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Will Trucking See An Increase In Hiring?

April 1, 2020

Hiring has been one of the largest issues facing the trucking industry over the past few years. A number of factors have gone into why this has happened. From skilled and longstanding drivers leaving for retirement, to the lack of interest or appeal to many young adults to COVID-19, the industry has been facing a list of challenges. With truck drivers currently strained and working long hours due to the global pandemic, the question remains: When will trucking see an uptick in hiring and new skilled drivers?

2018-2019 Trucking Crisis

During these past few years, the trucking industry has seen a massive influx of retiring drivers. While many have put their hard hours to rest and have engaged the life of their dreams, many businesses were left with significant gaps to fill. On top of that, the interest for truck drivers has dwindled. The reputation of the hard-working truck driver has been replaced with the public view of them being lower on the totem pole. This is simply not the case.

Public interest has dwindled in the industry. The hours are long, the job is tough, and the pay isn’t great. All of these act as big deterrents for many looking for an optimistic career path.

Short Supply/ Large Demand

With so many positions available, the industry has taken note. The high demand for new and skilled drivers has been met with an increase in pay as well as benefits. With many of the larger trucking businesses looking to fill slots with new drivers, the majority of small to medium trucking companies have had a hard time keeping up with the new hiring requirements.

For many small businesses, having a small staff of extremely skilled and diligent drivers means more than having a larger number of unskilled drivers. The core of these small businesses is reliability and when you have a small number of reliable, but over-exhausted drivers, problems can occur.

COVID-19 Adding Another Variable To Hiring

The COVID-19 crisis has pushed the trucking industry even further. With countless store shelves empty due to panic-buying the already extended truckers have to face even further challenges. From closed truck stops, rest stops and gas stations, too many of them being undersupplied to due lack of stores being stocked. Many drivers are working 14 plus hours a day to make their deliveries on time.

Current Hiring

Currently, there has been a small uptick in hiring. Many women are looking into becoming truck drivers due to the increase pay and benefits. Of new hires, they make up a significant percentage. With shifting tides of the industry more and more people are learning to adapt to the new change and start a fresh new career path that not only helps the current situation, but also provides workers with the support of an essential industry.

Will Biofuel Remain Top Dog?

March 11, 2020

The biofuel industry has taken massive strides in the fight for alternative energy and climate change. With electric cars now spearheading the consumer industry, will we likely see a decrease in biofuels?

How Biofuel Changed The Industry

During the ’70s the oil industry made a hard left turn. Oil embargos threatened gas prices exponentially. Consumers who were interested in bigger badder V8 engines now looked at smaller gas efficient forms of transportation. With the price of gas skyrocketing, an alternative was rediscovered by the alternative culture. Hippies would convert their VW Microbus or Bug diesel engines into biofuel burners to run recycled vegetable oil. This was the start of many environmentally friendly eco-people doing the same.

Fast forward to the early 2000s. Drastically increasing oil prices forced many into rethinking how we depend on oil. All of a sudden, people were converting their old Mercedes 300 series into french fry engines. So much so that a cult following was formed where drivers were caught raiding restaurant oil traps for more fuel.

Surprisingly, it wasn’t the consumer side that made the greatest push for alternative fuels. Although it created social awareness that things can change, the Trucking industry has remained one of the most prominent users of biofuel.

Biodiesel In Trucking

With the midwest providing the United State major food production, many who frequently drive back and forth will see biodiesel pumps everywhere. For trucking, the use of diesel engines is important. They are longer-lasting, durable and provide more effective fuel consumption. The diesel engine is important due to these factors. With cast iron head gaskets, any sort of oil can run through with little to no issues.

Biofuels have been utilized and are part of the oil economy throughout the US. The addition of vegetable byproduct to diesel fuel has improved emissions performances and the impact of the environment. With trucking acting as one of the largest consumers of diesel in the US, many trucks have been able to utilize this alternative fuel source.

Biofuel Across The World

For European countries, many have been utilizing this method for much longer. Places like Norway have completely switched over to biofuels for their public transportation system. On top of that, the use of public transportation is far superior and functions much better than cities in the US. With fewer people using their vehicles to get to and from work, the carbon emissions and ecological footprint of European countries are far lower.

Electrics Rise and the Future of Biodiesel

In the public eyes, electric cars have been the focal point. Without paying outrageous gas prices in states like California, many have opted for the electric route. Modern consumers aren’t necessarily keen on purchasing older vehicles either. Maybe a hand-me-down Mercedess 300 from your uncle would be a cool project car for alternative fuels, but if you have the money to throw down on a Tesla, then that is definitely the better route. The automotive industry has definitely shifted gears away from standard ICEs. Engines are “a thing of the past” for the modern consumer and are going to see a drastic increase in electric vehicles within the next 5 years.

In response to the trucking industry, Tesla has announced that it will take orders for a limited production of a fully electric Semi Truck. Now, implementing a complete revamp of the trucking industry will take almost as much time as a complete consumer market, but the concept is now on the table. Biofuels aren’t going to be leaving anytime shortly and will continue to be utilized in almost every form of transportation, but in the far future, we will inevitably see the decline of their use. Until then, they will continue to help benefit the ecological standings of the automotive industry.

Understanding CHAdeMO Charging

February 19, 2020

CHAdeMO has become one of the most popular forms of fast charging for EV’s. With European automotive industries developing CCS (an alternate and more widely universal form of fast charging), the Asian automotive industry uses its own specific type of fast charging system.

You might have been to the recharging station and have taken note of the different outlets for charging vehicles. These are due to the charging standards of the three major electric players. CHAdeMO (short for Charge de Move) is simply another form.

Why Does The Japanese Market Use CHAdeMO?

A simple history lesson: Japan was the first country to introduce electric vehicles. While GM had its first American electric car in the early 2000s the island of Japan had been developing large scale charging stations for some time prior. CHAdeMO is actually one of the first fast-charging ports invented. By 2010 it was adopted as an industry-standard charging unit.

Charging Port Competition

What separates the CHAdeMO charging system from the rest is its availability. Where a company like Tesla boasts its numbers for charging stations across the US and the world, so does the folks across the Pacific. The current numbers for this type of charging station far outnumber both CSS and Tesla. This method has become the most widely used within the world and the increase in charging ports between 2015 to the end of 2019 is staggering.

The Numbers:

2015:
10,000 Charging Stations worldwide
Asia: 5,974
Europe: 2,755
North America: 1,400

2017:
16,000 Charging Stations Worldwide
Asia: ≈7,100+
Europe: 4,600
North America: 2,200
Other Countries: 2,000

2018:
25,300 Charging Stations Worldwide
Asia: 7,600
Europe: 9,200
North America: 3,200
Other Countries: 5,000

An Industry Standard

This method of charging has become the most common method and incorporates itself primarily with the Japanese auto market. Automakers like Nissan, Honda, and Toyota all use this method. Even Tesla has presented its own CHAdeMO adapter.

Truck Driving Songs: Lookin’ In The Rearview

January 29, 2020

Truck driving songs used to sell. The trucking industry has changed from its inception – dramatically. Back in the day, you would have countless musicians writing about what it’s like to be on the road. This steeped into one of the most common professions for the time, truck driving. We all know who Bob Seger is (which is why we put him as the opener) but what was the other rootin’ tootin’ truck driving songs of the time?

Dave Dudley – How Fast Them Trucks Can Go

This song is a timeless classic. Dave Dudley captures a truck stop to the T. The lyrics to the song start out talking about stopping at a truck stop “cause if truckers go there, it must be good”, then it transitions into “talkin’ with the guys” about “Woman and stuff like that…and how fast them trucks can go.” The song itself is pretty genuine as the narration moves to the truck driver thinking about his woman at home and how she “wiggles when she walks” then he’s off his way back on the road.

The Willis Brothers – Give Me Forty Acres

A very common issue with truckers. Getting to the city is no problem. When you’re in the city, its another story entirely. This unfortunate tale is about a driver who has an easy ride into Boston…then he arrives. The city landscape in unfriendly to the common trucker. Getting pulled over for going down a one way, the cop tells him to turn around. The truck driver then proceeds to tell the cop that some truckers can turn on a dime, and some truckers can do it blindfolded, but this particular truck driver needs “Forty Acres” to turn around. The song continues along this unfortunate driver’s trip through Bean Town. Each stop he makes, he messes up and has to turn his rig around. By the end of it, he’s off and on his way home to Alabama, only to see that he’s going north.

Jimmy Martin – Widow Maker

This song hits a solid trucking nerve. The song talks about a truck driver, Billy Mack, and his rig “Widow Maker” who falls in love with a local girl, Wanda Anne. After they have their little “meet and greet” ole’ Bill hops in his rig and heads to LA. The entire time, thinking of Wanda Anna. Unfortunately, due to a truck full of kids, he sends his big rig off a cliff, his last thought before getting crushed under 20-tons of steel is sweet Wanda Anne. The song takes a chapter for the truckers handbook:

“One life for ten
Has always been
A diesel drivers code
That’s why Billy slung that Widow Maker off the road “


It gives a prominent appreciation for the trucker. They have the responsibility of keeping the roads safe. Ole’ Bill or 10 kids, Ole’ Bill chose to save the kids (as an honorable man should). Poor Wanda Anne will unfortunately never see her man.

The life as a trucker can be summed up in a bunch of different songs, but the lonely road heeds to no man. Truck driving songs emphasize the epitome of what it means to be a heavy hauler.

Street Racing: Bakersfield Residents Say “No”

January 8, 2020

Street racing has been in the public eye ever since The Fast and The Furious hit theaters almost 20 years ago. Bakersfield has been known for its underground speed freaks and many town residents are saying “no more”.

Why Do People Love Street Racing?

Street racing dates back to the prohibition era. Many illegal alcohol makers would need to have suped-up cars in order to outrun the police. It also helps that the old cars of the time could potentially run on what those “boys in the boons” were cooking up. After prohibition ended, many moonshiners had turbo-charged cars that didn’t necessarily need to outrun the cops. What did they do now that they had nobody to outrun? Outrun each other. Where car racing had been around earlier, those races were a town-wide and sanctioned event. The post-prohibition moonshiners still weren’t necessarily looked at by townsfolk as adequate members of society. This meant no sanctioned races for them, which meant they had to do it on their own. The idea of rebelliousness with the now addicted speedfreaks became a main staple in American society.

Bakersfield Residents Are Fed up

The town itself seems to be at witts end when it comes to street racing. Every Thursday at 11 pm, the race is on! With anywhere from 20-100 cars flying down the street, engines blaring and music blasting. The main issue that residents are facing is that these underground speed demons are whipping through neighborhood streets where families live. The cause for concern is more than there, and residents have complained, but their complaints are falling on deaf ears.

The Police Aren’t Solving The Street Racing Problem

As much as town residents have complained, the local police officials have their hands tied. It appears that there isn’t much that the police can do to offer assistance to residents with this problem. Pedestrians have called out for help but it appears to have fallen on deaf ears. With one family offering to have their 10-year old girl scout direct traffic. Other than that, the police haven’t necessarily gone out of their way to stop anything.

Residents Are Scared

Many residents have pointed out that Bakersfield, itself, is host to the 7th most deadly city in America for pedestrians. With 21 deaths at the start of 2019 alone as opposed to the 20 deaths for the full years of 2017-18. As of December 2019, there were 4 deaths alone. The noise makes it hard to sleep for may residents.

Will BPD Do Anything?

Perhaps. Maybe if even more people complain then they will do something but in the meantime, the question remains: How many more bystanders are going to be in danger due to lack of enforcement?

Yamato Express: Leading Trucking Company

December 13, 2019

Yamato Express is a name you might have heard before, or not. When researching the Forbes Global 2000 list for this year, we came across the trucking section to find that a US company was not at the number 1 spot. In fact, the largest rucking company in the world hails from Tokyo.

One of the Oldest Trucking Companies in the Tokyo

Yamato has its roots in the early 20th century. In 1919, Yamato was founded by Koshin Kogura, who began with ¥100,000 in capital and four new trucks. The planning for the company was crucial due to the rapid expansion of Japanese trade and shipment. Within the course of a few years, Yamato had established itself as a premier parcel carrier service. At that time, it was contacted by Mitsukoshi, one of Tokyo’s premier, high-end caterer of goods. Within a few months, they had gained an even further reputation by becoming appointed by the Imperial household as their main courier provider.

Yamato Express Moves Forward During Wartime

By the mid 19th century, the looming threat of WW2 hung over the heads of many. With the United States firebombing of Tokyo, Yamato stepped up as the main delivery service for the city. When the war was over, Yamato became the number 1 provider for goods and services for postwar restructuring. The American efforts to restabilize Japan’s devasted establishment meant an opening for shipping products outside of the mainland. This began international shipping across the Pacific. Yamato established its first logo which is their primary logo today. The logo consists of a yellow background with a black cat. The black cat is seen carrying a smaller cat. This symbolizes that they take great care of their shipping of goods and parcels. By the 1950s, their logo was widely recognizable from Tokyo to New York City.

Post War – Now

Since the establishment of Japan’s finest courier service, the company has made immense strides and branching out to further its international services. From the post-war on, Yamato has established a pretty consistent timeline of success.

1960:Yamato begins handling freight to New York, in conjunction with Japan Airlines and other airlines.

1969:The company computerizes all of its operations.

1971:Yamato opens a representative office in New York.

1976: Introduction of Yamato’s Takkyubin service.

The early 1980s: Partnering with UPS. This establishes a worldwide delivery service.

1986:Yamato introduces its collection service.

1996:The company establishes a logistics unit to help companies with their distribution.

1998:Yamato creates an online mall for retailers who need shipping services.

1999:Yamato forms an alliance with a Taiwanese company to provide courier service to Taiwanese consumers.

2000:The company spins off its logistics unit, forming a new subsidiary.

2001: Yamato begins courier service in Taiwan.

Lane Lines – Who Made Them?

November 18, 2019

A Brief History of Lane Lines

You’re driving down the street and you’re stuck in traffic behind a massive semi truck. You see the lane next to you moving far faster and decide to switch. Congrats! Now you’re moving along and ready to get to where you need to go on time! But how did Lane Lines come to be?

These traffic patterns are due to what are known as Lane Lines. If you drive, you know what they are. Each lane is set to accommodate traffic proportionately and effectively in order to move fluidly.

Pope Boniface VIII set the precedent for these guidelines way back in 1300 AD when Rome was the host for a Catholic Jubilee. Different sets of lines were set in the center of roads in order to create traffic patterns. These patterns indicated where specific types of transportation were to drive. Horses, carts as well as foot traffic were indicated by specific colors. Pope Boniface was the vanguard for modern Lane Lines.

Lane Lines

By 1600 AD the America’s (specifically, modern day New Mexico) had optimized this concept further by adding colored stones which would separate each lane in a “coming and going” type fashion. Then, in 1792 France as well as the US adopted the “Keep to the Right” policy which wasn’t readily accepted until the automobile was developed. Higher speed traffic required more emphasis guidelines to protect individuals.

Establishment of Modern Lane Lines

1929 marked substantial growth for the automobile industry. Statistically, at this point, there were 86 cars per 1000 individuals in the United States. This was a time of transition from standard horse-and-buggy to self operating engines. With the drastic increase of automobiles, came auto accidents. Safety became the focal point for drivers.

By 1930, The National Conference on Street and Highway Safety promoted Lane Lines. This provided the modern groundwork for what we have today.

Best Job Ideas If You Enjoy Driving

October 8, 2019

Do you dream of the road? Can’t stop picturing yourself behind a wheel? Do you long for a road trip or that new car smell? Maybe you move better on wheels than on your own two feet?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, maybe you should start considering a career in driving. It can be a bit of an odd choice if no one around you works on four (or more) wheels. But, let’s be honest, there are many jobs out there for people just like you.

Many of the jobs might even allow you to mix driving with something else you also love. Because, why not get two for the price of one? Here you have a recollection of some of the best jobs you can give a try if you love driving as much as we do!

Trucker

This one can be one of the most obvious ones. But it is very popular for many reasons! Don’t forget to take a look at this list of reasons why being a trucker is actually one of the best jobs ever!

Bus Driver

This option can also make you enjoy driving all day long. It can also give you a chance to meet new people as they come and go from your vehicle. And remember, you can always choose the kind of bus you want to drive. It can be a local one, a school bus, a tour bus or a route that goes out of town to explore the world out there!

Food Trucks

This one is for those that love food and at the same time can’t get enough of driving. This restaurant on wheels allows you to share your cooking skills with the world. Plus, you get to pick and choose your location every day! Many food trucks have a social media platform or a website where they let you know where to catch them each day.

And, if this didn’t convince you, a study showed that it is around $20,000 cheaper to open a food truck than a restaurant. It’s all perks!

Traveling (Insert Anything Here)

You can also be a traveling “whatever you want”. You can maybe be a traveling doctor, or a traveling harpist, or a traveling waiter. You can almost do anything on the road these days. Plus, this allows you to offer your services in a wider area from where you are based.

Traveling Guide Writer

If you love writing as much as you love traveling in your car, you can make a career out of it. Maybe you have read Kerouac’s On the Road too many times, but if you are definitely feeling the pulling of the road-related storytelling, this might be your ideal job.

Besides, remember that many big Travel Guide companies, like Lonely Planet, for instance, offer a variety of positions for people willing to write road trip guides. So, what are you waiting for?

Uber

This option came along with the millennial era of technology. But the convenience of this job is clear. Uber, or Lyft, or any of the other similar apps, are not only super convenient for passengers but also for drivers.

If you choose to try a career driving for Uber, you will be able to create your own schedules and decide when to work and when to relax at home. You can work night shifts if you are a night person. Or you can decide which areas of the city you want to drive around. This job also allows you to meet a lot of new people and get to know way better your way around the city.

Chauffeur

Maybe you like driving people but don’t really care for someone new coming and going every few minutes. Then, maybe you can focus on driving just one special person or for a special company that you like. Being a chauffeur is much more comfortable, from the car you will be driving to the tips you might be getting. Who knows, you might even wind up driving someone famous!

Delivery Services

This one can also be adapted to multiple kinds of services. Nowadays, you can deliver food, a mattress, and weed, all in the same day! The delivering world is also getting bigger and bigger. Since many people lead busy lives or maybe they don’t own a car, a lot of customers have started to order most everything. From groceries to about any Amazon product. And someone needs to deliver it!

Valet Attendant

If you like trying cars or sitting inside luxurious vehicles, this might be your best chance while earning a wage. Maybe the drives won’t be too long or too far, but you will probably try so many cars that you will become an expert. And not everybody gets the chance to drive fancy sports cars for a living. Also, don’t forget about those juicy tips!

Ambulance Driver

If you feel like Medicine was your calling but you think you missed it, this is good news for you! It is never too late to get into it from the driving perspective. You can be an ambulance driver or drive a paramedic’s van to anywhere they might need to go.

This job will also allow you to realize one of those lifelong dreams everybody has. You will be able to speed and run over all the red lights and pass all the slow cars. And all legally!

Tow Truck Driver

This is a strange job to pick since you will be pissing off a lot of people and you might even get called a bad word or two. But you will help implement the parking laws of a certain city or area. It should almost be considered a civil service.

Driving School Teacher

Some people love driving as much as they love teaching. This is the perfect job to be able to share your driving knowledge and pass it on. After all, someone had to do the same for you, probably. You can work for many kinds of driving schools and you will feel so proud when your students pass their tests and get their licenses. Besides, just imagine being regarded as a mentor. Sounds cool, doesn’t it?

Runner

If you live in Southern California, it is very likely that you feel surrounded by the Entertainment Industry. And maybe you even hear of a lot of job opportunities in that field. In case you want to give that artist life a try, you can always do so without renouncing to drive too!

Runners, and usually Production Assistants (PAs) too, tend to spend more time on the go than on the actual set. A runner is the one that brings and takes away everything. They need a lot of stuff to make a story come to life and they will need transportation for the material and for the catering food and sometimes even for the talent (aka the actors). Maybe, that could be you!

Sports Car Racing

Finally, if what you like are speed and racing cars and strangely-long driving challenges, this is definitely your call in life. Many people have made a name for themselves by speeding. You will get to travel to some of the best circuits in the world. And you can even have or be a part of a team. If you know what Le Mans is, this job is for you!

What do you think of these job ideas? Have you tried any of them? Do you have any other recommendations for your fellow drivers? Don’t forget to leave your comments!

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.