Jim Park entered the trucking industry as a driver in 1978, and worked as a driver, owner-operator, and small-fleet owner. He transitioned to journalism in 1998, and has earned several awards for his coverage of technical and equipment issues relevant to the industry. Park attended Ryerson Polytechnic University in Toronto and currently lives in St. Catharines, Ontario.
A ground-breaking bit of research from Australia has shown that low-frequency vibrations can make drivers drowsy. If this is true and the research is proven conclusive, it will call into question just about all we assume about truck crashes where the driver apparently fell asleep at the wheel. Those drivers may in fact have been very drowsy but may not have been “fatigued” in an hours-of-service (HOS) context, the way that term is typically applied to “tired drivers.”
The chorus calling for improved and mandatory training for truck drivers is growing louder as the days pass following the Humboldt, Sask. truck/bus crash. We still don’t know the official cause of that crash, or what role driver training — or the lack thereof — played in the incident. I’m not inclined to believe it was a primary factor. I think what is playing in most peoples’ minds is the driver’s reported lack of experience.
A few days ago we got our first glimpse of what might be Tesla’s Electric Semi, as company CEO Elon Musk calls it. It looks futuristic, but it also looks like a high-roof over-the-road sleeper truck – which is exactly the wrong application for a fully electric drivetrain.
Should “professional” drivers be held to a higher standard when it comes to care and control of their vehicles, and indeed, the actions they take or don’t take to avoid a collision? An Ontario appeals court judge thinks they should be and has ruled accordingly. I think the decision opens some dangerous doors for Ontario truck drivers.
At about the same time North Americans were awaking to the news that President Trump had lobbed 60 Tomahawk cruise missiles onto a Syrian air base an apparent terrorist stole a truckload of beer and crashed it through the front of a Swedish department store. The death toll in the Stockholm department store crash stands at four at the time of this writing.
This story illustrates how a simple lack of communication and a chance second guess resulted in the death of a tire technician. I suspect a scenario similar to this one plays itself out almost daily in repair and service facilities […]
You, dear reader, have the good fortune of reading the first words written for profit on my brand new Lenovo ThinkPad computer — or at least what’s left of it. The first for-profit words were to fly from this keyboard […]
Where I live, commercial drivers are required to rewrite their CDL test every five years in order to renew the licence. I wrote my renewal test today and aced it. I wrote almost exactly the same test in 1978 when […]
For-hire trucking could learn a few things from the airlines, because they have finally figured out how to make money in a deregulated environment. Love ’em or hate ’em, commercial airlines are the most time- and cost-effective way — even […]
KINGSTON, ON – It’s not enough that drivers need to watch out for downright lousy car drivers, overly enthusiastic creeper-cops and dispatchers that don’t know the meaning of ‘tomorrow,’ they also need to be on guard for the sins of […]