Now If Only Texas A&M Could Stop the Run...

This video showing a 15,000-pound truck crashing into a barrier at 50 miles per hour has gone viral on sites like the the Houston Chronicle. The test, conducted by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, has nothing to do with the safety of the truck or driver. It's about how effective a new perimeter barrier could be at protecting U.S. embassies and other facilities around the globe. The 42-inch-tall pipe structure is made of steel and concrete. The test was considered a success because the bed of the truck and its cargo were prevented from passing the barrier.

Rolling CB Interview™ - 2000 Peterbilt 379

Just discovered Chris Fiffie and his Rolling CB Interview series through this piece at Overdrive (I have some catching up to do...). He told Todd Dills he made the videos "because I thought it was cool, but it seems that a lot of people enjoy watching those." Great instincts, awesome storytelling.

A Weather App for Truckers

A group of Oklahoma University students is using National Weather Center data to develop SIREN, a web-based app that calculates the risk of an accident based on weather conditions. It also sends weather alerts to truckers’ in-cabin computer systems.

The app uses data on every weather-related accident over the past 40 years to determine which conditions are most dangerous, as well as weather forecast data from the National Weather Center in Norman. The group found that one in 24 trucks will get in a weather-related accident a year, and that each accident costs companies about $132,000 on average.


Still Not Ready for Prime Time

The Alliance for Safe, Efficient and Competitive Truck Transportation (ASECTT) has joined an industry chorus trying to get FMCSA to remove Compliance Safety Accountability (CSA) scores from public view.

In a Sept. 17 letter to Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, the group, which represents brokers and smaller motor carriers, called for the "immediate removal of individual motor carriers’… scores from any and all public web sites maintained by the Federal Government…"

ASECTT, the ATA, OOIDA, and others contend that the scores paint a skewed picture of a carrier’s actual safety performance.

  • Check out the Government Accountability Office (GAO) report issued in February, which pulls at numerous loose threads in the SMS methodology.

 

Take pictures, take pictures, take pictures

It's hard enough to remember your own name after an accident. TruckingInfo.com gives trainers a seven-step plan to remind drivers what do at an accident scene, including how to make good use of their cell phone (after they've called for help).

Look! Up in the sky!

Remember that story about Amazon Prime Air, the drone program that many dismissed as a publicity stunt? Earlier this month the company formally asked the FAA for permission to ramp up a testing program for commercial use.

  • In its letter to the FAA, Amazon disclosed that 86% of the products it sells weighs 5 pounds or less and could be delivered to customers by drone in 30 minutes or less.
  • Of course, the U.S. military has more ambitious plans for freight-carrying drones: check out these unmanned truck-helicopter hybrids.

"We are a transportation company, not law enforcement"

FedEx has been indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice for distributing prescription drugs and controlled substances for illegal online pharmacies. FedEx, which moves more than 10 million packages a day, plans to fight the charges and faces fines of more than $1.6 billion if found guilty.

  • In a press release, the Justice Department said it told FedEx a decade ago that illegal pharmacies were using it to deliver drugs to dealers and addicts. Instead of clamping down, it established policies to protect revenue and sales commission earned from these shipments.
  • FedEx denied the charges: “The government is suggesting that FedEx assume criminal responsibility for the legality of the contents of the millions of packages that we pick up and deliver every day. We are a transportation company—we are not law enforcement. We have no interest in violating the privacy of our customers.”
  • Last year, the Justice Department struck a non-prosecution deal with United Parcel Service where UPS agreed to turn over $40 million in sales gained by delivering illegal drugs.