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Picture of trucks on a snowy road
16 September
Road condition data cuts weather-related accidents by 20%, pilot project reveals


Trucking firms utilizing know-how that predicts opposed climate and street situations noticed a 20% lower in weather-related accidents, saving roughly $100,000 a 12 months for a mean fleet of 300 vans.

Synthetic intelligence (AI) helped produce the street situations forecast, stated Scott Kehler, president and chief scientist of Weatherlogics, a Winnipeg, Man.-based forecasting firm that carried out a six-month pilot undertaking on the know-how.

Regular climate forecasts predict the temperature and whether or not it’s going to rain or snow. “They don’t say the street will change into icy or snow-covered. We take the climate forecast, [and] utilizing AI remodel it right into a street forecast. Trucking firms can see how the climate goes to have an effect on street situations,” Kehler informed

(Photograph: Weatherlogics)

Six Canadian trucking firms – Arnold Bros Transport, Penner Worldwide, TransX, Eassons Transportation, Connors Switch, and C.A.T – totaling about 2,000 vans participated within the pilot that ran from Fall 2021 to Spring 2022, in keeping with a white paper launched by Weatherlogics.

The standalone utility might be built-in with any telematics supplier and is tailor-made to transportation customers.

Weatherlogics built-in fleets’ GPS monitoring into its platform permitting security managers to warn drivers of poor street and climate situations.

Weatherlogics map
(Photograph: Weatherlogics)

Customers can view North American roads on a map and see how a climate occasion will have an effect on a specific street. This gives rerouting potentialities, or a driver might be informed to discover a parking spot till it’s protected to proceed.

Climate forecasting is supplied on an hourly foundation, and has present situations alerts which might be custom-made. For instance, the Confederation Bridge that hyperlinks New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island is usually closed attributable to excessive winds. Customers can set an alert that can be triggered when the wind pace reaches the standards for closing that bridge.

Weatherlogics traffic camera image
(Photograph: Weatherlogics)

Usually, a trucking firm will ship the climate message by their ELD machine – be it a pill or telephone. Weatherlogics permits the driving force to have the app on their telephone as effectively to allow them to arrange their very own alerts.

Kehler stated Weatherlogics has been signing up trucking firms for the subscription-based service. Charges are based mostly on the variety of vans in a fleet.

The corporate is working with prospects to plan the subsequent spherical of enhancements and is including new options based mostly on buyer requests. It additionally goals to extend automation, making it simpler to alert particular person drivers about extreme street and climate situations.


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Purolator battery-electric van and e-bikes
16 September
Purolator highlights green goals in latest sustainability report


Purolator continues to chart a greener path – setting 2030 benchmarks that embody electrifying 60% of Closing Mile supply automobiles, eliminating electricity-related emissions by utilizing renewable sources, and decreasing Scope 1 and a pair of emissions by 42% in comparison with 2020.

“Purolator has made important positive aspects towards changing into the greenest courier in Canada. Together with setting interim objectives to make sure we efficiently attain net-zero emissions by 2050, we additionally lowered our Scope 2 emissions by 31%, and piloted alternative-fuel automobiles in our fleet,” president and CEO John Ferguson mentioned, releasing the group’s 2021 Sustainability Report.

Final 12 months it piloted eight e-bikes, a low-speed car, and 5 all-electric step vans.

Purolator is experimenting with every part from battery-electric vans to e-bikes in its bid to grow to be extra sustainable. (Picture: Purolator)

“I’m happy with what we’ve completed and acknowledge there’s nonetheless appreciable progress to be made. For instance, we’re going to broaden our fleet of electrical automobiles, enhance recycling in our operations, and construct greener amenities to make sure we contribute to a extra sustainable and wholesome future for everybody,” he mentioned.

Different steps will embody the broader use of biofuels, analyzing knowledge to optimize supply routes, putting in energy-efficient gear in amenities, and designing new buildings to satisfy inexperienced requirements.

Final 12 months, Purolator had a 3rd get together confirm its 2020 baseline greenhouse fuel emissions stock. It’s additionally working with suppliers, companions and clients to cut back Scope 3 emissions, and desires to divert 70% of non-hazardous waste from landfill by 2030.


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video screen capture
16 September
Video will reveal the good, the bad, and the ugly of driver performance


A fleet that decides to roll out an in-cab video program ought to be ready to see the great, the unhealthy, and the ugly because it analyzes footage captured by the gadgets. And generally – if a cussed driver resists the presence of the digicam and obstructs its view – perhaps even nothing in any respect. requested a number of specialists with expertise viewing in-cab video footage how they’d react to a number of situations.

That driver appears drained

In-cab video can shine a lightweight on the potential for a fatigue-related crash earlier than it even occurs. If a driver is yawning, drifting inside their lane, or their eyelids are closing, these are apparent indicators of fatigue which will solely be found with assist of a driver-facing digicam.

Video can seize indicators of fatigue earlier than an accident. (Picture: iStock)

“We contact the motive force ASAP and begin a dialogue,” Tom Boehler, senior director of security and compliance with Erb Group, says of any video that reveals these telltale indicators of fatigue. Erb will take a look at what the foundation causes of the fatigue may very well be. “We assessment our driver fatigue program with the motive force and the assets accessible to right or fight fatigue. Some of the frequent problems with an evening round-trip [driver] is the standard of sleep they will get in the course of the day at residence, notably if there are younger youngsters at residence in the course of the day.”

Erb additionally appears at scheduling to see if load planning may be improved on its finish, so hundreds are prepared when drivers are able to work.

Jim Angel, vice-president – video telematics with ERoad, suggests on the lookout for patterns.

“It’s necessary to assessment different movies of this similar driver to see if this habits has been repeated in different clips, displaying a possible driving behavior,” he says. “From there, you’re then in a position to talk about this prevalence or occurrences with the motive force to determine if it is a results of fatigue or if there’s a bigger root to the issue.”

Third-party witness

Spend sufficient time on the street and it’s certain to occur to any skilled driver. They’re driving alongside, minding their very own enterprise, and a wreck they didn’t trigger happens proper in entrance of their rig. They activate the digicam to file what transpires subsequent – and with a lot of at the moment’s cameras, additionally what occurred within the seconds main as much as the system being manually activated.

Whereas a trucker’s intuition is to get on with the supply, that captured footage may very well be invaluable to legislation enforcement or these concerned within the crash.

“We have now supplied video to authorities,” says Boehler. He recollects a crash on I-94 in Michigan, during which a motorist crossed three lanes earlier than crashing right into a disabled faculty bus on the shoulder, killing a tow truck driver who was engaged on the bus. “Our driver hit the Document Incident button, understanding it goes again eight seconds, and pulled over on the scene. Michigan State troopers despatched a thank-you e-mail to us and the motive force because it saved a whole lot of investigation time.”

Erb may also share footage with different carriers if their automobiles are recorded doing one thing noteworthy. And Kriska Transportation Group has, on multiple event, shared crash video with legislation enforcement. In a single case a driver captured video of a sportscar operating a GMC Suburban off the street and severely injuring its driver.

“It had nothing to do with our truck in any respect,” says Man Broderick, Kriska’s security and coaching supervisor. “Once we despatched the video to the officer his remark to me was, ‘Wow, we had a very totally different description of the automobile that was concerned.’”

Drivers at Kriska are instructed to go away the corporate’s quantity with the primary responders to allow them to comply with up with any video requests, that are provided by the security division.

ERoad’s Angel provides: “It’s essential to protect any and all video info, resolve as an organization when to share this info, and talk together with your driver that they weren’t at fault and the way they did an important job at avoiding the crash.”

video screen capture
Video places important occasion info at a fleet supervisor’s fingertips. (Picture: ERoad)

Nothing to see right here

In-cab video is triggered by a harsh occasion. However when the video is reviewed, it reveals nothing greater than a black display. A seasoned, longtime driver finds the digicam intrusive and has taken the freedom of protecting it whereas driving.

“Coverage pertains to everybody,” says Boehler, noting Erb misplaced simply three drivers out of greater than 800 when it deployed cameras. When considerations are raised, he says, “We assessment his or her considerations and why we introduced the system in place – primarily for his or her safety, the safety of the corporate, and to establish any state of affairs that might assist the motive force keep away from unhealthy habits.”

Broderick was an early adopter of in-cab video, and in these early days he noticed each try possible to avoid the expertise. “The whole lot from chewing gum, Put up-It notes, Band-Aids,” he rhymes off. “The most effective one was we had a driver minimize a bit {of electrical} tape that match completely over the lens.”

The system Broderick depends on at the moment will detect and report tampering. And Kriska hasn’t had any such points. “We have now it written proper in our efficiency and security program, for those who cowl that digicam there are repercussions,” Broderick says.

When rolling out a video program, Boehler suggests extending communication to drivers’ households and spending time within the driver’s room to shortly dispel any rumors concerning the objective behind the expertise. ERoad’s Angel says resistance to in-cab video is waning.

“Immediately, most drivers perceive the reasoning and advantages that include having these cameras inside their vans to indicate that they’re professionals on the street,” he says. “On the subject of accidents, staged or in any other case, 75-80% of the time the opposite car is at fault in catastrophic automobile/truck accidents. It stays necessary for carriers to clarify to drivers that with out these cameras there are extra alternatives for somebody to falsely say they have been at fault and the way these movies can exonerate a driver from any false claims.”

Uh-oh. That’s our fault.

The worst sort of video you may obtain is one which reveals your driver was at fault in a crash. Or is it? Having video of the incident is preferrable to having no video in any respect, no matter who’s guilty, in response to Heather Devine, a longtime transportation lawyer who has represented many trucking shoppers over time earlier than not too long ago changing into chief authorized counsel of 3PL agency Traffix.

“As authorized counsel to many wonderful carriers over my 20-plus years, within the occasion a fleet captures video displaying it’s at fault in a crash, I would like my consumer to have the footage,” she says.

“We all the time need the video. At all times. It’s a coaching video, proper off the bat.”

Man Broderick, Kriska

“When key proof doesn’t exist, it results in a grey space of uncertainty and, in flip, can require intensive authorized work to get to a decision from documentary and oral discoveries, written undertakings, pre-trial motions, pre-trial mediation, after which trial. Unclear proof can result in a win the place a case is dismissed; nonetheless, it additionally supplies a state of affairs the place a plaintiff can improve the claims for damages since causation shouldn’t be clearly outlined nor delineated. Having proof that’s clear – along with witness statements, telematics readouts, accident recreations – can help good counsel to resolve a matter effectively and economically.”

Whereas it might come as no shock {that a} lawyer would need video proof of an incident, wouldn’t a fleet want such footage didn’t exist? Perhaps even second guess their determination to put in the cameras within the first place?

“We all the time need the video. At all times,” insists Broderick. “It’s a coaching video, proper off the bat.”

Movies of incidents – good and unhealthy – are proven by Kriska at orientation. And drivers higher relate to footage displaying their very own firm vans quite than generic movies sourced from YouTube. “Each crucial occasion is a coaching occasion,” Broderick provides.

Again within the courtroom, video of the occasion – nonetheless damning it might look – can profit a fleet via a faster settlement (perhaps even made confidentially, avoiding public admissions of guilt).

Erb’s Boehler mentioned the corporate retains all video pertaining to claims, utilizing it as a part of its post-collision investigation and likewise for coaching functions. Legally, he says, “It helps us decide the extent of legal responsibility and the necessity to mitigate the declare ASAP.”

When an at-fault crash does occur, Mark Napier, director of security providers with Tandet Group, says it may be useful to assessment video from nicely earlier than the purpose of impression.

“They usually provide you with 30 seconds, which isn’t sufficient to indicate us precisely what occurred,” he says of in-cab video. “I wish to see the half-hour prior. We are going to then spend time taking a look at issues like, have been the motive force’s mirrors adjusted correctly? Have been the hood mirrors on the truck put in and adjusted correctly? Did we have now a imaginative and prescient drawback that both contributed to [the problem], or didn’t assist us?”

One thing to rejoice

Any security supervisor’s favourite footage to assessment shall be that displaying their driver doing one thing heroic or distinctive. These may be the impetus for rewards and recognition and shouldn’t go unheralded. Erb’s digicam program generates certificates for drivers seen making an alert maneuver to forestall a crash.

That footage is, with the motive force’s permission, additionally shared in security conferences. Generally it’s even proven on the TVs within the drivers’ room. Utilizing in-cab video footage to rejoice good driving, not simply to punish unhealthy, will assist extinguish any remaining skepticism amongst drivers concerning the intent of this system.   

“When a driver makes a secure maneuver on the street to forestall a crash, we consider that’s nicely price selling that driver inside the firm,” Angel provides.


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Goodyear Highway Hero logo
16 September
Nominations open for Goodyear Highway Hero Award


Goodyear Tire & Rubber Firm has introduced the return of its annual Freeway Hero Award, a program that celebrates skilled truck drivers who act selflessly for the great of others on the highways throughout North America.  

Now by means of Dec. 31, 2022, the Goodyear Freeway Hero Award program will acknowledge skilled truck drivers by means of a name for on-line story submissions, asking the trucking group to appoint a driver who demonstrated a unprecedented act of braveness on the highway. 

(Photograph: Goodyear)

“As routes take truck drivers to each nook of North America, many go above and past their common duties, even serving as first responders to incidents that happen on our roads and highways,” mentioned Gary Medalis, director of product growth and advertising and marketing at Goodyear. “The Goodyear Freeway Hero Award program is designed to specific our gratitude for these hardworking truck drivers and to have fun their unbelievable acts of bravery.” 

Go to and use the nomination kind to inform the story of a brave truck driver who’s deserving of the respect. Goodyear will decide an accredited record of nominees from which a panel of judges will choose the winner and two finalists.

Goodyear will announce the award winner in early 2023, honoring the driving force with a money prize, a Goodyear prize bundle and journey and lodge expense for a visit to Orlando for a winner announcement on the Know-how & Upkeep Council (TMC) annual assembly in March 2023. Two runners up may also obtain a money prize and Goodyear prize packages. 

Eligible nominees should be a full-time truck driver, reside within the U.S. or Canada and the person’s truck on the time of the incident should characteristic 12 wheels or extra. The act of braveness will need to have occurred between Jan. 1, 2022, and Dec. 31, 2022.


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16 September
Philburn founder remembered following loss to cancer


Kevin J. Philpott, the founding father of Mississauga, Ontario-headquartered Philburn, is being acknowledged as a “character in each sense of the phrase”, following his loss to most cancers.

In an announcement on the fleet web site, he leaves the phrases: “No Regrets! I did all of it and I did it surrounded by love, from my bride of 52 years, Lynn, my unimaginable household, my buddies, my workers and my clients. I’m blessed. I like you all.”

(Picture: istock)

“He vowed to not reside a boring life and he actually didn’t. He lived each day with pleasure and with ardour for any job he took on,” the obituary reads.

Philpott moved from Newfoundland to Toronto as a young person, and was 21 when he married his spouse, Lynn.

“Collectively they started each a private journey of constructing a household and an expert journey of constructing a transportation and warehousing firm,” the obituary provides. “Kevin by no means retired as his love of individuals saved him energetic; Kevin would let you know that he was within the ‘folks enterprise’.  He can be most remembered for his capacity to talk to you and make you’re feeling like there may be nowhere else he’d reasonably be. For Kevin, it wasn’t a uncommon expertise, it was simply who he was.”

The Philburn fleet contains owner-operated and company-owned vehicles that serve Ontario and Atlantic Canada. And Philpott himself served on the Canadian Trucking Alliance board of administrators.


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Giant Tiger distribution center
15 September
Q&A with Tiger Trucking’s transportation head, James Johnstone


Large Tiger has come a great distance for the reason that low cost retailer secured its first vehicles to serve shops in Japanese Ontario. Thirty-five years later its personal fleet, Tiger Trucking, counts 150 energy items, 400 trailers, 300 intermodal containers, and 60 chassis that serve 260 areas throughout Canada. spoke with James Johnstone, head of transportation at Large Tiger, in the course of the fleet’s 35th anniversary celebrations in Johnstown, Ontario, to debate the group’s philosophy.

James Johnstone, head of transportation at Large Tiger, addresses a crowd celebrating the fleet’s thirty fifth anniversary and opening of a brand new upkeep facility. (Picture: 18PercentPhotography)

Q. One of many belongings you’re celebrating right now [Sept. 14] is the opening of a devoted on-site store run by Penske Truck Leasing and Frigid. What led you to resolve this was a mannequin you wished to embrace?

There isn’t quite a lot of main service facilities in our space, and there’s one thing missing by having to shuttle a truck a minimum of an hour every approach to get service. For us, it simply made sense from a security, environmental and other people perspective to have that service performed right here – to avoid wasting the miles, save the gasoline, and put somebody doing productive work versus simply shuttling empties forwards and backwards. And from our companions’ perspective, there’s so a lot better care and management of the belongings right here. We’re capable of deal with issues a lot faster, and the lag time is completely diminished.

The expansion of our fleet actually referred to as out how a lot time we had been spending, shuttling tools from A to B. We’re one of many largest fleets in Japanese Canada – definitely one of many largest personal fleets in all of Canada. It was time to chop down on the lead time for components and repair and get these vehicles again on the highway sooner.

Q. Now that is simply one of many newest investments you’ve made in your personal fleet. Why is personal trucking a greater possibility for Large Tiger than outsourcing the work to dedicated-contract or for-hire carriers?

There’s a transparent financial savings. We’re paying our prices. There’s no markup. There’s no revenue on that. And our drivers are actually invested within the firm, our tradition, our communities. So, we’re capable of get one of the best service, one of the best tools, one of the best drivers for the lowest-possible worth.

Over the previous couple of years our security scores have additionally improved dramatically. Final 12 months, [the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada’s fleet safety awards named Tiger Trucking] the most-improved fleet. Inside our house, we’re hoping to be one of the best. We’re at all times striving to be No 1 when it comes to security. It’s simply the accountable factor to do.

Giant Tiger distribution center
The Johnstown distribution middle options 54 loading docks and may accommodate 200 vehicles. (Picture: 18PercentPhotography)

There’s been quite a lot of provide chain points throughout the board, and we’ve been insulated from them as a result of we’ve had our personal capabilities. We didn’t know there could be a pandemic, after which wildfires and floods, all of the catastrophes we’ve needed to cope with. However as a result of we’ve had our personal individuals, as a rule, everybody will step up when there’s one thing additional to do. Everybody understands what it means to the corporate total. You possibly can’t get that from a for-hire service. They simply don’t have the identical funding within the tradition and the corporate.

Q. The place does Tiger Trucking develop from right here?

As we proceed to open shops we are going to proceed to right-size our fleet to keep up the right stability. Proper now we’ve taken over the overwhelming majority of all of our recent and frozen [food] distribution throughout Ontario, Quebec, and within the Maritimes.

Q. How are you sourcing the brand new truck drivers it’s good to assist that development?

We have now an exceptional in-house coaching program the place we are going to take somebody from the warehouse and improve their abilities slowly by way of accredited establishments. They’ll work their means as much as turning into a shunt truck driver after which a DZ driver, then a regional truck driver, after which by way of a really secure surroundings the place they will graduate to turning into a long-term AZ driver with the pay and the advantages that comes with that.

They’ve already joined our staff. They’re a part of the tradition. So we’re form of rising the subsequent crop ourselves – however we’re [also] persevering with to rent, to exchange guys which have earned their time and are able to retire.

Q. This distribution middle in Johnstown, Ontario, is comparatively remoted, and it’s honest to say that it’s not a trucking hotbed just like the western Higher Toronto Space. Does that current a problem when it comes to with the ability to discover candidates on the lookout for trucking jobs?

One factor this group doesn’t have a scarcity of is hardworking people with nice ethical character and a willingness to be taught. We’ve had an amazing response from the native labor market when it comes to becoming a member of our fleet. The long run development [includes] individuals which might be arising by way of the ranks, the forklift operators you hear within the background right now

Giant Tiger million milers
Tiger Trucking acknowledged a number of drivers for 1, 2, 3 and even 4-million-mile careers. (Picture: 18PercentPhotography)

Q. Throughout right now’s ceremonies, you additionally honored drivers who’ve logged 1, 2, 3 and 4 million miles. How have you ever managed to draw and preserve these extremely skilled individuals in your staff, given that also they are coveted by different fleets?

Right here, everyone seems to be compensated pretty, they’re compensated by the hour, and our tradition is security and repair. We’ve had drivers that ‘boomerang’, who depart as a result of they see a posting elsewhere, and are available proper again. The surroundings that we provide our drivers is extremely scheduled. You possibly can see the tools we provide them. They’re handled very effectively. They’re revered – and I believe that’s one thing that’s been missing all through the business. By and huge, the motive force scarcity has been self-inflicted by quite a lot of carriers. We perceive that, and whether or not it’s a driver or anybody else on our staff, they’re all handled the identical means they usually recognize that. It goes a great distance.

Q. What’s the important thing to sustaining that dedication to security, recognizing that there’s additionally stress to maintain issues rolling?

There’s quite a lot of stress to maintain issues rolling, to maintain utilization up. We don’t wish to have additional vehicles for the sake of getting vehicles. However we do a pre- and post-trip on each unit that comes out and in of right here for each driver, so the vehicles are touched a number of occasions earlier than they return out. We go a bit overboard, however Large Tiger is a really community-oriented group and retailer. The very last thing we wish to do is put somebody in peril.

And you may’t miss these vehicles after they’re taking place the highway. You narrow any individual off they usually’re going to know who to name, proper?

We do have some drivers that are available in from different organizations which might be “go, go, go”. We’re “hey, decelerate. It’s OK. You’re being paid whether or not you’re in site visitors, whether or not you’re ready.” There’s nothing on that truck that’s price risking your security or the general public.

  • This interview has been edited for size and readability


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Drug testing highway sign
15 September
More data needed on drug-impaired driving, report says


The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Habit is asking for extra knowledge concerning the drug-impaired driving that it believes represents an rising threat on Canadian roads. And a few of it pertains to industrial drivers.

“Not sufficient is understood about driving whereas impaired by medication apart from alcohol,” the report authors concluded in Minimizing the Affect of Drug-Impaired Driving, which cites 34 indicators wanted to raised perceive the difficulty.

“What Canada does learn about drug-impaired driving is regarding. Coroner and health worker experiences reveal that almost half of drivers who died in 2016 … examined constructive for impairing medication,” the report added.

(Picture: iStock)

In the case of industrial drivers, the advisory committee behind the suggestions recognized the necessity for extra knowledge involving oral fluid exams for THC use; the day and time when drivers had been stopped for the exams; totally different substance classes; and driver demographics reminiscent of gender and age teams.

“Sure occupations are related to elevated threat of substance use and potential impairment attributable to their employment circumstances or work atmosphere, together with drivers within the industrial automobile trade,” it mentioned.

“A few of the contributing circumstances embody shift work, driver fatigue, peer stress, minimal supervision and irregular sleep settings and patterns. Moreover, much less is understood about drug use in contrast with alcohol use throughout industrial drivers in Canada. Nevertheless, analysis in different international locations exhibits there are variations in use and causes to be used.”

One of many challenges is that Canadian knowledge about accidents or fatalities could not characterize a full image of drug-impaired driving as a result of industrial automobile drivers are much less more likely to be killed in such collisions, the report mentioned.

A 2019 overview of 51 research throughout a number of international locations additionally discovered one in 5 truck drivers used amphetamines and one in 50 used cocaine, it famous.

“In 2020, there have been 55,453 drug and alcohol violations from pre-employment testing, random testing, post-accident testing, and affordable suspicion amongst American industrial drivers,” it added. “Drug violations accounted for 98% of those violations, with hashish, cocaine and methamphetamines being the highest three medication.”

Canadian drivers who cross the Canada-U.S. border are topic to the U.S. testing regimes.


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Giant Tiger maintenance
15 September
Tiger Trucking celebrates 35 years, adds dedicated maintenance facility


The one issues (considerably) brighter than Tiger Trucking’s yellow car graphics have been the reflective yellow vests worn by these round them. However each have been plentiful because the fleet celebrated its 35th anniversary – and reduce a fittingly yellow ribbon to open a brand new upkeep facility in Johnstown, Ont.

The store itself is run by Penske Truck Leasing Canada and Frigid, however is devoted completely to the personal fleet.

Whereas nonetheless comparatively uncommon in Canada, the enterprise mannequin is properly established within the U.S. and is changing into more and more standard, mentioned Penske government account supervisor Patrick Musacchio.

Staff members, together with drivers acknowledged as 1-, 2-, 3- and 4-million milers, have been readily available to have fun the ability’s opening. (Picture: 18PercentPhotography)

Full-service upkeep

“Every thing you see within the store is similar as what you see in a full-service facility,” he instructed, referring to the Johnstown location with two drive-through bays. “This enables us to not solely develop our enterprise however get proper into the shoppers’ again yards and be capable to help them with an unique, devoted store.”

The store additionally builds on a decades-long relationship between Penske and Large Tiger Shops, which initially solely had a few automobiles primarily based in Ottawa. As of this fall the retailer’s personal fleet may have 150 energy items, together with 400 trailers, 300 intermodal containers, and 60 chassis.

Musacchio admitted he was fearful about how Penske would help the distribution heart, because it was established near an hour away from current service amenities. Finding a devoted store proper exterior the distribution heart’s doorways was the reply.

James Johnstone, Giant Tiger
James Johnstone, head of transportation at Large Tiger. (Picture: John G. Smith)

“For us, it simply made sense from a security, environmental and folks perspective to have that service executed right here, to save lots of the miles, save the gasoline, and have folks doing productive work versus simply shuttling empties forwards and backwards,” mentioned James Johnstone, head of transportation at Large Tiger.

Quickly rising fleet

That grew to become notably obvious throughout the operation’s fast development over the previous few years, because it established itself as one of many largest personal fleets in Canada.

“There was a noticeable drag as soon as we hit in all probability 70-80 items,” Johnstone mentioned, referring to the on-duty driving time invested in service appointments. “That point must be spent doing productive work and getting deliveries to our shops.

“Having our companions right here to handle points, pre-or post-trip, to make it possible for truck is prepared to return out and is protected is our number-one precedence for us by way of upkeep.”

Combining the efforts of two transportation companions will cut back downtime whereas additionally saving miles and gasoline, mentioned Paul Wooden, president and CEO of Large Tiger Shops. “That’s simply one other unbelievable technique to enable us to maintain the prices low for the shopper.

“That’s why we created Tiger Trucking 35 years in the past … We found out that we might do it extra cost-effectively ourselves,” he mentioned of the personal fleet’s roots. “Now we’re sending our gear just about from one finish of the nation to a different. We’ve obtained a number of extra areas to get to, however don’t fear. We’ll get there quickly.”

Giant Tiger maintenance
Tiger Trucking gear now enjoys on-site upkeep help by Penske Truck Leasing and Frigid. (Picture: 18PercentPhotography)


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recession graphic
15 September
Carriers try to make sense of unusual economic conditions


When you really feel the financial floor shifting beneath your toes, you’re not alone. Eric Starks, CEO of business forecaster FTR, stated it’s like wanting away from a soccer sport during which your workforce has a wholesome lead, solely to see that lead has evaporated once you return your consideration to the sport.

“You felt like we’re profitable the sport. You search for and one thing has modified, however you don’t know what,” he stated in characterizing what number of within the trucking business could also be feeling in regards to the present economic system. Starks was talking on the introduction of FTR’s 2022 Transportation Convention in Indianapolis, Ind., this week

Whereas there’s been loads of debate as as to whether the U.S. economic system is in recession, Starks stated, “The freight market proper now doesn’t recommend we’re in recession, however we do have some threat there and the dangers are rising.”

(Photograph: iStock)

Truck loadings proceed to extend, however are displaying indicators of flattening. Whole truck utilization exhibits capability continues to be tight, however has normalized at in regards to the 10-year shifting common.

Provide chain normalizing

Inflation was felt first by companies, and now has impacted the patron. The core Client Worth Index is above 6%, not the conventional 2-2.5% vary anticipated, Starks famous. Trailer utilization is definitely falling, however that’s as a result of fleets are rising their trailer ratios to allow them to add extra drop-and-hook freight to raised make the most of drivers.

Client spending could also be softening, however manufacturing accounts for about 75% of the transportation market, Starks notes, and it has picked up the slack.

“We’re seeing the provision chain ease up slightly bit,” he added. “It hasn’t normalized, nevertheless it has gotten higher.”

Talking on the identical convention, Mark Mathews, vice-president – analysis and improvement and business evaluation with the Nationwide Retail Federation, stated we aren’t in a recession “proper now.”

He continued, “Nominal spending continues to be sturdy.”

Mathews famous retail spending surged 14% to document ranges in 2021, and an additional 7.3% this yr. “Retail spending continues to be extremely sturdy,” he stated. He does consider a recession is coming, however added “Now we have this unbelievable job market that doubtlessly provides us slightly buffer.”

And whereas retail inventories are excessive, he stated there’s little panic amongst retailers, who anticipate it to normalize over the vacation season. Shoppers, in the meantime, proceed to spend and are managing inflation by merely shifting their shopping for habits to cheaper alternate options reminiscent of no-name manufacturers. However what does all of it imply for freight demand?

Freight outlook

Analyzing the freight market particularly, FTR vice-president of trucking Avery Vise stated there are two tales to inform. There’s the spot market, the place volumes and costs have fallen sharply, leading to small operator bankruptcies or their return to massive fleets as lease-ops.

Then there’s the story of contract charges, which have held regular and are projected to proceed to take action. General truck loadings are nonetheless rising even whereas spot market hundreds plummet, Vise identified.

“Whole general dry van loadings are nonetheless fairly regular, regardless that the spot market has come down fairly a bit,” he stated.

Whole truck loadings are forecast to be up 3% this yr in comparison with 2021, with additional 2% development subsequent yr, Vise stated. Lively truck utilization (vehicles with drivers) additionally replicate continued tightness out there at about 94%, above the 10-year common of 91%. Because of this, “[contract] charges are going to be sticky,” Vise predicted.

Spot market charges, in distinction, will finish the yr down 14% and drop one other 12% subsequent yr. Regardless of the sharp drop they’ll stay above 2019 ranges and by historic comparisons will stay wholesome. Simply nowhere close to as wholesome as contract charges, which ought to end the yr up 9% yr over yr, earlier than falling 4% subsequent yr.

“Freight exercise continues to shift to contract,” Vise stated, including the motive force provide is loosening, particularly for giant carriers, on the expense of smaller ones. “Charges are settling however shippers shouldn’t anticipate fast reduction.”

Eric Starks
FTR CEO Eric Starks (Photograph: James Menzies)

The service perspective

FTR’s evaluation of the market was bolstered by fleet executives who spoke on the convention.

“The contract market is fairly secure proper now,” stated Invoice Kretsinger, chairman and CEO of American Central Transport (ACT).

Brad Pinchuck, CEO of Hirschbach Motor Strains, echoed that remark, saying enterprise is “sturdy.” Simply not as sturdy because it was.

“In February 2021 by way of mid-March of this yr, it was off the charts,” stated Pinchuck. “On a scale of 1-10 it was like a 13.”

At Hirschbach, essentially the most relied upon metric for enterprise well being is the share of load requests it rejects. On the market’s peak, Pinchuck stated the corporate was turning down 40-45% of its cargo requests over a couple of 14-month interval.

“That’s the best I’ve ever seen it in practically 30 years,” he stated. It has since fallen to about 20%, which has introduced down Pinchuck’s ranking of enterprise situations to an 8-8.5 out of 10.

Bracing for a downturn

Kretsinger, nonetheless, is bracing for a downturn. “Issues are good proper now,” he stated. “However we’re sort of making ready to endure, as you would possibly say.”

ACT displays is prospects’ cargo ranges in real-time, in search of indicators of a slowdown. Different metrics it watches for indications of what’s to return embrace tender rejection charges, the used truck market, and new truck orders.

Whereas carriers have been reporting document margins, Pinchuck warned these are artificially inflated because of the unprecedented costs used tools was fetching, which is already on the decline.

“I feel a number of corporations I take a look at, together with ourselves and a few others we’ve publicity to, have seen a 300-basis level enchancment in firm earnings simply on account of achieve on sale. Numerous that has gone away or goes away now,” he stated.

Each carriers additionally report continued challenges find and conserving drivers. Kretsinger stated drivers are extra transitory than ever, desirous to do native for some time, then over the street and can job hop extra ceaselessly than up to now.

“It looks like it’s getting harder to retain them long-term,” he stated.

Pinchuck stated it’s additionally getting costlier to recruit and retain drivers. He estimates the price of hiring and onboarding a brand new driver has elevated 250% since earlier than the pandemic.

“You’ve bought to seek out options,” he stated. “Numerous these options find yourself costing much more cash.”

Craig Callahan, government vice-president of gross sales at Werner Enterprises, stated the vast majority of Werner’s new hires come by way of its personal Roadmaster Drivers Faculty. Enrolments are up.

“We expect there may be some return to work occurring there,” he stated. “We’re nonetheless not the place we must be to be at most labor for our firm.”

The corporate continues to have a whole lot of driver jobs out there, principally in its devoted fleets, however Callahan is seeing “some return to normalcy.”


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