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Drive My Way is honored to be involved with Fuel Accelerator, a 16-week program sponsored by RevUnit, Startup Junkie, and the Arkansas Economic Development Commission that is tasking a cohort of nine startups with tackling the biggest supply chain and logistics challenges currently facing established industries. The program gives supply chain startups the training necessary to become enterprise ready.

While the need for speedy transportation has increased, many companies struggle to find and retain truck drivers.

Drive My Way, a personalized recruiting marketplace for truck drivers, redesigns and disrupts the way the trucking industry recruits. The company uses proprietary software to match drivers with available jobs based on qualifications and lifestyle preferences.

Drive My Way founder and CEO Beth Potratz created Drive My Way after seeing the job marketplace evolve and employment relationships change in the gig economy.

According to Potratz, the trucking industry’s recruiting marketplace is “highly fragmented, inefficient, and ultimately ineffective.”

This has resulted in driver shortage and high turnover, but Potratz says Drive My Way helps to make the recruitment process transparent and puts the focus on the driver. Therefore, this “puts the driver in control of the process.”

Moving into the Fuel Accelerator, Drive My Way begins an “aggressive growth plan,” Potratz says. During the Fuel Accelerator, she plans to increase both the number of drivers and recruiters using the platform.

“I expect that Drive My Way will be in a position to further build a critical mass of registered drivers, accelerate the adoption of our technology with subscribing carriers, secure strategic relationships with large carriers that are leaders in their segment and further grow our brand and online community,” she says.

About Drive My Way

Drive My Way™ is a unique, personalized recruiting marketplace powered by a platform that matches CDL drivers and owner operators with jobs based on their professional qualifications and personal lifestyle preferences, such as schedule, type of haul, benefits and more. Drive My Way matches drivers with jobs that allow them to live the lives that they want and matches carriers with talent that is both qualified and engaged. Drive My Way’s driver-centric technology lets both the driver and recruiter know how well they match to each job before entering the hiring process; shifting the focus from quantity and volume to quality and best fit.

Researchers confirmed that truckers who work more than 60-hours are too tired to be on the road.

On average, truckers work 50% more than other U.S. workers, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. With the roadways and highways as their workplace, this puts themselves and other motorists, at greater risk of crashing.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration over 3,830 roadway users–drivers, bicyclists, and truckers–died in heavy vehicle crashes in 2015.

2 in 5 truckers report they work over the recommended 60-hour work week, and 1 in 5 report working over 70+ hours. Therefore, it’s no wonder that these numbers are expected to rise.

A big factor in tracking the hours a driver spends on the road is the lack of pay for the time that truckers are waiting “off-duty”.

The time spent loading and unloading often goes unpaid, allowing truckers to extend their work week and drive more. Because this “off-duty” time is unpaid, cargo owners lack motivation to work quickly. As a result, they end up wasting over $1 billion dollars that would otherwise land in truckers’ pockets.

“There’s a lot of wasted time in trucking.”

“The industry could be a lot more efficient,” trucker Donald Rich told The Washington Post. “You sit outside a business for 6-8 hours waiting for someone to unload your truck. Businesses don’t care, but you lose hundreds or thousands of dollars of potential pay because you have to just wait.”

A possible solution here is a major increase in wages on both ends of the loading process. If drivers were compensated for their off-duty time, it would cost the industry billions. However, it might be more cost effective to simply cut down on the waiting time. If cargo workers were incentivized to move more quickly, perhaps that down time would decrease.

Another option is to both incentivize those responsible for loading and unloading cargo, as well as pay, even a half-wage, to truckers for off-duty time. This might offset the need for drivers to work regular overtime hours, and allow for a better work-life balance at home.

So, when will these wage increases take place?

Soon, hopefully. With the ever increasing demand for drivers nation wide, some companies are offering pay rates the likes of which have never been seen. For some companies, this already includes off-duty pay. As both benefits and wages increase, more and more drivers are beginning to notice the keen position they’ve been put in.

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Brian Buckley of Strathbogie, Va., began to restore his vintage Mack truck years before a cancer diagnosis in 2014. Now, his family is living out his legacy by continuing the restoration in his honor.

Brian, an owner-operator for the majority of his career, drove a fuel truck for construction sites. Passionate about Mack trucks, he always wanted to restore an older logger truck he used to drive. When he received his diagnosis, he bought an excavator along with four R-model to use for parts.

Brian asked his two friends, Mario Grosso and Emil Barbic, to join him. Unfortunately, Brian died six weeks later.

As an ode to Brian’s life, however, his family and friends  continue his work on the truck. Gillian Buckley, Brian’s widow, told that the truck was “in a million pieces,” but she knew she had to continue with the restoration. Mario and Emil finished as much of the work as they could themselves in Oakland Junction, VA, before outsourcing the final touches to a nearby shop.

Image via Owner-Driver

“We replicated it the way it would have been when it came out of the assembly line of Mack in Brisbane when it was brand new,” Mario told the magazine. “The bull bar is original. The wheels are original – no chrome on the wheels. The fuel tanks are all original, and the single exhaust.”

Neil Lemen, a family friend, drove the finished vehicle to the Victorian Truck Drivers’ Memorial this past June. For now, the R-Model is on the Buckley family’s farm.

 

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Northern California fleet finds success with renewable diesel.

After hearing about the savings in fuel costs and truck maintenance possible with Neste’s MY Renewable Diesel, Cherokee Freight tried the fuel. The food carrier, which specializes in kosher-certified hauling, test Neste’s fuel in February 2017. And, after about 18 months, the company reports great results.

Richard Damilano, Cherokee’s operations manager, told Neste that he found the transition to be easy. “It’s a drop-in fuel replacement, so the switch was seamless.”

In addition, Art Cortez, a Cherokee shop foreman, agreed. He believes the trucks run better than ever. Between Neste’s fuel and Cherokee’s new equipment, Cortez says he’s seen a serious improvement in fuel economy.

Regular diesel contains impurities that can clog diesel particulate filters (DPF), contaminate the fuel, and ruin fuel injectors. However, Neste’s renewable diesel is a a low-carbon biofuel, meaning it contains 33 percent fewer fine particulates than ordinary diesel. In addition, 100-percent renewable raw materials makes up the fuel, cutting greenhouse emissions by up to 80 percent. Also, unlike biodiesel, Neste’s fuel is a direct replacement fuel, so it is compatible with all engines and doesn’t require blending.

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Increasing fuel prices are leaving many smaller fleets and owner-operators more financially challenged. Many between tractor-trailer speed and gas consumption to save some serious cash.

In March, diesel prices were at a moderate $2.99 per gallon. The price peaked at $3.24 per gallon in June, and, though it has fallen a few cents these past few weeks, is still expected to throughout the summer months. Heavier freight volumes and the new ELD , are pushing trucks’ capacities. The flatbed load-to-truck ratio has risen a stunning 171% from last year. In addition, the load-to-truck ratio has risen 34%.

What does all of this mean for drivers? It’s time to slow down. According to the American Trucking Association, a tractor-trailer traveling at 65 mph saves 27% more fuel than one going 75 mph. Though the recent drivers to increase their speed, now it is more important than ever to slow down to improve gas mileage.

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The Rotella Shell Starship is finally coming home.

Image via Trailer Body Builders

The Shell AirFlow Starship ended its highly anticipated maiden voyage across the USA on June 5. The new electric cab began its journey in San Diego in March. From there, it was driven across the country, including stops in Georgia and Kentucky, before its final destination in Florida. Shell celebrated the truck’s successful expedition with a presentation that called attention to the highlights of the trip.

Read part one of this thread on our blog: Big Oil Enters the Electric Trucking Game.

The Starship took three years to design and construct, using the most sophisticated technology to build the “hyper-aerodynamic, super fuel-efficient” truck. It features a custom carbon-fiber cab with special add-ons that enhance its durability and efficiency. The aerodynamic design helps in reducing drag, and solar panels are used to power smaller features, such as windshield wipers. In addition, a “hybrid electric axle system and custom automatic tire inflation” allow for better fuel efficiency.

“Through perseverance and hard work…we arrived here today, not in Jacksonville, but at a crossroads of where we move going forward.”

While the average miles per gallon for a gas-fueled tractor trailer is around six miles, the Starship performed at 10.2 miles per gallon. The more important figure, though, was the ton-miles per gallon for freight-ton efficiency, which combines a cargo’s weight with the amount of fuel consumed.

According to Bob Mainwaring, Shell Lubricant’s technology manager for innovation, the Starship came in at 178.4 ton-miles per gallon. Compared to the national average of only 72 ton-miles per gallon, the Starship is making leaps in trucking technology. Furthermore, Shell estimates that through use of their truck, the industry would see close to 60% emission reduction in a few years.

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The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance will increase brakes inspections during Brake Safety Week.

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Brakes Safety Week is September 16-22, 2018. Enforcement personnel plan on doing everything in their power to ensure the safety and well-being of all highway travelers.

Overall, North American Standard Level 1 inspections assess everything from hydraulic fluid leaks and loose parts to defective rotor conditions. Also, vehicles that fall short of the minimum standards leave the road immediately.

In 2017, 14% of inspected trucks were put out of service. “Properly functioning brake systems remain crucial to safe CMV operation,” the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance wrote in a release. “Also, improperly installed or poorly maintained brake systems reduce braking efficiency. Therefore, this poses serious risk to public safety on our roadways.”

In addition, CVSA’s 2017 International Roadcheck inspections revealed the majority of violations involved brakes.

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Tesla has some new competition in the realm of Electric Trucking: electric tractor trailers.

Image via CNBC

Shell Global sent its new electric-engine AirFlow Starship on its first journey across the country. It traveled from Atlanta to Long Beach, Calif. The unveiling of the new tractor-trailer this year spiked both interest and concerns throughout the industry.

As the first major heavy-duty truck to come out since Tesla’s electric long-haul trailer, Shell thinks more companies will follow suit in choosing electric trailers, which decrease 25 percent of carbon dioxide emissions a truck creates. Shell’s Bob Mainwaring tells CNBC, “Shell is an energy company … It’s always good to conserve energy.”

Industry experts say they expected Shell to design a cab for years.

The Airflow Starship is modeled after the Airflow Truck built by Robert Sliwa, who has been working to design the most fuel-efficient trucks possible since 1983. In addition, the Starship has an aerodynamic design. Therefore, this helps in reducing drag, and solar panels to power smaller features, such as windshield wipers. Also, a “hybrid electric axle system and custom automatic tire inflation” allow for better fuel efficiency.

The new trailer is completing its maiden voyage across the country through Shell’s Rotella Starship Initiative. Sliwa has said he hopes his new trailer design will beat his last model’s previous record of 13.4 miles per gallon. That record was set by Tesla’s Bullet Truck, which can travel 500 miles without needing to be recharged. Though production of these trailers isn’t set to begin until May 2019, both Walmart and UPS have ordered mass quantities.

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Photo courtesy of KRIS TV

A university in Corpus Christi, Texas, developed a free training program for vets exiting the service.

The Skills for Transition Program, a part of the Texas Operation Welcome Home Program, focuses on reintegrating military members into their communities post-deployment. For example, one of its most recent projects is a training program through Del Mar College to help recent veterans become CDL truck drivers.

According to recent findings, the trucking industry has become a good fit for many military personnel after their discharge.

Also, according to Department of Motor Vehicles, their dependability, sense of teamwork, and situational awareness make veterans ideal driving employees. In addition, driving jobs offer some much needed financial and lifestyle consistency that many vets crave after being overseas.

Also, the course consists of four weeks of daytime classes or 10 weeks of night classes. Overall, the goal is to create the marketable students who can be hired upon completion of the course. For example, U.S. Express Inc. offers jobs to veterans who complete this training through their apprenticeship program. In addition, with this training and apprentice opportunity, veterans earn both their CDL A license and make money within weeks of returning home.

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A CDL truck driver and his dog are alive and well after narrowly escaping from a crash.

Tractor trailer crash.

Photo via WWNY TV

As reported by WWNY, the unnamed driver was traveling down New York Route 37 outside Theresa, when a deer ran into the road. The driver swerved, overturning his cab and trailer. And then, both the driver and his dog were trapped for nearly 45 minutes before rescue teams could get to the crash.

Theresa Fire Chief Mark Savage told WWNYC he was surprised that both the driver and the dog sustained minor injuries. Also, he said the driver seemed to be in good spirits as he walked away from the truck. “Lots of cuts and bruises, a little sore,” Savage told the station, “…but other than that, [the driver] is alive and doing well.”

Both the driver and his dog were taken to a local hospital and animal clinic respectively.

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