Raman Dhillon


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1. Is data currently available that can accurately record loading, unloading, and delay times?

There are no devices that function to exclusive or accurately record delays in loading, unloading, or dock times. With ELD’s companies are able to manually extrapolate how long a truck has been at a shippers location.  This is an estimation and not a definitive or practical way of determining detentions.

2, Is there technology available that could record and delineate prompt loading and unloading times versus the extended delays sometimes experienced by drivers?

Carriers and truckers are operating on very tight margins. Increasing the compliance and recording responsibilities for trucking companies and drivers would be adding an unfair burden on to them. Warehouses, produce sheds, and shippers are important stakeholders in the transportation process. The responsibility and ultimately the benefits realized from increased efficiency will benefit them as much as their transportation partners. Technologies to record and capture the individual components of the loading/unloading process are best-performed parties ultimately responsible for understanding the bottlenecks and making changes to expedite the process.

3. How can delay times be captured and recorded in a systematic, comparable manner?

A potential solution might involve a driver checking in and out at a third party administer portal at a shippers location with their CDL.

4. Could systematic collection and publication of loading, unloading and delay times be useful in driver or carrier business decisions and help to reduce loading, unloading and delay times?

The ability of a transportation company to understand how long a shipper takes to load and unload is an important part of the pricing and resource utilization decision. Currently, carriers rely on institutional knowledge and experience to make estimates of how long shippers will take to load and unload.

5. What should FMCSA use as an estimate of reasonable loading/ unloading time? Please provide a basis for your response.

Reasonable waiting times for carriers need to take into consideration the commodity that is being transported.  Highly automated warehouses, shipping boxed dry freight can not be compared to produce shed shipping refrigerated fresh fruit from the field on a 100-degree day.  FMCSA would benefit from a study period sampling various shippers to establish a baseline of reasonable times. From this FMCSA and the industry can work towards reducing times.

6. How do contract arrangements between carriers and shippers address acceptable wait times? Do these arrangements include penalties for delays attributable to a carrier or shipper?

Carriers who have direct shipper contacts have some clauses related to shipper delays.  Because the balance of power is in favor of shippers these are generally non-negotiable and oftentimes onerous. Carriers have very little ability to negotiate these terms, and no general industry standards to compare them to.

7. What actions by FMCSA, within its current statutory authority, would help to reduce loading, unloading and delay times?

When drivers are delayed at shippers they typically are not performing any active work.  They’re relaxing or sleeping. FMCSA should reconsider assigning waiting time to not count towards a 14-hour daily shift. Another consideration might be a new category of time or exemption.  In instances where drivers are delayed more than 3 hours at a shipper, the time is not counted towards their daily 14.

Volvo Dynamic Steering (VDS), a world-class technical innovation, is an ultra-responsive steering system designed to lessen steering force up to 85%, helping reduce driver fatigue and increase road safety. VDS will be available as an option in the Volvo VNL and VNR models in early 2020.

“Drivers are the trucking industry’s biggest assets, and opportunities to increase driver recruitment and retention are top-of-mind for our customers,” said Chris Stadler, product marketing manager, Volvo Trucks North America. “Providing state-of-the-art features that improve drivers’ physical working conditions and comfort is an important aspect of driver satisfaction, as well as increasing overall productivity and road safety.”

VDS is an active steering system that features an electric motor mounted on top of the hydraulic steering gear. Input from multiple vehicle sensors, at over 2,000 times per second, determine the appropriate steering wheel response. The system continuously monitors drivers’ actions, environmental factors, and road conditions faster than the blink of an eye. The motor provides additional torque when needed to keep the truck safely on the road. This supports driver reactions with greater control and less abrupt maneuvering.

First launched by Volvo Trucks in Europe, VDS is ideal for diverse and changing terrains and automatically adjusts to handle any roadway condition. From rough roads to tight maneuvers in urban environments, VDS can help drivers navigate unexpected situations such as potholes and rapid tire deflations, providing up to nine ft.-lb. of torque in the steering column. Key VDS features include:

  • Vehicle Stability Control leads to increased directional stability on the highway, which offers a more relaxed and safe driving experience with full control at all speeds.
  • Return-to-Center or Zero Return enables the steering wheel to return to the center position when the vehicle is in motion, making it easier to reverse the vehicle and maneuver in tight areas.
  • Dampening allows the steering system to filter inputs from the road surface and, based on feedback from multiple sensors, helps improve handling and vehicle stability.
  • Lead/Pull Compensation provides a torque offset within the steering system to compensate for crowned roads, steady crosswinds and other short-term conditions that can affect handling.

With more controlled steering, VDS helps reduce operational fatigue by filtering road vibration and noise through the steering wheel. Repetitive motions due to varying roadway conditions and maneuvering actions could cause physical discomfort, which can be lessened when using this system. In fact, testing has shown that VDS has the potential to cut muscular strain by up to 30% and for some specific motions, strain can be reduced up to 70%.

“Volvo Trucks’ new feature brings value and support to our customers and professional drivers,” said Stadler. “With the VDS system, we see increased productivity for our customers and decreased fatigue for drivers. In addition, it contributes to improved stability and control of the vehicle, thereby increasing road safety.”

New dual-facing dash camera and asset tracker deliver fleet safety and asset visibility

KeepTruckin, a leader in modern fleet management solutions, today announced the release of its KeepTruckin dual-facing Smart Dash cam and KeepTruckin Asset Gateway to help fleets maximize their revenue and reduce operational costs. KeepTruckin’s latest hardware solutions extend its platform to provide visibility into equipment, trailers, and driver risks to help fleets improve their business operations.

“Smart devices inside and outside of the cab are creating enormous data sets, but that data lacks context and isn’t actionable. Deploying a modern fleet management solution integrates data from a rich variety of sensors to create a full view of a fleet’s operations, ultimately providing better utilization of assets and helping drivers make better decisions on the road,” said Jai Ranganathan, VP of Product, KeepTruckin. “The introduction of these two new hardware products is the next step forward in building KeepTruckin’s broad portfolio of innovative solutions to make the transportation industry safer and more efficient.”

The KeepTruckin Asset Gateway helps:

  • Streamline trailer dispatch by automatically pulling location reports on all of your assets so you can pick the best trailer for the job, saving hours of manual check time per week.
  • See equipment and trailers in real time no matter the environment. Powered by a built-in solar panel and battery, the Asset Gateway logs GPS data every minute and sends that data to the KeepTruckin Dashboard every five minutes, approximately 24 to 144 times as often as leading competitors, giving you better visibility into the real-time status of your assets.

The KeepTruckin dual-facing Smart Dash cam helps:

  • Fleet owners gain a new layer of visibility into what is happening in the cab, which helps verify that drivers are making safe decisions. Added context has the ability to reduce collisions on the road and exonerate drivers, with the American Trucking Association (ATA) reporting that the other party is at fault over 80% of the time.
  • Safety managers tailor real time coaching alerts to drivers. The ability to recognize driving trends and deliver feedback has a direct impact on a fleet’s safety score and operational costs. Findings by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety note that video-based on board safety monitoring systems, in combination with driver feedback and coaching, can result in up to a 52% reduction in critical safety events per 10,000 miles.

“Incidents on the road can occur in a blink of the eye, and unless you have irrefutable and unbiased proof of what actually happened it can be challenging to prove your drivers weren’t at fault,” said Robert Strileckis, Safety Compliance Coordinator, Commercial Roofing Specialties Inc. “How our drivers act on the road is a direct reflection on our company and our reputation, so making sure they are safe and compliant is a top priority. Having dash cameras and technology like driver-facing video tags is a step in the right direction because it gives us confidence in our drivers’ actions and how we conduct business on the roads.”

The KeepTruckin Dual Facing Smart Dashcam and KeepTruckin Asset Gateway are available to all customers. Visit the KeepTruckin blog to learn more about how full visibility into the location of your assets and what’s happening in the cab can make your fleet safer and more efficient. Contact the KeepTruckin team at or 844-325-9230 to talk about how a modern fleet management solution can benefit your business.

About KeepTruckin

KeepTruckin is a comprehensive fleet management platform that consists of the KeepTruckin Electronic Logging Device (ELD), KeepTruckin Electronic Logbook App for iOS and Android, the KeepTruckin Smart Dashcam, and KeepTruckin Asset Gateway to seamlessly connect vehicles, drivers, and fleet managers. The KeepTruckin App Marketplace offers customers a catalog of customizable integrations that can improve operational efficiencies and increase productivity to save fleets money. KeepTruckin is trusted by over 55,000 for hire carriers and over 250,000 vehicles to make them more efficient, safe, smart and reliable. To learn more about KeepTruckin visit

Volvo Trucks introduces dynamic maintenance, a connected vehicle maintenance service which seeks to improve fleet operations efficiency through proactive and flexible vehicle-specific maintenance planning. The service is designed in partnership with Noregon Systems, an IoT (Internet of Things) company specializing in connected vehicle solutions.

“Volvo Trucks is committed to increasing uptime, knowing the value it provides to fleet managers and owner-operators whose businesses depend on their trucks’ ability to stay on the road,” said Ashraf Makki, product marketing manager at Volvo Trucks North America. “Dynamic maintenance is designed to optimize planned downtime by enhancing maintenance planning.”

Volvo Trucks’ new dynamic maintenance service further expands its partnership with Noregon Systems and opens up new capabilities with vehicle telematics. The new service uses existing connected technologies and data analytics, combined with Noregon’s platform, to enable customized service plans to an individual-vehicle level to improve fleet operations efficiency.

“We are pleased to expand our longstanding relationship with Volvo Trucks,” said Tim Bigwood, Noregon’s CEO. “Customers recognize that Volvo has a history of investing in opportunities that directly influence their vehicles’ uptime and we are grateful to assist in those initiatives.”

Dynamic maintenance leverages intelligence from vehicle data analytics using enhanced software features from Volvo Trucks’ Remote Diagnostics systems, Volvo Trucks’ ASIST service communications platform, combined with Norgon’s Trip Vision Interface. It allows a more accurate approach to planned maintenance needs, and replaces traditional ‘set-mileage scheduled’ service appointments. Currently, dynamic maintenance is specific to powertrain-related maintenance services in Volvo Trucks.

“The expanded partnership with Noregon enhances the customer interface, bringing the decision-making process closer to the customer through the dealer to enhance service efficiency,” said Makki. “This allows customers to further improve efficiency in their operations and cut down on potentially unneeded, routine maintenance costs and associated downtime.”

Following in the footsteps of last year’s California Supreme Court’s Dynamex decision regarding misclassification of employees, the New Jersey Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Labor have joined in an agreement to help protect workers such as truck drivers and Uber drivers from being treated as independent contractors and denied full employee benefits.

The agreement has made New Jersey a “misclassification battlefront,” according to Greg Feary, a partner with the law firm of Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hanson & Feary, P.C., lawyers representing the transportation industry.

“It’s political and union-inspired. The misclassification issue tends to be a blue state-red state issue. New Jersey, along with California, Washington and Illinois are examples of blue states that are being very aggressive on the issue of misclassification, and trucking is among the top industries they’re looking at. Whether you want to be an independent contractor or not, the state has said we’re going to extend the social welfare umbrella over to protect you,” said Feary.

The joint agreement is a result of a report commissioned by first-term New Jersey Democratic Governor Phil Murphy which found that 12,315 workers were misclassified with $462 million in wages underreported as well as $14 million in unemployment, disability, and family leave insurance. The report also said that up to 30% of employers misclassify at least one employee as an independent contractor.

Phil Murphy NJ Governor

“Workers misclassified as independent contractors are ineligible for the wage and overtime protections afforded to employees, and can find themselves underpaid and without basic labor and OSHA protections,” said New Jersey labor officials.

The state and federal cooperation agreement “adds teeth to labor enforcement efforts by promoting coordinated investigations and shared resources,” the two agencies said in a recent statement. “The partnership sends a strong message to unscrupulous business owners that misclassification laws are being strictly enforced,” the statement continued. 

The issue is at the forefront of concerns for the trucking industry. American Trucking Associations Richard Pianka, deputy general counsel, labels the new report as a “shot across the bow” at the industry. “New Jersey has definitely been actively hostile to the independent contractor model in trucking,” Pianka said. “No question about that. New Jersey is becoming a very difficult environment for the independent contractor model,” he concluded.

Pianka also believes that New Jersey state agencies are “illegally interpreting” existing laws to make it very difficult for “motor carriers to satisfy the statutory criteria with respect to unemployment insurance.” Agencies continue to narrowly construct the state’s statutory exemption for owner-operators under the unemployment statute, according to Pianka.

Trucking industry leaders are particularly concerned over the usage of the ABC test which came as a result of Dynamex. The three-headed ABC test mandates that a worker should be considered an independent contractor if they are A) free from the control and direction of the hiring entity, B) perform work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business and C) is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation or business of the same nature as the work performed. 

Carriers tend to struggle with the “B” section of the test because it is almost impossible for carriers to clear this stipulation if they plan to use independent contractors. In California, legislation making the Dynamex decision a state law is pending in the legislature.  

Volvo Trucks North America is introducing the next generation of its Turbo Compound technology, providing up to an additional 3% improvement in fuel efficiency over the current 13-liter Turbo Compound engine, the D13TC. This new engine delivers up to 11% fuel savings overall compared to model-year 2015 trucks. Other improvements include enhanced efficiency over a wider range of applications, more engine ratings, and a new EE Extra Efficiency drive mode. The new D13TC will be available for order in the fourth quarter of 2019 and go into production at the end of the first quarter of 2020.


“We developed our first generation of the Turbo Compound engine in 2017, and since then almost 300 million miles have been logged, validating the up to 8% fuel-savings benefits,” said John Moore, product marketing manager at Volvo Trucks North America. “This new D13TC builds upon this game-changing engine technology, further increasing fuel efficiency by up to 3% over the current D13TC engine, saving approximately $1,200 per year per truck, based on the average fuel price and 125,000 miles per year.”

Volvo Trucks’ new D13TC offers three individual drive modes, Dynamic Torque, an additional 405 horsepower rating, and the next evolution of the Volvo Trucks’ patented wave piston design. These updates enable further-increased fuel efficiency over a wider range of loads, vehicle speeds and engine RPMs. This offers a broader use of applications compared to the first generation of the D13TC engine, which was designed specifically for over-the-road, long-haul applications for trucks loaded at 80,000 pounds.

The three individual drive modes available with the new D13TC engine are Extra Efficiency, Economy, and Performance. These modes will allow the driver to better optimize fuel efficiency for the vehicle with desired performance, depending on application, topography and driving conditions. This new engine also features a wider RPM efficiency band, which enables top fuel efficiency for longer periods of time

Dynamic Torque is an incremental torque system designed to provide the right torque at the right time. Rather than operating in silos of high-torque and low-torque modes, Dynamic Torque automatically sets a torque level dependent upon the weight of the truck, the grade and the road conditions at any given time. Dynamic Torque also features an automatic 12th gear lockout on heavy loads with Adaptive Gearing engine ratings. A kick-down switch along with performance drive mode allows access to full torque for customers requiring it on demand. This simpler, more effective system on the new D13TC engine will provide an even more consistent improvement in fuel efficiency across different applications, enabling customers to cut costs on a wider range of operations.

The new engine also features a revised wave piston, designed and patented by Volvo Trucks. The improved design optimizes wave technology to evenly distribute the air/fuel mixture in the cylinder, burning the fuel more consistently than a traditional piston. Volvo’s design increases the compression ratio from 17:1 to 18:1 while maintaining up to a 90% reduction of soot in the cylinder, further improving fuel efficiency in the engine.

“The individual drive modes allow drivers new heights in fuel efficiency without sacrificing performance. We are also taking it to the next level with a simpler torque package that delivers the right torque at the right time,” said Moore. “Not only is it cutting edge when it comes to sustainable use of diesel in the transportation industry, but it is the most fuel-efficient Volvo engine on the market for our customers, with trucks running cleaner at a reduced cost.”

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on changes to hours of service (HOS) rules to increase safety on America’s roadways by updating existing regulations for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers.  

“This proposed rule seeks to enhance safety by giving America’s commercial drivers more flexibility while maintaining the safety limits on driving time,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

“FMCSA wants drivers and all CMV stakeholders to share their thoughts and opinions on the proposed changes to hours of service rules that we are putting forward today. We listened directly to the concerns of drivers for rules that are safer and have more flexibility—and we have acted.  We encourage everyone to review and comment on this proposal,” said FMCSA Administrator Raymond P. Martinez.

First adopted in 1937, FMCSA’s hours of service rules specify the permitted operating hours of commercial drivers.  In 2018, FMCSA authored an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) to receive public comment on portions of the HOS rules to alleviate unnecessary burdens placed on drivers while maintaining safety on our Nation’s highways and roads. In response, the Agency received more than 5,200 public comments.  

Based on the detailed public comments, FMCSA’s proposed rule on hours of service offers five key revisions to the existing HOS rules:

* The Agency proposes to increase safety and flexibility for the 30-minute break rule by tying the break requirement to eight hours of driving time without interruption for at least 30 minutes and allowing the break to be satisfied by a driver using on duty, not driving status, rather than off duty. 

* The Agency proposes to modify the sleeper-berth exception to allow drivers to split their required 10 hours off duty into two periods: one period of at least seven consecutive hours in the sleeper berth and the other period of not less than two consecutive hours, either off duty or in the sleeper berth. Neither period would count against the driver’s 14‑hour driving window.

* The Agency proposes to allow one off-duty break of at least 30 minutes, but not more than three hours, that would pause a truck driver’s 14-hour driving window, provided the driver takes 10 consecutive hours off-duty at the end of the work shift 

* The Agency proposes to modify the adverse driving conditions exception by extending by two hours the maximum window during which driving is permitted.

* The Agency proposes a change to the short-haul exception available to certain commercial drivers by lengthening the drivers’ maximum on‑duty period from 12 to 14 hours and extending the distance limit within which the driver may operate from 100 air miles to 150 air miles.

Click for FMCSA Ray Martinez announcing changes

FMCSA’s proposal is crafted to improve safety on the Nation’s roadways. The proposed rule would not increase driving time and would continue to prevent CMV operators from driving for more than eight consecutive hours without at least a 30-minute change in a duty status.

In Addition, FMCSA’s proposed rule on hours of service regulations is estimated to provide $274 million in savings for the U.S. economy and American consumers. The trucking industry is a key component to the national economy—employing more than seven million people and moves 70 percent of the nation’s domestic freight.

The public comment period will be open for 45 days. 

The Federal Register Notice, including how to submit comments, is available here:


Despite promises from the Trump Administration that the economy, fueled by a 2017 multi-trillion-dollar tax cut, would continue to grow at 3% the reality is that GDP figures show a slowing economy, down to 2.1% in the second quarter of 2019. This has hit the trucking industry particularly hard as many companies vastly increased capacity last year amidst record high freight shipments.

Oct 5th & 6th at Cal Expo in Sacramento CA

Expecting white-hot growth to continue, many carriers used 2018 profits and tax cuts to buy a record number of new commercial trucks. At the same time, however, cargo volumes have shrunk and some are saying the U.S. is in a “freight recession.” 

Other factors have contributed to the slowdown, including bad weather, trade uncertainties and weak growth in overseas markets such as China, which is experiencing its largest economic downturn in more than 25 years. 

The current market is in contrast to last year’s situation which combined high freight volumes with limited capacity to send shippers scurrying to book transportation as demand reached record levels. 

In a stark reversal from last year, retailers and manufacturers have the advantage, often causing them to wait until the last minute in booking carriers, making prices far more unpredictable than they would be if contracts were negotiated ahead of time.

Not surprisingly, the average spot market price was down nearly 20% from last year to $1.89 per mile. In fact, in June of last year, there were six shipments for every truck compared with only three this year.

“Relative to last year at this time, there is less demand for capacity and that, coupled with an oversupply of trucks, means there’s little to no spot freight and all truckload prices have come down dramatically,” said Doug Waggoner, chief executive of freight broker Echo Global Logistics Inc.

This overcapacity has led industry leaders to slash profit outlooks. A spokesman for Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings Inc. said that “the oversupply of capacity in the truckload freight market” was lowering revenue per loaded mile, an important measure of pricing stability. Arizona based Knight-Swift saw revenue down 6.7% from the same quarter a year ago.

Likewise, Arkansas based J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. has also seen operating income fell 10% because of higher costs, preventing the company from meeting analyst predictions. Other big companies have also seen lower demand. Nebraska based Werner Enterprises saw only modest growth, up just 1%, causing it to lower its 2019 outlook for one-way truckload pricing. Werner expects rates to remain flat, down 3% from last year.

Nevertheless, trucking manufacturers are in full swing to meet order backlogs and carriers continue to take delivery of new trucks. “Freight as we measure it is growing at less than 1% in 2019,” said Kenny Vieth, president of transportation industry data provider ACT Research. “Our modeling suggests that we are adding about 7% to the U.S. Class-8 market capacity…. So the supply-demand equilibrium is tilting away from truckers right now.”

On the bright side, however, consumer confidence has surged recently, up 4.3% in the second quarter of 2019, and most economic forecasters do not predict a recession during the remainder of the year.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced a proposed rule to reduce burdens and costs for commercial driver’s license (CDL) applicants by allowing applicants to take general and specialized knowledge tests in a state other than the applicant’s state of residence.  This proposal will increase flexibility for driver applicants by reducing time and travel expenditures while having no detrimental impact on safety.

To promote further flexibility in the CDL issuance processes, FMCSA proposes to allow driver applicants to take the CDL knowledge tests in states other than the applicant’s state of domicile.  Under this proposed rule, a state would not be required to offer the knowledge tests to out-of-state applicants.  However, if the testing state elects to offer the knowledge tests to these applicants, it would transmit the results to the state of domicile, which would be required to accept the results.

“Reducing burdens and expenses on CDL applicants has the potential to increase the number of available drivers.  With the American economy continuing to grow at a record pace, the need for more commercial drivers is critical.  This proposal offers commonsense regulatory changes that will help CDL applicants, without compromising the safety,” said FMCSA Administrator Raymond P. Martinez.

FMCSA has been focused on reducing regulatory barriers for CDL applicants.  In March 2019, the agency authored a final rule streamlining the process and reducing costs to upgrade from a Class B to Class A CDL— a deregulatory action that will save eligible driver trainees and motor carriers $18 million annually.

Additionally, in June 2019, the Agency published a deregulatory proposal to streamline and simplify the process by which states are currently required to conduct skill tests for individuals seeking to obtain a CDL.  With the goal of reducing administrative costs and helping to alleviate testing delays, this proposal will eliminate needless inconvenience and expense to CDL applicants.

The proposed rule will have a 60-day public comment period.  A copy of the proposal, which includes information on submitting comments to the Federal Register docket, is available at:

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s annual Operation Safe Driver Week is going to be focused on speeding. As we all know speeding is the main factor in all motor vehicle fatalities.

Law enforcement officers during the week will be looking for speeders during the week while promoting the message: “Late won’t kill you, speeding will.”

In addition to speeding, law enforcement will be looking for other dangerous driving behaviors, including distracted driving, texting, failure to use a seatbelt, following too closely, improper lane change, reckless or aggressive driving, failure to obey traffic control devices, evidence of drunk or drugged driving and more.

Last year, nearly 11,000 citations were issued to truck and bus drivers. Law enforcement pulled over or inspected more than 42,000 commercial vehicle drivers during 2018’s Operation Safe Driver Week and issued 10,709 citations and 29,908 warnings for unsafe driving. The top five citations issued were for violations of state and local laws (6,008 citations), speeding (1,908), failing to use a seat belt (1,169), failure to obey a traffic control device (754) and using a handheld phone (262).