David Heller



Drivers can rest easy... finally
With the recent announcement that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is moving forward with a study to determine whether or not sleeper berth flexibility is a necessity, our "I told you so" moment has finally come.
Chime in to pilot program 

Deadlines make life interesting. Just ask the editor of Fleet Owner, who religiously informs me of my monthly cutoff date to get this column in. Quite obviously, I always want to write about something suitable, important to the industry, and at times, relate the position of the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) on the issue if it proves to be a pertinent point.

ELD dawning day approaches 

I don’t consider myself to be a movie aficionado. But I can say that when  a recent conversation I had about electronic logging devices (ELDs) referred to Dec. 18, 2017, as the day in which Skynet takes over, I had to chuckle.  If you have ever seen a Terminator movie, you know that Skynet is the advanced, technological computer system that led to machines taking over the world.

Let’s focus on positives, too 

If you are reading this column at the very onset of the delivery of this magazine, you could possibly be preparing for the Truckload Carriers Assn.’s  Annual Safety Div. meeting in Phoenix, AZ, or you could not be preparing for it, thus ending my shameless plug for attending one of TCA’s finest meetings. Regardless, a funny thing has happened when it came to prepping for this meeting, laying out the program, and even contacting speakers for it. CSA has almost faded into the background.

Another detention study  3

Without dating myself too badly,  I can say that if you had asked me what “detention time” meant when I was in high school, my answer would be drastically different than it is today. 

Recently, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) concluded that it will be issuing a report in regard to the topic of driver detention, i.e.,  drivers being detained at a shipper’s facility or receiver’s dock for a length of time that generally would cause a disruption in their efforts to comply with the hours-of-service rules.

Is it a deep freeze? 

This time of year always seems to accompany uncertainty and unpredictability when it comes to weather. As I write this column, Washington, DC, broke heat records, as temperatures soared into the 70s in the middle of February. And this was just days before the Northeast got slammed by a winter storm that dropped two feet of snow in some locations.

Exempt me, please 

It’s that time of year. We all dread it, but it is one of the few things in life that is guaranteed—and that is death and taxes.

You definitely don’t want Uncle Sam to come knocking at your door, so if you haven’t already done so, you are probably getting ready to  file your income taxes. You gather your paperwork, download one of the electronic tax prep programs, and begin searching for exemptions.

Sensible regulation 

Nothing surprises me more than my conversations with TCA members. They are active, engaged and thoroughly look to gather as much information as they can to improve their fleet operations and the safety practices that accompany them.

Autonomous trucking: In search of answers  1

We are seeing this happen before our very eyes, that is, real occurrences of what we all believed would happen in the future. And it is clearly happening in the now and no doubt will occur many more times in the years, months, and probably even weeks ahead.

So, you may be asking yourself, “What the heck is he talking about?”  As it seems to be the flavor of the day in D.C. and in the trade publications, and following on the heels of an autonomous beer delivery, we are now faced with the development of a new normal in our industry.

Hitting the fast track 

Whew! That’s the first word that pops into my head as I begin to rattle off words on my keyboard.
Have you ever been so crazy busy that by the time you finish one project and roll into another, the one word that comes to mind is whew, almost as if that is the universal language for taking a breath. If you can relate, then you know that we have been moving at such a frenetic pace with rulemakings and requests for comments that we may need a speed limiter on regulations just to catch up (insert bad joke line right here).

Taking responsibility 

If you’ve been reading my column or if you know me, then you know that I am a baseball fan.