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A Quarter With Some Major Kick

  
  

Businesses often operate on a quarterly basis.  The fiscal year is divided, split into four like an orange (or insert your fruit of choice.)  Quarters make it easier to plan – in increments of three months, six moths, nine months, or twelve.  While a quarterly operation is great for forward thinking strategists, they also serve as a succinct way to assess a business' performance in hindsight.  While we're already a month into the new year, several trucking businesses (and businesses in general) are releasing their Q4 results from 2010. 

Take for example trucking and logistics company Werner Enterprises Inc..  Last week Werner Enterprises Inc.  released news that its fourth-quarter earnings jumped 34 percent as freight demand rose in late November and early December and it fetched higher prices for its services.

The Q4 numbers are broken down as follows:

Q4 2010 Revenue earned: $24.1 million (33 cents a share)


...compared to
Q4 2009 Revenue earned: $18 million (25 cents a share)
 
And – from Q1 to Q4 2010 – Werner Enterprises' Inc. revenue rose 5 percent to $463.2 million.

 
“The average revenue the trucker made per mile rose 4.2 percent on higher freight prices and a lower percentage of "empty miles" — when a truck is driving without any freight. Diesel fuel prices were 39 cents per gallon higher in fourth quarter 2010 than in fourth quarter 2009,” (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-01-27/werner-4q-profit-rises-34-percent.html.)

Meanwhile – over at J.B. Hunt Transport – the Q4 retrospective revealed a 39% rise in fourth-quarter profit, helped by volume growth at the trucking company's intermodal business.


J.B. Hunt on Friday posted a profit of $57.9 million, or 46 cents a share, up from $41.7 million, or 32 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue grew 16% to $1.02 billion. Operating margin widened to 9.5% from 8.3%.  Revenue from the intermodal division, which involves the movement of freight using multiple modes of transportation, increased 20% on a 13% jump in volume and stronger prices. The unit's profit climbed 30%.
 

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703956604576110042871997236.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

$Diesel Prices - January 28th, 2011

  
  

The Open Road Blog Gas Saving Tip of the day:  Positive news on the transportation front: J. B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:JBHT) today announced glowing 4Q (and year ended) 2010 financial results that could be viewed as very instructive by other truckload and multi-modal carriers. One stock analyst observed that Hunt’s firm commitment to holding the line on truckload capacity in the face of shipper demands means it is not just talking about this key issue but “walking the walk” and succeeding from doing so. Hunt’s chief executive, though, offered a much wider view on how the company turned out such impressive numbers. (read more: http://fleetowner.com/management/news/jb-hunt-results-strategy-works-0128/.)
 

 

Date: January 28th, 2011
Station: Golden Lion Fuel Stop
Address: 16501 Merrill Ave. and Cypress Ave., Fontana
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.20


Date: January 28th, 2011
Station: Shell
Address:  9684 Sierra Ave. and San Bernardino Ave., Fontana
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.20

Date: January 28th, 2011
Station: ARCO
Address: 27727 Baseline St. and Seine Ave., Highland
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.33


(Gas prices found at www.sanbernardinogasprices.com)

County: Los Angeles
Date: January 28th, 2011
Station: ARCO
Address: 3401 Long Beach Blvd. and Wardlow Road, Long Beach
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.41


Date: January 28th, 2011 
Station: 76
Address: 4550 Baldwin Ave. and Lower Azusa, El Monte
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.45

 
 
Date: January 28th, 2011 
Station: Valero
Address: 100 West Valley Blvd. and South Del Mar Ave., San Gabriel
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.45

 

 

(Gas prices found at www.losangelesgasprices.com)

County: Riverside


Date: January 28th, 2011
Station: ARCO
Address: 4196 Van Buren Blvd. and California Ave., Riverside
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.23


Date: January 28th, 2011  
Station: ARCO
Address: 33986 Orange St. and Burgundy Canyon Road, Wildomar
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.43

Date: January 28th, 2011 
Station: Sam's Club
Address: 34220 Monterey Ave. and Dinah Shore Drive, Palm Desert
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.44
 


 
(Gas prices found at www.riversidegasprices.com)


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Focus - it's good for the road

  
  

Focus – something many of us strive to do.  Maintaining attentiveness is what we work to do as employees, citizens, parents, friends – pretty much all walks of life.  And when walks aren't an option, focus is expected behind the wheel of a vehicle.  Distracted driving though is a relatively new phenomenon that is simply dangerous and now, ironically, the focus of several government and non-government agencies. 

FocusDriven.com not only partnered with the Department of Transportation (DOT) – it's dedicated its time and efforts to doing away with distracted drivers, and more specifically, cell phone use. 

Background...

Who We Are
FocusDriven is an advocacy group for victims of motor vehicle crashes involving drivers using cell phones. We work with those who support our mission and want to make our roadways safer for all motorists.

We help victims and their families share their experiences in a healing manner that promotes safety and educates others about the tragic outcomes that can result from driving while using a cell phone.

We encourage those who support our efforts to join us. Share with friends, family, coworkers and legislators your thoughts about motorists engaging in this deadly behavior. Make the pledge today.


Mission
Support victims of cell phone distracted driving and families of victims, and increase public awareness of the dangers of cell phone distracted driving by putting a human face on the disastrous impact of this behavior, in order to promote corresponding public policies, programs and personal responsibility.


Vision
Prevent injuries and save lives by eliminating cell phone use while driving.

 

Why Cell-Free Driving
Distractions are the leading cause of motor vehicle crashes and the number one distraction is cell phones. The use of a cell phone while driving is a very high-risk behavior with a significant impact on society. This is due to the vast number of people engaging in the behavior and the cognitive distraction drivers experience when engaged in cell phone conversations. More than 50 peer-reviewed scientific studies have identified the risks associated with cell phone use while driving.


CTIA – The Wireless Association reports there are more than 270 million cell phone subscribers, this is up dramatically from 100 million subscribers in 2000. An estimated 110 billion text messages were sent monthly in 2008.


A Nationwide Insurance public opinion poll showed 81 percent of the public admitted to talking on a cell phone while driving. And NHTSA estimates that 11 percent of drivers at any point during the day are talking on cell phones while driving.


Drivers who use cell phones are four times more likely to be involved in a crash. Two different studies found this same conclusion, a 1997 New England Journal of Medicine examination of hospital records and 2005 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study linking crashes to cell phone records.


No difference exists in the cognitive distraction (the mental process of knowing, which includes awareness, judgment and perception) between handheld and hands-free devices, according to simulator studies conducted at the Univ. of Utah.


One recent simulator study compared drivers using cell phones and drivers impaired by alcohol. Cell phone users had slower reaction times than drivers with .08 BAC and slower reaction to vehicles braking in front of them.


Many businesses and organizations understand the risk and are already taking action. Among National Safety Council members who responded to a 2009 survey, 58 percent (1,163 out of 2,004 respondents) said their organization had a cell phone policy of some kind. Of those, 99 percent said the policy resulted in no decrease in productivity and 20 percent saw decreases in employee crash rates and property damage.


A Carnegie Mellon study took pictures of the brain while drivers listened to sentences and drove on a simulator. The drivers listening to sentences had a 37 percent reduction in spatial awareness, which can directly contribute to cognitive distraction.


For adults, talking to a passenger while driving is significantly safer than talking on a cell phone, a University of Utah study found. Passengers, unlike cell phone conversations, can make the driver aware of changing road conditions they might not see and can stop the conversation if traffic conditions warrant.

(www.focusdriven.org.)

$Diesel Prices - January 25th 2011

  
  

The Open Road Blog Gas Saving Tip of the day:   A group of 37 organizations, including the American Trucking Associations and several of the nation’s largest motor carriers, have asked Congress to hold a hearing on the proposed Hours of Service rulemaking, saying the new regulation, if implemented, would have a substantial, negative impact on productivity and the economy. (read the full article at http://www.thetrucker.com/Default.aspx.)

 

Date: January 25th, 2011
Station: G & J Mini Mart
Address: 15515 Bear Valley Road and Cypress Ave., Hesperia
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.45


Date: January 25th, 2011
Station: Valero
Address:  710 West Colton Ave. and Texas St., Redlands
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.49

Date: January 25th, 2011
Station: ARCO
Address: 16337 Main Street and 3rd Ave., Hesperia
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.49


(Gas prices found at www.sanbernardinogasprices.com)

County: Los Angeles
Date: January 25th, 2011
Station: ARCO
Address: 3401 Long Beach Blvd. and Wardlow Road, Long Beach
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.41


Date: January 25th, 2011 
Station: 76
Address: 4550 Baldwin Ave. and Lower Azusa, El Monte
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.45

 
 
Date: January 25th, 2011 
Station: Valero
Address: 100 West Valley Blvd. and South Del Mar Ave., San Gabriel
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.45

 

 

(Gas prices found at www.losangelesgasprices.com)

County: Riverside


Date: January 25th, 2011
Station: Raj Service Station
Address: 401 East 6th St. and South Howard St., Corona
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.35


Date: January 25th, 2011  
Station: Valero
Address: 401 West 6th Street and South Sheridan St., Corona
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.37

Date: January 25th, 2011 
Station: RS Service Station
Address: 703 East 6th St. and East Grand Blvd., Corona
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.39
 


 
(Gas prices found at www.riversidegasprices.com)


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$Diesel Prices - January 24th 2011

  
  

The Open Road Blog Gas Saving Tip of the day:   American truck manufacturers are producing environmentally friendly hybrids in 2011.  According to Fleetowner.com, "A fuel-saving hybrid technology that has only been deployed for heavy-duty trucks to date will be tested on light-duty trucks and cars via a partnership formed by Chrysler Group LLC and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency."


Date: January 24th, 2011
Station: Valero
Address: 720 East 9th St. and campus Ave., Upland
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.38


Date: January 24th, 2011
Station: Silverwood Country Store
Address:  12077 CA-138 and Summit Valley Road, Hesperia
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.40

Date: January 24th, 2011
Station: G & J Mini Mart
Address: 15515 Bear Valley Road and Cypress Ave., Hesperia
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.45


(Gas prices found at www.sanbernardinogasprices.com)

County: Los Angeles
Date: January 24th, 2011
Station: United Oil
Address: 2995 North Long Beach Blvd. and Spring St., Long Beach
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.37


Date: January 24th, 2011 
Station: Thrifty
Address: 9853 Long Beach Blvd. and Tweedy Blvd., South Gate
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.39

 
 
Date: January 24th, 2011 
Station: ARCO
Address: 3401 Long Beach Blvd. and Wardlow Road, Long Beach
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.41

 

 

(Gas prices found at www.losangelesgasprices.com)

County: Riverside


Date: January 24th, 2011
Station: Valero
Address: 401 West 6th Street and South Sheridan St., Corona
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.37


Date: January 24th, 2011  
Station: Corona Gas Station
Address: 625 West 6th Street and West Grand Blvd., Corona
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.39

Date: January 24th, 2011 
Station: ARCO
Address: 200 West Graham Ave. and South Spring St., Lake Elsinore
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.41
 


 
(Gas prices found at www.riversidegasprices.com)


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The Price of Fuel Also Rises

  
  

This coming Valentine's day may be the one to go with a homemade gift.  Especially if you're a truck driver, owner operator, or fleet owner, who may spend hundreds to thousands of dollars a week filling up large big-rig sized tanks.  Yes - gas prices are on the up and up. 
 
The quantitative definition of the 'up and up' is nearly 60 cents a gallon over the course of the last year.   

According to TheTrucker.com, “The average weekly retail on-highway price of a gallon of diesel jumped another 2.3 cents for the week ending Jan. 24 to $3.43, according to the Energy Information Administration of the Department of Energy.

It is the eighth consecutive weekly increase that began Dec. 6 when the price jumped from $3.162 to $3.197, meaning the price has gone up 7.8 percent since the last week of November.  This week’s price is 59.7 cents higher than one year ago.  The largest increase for the week ending Jan. 24 was in the New England states where the price rose 4.9 cents,” (www.thetrucker.com.)

An increase in gas price is an increase in gas price – but in some regions around the U.S. the price at the pump is a steeper than elsewhere.  If your route includes the Grapevine, the Golden State Freeway, or Pacific Coast Highway – you already know which region we're speaking of.  Despite all the price increases from state to state – those open roads most affected by an increase in fuel price were right in our own backyard.  The highest average price was in California at $3.602.

Fluctuating fuel prices aren't anything new.  The trouble is they're unpredictable, making it difficult to adapt budgets to the latest rise in cost.

 

$Diesel Prices - January 23rd 2011

  
  

The Open Road Blog Gas Saving Tip of the day:  Ughhhh... you guessed it.  An increase in gas prices. Pump prices have risen nearly 9 percent since Dec. 1 and topped $3.10 a gallon this week. That's the highest level since October 2008. The price may rise or fall a little over the next few months, but analysts expect it to range between $3.20 and $3.75 gallon by March and April ahead of the summer driving season.

 

Date: January 23rd, 2011
Station: ARCO
Address: 26492 Highland Ave. and Victoria Ave., Highland
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.35

Date: January 23rd, 2011
Station: Valero
Address:  720 East 9th Street and Campus Ave., Upland
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.38

Date: January 23rd, 2011
Station: ARCO
Address: 56888 29 Palms and Highway Sage Ave., Yucca Valley
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.39


(Gas prices found at www.sanbernardinogasprices.com)

County: Los Angeles
Date: January 23rd, 2011
Station: 76
Address: 1696 Azusa Ave. and Colima Road, City of Industry
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.37


Date: January 23rd, 2011
Station: Sam's Club
Address: 1301 South Lone Hill Ave. near Glendora Marketplace, Glendora
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.40

 
 
Date: January 23rd, 2011
Station: USA Gasoline
Address: 20354 East Arrow Highway and Bonnie Cove, Covina
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.41

 

 

(Gas prices found at www.losangelesgasprices.com)

County: Riverside


Date: January 23rd, 2011
Station: 76
Address: 39460 Murrieta Hot Springs Road and Margarita Road, Murrieta
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.33

Date: January 23rd, 2011
Station: Valero
Address: 401 West 6th Street and South Sheridan St., Corona
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.35

Date: January 23rd, 2011 
Station: Corona Gas Station
Address: 625 West 6th Street and West Grand Blvd., Corona
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.39
 


 
(Gas prices found at www.riversidegasprices.com)


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Technology to combat distracted drivers

  
  

Distracted driving is a problem.  It's a problem not only recognized by government agencies and concerned drivers.  It's a problem recognized by the arguable source of the problem – cell phone manufacturers. 

Distraction by definition is that which distracts, divides the attention, or prevents concentration.  This can include putting on makeup, changing music, talking to passengers in one's car, or making sure the family pet isn't leaning too far out the open window.  Technology though, and specifically cell phones, contributes to one of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving.


Thursday's Open Road post reported the following statistics from the National Highway Transportation  Safety Administration (NHTSA):
 

20 percent of injury crashes in 2009 involved reports of distracted driving. (NHTSA).
Of those killed in distracted-driving-related crashed, 995 involved reports of a cell phone as a distraction (18% of fatalities in distraction-related crashes). (NHTSA)
In 2009, 5,474 people were killed in U.S. roadways and an estimated additional 448,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes that were reported to have involved distracted driving. (FARS and GES)
The age group with the greatest proportion of distracted drivers was the under-20 age group – 16 percent of all drivers younger than 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported to have been distracted while driving. (NHTSA)

The New York Ties, Matt Richtel, reported cellular carriers are now working on ways to stop people from getting calls and texts when they are behind the wheel.

Specifically, “The technology is aimed at curbing dangerous distractions by temporarily interrupting service, short-circuiting the temptation for people to respond to the chime of their phones.

T-Mobile announced a service this week that, for $4.99 a month, automatically disables rings and alerts and sends calls to voice mail when the phone is in a moving car. Sprint Nextel and AT&T said they were exploring the technology, while Verizon Wireless has been cooperating with small companies to offer a similar service on its network.

The services being tested and deployed are voluntary and can be overridden if a driver needs to use the phone for an emergency. They face real challenges in that the technology, for now, cannot distinguish whether a phone belongs to a driver or a passenger — or, for that matter, a bus rider,” (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/21/technology/21distracted.html?_r=1&sq=distracted driving&st=cse&scp=2&pagewanted=print.)

While the technology to control distracted driving continues to develop, distracted drivers still occupy  open roads everywhere.  There's tale tell signs of distracted drivers – swerving, excessively fast or slow speeds, and visibly seeing someone on his or her cell phone are all indicators of a distracted driver.  As we learned as teenagers, driving defensively is sometimes our only defense. 

$Diesel Prices - January 21st 2011

  
  

The Open Road Blog Gas Saving Tip of the day:  Take that distraction!  New technology may do away with distracted driving once and for all. The New York Times reported new technology aimed at curbing dangerous distractions by temporarily interrupting service may short-circuiting the temptation for people to respond to the chime of their phones (www.nytimes.com).

 

Date: January 21st, 2011
Station: Sam's Club
Address: 4069 Grand Ave. near South on Pipeline Ave., Chino
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.17

Date: January 21st, 2011
Station: 5 Point Auto Service
Address:  1221 Washington St. and Mt. Vernon Ave., Colton
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.40

Date: January 21st, 2011
Station: Food 4 Less
Address: 1150 North Pepper Ave. near San Bernardino Ave., Colton
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.41


(Gas prices found at www.sanbernardinogasprices.com)

County: Los Angeles
Date: January 21st, 2011
Station: Shell
Address: 5645 Atlantic Blvd. and 57th St., Maywood
Price of Diesel Fuel: $2.69


Date: January 21st, 2011
Station: United
Address: 11515 South Atlantic Ave. and Lugo Ave., Lynwood
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.41

 
 
Date: January 21st, 2011
Station: V & G Auto Service
Address: 13755 Francisquito Ave. and Easy Garvey Ave., Baldwin Park
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.41

 

 

(Gas prices found at www.losangelesgasprices.com)

County: Riverside


Date: January 21st, 2011
Station: Costco
Address: 480 McKinley St. and South Promenade Ave., Corona 
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.29

Date: January 21st, 2011
Station: Shell
Address: 3873 Pyrite St. and Granite Hill Drive, Riverside North
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.33

Date: January 21st, 2011 
Station: RS Service Station
Address: 703 East 6th St. and East Grand Blvd., Corona
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.35
 


 
(Gas prices found at www.riversidegasprices.com)


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Truck - inspired Musuems for you and me!

  
  

Museums aren't for everyone.   Or are they? Museums feature works of art – however – art is subjective as are the pieces on display (in terms of the audience they appeal to. )  Take truck drivers and transportation professionals for example.  Not that those who work in transportation-related fields wouldn't appreciate say Van Gough or Pollack, however, it may be safe to say that a museum dedicated to trucks would appeal to someone who knows a thing or two about them. Fortunately for all fans of big rigs and their predecessors, there are transportation-inspired museums throughout the United States that feature transportation gems the stem throughout modern history. 

The Pacific Northwest Truck Museum

The Pacific Northwest Truck Museum features some of the great working vehicles that developed the Pacific Northwest. These wonderfully restored antique trucks, parts and memorabilia also show the significant and unique innovations in the development of trucks brought about by the longer distances and rough terrain of this part of the country.

The Pacific Northwest Truck Museum has over 75 trucks by GMC, Freightliner, International, Kenworth, Mack, and Peterbilt, long-gone Autocar, Moreland, Samson, White, and Yellow-Knight, and many other makes. Seeing these trucks will recall trucking of bygone days, and present a world unknown to our children. Our growing collection was founded by a group of dedicated truck enthusiasts with the goal of preserving an important part of Pacific Northwest history.

http://www.pacificnwtruckmuseum.org/


Have a thing for Macks? 

The Mack Trucks Historical Museum is the repository of historical documents and artifacts from Mack's long and storied history as the leading American truck manufacturer and world-renowned brand name.  The collection and curators at the Mack Museum connect Mack enthusiasts and casual visitors alike to the rich legacy of "The Greatest Name in Trucks.

Among the antique vehicles in the Museum's collection is one of the original sightseeing buses built by Jack and Augustus Mack in the first decade of the twentieth century. The gas-operated, open-air bus carried up to 26 tourists at a time around the streets and sights of Chicago in the summer and New Orleans in the winter for 25 years and more than a million miles of service, before returning to Mack as the anchor of its antique truck collection.


http://www.macktrucks.com/default.aspx?pageid=40

 
Transportation is not just limited to commercial drivers, but to those who service cities, counties, states, and even the nation.  Take for example fire fighters.  The Reliance Fire Museum is an example of a museufm dedicated to the preservation, restoration, and operation of fire apparatus. Its collection includes everything from a 1901 Waterous horse drawn steam pumper to a 1958 Pirsch 100' tillered aerial.
 
This museum preserved many of the techniques used in the original construction of older apparatus.  These include gold leaf decoration and striping, spinning of metal pieces such as steamer crowns, and rebuilding of engine and pumps with leather seals and/or rubber valves

http://www.reliancefiremuseum.org/


While it's still only January and new into the 'New Year' – these museums – dedicated to the transportation industry – may be  a worthwhile stop whether on the Open Road  or vacation this coming year. 

Being Safe - What Counts at the DOT

  
  

It's easy to forget the Department of Transportation (DOT) has other focuses besides ground transportation.  After all – the DOT is committed to many programs that affect professional drivers, road conditions, road safety, and so much more.  That being said, the DOT expends the same amount of time and energy on all things transportation including air and rail.  That being said – again – the DOT just released an important update on its distracted driving initiatives, showing safety surmounts all – no matter the transportive medium. 

Just today, transportation Secretary Ray LaHood reaffirmed theDOT's commitment to combat distracted driving, while marking the department's one year anniversary of FocusDriven. 


FocusDriven is the first national nonprofit organization dedicated to advocating for victims of distracted driving.

A sobering snapshot of the hazards of distracted driving...

20 percent of injury crashes in 2009 involved reports of distracted driving. (NHTSA).
Of those killed in distracted-driving-related crashed, 995 involved reports of a cell phone as a distraction (18% of fatalities in distraction-related crashes). (NHTSA)
In 2009, 5,474 people were killed in U.S. roadways and an estimated additional 448,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes that were reported to have involved distracted driving. (FARS and GES)
The age group with the greatest proportion of distracted drivers was the under-20 age group – 16 percent of all drivers younger than 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported to have been distracted while driving. (NHTSA)

During today's address, Secretary LaHood unveiled a number of new public education initiatives and discussed the important leadership role businesses play in promoting safe driving behavior.

“Distracted driving is a deadly epidemic and when it comes to road safety, we will not take a backseat to anyone,” said Secretary LaHood. “That’s why distracted driving will continue to be a major part of DOT’s robust safety agenda. Together with advocates like FocusDriven and NETS, and employers like Safeway, we can put an end to this deadly behavior and save lives.”
 
In addition to LaHood's address, FocusDriven President Jennifer Smith launched a new anti-distracted driving PSA. Titled the “5500 campaign,” the 30-second public service announcement includes pictures of hundreds of distracted driving victims, putting faces to the fatalities that occur on American roadways.
 
To learn more about the U.S. Department of Transportation’s efforts to stop distracted driving, please visit www.distraction.gov.

 

$Diesel Prices - January 18th 2011

  
  

The Open Road Blog Gas Saving Tip of the day:  Higher fuel prices this week - perhaps.  Yet - there's innovation happening behind the scenes. Shell and Gordon Murray Design (GMD) is creating a fuel recipe capable of achieving a 6.5% improvement in fuel efficiency.  Check out todya's Open Road Blog post for details!

 

Date: January 18th, 2011
Station: ARCO
Address: 26492 Highland Ave. and victoria Ave., Highland
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.35

Date: January 18th, 2011
Station: Tiff
Address:  16414 Foothill Blvd. near Cypress Ave., Fontana
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.39

Date: January 18th, 2011
Station: ARCO
Address: 16414 Foothill Blvd. near Cypress, Hesperia
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.45


(Gas prices found at www.sanbernardinogasprices.com)

County: Los Angeles
Date: January 18th, 2011
Station: United Oil
Address: 5170 Long Beach Blvd. and Morningside St., Long Beach
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.34


Date: January 18th, 2011
Station: ARCO
Address: 201 North Grand Ave. and Fairway Lane, West Covina 
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.39

 
 
Date: January 18th, 2011
Station: ARCO
Address: 857 East Arrow Highway and Sunflower Ave., Glendora
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.41

 

 

(Gas prices found at www.losangelesgasprices.com)

County: Riverside


Date: January 18th, 2011
Station: Valero
Address: 401 West 6th Street and South Sheridan St., Corona 
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.35

Date: January 18th, 2011
Station: Gas & Go
Address: 8790 Mission Blvd. and Pedley Road, Riverside
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.39

Date: January 18th, 2011 
Station: Super 8
Address: 202 North State St. and East Latham Ave., Hemet
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.39
 


 
(Gas prices found at www.riversidegasprices.com)


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Fuel Prices and then Progress in Fuel Efficiency

  
  

 For anyone living in Southern California – this last week's been a treat.  Sunny weather, warm temperatures, and a day off for some – does an otherwise ordinary week in January get any better?  Perhaps it could – if fuel prices were a little lower.  While Southern California definitely benefited from pleasant weather, much of the US dealt with floods (the Pacific Northwest as well as the South), and heavy snow in the Northeast.  The hottest temperature in the U.S. this past week was in … you guessed it – California (Chatsworth – where it was 87 degrees.) Outside of California, the wicked weather that afflicted much of the U.S. contributed to higher fuel prices.

According to TheTrucker.com, on-highway diesel takes biggest jump since last April where on-highway prices averaged $3.407, up from $3.333 last week.

For the nation, on-highway prices averaged $3.407, up from $3.333 last week. For the lower Atlantic states and the East Coast reporting regions, prices increased even more, 8.4 cents, from $3.308 last week to $3.392 today in the Lower Atlantic region and to $3.448 from $3.364 last week in the East Coast.

Meanwhile – while anyone that uses a fuel pump every now and then must deal with the rise and fall of fuel prices, there are companies including Shell that are moving forward with new diesel technologies that will improve fuel efficiency – and reduce costs.  Shell specifically is working on a new fuel-saving engine oil formula and a nitrogen-enriched diesel blend are being tested by Shell.

According to FleetOwner.com, “The new engine oil formula results from collaboration between research teams at Shell and Gordon Murray Design (GMD) and is capable of achieving a 6.5% improvement in fuel efficiency, said Selda Gunsel, vp-lubricants & B2B products technology at Shell Lubricants.”  Tests so far indicate a 4.8% reduction in fuel consumption in more severe stop-and-go city service and a 1.3% reduction in fuel consumption in less severe long-haul highway service, as compared to regular ULSD, said Jim Macias, a senior fuels technology manager for Shell. (http://fleetowner.com/green/archive/shell-tests-engine-oil-diesel-fuel-formula-0118/)


 

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Conventions Conventions Conventions - Transportation Style

  
  

A new year brings new life into businesses (including the transportation industry) and often times via conventions and conferences.  The first quarter of every year is a ripe time to hit the convention floor and showcase new products and services for the coming year.  For the trucking industry, the third week in January is packed with conferences ranging from the 'basics' of running a transportation business to conferences dedicated to global outlooks that pertain specifically to the trucking industry. Read on for more information for what's happening this month in the transportation convention circuit.

The California Trucking Association (CTA) is holding its 57th Annual Management Conference, “Back to the Basics,” January 22-26, 2011 at the Four Seasons Biltmore in Santa Barbara.

On the agenda - training, networking, success.  Included will be up-to-date industry informational sessions, leadership training, and policy meetings and be a part of developing the path for CTA in 2011 and beyond.

For more information please visit http://www.caltrux.org/amc/.

If you're spontaneous and looking for a transportation-related conference this next week, visit the Private Fleet Management Institute's National Private Truck Council (NPTC) conference till the 19th in Jacksonville, FL.  The National Private Truck Council (NPTC) is the national trade association dedicated exclusively to representing private motor carrier fleets. These corporate or "private" truck fleets are operated by manufacturers, distributors, processors, and retailers to meet their inbound and outbound transportation needs. Such fleets also include food, retail, wholesale, construction and service companies. 

Have plans for tomorrow?  If not – check out the Heavy Duty Dialogue convention that will address the new normal in the global commercial vehicle industry at the Mirage in Las Vegas, Nevada. 
Heavy Duty Dialogue’11 will focus on several themes:  Emerging markets and their impact on European and domestic business in trucks and components; defining the causes of the current volatility in the US economy, domestic and international truck build forecasts and the capital markets and the effect of the 2010 US elections on our industry. 

Starting Monday (and through the 20th) Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week (HDAW) will host an annual business to business conference that focuses on only the Independent Heavy Duty Aftermarket Distributor Industry.

The conference is organized by three industry leading associations: CVSN (The Commercial Vehicle Solutions Network) HDDA (The Heavy Duty Distribution Association) and HDMA (The Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association).


 

$Diesel Prices - January 13th 2011

  
  

The Open Road Blog Gas Saving Tip of the day:  More good news (in the event you read the last blog about record breaking numbers at the Port of Los Angeles.) Heavy duty truck sales in December were the best of 2010, improving 22.1 % from the month before — with November having set the previous standard for the year (according to thetrucker.com.)

 


County: San Bernardino

 

Date: January 13th, 2011
Station: Red Hill Gas
Address: 8166 Foothill Blvd. and Red Hill Country Club Drive, Rancho Cucamonga
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.37

Date: January 13th, 2011
Station: Tiff
Address:  16414 Foothill Blvd. near Cypress Ave., Fontana
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.39

Date: January 13th, 2011
Station: 7-Eleven
Address: 3490 East Jurupa St. Haven Ave., Fontana
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.39


(Gas prices found at www.sanbernardinogasprices.com)

County: Los Angeles

 

Date: January 13th, 2011
Station: ARCO
Address: 201 North Grand Ave. and Fairway Lane, West Covina 
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.35

Date: January 13th, 2011
Station: Roche Fuel
Address: 8445 Atlantic Ave. and Salt Lake Ave., Cudahy
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.38

 
Date: January 13th, 2011
Station: ARCO
Address: 16000 Foothill Blvd. and Irwindale Ave., Irwindale
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.39

 

 

(Gas prices found at www.losangelesgasprices.com)

County: Riverside


Date: January 13th, 2011
Station: Raj Service Station
Address: 401 East 6th St. and Howard St., Corona
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.31

Date: January 13th, 2011
Station: Fastrip
Address: 692 South San Jacinto Ave. and West 7th St., San Jacinto
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.25

Date: January 13th, 2011 
Station: Super 8
Address: 202 North State St. and East Latham Ave., Hemet
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.35
 


 
(Gas prices found at www.riversidegasprices.com)


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A Banner Year for A Local Port

  
  

 On  Tuesday the Open Road Blog reported that the Port of Los Angeles broke records in terms of traffic  volume from October to another.  Today however, the entire year was for the Port of L.A. Was deemed a success – by a 16% increase in port traffic.

While many sectors of the U.S. economy contracted in 2010, the local ports (including the Port of Long Beach) did their part in improving local, national, and international economies.  Specifically, the Port of Los Angeles increased container traffic in 2010 by 16% more than in 2009. 
 
According to the Daily News wire services,

"The 2010 volume gains far surpass our initial estimates," said the port's executive director, Geraldine Knatz.  

Amidst the inauguration of a new California governor and proposed policy changes, Los Angeles Mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa was quick to point out today that, "With this 16 percent increase in 2010 container volumes, the Port of Los Angeles is putting people back to work and doing its part to help President Obama meet his goal to double national exports over the next five years," Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said. "This is good news not only for Los Angeles, but cities across the nation."

While traffic was up 16%, the import/export breakdown is as follows:

Exports rose 10.3% ( 1,841,274 TEU's* compared to 1,688,911 in 2009)
Imports increased  12.8 %  (3,973,933 TEU's compared to 3,524,386 TEU's in 2009)

Imports increased as well, rising 12.8 percent in 2010 to 3,973,933 TEU's compared to 3,524,386 TEU's in 2009

According to www.steelorbis.com, the Port of Los Angeles handled a total of 7,831,902 TEU's in 2010 and remains the nation's busiest trade gateway in terms of container volume. Good news for Los Angeles and good news for the transportation industry.

* A TEU is a twenty-foot container equivalent unit - a measure used in container shipping

Scratching the Surface with NAFTA and Neighbors to the North & South

  
  

While there's talk of a renewed Cross Border truck program with Mexico, the Department of Transportation released a report that indicates surface trade with not just Mexico, but Canada as well, increased nearly fifteen percent from one October (2009) to the next (2010).
 
Trade between the trio of countries netted the U.S. just over $70 billion dollars.

Just last week the DOT reported that trade using surface transportation between the United States and its North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners Canada and Mexico was 14.9 percent higher in October 2010 than in October 2009, reaching $70.6 billion, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) of the U.S. Department of Transportation. 
Surface transportation consists mainly of freight movements by truck, rail and pipeline.

And October 2010 was even better than September 2010 (by 3.3%). 
 
Additional Winners:

  • Michigan led all states in surface trade with Canada in October with $5.3 billion

 

  • U.S.–Canada surface transportation trade totaled $40.7 billion in October, up 12.2 percent compared to October 2009 

 

  • U.S.–Mexico surface transportation trade totaled $29.9 billion in October, up 18.8 percent compared to October 2009

 

  • The value of imports carried by truck was 17.2 percent higher in October 2010 than October 2009


 

$Diesel Prices - January 10th 2011

  
  

The Open Road Blog Gas Saving Tip of the day:  Snow in the South, sleet, rain - icy temps across the nation - this can't be good for gas prices.  Surprisingly, the price of crude oil prices have remained fairly steady.   The Energy Information Administration of the Department of Energy reported the average retail on-highway price of a gallon of diesel increased only two-tenths of a penny for the week ending Jan. 10 to $3.333.

 

County: San Bernardino

Date: January 10th, 2011
Station: 76
Address: 1195 East Walnut Street and South Grove Ave., Ontario
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.35


Date: January 10th, 2011
Station: ARCO 
Address: 26492 Highland Ave. and victoria Ave., Highland
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.35

Date: January 10th, 2011
Station: ARCO
Address: 16337 Main Street and 3rd Ave., Hesperia 
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.39


(Gas prices found at www.sanbernardinogasprices.com)

County: Los Angeles

 

Date: January 10th, 2011
Station: SC Fuels
Address: 14901 Artesia Blvd. near Firestone Blvd., La Mirada
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.15

Date: January 10th, 2011
Station: ARCO
Address: 201 North Grand Ave. and Fairway Lane, West Covina 
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.35

 
Date: January 10th, 2011
Station: Food 4 Less
Address: 6700 Cherry Ave. and East 68th St., Long Beach
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.37

 

 

(Gas prices found at www.losangelesgasprices.com)

County: Riverside


Date: January 10th, 2011
Station: Raj Service Station
Address: 401 East 6th St. and Howard St., Corona
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.31

Date: January 10th, 2011
Station: Beacon
Address: 202 North State Street and East Latham Ave., Hemet
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.35

Date: January 10th, 2011 
Station: Main Street Gas
Address: 301 North Main Street and West Sumner Ave., Lake Elsinore
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.37
 


 
(Gas prices found at www.riversidegasprices.com)


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Cross-Border Programs Reemerge

  
  

Prior to last week, the latest news regarding the Bush-era cross border trucking program with Mexico was that it was ending.  The following excerpt from a 2009 Huffington Post article paints the picture:

By his signing today of the $410 billion bill which, will keep the federal government in business until September 30, 2009, President Barack Obama also ended one of the Bush Administration's most blatant attempts at union-busting, a plan which was already endangering our country and all our people.

The "cross-border trucking program," which would have eventually allowed almost all Mexican trucks and drivers full access to U.S. highways, was one of the most contentious issues to arise out of the 1993 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Before 2007, Mexican trucks had been limited to a narrow zone, about 25 miles, north of the border, where they transferred their cargo to American big rigs. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steve-parker/obama-ends-bushs-dangerou_b_174139.html)

Fast-forward two years, and now in 2011, the Obama administration – the very administration that put an end to the cross border program, is conceptualizing a long haul cross-border Mexican trucking program. 

According to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, safety and the United States’ international obligations are priority. 


The Trucker.com reported, “the concepts are the Department of Transportation’s response to a promise to come up with a program to replace the Cross Border Demonstration Program initiated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in late 2007.  In 2008, FMCSA announced it was extending the pilot project two years, but in March 2009, Congress stopped the program with legislative action.


 

The DOT has proposed several regulatory enhancements, including:


• All vehicles will be equipped with electronic on-board recording devices to allow monitoring of drivers’ Hours of Service and compliance with U.S. cabotage laws.


• Each driver will have their combined U.S. and complete Mexican driving history checked to ensure that they have no history of unsafe driving that would disqualify them under U.S. standards.


• The safety records of each company kept by the Government of Mexico will be examined in addition to any U.S. operating history the company may have, and

 

• Each driver will have his/her English language proficiency and knowledge of U.S. traffic laws verified before being allowed to operate within the U.S.  (http://www.thetrucker.com/Default.aspx)

 

$Diesel Prices - January 9th 2011

  
  

The Open Road Blog Gas Saving Tip of the day: Only nine days into the new year and transportation insdustry concepts are in development.  The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has made available a “concept document” that outlines parameters under which Mexican trucking companies could gain full operational authority within the U.S.  Stay tuned for the next Open Road blog for details.

 


County: San Bernardino

Date: January 9th, 2011
Station: Valero
Address: 424 Mill Street and Pennsylvania Ave., Colton
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.25


Date: January 9th, 2011
Station: ARCO 
Address: 1195 East Walnut St. and South Grove Ave., Ontario
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.35

Date: January 9th, 2011
Station: 76
Address: 1195 East Walnut Street and South Grove Ave., Ontario
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.35


(Gas prices found at www.sanbernardinogasprices.com)

County: Los Angeles

 

Date: January 9th, 2011
Station: Petro Bras Gas
Address: 7515 Alondra Blvd. and Garfield Ave., Paramount
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.37

Date: January 9th, 2011
Station: Price Saver
Address: 11804 Carson St. and Pioneer Blvd., Hawaiian Gardens
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.39

 
Date: January 9th, 2011
Station: ARCO
Address: 16000 Foothill Blvd. and Irwindale Ave., Irwindale
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.39

 

 

(Gas prices found at www.losangelesgasprices.com)

County: Riverside


Date: January 9th, 2011
Station: Super8Gas
Address: 202 North State, Hemet
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.35

Date: January 9th, 2011
Station: ARCO
Address: 450 East First Street and Beaumont Ave., Beaumont
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.39

Date: January 9th, 2011 
Station: Spirit
Address: 25760 New Chicago Ave. and Florida Ave., Hemet
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.39
 


 
(Gas prices found at www.riversidegasprices.com)


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$Diesel Prices - January 6th 2011

  
  

The Open Road Blog Gas Saving Tip of the day: Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Thursday shared with Congress and the government of Mexico an initial concept document for a long haul cross-border Mexican trucking program that LaHood said prioritizes safety, while satisfying the United States’ international obligations. (http://www.thetrucker.com/Default.aspx.)
 


County: San Bernardino

Date: January 6th, 2011
Station: 76
Address: 1195 East Walnut Street and South Grove Ave., Ontario
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.35


Date: January 6th, 2011
Station: 76
Address: 8921 Sierra Ave. and Merrill Ave., Fontana  
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.35

Date: January 6th, 2011
Station: Shell
Address: 8930 Citrus Ave. and Merrill Ave., Fontana
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.35

(Gas prices found at www.sanbernardinogasprices.com)

County: Los Angeles

 

Date: January 6th, 2011
Station: Roche Fuel
Address: 8445 Atlantic Ave. and Salt Lake Ave., Cudahy
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.38

Date: January 6th, 2011
Station: Thrifty
Address: 10801 Santa Monica Blvd. and Malcolm Ave., West Los Angeles
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.39

 
Date: January 6th, 2011
Station: Thrifty
Address: 5038 El Segundo Blvd. and Ocean Gate Ave., Hawthorne 
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.39

 

 

(Gas prices found at www.losangelesgasprices.com)

County: Riverside


Date: January 6th, 2011
Station: Main Street Gas
Address: 301 North Main Street and West Sumner Ave., Lake Elsinore
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.35

Date: January 6th, 2011
Station: ARCO
Address: 200 West Graham Ave., and Spring South Spring Street, Lake Elsinore
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.35

Date: January 6th, 2011 
Station: ARCO
Address: 48055 Grapefruit Blvd. and 48th Ave., Coachella
Price of Diesel Fuel: $3.39
 


 
(Gas prices found at www.riversidegasprices.com)


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Too Fast - Too Controversial

  
  
Got the need for speed? If so – you may not fit the right profile to drive a heavy duty truck. Even if you did though – you know – like to speed (and just happen to drive a heavy duty truck) any speediness would be quashed with the mandatory speed limiting device.

 

Long story short, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced it will begin a rulemaking procedure to mandate speed-limiting devices on heavy-duty trucks.

 

First of all – let's answer why there's a need in the first place to institute automated controls on a truck's speed – when driven by a professional driver. The two main reasons are:

 

  • Improved safety

  • Improved fuel economy

 

 

David Cullen, executive editor of FleetOwner.com interviewed David Kelly, a former Acting Administrator of NHTSA and now president of safety consulting firm Storm King Strategies who said, “While there is debate about whether speed limiters are an effective countermeasure to reduce fatalities, NHTSA will hopefully be able to answer that question definitively [in this rulemaking process]," Kelly said. "What we do know is that NHTSA will not move forward with a regulation if there is not a safety benefit [attached to it].”

 

Steve Keppler, executive director of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), advised that “We’ve had a conversation about speed limiters for some time within our membership; we're still in a 'wait and see' mode regarding this proposed regulation. We haven't come out more publicly about speed limiters because it is not a simple issue."

 

At least one trucking lobby has come out strongly against the proposal. “Speed limiting a truck at 68 miles per hour, or at any other speed, will not improve highway safety,” said Todd Spencer, executive vp of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Assn. (OOIDA). “All credible highway research shows that highways are safest when all vehicles travel at the same speed and that different speeds for cars and trucks actually increase the likelihood of accidents.”

 

A University of Arkansas study showed speed limit differences between trucks and cars increase speed differentials, which create more dangerous interactions between trucks and cars.” He also said another study, conducted by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, shows that speed-limited trucks are “overrepresented in rear-end fatalities involving large trucks, noting that just 4% of all trucks are speed-limited, yet half of the rear-end fatalities involving trucks were with speed-limited trucks.

 

http://fleetowner.com/regulations/nhtsa-speed-limiters-0104/

 

 

 

Look at that...Drivers License!!

  
  

This is a fact.  Most of us don't use our driver's license picture as our Facebook or LinkedIn profile – nor do we have it copied and framed or showing up as anyone's saved contact picture on a SmartPhone.  While the ubiquitous DMV photo may not project our true beauty (in most cases), it is receiving some attention. 

Just a few months ago, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) announced the issuance of newly designed, more secure California driver licenses and identification cards. The new cards are distinguished by additional security features and will have a different look and feel.

So the new look and feel of these drivers licenses may not be all about the bells and whistles.  There are serious - and progressive updates that will improve this particular form of identification. 

Details of the changes to the card were presented and unveiled today at a press conference held at the DMV field office in South Sacramento. The new cards are equipped with the latest in document security technology and have several features to protect them against fraud, tampering and counterfeiting.

"The new security features, coupled with advanced technology, make California driver licenses and identification cards one of the most secure identification documents in the country," said DMV Director George Valverde. "We are confident that they will be well-received by residents, businesses and law enforcement officials."

Information included on the new cards remains the same, but is presented in a new way that improves readability and ease of use. Some of the new features include a vertical layout for persons under 21; the cardholder's date of birth and signatures that can be felt by touch; images that can be seen only with the use of ultraviolet lights; a 2D bar code on the back of the card that replicates and verifies only the information on the front of the card (similar to the current magnetic stripe); and a laser perforation outline of the California Brown Bear, which can be seen from the front of the card when a flashlight is pressed against the back of the card.

 

For more information on the new driver license and ID card or to conduct other DMV business online, visit www.dmv.ca.gov.

Rules for the New Year

  
  

 How did you ring in the New Year?  That can be saved for the 'comments' section.  California's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) however brought in the new year with new rules.  Here's a look:


Rule Number One (or at least amongst the latest DMV rules)

Motorcycle Safety Course Required for Under-21 instruction permit applicants

A required motorcycle safety course for under-21 motorcycle permit applicants, new oversight of online traffic violator schools, and extensions of HOV lane stickers are among several new laws of interest to California motorists that will take effect Jan. 2, 2011, the Department of Motor Vehicles announced today.

In addition...

Motorcycle Instruction Permit (AB 1952/Niello) This new law requires a person under 21 years of age to complete an approved motorcycle safety course before being issued an instruction permit with which to practice operating a motorcycle, and requires the permit to be held for six months before being issued a class M motorcycle driver license. There are currently more than 6,000 drivers 19 years and younger who are licensed to ride a motorcycle in California.

Traffic Violator School Program (AB 2499/Portantino) Prior to this new law which starts January 1, the DMV only licensed and regulated "brick and mortar" classroom traffic violator schools. This new law will bring court-approved courses, such as online and home study traffic schools into the DMV Traffic Violator School licensing program and implements a number of recommendations included in a DMV study of traffic violator school issues. This law will have a 3-year implementation process.

High-Occupancy Vehicle Lanes (SB 535/Yee) Prior law that permitted certain fuel-efficient, low-emission vehicles to display stickers allowing them to be operated in HOV lanes with a single occupant was to expire on January 1, 2011. The new law extends the "sunset" date for the yellow stickers for hybrid vehicles until July 1, 2011; the white stickers issued to fully-electric and compressed natural gas vehicles until January 1, 2015; and creates a third sticker, for plug-in hybrid vehicles, to be issued and valid from January 1, 2012 until January 1, 2015.

New Firefighter Endorsement (AB 1648/Jeffries) In an effort to simplify the proper licensing of firefighters while continuing to ensure public safety, this law exempts operators of firefighting vehicles from the Commercial Driver License program and creates a new license endorsement process.

New Laws Starting on July 1 and Beyond

•Organ Donation (SB 1395/Alquist) Starting July 1, the language on the DMV's application offers the driver license applicant the option to register as a prospective organ donor in the organ donor program or to defer that decision to a later time. This change will now include in the organ donor registration field of the application check boxes indicating (A) Yes, add my name to the donor registry or (B) I do not wish to register at this time, thus ensuring that the applicant’s failure to check the box is not simply an oversight.

•Local Traffic Ordinances (SB 949/Oropeza) On July 1, in an effort of ensuring that traffic convictions are recorded by the Department of Motor Vehicles, local authorities may not enact or enforce a local ordinance on any matter covered by the California Vehicle Code.

•Driving Under the Influence (AB 1601/Hill) Effective in January 1, 2012, this bill authorizes a court to order a 10-year revocation of the driver license of a person convicted of a third or subsequent DUI violation, with possible reinstatement after five years if specified conditions are met

 

For more information visit http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/newsrel/newsrel10/2010_38.htm

Safety - Twenty Eleven Style

  
  

Safety is subjective.  Or is it?  When it comes to the Open Road, it's up to the Department of Transportation's National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) to determine what's safe – and what's not – when it comes to cars and trucks. 

 
Starting with 2011 models, NHTSA has introduced tougher tests and rigorous new 5-Star Safety Ratings that provide more information about safety feature performance and crash avoidance technologies. Because of the more stringent tests, 2011 model ratings are not comparable to 1990-2010 vehicles.


Previous 5-Star Safety Ratings provide front crash, side crash, and rollover resistance ratings.

What does a 5-Star Safety Rating mean?

The New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) rates vehicles to determine crash worthiness and rollover safety. The safety ratings are gathered during controlled crash and rollover tests conducted at NHTSA's research facilities.

Five stars indicate the highest safety rating and one star the lowest. While the safety feature ratings may differ among vehicles, all automobiles must first meet Federal standards.

Vehicle items included in the ratings are:

Air Bags
Child Safety
Resources
Rollover
Safety Technology
Tires


Starting with 2011 models, NHTSA has introduced tougher tests and rigorous new 5-Star Safety Ratings that provide more information about vehicle safety and crash avoidance technologies. Because of the more stringent tests, ratings for 2011 and newer vehicles should not be compared to ratings for 1990-2010 models.


Choose by class, year, make and model to determine how your next vehicle's safety standards measure up to the next car's.


While we're just three days in to 2011 – safety is in the forefront of the DOT's yearly objectives.

2011 (potential) Resolutions for the Open Road

  
  

New Years means renewal to many.  Regeneration. Revival.  Re-doing resolutions from last year.  While getting healthier and saving money often top many a person's New Years resolution list, today we're going to offer New Years resolutions for the Open Road readers who may looking for 2011 goals that are more relevant to the transportation professional's life.  This year we're offering up a few take-home resolutions that will accomplish everything from improving the performance of one's big rig, to helping those stay connected with family and friends on the road. 


Maintaining one's big rig is a big chore.  It's not only a huge vehicle – it's an expensive one to maintain.  Keeping one's truck in tip top shape though does improve performance and also save money in the long run. 

Before the trip...

Inspect, inspect, inspect.  A big rig is called a big rig for good reason – it's big!!  And being that big requires some time and patience – and knowledge – to make sure it functions properly. 

•Maintenance on big rigs begins with the driver. A driver is required to carry out a pretrip inspection before every haul he begins. This pretrip inspection includes checking the rig's many systems for proper function and moving parts for wear and tear. It generally takes thirty minutes or more to complete and is the first line of defense when it comes to detecting potential mechanical failures with the rig. The truck is checked for proper oil and coolant levels, the air brake tank is drained, tires are checked for wear, the glass is inspected for cracks or weakness, the brakes are checked for proper pressurization and operation and many other systems are also checked.

(http://www.ehow.com/way_5818943_big-rig-maintenance.html#ixzz19pjuao4U)


Make the maintenance a habit....New Years resolutions aren't over in a day – they're ongoing, just like scheduled maintenance should be. 

•Big rigs undergo a vigorous routine maintenance schedule as well. As with most vehicles, oil changes, coolant flushes, brake pad replacements, engine tune ups and tire replacement/rotations are all part of the rig's regularly scheduled maintenance. It is important that these schedules be strictly adhered to in order to prolong the vehicle's life and serviceability. Depending on the relationship between the trucking company and the driver, it is usually the driver's responsibility to ensure that the truck receives its regularly scheduled maintenance, and she must provide records to the trucking company after maintenance is performed, (http://www.ehow.com/way_5818943_big-rig-maintenance.html#ixzz19pjy0gbt.)


Technological improvements have lead to major innovation in the trucking industry.  Energy efficient trucks not only reduce emissions, they save on fuel costs as well.  Major transportation infrastructures including the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles have mandated that trucks operating in those environments make significant improvements in fuel efficiency.  This year – why not look into ways to make environmental improvements transportation-wise. 

 

Even major transportation players including Volvo are taking environmental progress seriously and improving diesel powered fleet trucks.  Specifically, Volvo is using H2GO which has improved the f durability and functionality on late model, big-rig Volvo fleet trucks. The H2GO systems have been functioning as anticipated, delivering anywhere from 18% to 40% reduction in CO2 gases, as well as an equally impressive mileage improvement, (http://fuel-efficient-vehicles.org/energy-news/?p=897.)


The Open Road can be a lonely one.  Fortunately communication is easier than ever – whether it's through chat, text, picture sharing, web video – or even a regular old telephone call. Smartphones are available at all price points and offer an array of applications and features that enable people to connect at all points of the world.  Staying connected is also available via many online social networking sites.  This year, why not resolve to get involved in credible industry social networking sites, be it to find a job, meet those in the industry, or even keep those in your life (and not in the industry) involved in Open Road experiences. 


Whatever you resolve to do in 2011 – stay tuned to the Open Road Blog for the latest industry news. 


 

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