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.
If the signs are any indication, municipalities would rather find a way to live without trucks. No parking. No idling. No Jake brakes. No trucks on this street or that. It’s like we’re living in the midst of a song by the Five Man Electrical Band. Remember the lyrics? “Do this. Don’t do that. Can’t you read the sign?”
So I had some fun last week in Arizona with a few of Western Star’s latest trucks and the continuation of the company’s anniversary celebrations. They refer to it as ‘Celebrating 50 Years of Legendary Awesomeness’. No hyperbole there.
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.
Bucket-list item ticked: I finally got to India. In fact I’ve just returned from spending two weeks in that astonishing country, where I couldn’t keep up with anything that was going on here in the world of trucking, so this edition of my report will borrow heavily from work my colleagues have been doing in the last while.
I’m writing this issue of the newsletter in absentia, so to speak, as it will be published while I’m away from computers and unable to stay in touch. To be more precise, I’m a week early in posting this so forgive me if giant events occur between now and the 22nd and they’re not covered here. Then again, this report isn’t intended as a news vehicle.
I was introduced to the concept of a hospital triage by watching episodes of MASH in the 1970s and early ’80s. Centered around the happenings of a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital during the Korean War, the show’s TV doctors were regularly seen moving through the latest batch of wounded soldiers, deciding who could wait and who needed immediate attention. (They also looked for new ways to torment Frank Burns, but I digress.)
If there’s one rule that I have for the pages of Today’s Trucking, it’s that every word needs to focus on trucking. It’s the reason we exist, and why the word “trucking” is splashed in bold letters across the front of every cover.
Well, we’re a couple of tumultuous weeks into the new Trump administration south of the 49th, and it would seem chaos prevails. At least for the moment. With the new President having promised, implicitly and otherwise, something of a war on regulatory controls, some issues with an impact on trucking are up in the air.
I’ve long held that North American headlight standards are inherently dangerous because they don’t allow brightness levels to match the speeds we travel. It’s just too easy to over-drive your lights, meaning you don’t see obstructions like stalled cars or animals or — may all the gods forbid — pedestrians in the way until you’re past the point of being able to stop in time. Even back in the 1950s when cars and certainly trucks were much slower, this held true. In fact it was worse.
Security protocols are nothing new to well-managed fleets. It’s why trucks come with keys, fences enclose yards, and procedures track drivers and loads alike. The threat of cargo and equipment theft is all too real, and there is a price […]