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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

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!

Keep You and Your Children Safe on Halloween with These Tips

October 31, 2018

Halloween is full of activities and fun for children and for adults as well. Children are dressing up as famous cartoon characters or movie stars and go trick-or-treating around the near areas. Adults are celebrating it in restaurants, bars or pubs, having parties with drinks and everything.

We offer some safety tips that must be considered during the Halloween Day, as the safety of you and your children is the most important thing.

bakersfield halloweenSo, let’s start with the driving issue because it is the most disturbing and dangerous problem. You must avoid driving through areas where the celebration is likely happening. A lot of children will be running around, keep children’s safety and prevent tragic results. Slowing down is also a requirement as this night is full of heavy foot traffic, you need to be extra attentive.

If you are a parent, you need to plan the destinations where you are headed to, as the traffic is going to be tough. Also, along with that, try to dress your children visible and bright costumes so it will be easier for other drivers to see. You can even use retro-reflective tape to make the costume more visible. Here is another problem, some of the kids may not be seen on the streets, so slow down and pay attention to every little action.

Another option for children and adults carry a flashlight while trick-or-treating. It will be safer for you on both the streets and sidewalks, where tens of people are going to walk today.

 

Some Fire Protection Tips from the National Fire Protection Association:

  • Choose a costume with a material which won’t be easily ignited when having a contact with flame.
  • Decorations that are easily flammable are dangerous such as cornstalks or dried flowers. Make them be away from a place of fire or heaters.
  • Use battery-operated candles instead of the real ones with fire. But if you, however, want to use fire candle, please, keep every each of them well-watched and keep you and your children safe from accidents. Pay extra attention to children while being near a lit candle.
  • Remember to keep clear all the exits, (don’t put decoration that will block the way out)

 

Stay safe and have a good Halloween Evening!

Which City is The Hottest in US? New Book Introduces The Highest Temperature in The Nation in 2011-2017

September 11, 2018

Bakersfield bookThere is no way you don’t know how hot it is in Bakersfield. But do you know it’s getting even hotter? San Joaquin Valley’s southernmost big city is warming up rapidly.

In his new book called “Local Warming: An Almanac of American climate change.” the author Thomas Munro talks about higher temperatures from 2011 through 2017 .71 of 84 months averaged warmer-than-normal temperatures are spotted in Bakersfield.

If we break this down, it will mean over the past seven years it has been warmer than normal.

Here is some interesting fact about Bakersfield:

  • In Bakersfield, no months have been 5 degrees or more below normal.
  • Bakersfield is the only city in the United States totally warming of more than 3 degrees in its average monthly highs over the past seven years.
  • 2011-2017 have charted the most extraordinary highs in Bakersfield.

It’s interesting how the author started his book. In this book’s preface, Munro expressed his thoughts on how people think of global warming as a theoretical fancy of mysterious scientists.

‘’Global warming is, it seems to many, a hypothesis residing in rarefied halls of academia, and climate scientists seem to endorse this vision by refusing, on entirely legitimate scientific grounds, to associate any given day’s weather with the greenhouse effect’’.

The extraordinary record over the past seven years tells a story of local warming impact the way people live and plan the future in their own communities.

The data shows Bakersfield was the most abnormally hot large city in the country over the past seven years, 3 .1 degrees above normal highs.

Fresno has the same tendency to experience warming. The last 6 years are now the six warmest years on record for Fresno.

Munro is not a climate scientist. He doesn’t identify the cause of climate changes or the solutions in his book. All he does is dealing with temperature records in the nation’s 100 most populous cities.

 

No Report Has Been Made by the US Air Force About the Meteor Striking the Earth

August 6, 2018

us air force meteor struckNo mention was made by the US Air Force about the meteor that hit the earth and exploded with 2.1 kilotons of force last month.

There was a confirmation of an object of unspecified size by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory traveling at 24.4 kilometers per second and striking earth in Greenland. The location is just 43 kilometers north of an early missile warning Thule Air Base on the 25th of July 2018.

Hans Kristensen, the director of the Nuclear Information Project for the Federation of American Scientists, tweeted about the impact, but there was no report from America’s Air Force.

Mr. Kristensen argues it’s concerning there was no public warning from the US government about the incident. “Had it entered at a more perpendicular angle, it would have struck the earth with significantly greater force,” he writes on Business Insider.

Mr. Kristensen points to the example of the Chelyabinsk meteor, a 20-meter space rock that exploded in the air over Russia without warning on the 15th of February 2013.

If you looked at it from afar you could see that it was the size of a house, brighter than the sun and visible up to 100 kilometers away.

After the struck, around 1500 people were injured by glass from windows smashing or other effects of the meteor’s impact as it crashed to earth, the biggest known human toll from a space rock.

Following the 2013 incident, the International Asteroid Warning Network was established to assist governments to detect and respond to Near Earth Objects.

The event of an asteroid to enter the earth’s atmosphere is not uncommon.

A meteor has been striking the earth every 13 days over a 20-year-period, due to a study referenced by Mr. Kristensen. Most break apart upon entering the atmosphere and are “harmless.”

 

After Trump and Putin Conference in Helsinki Some Criticism Arose

July 17, 2018

trump meeting putinPresident Trump had a news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki today and here are some of the words describing Trump’s performance — treasonous, disgraceful. Mr. Trump defied normal presidential behavior by going against his own intelligence officials and siding with Putin over Russian interference in the U.S. Presidential Election.

“I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today,” said Mr. Trump.

Scott Robertson, a San Francisco resident, and Trump donor, wasn’t embarrassed by the president’s remarks. He even liked what was said by Trump.

“Russia is not our enemy. We’re not at war with Russia. Why wouldn’t we want to get along with Russia?” said Robertson.

But the overwhelming response was outrage. The criticism came from solid Trump allies like Newt Gingrich to even the president’s favorite news channel.

“That’s what made his performance disgusting. I’m sorry that’s just how I feel. It’s not a right or left thing. It’s just wrong,” Fox News Channel’s Neil Cavuto said during a broadcast.

The fact that the president’s statements are at odds with the rest of his administration brought up the question that many have long been wondering, does Russia have something on Mr. Trump?

“I had heard about that we had allegedly collected compromising materials on Mr. Trump when he came to Moscow. Respected colleagues, when Mr. Trump came to Moscow, I didn’t even know he was there,” said Putin.