Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Interstate Overpass Crash Could Cause Months Of Detours

Originally Posted on Wed, May 21 2008 @ 8:43 AM [EST]

From MSNBC.com - posted 05/21/08:





WHITEWATER TOWNSHIP, Ohio - A crash involving an interstate overpass in Whitewater Township on Tuesday evening could have major implications for travelers and commuters. Truck Crash Seriously Damages Interstate Overpass

The tractor-trailer, carrying an 80-ton railway locomotive, completely knocked out at least one concrete support beam underneath the roadway.

Officials said the trailer became unhooked from the truck pulling it just prior to the crash.

"The trailer veered off to the right, and when it hit the pillars, it sounded like four cannons going off, smoke from the cement and stuff flying," witness Charlotte Lykins said.

The locomotive came off the trailer and continued forward, smashing at least two support columns and bringing a support beam down on top of it.

"I didn't have time to freak out. It all happened so fast. When it was all said and done and I was out of the car, I was shaking," Lykins said.

Officials said several other supports were damaged, which may have compromised the structural integrity of the Interstate 275-Interstate 74 interchange.

Portions of I-74 in both directions were closed near southbound I-275 until officials can determine whether the roadway is safe and make any necessary repairs.

On Wednesday, the ramps from westbound I-74 to southbound I-275 and northbound I-275 to westbound I-74 are all closed. Also, easbound I-74 is closed at I-275 -- all traffic must exit to southbound I-275.

An investigator who spoke with the Ohio Department of Transportation told News 5 on Tuesday that it could cost $50 million to repair the bridge, but ODOT said Wednesday that the initial repair estimate was $500,000 to $600,000.

ODOT also said Wednesday that repairs would take about three months.

Indiana-to-Ohio commuters will also be facing a three-month closure of State Route 1 in the coming weeks.

No injuries were reported, and the crash remains under investigation.


Here is some video report from one of the local news stations:
Truck Crash Seriously Damages Interstate Overpass


Comments


OOPS!! Looks like someone did some poor planning or they resurfaced the road and it rose up two inches too many..With an 80ton load that requires special permits and designated routes..Somebody screwed up..It may not have been the drivers fault..He may have been going the designated route..VM-out!
Comment By: VM on Fri, May 23 2008 @ 7:53 AM [EST]

The trailer separated from the tractor. Not sure if it was at the 5th wheel or if it was where the drop trailer separates. Of course, it has to do it near an overpass. It couldn't do it when there was an empty field. -TTB
Comment By: Truckin Tedybehr on Fri, May 23 2008 @ 9:49 AM [EST]

If your going to have something happen, do a good job of it!!
Comment By: Roadhzrd on Sat, May 24 2008 @ 4:52 AM [EST]

Monday, May 19, 2008

Jevic Suspends Operations

Originally Posted on Mon, May 19 2008 @ 3:58 PM [EST]



Jevic Transportation Inc. will be discontinuing operations.

From their web site:

Categories: General
Date: May 19, 2008
Title: Jevic Suspends Operations

Dear Valued Jevic Customer:

I regret to inform you that Jevic Transportation Inc. will be discontinuing operations. The current high fuel costs, economic downturn, increasing insurance costs, and tightening credit markets have made this decision necessary. Jevic will stop providing pickup service effective Monday 5/19/08. However, we will continue operating to deliver all freight within our system prior to closing.

Operations and Customer Service:

*Jevic will not be accepting pickup requests after Friday 5/16/08 and the web and EDI pickup functions will be disabled.

*We will continue to provide Customer Service through the wind down period at
888-Go-Jevic. We ask that you please utilize the automated voice response system
as much as possible as the number of calls is expected to be high and there will
be longer hold times.

*The Jevic website will remain active and will be updated during the period as well and that should be your primary point of contact for tracing and needed documentation.

We greatly appreciate the loyalty of our many Jevic customers. It has been our pleasure to provide solutions to your transportation needs over these many years. We are committed to providing the prompt delivery of your shipments in our system and professional customer service for all your needs during this process. Thank you
again.


Sincerely,

David H. Gorman
President and CEO



Jevic is a hybrid truckload and less-than-truckload provider with 1,185 power units and 1,230 drivers.


Comments

That is a sign of the times. Even big well established companies have a hard time.
Comment By:Roadhzrd on Tue, May 20 2008 @ 4:47 PM [EST]

Its a battle of who's got the deepest pockets thats going to win..VM-out!
Comment By:VM on Wed, May 21 2008 @ 5:04 AM [EST]

Everybody keeps talking about a recession. I don't see it as that.I think it's going to be more like a depression. With all the jobs moving out of the country and prices going up the way they are, people won't have money to pay bills or to buy anything. The number of houses being repossessed is going up at an alarming rate. This economic stimulus B.S. won't do a bit of good. It's just a political vote getter. Try to make the economy look good long enough to get people voted back into office.
Comment By:Roadhzrd on Wed, May 21 2008 @ 8:58 AM [EST]

I agree with you Roadhzrd. Unless something drastic is done and done soon, we are headed into a full blown depression and heading for it fast.
Comment By:Truckin Tedybehr on Wed, May 21 2008 @ 10:14 AM [EST]

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

theCDLtest.com

Originally Posted on Wed, May 07 2008 @ 6:47 PM [EST]

(I am in no way affiliated with www.thecdltest.com, www.idrivetrucks.com or www.cdlcollege.com. This is an independent review provided with the hopes that it will provide you with the information necessary to decide if the CDL courses at idrivetrucks.com will benefit you in your Class A CDL Permit test studies. This is my opinion and mine alone. This review has not been endorsed by any company or individual other than me.)

I had the opportunity to go through the Class A CDL complete course at http://www.idrivetrucks.com/. The courses have now been moved to http://www.thecdltest.com/ and are now free (they were charging $29.95 for 30 day access). The site has several different e-learning courses designed to give you the information that is needed to pass the Class A CDL permit test (including Endorsements) in all 50 states. They do offer Class B CDL and other courses, but in my opinion, if you are going for the Class B CDL, you should take the extra time and effort to get you Class A CDL which will allow you to drive a Class B vehicle. This way you are not limited in the future.

So, what is theCDLtest.com? Here is the answer to that question from their web site.


theCDLtest.com is an online e-learning platform for CDL College, a Commercial
Driving School located in Aurora, CO. theCDLtest.com utilizes the latest
E-Learning techniques to help you learn and retain the knowledge required to get
your CDL and Endorsements. Our courses are simple to use and are easy to
understand no matter what your learning style is. You will read it, see it, hear
it, and use it in our courses. Each course comes with interactive quizzes to
help you test and retain the knowledge you have gained. The days of reading the
CDL manual are over. We take the effort out of learning with the design of our
courses. You just sit back and follow along and you will have gained all the
knowledge required with little or no effort. Most students can take this course
and pass their tests on the first try.


The Class A, Class B, Class B with Passenger Complete courses have over six hours of learning material. You can view the courses as many times as you want for free. All you need to view the course is an Internet connection and the Adobe Flash Player which you can get here.

I provided Ray at theCDLtest.com a lot of feedback and I allowed him to see this review before I posted it. Below is his response:


…thanks for the review. We did end up taking a lot of the comments you talked
about and fixed them, as well as some other ones we found. We also moved all the
courses for the permit test and skills test over to our other site called
thecdltest.com and are now offering all the courses for free nationwide. We will
continue to improve the courses with updated pictures and video. All test
questions in all courses have now been corrected (some where missing words, some
had misspelled words, some had wrong answers). This should be a great benefit to
anyone trying to get their CDL. We also changed the colors of the courses to be
easier on the eyes. Thanks for all your input; it has helped us improve the
courses…

Go to the web site (http://www.thecdltest.com/), click on the course you wish to take. Click on the course lesson you would like to view. One thing I do not like is there is nothing to indicate what course lesson you’ve already completed or which lesson you started but haven’t finished yet. Of course it is pretty easy to make yourself a note of where you left off.

The course works similarly to a slide presentation with a narration. During different sections, a picture or video may be displayed in addition to the main “slide” and narration.


The course screen has a very simple layout and contains 4 main parts:

  • You have the ‘Main Window’ where most of the information is displayed.
  • The ‘Controls’ which let you pause and restart the presentation you are currently viewing. There is a slider bar that will let you move forward or backwards within the current section and there are forward and back buttons that allow you to move to the previous or next sections. You can also move to different sections within the lesson by clicking on the area you want to go to in the outline.
  • The ‘Outline’ lists the different sections within a lesson. You can click on a section listed in the outline to go to that section.
  • The ‘Picture/Video’ area only displays if a picture or video is being displayed for that particular section.

As you go through the sections, there are quizzes you can take to be sure you have obtained the knowledge of the previous lessons. In addition to the quizzes they have inside the course lessons, they also have a section on the web site with over 160 questions and answers broken down into several sections; General Knowledge, Air Brakes Endorsement, Combination Vehicles Endorsement, Driving Skills Test and Passenger Endorsement.

As I was going through the course, I made notes of any issues that I saw and provided them to Ray. Most of them were minor issues and only one or two of them actually affected the accuracy of the information they were providing. As you can see by Ray’s respond listed above, they took my feedback as well as the feedback of others and made updates and changes to the courses.

I did find the narration to be rather boring and it does appear that the narrator is just reading from a script. I also found that sometimes the main windows aren’t always synced up with the audio. Sometimes the bullet points in the main window will either appear several items before or after the audio. Sometimes the main window seems to change too quickly to the next window and can cause the final bullet point to only appear for a fraction of a second before it switches. Now this issue could be caused by connectivity issues but I feel pretty confident that it was not my computer or internet connection since I have a very high-end system and a fast 6 mbps internet connection. It could be caused by either the software they used to make the lesson or with the servers/connection speed of the site itself.

Some of the lesson segments have pictures or video to accompany the main window and narration. There is an issue where occasionally, the main window and narration will not start once the video loads. To fix this, all you have to do is restart the segment by clicking on it in the ‘Outline’. I believe they are aware of this glitch as information regarding it does appear in some of the later lessons. Hopefully they will provide this information at the beginning of each of the lessons that contain video.

I compared the content of the course with the Ohio CDL Handbook (which can be found here). The course appears to cover everything contained within the Ohio CDL Handbook and appears to do so accurately. Some states may have some slight differences from what Ohio requires but most states pretty much require the same information for their permit test. Any major differences will come after the permit test during the skills test such as during the pre-trip inspection. The course is really only able to provide you with the information for the permit test and provide you with some basic information regarding the skills test. Most of the requirements to pass the skills test will be learned during training at a truck driving school (either a private school or a company operated school).

I would like to see some more video and maybe some animations added to the course particularly when they are covering the pre-trip inspection. I would also like to see them expand the HazMat endorsement section some. It does pretty much cover what the Ohio CDL Handbook does but then again, I feel they should expand their coverage of the topic as well. I know that additional training is require before actually driving a placard vehicle transporting hazardous material but I still feel that this information should be expanded. According to Ray’s response listed above, they plan to continue to improved and expand the courses.

So, do I feel that you can take the course and pass the CDL permit test? Well, that does depend on you personally. They’ve tried to include different elements (pictures, text, video and narration) into the training to cover the different ways that people learn. I do feel that it is possible to take the course and pass the permit test without studying anything else, even though I would not personally try it. Then again, I’m the type of person that will study and study in an attempt to not only pass a test but ace it. I recommend taking the course but also read your state’s CDL handbook.


Comments

Sounds like it is a good site to at least get a good idea of what to expect on the tests. Hope it has helped you out. It's much better than getting second hand info that may be way off track.
Comment By: Roadhzrd on Wed, May 07 2008 @ 7:54 PM [EST]

I'm sure you'll ace it, there are a lot of dummy's that get a CDL..You write pretty intelligent so it'd be a breeze for you..VM-out!
Comment By: VM on Thu, May 08 2008 @ 5:48 AM [EST]

By the way when are you gonna take the plunge and JOIN US?..(Thinking of the Star Wars movie with Darth Vader) Come to the dark side and be a trucker?..VM-out!
Comment By: VM on Thu, May 08 2008 @ 5:50 AM [EST]

You may recall from one of my early post is that one of the reasons for me delaying is that my wife is going to be a gestational surrogate for a couple that can not carry a child themselves. That has been postponed several times. As of right now, looks like they will be doing the transfer at the end of this month which puts me at making the plunge in the summer of 2009. Hopefully the freight/economy will be better by then as well.
Comment By: Truckin Tedybehr on Thu, May 08 2008 @ 9:44 AM [EST]

Speaking of joining the dark side, I saw a funny t-shirt the other day. It said, "Come to the dark side....we have cookies."
Comment By: Truckin Tedybehr on Thu, May 08 2008 @ 9:45 AM [EST]

I feel pretty confident as far as taking the permit test. I've done a lot of studying and so far when I take any practice test, I'm in the mid to upper 90%s on all the test and endorsements.
Comment By: Truckin Tedybehr on Thu, May 08 2008 @ 9:46 AM [EST]


I'm sure you'll do fine..Me thinks your getting to worked up over nothing..You'll pass first time out I'm sure..I did and I have ADHD...VM-out!
Comment By: VM on Sat, May 10 2008 @ 6:22 AM [EST]

VM you have something but I'm not so sure there is a name for it though!!
Comment By: Roadhzrd on Sun, May 11 2008 @ 4:53 AM [EST]

I know I march to my own drummer..Usually I am in VM land up inside my head..So correctomundo Rdhzrd..Vm-out!
Comment By: VM on Sun, May 11 2008 @ 5:25 AM [EST]

New Air-Weigh Entry-Level Scale

Originally Posted on Wed, May 07 2008 @ 3:13 PM [EST]

It would be nice if this was on every truck.



New Air-Weigh Entry-Level Scale

Eugene, OR, March 27, 2008 - Air-Weigh is expanding their on-board scale product family with the addition of a new entry-level weighing solution. The new scale, named QuickLoad, incorporates state-of-the-art hardware and software technology packaged in a compact in-dash display. The QuickLoad Scale offers many desirable on-board weighing features currently offered by Air-Weigh in an affordably-priced configuration. QuickLoad is designed for use on dedicated tractor-trailer configurations and straight trucks.

Up to four axle groups (including steer, drive and trailer axles) can be monitored on the in-dash display and the scale automatically calculates GVW and net payload. Weight information consisting of steer axle weight, drive axle weight, trailer axle weights, gross vehicle weight, and payload weight is displayed in the cab. Like other Air-Weigh scales, QuickLoad features warning and overweight alarm outputs, dual-point calibration, and easy installation. There are several air and axle deflection sensor kits available that allow you to tailor each QuickLoad scale to a variety of truck, tractor, and dedicated tractor trailer configurations.

The QuickLoad on-board scale converts tractor and trailer suspension loads to an accurate on-the-ground weight. By comparing empty and loaded axle group weights with empty and loaded suspension pressures, the scale can be calibrated to display accurate weights at any suspension load. QuickLoad accuracy is not affected by altitude, temperature, or humidity and is easy to operate, install, and calibrate.

All Air-Weigh on-board scales, including QuickLoad, feature a patented dual-point calibration system. Coupled with several unique proprietary technologies, this allows customers to accurately know their specific axle group weights at the loading site. Air-Weigh eliminates weight-related costs including fees, time, out-of-route miles, fuel, overweight fines, and delays in truck stops.

QuickLoad configurations are available starting as low as $400. Product deliveries are scheduled to begin in April 2008. For more information on QuickLoad or other Air-Weigh products go to www.Air-WeighScales.com or call 1-888-459-3444.

About Air-Weigh Air-Weigh is the leading provider of on-board weighing technology for the transportation industry. Air-Weigh scales provide accurate and dependable operation for many vehicle types, including standard tractor-trailers, flatbeds, bulk haulers, tank trucks, refrigerated trailers, straight trucks, dump trucks, and refuse vehicles. Air-Weigh is a factory option at over one hundred tractor, trailer, and truck OEMS worldwide.

For more information, contact Air-Weigh at (888) 459-3444 or visit us online at http://www.air-weighscales.com/.

Quoted from:
Air Weight Scales

Fuel management lesson available to drivers for free

Originally Posted on Wed, May 07 2008 @ 12:52 PM [EST]


This is from eTrucker.com





Fuel management lesson available to drivers for free
By CCJ Staff

Instructional Technologies Inc. announced today, April 11, that it is joining the trucking industry’s efforts to save on fuel costs by offering to all professional drivers in the United States and Canada its Pro-Tread “Fuel Management” lesson for free, from June 1 through June 21.

ITI’s client fleets already have paid for more than 13,000 drivers to complete this half-hour lesson, which the company says soon will be updated for the latest equipment and with new fuel-saving techniques and ideas. Current ITI clients have been offered this lesson for free as of April 9 and will be allowed to take the updated
lesson again at no cost during June.

“We speak with drivers and with fleet owners constantly, and all we’ve heard in the past few months is ‘fuel, fuel, fuel,’ " says Jim Voorhees, chief executive officer of Vancouver, Wash.-based ITI. "We can’t lower the cost of diesel, unfortunately, but we can help drivers burn less of it. With our ‘Initiative Save-Green,’ we’re delighted
to be able to give something back to the drivers and to the fleets that not only have helped make ITI such a success, but who also keep America’s arteries flowing with everything we all need and want."

To take advantage of this offer, drivers simply have to go to www.protread.com and follow the sign-in instructions. They’ll be taking the lesson within a minute of arriving at the website, and completion takes about half an hour, according to ITI.

"We hope that every driver on the road will find time between June 1st and June 21st to stop for half an hour, get on the Internet and take this lesson," Voorhees
says. "Together, we can greatly reduce our industry’s fuel costs.”

Friday, May 2, 2008

Check your antilock brakes before a trooper does

Originally Posted on Fri, May 02 2008 @ 2:32 PM [EST]



I found this on the J J Keller web site and thought it was some good information.



Check your antilock brakes before a trooper does

Antilock brake systems (ABS) began appearing on commercial vehicles more than a decade ago. When working properly, ABS is designed to prevent skidding and wheel lockup and help drivers maintain control during emergency and low-traction stops. This in turn helps prevent jackknifing and loss of vehicle stability.

But according to a recent analysis of 1,000 vehicle inspections by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), one of every six power units and one of every three trailers is operating with defective ABS.

Those alarming statistics are one reason enforcement personnel are now paying more attention to ABS during inspections, and one reason you should make sure this important safety feature is operational on all your commercial motor vehicles.

The indicator
Because ABS only activates under specific operating conditions, drivers would have difficulty knowing whether they are functional if it weren’t for the malfunction lamps. Located on the instrument panel of trucks and buses and the left exterior of trailers, the amber ABS malfunction indicator lamp burns steadily if there is a problem with the system.

The ABS conducts a self-test — and the lamps turn on momentarily — whenever power is initially applied. A vehicle defect and possible violation exists if an ABS malfunction lamp fails to turn on at all, or turns on and stays on. State and federal
inspectors are beginning to pay more attention to these self-tests, and motor carriers and drivers should do the same, repairing any systems that indicate a defect.

Which vehicles?
Not all commercial motor vehicles on the road today are equipped with ABS. Refer to the following table to determine which vehicles need ABS and indicator lamps under the requirements of 49 CFR §393.55:

Vehicle Type: Truck or bus
Brake Type: Hydraulic
Manufacture date: Before March 1, 1999 ABS Required? No
Manufacture date: On or after March 1, 1999 ABS Required? Yes

Vehicle Type: Truck tractor
Brake Type: Air
Manufacture date: Before March 1, 1997 ABS Required? No
Manufacture date: On or after March 1, 1997 ABS Required? Yes

Vehicle Type: Single-unit truck or bus; trailers and converter dollies
Brake Type: Air
Manufacture date: Before March 1, 1998 ABS Required? No
Manufacture date: On or after March 1, 1998 ABS Required? Yes

Vehicle Type: Trailers and converter dollies
Brake Type: Air
Manufacture date: On or after March 1, 1998 ABS Required? Yes, and must
have exterior ABS indicator lamp.

Vehicle Type: Trailers and converter dollies
Brake Type: Air
Manufacture date: On or after March 1, 2001 ABS Required? Yes, and must be capable of transmitting ABS signal to towing vehicle.*

Vehicle Type: Towing vehicles
Brake Type: Air
Manufacture date: On or after March 1, 2001 ABS Required? Yes, and must
have ABS indicator on instrument panel for towed vehicle.*

*Note that on a towing vehicle manufactured on or after March 1, 2001, connected to a trailer manufactured on or after March 1, 2001, the ABS indicators (on the instrument panel) for both the towing vehicle and the towed vehicle should illuminate during the self-test. The lamp will not illuminate if a towed vehicle is not attached, or if the towed vehicle is older than March 1, 2001.

Older vehicles may have a variety of ABS types, or none at all, that operate in a variety of ways.

Check your antilock braking systems today and every day, before an inspector does it for you!

Comments

An ABS light on is no big deal..I really don't care if it is on or not..I just care about if the brakes are adjusted properly..I could take a tractor brand spanking new and find something wrong with it if I wanted too..There is always something wrong with a truck..Do you want to sit?..Is the other question..As long as I feel safe driving the vehicle I don't care what a dummy light says..VM-out!
Comment By: VM on Sat, May 03 2008 @ 7:11 AM [EST]