Inside NATE’s Advanced Rigging Principles Training Hosted at USCC

In all, about 55 industry professionals attended the day-long event.

(and where to find free upcoming training sessions)

A few weeks ago, a large section of the USCC headquarters in Urbana, Iowa transformed from cafeteria to classroom in order to hold an important rigging principles training event for professionals in the communication tower industry.

In all, about 55 members of the industry attended the day-long event, all with the goal of advancing their knowledge of key rigging principles including using synthetic rope, rope inspection, rigging forces and lift systems, plus communication and execution of hoisting operations per the ANSE/ASSE 10.48 Standard.

rigging principles attendees at US Cargo Control headquarters
Attendees of the Advanced Rigging Principles training got together for a picture at the end

How it Happened

The free training was provided by The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE), a non-profit organization that USCC is proud to be an active member of. They’re experts in the wireless and broadcast infrastructure industries and are always looking for ways to spread information and education. In the past, we’ve shared info about the NATE UNITE conference and trade show in Nashville, which some of our rigging product sales specialists attend annually and always learn a lot from.

A NATE representative was recently visiting USCC headquarters and after seeing our facility, suggested to the NATE office that they use our space. There were 12 locations picked all across the country, with the next closest ones taking place in St. Louis and Milwaukee.

Sections of the Advanced Rigging Principles Training

The Advanced Rigging Principles curriculum is organized into six sections:

• Section 1: Introduction to NATE and OSHA
• Section 2: State of the Industry
• Section 3: Primary Regulations, Codes, Standards, and Policies
• Section 4: Synthetic Rope
• Section 5: Rigging Forces and Lift Systems
• Section 6: Communication and Execution of Hoisting Operations

advanced fundamentals of rigging principles class hosted at USCC
During a break in the training, attendees chatted and ate lunch catered by USCC

Interested in Attending?

There are still a handful of opportunities to attend this free class at other locations across the United States. See the chart below for dates, locations, and how to register now.

Thursday, June 13, 20199:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. CDT
Hilton New Orleans Airport
901 Airline Drive
Kenner, Louisiana 70062
Register Now
Monday, July 15, 20199:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. PDT
Hyatt House Seattle/Bellevue
3244 139th Ave SE
Bellevue, Washington 98005
Register Now
Thursday, August 8, 20199:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. CDT
Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch
315 Chestnut St
St Louis, Missouri 63102
Register Now
Friday, August 23, 20199:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. CDT
ENSA Access & Rescue 
727 East Veterans Way
Mukwonago, Wisconsin 53149
Register Now
Monday, September 16, 20199:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. EDT
Sheraton Needham Hotel
100 Cabot Street
Needham, Massachusetts 02494
Register Now

Class not for you, but still need rigging gear? USCC has you covered. Browse our selection of lifting and rigging gear today, and reach out to one of our sales specialists if you have any questions.

The Most Important Part of US Cargo Control Isn’t a Product

How trade show season helps us help you better

How trade show season helps us help you better

Although the weather in many places doesn’t tell us so, trade show season is upon us. If you haven’t already, many of you will soon find yourself at an industry trade show, safety meeting, or annual meeting in the coming months. And because USCC serves the trucking & transportation, rigging & lifting, and moving industries, many members of our team have been on the road, in booths, and at industry events across the country.

Professional truck drivers enjoy the Iowa 80 Jamboree at The World’s Largest Truck Stop.

No matter what industry you’re a part of, trade shows are a way to discover businesses and resources in your industry and learn about the products or services they offer. It’s a chance to compare similar resources apples-to-apples and decide which provides the best value for your individual needs. And while part of this is likely product selection, price, freight time, and other logistical calculations don’t make the mistake of overlooking the most important and valuable aspect of trade shows and of good business—the people.

It’s About the People

In an age where just about every business has a website address, list of social media accounts, and handful of other digital tools to communicate and serve their customers with, it’s easy to get sucked into the screen and miss the big picture.

Don’t get me wrong, websites that make online ordering easy are a great thing. In general, technology gives us all a way to get information quickly, weight our options, and get jobs done more efficiently. Just don’t allow it to make you lose sight of the reason for the work that you do.

Volunteers use wire rope clips from USCC to construct a 100+ foot suspended footbridge over the Hockanum River in Vernon, Connecticut.

At the end of the day, the most important part of our business, and your business, is people. It’s about making people’s lives safer, easier, and more productive. We give people the tools to start their own business, continually grow one that’s been around for decades, or simply get a job done right.

Whether it’s hauling the White House Christmas tree across the country so thousands can enjoy its beauty or delivering fuel to a gas pump so people can drive to work. Constructing a high-rise apartment building so hundreds of people have a home, or building a suspended footbridge so a few people can escape to nature. Moving a family of six across the country for new opportunity, or moving your neighbor’s couch down some stairs to enjoy just for the big game. Your job, no matter what it entails on the surface, is about helping people.

Our job is about making it safe and easy for you to help. Because, when we do that, everyone benefits.

What’s important to you?

Trade shows allow us to catch up face-to-face with the people we regularly talk to over the phone or through email. They allow us to meet customers old and new, shake their hand, look them in their eyes, and listen to their individual wants and needs. Some have questions on shipping rates, some love our custom products, and others want us to explain differences between similar products. No computer could understand those individual needs as clearly as a human conversation can.

White Glove Movers rolling a heavy tool chest into their moving truck.

It’s easy to overlook real human connection in this digital age, but its importance will never change no matter what industry you’re in.

It’s why our founder, Tim, started and sticks by his promise of getting you “What you want, when you need it.” We understand the importance of building relationships with the people who keep these important industries moving forward. Every business and every person is unique. Without taking the time to truly understand your unique situation, we would be selling ourselves short.

It’s more than just doing business, it’s helping people be more and achieve more. It’s working with you individually to ensure your needs are met and your business can be successful. If we do that, you’re able to pass the same level of dedication on to your customers and the people you help every day by doing your job well.

USCC made in america
Production Manager, Jamie Farmer, gives direction to fellow USCC employees.

Tradeshows in March

Throughout March, our USCC team will be busy meeting people like you to better understand what they want and when they need it. We hope to see you and learn from you at one of these upcoming events.

Machinery Haulers Association Annual Meeting
March 8th – 9th | Las Vegas, NV

Minnesota Trucking Association Safety Meeting
March 19 | St. Paul, MN

American Moving & Storage Association Conference
March 24th – 26th | Houston, TX

2 Important Association Events Happening this February

They say everything is bigger in Texas, and two upcoming industry events are positioned to prove just that. Gear up with USCC as we visit NATE UNITE & SC&RA Symposium 2019

Information on NATE UNITE and SC&RA Symposium 2019 (plus how to get live updates)

They say everything is bigger in Texas, and two upcoming industry events are positioned to prove just that.

Gear up with USCC team members Lacy, Josh, and Alex as they visit the Lone Star State for the already in progress NATE UNITE Conference and Tim, Adam, Alex, and Ben as they get ready for the upcoming Specialized Transportation Symposium in Houston.

NATE UNITE 2019: February 4th – 7th

NATE UNITE 2019 details and information

NATE UNITE is one of the biggest and best conferences/trade shows in the wireless and broadcast infrastructure industries. On top of the massive exhibit hall with over a hundred exhibitors, there will networking opportunities, educational sessions, and speakers.

Anyone that’s a fan of the show Duck Commander will be excited to know that the keynote speaker is none other than Willie Robertson. Willie will be talking about his passion for the outdoors and his experiences in leading and growing his various companies.

Other notable topics covered in some of the 21 different educational sessions include:

Determining Rigging Forces

State of Wireless Industry from the Wall Street View

Dropped Loads – A Serious Epidemic

Challenges Faced by Industry Veterans

Women: Powering the Tower Industry

What to Expect When OSHA Shows Up

Check out the event links below for a complete list of sessions and more details on NATE UNITE 2019.

Keep up with USCC

 NATE UNITE 2019 team
Lacy, Alex, & Josh

Our rigging and lifting equipment experts will be at booth 727. Stop by, say hi, and enter to win Omaha Steaks, a Home Depot Gift Card, or an Amazon Fire Tablet!

Follow USCC on Facebook to keep up with our giveaway and to get our inside look at NATE UNITE 2019.

Helpful Event Links

Pre Show Planner

Schedule

Exhibit Hall Map

Specialized Transporation Symposium 2019:

February 19th – 22nd

2019 Specialized Transportation Symposium details and information

The 2019 Specialized Transportation Symposium will bring together top managers in operations, safety directors, pilot car professionals, permitting officials, law enforcement, and many others who deal with the professional transportation of oversize/overweight cargo.

The main goal is to ensure that permitting runs smoothly, safety concerns are addressed, and the most pressing topics in specialized transportation are discussed. The SC&RA is also planning on unveiling its groundbreaking proposal for 100 percent uniform permit weight analysis and allowance.

In addition to an exhibit center with a record-high 60 booths, there will be education sessions and expert speakers from within the industry.

Former Navy SEAL and Co-Star of American Sniper, Kevin “Dauber” Lacz will kick off the 2019 symposium by speaking on “the pitfalls of becoming too comfortable in any situation and the characteristics of the most successful individuals.”

Keep up with USCC

Our very own, Adam Shouse, was just selected to serve on the SC&RA Symposium Leadership Forum, an honor that just 15 people in the world were given. The SC&RA selects the most outstanding up-and-coming leaders in the Transportation and Rigging Industries to serve on this forum.

Ben Rechkemmer

Adam, Tim, Ben, and Alex will all be at the US Cargo Control exhibit booth in Houston. Stop by and say hello!

Follow USCC on Facebook to keep up with our booth giveaway and to get our inside look at the Specialized Transportation Symposium.

Helpful Event Links

Why You Should Attend (and how to convince your boss)

Schedule

Exhibit Hall Map

Official Event App

Don’t forget to stay connected with USCC on social media. We have many more exciting association events and trade shows coming in 2019. Stay tuned!

USCC facebook
USCC instagram
USCC linkedin
USCC youtube

Why “Last Mile Delivery” is a Trucking Industry Trend Worth Knowing About

As consumers become increasingly comfortable buying appliances and other large items online, the trucking industry has been presented with a rapidly expanding opportunity

As consumers become increasingly comfortable buying appliances and other large items online, the trucking industry has been presented with a rapidly expanding opportunity in the form of last mile delivery services. E-commerce merchants are anxiously seeking companies and truck drivers who can deliver their large and heavy products to consumers – the ones that small package delivery companies, like FedEx and UPS, aren’t built to handle.

The key lies in having fast and dependable last mile delivery logistics, and many trucking companies are already hard at work.

What is Last Mile Delivery?

Last mile delivery fills the void between package transportation hubs and consumers, typically those at residential addresses. The demand for this service has increased along with the comfort that online shoppers have in buying large products sight unseen, such as dishwashers and outdoor grills.

Opportunity in Last Mile Delivery

In 2018, last mile delivery service was an 8.9-billion-dollar market. That’s a 10-percent increase from 2017 and makes the growth rate of last mile delivery significantly larger than regular freight. Experts say the growth is expected to increase for many more years given the comfort that Millennials have buying their goods online.

That’s why trucking companies like J.B. Hunt have invested heavily in last mile delivery logistics. They recently shelled out a sizable amount to purchase Cory 1st Choice Home Delivery, a company well equipped to deliver large items to consumers through their 14 warehouses and more than 1,000 independent contractors across the U.S.

In an interview with Bloomberg a J.B. Hunt executive, Corey Tisdale, explained how having these drivers on their payroll allows for consistent training on specialized deliveries, such as appliances that need to be hooked up in homes they’re delivered to.

Other companies, like XPO Logistics Inc. and Ryder Systems Inc., are also busy making acquisitions in order to build a network of local carriers and further the growth of their last mile delivery programs.

The First Chapter of the Last Mile

As trucking companies invest heavily in the development of last mile delivery logistics and look to pioneer solutions to the challenges of last mile delivery, the trucking industry once again finds itself on the cutting edge of a brand new economic opportunity. Connecting e-commerce businesses both large and small with consumers across the country and advancing the future of online shopping.

It’s the Wild West of last mile delivery, and the pioneers who can master both dependability and scalability are sure to get a sizable chunk of this relatively untouched goldmine.

The potential is seemingly endless but, don’t forget, the work is there now.

Gear up for Last Mile Delivery Service.

US Cargo Control has the trucking equipment and moving supplies that last mile trucking companies need. Items as large as hand trucks and E-track systems, or as small as wheel chocks and tie down straps, can all be purchased online directly from our website.

6 Simple Ways to be a Healthier Truck Driver in 2019

While it’s not always easy, it is possible to maintain a healthy lifestyle as a truck driver, but no one is going to do it for you. Make these 5 healthy tips a habit, and enjoy the benefits of more energy and less stress all year long.

As a truck driver, you have loads of responsibility and in the hustle and bustle of days on the road, it’s all too easy to form bad habits, take personal shortcuts, and simply forget about being responsible for your own personal health and well-being.

The average day for you, if there is such a thing, might include inspecting your truck and trailer, checking messages, logging hours, monitoring the weather, navigating traffic, dropping or unloading cargo, and making sure it all happens within the allotted timeframe.

While it’s not always easy, it is possible to maintain a healthy lifestyle as a truck driver, but no one is going to do it for you. Make these 6 healthy tips a habit, and enjoy the benefits of more energy and less stress all year long.

1. Drink plenty of water.

It sounds obvious, but so many of us fail to drink enough water. And since our bodies are over half water, it’s a really big deal. Many health issues can stem from dehydration so always keep a bottle or two in your cab and drink it throughout the day, not just when you’re thirsty. Shoot for at least 1-2 liters a day.

2. Rethink what you eat.

It’s easy to reach for that bag of chips or to grab a cheeseburger and fries from a fast food place, but that’s just the stuff that’ll cause poor health. Instead, make an effort to eat more fruits and vegetables, whether frozen, canned, or raw. They give your immune system a huge boost and can also help you lost weight and sleep better. Balance the veggies with some protein-packed meat such as chicken or turkey and you’ll have a tasty meal that’s actually helping you instead of hurting you.

3. Rethink the way you eat.

You don’t need to go on some strict diet to lose weight or be healthier. It’s perfectly fine to have eggs and bacon for breakfast, but the key is to focus on eating smaller portions at each meal. Even if you end up eating more than the typical three square meals a day, having smaller portions is one of the best ways to manage your weight. Also, make an effort to cook for yourself whenever possible. Not only is it typically healthier, but it also saves you money and can help relieve stress the next time you check your bank account.

4. Get plenty of sleep.

To keep your body and mind at their sharpest, make sure you’re getting a full 8-hours of rest. If possible, it’s a good idea to get your body into a regular sleep cycle with a consistent bedtime and rising time. Get some curtains for your sleeper berth to make it as dark as possible and try sleeping with earplugs and a sleeper mask to maximize your body’s melatonin level. Avoid watching TV or surfing the internet before bed as screens can be stimulating and prevent you from falling asleep.

5. Get up and move.

It’s hard to do when your job requires you to regularly be in the driver’s seat, but don’t let that be an excuse for a lack of exercise or back and body soreness. Start your day by stretching, you can even do it right in your sleeper if you want. When it’s time for inspections, do a little job around your rig. Start wearing a pedometer to see how many steps you take a day, then try to top that number the next day. Exercising a couple hours before bedtime may even help you fall asleep easier.

6. Set time aside to de-stress.

Lastly, don’t forget the importance of maintaining a healthy mind. Driving truck is bound to be stressful at times so it’s important to find moments to unwind and get your mind off the job. Try bringing a hobby on the road with you like a fishing pole, book, or digital camera to capture shots of where you’ve traveled. To keep your mind busy while you’re driving, try listening to audiobooks or language learning tapes. Most importantly, spend time with friends or loved ones as much as possible, even if it’s just a phone or video call.

Start Small

Choosing to live a healthier 2019 is something only you can do. It won’t always be easy, but the more you do it the more natural it will become. Start small by focusing on just one of the above tips. Once you’ve made it a habit you’ll start to see the benefits and soon each healthy tip will become part of your new routine.

Now that you have a more healthy plan for yourself in 2019, head on over to uscargocontrol.com to get your tractor and trailer geared up for the year ahead.

CVSA Roadcheck Inspection Results for 2018

Back in June, we wrote about the 3-day International Roadcheck that was about to affect thousands of truck drivers across North America. Organized by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), the focus in 2018 was on Hour-of-Service Compliance.

Now, thousands of roadside inspections later, the CVSA has released the results of their annual driver and vehicle inspections.

 

How many trucks and drivers were affected?

At a high-level view, 67,603 roadside inspections were conducted on large trucks and buses. That number is up a bit from last year’s 62,013 total inspections. This year’s inspections resulted in 11,910 vehicles being placed out-of-service and 2,666 drivers found to have conditions that placed them out-of-service. Another 211 were placed out of service due to hazardous materials/dangerous goods (HM/DG).

This means that out of all the North American Standard Level I Inspections (45,501), a whopping 21.6 percent resulted in a commercial vehicle being placed out of service.

Keep in mind that 60,321 of the total inspections were conducted in the United States, while just 7,282 were done in Canada.

 

CVSA roadcheck 2018 official inspects truck for violations
In 2018, there were 5,590 more inspections compared to 2017.

 

What does being placed out-of-service mean?

Being placed out-of-service does not mean the driver or vehicle is a lost cause. A vehicle that is placed out of service must have the mechanical issue corrected before its allowed to be on the road again, and a driver who is in violation has to correct their infraction before getting back behind the wheel.

Let’s look at exactly what caused these drivers and vehicles to be, at least temporarily, put out of commission.

 

Top 3 reasons for vehicles being placed out-of-service

Here are the top violations of the 2018 International Roadcheck according to the CVSA.

  1. Brake Systems – 4,545    (28.4 percent)
  2. Tires & Wheels – 3,060    (19.1 percent)
  3. Brake Adjustment – 2,612    (16.3 percent)

 

Top 3 reasons for drivers being placed out-of-service

  1. Hours of Service – 1,328    (43.7 percent)
  2. Wrong Class License – 649    (21.4 percent)
  3. False Record of Duty Status – 309    (10.2 percent)

 

 

Other reasons for being placed out-of-service

hours of service compliance top violation for 2018 roadcheckBelieve it or not, there were 729 safety belt violations and about 72 drivers were in violation of drug/alcohol policies. Of the 211 placed out-of-service for hazardous materials or dangerous goods, 25.6 percent was due to loading or securement.

And while it’s obvious that many drivers were tripped up by this year’s focus on hours of service regulations, last year’s spotlight on proper cargo securement showed up as a problem area again this year. About 1,548 vehicles, or 13 percent of total out-of-service vehicles, were found to have insufficient cargo securement.

 

A good reminder to stock up on quality cargo securement equipment from US Cargo Control.  Our 4″ ratchet straps all meet or exceed industry standards, and our heavy-duty Blackline straps hold the strongest break strength in the industry.

 

best straps for heavy cargo securement compliance
Found only at USCC, Blackline straps are some of the strongest straps ever made.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share your roadcheck story

Have you experienced a Roadcheck Inspection? How did it go? Share your best (or worst) stories in the comments below.

 

Headache Racks: 5 Reasons why your Semi Truck should have one

Headache racks for semi trucks are a smart investment for any serious truck driver looking to maximize their truck’s protection, their own personal protection, or to increase storage and truck accessory options.

 

What is a Headache Rack?

A headache rack is commonly fabricated using aluminum, steel, or stainless steel. They are installed right behind your truck’s cab mainly to protect you and your truck from loose objects that may fly through the back glass. However, this is just one benefit to having a headache rack.

 

heavy duty headache racks for semi
This 70″ wide aluminum headache rack features an E-Z view window for rear window visibility.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why is it Called a Headache Rack?

It’s unclear whether the name headache rack originated from the fact that they prevent cargo from flying through and hitting you in the head, or because they help prevent a headache you would experience if your truck is damaged. Another theory is that the rack itself can cause a headache if you are not careful when climbing around the back of your cab.

 

5 Benefits of a Headache Rack

Despite the potential for a self-inflicted head bump, there are 5 huge benefits to installing a truck headache rack.

 

1. Safety

Heavy-duty headache racks are the best way to prevent tools, cargo, or road debris from flying through your rear window and causing damage to your truck or to yourself. Another cool benefit is the fact that headache racks help reflect sunlight, so less heat gets into your cab.

 

2. Hauling Tools

installing aluminum headache rack with lights
This 80″ wide heavy-duty headache rack features two locking chain racks and a full tray.

Many semi truck headache racks come equipped with tool racks or trays that allow quick but secure access to your roadside tools and cargo securement supplies. This Merritt® headache rack comes with two locking chain racks and a full tray to keep transport chains secured.

 

3. Mounting Lights

Installing a headache rack on your truck also provides an additional mounting surface for lighting and other accessories. Once the rack is in place, it’s easy to mount LED beacon lights, light bars, warning lights, or even radio antennas.

 

4. Mounting a Toolbox

Even though many semi truck headache racks have storage options built-in, there’s no such thing as too much tool storage. And just like with lighting, a headache rack also provides a sturdy mountable surface for an additional toolbox. Since many semi truck toolboxes have locks, they are a great accessory to have right behind your cab.

 

5. Cool Looking

Last but not least, let’s talk about how cool these headache racks look. A new headache rack adds a fresh look to any truck and can even be powder-coated to color match your rig (if you’re not into the base metallic silver look). They add a more rugged look to your rig, while also serving multiple highly useful purposes.

understand the benefits of an aluminum headache rack
Headache racks add a rugged look to your rig and also serve multiple useful purposes.

 

Types of Headache Racks

Headache racks are commonly made of aluminum, steel, or stainless steel (or a composite).

Aluminum headache racks are popular due to their low weight, corrosion resistance, and affordability.

Obviously, stainless will beat aluminum in overall corrosion resistance (ideal for those salty winter roads), but the low weight of aluminum will help keep your rig’s total weight much lower.

 

Proof that Truckers are the Backbone of America (with infographics)

September 9th – September 15th, 2018 is National Truck Driver Appreciation Week. Here’s why it’s so important to show your appreciation all year long.

 

Imagine waking up to no coffee, milk, or juice. Trying to get to work with no gas in your car. And going to sleep with no blankets, pillows, or pajamas. The fridge is continually empty and there’s not a single pen or piece of paper around to make a grocery list. Even if there was, store shelves sit empty. Hospitals are without medicine, and assembly lines have no parts or raw materials.

No, it’s not a zombie apocalypse. It’s what would happen if we had no truck drivers and it would happen faster than you think.

what would happen if we had no truck drivers
source: CDL Life

 

Luckily we don’t have to face these challenges in America. Why? Because we have millions of dedicated truck drivers who drive billions of miles each year to deliver just about every good imaginable. Day in and day out they sacrifice time with their families and the comforts of home to make sure our families have everything they need. And what do they get in return?

Well, most commonly they get less-than-friendly gestures from fellow roadway regulars when they switch into the left lane. And trust me, I get it. When you’re hauling down the highway it’s easy to not think about the fact most big rigs are speed governed to go only 60 to 65mph (which means passing a fellow truck driver isn’t so quick and easy). Or that once a truck reaches an incline their heavy cargo loads start to play a huge factor in their speed and acceleration. And I definitely don’t know what it’s like to be strictly limited to 11 hours of driving in a 14-hour period. All this while still having a tight delivery deadline someplace thousands of miles away. My point is it’s easy to not think about all this as a regular driver but, for truck drivers, it’s a daily reality.

Still not sold on the fact that truckers are the backbone of America? Then take a look at these infographics that show the undeniable impact of trucking:

proof that truckers are the backbone of america

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

why are truckers important?
source: Trucker Path

 

US Cargo Control Appreciates Truck Drivers

We proudly support truck drivers all year long by providing them with quality cargo control equipment including ratchet straps, flatbed trailer products, and more. If we don’t carry a product you need, we go out of our way to get you what you want, when you need it. We also share helpful tips with our email subscribers and through this blog. For more insight into US Cargo Control and our dedicated efforts to serve truck drivers, check out our LinkedIn page and Facebook page. Here is an example of a recent video that we created for Trucker Appreciation Week:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlwabcrYFd4?rel=0

Truckers Show True Character at “18 Wheels for Bubba” Event

dakota bubba cadd party
16-year-old Dakota “Bubba” Cadd has always had an interest in trucks. (source)

If there was ever a question about the integrity or spirit of truck drivers, this recent story sets the record straight.

On August 18th, more than 180 trucks and around 1,200 people attended a surprise birthday party for Dakota “Bubba” Cadd. Bubba is a trucking enthusiast who suffers from Dandy-Walker Syndrome, cerebral palsy, and seizures. This affects his brain development and movement, requiring him to be in a wheelchair.

“It was a pretty amazing event,” said Peggy Cadd, mother of 16-year-old. “Everything about it was awesome.

 

How it all started

Bubba can often be found sitting right outside his home, along Highway 26 in Milton, Wisconsin. He likes watching trucks drive by and trying to get them to blow their thunderous horns. His mother says he’s been fascinated by trucks ever since she can remember.

Because of his dedication and love for watching trucks, he has become well-known to those who regularly pass by.

Mark King, a truck driver for CH Hall Trucking in Stillman Valley, Illinois, doesn’t have a horn to honk, so after seeing Bubba nearly every time he passed by, he decided to brighten his day in a different way.

In July, King decided to leave a CH Hall Trucking shirt and toy semi-truck on the lawn for Bubba. Peggy shared the story of King’s generosity on social media, which then inspired local retired driver, Jeremy Wallenkamp, to throw a party for Bubba.

18 wheels for bubba post
Peggy Cadd posted a picture of Bubba with his presents from CH Hall Trucking. (source)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

18 Wheel for Bubba

Wallenkamp created a Facebook page, called “18 Wheels for Bubba,” and asked local trucking companies to donate shirts and hats for Bubba’s party. To his shock, the event went viral and garnered support from truckers as far as Australia and New Zealand.

On the big day, Bubba arrived at a local park, still unaware of the massive party awaiting him.

“When we pulled in, he looked at me and said ‘me’ as in ‘is this all for me,'” Peggy said. “We said, ‘yeah, this is your birthday party, and the truckers came for you.'”

bubba's party in milton
Over 180 trucks showed up at Schilberg Park in Milton for Bubba’s birthday party. (source)

 

At the event, Bubba rode in trucks and even became an honorary member of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association. He was also given a CB radio, so now he can talk to the truckers that pass by.

“I just want to show him the support from our industry that he deserves,” said Wallenkamp. “He loves trucks. There’s a lot of great people in the trucking industry, and we just want to be there and support him and stand next to him.”

 

So, next time you find yourself on Highway 26 in southern Wisconsin, keep an eye out for Bubba. And don’t forget to give him a honk.

18 wheels for bubba
Dakota “Bubba” Cadd’s hometown of Milton, Wisconsin is about 10 miles north of Janesville.

 

4 Simple Ways to Get the Best Fuel Mileage for Your Semi-Truck

increase semi truck MPGWhen you think of semi-trucks, fuel efficiency probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. In fact, on average, semi-trucks get only 6.5 miles per gallon according to this Wired article. And while they comprise just 4.3 percent of vehicles in the US, they consume more than 25 percent of all fuel burned annually.

 

Whether you’re an owner-operator or you manage an entire fleet, you understand that high fuel costs result in decreased profits. But, with a little effort and initial investment, reducing fuel consumption might be simpler than you think.

 

1. Stay on top of truck maintenance.

This is one of the most important and simplest things you can do to maximize fuel efficiency in just about any vehicle. It’s basic mechanics and the benefits go far beyond better gas mileage. Regular maintenance such as on-time oil changes, filter changes, and regular fluid level inspections will keep everything operating at its best for longer. Also, remember to periodically check your tire pressure and add air if necessary.  Not only does this prolong the life of your tires, it also adds quite a bit to your fuel efficiency.

 

2. Drive with efficiency in mind.

Changing the way you drive costs you nothing, yet it’s often the hardest change to make. One of the biggest culprits of high fuel consumption is frequent accelerating and braking. Minimize braking to a full stop as much as you can, and accelerate more slowly. Also, staying in a higher gear helps save fuel. On the other hand, letting your truck idle for long periods of time can quickly cost you at the pump. This Arrow Truck article suggests turning your truck off if it’s going to be sitting for more than five minutes. Just one hour of idling will burn a full gallon of gas.

stay in a high gear for best semi truck gas mileage
Staying in a higher gear increases fuel efficiency.

 

3.  Equip your rig with fuel-efficient products.

This is the one that requires a bit of an initial investment, but the long-term payoff can really be worth it. There are a variety of aerodynamic additions you can make to both your tractor and your trailer that will result in higher MPGs. Everything from your mudflaps, bumpers, mirrors, hood, roof, and even headlights can become more aerodynamic. You may also consider automated manual transmissions. They replace your manual shifter and clutch with a computer that shifts the manual transmission at the optimal time. The North American Council for Freight Efficiency claims that automatic manual transmissions can improve average fuel efficiency by 1-3 percent.

 

4. Secure cargo low and even.

Each time a load goes on your truck, think of it as a part of your truck. Just like mudflaps and mirrors, your cargo can cause you to be more or less aerodynamic depending on how it’s loaded. When cargo is loaded unevenly, it can increase the fuel needed to get your truck moving. Also, it’s best to keep your cargo load height as low as possible on flatbeds to reduce wind resistance.

how to get best fuel economy in semi truck
Load cargo evenly to maximize fuel economy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Using the proper cargo securement equipment will ensure all your cargo stays put and remains intact. Visit uscargocontrol.com for all your cargo equipment needs. 

 

Why Hours of Service Rules Could Change for Livestock Haulers

A Senate proposed bill called “The Transporting Livestock Across America Safely Act” has the potential to significantly change Hours of Service (HOS) rules and ELD enforcement for thousands of drivers.

The bill aims to modify HOS requirements for transporters of livestock and insects. Now that ELD enforcement has started, industry stakeholders are more divided than ever on whether livestock truck drivers should have to comply to the same HOS limitation that other drivers do.

Read on to gain a full understanding of the situation and come to your own conclusion on this debate.

 

What the Livestock Exemption Bill Says

The bill only applies to drivers transporting livestock (as defined in section 602 of the Agricultural Act of 1949) or insects. And the proposed hours of service exemption would only be applicable to drivers who travel no more than 300-air miles from their pick-up point.  Here are the details of the proposed bill.

Livestock drivers would be exempt from hours of service requirements in the following situations:

A) at a plant, terminal, facility, or other property of a motor carrier or shipper or on any public property during which the driver is waiting to be dispatched.

B) loading or unloading a commercial motor vehicle.

C) supervising or assisting in the loading or unloading of a commercial motor vehicle.

D) attending to a commercial motor vehicle while the vehicle is being loaded or unloaded.

E) remaining in readiness to operate a commercial motor vehicle; and

F) giving or receiving receipts for shipments loaded or unloaded.

In addition, the proposed bill states:

1) the driver may take 1 or more rest periods during the trip, which shall not be included in the calculation of the driving time;

2) after completion of the trip, the driver shall be required to take a rest break for a period that is 5 hours less than the maximum driving time under paragraph (2);

3) if the driver is within 150 air-miles of the point of delivery, any additional driving to that point of delivery shall not be included in the calculation of the driving time; and

4) the 10-hour rest period under section 395.3(a)(1) of that title shall not apply.

 

The Argument for Support

Supporters of the bill say the current one-size-fits-all HOS rules do not make sense when it comes to transporting live animals. They say that forcing a driver to stop and wait 10 hours before driving again strands the animals in potentially dangerous conditions.

One supporter of the bill is The National Pork Producers Council. They argue that pigs and other livestock are vulnerable to health issues triggered by extreme temperatures.

livestock hauling exemption pigs

Steve Hilker, a Transportation Committee Chairman for the United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA), also voiced support for the livestock exemption bill. In a Progressive Farmer article, Hilker says the ELD mandate (which digitally records and reports HOS compliance) leaves cattle potentially stranded roadside on a truck. “The list of poor outcomes begins to grow exponentially almost immediately,” says Hilker. He also raises the concern that putting livestock haulers through this would only add pressure to an already “thinly populated driver pool.”

 

The Argument for Opposition

Those against the bill say making an exemption defeats the purpose of the hours-of-service rules: increased safety for people on our roadways.

And opposers say making an exemption for a federal regulation is a slippery slope. They worry that once there is an exemption for one portion of the industry, it will set a precedent and potentially open the door to more exemptions down the road.

One key opponent of the bill is the American Trucking Associations (ATA). In an interview with Transport Topics, Bill Sullivan, leader of advocacy for ATA, stated, “lives of livestock should not be a priority over the lives of people. Sullivan goes on to say, “This bill would allow truck drivers to stay behind the wheel for almost twice as long as they’re permitted under the current hours-of-service rules, it needlessly and recklessly jeopardizes the safety of people who travel our highways.”

 

hoursofservicecompliance

Current Status for Livestock Haulers

This bill was just introduced on May 23, 2018, so it is still in the first stage of the legislative process. It is typical for a bill like this to first be considered by a committee before it is possibly sent on to the House or Senate. If both the House and Senate pass the bill, it must then be signed by the President to become law.

However, it doesn’t look promising for supporters of the bill.

An A.I.-powered data analysis firm called Skopos Labs predicts the bill has just a 4% chance of becoming law.

Currently, there is a temporary exemption for livestock and insect haulers until September 30, 2018. But, livestock truckers will have to start complying with current ELD and HOS rules if nothing is passed by that time.

 

 

Uber Freight Expands Capabilities with Fleet Mode

You’ve probably heard of the Uber app before. Open the app, see available drivers, and reserve a ride. Within minutes, a vehicle is there to pick you up and already knows where you need to go. No phone calls or reservations, and payment is seamless. Pretty slick, but what does it have to do with the trucking industry?

Well, about a year ago, Uber introduced Uber Freight. And it’s as simple as open the app, see available loads, and book a job. But, up until now, it has only been used by owner-operators.

That all changed last month when Uber Freight introduced fleet mode. It’s an extension of Uber Freight that is focused on helping trucking fleets negotiate shipments more efficiently. And fleets are already seeing time-saving results.

 

Uber freight for trucking fleets
Uber Freight gives truckers “fee-free payment within 7 days”

What can you do with Uber Freight?

Before we dive into this new fleet mode, it’s helpful to understand more about what Uber Freight can do. Uber Freight is a free app that matches carriers with shippers. According to the Uber Freight website, load pricing is upfront and set. This means no haggling or back-and-forth negotiations with brokers. However, fixed rates mean drivers can’t manage to negotiate higher pay for delivery.

While some drivers say they wish they had the ability to negotiate higher rates, this policy has undoubtedly resulted in quicker and more efficient shipping agreements. And given the recent ELD mandate and current HOS regulations, time spent driving instead of talking is priceless.

The part that drivers seem to enjoy most about the Uber Freight app? Fast payment. The app promises “fee-free payment within 7 days of delivery.” No more waiting months to receive payment.

 

How fleet mode enhances Uber Freight

Released in May 2018, fleet mode is an addition to the Uber Freight app that allows fleets to manage and assign shipments.

Eric Berdinis, a senior project manager at Uber, says fleet mode streamlines the communication between the dispatcher and their drivers. Now, dispatchers are not only able to see available loads on the app, they can also access a page that displays all the drivers in their fleet in real-time. The drivers may have a status of available, busy with another load, or offline. So, dispatchers can assign a load to an available driver and once the driver accepts; the dispatcher, Uber, and the shipper get simultaneous confirmations.

While there is no limit to the number of drivers a company can manage, Uber expects it to be used mostly by fleets with around 10 trucks.

Phil DeKnight, the owner of DeKnight Enterprises, has three drivers in his fleet. In a Trucks.com article DeKnight says, “Before, I would spend a lot of time on the phone finding out more information about a load, then have to check with my drivers to see if they have enough hours to haul it, only to find out that the load’s gone. I don’t have to do that now.”

 

uber freight launches fleet mode
In Uber Freight fleet mode, dispatchers can view driver status in real time.

 

The future of digital freight

Obviously, digital freight marketplaces are nothing new. Uber Freight has been around for over a year now. And other freight booking apps, like ITS Broker, Getloaded, and Trucker Path have been on the scene for over half a decade.

But, because loads per available truck trailer have nearly doubled in the last year, (6.6 loads compared to 3.5 loads last year according to DAT solutions) shippers are actively seeking the newest and most effective ways to secure drivers. Meanwhile, drivers and carriers are constantly looking for the newest ways to increase efficiency and bottom-line earnings. These digital freight apps offer the potential to help a wide range of workers in the ever-important trucking industry.

 

Is your fleet looking to increase cargo equipment allocation efficiency? With dedicated teams and the ability to create custom products and custom pricing programs, US Cargo Control can get you what you want, when you need it. It’s just one reason why carriers and owner-operators across the country count on US Cargo Control for all their cargo securement needs. Visit our website or give us a call at 866-444-9990 today.