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Update to Love’s Connect app allows drivers to better plan shower stops

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Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores is a travel stop network with more than 490 locations in 41 states. (Courtesy: LOVE'S TRAVEL STOPS AND COUNTRY STORES)

OKLAHOMA CITY — Professional truck drivers can now better plan where to take showers while on the road thanks to an update to Love’s Travel Stops mobile app.

The Love’s Connect app has a new feature called the “busy times” graph. It shows shower traffic based on historic data that each Love’s location typically receives for every hour of the day.

Love’s is the only travel stop network with this mobile app feature.

“Planning an efficient route is of utmost importance for our customers, which is why we developed this new app feature,” said Jerry Hamm, senior manager of customer technology and innovation. “This is an exciting piece of technology that we believe will improve our customer’s experience as they drive across the country.”

The busy times graph idea came from feedback Love’s received from drivers who said they wanted a better way to plan when to stop for a shower. The app already allows drivers to check in for a shower at a Love’s location and skip the fuel desk. Drivers can download the Love’s Connect app here.

Other current app features include:

  • Ability to view Love’s and Speedco store details.
  • Enhanced route planner.
  • An improved roadside assistance screen that links to nearby Love’s Truck Tire Care locations.
  • Fuel pump activation from your truck with Love’s mobile pay.
  • Management of My Love Rewards account.

Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores is a travel stop network with more than 490 locations in 41 states. Founded in 1964 and headquartered in Oklahoma City, the company remains family-owned and operated and employs more than 25,000 people.

To learn more, visit loves.com.

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Women In Trucking Association partners with OneDigital Health and Benefits

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Services available through OneDigital Health and Benefits include highly rated, well-recognized insurance carriers and includes group life, dental, vision, local doctors and hospitals, as well as additional options for voluntary benefits. (©2019 FOTOSEARCH)

PLOVER, Wis. – The Women In Trucking Association recently endorsed a health insurance and employee benefits portfolio of options now available to members with two or more employees.

The organization is working with insurance broker OneDigital Health and Benefits, a provider of employee benefits and human resource solutions to provide sales and service for its members. Services include highly rated, well-recognized insurance carriers and includes group life, dental, vision, local doctors and hospitals, as well as additional options for voluntary benefits.

Payroll administration options through Zenefits are now available as well to all interested WIT member companies though this relationship.

“We know that many of our members do not have access to affordable insurance providers and others are looking for a resource that offers many options in one place. We’ve spent three years looking for ways to offer these benefits working with our insurance broker-consultants Aon, who led us to a nationally recognized insurance platform and industry leader OneDigital,” said WIT President and CEO Ellen Voie.

The Women In Trucking Association will now offer its members a resource to provide viable employee benefits and related administrative options at a high-quality level.

“Women In Trucking Association is not in the insurance business, we are in the member representation business. We see employee insurance benefits solutions like this as a direct way to help our members succeed.” Voie said.

Member companies have the option at any point in the year to learn more about these new benefits by requesting a quote from One Digital.

WIT will also be hosting a free webinar on the topic on September 19 at 11 a.m. CDT. Register at https://www.womenintrucking.org/wit-webinar-series.

For more information about the Women In Trucking insurance benefits options contact Cheryl Blake at cblake@onedigital.com or Joe Simon at joe.simon@aon.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Truck Parking Near Me opens 2 overnight, monthly locations in Chicago area

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A survey of major trucking companies and over the road drivers confirms that there is a need beyond crisis levels within a 40 mile radius of the Chicago area. (The Trucker file photo)

CHICAGO — Truck Parking Near Me has opened overnight and monthly truck parking for commercial trucks in Gary, Indiana, and Bellwood, Illinois.

Truck Parking Near Me President Mike Sicuro said his company did a survey and determined that the Chicagoland/Gary area is in the top five areas of the country where overnight truck parking is at a crisis level.

“Our surveys of major trucking companies and over the road drivers confirm that there is a need beyond crisis levels within a 40 mile radius of the Chicagoland area and we have chosen to expand here, where the need is the greatest” Sicuro said.  “In 2017, the Indiana Department of Transportation reported that almost 38,000 trucks traveled daily near our Interstate 94 location and the same year the Illinois DOT reported that 6,000 trucks used the I-290 daily near our Bellwood/Chicago parking location. This information was influential in our decision to build truck parking in the area to accommodate the overnight parking need.”

In the same report, the U.S. Department of Transportation analysis of the area estimated that the Illinois and Indiana portions of the Chicago Metropolitan Area (which includes Gary) shipped and received about 427 million tons of freight worth $723 billion via truck in 2017. The US DOT reports that the tonnage has increased slightly since 2017.

Sicuro said recent surveys by the American Transportation Research Institute reported that the average over-the-road driver spends over one hour a day searching for overnight parking. This translates into $5,000 a year in lost revenue for a single OTR driver.

Take $5,000 per driver per year, he said, with 48% of 1.9 million long haul truck driver losing one hour of driving time, this number translates into almost $5 billion per year, which is the 0.5% of the total transportation cost across the United States.

“Truck Parking Near Me has strategically found parking to meet the demands of the trucking industry and will be looking for other opportunities outside the Chicagoland area to expand,” Sicuro said.

The Gary parking facility is located at 1500 North Colfax Avenue. Approaching from State Road 912, take the 15th Street exit and go east on Western 15th Avenue to Colfax Street. Approaching from I-94, take the Burr Street exit, go north on Burr Street to West 15th Avenue, turn west onto Colfax Street and go to West 15th Avenue.  A driver needing to get to downtown Chicago for a pick up or delivery, the Colfax location is only 40 minutes from downtown Chicago. The parking lot is lighted, gated and requires a reservation for daily parking or contract for monthly.

The Chicago parking facility is near Chicago O’Hare at 220 North 25th Avenue, Bellwood, Illinois, and like the Gary location, requires a reservation. The Chicago location is also lighted, gated and requires a reservation for daily parking or contract for monthly.

Sicuro said Truck Parking Near Me is adding parking facilities throughout the Gary and Chicago area with a priority on locations where it is often most difficult for truckers and trucking companies to find overnight parking.

Drivers can reserve their daily space at www.truckparkingnearme.com or call Mike Sicuro directly at 708-426-4511 for monthly parking.

 

 

 

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UPS makes minority investment in autonomous driving company TuSimple

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UPS' work with TuSimple began with the goal of helping UPS better understand the requirements for Level 4 Autonomous trucking in its network. (Courtesy: TUSIMPLE)

ATLANTA — UPS Thursday said its venture capital arm UPS Ventures has made a minority investment in autonomous driving company TuSimple.

Together, both companies are testing self-driving tractor trailers on a route in Arizona to determine whether the vehicles can improve service and efficiency in the UPS network. This is an extension of the ongoing commercial relationship between UPS and TuSimple in which UPS has purchased transportation services from TuSimple, according to Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer Scott Price.

The work with autonomous driving company TuSimple began with the goal of helping UPS better understand the requirements for Level 4 Autonomous trucking in its network, Price said. L4 Autonomous means the vehicle’s onboard computer is in complete control at all times, eliminating manual intervention. Currently, however, laws regulating L4 Autonomous driving require a driver in the vehicle at all times to take over operation if needed.

Throughout the ongoing tests, UPS has been providing truckloads of goods for TuSimple to carry on a North American Freight Forwarding route between Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona. The company initiated self-driving service in May 2019, with a driver and engineer in the vehicle. TuSimple and UPS monitor distance and time the trucks travel autonomously, safety data and transport time.

“UPS is committed to developing and deploying technologies that enable us to operate our global logistics network more efficiently,” Price said. “While fully autonomous, driverless vehicles still have development and regulatory work ahead, we are excited by the advances in braking and other technologies that companies like TuSimple are mastering. All of these technologies offer significant safety and other benefits that will be realized long before the full vision of autonomous vehicles is brought to fruition – and UPS will be there, as a leader implementing these new technologies in our fleet.”

Founded in 2015, TuSimple’s mission is to bring the first self-driving truck to market, to increase safety, decrease transportation costs and reduce carbon emissions. TuSimple develops technology that will allow shipping companies to operate self-driving class 8 tractor-trailers – those that exceed 33,000 pounds and typically have three or more axles.

UPS contracts with third-party trucking companies during its peak shipping season. TuSimple believes it could cut average purchased transportation costs by 30%.

“We are honored by UPS’s strategic investment and their vote of confidence in TuSimple, this proves their commitment to staying at the forefront of innovation,” said TuSimple’s Founder, President & CTO, Xiaodi Hou. “TuSimple is confident that it can accelerate bringing the first self-driving truck to market to increase road safety.”

UPS’s tests with TuSimple are part of an advanced technology evaluation for vehicles in the UPS Global Smart Logistics Network. UPS is investing in Internet of Things (IoT) technology, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and advanced analytics to increase fuel efficiency and improve customer service to ensure that UPS remains the shipper of choice.

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