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Uber and Lyft set to Negatively Impact Eco Goals

Uber and Lyft

It’s clear from the incredible popularity of ride-hailing services, car sharing, and personal car rentals along with a number of other transportation developments that the younger generation is letting go of the reliance on the personal car as the lone method for getting around.

In California this fact is providing a window for the state to make advances in cutting smog-forming, climate-heating emissions generated by automobiles. After all, it’s this group that creates about 40 percent of greenhouse-gas emissions in the state.

Nevertheless, this excellent opportunity to reduce emissions could go away due to a developing problem. Specifically, the employment procedures of ride-hailing companies could damage or wipe-away this window altogether.

New transportation companies, like Uber and Lyft, are responsible for a rising share of the vehicle miles that happen in urban areas. In San Francisco they account for more than 13 percent. Consequently, new legislation was passed in 2018 to ensure that these companies don’t produce more pollution. The legislation established emissions-reductions targets for this niche industry.

It lays out that starting in 2023 these companies are mandated to cut their overall climate pollution. Furthermore, the state will create a package of incentives and rules to encourage the use of zero-emissions vehicles.

Companies Already Taking Emission Cutting Measures

These kind of measures already exist for other industries that involve large numbers of vehicles. For example, transit departments in California are beginning the switch to all-electric buses.

Starting next year UPS plans to mandate that every 1 in 4 trucks it busy will be an advanced technology truck. Furthermore, the U.S. Postal Service has stated it will trim its fleet emissions by a whopping 30 percent by 2025.

These larger programs tend to work when the elevated capital costs are distributed across the system. However, they are not effective when the companies place this burden on the employees by labeling them independent contractors.

Simply put, the drivers are the least financially equipped to make sure their vehicles meet the increased standards. As a result, compliance can prove lackluster and then the environment suffers. What do you guys think? It seems clear these companies must make their drivers employees, right?

Frac Sand Hauling is Dangerous Work for Good Money

It’s not the most common of professions but it turns out that being a frac sand hauler might be a pretty good gig. Take the case of Molly Sizer who holds this position. She drives her Peterbilt truck to one of the many frac mines in West Texas, gets it loaded with 50,000 pounds of sand, then drives 100 miles or potentially more to the frac well sites near Odessa or Midland, Texas.

“It may seem repetitive, but to make oilfield money you have to stay on the grind,” Sizer said. “Driving one of those trucks is a very exciting feeling, it makes you feel free, it makes you feel empowered.”

In the Permian Basin where Sizer works, the oil and gas industry is booming. This area extends from Southern New Mexico to West Texas. In fact, it is one of the largest oil and gas regions in all of the world. Typically, it’s responsible for 35 percent of United States crude and 17 percent of its natural gas production. This is according to statistics kept by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The Permian Basin is Thriving

The Permian Basin has become a hugely popular area for onshore drilling because the fracking process allows it to become profitable to produce oil and gas.

When it comes to the hydraulic process involved in fracking, sand is the main component. When sand and other materials are pumped into wells it breaks up shale rock which then makes it easier for gas and petroleum to flow.

Officials say the Permian Basin will continue to thrive for oil and gas production for at least the next five years. Plus, once the gas or oil is pulled from the ground trucks are then used to deliver it to ports along the Gulf of Mexico.

Sizer has been a frac sand hauler for four years. She started simply by answering a Craigslist ad. She had truck driver experience but not with moving sand. But what she found was there was great enthusiasm surrounding the job because everybody was making a good living – there’s money to be made. In fact, ‘sand pushers’ as they’re often called, can make between $60,000 and $100,000 a year.

Though the work can sometimes be dangerous, with lots of accidents reported, the financial rewards are worth it.

Clean Air Checks Necessary for Trucks?

As Californians we’re forced to deal with the nuisance of getting our vehicle, or vehicles, smog checked every other year. It’s a pain. Still, we all do it or suffer the penalties. But, interestingly enough, big rig trucks that run on diesel actually are immune from this hassle. In fact, people in close proximity to ports, railroad stations, and warehouse hotspots where these trucks are a constant, and which blow all sorts of toxic exhaust into the atmosphere, would undoubtedly be miffed to learn of the loophole in California state law.

Fortunately, Senate Bill 210, put together by state Senator Connie Leyva, D-Chino (San Bernardino County), would put an end to this disastrous loophole. The bill would mandate a complete inspection not unlike the long time smog check on passenger vehicles for diesel trucks that exceed 14,000 pounds. Furthermore, the bill wouldn’t just apply to heavy trucks registered in the state but all trucks from anywhere that cross into California territory.

Bill Magavern, policy director for the Coalition of Clean Air, says, “This is the most important air quality bill of the year.”

The good news about this piece of legislation is that it would make adapting to clean air standards mandatory. Instead of depending on voluntary self-reporting or the unreliable periodic inspections of large trucks, being compliant would be required. This way no more unnecessary pollutants would be poisoning the air.

A Fair Requirement

In fact, this bill could not make more sense since all California car and even light truck owners are forbidden from getting a vehicle registration without getting a smog test. Why shouldn’t the same rules apply to these monster trucks capable of spraying toxins into the air.

The other good news when it comes to this proposed bill is that a long list of allies including the Sierra Club, the American Lung Association and the League of Conservation Voters.

On the other hand, the California Trucking Association is not a fan as it worries about more fees and the effect of them on their bottom line. Additionally, the California Farm Bureau Federation is concerned that the compliance timeline will might negatively impact harvest schedules.

What do you all think? Is it only fair these trucks are subject to the same rules as passenger cars?

Time management tips for busy truckers

May 23, 2019

If you’ve agreed to start up a career in trucking, there are many pros and cons to look forward to. For instance, you may be excited about the freedom ahead of you. Additionally, you may look forward to choosing your own schedule. While these are all great aspects of the trucking industry, it’s important to not go overboard either. Newbies and veterans alike need to know the importance of gaining good time management skills. Consequently, poor time management can have a negative effect on your time on the road. Therefore, your overall career might suffer over time as well. So, how can you best manage your time? Keep on reading to pick up some helpful hints and tips on time management skills all truckers can benefit from!


Plan Ahead


It’s always extremely helpful to set up your plans and goals ahead of time. Do this before you even get out on the road. After all, putting in a little more work earlier, can save you loads of time and stress while on the job. Map out your route ahead of time. Make contingency plans for road closures, construction, etc. Research the best rest stops to pull into, and when the best times to do this are.


Use Documentation and Checklists


If you aren’t sure where you may be losing time, start writing it down! Make notes of everything that knowingly or unexpectedly gets in the way of your deadline. Refueling, stopping for food, road construction, delays, etc. should all be marked down. Eventually, you may start to see patterns that you cna teach yourself to avoid.


Benefits of Time Management


When you manage your time wisely, you’ll experience many benefits. Your preparation time will be shorter, while your home time will be longer. You’ll experience less stress, and your routes will be more efficient. So, take time management seriously, and you’ll be improving your career and your lifestyle!

Driverless Trucks Soon to be Added to California Traffic

April 18, 2019

Get ready for it Californians. Just when you thought traffic couldn’t get worse, the state is adding drivers to our already overstuffed roads… Well, let me rephrase, the state is adding CARS to our already packed roads. There will be no drivers to be found. Let me explain…

Soon California could permit the testing of light-duty autonomous trucks on public roads per a new proposed rule announced on Friday. See, the California Department of Motor Vehicles introduced the proposal which outlines the framework for a permitting process for companies that want to test or utilize driverless trucks on a trial basis.

I know what you’re thinking, more drivers on the road – ugh! And these you can’t even yell at if they cut you off. So here’s how it would work. The autonomous vehicles would need to weigh less than 10,001 pounds. Essentially, this allows for only Class 1 and 2 trucks. These are minivans, pickup trucks, utility vans, and step-up vans. Larger trucks like trucks, buses and heavy-duty construction vehicles are forbidden under this proposal.

Currently, California is a hotspot for all kinds of autonomous vehicle testing. Consequently, any changes in the state’s rules regarding these tests is monitored closely by epic corporations like General Motors, Alphabet’s Waymo, and Uber. These companies have a vested interest as they’re all developing self-driving cars.

As of right now, there are approximately 62 companies who’ve got this clearance. All told, the permitted companies have about 678 autonomous vehicles licensed with the DMV. However, Waymo is the only company, at the moment, with a permit to test completely driverless vehicles.

What About Big Rigs?

This proposal is leading us toward a day soon when Class 8, heavy-duty semi-trucks will be given clearance to be tested out on public roads. Already Waymo is testing self-driving tractors in the city of Atlanta. Moreover, Daimler and TuSimple are working on driverless trucks.

This new DMV rule would seemingly be a real boon for companies testing more compact delivery vehicles. They include companies like Nuro, Udelv, and Ford.

So what do you guys think? Looking forward to more traffic, less drivers?

CHP Pulls Over Teetering Truck

March 21, 2019

It was just a run of the mill day out on a California highway. The CHP was clocking passing cars, looking for speeders, and checking for any irregularities. Not much was happening then lo and behold a pickup truck hauling a massive load came chugging past. This oversized haul spilling out from the truck’s trailer definitely captured the officer’s attention.

Granted, the truck was traveling at reasonable highway speeds, however, according to the officer, it had an “extremely unsafe load.” Undoubtedly, his cargo looked like it could tumble over and threaten the safety of any passing cars. Consequently, the officer activated his sirens and set out to pull the truck over. He was able to do so without causing the pile of bags to topple over.

Once the driver was pulled over the officer inspected the cargo. He had no idea what to expect but whatever it was there was a lot of it. Mountains practically. But after careful examination the bags just contained empty cans and bottles – no suspicious contraband.

Still, the officer was stunned as he’d witnessed the load almost striking an overpass. It just barely averted disaster when going under it. Naturally, had the load been centimeters higher, it could have caused a huge accident. Cans and bottles would’ve spilled all over the road, jeopardizing the safety of everybody on the highway.

The incident occurred on Saturday on U.S. Route 50 at 34th street. This was reported in the Sacramento Area California Highway Patrol’s post.

The officer instructed the driver to stay parked on the shoulder until he could safely and appropriately rid himself of all the bags.

What do you guys think? Have you ever moved and had an outrageously stacked truck or car?

Bakersfield Food Truck Festival Coming in July!

March 1, 2019

Hey, food lovers! Are you ready for the Food Truck Festival this summer in Bakersfield? Well, the city just announced the latest details of the event, and everyone’s mouths are watering already. The Bakersfield Food Truck Festival & Business Expo is coming in July of this year. The date is already scheduled for July 27. And, the event will last from 4 p.m. till 9 p.m.

The Kern County Fairgrounds are holding the festival. And the best part? The event is free for everyone! And in addition to the different varieties of food trucks, there will be other entertainment and shopping to enjoy. For example, there will be merchants, vendors, raffles, and more throughout the event.

Bakersfield’s Kern County Fairgrounds have hosted many different events throughout the years. In fact, the Fairgrounds were established in the early 1950s. And, the area consists of 168 acres! The space is located very close to the downtown Bakersfield area, making it even more convenient to attend events, like the Food Truck Festival.

So, what food trucks do you think will make an appearance at the festival? According to review sites, there are several highly rated food trucks in Bakersfield. One of these is Vatos Tacos, a Mexican food truck with a variety of options! Their delicious menu consists of tacos, burritos, breakfast burritos, quesadillas and more.

Another top-rated food truck in the area is Pita Paradise Food Truck, which is classified as serving Mediterranean and Halal food. They serve platters such as chicken shawarma, kafta lamb, and more, as well as different sandwiches, like the gyro sandwich.

And, these are just a couple of the many food trucks in the Bakersfield area. Which trucks do you hope to see at the Food Truck Festival this summer?

Safety First for Your Fleet This Year

January 28, 2019

*Read our newest blog about Dangerous trucking hauls.

Sometimes, we tend to put safety on the back burner when it comes to our fleets. But, safety is more important than we think – and it doesn’t just mean responding to problems that occur on the road. More planning and preparation is necessary for successful safety. So, this year, think about what problems are most important for your fleet and start planning accordingly. Here are a few tips for safety planning in 2019.

safety planning

First, what do you want to accomplish this year in terms of safety and your fleet? Make a list of those things and then outline how you are going to get them done. One thing you might be thinking about is the changes in rules and regulations beginning this year. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is changing its expectations of safety as well. They are set to start using the “item response theory” (IRT) method to evaluate fleet safety.

How can you prepare?

Plan and schedule your meetings for your company this year. You can then plan what messages regarding safety you’ll give them at each meeting. Remember, reminding your employees and encouraging them to participate in safety training and practices is incredibly important. Showing up during actual work time and not just meetings can also help with this. Show your employees you are serious and you care about the wellbeing of them and the company.

And, safety isn’t just important for your employees – it’s also important for your customers. Customers want to work with fleets that are proven safe and secure for their products. So, this year, to improve your safety strategies and therefore improve your business – show your customers the numbers. Give them your improved safety numbers.

You can also show them how your drivers and employees want to work with your company in particular because of the safety regulations. And, your safety record helps qualify you for electronic bypass, such as PrePass. This makes your company even more reliable for customers.  

So, make safety a priority this year. How are you going to make changes in your fleet to increase your safety statistics? What will you tell your employees to create better safety practices on the road and in the loading dock?

Breaking the California Rest Break Rules

December 28, 2018

Controversy over new rest break rules for truckers has been circling in the news throughout the last few years. While it is clear that truckers need specific break times in order to operate trucks safely, some of these rules are creating difficulties for the industry. And, where these rules are being protested most? California.

As a result, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, also known as FMCSA, told trucking companies that they can ignore California’s extra rest break rules for truckers. Their reasoning? That the rules damage the economy and cut down on productivity.

FMCSA granted a petition on December 21. The petition came from the American Trucking Associations, along with other trucking groups. Some of these supporting groups? Specialized Carriers and Rigging Association, the Oregon Trucking Associations, and the Western States Trucking Association.

The Petition

In the petition, the groups asked for permission to prevent the State of California’s Meal and Rest Break (MRB) rules. Basically, a ruling that was made back in 2014 was overturned. The US Court of Appeals made a decision back then. It stated that truckers working in California were required to follow these rules. Now, that has changed. In the new ruling, FMCSA states: “California may no longer enforce the MRB Rules with respect to drivers of property-carrying CMVs subject to FMCSA’s HOS rules.”

With the old rules, drivers had to have a 30-minute meal break for every five hours worked. Additionally, they were given a 15-minute paid break every four hours. And, according to California law, if an employee is not given these breaks, the employer must pay them for the extra work.

Apparently, these rules were not working out well with companies. Because the rules are inconsistent across the country, FMCSA argues that it hurts the economy. Trucking productivity went down. So, FMCSA granted the petition in order “to ensure uniform and consistent rules in order to promote safety and economic growth.”

So, the question is: how will this granted petition impact the truckers themselves? Productivity may increase again, but what about truckers’ health and wellbeing? Without the strict rest break rules, what will change for them?

Salvation Army Looking for Holiday Helpers

November 30, 2018

Amid the holiday season, many people of the Bakersfield community are working to share the holiday joy. Salvation Army is an organization dedicated to helping those in need and has serviced about 25 million American families through the years. This holiday season the organization is looking for extra hands, so you can help your local community!

With their goal of $155,000, Bakersfield Salvation Army hopes to collect more volunteers to better serve those in need. Giving the gift of your valuable time to help those less fortunate is a great way to give back to the community, and here’s your chance!

Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t have the time to volunteer. If you can’t volunteer, you can donate money at 1-800 SALARMY or salvationarmyus.org. You can also visit one of the 22 locations for bell ringers in Bakersfield. Of those 22 bell ringers, only about 7 are volunteers, but all members support the cause. This is also the reason the group is looking for more volunteers.

Since fewer people are carrying around cash these days, the Bakersfield Salvation Army is working to adapt to modern times. The group invested in two Dip Jars. These Dip Jars add a card option to some of their locations. The process is simple, you add a preset amount to donate and merely slide your card.
Even though people don’t carry as much cash around anymore, Bakersfield Salvation Army hasn’t cut staff. The group is grateful to provide the extra holiday season jobs every year.

As of this week, the Salvation Army in Bakersfield is down $1500 from last year. Although, with the help of the community and people like you, they hope to reach their goal!