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Bendix CVSA Roadcheck reminders: foundation care matters

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ELYRIA, Ohio — No matter how advanced the vehicle, or how complex its safety system is, you’ve got to take care of the basics.

With this year’s Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance International Roadcheck coming up June 5-7, a look back at some key numbers from last year’s check emphasizes the importance of foundational maintenance in keeping vehicles on the road and operating safely.

“Almost 9,400 vehicles received out-of-service (OOS) violations during Roadcheck 2017, and more than half of those – 56.5 percent – were related to tires or wheels and brakes: the two categories at the base of what we call the hierarchy of safety system maintenance,” said Fred Andersky, director of government and industry affairs at Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC. “And if those aren’t maintained properly, you can’t expect the best performance out of a vehicle’s higher-level safety technologies, from antilock brakes to stability and collision mitigation.”

As North America’s leader in the development and manufacture of active safety, air management, and braking system technologies for commercial vehicles, Bendix offers insight on how fleets and owner-operators can both prepare for this year’s Roadcheck and establish best practices now that will strengthen safety down the road.

Over more than three decades, International Roadcheck — the largest targeted commercial motor vehicle program in the world – has involved more than 1.5 million total roadside inspections in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. On average, the 72-hour period will see roughly 17 trucks and buses inspected every minute, with most of them undergoing the North American Standard Level 1 Inspection, a 37-step procedure that reviews both driver operating requirements and a vehicle’s mechanical fitness.

Vehicle safety practically begins at the tires – the contact points where all of a driver’s efforts and a truck’s control capabilities come down to physical interaction with the road. And one key aspect of tire maintenance is proper inflation.

“Running on an underinflated tire is going to increase stress on it and generate a higher internal running temperature, and both of those things increase the risk of a blowout,” said Jon Intagliata, product manager of tire pressure monitoring systems at Bendix. “In fact, industry studies have calculated that about 90 percent of tire failures can be attributed to underinflation.”

Use of a system such as the SmarTire Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) by Bendix CVS can help reduce that risk by providing real-time pressure alerts to the driver. Bendix SmarTire systems use a wheel-mounted sensor that continuously monitors temperature as well, allowing alerts that compensate for changing operating conditions, and can point to other potential wheel-end issues that lead to high tire temperatures, such as a dragging brake.

Brake systems and brake adjustment accounted for 26.9 percent and 14.5 percent, respectively, of Roadcheck 2017’s vehicle OOS violations, reflecting a range of issues that are easily prevented through regular pre-trip inspections and preventive maintenance. Standard walk-arounds with an eye out for obvious problems like loose hoses or damaged brake components – air chambers or pushrods, for instance – can be crucial in catching a problem before it impacts a vehicle’s safety performance in a critical situation.

In the shop, air brake system inspections should include the following – all of which relate directly to items inspected during Roadcheck:

  • Conducting a 90- to 100-psi brake application and listening for leaks
  • Measuring chamber stroke at each wheel-end to ensure proper brake adjustment
  • Examining friction for good condition and minimum thickness

“If you find it’s time to replace brake friction or drum brake shoes, it’s key to remember that your choice will impact not just the brakes, but the effectiveness of your higher-level safety systems,” said Keith McComsey, director of marketing and customer solutions at Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake. “It’s important to select components that will ensure the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) requirements are met, especially if you’re talking about remaining compliant with the standards required of reduced stopping distance (RSD) braking systems.”

Similarly, Bendix recommends remanufactured drum brake shoes that have been re-coined back to their OEM-engineered shape, as opposed to those that have simply been relined with new friction. Relining a shoe that’s been exposed to the extreme force and temperature changes of normal use without having been re-coined can lead to reduced stopping power and premature wear.

With trucking safety technology evolving more quickly than ever on multiple fronts, and the regulatory environment shifting to keep pace, fleet safety programs need to incorporate up-to-date expert training and information. Certified technicians are irreplaceable members of a fleet team, providing insight and experience that are vital in keeping vehicles and drivers safe.

Bendix supports industry education through its in-person Bendix Brake Training School – an annual series of multi-day courses offered across North America – and its Bendix On-Line Brake School, as well as the Bendix Knowledge Dock®. At brake-school.com, participants can access more than 70 courses for free, including Bendix’s comprehensive and interactive Air Brake Training course. The Knowledge Dock at knowledge-dock.com complements Bendix’s online instruction with a multimedia repository of resources, including Bendix Tech Tips, videos, blog posts, podcasts, and white papers covering a wide swath of truck maintenance, operation, and safety information.

“Adoption of advanced safety systems, and the march to an automated future, isn’t slowing down,” Andersky said. “Just look at full stability: After we launched Bendix® ESP® Electronic Stability Program in 2005, it took six years to deliver the first 100,000 – and our current pace is continually skyrocketing. Current and future collision mitigation technology is being built upon it. And yet getting the most out of this continued advancement will still require close attention to the technologies nearest to ground level – tires and brakes.”

Andersky noted that even with the wide range of integrated, advanced safety solutions, one thing remains unchanged: responsibility for the safe operation of the vehicle remains with the driver at all times. He stated that Bendix safety technologies complement safe driving practices. No commercial vehicle safety technology replaces a skilled, alert driver exercising safe driving techniques and proactive, comprehensive driver training.

Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, a member of the Knorr-Bremse Group, develops and supplies active safety technologies, energy management solutions and air brake charging and control systems and components under the Bendix brand name for medium- and heavy-duty trucks, tractors, trailers, buses, and other commercial vehicles throughout North America. An industry pioneer, employing more than 3,200 people, Bendix is driven to deliver solutions for improved vehicle safety, performance, and overall operating cost.

 

 

 

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Schneider inducts 26 elite drivers into Haul of Fame for career achievements in safety

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Schneider officials said over 250 drivers were honored this year for outstanding accomplishments in safety. (Courtesy: SCHNEIDER)

GREEN BAY, Wis. — In recognition of those who live and embody its Safety First and Always core value, Schneider, among the nation’s largest truckload carriers, recently honored hundreds of its most accomplished drivers with awards celebrating career driving milestones.

Included in the esteemed awards were Haul of Fame inductions, Million Mile Driver Awards and Consecutive Safe Driving Year Awards.

The prestigious honor of induction into Schneider’s Haul of Fame is reserved for drivers who have accumulated at least 3 million safe driving miles and/or 20 consecutive years of safe driving without an accident. This year, 26 new inductees met these criteria, earning them membership alongside over 300 of Schneider’s elite drivers. Each inductee will have a commemorative plaque installed on the Haul of Fame wall at Schneider’s corporate headquarters in Green Bay.

“The honor and recognition these professional drivers have earned show that they truly exemplify our ‘Safety First and Always’ culture,” said Tom DiSalvi, vice president of safety, driver training and compliance at Schneider. “These outstanding drivers are the latest to contribute to a long history of safe driving, and we’re proud of the tradition they carry on through their achievements.”

The Million Mile Award is an honor earned by Schneider drivers who have transported freight over 1 million miles while remaining accident-free. This year, the number of drivers reaching million-mile safety marks is as follows:

  • 67 new 1-Million Mile Award winners
  • 42 new 2-Million Mile Award winners
  • 13 new 3-Million Mile Award winners
  • Three new 4-Million Mile Award winners

These new honorees have driven accident-free for the equivalent of 8,112 trips around the Earth’s equator. Through sleet and snow, across icy bridges and up winding mountain roads, Schneider drivers champion safety as their primary objective.

Additionally, Schneider recognized 113 drivers who have remained accident-free for 10 years and each five-year increment thereafter. This year’s Consecutive Safe Years Driving Award winners include:

  • 63 new 10-year Consecutive Safe Years Driving honorees
  • 25 new 15-year Consecutive Safe Years Driving honorees
  • 16 new 20-year Consecutive Safe Years Driving honorees
  • Six new 25-year Consecutive Safe Years Driving honorees
  • Two new 30-year Consecutive Safe Years Driving honorees
  • One new 45-year Consecutive Safe Years Driving honoree

Throughout the year, Schneider hosted 14 award banquets to recognize the Haul of Fame inductees as well as drivers receiving the Million Mile Awards and Consecutive Safe Years Driving Awards.

Professional drivers who are interested in earning a spot in the Haul of Fame and are eager to make safety their top priority can learn about driving opportunities with Schneider by visiting schneiderjobs.com.

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Bison Transport’s Treana Moniz all business when it comes to trucking

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Women In Trucking’s May Member of the Month Treana Moniz may be the only professional truck driver who has hand-crocheted doilies adorning the seat backs in her cab and another covering her CB radio. They’re a constant reminder of family, mementos hand-made by her late grandmother. (Courtesy: WOMEN IN TRUCKING)

Treana Moniz loves her career as a professional driver. “I can’t think of anything that I’d be interested in doing, outside of trucking,” she said. She spoke with me from the cab of her doily-decorated Freightliner as she approached the Ambassador Bridge from the Detroit side. Since more than 25% of merchandise trade between the U.S. and Canada crosses the bridge, she’s no stranger to the crossing.

Moniz may be the only driver making the crossing with hand-crocheted doilies adorning the seat backs in her cab and another covering her CB radio. They’re a constant reminder of family, mementos hand-made by her late grandmother.

“I like old fashioned stuff,” she said, describing another family heirloom she cherishes. “I’ve got a tablecloth at home that she made for my mother,” she related. “She crocheted some beautiful things.”

Despite the touches of home in her truck, Moniz is all business when it comes to trucking. She’s earned a long list of accolades for her work behind the wheel and out of the cab as well. She’s currently a member of the2019-2020 Ontario Trucking Association’s Road Knights team and was selected as a Women in Trucking 2018 Canadian Image Team Member. She’s racked up several Driver of the Month awards at Winnipeg, Manitoba-based Bison Transport, as well as Eastern Company Driver of the year last year. And, she was Women in Trucking’s choice for May 2019 Member of the Month.

Career drivers often say that trucking is in their blood, and Moniz comes by hers honestly. Her grandfather hauled logs with horse teams and her father drove multiple types of trucks before her. Her grandmother, mother and an aunt all served drivers by working in truck stops as cooks and waitresses. For a while, Treana did too, but the call of the open road was strong. “Waitressing was a job,” she said. “Driving is a career.”

When she met the man who began her driver training, she left the apron and coffee pot behind to learn the trucking business. When the training was interrupted by a her then-boyfriend’s medical condition, she attended CDL school and got her license. After her friend recovered, they teamed together for five years. When that relationship ended, she took her career solo, ending up with Bison Transport after a short stint at another carrier. She’s nearly as passionate about Bison as she is about driving.

“They’re a great company,” she said. “My truck is spec’d for driver comfort, with an electric APU and a big inverter.” The inverter is important, because cooking is another talent of Moniz. “I love cooking,” she said. “I do my own cooking on the road, and when I get home, I’m the chief cook and bottle-washer.”

When she’s not at home cooking for her son, daughter and four grandchildren, she’s representing the industry, Bison and trucking women at events for the OTA, WIT and others. “As a road knight, I’ve been going out to the schools and talking to the kids,” she related. “They may not get into the career, but I hope they’re listening and they learn what women are capable of.”

Some of her educational efforts are to other drivers, too. She recently became a Driver Mentor at Bison, but she doesn’t have to be assigned a student – mentoree to offer help. “I have a lot of newer drivers that talk to me and get my advice,” she explained. “I let drivers know they can talk to me, they can lean on me.” She shares her knowledge with a down-to-earth approach that other drivers appreciate. “If you don’t understand how to do something, ask. I’m not here to judge, I’m here to help,” she explained.

Her personality is well-suited for talking to people. “I’m an outgoing person, I like meeting new people,” she explained. Then, an understatement, “I’m not shy.”

Whether she’s assisting new drivers, talking to school children or representing her gender at a WIT function, her intent remains the same. “I’m always planting those seeds to be safe,” she said. “I tell them to be safe out there, always stay alert and watch out the other person.”

What’s next in Moniz’ career? “I want that gold ring from Bison,” she said, referring to Bison’s gift for accumulating a million safe miles. “I’m over 700,000, and I want my millionth mile.

After that? “I’m not sure,” she answered. “If I ever quit driving, I’d like to get into the driver development or safety aspect of the industry.” Some might argue that she’s already pretty good at developing drivers and promoting safety, as well as representing with pride the women in the trucking industry.

“If I ever get out of trucking, I’ll probably spend time with the grandkids,” she concluded. There likely will not, however, be a lot of shopping. “I hate shopping,” she quipped. “Are you surprised?”

Whatever the future holds, Treana Moniz will undoubtedly approach it with the same determination and drive that earned her the selection as WIT’s Member of the Month. She’s happy to help anyone else get there, too.

 

 

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The Nation

Eye on Trucking: Time to stop being childish and get down to work in D.C.

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When President Donald Trump goes on a road trip he navigates the freshly cut lawn and climbs aboard Marine One for a quick trip to Joint Base Andrews, where he climbs the stairs to Air Force One waiting for the door to close and then takes off down a silk smooth runway. Think about that next time you travel one of those bumpy interstate highways.(Associated Press: EVAN VUCCI)

When President Donald Trump goes on a road trip (other than to play golf on a Sunday when he ought to be in church), he leisurely strolls out of the White House (probably wearing a red tie), throws a few nuggets to a press corps intent for the most part on hearing something that will make their report the top story on the evening news or the lead story in tomorrow’s print editions (at least where they still exist), navigates the freshly cut lawn and climbs aboard Marine One for a quick trip to Joint Base Andrews where he climbs the stairs to Air Force One waiting for the door to close and then for a takeoff down a silk smooth runway.

Contrast that to this.

We decide to take a 45-minute drive to Hot Springs, Arkansas, for a nice lunch at a restaurant that has outdoor seating on Lake Hamilton.

We head north on our subdivision (the street is nice and smooth because the subdivision is only a year or so old), turn onto Denny Road, where we dodge potholes for a mile or so (hoping no one is in the other lane), then eventually make a right on Kanis Road as we head toward Interstate 430, which will take us to Interstate 30, which will take us to U.S. Highway 270, which will take us into Hot Springs.

Just before we leave Kanis Road, we are subjected to a section of road that has to be the roughest in the U.S.

I-430 and I-30 through Benton are nice, but just on the other side of Benton we hit a stretch of I-30 where the right lanes have been beaten down by big rigs to the point that now even they cheat and move to the left lane.

Meanwhile, when he gets back in Washington, the it’s time for the president to meet with Congressional Democrats to further talk about a $2.2 trillion infrastructure package they so smilingly agreed to a couple of weeks ago.

The president is back from a smooth landing at JBA and the Democrats have ridden down Pennsylvania Avenue, which I’ll guarantee you has no bumps or bruises or potholes.

Once inside, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi accused Mr. Trump of a coverup (who in Washington hasn’t covered something up, except maybe Jimmy Carter?) and Mr. Trump turned, took his bat and ball and went out into the Rose Garden to tell the press what happened.

How childish.

After the so-called meeting, Pelosi said she intended to pray for Mr. Trump following that surprise Rose Garden news conference where he demanded Democrats quit investigating him (how childish of them).

A lot of folks better pray for Mr. Trump, Pelosi and everyone in Washington who has anything to do with this partisan politics game that is preventing us from getting the roads and bridges that the general public richly deserves after sending their “offering” to Washington every paycheck.

It’s time for Washington to get down on its knees and then get up and do something about our infrastructure.

*                                              *                                              *

If you don’t think things are bad, consider the fact that the length of America’s structurally deficient bridges, if placed end-to-end, would span nearly 1,100 miles, the distance between Chicago and Houston, a new examination of federal government data shows. And it’s a problem that hits close to home.

The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) analysis of the recently-released U.S. Department of Transportation 2018 National Bridge Inventory (NBI) database reveals 47,052 bridges are classified as structurally deficient and in poor condition.

Cars, trucks and school buses cross these compromised structures 178 million times every day, the data show.

Nearly 1,775 are on the Interstate Highway System.

The most traveled structurally deficient bridges are on parts of Route 101, Interstate 405 and Interstate 5 in California, where daily crossings are as high as 289,000 vehicles per day.

Although the number of structurally deficient bridges is down slightly compared to 2017, the pace of improvement has slowed to the lowest point since ARTBA began compiling this report five years ago.

States with the largest number of structurally deficient bridges are Iowa (4,675 bridges); Pennsylvania (3,770); Oklahoma (2,540); Illinois (2,273); Missouri (2,116); North Carolina (1,871); California (1,812); New York (1,757); Louisiana (1,678); and Mississippi (1,603).

Those with the most structurally deficient bridges as a percent of their total bridge inventory are Rhode Island (23 percent); West Virginia (19.8 percent); Iowa (19.3 percent); South Dakota (16.7 percent); Pennsylvania (16.5 percent); Maine (13.1 percent); Louisiana (13 percent), Puerto Rico (11.7 percent), Oklahoma (10.9 percent) and North Dakota (10.7 percent).

Remember those numbers next time you cross a bridge.

 

 

 

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