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LITHIA, FL – UPS says it has successfully tested a drone that launches from the top of one of its famed package cars, delivering a package to a home and returning to the truck while the driver continues along the route.
The test was conducted in Tampa, Florida on Monday with Ohio-based Workhorse Group, which developed the electric truck and drone used in the test.
The Workhorse HorseFly™ UAV Delivery system includes an octocopter delivery drone that docks on the roof of the truck. A cage underneath the drone extends through a hatch in the truck. The driver loads the package into the cage and sends the rechargeable drone on its pre-set autonomous flight. It has a 30-minute flight time and can carry packages that weigh up to 10 pounds.
“This test is different than anything we’ve done with drones so far. It has implications for future deliveries, especially in rural locations where our package cars often have to travel miles to make a single delivery,” said Mark Wallace, UPS senior vice president of global engineering and sustainability. “Imagine a triangular delivery route where the stops are miles apart by road. Sending a drone from a package car to make just one of those deliveries can reduce costly miles driven. This is a big step toward bolstering efficiency in our network and reducing our emissions at the same time.”
Saving each of the company’s 66,000 delivery drivers just one mile per day over the course of a year can reportedly save UPS US $50 million.
“Drivers are the face of our company, and that won’t change,” Wallace said. “What’s exciting is the potential for drones to aid drivers at various points along their routes, helping them save time and deliver on increasing customer service needs that stem from the growth of e-commerce.”
“It’s wonderful to see this technology applied in such a practical way,” said Stephen Burns, Workhorse founder and Chief Executive Officer.
Last September, UPS staged a mock delivery of medication between Beverly, Massachusetts and an island three miles off the Atlantic Coast. Drones have also been used to deliver blood and vaccines to remote locations in Rwanda.
Wind has the power to ruin a lot of things. It can ruin your good hair day, it can ruin your umbrella and leave you soaked with cold rainwater, it can ruin your golf shot and it can ruin your... oh, ouch, it can definitely ruin your police car.
According to CBS News, wind gusts were up to about 90 mph in Wyoming when this wreck happened on Tuesday. CBS News reports that three state troopers were out on the interstate assisting drivers involved in other wrecks, and then, well, this happened:
The above footage came from a patrol vehicle parked in front of the pancaked one, and CBS News reports that no one was inside of the police car at the time the wind toppled the semi truck over. Neither the driver of the truck nor a passenger were hurt, according to CBS News.
CBS News reports that because of the high winds, the interstate was closed to lightweight, high-profile vehicles—in other words, semi trucks with light trailers that can easily start rolling in heavy winds—and that the truck driver got a citation for driving on it.
Heed the road warnings, friends, and stay away from semi trucks in the wind.
A tractor-trailer accident has closed southbound I-91 in New Haven Tuesday morning on Feb. 14, 2017. Traffic was backed up several miles. The accident that happened before 3 a..m. had southbound traffic being detoured off of Exit 4. State Police say the driver received only minor injuries, but had to extricated from the vehicle
A tractor-trailer truck hauling produce rolled over on I-91 early Tuesday, closing all of I-91’s southbound lanes in New Haven for hours.
State Police say the driver received only minor injuries, but had to extricated from the vehicle.
The accident that happened before 3 a..m. has southbound traffic being detoured off of Exit 4. Traffic is backed up several miles.
Five hours after the accident, two lanes remain closed.
The state Department of Transporation reports that another road is closed because of a tractor-trailer accident. DOT says Route 63 in Bethany is closed between Amity road and Pleasant Drive because of the truck accident that involves another vehicle.
State Police say there were no serious injuries in that accident, but a fuel tank ruptured on the truck.
Traffic is moving on I-95, I-84 and the Merritt and Wilbur Cross parkways with no accidents reported.
The slowest spots are in the usual locations: southbound on I-95 between Bridgeport and Fairfield and southbound on the Merritt from Trumbull to Exit 44 in Fairfield.
Trucks parked on interstate 5 in California. (Photo: Jerry Hirsch/Trucks.com)
There are more than 3 million truckers hauling about $725-billion worth of freight in the U.S. annually, and amid myriad on-the-job challenges drivers face – including health problems and time spent away from loved ones – finding a place to park their rigs at night remains a giant hurdle.
The U.S. suffers from a critical truck parking shortage for long-haul rigs.
That’s why a raft of mobile apps for smartphones and tablets – designed to guide truckers to safe parking – are popping up.
There is only parking for about 300,000 trucks, according to the Federal Highway Administration, or FHWA. Sanctuary is especially sparse along major trucking routes such as the I-5 corridor through Washington, Oregon and California.
More than 75 percent of truck drivers responding to an FHWA survey said they regularly experienced problems finding parking when rest was needed. Finding safe, available parking at night was an issue for 90 percent of drivers.
“Finding a safe place to park is a consistent issue for drivers in our industry,” Chris Spear, chief executive of the American Trucking Associations, said last year when talking about how apps could help alleviate the problem. “While we would love to see the number of spaces increase, tightening state and federal highway budgets will limit the opportunity to expand parking capacity for the foreseeable future.”
The ATA and other trade groups representing different sides of the industry have banded together to leverage the technology and tackle the issue.
NATSO, a national organization that supports truck stops and travel plazas, together with the ATA and the American Transport Research Institute, developed a free app, Park My Truck, based on similarly despairing feedback from truckers.
Park My Truck allows any parking provider to report availability through the app.
“Federally mandated rest and sleep breaks can sometimes force truck drivers to park in places that may not be the safest to rest,” said Barbara LaBoe, spokeswoman for the Washington State Department of Transportation, or WSDOT. “And in some areas there have been cases of robbery and even deaths.”
Truck cargo thefts occur at the rate of at least twice daily, according to FreightWatch International, a logistics security services firm. Of those thefts, 86 percent happen in unsecured sites such as public parking and truck trailer drop lots.
Additionally, from 2010 through 2014, 47 truckers were victims of homicide, according to the Bureau of Labor statistics.
Parking apps also promote road safety by getting tired drivers off highways.
There are hours-of-service regulations in place to enforce driving limits to 11 consecutive hours behind the wheel during a 24-hour period.
However, a 2016 truck parking survey conducted by WSDOT found that almost half of the respondents frequently drive fatigued as a result of insufficient truck parking, LaBoe said.
“Any driver on the road while drowsy is a safety concern to themselves and others, and that includes truckers,” she said. “By ensuring they’re able to meet their sleep needs, which are federally required, truck drivers are more alert and better able to react to changes in traffic.”
Well-rested truckers can react more quickly and have better awareness of their surroundings, meaning a safer driving environment for everyone on the road, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Locating secure, abundant truck parking that allows drivers safe haven and adequate rest is also an issue overseas.
Dutch businessman Niels de Zwaan, managing director of the Truck Parking USA and Truck Parking Europe apps developed the platforms after he observed a dichotomy of vacant and overcrowded lots while driving through Germany on a ski trip and wondered if truckers were even aware of their options.
There’s an industrywide problem with truckers finding a safe place to park, so why not develop an app that informs truckers on parking availability in the U.S. and Europe, De Zwann said.
“These truckers are the backbone of the American economy and deserve a voice and advocate for their safety,” De Zwann said. “Informing truckers about where they can find the best parking spots [according to their preferences] helps make their jobs easier.”
Other parking apps include Truck Stop & GPS Trucker Path, created by Austin, Texas-based Trucker Path Inc. This app provides drivers quick access to truck stops, open weigh stations and parking – including Walmart locations.
“Being a truck driver is an essential but dangerous job that requires much sacrifice and skill, not to mention a 70-hour workweek,” said Ivan Tsybaev, chief executive of Trucker Path. “Trucker Path is designed to assist truck drivers with real-time information that can save them precious driving time and money.”
Many of these apps rely on crowdsourced feedback based on trucker input. Trucker Path also gathers insight from the companies that lend property for parking – like Walmart – to keep the information current and accurate.
The company has verified parking spots at more than 5,000 truck stops, allowing drivers to see exactly how many spaces are at each location, Tsybaev said.
Private ventures like this help address the parking problem, transportation officials told Trucks.com.
“Adequate truck parking is a national and state concern, and it’s one that can’t be resolved by any one entity,” LaBoe said. “It will take strong partnership with public and private entities to jointly address this issue and seek solutions. WSDOT is committed to further strengthening those partnerships.”
The flatbed market continued to be the brightest of the three major spot truckload sectors last week, according to new numbers released by DAT Solutions, based on activity from its load boards.
The national average spot rate for flatbed freight hit $1.96 per mile during the week ending Feb. 11. That performance marked the fourth straight week of increases and a 4-cent jump compared to the previous week.
Flatbed rates in some lanes went well past the $2 per mile mark, but there were some exceptions:
All reported rates include fuel surcharges. This latest activity happened as the average national price of on-highway diesel added 1 cent last week to $2.57 per gallon.
The number of flatbed load posts last week rose 11% while truck posts declined 1%. This sent the flatbed load-to-truck ratio up 13% to 24.6 loads per truck nationally.
In contrast, average rates for spot van and refrigerated freight declined again, a typical pattern for January and February.
This happened as overall spot load postings on the DAT network increased 1.7% while the number of trucks gained 3.2%, indicating strong freight volumes and available capacity for this time of year, according to the freight-matching service provider
The reefer load-to-truck ratio slipped from 5.2 to 4.7 loads per truck nationally as the number of posted reefer loads fell 7% and capacity decreased 5% last week. The average reefer rate edged down 2 cents to $1.89 per mile.
The hot market for reefers was Miami, where there was a burst of potato shipments. The better-paying lanes out of Miami last week included:
Volume also spiked out of Lakeland, Florida, but it’s still too early for a seasonal surge of Florida produce, however, the availability of more loads in Florida is a welcome change compared to recent weeks, according to DAT.
Meantime, the number of van load posts declined 6% last week while truck posts increased 3%. That caused the load-to-truck ratio to slip from 2.6 to 2.4 loads per truck.
Despite the lower load-to-truck ratio, the volume of van freight rose 2.5% on the top 100 van lanes and is 2% higher than a month ago. This could a indicate a bottoming-out of van rates if volumes continue to climb.
The national average van rate fell 3 cents compared to the previous week, hitting $1.63 per mile, and gave ground in many major markets:
PALMER TOWNSHIP, Pa. - Neighbors and other township residents showed up in force Tuesday night to contest plans by trucking giant Werner Enterprises to build a training and maintenance building off Tatamy Road in Palmer Township.
But a decision was delayed, probably until April, by the Planning Commission, until a traffic impact study is completed in the coming weeks.
Traffic, noise and air pollution were among the concerns residents raised after Werner Enterprises presented the commission with its latest plans, which were scaled back after residents criticized the company's original plans last summer.
Werner's new proposal drops the truck driving school and lowers the height of the building by eliminating the third floor. About 70 trucks a day -- 35 in and 35 out -- will pass through the facility and truckers will also have only one way out of the facility: Newlins Mills Road, not Tatamy, trucking executives said.
Werner officials said GPS will alert monitors in the home office if a trucker strays off the designated route through a neighborhood and the trucker will be fired.
Despite those assurances, traffic was one of the major concerns in the audience.
"We're just being inundated by trucks," said Charlie Young. "It's endless and no one is looking at the infrastructure. No one."
Several people wore anti-Werner T-shirts that read, "No Werner in Palmer. Palmer is getting trucked. Just say no."
Palmer, especially the flat former farm lands flanking Route 33, has seen an explosion in the growth of mega-warehouses in recent years. Werner officials told the commission that warehouse developers are actively shopping the area where they want to build their facility.
Werner's appearance before the commission is just the first step in what could be a lengthy process. When the commission revisits the matter in April, it could recommend or not recommend its approval and send it on to the Palmer board of supervisors, which will hold a public meeting before taking a vote.
Werner said it has taken steps to lessen its impact on the neighborhood with its plans to build an 8-foot berm with trees on top and repeatedly stressed the building will have no loading docks.
"No one is going to have issues with our operation here," vice president Randy Kraft said. Werner has 13 similar facilities across the county and none have received complaints from neighbors."
DETROIT (WXYZ) - Amidst a heated political debate in Washington about how to best protect our nation's borders, federal agencies are turning their attention to ferreting out corruption within their own ranks and other law enforcement.
"We’re speaking of the anomaly here," said Aaron Poyer, who leads the Detroit Customs and Border Protection Office of Professional Responsibility. "That agent who succumbs to some life situation that they end up being somehow compromised or enticed by a criminal organization to go to the dark side."
This week, the Detroit offices of the FBI and Customs and Border Protection are launching a campaign against corruption at the US-Canadian border among agents and officers. While border corruption is most prevalent along the U.S and Mexican border, the head of the Detroit FBI says Michigan's border with Canada faces plenty of serious and unique threats every day.
"It might be allowing someone to bring in illegal aliens," said David Gelios, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit FBI. "It could even be facilitating the entry of a truck into the United States which might contain the components of a bomb."
Corruption among border agents doesn’t always make news, but it is a well-documented problem nationwide. Since 2004, 197 Customs and Border Protection Agents have faced corruption-related charges. Sometimes, those agents are in Detroit.
Only a few months ago, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent Clifton Divers was indicted, accused of conspiring with a Birmingham attorney to allow immigrants to avoid deportation. According to the indictment, Divers falsified official records, claiming that Albanian, Iraqi and Mexican nationals needed to stay in the U.S. because they were assisting in criminal investigations.
He did it, says the indictment, in exchange for more than $5,000 in free legal work. Divers is still awaiting trial. Last Fall, he entered a plea of not guilty.
"For those employees who are involved in facilitating illegal conduct," Gelios said, "they really erode away at the faith the public has in their government and their government officials."
Detecting border corruption isn’t easy. Just this month, six current and former TSA agents were indicted for their role in a massive smuggling operation that spanned 18 years—allegedly accepting bribes to help traffic more than 20 tons of cocaine into the US.
If there are dirty agents or officers here in Detroit, officials are hoping you’ll help blow the whistle. This week, they’re launching a new campaign aimed at soliciting tips. Billboards with the FBI's phone number have been popping up throughout the area asking for information, even if it’s anonymous.
"Somebody knows something," Poyer said. "Someone in the community, a neighbor, a family member, a co-worker. We’re hoping to reach out to people who sense something is wrong."
To report a tip of border corruption, you can call the Detroit FBI at 313 965-2323 or submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov.
This semi-truck in one of three involved in a fatal collision Monday in western Preble County. (WDTN Photo/Justin Kraus)
The Missouri man who died in a semi crash in Preble County Monday has been identified. The Ohio State Highway Patrol said speed may have been a factor in the crash that killed Theodore Stocker, III, 41, whose semi ran into the back end of a flatbed trailer.
Stocker worked for Swift Transportation. A search of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration showed Swift Transportation drivers have been involved in more than 650 crashes over the past two years, and of those crashes, 65 were fatal like Monday night’s multi-vehicle crash in Preble County.
Swift transportation has over 21,000 drivers on the road.
A Safety Measurement System report also revealed the company has roughly 40,000 inspections and 31-percent included violations.
Safety Measurement System Report:
Swift Transportation did not return our calls for comment.
Joanne Saunders started her food truck, Jo Jo's Chuck Stop (2102 Janitell Road, 491-3952), out of necessity — most of her customers are drivers for her husband's trucking company, Carefree Heavy Haul, where she worked for 12 years.
"There's nothing down there for truckers and other businesses in the area," she says. Since August 2016, she's been serving them breakfasts, burgers and Southwestern dishes — all with trucking-themed names, from the Trail King, a breakfast burrito, to the Peterbilt, her burger. Her truck and her schedule don't move around much. Her emphasis is on that core diner-base. She's been doing early morning breakfast at nearby Bestway Disposal, but that's about it.
Born in Germany to an Army family, Saunders grew up in the Springs, living in Security/Widefield and now on the Westside.
"I love to travel, I've been to a lot of places, but I'll always call this home," she says.
Between 1995 and 2002, Saunders worked for Western Omelette, eventually leaving to work for Carefree. But after her kids grew up, she found office life dull and returned to Western Omelette, working in a kitchen from 2014 until launching her truck.
"It took me a long time to figure out that this is what I want to do, I want to cook," she says. Her relationship with Western Omelette is still cordial — they're her commissary right now. But she's not serving their green chile. Her recipe uses Pueblo peppers from local farmers markets.
"I didn't want to change the flavor, so I stocked up on them," says Saunders. She later found a year-round seller in Denver, though once the growing season starts, she plans on buying peppers, lettuce and tomatoes from farmers markets once again.
John Sommers II for TT Penske Truck Leasing Co. opened a new location in Katy, Texas, providing full-service truck leasing, consumer and commercial truck rental and contract truck fleet maintenance services, according to the company. The location contains four services bays in a 20,000-square-foot building on 2.5 acres, according to the Reading, Pennsylvania-based company. “We have opened a Katy location to match our business growth in the western Houston suburbs,” Chip Jensen, senior vice president for Penske's south central region, said in a statement. “It is ideally situated near Interstate 10 and is more convenient for our customers.” Penske Truck Leasing Co. is a partnership of Penske Corp., Penske Automotive Group, GE Capital Holdings and Mitsui & Co.
Update – Wednesday, Feb. 15, 11 a.m. Central: Following New Hampshire’s lead, Maine Gov. Paul LePage issued Tuesday an emergency declaration as a result of heavy snow storms, suspending hours-of-service regulations for truckers delivering residential and business heating fuels to the state.
Maine’s suspension of hours regulations is effective through Feb. 28, according to the declaration.
In California, officials have reduced the evacuation order to a warning, allowing nearly 200,000 residents to return to their homes in the Oroville Dam area. All routes that were closed in the area Tuesday morning have been reopened except State Route 162 in both directions between State Routes 99 and 70.
Original story follows:
The New Hampshire Department of Safety issued Monday an emergency declaration due to heavy snow storms in recent days, followed by a period of cold temperatures, prompting an exemption for certain truckers from hours-of-service regulations.
Additionally, California Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. issued an emergency declaration as a result of a problem with the Oroville Dam’s spillway north of Sacramento. Nearly 200,000 people in the area have been evacuated because of flooding.
New Hampshire Commissioner of Safety John Barthelmes says in his state’s notice an emergency exists in the state pertaining to the delivery of home heating fuels. Other states in the region have not issued similar declarations.
New England was hit with back-to-back winter storms between Friday and Monday, dumping up to 30 inches of snow in some areas, according to USA Today. Despite the storms, all major interstates and highways are open throughout the region as of Tuesday morning.
Any carriers delivering home and business heating fuels in New Hampshire are exempt from hours-of-service regulations through Feb. 27, per the declaration. The exemption also applies to truckers transporting products to local propane and natural gas delivery companies.
Under the terms of the declaration, carriers are not allowed to force a driver to drive when tired or sick, and if a driver tells a carrier he or she needs rest, the carrier is required to grant at least 10 consecutive off-duty hours.
Excessive rain around the Sacramento, Calif., region over the last week caused Lake Oroville to reach capacity, causing officials to use the spillway at the dam. The amount of water in the spillway caused it to erode, forcing the use of an auxiliary spillway, which is also in danger of failing, which would cause “widespread and severe flooding,” according to California Gov. Jerry Brown.
NEAR MATTAWA, Wash. - A semi-truck driver in Eastern Washington was injured Monday afternoon when his big rig went off a highway into the Columbia River Gorge.
It happened just after 2:00 p.m. along State Route 243, just south of the Shawanna area, north of Mattawa.
Witnesses told the State Patrol the road was icy and slushy in places. They said the driver was going too fast for conditions when he apparently lost control on a curve.
The truck and trailer full of apples plowed through a guardrail and rolled down an embankment into the Columbia River.
The driver was able to make it out of the truck. He suffered serious, but non-life threatening injuries and was taken to a nearby hospital.
Troopers said part of the mangled truck cab remained on shore, but the trailer broke free and floated down river, towards Priest Rapids Dam.
The Grant County Public Utility District was called in to help retrieve the trailer. Crews used two boats to pull the drifting trailer to a sandbar and secure it overnight. They'll return Tuesday morning to figure out how to remove it.
The northbound lanes of State Route 243 were closed for over four hours while a tow truck worked to pull the semi cab from the embankment.