Monthly Archives: June 2013

I-75 near Pasco-Hernando line has reopened

AR-130629670.jpg&MaxH=337Southbound I-75 in Pasco County has reopened after being shut down for nearly four hours this morning following two major crashes involving three tractor-trailers and a vehicle.

The Florida Highway Patrol said the crashes occurred around 5 a.m. at the 293 mile post in Dade City, near the Hernando County line and between State Roads 50 and 52.

The FHP said two tractor-trailers were stopped in the southbound inside lane due to a road block from a previous crash, involving a tractor-trailer and an SUV.

As a tractor-trailer, traveling in the outside lane, slowed for the crash, it was rear-ended by another tractor-trailer.

The tractor-trailer that was struck – employed by McCollister’s Transportation Systems of Burlington, N.J. – then jackknifed while continuing south, striking a tractor-trailer employed by T & J Trucking of Cullman, Ala.

That impact forced the T & J Trucking driver to collide with the rear of a tractor-trailer being driven for Annointed Wheels Trucking of Waycross, Ga.

No loads were lost in the crashes, but southbound I-75 was closed for about four hours, the FHP said.

One driver was airlifted to Bayonet Point Hospital with serious injuries, the FHP said.

Stay with TBO.com for updates

Are you ready for the new HOS on July 1?

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As many of you have heard, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) is making some rather drastic changes to driver’s current Hours of Service (HOS) laws that all drivers must follow. While the changes are somewhat subtle, the can have a big impact on the productivity of truckers around the country. The new rules require a 30 minute break after 8 hours of driving, which will have a small impact. The bigger impact is that when drivers perform their 34 hour restart to reset their 70 hours, it must include two 1 AM to 5 AM periods.

As an example, under the old rules, if a driver started his 34 hour restart at noon on Friday, he would be able to legally begin rolling again at 10 PM on Saturday evening, which is 34 hours from when he went off duty. Under the new rules, he could not leave until 5 AM on Sunday morning.

It is our goal at TMS Logistics to train and educate our drivers as well as our dispatch team to minimize the impact as much as possible. Although some companies are claiming a 2-5% reduction in productivity, we are confident that with the proper preparations we will be able to help minimize some of this, yet there will be some negative impact that will be unavoidable.

If you’d like to read the new rules in their entirety, please visit http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/topics/hos/index.htm

Train clips tractor-trailer parked on Plant City railroad tracks

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A train transporting 137 box cars struck an unloaded flatbed tractor-trailer Monday morning after its driver left it exposed on the roadway while unlocking a gate in Plant City. The Florida Highway Patrol said Hector Villavicencio-Ferrer, 64, of Tampa, was driving the tractor-trailer around 6 a.m. when he turned off State Road 39 and onto a private dirt road to the entrance of Cone Ranch.

The FHP said Villavicencio-Ferrer, driving the trailer for Creekside Nursery, Inc., of Dade City, exited to open the gate to the property but left a portion of the trailer on the railroad tracks. The FHP said the trailer was struck by the southbound CSX train operated by engineer Johnny Carol Giddens, 58, Fitzger ld, Ga. The impact forced the trailer onto the shoulder of the roadway, the FHP said. Luckily, no derailment occurred, and no injuries were reported.

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This is a classic case of, “it’ll be fine for a few minutes.” I have also seen people do this in handicapped spots and red zones. The false sense of security a driver’s gives himself believing that he’ll be quick and the car/truck can stay in an unsafe spot for a short period for time. Unfortunately, we have road laws for a reason.

Why do people ever stop on railroad tracks? Personally, I believe it is one of the most avoidable and frustrating reasons for crashes. The train is on a track, you know exactly what direction it’s going to go in! Why not pull the trailer all the way forward and off the tracks? Or leave it on the other side of the tracks and simply walk across them? How lazy and careless can a person be to leave a flatbed half way on and off railroad tracks? Thank goodness the train wasn’t derailed and no one was hurt.. except that driver’s ego perhaps. Hopefully next time he’ll air on the side of caution.

Would you switch from ocean to air?

The free market has constantly urged maritime transportation to reduce the cost of transporting freight across the Atlantic, sometimes to the point of money loss. The biggest container ships can barely break even when carrying containers from Shanghai. Although some shippers have increased their service and productivity to try to justify not being the lowest priced carrier, many simply cannot keep up.

To offset this problem, some companies are looking into a different type of cargo plane, that can deliver good in the same lane as the ships, but in a fraction of the time. About a decade ago, Boeing introduced a then revolutionary design of jet-powered aircraft, the model 707. The Boeing 707 can fly at double the speed and in thinner air located at 3 to 4-times the altitude at which propeller-driven aircraft flew. It is also able to burn alternative, lower cost fuel. In short, the Boeing 707 operated at much higher levels of productivity than competing long-distance aircraft opening up a new niche market for shippers in the Trans-Atlantic market. But will it work? Read more here.

 

Parking Lot Crashes

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Did you know two-thirds of a fleet’s collisions happen in a parking lot and involve a fixed or stationary object? And that about 60% of all collisions occur in or around parking lots? Most companies focus on driver safety when it’s related to high speeds. This makes sense because high speed crashes tend to result in more injuries and higher costs. But the sheer number of incidents and costs relating to parking-lot collisions mean companies cannot ignore them.

Most common collisions:

  • Hitting fixed or stationary objects
  • Backing and docking collisions
  • Lift gate injuries
  • Entry and exit from the truck injuries
  • Slips, trips and falls
  • Intersection crashes

The main culprit for these types of collisions is a distracted driver. All drivers face time schedules and can sometimes lose money if they’re running late. Also, some delivery time slots have been narrowed to a two-hour window! Add in family pressures at home, and the driver can easily become distracted and fatigued. Remember, although drivers are expected to do many things, it’s imperative to focus on one thing at a time. And avoid overly crowded fueling stations! Remember that even if you are giving the road 100% of your attention, other drivers may not. So avoiding a swarm of drivers at one stop can help eliminate your exposure to distracted drivers.

Another thing to consider is crashes that occur when backing up. These crashes are considered 100% avoidable. They normally include backing into other vehicles, hitting narrow objects such as poles, and backing into low awnings and signs. This happens when drivers misjudge the height of the trailer or simply don’t see an awning. A way to help avoid these types of issues is to use a spotter. Have someone outside the vehicle stand near the stationary object and guide you around it. Or if you drive alone, do a walk around before you begin your day. Physically walk around your entire truck and trailer and look for obstacles you may not be able to see from the cab.

All in all, although slow speed crashes may not be detrimental to the truck, the same can’t be said for whatever was hit. Figuring out expenses to repair a truck or damaged trailer is normally straightforward, and adds up to a few thousand dollars. But hitting a gas pump can be in the tens of thousands of dollars, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. So remember whenever you’re on the road to pay attention and don’t think that just because you’re not going 60MPH that there aren’t dangers all around!

Diesel Prices Fall, Gasoline fairly level

The prices of diesel and oil moved lower over the past week, while gasoline has barely edged higher.

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New figures released Monday from the U.S. Energy Department show the average cost of diesel has fallen 1.1 cents over the past week to $3.869 per gallon. This is the second consecutive weekly decline. Despite the drop, the price is 2.3 cents per gallon higher than the same time a year ago.

Prices of diesel fell in all regions of the country, except in the Rocky Mountains, where it rose 0.3 cents to an average of $3.866, although it’s down from this time last year. All other regions recorded declines of at least half a penny to almost two cents.

Prices range from $4.072 in California on the high end to 3.770 on the Gulf coast.

In contrast, gasoline prices rose 0.1 cent over the past week for a national average of $3.646 per gallon, which is up 3.3 cents from a year ago. Price increases were reported in the Midwest region, where the price gained 5.9 cents for an average of $3.838. All other areas saw a decline, the biggest drop being he West Coast reporting a drop of 4.4 cents, although their average price of regular gas remains the highest at $3.89.

The price of oil closed at $93.45 per barrel Monday in New York, gaining $1.48 on the day despite a report showing manufacturing in the U.S. was contracting, amid expectations the Federal Reserve will keep moving to stimulate the American economy.

05/27
National Average: 3.880
East Coast: 3.864
Midwest: 3.916
Gulf Coast: 3.775
Rocky Mountain: 3.863
West Coast: 3.986