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(QC) New conduct review policies for heavy vehicle owners, operators and drivers will come into force on January 1, 2023

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The conduct review policies that apply to heavy vehicle owners and operators and to heavy vehicle drivers were developed in order to meet the requirements of the Act respecting owners, operators and drivers of heavy vehiclesThis link will open in a new window. These policies govern the creation of heavy vehicle owner, operator and driver records. They also define the conduct review process and the procedures used by the SAAQ when intervening with heavy vehicle drivers, owners or operators (heavy vehicle users) that present a risk to road safety or to the integrity of the road network.

Given that these policies had not been revised for several years, the SAAQ undertook to revise them in their entirety in order to take into account both the evolving socioeconomic and regulatory context of the freight and passenger transportation industry, and the government’s goals regarding road safety and the integrity of the road network. The revision process was carried out in collaboration with government partners and industry representatives between 2015 and 2019. Before the new policies could be implemented, important changes also needed to be made to the existing computer programs and systems in order to accommodate the requirements of the new policies.

Consult the new policies before they take effect: https://saaq.gouv.qc.ca/en/transportation-goods/conduct-review-policies

PRINCIPAL CHANGES

  • New conduct areas (separation of the “Operational Safety” conduct area into two new conduct areas)
  • New event-weighting scale
  • Different driver and HVOO weightings for some offences
  • New offences taken into consideration
  • New conduct review measures (additional points for repeat offences of the same nature and decreased weighting based on the age of an event)
  • Notices of non-compliance introduced as a means to raise awareness
  • New approach to assessing critical events and vehicle safety
  • New threshold values (number of points that must not be reached)
  • New HVOO Good Conduct Recognition Program

The policies were revised with a view to :

  • making the policies more effective at allowing the SAAQ to identify and intervene with heavy vehicle users that present a real risk to road safety or to the integrity of the road network
  • introducing new awareness-raising measures while continuing to intervene with heavy vehicle users through a series of gradually escalating steps, with the aim of encouraging heavy vehicle users to correct their conduct and there by avoid having their records referred to the Commission des transports du Québec
  • recognizing good conduct

Peterbilt for the first time showcased its SuperTruck II

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Have you seen on display last October at the American Trucking Associations Management Conference and Exhibition (MCE) in San Diego, the spectacular Peterbilt’s new SuperTruck II demonstrator vehicle?

The goal of the SuperTruck II program is to meet prevailing emissions and Class 8 tractor-trailer vehicle safety and regulatory requirements, initiated by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Its important target : the development of cost effective efficiency technologies.

The truck features :

  • 15-liter diesel 48 volt mild hybrid powertrain;
  • waste heat recovery system;
  • lightweight chassis for improved fuel economy;
  • large, wrap-around dash, 15-inch digital dash display for virtual gauges and critical vehicle data;
  • additional display for HVAC;
  • infotainment and navigation controls;
  • articulated seat that rotates left and right;
  • pull-out desk;
  • carbon fiber, aluminum and high-strength steel used all around the cab and chassis to save weight (about 4,800 pounds from the tractor and trailer).

Peterbilt was not yet ready to provide final figures for its concept truck’s freight efficiency gains at MCE, but the vehicle is in the final stages of testing.

Bullying in the trucking industry; are you a victim?

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At the age of 9 Wylliam was an angry child who already wanted to commit suicide, being bullied. Can we really blame children when we see the behavior of adults, of parents, serving as role models, and the flood of disrespectful comments that run rampant on social media?

Sadly, few schools or workplaces are bully-free, and the trucking world is no different. In an industry where stereotypes are present, for some, it seems like trucking is still an area where it is impossible to take your place without playing it tough. Not just for truckers, but also in the offices, the lounges, and the garages. Some even fear that this could discourage new prospects from integrating the industry in a sustainable way.

How many truckers, mechanics, or dispatchers have moved into the transportation business and had to fight to earn the respect that should be the basis of any relationship? How many others have simply given up, leaving their dreams behind, because these battles are beyond their strength or simply not worth the price?

There are also those for whom bullying comes in the form of humor. Those who either feel the need to entertain, find gratification, or simply out of frustration, relentlessly ridicule their co-workers. Not having the assignments, they want, they may for example go after the dispatcher. Or, for the glory of a moment, make fun of a colleague in trouble, not always realizing that what they say demonstrates more who they are, rather than the victim themselves. Ugly words never make the person who says them better.

“Timber transportation is a hard world and when you arrive without any knowledge or work colleagues, you start with 2 strikes”, explains Marc who was a supervisor. “Very difficult to be accepted by the people, you gotta go through a lot of intimidation. The worst thing is that the person who replaced me went through the same thing as me. I can see that it hasn’t changed, even after 10 years. ”

“I am the first broker in the company and it does not suit the drivers, because I make a lot of money and there is so much jealousy…” adds Steven.

Some will say that these victims were perhaps not fast enough, not good enough, or not smart enough, but no reason can justify the intimidation or the lack of respect toward others. To be strong, to be courageous is to denounce situations quickly and with respect to human resources.

Bullying doesn’t just start at school or in the workplace, but in our homes, it is in the way we address others and how we talk about the people around us. It is in the comments we make on given subjects, in the way we communicate and how we live and think.

It takes shape in oneself, in one’s self-esteem, in one’s vision of life and of others, when we entertain denigrating thoughts or let our fears, our misunderstandings, and our disagreements express themselves with harsh words, which are not worthy of the light we carry within us.

Let’s not ignore bullying, let’s not let ugly words pass us by, let’s be models of respect, greatness of soul and strength, and courage for our colleagues, but above all, let’s do it for the sake of our children.

 

By Sophie Jacob

California has urged its residents and carriers to reduce their electric consumption

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No US state or Canadian province has taken the automotive and trucking industry further in adopting electric vehicles than California. However, the state recently found itself in the grip of a blistering summer heatwave, with its power grid hitting a maximum plateau, sending a shockwave through trucking and its move toward electricity as a primary resource.

California Governor Gavin Newsom’s office issued a warning for their state power producers in September urging residents “to reduce their electricity use between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m.” to conserve energy and reduce the risk of a blackout.

“Avoid using major appliances,” the state told residents, including trucking companies, who are being pushed toward electric vehicles with big incentives/subsidies. The alerts’ full text also advised avoiding charging electric vehicles during these times. This alert persisted for 4 days.

If power generators can’t handle a heat wave, how could they accommodate hundreds of thousands of electric trucks requiring megawatts of electricity once or more a day?

The situation puts the electrification of trucking, transportation and residents’ quality of life in question as California moves to phase out gas stoves and small gasoline engines. It is also set to ban up to 76,000 trucks equipped with engines with pre-2010 emissions specifications from operating in the state by 2023.

Over the past 10 years, annual sales of plug-in electric vehicles in California have gone from just 7,000 in 2011 to more than a quarter of a million sold in 2021, making up more than 12 percent of all light-duty vehicle sales last year. California’s 1 million electric vehicles sold this past year surpasses the total sales in the next 10 states combined, and it’s seven times more than the next closest state. The state has the greatest number of EVs, with approximately 39% of EVs nationwide.

Covid-19: Pierre Bernier, long-haul trucker, shares his experience

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While the obligation to wear a mask has aroused strong reactions in many people around North America, for Pierre Bernier it has become obvious for him that we must protect ourselves and avoid contracting the new coronavirus. Trucker, he faced the disease and although he comes out with any sequelae, he shares with us today his experience, highlighting the problems that the virus can cause for our health, but also for the finances!

As a long-haul team driver, Pierre contracted the virus at the end of April. He felt a tingling in his throat, nothing more, never thinking he had contracted the disease. The first days were banal, but it was on the fifth day that he understood the brutality of the new coronavirus on his health.

« I had a fever and I was really weak; I dropped about 50% of my usual capacity. I would go up a flight of stairs and I would be drenched in sweat…» he explains. « I contaminated my codriver, even though we were already incredibly careful. We cleaned everything in the truck, we would disinfect our hands regularly, but he still contracted the virus. The virus had affected him much stronger than me, even though he had a perfect bill of health, while I have lung problems. »
« I think I must have caught the virus when I went to the ATM. I did not have any disinfectant with me at the time and I had told myself that I was going to wash my hands at home, but I may have forgotten, or I may have touched my face with my hands… But I find it important to mention that I did not catch the virus in the United States, I contracted it in Quebec City, even if my symptoms appeared on the road. »
« I do not believe that truckers are more important vectors of the virus than the general population of Canada. The rules are strict, whether it’s at the borders or elsewhere, and we were incredibly careful not to spread the virus… »

Pierre and his codriver were incredibly happy when they returned from their trip, being both exhausted. Upon his return, Pierre made an appointment and he went to a Covid-19 clinical drive-thru at Place Fleur-de-Lys. Well organized and equipped with special medical gear, the people there gave him the test and he turned out to be positive.

« Coming back from our trip, we left the truck and all the travel documents as is. We didn’t go inside the office; we went directly home, and the company took care of disinfecting everything. In fact, they disinfected the truck three times! »
« Personally, I was sick for about 12 days, and I was released on May 11th. My son, who stays with me, did not contract it, but he stayed confined with me, so he doesn’t contaminate his fellow colleague’s as for he is in the military.  I cleaned absolutely everything I touched, even the bottle of milk, we were very careful. »

When Pierre received permission to go back to work, he had to leave without his partner. His codriver did not return to work until the 12th of June and is still suffering from the aftermath of the Covid-19.

« Even if you are in your forties or fifties and even if you are in good shape, you can be sick like hell! In his case, it’s as if the virus has attacked his brain. When you no longer know if you are moving forward or backward, you are extremely tired, you must sleep more than ¾ of your day, it’s really serious. In my case, when I got up in the morning, I had to clean my sheets because they were soaking wet. I was making myself lunch, and it really took all my energy. What happened to my codriver was really bad. »

Although Pierre is in favor of sanitary measures, he deplores the lack of consistency in the measures from one state to another, from one client to another.

« For example, California asks you to wear a mask. You arrive at the shipper, who asks you to use your own pencil, but the person at the reception takes my driver’s license and touches it with his hands. When I got tested, they never touched my health insurance card, they put it in a bag! » he says. « There are states that require to wear a mask, others do not. In Michigan, it’s a 500$ fine if you don’t respect the measures. There is no consistency from one place to another … It’s complicated! »

Pierre believes it is important to follow the sanitary measures in place. Even though he has already contracted the virus, he continues to pay attention to others.

« The purpose of sharing my story is to remind people of the importance of washing their hands and wearing a mask. Even though I did well, I was fortunate to be able to make my payments, to pay my mortgage, because the virus involves a long work stoppage. People who have the slightest financial difficulty, who impatiently wait for their pay to make their payment… How will they manage if they have to stop working for weeks or even months? »
« I think eventually the viral load will lower, and it will become like a little flu. But this isn’t the case at the moment, not for everyone, so let’s be careful! »

The company Pierre works for has only two other cases of infection out of nearly 500 drivers. He is pleased to tell us that the company is doing everything it can to limit the spread of the virus and that the situation is being taken seriously.

The obligation to wear a mask or face covering in closed public places in Quebec will come into force next Saturday, July 18th, 2020.

Remember that masks do not fully protect the people who wear them, but they can reduce the risk of contamination to almost 5% if others wear them too. Wearing a mask or face cover helps retain particles released into the air while exhaling, speaking, coughing… and therefore creates an additional barrier to the virus if you were a carrier.

Wearing a mask or a face cover could allow the population to continue to go out and spend their money, for the good health of our economy, while surviving the virus, physically and financially…

It remains unclear why some people appear to be more affected by Covid-19 than others. While people experience little or no symptoms, others, relatively healthy, are fully affected, and some die. As a reminder, the trucker community has lost some of its important members due to the Covid-19. Let us not forget them.

Yves Labelle and Dan Picard, truck drivers, lost their lives to Covid-19.

Successful couple relationships despite the road

Finding a good partner can be difficult for truckers who spend a lot of time on the road. Although for some people freedom and independence can be the key to a successful relationship while for others, balance, confidence and accepting the distance can be a real obstacle.

How to establish balance in a relationship? How to nurture a feeling of confidence? How to live a harmonious relationship despite the distance? Is there a perfect recipe to live and maintain happiness within our romantic relationship?

Balance in a relationship

According to Yvon Dallaire, psychologist, author and lecturer in conjugal relations, there are four dimensions to our life to flourish and live a happy life. The four dimensions boil down to four Ps: partner, professional life, parent, private life.

Each of these dimensions must occupy 25% of our total time to live in a proper balance. The relationship should not represent 100% of our life, we must learn to keep time for our career, family life and our secret garden.

To illustrate the concept of the four Ps, we can imagine a table with four legs. Each leg represents a dimension. Each legs of the table should be proportional to each other so that the table has a good balance, and this is the same with the four dimensions. If there is a bouquet of flowers on the table, so that it doesn’t fall to the ground, we must recognize ourselves as partner’s, parent’s, professional’s and keep time for ourselves.

Truckers who leave home for several days at a time as part of their work can find themselves in a particular situation especially if they are passionate of their job, trying to fulfill two needs at the same time, that of professional life and private life. It’s rather possible to take some time for yourself whilst being in the truck, but you shouldn’t feel guilty about it. If necessary, you can also take time for yourself at home. It’s all about finding the perfect balance.

Sometimes it’s difficult to be able to devote 25% of your time to your beloved one because of the time spent on the road. Thus, it’s important that the time spent with your partner is of good quality and don’t forget to make them know that you’re thinking about them whilst you’re on the road.

Your spouse thinks you are paying to much attention to trucks? Find an activity that both of you love! A passion that can rejoin both of you, play games together and go see shows. Have short, medium, long term plans to increase the probability of being happier and staying together longer.

Games are an incredibly good way for spending time together, some games can even be played directly from your mobile phone, from the cab of your truck with your partner being at home.

Nurturing a sense of confidence

For many people, the unknown can be frightening. It can therefore be difficult for some partners to understand how it works for truckers on the road, to separate the reality from the famous “rumors of the 401”.

The best way to reassure the person you treasure is to reassure them about the reality of transportation, your priorities and the love you have for them. And why not give them a truck ride? By discovering by themselves how you live on the road, where you park, how it goes, confidence can be established. A healthy communication can then make their confidence flourish.

Harmonious relationship despite the distance

In an interview accorded with Truck Stop Quebec, Yvon Dallaire suggests securing your partner by reminding them that even despite the distance, that you care about them. He gives the idea, among other things, to write little letters and hide them so that the other can find them during your absence, a simple and inexpensive way that your partner will feel close to you even if you’re far away.

Can’t seem to get back in time for her birthday? Send flowers, or a fruit basket! Offer her a massage or a day at the spa that she can take when you are gone and thus strengthen her relationship experience in a positive way, even when you’re away.

The secret of happy couples

It’s rare for two people to have the same needs at the same time, whether you’re in a truck driver relationship or not.

« The couple is a crucible that generates crises, and we must learn to overcome them, » explains Yvon Dallaire. « Couples are built through difficult times and conflicts in which we try to find double-winner agreement. »

Happy couples also have unsolvable problems and conflicts. Why do they still manage to find happiness?

« These happy couples manage their problems, they don’t solve them », says Yvon Dallaire. « If you’re financially insecure and your partner is financially secure, it’s insoluble, the best solution for this is that both partners should share the same attitude towards money. »

« So, when we can manage a double-winner agreement, for example by making a budget in which there is a savings account, making the insecure partner secure, and so that the secure partner who wants to enjoy their money can do it, now everyone is happy. It’s managing the differences, whether between two people of the opposite sex or of the same sex. »

It is important to dialogue, on the condition that the content of the dialogue is positive! Some couples experience communication problems, but this can take two completely opposite directions. Either the couple isn’t talking at all, or they talk to each other but by discussing the wrong content.

« If every time I talk to my partner and I tell them about their flaws, or of what they should change, or all the bullshit that has been done in the past, what will they give me in return? » asks Yvon Dallaire. « Among happy couples, we find that there are ten times more compliments than blame. There will be reproaches, but they’re compensated by compliments, by “I love you’s”. »

Many couples separate prematurely because from the first crisis, the picture person that you thought was is no longer. The princess turns into a witch, and the prince becomes into a toad again!

« The misters must learn that the word witchcraft means wisdom and knowledge. Madam’s must learn that a toad is also a beautiful manifestation of life », says Yvon Dallaire laughing.

Still according the renowned international psychologist, there are four fundamental elements for a relationship to succeed:

  1. Love and good faith.
  2. Knowledge of the small differences between men and women which have large consequences.
  3. Ignorance of the inevitable dynamics of living together.
  4. The efforts to stop doing what’s not working, like screaming each other’s heads off, and put into practice what works, like giving each other compliments and learning to manage our paradoxes.

Do you have this impression that your relationship brings you more inconvenience than benefits?  You’re no longer happy and believe that it’s time to put an end to your relationship? Failing to succeed your relationship, it’s entirely possible to succeed in your separation, by doing it in a calm and respectful way towards other. Don’t forget that you can always ask for some professional advice if you’re in a difficult situation, especially when children are involved.

And don’t forget, as Benoit Magimel puts it so well… « Happiness is found alone and is shared with someone ».

DHL Express & their new mobile units

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Food trucks are becoming more and more popular in the recent years, thus attracting more companies to try and adapt new technologies and find ways to respect the new current standards of sanitary measures in place.

It is with this vision that DHL Express, an international delivery service company has decided to innovate by coping the ‘Food Truck’ method by offering to it’s clients mobile shipping points. Their very first mobile ‘pop-up’ concept is currently parked in a shopping centre in Silver Spring, Maryland.

The mobile unit offers approximately 2,200 cubic feet that can be raised and lowered by a hydraulic system. It is currently equipped with a wireless computer system that responds to the needs of both national and international parcel senders. It also offers on-site sells, such as: bubble wrap, tape, boxes, etc.

In the upcoming months, DHL Express wants to offer on-site pick-ups at their mobile units, just like shipment’s. More mobile service should open across the United States by the end of this upcoming year.

Tesla’s value dominates Toyota in the auto industry

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Tesla Inc. overtook Toyota Motor Corp. as a higher value company on Wednesday July 1st when the 650,000 pre-orders of its Cybertruck exceeded deliveries of all its electric models (Tesla S, X and 3) of 2018 and 2019.

With its Cybertruck pickup and the Tesla Semi, a 100% electric class 8 semi truck, Tesla has risen to the forefront of battery electric vehicle manufacturers. The Tesla Semi had been presented on November 16, 2017 and its production is scheduled for 2021, after being delayed three times.

Tesla’s shares have more than doubled since the start of the year. They reached a market capitalization of $ 208.3 billion on Wednesday, exceeding Toyota’s $ 194.5 billions.

Volkswagen has found second place as a carmaker, being overtaken by Tesla which is now worth more than double the German giant of cars and trucks.

Measured by its market share, Tesla is still a small player in the United States, accounting for only 1.32% of all vehicles sold. This is explained by the slower adoption of electric vehicles, more than by the popularity of Tesla, especially among the wealthy who can afford these cars whose price can range from $ 40,000 to more than $ 100,000.

Toyota predicts an 80% decline in profits this year, and it could possibly extend into the first quarter of 2021 before the auto market regains its pre-pandemic health.

Toyota has only recently begun investing in battery electric vehicles, favoring hydrogen fuel cell electric as the long-term solution to greenhouse gas emissions. Toyota partners with Kenworth Truck Co, a unit of PACCAR Inc., on a fleet of 10 class 8 heavy trucks for testing in a climate-conscious California. It is working on a similar program in Japan with its subsidiary Hino Trucks.

Covid-19 : An increase in incidents among truckers?

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While several provinces and states have imposed containment measures to combat the Covid-19 outbreak, peak hours have dropped dramatically and traffic has become smoother. We might think that the number of road incidents could have dropped too, but in some cities it was just the opposite!

This is explained by the fact that less traffic makes it possible to drive faster. New York City also recorded the largest increase in speed, with a 20% increase in average road speed. Driving faster leads to an increase in sudden braking. An acceleration in the curves was also noted among truckers, according to Geotab.

In New York City, a drop in the volume of commercial transport was recorded. But, still according to Geotab, the number of daily events related to harsh driving, by commercial vehicle, has increased in incidents for trucks. This is not the case for other types of commercial vehicles such as buses, which have remained fairly constant.

Drivers familiar with driving in congested cities are now freer in those areas that were previously difficult to navigate. These are the places where it is strongly recommended to double your vigilance and respect the speed limits.

“Fleets must therefore carefully monitor traffic behavior to help ensure the safety of their employees on the road during this unprecedented period,” writes the telematics company.

For its part, trucking insurance broker Burrowes confirms a drop in road accidents. Can this be attributed to the fact that there are fewer motorists on the roads?

“We can certainly take into account the fact that there are fewer vehicles on the road …”

Deconfinement continues throughout North America, motorists and motorcyclists are back and traffic intensifies. The freedom that truckers will have experienced on deserted roads will have been short-lived, but a return to normal life is necessary for the sustainability of our carriers!

 

Riots escalate in Minnesota following the death of Floyd

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As tensions over a police-involved death continue to escalate, authorities are urging protesters to refrain from violence and asking people to avoid ‘retail areas.’

On Wednesday and Thursday, violent protests broke out in Minneapolis and St. Paul following the death of George Floyd.

During his arrest, Floyd, 46, was held by the knee of a Minneapolis police officer. A video shows Floyd pleading that he is suffering and cannot breathe. Then his eyes closed and the calls stopped. He was pronounced dead soon after.

The officer and three others involved in the incident have been dismissed, but his family members want to see the officers charged with murder.

The FBI is investigating and said it will present its findings to the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota for consideration of possible federal charges.

The Major Cities Chiefs Association, an organization of police executives representing the largest cities in the US and Canada, released a statement Wednesday calling the actions of the officers involved in Floyd’s death “inconsistent with the training and protocols of our profession.”

Floyd moved to Minnesota to work and drive trucks, according to friend and former NBA player Stephen Jackson.

The video of Floyd’s death went viral and sparked outrage at police brutality. Since then, protesters have clashed with the police on the streets, started numerous fires, and looted businesses.

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz called Wednesday’s activities in Minneapolis “extremely dangerous” and asked people to avoid the area.

On Thursday afternoon, the riots escalated to the point that Maplewood police urged people to avoid “retail areas”, considering these areas at high risk of looting.

According to social media, objects are being thrown from Bridges in Minneapolis as part of the protest.

Walz called the National Guard on Thursday afternoon to respond to the riots.

Truckers who need to deliver or pick up in the area should call ahead to make sure the business is open or consider delaying until the situation is more secure.

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