Single Mother, I am now an “Over the Road” Trucker.

I fully understand where the miscommunication lies between Activists, Environmentalists & Truckers because I have lived on both sides of the argument and I have an Idea that can help.

I am New to Trucking and I quickly learned to not tell people I was from California because of the manner Truckers are looked upon in my home state.

Similar to the way I conceal I am Mexican as I travel across the U.S. as a Trucker in areas that Mexicans are also misunderstood.

The Geography of my home state isolates population centers from understanding that Industry requires dirty stinking trucks that work 24/7 to move high dollar freight from Long Beach, San Diego, San Pedro and Bay Area Ports. Agriculture from central California is equally sensitive to move outside the State of California.

Trucking is a detail oriented job that requires much more than driving skill. Good planning to move freight out of California in particular, makes this State this one of the least desirable places to haul freight from if you are a Trucker.

Mostly because California targets Truckers without regard to how difficult the  job they do for Californians and California Industry.

California has some of the worst infrastructure I have seen since I became a Trucker. No Parking is available to accommodate sleepy drivers, especially in areas where freight must be shipped from.

Most people do not understand that truckers are bound by federal laws that require them to stop the truck after 14 hours; at that time the truck is forbidden to move for at least 10 hours so the driver can sleep. If the driver cannot sleep, the driver is a public safety hazard.
The transit time to move freight out of the state at the Truck speed of 55 mph thru the traffic centers of Southern California & geographic locations in Central California affect a driver’s ability to NOT violate Federal “Hours of Service”.
Currently, it is the driver left “holding the bag” if they violate these Federal “Hours of Service” or “HOS”.

Therefore, California places Truck Drivers at risk by NOT providing them adequate space to rest, forcing them to continue to drive out of the state in many cases to get to “Friendlier States” where they can sleep safely.

Sleeping safely includes Idling because currently no other system in California has other options for drivers to sleep properly & have temperature controls in their cabs.

A safe driver is well rested, not roasting or freezing which is the case now because Idling laws do not take into account that Truckers live in their Trucks & must congregate where shippers are located for proper planning to move sensitive California Freight out of the State.

Truckers are targets for Hijackers, especially in this economic downturn.

Much of the Freight from the Port is extremely High-Dollar that must not stop for at least 200 miles from the time the trailer is sealed at the shipper. Freight moves 24/7 so a driver must be on call to drive 24/7, this is why many trucking companies have Terminals in the Long Beach Port & other Port Areas.

Owner-Operators commonly referred to as O/O, do not have anywhere to go so they are forced to sit on city streets like sitting ducks for criminals and law enforcement officers citing them and disturbing their rest periods. Both Company Drivers & O/O must idle to rest & be ready at a moment’s notice.

Many times, arriving at the shipper, the load is not ready. Sometimes I have waited 14 hours, my entire Legal shift for a load at the shipper. I am only paid to drive, nothing else.

Legally, I cannot drive. I must be in the sleeper 10 hours to go back on duty, but with no temperature control? Even if I am in the sleeper in the shippers dock during those 14 hours I cannot have temperature control to sleep properly under California’s current policy.

When I am waiting at my company terminal in Long Beach, Pomona, French Camp waiting for a load, sometimes for days on end I have nowhere to go. I live in my truck to move freight.

Many O/O in this downturned economy do as well. California needs to implement in their Infrastructure plans a “Green” solution for Truckers that everyone can afford, not just targeted at “Mom & Pop” Truckers who have only their Truck in the whole World where they live & work to move California’s Freight out of the State.

Shippers, Receivers, Big Trucking Companies who have Terminals in California & the State of California need to combine forces to reduce emissions. The burden on O/O is too great, they are being singled out because they have just that “Old Truck” that is their life’s blood.

As a Student Trucker I appalled to see companies charging drivers to Idle in Freezing Winter Temperatures at a price higher than Diesel per gallon & the turning around and accepting the “Smart Way EPA Award”!

A true Smart Way would be to require innovation to combine existing technologies in Trucking & provide adequate space for Truckers to park & rest.

This includes at Shipper/Receiver facilities, Terminals & areas for O/O.

A unit is available that can be fitted to the cab of the truck and provide temperature control and power, it is called an APU. Unfortunately, some companies that manufacturer APU units to reduce idling are also struggling to survive in our downturned economy. Others than have been developed, such as a Solar/Wind/Electric Unit cannot get proper funding, even though it has proven to work better in tests than the current best selling APU on the market.

Some Truckers who have purchased expensive APU units to comply with emissions regulations now have an additional concern that they cannot get warranty or repairs done.

Another emissions reducing solution is Idleaire, which is in use at some Travel Plazas but is not a viable option for mass appeal because technology has advanced to the point that their product is quickly becoming obsolete.

Currently, Wal-Mart has a no idle policy on at their Distribution Centers. For Wal-Mart Tractors a unit is provided in the bobtail parking section that keeps the engine block from freezing in Winter Temperatures. This unit currently does not provide temperature control for the driver, only for the engine.

Some Tractors come equipped with bunk heaters, but many Big Trucking Companies buy only the Standard Model for their Fleets that do not have bunk heaters.

In California, Temperatures do not fall low enough to jeopardize the engine block, but they do get to cold & too hot for the driver to rest properly without temperature control.

RV’s can plug into electric power, Ships in port can receive shore power but nothing is available to Truck Drivers to accommodate their comfort for safe driving or proper parking facilities to move freight.

My Idea is a unit of similar size which is currently used by Wal-Mart to provide warmth to the engine block. It is less cumbersome than Idleaire. It would not pump in foreign air like Idleaire which is and added security risk because of Hijackers & Criminals who target Truckers and rob them.

This unit could run off electricity but could be developed into a solar unit, perhaps wind power as well.

When I watched the Long Beach “Green Port “Project & read about other “Green Truck” Projects, I saw a key component was missing when we consider that reducing emissions forgets to address the human being who lives inside the truck, perhaps his or her spouse and companion animal as well.

I read about the Conference entitled “Faster-Freight, Cleaner Air” which did not include Speakers who are Truckers who live this life, http://www.ffcacalifornia.com Only a large company that finances and manufactures trucks and it made me concerned.

In the Port of Long Beach Webcast about The Green Port Project I heard about Innovations for Ships but not for Trucks that move the freight and fight Southern California Traffic to do it.

This problem is easily solved with some truth and understanding. Californians need to understand Industry of this State is conducted away from the beach and the beautiful scenery.

The parking situation is worse in other states as well such as Virginia. When we jump on the “Green” bandwagon, let’s hold everyone accountable.
Companies should not be permitted to buy only the standard model of truck that do not provide for driver comfort and leave them “holding the bag”.

Some companies’ buy a few APU’s and say they are “testing  them” then turn around to accept the Smart Way EPA Award while they are charging their own underpaid drivers to idle when they are freezing or burning up inside that truck trying to sleep, That is wrong.
The money saved by not having a banquet award ceremony for the “Smart Way EPA Award” photo op ceremony, the food and travel expenses for the attendees to slap each other on the back could actually by more APU’s or other true “GREEN” development projects & assistance to create a REAL solution.
My Green Idea is actually a unit I have seen used in a parking area in on the Ohio Turnpike. It is a unit that provides power at a designated parking spot for RV’s. In an alternate parking area there is a vast amount of trucker parking as well, with great facilities for comfort and safety, just one thing is missing. A unit compatible to keep commercial drivers comfortable while they rest.

Why do we put innovations to reduce idling for RV’s which are leisure travelers and not for commercial travelers who move this countries industry?

Hmm? I love to know…. I mean, I KNOW, but Dontcha think if everyone REALLY cared they should think a little more on this?

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I have only been a Trucker for a little over a year or so before I become “De-Sensitized” to this New World I’m writing about what I see and hear. Like you, I had a lot of “Pre-Conceived” notions about Truckers. After all, the only time a Non-Trucker hears about Truckers is when they are pissed off OR, they crashed into something.
Hearing about Truckers before I became a Trucker meant nothing to me.
My first impressions were; “They sure complain a lot!” Pretty hard to feel sympathy or even pay attention when the only image you get is negative. As I began my training & began living the life of an “OTR – Over the Road” Trucker, I quickly saw how disrespected these American Workers are treated.
The hardships I encountered during my nightmarish training period which I write about on:
“Ask the Trucker – A Day I the Life of a Lady Trucker” are only a fraction of how poorly these individuals are regarded in this Country.

http://www.askthetrucker.com/a-day-in-the-life-of-a-lady-trucker/
Telling my story to Truckers is like “Preaching to the Choir”, the task at hand is to tell Non-Truckers to help effect a Change to the Trucking Industry. The reason there are Bad Truckers is because they are cultivated by the way the Industry Operates. As long as the bad image of the American Trucker can be instilled in our psyche, Lobby Groups and Government will make poor choices affecting Truckers.

Non-Truckers don’t relate to Truckers, but they are curious about Truckers at the same time.
When I arrived on Twitter, I was taken aback by how some unlikely people told me “It was their Secret Dream to be a Trucker” I was busily sending Tweets about my chief complaints about Industry failures and the Government Funds perpetuating it all the while I was receiving fan mail about the romantic life I was living from office dwellers that were yearning to tear off their pantyhose and join me for a road trip across our beautiful country! I was also being asked the same questions about Truckers.
What a stroke of luck for me! Avenues to spread my message by answering the number one complaint by Non-Truckers, or “4-Wheelers” as Truckers call them on the CB.
So instead of answering the same 3 questions in 140 characters or less every day I decided to share my answers here, in a place that is predominately Non-Truckers.
First, I have to say that Truckers dislike “4-Wheelers” because” 4-Wheelers” are oblivious to how close to death they are each day by lingering around Big Trucks
Now, this is sort of funny to me because at some point all Truckers will have to ride in a “4-Wheeler” so embracing this idea to dislike them does not serve any sort of real purpose.
Furthermore, that opinion does not represent a Professional Driver. There is a huge difference.
We ALL must share the same highway; neither of us is going anywhere, so how about getting to know each other better?
Tolerance, Education these things can help us have safer highways.
So, here is the number one question I have been asked by Non-Truckers about Truckers:
Why do Trucks pull out in front of me when I am about to pass them?
This is an Excellent Question because before I drove a Truck I used to get aggravated to no end about this!
Consider this:
Trucks are all different weights because the Freight they are carrying for example: Bottled Water, Paper Rolls being sent for Recycling, Rolls of Carpet is very heavy.
Trucks have Cruise Control; most people do not realize this.
Many Truck s are also “Governed”, that means they only go “up to” a certain speed, mine goes only up to 63 mph. This is especially true of Big Companies for Fuel Efficiency but it affects a driver’s pay also because we only get paid for the miles we drive, not for time working.
Governed Speeds are the reason you see groups of trucks on the highway seemingly riding each other’s tail. They are too closely governed and cannot pass each other. Sometimes, they are faced with a decision that they will have to lose their momentum by hitting the brakes because they are inching up on the Truck or Vehicle in front of them, even though they cannot go too much faster to pass them.
For instance, there are some large companies I know I can overtake, and some I need to lay back or it will take me a half an hour to pass them. By breaking my cruise control, my momentum I lose fuel efficiency and I also may struggle to regain my full speed, especially if I have a heavy load that will require downshifting to get the Truck pulling us forward again.
All this is occurring when I see a car coming up in my side view mirror, they are hesitating or they are not really going fast enough to pass me before my heavy load will begin pulling me back or pushing me forward into the bumper of another.
I have to use my best judgment of ‘Time & Distance” & that sometimes require me to make the executive decision to pull out in front of you. If I slam on my brakes, I may cause an accident that could involve many lives. The best advice I can offer you as the driver of a “4-Wheeler”, is be observant you’re “Time & Distance” before trying to pass a Big Truck who is being placed in sudden merge of oncoming traffic or getting too close to the vehicles in front of it which may force them to change lanes. Trucks have a difficult time seeing “4-Wheelers” so do not linger around them. Get by them if you need to but do it safely and quickly so you are not hindering them from moving out of the way of other traffic that you cannot see, but they can.
If they pull out in front of you it’s not to antagonize you, it’s because the weight is affecting the speed and safe distance in front of them. This can happen rather quickly if the road has any incline to it.
Be patient, we are trying to deliver you new Plasma Screen, Backyard Bar-B-Que, Children’s Play Set, Organic Food, Dog’s New Bed and much more.
I hope this helps.
I have two other common questions but that’s all for now.
Twonk! Twonk!

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