Social distancing, and sharing space in a 2.6m truck cab

Social distancing, and sharing space in a 2.6m truck cab

Ont. — Public health officials want people to keep two meters away from one another
to fight the spread of Covid-19. That’s pretty difficult to do in a truck cab restricted
to a maximum width of 2.6 meters overall.

Ontario’s Infrastructure Health and Safety Association (IHSA) – in a partnership with Concrete Ontario, the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario (TTSAO), and other stakeholders — has responded with guidelines for in-vehicle driver safety in the midst of Covid-19.

IHSA has produced a video on cleaning procedures for cabs, to help in the fight against Covid-19. (Video capture: IHSA)

“The release of IHSA’s training guidelines is intended to support those training centres that have been allowed to open,” says Enzo Garritano, the association’s president and CEO. “IHSA has worked diligently to ensure procedures are in place at our own facilities to keep instructors and participants safe. These guidelines are a starting point for training organizations to establish best practices moving forward.”

“Because employees will be required to be within two metres of one another while in the vehicle, it is critical that all employees complete a health screening at both the start and end of their shift,” the guidelines say, referring to needs that emerge during in-vehicle assessments and mentorships. Such screening is also to include temperature checks where possible.

“If either
employee or trainee fails to complete all stages of the screening protocol,
then the in-vehicle session should be rescheduled to a later date.”

The IHSA – part
of Ontario’s occupational health and safety system, serving sectors under the
province’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board — has begun to reopen facilities
and is gradually resuming its own training, with limits of one four-person class
per facility.

that virtual training can’t be used for all of a truck driver’s training, IHSA
does note that options for some of the work can include virtual classrooms
using tools such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, Skype and WebEx.

 “Many of these interactive systems also offer
knowledge verification (testing) features, to ensure that key training
objectives are understood,” it adds.

CB radios,
hands-free cell phones, and in-vehicle tablets can also make it possible for
trainers and mentors to communicate with drivers from outside the vehicle, the
IHSA says.

“For fully
licensed drivers, an instructor/mentor can follow in a separate vehicle at a
safe distance and provide feedback/coaching after the trip is completed.”

When remote
and virtual training isn’t possible, the IHSA recommends laying out training
rooms to accommodate physical distancing, and offering workers masks and eye
protection when physical distancing isn’t possible. It also calls for training room
surfaces to be disinfected before and after any training session, encouraging
drivers to bring their own pens and pencils, and adopting digital documents in
the place of paper handouts.

“Begin and
end each shift by cleaning the inside of your vehicle with a disinfectant.
Clean and disinfect the steering wheel, frequently used levers, buttons and
radio controls, seats, and anything generally touched with your hands,” the
IHSA advises. It’s also developed an instructional video to show how to best
clean and sanitize commercial vehicles.

cleaning the vehicle, ensure adequate ventilation by keeping the doors open,
and when possible allow time for the vehicle to air out before driving (10
minutes),” the IHSA says.

In addition
to equipping vehicles with hand sanitizer and disinfectant spray, and containers
to dispose of used PPE and cleaning supplies, the association also recommends
driving the shared truck cabs with open windows. Each window should also be
open by the same amount to equalize the pressure inside.

General precautions call on drivers to monitor their health and stay home even if they face mild symptoms such as a cough, fever or sore throat; keeping at least two meters away from others during interactions; disinfecting common or shared touch surfaces; and washing hands for 20 seconds or using a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

  • This article has been updated to include comments from Enzo Garritano.

Published at Mon, 15 Jun 2020 17:36:06 +0000

Falcon Equipment expands product line

Falcon Equipment expands product line

SURREY, B.C. – Falcon Equipment has added Beauroc dump
bodies to its line, as its exclusive dealer in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

It has also become a Parker Motion and Control Technologies OEM.

Beauroc manufactures dump bodies for Classes 3-8 dump
trucks, as well as landscape and multipurpose bodies. Bodies are available in
steel or stainless steel.

Parker will become standard on Falcon Equipment builds.

“We are
excited to grow our equipment and parts product offerings, providing our
customers with brands that provide durability, safety and efficiency,” the
company said in a release. “We want to be a one-stop-shop for the industries we

Published at Mon, 22 Jun 2020 17:54:13 +0000

7 tools no truck shop should be without

7 tools no truck shop should be without

Say what you will about the importance of training, but mechanics still need access to the right tools to get the job done. Here are seven tools that no shop should be without – and what to look for when selecting them.

Induction heaters offers a safer alternative than a torch when looking to free seized parts. (Photo: Induction Innovations)

Induction heaters

Gone are the days when a torch is the preferred method for releasing seized parts. There is a better way, and it doesn’t introduce the risk of burning the shop to the ground.

“A lot of companies are requiring a
different source of heating, and using no torches,” says Norbert Jillich,
national sales manager for Induction Innovations, a maker of induction tools
for 20 years. “You don’t have the collateral damage.”

In contrast, a torch can cause plenty of issues when sparked next to brake, fuel or electrical lines, and have been known to lay waste to rubber bushings.

Induction Innovations’ product lines
range from handheld units that plug into a simple 110-volt outlet, to a
liquid-cooled 5 kW model that requires 208-volt, three-phase circuit.

Portable units, which involve
wrapping coils around parts, can be enough for smaller jobs. But the wands connected
to the larger equipment also come with attachments such as a glass blaster to
remove glass or bedliners, and a pad that can remove things like vinyl

Digital in-line air gauges

Stick pressure gauges are carried about in tool boxes and pockets alike, but shops that deal with high volumes of tire work will want something that is more accurate. The choice can even play a role in workplace safety.

“A big question to ask is, do you
want a gauge that is attached to your compressor to correct the tire pressure,”
explains Usman Mir, Kal Tire’s zone manager responsible for shops between
London, Whitby, and Barrie, Ont.

The Kal Tire shops want six feet of
hose between the valve stem and the digital tire gauge, which is mounted near
the trigger to activate the air. This, Mir explains, ensures that workers are
standing outside the “trajectory zone” in case a tire blows.

The digital versions tend to be more
accurate than the dial gauges as well, although even these units need to be
monitored. “We’ll check ours daily,” he says. “The industry standard is once a
month at least.” But if the tools fall within 1% of the desired pressures,
there’s no need to change them.

While some shops have dedicated testing systems for these regular inspections, another option is simply to compare multiple gauges against one another. “If they’re all within 3% of each other, you can say they’re all good,” he says.

As for the air that flows through
the line, Mir stresses the importance of checking that as well. Kal Tire drains
the tanks every night, and takes advantage of inline air-water separators.

“Even your air chucks last longer without the moisture in there,” he says, referring to the added layer of protection.

There is a role for impact guns, especially when it comes to speed. But there’s still a need for calibrated torque wrenches, too. (Photo: Kal Tire)

Calibrated torque wrenches

Impact guns are designed for speed and efficiency, but when it comes to applying the proper force to a wheel end fastener, there’s no beating a calibrated torque wrench.

“It’s a precision tool,” Mir says, stressing the value of name brands when it comes to finding a tool that will last. Some of Kal Tire’s torque wrenches will fasten up to 100 nuts a day, after all.

As for the choice between versions that fold or click when reaching the required torque, he says that’s a personal preference. No matter what, though, they should be sent out once a year for recalibration.

It’s important to remember that impact guns could overtorque a wheel, Mir adds, referring to forces that can reach 800 lb-ft. Kal Tire technicians are encouraged to use the lightest settings when installing the wheels, and limiting the higher forces to the removal process.

Tread depth gauges

One of the cheapest tools on this list comes in the form of a tread depth gauge, but the handy measuring device encourages technicians to put their hands on tires, and can help to spot early signs of uneven wear.

“I think I’ve got 100 in a sock drawer,” Mir says jokingly.

Multimeters, amp clamps, and temperature guns are vital for electrical troubleshooting. (Photo: Purkeys Fleet Electric)

Digital multimeters

Are you checking wires with a probe that pierces the protective jacket and insulation? Throw it away. As small as the holes seem, they create a path for water and corrosive de-icing chemicals. And once the corrosion begins to wick up the wire, any number of nightmares can begin.

As bad as the situation can be with 12 volts, the challenge will intensify as vehicle systems increase to 24 or 42 volts, says Larry Rambeaux, a sales application engineer at Purkeys Fleet Electric. Those wires will be smaller and lighter, but will corrode more quickly.

For those who perform electrical work, the go-to testing tool is a multimeter. But not all models are created equally. Analog multimeters show changes and voltage in real time, but are difficult to log. And while most models will measure both voltage and current, there’s also resistance, continuity, and frequency to consider.

“It’s got to be digital. They’re
never going to be able to read an analog [model],” Rambeaux says. A unit with
automatic ranging will also help to ensure accurate measurements.

Still, while a multimeter is a key
tool for troubleshooting issues like corroded and damaged wiring, it will only
be useful with the training that steers techs away from common mistakes. “In
order to have voltage drop, you have to have current flow,” he says as an
example, referring to misleading readings that can occur when a trailer’s
seven-pin connector is unplugged before measuring the voltage.

For a heavy-duty shop, Rambeaux recommends a multimeter that will handle 1,000
volts AC and DC, and 20-40 Mega ohms. A unit that offers frequency, hertz, and
pulse width modulations will also be valuable when dealing with increasingly
complex electrical systems.

“You’ve got to buy the multimeter that you need,” he says.

Clip-on amp clamp

Sure, the multimeter will measure amperage, but what if you’re testing a liftgate charging system and need to measure voltage and amperage at the same time? The best solution for that is to have a small clip-on or inductive ammeter, Rambeaux suggests.

Temperature gun

“If you’re checking a temperature sensor, you have to know what the temperature is,” he adds, referring to just one example of where a temperature gun will be useful. “It’s what you have to check your resistance at.”

Published at Mon, 22 Jun 2020 18:49:47 +0000

ECONOMIC WATCH: Canadian spot market load volumes recovering

ECONOMIC WATCH: Canadian spot market load volumes recovering

TORONTO, Ont. – TransCore Link Logistics has
reported spot market load volumes increased 5% in May, but were still 42% off
May 2019 volumes.

(Source: TransCore Link Logistics)

With the overall uptick in load performance, “Carriers that performed
better than this in May, are ahead of the market,” said Claudia Milicevic,
senior director and general manager of Loadlink Technologies.

May’s increase in load volumes confirms TransCore’s theory that April
represented the floor for freight during the Covid-19 pandemic. As the North
American economy reopens, freight should improve, and early June numbers are
confirming this. Volumes for the first two weeks of June were up 9% compared to
the last two weeks of May.

(Source: TransCore Link Logisitcs)

The Vancouver-Toronto lane saw load volumes increase
332% in the first 10 days of June.

The biggest gainers in May were cross-border lanes, with Quebec and Alberta benefiting in particular.

The truck-to-load
ratio reflected tightening capacity, down 7% to 5.27 trucks per load from 5.64
in April. But the truck-to-load ratio was 47% higher year-over-year, with 3.57
trucks per load in May 2019. TransCore says early data from June shows the
ratio has fallen another 23%, to 4.05.

(Source: TransCore Link Logistics)

Published at Mon, 22 Jun 2020 13:34:35 +0000

Speedy’s latest graffiti trailers take aim at racism

Speedy’s latest graffiti trailers take aim at racism

TORONTO, Ont. – As racial tensions mount south of the
border, a Canadian fleet is using two trailers to deliver a message of

Speedy Transport’s Everyone vs. Racism graffiti project will
see two trailers decorated by artist Jessey Pacho, which will condemn racism
and promote unity. They’ll be pulled by specially decorated tractors sporting
Black Lives Matter decals.

(Photo: Speedy Transport)

“The Everyone vs. Racism graffiti project is inspired by
recent and recurring events,” Speedy Transport president Jared Martin told Today’s
. “Simply not being racist doesn’t fix or identify oppressors. We
have the largest moving billboards in North America with an opportunity to
deliver the message, literally.”

Martin said the company’s fight against racism won’t stop with the rollout of the trailers, but “it’s where we’re starting as an organization. If we lose business for the movement, we’ve lost the right business.”

(Photo: Speedy Transport)

One of the trailers will run domestically while the other
will be dispatched into the U.S.

Published at Mon, 22 Jun 2020 18:13:56 +0000

Explaining the U.S. hours-of-service changes

Explaining the U.S. hours-of-service changes

The U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has announced changes to the hours-of-service regulations that impact the driving time available.  It has revised the rules in four areas

  • The shorthaul exception;
  • 30-minute break requirements
  • Adverse driving conditions
  • Sleeper berth times

Effective date

The changes to the regulations become effective 120 days after publication in the Federal Register. Having been published on June 1, 2020, the rule revisions are effective as of Sept. 29, 2020.

Shorthaul exception

The changes to the shorthaul exception increase the maximum permitted hours on-duty and the distance restriction. The maximum hours on-duty is changed under shorthaul exception from 12 hours to 14 hours. It also extends the maximum radius in the shorthaul exception from 100 to 150 air miles.

The extension of the maximum allowable workday for short-haul drivers from 12 to 14 hours corresponds with a 14-hour maximum of property-hauling drivers. Shorthaul drivers remain subject to existing limits of hours spent driving – 11 hours for drivers of property-carrying CMVs requiring a CDL.

(Photo: Isaac Instruments)

The extension of the distance restriction from 100 air miles to 150 air miles is consistent with the distance limitation for shorthaul drivers that are not required to possess a commercial driver’s licence.

Drivers and carriers using the shorthaul exception are not required to use logs – paper or electronic – or take a 30-minute break. This extra time of the driving day has always been available to drivers if they opted out of the shorthaul exception. This change allows drivers to retain the status while receiving regulatory relief.

30-minute break

Under the revised rules, the 30-minute break requirement for drivers is changed from the current requirement after eight hours on-duty, to when the driver has driven for a period of eight hours without at least a 30-minute driving interruption. The break may be satisfied by any non-driving period of 30 minutes – on-duty not driving, off-duty, or sleeper time.

Under the existing regulations the break would be required to be off-duty, with no work – including paperwork or loading or unloading – being performed and was triggered after eight hours, regardless of driving time. Note: the changes to the 30-minute break provision do not increase the maximum driving time during the work shift or allow the driver to drive after the 14th hour.

Adverse driving conditions

The definition of adverse driving conditions is modified so that the exception may be applied based upon the driver’s, not just the dispatcher’s, knowledge of the conditions after being dispatched. It extends the driving window during which the current exception for extended driving time maybe used by up to two hours for truck operation.

A driver who encounters adverse driving conditions is allowed up to a 16-hour driving window for property carriers, within which to complete up to 13 hours of driving.

Additionally, clarifying changes were made, including adding the word “immediately” to clarify the time when the applicable conditions must be known. Another change was the reference to “unusual road and traffic conditions” was modified to read “unusual road or traffic conditions,” clarifying that either scenario would qualify.

Sleeper berth

The sleeper berth requirements allow drivers to take the required 10-hour off-duty time in two periods, provided one is, whether in or out of the sleeper berth, at least two hours long and the other is of at least seven consecutive hours spent in the sleeper berth.

The revision also provides that neither period, when paired together, counts against the 14-hour driving window.

In all, the revisions increase the flexibility of the hours-of-service regulations.

Published at Tue, 23 Jun 2020 13:59:23 +0000

Shannon to head Volvo, Mack Financial Services’ North American operations

Shannon to head Volvo, Mack Financial Services’ North American operations

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Patrick Shannon has been named president of
Volvo Financial Services and Mack Financial Services, North American region.

He will take over the role July 1, Volvo and Mack announced, and will oversee financial services for the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Shannon brings more than 30 years of experience in business operations and financial services to the position, the majority of which were with Volvo Group.

Patrick Shannon (Photo: Volvo Group)

“Shannon will be responsible for developing and
maintaining relationships with Volvo Trucks’ customers and dealers, our Volvo
Group business areas and partners in the region,” said
Marcio Pedroso, president, Volvo Financial Services. “With his experience in
working for the Volvo Group brand, and his long history at VFS, I am
confident he will continue VFS’ successful growth and the strong support of our
Volvo Trucks’ dealers and customers in these key markets.”

Published at Mon, 22 Jun 2020 19:48:49 +0000

CTEA joins manufacturers in call for Covid-19 recovery help

CTEA joins manufacturers in call for Covid-19 recovery help

OTTAWA, Ont. – A coalition of Canadian manufacturing groups, including the Canadian Transportation Equipment Association (CTEA), is looking for regulatory help as they respond to the economic fallout of Covid-19.

“We are not out of the woods yet,” they say in a letter to
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, highlighting outstanding issues like access to
assistance programs like the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy, and the Canadian
Commercial Rent Assistance programs.

The group also highlighted an “onslaught” of new environmental
regulations and potential requirements for employee sick day benefits among

“We urge you to consider the tremendous burden this puts on
businesses and their limited capacity to adapt to any new rules that do not
directly improve the efficiency and competitiveness of their business,” they write
in the letter dated June 19.

The manufacturers are calling for measures including a Regulatory
Bill of Rights, a national manufacturing strategy, and help to ensure
businesses are not unduly burdened during precarious economic times.

There are calls to refine and expand support programs, extend tax deferral and duty programs, and consumer spending initiatives. They also ask for more government procurement and a “Made in Canada” campaign.

The focus, the manufacturers say, must look to reduce the
cost of doing business, improving regional value chains, and leveraging natural

Other signatories on the letter include 22 national manufacturing associations, representing industries including health and consumer products, the petroleum industry, automotive, tooling and machining, and more. CTEA members include trailer and specialty vehicle manufacturers.

The issues are expected to be highlighted next week when the
manufacturers host a virtual lobby day to meet with MPs.

Published at Tue, 23 Jun 2020 12:02:00 +0000

Trucking could recover from Covid-19 quicker than other sectors: ATA economist

Trucking could recover from Covid-19 quicker than other sectors: ATA economist

Va. – For-hire truck tonnage continued to contract south of the border in May, but
the American Trucking Associations’ chief economist believes trucking will still
recover from Covid-19 more quickly than other industries.

(Source: American Trucking Associations)

“While tonnage fell in May, even though other economic
indicators like retail sales and housing starts rose, I’m not overly
concerned,” said Bob Costello, noting the ATA’s seasonally adjusted For-Hire
Truck Tonnage Index was down 1% after contracting 10.3% in April. The April figure
was revised upward after the initial report of a 12.2% decline.

“First, while down over 10% sequentially in April, truck tonnage
did not fall as much as other economic indicators that month. This means that
any rebound is tougher since tonnage didn’t fall substantially to begin with.
Second, there are indications that freight continues to improve as more and
more states and localities lift lockdown restrictions,” he said.

The May figure still represents the largest year-over-year
decline since 2009, during the Great Recession, but the index is not falling as
much as during that economic downturn.

“While the overall economy will likely take more than a year to recover, assuming the pandemic doesn’t spike again, the trucking industry could recover back to pre-Covid levels before many other industries because it hasn’t fallen as much,” Costello said. “As retail sales improve and housing starts recover, that will help trucking. The risk for trucking is that the virus surges again and places start to shut back down again.” 

Compared with May 2019, the seasonally adjusted index contracted 9.6%. In April 2009, the index was off 14% from a year earlier. The latest drop was preceded by a 9.4% year-over-year drop in April. Year-to-date, compared with the same period in 2019, tonnage is down 2.6%.

Removing the seasonal adjustments, and looking at the tonnage
alone, May’s index was 2.8% above the April level.

The For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index is dominated by contract
freight rather than spot market freight.

Published at Tue, 23 Jun 2020 16:57:09 +0000