Transportation News for Nov. 7 – Nov. 13

Truckers turn to GPS to find their way

Trucking and navigation industry representatives say the market for global positioning systems in trucks is climbing as drivers work to trim miles to beat high fuel prices and tighter shipping demands. Commercial truckers who have relied on the global positioning system for years to track loads or predetermine routes now say they use it as real-time, turn-by-turn navigation to make themselves safer and more efficient.

Rising costs and a downturn in markets often lead businesses to become more efficient and turn to technology to decrease costs and increase their bottom line.  The current economic sluggishness is no different in this regard.  One interesting side effect is an increased adoption of GPS devices by transportation service providers.

Although the US military has been using satellite based positioning since the 1960s, consumer GPS was deliberately inaccurate for security purposes until the mid-1990s.  Adoption since has taken off rapidly, with increasing accuracy and decreasing costs.  The best selling phone in the US has GPS and navigation devices can be purchased for as little as $150 putting the system within reach of the average consumer.

Transportation service providers are naturally flocking to these products as well.  Being a tech-savvy set, uShip members are no different in this regard.  We are interested to hear how uShip members are using GPS navigation.  Do you find that it does indeed save you time and money?

White House clears hours-of-service rules

Details on the final hours rules, which respond to a July 2007 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, won’t be available until FMCSA publishes them in the Federal Register. In late December 2007, FMCSA issued an interim final rule holding the most recent regulations – including the challenged 11 hours of daily driving and 34-hour restart of cumulative work limits – in place pending another round of comments.

After three attempts, the new hours-of-service rules seem ready to be finalized.  Although final details have not yet been released, the changes look to be significant.  One of the biggest changes expected is a regulation requiring the use of electronic onboard recorders by service providers who have a history of hours-of-service infractions.  The regulations would also encourage the use of EOBR by all carriers by providing incentives.

Gear up and ride

Rockwood Products, the custom truck component manufacturer, and Nashville’s Spec Records have teamed up to offer a compilation of fresh country and Southern rock tracks called “Truckers Tracks, Vol. 1 (Saddle Up and Ride).” Among notable performers/writers on the CD is Johnny Neel, formerly of the Allman Brothers band.

Music To My Ears

Have you ever noticed how certain kinds of music reflect upon your driving skills? I have noticed myself how when I am listening to the alternative music my oldest likes, I tend to drive a bit faster. Outside of not being able to “head bang” down the road, I guess this is ok, but it makes me wonder, if I am driving a bit faster to this high tempo music – does it make other drivers aggressive in some way?

Headphone TeddyListening to music on the road is one of life’s greatest pleasures.  That’s why we were happy to see two of our favorite blogs write on just that topic this week.  One of our developers, Owen, wrote about trucking songs previously and it was obvious by the comments we received that our readers had strong opinions on the topic.  “Truckers Tracks, Vol. 1” would be an excellent addition to any service provider’s music collection.

We at uShip are also opinionated on what we enjoy listening to while we drive.  Heather from our CTS team enjoys music that makes her happy—especially young Michael Jackson.  Product associate Caitlin takes a different route and enjoys going cerebral with This American Life and Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!  Office manager Gillian has been listening to New Kids on the Block on repeat lately and developer Mark listens to a wide range of music but loves electronica at night because it keeps him up and going.  What about you, uShippers–what do you like to listen to when you’re out on the road?

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