GPS History: Now and Then

GPS tracking has become quite an essential part of today’s society. Whether it’s being used to navigate across the country, Monitor valuables, or simply to keep tabs on our kids, it’s undeniable that we rely on this service far more than we’re aware of. But when did this GPS technology come to be? How did it happen? According to NASA, GPS has its origins in the Sputnik era when scientists were able to track the satellite with shifts in its radio signal known as the “Doppler Effect.”

“Since then, global positioning systems have had a major impact on the way society lives.” Says AJ Agrawal at Business.com.  “The technology is relevant in every industry in the world in some capacity. Social media platforms have integrated GPS software to allow for geotagging and location posting. Essentially, GPS technology is making the happenings of the world detectable, capable of being tracked and more preventable.”

Global positioning system applications are generally split into 5 major categories:

  1. Location – determining a position
  2. Navigation – getting from one location to another
  3. Tracking – monitoring object or personal movement
  4. Mapping – creating maps of the world
  5. Timing – bringing precise timing to the world

Some of the applications that GPS systems are currently being used for around the world include mining, aviation, surveying, agriculture, marine, recreation, and military. These days doctors, scientists, farmers, soldiers, pilots, hikers, delivery drivers, sailors, fishermen, dispatchers, athletes, and people from many other walks of life are using GPS systems in ways that make their work more productive, safer, and easier.

What Are GPS Systems Used For?

The applications of global positioning system (GPS) technologies are only limited by our imagination. GPS systems are extremely versatile and can be found in almost any industry sector. They can be used to map forests, help farmers harvest their fields and navigate airplanes on the ground or in the air. GPS systems are used in military applications and by emergency crews to locate people in need of assistance. GPS technologies are often working in many areas that we do not normally consider.

Who Uses GPS?

Some of the applications that GPS systems are currently being used for around the world include mining, aviation, surveying, agriculture, marine, recreation, and military. These days doctors, scientists, farmers, soldiers, pilots, hikers, delivery drivers, sailors, fishermen, dispatchers, athletes, and people from many other walks of life are using GPS systems in ways that make their work more productive, safer, and easier.

Truck Driver Accident Procedures Part- I

Accidents are those unfortunate mishaps you never want to face irrespective of your business line. Needless to say, the consequences of truck accidents are serious and often harsh. They therefore put a lot at stake. In addition, you can have the FMCSA monitor your company and other companies involved in the accident as well. As bitter as the truth could get, there is no way to strike out accidents altogether. They are bound to occur at some point or the other, be it for your fault or the fault of another. However, there are ways to minimize the risk of an accident. Taking preventive measures can sure reduce the frequency of truck accidents.

In case of truck accidents, it is crucial that these measures are taken seriously as these accidents have a much larger impact in comparison with normal car accidents.

Truck accidents cause grave injuries disrupting the mental status of everyone involved in the mishap. The seriousness of these accidents can never be underestimated. So, What causes these incidents to happen? How can they be avoided? In case of an accident, what are the immediate steps to be taken?

Trucks on road come with their own set of rules and procedures in case of an accident. Here are a few immediate steps you must take in case of an unfortunate collision.

Stop Your Vehicle

No matter how small the hit, it is very important to pull up and check if the person you have banged is alright. If possible, for best investigation, leave the vehicle in the same position as it came to rest right after the collision. You don’t want a hit and run case, therefore, do not leave the accident scene until the investigation is completed. Staying at the accident site will also help you gather more information about the accident for further help with investigation.

Who All Are Injured?

Check how many vehicles and pedestrians are involved in the crash. It is important to first cater to your own immediate needs. If you can move about without much pain, check on the other people involved in the accident and offer help.

Call 911 (The Police)

In case of an accident, call the police immediately. In most cases you would be dialling 911. If the accident has occurred on the highway then your call will be routed to your local law enforcement agency and emergency responding official as part of procedure. Give them exact information about the number of casualties so they can arrange for required number of ambulances.

What if the accident is very minor and there is less injury? Even in this case you will need to call the police. You need to document the accident right away and have records maintained of all involved vehicles by the police for further investigation and record maintaining purpose.

First Aid and Medical Attention

Accidents often lead to internal injuries. Although you may look fine on the outside, you may have some internal bleeding, blood clots, hairline fractures, etc. These injuries may show no symptoms immediately. However, it is important to get yourself and the people involved in the accident examined by a medical professional to remove any sign of doubt for the same. The sooner you have this examination done, the better it is, as any delay would cause confusion in case of an internal injury. It would be difficult for a doctor to say if the injury had really occurred from the accident or not if medical attention is procrastinated. This would also hamper medical insurance claim and cover.

Collecting Information from the Accident Site

If you are not as injured and are safe to walk around the accident scene, you should try to collect as much information as you can in order to help with investigation.

Usually, what looks like a minor incident at first, turns out to be a major one later on. Hence, collect all contact information of every individual involved in the accident. Onlookers can prove to be beneficial as eye witnesses too. If possible, take down their contact numbers as well. Here is a list of information you need to look for;

  • Names, contact information, addresses, of all victims involved in the accident, and all the witnesses present around.
  • Note down the insurance policy number and information of all victims.
  • The VIN numbers, vehicle model and make, license number of driver and license plate number of the accident involved vehicles.
  • All the property damaged during the accident and injury information.
  • Police and ambulance service information. Also, gather information about the tow truck.
  • The time and location of the accident
  • Description of the accident
  • Road condition, weather at the time of accident and the lighting condition

Take Pictures and Capture Videos of the Site

Soon after the accident has taken place, there is much evidence to capture that may not be easily visible to the naked eye. Photographs can prove the fault of the person owing to the vehicle position, skid marks, injuries etc.

These pieces of evidence may prove to be very helpful in case of any future legal action as well. Snap all the damaged vehicles, skid marks, landmarks and intersections at the accident spot. Do not leave out anything that could add body and proof to the incident taken place.

The accident may have you a little traumatized and hence you are more likely to forget bits and pieces of crucial information later on. Record an audio of the mishap as soon as possible to avoid loss of any information. Videos on the other hand, can be more useful.

Truck accidents often take a long period of time to reach a conclusion in court. These pieces of evidence can therefore help with faster decisions for judgement in case of any legal action.

Gather Witnesses

Absolutely anyone who saw the crash take place could be a witness. However, taking down the statement of a witness is the job of the police.

If the accident is a serious one, there is a thick chance your witnesses would disappear after offering needful help and may also slip away from the sight of the police due to the emergency situation. Therefore, as it could be almost impossible to find these witnesses again, it is important to collect their contact information as soon as possible.

Examine Your Vehicle Soon After the Accident

Even though the accident must have been a minor one, it is extremely important to get your vehicle appraised. However, there is a procedure to be followed for this. Hence rushing to your local repair guy and getting your vehicle examined may not be the best idea.

After an accident, you can claim insurance for the repair of your vehicle. Each insurance policy has its own rules depending on their company. While some companies may demand accident photographs, some may allow towing the vehicle to the company authorized repair station. If you do not follow the rules as per your insurance policy, you may not be able to claim insurance over damage. Comply with the rules in your policy and follow procedure accordingly to make the best of your policy.

In case of an employed truck driver, you may need to contact your employer so that he can contact the insurance policy company for further assistance.

Let Your Lawyer Do the Talking

It is very important to keep mum over the accident details after the happening. Do not flow in emotion and spill out words you would probably regret saying, later. There is a thick chance you have understood the situation wrong too. Maybe everything happened in such a jiffy that you hardly could make anything from what has actually taken place. So it is best to keep calm and keep quiet about the incident. Even if you feel you were at fault, do not be too quick to admit it. Narrate the whole incident to your lawyer and make statements only after you lawyer’s wise advice.

Make sure you do not reconstruct the accident with wrong information. It is also extremely important to take care that you do not lie about any happening during the accident. Hence, if you are unsure and confused due to the trauma of the accident, it would be best to keep silent on the matter till you seek advice from your lawyer.

Maintain the same rules in case you feel the other person is at fault. Do not get into trash talking or an unnecessary fight. This could stand as wrong doing in case of further legal action.

Keep Social Media at Bay

Keep only your family and friends in the loop. This should be done over call or message, strictly offline. Do not post any pictures or videos of the accident online to draw undue attention. For that matter even if you see a post of your accident online, avoid commenting or stating anything about it, since you know better.

Social media posting could call for legal action that would simply add to your trouble. Such actions could also hurt your case in court. Absolutely anything you say online could be used against you in court. Even if deleted later, there can be screen shots for proof. There could also be eye witnesses to a deleted post who could testify the post in court. Therefore, it is very important to stay off social media for a while or keep posts related to the accident away from the online web.

Hire a Lawyer Who Handles Truck Accidents

This is the first thing you need to do after finding yourself in a truck accident, being the truck driver. The sooner you appoint a truck accident lawyer, the more beneficial it would prove to be to your case in court. If you are seriously injured, contact a family member to get you a lawyer. A truck accident lawyer can help in multiple ways. The lawyer will help you recover lost wages in the present and future (until recovery from accident) both. He can also help you with the settlement cost of the accident. He would look into the matter of medical treatment cover and other insurance covers as well.

Most accident cases get complicated due to the involvement of two or more parties along with the shipper, manufacturer, employer of the driver and the trucking company. As a truck driver, you may not have sufficient information for dealing with this legality, therefore a truck accident lawyer is extremely important for you to handle such cases with ease.

Soon after an accident, you would need to work closely with your insurance company to avail cover for the damage incurred. However, it is not a mandate that you have to talk with an insurance company official about the accident details soon after the happening. There is no rule as such either. You could always ask for time to hire and consult a lawyer before you make any statements to any official.

It is crucial that you understand that the insurance company official is not a friend although he expresses concern and sympathy for your situation. Most of the times it is just part of their job to be extra polite to get the right words out of your mouth. Although it may sound like the official is favouring you, you must remember even that is only a part of his job. Insurance companies earn their money by paying out less settlement and damage costs.  Mostly an “I am fine” or “I am good” response may give you a smaller settlement amount than deserved.

Therefore it is indeed wise to hold back your emotions and consult a lawyer before making any statements to anyone about the unfortunate accident.

The aforementioned points are the immediate steps a truck driver should take after finding himself in a truck accident, provided he is lucky enough to not be wounded badly. However, in case of a serious injury, most of these steps may not be possible. It is still important to call the police in case of an accident to seek help with the same.

For more information on truck driver accidents, why do they occur? What can be done to avoid such accidents? Does the incident qualify for an accident? If yes, how to go about with the legal procedure? And general rules to follow after the truck accident, refer to our part 2 blog of Truck Driver Accident Procedures.

ELD Mandate – Who Is Exempted?

TO ELD or not to ELD?

By the end of December 2017, every motor carrier and driver falling under the scope of ELD rule was required to have implemented electronic logging device in their vehicles. As per the mandate, all motor carriers and drivers required to maintain Record of Duty Status (RODS) need to use an ELD. The rule also applies to all commercial buses and trucks, as well as to drivers who are native of Canada and Mexico. Commercial motor vehicles using AOBRDs are exempted from the rule till the end of this year, and are required to shift to ELD by December 16, 2019.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration released the ELD mandate on December 10th, 2015. It was an amendment of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations – an improvement to established suitable rules for:

  • Performance and design standards of electronic logging devices related to hours of service;
  • Mandatory use of electronic logging device by drivers needing to document Record of Duty Status;
  • Necessary supporting documents regarding HOS; and
  • Protect drivers from possible harassment at the hand of motor carriers in relation to information collected from ELD or related technology.

The mandate comes with an eld compliance date. The reason behind this mandate was to ensure strict compliance with the rules of hours of service, thereby improving working conditions for the drivers, as well as making roads safer. However, the rule does not apply to all drivers and motor carriers, and there are some exceptions.

There are certain major exemptions that every commercial motor vehicle carrier and driver must know. What are they? Let’s see.

  1. ELD Rule Exemption for Vehicles Manufactured Before 2000: The most important technical requirement to install an electronic logging device that has been certified by the FMCSA and is also compliant with its rule, is the presence of an engine control module. Vehicles and engines manufactured before the year of the 2000 did not have an ECM (engine control module). That is why a vehicle that was manufactured before 2000 is exempt from mandatory installation of an ELD. However, it is important to note here, that sometimes drivers and motor carrier opt for an updated engine, and replace the older one. This can either be through a gilder kit, or simply by swapping the engines of two vehicles. In such cases, the manufacturing date of the engine is considered. So even if the vehicle was manufactured before 2000, but the engine is from 2000 or later, the vehicle will be required to install an electronic logging device. Also, if the engines are swapped, a post-2000 commercial motor vehicle can have a pre-2000 engine, and therefore will not need to have an ELD.

The documentation of proof of age of vehicle or engine is not required to be kept with the driver at all times. However, the motor carrier is responsible to maintain proper records of any change on the motor and engine of all commercial motor vehicles it has in its fleet, according to 49 CFR Part 379 Appendix A.

  • The 100 air mile exemption: The term “air mile” is internationally known as “nautical miles”, and 100 air miles are actually equivalent to 115.08 miles or 185.2 kilometers. Under this exemption, any interstate driver with CDL who travels within 100 air miles radius of the work location, does not have to get an ELD in his/her vehicle. But to avail this exemptions, a driver is required to fulfill certain conditions.
  • A driver must travel only within a radius 100 air miles of their starting location – the workplace.
  • A driver must start and end the day at same location. They must report back to their work location at the end of the day.
  • A driver’s workday must not ne longer than 12 hours.
  • A driver must have 10 consecutive hours of rest after every 12 hours of work shift.
  • During the 12 hour duty period, the driver must not drive for more than 11 hours.

In case of roadside inspection, the driver must inform the safety officer that they are exempt from keeping records in the vehicle as they are operating under ‘100 mile radius exemptions’, and that the necessary records are kept at the carrier’s office.

Also, if for some reason the driver has travelled beyond the 100 miles radius, or has driven for over 11 hours, or has been driving throughout the day without taking a break, the driver must use a regular log. The regular log can either be paper or electronic.

Sometimes, the work reporting locations for a driver can be different. In that case, the driver cannot avail of the exemption when he starts a day at one location, and at the end of the day, has to report to another. But this is only for the day he makes the switch from one location to another; he can use the exemption in following days.

A driver can drive as many miles as required, given that they stay inside the 100 mile radius. This is to ensure that they can report back to work location at the end of the driving shift.

A driver can still drive a commercial motor vehicle that has an electronic logging device and avail of the exemption. How to proceed with the using the exemption depends on the motor carrier. He can either ask the driver to log into the ELD and opt for “exempt driver” in the system, or can ask the driver to not log into the ELD, and attach an explanation to the unassigned driving time logged due to driver’s movements. Comment for explanation must give a detailed account of the reason behind driving a vehicle with ELD under exemption.

  • The 150 air mile radius exemption: This exemption is very similar to the 100 air mile radius exemption, except it applies to drivers that do not have CDL and therefore cannot operate in any state that requires a CDL to drive. 150 air mile is equivalent to 172.5 miles. Here are the other conditions that a non-CDL driver must follow to benefit from the exemption:
  • They must not drive a vehicle that requires a Commercial Driving License.
  • They must operate within 150 air miles radius of their reporting location.
  • At the end of the day, they must come back to their work location.
  • In a period of 7 consecutive days, they must not drive more than 14 hours in 5 days.
  • In a period of 7 consecutive days, they must not drive more than 16 hours in 2 days.

The driver must log paper or electronic records in case he travels beyond the 150 air mile radius. However, this rule applies when the driver is beyond the 150 air mile radius; once the driver is back within the 100-mile radius, he is again exempt from ELD rule.

  • Drivers who maintain Records of Duty Status (RODS) for eight or less days: Short haul drivers sometimes drive beyond their exempted limit (refer to points 3 and 4 above), and have to maintain a paper log. However, if they break the exception for 8 or more days in a period of 30 days, they will be required to use an ELD for the rest of the period. This exemption helps the drivers that occasionally go beyond their driving radius in not upgrading their logging system. It also ensures that the drivers do not misuse the eld short-haul exemption to get out of mandatory installation of the electronic logging device.
  • Driveaway –Towaway Operations: According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, driveaway-towaway operations mean – where an empty or unloaded motor vehicle has one or more sets of its wheels on the surface of the roadway, and is being transported:
  • Between two or more facilities of a vehicle manufacturer;
  • Between the facility of the vehicle manufacturer and location of a dealership or any other purchaser;
  • Between a dealership’s or any other sellers’ facility and purchaser’s location.
  • To a motor carrier’s repair or service area or facility for repair of damages caused due to a crash;
  • To a motor carrier’s repair or service area or facility for repair of damages caused due to vehicle component or system failure; or
  • By means of saddle-mount or tow-bar.

           So, there are two driveaway-towaway exemption – one, when the CMV is being driven to be delivered at some place, as a part of a shipment, and two, when the CMV requires extensive repair. Apart from these two conditions, a driver of a driveaway-towaway has to use an ELD to record the logs.

  • Farm Vehicles: Privately owned farm vehicles that are used to transport commodities such as livestock, machinery or supplies are exempt from ELD rule of using electronic logging device. This exemption, however, does not apply to all agricultural vehicles and equipment.

The FMCSA has been considering a few other ELD exemptions:

Exemption
  1. Exemption for Small Carrier: In May 2018, a bill called Small Carrier Electronic Logging Device Act was introduced to the US House of Representatives offering an exemption to small motor carrier (that have 10 or less vehicles) from using an electronic logging device to record the Hours of Service data. The authority to create and edit the parameters of the ELD rule lies with the FMCSA. However, this was the first change that was suggested through a legislation. Recently, in March 2019, the bill was re-introduced to the US House of Representatives. It was introduce, backed by the belief that small motor carriers can efficiently operate by using paper logs, and that mandatory use of ELD will only result in complicating their operations. The proposed bill has not been accepted on the date of publication of this article.
  2. Exemption for Agricultural Business: This bill was also re-introduced to the US House of Representatives in March 2019. The legislation asks for exemptions of all agricultural businesses, and gives them the freedom to choose between using paper logs and an electronic logging device to monitor their hours of Service. The proposed bill has not been accepted on the date of publication of this article.

It is highly unlikely that the above mentioned proposed changes to ELD exemptions will be accepted. This is because it’s been a year that ELD mandate was introduced, and it has indeed increased the safety of the roads, improved working conditions for the drivers, and also improved proper adherence to the rules of HOS.

Even if a driver or a motor carrier is exempt from using an ELD, it does not mean that they cannot use it. There are several benefits of installing an electronic logging device that drivers and motor carriers must consider:

  • Safety: ELDs, with proper fleet management solution, can keep a track of exact location of the CMV. This ensures that the driver is following the predetermined route. It also helps to reroute in case of traffic congestion or any other reason. Knowing the real-time location of a vehicle can also help in fast retrieval in case of theft or hijacking.
  • Fuel Efficiency: ELDs can track bad driving behavior which may cause excess use of fuel, like speeding or hard braking. Also, with route management, fuel can be optimally used without any unnecessary wastage.
  • Paperwork: ELD can record most data automatically, and can also keep historical data. The data can also be transferred to the Safety office whenever required. Integration with FMS allow automatic generation of important reports, thereby saving time as well as recording accurate and authentic data.
  • Fleet Management: Even when the fleet is small in size, ELD can help in better allocation of work to available vehicles. As it is installed within the OBD II/J1708/J1939 port, it can provide engine diagnostics and vehicle’s health report, allowing for maintaining a service schedule and avoiding major repair costs.

If you are looking for an ELD that suits your requirement, contact Matrack Incorporation for some of the best eld devices for owner operator. We have designed a breakthrough piece of technology – MA-ELD Classic . It is FMSCA approved electronic logging device, with Bluetooth technology for uninterrupted connectivity. Some of its brilliant features include:

  • Voice activated status change
  • Violation Notification
  • Low fuel alerts
  • HOS logs
  • Real time and Idle Time tracking
  • Accident reporting
  • Maintenance Check alerts

For more information on our ELD and fleet management services, get in touch with us!

The Ultimate Packing List For A New Truck Driver

Now that you have your CDL, you must be pretty excited to get on the road. One of the most important things about life as a truck driver is packing for the journey. You never know what you could need. But just for that reason, you cannot pack your entire belongings. You need to pack just the right things. Matrack incorporation presents you with the ultimate packing list, which every seasoned truck driver swears by.

  • Clothes and baggage: You will be on the road for 10 or more days. You cannot rely on laundry as fewer truck stop offers that service. Before starting your journey, read the weather forecast for the days and areas you will be traveling, and prepare accordingly. Keep a warm coat and a rain jacket always handy. Also, pack a few extra handkerchief and pair of socks. Keep a separate bag for clothes that need to be washed. And don’t forget your sunglasses for those sunny days.
  • Toiletries and medical kit: Although you can get a toothbrush at any truck stop, packing a small kit with necessities for shaving and shower will be more cost-saving.  If you are on any medication, make completely sure that you pack extra dosage, just to be prepared for any delay. You can also pack adult bath wipes, disinfectant wipes paper towels, garbage bags, as well as a small laundry kit.
  • Bedding: Truckers need rest. After having driven for longer periods of time, you will need a comfortable place to sleep in. A comfy pillow, blanket and a change of sheets will do for a week’s travel.
  • Snacks: Trucking profession is not one of the healthiest ones. You are mostly sitting in the driver’s seat. Also, most truck stops do not serve healthy food. So you can get one step closer to better health by packing healthier snacks like protein bars, fresh fruit, vegetables and hummus dip, mixed nuts, frozen fruit bars (if the truck has a fridge), beef jerky, and more. If you are more of a DIY enthusiast, you can also pack a small stove, a crockpot, some disposable plates, and spoons, and make yourself a hot meal wherever you want.
  • Entertainment: Trucking is a pretty lonely job, and you definitely need entertainment. You can carry all your favorite movies and songs on your laptop. If you love reading books, keeping an e-reader or having a few audio-books will be better than carrying physical books. If you love photography, you can carry a small point-and-shoot camera, especially for those sunrises and sunsets. You can also invest in a good Bluetooth headset if allowed by your company and be in touch with your family and friends at all times.
  • Maps: Even though you have GPS and your smartphone, it is always advisable to have the map or atlas of the terrain you are going to travel. You might not get a Wi-Fi or internet or phone service everywhere, and a map will come handy on such a situation.
  • Money: Carry all the debit and credit cards you have. But also carry some cash and checks for remotely situated areas.
  • Tool Kit: Your truck may break down anywhere, and you will need to undertake minor repairs before help arrives. Also, have a set of durable gloves for handling the repairs.
  • Stationery: You will need a binder, to keep all documents in one place. A small notebook and a few pens will also help you keep track of things and make notes. You can also get a few envelops to store receipts.
  • Charger: In modern times, we do not leave the house without our phones. So keep a charger and a battery pack for extra usage.
  • Paperwork: Most important thing – your paperwork. Keep copies of your license, identity proof, insurance cards, emergency contacts, medical certificates and prescriptions, and all of your CDL endorsements.

For the duration of your travel, the truck will be your second home. So go ahead and decorate it if you want. Keep a small succulent, a snow globe, and frames with pictures of your family – anything to make the cabin of your truck feels like your home. Happy Journey!

The Future Smart-City; Quayside, Toronto

Alphabet Sidewalk Labs, Google’s parent company, is collaborating with the Canadian government on a high-tech project that would transform Waterfront Toronto’s dock and industrial land into the future smart-city; Quayside.  The Wall Street Journal reported that the 12-acre development is expected to cost $1 billion dollars. Alphabet Sidewalk Labs plans for Quayside to have autonomous cars, high-speed internet, robots doing work such as mail delivery underground, and embedded sensors that would track energy usage.  The network of sensors would also gather data on everything from air quality to noise levels.  According to Sidewalk Labs, some of the benefits of the Quayside neighborhood would be “sustainability, affordability, mobility, and economic opportunity.”  The preliminary illustrations of the neighborhood include bike-share systems, apartment housing, bus lines, and parks.  The planned self-driving shuttles could form a transit system that doesn’t rely on private cars, and the neighborhood’s renewable energy system could act as a blueprint for other locations. Check it out for yourself on YouTube and see if Quayside will be the model city of the future.

America’s Truck Driver Crisis

 Without truck drivers, shelves in the grocery store would run empty, clothes would begin to disappear from display racks in department stores, and convenient online shopping would cease to exist. Have any of us thought of the important role that truck driving plays in each and every one of our lives?   It’s an essential profession to ensure the timely transportation of goods and assets throughout our country.  Yet America has an ever-increasing truck driver shortage; which is turning into a crisis. At the end of 2017, America had a shortage of 51,000 truck drivers. That number had skyrocketed from a shortage of 36,000 drivers in 2016.  It’s expected that the truck driver storage may even triple by 2026

What exactly is causing the truck driver shortage crisis in America?

  • Low Income

Drivers spend day and night on the road in difficult living and working conditions, yet receive little pay.  According to a study done by The Business Insider, it revealed that since 1980, on average, median wages for truck drivers have decreased by 21%. In some areas, they’ve declined as much as 50%.  With salaries plummeting so low, many truck drivers feel the inconvenience of the job doesn’t match the salary; thereby causing a large turn-over rate in the industry. The truck driver turn-over rate with large carriers (those with more than $27 million in annual revenue) went up in the second quarter of 2018, rising 4 percentage points to an annualized rate of 98%. That’s the highest rate since 2015.

  • Increased demand

With the advent of 2 days guaranteed shipping from companies like Amazon, it has made it possible for consumers to have packages delivered straight to their door within 48 hours or less. Yet, do we as consumers even consider how this convenience is made possible to us?  With the high demand for such services, the result is an increased demand for drivers.  Last Christmas, America saw the highest retail sales in years as freight-volumes soared at record-breaking levels.  With a shortage of drivers to meet such high demands, according to the New Food Economy, the American Trucking Association fears the shortage will rise even higher this year.

  • Dangerous Working Conditions

According to a study done by The Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2016, truck drivers had the highest number of fatal injuries compared to any other job.  It proves to be more dangerous for those operating transportation vehicles on the roads, compared to water or rail transportation. Most eighteen wheelers, without any oversize weight permits, weigh in at a massive 80,000lbs.  That is a big responsibility for truck drivers to manage while trekking cross country at about 70 mph on the freeway.  Even if they themselves are extremely cautious and alert, they cannot control other drivers’ reckless and negligent behavior.  Also many drivers on duty face extreme weather conditions like blizzards, high winds, freezing rain, and searing heat.  This causes some truck drivers to feel that the risks of truck driving are not worth the pay.

  • Loneliness

Truck driving essential equates to sacrificing your personal life; spending extended time away from family and friends.  For long-haul drivers, this may not just mean a few days or weeks even.  Unfortunately, it could be months before they see their families again.  When it comes to mental health concerns for truck drivers, loneliness is at the top of the list.  According to The Business Insider, nearly a third of drivers say being alone all day and away from their families is a significant issue that affects their overall well-being.  According to one survey, it was found that of the 3,500 truck carrier personnel surveyed, 41% of drivers leave to spend more time at home, and another 21% leave because of health-related reasons.

With online shopping and consumerism as a whole on the rise, we cannot expect the demand for truck drivers in our country to decrease anywhere in the near future. To ensure the continuation of the timely delivery of affordable goods throughout our country, the trucking industry must recognize the challenges that their drivers experience while on duty.  Drivers should be compensated with proper wages and more flexibility in work schedules to allow drivers to have both improved working conditions and overall quality of life.

Top Reasons ELD Compliance Saves Money

We all know that being compliant with the ELD mandate is something that is on every trucking company’s mind.  As the saying goes, “time flies” and the December 16, 2019 deadline will be here before we know it.  While many might fear that installing ELD devices in their trucks will mean a big cut in their budget, in reality, ELD device installation may actually save companies large amounts of money in the long run.  Let’s take a look at it.

Top 3 reasons how ELD compliance saves you money:

  1. Avoid Heavy Fines:

Making sure that you have an ELD compliant device installed in every truck is key to saving money and protecting your business. Non-exempt drivers are facing severe penalties for not complying with the ELD mandate. Fines for ELD violations could range from $1,000 to $10,000. According to the North American Transportation Association, a failure to comply with 395.8(a) has an average fine of $2,867. By using Matrack’s ELD devices, you can make sure your drivers are keeping up with all FMCSA requirements, so when the DOT audits them, no money will be wasted on unnecessary tickets.

  1. Save Money on Fuel:

It’s been observed that idling, speeding and aggressive braking can all lead to unnecessary fuel consumption and wear and tear on the vehicle, thereby wasting money as well.   Idling can consume large amounts of fuel.  According to The US Department of Energy, “Idling a heavy-duty truck consumes about 0.8 gallons of fuel per hour. Even when diesel costs as little as $2.50 a gallon, fuel for just one 10-hour rest period will then cost $20. Typically, a long-haul truck idles about 1,800 hours per year, using about 1,500 gallons of diesel. Argonne National Laboratory estimates that in the U.S., rest-period truck idling consumes up to 1 billion gallons of fuel annually at a cost of around $3 billion.”  Aggressive driving such as speeding, rapid acceleration, and braking also wastes gas. According to a study done by researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, it can lower gas mileage by roughly 15% to %30 percent at highway speeds and 10% to 40% in stop and go traffic.  This can equate to losing about $0.25 to $1 per gallon.   It’s literally not just the gas that is guzzled, but money as well.  By using one of Matrack’s ELD compliant devices you will be able to track the speed, braking, idling and more of your drivers in real time and make sure that money is no longer wasted.

  1. Cut Insurance Costs

The use of ELD compliant devices will keep a better check on drivers and improve driver safety.  Insurance premiums are currently based largely on CSA scores.  ELDs are connected directly to the truck’s engine which allows carriers to monitor driver safety and identify risky behavior that results in higher CSA scores.  In addition, ELDs can provide the insurance industry with additional data to consider when determining risk models.  This can reduce the impact CSA scores have on insurance premiums.   Lastly, using ELD compliant devices will automatically make sure that drivers don’t exceed their driving limit which will ultimately prevent accidents due to driver fatigue and save endless lives and money.

Don’t waste time, the ELD deadline is just around the corner check out Matrack’s ELD device and find out how you can save time and money too!

Fleet Management Nightmares And How To Avoid Them?

Fleet Management software revolutionized the way we do business and manage our assets. Fleet owners are now realizing that it’s one of the most important tools that can drive additional profit and allow them to take control of their fleet and manage costs.

If you’re a fleet manager, here are three fleet management nightmare situations that you can avoid before they happen.

  1. Fuel Costs – One of the greatest challenges is the cost of fuel, but there are a number of measures you can take to help keep fuel costs in check. Smart planning, budgeting and mitigating the variable cost of fuel will help.  Add Matrack’s GPS technology to the mix as it will let fleet owners monitor their drivers’ behavior, preventive maintenance schedule, and determine optimal routes; allowing them to take action and save money on fuel.
  1. Regulatory Compliance – Enforcement of regulations are increasing, and you and I can expect more regulations to come. Take ELD as an example.  ELD mandate is intended to make it easier and faster to accurately track, manage, and share records of duty status (RODS) data. Some drivers and fleet owners are going straight for the ELD, but they are missing out on the freedom that comes with choosing the automatic onboard recording device (AOBRD) regulation. Matrack will help you stay in compliance – all the time. Matrack clients will also benefit from their free upgrades policy – that means that when the mandate hits the ELD phase in December 2019, Matrack has you covered!
  1. Paperwork – Last but definitely not least, is the good old paperwork.

                    …Did you check, monitor and track each vehicle’s odometer for preventive maintenance?…

                    …Are you keeping tabs on receipts, fuel logs, and state mileage for taxes?…And…

                     …Are you still having fun?…

These are the stuff that nightmares are made of! But seriously, paperwork doesn’t have to be paper-based and Matrack solves all this with accurate, reliable and real-time data that you can access at your fingertips.

Get in touch with Matrack now and banish all of your fleet management nightmares… letting you sleep soundly

(just don’t let the bedbugs bite) 😊

Our Technical Support; Our Lifeblood

Excellent technical support and customer service is the lifeblood of any business.

At Matrack, we pride ourselves with great customer service since day one. We strive to provide you with the best products and excellent support in the industry. But don’t just take our word for it, here’s what our customers have to say:

Wow! Well, the service is great.

“Wow! Well, the service is great. I would tell everyone about it. It’s a great way to keep an eye on the kids and for other things as well.”

— Patrick Cavanaugh, Metroplex Gifts

I am really happy with this company

“Just want to say first and foremost that I am really happy with this company I would not go to a different company.  The customer service is excellent every time I need something they are right on it I will keep adding more GPS systems to my company. These people have never let me down. They are always there for technical support, customer service, whatever I need they’re there for me I am recommending this company to anyone out there that’s interested in a GPS.”

— David

Excellent customer support

“Must emphasize the excellent customer support which is invaluable to a well-crafted product! Value for money and a happy customer!”

— Raj

Focusing on providing a great experience isn’t just Matrack’s protocol, it’s in our culture. Visit us at MatrackInc.

Matrack’s AMEX Fuel Card; Turning Your Expenses Into Profit

Introducing Matrack’s AMEX Fuel Card; Turn your Expenses into Profit Center

Matrack’s Amex Fuel Card is a simple, yet powerful solution for drivers and fleet owners.

Credit cards or cash are the easiest way to keep paying for fuel but fuel cards offer more benefits for you and your

drivers. What is it that makes fuel cards a better alternative? 

  • Online Transactions

All transactions are recorded online, no need for upfront payments or to worry about receipts.

  • Control 

You will have the ability to specify which driver can buy fuel.

  • Hassle free 

Fuel cards can have more benefits than just simply getting a discounted fuel. You and your staff will spend less time

tracking expense forms, trying to figure out who paid for what.

  • Tracking fuel usage 

With a fuel card, you can monitor your fleet together with your GPS management software, such as their routes,

mileage, and where and how often they are stopping.  This is very important in analyzing the data for you to figure

out the quickest route for your fleet; thereby saving you more money in the process.

It doesn’t end there!  Some Fuel cards, such as Matrack’s Amex Fuel card, offers a 1.5% early pay discount, gives

you up to 60 days to pay with no interest,  provides you with real-time fraud alerts, helps you identify credits,

refunds or exemptions for your fleet… and a lot more.

Head over to Matrack fuel card to find out why fleet owners and drivers think Matrack’s Amex

Fuel cards are one of the best.