Larry Kahaner

Larry
Kahaner

Articles

Move over breathalyzer … here comes the textalyzer

Although it is not yet ready for everyday use, lawmakers in several states are writing or considering legislation to allow law enforcement officers patrolling the highways to connect a device known as a “textalyzer” to a mobile phone to instantly learn if the driver was texting prior to a crash.

Helping drivers and their families when the unthinkable happens

Truck driver Robert Palm knows what it's like to be on the road, away from friends and family when a medical emergency strikes. The 35-year highway veteran was severely injured in a crash in 1997. He was hospitalized again in 2010, far from his home, with a ruptured appendix.

A high-end bedbugger and the Buddhist view of attachment

It's difficult to decide what's more impressive about trucker Finn Murphy – that he's figured out how to make five to seven times more than the average truck driver or that he's just published a book with a major book company about his driving career and received laudatory attention ranging from the New York Times to the literary magazine

Could this be the end of the 11foot8 bridge videos? 1

Truck drivers don't like to see crashes, except for one: the so-called 11foot8 bridge – aka the Canopener Bridge. They can't seem to get enough of it.

Drivers: Don't be fooled by your windows

Truck driver Bill McElligott may have the world's most famous left side of a face.

Five years ago his photo was featured in the New England Journal of Medicine, accompanying a story about Unilateral Dermatoheliosis – damage to skin on half of his face caused by ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun.

Immigrant truck drivers: Shhhh. We don’t talk about it.

When U.S. motor carriers discuss recruiting new drivers they're eager to chat about efforts to reach out to underrepresented groups such as women, minorities and military veterans, but there's one group they're reluctant to discuss for publication: Immigrants.

Schools, organizations and companies that train new drivers also shy away from the subject of immigrant drivers; ditto for some state carrier organizations.

Driver burnout: It's not just about being tired 1

George woke up in his cab one morning and didn't feel like driving. "I was exhausted, so I just sat all day in the TA and drank coffee, played some video games. I told my dispatcher that I had been throwing up and couldn't drive. I didn't like lying, and it made me feel like a deadbeat, but I didn't have a choice. I was so tired. Truth be told, I didn't really give a crap about the load anymore, or the job. Nothing really mattered."

Carriers take note: Men and women drivers quit for very different reasons

Men leave their carriers mostly because of a lack of home time. Women leave because they don't feel comfortable in their rigs or believe their equipment may break down.

Carriers who understand these and other differences why men and women drivers leave their jobs will be more successful in driver retention, industry officials claim.  

St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund takes unique approach to helping drivers 1

Former truck driver Michael Proctor, disabled from 21 years on the road, wasn't asking a lot. He needed batteries for his used motorized wheelchair, but he didn't have the money, and the cost wasn't covered by medical insurance.

Are you ready for blockchain technology?

Have you heard about 'blockchain technology?' How about 'Bitcoin?'

"I've talked with transportation executives about blockchain and they say, 'I've never heard of that before.' Then you say, 'Are you familiar with Bitcoin?' and they say, 'Yeah, isn't that the currency that drug dealers use to do transactions?' The easy answer is 'Yes,' but the more complex answer is that it has applications with far broader impact than just the illicit economy," says Andy Schmahl, partner with PwC's Strategy&.

Will truckers become like drone operators? 3

Stefan Seltz-Axmacher knows that many drivers don't like him and his autonomous trucks so he tries to change the conversation. "Yes, we're these nerdy guys from San Francisco, and we've built a robot that looks like it does their work," says the CEO and co-founder of Starsky Robotics. "Drivers say, 'Oh, my gosh. Are they going to take our jobs?' but when the conversation becomes about remote driving, and more home time, we go from being an enemy to a friend. I really hope that's the dynamic we're largely able to have."

The most common tax filing mistake for drivers is not filing taxes 2

"The most common tax filing mistake that drivers make is not filing their taxes at all," says Jim O'Donnell, CEO and founder of Trucker Tax Service. "I don’t know what the percentage is but it’s absolutely massive on drivers who don’t file at all. They come off the road, finally have a chance to be with their family or friends or simply relax, and the last thing they want to think about is filing taxes."

Brain-injured trucker publishes children's book 2

Roger Hodge had planned to drive a truck until he was 70 years old, but a mishap with a tarp put an end to that dream.

More medical conditions mean more crashes: Driver study

Drivers with several health issues, such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure, are more likely to be involved in a crash than truckers with only one condition.

While this conclusion may seem obvious, the numbers are striking. Of about 38,000 drivers whose medical and crash records were studied, those with three or more ailments had a crash frequency of 93 incidents per million miles compared to 29 per million miles for all drivers.

Driver fitness: 'Fear makes them coachable' 1

Siphiwe Baleka knows why drivers sign up for his fitness program. "The vast majority of the drivers that enroll in the program come to me because they're scared," says the former trucker turned trainer who has designed a program specifically for drivers. "This fear makes them coachable.”