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.

HOS in the news

In an op-ed for The Los Angeles Times, Karen Levy of Princeton University summarizes the economic and regulatory pressures truck drivers when it comes to work and rest. It's enlightening if you're new to the issues. If you're in the business, the only news here is that the coverage appeared in the L.A. Times.

Meanwhile, check out Judy Greenwald's story in Business Insurance. While insurers say HOS rules need more study, they're particularly intrigued by CSA.

Greg Golden, chief operating officer for Aon Risk Solutions' transportation and logistics practice, says "just about every underwriter I know is utilizing" this data.

A 75th anniversary truck 15 years in the making

Tom Berg writes in truckinginfo.com about Peterbilt's gorgeous 75th anniversary truck, a 1939 Model 260 tractor. He spoke with Bob Dean, who owned it through 90% of its restoration:

“We started work on it in July of ’97,” Dean recalls. “I had one man on the project. We took it to Carlisle [a big vehicle collectors show in Pennsylvania] in spring of ’98, so it took about that long to finish. It takes four, five months to finish something if you stay on it,” and maybe 1,200 to 1,500 man-hours for this one.

And yes, it runs.

Gloria Werner: Give credit where credit is due

Love this gem from the Omaha World-Herald's obituary of Gloria Werner, who died last week at age 79:

The co-founder of the Werner Enterprises transportation company was never afraid to do what was necessary to see the business succeed in its early days, when cash was tight and she juggled multiple roles.

“She packed the boys up with some unfolded laundry and sat in a customer’s lobby until she could see somebody about getting her check,” her daughter Gail Werner-Robertson recalled. “It didn’t take long for her to get that check.”